Today was Mom’s first day back at work. Fortunately, as a professor, she has a pretty flexible schedule and is due home within the hour. Still, Sam and I were largely on our own. We’ve made it so far, though it was touch-and-go for a little while there.

One of the things that we did today before our early-afternoon nap was to go for a walk. It was a beautiful day (for January) here, and I’ve been noticing the lack of exercise brought about by the combination of having an infant at home and crappy weather outside. The private mailbox where my business receives its mail is about a 25 minutes away by foot, and I decided to risk it. On the way down, Sam was fine as I talked with Grandmère on the phone. On the way back, there was fussin’ then sleepin’.

The mailbox ladies have been most considerate about Sam. It was through them that we have the clipping of the birth announcement in the local paper, and I knew they’d be excited to see her, but I didn’t count on how excited. I should have at least not been on the phone so I could have asked for no touching, as it was, I washed Sam’s hands as soon as we got back home. Also, the one I see less regularly was initially confused why we kept talking about “she” when I had this bundle of blue on my chest: I had put Sam in the warmest thing that I could find that wasn’t her snow suit — a powdery blue fleece with kitty cats on it. The confused mail lady said “Don’t you know girls wear pink?!? Jeez, Dad!” And slapped me (playfully I think) on the arm. I mumbled something about not thinking that gender confusion was an issue at this age, but let it go.

On the way back, we were crossing the street (in the cross walk, with a green light), and someone turns right in front of us — not putting us in real danger, but inconsiderate enough to piss me off. To top it off, he gives me this irritated glare like “What the fuck are you doing in my street?” I failed to contain myself and said “Watch it, fucker!” as he drives on by. While Sam probably didn’t pick up that particular event, I know that kids model their behavior on their parents, and I need to watch that sort of thing. That said, he really did piss me off. Had it just been me walking along, I probably would have just flipped him the bird, and thought nothing of it. But he “almost” hit my daughter. I felt like beheading him and hanging the head from the stop light as a grizzly warning to other drivers to watch out for little girl pedestrians — even those strapped to their daddy’s chest.

Aah, the mean streets of Altoona.