Thursday, November 10, 2011

the ball popper, part 2 (or, how to get it right)

ok, so a few of you may remember this post about the busy ball popper. well, a year and a few months later, at a playdate, we found emmi in love with playing with her friend's ball popper. now, having seemingly scarred her for life the first time she saw one of these things, we were more than a little surprised. so we decided to resurrect her own ball popper from the island of misfit toys, and lo and be-effin'-hold...

i guess it's just one of those things you learn as you get older: if at first you don't succeed, try the popper again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

a fresh set of eyes (or, how to age gracefully)

aging would be a lot easier if it wasn't for the getting old part. i turned 35 this year, and realized i am now closer to 50 than i am to 20. this was a sobering effin' thought! i still physically act like I'm 20, but my body likes to remind me that i'm not, as evidenced by the increasing number of advils I have to take after taking emmi to gymboree. i've grown my hair out longer than it has been since i was in college, and when someone asks why, i say 'because it may be my hair's last hurrah!' platitudes like 'you're only as old as you feel' are useless to me, because some days i feel like 25, other days 85. however, as corny as it sounds, seeing emmi experience life and watching her see things for the first time helps me cope with this whole aging nonsense. it truly does give you a different perspective.

and, at the very least, it gives me an excuse to slide down a slide and be the only grown up in the bouncy castle.

Monday, September 5, 2011

threat assessment analysis & response (or, how to take a bullet)

emmi is now officially fully mobile. she is running, jumping, spinning, diving, dancing, and charging headfirst like jim effin' brown right into the side of the sofa. however, sometimes her confidence outweighs her skill, and because of this, i have become an expert in predicting how something is going to happen. like some sort of toddler nostradamus, i can now tell when she is going to try and jump off of the couch and to either stop her or catch her before she falls face-first into the floor. i see her lose her balance before she even realizes she's falling off the lawn chair. i am, for all intents and purposes, a not so secret service agent. i'm a few steps behind, letting her do her thing, until trouble materializes. i've even jumped in front of her and gotten hit with a wiffle ball bat to keep her from getting hit while playing a bit too close to some older kids. i am the one that goes into the bouncy air castle with her and tosses bigger kids to the side if they jump too close. even my relatives are amazed at how i seem to swoop in like frickin batman and save her from crashing into the side of a picnic table. be it an outside threat, or simply saving her from herself, it is now my job to make sure she doesn't hurt herself.

it isn't as easy as it looks, really, and i have the nearly empty bottle of advil to prove it. am i being overprotective? perhaps, but at this stage, i prefer overprotectiveness over a trip to the emergency room. for her at least. it remains to be seen if i will need to go for myself.

Monday, June 6, 2011

like a boss (or, how to compare careers)

so, i've been in the professional daddy business for about 10 months, and it occurred to me that even though i'm home, sometimes i forget that most people have jobs they have to go to during the week. it got me to thinking: parenting, be it a working parent or the stay-at-home variety, is a full-time job in itself, complete with a demanding boss (or set of bosses). consider this:

- you are often forced to work to work long hours, even nights and weekends, sometimes without a break.

- the boss will always let you know when you are not doing an adequate job, usually rather loudly.

- sometimes, there's just no pleasing the boss no matter what you do.

does this sound like your job? well, if you substitute 'child' for 'boss', then you have a parent.

it's not nearly as bad as it sounds, however. what other job is there that you get to play peek-a-boo during the day? or have a tickle fight? or watch cartoons? or get to see the joy and pride beaming from your kid's face because they did something for the first time?

yup, in this job, the pay may not be so great, but the benefits are awesome.

'so what makes you the right person for this job?'

Friday, May 27, 2011

rebel without a shoe (or, how to question authority)

ok, ok, i know it's been a long while, but i was busy. write 2 papers a week for four months and then see how much time you have!

anyways, quite a bit has happened since last we spoke. emmi is now running around like crazy: climbing, jumping, and squeezing through any obstacle in such a way, it would make even the best catburgler jealous. she has also learned to test her limits. this is both an annoyance and a source of pride to me. i am proud that she questions authority; the only problem is that *i* am the authority. i am convinced that she knowingly does this, too. just before she does something, let's say, shake the side table with the lamp on it, as i'm saying no to her, she will look at me as if to say, 'i'm gonna do it anyway, beotch!' and then look me right in the eye and smirk at me! then when i get up to stop her, she runs away giggling like an effin' hyena! she has also invented several interesting ways to remove her shoes and socks. and then there's the touching. if it isn't nailed on, strapped in, glued to or otherwise attached, she will grab it. i know my father is looking down on me laughing his ass off every time i tell emmi to stop touching things she is not supposed to touch.

emmi is very much into the baby talk now as well. she can say a few words and even some simple sentences, but for the most part it's gibberish and sounds, although i wouldn't be surprised if someone told me that she was speaking mandarin chinese.

then there is the big news: emmi is going to be a big sister! yup, due almost exactly 2 years apart from emmi. we are doing the same thing as the first time around - we won't know if it's a boy or girl until it's on this side of the uterus.

she's gonna be a great big sister, but i can see this conversation taking place:

'ok kid, let's get a few things straight…rule #1: i'm in charge. rule #2: don't forget rule #1.'


'ok. glad we're on the same page.'

then they will both find their way into the cupboard and re-decorate the kitchen using flour, sugar, and chef boyardee cans.

stop laughing at me, dad.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

sippycup part 2 (or, how to skip a few steps)

so emmi is nearing 14 months old, and we decided it's time to retire the bottle. since last we spoke on the topic, emmi was not having any of this sippycup nonsense. so we then spent a small fortune on what seemed to be every single type, brand, model and size of sippycup ever made. finally, we had a breakthrough, using...a damn juice box. seems emmi prefers straws to sippycups, and took to the little juicebox straws like an old pro. so we went digging into our plethora of cups and found that we had 2 straw-based sippycups that she actually started using! hallelujah!

not so fast.

apparently, if it is in a sippycup, it better be juice, because milk is not an option. she takes one sip, makes a face, then pushes it away like we just offered her a cupful of blech. but you put that milk in a bottle and she gulps it down like a frat boy to beer.

after about 3 days of this milk strike, another breakthrough. if she doesn't drink from the sippycup, doesn't drink from the straw, and mommy and daddy do not cave and bring back the bottle, what's next? at this point, my lovely wife has an epiphany:

yup. do not pass go, do not collect $200, go right to drinking straight from the cup.

i should make her reimburse us for the 593 sippycups now collecting dust once she has an allowance.