I Don’t Wanna Grow Up…

Toys R Us from 70s Commercial
I think anyone raised in America around my age knows how to complete that jingle.

(For those of you not in the know, you finish it with, “I’m a Toys R Us kid.”)

It seems to be the end of an era. The toy store that was a major destination for American kids (in at least the 70s and 80s) is closing its doors.
Read I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

Geez, That Was Quick; I’m Engaged!

Okay, okay, I know everyone is expecting me to talk about some wonderfully romantic proposal Noel made to me on a beach in the South Pacific somewhere (at this point, I am waving my hand in the general direction of any island near New Zealand, which could be in any given direction), but it didn’t quite happen that way.

Noel can sometimes put the cart in front of the horse when he’s excited.  It’s fine.  I talk quickly when I am excited and I’m sure it annoys him to no end sometimes.  Anyway, he came home from work yesterday and said he’d been talking to my parents and siblings about engagement rings, and stuff like that.  I mean, we’ve been together for 17 years, so it’s not like we haven’t made a commitment to one another in every aspect of our lives.  The only thing marriage gives us is legal recognition of a full relationship, so it’s really, to me, a technicality.

Anyway… Noel got home, we were in the living room, and he made the (what I felt was) off-the-cuff question of if I would marry him.  I answered something like, “Um, duh, of course I will”, thinking we have already discussed this all and I thought it was pretty clear we would, at some point, get married after we worked the logistics out of how to incorporate our New Zealand friends and family with our American friends and family into one or two ceremonies, or maybe one ceremony and one party, or whatever combination we would make.  We had a big hug and a kiss and I really didn’t think, “Oh my God! I’m engaged!”  Because I’ve been engaged pretty much for 17 freakin’ years!

This morning, I was at work, talking to Don in his office, when Don’s phone rang.  It was Noel for me.  He reminded me to grab a few things from work (he’s at home today), and then said that he’d put on Facebook that we were engaged, and went into the detail about this, that, and the other thing.

Then, it dawned on me that I had not called my parents or siblings to let them know this all, and they might read it on Facebook and be angry with me.  To be fair, it was about 11 PM or midnight where they were when he asked, they are at market, and I’m thinking that they probably have an early start.  Why call them with, “Hey, we’re now really really engaged now we can really really get married?”

Today has been really busy at work with end-of-term stuff, trying to get my car repaired after being hit in a parking lot yesterday (that’s a story for another blog), getting ready to take the dog to the kennels so we can head away, chasing after delinquent / missing students, and so on.  So things are kinda slipping my mind a bit.

So… a million and one friends and family have called and written and liked the update on Facebook, and thank you all for your support and love and kind words.  I called my Mom really quick to let her know and make sure she wasn’t upset, and she was like, “Uh, no… we got the idea when Noel was talking about engagement rings.”  Implied in there was, And you’ve been engaged for 17 freakin’ years pretty much!

Well then.  I’m engaged-engaged.  Looks like I need to start thinking seriously about how we’re going to logistically make this all happen!

(Pssst.  I added a new category for these sorts of blogs.  It’s called “My Big Fat Gay Wedding”.)

Gavin

The Fack Family
My family in August 2007

Noel and I said “yes” to Brian and Darcie.

For those of you who don’t know, my Dad and Mom have a company of manufacturers’ representatives. That company consists of my Dad, my Mom, my brother Brian, my sister-in-law Darcie and my brother Jeremy.

Now, today, they had a meeting with a woman named Brenda from one of the companies they represent. She flew in to show them different basic bits and pieces about lamps they sell.

So, Darcie and Brian asked Noel and me if we could watch Gavin, their 2-year-old-in-December son. Of course, we said yes, not thinking it’s been about 20 years since I’ve changed a diaper.

A few days prior, Noel and I went shopping with Grandma and Mom at Woodfield Mall and found some Duplo Legos, those big for-2-and-up Lego blocks. One was a fire truck with a flashing light and siren, the other a box of assorted Legos. So we bought those for him, and thank God we did, because that kept him busy for a few hours.

Unfortunately, children his age get tired. And crabby. Real fast. So I tried to put him to sleep with no avail. He cried and pouted and screamed and I thought that it would be best to let him stay up to tire himself out. Not the right thing to do!

He only got more crabby and more rambunctious and whatever either Noel or I tried to do to settle him down only distracted him for a few minutes.

In the end, Brian came out of the meeting to put Gavin into the crib. I felt totally awful that he had to do that because I was such a crap babysitter that I couldn’t plonk Gavin into the crib and walk away.

Gavin cried. He screamed. “Mama! Dada!” And he went on and on for about 15 minutes until a period of silence between crying and yelling ensued. Then another. And then the silence was more than the screaming and he fell asleep.

I, more than Noel, was relieved. And the nap lasted extremely long… about 2 hours, I think. Of course, I was worried — it is my brother’s child after all — and Noel was probably laughing at me about it. But… I’d rather be safe than sorry.

We got Gavin out of bed when he woke up — he kicks the wall when he wakes up — and Noel said, “I think you need to change his diaper”. There was pee on the back of his shorts, and when I got the diaper off, it weighed more than Gavin (Yes, I did check it before he went to bed. Yes, it was dry then). Lesson being never give a boy 2 juice boxes before he goes to take a nap.

The meeting ran over by about 2 hours. Noel and I were at a loss as what to do. I took Gavin out for a few minutes to find, to my delight, a construction crew working on a burst pipe at the intersection. We walked down there, his sticky hand (from his ring pop) grabbing mine. He was mesmerized. Digger trucks. Dump trucks. Construction workers.

I thought Noel might be getting worried so I tried to get Gavin back to the house so we could get Noel, but Gavin kept stopping to watch the construction. I thought, we have a winner here.

We got Noel quickly and got Gavin’s stroller and walked down to a shady part (as it was extremely hot) to watch the Village Public Works fix the pipe. And Gavin was enthralled. 45 minutes of the best free entertainment you could get.

In the end, we took a walk. He enjoyed that, and we enjoyed watching him. I think Gavin is more fond of Noel but I could be wrong. He is such a sweet kid!

Darcie asked me if babysitting Gavin has made me reconsider having children of our own after the disastrous Jamie fiasco. I’m absolutely stuffed, as I’m sure Noel is. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know!