Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm Hungry

It's that time of year, once again. Yom Kipur, the day of atonement. In other words, a day to be hungry. One of the ideas behind fasting is that it allows you to concentrate on all of the less admirable things that you have done during the past year. I think about when I'm going to eat next and, I'm CERTAIN, I'm not the only one with this thought.

It should be disclosed (passive tense is so lame) that I am a progressive agnostic. I have grown progressively less interested in religon and faith as I have lived my life. Religon is all too often used for a crutch, excuse, justification, or other nefarious purpose. Terrorists kill in the name of religon. "Rehabilitated" substance abusers often turn to religon as part of their healing. It's crap. All of it. Besides, the rules of religon (Ten Commandments, Bible, for example) set forth basic pillars of human descency, healthly practices, and common sense. I do not need the threat of being smited hanging over me to do what's right (most of the time).

But back to Yom Kippur. I attend temple for the sake of my children. I was a Bar Mitvah and was confirmed. Both experiences were very positive and important for me and my family. I want my children to have exposure to these same experiences and then, when they are of a certain age, they can decide that it's all crap as their father has. Which leads me to today's amusing musing involving religon. We were attending the "community service" at KI, Jill's temple in Allentown, PA. After a quick game of Simon Says in Hebrew (I kid you not), the rabbi offered all families to come up to the podium for an individual blessing. Hey, the service is about an hour, Simon Says only took about 15 minutes and the rabbi needed some filler. Brilliant move!! So we all went up to the bimah, stood in front of the rabbi, and received a blessing. As we were walking off the bimah, Dooper turns to me and says in a tone laden with contempt that no 4 year old should know, "What was THAT all about?" She nailed the inflection. It was a perfectly uttered rhetorical question. And while I stood amazed at my daughter's remarkable grasp of timing, tonality, and wit, I started to fear what the future may hold. That's the sassy stuff that I will be hearing for many years to come. I'm in trouble. Then again, with three daughters, I knew that.

I hope everyone has an easy fast. Happy New Year. Let's eat!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Not Your Average Back To School Night

Last night was back to school night (BTSN) for Luxmanor Elementary. Jill and I went because we are oh so interested in the curriculum for our 1st and 3rd grade girls. (Perform "bullshit" sneeze here). In truth, Jill is a highly coveted parent since she volunteers in all of our daughters' classes every week. Teachers love her. They tolerate me because of her. Such is my life.

As I sat in the auditorium last night, pretending to take interest in the 3rd grade teachers' PowerPoint presentation, I noted the conspicuous absence of most of Jill's girlfriends' husbands - i.e. my neighborhood crew of boys. Had I missed the memo? Was there an unofficial boycott (no pun intended) of BTSN? Did everyone but me get a hall pass out of BTSN? I felt hoodwinked. Lead astray. I didn't land on Plymouth Rock....(name the movie and win a prize).

And then there was Beth O. Bobb a.k.a Betty. Side Bar: Betty is a term of endearment given to Beth by Daryle for any number of reasons. Here are mine: Betty is slang for an attractive woman. She fits the bill there. Betty Rubble was a great neighbor and quintessential mother and housewife. Check and check. And because Justin is like Bam Bam since he punches me in the nuts whenever he sees me, the Betty Rubble motif sticks.

Beth is/was 9 months pregers, set to be induced tomorrow, Friday, September 7th. Yesterday, Betty went to the OB and was 3 cm dilated. She was told not to worry. Skip ahead to last night's BTSN. Betty sat confidently in the auditorium, dutifully taking notes on the PowerPoint presentation while simultaneously noting the start of some contractions. 1998 Betty would have been off to Sibley at the first contraction. 2007 Betty, a veteran of three prior births, was far more cavalier. How cavalier? At 8:30 her water broke while listening to a presentation from the 4th grade teachers. At 8:34 she left Luxmanor and was driven to her house to pick up Daryle for the trip to Sibley. At 8:36, after Daryle realized that my call to him that Betty was in labor and on her way home was not a practical joke, they began the ride to Sibley. 8:45, Daryle speeds down MacArthur, praying that a cop stops him so that he could yell that his wife is in labor, hear an apology from a cop, and get a police escort to the hospital. We all have fantasies, DB. Nice try. 8:48, DB blows through red light #1 and trips the red light camera. $100 to Mayor Fenty, thank you. 8:50, DB runs red light #2 and trips the red light camera. Mac Gary refers the matter to Roger Goddell for breach of the new Personal Conduct Policy. 8:51, DB runs red light #3 which triggers an Amber Alert and sends the National Security Warning Level to Orange. 8:56, the Betty Mobile screeches to a halt in the Fire Lane at Sibley (fine TBD). Betty and DB race to the elevators to get to the 3rd floor birthing center. 9:00, Betty and DB arrive at third floor birthing center and demand Room #3, the site of the three prior Bobb births. 9:00:15, Betty told Room #3 occupied. 9:00:20, Betty begins hunger strike to get Room #3. 9:00:25, famished, Betty calls off hunger strike. 9:00:30, Betty places fingers in both ears, closes her eyes and, while shaking her head back and forth, yells, "La la la la. I'm not listening! I'm not listening!" Justin, awake and at home, feels a sudden, inexplicable bond with mommy. 9:00:35, Betty reluctantly agrees to go into Room #9 only because it's three times better than Room #3. 9:00:45, Betty demands epidural. 9:00:50, Betty's demand for drugs denied. 9:00:55, Betty throws the red instant replay review flag. 9:00:59, the play stands as called. There will be natural childbirth. 9:01, nurses and doctors swarm. 9:02, Daryle makes a tee time for tomorrow. 9:03, Betty pushes. 9:03:30, DB starts a new company. 9:04, Betty pushes again. 9:04:30, DB determines that the trash bags in the birthing room will fit his kitchen trash can and he "secrets" away a roll or two. 9:05, baby Bobb the Fourth (a beautiful little girl) is thrust into the world. 9:05:05, Betty and Jill become the two toughest chicks in Luxmanor for surviving natural childbirth.

And so it was that the yet unnamed Bobb baby #4 came to be. Naming rights are still available. Congrats to the entire Bobb family. Welcome back to the wonderful world of diapers.

UPDATE: Say, "hello" to Lucy Madison Bobb.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Boo Boo the Bike Rider!!!

Yesterday was a milestone in the Kane family. After months of senseless procrastination, I finally got over myself and took Meredith a.k.a. "Boo-Boo" (again, no one in the Kane family can have just one name; see Woody) to the track at Tilden Middle School and taught her how to ride a bike.

Mere is a true cross-section of her parents: she has her father's looks, her mother's kind personality, and a quiet intensity that very few recognize. Her sweetness is an excellent mask for the burning internal desire to perfect all that she attempts. That became abundantly clear yesterday as she did lap after lap on her lavender two wheeler, replete with streamers on the handlebar ends, trying desperately to master her new biking skills.

As I tucked Boo in last night, I told her how proud I was of her accomplishment and it then dawned on me that yesterday was a BIG day. My kid learned how to ride a bike. That's a skill that she will use for the rest of her life. It's not as important as becoming potty trained but it is of that ilk.

So it has been said, let it be written: September 3, 2007: the day that Boo Boo Bear, became Boo Boo the Bike Rider!