Monday, July 26, 2010

How YOU Doin'?

We're blogging on location today from a sweaty Mobile, Alabama.  Habatcha.  Yours truly took some of that vacation/time off stuff just to see what it was like.  Really, vacay is hardly necessary, because every day is a vacation at Greener Pastures Capital.  I'm telling you, butterflies and unicorns and rainbows surround my desk 24/7.

I got up this morning to find an unreasonably happy Jack in his Zip-A-Kid (we've arranged for one here locally, too).  I pulled on my ball cap and got his GEEN Crocs on and we rolled over to dad's 2nd favorite coffee shop in the galaxy, Carpe Diem.  Yeah, I trolled for a fix with my son in tow.  Like you haven't.  Oh, and if anybody's ever launching a coffee house, there are some requisite items needed to ensure sucess (and probably to make the java taste better, too):
  1. A name containing Latin, a pun, or both (extra credit for use in a motion picture)
  2. A super old, beat up house with garish, glossy paint (25+ coats preferable) and creaky floors
  3. Chatty staff prone to witty repartee
  4. Proximity to a university.  You've got a built-in customer base in need of stimulants
  5. Minimal parking.  I'm telling you, no place to park screams, "We're hip, have a zero lot line, and no ability to plan ahead."  As an added bonus, it keeps out the over-30 riff raff like myself.  Well, most times.
There you go.  No charge.

So I'm getting shaky waiting on the bohemian 'keeper to construct the five gallon au lait I've demanded.  Jack's in my arms, and he suddenly gets all wiggly.  This lady - and she wasn't bad looking - had just walked in, and Jack tractor beams her with a huuuuuuuuge grin.  And then he starts giggling to really set the hook.  I thought this poor gal was going to melt into a puddle right there on the floor.

While she's putting her order in, Jack leans over and quietly says in my ear, "DUHRL!" [Girl!]

That took about a decade less time than I thought it would.

But don't worry, that was just a passing fling.  He spent yesterday in church with AHN EMUH [Aunt Emily].  Doing this.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'll Take Onomatopoeia for $800

I caught a cold last night that tore through my throat like a belt sander.  My white cells are holed up with muskets and powderhorns like Texicans in the Alamo.  Anyway, I feel cruddy, to use the scientific term, so a thousand apologies for poor blog quality, and being more nitwit than wit.

Jack's gotten to be quite the little bookworm lately, and he's starting to complete short sentences, replete with the adjectives and prepositions that transform caveman talk into legitimate English.  In one of the books I listed last week, A Good Day, you can flip to a certain page and Jack will blurt "Little Brown squirrel dropped her nut."  I mean, it's DITTA BOW THURR DOP HA NAT but it's every bit as intelligible as his dad's pinesappy drawl.

But where he really enjoys himself is in short words that have long since lost their comedic effect on grownups.  Like, well, bonk.  Bonk is a funny word, people.  Try it.  Go ahead, I'll wait.  See?  And even jump.  Jump is funny to say and also fun to do.  So when a book like Ten In the Bed comes along, Jack goes into hysterics.  Every page ends with onomatopoeia when somebody falls out of the bed, like OOF!  and PLOP! and BOING! and BUMP!  (It's like reading a script from a 1960s Batman episode.)

And he'll say compact little sentences, like PU AHN DADDEEZ HAT.  Which is pretty cool.  It's mindblowing when a baby starts talking at all.  And it's incredible when they start calling you DAHDAH or MAHMAH on sight.  So it follows that we're really struck when Jack concocts little phrases and sentences that show what's bubbling in that little head.  He's catching on, and quickly.  Like when he sneezed on Saturday.  I know, I know.  Monumental.  And I said my usual, "Bless you."  He counters with BLEH JAK! [Bless Jack!].  Right, kid, it's all about you.  He'll tell you when his molars are killing him TEEH HUR [teeth hurt].  Majesty was talking with someone last night about his penchant for climbing.  Jack overhears, looks over and says YAHDAH [ladder]!  H.M.'s summary to me later on:  "I think he knows too much."

We went up to see Grammy and Grandpa in Fruitvale on Friday.  We got up Saturday morning and Jack went berserk running around there in the dewy grass.  When he was good and soaked, he (naturally) headed for the dirt.  It was like watching Tuco running through the cemetery in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

By the time we went in the house, he looked looked like chicken breaded up for frying.

All I got.  My bad.  Try your luck next week.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Recommended Reading

It seems every clown out there has a recommended book list.  Oprah's got one, right?  That crazy dude that raps about pants on the ground probably does, too.  And hey, why not us?

So Majesty suggested that we list our favorite children's books here on CJMP.  That sounds like a great idea for several reasons, the first being that we can record in the annals of history the blog exactly what Jack was reading and roughly when he was reading it.  Because that somehow seems like information worth having when we're doddering around with canes and walkers and frayed cardigans in the summertime.  Reading.  Okay, he's being read to.  Semantics.  This also it provides me with content when I'm fresh out.  Behold, ye blackguards!

Majesty's Book List, in no particular order (may include my snarky commentary):
•    Dr. Seuss:  One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The Cat in the Hat, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!, and Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! (Basically anything Theo Geisel ever wrote is overwhelmingly approved by our illustrious Cap'n.)
•    Silent Night - A Pageant of Light books (Bible + Tiny Electric Lights + Sound = Surefire Winner.  And not just for Christmastime, either.)
•    Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw (Even MY "E" sounds were improved by reeeeeeeading this.)
•    A Good Day by Kevin Henkes (You know, it WAS a good day after all.  Who knew?)
•    Jamberry by Bruce Degen  (Stuff starts going all wobbly 1967 about halfway through.  I reckon that bear is on something hallucinogenic.  Zoomberry?  SHROOMberry!)
•    Various nursery rhyme books illustrated by a Ms. Wendy Straw (these are the big, floppy, glossy books with great pictures that reprint famous nursery rhymes and songs)
•    Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, now replaced by Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman (Go read this article about a fascinating example of cultural revisionism in Goodnight Moon, and its very interesting Wikipedia entry, complete with royalty intrigue.)
•    Barnyard Dance and all the Sandra Boynton books (Ms. Boynton is an unparalleled genius and probably a billionaire judging from the amount of our family net worth already allocated to her publisher.)
•    Windows to Color, a Baby Einstein book (The Pretty Boring Book:  What it has in "pretty" it readily exceeds in "boring."  Alright, it does have an awesome Degas  and a good Van Gogh in there.)
•    Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale is Jack's current #1 favorite (and is a yuk-fest of epic proportions for the little guy.)
•    Bear Snores On by avowed hippie Karma Wilson and Karma's only Republican friend Jane Chapman (The Parental Units' current #1 fav.)
Feel free to submit your own favorites.

If you have a good bit of time, go read this rather depressing article about the degree of modern parental angst.  It goes about 2,000 words long, raises approximately 4,027 (unanswered) questions, and makes me genuinely fearful of our societal, and personal, maturityI believe the article also delves into shocking new research linking marathon running with blisters and weight loss.  (Hat tip April H.)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Doing Time on Cellblock ABC

Naps Are for Babies (and Check Out My Abs!)
So we stopped taking a nap.  And by "we" I mean the only family member sans bladder control.  But darn it, the little guy was downright pleasant today, and he may be getting used to the new regime.  I had this crazy computer science teacher in high school that swore he only slept 4 hours a night, and loved it.  There was just too much to do. He had calculated (of course) how many years the average person "wasted" with all that unnecessary sleep.

Jack reminds me of that guy, and spends his erstwhile naptime doing stuff like this:

I caught him on Amazon ordering a set of kettlebells and some whey powder.

Anyway, the formally negotiated trade-off was to move bedtime up an hour.  Awesome.  He sticks to his end of the deal, and drops like a bag of hammers at 7:14pm.

Cribs Are for Babies, Too
And we stopped staying "in" the crib.  And by "we" I mean... oh forget it.  You know exactly who I mean.

I got one of those emails from Majesty last week.  You know, the emails that have 'YOUR SON' on the memo line.  She said Le Jacques had BASE jumped from his crib, and made it on foot to the bathroom rallying point, where he completed his objective (no not that one):  TP was piled gleefully on the rug.  The bottle of Johnson's Baby Shampoo was emptied on the TP with gusto.

The Zip-A-Kid Foolproof Incarceration Tent arrived a few days later.  If you're not familiar, think a crib mosquito net.  Only your kid is the mosquito, and you're trying to keep them in.  Tricky, that.  He thought it was great at first.  And I guess prison could theoretically be novel until you figure out you can't leave.  Cause dude, you can't.  IN YOUR FACE, BABY!  If you're scoring along at home, that's
Parental Poseurs:  3
Intrepid Infant:  436,705,729
I think we've got the momentum now.

Shame Is for Even Bigger Babies
I'm Bathtime Operations Mate.  Under the guise of upping my "Daddy Time," Majesty has brilliantly offloaded all the lifting and wrangling of the wily (and way slippery) little guy, well, to me.  Genius.  That chick is a genius.  So I'm entrusted with the daily upkeep of the best hair in the known universe.  It's a huge responsibility.  And we like, bond and stuff.  You icky, cootie-infested girls wouldn't understand.

So Jack and I are sitting there, chatting about what McChrystal was thinking when he greenlighted the Rolling Stone piece (you think I jest).  We're about finished up, and the sudsy water drains.  I'm getting the towel, chamois and power buffer ready.  And I see Captain Nekkid recline in the shallow end, with this relaxed look, and he just pees his little heart out.  Like Olympic Record high.  And he points with it.*  And it dawned on me:

That is the essence of being male.

*A lifelong skill, here, and a little-discussed perk of the y-chromosome.