Monday, March 28, 2011

Daddy Remote

Our bedtime routine these days usually involves me putting Z to bed and Daddy putting Flik to bed. Some nights, after I put Z in his crib, if Daddy is still in Flik's bedroom, I go in and give Flik hugs and kisses, too. Sunday was one of those nights.

I went into Flik's bedroom. Bedtime was pretty much wrapping up. Daddy was laying in bed next to Flik and Flik tells me that Daddy is going to stay with him for two extra minutes. I crawl into bed next to Flik, tell him I just wanted to give him hugs and kisses and tell him how much I love him. He smiles, asks me "how much" do I love him, and gives me half a hug. He lays there a moment between Daddy and me and then he says:
Wouldn't it be cool if I had a Daddy remote and when Daddy goes to work in his office I could just push a button and Daddy would just come home and I could push a button and Daddy would play with me? Wouldn't that be cool?
Adorable kid, huh?  Sundays are tough. Two full days with Mommy and Daddy and then everyone goes back to work.  And I could end this post right there and let you all go on thinking he's the cutest thing since slided bread (because sliced bread is adorable). But this post is also about the plight of the Mommy ant. So in the version below, there is no selective editing. Let's try that quote again:
Wouldn't it be cool if I had a Daddy remote and when Daddy goes to work in his office I could just push a button and Daddy would just come home and I could push a button and Daddy would play with me? Wouldn't that be cool? (2 second pause) Mommy, can you just leave now?
Sure, kid.  Really feeling the love tonight. Whatever, I'm going downstairs to have a Snickers ice cream bar now that you're not around to see it and ask me for one.

"Sure, sweetie.  Goodnight.  I love you."

The Camping Bin

We have a storage room in our basement. It is filled with things that are awesome to a four year old. (Otherwise known as holiday decorations and junk that Mommy won't let Daddy throw away.)

Flik was playing in the basement and decided to see if he could get away with checking out the storage room. He could not.

Daddy: Flik, get out of the storage room.

Flik: Daddy, can you get me the camping bin?

Daddy: No.

Flik: Why not?

Daddy: Because you can't play with everything in that bin. Everything in that bin is not a toy.

Flik: How 'bout this: everything in that bin that is safe for me you get out and everything that's not safe for me you not get out? How 'bout that?

Daddy: That sounds logical.

Flik: Yeah. How 'bout that?

Daddy: OK. How about 10 minutes?

Flik: How about 2 minutes?

Daddy: Fine.

I can't tell if he's going to become a lawyer or just spend a lot of time at flea markets.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What the Toys Really Do When I'm Not Around

Z is going to be crawling soon. It's a little scary. When Flik started crawling, there was never anything on the ground that was smaller than a softball. But Flik is 4, so we have an abundance of Legos, marker caps, stickers, board game pieces, and oh how the list goes on.

So I decided I'd try to be proactive and gather up all the toys with small pieces so that Flik has to ask before he plays with them. Then a grown-up can make sure that all the little pieces are put away when he's done. (Yes, I am aware of the insanity in this plan. But I'm still planning on giving it a shot. I would really prefer it if Z doesn't choke on a Lego.)

So I made the huge mistake of starting in Flik's room while Flik was in there. Every mother knows that you don't clean out the toys with the kids. It was a combination mission: collect the small toys, clean up the dozens of toys that were not put away, and collect all the toys that had migrated to his bedroom, but that really belong in the basement. Turns out, Flik was completely fine with me taking his Legos so that Z doesn't choke on them. What he had a huge problem with was my wanting to return some of his toys to the basement.

Problem toy #1:

This toy came from my mom. She brought over a whole bag of toys from when I was a kid and this was in it. Seriously, how did this thing not get thrown away 20 years ago? But now Flik loves it. Flik insists it needs to stay in his room. Why am I trying to do this with him here again?

Problem toy #2:

We have a box of toys we call "characters." It is mostly Happy Meal toys. Another name for the toys in this box: junk.

Mommy: Can we please bring this one downstairs?

Flik: No. I really, really, really want it to stay in my room.

Mommy: (This probably isn't worth the fight. One more try.) But, Flik, all of your other characters are down in the basement. He's probably lonely.

Flik: No he's not. These two need to stay together. (dramatic pause) They're in love.

Mommy: (OK. Wasn't expecting that.) Really?

Flik: Yes. They got married.

So I guess that settles that then.

Daddy is Cooler Than Mommy

I left the house for about 30 minutes yesterday. When I got home, the first thing I saw when I walked in the door was this.

Really? Flik has been asking me for days to see what's in the shredder bin. Of course, I have said, "No."

I leave for 30 minutes and not only do Daddy & Flik look at the shredder bin, but they've put all of the little scraps into the toy wheelbarrow. Oh yes, this definitely seems like it's not going to turn into a huge mess. I go find Daddy.

Mommy: Really?
Daddy: What?

Well, this clearly explains why Daddy is the favorite. Daddy is obviously much more fun than Mommy.

Whatever. Because I do have something else going for me. A few hours later, Daddy and I were in the kitchen. Flik was playing quietly in the other room. Daddy walked out of the kitchen and I hear:

Daddy: What are you doing?
Flik: I'm making a path.

Here's a small sampling of "the path":

It snaked through several rooms.

In conclusion: Daddy may be cooler, but Mommy is always right.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Meet the Ants

So I've decided that if I'm going to share stories about my ants with the whole world, I'm going to give them pseudonyms. Who knows, maybe when the baby ant is looking for his first job, his potential employer might read this blog and think, "What!? You weren't crawling yet at 7 months old? What a slacker." And with all the potential for cyber-bullying. Who knows?

So anyway, meet my ants:

Flik is four years old. His hobbies include watching TV, playing chase, and hanging out with Daddy. His favorite movie is Finding Nemo. Ironically, he has never seen A Bug's Life.

Z is nearly 7 months old. He's a bit of a heavy drinker, but at least he's a happy drinker. His favorite activities include eating, jumping, and watching his big brother.

The Joys of Working from Home

I have the distinct luxury of being able to work from home many days. It's seemingly the best possible gig. I get to do grown-up style work, make money, take a shower (or not) when I want, and be able to see my kids during the day. I have it even better in that we have a nanny, which allows me the ability to actually get work done while I'm working from home. But even in the best of situations, every mommy can be made to feel like she's not doing enough. 

Our rule on work from home days is that if the door to the office is closed, children are not allowed to open it, knock on it, try to talk through it, or yell near it. The one thing children are allowed to do is slide notes under it. This way, if Mommy or Daddy are not too busy, we can come out or invite the children in. 

Yesterday while I was working, I didn't have any conference calls, so after getting a note from Flik under the door, I told him that he could be in the office and draw, but no talking to Mommy because I had work to do. (He had been asking me a question every 30 seconds. So I told him, no more questions or he'd have to leave.)

So Flik goes to his little table and starts drawing. I sit at my computer and go back to work. Moments later, Flik sneaks up behind me very stealthily and puts this "note" on my desk. 

I tell him it's very nice and go back to work. He starts drawing again and shortly thereafter slips this note onto my desk. Again, he is very sneaky and quiet so that I won't ask him to leave the office.

"Very nice," I say. I continue working. Flik goes back to drawing. A minute later, a third note. Then a fourth.

I'm noticing a theme. Not sure what he's up to, but it's keeping him occupied.  I keep working. I get another drawing. So far, all his notes have been on 3x5 index cards. This one comes on a full sheet of paper.

I pause from working for a moment to say to him, "These are very nice." I hold it up. I ask, "Is this the top." 

"No. No. No." He tells me. He flips it over. 

"This is the head." He traces the large circle on the page with his finger. "These are the eyes." He traces the two smaller circles. "And these are the tears," he points to the little yellow dots at the bottom of the page, "because I don't get to talk to you."

Let's recap.  This is what he has delivered to me:

Yes, working at home can suck. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011


This afternoon after Z woke up from his nap, I brought Flik and a bottle and went into his room to feed him. He was definitely ready to eat, but I wanted to change his diaper first. Z was not happy about this choice, so he continued to cry while I changed him.  Since I had Flik in the room with me, I asked him to come stand on the stool next to me while I changed Z and talk to him to hopefully minimize Z's crying. It took asking three times, but Flik finally agreed.

As expected, Z quieted down the second he could see his big brother and could hear Flik talking to him.  About ten seconds after that, Flik noticed that Z had a little tear next to his eye, which was still there from when he had been crying before we got to his room.  Flik reaches out his finger to touch it, but then right before he does, he gasps and bounds off the stool and out of the room. He comes racing back 30 seconds later with a small baby washcloth. (We keep all Flik's old baby washcloth's in Flik's room and he uses them as handkerchiefs. We call them "tear cloths" because "handkerchief" was too big a word when Flik was two.)

So Flik comes running in with the washcloth, steps back onto the stool, and very carefully wipes away Z's one tear.

Cue Mommy's melting heart.

Do You Believe in Jinxes?

So there will be no more stories about what a good sleeper the baby ant is. Z was awake at 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, and then 5:30 am.  Flik, too, was awake several times. I don't believe in superstition, but just to be safe, I will not be sharing any more stories about what good sleepers the boys are.

Fingers crossed for tonight.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Baby Ant

So everyone keeps asking me about the baby ant.

"What about the baby ant?"
"You are going to have to change it to Little Ant."
"Don't you have two little ants?"

OK.  OK.  OK.

But just so y'all know, the baby ant hasn't really said anything adorable or thought provoking in months.

So what's life like for the baby ant?

Z is 6 1/2 months old.  He wakes up usually around 6:30, but on occasion he'll go back to sleep on his own until 7:30 or even 8.  When he's up, he's a very happy baby; smiles all day long. He only fusses when he's hungry, or when he's drunk everything from his bottle and realizes that nothing else is going to be coming out.

We finally got him to sleep without being swaddled a couple weeks ago. Now he's sleeping on his own like a champ. We also tried to give a nap schedule a shot, but Z wasn't having it.  Now he's happiest if he's back in his crib about 2 hours since he last woke up. It definitely puts a cramp in the daily activities, especially for Flik.

When he is awake, Z loves his Jumperoo.  He's a bouncing, baby, boy alright. He's also a rolly polly baby. He can roll back and forth between his tummy and back with ease, which allows him to wiggle off of his playmat and get around a bit. No crawling yet, but he seems eager to start moving.

Z is asleep every night between 6 and 7:30. For about a week, he was sleeping until about 5:30, but then wasn't going back to sleep. Last couple days he's been waking up around 11, then sleeping until 6:30.  Either way, not bad.

So there's the baby ant update.  I'll let you all know when he's naming Presidents.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's a Spigot?

You know what a spigot is, right? Can you tell me what it is? Go ahead, give it a shot. It's not that easy. Well, you probably still did better than I did.  Here's how it went.

Well, first of all I should tell you that we have a reward system at our house.  I built a set of Lego stairs and there's a little Lego fireman that climbs the stairs when Flik is well behaved. When the fireman gets to the top, Flik gets a treat. In case you're wondering, a typical treat is 2 TV tokens, each worth 30 minutes of TV, and a juice box.  Yeah, we're crazy with the treats around here. If he's having a normal day, I try to have the fireman makes it to the top of the stairs once per day.  The Lego fireman is so cute.  He's got an ax and everything.

So a couple days ago, I told Flik that the next time his fireman got to the top of the stairs, we'd get him a chocolate shake.  Later that day, I had Flik with me while I went through McDonald's drive-thru to get a a Diet Coke. Now he knew that back at home that fireman had not reached the top of the stairs, but he still really wanted me to get him a chocolate shake.

Mommy: Flik, I told you that we will get you a shake when the fireman reaches the top of the stairs.

Flik: I know. But can we PLEEEEEEEAAAAAASE get a chocolate shake and bring it home and keep it in the freezer until the fireman reaches the top of the stairs.

Mommy: Sweetie, trust me, you don't want to keep your chocolate shake in the freezer.  It'll turn into a chocolate ice cube and you won't be able to drink it through the straw.

Flik: Then can we keep it in the 'frigerator?

Mommy: No, sweetie. If we keep it in the refrigerator it'll melt, and then you'll just have chocolate milk?

Flik: Then how do they keep the chocolate shakes at McDonald's?

Mommy: (My kid is so smart.) Well, they have a machine that keeps it really cold like a freezer, but it also keeps stirring and stirring it so that it never turns into an ice cube.

Flik: Then how do they get the chocolate shake out?

Mommy: It comes out through the spigot into a cup.

Flik: What's a "spigot"?

Mommy: Ummmm..... (Hmm) It's a.... (How the heck do you define a spigot?)... thing that stuff comes out of. (That was helpful. Could I be a little more vague? Seriously, though, what's a spigot?)

Flik: Like a chimney?

Mommy: No.  A chimney's not a spigot. A spigot is something liquids come out of, like water or soda.

Flik: But stuff comes out of a chimney; like smoke.  But mostly Santa.

(Mommy laughing.)

Flik: But Santa's not a liquid.

So I finally looked up the definition for "spigot" when I got home. If you would have told your kid, "it's a faucet," then you win a prize, because that's the best kid-friendly answer to that question there is. At the time I was kinda' trying to figure out how a spigot is different than a faucet. Guess I over thought it, because I doubt, "a regulator for controlling the flow of a liquid from a reservoir" would have been very helpful. Ah well, I know for next time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cleanup Time with Pig

This afternoon Flik had taken out several different types of toys: cars, books, activity mats, and a toy vacuum. He was preparing to take out yet another toy when I suggested that we take a few minutes to clean up some of the toys we were no longer playing with. He agreed without putting up much of a fight, so long as Pig could help. (Pig is a stuffed animal. Not one of the favorites, just happened to be in his hands at the moment.)

Of course Pig can help.

Mommy worked on the books and Pig and Flik were assigned to the cars. Pig then got the fun job of using the golf club to reach the toys hiding under the couch. Occasionally there would be some whining about whether it was still cleaning time or playing time. Flik would then inform me that it was Pig that was whining, not him. Flik then explained to Pig that if he kept whining, he would end up in time out.

When we were down to the last few toys that we had fished out from under the couch, I asked Pig to put away the toy screwdriver. Flik maneuvers Pig's hands so that Pig is holding the toy and then "flies" Pig and the screwdriver toward the toy bin.

"Mommy, did you know that Pig can fly?"

Smile. I love these little moments where he says something so cute and has no idea of the cultural relevance.

But in case any of you were waiting for this particular moment, Pig can fly.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Childbirth, Telephone Wires, Knock Knock Jokes, and Really Bad Guys with Really Sharp Things

The drive from our house to pre-school is about twenty minutes. Flik had quite a lot to say during that twenty minutes this morning. Here's an abridged transcript:

Flik: Did Aunt Amanda have her baby yet?
Mommy: No, not yet.
Flik: Is the baby in Amanda's tummy or in Moses's tummy?
Mommy: Aunt Amanda's.
Flik: How does the baby get out of mommies' tummies?

(How I got through nine months of pregnancy for his now 6 month old baby brother without this coming up is amazing. This topic came up last week on the way to pre-school, but traffic problems distracted him, so I dodged question.)

Mommy: Mommies go to the hospital  (Total duck, I know.  Let's see if it works.)
Flik: But how does the baby get out.
Mommy: (Darn.) Well, the baby is in a special place in the mommy's tummy and there's a tube that goes from that place to outside the mommy's body. So the baby goes through the tube to get out.
Flik: Is the tube long?
Mommy: Not really long, no.
Flik: But how does the baby get out if the tube's not long enough?
Mommy: It is long enough, it just doesn't need to be super long.
Flik: Oh.

*** 30-60 seconds of silence ***

Flik:  You know what? If a dinosaur came and bumped his head on those wires he would die? (He points to the telephone wires near the road.)
Mommy: (OK. I guess we're on a different subject now.) Oh yeah?  Why's that?
Flik: You know why!
Mommy: I do?
Flik: Because there's electric in them! You already know that.

*** We continue discussing dinosaurs, namely dinosaur teeth. FYI, T-Rex constantly lose their old teeth and replace them with new teeth. We discuss the money in Daddy's car. We discuss how the IPASS works. ***

Flik: Knock Knock
Mommy: Who's there?
Flik: Knock Knock
Mommy: Who's there?
Flik: Knock Knock
Mommy: Who's there?
Flik: Knock Knock
Mommy: Who's there?
Flik: Knock Knock
Mommy: Who's there?
Flik: Pizza
Mommy: Pizza who?
Flik: Pizza Jimbo's Pizza

(Jimbo's Pizza is our pizza place down the street.  This is about the level of funny in all of Flik's Knock Knock Jokes, BTW.)

Flik: Knock Knock
Mommy: Who's there?
Flik: House
Mommy: House who?
Flik: House I don't like tomatoes.

*** Flik informs me that he'd like to eat at a restaurant some time, just not right now. ***

Flik: Why is there those mirrors on the cars?
Mommy: So that the people can see behind them.
Flik: What if they don't have them?
Mommy: Then they can't see behind them.
Flik: Why would they just not look behind them?
Mommy: You could, but it's easier to look in the mirror.
Flik: What if all the cars don't have mirrors?
Mommy: Flik, do all the cars have mirrors?
Flik: But what if a bad guy comes with scissors, and knifes, and razor blades, and like sharp stuff, and chain saws, and circular saws and cut down all the mirrors and lights and everything. Even trees. What if they do that?
Mommy: Um. He'd probably get in trouble.
Flik: And then where would the bad guys go?
Mommy: They'd probably go to jail.
Flik: What happens if they steal the keys from the jail keepers and they unlock theirselves and they brought more and more and more and more and more bad guys with more razor blades and scissors and knives and circular saws and chain saws? And then the police men couldn't catch 'em? And then the bad guys cut off people's legs and their heads and their arms and foots. What happens if they did that and even they cut open their eyes and brains? What if they did that? And they even cut the police men. What if they did that?
Mommy: That would be SO bad. Maybe since they already got the police men, the people would join together to fight the bad guys.
Flik: But they're dead.
Mommy: Oh, that's right. Then I guess that's all that would happen. (I really don't have a better answer than this.)
Flik: What happens if there was a herd of wolves that was trying to eat us? Do you know what "herd" means?
Mommy: Yes, it's a group of animals. Except that wolves don't travel in herds, they travel in packs.
Flik: What does "pack" mean?
Mommy: It's a group, like a herd.

*** We arrive at pre-school.  Mommy is exhausted, and very thankful for the 20 minute drive home... in silence. ***

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tsunamis and Zombies

Each night during bedtime, Daddy and Flik do, "I'm Thankful For," where they each list 3 or 4 things they're thankful for.  Tonight I joined them and one of my thankful for's was, "I'm thankful that we're safe from tsunamis."  Flik responded, "I'm thankful we're safe from tsunamis and zombies."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

89 Kisses

Flik has never been a snuggler, nor much of a kisser. He's been wiping my kisses off of his cheeks since about the time he discovered his hands. Lately, though, he's becoming more and more creative in devising ways to make bedtime last a little longer each night. Tonight for hugs and kisses, he requested 89 kisses. Oh it is so hard not to oblige his little stall tactics when it's the only cuddling I get out of him. But my 89 kisses aren't so bad compared to Daddy getting his first two hours of sleep for the night in Flik's room. Makes me think that maybe we shouldn't have gone with the queen size bed for a four-year-old.  Makes it too easy for Daddy to cave.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tanker Truck Disabled by Mischievous Mouse

Today while driving Flik to pre-school we passed a tanker truck.

Flik:  Mommy, how do they fill the tanker truck.

Mommy:  There's a hole in the top of the tanker truck and there's a special building that has a hose that comes down from the ceiling.  They put the hose into the hole and fill up the truck.  (I have no idea how close to accurate this is, but it seems plausible.)

Flik:  But what if a little mouse comes out of a hole in the building and climbs into the truck and bites off the steering wheel and the steering wheel falls off.  How will the tanker truck drive?

Mommy:  Umm.... (This is not where I was expecting this line of questioning to go.)  I guess it wouldn't.

Flik:  Oh.