Thursday, March 31, 2011

In the Crapper

At least that is where we'd like things to be.  We are preparing for the next great learning adventure: potty training.

We're almost ready to go. We've purchased multiple sets of underwear. We have a few potties strategically located throughout the house. And real life adult demonstrations are frequent.

The wee man is almost ready too. He loves his new y-fronts and he can't wait to pull off the diaper. Now if we can just convince him to actually sit on the potty/toilet instead of the carpet, the step or the middle of the floor.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Battle of the Bike Helmet

Last summer we got the little man into cycling. At that time, at just over a year, he wasn't flying through stages on a road bike, nor was on a fat tire crossing the spine of the continent. He was alternating between the trailer and the seat on the back of our bikes. And he loved it.

This Spring, with the weather getting steadily nicer, mumum had a chance to bike the little guy into work on Friday. Turns out he has a fat head. Well at least his relatively new helmet no longer fit. It didn't matter. He was over his red fireman helmet. Now he wanted "blue one". So we headed out to find him a nice new helmet. Hopefully one that fits for more than one season.

In the store, his first crush was on a nice lime green one. Sensible, stylish, practical - what wasn't to love. At least for two and a half minutes.

Next was a brilliant blue model. A bit flashier sure, but a bit on the adult side for him.

Finally he selected an edgy little grey number adorned with green flames and silver stars. At least we're only choosing bike helmets.

Now that we've bought it and got it home, he has yet to put it on his head. At least with the blizzard today it'll be a while before we're pulling out the velos.

Democracy in Action

Yesterday the federal government unveiled Budget 2011. After months of speculation, raised voices and wagers placed, the pundits were about to learn who had won their election date speculation pool. As the Government defends it's record, quietly sweeps scandals aside and plans for the future while the opposition parties ready their motions, rally their troops and put the finishing touches on their campaigns, it's time to get ready for democracy in action.

Of course for democracy to really work, we need to vote. So why not get some practice! Over at Circle of Moms, a critical question is being asked. What are the Top 25 Daddy Blogs? So don't delay. Head on over and cast your ballot.

And we won't mind if you vote for us!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A trip to the Farm

Yesterday, with the appearance of sunshine, if not actual Spring, we made a trip to Riverdale Farm to see the animals! The pigs, sheep and goats were the highlight although he appreciated the ducks and chickens too. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

He left me a present

Where he knew I'd find it!


The alternate title of this post is "Surrendering".

Can you can see where this going?

This past weekend was great. The wee man's Grandpa Cheese was in town. There was much playing and reading and napping and building. Very little food got airborne. Most bodily produced waste products were deposited in the appropriate receptacles. Sleep was undisturbed well past 5am.

Things are going well, so maybe the wee man was feeling unwell, or maybe the 'rents are becoming more practiced, or maybe we've come to some sort of understanding, a settlement, a negotiated agreement.

Right. The literature of negotiation celebrates collaborating as a great negotiating mode. My negotiating prof insists on the importance of creating the frame and building trust. Gurus laud the win-win. None of that is happening here.

I'm sure a lot of this newfound harmony lies in my simple capitulation to his demands. Ok, so not all of his demands (I still get a way in when I change his diaper and when he goes to bed), but he's the master of what he eats and when. He controls which door we use to exit the house. He determines the route of our commute. How long will bath time be? Go ask him. Which chair will I be allowed to sit in at dinner? Will I even get to sit during dinner?

I get to be the kid again and do some things just because somebody said so. And I'm kind of loving the freedom.

Friday, March 11, 2011


It's Friday. Thankfully the end of this week.

Tough to begin with, sure. Then on Wednesday night I was struck down with a case of food poisoning that left me confined to bed (and bathroom). It was time for the wee man to unleash some of his toddler-ness on his Mumum. And did he ever.

So, Thursday morning, with the wee man sounding the alarm at 4:30 am, instead of calling frantically battling the the City of Toronto Recreation registration system, there was Mumum cleaning a steaming pile from the deep pile of our shag area rug.

And the potty training hasn't even officially begun.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Puppetmaster

If only this post were about Jim Henson. These days I do feel like a muppet.

The little man turns 23 months old tomorrow. In the past I've coo-ed and laughed at how he was hitting those "terrible twos" a wee bit early. Well I confess. I mis-judged things. I mis-calculated just a bit. I was flat out wrong. Previous "outbursts", "defiance" and "tantrums" were not the real thing.

While "no" remains a common refrain, it's now being complemented, augmented and supplemented. Among this morning's choice phrases were:
  • "no liking it"
  • "not that way"
  • "not that one"
  • and a devilish cackle that your senses are better off not experiencing.
 In addition to his blatant defiance and oral arguements against, the wee man has taken to pre-empting my feeble attempts at discipline. Last week's tomato sauce was a turning point, one where, despite having two parents with almost 60 years more total experience than him, his lead is widening.

This morning's play: as I scoop him up to head downstairs his fist starts thumping repeatedly against my face. My glasses hit the floor as he gleefully chirps "No hitting! No hitting!". So much for explaining the transgression. We move to Phase Two as I deliver my warning outlining the consequences of continuing the behaviour, which is met by the second fist springing to action. Phase 3 follows quickly as I follow-through on said consequences, only he's beaten me to it. As I lower him to the floor he lurches for the corner laughing hysterically while quipping "timeout! timeout! Corner, corner, corner!". As I approach and drop to his level, keeping my voice low and in control to explain (Phase Four), he fires off "sorrysorrysorrysorrysorry" turns on his heel and sprints down the hall. I would relate what happened next, but by this point I was more of a puddle on the floor than a parent.

Score: WeeMan 4 - Dada 0.

I know he's learning from my mistakes, but am I? Although the past four days have been something alright, with the above just the annecdotal evidence of a growing trend, I'm not willing to venture that we've hit the real thing yet. All I can do is pick myself up and dust myself off.

There is more coming.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Out, Damned Spot!

Of late, the wee man has really been growing up. He can communicate effectively, sometimes in sentence form.  He's started peeing in the toilet (at school anyway). And he can use a fork, spoon and knife (the plastic kind they still let you take on airplanes) getting most of the grub to its intended destination.

Last night Mum-mum had to work late, so it was a mini-boys night in but eveything was going swimmingly. We'd made it home sans tantrum and he was excited for dinner (it helps when you feed him something he likes). So some salmon baked in lemon and voila! gone in 30 seconds. Sure some asparagus got up close and personal with the hardwood, but the boy was eating well without too much collateral damage.  So when he presented his demands for more, I settled on the Gnocchi. With tomato sauce. No problem. This was going to be one for the books. We'd show Mum-mum that we can get through a nutritious, well-balanced dinner without having the dining room look like the racoons had gotten into the trash. 

A minute later, I stood blinking the burning pasta sauce from my eye, trying to flush the red goo from my nostril, while noticing that my dress shirt and pants would take top prize at a la tomatina after party. The white walls and door behind me looked like Pollock's Seven Red Paintings.

I was furious. We had just finished discussing this very issue. In depth. He had agreed to hand over the bowl cleanly as he declared the gnocchi beneath him. I caught the glint, the flash, the quiver in his eye, but too late.

As I struggled to gain my composure, I promised the little ***(insert expletive here)*** a lengthy timeout. We were going to do a whole two minutes! Oh yes! Not just one minute any more, boyo! And it wasn't just going to be pushed back from the table. It was going to be full two minutes in the corner! Before I could implement this harsh but wholly justified sentence, I had to remove the scarlet sauce that was oozing between his fingers and dripping from his chin (why did we buy a white couch when we knew a child was on the way?).

Washing his hands and face quickly in the bathroom sink I was still promising the mother of all time outs. This was going to be one for the ages. We were going to put the universe back in it's rightful order, an order with Dadda firmly planted on top. Just as the correct, ordained and righteous order of things was about to return and for all time, he contorted slightly in my arms, looked right into my burning eyes, and simply said "potty?"

So as I helped him find his reading material, position the potty just so, and climb aboard there I was smiling, encouraging and celebrating his acheivements.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Big news from daycare


As regular readers will know, the little guy loves his books. He reads them in the morning, demands them during dinner, secrets them away at daycare and even sleeps with them. While he loves all his books, he has his favourites, but this week his focus has turned to stories from the deep. This shift to underwater tales is coinciding with an explosion in his vocabulary.

So next time you meet the wee man, don't be surprised when he starts discussing whales, sharks, dolphins, anemones, jellyfish, squid, starfish and optagots. Especially the optagots.