Monday, November 29, 2010


One of the myriad things I love about being a dad is getting to re-examine all the rules I have made up for myself, or taken on because of my socialization. Remember the jingle "You can't have cookies for breakfast, but you *can* have Cookie Crisp"? It took me 30+ years and two little boys to make me realize that that is utter B.S.

You can TOTALLY have cookies for breakfast.

You can also have cheese for dinner. Just cheese, no crackers.

You can squeeze four people into a queen bed. Every night, between the hours of 3 and 5am.

You can turn your apartment into a jungle gym, play drums on ANYTHING, eat dirt, dump an entire tub of water on the bathroom floor (that why it's made of tile), and if you make something cool, you can tape that shizz RIGHT ON THE WALL.

There are some new rules, though, that I have been forced to learn. For Isaac's last birthday, I asked Jack if he wanted to make something for his brother. He thought about it for a minute, and then his face lit up as if he had been visited by a divine revelation. He then climbed up into my loft bed (where he creates all of his best art) and made this:

This is a Pig-Eating Monster. Yes, that is the little piggie's tail protruding from the monster's mouth, and that talk-bubble is the pig's final words: "AHHHHH"

The Monster, for it's part, seems to be saying "GKG", which I suppose is either the sound of furious chewing, or means "Yum" in Pig-Eating Monster speak.

Jack proceeded to make pig-eating monsters for many other people on their special days. It became quite a thing. When Rebecca suggested that Jack incorporate this theme into his Christmas missives, he was shocked, and not a little disappointed in her. He sadly shook his head and said "Mom...Pig Eating Monsters are for birthdays."

I can live with that. Pass the cookies.


I thought raising two boys was going to be easier than a boy-girl pair. hand-me-downs to save money, sharing a bedroom, and once boy #2 came around, I figured I'd know what I was in for. Turns out having two boys in the house, no matter how hippy-dippy pacifist you try to raise them, is sort of like gladiator training camp. Boys don't just scream. Or rather, they do, but they swing while vocalizing. What starts out as a disagreement over what to watch on youtube escalates into a full-scale ground war by the time you can make it across the living room. If I could choose a super-power, it would be stretchy arms, like Mr. Fantastic.

The good news is that, in spite of all the bloodshed, they ADORE each other.

The computer was playing a photo slideshow tonight, and we stopped on one from several years ago where Jack was sitting on the bathroom floor, crying. It sounds kind of awful that I would take a picture of this, and I guess it is. I thought he looked cute.

Isaac says, brightly, "I think he is crying because I PUNCHED him in the FACE!"

Jack's eyes stay on the screen as he smiles crookedly and nods his head. "I think you're right, Isaac. I think you're right!"


Jack just woke up crying. Bad dream, I suspect.

He wouldn't say, in any case. He just wanted water. And cuddles.

I didn't feel bad for him. I never do when he or Isaac cry. I don't see them suffering, just soaking up life. Suffering is going to bed hungry, or living in danger. Not bad dreams.

I never thought I'd say this, but it was nice to be needed again at night.


So Jack is really growing up. Kids do that. One minute you're wetting yourself and calling Grammy when he gurgles something that sounds like it might be english, and the next minute you're shoving crackers in his face so he'll take a break from recounting the entire plot of Ice Age 3. There are also the benefits of fine motor skills: instead of wrestling him into his pajamas, I can hand him his pajamas and then holler at him periodically while he takes thirty minutes to put them on.

The biggest bonus is that he's starting to notice when he gets dirty. This bodes well for him shedding the title of The World's Filthiest Little Boy. The other day at breakfast, he looked down at his lap while a bemused smile played across his lips.

"Hmmm...did I get eggs in my underwear?"

As they say in AA, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.