Saturday, April 15, 2017

Swear Word Obseessed

When you are first grade, you are slowly coming to realize the power of words.  And in first grade no words have more power than swear words.  Isaac, as I have written about before, is 100% obsessed with swear words.  He wants to know what they are, how to spell them, when people say them, and what they mean.  Most of all, though, he wants to know which is the worst.  Other than racial and sexual slurs, we have told him that the "F word" is the worst swear.  I think that is a good consensus pick.  

This morning Isaac had a bit of a temper tantrum and threw some stuff around the house.  I got a bit frustrated and mumbled under my breath.  There was no swearing, but for a swear-obsessed kid anything said in anger without clarity is probably a swear.  When I arrived downstairs he had recounted to Bianca how I almost said the "F word."  She asked and I set the record straight, though Isaac was still disbelieving.  That's when his shadow of a little brother poked his head into the kitchen and yelled with a huge grin on his face "THE F WORD."  Now mind you he did not say "FUCK" but instead the phrase "the F word" as if the phrase itself was the swear.  Bianca and I had to instant turn the other direction so that Isaac and Ethan didn't see us burst into giggles.  

The swear word collector and his assistant Ethan are a laugh riot.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Its starting

As a parent of two boys the dream is that some day I can leave the room and let them play together and not worry that one boy will kill the other or that the play session won't end in howls of pain or disappointment.  

This Saturday morning, with Mom at the grocery, we played around the house.  At the Lego table there was something like agreement.  Maybe not actual agreement, more like detente.  Then we went upstairs and rolled around on our bed and then Isaac's bed.  It was here that I stepped back and watched.  They played for a good twenty to thirty minutes without howls of pain or despair.  Isaac wasn't exactly babying Ethan, but he wasn't his normal wrecking ball self.  I did tell them that if Ethan said stop and Isaac didn't stop that I would force him to stop, but even with that promise, which Ethan might have taken advantage of, we had only two instances when I had to interfere.  

So slowly Isaac is starting to see Ethan as a playmate and Ethan is no longer wary of his brother's every move.  Today it was wrestling, tomorrow it might be Lego, eventually it would be nice to have them in the backyard while Bianca and I, God forbid, have two minutes of quiet in the house.  I don't wish the noise away, not at all (it will be soon enough that they are teenagers wanting to avoid us), but the perpetual screaming and yelling is, after months, fraying.  

Here's to brothers playing with each other.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

How to Define Cabin Fever

December was mild.  January was cold and a bit snowy.  The bulk of our snow came in February this year.  In a period of about 8 days we got about 4-5 feet of snow.  It was tough.  But nothing worse than average.  Then, towards the end of the month, it got unseasonably warm, like nearly 70 degrees.  Isaac and Ethan were outside and Bianca and I were seriously contemplating shorts.  We did yard work, raked leaves, and opened up the "tand box" for the Beeth.  

The the heat lasted for only a few days.  The smells of spring wafted in the window and then the windows had to be closed again.  We got a large dump of snow, probably around 10-12 inches followed by another 5-8 inches in a three day period in March and the snow lingered until this week.  But looking out at the swing set, we were very close to "snow out" in the backyard.  Isaac and Ethan were chomping at the bit.  We had a few cold rainy weekends but nothing that was out of the ordinary.  

Then, this week the weather said we'd get a huge storm as I drove home from work on Friday, it looked like it was coming to pass.  Then I woke up this morning to a hard, wet, crust across everything.  It wasn't a lot, maybe 6 inches, but it was so close to water and ice that my back ached just looking at it.  It seemed clear at this point that there was no chance of an outside weekend this weekend.  April 1st, April Fools was a day for snow.  ugh.

That is the very definition of cabin fever--large April snowstorm.  The boys are literally crawling the walls.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Karate Kid

Isaac has been in karate for about 18 months now and I can safely say that other than school and having a little brother, it has been the best experience he has had in his young life.  This has transformed him.  He is physically fit, coordinated, and now, 18 months in, he is showing real skill.  This is strange to say, but I think Isaac has real talent in karate. 

He practices all of the time, walking around the house doing kicks and punches, sometime perilously close to his little brother's head.  He loves his kama and there is a regular click and clack to the pattern.  He is getting better.  His roundhouse kick, which was sloppy and confused in the beginning, is sharp, precise, powerful, and elegant. 

Isaac has become incredibly flexible.  He can do the splits like most people walk and his pride in the ability is heartening. I love watching him drop and show off a tiny bit.  Its nice to have a calling card of cool when you are six, something that everyone can see but few can do.

And so its a great vantage point--watching a little guy enjoy doing something they are good at.  And in case you are wondering, neither Bianca nor I have any appreciate equivalent talent.  I did Taekwondo for seven years, but my biggest skill was absorbing punches.  We are lucky, our local karate studio, FMAC, is incredible and they deserve a lot of the credit, but so does Isaac.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beeth Vocabulary

Every day we get three or four new words.  In a week, Ethan can go from a phrase to a compound sentence on a given topic.  Watching and listening to all of this is pretty incredible.  It reminds me just how powerful a learning device the brain of a toddler is.  Our most powerful computer pales in comparison.  Here are some of his most popular new phrases:

"Look at me!": this one is perfectly clear with no "kid speak" at all.  Even someone that doesn't know the Beeth will understand what he is saying.  And this is an increasingly common phrase, whether it is uttered after he sneaks up on to the top of the dining room table or is splashing in the pool.

"Coo Me": This is a new one too and something Beeth uses, thus far, differently than Isaac at two.  Isaac at two would use "excuse me" basically to tell you that he is about to bowl you over.  Ethan on the other hand uses it correctly.  But, unlike Isaac, if you don't immediately move out the way, Beeth goes bananas.

"iPaad" There is a bit of a drawn out "AH" in the middle, but it is clear what the Beeth wants--he wants the iPad.  This is mostly uttered when Isaac is using the iPad or he sees it at a time he cannot have it.  

"ABCD Mouse" Isaac's addiction to ABC Mouse has caused a bit of Monkey See Monkey Do with Ethan and he has the name just a bit wrong, adding a "D" that is not normally there. 

In addition to these new phrases we get a lot of "deep voice" Ethan when he is trying to emphasize something.  "ABCD!" In a deep bellow often rings out as does a request for "TINY CHOCOLATES!"

Beeth talking is amazing.  Charting his grow is even more amazing. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy 2nd Birthday, the Beeth!

Yes, it is the fate of the second child to have a belated birthday post.  No, it is not because we love him any less.  Its because we are probably at the very least twice as busy.  So as between posting and watching the Beeth get his Play Do on, I choose the latter, even if it involves him yelling "No, Daddy!" a lot as I get him the wrong Play Do implement over and over again.

But it is time to say: Happy Birthday Ethan Joseph!

I would have never guessed or imagined that two children from the same two people could be as different as Isaac and Ethan are.  Isaac is a thinker, something of a quiet kid.  Ethan will just tell you like it is.  If Isaac's off on his own it is because he needs to sort things out.  If Beethan is, its because, well, he could give shit what everyone else is doing.  Bianca and I have a saying and it is simple: "Beethie don't give a F***."  It is a clear shift in demeanor and it is uniquely Ethan.  Their faces are different.  Their eyes are different.  Their hair is different.  Their walks, even at the same age, are different.  They are just two totally unique people.

And what a wonderful person Ethan has turned into.  Even in his most "I could care less moments" Ethan is still incredibly polite.  He loves sharing, and especially gets a kick out of people appreciating what it is that he is sharing.  He always says "thank you," which comes out as "can coo."  He always wants to give something to his big brother, which comes out as "ear ooo go brudder." 

Ethan has also forced us all, myself, Bianca and Isaac, to go out of our comfort zones.  We had Play Do before, but for Ethan it is a huge deal.  We also liked the basement before, but Ethan could live down there.  And Isaac likes the sandbox, while Ethan, I think would happily join a Berber tribe and wander the Sahara.

Isaac was a gift to us.  Ethan is a gift to all three of us.  And seeing the two boys make each other laugh and smile is a gift to anyone that experiences it. 

Happy Birthday The Beeth.  We love you. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Cute Nurse

So last weekend Isaac had Strep.  It was a Friday night dash to urgent care that told us.  And my buddy was a sluggish little guy, clearly sick and clearly tired.  We waited in the lobby for a few minutes and then a young, cute nurse asked us to come and check in.  Isaac did his shy kid thing that he always does around cute girls and the nurse, taken by Isaac's blue eyes and missing front teeth thought he was adorable.  

When she checked his blood pressure, she used a cuff, the first time Isaac had the cuff put on.  And as it tightened he got a little anxious.  She noticed and they chatted a little.  Isaac finally told her that it might be getting too tight because he had big muscles for a kid his age, which I confirmed as true.  The nurse giggled and gave Isaac a huge smile.  

After that, she showed us to the patient room and asked Isaac a few more questions.  He had, by this time, dropped the shy kid thing and was going straight for "impressing the older lady" schtick.  It was so funny and the nurse was eating up.  As she turned and left she winked at Isaac and Isaac gave her the cool dude head nod and said good bye.  

The momen the door closed Isaac turned to me and gave me a knowing look, as if to say "She was a babe, right?"  I nodded and then burst out laughing.  

Isaac Anthony, toothless lady's man.