Tag: little man

Doctor Who and the Little Man

I mentioned how the Little Man was sick yesterday afternoon. After his nap, still not feeling one hundred percent, he climbed into bed with me as I sat down to watch an episode of Doctor Who. Now, for those who don’t know, I’ve only seen a handful of episodes of Doctor Who. The first one I ever saw was not long after a TARDIS appeared across from my house. It seems that there were quite a few people out there who found it unbelievable that a science fiction writer had never seen Doctor Who. I tried to explain that I was not a fan of most television and movie science fiction. I’d grown up reading science fiction and that is what I enjoy. That said, people convinced me to watch one episode of Doctor Who and the episode they selected for me was “Blink,” which I enjoyed.

Since the, I acquired the first two seasons of the new Doctor Who with the thought of eventually watching them. I generally don’t have much time for television, and when I do, I’m usually looking for some form of relaxing, enjoyable entertainment. Last night, I was in one of those moods where that was just what the doctor ordered, so to speak.

So I put on “Aliens of London” from Season 1 of Doctor Who. (I’d already seen the first three episodes) and explained to the Little Man that this was a show with spaceships and aliens. For the first few minutes, the Little Man (who is nearly 3-1/2, by the way) kept asking where the spaceships were. Of course, we saw one crash into the Thames soon enough.

“Is that the Enterprise, Daddy?” the Little Man asked.

“No,” I said, severely. “Listen, it’s fine to make that kind of mistake in here when it is just you and me. But you have to be careful in the outside world. You could make some people very unhappy by misidentifying which franchise it is you are watching.”

The Little Man just blinked at me.

Of course, he kept asking for spaceships. I tried to explain to him that the TARDIS was a spaceship, of sorts. He was having none of that. With more than three years of experience in this world, the Little Man knew a spaceship when he saw one and the TARDIS was most definitely not a spaceship.

Perhaps the funniest moment came when the Doctor had cornered the (presumed dead) alien at number 10 Downing Street. They had the alien trapped and the creature tried to make his escape. It was a tense scene and the creature was about to reveal itself. Now, if you’ve seen the episode, you know exactly what’s coming. But I hadn’t seen the episode and neither had the Little Man. So when the alien was finally revealed, I sat there momentarily confused. Not so the Little Man. He burst out laughing at the top of his lungs, “Daddy, it’s a pig!”

I guess you can say that the Little Man’s first experience with Doctor Who was a good one. It cheered him up when he was sick and it made him laugh and feel better. And isn’t that what doctors are for?

My Cats-In-The-Cradle Moment Last Night

When I put the Little Man to bed, I tell him that I will come check on him later. I usually wait ten minutes or so and go and check on him. Sometimes he’s playful, other times he’s on the verge of sleep. Sometimes, he’s philosophical. Keep in mind, the Little Man is almost 3-1/2 so “philosophical” is a relative term. Last night, on checking in on him, the conversation went like this:

“No school tomorrow, Daddy?” he said.

“Yeah, you have school tomorrow. And I have to go to work.”

“When I get to be a really, really, really big boy, I’m going to work, too.”

“And you can be whatever you want to be when you go to work.”

“Daddy, I want to be just like you.”

I was momentarily speechless. Then I recovered (slightly) and said:

“You can do that, too, but you can also be whatever you want.”

“I want to be just like you, Daddy.”

“That’s really sweet, buddy.”

That was a surreal moment. I told Kelly about it immediately afterward, but it still stuck with me this morning. I can remember telling my dad–when I wasn’t much older than the Little Man is right now–that I never wanted to call him “Dad.” I would always call him “Daddy.” Of course, that didn’t last, but I can remember the sincerity of my statement when I made it.

And I’m sure the Little Man was just as sincere.

The Little Man Versus the Dentist

Yesterday, the Little Man had to have a cavity filled in a front tooth. He is three, so it is our fault that he had that cavity in the first place. We found a children’s dentist that came highly recommended and when we went there the first time, I think the experience was really good, considering the fact we learned about the cavity. We scheduled to get it filled and were given several options: they could calm the Little Man using laughing gas; they could use a “pampoose” to restrain him; or they could sedate him. Both Kelly and I objected strongly to the pampoose because it just seemed horrifying. The poor kid would be unable to move and he’d be frightened and likely never want to visit the dentist again. We chose the laughing gas to calm him down.

Turns out it was a bait-and-switch.

The Little Man was very brave and the laughing gas seemed to calm him for the first half of the work. But when it came to the second half, the various assistants and the dentist himself made it clear that the only safe way to proceed was to use the pampoose. We basically had no choice. And, of course, once the pampoose went on, the Little Man screamed and shrieked like you’d expect of someone interrogated by the inquisition. Kelly–who is the most calm and stable person I know–said she felt sick. I felt terrible, too, but all I could do was hold his hand and tell him it was almost over.

When it was finally over, he was hyperventilating, but relieved, I think. Both Kelly and I felt terrible, and while the dentist explained that this was par for the course, I wanted to throttle him. But it wasn’t his fault, I suppose. Kelly and I failed to ask a key question in that first appointment: how often do you have to use the pampoose after starting with nitrous oxide? My guess is that the answer would have been: almost always. If we had known that, we would have opted for sedation in a heartbeat rather than put the Little Man through that kind of trauma.

We did our best to make it up to him. We kept him home from school for the rest of the day, and took him to Target and let him pick out a few little toys. Still, my guilty conscience wasn’t assuaged and my dreams last night were littered with his helpless screams. He may forget the incident, but I never will.

By the grace of one fortunate vowel

Tonight at dinner, upon finishing the last bit of food on his plate, the Little Man climbed down from his chair and dashed into the other room to collect some toy he desperately desired at that particular moment. As I listened to his footsteps stomp across the hardwood floor, I heard a minor crash. I was about to ask what happened when the Little Man appeared in the kitchen, grunting and grabbing at his foot.

“Ah, shut!” he said, shaking off the injury1.

I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

  1. I’m certain he gets this from me, save for my use of a slightly different vowel.

More conversations with the Little Man

The Little Miss was coughing this morning while the Little Man sat on our bed watching Chugginton and drinking milk. I said to her, “Put your arms up, sweetie.”

She mimicked me, putting her arms up as if to say, “Touchdown!”

The Little Man sat up, set his milk to one side and said, in a world-weary tone, “Daddy, you don’t put your hands up, you put your hand over your mouth.”

“You know what,” I said, “you’re right.”

“Silly Daddy,” said the Little Man, “Trix are for kids!1

  1. He gets this from me because whenever something silly happens, I’ll say, “Silly (so-and-so), Trix are for kids.” But it was still funny to hear him say it.”

Adventures of the Little Man: Recursive nighttime conversations

Conversations that take place after tucking the Little Man into bed, usually around 8pm or so. Ordinarily this would require enough dialog to fill the script of a 40-minute television episode. Fortunately for you, I have found a way to abbreviate these conversation, and yet convey the–shall we say– frustration behind them. Call what follows conversation “A.” You’ll see why soon enough.

Conversation A:

Little Man (holding up 10 fingers): “Daddy, you come check on me in two minutes.”

Me: “Ten minutes.”

LM: “No, two minutes, Daddy. You check on me in two.” (He holds up 10 fingers again for emphasis. Maybe he means two hands?)

Me: “Okay, buddy, I’ll check on you in two minutes.”

LM: “And you don’t close doors.”

Me: “Nope, we’ll leave all the doors open. Goodnight, pal.”

LM: “Check on me in two.”

Me (walking down the hall): “Yes, in two…”

About a minute later…

Little Man comes walking into our bedroom. Call what follows Conversation B.

Conversation B:

LM: “Daddy, I need to go peepee in the potty.”

Me: “Okay, can you do it yourself or do you need some help?”

LM: “I’ll do it myself.” (Walks to the bathroom. Pauses.) “Daddy, you come help me.”

He finishes his business.

Me: “Good job, buddy. Now head back into bed.”

Consider what follows as Recursive Loop C

Recursive Loop C:

Repeat Conversation A here.

Repeat Conversation B here.

Repeat Recursive Loop C here until at least 40 minutes has elapsed or a stack overflow occurs1.

Mommy and Daddy finally go to sleep. Until, sometime in the “middle of the night2” Conversation D takes place:

Conversation D:

LM (Walking into our room dragging along his stuffed monkey and bear): “Daddy how come you don’t check on me.”

Me (or sometime, Kelly): “Come on, pal, climb back into bed.” Walk the Little Man back to his room.

Repeat Conversation A here.

Repeat Conversation B here.

Repeat Recursive Loop C here.

Attempt to sleep for anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours and then:

Repeat Conversation D here.

Those old shampoo instructions, Wash. Rinse. Repeat, have nothing on our recursive nighttime conversations.

  1. A stack overflow of this nature causes an Out of Patience error in object Daddy.
  2. Usually about 11:30pm

Big milestones for the Little Man and the Little Miss

The Little Man

It’s been a while since I posted an update on the Little Man and now seems as good a time as any since we hit a second big milestone last night. But I’m jumping ahead. Let me go back to the first. Nearly three weeks ago, Kelly decided it was time for the Little Man to be completely potty-trained. He could do it when and if he wanted, but he was still in diapers and didn’t really have any incentive. So Kelly kept him out of school on a Thursday and Friday, giving four straight days to get it done. That Thursday, she put him into “big boy” underwear, and I am enormously pleased to say that he hasn’t used diapers since. There were little accidents along the way, but they have been few and far between. Even when he is at school, he generally does a very good job and no matter where he is, he has learned to tell someone when he needs to go.

The credit for this is divided between Kelly and the Little Man. Kelly was determined to make it happen and she endured a few difficult days to make it so. The Little Man has done his fair share, too, and now that we are coming up on nearly 3 weeks of his being diaper-free, I think we are all seeing the benefit of their efforts.

The second milestone took place last night, but requires a little back-story. Up until around the time the Little Miss was born, the Little Man would sleep happily in his room by himself. Once the Little Miss was born (which was back in August), he decided that he was missing out on the fun and no longer wanted to sleep alone. This evolved, after the first of the year, into me, sleeping on a mattress on the floor in his bedroom. Part of this was to make the Little Man happy, and part of this was because I could not sleep in our bed with the Little Miss there. After five long months of sleeping on the floor in the Little Man’s room, I finally returned to my own room and my own bed last night.

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Reading “Where the Wild Things Are” to the Little Man

wild things.jpg

Last night, on the way home from work, I told Kelly that I wanted to read Where the Wild Things Are to the Little Man. He’ll be 3 next month and would certainly appreciate the book at this point. I’d never read it to him before, and in fact, I wasn’t certain we had a copy any longer. Turns out we didn’t but Kelly headed to Target after work for some groceries and they had not yet had a run on their copies so she picked one up. I told the Little Man that we were going to read a very special book, about a naughty little boy who finds some monsters for his friends.

“Bad monsters?” he asked.

“No, good monsters.”

“Okay,” he said. But it seemed to stick with him because he kept asking when we were going to read the book.

After he was cleaned up and in his pajamas and had his cup of milk, we climbed into his bed and I brought out the book. I read it to him as I read most books to him, using different voices for the characters and ad libbing a bit, to say nothing of stopping at each picture and asking him what he thinks is going on and why. The Little Man seemed fascinated, especially when Max’s room started growing trees. We read about Max becoming king and we read about the wild rumpus. “The monsters are dancing, daddy,” the Little Man said.

Finally, we came to the part where Max decided to go home and the monsters begged him to stay, promising to eat him up. I had trouble reading that part. The words became all blurry and my voice grew unsteady. I remembered reading the book when I was a kid (or perhaps, having my folks read the book to me) and how fascinated I was by it and I never imagined that I’d someday be reading the book to my own kids–on the very day that Maurice Sendak passed away.

I made it through. We finished the book and I don’t think the Little Man noticed me wiping the tears from my eyes.

“What did you think of the story?” I asked.

“Max, he was scared of the monsters.”

“Yes, but they became his friends.”

“And then he’s not scared,” the Little Man said.

“And then he’s not scared,” I agreed.

Thank you, Mr. Sendak. Rest in peace.

The Little (Ladies) Man

Today when I picked up the Little Man from school, he was outside in the playground with the rest of his class taking advantage of this wonderful weather we’ve been having. I collected all of his things from his cubby and went out to meet him. He was preoccupied but one of his little friends saw me and told him that his daddy was here. As usual, when he saw me, he came skipping over, “Daddy, daddy, daddy!”

I gave him a hug and he turned to his teacher and friends, “See you tomorrow!” he said, waving.

Just then, one of the girls from his class came running up and gave him a big hug. The Little Man reciprocated calmly. He’d hardly completed his embrace when another girl from his class run up to offer him a hug. The Little Man obliged her as well.

We headed out of school and as we crossed the parking lot, I said to him, “Who were those girls, buddy?”

And he waved his hand vaguely in the air and said with the slightest resignation, “Groupies.”

The “My daddy is a science fiction writer” dream

Last night I dreamed that the Little Man was telling his friends that his daddy was a science fiction writer.

His friends grew excited. “What movies did he write?” they asked.

“He didn’t write any movies,” the Little Man said.

“Oh, well, what TV shows did he write?” his friends asked, unperturbed.

“He hasn’t written any TV shows either,” the Little Man said.

Nonplussed, his friends continued, wringing their little hands, “Well, what video games did he write?”

“He didn’t write any video games,” the Little Man said, now rather somber.

“Well then what kind of science fiction does he write? his friends asked.

“Science fiction stories!” the Little Man said, proudly.

“Stories? You mean like in books?””

“Yeah, that’s right.”

“Well who cares about that!” his friends said, after which I woke up in a cold sweat.

The Little Man and Daddy Soda

At home, I tend to drink Cherry Dr. Pepper. Kelly drinks Diet Dr. Pepper, or sometimes Diet Cherry Coke. In any case, the Little Man has long known which is which. He’ll see one and say “Mommy’s soda” and the other and say “Daddy’s soda.”

Last night, Kelly had a girl’s night and I was home with both kids, a rarity, but the fact that I am writing this post tells you I survived1. At one point, I had the Little Miss on my lap and the Little Man was watching TV. I was craving a soda, so I said, “Hey buddy, will you go get me a soda out of the refrigerator?”

“A daddy soda?” he asked.

“Yes please.”

“Okay.” He walked into the kitchen opened the fridge and I heard some fidgeting. Then I heard the door close and he came back into the TV room carrying in his hand a nice cold bottle of beer2. “Here’s a daddy soda!” he said proudly.

Well, I wasn’t going to disappoint him by turning down the beer. Instead I was about to ask him if he wanted to help me open it. Before I could get the words out, he said, “I’ll get an opener.” I wondered what it was he would bring back to me. A spoon? A fork?

He came back into the TV room with a bottle opener.

So I showed him how to open the bottle and he seemed very happy about that. And I thanked him for the beer daddy soda, of course, too. And just to show him how much I appreciated his thoughtfulness, I let him have another cookie.

Now that’s what I call a win-win situation.

  1. Barely, but that’s another story.
  2. There were bottles of Coors Light and Stella Artois in the fridge. I don’t drink Coors Light, but we keep it there because we have friends who do drink it. The Little Man brought me a Stella.