Sunday, November 29, 2009


As if the holidays weren't stressful enough, this year marked the first of what is sure to be many anxiety-riddled parent/teacher conferences. Does Finn know how to share? Will Finn end up in jail by his second birthday? Is Finn more likely to give Grace a hug or a punch in the nose? Does Finn understand that No means No?1

So many questions - with most of the anxiety focused on whether our little whiny, picky-eating, angel was actually a whiny, picky-eating terror when we drop him off in the morning. Turns out we needn't have worried. If anything, Finn's problem is apparently the same as his Daddy's: he's a pushover.

If someone were to take something from him, he'll either cry to the teachers or will move on; he avoids confronting the offender. That sounds about right. He doesn't even get upset when Grace wakes him up early by crawling into his cot during nap time. Again, just like his Daddy, if you know what I'm talkin' about.2

But the most astonishing part of the daycare conference was when we were informed that Finn has decided that he's ready to start using the potty and that he had already successfully used it to rounds of applause from his fellow students.

This was astonishing for two reasons:
  1. We had no idea that he was that ready for potty-training, but had actually just that weekend purchased the starter potty. He has since used it twice, for both #1 & #2.
  2. Apparently use of the potty is a spectator sport at daycare.
If the only complaint is that Finn needs to be more assertive and begin solving his own problems, I think I can handle that. Mommy and I have already put in motion a rigorous program intended to reduce whining and enforce more self-sufficiency. Then, once we've accomplished this for ourselves, we will roll it out to Finn.

I was going to include a picture of Finn on the potty for illustrative purposes, but I didn't want Finn's first act of assertion be his punching me in the nose for posting that. Instead I chose another daycare picture, where apparently they also put bras on your childrens' heads while out on a walk.


1 Unless of course it's spoken by Daddy, when it just means: keep whining and you'll get exactly what you want.
2 Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Hey now!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ain't no thang

Dinner has never been the Ninja's best time of day. We've tried everything to get him to eat consistently - pretending we don't care if he eats, smashing his face into his plate, changing the meal time, wearing funny hats, and eating dinner on the floor. Some nights he digs in, but it never seems to be the result of something specific we've done or something we're serving. I think he does it just to confuse us.

Of course, this was not the case when Mommy was out of town. In those 4 days, I never saw that kid turn down a slice of pizza or a chocolate chip cookie. Unfortunately, it's kind of tough to sell Mommy on the nutritional benefits of pepperoni, so it's not a sustainable meal plan.

And so it was with great excitement - while eating some nice healthy chicken - that we discovered Finn's apparent love of chicken wings! In fact, he was so into the wings, that I had to pry his jaws open to pick out the splintered bone fragments, nearly sacrificing a knuckle in the process.

It was only one time, so if we're going to see if this is a new go-to meal, we're going to have to do some more research. And where do you go for chicken wing research if you're under 18?

Raisins, of course.

Check out that dazed look on his chocolate-covered mug. Those Raisins girls are gonna chew him up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Father of the Year

FACT: A steady diet of Honeycombs, Papa John's pizza and chocolate chip cookies over the course of a weekend will not kill a 19-month old boy.

But, OH MY, the diapers.

Of course, it took more than dirty diapers to keep our little fudge factory out of Mommy's arms upon her (long-awaited) return last night. I didn't think they'd be able to pry him out of her arms at daycare this morning, but it turns out they've got lots of Vaseline down there.

Finny and I both survived the weekend, though it was touch and go there for a while... for both of us. Me from sheer exhaustion and him from an apparent inability to stop throwing things at Daddy's head. That and shoddy carboard-box-slide construction.

Welcome home, Mommy! And just in time. We're out of Honeycombs.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

When the Kitty's away...

I've been putting in some serious Daddy hours this week. I had Finn all day on Wednesday, since daycare was closed for parent/teacher conference prep ("Congratulations, Mr. Parker, your son has only bitten three kids this week. That's a new record."), and now Kitty is gone for a long weekend celebrating some fine Americans with her Dad and sisters in Washington, DC.

I know from the 3 phone calls today that she misses her boy like crazy. I also know that upon her return, she is bound to be impressed by all of the stuff that Finn can now do. Like throw his toys clear across the room. Well, first she'll probably be confused since Finn isn't allowed to throw toys in the house. But once she realizes what an arm he's got, she'll definitely be impressed.

She will likely also be stunned by how well Finn can now feed Cash directly from his high chair. Again, great arm. Particularly when it's throwing chicken to the cats.

Once she's done being all impressed by the amazing job I've done cultivating these skills, she will surely congratulate me on my fatheriness. That or she'll kill me.

If I'm going out, I might as well go out with a picture of Derek Jeter in a wig, because some day when Finn looks back on this blog, I want him to remember what it was like to win a World Series at only 19-months old.

And because Kitty took the camera with the new pictures on it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I'm still getting emails from the online baby experts reminding me that it's time to start potty training, that I should be enrolling Finn in pre-school, that there are lots of online options for college funds and that 19-months is exactly the right time to start prepping for the SAT, but nobody will tell me whether it's too soon to start de-childproofing.

I only bring this up because, as another rainy Seattle winter has rolled around, Kitty decided that she could no longer live without a fireplace. In the interests of safety, we had a big ottoman blocking ours, which was not conducive to fires. To try and get fire-ready, but still maintain some semblance of safety (and to keep the cats from peeing in the ashes), we invested in some fireplace doors.

Totally safe, right? In order to set himself on fire, he will now need to overpower those tiny little fridge magnets that hold the doors closed. Of course, I don't have any corresponding safety equipment on the big fireplace poker that is now sitting right next to those doors.

A year ago, we would've been more concerned with this setup, but we've spent the last 19-months watching Finn nearly smash his head into every solid object between here and NY and he's still in one piece. The great football coach Al Pacino once said "Life is a game of inches," and nowhere is that more true than when you're watching a toddler climb on top of a rickety cardboard box right in between a stone floor, a pointy table and a fireplace.

So far, so good. The inches have gone in our favor, though I've got a 30+ year old scar above my right eye that says it doesn't always go that way.

But as long as he falls toward the fireplace, and not onto the poker, and/or doesn't break the glass doors in the process, we're all good!

Here is the still-in-one-piece-for-the-moment monkey one more time, looking oh-so-comfortable next to one of his future ex-wives. Good luck with that, boy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Last year's Halloween party found us corralling a rampaging cheetah as he cruised around the furniture at Holly & Rob's house. This year's Halloween party promised to be much more exhausting as the cheetah has matured into a fully mobile monkey. A monkey that we had every intention of taking out trick or treating, even if he had no idea what was going on.

Daddy needs him some candy.

Turns out lots of animals must mature into monkeys, as they were everywhere. We started the day at Reid's second birthday party, where Finn and his daycare buddy Reid were both monkeys. Later that night, two other monkeys showed up at Holly & Rob's. Well, actually one monkey and one mouse - but the mouse looked like a monkey. And the cat looked like a mouse.

It was very confusing.

After running around the house for a while, the bigger kids headed out for the goodies so we decided to tag along and take Finn on his maiden candy run. Any worries that we might have had about him not being interested were quickly dashed as he immediately understood that putting candy into his pumpkin was somehow beneficial for him and took off around the neighborhood looting every house he could crawl up to in his over-sized monkey feet.

Here he is leading the charge after just one house.

He even approximated a "trick or treat" and a "thank you" after ripping as much candy out of the kindly old neighbors' hands that he could grab. We only made it a couple of blocks before I had to throw in the towel - watching a baseball game on your phone while walking is hard work, and dangerous - but I'm sure he could have gone all night.

Instead we returned to the party, where Finn was rationed two pieces of candy while we all watched the older kids attempt to murder each other with their bare hands in a sugar-induced psycho-frenzy. It was scary. Finn had a great time.

My costume was not a big hit, for some reason. I don't know why, but some people were really upset when they saw me. Weird.