This morning – out of nowhere while I’m making his lunch – the kid yells out from his room, “Hey mom – I’m just exercising!” I walk in expecting to get a giggle about what he thinks exercising is — instead I see his toes resting on his bookcase and his hands down on the ground and he’s doing pushups.
So, I screamed some words of astonished encouragement and ran to get the camera. By the time I had the camera ready he was tired and had to stop. I asked him if he’d do it again so that I could take a movie (click the image below to watch the video) and he obliged:
This past weekend when I was busy realizing what I considered at the time of setting it six months ago – a far-fetched roller derby goal – to play in a WFTDA SC Regionals tournament (!!!), Marc took the boy camping. I got updates all weekend while away in Lincoln, Nebraska. Each text filled me with joy and a bit of sadness that I was missing such an awesome family-weekend.
They had such an amazing time and I really think they needed it. At one point during the weekend, Marc reports that Harrison looked at his dad and said, “This is pretty good… you and me together. You’re a good dad.” Which is a million miles from where the two of them had been a month ago… Marc had been firmly planted in the role of disciplinarian and I the nurturer and fun-maker, giving me the unwanted honor of being the favorite parent. I am ecstatic that we seem to have moved away from the black and white roles now.
Click for some really cute photos from the weekend:
Listening: Bad Books
Harrison was playing in his bedroom while we made dinner, when all of a sudden we heard a toy that he had when he was littler. One of the few toys he had that made noise. It’s a weird tool box like thing that when you click it is said: “That’s great buddy.” and other odd phrases in a dopey male voice and frankly it gave me the creeps. He never played with it much when he was little but, found it tonight and pressed the button about a million times… then emerged from his room to announce to us that, “That toy is ANNOYING.”
We all agreed.
Listening: Shovel and Ropes
Harrison likes to read while he poops. Yep – poop-talk – good morning to you too!
And more than a single book – he likes a good sized stack of books next to him resting on a stool.
This morning he spent a good 5 minutes “reading” aloud the “This is the House that Jack Built” book. Which is surprising – it’s a new book from his Grammy and he’s only had it about a week. And the first time I read it to him he really didn’t like it. He has never before told us that he just didn’t like a book… apparently this one has grown on him.
He went from page to page remembering a lot and struggling with some of the rhymes. He was very serious about it and it was so darn cute… the very last sequence went something like this – in a sweet and careful voice:
“This is the… gardener… that… and the lady that married the man that… this is the cow… with the… crooked horn that tossed the dog that… worried the cat that ate the rat that ate… the malt… the… house that Jack Built!”
Immediately after the book was completed a shout shot through the kitchen where Marc and I were making lunch and cleaning up breakfast, “DAD! I can read. Did you hear it?”
Listening: Jason Collett
Things aren’t always insane around here in four-year-old-land. Sometimes we have fun too.
Listening: Sea Pony
Our office is situated right near the side door that adjoins the carport area. And when I’m working I can hear the car pull up. Typically the sound of the car is followed by the joyful wrapping on the glass door with a “MOMMY – I’m HOME!” But, other nights the gentle hum of the car is sharply interrupted by shrieking that permeates even the car and house doors – the violent screams of Harrison’s dissatisfaction with the quality of our parenting.
The usual red-faced “YOU ARE STUPID!” and tear-filled “I HATE YOUs!” were followed tonight, from his timeout spot on the stairs, with a calm and sweet appeal to me for a new daddy. “I want a new daddy, not my old daddy… please mommy.”
After a minute of allowing him to calm down on the steps I had a conversation where I was able to ascertain the crux of the problem. He was “JUST SO ANGRY!” because he thought it was Tuesday which meant that he had karate and he was disappointed that he didn’t. And he was “VERY MAD” that I had to go to skating practice. So when I asked him if the fact that karate wasn’t tonight was his dad’s fault he immediately said yes… paused while he thought about it and then said no… same thing for my practice. Because Marc had been the one to tell him the upsetting news he was angry with Marc. It took a while but, we figured it out.
While it is my nature to want to assert my power over him and prove that my lungs are larger, it really doesn’t solve the problem of him being extremely sensitive and not having the maturity to deal with his emotions. So, we communicate and bite our tongues and turn away to hide our giggles and tell ourselves that something good will come out of his temperament. And I remind Marc that I was exactly like Harrison when I was little almost my whole life… it took me 33 years and a whole lot of life lessons (and life coaching) to get a handle on my particular brand of crazy — to be able to fully put that passion to use in a positive way. It is my goal to get H here a bit faster.
This glimpse into our world brought to you by what has increasingly becoming our bible over the past couple years:
Finding the time to write is harder and harder these days. So I went back to look at some old stuff and realized how much I love this blog and how much I need to keep it up. And how important it is to get in the kid’s face and make him do tricks on camera, like this “pop a weewee“
Listening: Natural Child
I find it easier and funnier to write about this whole parenting experience when Harrison is acting like a lunatic. I think it’s a desire to vent and to record that kind of insane behavior so that I can torment him with it later. But, also when he’s acting like a perfect angel, I really really really don’t want to jinx it. Having said that, let’s tempt fate…
For the past month and a half our child has been the picture of sweetness. Using his manners – his please and thank you’s, asking to be excused from the table, apologizing without prompting for accidentally hitting you with a stray paper airplane. He will start to throw a fit but, with a simple reminder to take a breath and use your words he’s right back in sane-ville. When he wakes in the morning he calls for me. As I walk in the door, he asks into the darkness – “who is that?” When I reply, “It’s me buddy.” His body wiggles uncontrollably in bed and he says “yay yay yay it’s my mommy! mommy I love you! I love you!” And all day long he attacks me with hugs and kisses, squeezing so tightly that it starts to hurt – to which he replies – I am just trying to show you HOW MUCH I love you! Then there’s the drive-by hug accompanied with a “You are the best mom in the whole world.” ALL DAY. No joke.
…Now, with that – let the reign of terror begin again.
Listening: Lee Fields
Harrison is standing on the stool ready to get his teeth brushed and he is out-of-his-head-tired — can’t stand still. He begins to lean against the sink and slowly by accident pushes the stool away from the sink.
“I’m falling. Help! I’m falling… mommy! I’m falling! Help!”
…and on and on while I’m calmly telling him to stand up and stop pushing himself off the sink. I turn to grab the toothpaste and he continues:
“I’m falling… I’m falling with style!”
It’s a Toy Story line. He hasn’t seen that movie in ages. It was hilarious.
Listening: The Jetsons Movie – Harrison is home sick : (
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN A LONG TIME AGO and I never posted it… and it was truthful then… but, time flies and things change. The kid has actually passed through the demonic phase and scooted right into the mama’s-boy phase – which for Marc, may very well be more annoying.
The kid turned 3 1/4 and became a holy terror – OK not maybe not a holy terror, but, an every-three-weeks-for-a-few-days-complete-pain-in-our-asses. We’re pretty sure that it is in relation to his normal brain/body development, or maybe it was because I was cavorting with the devil right around the time he was conceived. Either way, we are stuck with him for better or for worse I suppose.
But, the mood swings? Are you serious with that, dude? I’m pretty sure that the toy that you dropped on to the floor of the car is NOT “lost forever and ever — waaaa waaaaa waaaaa — I’ll never get it again!”… and the fact that I poured the honey into your yogurt in the kitchen and not right in front of you at the table, does NOT make it inedible… and I’m pretty sure that you should be saving the “I HATE YOU, YOU STUPID!” comments for when your dad and I embarrass you in front of your first girlfriend, rather than wasting all of them because I want you to put socks on.
But, then he will, completely out of the blue, look at one of us deep into our eyes, grab our hand and say, I love you more than anything. And all of the terrible is washed away.
Listening: Summer Camp