thursday, part ii + the rest of the weekend + the future.

thursday happened.

but before it happened,

we took one

last shot at

our morning ritual…

up.

instead of apples,

that morning

she threw her shoes,

shoe throwing.

throwing her shoe.

which is good, because

fall is here,

and there are

only a couple

of apples left

on the tree.

after our morning walk,

we took a

trip to

her daycare,

then i made one

last trip to work.

this day was 7+

years in the making.

can’t believe it.

i never imagined

it would happen

this way,

me, quitting a

job i didn’t hate,

to travel the

world and write

a book with

my daughter,

without my

wife.

i mean, i used

to joke with

aj that someday

we’d be neighbors,

stay-at-home dads,

watching our kids

play in the yard

as we enjoyed a

few beers on the

front porch,

while our smarter,

far more capable

wives shattered glass

ceilings and brought

home enough money

to keep us

eating well and

traveling frequently.

yeah.

that was the

life i expected,

the life i wanted.

we wanted.

but that we,

is only me,

and there i was,

7+ years later,

belongings packed,

the bastard’s trophy

passed to another

(office ritual…as one leaves, the trophy gets passed to another, and that person is almost always the next to go),

saying goodbye to

friends, facing an

unknown future.

peter and ben

helped me carry

my shit to

my car, then i

headed to maddy’s daycare

to pick her

up and bring her

back to the office

so everyone could

see her before

we leave.

she entertained,

ran barefoot through

the cubicles,

stole whiteboard markers

and helped me

delete all of the

not exactly work

related e-mails i’ve

gotten over the years.

maddy_at_work

but like every other

time, the transition

period is short,

’cause from goodbye

we drove straight

to the doctor’s office

for maddy’s 18-month

appointment.

we were running

a bit late,

so grandma broccoli

met us there.

we got inside

and maddy

took a seat

in her favorite spot

drinking, watching.

the nurse called us

back and while

my mom assisted,

the nurse took the

usual measurements…

head circumference:

measured.

height and weight:

height.

pause.

the nurse confirmed

what i already knew…

maddy was bigger.

this trip she weighed

in at 23 pounds, 10 ounces

and was 31 1/4 tall.

48th percentile for both.

and her incredible

height brings her

to 53% of her

mother’s adult height

(that shit makes me laugh…i mean, to think that maddy would be almost to liz’s waist at 18 months is totally hilarious).

no one won the

contest, which sucks,

because i’m sure i

would have found

the winner something

totally awesome

in india.

better luck next time.

after the nurse left,

the doctor entered.

maddy’s usual doctor

just had a baby,

so we met with

a different one.

he came in

and immediately relayed

a couple of

messages from

the female dr. h.

(which is totally amazing because she’s been out of work for 2 months…i mean, how the hell did she know we were coming in that day? i love this place.)

then he got to work…

we talked about

language development,

and the doctor

got one hell of

a demonstration

of her skills

during the short

time we spent together.

we talked about

our upcoming trip,

and the doctor

confirmed what i

already believed…

the trip would be

great for her

(and probably better for me).

he confirmed the

other thing i

could only hope to hear…

maddy is doing great.

a total relief to

hear that…

this parenting thing

seemed easy when she

was young, and it

was easy to

appear successful

back then.

shit.

stick a bottle

in her mouth

every once in awhile,

change her diaper

every few days,

bathe her

once a month

and everything

was fine.

but now it’s harder

to hide my

parenting deficiencies

(and there are a lot of them).

luckily, madeline

does a pretty

great job of making

me look

like a pretty decent parent.

the doctor

left, and a regretful

nurse walked in,

fully aware of

the fact that she

was about to ruin

my child’s day.

a hep. a and flu shot,

and a needle with

a tb test,

and madeline was

screaming like janet leigh

in psycho.

the nurse gave her

a couple of stickers,

which did nothing

to quiet her,

until grandma

stuck one of the

stickers to madeline’s

bare stomach,

scooped her in

to her arms,

and rocked her

back-and-forth.

i usually do this

alone, so it was

kinda nice to

have a little

help this time.

we drove home,

and i played with

maddy until she

fell asleep,

then i ran a few errands

and brought dinner

home for my mom.

i spent the night

wondering if

i had fucked everything

up by quitting what

i quit,

and taking on

what i’ve taken on,

and running to

the place we’re running.

time will tell,

but for now,

i’ll go with

what the doctor said…

friday.

as if fate decided

to play some cruel

joke on me

for what the nurse

did to madeline the

day before,

the next morning

i found myself

sitting in a doctor’s

office, getting

shot up with

flu and typhoid vaccines.

shitty thing is,

i didn’t get a sticker

after my shots.

stupid travel clinic.

i headed back to

the house to

pick up maddy

and my mom…

but first, we worked

on our new morning

ritual.

"open up!"

before running errands/daycare.

it was mostly the same

as before,

but after dropping

maddy off at daycare,

i drove past

my old office

instead of pulling

into the parking structure.

it didn’t feel

as weird as i

thought it would.

i suppose it

won’t really hit me

until i’m sitting

in front of my laptop

in bangalore,

on some thursday

afternoon, working

on my book instead

of some work project.

yeah.

my life will

officially be fucking

weird at that moment.

i spent the day

running errands,

my mom in tow,

helping me more

than she knew.

i took a long afternoon

nap, sleeping until

it was time to

pick maddy up

from daycare.

we headed

back to

n. hollywood and

helped maddy

say goodbye to

all of her friends.

dinner with her buds.

despite my attempts

to get her excited

for her

25th round-trip flight,

she apparently has

no idea that she’s

gonna be in

a new place

starting monday.

but her

friends will miss

her for the

next two months.

the good news is

that they’ll see

her again

when we get back…

that night

my mom prepared dinner

for a few

of my friends,

all of whom

wanted to stop

by and say

goodbye…

rhonda, bob and anna first,

then elizabeth, george

and their kids.

maddy played with

the kids and the men,

then went to bed

with only a

few cries.

it was a wonderful night,

and i know

we’re gonna miss

these people

while we’re gone.

saturday

i was up way

too late the night before,

and thankfully

i got to

sleep in a bit

while my mom

spent the morning

with madeline.

i woke up in

time to get maddy

back to the

doctor to figure out

if she has tb.

luckily, she doesn’t

the rest of the

day was spent

cleaning our house

so the housesitter

doesn’t feel like

she lives in

some sort of hyrbid

record/baby-toy store.

in the evening

we hosted a party

at our house.

stupid fucking idea.

i mean, it’s

always great to have

people over to the house,

but the mess

the next morning

is never fun.

especially with all

the shit i have

to do before

we leave on

monday afternoon.

(the crazy thing is that my guests actually did a ton of cleaning before they left).

maddy spent the night

mostly avoiding

anya, amy, eileen, erin, allie, andrea, melanie, briana and chris,

and running

back-and-forth from

ken to greg to jason to peter,

and coming to me

or my mom

whenever she

hit her head on

the corner of the table.

things went on

well into the night,

but eventually everyone

left and i went to

sleep way too late.

i may miss these

people a little

bit while we’re gone.

at least some of them.

sunday.

my mom begrudgingly

(that’s sarcasm, folks)

woke up early with

madeline, while

i slept in.

soon enough we

were on our way

to the airport.

maddy cried as she

goodbye to her grandma,

and i told them

both that

we’d be together again

at the end

of november,

and before that

via skype.

from the airport

we went to santa monica

to do a little

last-minute travel

planning with nanny rachel.

madeline slept through

the entire conversation…

rachel and i remain

hopeful that

madeline will do more

sleeping than crying

when we get on

that flight.

when we got home

we spent the day

avoiding the task

at hand.

instead of packing

i made sure that

we played with all

of her toys,

and read all of

her favorite books.

i watched as

she banged out a

couple of avant-garde

tunes on

her piano.

these moments are

so fucking bittersweet

for me.

so much happiness

piled on top

of so much

something else.

i’d like to think

these feelings will

disappear over

time, but i know

damn well they won’t.

never better, just

less intolerable…

yeah.

i’ve said that

before, but

i’m sticking to

that assessment

of the situation.

our house sitter

moved most of

her stuff in tonight.

that should bring

some relief, but it

was really just

a reminder that

this crept up

way too fast,

and that i still need

to pack for

this trip.

the good news is

that she kept an

eye on maddy while

i took care of

some last minute

house work, and when

madeline went to

sleep at 8:00,

our house sitter helped

me clean the kitchen.

awesome.

it’s now 2:30am

and here i am,

12 hours from

flying to india

with my daughter

and a nanny,

but without

liz.

and i’m writing this,

still avoiding the task

at hand…

packing up our lives

for a 2-month

escape from this

reality, to take the

first step in confronting

our future reality.

first we take

on india.

from there?

everywhere else

i went with

liz.

creating a lifetime of

new experiences

in old places.

this and all future

trips are

partially for me,

so i can be

in those places

again, to make those

memories as vivid as

the day they

were created,

but these

trips are

mostly for madeline,

so she’ll know

everything about

her mom.

so in fewer than

12 hours,

we’ll start our

45-hour trip

(yes…45 fucking hours of travel, including layovers)

by going

from lax to tokyo.

after a short

layover in tokyo,

we’ll be on our

way to singapore,

where we’ll see

one of my best

friends in all

the world

(this is the friend who drinks with me and has been known to intentionally burn me with cigarettes, all while wearing a salwar kameez).

and after 19 hours

in singapore,

we’ll be on

our way to bangalore.

and then our

new life begins.

i hope this works…

(expect an update when i find internet access in singapore).

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