Sunday, July 31, 2005

A well-equipped man

Rachel's grandfather Van Duker moved recently. In the process of packing up his workshop, her uncle Keith inventoried 5 socket sets and lost count around 3 dozen screwdrivers, among many other tools. Apparently, if he couldn't find the tool he wanted he just went out and got another instead of wasting time finding the old one.

That's a lot of screwdrivers.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The poop doesn't stop

This happened on Monday, but I thought this blog could stand to go at least a couple days between poop stories. Rachel wishes I would write about something else, but hey, she has the password too. (I tried to add her to the blog as a separate user, but blogger borked it up twice and when it finally went through it ate her post. Once again she wasn't on the userlist. Brilliant.)

I had gone to run errands with Matthew. On the way back I stopped to pick up Chinese food for dinner. I was placing my order with the takeout lady when Matthew started hopping around and grabbing his butt. "Poop firs! [first] Poop firs!"

I handed the lady a $20, picked up Matthew, and ran for the bathroom. I pulled his pants down to help him on the toilet -- he can get his pants off himself, but in an emergency Dad is faster -- and stopped. I was too late. There had been an explosion.

I tried to ease the pants off without getting poop all over and failed miserably. It was a disaster. A poop meltdown. The Chernobyl of poop.

A couple dozen moistened hand-drying-towels later, Matthew was clean but the pants were not. I seriously considered throwing them out, but my frugal nature prevailed and I wrapped the nastiness in some more hand towels.

The counter lady said there would be a 40 minute wait for the food. When I explained the situation she gave me my $20 back and we headed home with Matthew naked from the waist down in his car seat. (There was another guy at the counter with the air of fatherhood about him. "Forgot your diaper bag, huh," he said. "No; he's supposed to be potty trained," I replied. All bets are off though when your two year old has diarrhea.)

Shortly after arriving home he had to poop again. "This one is yours," I told Rachel.

He didn't quite make it. Fortunately,
  • there was less poop in his system
  • he did make it to the tiled bathroom area, away from the carpet
  • it was already established that this one was Rachel's

After that we diapered him for the night.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Update on the hopping thing

Matthew now hops on one foot (mostly his right) with some facility.

Yesterday we went to the local Barnes & Noble so he could play with the train set and I could read Linux magazines while waiting. (Sort of a Mission: getyoursonoutofyourwife'shair thing.) We hopped on one foot all the way down the sidewalk.

We got some amused looks from the cafe patrons.

continuing adventures in poop

"Dad! Need wipe!"

Apparently Matthew had pooped in the toilet and needed me to wipe his butt. I grabbed a baby wipe and headed over.

It stunk.

My first wipe brought up WAY more poop than it should have. Then I saw the smudged TP in the bowl. Matthew had tried to wipe himself. Crap.

There was poop down his thigh, poop on his scrotum and even low abdomen, poop on the toilest seat...

I wiped the worst of it, then sat him in the tub to get the rest.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

A rude awakening

I get up with Matthew as usual. Melissa needs to be fed so I leave her with Rachel.

Normal routine. Matthew goes to the bathroom. Needs new underwear since he got poop on the four pairs he wore yesterday. (This is normal behavior for him. Well, okay, the average is probably only 2 but 4 is not unusual. That kid has the leakiest butt EVER.)

I go back into our bedroom to find some underwear in the laundry basket. Melissa is done eating, so I pick her up and make typical Dad/daughter noises to her. ("Are you my sweet little girl? Do you have smiles for your dad?") She grins at me, then emits a HUGE poop. And it starts dripping through her shirt and onto my right foot.

"Help! Wipes!"

Rachel gets up groggily and hands me some wipes to stop the flow of liquid poop. I take Melissa to the changing table while Rachel tries to get it out of the carpet. Good timing, though; Rachel said she needed a new outfit anyway.

The table and the floor both required Heavy Duty toddler-cleanup supplies to get the stain out.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

A great excitement

Rachel was putting Matthew to bed for the final time when he came rushing out of his room.

"Fire truck! Fire truck!"

We'd just had a brief power outage so I supposed it was possible that there was a fire truck in the neighborhood. We stepped out onto the front porch.

"See? Fire truck! Fire truck!"

No, I didn't see any fire trucks because there weren't any. I did HEAR several, though, racing off to the source of a huge pillar of smoke billowing over the houses in front of us. I tried to explain the difference between hearing and seeing but he wasn't paying attention.

"Fire truck! Fire truck!"

So I retrieved the book I was reading (1776) and sat down on the porch while Matthew enjoyed the smoke and the sound of sirens.

"Fire trucks! Nono! [water] Oh no! Too bad!"

All this and he got to postpone bedtime until the smoke and sirens died down!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

A three-popsicle evening

Saturday night. Rachel is outside working on a trellis to hang from our back porch. I'm watching Melissa inside. We give Matthew a popsicle to help him listen to his mother. (Because if he doesn't, we can confiscate the popsicle.)

A few minutes later he comes in. "Posisle! Tids!" (Popsicles! Kids!) Rachel translates that he wants to take some out to share with the neighbor kids who have come out. At this point he's almost done with his own.

I give him a few and he heads out. There's one too many, so Rachel take it. Not for long: Matthew begs it off her as soon as he finishes his. I only find this out later.

Five minutes and he's back inside. "Posisle! Mama!" Sure, Rachel deserves one too. I hand him a blue one and he heads out again.

He never did give the blue one to his mom. I wonder: was this premeditated, or was the temptation of a popsicle in his hand just too much to resist?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Peanut gym

(Rachel made me write an entry for her cousin newsletter so I thought I'd share it here, too.)

Matthew is taking a gymnastics-for-kids-whose-parents-sign-a-waiver-saying-we-won't-sue-if-he-breaks-his-neck class. He gets quite a kick out of it. He tells anyone who will listen about the "big swing," which is what he calls the hanging rings. He also gets homework: Rachel gets to drill him on hopping on one foot and walking backwards. I've tried, without even registering.

Dad: “Come on, Matthew: let's hop like this."
Matthew: "Play outside! Play outside!"

Come to think of it, that's how most of my conversations with my son go.

The gym also offers "drop your kid off for all the running around and sugar-infused drinks he can handle" on Friday nights. For a nominal fee, of course. Matthew likes this even more than the actual class, if possible. (Rachel: "likes" isn't a strong enough word.) We literally had to drag him away, kicking and screaming. (Rachel: "I got him calmed down before we left. But he was not happy to see us.")

So Matthew and his parents both have something to look forward to on Fridays.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Melissa is smiling

Asleep in her swing and smiling to herself. Very cute. She must be having a good dream; now she's laughing through her nose.

Rachel: "I'll bet she's grinning about how she had her mom trying to keep her happy during church." She was a pill.

Kinda gives dad an inferiority complex. She smiles for Rachel almost every day. Now she's smiling when she sleeps. But smile for Dad? I've gotten two so far, and I've worked for those.


I asked Rachel what I should write about.

"Did you write about mimi tas?"

"Yes," I said. But then I googled it to be sure and it appears that I haven't. So: we taught Matthew that a polite young man says "excuse me" when he passes wind. He transliterated that into "mimi." Of course (perhaps since he is also taught to excuse himself for sneezing and yawning), in his two-year-old mind he has to explain why he's excusing himself. So, "Mimi tas" is his expression of, "Excuse me, I had gas."

Rachel also said I should write about Matthew's negotiating skills.

I've mentioned (or have I?) that Rachel's in the habit of giving Matthew a five-minute warning before taking him away from an activity he's enjoying. He often tries to bargain (punk little lawyer that he is already) but often bargains the wrong way: "No! TWO minutes!" We just laugh and don't hold him to it.

He does this with meals, too. "Eat two more bites." "No! FIVE bites!" Two and five are his favorite numbers; he's very clear on what two is, and five is a whole hand's worth of fingers; three and four are a little more nebulous, I think.

Maybe this is what's confusing him: when he's outside, about to be taken in, bigger is better. But when he's trying to eat as little chicken as possible before earning a treat, smaller is better. What a confusing world his parents came up with!

The peanut and the squeaker

We're still casting about for a nickname for Melissa. "Squeaker" is a good fit, except for her high-volume periods of baby rage that can last for two or three hours. My own suggestion for those times was "Fussmonkey." Maybe she will have two nicknames, but probably she won't end up with either really sticking.

Anyway. Besides the evening hours, there is one other time Melissa is markedly LESS mellow than her older brother. One of the surest ways to calm down a fussy Matthew was to take him for a car ride. I can't count how many times I took him on early morning rides in Provo while Rachel got some rest. I had to be careful to drive East, towards the sun, until he was well asleep, otherwise, the sun coming through the back window would keep him awake and angry.

Melissa's car seat has a collapsible cover, so the sun wouldn't be a problem. She just hates her car seat. Absolutely won't stand for it. The best you can hope for is that if she's already asleep, she won't wake up for 15 minutes. Once she's aware that she's in the seat (and she never takes longer than that to wake), she will yell with the volume turned to 11 until she gets out. She really goes all out; I'm half afraid she'll choke on her splittle sometimes.

In the car, she's definitely a fussmonkey.