Thursday, October 19, 2017

Jesus and Ethan

About a week ago, for no real reason we can discern Ethan started using a particular name as an expletive.  It was very sudden, as all language ability expansions are with two year olds.  One minute he was grunting when angry and the next we would hear him shout "Jesus!" when he dropped a Lego truck and shattered on the ground.  It was pretty hard to ignore the first few times.  Eventually Bianca and I would have to hide our faces as a two and half foot tall little sailor walked through the house unleashing dropping "JESUS!" all of the time.

It morphed from an expletive to something he would just pop off.

Ethan: "Daddy you pass me ketchup?"
Me: "Once second buddy, I am cutting up Isaac's steak"
Ethan: "Jesus!"

Or

Ethan: "Daddy you wipe my butt?"
Me: "Sure, bend over."
Ethan: "I no want to bend over."
Me: "Then I can't wipe your butt."
Ethan: "Jesus, Daddy!"

For two days we were so struck by this little tiny boy saying Jesus all of the time that we could hardly focus.  Then Bianca decided to try to get him to swap out "Jesus" for "Geez Louise."  It stuck and since then, Beeth has been letting one "Geez Louise" fly after another.  This supports my long-held theory that if Beeth knew swear words we'd hear them A LOT.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

Short Legged Zombie

The last weekend of September was Uncle John's birthday.  He and Aunt Katie have finished their move and now live in Amherst, one of our very favorite places to visit, thanks to an awesome and free dino museum.  While the adults were chatting, Ethan, Isaac, Myles, and Colby and I went to a local playground.  It was pretty spectacular with lots of cool hiding spots and nooks and crannies. 

Here was a cool two story tire structure.  I was in the bottom looking up at the Beeth.  As the three big kids jumped and skipped around Ethan did a his best to follow.  After a few misses, Myles told Ethan "sorry, bud, your legs are too short." Over the hour or so we spent at the playground Ethan heard that a lot and did a good job with it, hanging back with Dad. 

As we were leaving the boys decided to fight some imaginary zombies. They took off and again Ethan was left with me.  At some point Colby paused, turned around, and said: "They are zombies" point to Ethan and I.  Finally tired of being left behind, Ethan yelled at them as they ran away: "My legs are too short for me to be a zombie!"

It was hysterical and even with his lament, Ethan was still pretty cool about the whole thing.  Its tough being the short-legged zombie chasing a herd of gazelles. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

My Dad cut his finger off

So just before school on Friday, I was handling a new knife I had in for review and I cut my index finger on my left hand.  It was not a particularly bad cut, but it did bleed an unusual amount, given how shallow it was.  More than the cut or the blood, I was frustrated with the band aid packaging (as one usually is, band aid packaging is awful).  Among the bleeding and the torn band aids, I may have let loose a swear word or two.  Isaac stood there, mouth agap worried more than the cut warranted.

I patched myself up and we got in the car and went to school (in uniform and on time, mind you).  After I left him out, apparently I-man had a conversation with THE Sister Irene that went something like this:

Isaac: My Dad cut his finger off.
Sister Irene: Really?  When?
Isaac: This morning.
Sister Irene: Oh my goodness.  Did he go to the hospital?
Isaac: No.
Sister Irene: Well, who took you to school?
Isaac: My Dad.
Sister Irene: Was he okay?
Isaac: He was bleeding all over the place.
Sister Irene: Oh MY!

So that is not exactly what happened, but I can only imagine what Sister Irene thinks actually happened.  She either thinks I am John Wayne tough or a total moron, or a bit of both.  I am just glad Isaac didn't tell her I swore.  Even at 39, her nun stare scares the bejeezus out of me.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ethan Go Fish

Ethan has become fascinated by people's names.  He wants to know everything about names, people's titles, people's relationships, and as he puts it "what you actual name?"  Mommy and Daddy aren't sufficient anymore.

And to go along with this insatiable thirst for "actual names" Ethan has become much more forward about his own name.  When asked in public, he no longer is bashful or gives just his first name.  We get the full, first, middle, and last name now.  The only problem is they are bit...um...garbled, yeah garbled.

You see, when asked Ethan insists that his middle name is "Go Fish."  Which is pretty close to "Joseph," if you think about it.  It started as a serious attempt to say his middle name, but after he saw it get a rise out of his Nanna, all we get now is Ethan Go Fish.  It has become such a good joke that even Isaac gets in on the action.  Here is a little conversation about this very topic with Isaac, Ethan and I after a delicious outdoor dinner:

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Isaac Can you Help Me?

When Isaac and Ethan take a bath there is always a lot of activity.  Splashing, fighting over toys, wrestling.  Washing is the easiest and shortest part of the bath.  And in this hubbub, there are rituals.  Isaac smacks the drain cover on the wall at the end of the bath and Ethan's "job" is to put the drain plug back in.  We also have a bit of a ritual for washing hair.  I use a large Lego cup to drop water on their hair to rinse out the soap.  After this is my favorite little moment in every bath.

Isaac's hair is, as you know, virtually waterproof.  It takes five or six cups of water to rinse out the soap.  Ethan's angel hair, on the other hand, is so easy to rinse that even one cup is too much.  Invariably he gets water in his eyes and he doesn't want to open them.  So then he turns to his guard dog of a big brother and says: "Isaac can you help me?"

When he does this Isaac knows exactly what to do.  When Isaac was little and got something in his eyes, Bianca would have him close his eyes, gently place her fingers on his eyelids, and have him roll his eyes around, pushing the debris to the edge of the eye where tears and more easily discharge it.

And though there is nothing but water in Beeth's eyes, Isaac does this to his little brother.  In a fifteen or twenty minute splashing wrestling match, this moment of gentle care is incredibly tender.  It makes Isaac feel good because he is taking care of his brother and it makes Ethan feel good because his brother is taking care of him.  And, as a Dad, this caring makes me feel so good knowing, despite warring with each other all of the time, at the heart of their relationship is a brotherly bond like no other.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Chivalry is Not Dead

Bianca picked up Ethan at Goddard recently and witnessed a bit of world class chivalry. As she made her way through the school and out into the playground she noticed Ethan in the corner of the playground with a little girl. He was standing between her and something else, something not visible. 

As Bianca got closer she heard Ethan tell the little girl: "Stay back Josie." Then Ethan, filled with all the courage his little two year old body could contain, turned to the invisible something and said: "We no like that." As Bianca edged closer she saw that Ethan was directing his invictive at a spider. Ethan, still standing his ground, then spat defiance at the spider and his menancing (or not) appearance: "You come closer and I punch you in the weenie."

 That was it, that was the ultimate threat from two year old Beethan.  He wasn't having any of it and though he is roughly 1000 times the size of the spider, as was Josie, he had to do his duty and protect her.  And what could be more protective than a 28 inch tall two year threatening to punch you in the weenie?  And that doesn't even account for the fact that I don't think spiders have weenies.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Isaac and the Goggles

Kids are surprisingly tough. This past weekend I learned just how tough. Two summers ago, Isaac was not a great swimmer and didn't like going to the pool at summer camp. He would come home, face as red as a beet, having spent time in the garden instead of the pool. Then last year, we got him a scuba-mask style set of goggles because he was concerned about water going up his nose. It worked and last summer he turned into a a decent swimmer.

Fast forward a year and now, equipped with his beloved scuba mask, he was a virtual sea otter. He talks about the pool and all of his adventures all of the time. But unfortunately we didn't have an opportunity to see this (having buried our backyard pool in dirt about six years ago). So last weekend we decided to go to a local swimming pool and see Isaac in all his glory. For a few minutes he danced and dove around the pool and was so proud of how good he was. Bianca, Ethan, and I were delighted.

But then a lifeguard spoke up. His scuba mask goggles were not allowed. I am lawyer so I sought an appeal and my argument in favor of the scuba mask goggles was denied on appeal. Sadly I told Isaac that he had to take off his goggles. He couldn't he told us. He'd drowned. He needed them to swim. Without them it was over. Sadly, with his spirit broken, he got out of the pool and sat in the grass, crying a little bit every once in a while. As his Dad, it was heart rending to see Isaac go from joyous to crushed. Finally, I couldn't take it. I told him we could go get some new goggles. Wet and cold, he and I hopped into the car and drove to Dicks where we bought new goggles and a nose clamp. 

Returning to the pool, he felt triumphant again. He hopped in and the noise clip fell off. Isaac didn't know what to do. But he knew that I had really made an effort, so he told me that he would try going in without the nose clamp. Bianca and I held our breath as Isaac did. He bobbed under the water, swam around, and then popped out. He was fine he told us. He didn't need the nose clamp and the new goggles were great. For the next hour or so, our little sea otter returned. It was a great day and Bianca and I were so happy with how resilient he was. Kids are amazing and tough.