Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My First Fad



Dad Blogs Wordless Wednesday

Move over puffy shoe laces, charm necklaces, parachute pants, and hypercolor t-shirts, 'cause Big Brother is 5 and excited about SILLY BANDS! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Busy-Dad-E

Itch-E Dad-E

Happy Tuesday!

This one was too funny not to share right away.

Things You Don't Want to Hear Your Kids Say Out Loud in Public:

The boys were waiting with Mom-E in a crowded check-out line yesterday at CVS, and decided to start a chorus of:

"This medicine is so Dad-E won't be itchy!"

*****

Go ahead, laugh and think of me what you may.

Meanwhile, I have a date with my poison ivy and a bath of CALAMINE LOTION, thank you.

See you on Wordless Wednesday,
Busy-Dad-E

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Non-Toy Toy Story

Parents can bond over the experience of giving their young child a gift, only to see them more excited about playing with the box that it came in, instead of the actual toy.

Mistakenly, I once assumed that such a phenomenon was restricted to (really) smaller children.

But just over a year ago, Big Brother was very much attached to his "car bag", which was nothing more than an empty individual-sized bag of Baked Lays (from Subway) that he toted his cars around in.

(Thank you, Gramm-E, for making the boys real car bags.)

I guess it's Big Brother's creative/artistic side, but he definitely likes to let his imagination run wild when it comes to using empty food containers as "non-toy" toys.

(Either that, or he just likes to play with stuff from Subway).

The other day, Big Brother finished his apple juice box (from Subway), and became quite defensive when we asked him to throw it away.

"No, it's a ship. I'm playing with it."

"Well, okay for now. But the ship better not leak fuel in the minivan or the floors of the house."

I mean, I'm all for encouraging his creativity (and recycling efforts). But we pretty much have to throw the juice boxes away at night after he goes to bed, lest old, souring Minute Maid boxes start accumulating.

Which, of course, meets with mild screaming fits the next morning when his juice box rocket ship turns up "missing."

"Uh, it must've blasted off into outer space while you were sleeping, buddy."

This makes me wonder what his response would be to opening presents on Christmas morning, to find that Santa has brought him a box filled with nothing but EMPTY JUICE BOXES. Methinks probably either that he hit the jackpot with an entire star fleet, or that he got the shaft.

But either way his response would be funny.

(Except that Mom-E would still want to throw away all of the juice boxes, and then give me the evil laser beam eye stare.)

What kind of "trash" do your kids like to play with? Please don't let us be the only ones. Please don't let us be the only ones.

Have a good week,
Busy-Dad-E

Thursday, June 24, 2010

T-Ball Brain


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! If you still have a few marbles rolling around your skull after reading today's post, click on over to fill your brain with funnies from all the great bloggers over at dad-blogs.com .

So apparently this season I've taken one too many whacks in the head [figuratively] with the t-ball bat.

Allow me to set this up for you.

Last Friday, Grampap-E was planning to attend Big Brother's t-ball game.

Mom-E had taken the boys on a road trip that day to meet up with a high school friend and her new baby.

I called Mom-E on my way home from work, about an hour or so before the game. Mom-E informed me they got stuck in traffic, had made a pit stop at Gramm-E and Grampap's house, and would be cutting it close on time to get there for the game.

"No problem," I said. "I've got a plan."

(Ladies, when a man says 'I've got a plan', that's codespeak for "I'm about to do something dumb.")

"I'll call Grampap-E. He can meet me at our house. We'll drive together, pick up some Subway--better know as Chip & Chocolate Juice Way to the boys--and meet you at the t-ball field. That'll give you time to feed Bab-E Brother, the boys time to eat, and Big Brother time to change."

Mom-E replied, "That sounds good."

(Guys, when your wife says 'That sounds good', that's her codespeak for "I will not be surprised if you do something dumb.")

So, here's how the "plan" worked out:

1. I met up with Grampap-E at our house. I changed my clothes, let the dog out, and gathered up some extra snacks for the boys, and baby food for Bab-E. We headed out with enough time to pick up Subway for everyone.

2. Mom-E arrived a little early, and said, "We'll just meet you at Subway because the boys are asleep in the minivan."

(Guys, this is codespeak for, "I'm lining up my front row seats to watch you look dumb.")

3. We no sooner get to Subway, than I realize I forgot ALL OF BIG BROTHER'S BASEBALL STUFF. I mean ALL of it. No hat, glove, team shirt, cletes. Nothing.

"Hey, does the kid's meal happen to come with a baseball hat, jersey, glove, and shoes?"

4. All 3 boys are now awake, hungry, and screaming. Grampap-E and I quickly get food. Mom-E drives home to rescue Big Brother's baseball stuff, which is scattered throughout the house.

(If looks could kill, Mom-E has already laser beamed off my head when I told her I forgot the t-ball stuff.)

5. We're all back to our house. Big Brother is screaming that he doesn't want to play t-ball. Bab-E Brother is screaming for Mom-E's milk. Little Brother is screaming because that's what he does when he wakes up from his nap. Mom-E is screaming at me with the look in her eyes that says "We've had a very long, trying, hectic day, and your 'plan' isn't helping." Grampap-E is screaming with laughter inside his head because my marbles are hemorrhaging left and right.

We attempt to placate small children with chips and chocolate milk.

6. We find all of Big Brother's t-ball stuff EXCEPT his glove. We tear apart the minivan and "toybox" in the garage. No luck.

(The game starts in 5 minutes. Tick tock, tick tock.)

7. From somewhere--probably inside the minivan where we'd been looking--Grampap-E finds the glove.

AMEN!

8. We head to the t-ball field. It starts POURING DOWN RAIN.

9. We arrive at the field. It has stopped raining. The parking lot is covered with--literally--steam from the evaporating rain water. It is so hot that I feel like I'm in the sauna. My clothes feel like I took a shower without first taking them off.

Boys are finishing eating. We unpack the minivan. Big Brother's glove is NOWHERE to be found! I mean vanished.

(Hey, Busy-Dad-E, how's that "plan" working out for ya right about now?)

9. Grampap-E volunteers to make his third trip to our house in a span of about 30 minutes. Fortunately, Big Brother's team is batting first, which buys us some time.

10. Grampap-E returns with Big Brother's glove.

(Apparently, I improvised the "plan" by throwing the glove BACK INTO THE TOYBOX after we found it. Another marble falls out of my head. I'm left with just one.)

11. Big Brother plays his game and we all cheer him on.

12. Half-way through the game, it starts POURING DOWN RAIN AGAIN. The game gets called.

13. We get everybody loaded up in the minivan. Grampap-E heads home as well.

14. We make a pit stop for ice cream on the way home.

(It's all part of my "plan". Yeah, that's it. Chocolate is a natural antidepressant to help Mom-E cope after her hectic day. Ice cream makes kids happy. And I only have one marble left, so I don't have to worry about brain freeze.)

And now you know why I "retired" from coaching after one soccer season.

Mom-E has also relinquished me from all future planning-related responsibilities.

Have a good weekend,
Please send me my marbles if you find any,
Busy-Dad-E

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Passion

I hope everyone had a Happy Father's Day.

There are certainly a lot of "milestones" in fatherhood that bring a dad great joy and pride--birth, first word, first steps, and on down the line.

Lately, I've been awed to see Big Brother starting to find and develop his passion.

Drawing.

Sure, kids love to color, but Big Brother is getting really interested in learning how to draw.

It started when he was perusing a Batman website from the Kids WB.

There are some "Learn to Draw" activities, but what really got him excited was some video clips of executive producers showing you how they draw Batman and other characters.

He made me draw Batman (and the other characters), so that he'd have a "template" to work from. (I'm not an artist, but I do fairly well copying sketches.)

Our house is now littered with paper.

Give him a spare moment, and Big Brother is drawing Batman. Or Red Tornado. Or Black Manta. All. Day. Long. Over. And. Over. (Fortunately he's still willing to go outside for things like the pool or t-ball.)

It's really cool to watch him in this endeavor. Especially at age 5 (and still closer to 5 than 6), and because it's what he wants to do. The lessons about practice and commitment are invaluable, whether he becomes an animator, an architect, an engineer, or something else.

And we know he doesn't have ADHD, because he can focus on this for a LONG time.

So without his permission :), I wanted to share some of his drawings. (We've come a ways since the original stick figure logo for my blog.)


(Batman drawn with a Bic round stick pen. He can now reproduce this figure from memory.)


(I've inquired several times about Batman's purple mask, but Big brother insists this is correct.)

So Mom-E and I are going to (gently) push in this direction. We've signed him up for a one time drawing class at a local store. Probably some charcoal pencils for Christmas (under VERY CLOSE supervision--more in case Little Brother snags one and tries to decorate the carpet). Maybe some art lessons if he continues to show interest.

Just as long as he's having fun.

Have a good week,
Keep drawing, you talented guy,
Busy-Dad-E

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Office Poo-Poo Party


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! After you're done with your "business" here, be sure to plop on over to all of the great bloggers over at dad-blogs.com , where you won't find any doo.

So the other day I was at work, and Mom-E called me. Apparently they were nearby, and Little Brother had just informed her that he had to go #2.

They were on their way to the playground at the local mall.

Only problem is that Little Brother pretty much REFUSES to go potty anywhere but our house. But you already knew that from our adventures at pee-ball t-ball.

And with 3 boys 5 and under, it's darn near impossible for Mom-E to coordinate a bathroom effort involving 4 people for just 1 #2. :)

So Mom-E called to ask if they could come by--of course to see me--but with the primary mission of helping Little Brother go poo.

I chose to accept, and hoped no one self-destructed before they arrived.

So we managed to get the boys inside. I managed to get them into the bathroom. Both boys did #1 without any trouble.

Then I tried to sit Little Brother down on the Elmo potty seat, and the screaming fit ensued.

Over the course of the next 5 minutes, I tried a combination of tactics to keep Little Brother from makng a complete scene to help him calm down. These included a bribe of juice & crackers, playing with the toilet paper roll, playing with my work id, and letting him pop my puffed-out cheecks to make a tooting sound.

I succeeded in calming him down.

We succeeded in inspiring Big Brother to have to go #2, too.

So the boys swapped places, and Big Brother took care of business.

I thought this might help make Little Brother more comfortable about using this "foreign" potty.

It didn't.

We spent about the next 20 minutes trying to coax him to poop.

He spent 20 minutes exclaiming he didn't have to (although he may have let out one Fun Fruit sized dropping).

Mom-E tried some of her own tactics, too. One of these included giving him a piece of a Chex granola bar that was pretty much like a chocolate candy bar.

He made me hold the piece of granola bar.

Big Brother proceeded to ask me if I was holding poo-poo.

:)

Eventually, we decided that the Office Poo-Poo Party was just an exercise in futility.

By then, we were close enough to nap time that going to the playground at the mall was no longer an option.

Amazingly, Little Brother made no mention of having to go #2 the rest of the day, even after returning home.

And amazingly, I did not face any staring questioning eyes from co-workers (apparently they wore ear plugs during the party).

Have a good weekend,
Busy-Dad-E

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bluberry Goatee


Dad Blogs Wordless Wednesday

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Busy-Dad-E

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Feeding Bab-E

Bab-E Brother has reached that magic age where he's able to start eating some table food. We're so tired that we're losing track of time He's growing up so fast.

It's about time, too, because he's definitely interested in what we're doing at the table. So much so that if you're holding him, you have to watch him very closely, because he'll try to grab anything that you have in your hand.

So we recently welcomed him to his high chair.

I forgot how much fun it is to feed a baby.

Thus far, we've only introduced rice cereal with a splash of Mom-E's milk.

While it may sound like yuck, you'd think we're giving him chocolate.

Unlike his soon-to-be partners in crime(-fighting), he LOVES it. Seems like Big Brother and especially Little Brother we're too thrilled about rice cereal.

(Brief pause to pray that he has not inherited the picky eater gene.)

I also forgot how much TIME it takes to feed a baby.

By the time you get the high chair to the table, remove the tray, put Bab-E in the chair, buckle him up, return the tray, wrestle the bib over his head, heat up the food, and then feed it to him--about one grain of rice cereal per bite--it feels like it takes about an hour. Oh yeah, and then you have to "un-do" all of the above when he's finished (of course the actual eating part only takes about 2 minutes).

And despite trying to feed him one grain at a time, between his tongue thrusting, screaming for more in between bites, and grabbing at the spoon to try to feed himself, he still ends up with what appears to be more rice cereal on his face and bib than he gets in his mouth.

In short, feeding a Bab-E is like trying to do laundry in a front-loading washer while the door is wide open, the water is running, and you have to throw the clothes in one piece at a time.

Please pass the mop. And Zout.

In the meantime, I'll have to share with you one of my favorite pictures of Big Brother eating as a baby on Wordless Wednesday.

Until then, have a good week,
Busy-Dad-E

Friday, June 11, 2010

Robin Costume


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! After you're done fighting crime, be sure to "Pow", "Zap", and "Bam" your way to all of the superhero bloggers over at dad-blogs.com .

Those of you who tuned in to Wordless Wednesday this week have seen our crimefighting duo and, as promised, here's the story.

As of late, the boys interest in dress-up/Halloween has been in full swing.

Last year, the boys went as Batman and Batman.

While Big Brother's costume still fits pretty well, Little Brother's growth spurt means that the legs of his Batman costume are now high-waters that come to his mid-calf and this resulted in a large number of screaming fits.

Subsequently, our Dynamic Duo got it into their heads that Little Brother needed a Robin costume.

The arms of Mom-E and I were eventually twisted such that we decided to get Little Brother said costume. (It's really cute when he would ask, "Can I have a Wobin Costume, pwease?")

Unfortunately, given that it's May/June, not a single store in town had such a costume in stock.

But we were able to order one online.

And the boys had a field day waiting for it to arrive.

Every morning, there was the inquisition: "Is my Wobin costume coming today?"

And one afternoon, the boys saw the mail truck circulating in the neighborhood. Apparently, they got REALLY escited, thinking that the costume was coming, and then REALLY sad/confused when it didn't.

The evening before the costume arrived, the doorbell rang.

Instantly, the house was filled with small children screaming, "My Wobin Costume", and shortly thereafter filled with faces of dejection when it turned out to be a replacement coffee pot for Mom-E (I'd accidentally broken hers while washing dishes the other evening).

The next day, we were out all evening for a family activity. Being so excited about the pending arrival of his costume Little Brother had not napped, and so he fell asleep on the way home.

3 hours later, around midnight, just as Mom-E and Dad-E were about to go to bed, he woke up screaming. While this usually takes about 20-30 minutes to get him calmed down, he quickly spotted the Robin costume next to his bed. After a short trial run of wearing the costume, he was satisfied enough to go back to bed.

(Amazingly, he didn't want to sleep in it.)

However, since then, the boys have hardly taken off their costumes, what, with all the bad guys roaming around.

We're sleeping much better at night knowing that we have the Dynamic Duo looking out for us.

Have a good weekend,
Busy-Dad-E

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Ultimate Crime-Fighting Duo



Dad Blogs Wordless Wednesday

Happy Halloween in June, the story behind the Robin costume to follow on Fatherhood Friday,
Busy-Dad-E

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cool Whip-Dipped Waffles

My mom used to tell me stories about how my paternal grandfather--whom I never met--absolutely LOVED whipped cream.

And by LOVED, she would say that he'd eat whipped cream on pretty much anything--including, shall we say, non-edible "stuff" (not that he ever did).

Anyway, lately Big Brother has had an on again, off again love affair with waffles.

Makes no sense to me, other than he must get sick of eating them, then goes for weeks without any, and then suddenly they're the most popular cuisine again.

(I hope his relationship with his high school girlfriend doesn't take a similar course. Oh wait, he's not allowed to date until he's--what, Mom-E?--20, 25, 30? :)

Lately, we're pleased that his relationship with waffles is back on.

4 words: Thank you, Cool Whip. (Apparently this is also genetically mediated, just like picky eating.)

Yes, Big Brother absolutely LOVES to dip his waffles in Cool Whip (and would eat heaping amounts of straight Cool Whip if you don't watch him like a hawk).

(Note to self, check Cool Whip container for stray finger marks before use.)

Unfortunately, syrup is a completely different story. Still won't touch that.

In the meantime, I'm plotting use of Cool Whip as a dip for all kinds of foods--including new vegetables, chicken, pizza, and, of course, peanuts (because according to Little Brother, peanuts taste like waffles.)

Have a good week,
Busy-Dad-E

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kids Say Friday


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! Be sure to check out what the great bloggers over at dad-blogs.com have to say.

This has been a Bus-E-er week here, so today I just wanted to share something that came out the mouth of Big Brother that was just too funny to pass up.

Last evening the family all got together, and Aunt-E was chatting with Big Brother.

She asked him--HYPOTHETICALLY--if Mom-E and Dad-E had another bab-e that was a girl, what would some good names be?

(Just like to confirm that we are NOT pregnant, nor thinking about that right now. I'll admit that some days the thought of "going for 4"--eventually--has crossed our minds.

Somedays this thought is appealing. Other days it makes us consider running away screaming like Atreyu at the Magic Mirror Gate in the Neverending Story)

His response: WE DON'T KNOW ANY GIRL NAMES. MOM-E CAN ONLY PUSH OUT BOYS.

Yes, you heard right, PUSH OUT. It made giving birth sound like a malfunctioning push pop. I was waiting for Bill Cosby to pop out from around the corner.

I'm not exactly sure how/where his precocious little mind heard and assimilated that one. We've talked about how each of the boys grew inside Mom-E's belly, and must've used the term "pushed out" when he asked something along the lines of "what does 'be born' mean?"

Sorry, pal, but someday you'll come to learn that whether Mom-E pushes out a boy or a girl is solely dependent on whether Dad-E donated an X or a Y. That one's all on me.

What are your kids saying these days?

Have a good weekend,
Busy-Dad-E

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Red" Socks

Parenthood has taught me many important things, one of them being:

Your child's reaction to "negative" things is often largely a function of how they are presented.

Or, in modern media lingo: "Spin, baby. Spin."

So a few weeks ago we washed a "hot load" of laundry that included, amongst other things, a kitchen mat. The kitchen mat is a blend of autumnal colors, including some reds.

Well aparently that sucka bleeds like crazy, because a few items--including one of Big Brother's favorite pairs of socks--were included in that load.

I knew he was going to ask--if not have a frank conniption--about his "new" pair of pink socks.

And let me tell you, they were as pink as a tu-tu.

Nevertheless, I opted for the "let's phrase this positively" and tell a blatant lie in plain sight put a little spin on it.

Before he had the chance to react, I said "Hey, Big Brother, check this out. We washed your socks by accident with that kitchen mat, and now you have this COOL new pair of RED socks!"

Someone must've been really watching over us that day, because he bought it--hook, line, and sinker.

And I mean not only did he buy it, he was DEMONSTRABLY EXCITED about this "new" pair of socks. He wanted to wear them that very day.

In fact, they've beccome his ABOSOLUTE FAVORITE pair of socks. Honestly.

Of course, parenthood also teaches you that:

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO EAT YOUR OWN WORDS.

Because when one of my socks was accidentally washed with the above-mentioned kitchen mat, Big Brother exclaimed "Hey, Dad-E, now you have a red sock, too."

That I do. 1 "red" sock.

And I'm pretending to be excited about it, although it's hard.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Busy-Dad-E