Tonawanda News

November 17, 2013

CRIB NOTES: Why exactly are we doing this again?

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Once again, I am — painfully — working my way through one of those parts of fatherhood they forget to put on the brochure.

I’m sitting in the recliner with three giant tubs of Halloween decorations towering over me — yes, by the time you’re reading this, the Halloween decorations will be put away. I packaged them up the other day, but I just haven’t mustered up the energy yet to put them into their home in the crawl space upstairs.

That lack of desire isn’t entirely my fault, though. While taking care of this latest decor swap, I pulled something in my back that makes most activities — including, most ironically and unfairly, sitting — uncomfortable. So instead of dealing with it and getting the chore over with, I’m contorting around in the chair trying to find a comfortable position for my back while also hoping the boxes will magically walk themselves upstairs.

That won’t happen, of course. Nor will it happen in a couple weeks when I have to get the — much larger pile of — Christmas decorations out of the other crawl space and bring them downstairs. So I will just have to deal with the pain and get the task over with.

I don’t hate decorations, mind you. In fact, they’re fun to look at. But they are a huge pain to assemble. First there are the heavy boxes. Really, how does a box full of one-ounce glass ornaments weigh so darn much?

Then there’s all the bending and twisting to get things out of the crawl space, lugging everything downstairs, the countless hours needed to go through each item and take out broken pieces, and the hours needed to stand outside in the cold while decking the halls. In fact, speaking of back pain, I hurt my back so badly in our crawl space a few years ago that I was in the emergency room and then confined to the couch for a week. And that week just happened to be my week off for vacation.

That’s why I never really took much to decorating. I don’t think I’m lazy, but the payoff to decorating wasn’t worth the time commitment and work involved.

So, as I stare at these orange crates, I wonder why I bother doing it now.

And then I remember.

When I look at the window stickies, all wrinkled and tattered after coming off the window for the fourth time, I remember the full-bellied laugh Rigby gave when he put them up and assembled his “monster band.”

As I wind up the lights I’m taking off the bushes and grumbling as another one shatters, I recall the pure joy in Penny’s eyes when the kids were brought outside to see them flip on for the first time.

After taking down the cackling witch from the closet door — you know, the really annoying kind that rotates a few phrases each time you hit the button and kinda wants to make you fly away on a broom after the 50th time — I think of how much fun Penny and Rigby had pushing that button, and that it wasn’t quite such an annoyance those first 49 times.

Being a parents makes you do things that go against your very nature. Work that doesn’t seem to make sense or have a purpose suddenly does, even if it’s just a fleeting moment of your child’s enjoyment that’s forgotten as soon as “Sofia the First” comes on.

But that’s OK. That’s enough ... at least it will be once this backache dissipates.

Contact Paul Laneat