Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fit To Be Tied

I'm "fit to be tied."

But don't worry. I'm not angry. I'm speakin' literal here.

The boys have a new favorite game to play outside.

It's called "Dad-E, tie us to the stop sign with a jump rope so we can pretend to be Harry Houdini.”

I’m not sure where they got this idea. An old Road Runner cartoon where he gets tied down to the railroad track, only to escape at the last minute?

Either way, seems like we hardly step outside and there are cries for “Dad-E, tie us with the jump rope?”

I prefer to call it an exercise in futility.

Because let’s face it, you can spend 20 minutes trying to tie with a jump rope, and boys can escape in under 20 seconds.

And what makes the game even more fun is that while I’m trying to tie two boys to a stop sign with a jump rope, Bab-E Brother is playing his own game of “roll the ball down the driveway and make Dad-E go chase after it.”

Dad-E then throws the ball as far as he can, so that he has more time to tie the older boys with the jump rope, while Bab-E Brother plays fetch.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I’m sure the neighbors enjoyed the show.

But don’t worry, we figured out how to make the game more interesting.

It’s called, “Watch the cop car drive by while you’re tying your children to a stop sign with a jump rope.”

Now that was fun.

Fortunately, he didn’t notice us, or he realized the innocence of our game in broad daylight.

So much for a simple game of jump rope.

Have a good week,

Friday, July 29, 2011

Life Lessons Sinking In

Happy Fatherhood Friday! Be sure to visit, a great forum for dad (and mom) bloggers.

I feel like I'm eyeballs deep in work these days.

And when things get more hectic, I try to do a few things to offset the craz-e-ness.

I continue to exercise, even if it means wanting to smash the alarm clock getting up earlier than I'd like.

I look forward to the moments at the end of the day when Mom-E and I can sit down and laugh together even if we fall asleep on the couch 30 seconds after sitting down about the wild jungle that is our household.

I write this blog.

I leave for work a hair later than I should, if that means an opportunity to sit down and have breakfast with the boys, and maybe even play a round or two of War before I head out.

And such was the case this morning that I enjoyed breakfast with the boys.

As I was getting their food together while they sat around the table, I heard the following conversation:

"Big Brother, what do you want to be when you grow up?" started Little Brother.

"An artist," he replied. "What about you?"

"A builder."

"That's great. You know, you can be anything you want."


Little Brother then turns to me and asks, "Dad-E, how was your day yesterday?"

I love it when the boys asks that - and sitting down at the table for dinner has become synonymous with that question.

It's also synonymous with yelling ("That's gross!"), screaming, playing with toys, running away from the table, going potty, and feeding Pupp-E.

But those two phrases - "You can be anything you want." and asking "How was your day?" - are some of the core ideals that Mom-E and I have tried to instill in the boys.

And apparently they've been listening to those phrases at least, can't say that about everything.

So now matter how bus-e and craz-e it gets, today is a good day.

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Too Much TV

The other night we were reading stories before bed with Big Brother and Little Brother.

After finishing the first one, Little Brother blurts out:


Yes, he used the exact words "read another movie".

Too much TV, a budding interest in foreign films with subtitles, or one very tired 3 year-old who'd gone the entire day without a nap?

You decide...but I promise you he was tired to the point of slurring some words.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

* In Little Brother speak any show appearing on the TV - whether actual television or a full-length feature film - is referred to as a "movie*

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Bab-E With One Left Shoe

I'm sure glad that I'm writing down all these little details as I think about them, because no doubt if I didn’t, I’d forget them.

After a long, hard day of chasing small men around, it’s always quite relaxing to take your shoes off, and prop up your feet. Same goes for long trips in the car.

Apparently Bab-E Brother only got half of the message.

It’s pointless to put shoes on the boy if he’s getting into the car.

Because almost instantly he takes them off.

But only the right one.

Yep, the boy will ride in the car for miles wearing only his left shoe.

We have no idea what gives.

It just doesn’t sound right to say, “Yep, I love to kick back, take my right shoe off, and prop up that right foot.”

Perhaps he’s confusing this with part of the Hokey-Pokey?

And what makes it even funnier is that he does the same thing when he gets angry – that right shoe (only) is taken off and thrown on the floor in disgust.

I can’t wait until he can talk well enough that we can figure out what’s going on.

Have a good week,
Keep you shoes on (or off, or both),

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One More Thing Before I Go To Bed

Happy Fatherhood Friday! Be sure to visit, a great forum for dad (and mom) bloggers.

It seems like lately I've been writing a lot about some of my boys' indelible little behaviors.

And today is no different (mostly because I'm tired and couldn't think of anything else).

In contrast to times past, I'm thankful that overall the boys are pretty easy to put to bed.

Every now again, about 10 minutes after we've said our last "goodnight", just when we think everyone's asleep, Little Brother will calmly walk out of his room, say something absolutely hysterically random, turn around, close his door, and go straight back to bed, never to be heard from again until morning.

He doesn't even wait for you to respond before he heads back into his room.

The other day I told Mom-E we need to write these down before we forget them.

Here are the only two I can remember my two favorites.

Again, remember, picture a tired toddler coming out of his room and blurting out:

1. "Dad-E, I want to have my birthday party at home."

(Thanks, buddy, I'll try to remember that 8 months from now when it's actually your birthday.)

2. "Mom-E, wouldn't it be silly if we had a trash can in our minivan."

(That's funny coming from a 3 year-old who otherwise appears to think that the entire floor of the minivan is his personal trash can.)

Have a good weekend,

I don't know what I want for Christmas yet.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Comfort Water

This is a post about charming quirks.

I certain have some. Quirks that it. "Charming" is in the eye of the beholder.

Each of my boys has 'em.

One of Little Brother's that amuses me has come up a few times this week.

Night water.

I'm sure it's very common that kids want a drink of water before going to bed.

Little Brother is no different.

He often pops his head out of his room to ask for water.

That part's not quirky, but what he does with it is.


That's right, I said nothing.

He does nothing with the water.

He doesn't drink it.

He doesn't even want it in his bed (screams if you do).

Nope, he just wants a cup of water to sit on the floor at his bedside all night long and start growing bacteria.

We haven't gone so far as to videotape this, but when you come into his room in the morning, the cup hasn't moved and the straw is unbent, so you know he hasn't touched it.

Some kids have a blankie (Little Brother has that, too), some kids have a stuffed animal or toy in bed,...

and Little Brother has his comfort water.

Whatever kids the kid to fall asleep, I guess.

What are some of your favorite quirks about your kids?

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Family Crayola Portrait

Hello there!

Thanks to me bringing home some extra scrap paper from work, Big Brother is on a drawing binge.

Below is his most recent family portrait.

In case you're wondering, I'm the small head in the bottom left corner with 3 hairs on top (hey, what can I say, the boy has an eye for detail).

Now, I'm not a child psychologist, but based on the spatial arrangement of the figures, I'd have to assume that my 6 year old's world view is still pretty egocentric, given that his head takes up about 85% of the page.

And the rest of us are just his puppets? (Again, just like my hair or lack thereof, I'd have to say his drawing style is realism :)

But at least with all the hearts it suggests that he is happy and there's a lotta love.

Let's just hope that the fact that everything's brown means he was thinking about chocolate while drawing.

Have a good week,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Like Kryptonite for Robin

Happy Fatherhood Friday! Be sure to visit, a great forum for dad (and mom) bloggers.
We (still) need more participants!

Recently, we've chronicled Little Brother's obsession with wearing his Robin costume (part I and part II). Go ahead and catch up if you need to. We'll wait.

Great. Glad you're back.

And today will be the third (and hopefully final) installment of this saga. (Because well, you know, by the time you get to the third post/film in a series, your audience is often wishing you stopped after the first.)

Mom-E and are pleased to say we serendipitously found an antidote, dare I say "kryptonite", for the Robin costume: liquid.

Just as one drop of pee in his underwear causes Little Brother to strip from below the waist, one drop of liquid causes the Robin costume to come off immediately.

(We figured this out the other evening when a little chocky juice dribbled onto his sleeve at dinner.)

Yep, who knew that Robin is more cat than bird, "afraid" of water. (At least he didn't melt like the Wicket Witch of the West.)

Now, I'm not saying that Mom-E now carries a syringe of water around in her purse (tempting though it may be).

But at least we know if we really need him to take of the costume lest he melt from heat exhaustion, all we need is a sprinkle of liquid.

And in keeping up with the theme, I now realize that we know the weaknesses of all of our superheroes.

As detailed earlier this week, Bab-E Brother's powers are zapped by dirty hands.

And Big Brother is immobilized by a smelly dog. (Makes him run away screaming like the Magic Mirror Gate in the Neverending Story.)

Which leads me to think that Pupp-E is actually kryptonite for all three of our little superheroes.

In one fell swoop, he can come inside, wet, dirty, and stinky. The "stinky" knocks out Big Brother, he gets Little Brother "wet", putting him out of commission, and when Bab-E Brother pets him, his hands get "dirty" and he's immobilized, too.

I knew there was some reason we kept that dog around.

Have a good weekend,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Forearm Lickin' Good

KFC’s slogan is “Finger-Lickin’ Good”.

When it comes to Bab-E Brother and eating, if it’s only “Finger-Lickin’ Good”, then you might as well feed it to the dog.

Because when Bab-E Brother is into his food, he licks and smears it over his ENTIRE FOREARM.

I guess to spread-out the flavor and to be able to savor it longer.

It’s quite the interesting show.

Give the boy some yogurt, or a waffle with homemade blueberry jam, or a peanut butter cracker, and after he takes a bite, he proceeds to smear the residual on his lips across his entire forearm.

And he could care less about the resultant mess on his arm.

But get ONE SINGLE drop of yogurt, blueberry, or peanut butter on his hand, and he’ll be screaming for a wipe, and he’ll exceed his 500 napkin limit in about 60 seconds.

Too funny.

And while I’m dissertating on the peculiar eating habits of one Bab-E Brother, my other favorite is that when it comes to hand-held foods, the boy finishes NOTHING.

When he gets down to about the last bite or two, right when he’s eaten down to his fingers, he’s done.

And by done I mean that he SCREAMS at you to take what’s left in his hand.

Apparently he really does not want to lick his fingers or get them dirty, in contrast to the all-out assault on his forearm.

But unlike his older brothers, the boy eats some meat (current favorite is Turkey meatballs).

So you know what, go ahead and smear it all over your arm. Paint with it on your placemat even.

We’re just glad you’re eating.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Now go lick your forearm,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fully In Character

I realize you might be a little weary hearing about this, but the saga with Little Brother's Robin costume continues.

(It's either that or I start showing you pictures of the Lego Transformers and Beyblades we made this weekend.)

Like a ballplayer who keeps wearing a lucky pair of socks during a winning streak, Little Brother pretty much refuses to take off his Robin costume (except to bathe).

In the past week, he's worn the costume:
1. To play outside
2. In bed to sleep, nightly
3. To the mall
4. To the gym (with Mom-E, Little Brother doesn't workout at age 3)
5. To Big Brother's t-ball game

Okay, so he wore it for PART of Big Brother's t-ball game. But out of fear that he would start melting or pass out, I forcibly removed his costume, while he kicked and screamed. No joke.

And let me just say that I was quite worried about another such confrontation when it came time to get ready for church on Sunday.

But apparently he decided that he could go to church as Dick Grayson, because he actually put on clothes.

Granted, he changed pants a grand total of six times, but at least he was wearing pants. Around here, we consider pants a bonus.

And of course, when I ask him "Why do you like to wear your costume so much?"

"I don't know." he sheepishly giggles.

Oh to be 3 and uninhibited.

Until the next costume change...

Have a good week,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Halloween in July

Happy Fatherhood Friday! Be sure to visit, a great forum for dad (and mom) bloggers. We need more participants!

Recently, we brought you Christmas in June.

Today, I bring you Halloween in July. (Who said you have to wait until October?)

Little Brother’s summer wardrobe has been all about the extremes, consistent with his unique style and panache.

For the first half of the summer, he pretty much went around wearing only “fimming funks” (swimming trunks) and no shirt.

Recently, he’s returned to wearing his Robin costume, which has been “newly refurbished” (i.e., Mom-E stitched up all of the holes, and made him a new mask to replace the one that went missing. Thanks, Mom-E!)

And by wearing the costume, I don’t mean put in on and play Batman and Robin for an hour (or 5 minutes), depending on attention span.

I mean the boy wears the Robin costume ALL DAY LONG.

It doesn’t matter if it’s 125-degrees outside. He insists on wearing his costume.

The other day, we decided to go to the mall. I got to play with the boys on the playground, while Mom-E got to run an fun errand and an hour with no screams (or at least only the residual screams from inside her head.) ☺

You guessed it. Little Brother INSISTED on wearing his Robin costume to the mall, complete with mask.

And not only that, he was wearing pj’s underneath the costume. (Hey, in our world, Little Brother willingly sporting pants of any kind is a plus.)

You can imagine the looks we got. (Or the looks I assume we got. With 3 young boys, we can still look like a bit of a side show even when everyone is dressed in regular clothes, so I’ve become somewhat immune to stares.)

However, I did notice that Little Brother got lots of attention from the other children at the playground, who seemed to find it a cool idea.

If you happened to be a parent who’s child saw Little Brother at the mall and wants to wear their Halloween costume to the playground, I’m sorry.

Way to go, Little Brother, you have a style all your own that brings a smile and a chuckle to our hearts.

Have a good weekend,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A-D-H-ey Let's Ride Bikes

I hope you had a Happy 4th!

My personal highlight was the "wanna-be Darwin Award nominee" who thought it'd be fun to smoke while leaning against the stack of propane tanks and intermittently light & throw firecrackers AT A GAS STATION. I was relieved to not hear any reports of a gas station going up in flames.

But I digress.

Playing with small boys outside after dinner is interesting.

They pretty much have the attention span of an apple.

Yesterday we went outside to enjoy the outdoor sauna play a game of tag.

The game lasted all of about two minutes (which is a good thing when you have to chase a 6 and 3 year-old around while carrying a 25-pound toddler. That'll give you respect for the sport of wife carrying. <-- Look it up, it's for real.)

5 minutes later, the driveway is littered with sidewalk chalk, giant foam noodles, a bouncy ball, a basketball, 2 bikes, and a 3 year-old dressed in a Robin costume (didn't take it off all day).

And 6 minutes later, I'm chasing the basketball down the driveway to the amusement of the 18 month-old who rolled it, trying to get to a 3 year-old who's stripping naked over 2 drops of urine in his underwear, and attempting to help a 6 year-old fasten knee and elbow pads.

(Note to self, multi-tasking is not in your genes.)

Which brings me to the most important part of today's post: bike riding.

Yep, Big Brother is strapping on his knee and elbow pads, and starting to learn how to ride a two-wheel bike.

It's a very exciting time. We've gently pushed the idea (and further pushed it by taking off the training wheels), but I was particularly proud that today Big Brother decided all by himself that he was going to work on riding his bike and it made up for the giant tantrum he threw at the dinner table.

We have a favorite book about learning to ride a bike

In this book, while learning to ride, Froggy's dad says "I won't let go", and then proceeds to let go.

I made it very clear to Big Brother that I would only let go if he wanted me to.

And he did!

And I can honestly say that I think I was more scared of letting go than he was.

But, I'm pleased to say that after I let go, Big Brother was able to push on the peddles at least once and move a little bit forward before having to use his feet to balance himself.

No ouchies! Yay!

I suspect he'll be riding well by the end of the summer.

Of course, in the spirit of the evening (and post title), within about 5 minutes of riding, Big Brother declared he was getting hot and wanted to come inside to make even more mess do something else.

Inattention of small men aside, what a defining, symbolic moment with the bike.

So much of fatherhood was encapsulated in that one brief moment: Excitement. Fear. Pride. Trust. Hope. Having to let go. Stumbling. And picking yourself up and trying again.

Way to go Big Brother. Love you, buddy.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th 2011

Happy 4th!

I hope that you are enjoying this day with family and friends, as we are here at Busy-Dad-E.

And so today, we pause to show respect and to remember all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, at home and abroad.

"Freedom is never free."

Thank you for giving me the freedom to enjoy my family.

Today, and everyday.

Oh, and the freedom to not have to wear hats like these.

Have a great week,
May God Bless America,