man time

Captain’s Log – Man Time

Well, my husband has done it again. Apparently being around children sparks his creativity.

During Spring Break the girls and I went on a camping trip with the Girl Scouts, leaving Aaron and Calvin home alone for the weekend. Here’s his accout of their “Man Time” together.

man time

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Captain’s Log

After a month of collecting my thoughts, I have decided to once again annotate the adventures of my crew and share them with the world.  The amount of younglings has been reduced to four, but the unrestrained antics do not show any signs of ceasing.

I return from the daily barterings to discover my domicile a flurry of activity. It seems that in the morning the Queen Matron is embarking on a Girl Scout camping trip with LG, the Kyd and Blondie.

With Queen Matron taking the other crew, I, the Captain, will be left alone with Spiff for the duration of the weekend.  We are excited for man-time!

Many of the necessary camping items have been strewn haphazardly throughout the house, making it exorbitantly difficult to pack.  Sleeping bags in the coat closet, backpacks in the Captain’s closet, and one item was even discovered (after much searching and a few tears) in the attic.

The family has been remiss in our overall organization. After the upcoming trip I shall do my best to keep track of these items.

The female crew will be without proper plumbing while away, so they have been told that they must all bathe before leaving.

Blondie has told me that I am the BEST DAD EVER because I gave her a bottle of shampoo AND body wash combined all in one.  Two in one?!?  She thinks I am a magician. I will not dispel this thought.

After the female crew leaves tomorrow morning, Spiff and I have a full day.  We plan to go to the farmer’s market, grocery market, and the flower market.  We will also work in the garden and do various other chores that the Queen Matron has required of us whilst she is away.

I have misgivings about the amount of tasks that the Queen Matron requests that we complete this weekend.  Does she not realize that I am a mere Captain, and not an everyday caregiver?

Tomorrow is another day.

Day 1, Saturday, year of our Lord 2018

Because of the early departure time, Queen Matron has asked me to wake her earlier than usual.  She needs an extra 10 minutes to have a morning coffee before the crew awakes.

The female crew is also wakened so they can prepare for their departure.  LG seems to think that she is a teenager and that the weekends are for sleeping until noon.  Recurring lamentations can be heard from under her covers.

I have hope that Spiff will remain abed until after they depart and the day can begin at a more gradual pace.

Before the sun has truly risen the entire Girl Scout troop descend on our domicile to leave on their trip.  Unfortunately it has rained overnight.  19 girls and their parents track in an exceedingly huge amount of mud and tree pollen.  They are also very noisy.  Needless to say, Spiff is now awake.

After hugs for the crew and smooches to Queen Matron, the Scout caravan heads down the street.

I mop the floor.  This task was made difficult because of the Queen Matron’s proclivity toward non-toxic homemade cleaning solutions.  Under the kitchen sink I discover a trove of cleaning materials, but which do I use?  Room spray? Thieves spray?  I find two more unmarked spray bottles filled with some clear liquid.  They smell vaguely of bathroom aerosol spray.

I have decided to use a cocktail of sprays.

My impromptu cleaning was interrupted by a call from Queen Matron.  The troop has only made it five miles and they are having trailer issues.  Spiff and I shall come to the rescue.

Despite my assurances to the contrary, the reliability of the trailer is in question and the gear needs to be transferred to the other vehicles.  Many hands make light work and all the Girl Scouts pitched in to help.  It took over an hour.

Spiff and I return to the domicile with the trailer in tow.  Knowing this is a good teaching moment, I made him lower the jack stand.

Man time with dad

Captain Grandpa and Captain Grandma have asked if we would like to meet them at the Farmer’s Market.  The ice pops, flavored honey and strawberries are very popular among the crew. Spiff has become sticky.

I have now run out of baby wipes.  I can only hope that Spiff does not decide to have a dirty diaper. 

Our next stop is to visit the Vietnamese grocery store.  Spiff finds fascination in the live catfish and lobsters.  He yells at them.  Loudly.  Our disturbance doesn’t appear to sit well with the store personnel.

man time with dad

The early wake up and the flurry of activity has worn Spiff out.  He goes down for his nap exceedingly easy upon our return.

Spiff thinks that all machines that make loud noises are trying to attack him personally, and he finds them highly offensive.  I use his nap time to weed-eat the yard and trim the trees.  I have a newfound appreciation of the Queen Matron’s use of the villainous vacuum cleaner around a crewmember who thinks it is going to eat him.

After he wakes we decide to ride our scooters down the street for an adventure.  Spiff is impressive in his scooter proficiency.  We must be doing it wrong – a lot of our neighbors smile as soon as they see us.

man day, man time

For dinner, the galley has provided Spiff and I with two 16oz bone-in ribeyes.  As Captain, I have decreed that the leftovers will go to the winner of a quick paper-rock-scissors tournament.

Victory!  Spiff doesn’t know the rules; I win by forfeit.

The boy seems to have taken his loss as a personal insult and is determined to give me as few leftovers as possible.  He cannot weigh over 35 lbs and he eats the majority of his steak.  I am torn as to whether I am exceedingly proud or crushingly disappointed.  I had hope for more leftovers.

man time with dad

After dinner, I put Spiff in his pajamas.  In a tone of voice that edges towards disrespectful, he tells me that Ninja Turtle, dinosaur, shark, Minion, Astros, Christmas, monster truck, moose, alligator, plaid, and striped pajamas are not acceptable attire for a fashion forward young man such as himself.  We agree on Elmo.

There is still a few minutes before I need to put him to bed, so we spend our time playing.  The noise he makes for his monster truck is downright embarrassing (Thank you Queen Matron), so we spend the remaining time working on our engine noises and explosions sounds.

Spiff soon begins to yawn and I lay him in his bed.  He asks for a song (Johnny Cash) and a prayer (Thank you for momma, food, and Uncle Matt.  Amen.).

Tonight is daylight savings, so before sitting down to watch TV, I change all the clocks forward.  My bedside clock was bought in 1991 and the buttons are broken so it takes me an additional five minutes with it to change the time.

Tomorrow is another day.

Day 2, Sunday, year of our Lord 2018.

Spiff comes down the stairs at 6:45am.  This would have been at 5:45am before the time change.  Why is Spiff coming down the stairs at 6:45am?!?  He asks for Sesame Street and milk. I gladly give in for a few more minutes of rest.

I didn’t wrestle in high school but if I did, I think I could have gotten Spiff’s shoes on him a little faster.

Because of the early-rising crew and the relatively small number of crew members, we are ready to leave for church way before our typical departure time.

man day, time with dad

Hopefully I do not spoil him, but because we are so early to church I allow him to have a cookie before Sunday school.

Queen Matron usually drops Spiff off at class and I have to be shown how to sign him in, and where he is kept, and where his bag goes, and where he will be when I pick him up.

After church Pastor Kevin gives us the leftover Hawaiian bread.  Pay dirt!  We love Hawaiian bread.  I rip off a hunk for Spiff to eat during the ride home.

We have to run into the hardware store on the way and discover that they have FREE popcorn on Sundays.  The whole bag is gone before we arrive home.  Spiff also now thinks I am the BEST DAD EVER.

I have to google how to get popcorn butter stains out of my truck seats.

Spiff accidently drops his water bottle as he is climbing out of the truck.  Unfortunately, I did not pay attention to him when he said that he wanted to climb back in to get it himself.  There was an incident.  I handed him the bottle and he screamed venom at me and angrily hurled it back into the truck so that he could climb up and get it himself.  Spiff now thinks I am the WORST DAD EVER.

I do it myself

While I am making lunch, Spiff comes into the kitchen crying and asks to be put down for his nap.  I concur.  He needs a nap.

He seems to be feeling better after his nap.  He comes downstairs with his sippy cup in his ear like he was trying to pour milk into his ear drum.  I am going to assume this is a normal thing that Queen Matron has refrained from sharing with me.

I am getting old.  I believe I pulled a muscle in my shoulder opening the lid of the sippy cup that was in his ear.

Queen Matron and I play volleyball almost every Sunday.  Just because Queen Matron isn’t here doesn’t mean that I can’t go.  I tell the ladies in childcare not to be lulled into a false sense of security by Spiff’s dimples and his blue eyes.  He will throw things.

We return to the domicile to discover that the dog has thrown up onto the rug.  The floor of the living room is all hard wood.  I am pretty sure the 16yr old dog had to walk across the floor to purposefully throw up on the rug where it would stain.  What spray do I use to clean it?  Room spray?  Thieves spray?  I opt for the spray cocktail again.  (It didn’t work)

Dinner for the day is homemade clam chowder.  The female crew does not like anything to do with seafood so I try and dine on all manner of seafood delicacies when they are not there to influence Spiff’s food sensibilities.

Quite possibly I let Spiff watch too many Sesame Street videos while the galley was preparing our meal.   I have little remorse.  Not only is Spiff learning his colors, but Elmo is an excellent babysitter.

After dinner we head upstairs to put Spiff’s pajamas on.  I have learned my lesson. This time I let him pick out his own pajamas.

At our bedtime prayers, Spiff prays for Momma, LG, the Kyd, Blondie, (15 seconds of incomprehensible mumbling), monster trucks, and the dogs.

I also sing him an Eve 6 song, because I love Eve 6.  It is very relaxing.

Tomorrow is another day.

Day 3, Monday, year of our Lord 2018

Today Queen Matron and the female crew return!

Spiff must be watched by Captain Grandpa and Captain Grandma at their house today.  I need to head in to my barterings after I drop him off.

In the ten minutes I was there, Spiff had the time to carry the rocking chair into the kitchen, bring a Scooby Doo doll to us, run all the way around the back yard twice, and hacks into Captain Grandpa’s tablet to watch Elmo.  I am tired, so I head into the office to rest.

Captain Grandma texted during the day to say that Spiff refused to take a nap in the big person bed and would only get into the playpen.  He is now asleep.

After speaking to Queen Matron about the Girl Scout camping trip, I think she might need to chronicle their adventures as well.  19 girls and 4 leaders, cooking outside and sleeping in tents with a 20 mph wind.  The Captain would not have handled that well.

Captain’s log, Final Write Up

This weekend with Spiff has been a lot of fun.  I have tried to indoctrinate him into the ways of being a man.  We will have to see if the lesson has been learned at a future date.

I did discover that he has a tendency to strut no matter what he is doing.  The ladies at the grocery, the people at the market, they all fall for his personality.  Where did he learn to do these things?

As an aside, I also caught him walking around with his pants unbuttoned and his fly down on a regular basis.  I pledge to keep an eye on him as he progresses in school.

man day with dad

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