Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Slither

Calder has learned to slither, and very shortly life will change forever. Slithering is the last step before crawling, which is soon followed by walking and pushing breakable items off shelves. Slithering, though much slower than crawling, can be deceiving. Let’s say, for instance, that I have left a very sharp carving knife on the living room floor, across the room from Calder. He sees the knife, and I see that he has seen the knife, but I say, hey, it’s across the room so I go back to ignoring him. Suddenly he is upon the knife and, like every other object he encounters, is preparing to shove it in his mouth. Also, slithering, while slow, is a deliberate and sneaky way to travel, since all progress is made under furniture. One positive of this means of locomotion, is his ability to discover arrant Cheerios that are sprinkled about the room. Who needs a dog?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chinese Water Torture

There is a drawer in the kitchen filled with all of Zoe’s and Calder’s various bowls, plates, sippy cups, and other miscellaneous dinning paraphernalia of the toddler. There are at least a dozen brands of sippy cups. We are always trying to find ‘The One’ that does not have a complicated valve that requires an engineering degree to reassemble (disassembling is always a snap), does not sprout mold in uncleanable spots (not that that keeps me from using it), is dishwasher safe, BPA free, does not require an adult to open or use, and does not leak. Our most recent sippy cup purchase had only two parts; the cup and the top. There was no valve, just a few small, precision cut holes that the packaging claimed did not leak. The first thing I did when we got home with our new cups was to test their leak-proof claim (actually, the first thing I did when we got home was use the bathroom). They were indeed leak-proof, as long as they were upright (I later discovered that there was small print on the packaging that recommended not turning the cup upside down; hell, my water glasses don’t leak if I don’t turn them upside down). Regardless, Zoe was very excited to have some new cups (we’re calling them an early birthday gift), and carried one around the house with her until bedtime (we could always find her by following the paths made of small drops of water). At bedtime it usurped her previous favorite (and truly leak-proof) cup next to her bed.

An hour or so after we put her to bed she let out a cry. Alison rushed down to her room (I was reading so decided to just stay put) and discovered that she had fallen asleep holding the cup; eventually it had tipped enough to drip onto her head. (I should mention that the way I had tested the leak-proof claim was to hand it to Zoe and tell her to tip it upside down over her head. I need to experiment to see how many things I can get her to dump over herself before she catches on.)

Much later that night Zoe woke up again, but this time wandered down the hall and climbed into our bed. I could see something clutched in her hand, but assumed it was one of the stuffed animals that always made the trip from bedroom to bedroom with her. Zoe curled up tight against me, and I could feel something press into my armpit. A moment later I began to feel a cold, wet drip. I reached down and removed the sippy cup from her grasp, dried my armpit on her pajama’s, and went back to sleep. 


Here is the link to the most recent, and long overdue, photos in Picasa.



Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

In the old, pre-children and wife days, it was my unintentional tradition to wake up late on New Year's Day with a debilitating hangover. Times change. This year we got some Chinese takeout, watched a little TV, tuned in to see the ball drop in Times Square, then went to bed early. So with no exciting drunken exploits  to report I’ve decided to deconstruct the pile of ‘fortunes’ from the pile of fortune cookies we consumed (I brought Zoe into the restaurant and used her to collect the extras).

Someone is speaking well of you at this very moment: This was from the cookie Zoe opened at the restaurant while we waited for our food. My guess is that it was Grandma.

You will be surrounded by things of luxury: I’d like to take this opportunity to give thanks for everything we already have; although it would be cool to have an iPhone.

Something on four wheels will soon be a fun investment for you: Unless it operates by remote control and can be driven around my back yard, I really can’t imagine what it could be referring to. Unless it has something to do with the next fortune.

A pleasant surprise is in store for you soon: I’m going to defer to the previous two fortunes.

Success will come to your plans: Um, I don’t have any plans.

Tomorrow is good day for trying something new: Maybe I should make a plan.

You will be showered with good luck tomorrow: I definitely need to make a plan.

You will inherit an unexpected sum of money within the year: This is not a very clear fortune. What exactly is an unexpected sum? A buck? The bad news is someone has to die for me to get that buck.

Nothing can keep you from reaching your goals. Do it!: Very apropos for a New Year fortune. I think my resolution was to lower my cholesterol level, a definite sign of my age. I could reminisce on New Years resolutions years past, but given my age I’ve forgotten most of them (and suspect some of them may have contributed to my cholesterol level).

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our Christmas Vacation

Sung to the tune ofWhile My Guitar Gently Weeps

We’re heading to Big Sur as soon as she wakes up
While Ma-in-law soundly sleeps
I walk on the floor and I step on a Cheerio
Still Ma-in-law soundly sleeps
It’s Christmas day morning the presents are piled high
We’re waiting to open them
But we’ll have to wait more.

It’s just 6:00 AM Cal’s been up since 4:30
While Ma-in-law soundly sleeps
Now Zoe’s awake and we’re all getting grumpy
Still Ma-in-law soundly sleeps
I drive Cal down the coast it’s amazing
Too bad it’s completely pitch black
I return after one hour
But now he’s sleeping in back.

Two days in a row now that no one is sleeping
While Ma-in-law soundly sleeps
I need coffee...
Still Ma-in-law soundly sleeps.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Birdfeeder

I picked up a hummingbird feeder recently thinking Zoe might enjoy watching the tiny birds float in the air. I hung it by our back door and filled it with sugar water. Rather than bringing up the ladder I used Zoe's plastic slide, which wasn't quite high enough. Although I was balanced precariously on the slide, which flexed ominously, while sugar water poured out of the feeder down on me, I didn’t fall, and there was still some feed in the feeder. Now all we had to do was wait for the birds.

Success! Hummingbirds started showing up. “Zoe, look! A hummingbird!” “What’s that?” “It’s a hummingbird.” “Why?” “Why what?” “Read me a book, Daddy.” Zoe was unimpressed. I tried explaining that hummingbirds can flap their wings as fast as 90 times per second. Still she was unimpressed. No matter, Alison and I and the cats enjoy watching the birds. However, suddenly the cats seem to be showing up with more hummingbirds than usual, and having floor-to-ceiling windows seem to confuse to tiny birds, since they seem to be bouncing off them at an alarming rate.

Flying into a window is usually lethal to a bird, but sometimes it just knocks them silly.
It is my job to protect them from our cats until they have recovered enough to fly. Yesterday, after a hummingbird flew into a window (and failed to die), I picked him (her?) up just as both cats made their appearance in the yard. The bird had recovered enough to perch on my finger, and seemed to tighten its grip when the cats started meowing. What to do? I had a bird in hand, in shock and possibly injured, and two cats licking their chops in anticipation. I could try throwing it as hard as I could and hope it recovered before the cats found where it landed (assuming throwing a tiny, delicate bird isn’t lethal). Finally I got tired of standing in the back yard holding the bird, so I placed him on top of the shed and hoped for the best. Harry, our cat, circled around to the back of the shed, and a moment later I saw him appear behind the bird. Harry pounced just as the bird took flight, and poor Harry stood there and watched as he flew away.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve and I’ve put together Zoe’s Skuut, laid out the stockings, and shoved the last two peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies down my throat before anyone else could claim them. Now I can sit back and relax and reflect. This December marks the 20th anniversary of my mother’s death and amidst all the holiday cheer–the lights, eggnog, gifts, and endless variations of the Twelve Days of Christmas, making the rounds of friends and family with the kids dressed in their cutest outfits–I find myself now more than ever feeling her loss and regretting that my mother will never meet Zoe and Calder, and that they will never know her. However, I can take some joy knowing that, thanks in part to her, my children have a really cool and handsome father. But there is joy this season as well, and that is the Hanukkah miracle of the cat. A couple of weeks ago I opened the living room door for our cat Tucker at 10:00 in the morning, and nine days later he returned. Despite a cold snap and heavy rain during the period he was gone, he returned healthy and clean, and only slightly hungrier than usual. We can only guess where he might have been, but it certainly would have been a darker holiday without him. So, welcome home Tucker. And to my mom, if you're looking down on us, know that we're thinking of you (but please don't 'look down on us' when I'm in the shower).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dude Looks Like a Lady

Zoe, upon seeing a picture of the Pope on New York Times online.

"Who's that lady?"

Monday, December 14, 2009

News Flash – Child Breaks World “What” Record

This just in. A young child of approximately two and a half years of age has unintentionally surpassed the previous world record of beginning every sentence with the word ‘what’. The world record in this age group does allow for repetition, and this child used that clause to a great extent. For example:
  Child: “Daddy, what are you doing?”
  Father: “I’m eating an apple.”
  Child: “Daddy, what are you doing?”
  Father: “I’m eating an apple.”
  Child: “Daddy, what are you doing?”
  Father: “I’m eating an apple.”
  Child: “Daddy, what are you doing?”
  Father: “I’m eating an apple.”
  Child: “Daddy, what are you doing?”
  Father: “I’m eating an apple.”
  Child: “Daddy, what are you doing?”
  Father: “I’m eating an apple.”
The exhausted father of this extraordinary child could not get a word in edgewise to comment.

News Flash - Child Eats Breakfast!

This just in. A young child of approximately two and a half years of age has eaten all of her breakfast! The child’s father had prepared a slice of toast with cream cheese and two flavors of jelly (strawberry on one half, raspberry on the other), with the crusts removed as per the child’s instructions (Zoe no like!) and when he returned from the kitchen the entire slice had been consumed. The child then asked for some of mommy’s breakfast and was given an additional one-quarter bagel with raspberry jelly. This additional breakfast was fondled and slobbered on past the point of parental grazing, but was not consumed. The child’s father was near tears with pride and amazement with his daughter’s eating ability and noted that while she would often eat at least three quarters of toast with cream cheese and jelly, at least one piece would normally end up jelly side down on the floor.