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


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!

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…

Conversations With…: At least she didn’t say “pooch”

December 1, 2009

My daughter’s thing is cats. The boy’s thing is trucks, trains and firetrucks. Which would explain why the toy workbench he got for his birthday only gets occasionally touched.

Today, my daughter decided to actually combine her love of cats with the workbench and decided to play a game where she is a cat, and I am a construction worker. She asked me to name the cat, so I went with a construction theme, and chose the name Rivets, which I thought was a cute cat name.

She had no idea what a rivet was, and even after I explained how it was relevant, she insisted I name cat after a tool. She picked up the toy wrench and said, name the cat after this. “Wrench?” I asked. “Yeah, wrench,” she replied.

After a few minutes of playing, I went into the kitchen to talk to Ms. Kaz. My daughter came in and started talking some more about the game, and I told her to slow down and tell me again…

Daughter: .. so Wrench the cat, and Screw the dog were going…
Me: uh, huh.. wait, what? Wrench the cat and who..?
Daughter: Screw the dog.
Me: …
Daughter: …
Me: That’s a great name for the dog. Tell mommy!

I am looking forward to many more games of Wrench the cat and Screw the dog. I just hope she doesn’t try playing this game at school!

We all live in a Pokemon world..

May 31, 2009

My daughter is no longer into princesses. Our princess movies sit unwatched. Her princess costumes are collecting dust. When asked about Disney World, she says, “Are there Pokemon there? No? Naahhh, I don’t want to go there.”

In fact, all she ever talks about is going to Japan to go to the Pokemon Center Store. I have to say that a trip to Japan sounds intriguing to Ms. Kaz and me. But I could just see us going there, visiting the Pokemon Center Store and then spending the rest of the week dealing with, “I don’t want to go there! That sounds booooring!”

Even the boy now recognizes, and gets excited about Pikachu. He likes to squeeze his first together and grimace and shake his head in faux effort in order to get us to go, “GEODUUUUDE!!”

Anyhow, on a recent trip back from Rochester, my daughter was talking about something, and I told her, “Sweetie, I have no idea what you are talking about.” A few seconds of thought, and she responded, “If you don’t know what I am talking about, it is probably Pokemon.”


Wait, poke a what?

August 30, 2008

Somehow, my daughter got exposed to Pokemon a few months back. I suspect school.

All our play centers around Pokemon. “You gotta be the bad guy, daddy, and I’m Pikachu!” Okay. Then she lays there and expects me to know what to do. Any play involving Disney movies I can do. I’ve seen them, I know what happens. I can even do a lot of the voices. Pokemon? Not so much.

I try several plot lines and my daughter, Pikachu, just lays there. “You gotta help me out here, sweetie, daddy doesn’t know what to do.”

I’d decide a different tactic to buy time… Read the rest of this entry »

The Boy and The Girl

July 10, 2008

The boy learned to crawl a little less than two weeks ago. With my daughter, it was the pacifier she crawled to. It took us a while to find the right “crawl to” object for the boy, but we finally did – a balloon. Now, he feels he’s a pro (i.e. he remembers to move the arms so he does fall flat on his face) and has begun practicing his standing. God help us.

The girl was at the toy store the other day with me, and we looked at a lot of “I want” items. When we finally found the Ariel playset (which itself is unusual, because this toy store is an independent store, and usually stocks the not Toys R Us type products), my daughter thought it over and told me, “Daddy, I am comfortable with this [toy]”. Well, I wouldn’t want her to be uncomfortable with any of her toys. We have it on reserve until she can forget about it Monday.

Hating on Goofy

March 3, 2008

My daughter hates Goofy.

She has a set of bath toys consisting of Goofy, Donald, Mickey and Minnie. Every night, as she sits on the potty, she has to have Mickey and Minnie, and Ms. Kaz or I have to have Goofy and Donald.

And every night, Mickey, Minnie and Donald refuse to play with Goofy. Man, they are really mean to him.

Some might say the situation calls for some of that fancy, big city, book learnin’ psychology. Maybe they are right, but I’d be sad if my daughter was Goofy (getting left out and picked on by the other kids). I’m even more afraid that my daughter might turn out to be Mickey, Minnie of Donald.

So, for now, I just ignore the situation, figuring she’s only 3 1/2… she isn’t into any of that psychology stuff. She’s just playing.

I’ve decided, instead, to try and correct the situation.

Last night, Goofy tried to buy his way into The In Crowd. He brought cookies and jelly beans and potato chips. And while Mickey and the gang ate most of what Goofy brought themselves, they did leave a tiny bit for him. It was their version of “sharing”.

Tonight, I made up a little sign that said “We [heart] Goofy” and had the three of them hold it up for Goofy. Apparently, they do love Goofy now, but they’d only let him into their Book Club if he brought jelly beans.

I think they’ll come to love Goofy in time…


December 10, 2007

Our daughter already recognizes when we are spelling things. The good news is that she doesn’t really know what we are spelling. Or so I thought…

My daughter brought home a dreidel from school the other day, and convinced my wife to play with her. She doesn’t know how to really play. Heck, I don’t know how to really play. But, Ms. Kaz spun the dreidel, and immediately, my daughter declared, “You lose!”

The next time, she decided that mommy would win and daddy would lose – “You lose, daddy! You have to go in time out!”

After Ms. Kaz lost the next time, I made the comment, “I thought when mommy lost, she had to t-a-k-e o-f-f a piece of c-l-o-t-h-e-s.”

Ms. Kaz rolled her eyes, but my daughter immediately stood up and pointed at me and said, “You’re very naughty! You need to go in time out!”

I told Ms. Kaz that I didn’t know our daughter knew how to spell. I was immediately reminded that there is no talking in Time Out.

Up and Down

August 29, 2007

Man, what an up and down weekend. Actually, more like down and up.

We missed our first picnic, because my daughter was sick Saturday and Sunday — fever, no appetite, no energy, waking up in the night. Finally, she made an amazing recovery in time for my company picnic on Monday.

Monday morning, she woke up, and it was as if she was never sick.

Me: You slept great last night.  And you seem much better.
Daughter: I got better for the picnic tomorrow!
Me: Oh, I’m afraid we’re not going to the picnic tomorrow… because the picnic is today!

Our company picnic is at a local amusement park. We get the whole place to ourselves, and everything is free – the food, the games, the rides, even the beer.

She had a blast. She’s finally at the age where she can enjoy the rides and the water park. It took an hour or so for her (and the water) to warm up. Our first attempt at the water park didn’t work out because the water was too cold, and my daughter didn’t want to go in. When we went back later in the day, it was much warmer, but my daughter didn’t want to do more than hang her feet in.

Finally, I grabbed her, raised her in the air, then lowered her, quickly, into the water, back up, in the water, back up, in the water, then back on the side of the kiddie pool. “Again!” she cried, and I’d do it again. On the fourth time through, I left her in the water at the end, to see what she would do.

Without flinching, she started walking around in the water and playing.

Of course, that meant daddy followed her around the pool (Ms. Kaz didn’t bring her suit), knee-deep in water and the sun burning down on my neck and back. It was fun.

It was funny to see her go down a kiddie slide in her floatation vest thingy. She loved it, but only wanted to slide once. Probably because, at the bottom, she landed on her back and was floating and couldn’t flip herself over. I helped her, but it was still funny to see. Like the time she stumbled and started to fall sideways, only to have the vest keep her afloat. It took her a good 15 seconds to right herself.

Surpirsingly, despite no nap, and us being there for 8 hours, she fared pretty well. Very few “incidents” and breakdowns. She even sat through the cheesy stage show, apparently staffed by high schoolers looking for work before the high school musical season starts up again (imagine Pinball Wizard sung in the style of a high school musical, and you’ll know what I mean). The theme of that show was high schoolers… singing as if in a musical… hmm… wonder where they got that idea from?

Ms. Kaz and I rolled our eyes many times during this show (“I’m a preppy!”, “I know! That’s why I like you!” ugh), but every time I looked over at my daughter, she was sitting up, staring at the show, and clapping after the songs.

Just like at the Garfield and Friends show (same high school kids, and a giant Garfield costume, singing songs about magic). Between shows like this, and the comic strip, I don’t know how Jim Davis sleeps at night, accepting money for these things.

Prince, in need of rescuing

August 16, 2007

princess tMy daughter is smack-dab in the middle of her Princess obsession.

It doesn’t help that my brother- and sister-in-law bought her a princess costume (not Disney, don’t worry) for her birthday. When she gets home, I doubt it is ever more than 10 minutes before she wants to put her Star Dress on. Oh, and the “glass slippers” (really just cheap plastic – i.e. slippery on our hardwood floors – shoes she got as a present).

This doesn’t bother me. Much. She looks adorable in the outfit.

It doesn’t even bother me (much) that she likes to act out some of her Princess Stories (in this case, almost exclusively Disney).

What tends to be exhausting is that I am rarely ever Daddy anymore. I am The Prince. Or Prince Eric. Or Aladdin. Or Prince Whomever. Oh, sometimes I get to be Beast (“I’m beauty, and you’re the beast!”).

A month or so ago, I asked her if she wanted to be a princess when she grew up. She told me, “I am a princess!”

It even happens out in public. The other day, we were outside and some teenage girls walked by. They said, as they all tend to, “Hi! I like your dress!” When I was introduced as Prince Eric, they were suddenly, like, “ooooookaaaaaay.”

At the pizza place this week (Modern Apizza in New Haven – yummy), she was Snow White and I was Sneezy (Finally, not a prince!). That was all well and good until the waitress came over and my daughter pointed and said, “YOU’RE DOPEY!”

“Heh heh,” I said, “we’re, uh, pretending to be Snow White, heh heh.” When the waitress came back, my daughter made up for it by declaring her Cinderella instead.

Can’t we pretend to be frogs, like we used to? Or maybe something new, like Astronauts, or, or, people who sleep a lot? Daddy would like that.

I’m not worried. My daughter comes from a long line of strong women. She has a lot of positive role models in her life. She’ll do fine. I’m not sure about me. I may not survive.

Yeah, I know – when she’s older, I’ll miss playing the part of the prince. Hopefully, though, I’ll always be a prince to her.

(You can buy your own “Princess, not in need of rescue” t-shirt here for, yowza, $39-42.)

Bath Crayons

August 9, 2007

As I’ve mentioned before, my daughter likes to draw in the bathtub. I think she mostly likes me to draw in the bathtub, but she’ll also draw a little herself.

Well, her old bath crayon was getting a little, how shall we say, gross.

So, we made a note to get her some new ones. When we finally remembered while at the store, we saw these new gel ones from Crayola (apparently called Crayola H2O Bath Gel Pens, but I cannot find a link to the set of three with the colors we have).

gel-pens.jpgThey looked pretty cool. Little plastic tubes filled with colored Gel with a twist top. Would certainly help keep our hands cleaner. Seemed easier to use – just “gently squeeze” and draw. They were also filled with gel, which is much easier to clean off of the tub and my daughter (although, to be fair, she does most of the washing off).

Well, I gotta say, they are a bit of a disappointment.

These suckers are kind of difficult to squeeze. My daughter especially has trouble squeezing and drawing a the same time. They say 3+, but I even have difficulty squeezing and drawing for too long without my hands starting to hurt. “Let’s do it together!” she tells me. Good luck squeezing these things along with your kid without crushing your kid’s hand.

Our set came with green, which works great, and purple and orange, which you can hardly see on the bathtub, let alone on my daughter’s skin. I will say, though, that the green is great for making dots on her skin and pretending (or “making an imagination” as my daughter would say) she has developed some weird disease.

Anyhow, I want to like these crayons – they are a good concept, just executed poorly.

Or maybe I just got a dud package..?