Mischief and Exhaustion
by the other theo
There are two poles on which Father’s Day 2015 was hung: mischief and exhaustion.
To clarify that a bit, let me start by saying that the Peanut may as well be renamed Mischief these days. If you leave something out sitting out he’ll open it. If there is somewhere you don’t want him to go, he’ll likely end up there. If you leave some food out on the counter that he likes, he’ll take it. If you give him water to drink, he’ll take it a gulp at a time into his mouth, spit it out into potted plants, and then look at you for approval as if to say “well aren’t I so clever?” Bed time, well bed time, has regressed from a 10-15 minute process of stories and prayers during the school year to a 60-90 minute process of stories, prayers, quiet play, and frequent cries of “will you get back in your room and go to bed?!?”
The Missus and I think the bedtime issues have a number of causes. The length of the day seems to play a part. We also think that school was using a lot of his excess energy before it ended about a month ago. The Missus tries keep him engaged and plan activities for him during the day, but there is only so much she can do. There is also the possibility that he just may be getting a little older and can go to bed a little later.
With all that in mind, I started Father’s Day weekend with the firm idea that I would try to tire the Peanut out if I could. The Missus would be out most of the day on Saturday, and it seemed like a good day to take the Peanut to the playground. My initial plan was supposed to unfold something like this: start walking down to the playground a little before 10am, get there by 10:30, run around and play together for about 30-40 minutes, get home just before noon, and have lunch. It’s about a 3.25 mile round trip walk to the park. He would burn off to some energy and I would get some exercise pushing him there and back in a (soon to be too small) stroller.
Things didn’t exactly play out as planned. We got started out about an hour late, just before 11am. Since I knew that this would mean cutting play time close to lunch time, I had the idea that we could pick up a fresh bagel or two on the way to the park and then the Peanut would have something to tide him over. I thought “Score!” Once we got to the park by 11:30am or so, the Peanut just wanted to run and play all over the place. We ended up staying there until after 1pm. Again, I thought “Score!” Barring the minor problem that I forgot to get some milk to wash down the bagel, it all seemed to go swimmingly. We made it home by about 1:45pm.
It only became apparent a couple hours later after the Missus got home that I’d forgotten something: sunscreen. Going to the park for 30-40 minutes between 10-11:30am is a little different than going to the park for 90+ minutes in noon day sun. Sunscreen would be nice for the trip I originally planned, but not absolutely necessary. Consequently, I didn’t put two and two together to realize that the later hour and longer exposure increased the chance that one or both of us would come home looking more like lobsters fresh out of the steam pot.
As it was, we escaped without serious damage. The Peanut was covered in a stroller for nearly half the outing, so he was ok except for some rosiness on his cheeks. Me, I had a pretty nice farmer tan… or farmer burn. It wasn’t painful, just a little warm and uncomfortable. In the end, I hoped that the burn would be worth it. Though the Peanut spent the rest of the afternoon not far from the television, he got a lot of fresh air and exercise.
It wasn’t to be. He was still his mischievous self and bed time and got me up when he climbed into our bed at about 3:30am.
This is how I started Father’s Day.
Our plans for the day were fairly simple. The Missus’ Dad got some frozen Kansas City mail order steaks a gift a while back and I promised to grill them. I caught the early morning 8am Mass, got some groceries, took an hour+ nap later in the morning, and put together the bill of fare: grill sous vide bacon-wrapped filet medallions, fresh homemade fettuccine alfredo, and fresh English peas plus olives, cheese, and charcuterie for appetizer and wine to drink.
It call came together fairly easily. The one hitch during the process was that I decided to sous vide the steaks in the vacuum sealed plastic wrappers used for shipment. These were not up to the task, and three of them cracked while immersed in the warm water.
Here’s the dinner served on our patio:
The fettuccine turned out to be real treat. It turns I didn’t have the recipe I got from my Mom handy in written down form, but I remembered it pretty well. It’s been several years since I made it, and we used to use Kraft-type processed Parmesan cheese whenever my Mom or I made it before. That was not the case, this time. Here, the sauce got a big old block of real Parmigianio Reggiano. That made a big difference. The sauce had a nutty, creamy flavor that I never remembered before.
Since it was Father’s Day, I got a couple gifts. The most interesting one was an old fashioned-type whiskey/cocktail glass that she etched with the family name and initial.
After dinner and some clean up, I faded pretty fast. The Missus took her Dad home, and I stumbled through bath and bedtime for the Peanut. After the Missus got home, I handed off to her and collapsed.