Holy Post-Impressionism, Batman!!

Last night, while doing his homework, Justin asked me to help him. One of the tasks was to draw six bats for Halloween and then color each of them brown. Justin was unsure of how to draw a bat and he asked for me to draw one first so he could see how it was done. Luckily, I had my laptop open and I Google Imaged Batman’s crest. I grabbed a piece of paper and pencil and I began to draw (what I thought was) a “bat.”

Justin looked at my bat for a few moments and he said, “No daddy! Draw me a real bat!” I proceeded to explain to him that I had no artistic ability whatsoever. If it wasn’t for my opposable thumbs and quick wit, I would be swinging from tree to tree and flinging my own poo at this moment. (Speaking of poo, after Justin decided that my bat sucked, I added a few pellets of poo dropping out of my bat’s butt. So mature!)

Justin took the pencil from my hand and drew his own bat. I must admit….it was much better than mine. Because Justin is ambidextrous, I enjoyed watching him color in the bats on his homework sheet with crayons in each hand at the same time.

I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson here. Either GenXDaddy is a terrible artist or he needs glasses!

Fear and Loathing in La Cabaña (The Shed) – Gimme Shelter, Pt. 4

Justin and I were drenched in sweat while wearing our goggles, face masks, and gloves. Every few moments, we would have to evacuate the shed due to fumes…even with the industrial fan working at high speed. It was either work through the fumes, get high, and then hallucinate that we were watching unicorns talking to leprechauns while pooping pizzas….OR, take more frequent breaks. We chose to take more frequent breaks.

Justin and I were in an 80 square foot, metal shed in the middle of August with four cans of Metallic Blue, Rust-Oleum Professional spray paint, 1 quart of white Behr Premium Elastomeric (Acrylic latex formula) paint, 3 cans of Hilti Caulking Foam, “Golden Pecan” MinWax Wood Finisher and Sealant, 2 cans of Oil Modified, Polyeuthane semi-gloss “Almond” paint, and something called Kilz. Luckily, I also knew that I had access to GWE’s “post-pregnancy” Vicodin and ice cold Grey Goose. I knew I was going to need them to ease the pain in my lower back (yet still be able to see the unicorns talk to the leprechauns while pooping pizzas.)

Some of the paints that we were using were so toxic that Home Depot kept them in locked cages. I had to show ID just to buy paint! Regardless, it was worth it! I just wish I had fully explained to Justin the toxicity level we were dealing with. “Why??” you may ask. Well…Justin’s first act was to spray my arm with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint.

It took a moment for me to realize what had happened. And, it took a little longer to think of how to get it off my arm. Do I wash it with soap and water? Do I need a special chemical to treat it? Will I need radiation therapy? Or, should I just cut my arm off now before it spreads? (The answer: A Brillo Pad, Nail Polish Remover, and a threshold for pain.)

The good news is…the interior painting has been finished. We will continue to move forward with the renovation as soon as we can. (And I will find a way to repay Justin for his “kindness” without turning him into The Toxic Avenger.)

The Interior Painting is Complete!

Put Some South in Your Mouth!

Justin had his first real homework assignment last week. Correction: GWE did Justin’s first real homework assignment for him last week. As we all know, it’s a slippery slope – you do one assignment for your kid in pre-school and 12 years later you find yourself robbing a bank to pay “Sleazy Larry” for the SAT answers the night before the test. It’s not pretty.

Week by week, all of the kids in Justin’s class had been doing presentations (with visual aids) on their “culture.” Some kids talked about which country they were from, some talked about their family’s religion, and some talked about living in a home where their culture revolved around sports. GWE decided that Justin’s culture would be “Southern Cuisine.” And, since we had just returned from Atlanta with bunches of brochures and plates from the Coca-Cola Museum and hats from The Varsity and The Waffle House, we had plenty of souvenirs for Justin’s class.

I will spare you the boring details for how everything came together. What GWE and I were surprised to discover was that Justin is a Master Orator! He had no problem standing in front of his class to make his presentation. With the excitement and vigor of a Soapbox Preacher extoling the virtues of Heaven, Justin began to tell his class of the magical place called “ATLANTA.” It is the home of Papa Jeff and Grandma Penny! It has an aquarium with whales! It also has a place called The Waffle House that serves – WAFFLES! The more he spoke about his culture, the more animated he became.

Once everyone had their hats on and were in their seats, Justin provided everyone with GWE’s Southern favorite – raisin toast with apple butter! In five years, that was the quietest I had ever heard any classroom at Justin’s school. Silently, little “munchkins” munched on their treats. When they were done, they all hailed Justin for making their day better and sweeter!

I went back to the school to pick up Justin (and Garrett) later that afternoon. As I sat in the car, I watched kids leave the classroom. They were still wearing their Varsity hats…SEVEN HOURS LATER. Clearly, Justin’s presentation made an impact and I could see that he clearly felt very good about himself.

When GWE returned home, she asked Justin if he had a good day. In an effort to get a “thank you” from her son for all of her hard work, GWE specifically asked Justin what the best part of the day was. He thought about it for a moment and said, “Nap time!”

“No, no, no,” she said, while still looking for some recognition of her contributions. “What was the BEST part of your day today?”

He thought about it again for a few more seconds and replied, “I really liked Nap Time today!”

Dear Justin….

On Monday, GWE left Los Angeles and went on a week long business trip to the East Coast. She had been talking about it for quite awhile and Justin was fully aware of what was going on. Besides GWE leaving at 5:00am, nothing was different that morning. We continued our normal routine of getting dressed, making breakfast, and heading off to daycare.

When we got to school, I asked Justin if he wanted to assist me in dropping Garrett off in the infant room. He politely declined and headed over to the main office to talk to a couple of his teachers. I quickly got Garrett situated and as I was coming out of the infant room I heard an eruption of laughter. It was coming from the main office. Knowing that Justin was last spotted there, I feared the worst.

When the laughter died down, one of the teachers told me what had happened:

Justin walked into the office and pretended to be sad. When asked what was wrong, he slowly replied, “Mommy went away on an airplane.” And then, like a man who had just come home to find an empty house and an envelope on the mantel, he pathetically whispered, “And all she left me…….was a note.” They all cracked up again in the re-telling of the story!

I assured them that mommy WAS coming home, but I could still hear laughter coming from the office as I proceeded to escort Justin to his classroom.

This is the stuff country songs are made of.

Daycare Diaries – 3/26/12

Justin found a pair of left over chopsticks (from an old craft activity.) “Teacher, can I have a fishing pole?” he asked. He picked out a blue piece of yarn and then Teacher Suzanna helped him tie it with a red connector as a hook. “Okay! Who wants to be a fish?” he shouted. Ben came running over, “I Do!” Justin pretended to ‘catch’ him. Ben was really enjoying playing with him. “Hey Justin….wanna be my sidekick?” he asked.