Monday, February 20, 2006

Melissa Updates

Melissa cut a bottom tooth last week. She is also cruising with her walking push toy. She holds on to the bar and pushes it along. She is very pleased with herself. We suspect it won't be too long before she's walking.

Jonathan says that when he takes her in the morning (while I sleep, Thank you Jon!) or any other time I'm not around she'll be initially fine playing with her Daddy. After a while she'll start crawling around looking in various rooms and saying MamamaMa! MamamaMa! Jonathan thinks she's trying to call me. I haven't heard this yet, but it sounds cute. When he does bring her to me she acts very excited.


Time to Go!

Thursday Matthew was having a tough time getting dressed. He's fully capable of putting his clothes on once they've been laid out, he just wasn't in any particular hurry to do so. Unfortunately it was a preschool day and I was tired of being late. After an hour of dilly dallying, I told him I would set the timer (for 10 minutes) and when it rang we were leaving because it was time to go.

The timer rang.

The Matthew was only partially clothed and he gave me a "now what?" look.

The Mother was prepared.

I scooped up Matthew put him in the carseat with a blanket. Meanwhile he yelled at the top of his lungs about his lack of pants and socks. He seemed utterly shocked that his Mother would enforce "time to go." I let him protest in the car while I gathered the rest of his clothes and put them in a bag. I also called his teacher and informed her of the state in which Matthew would be arriving. She said, "Oh this is perfect! We will be discussing choices today!" So unwittingly, Matthew became the object lesson.

During the drive to the house where preschool was being held that day, Matthew let his outrage be known. I carried him to the house wrapped in a blanket. He sobered up at this point (I think because he knew it wouldn't affect the outcome). Once inside, I deposited him in the bathroom with his bag of clothes, gave him a kiss, wished him a good day, and walked away. I was a little worried about how he'd behave, but my concerns were unnecessary. "He was so good today! He offered to help and was so polite," his teacher raved. Yesss! Chalk one up for Mom. He was pleasant the rest of the day. I think it was a good learning experience.


Sunday, February 19, 2006


In one of his anthlogies, Watterson answers what he says is a FAQ: "What are the rules to Calvinball?" And he answers, "It's simple: you make it up as you go along."

Little boys understand this instinctively. Yesterday during a LAN party for adults, one of my friends brought his son Ben over to play with Matthew. They chased each other around with one of Matthew's green balls, and I'm sure that what they played was Calvinball. It involved, at various points, ping-pong-ball guns, auxilliary juggling balls, and hitting each other. (Everything little boys do together will at some point involve hitting each other.)

A good time was had by all.

You can run, but you can't hide

Melissa wasn't in the living room where we'd left her. She wasn't in the front room getting into the plants, which is usually her first destination. Where was she?

Rachel heard giggling from the bedroom. We'd left the door open and Melissa was happily tearing into a roll of toilet paper.

Kids are terrible at being sneaky. When I play hide-and-seek with Matthew ("No way!"), I can almost always track him by the giggling coming from under the blanket or in the closet or behind the door.

Not that I'm complaining!

Friday, February 17, 2006


Rachel took both kids to the Lehi pool this morning. Brave woman! ("Do you have any idea how hard it is to get THREE people dried and dressed, when you're the only one doing the drying and dressing?") She said Matthew really enjoyed the water slide and Melissa kicked and kicked and played herself out, so much so that she slept all through lunch strapped in her car seat, which is pretty much unheard of.

During lunch, Matthew found his blue ball in his jacket pocket -- the one he got from the doctor's office months ago. (The good thing about having a 3 year old's memory is you're always pleasantly surprised by what's in your pockets.) Then he started telling me, "Maattew ball! Not Eesan ball! Eesan take Maattew ball! No! My ball!" I think if Ethan had been there he would have gotten slugged.

Rachel cleared things up for me: at joy school yesterday, Ethan had a ball, and Matthew tried to take it from him.

I don't think he's deliberately lying when he tells stories like this. Maybe he has a good imagination -- like Hollywood said, "inspired by actual events!" Or maybe it's that 3 year old memory thing again.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I took Matthew to his nursery teacher's house to drop off some cookies tonight. He announced our return with a loud "We're home!"

Then he started chanting, "Boydame! Boydame! Boydame!" We couldn't figure it out. It sounded like "board game," but his only board game is Candyland, which he knows by name. Blue game? Ball game? Boat game? He corrected us after each guess: boydame!

Finally Daddy figured it out: he wanted to play his gameboy! Gameboy, boygame... it's all the same, right?

I thought at first that this was proof that Matthew was dyslexic like his uncle David, who he resembles more than his dad in some ways, but while I was writing it, it occurred to me: maybe he's just applying English grammar to it. "Silly Dad. Game isn't an adjective. Game is a noun. Therefore it must really be a Boy Game."

Just a thought.

Either way, his mom and I were highly amused when we finally figured him out.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Happiness is a jar of pennies

A few weeks ago in a church meeting, I lamented Matthew's ignorance of financial matters. What prompted this was me breaking something -- I don't remember what -- and Matthew consoling me: "Don' worry, Dada. We go store, get new one!"

No! Wrong solution!

But how do you teach a kid who can barely count to three how to value money, I wondered?

One of the other men said that with his three year old, they give her pennies when she does her "chores." She gets ten or so chances a day to earn a penny -- they have a chart with them all laid out. Then when she has enough, they take her to the dollar store and she can pick something out.

Fantastic. We're trying this with Matthew now. We don't have a chart yet; we're just doing it on an ad hoc basis for now. He gets a penny if he puts on his clothes by himself; a penny for taking a nap without whining; a penny for fetching the newspapers; etc. He keeps the pennies in an empty canning jar. I think he's up to a dozen or so, plus a nickel he found somewhere.

Tonight he helped set the table, so I gave him his penny. The novelty definitely hasn't worn off yet. "I rich!" he yelled, and ran off to add it to his jar. I shook my head. "Where did he pick THAT up?" I asked Rachel. She had no idea either.

Today it occurred to me that pennies could be a stick as well as a carrot. He started whining at me a couple times and I told him if he kept whining, he would have to give Daddy a penny for putting up with him. He stopped.

Rachel isn't looking forward to explaining tithing to him, though. I'm more optimistic. I guess we'll see.