We celebrated Nina’s birthday a day early on Sunday at Lake Fairfax. My dad, mom and sister came, as well as Jill’s mom and a number of kids and their families that Nina is friends with. We grilled dogs and brats, and the kids had a blast running around, blowing bubbles, and riding on the carousel. Later, while Nina napped, I took Dad and his girlfriend Patricia and my sister and her husband out for a cruise around the lake, which was a little more trouble than planned when the motor died. After Nina got up, we opened her gifts (she loved her trike, but she’s a ways away from reaching the pedals).
On Labor Day, Jill and her mom took Nina to Glen Echo Park. Later Jill and I had a late dinner at Nikko Sushi & Hibachi (surf and turf with sushi and steak was quite good), then the next day I was a zombie dad chasing Nina around and producing a truly amazing amount of screaming. Wednesday the 4th was Nina’s first day of school, on a gradual transition schedule that started at one hour the first day. But she had fun, and later had some firsts: walking in the lake, clapping rhythmically to a live version of Girlyman’s “Through To Sunrise”, and adding a vocal solo to “On The Air” from the same show.
Friday the 6th I instituted a new tradition of daddy daughter date night (as Jill was now working until 11). We started at her favorite Vienna playground, then mac and cheese at Noodles & Co (also the first time I’ve taken her out to eat solo) and finally toddler dance party at Jammin’ Java with the folkgrass sound of Joy Kills Sorrow (and thanks Cover Lay Down for finding them).
Saturday morning’s musical journey started when Nina said something that sounded like “Iko Iko”, so I played some of the first Dead show I found with one. Then we listened to The Decemberists cover Pink Floyd, but that’s another story. That night Jill and I saw Tig Notaro at the Reston Community Center. She’s wickedly funny, but never raise your hand to speak. My mom had babysit Nina, and the next day I returned the favor by being tech support on her computer. On the way back I picked up some Bon Chon chicken for takeout (still delicious) and saw the surest sign of hipster cred: a Zipcar parked outside.
The next weekend we went out two nights in a row to fundraising concerts. Nina had no nap on Saturday the 14th (she fell asleep briefly in the car on the way back from Mom’s work picnic), so it was an early bedtime for the babysitter (daughter of a neighbor) that night. We joined the Jewells to watch Eddie From Ohio do a benefit for One Voice at The Hamilton (great show, and we did VIP to see the soundcheck too). Nina had a cold on Sunday, so was a little rougher, but Mom came over to watch her so we knew she’d be ok. That night was a benefit for Americans United and we did VIP again as that included dinner with Dar Williams before her house concert. The only bad part was I’d hit my toe so hard on Nina’s potty trainer the night before I thought I broke it, so I was limping around that night. The X-ray the next morning was negative though, but Nina had one more trick, wouldn’t go to bed until 10:55 that night.
Those shows helped make a Falcon Ridge fall reunion week, as then Friday the 20th we had the Jewells and Lorna and Dave over for steak and wine before heading over to the Reston Community Center to see We’re About 9 and Red Molly (hard to believe it was their first time playing together). The next morning Nina slept until 9:15 (!!! – must be genetic), then I took her to Cox Farms. It’s like an amusement park for the 10 and under set, so naturally Nina had a blast. Later I went out in the rain and rocked out with some Avett siblings, took a detour into debauchery with the twerkmaster, saw a DJ in the woods, and ended the weekend with vampires (in other words, I went to the Virgin Mobile Freefest at Merriweather Post Pavilion and saw The Avett Brothers, Robin Thicke, Gareth Emery, and Vampire Weekend). The next morning I learned that Jill and Nina played dress up the night before, because Nina tried to put a flowing scarf and shoes on me. I had to explain to her Steven Tyler is the only man alive who can pull off that look.
Tuesday the 24th Nina picked a musician off my shirt and we practiced saying his name, then listened to his music. She likes dancing to Macca – I think he could really be big. Wednesday we had dinner all from the farmer’s market (corn, tomatoes, beans plus pulled pork and collard greens from Uncle Fred’s) then we finally watched The Avengers (yes, yes, geek shame) before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Very cool, but how has J. August Richards not aged?). Week 3 of Daddy/daughter Fridays went well: we picnicked on Lake Audubon with takeout from Generous George’s (old school).
Saturday the 28th I went to DC in the morning for a posture workshop (I’d injured my neck through my horrible posture) from Gokhale Method, then stopped in Clarendon for Clarendon Day and had some tasty sausages from Fat Shorty’s. Meanwhile, Jill and Nina went to Let’s Move with Music at Wolf Trap! (Nina loved the dancing and bouncing).
Monday Nina came thisclose to doing #2 in her potty, but got up at the last minute. In related crap news, a high school “friend” posted a Facebook status about he was sorry about the furlough, but it was worth it to stop Obamacare. I guess he didn’t know or care about the friends of mine that are affected (or the coworkers laid off that day), but I was fed up with his right wingnut screeds, and went after him. But he proved to play as well as his “heroes” in Congress, and decided to block me after we’d gone back and forth several times. Also I was wearing a Neil Gaiman shirt, and since Nina now recognizes “Macca”, decided he was “Macca” too. I tried to explain he was Mr. Neil who wrote that nice Chu book she likes, but I don’t think I was very successful.