Tag: little man

Little Man, meet thunder

I was at my writers group last night when Kelly texted me to let me know that the Little Man did not go to bed as easily as usual. It had started raining after I left and some pretty strong thunderstorms passed through town, and between that and the break in the usual routine (I’m normally the one who puts the Little Man to bed), he was very, very upset.

So, as we were wrapping up, I gathered my things and headed home. And it was pouring out. You couldn’t tell from deep inside the school where we meet but even the small open distance I had to cross to get to my car left me soaked. The drive home was lit by brilliant flashes of lightning–the kind where you can actually see lightning as opposed to just the flash.

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Watermelon weather

The first song I sang to the Little Z-Man before I put him to bed tonight was “Watermelon Weather” and I chose that particular tune for 3 reasons:

First, in honor of the late-spring-like weather we’ve had here in the metro-DC area these last two days. Warm spring days are always so refreshing after the long winter. Or as the song puts it:

It’s watermelon weather. That summer kind of weather. Where people, get together–and sing…

Second, in honor of the super full moon we are experiencing tonight; or as the lyrics of the song go:

And the moon, so big and ripe, it can hardly climb (bright as a dime)…

And last, but not least, because the Little Z-man has not one but two girlfriends at school, and as the song tells us:

It’s that sweetheart-kissin’ season. And all the world’s in rhyme, when it’s watermelon, sweet-love tellin’ time.

And for those who are curious: The other two songs tonight were, “Sam’s Song”, and the song that we usually end with, “Far Away Places”.

Continuing adventures of the Little Z-Man

The Little Man is communicating more and more every day. Today I noticed he had adjectives. He knows when something is hot, for instance. If he has food that is hot, he’ll say, “Hot!” and he’ll make like he’s blowing on it. He does the same thing if he feels the heat coming in through the floor vents in the house.

He knows “big”. Today when we were walking home from the park he pointed to a tree and said, “Big tree.”

He’s gotten so many more words now I don’t even try to keep up. “House”, “road”, “car”, “park”, “swing”, “slide”, “sand”, “shoes”. One of his favorites is “shower” we he pronounces in true Brooklynese as “Show-wuh.” He’ll come to me in the morning and say, “Daddy, show-wuh.” Or he’ll hear Kelly in the shower in the morning and say, “Mommy, show-wuh.”

We’ve told him, of course, about the baby. We keep reinforcing that the baby is coming, and that mommy is growing a baby in her tummy. Depending on his mood, if you ask him, “Hey, buddy, where’s the baby?” he will either tap Kelly’s belly and say, “Baby!” or he’ll pull up his own shirt, pat his own belly and say, “BABY!”

He’ll put three word sentences together with some regularity and he picks stuff up incredibly quickly. I’ve pointed out a stop sign to him twice and told him we stop at stop signs. Today we came to a stop sign on our walk and I said, “What’s that?”

“Stop sign,” he said.

“What do we do?”


He’s very good at sharing, but I think he interprets it as trading. He’ll offer a toy of his to another toddler in exchange for a toy of theirs.  But then he refused to give their toy back. “No, mine!” he says. He can get very petulant in those instances.

He will ask for things that he wants to do. “Daddy, car?” he’ll say, meaning he wants to go out to the car and sit in the drivers seat, something he and I do from time-to-time.

“Okay,” I say, let’s go.

We head for the door and he’ll become suddenly concerned. “Daddy, keys!”

But there’s one word that I’ve taught him that he’s finally learned and it just cracks me up to hear him say it. It has replaced “yucky!” as my favorite of his expressions. I’ve taught him to say, “Tushie!” and he’ll say it and reach around to grab his backside.

The End.

The SHAPE of things to come

Sometimes I am taken aback by how quickly the Little Man is learning things. I mean I am made virtually speechless. When Kelly and I go to pick him up from school, we sometimes watch him play for a little while before going into the classroom. If he sees us, he stops what he’s doing and runs to us, lunging himself into our arms.

Yesterday, we went in while they were doing an activity. All of the little kids were sitting around while one of the teachers showed them flashcards with shapes and ask them what the shape is. You know, circles, ovals, stars, triangles. The Little Man jumped into my arms when he saw me. Then the teacher showed a flashcard with a star on it. “What is this?” she asked.

“‘Tar!” replied the Little Man–and I was stunned. I had no idea he was learning shapes, let alone could recognize them and say the words.

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Dear Little Z-Man

Dear Little Z-Man,

I am coming home today. That means that tomorrow morning, when you run into the bedroom bright and early happily exclaiming, “Daddy!” I’ll be there to catch you and tickle you and play.

It means that when you go to bed tonight, I’ll be reading you a book, as usual, and then singing you some Bing Crosby. I’ll tuck you in, make sure that you and your monkey are okay, and I’ll come check in on you before I go to bed–just like I always do when I’m there.

It means that I can eat dinner with you tomorrow, and after dinner, perhaps, you and I can go hang out in the car and you can press all of the buttons.

It means that with can play with your cars and trucks and trains and boats and airplanes.

It means that I can give you a bath.

It means that we can make puppy noises together and chase each other around the house until we are laughing and out of breath.

Did I mention that I’m coming home on an eh-pane? If you look up in the sky at say, 4pm tomorrow afternoon, you’ll see my plane and I’ll wave to you.

I’ve missed you all week long, Little Z-Man, and I can’t wait to see you tomorrow. Until then, take care of Mommy.



The Little Man’s first rock song

I have recently discovered a great way to entertain the little Z-man. In the early evening, when he’s getting ready to start climbing the walls, we go out to the new Kia. I put the Z-man in the drivers seat, I climb into the passenger seat. We put on the radio and we just hang out. He pretends to drive (he can barely reach the steering wheel). He stands on the seat and turns on various lights. He has also discovered the radio volume. We have Sirius satellite radio in the car and I generally have it tuned to the 80s on 8 station. Z-man has discovered he can crank up the volume by turning the dial on the radio, or but pushing the switch on the steering wheel. As soon as the volume goes up, he starts his bouncing dance.

So we were out there yesterday evening, and The Police’s farce on simple songs, “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” came on the radio. I turned to the Z-man and said, “Buddy, I’m going to teach you the words to your first rock song.”

He gave me a confused look, but when the chorus came, I sung the lines, enunciating carefully, “De Do Do Do, De Da Da da, is all I want to say to you.”

It took two tries and for the rest of the song, the little fellow would shout out “Do-Do-Do, Da-Da-Daddy!” each time the chorus came on. It was great, hysterical, we were both laughing, and were having a blast.

Once each hour, 80s on 8 plays a “lost-80s hit”. The very next song was that hour’s lost hit and it turned out to be Quiet Riot’s “Bang Your Head”.

quiet riot.jpeg

I didn’t teach him the lyrics on that one. They’re a little too complex for him still. Instead, I taught him what the chorus meant. We cranked up the volume and on the first chorus, when they sing “Bang Your Head!”, I started a metal head-bang. “Like this, Buddy,” I said.

And would you believe the Z-man imitated me perfectly, banging his head up and down right in time with me.

What a fun time we had! For the rest of the evening, when he saw me, he’d say, “Daddy: Do Do Do!” You gotta love it.

A little science fiction fan, redux

A week ago, I talked about my little boy’s fondness for Rogers covers of old Astounding Science Fiction. I’m happy to report that his fervor continues to grow. Every time he comes into the office, he points to the stacks of Astounding’s on one side of my desk and says, “Eh-pane!” (airplane!) He won’t quit until I’ve pulled out the May 1941 issue and show him the Rogers cover, at which point he smiles, claps his little hands gleefully together and says, “Eh-pane!” We go through this routine constantly and so today I decided to tackle the problem in a practical way, using a bit of modern technology and an old school hammer, nail and level.


Now, in addition to the various monkeys and lions and giraffes that pepper the walls of his bedroom, he has his first science fiction art. It is oriented so that when he is laying down in his crib, he can look up at it easily and call out, “Eh-pane!” to his little heart’s content.

I’m already trying to predict which cover (and which artist) will be next. Any takers?

A little science fiction fan in the making

My little boy is showing signs of being a science fiction fan. He loves airplanes, you see. He can often see them flying in the sky before I notice them, and I was trained to look for other aircraft, back in the days that I flew airplanes. If he hears and airplane, he’ll start shouting, “eh-pane! eh-pane!” and run to the window, neck bent up toward the sky.

Yesterday, he was sitting on my lap while I was sorting through my stack of old Astounding’s. I got to the March 1941 issue with the Rogers’ cover for Heinlein’s “Logic of Empire” and suddenly, the Little Man grew excited.


“Eh-pane!” he said.

Well, not quite an airplane, but certainly a spaceship. I tried telling him it was a spaceship, but he doesn’t quite get that yet.  “Eh-pane,” he insisted.

He then further insisted that we go through all of the other magazines in the stack and find covers containing other “Eh-panes.” There are quite a few and every time the Little Man sees one of these covers, he gets a big smile on his face.

And of course, I’m doing what I can to subtly encourage his interest.


We are pretty liberal with the Little Man (who, by the way, turned 20 months old today). Occasionally, for instance, he wil point to the fountain soda that I am drinking and say, “Sip!” and usually, I’ll let him have a sip or two. This morning, we ran some errands together, the Little Man and I. We went to the car wash and then headed to McDonald’s drive-thru so that I could get a Coca-Cola.

When we got home, Kelly headed off to Target and the Little Man and I hung out in my office, he playing with his trains, and I catching up on various social media. After a few minutes, he wandered over to me, pointed to my soda and said, “Sip?” He added a big smile as punctuation. Well, who can resist that and it’s only one sip He is very cute when he sips from the straw. He smiles and says, “Ahhhhh!” when he’s finished, just like his old man.

We do try to teach him to be polite. So when he came over a few minutes later and said, “Sip?” I said, “Okay, you can have another sip, but you have to say ‘Please.'”

“Pleeeeease!” he said. I have him another sip.

A few minutes later he came over, pointed at the soda and said, “Sip?” and before I could say no, he added, “Pleeeeease!” I gave him another sip, but I told him that was it. Little boys shouldn’t have too many sips at 10am.

But you are way ahead of me. He came back a few minutes later and without even asking for a sip just smiled and said, “Pleeeeease!” Well, I didn’t want to discourage his polite behavior, so I gave him one more sip. Of course that just made him realize that saying “Pleeeeease” was an easy way to get what he wanted, so I finally had to say “no.” He wasn’t too happy about that.

But that’s okay. Kelly came home from the store with marshmallows, and the Little Man had his first one this morning.

That’s right, people, Coke and marshmallows before 10am.

Don’t judge. 😉

Language explosion

I am behind on my posts on the Little Man, who is coming up on 20 months. I tried really hard to keep a list of all his words as he said them, but he’s had such a language explosion in the last few weeks that I’ve lost track and will never catch up. He is fascinated by keys and will walk down the main hall to the entryway where the keys hang and say, “Keesh! Keesh!” He will go to the shoe box, and say, “Shoosh!” and then try and put his shoes on his little feet. He knows every form of transportation: “Cahw”, “Eh-pain”, “chump-truck” (which can be dump truck, garbage truck, or tow truck depending upon the context). He knows various directions, especially “Upah” and “Downnn”. He loves to turn on and off the “Laya” (light). His favorite drink after mee-mee (milk) is “appajuice”. There are so many more I can’t even list them all. But I must say that at the moment, my favorite of all his words is “dough-uh” (door). It just sounds so a-dough-uh-rable when he pronounces the syllables.

In addition to vocabulary, he’s developed quite the personality. At present, he doesn’t like no for an answer and when you say no, or tell him that he can’t so something, he performs what can only be described as a kind of whining bow. I have to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. He knows how to play hide-and-seek and tag. And he still has the Best. Laugh. Ever.

I really wish I’d kept better track of the progress of his vocabulary, but I can’t imagine trying to keep up at this point, especially now that he’s getting into multiple word phrases like, “Daddy upah” and “Mommy shoosh.” But I’ll continue to report those amusing things that he says (or will inevitably say) probably well into his middle-age.

Winter storm

We’ve been lucky so far an avoiding a major snow storm this year–and nothing like last year when we had a total of more than 70 inches of snow. But this evening, the snow started falling hard, and by my last count, I’d shoveled a total of 5 inches of heavy, wet snow in a period of 3 hours. I’ve been trying to stay ahead of the storm, and I’ve been out to shovel twice, clearing he steps in front of the house, and the sidewalk, and brushing the wet snow of our cars. I’m done with that for the night, but I also think hope that the snow is starting to slow and diminish.

More than likely, I’ll be working from home tomorrow and I’m all set up for that. The Little Man has been enjoying this storm. I heard him say “snow” for the first time tonight, and he would run to the window, point and say, “Snow, snow, snow!” (He also said his own name for the first time tonight, instead of saying “Baby”)

I’m obviously not going to the free-writing session the Arlington Writers Group is having tonight. Since the schools are closed, our normal meeting place (in a classroom) was unavailable and so people were meeting at a coffee shop, but it’s not worth going out into this weather. The street in front of our house isn’t even plowed yet and I’ve already seen one car get stuck.

I’ll probably call it another early evening. However, when I turn in tonight, with my August 1939 issue of Astounding, I’ll be turning to a story by a “new writer” by the name of Heinlein. Can’t wait to read that one!