Seven weeks down, one week to go.
The last week has been a busy one, which having a five-month-old to care for, shouldn’t come as any surprise. Prior to this experience, I never would have thought folding up a load of laundry would be an accomplishment equal to Michael Phelps’ eight gold medals in swimming at the Beijing Olympics. However, I now think a newborn girl provides more competition than any of those splash hounds that Phelps left in his (literal) wake.
Time is something you become very aware of when you are at home with a newborn, and there are many things competing for those bits of free time you do get for yourself. And you learn very quickly that when it comes down to brass tacks, you really don’t get that much “free time.”
For example, here is a rundown of my events of the day I am writing this, Thursday, February 24:
Helped my wife get up as her back has been seizing up for two days and she is barely able to raise her voice, much less pull herself up out of bed.
Made lunch for Maddo.
Unloaded the dishwasher.
Got Little Sis up and gave her some milk. I also dribbled half the milk on her face as I watched “Gold Rush Alaska” on the DVR. More on this in a moment.
Got Maddo up, then wrestled with her through her cries and kicks as she fought with me during her morning dressing routine.
Took Maddo to daycare. Felt very proud when she said, “Play it again, daddy!” after hearing Richard Thompson’s “Wall of Death” for the first time.
Drove with Little Sis to my barber shop for my every-third-week haircut.
Took Little Sis to the grocery store and to fill up my gargantuan truck with gas.
We then came home, with Little Sis asleep in her car seat. I firmly believe that you should never mess with sleeping dogs or sleeping babies, which is why I am furiously trying to bang this missive out before Little Sis wakes up.
(And here is where she finally did wake up, needing to be fed and held for the better part of an hour before I could get back on the written track.)
It’s during times like this that TV comes in handy. And while holding Little Sis and pumping milk into her mouth, I managed to catch the season finale of “Gold Rush Alaska”. If you haven’t seen this show, the gist of it is this: A bunch of guys, led by the Spectacularly Bearded Jack Hoffman, go up to Alaska to work a gold mine. And they spend about four months doing little except mining dirt.
It’s also just one of what seems like at least a dozen Alaska-based shows currently running on Discovery, the National Geographic Channel, the History Channel and others. And I can’t get enough of this stuff.
In addition to “Gold Rush Alaska”, I have spent much of my spare time on paternity leave with Little Sis by becoming a fan of programs such as “Flying Wild Alaska” (about the Era Aviation airline that serves much of Bush Alaska), “Alaska State Troopers” (state police busting bad guys and moose poachers), “Ice Road Truckers” (maniacs who haul everything up the Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay), and “The Alaska Experiment” (which is on Planet Green, so it’s probably about a bunch of psuedo-hippies who think they are getting back to the Earth by camping out in Alaska).
There are also the multitude of shows about hunting and fishing in Alaska. And in just a few weeks, we’ll have the Season 7 Premiere of the granddaddy of all the Alaska shows, “The Deadliest Catch”, about the crab fishers doing battle with the Bering Sea out of Dutch Harbor. It’s a good thing I have two DVRs.
But let’s face it, I don’t have the time. As hard as I have tried, I can’t keep up with all the stuff coming in down the cable line. Besides, feeding Little Sis is more important than any show about Alaska. My time as a stay-at-home dad is about to come to an end. Soon, I will be rejoining the working world, but for a few more days, Little Sis and I will remain in the Last Frontier of home.
And TV. That is, when I get done with these three loads of laundry in front of me.
And for a dramatic shift in tone, it’s time for this week’s Beard Update:
The Beard-Week Seven.
I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel for The Beard. Every time I look at myself I see something that might look better in a Kodiak Bear exhibit at the zoo.
Still, I took on this effort and I will see it through to the end. I’m not sure how much thicker it will get, but I sure hope it doesn’t get any whiter. I’ve put in a good effort, and I might make the cast for next season’s “Gold Rush Alaska”.
I’ll give The Beard a 7 this week…Ol’ Grizzly himself can see me coming up in his rear view mirror.