So Then Sunday (the first post in the Attic – 12 years ago)

For the past few weeks I’ve done a re-post in a Sunday version of a Throwback Thursday, a So Then Sunday, recent song parodies of mine. I’ve come to like this idea and thought I’d continue it today, not with a song parody but with an old post, a first post.

Now it’s not like I just suddenly came to be writing things about my goings on, like Boom, here’s an Attic start the write, but for the life of me I couldn’t tell ya where I might have put my thoughts, the ones that really mattered, before the Attic other than to just save them in files lost in some haphazard saving way for none to see. But Maria was my eye back in our day. I mean obviously I did have my things saved, in that haphazard files in a PC kind of way, but it was she who made me put them in a place, if for no other reason than to have them to show, my thoughts right there, to her, and she was always, when I did get them in that spot, my arbiter of what was good, what needed some more work or what was just shit. To this day if I see that she has liked something of mine I know I’m on the right track.

We took a step together back in 2008 to a house, a little place in Newburgh NY, a place that would eventually house she and I and the JG (Jagger) and my Benny and Shoes and her Shana girl and soon puppies, Jackson and Brady, and then my little Bella in this small Newburgh place, the FrankenGreco Ranch, that had an unfinished attic, one we would finish and put my PC in. It was the most perfect of spots when done with undiscovered golden hardwood floors, duck your head ceilings in spots, a good and bad paint job, a couple of windows and life up some stairs. It became our Attic, a pride, a spot. Yes, I like the word “spot”.

Unlike the little extension on our house on Archer Road when I was a kid, the smallest of things really, just a few feet, but the biggest of things to my Mom, with a bay window, bay windows being how Mom’s measured themselves against other Mom’s then I guess, a thing for Ma to show off, this finishing of the attic wasn’t a Mom’s bay window. It was internal. It didn’t overtly overlook driveways or lawns or busy streets for all to behold in a Mom vs Mom kind of way, it was just there and we knew it and we owned it. It was a palpable change to an old new house that we could hang our hats on without the seen need. The rest of the house might still be the same just with new inhabitants but the Attic? It was ours … we did that … with no need to preen. And it was mine, with a keyboard.

Now eventually it became a too much mine and then housed a solitary bed, my own fault, not one down the stairs with pretty company, just some cats and an extra pillow but there was a time where, if given the time, I could write a few words about our at, about our us. Thus the first post from Frankenberry’s Attic 12 years ago.

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February 2009

Let me start by stating that I live with a 7 year old. Let me state further that I have never lived with a 7 year old, the only experience I have with such being the one year I spent living with myself in the early seventies. It was the year Frankenberry cereal came out and I was more concerned at the time with prank phone calls and the fun poked at me on the school bus than I was in trying to accommodate the none too subtle nuances of living with me or anyone else that was 7. I’m sure if I talk with my mother she would be able to tell me of the similarities between that 7 year old and the one I live with now though I’m also sure that “I wasn’t like this”. This is a phrase that I’ve actually caught myself saying by the way, in the same way that we all catch ourselves defiantly repeating what parents laugh about that they knew we would defiantly say. They laugh a good bit.  Again, I’ll have to talk to mom. She’ll probably get the same laughing kick.

As to the living with a 7 year old that I’ve never done? Well I’m not completely ignorant to the world of small early stage humans, it’s just that I’ve never gotten this far in their evolution. My experience came when sharing a house with my brother and sister starting in 2000 when she informed us of her impending babyness, something we weren’t aware of, her included, at the time we decided to throw our hats into the same ring, a small 3 bedroom soon to be circus in Beacon, NY.

So there my brother and I sat, bachelor #1 and bachelor #2, looking down the barrel of myths, legends and outright falsehoods about pregnancy that would all prove to be true.

Without even a hint of girlfriends, never mind mom to be’s we were thrust into the world of babies. Everything babies, babies all the time, first, second and last thought babies, babies the book, babies the movie, babies the graphic novel, babies in IMAX (my god that pee stream is huge), babies are the world concerts for babies, babies rock for grandma, babies are babies u can’t touch this. And this was all before any baby was actually produced.

Eventually a baby did reach production, after a grueling 18 hours on the line and amid rumbles of a strike from the union workers: namely me. Across four hard plastic benches in the waiting room, with a newspaper over my face not hiding the early dawn and also not hiding the screams from my sister that led to a C-section, I was ready to walk off the job – that of waiting across four hard plastic benches in the waiting room with a newspaper over my face not hiding the early dawn or her screams. Then Jake came, a brand spanking new model replete with a great working engine, racing stripes and a fully functioning horn.

The next five years were a wonderment and support my contention that I’m not completely ignorant to this world of small humans, but I did regress. After getting my own place I quickly reverted back to bachelor #1 status just minus the main trapping of being a bachelor. Dating. Other than that my bachelorness went well. Benny and Shoes were happy. I fed them, rubbed their bellies, hung out in windows with them and scratched their ears. Shoes even learned how to get his own cat treats out of the kitchen cabinet and bring them to me while not knocking down the beer can pyramids on the kitchen counter, a lazy cat guys dream. All was good.

Then I met her. The best her ever. Violent regression backslide. Screeching breaks and smoking tires. Beer can pyramid tumble.

Now I live with a 7 year old. As with my first experience with my sisters’ baby product I’m getting used to a new product, one that comes with no directions or warnings, just like the first, requiring me to discover instead how to use it through trial and error and the common sense that I often don’t have. For instance, trying to operate said product early in the a.m. may cause auditory damage if not managed correctly, (tarmac headgear helps, refer to directions you don’t have). Or, when trying to dress product, at least 17 different outfits should be offered to assure that at least one of them will be considered the products’ own choice, if not, be prepared for a really long morning and another tardy note. Also know that the desired breakfast may not be available, either through the dreaded immediate advertising of Nick TV or because you just forgot to buy something that you didn’t know you needed and then ran out of.

Like I said earlier, trying to remember what it was like for yourself is fruitless unless you consult mom, who finds this too entertaining, though she does offer advice amidst her giggling. The amazing thing though is that showering doesn’t always come with wet collateral damage, breakfast does happen, outfits gets picked, teeth brushing gets successful unwanted attention, lunch is made, bought or two dollared for the cafeteria, shoelace tying is finally tackled on a daily basis.

It is a slow process and I’ve only touched on mornings. You don’t even want to know, if you don’t already, what carnage the phrase ‘bed time’ causes or what it is like to live in ‘contrary land’, and you’ve probably heard the word ‘meanie’ quite a bit. But I’m living with a 7 year old for the first time and the rewards, though they may seem to be minimal to the outside observer, are huge. Bachelor #1 has this new product tying his shoes the same way he does. Give me one check on an imaginary checklist.

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