Sunday, July 23, 2006

terrible, even when entertained

Val said:
I challenge this statement, based on research and experience. Boredom is certainly a huge problem with two-year-olds, but even if it were not a contributing factor, the twos would still be terrible. The terribleness comes from a developmental stage common to both people and dogs. The Scientist in the Crib and Super Puppy both discuss this. Little'uns go through a stage where the want nothing more than to please you. This is a primary learning stage--imitation. But that would only get them so far-right? You can't learn everything about the world by just doing what your parents/owners do. So, the question becomes, "what can I do that is not what my parents want me to do?" Eventually, the moment comes where that you'll suggest to a toddler that he/she spends some time doing the one thing in life they most enjoy doing--"Let's spend the afternoon eating ice cream!" They will think to themselves "she wants me to eat ice cream, and she doesn't want me to stick a wet screwdriver in the electical socket. Hmmm. I wonder what she'll do if I go with the screwdriver plan anyway."
Of course this thought is deep below the consciousness, way down in the primordial brain. It doesn't translate well to the conscious brain and seems to cause them as much stress as it does you. I think this may be presenting itself in David's decision-making abilities. We'll give him a choice, he'll decide, then change his mind, and then again. We have to set a boundary about many times he can do this (the boundary is generally, "ok, I'm annoyed"), but no matter which choice we finally settle on, he'll cry, wanting the other one. "I want yogurt, no, I want raisins, no, yogurt, raisins, aghghghgh!"

As I understand it, this is the case no matter how "entertained" the two-year old is. Eventually, they will want to do something you don't want just to shake it up.
Later, terrible fans.

Friday, July 21, 2006

skylar thinks david is cute

From Skylar:
Since you are on a conversation post kick.... last night we went to Grandma Honaker's and took David (Jaime was having a bad night), he wanted some soda and I wanted to give him water so we settled on Gatorade. He drank the first half glass full and came to me, "Auntie Skylar, I want some more aligator please". I thought that was cute.

Then on the way home he was screaming to keep himself awake, Mom asked if she needed to pull over on the highway and give him a time out, he of course said yes. She pulled over and whispered to me "how am I going to do this"? I thought that the guard rail looked nice, dangerous but nice. She talked to him and then she started to take off and he said "whats that all about".

He then told me on the way home that daddy was not home, he was flying the airplane to Colorado.

You really should not have taught him to speak.

Hope your flight was good.
He has been doing the "what's that about" quite a bit, lately. I assume he picked it up from Nikki as I don't think Jaime and say it much. He seems to have some idea of what it means.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

hold on

-Where are you goin'?
-I'm going to Colorado.
-Are you walkin' to Colorado?
-Nope, I'm going to fly on an airplane
-You're flyin' on a airplane?
-You're not drivin' to Colorado?
-Nope, I'm going to fly.
-You better hold on tight.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Are you being nice?
Why aren't you being nice? Did I hurt you?
No, I hurt you
Yes, you did hurt me. Are you mad at me?
Then why did you hurt me?
I'm mad at you.
Why are you mad at me?
I [garbled] you.
Say again?
I [garbled] you
You hurt me or you hate me?
I hurt you.
Why did you hurt me?
Because I'm not being nice.

Monday, July 17, 2006

mastery of our mother tongue

Now that David knows enough words to work for the state, he is beginning the lifelong journey of learning all the wonderful ways he can put those words together to create meaning. We all know that grammar ain't easy and anyone who knows me knows that this post is about to digress to a discussion of English grammar that has nothing to do with David.

I've heard some say that English is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn. Actually, linguists put it somewhere in the middle of the worlds' languages when measuring difficulty. One of the many reasons that English is both easier and more difficult than other languages is that one can play loose and fast with its grammar and still produce meaning. One does not have to get it "right" to be understood, which makes many of the rules defining what is truly "right" a little elusive, which brings me back to David. He is usually able to convey meaning, while also butchering standard grammar--which is adorable.

"He/him/his" vs. "She/her/hers" poses a real problem. This is not strictly grammar. Firstly, I have no idea how good his grasp of gender is. Secondly, he just doesn't seem to understand why one word is better than another if I know what he means. He usually defaults to "he" and regularly refers to his mother that way.

Past tense: he understands regular past-tense construction and applies it to all verbs and some adverbs as in "I fall downded"

Yesterday, I thought our friends had arrived early for a visit but I was mistaken. David was anxious to see them and put out by my mistake. "Is they are not here yet?"

I relish in the adorableness of it knowing that the persistent, nagging correction of his speech throughout his life will turn him into someone who can talk real good. Additionally, teaching him turns of phrase like "whilst supping cold plum porridge" helps immensely. I can't wait for the day he says something like, "I fall downed whilst supping waisins."

later, grammar fans

Saturday, July 15, 2006

it's not a pirhana!

So, after he has been asleep for an hour or so, we hear David crying in his bedroom. We both go up to tend to him. The crying doesn't seem very concerning. It is a regular slow "wah" that I usually associate with simply being upset. I attempt gather from him what the problem is but he won't answer and I assume that he is still asleep. I feel around to verify that he has a pacifier handy. There is one in his hand--fine. Then I notice that the sheets are wet. So, I give him to Jaime who sits and rocks with him while I changed his sheets. He continues to cry, and she tries to console him without success. Then, she exclaims and calls me to the rocking chair. I look to see what's up and she is holding up his hand.

He had not been holding a bink. The bink was holding him. Somehow a savage, flesh-eating bink had gotten into bed and was had consumed about 3/4ths of his indexed finger. Jaime could not get it off. So, she held his hand, I held the bink, and we pulled. David bellowed. The bink released its vise-like hold and came off. I stomped on it and tossed in a jar of formaldehyde that David was preserving a miniature T-Rex in. He seemed relieved and didn't cry anymore. The finger was saved.

Pirhana bink

Pirhana bink, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

in love

Jaime and I have developed a little ritual. Each night before we go to bed, we check in on David. We make sure that he is sleeping ok, has his various sleeping crutches close at hand, that he isn't too cold or too hot. And then we just stand and look at him being the calmest stillest he has been all day. While staring at him a couple of nights ago, I reflected on what I was feeling. It took a moment to search around the attic of my psyche and lay my finger on just what I was experiencing. Then, I hit on it. I was in love. It was the very same giddy, I-want-to-stay-up-all-night-on-the-phone, I-want-to-write-bad-poetry, my-life-is-now-perfect, feeling of being in love right at the beginning of the relationship when you finally realize how you feel about the person. David inspires that almost every day. That inspiration, whether it is in teenage boys, or sentimental fathers, always makes one look at life differently. "My life is wonderful because of this, I never want to let it go." How could this happen every day? Perhaps it is because of the rate at which he is changing. Perhaps it is because I only get about three solid hours with him a day. Perhaps it will kill me, being too taxing on my heart. I don't know. Of course, I will have to let it go someday, which is fine too. There are 1,000 thousand different facets of love, and I have only experienced a few dozen so far. It would be stunting to cling to the most passionate ones forever.

Of course, he sleeps through all of this. The highlight of his day is riding his new tricycle and being able to share with you that he just farted and then giggling hysterically. Until he is a parent, he will not be able to comprehend what I am talking about. I'm sure no child has felt the same love for their parents that parents feel for their children. It is the ultimate unrequited relationship. Fortunately, I can share it with Jaime, whom I am confident feels the same way and we can commiserate that our sleeping little boy will probably spend most of his life unaware of 90% of the feelings that we have for him. If we can even convey to him even 10%, though, he will feel overwhelmed and probably resort to fart jokes to get us to back off. This will work. I have always hated fart jokes.

later, love fans


frown2.jpg, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


tricycle, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


tricycle, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


grass, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

interview with laid-off dad

Since I am not actually updating this with my own stuff, here are three two very good excerpts from this interview with this daddy blogger.

"Most people think the usual things about New York, but not enough is written about how great a place it is to raise young children. It’s very neighborly; the coffee guy knows my usual, the deli guy has Robert’s bagel in the toaster before we walk in the door. Everything I need is less than three blocks away, and we don’t spend all day strapping babies into car seats. But we’ll never afford the space we’ll ultimately need, and on one very sucky day we’ll have to leave."

"I love how marriage and fatherhood have made me a better man."
Now, go read the whole thing yourself.