Saturday, June 13 2020

a second burner, spit on the window, and the biergarten

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! How is your Saturday going? I'm feeling behind today. There is a small mess in the kitchen. There are batches of laundry temporarily stashed in different areas of the house. Our fridge is nearly empty, and we are in dire need of a good, thoughtful grocery trip - especially now that Rodney finished up the last of the milk in the house. Today, I'm hoping that I can finally catch up on all the things that need to be done.

Miles and Marissa are in and out of a morning sleep upstairs. He just finished up his morning womp womp session, which is the name we've given to the kind of cry Miles makes when he is already at maximum volume and intensity, and the sustained monotone cry becomes this interesting cadent rhythm. One night at the dinner table, we were trying to imitate what it sounds like.

"Whaaaaa. Whaaaaa. Whaaaaa," I said, beating my chest.

"No dada, like this," interrupted Rodney. "WOMP WOMP WOMP WOMP WOMP."

"That does sound more accurate," said Marissa.

Rodney and I just finished making breakfast. I cooked a package of bacon, and on the other large burner of my stove, I fried a pair of eggs on the other large burner for us to share.

Now you might be thinking, other large burner? But Alex, your stove is missing the second large front burner. Ah ha - not since yesterday, when a comically large cardboard box was delivered on our doorstep stamped with a faded grey Whirlpool insignia. Inside the spacious cardboard box was a single burner cap freely bouncing between a gratuitous wad of plastic and wrapping paper.

I was actually kind of nervous taking the burner out for the first time. This was now the fifth burner cap we've ordered from whirlpool, and our track record gave me no reason to think that somehow we had found a needle in the haystack of their parts registry and gotten it right this time. Click click click poof.

Now look at me. Using two large front burners simultaneously, like some kind of double burner using hot shot. I'm honestly happier now than I was this past Christmas morning.

"Is that the box it came in?" asked Marissa.

"Yeah, and the burner cap was just in the plastic bag bouncing around in there," I laughed.

"Whirlpool is stupid," said Marissa before disappearing upstairs.

Sip. We had a good day yesterday. While Marissa was at her first post-covid agility practice with Ziggy, Rodney, Miles, Ollie, and I hung around the house. Rodney colored the railings and floor of the back deck with sidewalk chalk while I straightened up the house. In the afternoon, I put Rodney in his room for some quiet time, which gave me some quiet time of my own, watching some videos on YouTube with Miles in my lap. After Marissa returned home, I went upstairs to get Rodney out of his quiet time, and entering his room, I was greeted by a strange, unpleasant smell.

"Hey dude," I said. "It smells kind of weird in here - what are you up to?"

Rodney sat up in bed, meeting my eyes. He had smears of red and blue around his mouth.

"What do you got on your mouth?" I said, even more confused.

"I was cleaning!" Rodney yelled.

"Cleaning?" I asked. "What were you cleaning?"

"The window!" said Rodney. "I cleaned it!" Rodney pointed to his bedroom window. The day before, he had covered his bedroom window with red crayon, but now all that remained was a big continuous murky smear.

"Oh no," I muttered. "Rodney, what... did you use to clean the window?" I asked. Rodney simply made a slurping noise, his bright red colored tongue peeking out of his mouth. I shuddered.

"Well I gotta hand it to you, dude," I laughed. "This is the most grossed out I've ever been in your room, and it didn't even involve any poop."

"OH! I pooped too!" said Rodney, pointing at his butt.

After I had finished cleaning up all the spit off of Rodney's window, we packed up the stroller and embarked on our first summer walk to the biergarten. The sun was starting to go down, and the air was getting cooler. It made for a wonderful, bug-free walk.

The biergarten was busy, but we felt prepared. We brought a large blanket, and after setting it down in a shady spot of grass, Marissa broke out some snacks to hold us over while we waited for our pizza delivery. The sun going down on the Madison biergarten is quite a site to behold.

"This is heaven," said Marissa with a big smile, Miles dozing off in her lap.

I got up to get us each a beer, and as I was making my way back to our blanket, I could see Rodney standing up, fidgeting with his pants. And while Marissa was distracted with Miles, in a swift motion, Rodney dropped his pants and pull-ups to his ankles.

"NO NO NO NO NO," I yelled, spilling beer on my hands while I rushed over to stop Rodney from peeing. Marissa helped Rodney put his pants back on.

"But I have to go potty," protested Rodney.

"You can't go right here, dude," I explained. "You can only pee in toilets - and that one spot in our backyard. Here, I'll take you over to the bathroom."

The little exception we made in the parking lot of the Sparta Culver's must have given him the wrong idea. It's funny how quickly kids can form bad habits. At least the picnic table beside us got a good laugh out of his act of minor public exposure.

We enjoyed a pizza at the biergarten, and Miles dozed off in my lap while Marissa and Rodney fed the ducks by the lake. After making our way back home, I put Rodney to bed. And I was so tired from the long walk, that I dozed off while putting Rodney to bed.

"I think I fell asleep while reading Rodney a story," I laughed, coming down the stairs.

"What?" said Marissa. "How long?"

"Must have been about ten minutes," I said, looking at my phone. "That's a long walk, it's probably going to take some time to get used to that again."

"He probably loved it," said Marissa, smiling.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful Saturday.