The Sandwich, Two Days Later


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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86 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy says:

    First, I’ll say that Mayo does own shoes, but I don’t think we’ve ever actually put them on him. He’s started wearing socks since the temperatures dipped, but that’s it.

    We are not as good about setting routines on our end, largely because our own schedules are so up-and-down and he spends much of his day in care. We’re getting better at that and plan to get better still, but we’re not there yet.

    As of now, he’s cut way down on daytime napping. He’ll catnap in the car or stroller, but is otherwise awake most of the day. This is both a blessing and a curse.

    But for whatever reason, I sometimes find it easier to take him with me on errands than to just stay home. He loves being in his stroller most of the time and being out around people. So if Zazzy needs time to herself for whatever reason, I’ll go to the super market or the mall or just go do errands that might not need doing but which get both of us out of the house.

    There are still moments of great inconvenience. I went to return a Redbox DVD the other day. The Redbox machine is just inside the grocery store door. If I were alone, I would have left the car in the fire lane with the flashers on for the 12 seconds it would take me to run in and deposit the disc. But with the baby? I had to park, lug him out, debate getting the stroller out or just carrying his car seat, and then walk across the parking thing. And the thing is? I would have been totally comfortable leaving him in the car for those 12 seconds without breaking line of sight. Unfortunately, You. Just. Can’t. Do. That. You can’t leave a baby in a car. Not for 12 seconds. Not with you a mere 15 feet away. Not in public, anyway.

    That I find the most challenging. Thankfully, we have a number of drive-up businesses in my town, including McDonalds, the bank, and the CVS pharmacy. These make a HUGE difference.

    But the Redbox? The Redbox will remain a challenge so long as we consider it criminal to leave an infant alone in a car for 12 seconds while never losing sight of the vehicle and never moving more than 15 feet away.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      I’d leave the kid in the car. But I’m crazy like that.Report

    • Avatar Patrick says:

      You. Just. Can’t. Do. That. You can’t leave a baby in a car. Not for 12 seconds. Not with you a mere 15 feet away. Not in public, anyway.

      Wait until the second or third kid.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        A recent commenter at Hit Coffee has seven. The mind boggles.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Let me make clear that I have no issue doing so… but I fear the inevitable flashing lights.

        Maybe I’m paranoid, but I’ve heard enough horror stories (especially involving fathers) to not want to risk it.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        Once you pass five, you need to switch from whatever your personal preferred method of discipline is to military-grade marching orders if you ever want to go anywhere or do anything.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I’m afraid I had to report you to the CPS for just thinking those thoughts, Kazzy…

        Actually, it’s kind of funny that when I have to do something in the car to prepare it for baby, rather than bring her seat outside where I can watch her while I am taking care of it, I will just leave her inside where I can’t see her. Which makes no difference, safety-wise. It’s just that if I have the baby outside and not right next to me, I’m worried about appearances. I can’t see her when she’s inside, but nobody else can, either.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        You are probably right that the likelihood of anyone seeing Mayo is very slim. One car has very dark (illegally) tinted windows. And the other has regular tinted windows and sits up high. Plus he’s hard to see in the car seat anyway.

        Thanks, Will! Time to leave the baby alone!Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      Personally I would just leave the baby in the car, but then again I’m not a parent.

      Perhaps you should try putting a blanket over the baby, so an outside observer wouldn’t know a baby is in the car. Remember: I’m not a parent.Report

  2. Avatar Glyph says:

    Dude, try 3 under 5. I can’t go to the bathroom without informing my wife where I am going, and if it’s gonna be #1 or #2 so she knows how long I will be gone. Trying to leave the house is a military campaign. I get a craving for my favorite pizza place, I might be able to make that happen (takeout only, of course) sometime over the next two weeks or so.Report

    • Avatar Patrick says:

      My brother had three under five at one time.

      I remember when Jack was about 3 months old. He hadn’t slept more than 3 hours at a go, I was working and taking two classes simultaneously, Kitty was ragged because of the 3 hours at a go bit.

      I walked Duffy down to the nearest Starbucks, and while I was waiting in line, a woman came in behind me with a triple stroller. Now, I’m not the type to strike up home-life-sensitive questions with just anybody, but I couldn’t help myself, I blurted out, “My God, three of them, do you ever get to sleep?” and she said, “The first two months, my mother and three of my college friends each took two weeks off and they lived in our house in succession so that we’d have a third adult. I never would have made it otherwise”.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        It’s rough.

        What’s crazy is the littlest one is actually (knock wood) turning out to be a pretty good sleeper (unlike #2, who didn’t sleep through the night for EIGHTEEN FREAKING MONTHS), usually down from midnight until 6 AM (roughly) but it doesn’t even matter: because I went in last night at 4 AM for the boy’s nightmares; and the night before that was up from 1 to 3 AM for the girl’s “have a cold and can’t sleep/crying because of the sound of snot bubbles and phlegm”. The boy, of course, was up by 6 – so we often get roughly four non-consecutive hours of sleep. That’s enough, night after night, right? RIGHT?!

        And we both work full-time.


      • Avatar Patrick says:

        We avoided a major nuclear strike when neither of our kids was a night invader.

        From ~2-3 we had the occasional wake-up or the night diaper blowout or something, but never the days or weeks in a row of a toddler ninja-styling it into the bedroom and then sumo-wrestler-styling it into our bed.

        I know people who have that still with five-year-olds. I… I can’t imagine that without #murdermurdermurder.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        “…but never the days or weeks in a row of a toddler ninja-styling it into the bedroom and then sumo-wrestler-styling it into our bed.

        I know people who have that still with five-year-olds. I… I can’t imagine that without #murdermurdermurder.”

        Zazzy still gets this. From me.

        I’m 30.Report

  3. Avatar NewDealer says:

    “Going out to eat is different. I had a hankering for IHOP the other day, after reading Curious George Makes Pancakes, and I had to figure out exactly how I would go to IHOP”

    What I’m gathering is that you are easy to suggestion. 🙂Report

  4. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Yeah, having to schedule around naps & eating, etc is the hardest. And just when you finally think you’ve got it nicked, and it all gels together, the kid changes everything about (suddenly he wants one big nap instead of 2 shorter ones, or meal times shift about a bit, and what he wants to eat has changed dramatically, or coats are awesome & must be worn at all times, but shoes (previously a favorite) are now CAUSING HIS FEET TO BE EATEN BY ACID!!! Oh, and don’t forget his favorite toy/doll, which changes from week/day/moment to week/day/moment).

    I swear, the Marines got nothing on a parents ability to Adapt & Overcome.Report

  5. Avatar bearing says:

    For the reason listed by Mad Rocket Scientist above, and a few others, I usually advise new parents to think long and hard whether they really *want* their child to have “a consistent napping schedule” before they start working on making it happen.

    I’m mom of four kids ages 13 down to 3. Personally — and I realize this is a matter of taste — I can’t stand being the slave to the nap schedule. I hate it when I invite a friend over for coffee and we’re just getting settled in, the kids playing together nicely – when she looks at her watch and is all — “OMG – I have to go – I have to get her down for her nap.” And zing, she’s gone, because The Nap trumps everything.

    I like having little kids who are flexible. Who can get their nap in the car, who don’t need their special blankie and their own crib, who can fall asleep in my lap at a friend’s house and then be laid down on a couch to finish their nap while I have my coffee, who can play a little longer in the nice weather and then come home and nap later. Maybe they go to sleep a little later that evening, but so what? I’m flexible too.

    I understand it doesn’t work for everybody, but I’m here to tell you that just because everyone ELSE has their kids on a Nap Schedule doesn’t mean that it’s actually necessary. It might be that a more laissez-faire attitude could suit your family better.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      To each their own, though the existence of a napping schedule did extraordinary good in our particular case. It was tough getting there, and it could be coincidental, but it marked a real turning point in our baby’s mood. She went from constantly crying to generally happy.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        This is very kid-specific.

        Neither of our kids needed to be on a particular schedule when it came to napping, but they weren’t ungodly unholy terrors if they didn’t get naps, either.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      are your feeding schedules more regimented than napping times?Report

      • Avatar bearing says:

        For a baby that young? No feeding schedule at all for the breastfed baby, at least in my house; I feed the baby on demand.

        This arrangement, which I understand not every family can swing for more than a few weeks past birth, probably contributed to the ease with which I could reject the “nap schedule.” I am aware that going schedule-free doesn’t work for everyone, but I run into enough people who seem to have the notion that thriving children and parental peace require a nap/feeding schedule, that I like to make sure people hear that it doesn’t have to be that way.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      Bug naps* on a schedule at school, but at home, we just watch for the cues that he’s getting tired. It’s always about the same time everyday, but can vary by about an hour.

      *Nap is kids lay down after lunch (about 1130), but sleep is not required. It is typical, but not required – they only need to lay down and be quiet-ish.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      “I like having little kids who are flexible.”

      Gymnastics lessons help.Report

  6. Avatar Kazzy says:

    By the way, is IHOP really your best option for pancakes?

    My condolences.Report

  7. I found that video enormously comforting. I feel less alone in the world now.

    Oh, and re: Curious George, I couldn’t agree more.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      The PBS cartoon is pretty good though.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        The PBS cartoon eliminates a lot of those, “Oh, crazy shenanigans, but he’s just a monkey, it’s not his fault!” bits.

        There’s something to be said for parents maintaining an attitude of, “It’s not their fault, they’re just a toddler!” bit in terms of internal equanimity, but teaching them *not* to be toddlers eventually is part of the parental deal.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        My kid lives on that cartoon. Thank you Amazon Prime & NetFlix for having it available on demand. Many a meal out has been saved by giving the bug a phone with George playing on the screen.Report

  8. Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

    Ah, memories….

    Err, what I mean to say is, those painful memories fade as your kids get older, and that’s a blessing. Now I just have to deal with sometimes making 5-6 trips a day for kids going to and from school and activities. Even though we live in a small town and the trips from door to door only take between 15 minutes and a half hour, it adds up to considerable time and a non-ending sequence of interruptions. And, no, you don’t get to try to make their schedule work around yours.

    But at least you get to have intelligent conversations with them, even if the don’t look at you quite so adoringly anymore.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      What is the reason for so many trips? My parents rarely, if ever, had to make trips for me.

      I lived a few blocks from high school and walked. But even when I was in middle school (grades 5-8) and lived a mile away, I walked everywhere.

      All the sports I played were organized through the school. We took a bus to road game and then got dropped off back at school. Home games were played at various fields within town, which I either walked or rode my bike to.

      There were certainly times here and there I called for a ride somewhere, but nothing like 5 or 6 times a day. Hell, 5 or 6 times a month was probably a lot.

      Is this a function of relative distances? Where I grew up, there were enough highways that 15-30 minutes could get you several towns away. Are they playing sports organized independent of their school, thus requiring them to make their own travel arrangements? Has your area succumbed to the idea that anyone under the age of 18 being outdoors without supervision is a crime? Are towns just bigger where you are? My hometown has about 40K residents but the two furthest points are only about 5 miles apart.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Oh… by the way… has anyone ever looked at the town they grew up in via satellite maps? I never had until just now. Holy crap! There are all these little areas with really intricate street layouts that you would never know existed that way unless you saw them from above. Cool! Having lived their my whole life, I never really looked at a map; you just knew your way around. Looking at it now to get the actual distance between some places, I see some crazy shit going on.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        Lord, Kazzie, my parents, either.

        We live a bit too far from the schools to make walking in all weather a good idea, but within the zone of no bus service.

        We are in the third (and last!) year of the 3 kids each being at a separate school facility. Normally daughters #1 and #2 can get dropped off at the same time, but we’re in high school swim season where #1 has to be at school at 6 a.m. twice a week and #2 oddly doesn’t want to sit around outside her school for an hour waiting for it to open. Daughter #1 also has swim practice every day after school, and marching band twice a week after after swim practice. She also likes to run lights for productions at the local community theater. Daughter #2 has girls’ circle some weeks. Daughter #3 was in the play (Monkey #1 in The Jungle Book!), and has YMCA swim practice, at a different time and different facility than #1’s swim practice (and of course she has to be both dropped off and picked up, so that’s two trips for one event). Y swim practice will continue through late winter, and at some point #2 will begin track practice. #1 and #2 may also choose to be in a spring drama production.

        Add in doctor’s appointments and kids getting sick… it’s not every day I make so many trips, but 3-4 separate trips a day for either my wife or I is not unusual.

        And what boggles my mind is that my kids are not involved in as many activities as some of our friends’ kids. I think some of them thrive on the constant activity, but it wears me out mentally and emotionally. I need lots of uninterrupted down time to function well. Not that I’d trade the experience of my kids for anything, and not that we put limits on their activities (other than that academics come first), but for someone of my temperament, the benefits do come at a fairly high cost.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        Kazzy, look up any small (1500 pop or so) farm town in a midwestern state. To us an intricate street layout means there’s a street in town that’s not quite at right angles to all the others. 😉Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Yowza. Power to ya, man.

        My parents supported most of our endeavors and probably would have done more driving if we needed it. I was fiercely independent (being a middle child will do that); not so much in the zagging-when-people-zig way but in the, “Well, I’m just going to have to figure this out on my own since probably no one will help me” way. But we still had a basic undercurrent which would have led my mom to telling your daughter #1, “It’s great you want to swim at 6am. However, I am making one trip to school. So, you need to work something out with your sister or a friend or otherwise find a way to make that work.”

        Which ain’t to say she was right and you were wrong or vice-versa. Just a different mentality. Of course, push never came to shove because none of us wanted to swim at 6am and even if we had, we could have walked most anywhere we would have had to do it.

        As Zazzy and I plan a major move, the walkability of the area (for both adults and children) is a huge area of attention after living the past two years in what feels like no man’s land. WE DON’T HAVE SIDEWALKS!!! WHAT THE F?!?!Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        I just followed @kazzy ‘s suggestion and looked up my childhood neighborhood. It’s certainly different than I remember it, although part of that is the function of substantial development that took place between when I was a kid and today. The woods where I used to play (perhaps not entirely to my parents’ pleasure) are now a mall. But my old elementary school is still there, and I can reconstruct how I used to walk there. And about a mile and a half away it still looks like I remember it looking.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        If you Google Map my hometown (Teaneck, NJ), you’ll see a few interesting little neighborhoods. Some I used to traverse regularly. I had no idea some of them were laid out with such intention. While others are definitely not at right angles but just don’t make sense.

        My town hasn’t changed much. It was more or less as developed as it could be without going into existing park spaces. The northeast is like that.

        I’m really starting to wonder if I live in the same country as some of you people.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        In my part of the city where I grew up, the population was about 160k people. Now it’s about 250k. Lots and lots of stuff has changed, to say the least. Half of the non-residential, non-commercial stuff is now residential or commercial. I remember when I used to find houses with things like “Take a left at the last intersection” and had to stop because the “last intersection” was no longer the last intersection. Indeed, talking about taking a left on “the third stoplight” of major street became a fools errand because who knew if it was third anymore or whether they stuck another one in there somewhere?Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        Where the heck does a name like Teaneck come from? Is that pre-Revolutionary? I’m from Monroeville; just take a president, slap a “ville” or a “burg” on the end of the name, and you’ve got yourself a town.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:


        More and more schools are being built on the edges of town and not really near any walkable area unless you are in a city or older town. My elementary school was in a residential area but not near my part of town. Hence the bus.

        My middle and high school were right by a freeway entrance. Not really walkable or near anything except an office building.

        Though my hometown did have a local central walking area that was within walking distance of my house. And I would take longer walks to the library at times.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:


        I suppose most East Coast towns have older names. A lot of towns around New York have Native American names and old Dutch names. My home town is Great Neck. Neck can be an “elongated strip of land” according to google.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        @newdealer, @kazzy: From what I’ve read on the net, the majority of school kids walked to school until the 1970s. This really surprised me, I thought the school bus would be dominate by the 1960s. We used to be more of a nation of pedestrians and walking happens to be my favorite way of getting around. You notice more when you walk.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        @jm3z-aitch, according to Wikipedia, Teaneck is either of native American or Dutch origin. It could come from the Dutch, Tiene Neck, meaning neck where there are willows or a native American word meaning in the woods.

        Like ND said, most towns in the original thirteen states are named after native American words or are of Dutch or English origin.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        Do you know how that school building trend came to be?

        My town (and perhaps state) had a rule that if you were X miles from an elementary school, you got a bus; Y miles from a middle school, you got a bus; and Z miles from a high school, you got a bus. X < Y < Z, which makes sense. When I was there, the town had 4 elementary schools which fed into 2 middle schools and then into 1 high school. The high school was situated such that any part of town was less than Z miles away, so we had no bussing. Some kids took an NJTransit bus and then walked. Some drove. Some got rides. A ton walked.

        I guess we were just a town of walkers. No one batted an eye about walking a mile or more on a half day to the other side of town to hit up those restaurants. Walk homes were often deliberate dawdles because it meant more time with friends.

        When I lived in Manhattan, I would often walk from work (14th/8th) to my apartment (79th/West End) on nice days. I probably would have done it more often if it was a slightly nicer walk. Times Square was an avoid-at-all-costs zone, 10th Ave wasn't much fun, and walking up the river was a bit too far out of the way and meant a killer hill at the end. But I totally agree with you on the value of walking.
        I've always heard the Dutch explanation for our town. We were settled by the Dutch and retain windmills as a primary town symbol. I was shocked to learn we are the only Teaneck in America, but I guess an obscure Dutch name will do that.
        I live in Monroe now. Which some people, my wife included, insist on calling "MON-roe". Ugh.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

        Are you familiar with the section of town bounded by River Road, Route 4, Windsor Road, and West Englewood Ave? That has a pretty cool looking street layout.

        As for bussing, that is state law.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Harumph. My hometown’s name is surprisingly prosaic… (It’s two words. When mispronounced it sounds like Camp Hell). But it’s also the only one in the country, I think.

        I’m quite surprised.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        @leeesq “From what I’ve read on the net, the majority of school kids walked to school until the 1970s.”

        Suburbanization really didn’t hit a tipping point until the so called white flight of the late 60’s. Plus there was an overall demographic shift as birth rates plummeted in the late 60s reaching a nadir in the early 70’s, and subsequently causing an overall drop in the number of school age kids on a five year lag – but in a new population distribution pattern formed by the beginning of the peak of suburbanization.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        That is one of the areas I noticed. I knew about that small circle to the east, but not the broader layout. I’ve spent time in the western section as I had a friend who lived there and just knew the roads to be twisty, but not so thoughtful.

        The other section is between Teaneck Road, Route 4, East Cedar Lane, and the Overpeck Golf Course. I lived just up the road from there and had three close friends live in there. It’s not quite as intricate or precise as the other, but again I just thought it was a bunch of windy roads but there was clearly an attempt at concentric arches.

        Good to know that the bussing is state law. I wasn’t sure exactly how that worked.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Kolohe, I know that. Hollywood and television likes to depict white America as being completely suburbanized by 1960 but thats really bulk. Most of the rust belt cities, the ones hardest hit by suburbanization, reached their peak population in the 1960 census and than began their sharp decline. During the late 1940s and most of the 1950s, most Americans were living in urban and rural environments not in suburbs as we know them.

        Kazzy, most places in the North Eastern part of the United States are much older and more densely populated than places elsewhere. They were built for pedestrians and public transportation rather than cars. Thats why you can have kids walk to school in North East suburbs but not elsewhere.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        Than the NE suburbs are where I shall stay.Report

      • Avatar Lyle says:

        I went back to the town where I spent the first 9 years, and was suprised how in a car how much smaller it was then when I rode a bike in the late 1950s. (This town had not grown much, depending on the side of town from 1 street added to 3 or 4, although the downtown had definitely suffered. Back then if you lived near the downtown area (a town of 8k) all the stores were downtown, now they are out on the bypass, and you need a car or a bike, it being about 2 miles across town now). But back then and even today if one were biking there are side streets to get you a good bit of the distance. This was also true when I biked around Houston, if you knew the street grid (back before gps) you could avoid a lot of major streets except where there are freeways that you have to cross. In this small town back then it was looking for railroad crossings as the town used to have 3 railroads thru it, but now has only about 1/2 (the line comes to the middle of town and stops)Report

  9. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    I had a hankering for IHOP the other day

    Rookie mistake. IHOP stinks. Unfortunately I live in a part of the country where Denny’s doesn’t exist and IHOP is ubiquitous.

    Whenever IHOP has their AYCE pancake specials, sometimes I am suckered in and go. When I get there, I finally remember why I don’t like going there.

    Sandwiches don’t get much better than the ones you have to plan for a day or two in advance.

    Speaking of sandwiches, Wawa is trying to re-enter North Jersey. They have a new sandwich called a Gobbler. It has hot turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce all on a fresh roll. You might have to come back just to have it.Report

  10. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Before I got married, it cost me about four or five bucks to see a movie. I get married, suddenly, I’m spending 27 dollars to catch something.

    I could buy a DVD for that.Report

  11. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    My daughter is learning all about this with her daughter, now three months old. I have to resist a pronounced tendency to smirk when she complains about it :^)Report

  12. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    Those people are laughing because they think its a joke. I used to be one if them.Report

    • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

      Miss Mary, where’ve you been!? Good to see you’re still around.Report

      • Avatar Miss Mary says:

        Working. A lot. On a related note, I’ve also been busy looking for a new job. Halloween kept me busy, too; Junior turns four this weekend and Halloween was a big deal for him.

        I trust you’ve been well, James. 🙂 Thanks for noticing.Report

  13. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Another thing non-parents don’t understand, like how you will find yourself saying things you never thought you’d say, like:

    No, don’t use Nemo to rub your penis!Report

  14. Avatar NewDealer says:


    I’ve always been fond of French Toast Challah and Bagels and LoxReport

    • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

      Fine choices. Fine choices for those days when biscuits and gravy aren’t available.

      (Truthfully, I wish I could get lox on a bagel around here. The bagel’s easy, but the lox, not so much. If only Tim Horton had been Jewish-Canadian my life would be complete.)Report