Dad Picks the 1st Concert

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Before Oscar was born, back when he was just a belly bump, a dream came true for the husband.

Phish got back together.

For Nate, this was the best announcement he had heard since the ultrasound tech said “See the penis? And there, see the scrotum?” The minute the announcement was made Nate started planning our son’s first concert. Which venue we would all go to? Do they have Phish baby onesies? Which tour date should we attend? etc, etc.

It’s not that I don’t like Phish, it’s just that I don’t love them. I mean, I don’t mind going to a concert, the people watching alone makes it worthwhile. It’s just that Phish really isn’t my thing. As my sister puts it, “It’s not like I’d listen to a 30 minute version of Meatstick.” Well, my husband would, and does. Thirty minute jam sessions bore me. They bore me in a car, they bore me doing dishes, they bore me jamming out full blast in my living room.

I have to be honest. I had secretly wished that Oscar’s first concert would be a band that I wholeheartedly loved. When I was in my 2nd trimester, and I kept waiting for the “fluttering” that is a baby kick, I finally felt the first one on my way to work. I was in my car, listening to Elvis Costello’s “Allison” louder than necessary and singing at the top of my lungs. “Oh my god,” I thought, “My baby has such good taste!” I couldn’t believe that he kicked to Elvis Costello. What a great musical future I saw for the two of us. So I do feel some disappointment, nee jealousy. Part of me wanted that 1st concert, and Nate got it instead.

Hippie Town in Parking Lot

Hippie Town in Parking Lot

I will say that the actual concert turned out to be a blast. I’ve been to my fair share of hippie shows.  Back in the day, I used to go to quite a lot, unbathed, broke, and stoned. Hippie shows are a culture unto themselves. It’s almost like a traveling circus, or maybe a Renaissance Faire is more accurate. People don’t just go to one Phish show. They go to the whole tour. Following them across the country, selling grilled cheeses and veggie burritos as they go. They arrive at the venue way early and set up the tent, the hookah and the table of homemade jewelry for sale or trade.

It's our party

It's our party

Our own setup was pretty badass, if I do say so myself. The best part was that we’re not 19 anymore and now when we tailgate, we come with more than just beer. We had camping chairs and pillows, umbrellas for shade. We had one cooler filled with snacks and various beverages. The other cooler was full of Bell’s beer which I planned on selling, but ending up chickening out, and we all just drank them instead.

Shh Hippies! The baby is sleeping!

Shh Hippies! The baby is sleeping!

In the middle of everything, we made a little nest for Oscar to nap and wonder of wonder, miracle of miracle, he did! I sometimes wish that I could just pop my thumb in my mouth and then have the ability to sleep wherever and whenever. I don’t know about you guys, but I really love to sleep.

G'day, mate!

G'day, mate!

Anyways, Oscar was a hit with all the hippies and made friends wherever we went. Whenwe met people waiting in line for the bathrooms and we saw them later, they would shout, “Hey! It’s Oscar!” and more than one person asked to take his picture. It was like hanging out with the popular kid in high school. You might not be the actual cool kid, but your hanging out with him, therefore cool by association. Plus, unlike high school, I made this kid so added cool kid bonus points.

By the way, best part, the show was on Father’s Day. Nate was so proud. He carried him around everywhere in the Baby Bjorn showing him off.

They sit at the popular table at lunch.

They sit at the popular table at lunch.

Once inside, we came prepared with baby earmuff hearing protection and luckily he didn’t mind them at all. They are super lightweight despite how they look. If anyone wants to know, they are Peltor earmuffs for kids. Conveniently in blue and pink so you can save their ears and gender role at the same time (I mean, where’s the gender neutral green?).

Ready for the first set!

Ready for the first set!

I shouldn’t bitch. They worked really well. He even fell asleep at bedtime. The dull roar of tens of thousands of hippies his muffled lullaby.

Bedtime Bjorn

Bedtime Bjorn

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Taking the Bus

Recently Nate, my husband, Oscar, my son, and I have been reduced to one vehicle. This is because a man named Brian* rear ended my ancient minivan on Interstate 94 while we were sitting in construction traffic. The thing that really gets me is that I was doing everything right. I got in the correct lane and didn’t zoom ahead in the lane that was ending, trying to cut to the front. Though I used to do this all the time, I now hate these people and scowl at them as they try to force their way in with their blinking blinkers. As if that is courtesy.

After he smashed the back bumper of my van, we pulled to the side of the road. Poor Brian. He got out of his car and heard a screaming woman (my mother), a crying baby (my three month old son) and two barking dogs (my dogs). All this and a van full of crap as we were on our way to open up my parent’s cottage. No small task. We had linens, pillows, coolers of food (and drink) and tons and tons of baby gear. If I were Brian, I would have been freaking out. The look on my mom’s face alone. Luckily, no one was hurt, it was his fault and his ticket, and my father came and picked up all five of us within the hour. Three adults, one car seat and two dogs in an Impala… Yuck.

The Van

The Van

So, long story short, it was the van’s last drive as our insurance company decided it was totaled. This van has driven all over the country, as we are fans of the roadtrip. It has driven to Colorado, Los Angeles, Vegas, Florida, Maine and even Nova Scotia from our homestate of Michigan. My father, who owned the van before me, treated it with love and respect. When Nate and I took over at 235,000 miles and 10 years old, we showed maybe a little less, but it got us from A to B. Truth be told, it was not the coolest ride. I was still sad to see it go. I cried a bit while cleaning it out. Nate didn’t understand. I sometimes have a problem humanizing inanimate objects. It’s the same each year when we finally take down the ornaments from the Christmas tree and put it out front on the curb. Something you loved so much is now trash. It must feel so abandoned. I blame this sentiment on my mother reading me The Fir Tree when I was young.

After the van’s title was handed over and a check was received  (a much higher check than I expected by the way) Nate and I came to the decision that we are going to try living as a one car family for a while. Nate is a baker and so he keeps very early hours. I am a server and keep rather late hours though I only work once or twice a week.  It is convenient with the baby because there is no need for daycare. It also makes it easier to share one ride. So we are making adjustments. One such adjustment is riding the bus to get around. I live in a college town with a population of about 75,000. The public transit doesn’t totally suck, but it’s not great either. So far, if I’m on a time schedule, it is not a lot of fun, but if I have all the time in the world, it’s better.

Upon realizing that I was embarking on Oscar’s (in case you’ve forgotten, that’s my son) first  bus ride, I broke out the camera. What kind of mother would I be without documenting evey single move we make? So please take a visual journey with me of Oscar’s first bus ride!

Waiting for the 11:30 Lovell Bus...

Waiting for the 11:30 Lovell Bus...

Don’t worry, he hasn’t been abandoned.
There I am!

There I am!

It is a bit of a walk getting to the bus stop. Hauling the car seat there sucked. Super heavy, super awkward. During this trip we were taking the bus down to Nate’s bakery to pick up the shared car so I had to have the car seat in order to drive said car. I learned my lesson. Now we keep the car seat in the car and I walk to the bus stop with Oscar in the Baby Bjorn… Much easier.
There it is!

There it is!

Thankfully, Oscar didn’t seem to mind the bus at all. However, I did get a number of very strange looks while taking these pictures. Luckily, it was a Saturday and on a bus that goes from campus to downtown, Saturday is a very slow day.
I think he digs public transport.

I think he digs public transport.

This one car plan is working so far, but we’ll see. I think Nate is going to have to get a bike so I’m not the only one hoofing it all over town. I’m trying to sell this idea to him right now, but it is not completely working. Getting up even earlier to bike to work is apparently not appealing. Any ideas?
*name change alert (mostly because I can’t remember his real name).