Archives for March 2012

Over Generalization

When I was younger, I was exposed to suntan oil before I knew what coconut was, so I thought that real coconut smelled like suntan oil. Likewise for lemons that I thought smelled like dish soap.

In your case, you are growing up with both real books and my iPad, but occasionally I see both of you trying to use iPad gestures on a physical book. You seem confused that you cannot close a book by grasping all fingers together on the surface. There are other gestures too, but this one is the most visually obvious what you are trying to do.

Theoretically Speaking

Theoretically speaking, when one begins a question like that, what follows is bound to have more basis in reality than theory, especially when there are children involved.

This afternoon, Mom was doing a load of laundry, and she asked me “Theoretically speaking, if Lucas were scooping dirt outside and in through the dryer vent, would that make a bunch of noise when I turned on the dryer?”

You see, quite some time ago, back when the dog was younger, she chewed the dryer vent off of the side of the house. It has not really been an issue until now, when you two started playing in the dirt in the back yard. Your favorite activities revolve around picking up a bunch of it in these yellow scoops that you play with, then carrying them to the other side of the yard where you have a bucket. The notion of bringing the bucket to where the dirt is does not seem to have occurred to you yet.

Anyway, it would appear that a recent addition to this activity includes taking those scoops of dirt and putting them through that hole where the dryer vent would normally be. So the answer to Mom’s question is YES it makes a bunch of noise. As far as I could tell, you managed to get close to a cup or two of the dirt and small stones into the vent. Fortunately, it is a flexible vent inside, and was not too terribly difficult to get out. But in the future, we are going to have to watch where you put your dirt a little more carefully.

Who Is Your Daddy?

Anna, for the last week or so you have been on this “daddy” thing. It seems you are intent on the notion that you HAVE a daddy, but don’t know who he is. You alternate between insisting that you daddy is Lucas, Mom, Grandma, and sometimes Grandpa.

So one time when you said you have a daddy, I asked you what he looked like. How many eyes does he have?

“Five. No, he has thee eyes. No, just one.”

Ahh, so then well just call him cyclops. Good. We’re making progress here. Does he have hands or paws?

“Paws. And they are BLUE!”

OK, so he’s starting to look a bit like a one eyed Grover, from sesame street, but still were making progress. At this rate, I am confident that by the time you reach adolescence, we will have a composite image suitable for hanging in post offices. That is, assuming that we still have post offices by then.

Will you eat them in a tree?

This evening, we were reading you Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. We’ve read it to you more times than we can count, but that’s not what made tonight so interesting. There is one point where Sam, who is trying to get this grumpy fellow to try Green Eggs and Ham, is driving a car with the grouch on the bonnet. Sam drives the car up a tree and says “will you eat them in a tree?”

Anna, you said “Cars don’t drive on trees!”

Then, without missing a beat, Lucas asks “Mommy Driving?”

And even though I had my eyes closed because I’m fighting conjunctivitis right now, I could still feel Mom’s scowl searing deep within my forehead. I told her that I had never said anything even REMOTELY resembling that remark, but she still asked me to open my eyes and look at her when I denied it.

I did, of course, and with a completely straight face I asked what on earth might the kids have been basing their comment on? Mom did not answer, but it did shed some light on why Anna always says “Don’t crash!” whenever we drive together.

In all honesty, Mom is a fantastic driver. In fact, her record is even better than mine. But let me tell you, my dear children, your little remark about driving in trees is going to reverberate around here for quite a while, I’m sure.

About your driving, let me see… do you drive upon a tree?
I do not drive on ANY trees. Oh please, my children, let me be!

No Jamma! Anna’s Banana!

So there’s this other little girl in your daycare named Jamma. I mentioned her before, as she is the one who wanted hugs when I leave and hug you two goodbye. Normally, when I bring you to daycare, I have been putting your shoes on in the car when we get there, as you used to take them off in the car otherwise.

Recently, I have been able to put your shoes on in the house, and they are still on your feet when we get there. So rather than giving you your banana in the car, we have gone inside and eaten it. Inside, it’s easier to clean up. But recently, that Jamma girl wanted to come over and get some banana. That’s when you, Anna, belted out “No, Jamma, that’s Anna’s banana!” It was just so funny to hear you string all that together and say it without flaw that I had to write it down.

Rethinking Timeout


Lucas, when you start acting out, more often than not we only need to START counting to 3 for a timeout, and you shape up by the time we reach “two.” And when you don’t, we give you a timeout, and you are almost immediately repentant… you shape up as soon as your timeout is over. Not always, of course, but most times.

Anna, you can be another story all together. Often, when we start with “That’s one!” you will respond with “Dat’s TWO!” and even upon reaching three, you just don’t seem to mind timeouts much. Last night, there was an issue where you were refusing to brush your teeth. I got up to three while you were still buckled into your high chair resisting. So I just turned you around facing the wall and left you alone for a while. After a minute or two, I turned you back to brush your teeth again, but the first thing you said was “I want more time out, please.” The good news is that you said please… but wanting MORE? Well, either you are already using reverse-psychology at two-and-a-half years old, or we may need to rethink this whole time-out thing with you.

Similarly, I think I’ve already written about how we sometimes need to put you to bed in your tents because you don’t stay in your cribs. This afternoon for naps, you both did NOT want tents, so we put you in your cribs, but one of your tents was on the floor. You two were not settling down, and when I came in, you were both on the floor, playing together inside of Lucas’ tent. You both looked up at me as if you had just been “discovered” out of your crib, then Lucas, you zipped up the zipper and you were both quiet, but only for a few minutes. So I put you both in your own tents, and after a few minutes of fussing, you both promptly fell asleep for your afternoon nap.