I'm doing the randomness thing again, and so should you. After you read this, click on that pretty picture above and then do what she tells you to do.
There's a lot of stuff on my mind right now, and most of it is kid-related, mostly. And me-related too, of course.
Lately, we've been pretty good about getting the poor little cloistered babies out of the house and letting them see that there are other people besides Mom and Dad in the world. This is, in no small part, on account of my having joined the Asian Mommies group. Since joining about a month and a half ago, kind of on a lark, the kids and I have gone with this group to the zoo twice (tomorrow will make it a hat trick [note the butch sports metaphor]), to lunch at a Thai restaurant, to a cocktail party at a high-end baby clothes store in Fiercetown, and to dinner at a cool bar & grill in the neighborhood just south of Hipster Heights. Dr. Mom has been able to join us for three of these events, so the other mommies have confirmation that I do in fact have a wife and that she is undeniably Asian, and my motives in joining the group probably are not licentious.
So the kids and I have been seeing members of this group far more frequently than any of our other, pre-kid friends, and only slightly less than the regulars at the dog park. Which is, I guess, what's supposed to happen with playgroups. But I never would have thought that people I met through the internet would come to comprise the bulk of my social life. I suppose I should try to get the girls to interact more with our pre-kid friends--the ones who we became close to organically, through serendipity and real world connections. But it's really difficult to get nine-month-olds to use Facebook in a meaningful way.
On the same day that I became an Asian Mommy, I joined a stay-at-home-dad group. I actually was looking for dad groups when I found the Asian Mommies. But as you might expect, there were maybe three results for dad groups, and about ten pages of results for mom groups. The websites for the dad groups were coated in a thick, gummy dust and featured the most cutting edge graphics available in 1998. There was really only one group that gave any indication of being (marginally) active, and that was the one I contacted. Whereas the Asian Mommies responded to my initial inquiry within minutes, the Dad Group (I'll call it that because it has no name as far as I know) didn't get back to me for more than a week. Since then, I have received an average of two email alerts per day from Asian Mommies, with ideas for future events, reminders of upcoming playdates, comments on past events, photos posted on the website, etc. From the Dads, I've gotten one email a couple days before there was to be a get together at someone's house in East BF that I was not willing to drive to.
And then, yesterday, I got another email from the Dad Group for an event at the same cool, kid-friendly bar & grill we went to on Friday with the A-Moms. It was a genial enough invitation, and I quickly accepted. But there was one ominous passage in the email, warning participants that we and our kids need to be on our best behavior because the last time Dad Group met at the burger joint, the owner complained about their conduct.
Which brings me to my misgivings about joining an all-male group of any kind. Although I was largely able to avoid playing or watching team sports growing up, having been in rock bands and worked on construction sites for a couple decades, I have spent more than my share of time hanging out with the guys. Maybe this is why, when invited by friends who have always worked in coed environments to join them in an all-male road trip or guys' night out, I am less than enthusiastic. I know what to expect. Regardless of the social status, salary, or level of education of the guys I have hung out with over the years, many of our conversations revolve around two themes: "You suck at the activity we are doing together and that's because you are gay," and "That's what she said." Note that I am not positioning myself above the fray. Just ask my wife about the time (okay, times) that my friends and I have expressed our drunken heartfelt farewells by staggering in the street, yelling, "You're like sssstuuupid, man!" "Nuh-uh. You're ssstttuuuupid." It's hilarious. Even worse is when someone breaks out of the prescribed discourse parameters and starts blubbering about how close they really feel to another guy. It's all bad.
So those are the things I'm thinking about right now. They didn't turn out to be so random after all, but were in fact quite linear. There's also some background noise going on that fits the random paradigm a little better: tomatoes, caulk, paint, lose weight, reply to emails, plant herbs, rent a bobcat...that's it really. Life has become simpler in some ways since I have become a SAHD.
I'll let you know how Thursday with the slacker dads goes.
Here's a random picture of my daughters dressed up for Thanksgiving. Their outfits were made entirely of things we found around the house and taped together in fifteen minutes.