Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dust ruffled. . .

I hate dust jackets. I find they get in the way and make nice books look cheap. So I normally remove them from all hardcover book that have them. I even did that with our monkeybear's books. They are sitting in a pile under his actual books. This morning he picked up a dust cover, brought it into me, and said "oh no, where pages go?"

Also this morning there was a light dusting of snow on the ground. He didn't like that. He wanted it to go away. He even asked me to clean it up and despite my explaining that I couldn't clean it up he keeps asking.

Every day a new fun interaction. Despite the tantrums, I like two.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

First big accident. . .

A week and a half ago we had an incident. The short version is our little MonkeyBear fell out of the cart at Target. The long version? . . .

Target trips are normally fun for our whole family. We get to walk around and look at stuff, we're not big impulse shoppers so we just browse and pick up the usual stuff (fabric softener, deodorant, birthday cards), and the little guy gets to see the demoed talking and walking dinosaur and some other toys. Often he'll want to walk with me and push the cart, once he gets bored with pushing he'll ask to get into the cart.

Normally we just put him in the regular seat like we should, but the past couple trips I had decided to try him in the main cart part. He's getting a little too big for the seat and well I don't know why else. . . I guess because I see other kids in the basket and they look so much happier and I thought "why not."

So on our weekly Target trip two weeks ago I went ahead and let him ride in the main part. He had stuck his arms out a few times to touch things and while we were stopped he stood a couple times, but he seemed to get the concept that I wouldn't move the cart unless he was sitting. We offered to move him to the seat and he fought. He won the battle, we were tired and gave in when we shouldn't have.

Part way through our trip, he stood up, I stopped the cart, he had leaned over the front, and my stopping (to make him sit down) flung him out of the cart. He literally flipped end over end, bumped his head on the cart on the way down, and hit the floor.

I ran and picked him up (as I did I thought I should have checked for neck issues first). He started to cry. My wife ran over too. I didn't see his head. She did. When I did look, above his eye the skin was dented in and blue. I thought for a moment he had crushed his skull. A woman looked around the corner and said she heard everything. She told us to go get ice and snapped us out of our shock.

We went up to the Target snack bar and got ice (in a rubber glove) and started to ice his head. The dent was just on the skin and a few moments after we applied the ice it started to look normal again. We asked him some questions and figured he didn't have a concussion. . . I have to pause for a moment to mention one question we asked. We asked him how old he was and the Target employees who were sitting with us we confused when we were relieved that he answered by saying his name. Until yesterday that was the only way he would answer how old he was.

So we took him home (all the way home he kept saying "I scare mommy daddy"). Once home I called the nurse hotline and, based on our description, we agreed that he seemed fine.

The next day he looked and acted just fine. We needed to finish our half trip to Target. When asked if he wanted to go back to Target he said "no," but once there he was singing his Target song. . . what, your kid doesn't sign a song for Target? His eye bruised a few days later and only looks completely normal now (10 days later).

He doesn't seem to have learned his lesson (he wanted to ride in the main part of the cart on the return trip), but we did. No more riding in the basket of the cart.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Between the sheets. . .

About a month ago I decided it was time to introduce at least a top sheet to our son's crib. For those uninitiated, with a baby you're not supposed to put anything in the crib but the baby. OK and I suppose whatever the baby is wearing.

But there comes a time when you presumably learn to sleep under the covers. Most people do it, but it's something we have to learn at some point. We wanted him to learn that before we even thought about getting him a non-crib bed.

First we went on a quest for sheets of blankets and found nothing. Since a thing called a toddler bed exists and that toddler bed is a crib mattress in a bed frame there has to be someplace to get them, but we never found that place. So I improvised. I took a sheet from my bed, folded it in half and tucked it in so he could sleep under it.

He does just that most nights. But some nights, like last night, he plays in his bed before falling asleep. So when we go to bed he's laying on top of the sheet instead of under it. He's not getting the concept.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Peanut Butter Jelly time!

The MonkeyBear had his two-year checkup last week. He's doing all right in the normal places. He still has a big head. . . he gets that form his mother.

But more importantly we got the go ahead to try peanut butter. So over the weekend we gave him some peanut butter with his normal pancakes—makes my mouth feel dry just thinking about that. We watched and nothing happened for 10 minutes or so. We felt good.

I decided that since we were having peanut putter I'd go ahead and make myself peanut butter and jelly for breakfast. And after the little man had finished the pancake he looked at my peanut butter and jelly with wide eyes. . . so I gave him a bite. A few minutes later his cheeks starts to get a light redish rash. For a few moments we thought we were in trouble, then it hit me. . .

I gave him strawberry preserves.

In the past, he's had a mild reaction to strawberries, but nothing bad enough to be concerned about (strawberry allergies are typically mild). So I don't normally think about it. We gave him peanut butter again the next day with no reaction at all, so we're cleared for PB&J. . . just not if the "J" has strawberries.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Birthday boy...

I couldn't go to bed today without at least a quick happy birthday post. Our little baby boy is two today. Two years ago I was trying to fall asleep in a hospital chair. . . unsuccessfully I might add. It's been a wild ride since then. I'm sure it'll only get wilder.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where mommy go? . . .

picture unrelated, just cuteThe other day our little monkey bolted out of the kitchen—where I was—through the living room—where his mother was—and down the hall—where, well, no one was. Then he said in his cute little voice, “where mommy go, where daddy go?”

Then he ran back down the hall to the living room, “hi mommy!” Then to the kitchen, “hi daddy!” Then he went right back down the hallway and started the whole things over again.

It could have been the little bit if icing we let him eat (I was working on a cake), or just that he got too long of a nap, but he did that 10-12 times and then sat and played with his trains like the whole thing never happened.

So this is a toddler? I like it.

(picture unrelated, just cute)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Is this thing still on? . . .

You always hear people say “they grow up so fast” or “enjoy them being little while it lasts.” You roll your eyes and ignore the words. Then a couple years blow by and the next thing you know you have a two-year-old who is very good at what two-year-olds do. You wonder when that little, cubby monkey that used to fit in your armpit while napping was replaced by this long, hyper ball of arms and legs. All you can do is assume that someone snuck in and replaced them while they were sleeping

He's talking. No, REALLY talking, not that babbling that he used to do. Real words. AND he's expressing thoughts and ideas. Four or five words phrases sometimes. I know some adults incapable of that. He plays. . . really plays. He uses his toys to tell stories. He names toys that don't come with names. He tells people and things hello and goodbye. He asks us questions, he gives us answers. . .

And it's only going to get worse. I know we're in for more of this. More words, more playing, more real human actions and emotions. He's this whole other person who will be in my life forever. His personality, his mannerisms. . . they're going to be there for years. Before he was just a little lump, something that needed our constant care. Now he's becoming a person.

I know it's early, but his annoying habits are endearing to me. His attitude makes me smile. He has his toddler moments, but he's still mine. . . no, strike that, I'm still his. I hope nothing ever changes that.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rice cakes. . .

Back in March we had an issue with the MonkeyBear only wanting to eat cheddar cheese flavored, mini rice cakes. Because he asked for them so much we finally had to pull the plug on them. They were becoming a problem. So we got rid of them completely. Once he understood that there were no more rice cakes he stopped asking for them. . .

Fast forward to last week. I thought "I'm sure he's over his addiction we can give them to him again."

Wrong. Now every hour or so that he's awake he walks into the kitchen and says "rice cake?" No matter how many he's had for the day he wants more. And it's only the cheese ones, he doesn't care for the apple cinnamon. We're going to have to take them away again I think.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I long for the sound of your voice. . .

School starts today. Which means my wife is back in hectic mode in front of 20 whiney kids whose parents haven't taught them simple manners. It also means the little monkeybear is back at Grandma's.AND it means I won't be getting more phone calls that sound a bit like this. . .

Sometimes he didn't get saying "hi." On several occasions he even waved at the phone.

In this one he calls me "choo-choo." He had just gotten back from playing at the train store.

I'm really gonna miss this.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Under still. . .

The boy's fascination with being under things has become worse. He shouts "Unna Geen" every time we pass under a green light. We've had to start shutting our bedroom door to stop him from getting in and climbing under the covers and We are now keeping an old sheet in the living room so he can crawl under it.

Then last night He took the blanket her sleeps with and pulled it over his head. It's very breathable so I wasn't too worried until he wrapped it around his head. I noticed this after he had fallen asleep while I was on my way to bed. I unwrapped his head, which couldn't help but wake him up a bit. He blinked open his eyes and mumbled "unna" and pulled the blanket back up over his head. I pulled it back down and when he said "unna" again I told him no and to go to sleep.

It's getting to be a dangerous obsession.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

All about the love. . .

My son is a uniter. He likes to bring people together. Take bedtime for instance. . .

Like every kid our MonkeyBear has a bedtime routine. Bath, getting dressed, story, goodnights and bed. The good night (even as early as a month ago) consisted of mommy kissing him on the head, me picking him up, giving him a quick hug and kiss, and putting him to bed. Then he learned how to kiss. Then we added kissing daddy while mommy turns out the light, then kissing mommy, then hugging both of us one at a time and then bed. Now we've added push mommy and daddy's heads together to have them kiss. We're also adding group hugs and kisses.

It's become a big ol' lovefest.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Under there. . .

Do you remember this? You remember? How much my son loved having his face covered? So much so that the best way to get him to fall asleep was to completely cover him with a blanket and he'd fall asleep pretty fast? . . . well not much has changed.

The main difference is now he asks "under?' and then goes to our bedroom, climbs on the bed and pulls the covers up over his head. He then squeals for joy and bounces up and down chanting "under." He then comes out and announces that for his next trick he will take something under with him "choo-choo under?" or "dog under?" (it's a stuffed dog). He'll find the item in the house and bring it back so he can put it under with him.

The real fun for us started when we showed him that technically he's always under something. That's been blowing his mind.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Do you ever replay conversations thinking about what you should have said? How about thinking about conversations you know you'll have, do you ever think about what your best response would be? I do. All the time. I sometimes lay awake at night replay conversations that didn't go the way I wanted or conversations I'll be having soon. Things buzz in my head like that.

So I wasn't too surprised when I heard my son saying "hi" over and over last night. Each time he had a slightly different inflection until he got it just right. "Hi!" "Hi?" "hi." "Hiiii." "HI!" Almost as if he was thinking "I should have said 'hi' not 'Hi'"

That's my kid.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Whatever it is I think I see. . .

Our son is obsessed with trains. . . completely and totally obsessed. The first thing he says when he wakes up—and I swear I'm not making this up—is "choo-choo." Sometimes it's whispered sometimes it yelled.

He is constantly asking us to watch Thomas the Tank Engine ("peas choo-choo" while rubbing his chest to sign "please"). It's cute, but only as long as you actually give in and let him watch the show. Otherwise he throws a fit so bad you might actually wish a real train were passing through the living room. Unfortunately the show is only on once a week so we TiVO it and play the same 5 episodes over and over. He knows all their names and has a favorite. . . Emily in case you're curious. We were watching the show one morning and he repeated her name perfectly clear. Ever since he's in love with her.

I almost wish it stopped with Thomas, but it doesn't. At grandma's house train go by and he can see them from her kitchen window. He yells "choo-choo" when we drive under train bridges that cross the highways. He drives his train toys around the house yelling "aw-a-boad." He even pretends that everything else is a train. He has stacking blocks that he pretends is a train. He lines the boxes up and pushes them around. Everything is a train to him. I enjoy the fact that he's pretending, but why is everything a train?

Hopefully it's a phase and soon enough we can be playing Batman or something cooler.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Counting mean parents to go to sleep. . .

Babies. . . oh I guess it should be toddlers now. Toddlers sometimes have bad dreams. People have often wondered what could possibly be so bad that a toddler could have a bad dream. In our case, WE are that bad.

We bought a Sesame Street toddler video gamefrom Target for I think $9 a few weeks ago. It's not the first computer program we've let him play with, but it's the first one he's asked for. When he's not begging to watch Thomas the Tank Engine or Jack's Big Music Show or to listen to the one song he knows by name, he's asking for "ah-mo*." He even knows to clear off the coffee table so the computer can sit there and he can play his computer game with mommy. It's cute.

What isn't cute is when we say "no" to any of his string of requests—and yes, he normally asks for one right after the other. When we say "no" he starts to cry and yells again for whatever we denied him. . . really, it's a fun game. This is often accompanied with his laying his head down or rolling on the floor. Tantrums are great fun, aren't they.

So you can imagine how funny my wife and I found it at 5 am this morning when we woke to crying and the scream of "ah-mo!" Coming from his room. Apparently us saying "no" is that traumatic for him.

*Ah-mo (n): Elmo and his computer game.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pink?. . .

Our little buddy is learning a lot. He is learning names for everything, answering questions with real answers, and starting to learn his colors. He first learned green. And then everything was green. We'd ask what color something was and no matter the color the answer was "green." Soon he started saying "red" and sometimes "blue." Then a funny thing happened. . . he learned a new color without much prompting.


And now it's his favorite. Pink? Really?. . . Really?!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New look. . . .

New design! The picture was from our 18-month photo shoot. We had the monkeybear color on the white background. Hopefully the new design will entice me to post more often.

Two week chip. . .

I am finally ready to call the pacifier detox program a success. The first week was tough. He'd cry himself to sleep off and on most nights, naps were much better. Then he started sleeping longer in the mornings and more soundly. . . which means I was sleeping more soundly (my wife sleeps soundly regardless).

Now he's done it. He still occasionally asks for a "pass," but we show him they are no longer in the spot where they were once kept and remind him that he doesn't need one. He goes to sleep fairly quickly and without fighting much. Some nights he'll still lay and talk to himself.

The final test will come this weekend when he goes to sleep at Grandma's. It's been a long time since he slept somewhere other than at our house without us there.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

No, he really hated it. . .

He hated the sound, he hated the splashing, he hated most of it. . . this is how much he hated it. He hated it so much we actually walked across a 50 foot wide wading pool to reach the exit doors (he has a good sense of direction when he wants something).

He was OK with the lazy river after a little bit. He'd sit on our laps and ride around. He was slightly OK with the out door pool, as long as we were away from the splashy bits.

So during our trip we made 3 trips to that fountain for him to play. He really loved it. We need to find another around here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

No water parks. . .

So a couple weeks ago we went on a little road trip to Kansas City. We spent the first couple days and nights hanging out with friends. The first day we went to this outdoor mall called "the Legends." In the mall was this big fountain. There were some kids playing in it so I thought I'd try our monkeybear out in it.

He loved it.

This was great news because the second half of our vacation was going to be spent at the Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park resort.

He later loved the water room at this place called Wonderscope and when he saw the big pool outside our balcony at the lodge. . . then the moment of truth the indoor water park.

Yeah he hated it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Detox. . .

Almost every kid uses one at some point. They are addictive. My sister's kids were so hooked, that they had tons of them stashed throughout the house so if you took one they'd walk three steps and grab another. Of course I'm talking about the crack rock of babies. . . pacifiers.

This past winter (during Christmas break to be exact) we moved from allowing pacifiers almost anywhere to being a bed only thing. It went well. The hardest part was getting grandma in on the plan, but she did and by the beginning of the year pacifiers were reclassified from full-time accessory to a sleeping implement.

So then the plan was to abolish them when summer break approached (it's easier to start big things when your wife is a teacher). I started this spring by taking it out of his mouth once he was asleep but I made the mistake of reinserting it if he cried during the night. We then allowed it in the car while we were on vacation 2 weeks ago and hooked him more than ever. A few days ago we took it completely. The first 2 nights combined crying and sucking on his stuffed panda. The third night was LOTS of crying. Last night combined talking to himself for a couple hours with waking up crying throughout the night. . . and every morning has meant once he is awake he's awake (the pacifier used to sooth him back to sleep).

He's asked for it, begged at some points. Cried. . . including sobbing "please," which just breaks your heart. Like he just wants one little hit and he'll be OK. It makes you realize just how attached they can get to certain things. I wonder is people who do interventions on heroine addicts feel this way. Like maybe it wasn't that bad and we should have just let him keep it for awhile. But I know things are getting better and a light is in fact growing nearer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Oh and he's learned how to sing "Muhnumanuh"

Nagging. . .

As my wife sits here watching the Bachelorette she is also asking me when I'm going to update the blog. I know I've been bad.

Since last time, we had our 18 month doctor's appointment. . . one month late. Everything is going well there. 45% for weight, 71% for height, 94% for head size. . . he's got a big melon. He's talking a lot. You know my feelings on words form last time, but he is saying a lot. He can communicate with us fairly well. It seems he grows a few months every day. He figures out problems, learns new tricks and skills, and puts together more complex sentences all the time.

Then theirs the issue of the word "diaper." He was able to say "dah-pah" a few months ago. Only now he's started calling it a "budgie." We have no idea why and the more we try to correct the problem, the worse it gets.

What else? What else? Oh my wife is off work for the summer (she's a teacher), so she's is staying home with the MonkeyBear every day. This has made her perfect being a mom and him start to like her more than me. Not to brag, but ever since he was born I've been the favorite parent. . . that status has changed.

Those are my scattered thoughts for now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bird is the word. . .

I recently got into a discussion with a fellow blogger about toddler words. It got me thinking about the whole words thing. Many people have asked what Skippy Jr's first word was. My answer is normally "define word." Most resources I've seen exclude "mama" and "dada" as words so there goes the obvious. And even at almost 19 months I don't know that I'd consider anything my son says to be real words.

I did read once that a "word" is a sound he makes (or I guess a sign) that you can tell what he means. However, if we aren't around, someone new is watching him, they won't know what he means so where does it become words?

To that end, here are a few things my son says that I don't count as words.
  • He signs "eat" and "more," his first signs, but he has yet to say either word. He uses them to communicate but doesn't say them. His new signs (help, please, bed) are accompanied by sounds, not clear sounds, but I guess I can count them.
  • When he sees a monkey he scratches his armpits and goes "ooh ooh ee ee." We know that is how he says monkey, but I wouldn't count that as a word. Nor would I count when he put his hand on his nose, tilts his head back, and squeals to say "elephant."
  • He has started calling his diaper "budgie." We have no idea why. He used to say "die-pah" and then switched to "budgie." No point.
  • He loves the Eric Hutchenson song "Rock and Roll." It's on the radio a lot and my wife has the CD in her car. He asks to hear it often. He'll point to the radio and say "rock." But the radio is not a rock and if you show him a rock he doesn't know what it is. I don't really count that.
  • Of course I already mentioned "mama" and "dada." Also "paw-paw" and "maw-maw." All words I don't count.

Maybe I'm being to hard on him. He's able to communicate his wants and needs to me and my wife, which is all that really matters right? Does it matter which was first or how many he has? He is learning fast, fast enough for me anyway.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Parents sucks. . .

Even before our son was born offers for baby and kid related items began to flood our mailbox. Though we ignore most of them some actually caught our attention. One was an unbeatable price to subscribe to Parents, a magazine written for, presumably, parents.

An issue or two in, I quickly learned that it should be more realistically titled Mothers. Make-up tips and fashion articles are normally targeted more towards the female half of the parenting equation. OK fine so they skew more female, I'm sure it helps them with advertisers. I get that. I don't mind skipping over the tips about dealing with your period while chasing a toddler around.

The I read a little side bar with a seemingly innocent statement about Kangaroo Care. The sidebar recommended that mothers place their child naked on their chest to promote sleep, growth, and bonding.

Kangaroo care is a great thing. . . that can be done by anyone who has skin. I learned about it before our son was born and about the benefits not only for preterm babies, but babies in general. I spent the first month or so making sure my son got just as much skin-to-ckin contact with me and with his mother. It helped me bond with him and made me less jealous of the time she spent touching him instead of me.

In fact I would say that ordinary kangaroo care is better done by the dad to give mom a break between feedings (if you're nursing).

Anyway, this and a couple other places where the magazine has started using the word "mom" or "mother" instead of parents are actively pushing the dads out of the picture. Plus it's sexist to assume that the mom is the primary parent. Sexist for women and men. Parents sucks. I almost wish we hadn't gotten 3 years for that insanely low rate.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's a repeat. . .

My wife has pointed out that apparently last year at this time my son actually discovered his penis. He didn't see it but he grabbed it. I'm begging to repeat myself.

Happy Mother's Day. . .

Happy mother's day, from your stinky boys.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I do, I do. . .

Skippy Jr's two new favorite word. . . I do. Whether wanting to spoon feed himself yogurt, blow his own bubbles or change the channel to something he wants, EVERYTHING is done while saying "I do."

But just saying "I do once" isn't enough. He has to chant it over and over until you let him do it and even then he still mutters it while he does whatever it is he wanted to do.

Brushing his teeth is a big part of "I do," though he doesn't do it well. So is pushing the garage door button, filling his cup with water, getting snacks and cookies from the bag, opening the string cheese, breaking off pieces of the string cheese. It wouldn't be so bad, but most of the things he can't actually do.

I suppose this is just the first bit of independence. One more sign that we're in trouble.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Skippy Jr. Junior. . .

I couldn't be more proud. Last night, in the tub, my son discovered his penis. He's grabbed it before but only for a second. Last night, he grabbed it, looked down at it, and examined it with great curiosity. He's now started his life long friendship with his John Thomas.

My wife was horrified.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Who's a good boy?. . .

I find myself talking to my son like a dog sometimes. I'm sure that's normal. He's learned to ask to "wok" when he wants us to put him down. And most days the two of us take a little walk up and down our street. I find myself wanting to teach him to heel. . . I suppose holding his hand will have to do for now. I refuse to get a leash for my kid.

The praise "good boy" has been uttered by my wife more than once.

Of course he reacts like a dog sometimes too. When I ask him if he'd like to go for a walk he yells "wok" (like a bark) and gets excited. When I ask him if he wants a cookie (treat) he runs to the cabinet where we keep the cookies. He runs to the window when he hears a truck coming down the street. He even listens for other dogs and often barks back.

I suppose on the bright side he's stopped most of his chewing on everything and I've never seen him rub his butt across the carpet.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Limp wrist. . . .

I always wondered why I have long skinny wrists.

Everywhere I let the MonkeyBear walk in public he tries to pull away from me. He does it in that toddler way of pulling as hard as he can while still holding my hand (mostly because of the death grip I have on him). Because when I hold his hand I cover his hand and hold his wrist too. I can feel his wrist pulling really far—by my account anyway. I guess I was like that as a kid too. I worry I'm pulling his wrist out of it's socket.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fire engine guy. . .

So UNcle Joe got our MonkeyBear a guitar for Christmas. It plays the guitar parts to "Smoke on the Water" and "Bad to the Bone." It's an occasional toy. Skipy Jr will pick it up every couple weeks, play with it for a day or two, and then it goes back in the corner, but he still really likes it.

Of course those two songs over and over get annoying so sometimes we turn it off.

And then he started singing Duh Duh Duuuh Duh Duh Da Da. . . "Smoke on the Water" to himself. It makes him sounds like Beavis and Butthead (I looked on YouTube I can't find the video of them doing it).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Talk to the hand. . .

By our recent count Skippy Jr. can now use about 10 signs and has about a 20-30 word vocabulary. So his communications skills are getter much better. Which really sucks. . .

I remember a simpler time when we guessed at what our baby wanted by offering him the things we were willing to offer him. Now he can ask for things we don't want him to have or things we don't want him to do. We he signs "help" so he can climb onto the couch we're so happy that he's communicating and understanding what is means to help. . . and then we're sad because he wants on the couch so he can grab the TV remote to try and turn it on. We he signs eat we used to think we were so lucky that we could finally know when he was hungry. . . now we don't like when he tells us that he doesn't want the macaroni he wants a cookie.

With any communication we've always tried to reward when he uses a word or sign properly. When he first learned to sign "more" we made sure he got more. When he first signed "eat" we made sure he got food immediately. Now when he asks for help it's help to say remove the obstacles preventing him from climbing onto a table, or reaching a breakable item that's just out of reach. I want to reward the use of the word but I'm not going to give him the glass candle holder.

Asking to color is good. He points to his crayons or magna-doodle and says "kakar." This morning he looked at the strawberry he painted (it's hanging on the fridge) at the Parents as Teachers play group we went to last night, said "kakar" and smiled. It was so cute, he knew that was his painting. Either that or he was asking to eat the paint like he had when he painted the picture.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Put down the laptop and hold me. . .

I found this article interesting. My wife is at least good and waits until after the MonkeyBear is asleep to spend forever on CafeMom.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Clarify. . .

I want to clarify something. . . I am happy with our current family dynamic. Yeah, I miss the passion my wife and I once had. I want that back. I'm working, I think, to get that back. I'm still just as crazy about her as I was when we first started dating.

That being said, when the three of us are playing on the living room floor. . . it's the best.

It's not perfect, but it's pretty damn good.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Says it all. . .

This article really says it all. . .
My wife and I share a home and a bed. We kiss goodbye in the morning and hello in the evening with such ritualistic regularity that if one of them somehow gets missed, I worry it means bad luck.

What I remember most about our first years together was our laughter. We giggled in bed at night and over the course of long weekend mornings, lying on our backs, legs draped across each other's legs. Shameless hilarity in restaurants, malls, on the sidewalk -- a private world of absurdity and delight, in love with the ridiculousness of the world and each other.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Broke?. . .

The monkeybear has declared that everything, especially the TV, is "broke." Everything used to be "ut-oh" now it's "broke."

Him (holding the TV remote and pointing it at the TV): Broke.
Me: It's not broke it's just off.

Him (after dropping a truck): Broke.
me: No, you just dropped it.

Him (holding the TV remote and pointing it at the TV again): Broke.
Me: No it's not broke, it's just on something you don't want to watch

Him (unable to open a window on his busy box): Broke.
Me: No, you just have to push the button harder.

Him (trying to fill his own cup at the fridge): Broke.
Me: No, not broke, we just turned on the child safety lock.

He says other words, but none as often.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dragonball. . .

My wife would kill me if I taught Skippy Jr. to do this and I'm such a geek for even wanting to do it, but I so want to copy this.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The singing bee. . .

This afternoon my son was getting up from his nap and his mother was changing his diaper. She was playing around and started singing "the Isty Bitsy Spider" to him. . . but there was a twist. She'd sing "the itsy bitsy spider" at normal or maybe slower than normal speed, then she's speed up for "went up the water spout." Skippy Jr. laughed. So she continued and with each stanza he laughed harder.

Throughout the afternoon and evening we kept the same going. We'd sign songs and change tempo. What is shown below is the climax of laughing, screaming and squealing after his bath. . .

Believe it or not right after this he did calm down and went to sleep.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Growth spurt. . .

The rice cakes the other night seem to be a symptom of a growth spurt. Skippy Jr. ate all day long yesterday. By my rough count a "snack" for him was 300 calories. . . a cup of yogurt, 10 teddy grahams, some grapes, and 5 mini rice cakes. And an hour later he was hungry again.

I dread when he's a teenager.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Before I forget. . .

This morning I was dressing the Monkey and he said "dada," I responded "Monkey," to which he pointed at my with both hands and went "Aaahhhh haha."

It reminded me of the "Whazuup" commercials.

Bloated rice belly. . .

The MonkeyBear's new favorite snack is cheddar cheese flavored, mini rice cakes. We got them when we were all sick. Tonight he ate about 10. His belly is so full and bloated right now it's not even funny. You rub it and it's this rock solid mass of a belly. It was even throwing his balance off.

It makes my tummy hurt just thinking about it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good little worker bee. . .

I've said before I believe parents—myself included—are the worst thing that can happen to a kid. Parents screw up a good portion of what they do when raising their kids. I know my own actions are to blame for some of my son's already formed bad habits. But we have done at least one thing right.

At the beginning of winter we started making our barely one-year-old start taking off his coat when he got in the house and handing it to one of us to hang up. He fell into the pattern quickly. We still put him down, unzip his coat and let him remove it and hand it to us. He also learned to take off his hat and put it in it's place.

But winter is almost over so his one chore is going away. Our solution? A new chore. We started last week. While his bath fills we take off his clothes one at a time and give them to him to throw into the hamper. Two days later he was in the pattern already.

I hope we can keep it up.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Return to the mother ship. . .

So the stomach ick lasted until Tuesday, my wife and I finally ate something on Tuesday night. Then Wednesday morning we had a new garage door installed. So by Wednesday afternoon we were chomping at the bit to get out somewhere. Being in St. Louis we decided to visit our wonderful zoo.

Let me preface the rest of this story by explaining that we made a terrible mistake a month or so ago. . . we taught our son the sign for "finished" or as we say it "all done." He doesn't do it correctly instead he looks like he's trying to touch his hand to his elbow (on the same side, try it). Since then he uses it for everything, food, TV shows he doesn't like, toys, car trips, sleep, everything. It has quickly become the bane of my existence.

We saw the elephants (one really up close) and he made his elephant noise by touching his nose, tilting his head back and humming. We saw the hippos who pooped in the water while we were pressed up near the glass. He said "waddle, waddle" to the penguins. Then it went downhill. . .

The first misstep was taking him on the carousel. My wife watched us as we went around. His first time around he was excited, the second time he was unsure, the third time he was crying and saying and signing (in his way) "all done!" Of course they don't stop the carousel for one crying toddler, so I moved him back to a non-moving bench on the merry-go-round. . . you know, the seat saved for the old people trying to feel like kids again. He was still miserable and every time he passed the operator or his mom he'd yell "all done!"

Hopefully our next trip will go better.

Then my wife wanted him to ride the train, she thought it'd be so cool and he'd love it. Haven't I told this story before? Anyway, he had seen the train a bunch of times and went "choo choo" whenever he did. He got on the train and started to ride it around the zoo. He was OK with the first 5 minutes then again, "all done." This time the "all done" was interspersed with "choo choo." When we went around curves we'd point out the train engine and say look the train. Then when it was out of sight he'd ask for the "choo choo." We insisted he was on the "choo choo" but he wouldn't listen to reason.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Stomach bug update. . .

I have been out of commission almost all day. You know how they say that it's harder to have chicken pox as an adult than it is as a kid. . . I'm guessing the same it true for any illness.

Oh and my wife is heading down the same path. . . and this week is her spring break. . . and tomorrow is her birthday.

One quick note on our little man unleashing hell in a restaurant: If he had done it earlier it would have been on the slide at the playground (how do you clean that up or abandon it) or in a furniture store. . . that's was carpeted. We're lucky it happened in a high chair over tile floor where the only real victim was his pants and his floppy seat.

EDIT: One more thing, Pedialyte tastes like Kool-Aid with Salt dumped in it. Gross.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bleeeeaaaack. . . .

So we're sitting in McCalister's Deli and our food arrives. We were splitting a club sandwich, macaroni and cheese and a fruit salad (mainly for the MonkeyBear, he loves him some fruit). I pick up a macaroni on a fork and try to feed it to the little guy. He shakes his head "no" which is odd for him when it comes to mac and cheese. I try again, he insists "no."

Then the vomiting started. Four gushing waves of everything he'd eaten in the past 8 hours parading rapidly down his front. I run for help from behind the counter, informing a teen-aged boy that I need a box and some bags and he needs a mop because my son just wrecked the area around the table where we were sitting.

Despite the giant mess they still hadn't come out to clean up by the time we were packed up to leave. My wife said she felt bad just leaving I responded, "I can't go back and get a mop myself." We had told 3 people by this time and a couple other customers had almost stepped in it.

So we left.

After that he was fine. We fed him some crackers and water and sent him to bed. He slept for a good 3 hours and then as we were getting in bed and about to fall asleep we heard a sound. He had done it again and got it all over his head and pajamas. So we had an 11 p.m. shower and rocking session (in which he threw-up again). I made a Pedialite run and called the 24-hour nurse hotline to be safe.

So we survived our first stomach bug. . . so far. I'm really impressed by my wife's involvement in all this. She normally isn't good with bodily fluids, especially of this variety. But from the start she even picked the little guy up in the restaurant to comfort him knowing full well she's get it on her. And she's cleaned him up a few more times since. She's an amazing mother.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You still can't make a rice castle. . .

We went to a parents as teachers function tonight. It was all about the senses. They had things to look through (colored glasses and such) for sight, textured balls to touch, musical instruments to hear, containers with spices to smell, and a kiddie swimming pool filled with rice. . . for taste? I guess there wasn't a taste. It was like a sandbox, only little girls can play in it without getting sand in their hoo-has.

Anyway, the little MonkeyBear was playing with the rice with a scoop, attempting to scoop it up and dump it back in. . . he missed most of the time. Then somehow he was able to master scooping up rice, carrying the scoop to a corner of the room and dumping it in a pile.

The little girl he was playing beside liked that he was doing this. She clearly wanted to do it but she can't walk yet so she couldn't transport the rice on her own.

"Hey baby, want me to scoop some rice for you."

The girls will swoon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's LazyTown bitches. . .

I ran across this on Digg a few months ago, it wasn't as funny then as it is now that we've watched LazyTown for real.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Screw the children's menu. . .

Eating at a restaurant with a toddler is hard. 1) restaurant food isn't always conducive to toddlers, 2) the speed with which the food is served doesn't match a toddlers need to eat NOW, 3) when your toddler needs to get up they need to get up. . . some restaurant patrons don't enjoy a toddler walking by eyeing their food (most do, but not all). I feel like we're walking by and he's saying "you gonna eat that?"

Recently we went to one restaurant and behind us was a man who showed obvious signs of disgust when he saw he was being seated behind Skippy Jr., as if sitting behind him would cause him much trouble. In his defense, toward the end of the meal Skippy Jr. did turn around and try and touch him.

Then there's the subject of food. Mostly he gets bits of fries and bread and whatever we thought to bring along with us. Some restaurants are better than others. Places with a salad bar (like Ruby Tuesday's which is conveniently located about a mile from our house) are perfect, you can load up a plate from the salad bar with everything from fruits and veggies to ham and eggs. We also steal crackers to keep in the diaper bag from everywhere we go. Single serving to go.

Children's menus bug us. Spending money on a meal he's barely gonna touch doesn't seems right. So normally we skip that and just give him some of our food. Of course that means we need to keep him in mind when we order.

Tonight I had a stroke of genius. We were at a local Mexican place. . . and I ordered fajitas. When my dinner came out it was the usual sizzling cast iron skillet on a piece of wood, a plate of cold fixings and a container with flour tortillas. I took half a tortilla (I sliced it with my knife), filled if halfway with cheese, folded it, used my fork to pry up the cast iron skillet and placed the tortilla under it. Two minutes later I had a fully melted cheese quesadilla.

He loved it, especially dipped in sour cream. I was so proud of myself.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'd like to buy a vowel. . .

I mentioned briefly that we leave on games shows while we're all playing before bed. My wife stole an idea from a video like this one and we decided to teach Skippy Jr. to clap when the wheel is spun. He took to it pretty quickly with one problem. . . he doesn't just clap when the wheel is spun. He claps if he sees the puzzle, the wheel, Pat Vanna—doesn't matter, if he sees any sign of the show he claps.

And we laugh, which only encourages the behavior and make him more of a little ham.

Were these the good ole days, he would have totally bought the ceramic Dalmatian.

UPDATE: My wife brought up this blog post while Skippy Jr. was eating breakfast. Just seeing the illustration of the game board he started clapping.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mike TV. . .

Most nights, while I make dinner, my wife watches the MonkeyBear. Normally he leaves her in the living room to try and climb up me while I'm cooking to get at whatever it is that I'm making for dinner that night.

Monday night my wife was gone at her weekly master's class so it was just me and the MonkeyBear for dinner. First we spent some time wrestling and playing with his trucks. Then we started an episode of Sesame Street and sat on the couch. Once he was enjoying watching "How many hats can you wear on your head day" I slipped into the kitchen to make dinner (sneaking back to check on him).

I'm going to stop for a second and say I am not a parent to let the TV babysit while I get to do other things. But I'm also not a TV nazi, forbidding more than 30 minutes of TV a day. Normally if the TV is on Skippy Jr. is not sitting there zombiefied while I surf the internet for funny videos on youtube. Nor is the TV on adult programming for me to watch while he plays in a corner. That being said, yes, the TV is on a decent amount on the time in our house. I often try to change that by playing music instead of watching TV, but normally we leave the TV on either children's TV, news, or game shows when Skippy Jr. is in the room.

OK so he's on the couch watching "the Street" while I start making dinner in the kitchen. He sat for 5 minutes on the couch watching Elmo and crew laughing, clapping and squealing when the dreamy Abby Cadabby came on the screen.

Then I said something to him and broke the spell. He came in signing "eat" so I gave him his snack trap and he went back in, sat in the floor and watched 5 more minutes of the show while I finished making dinner. Then we sat and ate while listening to music and dancing in our chairs in the kitchen. No crying, no whining to be picked up, no burned food.

Who says TV is bad?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I poo. . .

Now I wasn't there, but this is how it was told to me.

This morning when dropping off the MonkeyBear was playing around at Grandma's and suddenly stopped dead in his tracks and stood still for a moment and then said "ut-oh, I poo."

My wife swears this is true.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Do the Humpty hump. . .

Tonight we were all playing together on the floor. The favorite game was putting a blanket over mommy's head and giving her a big bear hug to knock her over (him not me). We were having such a good time. . . and then it happened.

As his mother way lying on the floor the little MonkeyBear threw the blanket over her and started to climb up and her head (it was covered by the blanket). He then began to hump her head.

I wish I were kidding.

It got to the point I had to pull him off of her because she couldn't pry him off while lying down. I know he wasn't, you know, REALLY humping her. He was playing and it was probably more jumping than humping. Still it's not something you want to see. He was like a cocker spaniel. I think I need to get a squirt bottle to shoot him if he does it again.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


As I may have said before. Skippy Jr, AKA MonkeyBear, has developed into something of a climber.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Super-evil genius. . .

Found this on the interweb today. . .

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pizza?. . .

Does my son being able to identify and say "pizza" make me a bad parent?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Doing it wrong for my baby. . .

We've been shielding our son from peanuts like recommended by most experts. The idea was that exposure to peanuts caused allergies. And now this comes up. For those who don't want to jump to the story, it basically says that early exposure to peanuts is actually the key to preventing peanut allergies.

In addition to that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has ruled that the link between vaccines and autism is crap. The story is from NPR so it has lots of in depth related articles. I also found there that actress Amanda Peet has spoken out against Jenny McCarthy. I used to not like Amanda Peet.

It comes down to this. Parents are always going to be doing something wrong. Did they questions giving us the Polio vaccine? No, they knew Polio could kill us so they made us get a shot. Did they keep us from food products for fear it'd cause allergies? No, they fed us everything.

Sleep on the back, sleep on the stomach, sleep on the back. Breast milk, no formula, no breast milk. Does anyone know? What we think we're doing right now we'll be doing wrong in 5 years. How many people older than you have rolled their eyes at the thought of your video monitor or the 3 car seats you've bought? In a few years, we'll have done everything wrong and there will be a whole new set of rules.

One last note. How would parents and society be reacting if it was found that TV consumption was directly related to autism? Specifically shows with bright colors and cheery singing?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Halalalalalala!. . .

I'm not sure what language he thinks he's speaking, but the babbling my son creates often sounds like Arabic.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Weirdo. . .

Muppet Baby Gonzo
My son is weird.

  1. When laying in bed not sleeping (either before going to sleep or when he wakes up) he reaches through the bars of his crib to the adjacent laundry basket and pulls out as many dirty items as he can. He then snuggles with them and smashes them on his face giggling.
  2. He loves playing in boxes, not with boxes, in boxes. I've mentioned before his car seat box that he plays in often. He still does that, he also plays in an old treadmill box that I used to make a Spongebob Squarepants Halloween costume many years ago (I can't imagine why he's weird). The last night we had our parent education over. She was going over the screening he had the visit earlier and was telling us he is the only kid in her 40 child caseload who is at or above where he should be on everything. Bragging about how smart and developed he is. . . meanwhile he's climbing into a small box and then wearing it on his head and shaking it all about. So much for thinking he's developing well.
  3. Two nights ago he was playing the freezer while I was getting something out. I used my foot to slide him backwards on the kitchen floor. He decided then and there that he'd keep going backwards. He crawled backwards all the way out of the kitchen. Then yesterday he slid on his belly backwards two different times. About 15 feet each time, until he backed into a wall.
So my son is weird. . . and I'm OK with that.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ut-oh. . .

Two simple little sounds, strung together, nothing fancy, not even really a word. Hell, I even encouraged him to learn it. I thought it would be cute and it was. . . for the first couple times.

Now it's his signature move. . . or sound. It wouldn't be so bad if ut-oh meant "ut-oh" but he doesn't use it when something happens accidentally. He uses it when he makes something happen, as in "ut-oh I threw my cup on the floor on purpose" or "ut-uh I grabbed the remote control and reset all the channels so we only get static now."

Of course when the stopper falls out of his sippy cup and milk pours all down his neck and shirt he doesn't say ''ut-oh." No, he just sits there milk dripping from his chin wondering what the hell happened.

So he just walks around the house knocking things over and saying "ut-oh" in his little sing song voice. I can't wait for the day he looks at us, says "ut-oh" and THEN drops something on purpose.

"Ut-oh" is a big deal. It means he is starting to realize he has control over parts of his world. Along with his love for "ut-oh," he's climbing now. He concentrates on one thing at a time sometimes and he isn't so easily distracted. He loves to play on his own, but sometimes playing with us is more fun. He knows he is his own person now. He's not attached to his mother and me (though sometimes I think he'd like to be). He's becoming independent. He's growing up.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The choking kind. . .

Last night I got a horrible scare. I arrived home and started making dinner. Skippy Jr. was wandering around with his snack trap eating goldfish crackers. My wife had left us alone to go to the bathroom. Skippy Jr. was hanging onto my leg while I was preparing dinner (he likes me to lift him up so he can see) and was whining that he wanted up.

The whining sound suddenly sounded. . . well soundless actually. He started having trouble breathing. He tried to cry but he couldn't. He was choking on a goldfish. The combination of whining and looking up at me while trying to eat made one of his crackers to fall down his throat.

I don't know which of us was freaked out more. I yelled for my wife (she never heard me) and thrust me finger down his throat to see if I could sweep it out. I felt it, but it was too far in to sweep out. I started trying different combinations of squeezing him around the belly and slapping him on the back. After that and one more sweep down his throat the goldfish became dislodged (I think it went down instead of up).

And what was the first thing he did after he was breathing normally again?

He signed "more" and pointed at the snack trap that I had moved to the counter.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Comic time. . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

War of the Skippy's. . .

Skippy Jr. and I got into an argument last week. He was playing with a cup from our bathroom (something we normally let him play with), but it was time to go so I asked him for the cup. He wouldn't hand it over so I grabbed it and tried to take it. He grunted and babbled something. I pulled harder and started to raise my voice, "give it to me!" He started yelling back in his gibberish "wha do ba to mah wag me no!" (obvioisuly meaning "no, it's my cup, I found it, get your paws off me you damned Dirty daddy!"). So I picked him up and took it away.

I like being bigger.

With that story in mind you can understand why I'm worried about today. My wife has a snow day today, and when I left the house our darling son was already yelling at (in his jibberish language) her for cramping his style. I think it was because he wanted to bang on the computer and she told him "no." I half expect to come home to one of them packing their bags to run away from home and join the circus.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Are you talkin' to me? . . .

In addition to lots of meaningless jabbering and his couple signs, Skippy Jr. has picked up a few words lately. . .

Ah-oh="I just dropped that on purpose, pick it up, bitch!"
Cook-cook="Cookie" (both the snack and the monster)
Bi-Buh=Big Bird and a variation of bye-bye
Bah-bah=Bye bye (normally said after the person is completely out of ear shot)
Woah=Doesn't this thing I'm doing look dangerous and cool?

This morning, after breakfast, he grabbed the TV remote and was pointing it at the TV playing with it. After a few minutes he pointed it at me and said "cook-cook." It took me a couple times but I finally understood. I told him, "just for a minute" (we were running late already). I turned on a TiVOed episode of Sesame Street and fast-forwarded to a segment with Cookie Monster. He smiled and yelled cook-cook.

Then he pooped.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's a sign. . .

When Skippy Jr. turned six months old we started signing to him. It's the new cool cliche thing for parents to do. We started, as the definitive book on baby signing says to, with eat and more. Every feeding, four time a day we signed eat and more. After a couple months the signing solicited crying when we did them. . . I guess that was his way of saying "of course I want to eat" and "yes more!" but that was it.

After he hit 10-11 months our enthusiasm waned and we mostly gave up on signing. Then a couple weeks ago The little rat started signing "more" when he wanted more food one meal. We of course obliged. It was like training a dog from there. The only trick was make sure that as soon as he put his hands together another piece of whatever it is he was eating was in front of him.

So this morning?. . . he signed eat. I woke him up and dressed him and we were playing around with him standing on his changing pad and he put his hand up to his mouth with his hand in the pose for eat. I asked if he wanted to eat and signed back and he grunted and signed eat again.

And after months of not really doing it. . . I guess he could be giving me the finger.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Victory!. . .

Stewart has been vanquished! The saline and sucker helped, but ultimately it was me and a tissue that ended the battle.

Monday, January 19, 2009

No more Monkeys Jumping on the bed. . .

I'm sad to report that it looks like Jumping Monkey's isn't returning. On the last episode Megan announced a hiatus until after the holidays. They said they'd be coming back in early 2009. Then this week on another podcast Leo announced that Jumping Monkeys won't be coming back at all. I check the TWIT wiki and sure enough, it uses past tense when discussing the show. There are still 70 episodes online, all are full of great advice for parents of kids in the digital age.

With her last blog post Megan raised an interesting thought. . .

I hope to carve out some time to write here, but I am finding that the closer my kids get to learning how to read, the less likely I am to continue writing about them in such a public forum.

This raises the same question for me. How will my son react when he reads the story of his mother and I picking his nose? This leads me to one easy decision. . . he won't know about it. Not for a long time. Granted, by the time he can read, blogging may be a dead medium for conveying information.

This leads me to two conclusions. 1) I need to archive this blog before google decides to drop blogger (like they just did to a bunch of their other online creations). 2) I was right to have refrained from using proper names recently and for removing them from the majority of my archives.

Pick a winner. . .

For the past few days our little man has had two bats in the cave. . . well caves. Two ginormous boogers almost completely obstructing this nostrils. Just sitting there, staring us in the face, right there, but just too far back to get to.

Yes, we've been trying to evacuate them. It's awful. First, holding him down to even be able to look at the situation is a fight. Second, finding a way to get them out is difficult. I don't have fingernails at my disposal so my lovely wide has been assigned with the actual plucking. And they are embedded in there good.

Late yesterday Patrick (that's what we named the smaller living in his left nostril), moved out (my wife is amazing), but Stewart is still lodged in there. We have sprayed him with saline drops hoping to loosen him up, but it's not doing the trick. I even admit to something bad. While I was watching him alone on Friday afternoon I held him down and tried to get them out with tweezers. I couldn't get a good hold on them.

So now that I've outed my wife and myself as baby nose pickers, please be honest with yourselves and admit to it too and tell me how to get Stewart out. Help my son breath better.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Name game. . .

I was going to post a whole thing about this story. Then I decided not to go too far. Just an interesting story to read.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Can you tell me "what the f#$@!". . .

Dear Children's Television Workshop,

Until this past year it had been a long time since I watched an episode of Sesame Street. My days as a Sesame Street kid were circa 25 years ago. Sesame Street taught me numbers, letters, some spanish, and some of the core values I still carry today.

Now, I'm returning to the Street as a parent. It is just as good as I remember. I am so happy to see a lot of the same characters I remember, even the humans. My son is little, but he lights up when he sees all his Muppet friends—Cookie is his favorite. One of his first hand full of words has been "Big Bird," normally when he's looking at his yellow friend on his Pampers during diaper changing, but also when he sees him in a book or on TV. We watch the show and sing and dance along to the fun songs. . . we all love "Murray Had a Little Lamb." We need more Murray. We TiVO and watch every episode, even repeats.

Sure, I'd rather have Bert and Ernie as Muppet's only and not as stop motion characters, and Baby Bear's lisp makes my wife, a teacher, cringe. Still, Sesame Street is the gold standard for children's programing. It's wonderful.

Then we hit minute 35-37 and our TV is attacked by a little, red, furry monster. In short Elmo's World is awful. It talks down to children in a way Sesame Street never does. . . It feels like a marketing tool to sell more talking dolls (which we received for Christmas and already had to send back, not your fault, but annoying still). I know one person griping—especially and adult—isn't going to stop this juggernaut. It's just makes me sad to see my childhood memories being jackhammered out by that little, red piss ant. . .

That's harsh. Elmo with the rest of the cast is OK. I even like that you have him getting annoyed with Zoe for thinking Rocko is a real pet. He's got real personality there, but once you remove him to Elmo's World it goes downhill.

Anyway, keep up the (mostly) good work. I hope my son stay interested for a long time. I find most adults I get along with have a solid Muppet upbringing. Maybe we'll get the DVDs of the first few seasons.


I'm Not Skippy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Warning. . .

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Now THAT was an Icy Situation. . .

This morning brought two unusual situations. My wife had a faculty meeting at school (meaning it was my job to drop off the kid at Grandma's house) and overnight a thin sheet of ice formed on almost every flat surface outside. Normally either of these wouldn't have caused me too much of a problem. But, combined with the fact that my car is the one parked in the driveway, today they put me in the situation of walking on ice WHILE carrying the kid.

You guessed it, my feet started to come out from under me during the 6 foot long walk to the car door. I dropped what was in my non-baby holding arm and grabbed the door handle before I fell. I got him in the car and gathered what I had dropped.

I don't normally panic. . . that made me panic a little.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Island of misfit toys. . .

A month ago one of my wife's students bought a Tickle Me Cookie Monster doll for our son's first birthday, a sweet gesture, but Cookie doesn't work. That doesn't matter because our little man LOVES him and drags him around the house all the time.

Then, Christmas day, Elmo Live arrives at our house and sings and dances when you touch him in various places (don't go there). So now our little investigator wants to know what's wrong with Cookie. He pushes on Cookie's feet and belly and nothing happens. He really wants Cookie to talk or sing or dance.

Elmo's cool and all, but he falls over a lot, is noisy (and by that I don't mean the talking, I mean the gears), and now he clicks when he moves. He's like a little, red, arthritic, old man who likes to tell the same boring story over and over and over. . .

So I called Fisher Price about these issues, as well as our creepy music from the Rainforest TV. They are sending a shipping label to return and receive a new Elmo Live, a Gift Certificate/Coupon for Cookie, and a new Rainforest TV. They were so cool about it all I didn't even complain about the bathtub-toy basket that won't stick to our bathtub.

After receiving this great news we hunted for a bit and found a Tickle Me Cookie of clearance at Toys Be We. We swapped it for the original and let him go. . . despite all of Elmo's fancy tricks Cookie still wins, hands down. So the new Cookie is ruling the toy kingdom while the chattering Elmo is on his way back to the mothership.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fruit Snack update part 3. . .

I'm a little annoyed. Yes, some boxes looked like squirrel brains, but some were OK. Now Beechnut has removed the fruit snacks from the line. Which sucks. They gave a full serving of fruit and had no artificial anything in them. Our little monster loved them.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Who's watching the baby?. . .

Ah, Christmas break. Two weeks off work, mostly, to stay at home with the family. . . also the same time every year that I get the worst cold ever.

I apologize for the shortage of posts. Sure I was home for two weeks, sure I might have had time to post (when not coughing up a lung), but I was also spending almost every waking hour with the little monkey. That meant nap times and bed times were for not thinking about him. . . which meant not writing about him.

So today I'm back at work. Normally at this time we're finishing up breakfast and moving on to watching Sid the Science Kid. I never thought I'd be so happy to be back at work. Don't get me wrong I loved my time at home with my wife and baby, but I needed some time away.

Part of it comes from not having a day away from it. My mom and little sister (our normal babysitters) made it very clear that they were tired of always having a grandkid around. My other sisters have two kids each and one of them is always around. And my mother-in-law already has our little guy every weekday. So we feel bad leaving him over there when she's not supposed to have him.

It brings up the importance of having time without your child(ren). I've talked before about needing to keep the marriage going and not letting your job as parent overshadow you job as spouse. This includes time alone. . . not time while the baby is napping in the other room (which is good time), but time out being adults with the kid in the care of someone else.

We need to find a non-relative baby sitter.