Monday, December 27, 2004


I got to watch Uncle Grant try to teach Matthew the correct pronunciation of "horse" this morning. (Daddy has already spent many hours on this without success, so naturally it warmed my heart to watch others fail too.)

"Shoop!" Matthew says, pointing to a painting of a stagecoach on the wall. "Shoop!"

"Horse!" Uncle Grant corrects. (As an ex-English major, Uncle Grant is a stickler for these things.)

"Shoop!" "Horse!" "Shoop!"

"Okay," I can see Uncle Grant thinking. "We've got to break this down."

"Ho!" says Uncle Grant. "Ho!" repeats Matthew. "Ho!" "Ho!"

On to the next step: "Whore!" "Whore!" This is the first time I cracked up.

"Whore-suh!" "Whore-SUH!" Matthew liked that SUH at the end.



Uncle Grant threw in the towel.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Oh crap!

About five minutes before church ended one of the nursery sisters came and got me from priesthood meeting. "Your son needs a diaper. It's leaked."

Well, okay. I can handle that. I'm an experienced dad!

I got Matthew from the nursery room. I pulled back his waistband to see how bad the damage was. I couldn't see his diaper at all. Uh-oh.

Got to the men's room. No changing table. Grr. Matthew doesn't really fit on the counter anymore, but we had to make do. I took his shoes off and pants. His diaper was lodged in the bottom of his left pants leg, with poo crusted all down the leg -- some on his butt, but most on his leg. The sock was indescribably gross; I just threw it out.

I tried wiping with baby wipes but it was far too crusty; I baredly made a difference at all. I put a new diaper on him so he wouldn't pee on me, put his pants back on (it would keep him from getting it on the car, anyway) and declared an emergency. David and Frank and I left right away; 15 minutes later Matthew was in the bathtub, soaking it off.

All in all I have to say not as gross as barf all over but parenting is not a job for the squeamish, that's for sure. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Hey! My sleeper!

Getting Matthew ready for bed tested his patience tonight. First I stripped him, then I dressed him in a new sleeper from wal-mart, then we decided that the sleeper was too small and needed to be returned, so I took THAT off him and started dressing him in another set of pyjamas. "Hey! My sweeper [sleeper]!" he protested.

That's the longest set of words he's strung together yet, that's not just mimicing.

(Also he's saying things like "lights! off!" and "dada! hat!" -- associating the words, but not really making them flow, if that makes sense. This was a lot smoother.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A future in Medicine?

I took Matthew with me to the midwife for my checkup. He watched as the nurse took my blood pressure and was exceptionally good during the visit. Later in her office, Matthew found a little toy medical kit. He seized the stethoscope stuck it in his ears and listened to for a heartbeat- in my knee. He then picked up the toy blood pressure cuff and wrapped it around my wrist and put the stethoscope on top. It seems that he was taking notes earlier.

The best toy by far was the midwife's measuring tape. He raced her to see who could push their button quickest to roll it back up. He also measured everything in the office. Matthew measured toys, chairs, my foot, leg, his arm, ect.


Peanut flashback

Rachel and I were talking about baby #2 on the way and wondering whether it will be an easier baby than Matthew. "Maybe it will be a happy baby that just wants to eat, sleep, and burp," I said. "... And poop, and pee on Daddy," I added, remembering. "Remember how he used to pee on himself?" Rachel asked. "He'd spray himself in the face and get apoplectic with rage. He'd wave his little fists around and his whole face would turn red with anger."

I thought, and still think, that it served him right. :)

Learning the ABs

I've been teaching Matthew the alphabet when he sticks a pen in front of me and asks me to draw something. (Hey, Dad's not much of an artist.) Last night at the table he wanted me to draw them over and over on his magna-doodle toy. Then he wanted me to help him do the drawing.

He's quite good at recognizing them now, but doesn't seem to have the dexterity to do it himself. Even this afternoon when we were drawing huge As and Bs on the driveway with chalk, it was beyond him. Then again, he only tried a couple times before getting distracted by all the cool things there are to do Outside.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Playground romance

The weather reached the upper 40s today, and Matthew was climbing the walls, so we decided to go to the park. As soon as we arrived I heard an estatic cry from the back seat, "Yea! We're here!" I released him from his carseat, and he bounded and leaped all over the park like a frisky colt. It's been several months since we regularly made trips to the park and he's missed it. Some time later a little two year old girl arrived. As they played together, it became apparent that they had common interests and communication skills. Namely climbing, piling dirt, and saying, "Mine! No!" Something in Matthew must have caught her eye though. She came up to him gave him a hug and his first kiss. Matthew, for his part, appeared nonchalant. He then darted to the swings and enjoyed another half hour of swinging before his Mama got too cold and the sky dark enough to call it quits. Matthew, alas, is never done with the park and had to be carted kicking a screaming "outside, outside" to the car. The promise of seeing Dada appeased him somewhat, and the car ride home was peaceful.


Red Stop. Green GO!

While stopped at an intersection, Matthew stated "la" (the I told him that's right, the light is red. When it's red we stop. It turned green and he announced the fact. Yep, it's green, and we go. For the rest of the way home he told me when to stop, and then gleefully shouted "gree, GO!" when it was time to go.


Saturday, December 11, 2004

Big boys don't do car seats

We consigned Matthew's high chair to basement storage a couple weeks ago in favor of a booster seat at the big-person table. (Rachel is hoping that baby #2 will be a gentle soul. Certainly it wouldn't last through another Matthew.)

Today I took him down to Provo with me to pick up an old p3 motherboard from Ellis that might be less broken than the one I have. When we were leaving I set him down, opened the door, and told him to get in while I set the motherboard down. He got in and started buckling himself with a grin into one of the passenger seats!

I relocated him to the car seat. He didn't protest, fortunately. If he starts to get serious about ditching the car seat he's going to be an unhappy peanut until he grows quite a bit more.

Friday, December 10, 2004

A Prayer

Jonathan and I have been teaching Matthew about prayers, but we didn't think it was sinking in yet. This evening we were waiting for Jonathan to get home and Matthew couldn't wait any longer for dinner. I put him at the table with a sandwich and milk. He took a couple of bites, stopped and said "a praywer" with his arms folded and blonde head bowed. You're right Matthew we need a prayer. I blessed the food, he said "Ma-men," and then happily munched away. They really are watching, aren't they?


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Block time

While stalling to avoid bedtime, Matthew was playing blocks with me. He decided to imitate Dad. I was lying down with my arm propping my head up, so Matthew (somewhat judiciously) set his elbow on the ground and his head in his hand too. This, he apparently decided, was proper block-stacking technique.

We also built the largest block structure yet, and Matthew was actually disappointed instead of exultant when he toppled it by an unfortunate placement.

Pulling the wool over Daddy's eyes

This morning I dawdled a bit dressing for work, leaving Matthew ample time for mischief. I hustled into the silence, fully expecting him to be into the dishwasher -- but he wasn't. The dishwasher was still closed and Matthew was sliding innocently down the stairs to the basement.

With his salad tongs in his hands.

The ones that I put in the dishwasher last night.

What a sneaky peanut. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Tinky Pooh Pooh!

Disclaimer: This occurred about a week and a half ago, but Jonathan insists that it is worthy of recording... Maybe it's a guy thing?

I took Matthew outside and thought I could squeeze in some gardening. Ha! I spent the first half hour trailing him. Then as luck would have it, the neighbor's cat showed up. Matthew loves animals. The cat is a dim bulb (but good natured) and seems to enjoy Matthew's company. So, instead of tailing Matthew, he chased the cat around the yard and I pulled weeds. A little while later I heard, "Yuck! Tinky!" "Matthew, are you stinky?" "YUCK! Pooh Pooh!" I looked over and saw Matthew peering at the cat. Then the cat wandered off with Matthew still squating and looking intently in the neighbor's garden. Probably a bug or worm I thought. Might as well finish this bed before I take him in to change. After several more minutes of weeding, and more vocal exclamations of disgust from the Peanut gallery, I went over to investigate what had held my son's attention for so long. Matthew was right, smack in the middle of the neighbor's garden was a "Tinky!" A cat "tinky" to be precise. Yuck!


Sunday, November 28, 2004

Sock monster

Among Matthew's favorite pasttimes this weekend has been chasing Daddy around with his "sock monster," a sock with a couple buttons and a mouth sewn on that he puts his arm in. He'll come up to me and make "rwaragr" noises which is my signal to run away and play a sort of tag where only Matthew is It.

To mix it up a bit last night I tried jumping over him to evade his growling grasp. This worked great until he decided that this was a good idea for him, too. He jumped right into my crotch, taking Daddy out for the duration. (He had the gall to complain that he had an Ow on his head, too. Ha.)

The posts just keep coming

We washed Matthew's teddy bear today; it was getting crusty and nasty with spilled milk and the like. When Rachel presented it to him dry and clean-smelling, Matthew was glad to see it.

Then he said, "Stinky! Poo poo!"

So Rachel got a diaper and they diapered the bear.

"Aw tih!" (all clean) Matthew pronounced. "Dereedoh." (There we go.)

Matthew subsequently wanted to pour his juice in the bear's diaper but Rachel put a stop to that level of authenticity.

The sneaky peanut

"Come!" he said. "Help!" And he tugged on my fingers, up and off the couch.

"What's the problem?" I asked as he dragged me away.

"Set... go!" He dropped my fingers and took off, and played with Daddy until bedtime.


A couple savage peanut sightings at church today:

- We spotted a man with a fairly young (3 months-ish) baby curled up asleep in his arms. Matthew pointed: "Baby! Nerse!" Yes, Matthew -- that's a baby, but no, daddy's don't nurse.

- After tossing a ball in nursery, Matthew turned to me and asked, Duh srow? "I don't understand," I had to tell him. "Duh srow?" Oh... "Yes, that was a good throw."

Friday, November 26, 2004


Matthew's cruising for an early bedtime tonight. He's been kind of a grump.

He was playing with his mom just now and she decided it was time to brush teeth and get ready for bed. Matthew disputed this decision with the predictable outcome of Matthew being carried bodily towards the toothbrush. As he flailed and squirmed he cried, "Helw! Helw!"

Sorry son, Daddy's on the same team as Mommy. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

On your mark, get set, go!

Rachel and I went to the Utah Choclate Expo with the Galbraiths on Saturday. The expo itself was a bit underwhelming, but Matthew enjoyed it: long, long halls just begging to be zoomed! He and I ran circles around Rachel and the Galbraiths while they walked to the ticket counter. "Race you!" I said. "Rayshoo!" he answered, as he zoomed.

Matthew continued his kinetic ways inside the expo, somewhat to Rachel's chagrin. Something along the lines of "The Galbraiths are going to think we're rude if you keep taking off with Matthew like that." Well, it was that or have him howl, as Rachel found out when she took charge...

As we headed out, Matthew was still zooming. "On your mark, get set, go!" I said, and started running. Matthew seemed to intuitively understand the importance of this incantation. He stopped and shouted, "Seh... seh... " and waited for me to stop and come back. "Go!" and he was off.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Just like daddy

I got up to help Rachel get dinner on and no sooner had I left the couch when I turned around and matthew had pulled the laptop onto his two-year-old legs which were stretched straight out in front of him. It barely fit. He was "typing" gleefully away when I pulled it off of him. I didn't have the heart to discipline him; it was pretty darn cute. A kodak moment, if I weren't afraid of what he would do to it.

Speaking of Rachel, she's supposed to be blogging too. So you people wishing for more SP updates can let her know that you're waiting.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Where's Matthew

Matthew likes playing "where's Dada" but he likes playing "where's Matthew" even more. Last night and again this morning out the blue he said "Where wawa" and took off running. We played quite some time last night, but at 6:30 I wasn't up to it. (But we played tonight at Daddy's initiative.) Anyway, he discovered a new part of the game -- when he's "caught" he tries to run between my legs and prolong the chase. He's such a short kid that he only has to duck his head a very little to cruise through. He gets a real kick out of this.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Peanut seems to enjoy flinging his head onto the ground, so I decided to teach him the fine art of summersaulting--so at least he's doing something moderately useful--while his mother wasn't home, of course.
Despite numerous demonstrations of the correct technique, and despite being forced to do it the right way several times, Matthew prefers his own technique, specifically, placing his head on the ground and jumping as hard as he can. When he is successful he looks like he's pole vaulting himself.
When he forgets to place his head on the ground, it looks like he's doing a human javelin toss. Fortunately, he decided early on that was not a Good Idea, though I'm not sure how permanent the lesson was.
Regardless, it takes him three or four tries to do it right, so he goes up in the air (legs straight) and back down on his face again two or three times before doing the pole vault.
I even tried to teach him a judo roll, but that, like my version of the somersault, lacked the necessary tactile head involvement to be amusing.
Someday, when I'm feeling really evil, I'm going to try to teach him how to draw cartoons. The world will never be safe again.

--Uncle Grant

Thursday, November 11, 2004


After I came to babysit today, I was pleasantly surprised by Peanut's good humor--his behavior on the way here mostly alternated between howling and moaning.

But as soon as he had his bath he was happy, and one of the games we played was his sitting on the rocking horse while I hummed the first movement of the William Tell overture. When he started, I started, when he stopped, I stopped. After a few successive stops and starts, I realized he was trying to throw me off. He's a quick learner.

--Uncle Grant

Saturday, November 06, 2004


- Matthew just ran by, right foot ahead of left, making "gee-ah" (giddyup) noises. Not sure where he learned that.
- Last night he was telling people, "See ya!" Not sure about that one either, although I suspect it's from listening to Daddy -- I do usually say that instead of Bye.
- Also last night, he was playing a game he made up: open the door to a room for Daddy, then after hapless Daddy walks in, slam the door closed. Hahaha, Daddy! Tricked you! Then when I came out he wanted to play this over and over again. I tired after half a dozen times or so, but he didn't.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Need help?

Uncle Grant's over this morning. (Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!) Matthew and he were running around being manic in the living room and Matthew took a tumble, deliberate or unplanned. Grant took a tumble too to show solidarity. I guess he did a very convincing job of it because Matthew came over and started tugging on his arm (to help him up). "Nee hehw?"

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Monday night our neighbors the Edmunds invited us over for family home evening. We started with a prayer, then the adults and the older children (well, mostly just 5-year-old Jacob) started carving pumpkins. Matthew wandered around a bit then saw the Edmunds' aquarium. "Shirsh!" he said. "Fish?" "Shirsh!" Close, I guess. Funny, I didn't know he knew the word for fish.

Then he spent the rest of the evening playing with various trucks and claw-armed cranes and such. Very manly activity. He particularly liked grabbing matchbox cars with the claw. Little boys, apparently, insticitively know what claws are for.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Peanuts from Little House on the Prairie

Daddy is home alone with Matthew right now. Matthew is less or more amused by a LHotP show right now. His favorite part is the horses: when one of the characters was about to drive off, Matthew gave a very credible imitation of "giddyup!" before the actor did.

Another amusing one: a baby on the show was crying. Matthew put my finger to my lips and made shushing noises. When I did too he beamed his baby approval.

Wih So

Tuesday-Thursday t rained 3 days in a row and most of the nights in between. That's a lot of rain in Utah. (I pointed out to Rachel that if we move to Washington that's what it will be like more often than not.) Matthew was going absolutely nuts from being cooped up inside. So both Wednesday and Thursday I took him to Arctic Circle to get a $1 hamburger and play on their indoor gym.

Anyway, while driving there Thursday I let Matthew eat a banana in the car. When we got there he kept telling me, "Sticky! Wih So!" Wih so is my transcription of his pronunciation of "with soap." So I took him to the men's room and washed his hands, with soap.

Later he knocked a pickle out of his burger and picked it up off the floor. "Wih so!" he demanded. I brushed his hands off and told him soap wouldn't be necessary. I don't think he believed me, but there was a gym to climb so he didn't make an issue of it.

In this respect Matthew is his mother's child. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

More bath fun

Last night I was bathing Matthew and he was enjoying his bath crayons again. He got bored of drawing on the tub and the walls in pretty short order and started drawing on Daddy. Only this time, I wasn't bathing with him, and I didn't appreciate having my shirt drawn on a whole lot. I told him to stop.

So for the rest of his bath he kept coming over and rubbing my shirt with his sponge "eraser" where he'd drawn on me. I appreciated the thought, but I was pretty soaked by the end.

Paddle ball

I try to pick up cheap toys that might interest Matthew when I see them, so Rachel has something to turn to on a "rainy day." Well, today was literally cold and rainy, so Matthew was cooped up and driving his mommy nuts, so Rachel broke out the paddle-ball set that I'd brought home on one of those occasions.

Matthew liked the ball, but he was extremely distressed that it was attached to the paddle. He wanted it off, so he could throw it and hit it with the paddle like some weird golf club. Rachel tore it off for him and he's played with it off and on all day. (Some of the "off" has been due to one of his games being hit-the-ball-under-the-oven-and-make-Mom-or-Dad-fish-it-out. We both got tired of that pretty quickly, so Daddy has confiscated the ball twice now.)

Monday, October 18, 2004


  • "Rayshoo!" Matthew kept saying this to me yesterday as he ran off. "Is he saying, 'race you?'" I asked Rachel. She wasn't sure. But today he did it with her, too. Rayshoo! then take off, and check over his shoulder if mama was coming. It looks like he picked up a new phrase somewhere.
  • This morning when I sent Matthew to his room for timeout he dragged his mattress in front of the door. It looked like he was saying, "You're not coming in here, Daddy!" Hard to say for sure.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


- Just now while on his mission to climb over and around Daddy 20 times morning and afternoon, he lost his balance and crashed his head into the side of my jaw. It hurt. "Ow!" He popped his head up and asked, "Aw wight?"
- The soap crayons his grandmother sent him for his birthday are a hit. He drew on the tub, the walls, the daddy, himself... Oddly enough, he enjoyed the "eraser" sponge included almost as much, cleaning up after himself.
- Daddy and Matthew went to the park this afternoon, and Daddy got Matthew a small styrofoam cup of smoothie. On the way home, Matthew ripped the bottom out of it. He was covered in raspberry/blueberry mess. We must have been quite a sight (he got it on me too when I unbucked him) when we stopped to get flowers for Rachel.

Friday, October 15, 2004

More fun with raisins

Ever vigilant for new ways to make a game out of eating, Matthew discovered this morning that packing raisins into half of a plastic egg and then eating them is even more fun than eating them from the box.

In other news, the new dishwasher lock lasted about an afternoon. At first we thought that Mommy and Daddy were being careless and not clicking the lock shut, but then Rachel caught him unlocking it. I guess the new rule is, no knives in the dishwasher until he's asleep.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


- Matthew understands "put back" quite well now. Rachel was skeptical but I demonstrated to her satisfaction at the midwives' office today. He kept pulling stuff off the desk, but put them back when told.
- Raisins are boring. Raisins in a box, though, are the best thing ever. Except maybe for cookies. And chocolate. Chocolate is definitely the best.
- Rachel made edible play-doh today out of peanut butter, powdered milk, and honey. She flowered up the table and gave him a bunch to knead and eat and he had a blast.
- Playing catch with Daddy is boring. Playing catch across the coffee table from Daddy is the best game ever. Unless it's playing catch across the coffee table from Mommy; Rachel said they did that for half an hour yesterday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Taste for trouble

We had cake and ice cream for Matthew's birthday celebration Monday night. (Rachel hand-decorated the cake; it was very well done.) We put the left-over cake on the counter, covered with plastic wrap.

Tuesday morning, after being harassed as usual for a couple hours by the savage peanut, I'm getting dressed for work when Rachel, still in bed, says, "It's too quiet. You'd better go see what he's up to."

What he was up to was standing on the open dishwasher door, stabbing at the cake with knife and spatula (liberated from the dishwasher). He'd pretty much destroyed it. We'd had a dishwasher lock but it broke a couple weeks ago; we'd been trying to teach him to stay out of the dishwasher even though it wasn't physically impossible to open anymore.

Rachel got a new lock Tuesday afternoon.

Monday, October 11, 2004


Matthew and I picked up Uncle Grant this evening to bring him up for Matthew's birthday celebration. (Rachel hand-decorated a cake; it looked very professionally done.) As we were coming up Matthew kept pointing out the window at things and saying, "Apple!" Grant thought he saw a common denominator in the color red, and he kept correcting Matthew. "No, that's a building." "No, that's a truck." "No, that's a car."

Finally I looked back and saw that Grant was leaning his right elbow on the window next to him. "He's talking about your elbow, Grant!" Oh.

"Yes, that's my elbow," Grant conceded. "ELBOW!" Matthew cried in triumph. "Elbow! Elbow! Elbow!"

Just so we didn't forget it, he kept reminding us for the rest of the trip.

Saturday, October 09, 2004


This post is short because I'm still peeved at the crack California Department of Highway Confusion. That's "crack" as in "very good at what they do," not as in, "certainly involving illegal drugs." Although for all I know maybe that's how they get their inspiration. I hadn't meant to go into specifics, but here's just one: we're heading west on I-80, looking for 580 E. We pass the 680 junction. No problem, it must count down. Then we pass the 780 junction. Uh-oh, it's not counting down after all. Then WAY THE HELL LATER we don't come to a 580 junction, I-80 TURNS INTO 580. WTH? Come on, guys, it's like exit numbers. You don't have exit 68, then exit 78, then exit 58!

Anyway. The peanut bullets.

- Before I left for San Fransisco yesterday, Matthew took his pig around the house with him and tucked it into bed. "Night, night." And he'd pull a blanket over it and then start playing. Then he'd drag it over to the next thing he wanted to play with, and tuck it in over there too. The funniest one was when he came to see what Daddy was doing in the master bedroom (trying to conduct a phone interview away from the savage peanut, is what) and tucked it in on the bed, then started jumping around. It's a good thing that pig had gotten a lot of sleep by then because he wasn't going to get any more with all that bouncing going on!

- From Rachel: yesterday morning after I left for work Matthew helped himself to a knife from the dishwasher and decided to see how deep a hole he could make in the wall before Mommy caught him. (Not very, it turns out.) Matthew got put in time out for this; I wonder if his baby mind is sophisticated enough yet to be glad he didn't pull that particular trick while Daddy was home.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The alpha peanut

Ahh, nothing like a little contest of will to start the morning.

Matthew had half a banana for breakfast, but wanted something else before he finished it. So, I handed him a box of Wheat Thins. Lately he's wanted the whole box, "just like a big person," and he's been good about eating one at a time so I haven't had a problem with this.

Well, this morning he apparently got bored with one-at-a-time, and dumped the entire contents of the box out on the table. I told him he couldn't get down until he picked them up. (He understands "pick up" quite well.) He thought that was a silly rule and got down anyway. So, I buckled him in. He was at the table for 20 minutes or so and decided a better way out would be to sweep the crackers down to the floor.

I accepted his challenge and swatted his butt, then sat down on the floor with him and asked if he was ready to pick up yet. It took I think 7 swats before he decided to pick them up.

(For the record, I wasn't angry at any point, and when he started picking up I helped him, and told him what a good boy he was afterwards.)

Now he's hopping around on his ball. I cooked him an egg, but hopping is more fun than eating...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Hope on the literacy front

Tonight after being made ready for bed, Matthew picked up Baby's First Picture Book and started going through the pages with me. "Cheese! Corn! Carrots! Eggs!" The animals: "Duck! Pig! *snorting sounds* Shoop! [horse] Cow!" Then he started looking for the page with the ice cream. "Ice cream! Ice cream!" He was very excited about that.

Then he showed his mom the pages he'd showed me, including ice cream. Then he decided actually eating ice cream was much better than looking at a picture of it, and ran over to the freezer and begged. Wimps that we are, we gave him some. (And had to brush his teeth a second time.) Literacy is something to encourage, right?

A tool-using boy

Matthew rolled his laundry ball -- inexplicably one of his favorite toys -- under the oven. So, he reached up on the counter and got a wooden spoon that would fit underneath and started sweeping under the oven to get it out.

Rachel told me yesterday that she'd retrieved the same ball from under the oven so he probably got the idea from watching her. As a daddy though I have to say I have a pretty smart kid!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Peanuts (peanut bullets)

  • Matthew decided he's too old for the high chair. We capitulated and got him a booster seat yesterday. The rules on playing with his food are correspondingly stricter, which he objects to strenuously.
  • Matthew told me "bleshou" when I sneezed this morning. Then he started sneezing himself (he does better fake sneezes than any I've seen) so I would tell him "bless you" in return.
  • Matthew enjoys eating crackers, but he enjoys eating them even more when I hand him the box and let him help himself. Er, don't tell Rachel.
  • Matthew enjoys washing his hands in the sink like a Big Person. This morning I was rinsing him off after the afore-mentioned crackers, and he insisted that he wasn't done until he was washed with soap ("wi so").

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Matthew's grandmother suggested that we tie a whiffle ball to a string and hang it from our back deck, so Matthew could whack at it with a ball from below. Rachel set it up today; Matthew had a blast. He's quite good at connecting with the ball, even in motion. He clearly enjoyed smacking that ball solidly into the deck above. Sometimes he'd smack it into the air beyond and the string would pull it back, bonking him on the head. "Ow," he'd say. "Nose." (Or ear, or wherever it hit him.) Then he'd smack it again.

Matthew is still hopping all over on his horse chew toy. Now that he's got the hang of it, it's about the only indoor activity that compares to being outside. (Outside is still the clear winner, though.)

Banana bread

As a rule, Matthew doesn't appreciate his mother's cooking. Hopefully his taste will mature, because Rachel is the best cook I know, with the possible exception of Dave Cassler. Sometimes, though, he surprises me. This morning I gave him a half slice of Rachel's banana bread. He chowed it down, and started making urgent noises. "Do you want more?" I asked. "Please?" he said. So I got him another half slice and started reading my email. A couple minutes later, he got up, got the banana bread bag off the counter, and brought it over to me. "Mmmmmm!" he said. "Please!" So now he's on his third half slice, and this is after breakfasting on pancake already.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Artistic peanut

One of our standby Matthew amusements is to cover half of our kitchen table with butcher paper and sit him on top with a box of crayons. He's usually good for 10 or 15 minutes with that. Today was the first time he's drawn circles instead of just zigzag random lines. Rachel also showed him to draw controlled straight lines and he copied her.

Matthew takes after my brother David in being a very kinetic individual. David loved burning off energy on a "hoppy ball" as a kid. We tried to find one in Matthew's size, and thanks to the magic of froogle, we found this: (Life before ecommerce must have sucked.) It's meant to be some kind of horsey chew toy, but it's just the right size for a smaller-than-average two year old kid to hop on.

I got this for him a week or two ago and he didn't really take to it, but today he was hopping around on it like a pro, grinning like a maniac. That's one more arrow in my entertainment quiver -- when you have a Savage Peanut you need a lot if you want to stay sane.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

A bitter peanut

Can't think of anything cute that happened today. He was really kind of a pill. He woke up grumpy and only took a short nap.

To follow up from last night, I can confirm that the dirt devil's battery doesn't last long. I'd say more like 5 minutes than 15 minutes. Still, that's plenty for what it's designed for. And Matthew didn't get too upset this time when it died, either; I guess he's used to it now.

Ellis says I should report that Matthew is scarfing pizza like a teenager now. He ate probably half an adult slice, which is pretty impressive for someone who (a) is really small, even for a 2 year old, and (b) snacks all day.

Rachel says today was one of those days where you think, "If there's a good home out there... Just for a couple days..."

Friday, October 01, 2004

A boy's best friend

Rachel got Matthew a truck for his birthday (coming up soon). I got him a vacuum. The vacuum has a very good chance of beating out the truck for MFT (most favored toy) status -- not that he doesn't like trucks; he's crazy about them. But Daddy knows that Being Like Mommy is even higher on his baby cool stuff list.

I got him a rechargable Dirt Devil. He was a little leery of it for the first couple days but he's glommed onto it with a vengeance now -- he tried to take it with him to bed tonight, after dragging it around with him all day. Yesterday was his first Vacuum Day; he discharged the battery in 15 minutes of continuous vacuuming and wouldn't relinquish it for charging, even though he was very mad at it for letting him down like that. (Rachel thought that 15 minutes of continuous run time was pretty wimpy but I think it's pretty generous, given what it's designed for. Still, you can't exactly reason that way with a raging peanut so I see her point.) Rachel says he demanded that she watch him while he vacuumed, too: "Sit!" he said, motioning to a place near him. Then Rachel would point out where there was crumbs or dirt on the floor. "Oh!" he'd say, and vacuum it.

Rachel says he'd vacuum right on by the dirt if she didn't point it out. He liked picking up dirt, he just couldn't see it. Gets it from his dad, she says...

So I'm charging the vacuum tonight. Rachel predicts another baby tantrum when it runs out again but hopefully the fun is worth the subsequent disappointment.

Not the baby anymore

Rachel is pregnant and a little anxious about how Matthew's going to take the whole new baby thing. My position is that with baby #2 arriving in May, there's plenty of time before we need to start worrying about this.

Still, Rachel ordered a newborn baby doll. It arrived yesterday while I was at work. "How'd it go?" I asked. "He likes it. He patted it gently, then dragged it all over the house with him. Then he started undressing it, saying 'stinky!' I guess the doll needed a diaper change."

This morning while I was watching him, I put the doll on the couch and covered it with a blanket. "Night night," I told it. Matthew came over and gave the doll a kiss and echoed, "Night night." He also handed me its cap, which had fallen off, and helped me put it back on.

Playing with a doll is a far cry from having to share your Mommy with a new rival, though.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

More pretend-play

(Matthew woke this morning at 4:30 and 6:20. Urk.)

After bestowing various degrees of rejection on my proffered breakfast of cheese and granola bar (Rachel insists that granola bar is healthier than many of the other things I've given him), Matthew thought he could convince Daddy to give him ice cream for breakfast. He tried repeating himself, he tried dragging me to the freezer, ... He was very persistent but even Daddy doesn't do ice cream for breakfast. (And I never have, so I'm not sure why he thinks I'm going to start now. Baby hope springs eternal?)

Eventually (around 8:00) he gave up and asked for eggs. Okay, Daddy can help you out there. (He likes them scrambled, which is good, because it's hard to turn fried eggs over without making a mess!) He ate one and then half of another.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with the title of this post. Well, after all this and I got dressed for work I came back out to find that Matthew had helped himself to a pot and a spatula from the dishwasher. (The childproof part of the lock we have on it is broken. Teaching him not to get into it has not been effective so far, so until we get another lock I remove the knives before leaving him near it.) He was stirring his plastic farm animals around in it, saying "hot!" and "eggs!"

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


This morning Matthew slept in until 7:50. That's unheard of! I think this is the latest he's ever slept in his life. (Okay, he did wake up at 6:00, but he went back to sleep.) Little things like this make Daddy a very happy man.

Last night I got Matthew a tee-ball set at Target. Matthew is, perhaps, a little bit spoiled... Anyway, he loved whacking the ball on the post; he started off with a vertical arc and eventually I prevailed on him to try horizontally but when he does that he likes to whack the tee as hard as he can, instead of aiming for the ball. Maybe he's still a bit young for this, but hey, if it lets him burn energy inside it will be a lifesaver as it starts getting colder in the mornings. (Matthew doesn't have any problem with it, but Daddy isn't always up to the hassle of bundling and unbundling him in warm layers. Not to mention that sometimes Daddy is a wimp and would prefer to stay where it's warm himself.)

Finally, an update on a previous post: Matthew's Uncle Grant suspects that Matthew learned the "snore when you pretend to sleep" trick from him. This is apparently one of Matthew's favorite games with him: cover Uncle Grant with a blanket and watch Uncle Grant pretend to sleep, with snores.

Uncle Grant is a great peanut-sitter.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Baby imagination

This morning Matthew played one of his games where he pulls a blanket over himself -- usually with some help from Dad; he's not quite coordinated enough to cover his legs reliably -- and says "night night." Then he pretends to take a nap. Sometimes, like this morning, he adds snoring noises; I'm not sure where he picked that up. Rachel snores sometimes but it's been a long time since Matthew slept in the same room with us.

Matthew has also pretended to be a dog or more often cat, going on his hands and knees and making the appropriate animal sounds. He does this less frequently, though; the last time I remember was a couple weeks ago and Rachel doesn't remember anything more recent, either.

After "napping," Matthew added another game: he went and got an (adult) book, lay back down on the couch, and pretended to read it, flipping the pages Just Like Daddy. (I suppose it's probably Just Like Mommy, since he sees her reading more than he does me, but a dad's entitled to flatter himself every now and then.)

The odd thing is, he won't sit still and read a picture book with either of his parents. Occasionally he'll stand next to us while we play the Name That Picture game for a few seconds but then it's zoom back to tearing up the house.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Monkey see, monkey do

Last night we had the Casslers over. They have four boys, from 10 down to 2 1/2. Their 10 year old has been teaching himself to juggle with the Klutz book (reminds me of when I did the same thing ten years ago). He was juggling tennis balls but when I brought out my old klutz balls he preferred those. Matthew preferred those, too! Eventually we let Matthew have the klutz balls for the sake of our sanity. Matthew got all the balls, gathered them to his chest, and tossed them in the air!

Matthew took the klutz balls to bed with him that night. Looks like he's got a new favorite toy.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Matthew is developing language skills at what his mother informs me is a normal rate. I wouldn't know. I do know that although his baby-slurred vocabulary has been increasing, sometimes very quickly, I've been wishing he'd start putting sentences together for quite a while now.

For a long time his only phrase has been "wherza," as in, "wherza ball? wherza socks? wherza dog?" etc. He picked that one up since his idea of Baby Heaven is to spend all day outside, and to go outside, he needed shoes. So naturally his demented father would go around the house trying to figure where Matthew last concealed his shoes, all the while saying, "wherza shoes?" Matthew got the hang of this in short order and eventually saw how it applied in general.

A couple days ago he came up with his second phrase. He's known what "hot" is for a while, but it's always been used more or less as a noun in its own right. The other night his mom made him some eggs for dinner and he proclaimed, "eggs hot!"

You have to be a parent to understand how irrationally proud I was.

Snack time

You know Matthew's into something he shouldn't be when it's quiet. Apparently even at not-quite-two he has some inner baby sense of when he's doing something Mommy and Daddy wouldn't approve of.

Still, sometimes you just figure, "We've babyproofed the important stuff; it's worth it for a few minutes of peace." This morning was one of those times for me. When I got up to see what he was up to, he had grabbed his tube of baby toothpaste from the counter -- if it's close enough to the edge he can grab it now, so we try to leave things there that he'd never get into, like fruit -- and was squeezing it into his mouth. And all over himself, of course.