Tag: little man

A robot washed the car!

I took the Little Man to the car wash this morning for the first time in quite a while. It was the first time we’d been there since changing around his car seat to face forward. Now, I can remember when I was very little, I used to be afraid of the car wash. But not the Little Man. As we drove in, I explained to him that a robot was going to wash our car.

It was a completely automated car wash, and indeed, a robot-like arm proceeded to soap, rinse, wax, and otherwise wash the car. The Little Man loved it! When the robot arm would pass by his window spraying soap or water, he would shriek with delight, laughing and clapping. He seemed genuinely disappointed when it was all over. As I pulled the car out of the car wash, I said to him, ‘What do you say, buddy?”

And would you believe the kid’s response? “Thank you, robot,” he said, in his voluble, two-year old voice.

Parental guilt

I hate when I do something and realize, as I do it, that it is a mistake.

I can do this sometimes, as I imagine we all do, but I recently had an incident which made me feel like pond scum. It started with a bath.

The Little Man was taking a bath with Kelly and having a jolly good time. He’s been learning to float and loves doing that which is great since it makes it easy to wash his hair,¬†something¬†he loves less. Although Kelly was there with him, he would say, “Daddy come!” and when I entered the bathroom his face lit up and he pointed to the toilet and said, “Daddy sit down.” So I would watch him take his bath. The Little Man like it when the water comes out of the faucet and in particular, likes turning the knobs. He had turned the cold water on and was playing happily when he decided to turn the middle nob.

This activates the shower.

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The Little Man’s Birthday Weekend

This past weekend, the Little Man turned two.

In a few years, the exact same sentence as written above will have an entirely different meaning (as in, he turned a double-play), but for now it means, quite literally, he is two years old. We decided not to have a party this year, but tried to make it a special weekend for him. On Saturday, we drove up to Baltimore and spent the morning at the National Aquarium at the Inner Harbor. I was rather impressed by the aquarium. It is well designed and has a lot of cool attractions. Of course, the sharks were among the coolest things to see there. Part of the aquarium is a multi-level tank which you spiral down into from several floors up. You start above the surface of the water and the tank surrounds you on all sides. The walkway then spirals down and you go deeper and deeper into the tank. At one point, we were watching the sharks. There were several great whites and some of them were probably four or five feet long. I had put the Little Man up on a landing to see he see them. One of the great whites turns and looked right at us, and that was as menacing a look as I had ever seen. I was happy for the thick glass.

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The Little Man turns two

It’s hard to believe that he’s two already, but as of today, the Little Man is not so little anymore.

I found some notes I jotted down on the day he was born. I remember jotting the notes because I assumed the day would be mostly a blur for me. As it turns out, I still remember it pretty well, but the notes are nice reminders of how the day really went.  Here are a few of them:

Up at 3am, couldn’t sleep, back to sleep (on couch) at 4am, up at 5am when the alarm goes off. Left for the hospital at 5:45am.

I’d forgotten about sleeping on the couch for the last part of the morning. Next:

Got to the hospital at 6:05am, checked in, signed lots of papers and requested a private room (which we got). Up at the “bunny desk” at 6:20am.

The “bunny desk” was where you went to check into the maternity department. So called because there were stuffed bunnies everywhere.

6:40am, all hooked up to the monitors and can hear the Little Man’s heartbeat. Cord blood registry stuff in the works. Kelly’s in her gown. My hearts picking up the pace a bit.

6:45am, IV is in and the nurse got their blood draw for the cord blood. Kelly says that the vein they drew from is bugging her.

I don’t remember anything about the blood draw or Kelly complaining about the vein afterward.

7:10am, second nurse arrives. Kelly has already gone through a bag a saline.

7:20am, we get briefed by the nurse on what happens. We met the circulation nurse and agreed to allow a student to observe. Student’s name is Jason.

Completely forgot the part about the student.

7:25am, our OB came by to brief us.

7:30am, the anesthesiology nurse came by to brief us and we are waiting for Jeff (our anesthesiologist). He arrives at 7:40.

Finally, we are moved.

7:55am Kelly is in the operating room; I’m getting into my gear; almost shaking with adrenaline.

Little Man was born about 10 minutes later or so. After that, there are only a couple more notes, the first of which isn’t until 6:30 that evening (we were busy!). But that 6:30 note is pretty amusing:

6:30pm: “Tar” diaper

Meaning, of course, that the Little Man had his first dirty diaper.

We are having a BBQ later this afternoon to celebrate his birthday and he’s already opened his big present, which was a massive train table with lots of track and various appurtenances of train life. He played with it for hours.

Happy birthday, Little Man!

Little Man: A Crooner

I’ve written before of how I don’t sing traditional lullabies to the Little Man. Instead, I tend to sing him Bing Crosby songs. I know many more of those songs than I do lullabies. I’ve been singing him these songs since he’s been born and for a while, they worked really well at helping him doze off. A few weeks ago, I noticed something interesting. I’d start singing him one of the songs, and he would end up singing a word or two of the song with me, as if he was actually remembering the lyrics.

And then last night, I was getting the Little Man into his pajamas and singing him a version of “Sam’s Song”. This is a catchy little tune with a nice variety of lyrics. One of the verses goes

The people that you meet
Out on the street
Are whistling, Sam’s Song

I sang the first line of this verse last night, and the Little Man got a big smile on his face and as I finished singing the word “meet”, he sang (as best as a two-year old can), “Out on the street!”

I know I shouldn’t have been surprised but I was so stunned that I just stopped singing and started laughing. So he has been paying attention all this time! Turns out he know more of the song than I would have believed, had I not heard him sing it myself.

The Great Escape (of the Little Man)

(Queue the background theme music.)

So it’s Friday night and I’m sitting the hotel bar at the Nebula’s having drinks with best-selling fantasy author Michael J. Sullivan when my phone rings. It’s Kelly calling and she usually doesn’t call unless it’s urgent.

“What’s up?” I said.

“Well, the Little Man managed to climb out of his crib. I heard a big crash upstairs, followed by the pattering of footsteps, and then ‘Mommy! Mommy!’ from the top of the steps.”

“Is he hurt?” I asked.

“No, he’s fine, maybe just a little shaken up.”

“Okay, well I’ll be leaving shortly.”

Indeed, the Little Man was just fine, although he did sleep in our bed since we didn’t want him climbing out of his crib again. What amazed me about it was exactly how he did it. I couldn’t imagine it. So on Sunday night, I put him in his crib again (to his great protest) and left his room. After a few moment of screaming, he stopped and I heard some shuffling. So I peaking in and saw that he already had his leg over the railing and was using that as an anchor to pull the rest of his body up. This time I got him before he went over.

So yesterday, Kelly took the Little Man for a walk and I lowered the mattress in his crib to the lowest possible rung. We put him to bed (again to great protests). About 5 minutes later I passed by his room. He’d quieted down but he saw me walk by (“Daddy?” he said softly) and he was just standing in his crib, much lower than usual because of the lowered mattress. I made it into our bedroom before I heard his voice again with a little more anxiety. “Daddy! Daddy!” he said. I turned around to go back to his room, but there was no need for his was standing right behind me. He’d escaped (unharmed) once again.

So it is with great pride (and mild annoyance) that I announce that the Little Man has graduated from the crib. We will be getting him a bed as soon as possible (which is good since his little sister will need the crib). Until we can acquire the bed, he will be sleeping with Kelly and that relegates me to the extra mattress we have on the floor of our bedroom for just such situation.

I thinking about changing is nickname from the Little Man to McQueen. (Lightning, not Steve, of course.)

The Little Man at 23 months

It’s hard to believe but the Little Man is 23 months today, making him just one month shy of 2 years. Two years! Kelly and I suspect he is a little a head of the curve as he seems to have already entered that wonderful period known as the “terrible twos”. Where to begin?

He has an opinion on just about everything and if he doesn’t get his way, he throws what I call a micro-fit. Perhaps a better name is a flash-fit, since it is intense but burns through very quickly. At first Kelly and I were a little taken aback by it because up until that point, the Little Man had been the sweetest guy on the planet. We’ve since grown used to it. We tend to deal with it in one of two ways: ignore it; or bribery, depending up on our mood. For the latter, investment in a large box of Mike & Ike’s was one of the wisest decisions that we’ve made. If we see the flash-fit starting, we can say:

“Do you want some candy?”

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Post-rollout evening

I was in the office at 7am this morning (yes, a Saturday) and began working through my 7-page checklist to get this long-awaited server consolidation rolled out. It took 8 hours (minus one hour for lunch) to get the whole thing done, but so far, it looks to be successful. There were no major gotchas along the way, which is pretty rare, but there is still time, and folks won’t really start working in the new environment until Monday. Meanwhile, I am cautiously optimistic. I had a lot of help from folks like Amy and Monica and Casey (who bought me lunch!) and they deserve some credit as well. I’m hoping by Tuesday or so most of the stress from this project will be behind me and life will begin returning to normal.

I got home at 3pm and the Little Man was waiting at the door for me. We hung out for a few minutes and then he and Kelly went for a walk while I went upstairs to catch up on some sleep. I managed to get 90 minutes or so.

Kelly went out with the girls tonight so the Little Man and I hung out together. He wanted to see more spaceships so we watched the first 30 minutes or so of the most recent Star Trek movie and he seemed really into it. But then it was his bedtime and for a wonder, he went down pretty easily. I’m wrapping up a few loose ends and then I am heading upstairs myself. Going to try to get in some reading before bed.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and we are all heading up to Baltimore so that the Little Man can take a ride on Thomas the Train. I’m sure I will have more to report on that tomorrow. In the meantime, let me wish all the Mom’s out there a happy day tomorrow! You are miracle-workers, each and every one of you!

Star Trek and the Little Man

As the Little Man gets older (he’s almost 23 months!) his consumption of information and the need to be entertained seems to increase exponentially. It is no longer enough to point to an airplane in the sky. He wants to see airplanes on the computer. And even that doesn’t seem to be enough. So this weekend, nearly at my wits’ end, I tried another approach.

“Do you want to watch spaceships?” I said to him. He knows what a spaceship is. He has the cover of the May 1941 Astounding on the wall above his crib.

“Yeah!” he said, clapping his little hands.

“Okay, come here.”

He jumped into my lap and watched me pop in the DVD to my second-favorite* Star Trek: TNG episode: “All Good Things…”

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Fu(n)ky Monkey

There are some thing that I knew I wouldn’t be very good at as a parent. This afternoon was an example of one of them. I was changing the Little Man’s diaper and he asked for his monkey, which he saw sitting off to one side of the room. I got it for him and continued to change him and clean him up. Seeing the monkey brought to mind the Beastie Boys song, “Brass Monkey”. So I started singing that song to him, “Brass monkey, that funky monkey!”

The Little Man has been getting better and better at imitating us and repeating what we say. He liked the song at once because it had the word monkey in it. There was just one problem. He was not pronouncing the “n” in “funky”. I’ll let you infer the result yourself. Needless to say I was helpless with laughter which is precisely the wrong response to have in these situations. I brought the Little Man downstairs so that Kelly could finish dressing him. I was a broken reed.

A few minutes later, sitting on the couch watching TV, he starts blurting out the verse again, once again leaving out the “n” in “funky”. I lost it, laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes. The Little Man picked up on exactly which word I was laughing at and dropped “monkey”, focusing his attention entirely on the n-less “funky” again and again and again. Kelly muttered that my laughter was not helping but I could see a smirk on her face.

We all calmed down but Kelly made it clear that I can explain to the teachers at his school if he starts to sing the song there. Oh, what the heck, it’s all an innocent mistake. Hilarious, but innocent.

Exorcising the TSA demon

This is comes second-hand and from a very worked up Dad, so take what follows with a grain of salt. I just found out about it myself this morning.

Yesterday, while Kelly and the Little Man were going through airport security, the Little Man broke free from Kelly who, 20 weeks pregnant and trying to load stuff on the conveyor belt, had her hands full. A young TSA security employee, in an attempt to prevent the Little Man from getting through security without Kelly, knocked the Little Man over, who in turn banged is head and started to cry.

That is as mild and objective as I can put it based on Kelly’s level-headed description of the situation.

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My first music video

The Little Man has been very much into watching Elmo videos on YouTube, as well as videos of things like Wheels on the Bus and after about 100 times, they can drive you absolutely nuts. So the other evening while Kelly was out at her girls night, I did a quick search for what I seem to recall was my first  ever music video. I had no idea who sang the song, but I seem to remember it was part of Sesame Street when I was growing up. About all I could say was that the name of the song that accompanied the video was probably “I’m a Train”. Well, I searched YouTube and found the song and video on the second hit. It is by Albert Hammond and it is just about exactly as I remember it. And you know what: the Little Man liked it too. Here it is: