Commentary

Wed
08
Aug

Mrs. Dykowski ... stays on a date

Sarah Dykowski, Mrs. Dykowski, humor, parenthood, mother, babies, toddlers, Dublin Citizen, Dublin TX

When you’re in what I affectionately call the dairy-cow stage of motherhood and you have another child younger than three, it’s almost impossible to get away for quality time with your spouse. 
It’s hard to arrange our schedules to get a sitter — not that our kind, local friends haven’t offered — it’s just that they’re about as busy as we are. 
So in order to put the kind of quality time into our marriage that every relationship needs (since putting out this paper doesn’t really count as quality time), we decided to try at-home after bedtime dates. 
But as every parent of young kids knows, bedtime doesn’t always go as planned. 
Thursday night, we attempted our first fancy date — an online cooking class.  
That afternoon I bought the ingredients and all the green bean baby food at Walmart — sorry if you needed some, too. 
We had a snack when the kids had dinner at 5 p.m. and anxiously anticipated 8 when the children are supposed to go to bed. 

Wed
01
Aug

Mrs. Dykowski... preps for a crawler

It’s coming and there’s no stopping it.

I know I should embrace it and be glad. 

Most of me is excited. 

But some of me is very, very nervous. 

Audrey is learning to crawl. 

She’s not actually crawling yet, but the day is not far away. Every time I set her down she gets more confident about raising up on her arms. She digs her tiny toes into the carpet and pushes with all her might. She’s scooted about six inches recently, so I know it’s only a few weeks until she’s fully mobile. 

Gone is the squishy newborn of spring. 

A playful, rambunctious infant has replaced her. 

She’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys, and I couldn’t be more grateful for her healthy, normal development. 

But, at the same time, I’m not ready to become the tiny toy police just yet. 

Wed
01
Aug

One Reporter's Ramblings: Staring down the barrel of 35

I think I’ll officially stop counting my age on Saturday.

Sure, I’ll continue to age past my 35th birthday, but I’ve contested that 35 is my favorite number for several years. I actually use it to replace “I don’t know.”

If I’m asked for a number I don’t know, such as an economical statistic or the answer to an equation that isn’t really simple, my first answer will always be 35.

Since I haven’t been able to keep reliable track of my age since 27, it seems like that 35 will be my go-to answer for at least a couple of years.

While trying to think of what to write about, I was encouraged to reflect on my 35 years on Earth. 

I didn’t think I was in the mood for that much introspection, but then I looked at my gifts for this year.

The first is the Oculus Go, a virtual reality headset I purchased early because I found it on sale.

Wed
25
Jul

The Publisher's Desk: Facebook has value, but not for everything

I have a kind of love-hate relationship with facebook. 

I love how it has pictures and information about my family. I love how you can talk to people using your keyboard instead of your phone keys (I’m a much faster typist on a computer than on a phone). I love how people can come together in different groups with common interests. 

I hate how I waste time on facebook — it’s a guaranteed distraction every time I want one. I hate how there are so many things on my wall that I just don’t care about. And I hate the division I see created by people who are emboldened to say things online they would never say in person. 

One of the things I love and hate about facebook is the opportunity for the Dublin Citizen to post information and articles. 

Wed
25
Jul

One Reporter's Ramblings: The need for neighbors

Last week was rough.

While working to correct the spinal issues my wife is going through, she had complications from a test. It was much more difficult than it should have been to get them corrected.

Since the test was performed in Fort Worth, she spent the night with her family following a discouraging visit to the emergency room.

The wait and decision to push for a clinic to handle the issue resulted in me getting back to our apartment at 9:30 p.m.

As I walked up the steps, I noticed that our neighbors were chatting on the landing. Even though I had yet to eat dinner, I just wanted to talk to somebody so I asked to join them.

As is often the case, they were talking about their Dungeons and Dragons campaign. 

Yes, they are nerds. However, so are Katie and I, so we get along well with them.

They have friends over a lot and can get pretty excited, but they’re quick to ask if they’re getting too loud. 

Wed
18
Jul

Mrs Dykowski... gears up for August

Preparing the paper for August, which we’re anticipating will be quite hectic, has me in the office a little more than usual this week. 

We’ve been having lunch here. The girls have been napping here, and I’ve been doing what I can to make it homey for them. 

It makes me think about the history of work and family. A long time ago it was most common to live where you worked and involve your children in your trade. 

Generally the line between work and family was pretty blurry. 

The Citizen feels that way to me on weeks like this. 

The staff feels like a part of our family. 

We sometimes get a little curt when work is tense, but we try to get over it quickly. 

Other times we get a little silly. We call it the Tuesdays, but it can strike almost any day of the week. 

Our interoffice instant message boards are filled with silly memos, inside jokes and deep discussions of movies and music.

Wed
18
Jul

One Reporter's Ramblings: In defense of dog

There are two things that the internet loves: controversy and cute pets. (To be fair, I could add a few more things to that list, but they aren’t on-topic, and this is a family newspaper.)

Since social media is a hotbed of arguments about what the proper name for sodas are and videos of dogs complaining about having to take a bath, it was only natural that an editorial about dogs as parasites would attract some attention.

On July 11, The San Diego Union-Tribune posted an editorial by Chris Reed: ‘Let’s be honest, America: Dogs are parasites, not man’s best friend.’
The column cites a few recent stories about expensive dog luxuries such as brand-name clothing, spa treatments and even plastic surgery. It also references the books, “One Nation under Dog” by Michael Schaffer and “The Truth About Dogs” by Stephen  Budiansky, which respectively describe more wasteful pet purchases and the evolution of dogs as a parasite exploiting the parental instinct in humans.

Tue
03
Jul

Mrs. Dykowski... drives a minivan

Y’all it’s happened, and I never thought it would. 

I’m in love ... with my minivan. 

I thought you would have to drag me kicking and screaming into a white whale like Destiny, my pre-owned Chrysler Pacifica. 

She’s named for a cartoon whale in “Finding Dory,” one of Darci’s favorite movies. Also, because I feel like destiny has brought us together. 

I’m kidding — well, kind of. 

I’m sure you’ve heard about the freak accident that ended the life of my preivous mom-car, Betty. 

She got booped right into the front of the Citizen building.

So, she had to be replaced. 

I did a spit-take when my father-in-law suggested a minivan. 

After all, I’m not even 30. I still occasionally like to put on my sunglasses and listen to NSYNC like I’m in 10th grade. 

Uh oh, I think that dates me.  

Out of respect for my elders, though, I looked at it online. 

It looked ugly — but not that ugly. 

Tue
03
Jul

One Reporter's Ramblings: Misremembering 101

Who can forget classic film lines such as “Luke, I am you father;” “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” or “Play it again, Sam”

Better question: Who can remember that all three of the quotes above are wrong.

Darth Vader replies to Luke saying, “No, I am your father.” (Sorry if I spoiled the ending of a 30-year-old movie.)

The wicked stepmother in “Snow White” asked “Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” 

Meanwhile, Ingrid Bergman (not Humphrey Bogart as many remember) said “Play it, Sam” in “Casablanca.”

This type of collective false memory is known as the Mandela Effect, a term which was coined by Fiona Broome who started a website devoted to the term after she noticed that many people seemed to have memories of

Wed
27
Jun

The Publisher's Desk: Daddy-daughter doctor visit

My daughter teaches me over and over that 2-year-old’s are good at getting the best of you. 

Darci had a six-month check-up last week since she’s now 21/2 years old. 

Because I’m not brave enough to teach her how to drive, I took her. 

She was fairly excited about an outing with just the two of us. 

She was less excited about seeing a doctor. 

She finally confessed her fears: I’m not going to get a shot, she declared while flipping through a magazine in the waiting room. 

I honestly didn’t know if she was due for any vaccinations, so I had to confess so. 

You might have to get a shot.
No. 

Is it going to hurt? I followed up. 
Yes. 

But that’s OK, I continued. 
No, it’s really not OK. 

Shots are good for us, I countered. 
Well, probably they’re not, she shot back, with a conviction in her voice that betrayed that her probably came more from politeness than doubt. 

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