He was intensely proud of this activity, which was so cool to see. He had never had the experience of independent shopping before. And he was practical to boot. Check out what I got - it's an ice scraper inside a warm and fuzzy mitt! And it's personalized!! How appropriate for this past weekend, too.
Our child has done his part to help the GDP. And he's proud of it.
You may remember this. Or even this. Well I apologize but this year's version isn't nearly as exciting. I still kind of love it for different reasons, though. It's like they're thinking, "C'mon. That all you got, dude? Entertain me. Some ear flapping and tail wagging and I'm supposed to be impressed?"
It's also a very honest representation of the past few months. The stir-craziness caused by too much time at home recovering from the latest minor illness has us all in a bit of a trance. We need some serious time away from...stuff.
Now if it started speaking to each of them specifically and reciting their Christmas lists, then we'd be onto something.
Don't let me downplay their excitement for the holidays, though. They're at great ages for this time of year and we're trying to involve ourselves in as much as possible. You gotta get it in while you can, right? Soon enough they'll be waiting for a real dog to be shaking it's ears and tail on the floor, singing holiday songs.
No. We're not getting a dog.
I told him I had a whole case full of guys in Mom-Mom's basement and that blew his mind. We picked them up and he hasn't been the same since. Constantly taking them out, setting them up, putting them back, asking names, affiliations, what the other movies are like. I'm completely geeked out and heartwarmed at the same time. We've got Empire and Jedi set to record later this week (is Jedi too much for a 5 year old? Jabba, the Rancor...) and we're both equally pumped.
I'm sure this is a common thing among 30 something Dads - reliving the Star Wars glory days. My question is, how come it still resonates with kids? What is it about Star Wars? Is The Force real?
You know I'm not one to complain when we get sick. Its such a normal part of parenthood, family life, preschool, whatever. Kids bring germs home. They cough, sneeze and breathe all over everything, infect the house, give it to their parents, get it back from their parents, blah blah blah. It's the cold season. It happens.
Still, this season has been some bullshit. Over and above the typical stuff. About 6 weeks ago, I started a Brett family pink eye co-op. I had never had it in my life before getting it most likely from a hotel while away for work (gross, right?). So I took some drops, but probably not for as long as I should have. A week later, Peter's got it. We followed the protocol for him and took him to his pediatrician. A week of antibiotic drops later and he's golden.
Two weeks later, I get it again. Then he gets it again. Then me again briefly. Then my Mom, who watches the boys a couple of days a week. It was conjunction junction around here. Four rounds of sheet, pillowcase, blanket, everything washings later and things appear to be back to normal. Fingers crossed.
From there, Rosalie gets a bad ear situation - clogging, pain, ringing. She battles through Thanksgiving, which we hosted, and woke up the next day with serious issues. Bad ear infection. So bad that it most likely ruptured her eardrum. For real. We weren't exactly sure because she's a Spartan and doesn't really tell people when she's in pain. So she's been down for the count this weekend, letting the antibiotics do their good work. By the way, are there many worse words in the English language than "ruptured?" Name me five.
Finally, earlier today, the boys and I were outside when Peter took off for the house, tripped over a stone step and smashed right onto the edge of the deck, lips-first. The poor kid was pouring blood as I scooped him up, ran inside, kicking the door open like a firefighter to work on him. Luckily no teeth were damaged but he bonked the everloving hell out of his upper lip. Brilliant idea of the month goes to my sick wife, who brought him a popsicle to bring the swelling down, knowing he woudn't keep ice on his lip for more than 3 seconds. But would he keep wild berry sugar-ice? Yes.
He's fine now but he's definitely aware of his huge top lip ("I can't eat my chicken because I've got a broken lip, Mommy."). On top of that, it makes for a very uncomfortable pacifier experience so he went to bed for the first time in his life tonight without one. Tearlessly!
I may change the name of this blog to Warrior Milk after all these tough people I live with. So bring it on, winter. That all you got?
Oh, it is? Good.
Pure rock & roll. He's going crazy to The Hives' "Declare Guerre Nucleaire," which is pure rock & roll filth in the best possible way. Immediately after this was shot, he asked to hear it again and just before I obliged, I played the first 2 seconds of Them's seminal "I Can Only Give You Everything" just to mix it up a little. He was overly tired (from rocking, of course), got angry with me and threw his guitar.
I reprimanded him for throwing his valued instrument but I'd be lying if there wasn't a tiny part of me thrilled with the audacity and Pete Townsendness of it all.Oh, and speaking of tired, the other audio you hear is poor, sleepy Pete, whining ever so quietly and wanting no more of this noise.
Happy Halloween, friends. Photos of the boys and their entourage to come.
First day of school. The backpack means we're no longer messing around.
Cousin John enjoying the Brett Bros.' fingerpainting experience.
Vincent showing off the preferred painting hardware.
Perhaps the greatest photo ever taken of my sons. Rosalie gets the credit. Something about Pete's expression and Vincent sort of hiding. This was in the middle of a serious driveway painting session.
Now this is interesting. Veeery interesting.
Workin' on his Scooby Doo pinata. Yep - they still make Scooby Doo stuff and yep - Vincent is into it.
"Jim, I'm an adult. Why do I need to show you this apple? It's an apple."
Shades n' tongues.He couldn't "walk another step."
I'll post photos from his birthday weekend soon, but I just had to stop from the tornado that is life for a minute and think about this. Five.
Vincent is five.
Happy birthday, big kid.
Auntie Kate: Hello?
Auntie Kate: Hey buddy! What are you doing?
V: Auntie Kate, I need you to call...can you call...the um, mouse...the....(pause to consult with Mom-Mom)...the Mole Protector?
AK: The Mole Protector?
V: Yeah, we have a mole mystery and we need you to call the mole protector.
V: Ok, bye.
AK: What’s up?
V: Auntie Kate, can you call Scooby Doo and the Gang?
V: and Super Why?
V: We’ve got some more mysteries to solve.
AK: Oh. Got it.
V: Guess what I had for breakfast
V: Orange juice, and soup!
AK: Soup isn’t breakfast!
Pete: Hi Auntie Kate!!!!!
AK: Hey Pete! How’s it going?
P: What are you doin’ at work?
AK: I’m typing. What are you doing at Mom Mom’s?
P: I was a bad boy.
AK: You were being a bad boy?
P: I were throwing orange juice out all over the place
AK: You poured your orange juice out on purpose? Yeah, you shouldn’t do that.
P: How’s Kyle doin?
AK: He’s good, he’s at home.
AK: Because he doesn’t have to go to work yet
P: Kay. What are you doin’ at work?
AK: I’m typing
Crinkle crinkle beep beep Mom mom in background
Vincent again: Auntie Kate?
AK: Yeah buddy?
V: Can you also call the Incredibles?
AK: You got it
Friends with kids - do you have little sour addicts, too?
*It’s not easy to decipher which one he is in the photos. Just look for one of the smaller kids with the gray long-sleeve under the black t-shirt.
Another season, another first. The big man started a 7-week soccer intro program last week. Quite honestly, it was at the encouragement of Chief since soccer has never been something I was enthusiastic about. I played for one year when I was about 10. Our team went 1-11 for a tyrannical, Napoleonic Greek coach who's daughter kicked the ball so hard she nearly she put me out of commission with a shot to the mid-section. So yeah, I was more of a baseball kid.
When it comes to my kids though, I'll go with the flow. And after a little bit of reassurance, Vincent jumped in headfirst. The program itself is pretty great. Coached by two really young British kids (one English and properly fauxhawked, one Scottish), the group learns about soccer and the context of soccer through games and basic exercises. It wasn't the pure chaos of other youth soccer programs nor was it a competitive atmosphere. It was based on fun. At one point, the coaches were teaching the kids how to plead to a referee not to give them a red card. No joke. So yeah - a little about the real context of soccer, which I'm totally ok with.
He really seemed to enjoy it, which showed me a lot. For as apprehensive as he's been with change so far in his life (...wonder where he gets that...), he rolled right along with this. I was fully prepared to have to nudge him every Saturday morning but I doubt I'll have to. Maybe it was my nervousness that he'd have to play for an overlord with a testicle-seeking footed daughter.
Nope. All fun and games. Soccer - my new favorite sport.
Lately, Vincent hasn't needed much help getting to sleep. After nearly five years of difficulty, the combination of Peter in the room and the routine beginning with Peter, thus forcing him to wait, has allowed him to figure out how to put himself to sleep. As great as this feat is, he doesn't much care for it. He wants the time to armscratch while still awake. Which leads us to this week's words.
Last night, the books were done, the light was out, the tucking was finishing and I said, "Okay Vincent, I'll be over in five minutes but you'll probably already be asleep." To which he replied in that quiet whine of an exhausted kid,
"I don't want me to be!"
Vincent started his new school this week and it being a parochial school, he was introduced to the concept of holy water - something that could be confusing to the newcomer.
Upon telling my Mom about his first day, one of the first things he mentioned was this phenomenon:
"Mom-Mom (smiling)! They gave me God water!"
Refreshing God Water. You know, we should think about marketing that.
This one (below) is the real Vincent and Pete. Anticipating the arrival of a friendly sheep that 2 seconds later they will both jump back away from, fearing a lick.
The boys cracked each other up tonight making some "fudgsicle soup." It started innocently enough, with the boys...well...eating fudgsicles. Then Vincent rubs it on his nose to get a laugh, Pete follows suit and the next thing you know, it's in both of their hair, on their clothes and bowls are swinging all over the table.
Meanwhile, instead of stopping it, Daddy's reaching for the camera to put the episode on his blog because it's hilarious. I only wish I could've captured Peter laughing at his hardest. You get a bit of it here but there was a point when he couldn't catch his breath.
Ah to be young and sugared.
Pete and I had an early morning one day on the beach. Early enough that I didn't think I needed to change him out of his PJs. I was wrong.