May Morning. I slipped out of bed to prevent baby Oliver from being disturb from his sleep. Kelli had him tucked in close and they were breathing nose to nose. I get up this way many mornings. Our daughter Sophia, like a trusty rooster, wakes us up at 7:00 am every morning singing about her dreams as she slowly gains clarity. Accompanied by the white noise of a cheap plastic electric fan, her singing evokes the quality of an old Gramophone record player. This particular morning she was singing about the Hippos and Skunks that have taken shelter in her closet. Kelli and I have no Idea why Skunks has entered her lexicon of ideas as of late. Our media portholes, schools, and visits have been Skunk free, but our usual morning routine must now include a room sweep for “The Skunk” Once that is taken care of singing, yogurt, bunny milk, and itinerary commence. Sophia’s Itinerary: pee and change in to big girl underwear, put on purple dress, get refill on bunny milk to accompany fruit bar, have daddy bring up strawberry shortcake treehouse and assortment of ratty rainbowed haired bobble headed dolls that smell like a box of year old baking soda left in the fruit bin, watch the doggie movie, swing. “Then” it is reported confidently with a slight raise in her posture and nose “Greta is coming over daddy. We are going to have a party with cupcakes.” She lowers her head smiles and assures me “And you can come too.” Sophia’s Itineraries are important. As important as the lists her mother keeps attached to the refrigerator with coy feminist magnets with sayings like “Mommy when I grow up I want to help smash the white racist homophobic, patriarchal bullshit paradigm too!” Kelli’s list, as it reads, is a remarkably nefarious confluence of all things that belong to the patriarchal bullshit paradigm. Wash dishes, vacuum, wash clothes, pick up diapers, write thank
you letters, clean kitty litter. My list is conveniently non existent. There is no point to making lists because I loose them or the lists, as I write, mutate into songs. Hours later, when I’m done writing the song, it then turns into a puzzle to decode and turn back into a todolist. I get to feel like Elvis Costello and Robert Langdon within the same activity. I have found that while my undiagnosed ADHD is a highly beneficial creative asset it also spawns a litter of sideline activities that are of no beneficial use to keeping a house in order. Sophia is a highly attuned 3 year old. She knows that her mother is a rock of stability, order, and love. She knows that her father hears about every third word and will need to repeat herself at least four times before comprehension is statistically probable. She has therefore developed the habit of approaching me from the side, grabbing my face with both hands, and turning my head to ensure eye contact before talking . “Daddy I need to Poop... I need to poop now...Ok” I used to pride myself on being a good empathetic listener, able to remember the minutia of even the most inane and insipid stories from people I cared for less than enduring rabies shots. Somehow getting married ruined this ability. I am living proof that marriage causes Alzheimer's and selective spousal hearing loss in men. Marriage also seems to have mutated a new egocentric view of communication. By that I mean I now believe people wrongly feel that they have an overarching right to be heard just because they started talking, regardless of pre existing conditions. “Just because someone calls me on the phone or IM’s dosent give them the some superseding right to interrupt my day and expect me to answer and listen” in the same way... If I am actively watching “That 70’s Show” and Kelli decides that she wants to tell me about the dietary makeup of grass fed cows, it is my view that her words have “trespassed upon the mental state that I have chosen solely for myself at a given point in time” “Your such a dick.... “ Kelli says. “Really, Really, Do you know how that makes me feel.” Kelli reels as she shuts the bathroom door in my face. You see thats the other problem with being a poor listener... you miss half the crap that comes out of your own mouth.