Saturday, April 28, 2012

Another one for Maggie : Gnome Feng Shui

Henry obviously has my passion for gnomes. Also, this video will give good evidence on why my gnomes both have chipped noses.

Monday, April 16, 2012

So this is toddlerhood

I have been struggling to find the time to update this blog. No, that’s technically a lie. At night, after we put the Henbot to sleep, I do have the time to write. I guess I should say that I’ve been struggling to find the energy to write this blog as lately, after we get the Henbot to sleep, all I want to do is stare at the television for an hour, have a cocktail and go to bed.

As you know, Henry turned one year old about two weeks ago. At the point he turned one, there seemed to be this switch in his brain that went from hyper baby to AHHHHHH I’M A TODDLER!!!! (One would call this going to ‘11’ by the way). As Andy and myself are older parents and we are as far from fit as one could possibly be without a crane to get us out of bed in the morning, it’s fair to say that we are struggling a bit to keep up with him. I’m sure once he starts walking\running, this will get even worse. We may need to consider hiring a “just quite didn’t make it to the Olympics” track runner to help us out.

On the move...

I don’t know if it’s just the rapid crawling from here to there to there to here to there to ‘What’s this? It’s shiny!’ to there to ‘Power cords! Fun!’ to here to there to ‘Catch the cat! Must catch the cat!’ to there to here to ‘Must drop Daddy’s cell phone on the ground then push it across hardwood floor like car!’ to there to ‘I don’t know what this is so I better eat it’ to here to ‘Cable box ON! Cable box OFF! Cable box ON! Cable Box OFF!’ to there to ‘NOOOO! I want to stick my fingers in the hole in the soda can! You are so UNFAIR!’ to ‘Shoes shoes shoes EVERYWHERE!’ to there to ‘MUST PLAY IN TRASH CAN WHEN PARENTS AREN’T LOOKING’, or if it’s just his constant babbling and struggling to figure out what he’s saying.

Still on the move....

The experts, whoever hell THEY are, always say that when your kid is babbling away that you should maintain eye contact and respond back to them like it’s a proper conversation. This is supposedly to help the kid understand how the flow of conversation works. Now, when I used to work, I used to struggle maintaining focus during an hour long meeting – and that was listening to someone speak proper English. For Henry’s 11 some waking hours, I do my best to “uh huh” him and “oh really?” him and “oh, that sounds interesting, tell me more”. Of course I end up getting bored with my own responses so I start making shit up. “There was a bear with a potato peeler running through the yard?! Wow! Did he have 5 arms? Tell me more!”

By the way, where do toddlers learn the “I don’t know” look? How do they know how to mimic “I don’t know” without actually knowing what “I don’t know” is? Henry has been doing this for the last couple of days. He does the “I don’t know” expression (head tilted to one side of course) and then starts chattering away and looking at me like I’m the dipshit who can’t see the obvious. Where do they learn this? Do I do this to Andy without realizing it? Did he get it from ‘Postman Pat’? I have no idea.

This is not our kid, this is just the expression so you know what the hell I'm talking about.

I do know what Henry got from ‘Postman Pat’ though. He got his first word. In the mornings after I give him his bottle, I put him in his play pen and stick on Cbeebies for twenty minutes while I have a cup of coffee and check my email. When I came back into the room with my coffee, ‘Postman Pat’ was on and they were doing something with apples (I don’t watch the show very carefully – they could have been shoving them in the mouths of roasted pigs, I really have no idea). Henry turned away from the television, looked at me and said, “apple”. His first word…and he got it off of ‘Postman Pat’. He said ‘apple’ for a good hour or so after that but since has only spouted it once or twice while I was changing his diaper. He did spout his 2nd word today, to the cat. It was close to bedtime. Henry was on the couch with us and the cat was lounging on Andy’s legs. Suddenly Henry sprung towards the cat, looked at her and said, “HI!” The cat was not amused, though Andy and I had a good laugh about it.

Thanks Pat.

Anyhow, I’d write more but I’m tired and my drink is waiting.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

1st Birthday

The Boy on the Big Day

And a little video taken at the zoo, which was his birthday outing:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

On the eve...

So on the eve of my son’s first birthday, I’d like to tell you all how much my son rocks. I could of course start reminiscing of what was happening to my nether regions a mere year ago. I could also tell you that on the eve of my son’s first birthday he decided to cut a couple more teeth so he’s been up crying in pain every few hours. But no, I think that on the eve of my son’s first birthday, I rather tell you how much my son rocks. Like K.I.S.S. style rocks.

The one story I’ve been meaning to tell you all about happened about three weeks ago when we were at one of our weekly playgroup sessions. At this particular session, there is a guitar playing woman singing songs. After the song singing, they bring out a little table where they serve water in sippy cups and offer up some fruit. My son, being of my loins, is usually one of the first kids standing at the little table reaching for something to shove in his gob. He’s usually the last one at the table as well, but that’s neither here nor there.

I might have mentioned that Henry is a bit small for his age. I’ve yet to encounter any kid near his age who is around his size. Even so, it’s really starting to irritate me when mothers tell their kids (most of whom are only a few weeks or months older than Henry) to mind “the baby”. While he might not be walking yet, he has taken the pre-Olympics Baby Gold for crawling (taking the gold for Great Britain and the United States)(yes, it’s possible) and he pulls himself up on EVERYTHING and I’ve seen him stand solo when he’s not paying attention and he says “mama” and “yeah” (our proper English in this house is appalling) and he likes potato chips over everything else in the world and DAMMIT, HE’S NOT A FUCKING BABY. Regardless of this, I’m certainly not worried that my son is wearing clothes for 12 months being that he’s 12 months and not size 3T.

ANYHOW, so at this particular playgroup session, the baby refreshment table comes out and as usual Henry is one of the first kids standing there waiting to be “refreshed”. It happened to be a busy session that day and because the session is for 6 months to 5 years age range, there were a lot of older kids also at the table. Immediately the older kids – kids that stand a good head and a half above Henry – started pushing him out of the way. My little boy held his ground until two older boys ganged up on him. They pushed him and shouted in his face and eventually Henry freaked out and started to cry.

At that point I came over. As a general parenting rule, I try my best to keep my distance (but ever watching) so that Henry can learn to take care of himself. I intervene when Henry is being rude (stealing toys from kids is his personal forte) or when Henry obviously is overwhelmed. This was one of those times. I picked him up and he did a very short sob in my arms. I reassured them that those kids were being mean. He looked at me then looked at them and then he motioned to be put down. If it had been me – if it had been me at 37 years old no less – I would have said “fuck this” and left. Not my brave boy Henry. Two older boys a head and a half taller than him that were still at the table– he just went right back to hold his place, older boys be damned.

Right before the pushing began.

And after the whole thing was over.  The kid eating on the left hand side of the picture was one of the assailants.

I’ve always loved my child. I’ve always thought he was cute and smart and just generally awesome. That day though, I was proud. I was so damn proud of my son that my chest swelled. I think about that, on the eve of his first birthday, about how I hope that he will always be like that. I hope that this little boy who is friendly and funny (a comedian and a flirt) will know how to pick himself up and stand his ground when the odds are stacked against him.

I love you peanut. Happy Eve of your 1st Birthday.