Summer Stories Vol., 2: Paci Separation

Earlier this summer I posted about Blankie & Paci for the first time. They have always been inextricably linked to Our Man Pete. Since he turned 3, we've been discussing life without Paci and how we get there. After much deliberation, we found a solution.

We cut off its head.

After hearing several friends and family members discuss their techniques, this one kept bubbling to the surface. It basically involves having your child help you cut the chewy part of the pacifier off, leaving the handle intact. The child involvement is critical to buy-in. Once that part is gone, so is the attachment to the paci. They have the physical piece, but not the full satisfaction, allowing for easier detachment. It's kind of like smokeless cigarettes. You get the stimulation without the addiction.

Did it work, though? To an extent, yes. There were a few nights on edge at first. A few sad moments, but nothing like what we were dealing with prior when we'd take the real thing away for large portions of the day. Without the true satisfaction he adjusted.

That doesn't mean he doesn't still carry around the relic. He takes it to bed with him along with Blankie. He just holds it as a remembrance of the golden days. Maybe he dreams of the times they used to share. Hey - we're cool with it still being around since it's no longer dangling from his lips several hours of the day.

We're impressed. The kid basically went cold turkey.

Ok, room temp turkey. Way to go, Pete.



Many of you already know how random kids can be. It's one of my favorite things about being a Dad. It seems that one or both of the boys pull a thought from the ether and put it out there for the world to hear. I've decided to start a new feature where I capture the best ones that I can remember and share them. Let's see how long I can keep it up for. And by all means, feel free to contribute your own.


Tonight, while resting in the dark with the boys for a few minutes before I left their bedroom, Pete creeps within centimeters of my face, looks me in the eye and whispers deliberately, "Daaaaaaaad? Whyyy does Grampa sleep...uuuummmm...with a pillow over his eyes?"

I reply, "So the light in the morning doesn't bother him."

Pete: "Oh."


Summer Stories, Vol. 1

Let's go back and revisit the summer, shall we? Let's start with our early July trip to Vermont, where we accomplished quite a bit, actually. Chocolate factories, driving our car onto a boat, hot air balloon festivals, stray cats we almost kept, naked Slip N' Slide rides (the kids, sickos), one lost appendix (sorry your trip wasn't so great, Joe) and much, much more. Here are the highlights with my smart-assed comments. Go Green Mountain State!

The greatest hikers that ever lived. This was either just before or just after our 2.2 mile trek on the Long Trail South. Both boys did pretty great considering the rocky, muddy terrain. Oh, and get this, they weren't even the youngest in our group. That honor goes to their cousin John, who was also a beast. We weren't messing around.

The family shot at the top. And yeah, behind us is a straight drop (it's not as close to us as it looks in this photo). Sooo...we didn't stay up there too long. But man is it amazing to take in.

Your standard green grass freedom runners shot. Am I getting predictable?

The Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory. In all honesty, it's not the greatest tour in the world (one room behind glass, people) but I can't say much considering I missed most of it while on a conference call. I'm a jerk. But hey, it's chocolate. And it's near a beautiful lake. So everybody wins.

Pete and John making good use of that clean well water. They took turns running and jumping into the freezing pool, cracking each other up.

Slip N' Slide action shot. And I know it looks like Pete's head is about to snap off but I guarantee you, this was fun. And no whiplash to speak of. What you see behind yours truly is a stark naked Vincent dashing for his next turn.

The tractor ride back from a terrifically hot Shelburne Farms trip with Nonna. Note that the "sweat" you see pictured here has been enhanced by several dunks under the handwashing fountain. You know how we do.

Vincent the Serious, Shelburne style.

I'm on a boat! My wonderful wife taking in the sights on a ferry ride from VT to NY.

We're at a hot air balloon festival! Don't take pictures of us, Dad! Take pictures of the numerous amazing hot air balloons all taking off simultaneously! Do it! Do it!

That's much better, isn't it? And this doesn't begin to do it justice.

And still time for a quick arm painting at the festival. Pete wanted a pink cat, Vincent a yellow.

The crew. John, Joe, Vincent and Pete. Look at little Joe holdin' it down in the middle. They were boys all week long - playing, running, scheming, battling, crying and ultimately, scheming for the future...

More summer moments to come...


Sometimes You're the Windshield...

I know, I know. It's been awhile. I've actually missed the heck out of blogging. No excuses. Let's just have at it.

I'll start back with an observation that's grown more keen over the past year or so. The hero/villain aspect of parenting. It's amazing how quickly we go from the ones they're coming to for help putting the stormtrooper's head back on to the one they don't want anything to do with. Let's give some examples:

Me home from work, walking in the door: Hey guys! How was your day?!
Me: Um. Ok.


Me: Ok - that's fine. But we have to figure it out because not everyone can sit next to her.
Pete: I don't lllwwwike you!
Me: Um - how'd we get here?

And so on. After a while you chalk it up to them being kids and it rolls right off. And it seems much more pronounced with Pete due to the extreme ferocity with which he approaches everything in life. Instead of, "Oh man. I was having fun with Vincent and Chief. Now Daddy's home and we have to get baths and hit the sack." It becomes, "NO! GO AWAY!"

Then one minute later it's all hugs and high-fives again. I'd actually like to play some Freaky Friday and try that out myself one day. "THIS BAGEL IS TERRIBLE!!! AAAAHHHHH!.....oh wait. It's fine. I wiped some of the cream cheese off...(whistling) doo dooodoooo."

Stay tuned for some summer catching up. Long haired kids, giant vegetable gardens, trips to different states. Let's do this thing.