Archives for March 2010

The Burp Hunter

Any time we feed one of you, we have to interrupt your meal in the middle to make sure you burp. On average, every ounce or two of breast milk or formula that we give you, we stop to let you burp. Sometimes you burp right away, and other times we have to do all sorts of things to hunt down where the burp is hiding. At this point, you may be wondering what our obsession with burping is.
Well, the story of burp-hunting is actually one that goes way back to ancient times, and has probably been distorted over the ages. You see, long long ago, there was a giant burp monster. It would roam small towns and villages, spewing noxious gasses and breaking windows with the loud reverberations of these gigantic belches. People would flee in terror whenever the burp monster approached. Surprisingly, sometimes it was quite discrete about it’s approach, and apparently out of nowhere the monster would interrupt even the most sophisticated of high-society events with mayhem and disruption.

There is even a legend of the burp monster taking some teenager as a hostage, though by most accounts it was more like he was possessed. This young boy was then compelled to roam the halls of school during class, open the doors, and burp loudly and voluminously into the classroom, disrupting any and all attempts at studying. Students began to eagerly hope the monster/student would visit their classroom because they didn’t want to study. Meanwhile, teachers began to fear for their sanity, lest their classroom be the next victim of these seemingly random attacks of post-lunch belching explosions. Many people believe this legend to be mere folley, but I know for fact that it is true. So does your uncle Darron (a.k.a. “The Mad Burper”).

Anyway, eventually, the villagers had enough with the monster. They attacked it all at once with gigantic plastic trash bags, then they threw it into a calcium carbonate pit, which is the same stuff that Tumms are made of. Unfortunately, the monster did not die. Instead, it broke up into a million tiny pieces and was carried away by the wind, where it joined the clouds. Then, in the next rain storm, it covered all of the grass, the fields, the trees, and everything that lived upon the earth. You see, the burp monster had simply changed form, and decided to embed itself into almost everything that we eat today.

What happens is that these little tinny pieces of the burp-monster get together again inside our tummies, forming bigger burp monsters. When enough of them get together, we have to hunt them down again and find a way to get them out of our tummy before something terrible happens. At least, that’s what my brother and I thought when we were little. One day, applying the best scientific method that an 8 & 12 year old could muster, we finally decided to see what would happen if one did not let the burp escape. It turns out that in about 20 minutes, it escapes on its own, out the other end. So as gross as a burp can be, it is actually the lesser of two evils to let it escape out the front door.

Now, although the burps actually reside in all of the food that we eat, some foods contain more than others. Carbonated drinks (sodas) have lots of burp in them, mostly on account of when the burp was thrown into the calcium-carbonate pit mentioned earlier. Donut-holes, on the on the other hand, are actually pure burp. Apparently, the burp lives in all the flour and sugar, but tries to escape during the cooking process. It ends up getting trapped by the inner ring of the donut which acts as some kind of force-field, concentrating the burp in the center.

That’s why you can never really eat a donut hole. Of course, I’m referring to the real hole, and not the little donut balls that they sell as “donut holes.” In fact, my brother and I tried many a time in vein to eat the hole, but to no avail. Before we could even swallow it, Dad (your Grandpa) told us it escaped out our eyes. Next time, we closed our eyes, but then he told us it escaped out our nose. Next time, we plugged our nose too, but he said it escaped out our ears. Finally, we chewed all but the center ring of the donut, being very careful not to let it break. That way, we could eat the hole with a single bite without breathing. Then we put the entire ring into our mouth and chewed it with our eyes closed, two fingers in our ears, and pinching our nose shut while we chewed the entire ring that still held the hole intact. However, almost immediately after swallowing the hole, we burped. So Grandpa told us that the burp just proved he was right… you really can’t eat the donut hole.

You dirty Dog

As we start feeding you more solid foods, and for more of your meals, there are more times when your hands are covered in whatever it is that you happen to be eating. That much is no surprise. What is surprising, however, is that we start to find more of your meals on the dog’s head and back. Since we are siting right across from you when we feed you, I’m not sure when it occurs, but it would appear that when we go into the kitchen to get you a rag or something that the dog comes close enough for you to reach her. I’m sure she actually WANTS to lick your hands. However, in the process, you pat her on the head in your uncoordinated way and manage to put a dab of potato on her head, or peas in her ears, or all manner of things on her fur.

Unrelated to feeding, we also changed how we have our gates set up in the house, with two gates basically blocking you from both sets of stairs and the pantry in the hallway. One of the gates is a frosted-plastic that you cannot see through. The other is a taller gate with vertical bars that you can hang onto and look through. It also has an opening that makes it easier to step through, provided you can pull the latch and lift up at the same time. But with one of you in each arm, that can be hard to do. So it means that I instead choose to take a big step over top of the the gate. Because I am being careful with my steps since you two are in my arms, the result is a somewhat funny looking funny walk akin to the Montey Python skit about the Ministry of Silly Walks.

But because you are able to see through the vertical gate, and you see Mama and I going through it regularly, you appear to know that there is a trick to opening it. Sometimes both of you will be standing up, holding onto the gate, and rattling the bars back and forth as if you had been unfairly imprisoned against your will.

You two are also starting to play together more lately. Often, shortly after one of you manages to get into something or to pick up a toy, the other will want to come over and play with it too. And whenever I pick up or play with one of you, the other is right there as well. So far, it’s still just really cute. I do hope that we can forestall the time before you start showing signs of jealousy towards each other. You are also starting to wrestle a bit with each other, though at this point it’s more like joint uncoordinated rolling on top of each other rather than anything deliberate. Anna, just yesterday you were standing up, holding onto a chair, and you fell backwards and landed on top of Lucas, who started laughing. You struggled to roll off of him and get back to your knees again, and Lucas kept giggling all the more.

We also have to watch you more closely as you play together now because you are both getting more hair, though Lucas, you clearly have the lead in that area for the time being. Unfortunately, the more hair you have, the easier you both find it to pull. Mom and I can speak to that first hand, as many are the times that I’ve had to gently try to pry your fingers loose from my hair in order to let me go.

Crying Babies on a Plane

I am on an airplane on my way back home after having visited Grandpa and Sithee. My trip was to attend your great Sithee’s funeral, and Mom stayed home with you two.

In any event, there are a couple of small children on the flight…  Yes, the infamous crying babies on a plane. But rather than experiencing them as annoying, I find myself longingly counting down the hours until I get to hold you two in my arms again; to hear your gentle giggles; to see your toothless smiles; and even to hear your cries when something is wrong for you, that Mom or I can come to your aid to provide the love and comfort that will make it all better for you.