What I thought I would never hear

The Ex recently asked if I could take Ankle Biter on a Friday night that wasn’t a regularly scheduled night.  I hesitated because it would cut into my visit with Sunshine.  I thought about her coming down via bus to see me that night, but the last bus to town would have left before she got off of work.

Hmmm…

So I started to think.  And think.  And over-think.  I wanted the full weekend to spend with Sunshine but also didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to see my son.  I mean, the LAST thing I wanted was to come across as some selfish a-hole deadbeat dad who would put his girlfriend above his own son.

I explained this in an email to The Ex.  I said that if it was a work-related function or just something that she really felt was important, then I would take him for the night.  I explained my feelings and thoughts on saying “yes” and “no” and how it would look either way.

This was her response:

Hey.. you worry too much :).. It’s no big deal.. Just a get together and I can just cut the night short and bring Ankle Biter with me.. We’re meeting for supper so I can easily bring him along and just leave early.. no big deal.. And just so you know.. I NEVER doubt your love, affect or overall best interest in Ankle Biter…

You a great dad CBG. I had my concerns at the beginning I must confess, but you have blown my expectations out to the water. .. You truly love him and I know what a sacrifice you make only having him every other weekend and now for an hour twice a week. You’re allowed to have a life and I know that having a long distance relationship is hard and I would never want to add to that stress. It’s in Ankle Biter’s best interest that Daddy be happy too so never think that I would ever judge you for not being able to take him on one of my weekends.. and it’s ok if you ever want me to take him on one of yours… you just have to let me know..

So don’t worry another second about it, I just thought I would ask first but like I said it’s no big deal..

Have a good day and just in case I didn’t say it clearly or maybe I don’t say it enough.. You’re a great Dad.. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in raising Ankle Biter and never think that I doubt you..

So needless to say, this one email was amazing to read.  I always thought that she’d see me as this aloof moron…this guy who had panic attacks when Ankle Biter was a colicky baby who would never be able to handle the ways of fatherhood on his own.

I never take a single day for granted that the relationships I have with the mothers of my two beautiful children are as good as they are.  I read too many horror stories and hear too many horror stories to simply brush off my relationships as being “the way things should be”.

“You’re a great dad.”

Those are definitely words I never thought I’d hear from her. And knowing our past and how she thought of me when our marriage ended, it really means a lot.

The Fear of a Single Dad: Being Sick Edition

under the weather

I can’t tell you just how miserable I felt today.  I wish I could put it into words…but let me try to explain it like this: there is a golf ball lodged in my throat that’s occasionally covered in glass, so swallowing is an ordeal each and every time.  I’ve got a headache that’s constant…and sometimes the aches go to other parts of my body.  I had some…err….”issues” yesterday and this morning (of the TMI kind) that, thankfully, seem to have left my body (no pun intended).  I’ve been more tired today than I’ve been in months, yet had a difficult time sleeping for more than 20 minutes at a time because of that whole golf ball thing.

Wow.  I’m quite the whiner, eh?

Ankle Biter...the kid who means the world to me
Ankle Biter...the kid who means the world to me

Well…it only gets better.  The Ex has a work function to attend in another city today, and because she had to leave really early this morning she asked if I could keep Ankle Biter last night.  Of course I did…no worries there.  Then I got an email today saying that she probably won’t be back until after his bedtime tomorrow night and hoped it was okay that I’d have him two nights.  Again, no worries…any time I get to spend with my son is awesome.

But the thing is, I’m worried.  I’m concerned.  No…I’m flat-out scared.

What if I can’t handle things if I need to.  What if something happens to AB overnight that requires my 100% attention and alertness?  What if he’s crying for some reason and I’m passed out on the bathroom floor like I was Sunday night…crawling (literally) to the bedroom in an effort to just lay down.

I know…single mothers do this ALL the time.  And honestly, I really shouldn’t be complaining in the least because I’m getting to spend MORE time with my son…and that’s a very good thing.

But I worry.  I worry too much, I know.

How do single moms do it?  Do any of you go through similar fears?  Do those fears go away after you’ve handled this type of situation a few times?

Who’s the bigger baby when sick…a man or a woman?

crying-babyI’ll just say right out of the gate that the correct answer is “men”…but I thought the question still needed to be asked.

Sunshine began getting sick as the day went by on Friday.  My hat’s off to her, because I didn’t realize just how sick she was.  She was at work all day and I was at her apartment…just hanging out with the day off, watching videos, and fully enjoying the role reversal.

By Saturday morning, she was really sick.  Again, I didn’t fully realize just how sick she was…she did a great job at letting me know that she simply wasn’t feeling that great.

I went to a work function on Saturday night while she chilled at my place.  By the time the function ended, my throat was really bothering me.  Where I was the MC for the evening, I was hoping that my throat was sore simply from talking for five straight hours.  But alas, I knew better.

By the time I got home, I was actually feeling noxious.  Sunshine was sleeping on my couch and we both just went to bed in an effort to sleep away our bad germs.

Needless to say, that didn’t work out exactly as planned.

I woke up on Sunday morning with a throat that could have resulted from swallowing glass.  My head was pounding.  My body ached.  The noxiousness had left…but the golf-ball in my throat (or at least that’s what it felt like) constantly gave me a ‘gagging’ feeling so I was constantly trying to suppress that particular reflex.

no whining!I’ll fully admit…I whined.  I’m used to ‘sucking it up’ when it comes to being a bit under the weather.  But I’ll freely admit, when I woke up yesterday (and today, for that matter), I thought somebody had taken a bat to my entire body all night long.  I didn’t feel like joking around, I didn’t feel like kissing Sunshine, I didn’t feel like doing much of anything.

This is where Sunshine began making fun of me for being  a wuss.  And you know what?  She’s right.  As the day went on, things got a little bit better…but not by much.

We both knew that we were going to blog about this…and she beat me to the punch.  And the sad thing?  I travelled home last night three hours just to wake up this morning and call in sick.  Hell…I could have done that at Sunshine’s house and spent more time with her.

BAH!

So here I sit…taking a ton of medication and about to get in yet another nap.  My throat still kills me, my noxiousness is pretty  much gone, and other than a scary moment last night (I passed out in the bathroom, doing a ‘header’ into the toilet seat and leaving a mark under my eye…I’m fine, though, don’t worry) I’ve been doing alright.  I just need to recover as best I can.

But is it true?  Do men whine about being sick much more than women do?  If so, why is that?  Why are men bigger babies when it comes to being sick?

Survivor Samoa: Ep.02 – Knowing when to STFU.

I don’t even know how to begin with this review.  I mean, I had a couple of sentences already written down describing what happened over the first few minutes…but then the improbable became probable.

Russell H. was bragging to the cameras about wanting to find an immunity idol.  He said that nobody in the history of Survivor had ever found an immunity idol before without getting a clue first.  Where this guy is (apparently) not really out for the money and is only in it to play the game as hard as he can, he pretty much knew that there had to be an immunity idol somewhere around camp.

And wouldn’t you know he f*cking FOUND IT!!!??!!!

Russell with the idol
Russell with the idol

I was blown away.  Not even 15 minutes into the second episode and this guy…this villain…has already found something that can make him safe.  He was searching all over camp and found a tree with a hollowed-out stump.  He was looking in it when his fellow tribe members asked him what he was doing.  He told then flat out: “I’m looking for the immunity idol”.  Then they started gathering around him and around the tree.  HE FOUND IT, stuffed it in his underwear, and walked away undetected.

Unbelievable.

The women were CRAZY!!
The women were CRAZY!!

The big immunity/reward challenge (it’s been combined thus far) was a physical challenge…kinda like basketball meets rugby meets wrestling.  The guys were “in the pit” first and it was getting nasty.  But it was in the second round where the women were REALLY hitting hard.  A hard tackle, a shot to the face…they weren’t holding anything back.  In fact, before the third round started Jeff Probst actually told everybody that they were now officially warned…the next “cheap shot” would get them thrown out of the challenge.

It didn’t take long for Jeff to stop the game and toss somebody out.

Ben's cheap shot
Ben's cheap shot

Ben threw a cheap kick at Russell S. and was immediately called-out by Probst.  He then made a note of telling everybody that it was the first time anybody had ever been kicked out of a challenge before.  After the fourth round, Galou had won reward (fishing gear) and immunity.

Russell S, as leader of the Galou tribe, was given the task of picking somebody from his own tribe to go back with Foa Foa and then attend their tribal council…an in-the-open spy.  He chose Yasmin.

Mike being taken to hospital and out of Survivor: Samoa
Mike being taken to hospital and out of Survivor: Samoa

This is where things got interesting as Mike was completely winded by the final round and was looking to be in pretty rough shape as the Galou tribe made their exits.  In fact, Probst made Mike stick around so he could be attended by the medical staff. Unfortunately, the medics on hand deemed that Mike’s heart wouldn’t be able to withstand the game…and thus, Mike became the 2nd person eliminated from Survivor: Samoa.

Oh…but that’s not the end.

Probst mentioned that there would STILL be a tribal council the following night and Yasmin would still be going to visit with the other tribe.  With Betsy on Russell’s bad side and Ben getting kicked out of the challenge when he was desperately needed, voting was going to be extremely interesting.

Yasmin...seriously...STFU
Yasmin...seriously...STFU

Wow…Yasmin got back to the Foa Foa camp and just went off!  She told everybody that she “wanted to help” because she didn’t like “taking candy from a baby” and told them that their “strategy was lacking” and wanted to talk directly to Ben in private.

WTF???

Needless to say, the tribe wasn’t overly impressed by this show of arrogance.  What’s funny is that Yasmin then read a clue that was given to her before arriving in the camp which told her about the hidden immunity idol at Foa Foa…the one that Russell now held. I had to laugh a bit.

Ben vs Yasmin
Ben vs Yasmin

Yasmin and Ben then got into a loud argument.  It was insane.  That let to Ben saying a LOT of really ridiculous things that should get him a TON of hate-mail. Let’s just say that Russell isn’t the only villain on this show, anymore.

Tribal Council was interesting…it boiled down to Betsy vs. Ben.  But Ben’s mouth really was shooting off.  He said that he didn’t know he had to play by Jeff’s “sissy rules”, which got a bit of a rise out of Probst.  In the end, though, it was Betsy that was the second person voted out of Survivor: Samoa.

Betsy: 2nd person voted off of Survivor: Samoa
Betsy: 2nd person voted off of Survivor: Samoa

Random Thoughts:

  • Yasmin needs to STFU. Period. The end.  I couldn’t believe how she handled going to the other tribe’s camp.  Instead of trying to blend and be approachable, she was a douchebag.  She’s VERY soon to go from the game, I think.
  • Ben acted like a douchebag and spoke like one…calling Jasmine a “hooker”.  Then came this brilliant piece of wisdom: “She’s ghetto trash, plain and simple. She needs to go back to eating ketchup sandwiches and drinking Kool-Aid.” Wow.
  • I have NO idea what’s really going on in the other camp because 90% of the show is focusing on Russell and the Foa Foa tribe.
  • Betsy, the police officer, quietly sang “Bad boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do…” when writing down Ben’s name.
  • Russell H appears to be trusting Jaison at the moment and even told him about having the immunity idol, which is odd…but the preview of next week’s episode shows that trust is short-lived.

All-in-all, this was a lot of fun to watch.  Say what you will, but only two episodes in and this is already one of the most entertaining seasons of Survivor yet!

What were your thoughts?

What’s WITH me today??

crankyI don’t know what’s with me today.

I should be on “Cloud 9”. I’m seeing my baby tonight and will be with her until Sunday. I should be on top of the world.

But instead, I’m cranky and irritable.

The weird thing is that I’m very conscious of my crankiness. I am totally aware that I’m not in the best of moods today…and that should make things easier to alter.

But it’s not.

I guess I could come up with multiple reasons and/or excuses for my mood; I’m too excited to leave here and see Sunshine for the weekend, I’m jumpy about MC’ing a work event this weekend and my tuxedo hasn’t come in yet, I didn’t get enough sleep last night, I’m becoming too concerned about things at work instead of letting them slide off my back, I’m hungry, I’m too worried about whether or not I’ll be chosen for a trip next month that could affect my future career.

Sigh.

I suppose the best thing I can do is write about it…acknowledge it…take a few deep breaths…let it all go as I leave work today and make my 3-hour trip to see Sunshine and hold her in my arms. Just the thought of her brightens up my day and I’m a guy who normally always focuses on the positive side of things.

I’ll be alright.  I just need to work through whatever it is I’m working through.

Goosfraba…goosfraba…

The Disappointing Phone Call

I was extremely busy yesterday. When I’m busy at work, the hours just fly on by. It was after 2pm before I realized what time it was and sat down for a very late lunch.

About 10 minutes into my lunch I received a phone call from Rugrat’s mom.

Sigh.

Apparently, Rugrat (who is 10, by the way) and some girls jumped the school fence yesterday at lunchtime. They then proceeded to cross a highway (not a road…but a HIGHWAY), enter the parking lot of a truck stop, and then threw rocks at the building next door.

Let me correct that…RUGRAT threw rocks at the building, not the other girls.

Just to make matters worse, the building next to the truck stop was a police safety house (which is a house and/or business for use by children whenever they feel unsafe in a community and can be a house, a shop, or a business).

She doesn’t have an explanation.

So once the girls got caught, they were all taken back to the principal’s office and spoke to him one at a time. The versions were all the same except for Rugrat’s, who said that there were boys there that threatened her if she didn’t throw the rocks. The other girls said that they were there alone and there weren’t any boys there.

The principal then took Rugrat down to the police station so she could apologize, in person, to the police chief. Needless to say, she got pretty scared. On top of that, he ended up telling her about all of the dangerous things that could have happened to her: being hit by a car, kidnapped and/or hurt in some other way at this truck stop…on top of telling her that she would have been held responsible for any damages that took place because of her vandalism.

Sigh.

The principal gave all of the girls the same punishment: a week of “community service” around the school grounds, detention after school for a week, and no recess/lunchtime outside at all.

Obviously, there would also be punishments laid out by the parents.

That’s why Rugrat’s mom called me, and I’m very thankful she did. We discussed the situation and she suggested a punishment: no television, no Nintendo DS, no computer, and no playing with her friends for a week. We knew that she’d be upset, but at 10 years old I think that’s an appropriate punishment.

Her mom called me again last night. Rugrat’s step-dad had come home and, after discussing things with her mom, suggested an alternative punishment. Seems that Rugrat is going to be involved in soccer this year and they were going to go buy cleats sometime this week. The new punishment suggestion was no TV/DS/computer/friends for three days, and then she would have to do chores around the house to “work off” her cleats.

We all agreed on the punishment (her step-dad is a solid guy and the three of us get along rather well) and thus it was delivered. I wasn’t involved in that conversation, but her mom told me that they ended up having a great conversation with her. They really believe that she understands what she did was wrong. Between their conversation with her and the police chief’s conversation with her, her mom thinks that Rugrat truly gets how what she did yesterday was extremely dangerous.

My worries on this are many. My fear is that Rugrat is making the “wrong kind of friends” at school and is too concerned with trying to impress and/or show off for them (remember, she had problems making friends at her new school last year). My fear is that Rugrat is going to go down the wrong path and there’s nothing I can do about it.

I know her mom and step-dad care. I know that they love her very much and are doing their best to provide a good example for her. But I’m scared that she’ll no longer be the sweet, innocent girl that I’ve known for 10 years.

I know I’m not to blame, but I think about how things may have been different if I didn’t let them all move away six years ago. If I had only fought harder for them to stay, maybe this wouldn’t be a problem.

On the other hand, maybe this is a one-time-only situation. Maybe she’s been “scared straight”. Maybe I’m just worrying too much.

Ugh.