Alternate Title: Haircut Time!
I don’t write much about Zach. Recently he asked me why I never write about him, and without an answer I decided I would change that.
“The Couples Meme” has been going around the interwebs for a while now. I first saw it at Dooce, then at Chicky Chicky Baby and ClumberKim. And probably about a dozen other blogs in between those times.
So, without further ado I present to you a boring ol’ meme in order to jump start my writing about Zach in addition to my constant talk about Alex.
What are your middle names?
I’m a very, very, open person. Even online, where most people tend to hide things about themselves. But, my middle name? Not happening.
Zach’s is Nelson. It is his mother’s maiden name.
How long have you been together?
We “got together” during my junior, his senior, year of high school. And we’ve basically been together ever since, even through the vast majority of our time in college. I think our anniversary is October 28 (Zach? Help?!), which means that we will hit 7 years in October.
How long did you know each other before you started dating?
I suppose we in some sense knew each other starting in 1999, when I entered eighth grade and he was a big ninth grader. But I don’t think we talked to each other until he became friends with one of my good friends during my sophomore year. And, yeah, I totally had a crush on him from day one.
Who asked whom out?
How old are each of you?
We are both 23. He will be 24 in July. I’m looking forward to the day when I can make fun of him for being five months older than me instead of him making fun of me for being five months younger.
Whose siblings do you see the most?
We are only children. So, there’s that.
Which situation is hardest on you as a couple?
Dividing up duties. Mostly dividing up the duties of the house. In particular? We argue about the cleanliness of the house. It’s, really, the only thing we fight about. Except the occasional bickering about who is going to put Alex to sleep.
Did you go to the same school?
We went to the same high school, but different colleges.
Are you from the same home towns?
Yes and No. I was born and raised here in Pittsburgh. Zach was born in West Virginia, grew up mostly in New Hampshire, and moved to Pittsburgh when he was in eighth grade.
Who is smarter?
He is. Yup.
Who is the most sensitive?
I think he is. He probably thinks I am. I guess it depends on the day, and the topic.
Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Bar Louie. Is that sad?
Where is the furthest the two of you have traveled as a couple?
Who has the craziest exes?
He does. Absolutely, positively, definitely, undeniably. He does.
Who has the worst temper?
He does. I don’t have much of a temper, I just get moody.
Who does the cooking?
I do. It’s something I greatly enjoy. Every once in a while he will, and he always does a very good job!
Who is the neat freak?
Easy-peasy: Zach. He is without a doubt a neat freak. Me? Well…not so much.
Who is more stubborn?
We are both immensely stubborn. Immensely. It’s amazing we don’t get into all-out brawls when you think about it.
Who hogs the bed?
I hog the covers. Poor Zach wakes up freezing most nights during winter because the blankets are all on me and off to my side of the bed. But he takes up more room in bed. Not only because he’s bigger, but also because he insists on having a pillow next to him. So, bigger person + pillow = bed hog.
Who wakes up earlier?
Whoever wakes up with Alex gets up earlier.
Where was your first date?
Um. I don’t really remember doing the whole “date” thing. I’m sure we did, but we didn’t just go on a date and then start “dating.” I remember the first time I went to his house after we had been seeing each other for a few weeks. We ordered pizza and watched some terrible movie.
Who is more jealous?
I am. At least, I’m more open about it. It’s not much of an issue anymore, though. There comes a time when you realize jealousy is pretty futile.
How long did it take to get serious?
That’s a tough question. I mean, we were in high school. Everything is so serious in high school and yet so very not. I guess it only took a few weeks.
Unless we are talking about getting serious. And that’s a topic I’m not about to discuss here.
Who eats more?
He does. But I can put down a fair share of food, especially if it is buffalo chicken or ice cream.
Who does the laundry?
We both do. I do mine, he does his. We take turns doing Alex’s, the sheets, dish towels, etc.
Who’s better with the computer?
Ha! I couldn’t even begin to understand a fraction of what he knows about computers. He has a degree in Computer Science, he works in the industry and he has been in love with computers since he was a young child. He, obviously, is better with computers.
Who drives when you are together?
I drive him to work most days, but on the weekends he will typically be the one in the driver’s seat. He’s a good driver, so I don’t mind.
Basically? Zach is pretty awesome. He’s a great dad. He’s caring, he’s funny, he’s handsome, he’s smart, and he makes me extremely happy.
And he gave me Alex.
And seriously? How could those two not make me happy? They are freakin’ adorable.
There are days when I am convinced Alex is evil. That he’s just a little devil child running around my house. On these days I often ask him, “What happened to the sweet little baby? Who are you, and what did you do with the real Alex?”
On these days he screams. He cries. He flails. He hits. He kicks. He bites. He screams some more.
He’s a toddler. Toddlers? Are Evil.
Yesterday evening I was clearly trying to win a Mother Of The Year Award. While Alex and I were getting ready to go pick up Zach from work he decided it was the perfect time to have a melt down. He started screaming “Keys!” as if his life depended on it. At the top of his tiny little lungs he screamed and screamed and screamed. So, I gave him my keys.
Whatever. He wants keys to play with? Why not. He finally learned that he is not allowed to press the buttons that lock/unlock the car, so it was no longer an issue of him making the car beep over and over again.
He had the keys. We had to go. So, I let him hold the keys while I strapped him into his car seat.
And then I remembered, shoot! Laundry!, so I ran the into our laundry room right off of the garage and changed the laundry over.
But then: click.
He locked the car.
Yes, I am a moron. Yes, I am absolutely, undeniably, trying to win Best Mother Of The Year Award by having my son lock himself in the car.
Running back to the car I naively thought, well, maybe he just unlocked the car! But no. He locked it. And then as I knocked on the window asking him to press the little button that unlocks the car? He locked it again. BEEP!
Swearing under my breath, I asked him again to press the little button. I asked him. I told him. I ordered him. I begged him. I even tried bribing him. “Choc-lit?”
Alex laughed. He laughed in my face. Again and again.
Then? He threw the keys. And laughed some more.
Fortunately, Zach saved the day. When I called him and told him that something really, really, awful had happened, he said that the remote starter was in the house. On the remote starter? Lock and unlock buttons.
The playground has officially been renamed: Beatdown.
For whatever reason, Alex thinks “playground” should be pronounced “beatdown.”
So, I share with you pictures of our trip to the beatdown yesterday afternoon.
I’m not sure how obvious it is that Alex doesn’t really play at playgrounds.
He walks around. He runs around. He climbs up and down hills, up and down stairs. He watches the older kids with fascination, often finding a crush among one of the girls. He follows his crush around. He walks back and forth through the tunnels. He eats.
Every once in a while he will go down a slide or, you know, actually play.
And I swear the kid does smile. He just no longer smiles for the camera. Or if he is smiling and I think I’m quick enough to catch that adorable smile? He moves his head back and forth really fast to make sure the picture is blurry.
As I’ve mentioned, Alex is a bit picky when it comes to other children.
It has only been in the past few weeks that I’ve finally made the connection: he really, really, likes “older” girls. Never once has he followed a boy around. Never once has he even smiled at a younger child, girl or boy.
At the park the other day, instead of his typical habit of following his momentary crush around and whispering “hi” every five seconds, he actually made contact. Now, typically? He doesn’t want stranger children to touch him. In fact, he screams. When a child tries to push his way past Alex, who, admittedly, goes up stairs very slowly, a blood curling scream will be let loose from Alex’s mouth.
But this girl was special, apparently. He grabbed her hand and they walked around together. Holding hands. They crossed the bridge, walked up some stairs, and crossed a few paths. Holding hands.
At the same playground, about two weeks ago, we ran into two of his fellow daycare buddies. Sisters, about 3 and 2. When we first saw them, Alex wanting nothing to do with them. He immediately wanted me to pick him up and he kept saying, “no!” and “mama!’ over and over again. I’m pretty sure he thought I was leaving him at daycare. Once he realized that I was not leaving him? Well, he fell in love.
Even though he bawls his little head off when I leave him at daycare, he asks all week long when he is going to see this girls. He asks for them by name. He even “calls” them on the phone.
At dinner last night, I asked him to tell his Great Uncle and Aunt about his new girlfriends and he smiled, shyly, and said both of their names.
My little man is growing up. ::sniffle::
From eighth until twelfth grade I had a strict dress code. We could wear khaki or navy pants, but they couldn’t have cargo pockets. They also couldn’t drag on the floor, and if you wanted to wear shorts? They had to be no more than three inches above your knees. There was also a uniform skirt that could be worn: the boring ol’ plaid type thing.
As far as shirts went, we had to wear white, navy or yellow collared shirts. They could be polo shirts, or button downs. Shirts had to be tucked in, and they could not show your stomach. “No Midriff” was the rule.
We even had to wear white or navy socks, and only black, brown, white or navy solid-colored shoes. Hair color had to be “natural,” as did any makeup worn. Talk about boring. Especially when you are a teenager.
Wearing the same outfits year in and year out really got to me. I hated khaki pants. I could not stand polo shirts. By the time I graduated, the thought of putting a polo shirt back on my body would literally make my stomach turn.
But then time went on.
I grew out of my hatred for all things khaki, all things collared. In fact, I love polo shirts and I adore oxford-style shirts.
And I love nothing more than to dress my son in total prep attire.
Seriously, little tiny prep boy clothes make me so happy. The little polo shirts, the little plaid pants and shorts, the button downs? Be still my heart.
And, yes. Sometimes I even pop his collar.
Alex can finally make the hard C sound. It’s music to my ears after my worry about his language development.
He now says “duck” and “park” and “walk” and “book” and all sorts of other words that end with c sounds. For the most part, he doesn’t have a ton of words that start with hard c, with one exception that comes to mind:
Hard C. O. Hard C.
You know? Caulk. Only not quite. Caulk, rhymes with Rock. Got it? Good.
Now say it three times fast, very loudly, and you are saying Alex’s favorite expression right now.
Well, that and “yoguk!” (Yogurt.)
It’s a good thing he’s so gosh darn cute.