you're reading...

Cornelius News

Much has changed

MODERN DAD | By Jon Show. I sat down a couple weeks ago and started to make a list of things I’d learned about myself and my family in the last year. Things that maybe I wouldn’t have noticed or didn’t realize because, you know, we used to have things to do and places to go before we were all forced to stay home forever.

My first attempt at a list was way too serious. Future Man is a tween and I don’t think he would appreciate me musing in these pages about how he’s growing older and how difficult that can be.

The second attempt was way too flippant. The Mother of Dragons would not appreciate me making a comment about how she makes the bed more often now because her desk is located five feet away from it.

So I combined the two lists. Here are the things I’ve learned about my family, the dog and myself since the concept of social distancing was foisted upon us one year ago this month.

The Blonde Bomber and I aren’t good at doing nothing. A lack of activities leaves both us wandering around the house pestering anyone in our paths. The times I threw “atta girl” glances at her for purposely annoying her mother or brother have numbered in the hundreds, maybe thousands.

I like to walk. I’ve been turning down requests to go for walks for nearly 20 years because what’s the point of going on a walk unless you’re walking somewhere? Maybe it’s because I just want to get out of the house, but I’ve been walking a lot more than I ever did.

Five deadly things

The Mother of Dragons has exactly five triggers: dirty rooms, borrowed hair brushes, pee on the toilet seat, clothes sitting in the dryer for days and an unwalked dog. As you can imagine, she’s had it up to here and she can’t take it anymore.

This family needs sports and the structure and friends and the experiences they provide. We are a lost tribe without three to four nights a week of practices and games. Makes me wonder what I’m going to do when the kids are grown.

This family needs school and the structure and friends and the life experience it provides. Virtual learning by definition isn’t actual learning. Future Man finally goes back to school next week for the first time in 354 days.

I’m a beach guy. I grew up in a seaside town and there’s nothing I love more than going to the beach. But I’ve spent a good amount of time in the mountains in the last year. I might be turning into a mountain guy. TBD.

Future Man is growing up and it’s kinda weird. He’s 12 and hangs out at Birkdale with his friends and sometimes I go days without asking him if he’s eaten because he feeds himself everything but dinner. He didn’t seem this old last March.

Notice I said “growing” and not “grown.” He still forgets to put the seat up when he uses the toilet and stashes food wrappers under his bed like an inmate who smuggled snacks from the commissary.

Truth in pizza

I began making Detroit-style pizza on Friday nights last summer and I don’t know if I’m ever going back to regular pizza. If Boston-style bar pizza is the answer then Detroit pizza is the truth.

Humans handle reverse socialization better than dogs. A year later, we’re all relatively fine and (hopefully) someday it’ll feel like none of this ever happened. I’m not so sure about Lightning.

I’ve become more accepting. For example, I’ve accepted Future Man’s hair as the fifth family member and, as such, plan on assigning it chores this week. I wonder if it can handle cleaning his room.

During dinner we go around and tell our highlight and lowlight for the day. I think everyone had a COVID lowlight or two or ten over the last year. For me it was hard to beat the look in the Blonde Bomber’s eyes the day the duckling died.

TV on the blink

I’m tired of watching TV. We watched it all. Nothing left. Want to know how I know there’s nothing left to watch on TV? Our current family TV show is Dance Moms.

At some point in the last year, every tween boy I know started dressing in Champion sweats, flannels and Birkenstocks. Let’s just say Future Man would have been highly impressed with my closet in 1992.

My kids’ diet has gone to hell. I’m still cooking dinner seven nights a week so it’s not all bad, but this week I’m pretty sure they haven’t eaten anything but Sun Chips and microwave popcorn for breakfast and lunch.

I’ve tended to make work/life changes following periods of turmoil. Shortly after 9/11 I left the printing industry to become a reporter. Shortly after the financial crisis I started a PR and communications company. Starting to wonder …

Teaming up against the kids

At some point about three months ago my wife and I agreed to accept the fact that neither of us was going to be his or her best self for a while, and then we agreed to join forces and team up against our children. I’m not saying it’s healthy but it’s working so, whatever.

Really, it was the only option on the table.

After all, the kids rooms look like a bomb went off. There’s pee all over the toilet seat. My clothes have been in the dryer for two days and the dog crapped in the hallway.

And no one has seen her hairbrush.

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 10-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 7-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.