Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RTT: Inspection, Shoe Fetish, ATV's, Breasts


The last thing I should be doing right now is, to use my mom's excellent phrase, playing blog.  In a few hours, the inspector comes over to do the final inspection of the addition I have been building on our house for, oh, about a year and a half.  I actually was mostly finished almost a year ago, but we ran out of money and my wife had to go back to work and I had to watch the kids, so it was a little tough to get around to doing some of the small but important stuff like putting handrails on the deck.  Nonetheless, we have been happily living in the remodeled house--which, like our family, is twice the size it was a couple years ago--since last September.  Without the benefit of a final inspection or Certificate of Occupancy.  So, if the inspector, who I have not yet met, is a ballbuster, I suppose he could inflict all kinds of bureaucratic and financial pain on us.

Shoe Fetish
The babies have shoe fetishes.  We have a big bag of baby shoes that people have given us, and every morning, the girls march over to it and select their shoes.  This is one of their first orders of business.  I don't know if this is a normal aspect of child development or if something in their genes is endowing them with advanced shoe aptitude, but they stick their little 13-month-old feet right in them.  They also stick their feet (shod or bare) into any grown-up shoes that are lying around, and can get quite upset if said shoes are taken away from them.
At least they come by it honest, as my dad would say.  Dr. Mom easily owns 150 pairs of shoes, many of them in boxes in the garage and in bins stuffed under beds.  And, according to her dad, there are more boxes at her parents' house.  I'm pretty sure the last time she got rid of a pair of shoes was when we moved to California ten years ago.  It's not an expensive habit--she loves a bargain--but it takes up a lot of room.  
And lest you be tempted to say, "Hah!  So, Mr. I'm-going-to-raise-my-girls-in-a-gender-neutral-environment!  There you have it!  Incontrovertible proof that gender roles are hardwired and not socially constructed!" let me admit that the shoe fetish gene runs strong in both parents.  I have at times owned upwards of twenty pairs of shoes, which I think is quite a few for a male who is not Kanye West.  However, I rationalized this seeming excess by thinking about many of my shoes as technical footwear--not just "shoes," but "gear."  Shoes for walking, running, hiking, biking, water sports, etc.  And some activities call for multiple pairs.  Biking, for instance requires at least one pair for each kind of bike; and for hiking, one should be prepared for different climates, loads, lengths of hike, and colors of technical pantwear.
If you still think Butterbean and Cobra are destined by their chromosomes to love shoes, princess paraphernalia, and hunky vampires, observe the following video of Cobra shredding on the ATV she inherited from her boy cousins:

I learned from a lactivist Facebook friend that not only was last week World Breastfeeding Week, but that all of August is breastfeeding month!  So my piece on Daddy Dialectic will be relevant for another couple weeks, after which point, people will forget all about boobies until next year.


Okay.  I better go do some last minute cable-tightening, circuit-labeling, and hatch-battening before Herr Inspektor arrives.  Also, I better find outfits for the girls that are most likely to soften his cold, cold heart.

Update/Buzzkill:  Herr Inspektor's heart was cold indeed.  I have a list of twelve items I need to take care of before he will sign off on the inspection, some of them small, and some of them potentially a big headache.  Many of these items were passed by other inspectors along the way, but that doesn't matter.


  1. Good luck with the house inspector. Dress up the girls for maximum cuteness, and maaaaaybe think about slipping the guy a twenty if things start to go south. Which they won't. But if they do.

  2. Yeah, honey, I think that shoe thing is genetic. Actually, it's a whole "accessory thing". My son will wear absolutely anything I tell him to wear. No questions. Couldn't care less (well, that's not exactly true, I got him a Dora t-shirt at BlogHer and he threw himself on the ground moaning in horror because Dora was for BABIES). I have a friend whose 3 year old daughter spends 20 minutes every morning just picking out her jewelry. She'll stand in front of her little jewelry box mixing and matching until the accessories are all perfect. So...prepare yourself.

  3. Oh, I don't think there's a man alive who will forget about boobies until next year! :)

  4. Cobra - You go, girl!

  5. I too have lots of pairs of "gear".

    I may be manly, but my feet are as smooth as a baby's butt.

  6. If Cobra should ever connect the use of her phone with driving, from my observations, you may still have a gender-specific condition. I'm just sayin'....

    Herr Inspektor is a scheiskopf (or something like that).

  7. Oh. If you read Gogol, think of Khlesnikov in "Inspector General."

  8. Haha, I can see that your wife has you properly trained if you can look at 150 pairs of shoes and claim that it's not an expensive habit! ;-)

    Enjoy your blog!

    Single Dad Laughing

  9. Driving at 13 months??! That's either a really lucky baby or one on the highway to hell! (AC/DC style, not real hell.)

    Though from the brief shots of your living (?) room, it seems like your girls are starved for toys and definitely need more entertainment. You scoundrel!

  10. I always judge an inspector by the belt buckle - if it's large and shiny and has a Montana scene, you're doomed.

  11. Shoes! Those are girls after my own heart. There's nothing wrong with a girl on an ATV. That's just an excuse to buy special shoes (and it makes it easier to keep up with the hunky vampires-they're pretty fast). Why do you think I like golf? Cute clothes, cute SHOES (sure, they're flat, but still cute), driving golf carts and having someone else carry the heavy stuff and give me advice. What is not to like about that?
    Sorry the inspector was a Burgermeister Meisterburger. Hopefully it won't be too much of a headache to get the items taken care of. Happy RTT (or RTW in my case).

  12. @DiPi--I should have thought about offering a twenty. Sigh.

    @Gretchen--I grew up waiting in line for the bathroom behind my sisters, so I'm used to it.

    @Robin--You're probably right.

    @Granny--we're going to teach her to shoot a pistol from the ATV next!

    @Ed--All this talk of footgear is making me crave some new high-tech flip flops.

    @Daddad--Herr Inspektor could have been much more of a scheisskopf if he felt like it. He wasn't moved by the sight of cute babies. He was a Punjabi fellow though, and I think maybe the Rushdie book on my nightstand softened him up a little.

    @Single Dad--It's nowhere near as expensive as my biking and skiing hobbies, so I have no room to complain. Of course I've hardly spent anything on bikes and skis since we got married. Hmm....

    @Paul--I know. They mostly just have a few rocks and a stick to play with. Which is more than I had when I was a kid.

    @Adam--My regular inspector was a nice lady who loved dogs and kids, so it was a perfect situation. This guy was a businesslike Indian guy, and I kept having to ask him to repeat himself because of his accent, verbal velocity, and my deafness. Not good for sucking up.

    @Heels--I hadn't thought about how cute they would look in full moto-cross gear. I think I can fix all the stuff for BM by tomorrow. If I start right. this. minute. Bye.

  13. Holy shitballs, you crack me up. All of it. Especially fond of lactivist Facebook friend.

  14. Ugh. Stupid inspector.

    I love shoes, but I do clean them out from time to time. I think I'm down to around 50 or so at the moment. Dr. Mom's collection sounds impressive. :) My kind of lady.

    My daughter loved shoes when she was little too. She'd wear a pair on her hands and on her feet.

  15. Yeah, breasticles are easily forgettable. Though maybe you should have waved some at the inspector.

    (Doesn't matter whose, really.)

  16. Amelia drags one shoe over to me, screams at me until I put it on and will toddle around in one shoe unless I find it's mate. I think it's got to be inborn because the boys could give a shit whether or not their feet are covered.


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