Monday, June 24, 2013

Conversations with Batman: On Dinosaurs

This may be the kind of love that lasts a lifetime...

September 11, 2011
This morning in church in remembrance of 9/11, we heard the words every parent of a 2-year-old dreads hearing: "Now let's have a moment of silence..." I'm pretty sure that only the people around us noticed Jacob lunging at me with a rubber dinosaur saying, "Rawrrrr!" at that particular moment.

November 9, 2011
Last night Andy and I did a puppet show for Jacob (one of Jacob's all-time favorite forms of entertainment). We did a modified version of the 3 little pigs using the puppets we had on hand, "The 3 Little Kids and the Big Bad Dinosaur." When we got to the part where the dinosaur wants to come into the house and says, "Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I"ll chomp your house down!" Jacob said, "You can just open the door, dinosaur."

February 7, 2012
Last night Drew was crying in his room. The crying suddenly stopped and I hear this: "Roar! Roar! This dinosaur is in your room! Roar!" I go in and Drew is surrounded by stuffed animals staring wide-eyed at Jake, who is standing on the crib rail leaning over Drew with a rubber dinosaur.

February 12, 2012
Today I listened in on Jacob playing by himself. Here is the scenario he was concocting: His trains were going to the toy store to pick out a new toy. At the store, they chose a dinosaur. They brought the dinosaur home and discovered when it started roaring that it wasn't a toy dinosaur but a real live dinosaur. Future writer?

February 29, 2012
Jacob: What dinosaur do you want to talk? Godzilla or Dr. Sharp Tooth?
Me: Godzilla.
Jacob: No, I'm talking Godzilla. Pick again.

April 29, 2012
Jacob's solution to the deer problem mom has in her yard: "Let me bring Godzilla over some day."

July 17, 2012
Jacob recently put one of his T-rex dinosaurs, Dr. Sharp Tooth, down for a nap before he took his nap. When he got up from his nap, he went to see Dr. Sharp Tooth and said to him, "You took a really good nap, Dr. Sharp Tooth. I have a special treat for you... duck-billed dinosaur!"

September 8, 2012
"This is my new baryonyx dinosaur. He eats fish, and he can even eat a whole big baby." - Jacob to Drew

September 15, 2012
"Do you want to see a picture of my kid? He's a great kid. I really love him." - Godzilla the T-Rex (voiced by Jacob) talking to the blue Matchbox pick-up truck

November 11, 2012
Today I decided to bake a cake because I had a cake mix that was "taking up space in the cabinet." Jacob walked in and asked whose birthday it was. I said, "Well it's... Dr. Sharp Tooth's birthday!" (Dr. Sharp Tooth is a gray T-Rex.) Jacob was really excited, so we ended up throwing Dr. Sharp Tooth an impromptu birthday party, complete with invitations, party hats, and of course, cake. The pirates, sharks, and meat-eating dinosaurs were all in attendance. (The plant-eaters weren't invited and probably wouldn't have come anyway out of fear of becoming the party food.) Dr. Sharp Tooth wished on his birthday cake for a delicious snack tomorrow (which sounded ominous), and needless to say, he was thrilled to be so honored.

March 25, 2013
Me: What do you want to play
Jacob: Let's play dinosaurs.
Me: Okay, let's play in the sun room.
Jacob: No, let's play in the living room.
Me: But you picked what we're playing, so shouldn't I get to pick where we play?
Jacob: Fine, I'll pick where we play and you pick dinosaurs.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Stand-up baths and backyard skinny dipping

When it comes to water, our boys are experimental.

Yesterday, Andy and I were out back with Drew while Jacob was finishing up listening to an audio book in his room and resting. As Andy was filling up the baby pool, I happened to look up into the sunroom to see Jacob standing at the glass door, stark naked and giggling.

"Jacob, why aren't you wearing any clothes?" I asked when he opened the door.

"I had to take off my clothes so I could get in the water!" he said, jogging down steps.

I can understand his confusion. This week is the first time this year it's been warm enough to play with water out back. So usually when he's getting in water at home, it's bath time.

It took some persuasion, but finally we managed to get him to put on some swim trunks. Too bad we forgot to take embarrassing photos for later in life.

Now Drew, on the other hand, prefers to do his water experiments indoors. For quite some time now, he's been trying to start a trend with the stand-up bath. We've told him repeatedly it won't catch on, and last night I think he finally conceded when eight months of refusing to sit down in the bath tub led to its logical outcome: a gashed chin.

It happened right at the end of his bath. I asked him if he was ready to get out of the tub. He said, "Mm-hmm" (his favorite new expression) and took a step toward me as I was reaching for his towel. His foot slipped out from underneath him, and he fell smacking his chin against the tub wall. His chin was bleeding, his mouth was bleeding, my shoulder was covered in blood right after I picked him up, and as I was wondering if we were going to be headed for the emergency room, Jacob was following me around saying, "I never ever want my chin to bleed like that. Man, I never want that to happen to me." Mr. Sympathy.

It all turned out okay. No missing teeth. No serious injuries. Once Drew stopped crying, and I knew he was going to be okay, I told Jacob it was time for his bath. He looked into the tub and said, "Make that water go away. I want new bathwater. Drew ruined that water with blood. Sorry, Drew, but you didn't make it a very good bath for me." Then turning to me, Jacob asked, "And what's Drew say?" It doesn't get much more classic than that.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Ants, you've let me down this time

A year ago some ants in our house helped me win a bedtime battle with Jacob. Since then I've racked my brain to figure out how I could apply this brilliant and effective strategy to other parenting challenges. Unfortunately, the ants must  have been a one-hit wonder because I haven't been able to replicate the results. And this time they really let me down.

So here's how it went last year: Jacob had gotten in the habit of having a bedtime snack in his room (translation, we had gotten into the habit of caving in and letting him). Usually a bowl of Goldfish or Cheerios or something. It was pretty harmless, but it got his sheets messy, it was one more step to do before he would go to bed, and of course I was worried about his teeth rotting in his sleep.

Then one day the ants came. They were all over the goldfish Jacob had accidentally spilled on his floor. I saw the opportunity and I seized it.

"Uh oh, Jacob," I said. "We can't ever have food in your room again."
"Because look at all these ants. Do you see them?"
"Uh huh."
"If we have food in your room, the ants are going to come. They're going to come in your room and they're going to eat all your snack and climb on you while you're sleeping..."

Okay, so maybe I got a bit carried away with it. But the thing is, it worked! No more snack in the room. No more ants in the room. We did have to deal with a temporary fixation on the ants at bedtime ("Are the ants going to eat my pillow? Are they going to eat my toys?") but that was short-lived, and we were snack-free and happy from then on.

Well, the ants are back in Jacob's room this year. The problem now? They're all over the library books. And I have a few theories about why:

Maybe it's because dozens of grubby little hands have handled those library books and deposited microscopic bits of peanut butter, juice, Lucky Charms, and who knows what all over them.

Maybe the ants know the library books will have to go back to the library, and they're hoping for a trip in the car where they can most certainly find a wealth of goldfish and Cheerios all over the floor.

Maybe the ants just like to read.

But here's what I really think: I think the ants want to have the last
laugh. I think they're just waiting for me to say, "Uh oh, Jacob. We can't ever have library books in your room ever again."

Well, ants, you may have let me down this time, but you haven't fooled me. I have a simpler solution. Check out the ant traps under Jacob's bed and just try to resist. Rest in peace, little buggers.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Jesus is our gardener

Jacob has been really excited about flowers this spring, so he was disappointed when Andy wouldn't let him keep any of the yellow dandelions popping up in the yard. Methodically they went through the yard and dug them all out.

I had forgotten the dandelion debate by the time we went to the store the next day, but Jacob apparently had not.

While we were shopping for a few household items, he asked if we could pick out some flowers for the garden out back. I weighed the idea of spending the afternoon gardening with Jacob against the idea of making dinosaurs talk all afternoon, and quickly agreed to his request. We walked over to the gardening section where he picked out, among other flowers, a couple of yellow daisies. On the way home from the store, we had this conversation about the flowers:

"What do the flowers say right now?" Jacob asked.

"They say they're excited to go to their new home."

"I'm going to ask Jesus not to let daddy throw away my yellow flowers."

"Okay. But why do you think he's going to throw away the yellow flowers?"

"Because he made us throw away all the other yellow flowers. So I'm going to ask Jesus not to let daddy throw them away," Jacob said. "Dear Jesus, please don't let daddy throw away my yellow flowers. Amen."

"It's good to ask Jesus for things you want," I said, "and it's also good to tell Jesus things you're thankful for."

"Okay. I'm going to tell Jesus I'm thankful for all the things that make flowers grow. Like water and sun and dirt. Dear Jesus, thank you for all the things that make flowers go. Amen. Now what do the flowers say?"

I couldn't help but to be amused at the time. Thinking about it now, though, I think Jacob has the right idea praying for our flowers. It's spring now, and everything is starting off looking great. If last year is any indication, however, by the end of the summer, our gardens will be needing all the prayers they can get. So pray, on Jacob. Our flowers will thank you.

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