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Today started off as every other Friday does in our house.  Jen’s alarm insensitively went off at 5:45a.m. signaling the start of what I would describe as a race being run in slow motion.  I am part human, part zombie at this hour of the day.  It doesn’t matter if I went to bed at 2:00a.m. or 3:00p.m the day before; my body simply doesn’t respond with my usual cat-like reflexes.  As the wife rolled through her morning routine (shower, teeth brushing, getting dressed, you know the usual suspects), I slothed my way out of bed and down the stairs to feed the dogs and hook myself up to our Keurig IV machine. 

After a few minutes of trying to discern sleep from consciousness, I made my way back upstairs for a shower.  After finally embracing the fact that I did indeed have to go to work today, I wrapped up the rest of my “get-your-butt-in-gear” schedule with a few minutes left to watch a little SportsCenter.  You see, after months of this same Friday ritual, I know how much time I need to get the kids ready in the morning before our babysitter, Karen, arrives.  Seeing as I had raced (I use that term loosely) through my checklist, I knew I was ahead of schedule and felt a reward was in order; hence the 5 minutes of sports highlights.

Now it was the kiddies’ turn to get ready.  Unfortunately, they are not yet to the age where I can simply yell up the stairs for them to get it in gear.  If I were to try that today, I’m pretty sure the result would be a mostly naked Iz clutching the wrist of a bruised and battered Jakester as Social Services took them away.  So with that in mind, I headed up to Izzy’s room to start the process. 

It went about as smooth as it could go.  Izzy ran around the upstairs as I did my best to pick out a matching outfit for her.  I finally corralled her long enough to literally throw the clothes on; whether they were inside out or backwards is anybody’s guess.  After she was “dressed”, we headed into Jake’s room as Izzy exclaimed, “JAACCCOOOBBBBBB!”  If he wasn’t already awake, he certainly was now.  I didn’t realize this until I had kids, but there is an age that they reach when all the bones in their body turn into whatever they use to make those Stretch Armstrong dolls.  It’s true, look it up.  Jake reached this age a month or so ago, making diaper changes and getting dressed an event worthy of Olympic consideration.  I believe this morning’s performance would have been good enough for a Bronze at least.

So the rest of the morning consists of Jake smearing pears and oatmeal cereal all over his face while Izzy chugs a cup of milk in 3.2 seconds and contemplates whether or not she’ll eat breakfast today.  The television channel changes from Sports Center to Toddler Crack and we sit together as I feed Jake his bottle.  So far, so good; no deviation from the norm.  Karen arrived right on time and I gathered my things to head off to work.  This is when, for the first time in all these months, “The Breakdown” erupted.

First, the moans started.  Slow and quiet at first, then gathering strength and volume.  Izzy climbed down from the couch and followed me into the kitchen as I was grabbing my lunch.  She reached her arms out to me as the tears began to flow and cried, “Dadda!”  This had never happened before!  Most days, she completely ignores the fact that I even exist as her eyes gloss over while she sits, brainwashed by Mickey Mouse.  I picked her up and we went back to the family room where Karen and Jake were playing on the floor.

I attempted to sit her back on the couch but the levies broke and the tears streamed down her face.  As I tried to console her and explain that Daddy had to go to work but Karen would play with her today, she could only sob and desperately cry out my name.  It was, perhaps, the single, most heart breaking moment of my fatherhood to this point.  I handed her over to Karen and left quickly in hopes that the band-aid technique (quick and painless) would work.  As the door shut behind me, I actually had to consciously hold it together so as not to break down myself.  After I arrived at work, a text-message from Karen quickly alleviated my sadness.  It read: “She was fine as soon as you closed the door.”  I’m glad one of us was.

Now there’s another routine I have every Friday that has nothing to do with the story above.  It’s my weekly update to you, my loyal readers about any and all progress being made towards my 30 Before 30 list.  While another week has gone by without any items being crossed off, I feel it was a productive week none the less.  Without further ado, here’s another Follow-Up Friday update.

#11: So you’re probably all getting tired of hearing this, but once again I made some statements about this item that I am not able to deliver on.  For the past couple of months, I have led you to believe that my debut performance was coming soon.  And for the past couple of months, I have cancelled a date that I previously had mentioned.  I have only myself to blame for this, as I have not done the due diligence to make it happen.  It’s easy to pick a date and say “this is it”, but there are other factors that have to be accounted for; namely Iz and the Jakester.  So the tentative plan is to hold off on this one until the summer months.  This will hopefully solve the babysitting and work related problems that have come up in regards to this item.  Don’t worry, I’ll give plenty of notice as I build the anticipation, only to leave you incredibly disappointed with my vocal abilities.

#12: Practice makes perfect, right?  Or at least, practice makes you not as much of a disaster as you would have been without it.  I’m on to a second song, which is putting my skills and mental fortitude to the test.  New chords, new techniques, new curse words each time I screw it up.  Winning!

#14: Since my last update, I’ve checked off another of my Top 10 movies.  If you missed my review of Singing in the Rain, check it out hereWhile I can’t technically cross off a list item just yet, I am making progress towards this one, which has me optimistic.

#20: Another update on the Bill Simmons front.  My new BFF Angie, of angies30before30.com, contacted me again this week to say that progress is being made.  She has been in touch with The Sports Guy’s agent and they are going to see what they can do for me.  “No promises”, she said, but I can’t help but feel positive about these developments.  If you’re reading this Bill, give me a call!

That’s it in a nutshell folks.  Feel free to contact me if you have any means of assisting with, or would like to be a part of, any of the items on my list.  Also, keep spreading the word!  One last note to all my fellow blogging buddies out there.  I’ve recently noticed some folks that I follow have been doing some guest spots on other blogs.  If you’d like to boost your readership by like 8, feel free to email me about guest blogging here.  Maybe we can swap blogs for a day, I’m sure my readers would enjoy the break from my mindless dribble.