Monday, September 29, 2008

3B's schoolhouse rocks

Every once in awhile, I get a chance to read something. Although I can read books, like Sputnik Sweetheart, which I just finished, on the bus to and from work, around home, I don't have time for much more than short articles.

As I was reading this article about how a dad is now president of the former National Congress of Mothers, I got to thinking about our own scholastic involvement. We picked 3B's preschool for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are proximity; attendance of his best friend, Little J; and excellence of the curriculum. That means that he attends at the local JCC and that means that we get weekly e-newsletters that say things like, "It's beginning to feel a lot like Rosh Hashanah around here..." which reminded me that we're going to need to get pumpkins soon.

Yeah, see, I'm not Jewish, and although Mama is half Jewish, it's only the half that doesn't count, and that half was never practicing, so she knows less than I do. Seriously, I had to explain to her what a shofar is...you'll have to google it your own damn selves. Despite our lack of official Jewishness, we both like the idea of 3B learning about and connecting with his heritage, although we had to wonder how much 3B would absorb.

Even though he came home this week with a bear holding a honey jar (craft project), it was hard to tell how much of what they were teaching about the new year was sinking in. But yesterday, 3B was lying on the couch when he said something about Rosh Hashanah--I think they may have sung about it with their music teacher--so I asked him what Rosh Hashanah is. He replied, "The new year." When I asked him what you eat on Rosh Hashanah, he said, "Apples and honey."

I guess I know what we're having for dessert on Tuesday.

And speaking of kids who pick up everything, in my hyper-teenage-girl-ohmigawd-I-just-met-Sarah-frenzy I forgot to mention so many things, as I realized while I was walking away, like your uterus is so funny; and yeah--gnats, what's the deal?; and that I figured out how Claudia got into House of Pain:



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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sharing the gifts of literacy and potty mouth

One of the best parts of the National Book Festival was cursing in front of another blogger's child, who I was meeting for the first time. I really class up a joint, lemme tell you.

But that was at the end of a long busy morning, so we'll get to that in a minute.

First, we had to see Clifford.

National Book Festival 2008

And listen for songs from the big chair--turns out there was just a big chair, the songs came later.
National Book Festival 2008

We also met some woman named Wonder Red, who we were hoping was Word Girl, but when we got close enough to find out she wasn't, it was too late to escape, so we took the picture. 3B was impressed by the foaminess of her head.
National Book Festival 2008

Then we were all "what the hell, bring on the foam heads," so we got our picture taken with this...er...gumdrop? We clearly need to watch more TV if we're going to attend more book festivals.
National Book Festival 2008

Then it was on to the tool-wielding pig, who 3B was fairly skeptical about.
National Book Festival 2008

And then there was the star of the show, who was indeed curious, but a little dumb, since he was waving at a school bus rather than the camera. Oh well, if he was really smart, he'd still be in the jungle.
National Book Festival 2008

And then Word Girl arrived too...score! She's smart enough to look at the camera. See what literacy gets you?
National Book Festival 2008

Because we're good influences, we also stopped by the tattoo booth to score 3B some ink.
National Book Festival 2008

Then it was time for those songs. We got good seats while the band took the stage.
National Book Festival 2008

But we weren't close enough, so 3B rushed the stage.
National Book Festival 2008

Although, he did return to chill for the second set with Mama.
National Book Festival 2008

National Book Festival 2008

Then we took a break from all the words, words, words and ran around outside the National Gallery of Art, across the street.
National Book Festival 2008

Drank a little milk on the steps...love shelf-stable milk!
National Book Festival 2008

National Book Festival 2008

Then it was back for story time, which was a warm up for the headliners.
National Book Festival 2008

Who all of the Bradsteins loved...it was the new Electric Company kids, who debut in January 2009. If they're as good on TV as they were live, we'll be watching regularly. (Also, I'll have to look into the flash on the camera, it must be what's making my beard look so gray.)
National Book Festival 2008

When we were done with that, we headed home, walking across the mall. As I stopped to pick up 3B, I looked up and who should I see but that woman who kicks my ass in fantasy football...OK, in blogging too...Sarah!

Or at least I'm pretty sure it's Sarah. I mean, I read about arriving early for the foam heads on A Parent in Silver Spring, a blog that's part of the DC Metro Moms blog, so I know it's one of those bloggy, mommy, DCy type events, plus Sarah's all totally a DC Metro Mom to the point that they made her drive rather than fly pimped her ride to BlogHer this year...oh hell, how can I possibly embarrass myself even if it's not her?

So, I ask, and it is Sarah, who is desperately seeking water for Claudia. We give her our spare bottle, courtesy of Le Target, since we're leaving anyway because 3B is wiped after being out in the heat for three hours, chasing big foam heads around, making books and catapults, coloring, and dancing like Gene Kelly.

We do the introductions, chat for a bit about Fantasy Football, how ridiculously close we live to each other--3B's preschool is in her backyard, it turns out...she was wondering where all those kids in her yard kept coming from--and go our separate ways. As we're walking away, I'm thinking how cool it is to meet a long time blog friend like that when Mama says, "You said 'ass'."

"What?"

"When you were talking to Sarah about football, you said, 'You always kick my ass.' in front of Claudia."

"Oh."

So, that's how I could embarrass myself. But really, what did you expect, John Freakin' Donne?



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Friday, September 26, 2008

Dad becomes Robin Hood for kids

As I thought it would, a more complete story came out about the Nebraska dad who dropped off his nine kids at a hospital. By now, I'm sure you've heard that his wife died soon after delivering their youngest child, and he's been on his own with their 10 kids--they have an 18-year-old daughter who he didn't drop off--for about a year now, and he simply became overwhelmed.

After his wife died, he quit his job to take care of the kids, but then couldn't pay the bills, and it sounds like one thing led to another. Although I did make light of it yesterday, this is a serious story with good news and bad news. The good news is that the dad had somewhere to turn to for his kids when he needed it. The bad news is that he sounds like he's going through a real low point in mourning the loss of his wife, and can't figure a way out of it.

He said, "I hope they know I love them. I hope their future is better without me around them." While I suppose there are those who would tell him to man up and to take responsibility for his own situation, I can't help but feel this is one of those times when it's going to take a village, when no matter how much he mans up and takes responsibility, he's still going to need help.

I lost Mom two years ago, and it still affects me every day. Hell, my dad died 24 years ago, and it still hits me so hard sometimes that I have to sit down on the floor. Even so, I can only imagine the depth of the hurt that this dad is suffering having lost his spouse, his life partner, his coparent, his everything. From my experiences, I can understand his feeling that there's no hope for the future, and I'm heartened that he feels enough hope for his children to hand them safely off while he works through his grief.

And I certainly hope that he's able to work through this safely, weaving together whatever threads of hope he can with the help of those who love him until he can feel their comfort embrace him. One thread of hope he may feel today is that he took care of his kids the right way rather than turning to bank robbery.


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dad drops off nine kids at hospital

I'm no lawyer, but this can't be right...a dad in Nebraska dropped off his nine kids, ranging in age from 1 to 17 at a university hospital under the state's new safe haven law.

I understand the intent of safe haven laws, and I would much rather that an infant be put safely into a caregiver's hands rather than abandoned, but the 17-year-old?

Believe me when I say that I'm sure there are plenty of times Mom probably would have thought seriously about taking advantage of such a law when I was 17 if such a law existed then, but isn't raising a teenager like being a Cubs fan: you always know that next year they'll be great, no matter what they did this year?

But, having been up with 3B yesterday from the moment he puked at 3 a.m., a performance that he reprised at 5 a.m. (for the record, I didn't bear the brunt of this, since he chose to puke on Mama, not me--sometimes it sucks to be the favorite parent), all the way through until he went down for his nap at 2 p.m., I will cut the dad some slack. I've only got one Pukey McWakeywakerson; he's got nine.

I figure the man has his reasons...we just don't know what they are yet. But we can always guess. Here are my thoughts, feel free to add yours.

  • This was the only way he and his wife could get enough alone time to have #10.
  • You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.
  • The youngest, who was their last best hope for a first baseman, turned out to be right-handed, ruining their plan to be a one-family World Series championship team.
  • Enough with the Wiggles, already!
  • Dad was fine with being a jungle gym and a carrying cart and a swing and a see saw, but he was tired of getting kicked in the nuts, ferchrissakes!
  • Maybe he went to get a sideways haircut.
  • Maybe he just wanted some time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like taking an uninterrupted poop.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Florida tentatively enters 20th Century

I know that it's a big planet and that it takes all kinds to make it irritating interesting on a daily basis, and I love that. For example, without all the PC aficionados in the world, who would Mac users like me have to gloat to, saying things like, "You have to restart again? Really? I think I remember restarting once this month...or was that last month?"

And if there weren't so many knuckleheads who insisted driving everywhere they go, including the 40 percent of their trips that are two miles or less, of which 90 percent are made in cars, the bike paths would be too crowded for me to ride on.

And there's the flip side: if it weren't for vegetarians like us Bradsteins, think of the crowds MetroDad would have to endure at Popeye's just to get some spicy chicken. (I can tell we're making a difference, since the Popeye's that we live up the hill from is almost always empty...I mean, I'm sure that's why it's empty all the time, right?)

However, I'm sometimes confused by my fellow travelers on this bright blue marble hurtling through the infinite vacuum of the universe. For example, I can't imagine being married for 38 years and having my wife say of me

"He didn't exist in the family," she said. "It was almost like a family of mother and children, like there was no father. Not only was he not there, I couldn't get in touch with him at all."
Or living in a society where that's the norm.

Or raising our preschooler on a chocolate diet. I'm not saying that 3B's digging into bibimbap yet--although he'll get another chance soon, since the diner near work just changed hands and added it to their menu--but he does eat a pretty good variety of foods for his age. If one of his favorite snacks is freeze dried papaya, we can't be doing everything wrong, right?

Another societal norm that I can't understand is keeping loving adults from being parents as Florida has explicity done since 1977--and which is the only state to do so now. I can't express my feelings any more clearly than the judge who ruled in this case did

''Disqualifying every gay Floridian from raising a family, enjoying grandchildren or carrying on the family name, based on nothing more than lawful sexual conduct, while assuring child abusers, terrorists, drug dealers, rapists and murderers at least individualized consideration,'' [Judge] Audlin wrote, was so ''disproportionately severe'' that it violates the state and U.S. constitutions.

Welcome to the 20th century, Florida. In the next century, we'll tell you about a little thing we call YouTube.


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

As sure as night is dark and day is light

When we returned home from Mrs. K's yesterday, 3B walked in, grabbed his guitar, sat down on his "stage" (an IKEA stool), in front of his "microphone" (his batting tee), and sang, "I keep a close watch on this heart of mine...I walk the line."

Now we can be sure that we've done at least one thing right as parents.

This is a fast number

Put me in, coach!

For your viewing pleasure, here is the only 3B-endorsed version of the song.




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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Parenting with only one rule

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

We all live by rules, whether we choose to live by our own set, those laid down by The Man, or some combination of the two that ignores the most inconvenient while highlighting the most beneficial from each set. I'm in that last group, which I extend by writing rules for those around me as my little way of giving something back to the community.

Over the last few days, I've had the opportunity to come up with a series of new rules:
  • If you leave your dog in the back of the truck, secure him there, so he doesn't run out into a chaotic intersection and cause everyone on the bus to have a heart attack.
  • If you pay with cash in the express line, either do not insist on giving exact change or do not lose your flippin' coin purse and proceed to search for 20 minutes through all the compartments of your bag, which appears large enough to hold the entire Philadelphia Mint.
  • On the bus: When the air conditioning is on, no opening windows. Also, no polishing your nails or introducing any other caustic carcinogens.
All of these can be boiled down to one simple phrase: Pay attention, people!
  • Leave your dog in your truck at a busy intersection? Fine. Weather permitting, we leave Barky in our car all the time; he loves it. But we ensure that he can't follow his instincts and jump out and run around.
  • Pay with cash? Fine--although I mostly say this because Mom used to, not because I understand the need for cash anymore. However, if it takes you 20 minutes to use cash, you shouldn't be in the express lane, even if you're only buying a box of toothpicks.
  • Too hot on the bus? Me too. Now that you've opened the windows, we're all even hotter. And you're not quite ready for work until you put that fifth coat of shellac onto your nails? Too bad. Public transit isn't all about you--it's about us. If you want to run your a/c with the windows down, if you want to huff nail polish fumes until you're blind, drive your own car.
All these thoughts of rules got me to thinking once again about parenting--a full contact, no holds barred, no time outs, no instant replays, no points for whining sport that has a rather extensive but amorphous set of rules. However, for me, I think they can all be boiled down to one simple phrase: Let go.

My buddy, FunkDaddie, once observed that, "You get to that day when you realize that you're not going to be a star in the NBA, or be an astronaut and go to the moon, or whatever it was that you dreamed about as a kid." And it's probably several days after that when you realize that that's OK, that you'll still live a fulfilling life, full of adventures and opportunities that you could never imagine as a child.

As a parent, I've probably had a realization like that once a day--not counting those early days, when I was too tired to realize anything.
  • I thought I was organized. I had to let go of that. Chaos is just the way sometimes.
  • I thought I was a little disorganized. I had to let go of that. Without some planning, nothing will happen.
  • I thought I was impatient. I had to let go of that. Hurrying a toddler is as effective as pushing the walk button 12 times to get across the street faster--hey, it might work this time, try pushing it again.
  • I thought I was laid back. I had to let go of that. Sometimes, things need to be done right now.
  • I thought I was smart. I had to let go of that. Most days, I have no idea what I'm doing; I'm just faking it until it seems real.
  • I thought I was dumb. I had to let go of that. If a two-year-old, whose brain isn't even fully formed, can conjugate irregular verbs and use the subjunctive properly, I can probably do a little math.
  • I thought I was shy. I had to let go of that. If everyone doesn't want to talk to me about 3B, he wants to talk to everyone.
  • I thought I was social. I had to let go of that. It turns out that the simple processes of dinner, bath, books and bed take up most of the evening and all of my energy--not to mention breakfast, lunch, diaper changes and all the other tasks that suck up weekends.
  • I thought I understood nonsense. I had to let go of that. What I thought was nonsense was far too sensible; it wasn't even silliness.
  • I thought I could make sense. I had to let go of that. What I thought was sensible was nonsense.
  • I thought it was all new with me, I thought I'd have new insights. I had to let go of that. Mom long ago said that the one lesson she and Dad learned is that they'd eventually eat all their words about parenting.
What Mom taught me was that I'd have to let go.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chillin' with the Bananas

A little while back, we had dinner with the talented, gracious and beautiful Bananas on the deck overlooking their back yard. They not only prepared a delicious meal, they allowed our two boys to rampage through their house and yard. Most of the meal was spent with 3B shaking the bars of the railing and chanting "Do you want to go down there? Do you want to go to the yard?" Have I mentioned that he gets his manners from me?

We were able to corral him at the table for short periods to eat, and slightly longer periods to eat and listen to the fiddlers, which might qualify us as asshole parents by MetroDad's criteria, but for the record, MD's an asshole for being consistently funnier than any other blogger, making the rest of us look bad. That's right--it's his fault that I don't seem funnier.

Mama and I forgot the camera, lost our minds, brought a toddler and a hyperventilating hound, got lost in the good food--it wasn't my fault, I swear!--but fortunately, Liberal Banana captured a moment from the evening, and so here we are with DJ 3B, who apparently also ordered bottle service:


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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Grammar humor is lost on a toddler

It's all happening at the zoo
We started today at the zoo on a playdate with some of 3B's friends and their parents, who are coincidentally friends with Mama and me. We spent enough time in the spa-like weather--by which I mean that it was hotter and wetter than being in sauna--viewing exotic animals such as this...
Acting as 3B's jungle gym in that heat, plus wrestling him when he was passively resisting our direction of travel, took about three years off of my life. Seriously, this kid must have watched old Gandhi newsreels in the womb, otherwise, how does he know to go completely limp when The Man comes to put him down? It's like trying to pick up a puddle of water with tweezers--a 35 pound puddle of water I might add.

Shopping under Marie Antoinette's rule
So, after we all collapsed at home for a few hours, we went out again, but this time we did our running around indoors, both to avoid the heat and to avoid starvation and a diaper shortfall. At our first stop, 3B drove...
At our second stop, 3B grabbed a free cookie, his own Shopper-in-Training cart, and was off to the races...
He did a good job picking healthy foods: a red bell pepper, fresh broccoli, two avocados, a canteloupe, three bags of pita chips, and some sharp cheddar cheese.

When we did go by the ice cream cake display, he did come to a screeching halt in the middle of the aisle, run to the glass freezer door, smack both his hands flat on the door and announce to the entire aisle that, "I need some cake!"

Two-year-old obscene caller
There's been more bike talk than usual around Casa Bradstein for various reasons, which has led 3B to once again watch more of his favorite biker video and imitate the music when he's not listening to it. While this does make him sound like a two-year-old obscene caller, it's a nice break from our usual musical fare--all fiddlers, all the time.

Grammar humor is lost on a toddler
Mama and 3B were reading a book with moving parts this week and I overheard Mama explaining all the animations to him...

"And then if you pull on this, his leg goes back and forth, except his leg was pulled off, and over here, if you pull on this, his head shakes back and forth, except his leg was pulled off...notice how I'm using the passive voice?"

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Splish splash, what we say in the bath...

"You are drinking your own pee." 3B said this as he scooped up some bathwater in half of a plastic egg and brought it to his mouth, watching me for a reaction. Apparently, this is what Mama had said to 3B the night before in an attempt to keep him from drinking bathwater--a vain attempt, I might add.

"That is not a pocket." 3B said this as he put his hand down his butt crack, relating back to a debate that 3B and Mama had when he was trying to put his hand down into some pants that he had just filled.

"Want to see Mr. Cool J." Well, who doesn't. Watch to your heart's content.



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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Living the impossible dream

Flight
Almost every morning, right around 4 a.m., 3B lets out a scream or series of screams and then immediately goes back to sleep. He's done this since he was an infant, when he would do it in the middle of his all too brief two-hour naps, so we're fairly used to it.

That doesn't mean that we don't wonder what causes it. Is it nightmares? All that pizza we feed him right at bedtime? The thought of a tax and spend conservative being one malignant melanoma away from running the country, or of Bobby Julich retiring?

If it's that last item, 3B can keep screaming, since Julich did retire this week. Ever since he first saw the Tour of California video (it's OK, open it in another tab and leave it playing...it's nice background music) that I put together after watching the prologue with Brother #2, 3B has been fascinated by Bobby Julich, who shows up briefly in the middle of the video.

I've tried to distract him by pointing out George Hincapie, domestique for all of Lance's TdF victories; Oscar Friere, three-time world champion; and even Fabian Cancellara, he of the beautiful Swiss hair, who's also a two-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist, but 3B only has eyes for Bobby Julich...or, as he says, "Bobby Dulich."

However, it appears that 3B will now have someone new(ish) to cheer for next year.

Speaking of dream teams of fast men, I got to spend my morning and evening with Team Boy Bradstein, since Mama was off early to all day meetings that went late into the night. That left 3B and Barky and me to reenact Lord of the Flies, although 3B is much more likely to lead a revival of Lord of the Dance.

And that is how I ended up running down the sidewalk in my work clothes, sweating in the sultry evening air, dragging Barky, pushing 3B in his stroller as he munched his way through dinner, listening to 3B chant, "Want to go fast. Want to go so fast. Want to go fast." wondering all the while how Mama does this so gracefully on a daily basis. And yet, I know exactly how, because every day is like a koan: draining and rejuvenating.

It's a dream job that no position in any organization could ever match: physically and mentally demanding, ever changing and all important. Every night I slog down the hall and throw myself down onto the beachhead of our bed, where I lay like a lump for too few too short hours until I again awake, energized by thoughts of again spending the day with the boys and Mama, ready to chase the sun down to the horizon at dawn if that's what the day calls for.

That said, it's good that this dream job is rejuvenating, because those 4 a.m. clammy hands, cold sweat, heart racing, adrenal glands pumping harder than Hans and Franz screams aren't rejuvenating at all. In fact, I think my beard used to be some color other than gray before they started.


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Monday, September 08, 2008

WTF?

What...
This never happened with Scrabulous (plus, if you look at the html for this notice, it's all larded up with Word formatting...seriously?)...

We're building a better SCRABBLE for Facebook ...

We're working out the bugs in SCRABBLE over the coming weeks and there will be minor downtimes for maintenance every now & then.
At the same time as we fix the bugs in this beta, we'll be improving gameplay and speeding up response times in SCRABBLE.

Thanks for your patience. We should be back up soon.

- The SCRABBLE Team

The...
Yesterday's bike ride from here to there and there to here is still kicking my ass--actually, kicking my abs...can anyone help me stand up from the couch?--so I find it a bit demoralizing that Lance is considering a comeback next year. Then again, maybe he's not. WTF, dude? Seriously, I need to know if next July I'm going to have to find a new satellite TV provider, shave my legs, and spend six hours every night riding on the bike trainer, watching the day's stage.


F...
I understand debates over political ideologies. For example, I don't want my country to elect as a leader someone who believes in banning books, and that's not just because the most prominent such elected leader turned out to possess a fair number of other crackpot ideas, a dangerous hubris, and a knack for overextending his economy and military in wars of aggression based on trumped up evidence.

What I don't understand, however, is how a debate over political ideologies would keep Cuba from accepting aid from the U.S. when waves from a hurricane are crashing over apartment buildings.

OK, I also don't understand waves that big making landfall. I mean, at sea, for surfing, yes, that's reasonable, but on a beach...WTF?




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Sunday, September 07, 2008

A child's need for speed

Every time we've been in the car this week, 3B has engaged in the same call and response, from his back seat throne: "Do you want to go fast? Yes, you want to go fast." He repeats this until we tell him that we are going fast, but he starts again as soon as we slow down or hit a red light.

Friday night, as we were taking a family walk to take in the great outdoors, get some exercise and watch Barky poop, 3B kept calling out the same call and response from his stroller, punctuated by bursts of "You want to go fast! You want to go fast! You want to go fast! You want to go fast!" Finally, I relented and ran him down the sidewalk. Of course, as soon as I stopped to catch my breath and look around for a defibrillator, he started yelling it again. It was all I could do to not point out that his buggy is a MacLaren, not a McLaren.

Today, as we were riding our bikes down to Olde Towne, 3B, the charioteer to my horse, kept calling out, "Want to go fast! Want Daddy to ride fast!" To his credit, he did occasionally cheer me on, after being prompted by Mama, "Woo hoo! Go daddy! Go bikers! Go bikers! Go bikers!"

With his need for speed, I'm just hoping the kid doesn't turn out to be a menace to society, like a Scientologist or something.


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Friday, September 05, 2008

School: crying it out, bugging out

Of course, it was too good to last. Wednesday, 3B didn't nap at all at Mrs. K's, and was still asleep Thursday morning when Mama had to bundle him up to go to school. Apparently he made it through half of the day just fine, but when another girl started crying, 3B joined in and didn't stop for an hour.

His teachers tried soothing him for awhile, and his friend Little J came over to comfort him, but not even that and his lovie could bring him back around, so they lay 3B down on a mat and let him cry it out, which ended with him crying himself to sleep.

That's a heartbreaking picture in my mind. I want to cry just typing it out like that, thinking of 3B curled up on a mat on the floor with his lovie, crying himself to sleep. He's never been inconsolable like that...OK, except those first dozen trips to Mrs. K's, when he would actually cry all day.

However, as I reminded Mama when she was bracing herself to send him off for his first day, this is a part of him becoming independent and, as much as it may make us lonely for him, being able to make himself happy without us around. And, thinking about how that girl triggered him, it's also tied up in his blossoming capacity for empathy.

3B's recently started giving kisses and hugs to characters in books who are sad, hurt or crying. He's always been disturbed by others who are suffering around him, but now he's started to internalize the hurt of others. Again, it makes me sad that he feels that pain, but I do want him to be empathetic and to understand others, to feel close to them.

However, given the latest email from school, I may be cautioning him against getting too close:

As many of you may already be aware, the beginning of the school year
brings with it many new and exciting experiences as well as some not so
new and definitely not very exciting experiences...namely the occurrence
of head lice. We have had several cases of head lice in our preschool
in the past couple of days.


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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Articulate announcements

Every day, there's more talking and singing around the house, most of it coming from our newest roommate. Thanks to Brother #2 and Feist, 3B is now a fan of counting...to four, anyway. Actually, he's long loved to count like Professor Wiseman in Curious George Gets a Medal, so it's nice that now he's counting up too, not just down. Not a day goes by that we don't listen to Feist 87 times; he's even rediscovered his love for the original video, in which he particularly likes the scenes where "everybody is dancing" and "everybody is hugging."

Last Friday was a linguistic watershed for 3B. In the blink of an eye, he went from boy to man, from contender to somebody, from Robert DeNiro to Elmo...that's right...he stopped saying "yes" and started saying "yeah." Wonder where he picked that up?

I guess not all the apples fall so far from the tree, eh?

A few days later, he picked up his toy keychain and held it to his ear like a phone, started walking around the living room and said, "Hey, I'm walking the dog." Gee, you think Mama talks on the phone when she walks the boys? And how do you think she starts her conversations? We both laughed so hard, he repeated it all night.

And last night he told us that "You are [read: I am] not an animal." As my high school AP Bio instructor would have pointed out, that's not technically correct: we have paws, claws and fur. However, 3B was making the point that he is not a lion, tiger, bear (oh my!), dog, cat, pig, cow, goat, zizzer zazzer zuzz or other animal that he reads about, which is correct.

Sort of.

When he misses a nap, as he did yesterday at Mrs. K's, he can be quite a bear, especially at bedtime, when we're changing him into PJs. He's going through a phase where he really doesn't want to take off what he's wearing or put on something new, although he likes the being naked part in the middle, proudly declaring, "You are naked!" Usually, I can get him started on the process with some zerberts, for which he lifts up his shirt--that's another apple that didn't fall far from the tree.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Another brick in the wall

Today, 3B went to school for the first time. OK, so it's two half-days a week, and it's a play-based and emergent curriculum, so it's practically a Montessori school, but still, it's school, with teachers and snacks and recess and circle time and learning and ohmigawd the handouts--a freakin' blizzard of paper, people!

3B's friend, Little J is in the same class, which should be fun because they play together so well, when they're not pinching, hitting, pushing, having meltdowns and generally being two-year-olds. But really, they're great together.

And Mama and I survived too, in great style I might add. We even met a few parents at the Parent's Schmooze in the Parent's Lounge after dropping 3B off. When did I become old enough to go into the Parent's Lounge without a note from my teacher?

Did I mention how much 3B loves his backpack?

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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1, 2, 3 strikes, you're out!

This weekend we got 3B a batting tee and a bat. We live in a condominium. Why did we think that our living room would make a good batting cage?

Hitting


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Monday, September 01, 2008

Monday melange, Labor Day

3B's axe

Our labor today consisted of going to Le Target to buy school supplies for the first time. Grand tally: one Spiderman backpack with wheels for school. Also, just because we were there, one guitar (comes with strap), one guitar stand (comes with spare picks), one batting tee, and one bat. Plus, we got gifts for 3B's friend Little J and his new baby brother, Little B, who we're going to meet for the first time this afternoon after nap time.

Speaking of which, why is it that 3B's energy level is inversely proportional to mine? At 9:00 Thursday night, when we returned home from our first pre-school meeting, 3B had more energy than a critical mass of Uranium-235, and was careening around the house in a chain reaction that was quickly becoming critical. I, however, was able to keep my eyes open just long enough to help get him ready for bed--a Pulitzer Prize is deserved by the insightful blogger who observed that dressing a toddler is as easy as putting a squirrel in a sock. As soon as Mama started reading stories to 3B, it was lights out for Daddy. Same thing in the morning: 3B wakes up moving about as fast as Road Runner, while I'm still stumbling into, off of, and through toys, chairs, and other objects around the house.

Speaking of stumbling through things, I also completed my second ever fantasy football draft, which puts me again, if only for a few months, in the same league as Black Belt Mama and Sarah. If this year is as successful as last, my nickname--The Doormat of Doom--should become permanent. Given last year's failures, I won't attempt domination prognostication, but I will go out on a limb and say that, no matter how bad it gets, I will not, unlike those known firebrands, debate coaches, drop trou if I lose. Yes, you can all thank me for that now.

For the record, here's my team...feel free to make your prediction of how this lineup ranks in the Harbinger Hall of Fame:

QB, Matt Hasselbeck
RB, Steven Jackson
RB, Maurice Jones-Drew
RB/WR, Torry Holt
WR, Randy Moss
WR, Marques Colston
TE, Dallas Clark
D/ST, Packers D/ST
K, Shayne Graham



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