Bugs (Part 5)

November 14, 2011

So we waited and waited for this thing to hatch.. one day, Ms. Kaz went into my daughter’s room and said, “oh! It hatched!”

It was an exciting day. We took pictures and tried to learn what to feed it (sugar water) and tried to keep it alive until Baba arrived. I am not sure we were doing it right, or if the butterfly was “getting it”. It didn’t appear to be interested in eating. Part of its wing broke off (malnutrition?).

We managed to keep it alive a few days, then convince my daughter that we needed to let it go. We had a small Release Party for the butterfly. Somehow, when getting the butterfly cage from her room, the butterfly managed to escape. After chasing it around for 5 minutes, we were able to get it back in and down to the backyard.

The beautiful thing is that, after release, it flew directly to the butterfly bush my daughter had us plant a few years earlier. Maybe because it was starving, it spent plenty of time drinking (and posing for pictures) before flying off.


Quick Hit: TV Remote

November 14, 2011

My daughter is 7. The other day, she asked me how the remote works. I showed her. I am not sure this is a good thing. On one hand, no more, “dad, I want a different show!” or “dad! can you fast forward through the commercials!”

On the other hand, who knows what she’s watching. Maybe time to check out the parental controls on the cable box…


Talk

December 21, 2010

The Boy has been a little slow on the talking front so far in his life. He relied on signing for the most part.

We’ve gotten help for him, and he is finally starting to “open up” and try saying more things. And he is getting better. The better he gets, and the more he talks, the more we realize just how much language he was learning despite not talking much.

We always knew he was intelligent based on what he understood, and his creative use of signing, often making up his own signs to get the point across.

Now that he is starting to talk, he is quickly creating quite complex sentences. It helps us worry a little less. In fact, every day for the last week+, in anticipation of going to my mother’s for Christmas, he’s been asking, “Go.. Baba’s.. house.. now?” When I tell him, no, not yet, I always get a disappointing, “awwww!”

He still struggles sometimes with pronunciation, but his classes are helping with that. But we still see the frustration when we have trouble determining he is trying to say. Sometimes, he gets upset to the point of tears. We are lucky that his sister is often much better at understanding what he is trying to tell us.

Speaking of Baba’s house, we were creating a photo album (at her request) for a gift, and were looking at some other the things his sister was doing at his age, and wondering if he would be capable of the same. In one picture, our daughter was showing off a craft she did, and Ms. Kaz said, “can you imagine him doing that?”

And it made me wonder if, because he was not verbally communicating as well as she had, if we were treating him as if he were younger. It made me wonder if, because of this “issue”, we were not challenging him as much as we did her.

We know he’s intelligent, and we see how well his language is progressing. I have no worry he will get up to speed. But, for those who know me, you know I always need SOMETHING to worry about.

(like finally finishing that butterfly story!)


Bugs! (part 4)

July 13, 2010

More than once, our caterpillar would sit on the meshing of its home for long stretches of time. Each time, I thought for sure it was a goner, and dreaded the reaction my daughter would have. This last time seemed a bit longer than the rest.

One of the things about getting older is that my eyesight is… well, not getting worse, but different. One of the things I am sure I did as a kid was chuckle that “old” people had to take off their glasses to read something, or look at something up close. Unfortunately, this is one of the things I now need to do.

So, I took off my glasses, and suddenly noticed a thin “string” going from the mesh, around back of the caterpillars “neck” and back to the mesh.

Now, I am used to a chrysalis hanging straight down because, well, that’s what the ones we ordered last year did. But, checking the trusty Internet, I saw that a Black Swallowtail’s chrysalis hangs on the side in exactly the way this caterpillar was.

I called my daughter up to share the excitement (yes, Mom and Dad were getting excited, too!) of The Next Step. And within a day or so, the chrysalis was fully formed.

And not the waiting begins…

Next: The Wait


Bugs! (part 1)

June 15, 2010

“Daddy! I caught a moth with my bare hands!

This was a big accomplishment for my daughter at the beginning of the summer. So, we got out a jar with holes punched out in the lid (I have no idea why we already had one of these…), and put the moth in the jar.

My daughter carried this around at the end of the day. Before bed, we made a big production out of releasing the moth, and, although she was sad and missed the moth, she understood we needed to let it go.

A few days later, we saw a bug net in the dollar bin at Target, and bought it for the kids (despite my daughter insisting she didn’t want it). As expected, the first couple of weeks, it was mostly, “Daddy, can you catch a bug for me?” We caught a good variety, including another moth, lots of dragonflies, and a lady bug.

The bugs stayed in the jar no longer than until bedtime, but sometimes just a half hour, or even a few minutes. Eventually, my daughter began trying with the net herself… and she got really good at it! And she had fun.

It was a great $1 buy!

Next: The Bug Journal


I Must Be Rich!

April 14, 2010

At bedtime, we sing The Boy a song or two, then place him in his crib and walk out, and he goes to sleep.

At bedtime, my wife sings my daughter two song, I tell her a Pokemon story (different combinations of the same plot lines over and over), do a nighttime dance, sing her songs, and we talk about what to dream about. The processes couldn’t be any different (especially in terms of length of time!). And this doesn’t even count the number of times she calls us back up.

Anyhow, she always complains about having trouble falling asleep. The reason we talk about what to dream about is because I taught her a trick I sometimes use, which is to think about what to dream about. I likely never dream the actual dream, but it helps me fall asleep.

Unfortunately, I am the one who needs to decide what she should think about.

So, one night, we have a dream which involves leprechauns and their pot of gold. This seemed to get my daughter’s interest, and lead to the following conversation:

Daughter: And leprechaun gold is like a THOUSAND dollars!
Me: Wow! Is that a lot?
Daughter: Yeah! We could buy lots of toys!
Me: Cool!
Daughter: No, we could buy a whole store!
Me: Wow!
Daughter: And I could still have enough left over to GET A JOB!
Me: Uh…
Daughter: I’m going to be a veterinarian!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my job. You poor schmucks with no money probably have no idea what I am talking about…


Little Treasures

February 9, 2010

Last night, when getting ready for bed, my daughter took a paperclip out of her pocket.

“Where’d you get that?” I asked her. “From school,” she replied. I asked her if the teacher said it was okay, and she said she just took it.

Every few days, she comes home with what must be Little Treasures to her. Sometimes, it makes sense; a penny one day, a colorful bead another. Sometimes, it is a stick, or a piece of paper someone else wrote on. Or a paperclip.

We have a lot of paperclips in our house.

Little Treasure or not, I don’t want her to get into the habit of taking stuff from her class. “You really shouldn’t just take things from school, sweetie,” I tell her.

Her response?

“I only do it on days I have pockets…”


Buffalo

January 13, 2010

It is still weird for me, having lived my first 25 years in the Buffalo (NY) area, to think of my kids as not being Buffalonians or even New Yorkers. Every once in a while, something reminds me. The other night, it was my daughter saying something about a “Tag Sale.”

Another reason I think about this is that she is almost 5 1/2, and she doesn’t know how to skate. Part of that is my fault, but part is that we don’t have as many days where the ponds are frozen here in CT as we did back in Buffalo.

Well, all that changed recently when we finally got my daughter out on the ice at open skating.

I haven’t skated in, easily, 10+ years. I had no doubt I could still do it – I just knew I was in for some pain. My feet always hurt if I went too long without skating. But, out there on the ice, holding my daughter’s hands as she learned to skate (actually, just getting comfortable being on the ice), I didn’t anticipate my back and arms hurting so much.

I probably didn’t think I’d be that sore, because I thought my daughter wouldn’t like the lack of balance and the fact that learning to really skate takes a while. But she loved it. We were there almost an hour and a half. And she did really well for a first timer. She liked it so much, she still wanted to do lessons.

So now that we’ve got her signed up for lessons, it is time to get a hockey stick in her hands.

Speaking of hockey, she’s taken a bit of an interest in watching hockey with me. She mostly just likes when the Sabres score. The other night, they were playing the team we love to hate – the Maple Leafs, whom we seem to own lately. I went up to say goodnight to her and told her the Sabres were beating the Leafs, 1-0. Her response? “Oh, they’re so easy to beat!”

I guess she knows more about hockey than I thought!


Conversations With…: The Recession’s Tough on Everyone

December 19, 2009

I guess everyone has suffered a bit in this last recession…

Me: Do all birds hibernate (sic)? Or do some stick around in the winter?
Daughter: The snow owl does!
Me: Really? We’ll have to keep an eye out for one…
Daughter: They live in Antarctica!
Me: Really?
Daughter: Yeah! The have camouflage… to protect them from creditors.
Me: Preditors?
Daughter: No, creditors!
Me: Creditors?
Daughter: Creditors.

At least they didn’t get a loan from Big Tony…


Conversations With…: Holiday Spirit

December 16, 2009

Driving in the car last night, out of the blue…

Daughter: Hanukkah isn’t fair…

(I could see what was coming)

Me: How so?
Daughter: They get presents for 8 days and 8 nights!
Me: Well, you’ve already missed 4 days of Hanukkah.. you should wait until next year to convert.

Happy Holidays, all…


First Snow Day

December 9, 2009

I woke up this morning, and noticed a strange kind of light coming through the window shades in the bedroom. I recognized that light. Having grown up in Buffalo, I knew this was “snow light”. Sure enough, peeking through the window, there was snow on the ground.

When my daughter woke up, I had her look out the window. “Snow! Oh my gosh!” she said, “I guess I can’t go to school!”

“It’s only an inch. They aren’t going to cancel school for that!” I told her. Then I remembered that, although I grew up in Buffalo, we were now in Connecticut. So we checked the local news on TV. Sure enough, her school was closed that day. Her first snow day ever.

It reminded me, once again, how strange it is that my kids were born and will be raised in a city and state other than the one I grew up in.

I just hope they learn to drive in snow more like Buffalo drivers, and not like Connecticut drivers!


Santa Train

December 8, 2009

Our town’s annual holiday festival/tree lighting/Santa arrival was this past weekend. It is guaranteed to be the coldest day of the year. This year, three days before the festival, it was 61. I thought we’d break the trend this year, but, sure enough, the temperature dropped about 25 degrees in 3 days, and we froze our behinds off.

The highlight, for the boy (2 years old now), though, was the arrival of Santa. You see, Santa, in our town, arrives via fire truck. The boy (a firetruck lover), had a front row seat and was thrilled to death. Now he gets excited whenever he sees a picture of Santa. Like, really excited.

Of course, I don’t think he gets excited at Santa, The Toy Bringer, but rather Santa, The Train Dude.

As for my daughter, she wants, and I quote, “Just two things [hold up two fingers here] for Christmas.” This of course is good and bad. Good, in that she isn’t getting greedy – she wants just two things for this to be the greatest Christmas ever! Bad, in that one of the things (Barbie Three Musketeers Castle) costs about $135, and she isn’t getting it. This, or course, translates not to Not Getting One of Her Gifts, but rather Not Getting 50% of Her Gifts!

Should be a fun Christmas morning…


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