Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Geek Speaking of Spiders in the Dad Zone

Geek Speaking of Getting on the Nope Train

On a personal note, I'm genuinely scared of spiders. Every so often I think that I'm going to be cool, I'm going to be tough, I'm going to act like a goddamn adult and get over my fear of tiny eight legged demon spawn. Without fail that's when a spider will catch me by surprise. The effect is...deeply un-fun. I can't get my breath, my heart pounds in my chest, and my vision starts to blur. It's very much like having a panic attack, or the reaction I have whenever someone says "President Sarah Palin" (pant, pant, wheeze, I'm clutching my chest here).

With that said, would I abandon my child in this situation? Would I leave my own beloved daughter covered in spiders to cope by herself? Goddamn right I would! When was the last time you saw a spider? They have eight legs.

Tales from the Dad Zone: Normal Guy and Mildly Sensational vs. Ikea
No it doesn't have anything to do with Spiders. Mildly Sensational and I went out and bought our daughter, Somewhat Wonderful, a new bed. Her toddler bed was starting to get too small, and we were going to need to get her a new, bigger bed soon anyway, so we used her birthday as an excuse to venture forth to Ikea and pick out her new big girl bed. We did it fast, we did it loud, and we did it as a family. Stupid us. The two of us, plus the two of them, plus the utter chaos that is Ikea anyway, and we were lucky to get out with our sanity intact.

We arrived and went straight upstairs to the kids' furniture section so Somewhat Wonderful could try the beds. She meandered through the kids beds for a moment, then we took her over to the regular beds section and she entertained herself on those until she had a minor meltdown over needing to go to the bathroom but not wanting to. Then when she came back she didn't want to look at beds, crossed her arms, sat on the floor, and told us she wanted to be alone, which any sane parents would take as a cue to pick up the little congressional hopeful before she can get her full obstructionist going and take her the hell home. We're sane (marginally, but stilling hanging in there) so we tried. She didn't want to go home, she wanted to go to the mountains, which turned out to be the tents in the area of Ikea set up for kids toys. All of this has taken an hour up to this point and our son, Moderately Amazing, is starting to lose his little eighteen month old mind in his stroller. He's squirming, and whining, and bucking his hips like he's hoping to break through the straps with one mighty hump. While his sister is busy making Mildly Sensational marginally furious I pause to take him out of the stroller and sit with him in a tiny, kid-sized rocking chair. At which point he promptly begins our two-man show called "Father and Son Demonstrate Alligator Wrestling." The tiny toe headed tornado in my arms manages to slip free, so I have no choice but to get up and walk around with him.

Around this time Mildly Sensational has turned to the only truly reliable weapon in any parent's arsenal to get their kid to do what they want. Bribery. This time it takes the form of a plush cupcake set. Somewhat Wonderful can have her cupcake set if she will pick a bed. Please. For the love of Christ on Sunday, pick a fucking bed so we can go home! We got looks that could freeze yogurt at twenty paces for that. But...hey...froyo. The bribe agreed upon we made our way back into the kids' furniture section and pointed Somewhat Wonderful at the bed we wanted to get her anyway and convinced her that she wanted it, and it was really her idea all along.

Then we made our way into the concrete bowel of Ikea. A place of meandering corridors where lost souls wander in search of bargain Swedish, ready-to-assemble furniture with instructions in all but incomprehensible hieroglyphs. My wife and I have been together for eighteen years. We've been through some really tough things together, so the foundation on which we've built our marriage is pretty strong. Newlyweds, if you really want to test the depth of your commitment to each other go to Ikea and buy some bullshit stuff like...I don't know...a new desk and a lamp. When you've picked out what you want go down into the cold, uncaring, concrete hell that is the Ikea warehouse. One of you push the cart while the other one navigates to the aisle and bin where you will allegedly find your purchases. Stronger marriages than yours have been crushed to powder by this very thing.

If you see a pale, wrinkly little guy with stringy hair lurking between the aisles and whining about a lost ring, run like hell. 

We survived. Our sanity and our marriage intact and made it home with a Kura reversible bed. Reversible because if you stand it on one end it's a loft bed, if you stand it on the other it's more or less a standard twin bed frame. I guess "reversible" tested better in focus groups than "turn-upside-down-able."

In the next edition Normal Guy and the Quest for a Second Wrench.

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