Richard Tocci

Richard Tocci
Just when you thought it was safe, I show up...


The contents of this blog are my own comments and opinions and do not reflect those of my family, friends, colleagues, clients, employers, or anyone else I may know. Additionally, their comments and opinions are not a reflection of me or this blog. Any links contained in posts are maintained by third parties and are not under the control of this blog, and as such, this blog is not responsible for their content. All links are provided "as is" with no explicit or implicit warranty of any kind.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Hayden and the Daycare from Hell

Hayden and Alex used to go to a school\daycare in College Station where my soon-to-be-ex-wife also worked since I moved out nearly a year ago. I'm not going to mention the name of the place here -- if you want to know, drop a comment or send me an email and I'll tell you who they are. My ex does not work there any longer, along with several other people, and so it makes sense that my boys no longer attend daycare there, either.

Now, everyone knows that Hayden was diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy. This means that his physical and mental development is slower than other kids. He's nearly two years old, and has yet to sit up on his own. He crawls, but can't yet pull himself up, though he's figured out how to crane his head up from a frontal laying position to watch TV. But in the last few months, both he and Alex seemed to be sicker than normal.

Now, I know kids get sicker, faster, and easier, when they are stuck in a confined space with 20 other sniffling, sneezing, snot-nosed kids. I understand that. But it was getting to the point where my ex had to take days off at a time to take Hayden home with a fever, or to the doctor (who told us it was nothing more than a "virus", which is another story I could get into in another post), or home to be drugged up and put to bed, to get better in one day, and then go back to school, and have the vicious cycle start all over again. It didn't help that I was out of town and the end-of-year vacation cycle began, so I couldn't always take a day off to help out.

This weekend is the first full weekend I'll have the boys. I had them one night last week, on Thursday as I always do, and Hayden was happy. He was happier than I had seem him in months. He ate without puking. He did not have a nose full of green thick snot. He wasn't coughing his head off like he was a 2-pack-a-day smoker. I don't have to get rid of my dogs! He was FINE!

What's my point? Check your daycare providers. Make sure they are doing things like cleaning the place, with bleach and water, once a day. Toys should be plastic and cleaned in bleach and water every day.

No one is perfect -- I found pink-colored mold in my bathroom a week ago and promptly bleached the shit out of it, killed it, and then mopped all moppable floors in my house. With bleach. Yes, bleach stinks, but it kills things like mold, mildew, viruses, bacteria, and spiders. Yes, it kills spiders -- it was in my way and I didn't see it till the bleach water hit it.

OK, so I call this the Daycare from Hell. It was not a BAD place -- it was hell on Hayden, and now that he's out of the place, I'm happy. You don't know how happy it made me that he ate an entire meal and did not even THINK about throwing up!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas and Rudeness

I was in Target in Bryan a few days ago, doing some sort-of last minutes shopping. The store was not especially busy, but there were quite a few people at the registers, which were moving traffic pretty well. My friend Jeff and I had just picked up a few items and headed to the front.

As I guided my red Target buggy to the registers to buy Hayden an alphabet toy that lights up, sings, dances (depending on its position on the floor), and generally tries to override the football game, I was directed to Register 10 by the wonderful traffic cop in the red shirt and khaki pants.

I really don't remember which register number it was -- go with me here, OK?

I came in behind a family that was discussing some subject of major importance to them, and to them alone. They appeared oblivious to their surroundings, including the 17000 people around them, and decided that, at the time I was approaching the register, the father needed to place their red Target buggy off behind them, which turned out to be directly in front of me. Not only did he cut me off from my designated register -- the register at which he was standing and purchasing his Jackass pants and Idiot books -- but the woman beside me, in another line, had her cart completely cutoff, at the same time, by the same cart.

You've seen my picture -- I'm not a small man. I'm larger than some football players, especially fullbacks. This guy had the nerve to inconvenience not one, but two people in an attempt to convenience himself. I never met this man in my life, and here he was treating me, and others, as if he was God's gift to the checkout line and red Target buggies.

I stared at the man for a full minute, and he didn't budge. He didn't notice I could not move at all from my location without pissing off several other people. The woman whose cart was cutoff wound up having to piss off people to her left and barrel her way through the next line of people to escape the Procession of the Jackass family.

Barreling through gave me a great idea...

I asked Jeff to hold the Alphabet Toy and his items, took my Little Red Buggy, pulled Jackass' Red Buggy, slammed them together, and walked forward toward the Jackass Family. About a foot away from Mother Jackass, I said "Excuse me!" as loud as I could, and they all jumped out of the way. Mother was shocked, Father appeared to be annoyed, which changed to "Oh Shit" when I shot him a look of disgust, and the kids, well, they took the hint and kept their mouths shut and their faces neutral.

On the way back, I shot the parents another look of "Piss off, you stupid bitches", paid for the Alphabet Toy, and left. Never had I run into such rudeness during the Holidays.

Be kind to people during this Holiday season. Please...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Never Enough Time

I had the boys this weekend for the holiday. They spent Thanksgiving Day with their momma, uncle, and grandparents, and then they spent that night and the rest of the holiday weekend with me.

Tomorrow morning, they go back to school and to their mother, and I look back at the weekend and see what all we did. Basically, we watched cartoons, went to the store a couple of times (after the crazy 5AM sales, of course), and to the mall once. Other weekends, I'll take them to the park to kick a ball around with Alex while Hayden watches and laughs. When a show comes to town, I'll book a few tickets so they can have fun. This Thursday, I plan to take them to get their picture taken with Santa at the mall.

It seems the weekend has flown by. I look forward to every weekend I have with them, but it always seems like it's suddenly Monday morning, and I'm packing them into their mother's car to go off to school. And I always wonder -- is there enough time?

I joke sometimes that I'll blink, and Hayden will be in elementary school learning to read and write, and Alex will be eying middle school. Then I'll blink again, and Alex is asking me for the keys to the car so he can go have dinner with his girlfriend, and Hayden looking on in jealousy because he's only in middle school and longs for his license. Then I'll blink again, and Alex is in college, Hayden is asking for the keys, and I'm staring retirement in a few short years. By then, Chris and Amanda will likely have given me grandchildren.

STOP! Stop thinking like this! I need to enjoy the time I have now! Even though it seems short and fleeting, I'm seeing Alex and Hayden grow and develop and give me memories that I can never, ever replace, and if I start worrying about the future, so very far away, it'll be here before I know it and I will have missed everything!

So I'll continue to take Alex and Hayden to the park and the mall and the store and to a show and show them things like the sunset and the birds and the moon and the stars, because one day, they will thank me. Maybe they won't say "Thanks, Dad" directly, but they will thank me, and I'll remember all the times I have now...

God, I love my boys...I never knew love could be this deep...