Monday, April 26, 2010

They grow up so fast

Mommy: Are you my baby?
Finn: No

Mommy: Is Hootie my baby?
Finn: No

Mommy: Is giraffe my baby?
Finn: No

Mommy: Is kitty my baby?
Finn: No

Mommy: Is Daddy my baby?
Finn: No

Mommy: Yes, he is. Daddy's my baby.
Finn: Layla's my baby. She sleeps in my bed.

Whoa. You didn't see that coming, did you? As previously discussed, this kid is WAY ahead of me.

Sorry Jena.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's in a name?

Since I'm still recovering from the pain of being 37, and the additional pain of being 37 at a bachelor party in Montreal, I figured I'd pull a topic out of the "hangover" vault to keep you folks engaged for another week.

We made a big deal when Finn was born about how his name had somehow become ridiculously popular without our knowing it. Despite all of our plans for gifting our son with a cool, unique name, we met at least three other Finns his age within the first couple of months. Including one at our PEPS group.

Recently, Kitty found a handy little charting mechanism to show how a name's popularity has changed over time. As you can see, the data does bear out the fact that we were a little behind the curve on this one.

Having grown up with a common name (four Brians on my dorm floor freshman year), I decided to see how this stacked up against my name.

Notice how the peak right in the early '70's makes Finn's line practically disappear into the x-axis? That's great news. By my calculations he's now 500% less likely to end up with a freshman-year nickname that follows him around his entire life. Hopefully his wife will actually call him by his real name.

Hopefully he also ends up with a wife that's nice enough to post a happy birthday message and digs Star Wars vans.

Of course, it is also 500% less likely that he ends up with a wife at all, if/when his dates ever find this blog.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy

I couldn’t have said it better than Finn did this morning…

"Hap Birfday Daddy, I wub you!” Awwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I really wish I had an incriminating picture of you from your Birthday celebration in the Benbow Pirate bar. You know, late night when the off duty clowns rolled into the bar and started making balloon hats for everyone.

Alas, I do not.

What I do have is a picture of our old Star Wars van. Remember when we were that young?

Thanks to Jen Vertz for bringing the van and the memories. Finn, take a good look at this epic vehicle, because it comes back to you when you turn 16.
IT. HAS. SHAG. 'Nuf said.

Woody, thanks for keeping our family laughing.

P.S. You are making 37 look really, really, really old.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Age of Reason

My mother likes to remind me of the time when I was but a wee Yankee fan and was making her life difficult by refusing to help her with my mittens. She sat me down and explained to me that she didn't like yelling at me, but that I needed to help her by holding my wrist and fingers firm while she was trying to put my mittens on. After she had finished, she asked if I knew what I could do to help her keep from yelling at me.

I nodded.
"What are you going to do?" she asked.

"Put a pin in your mouth," I replied.
Apparently Finn has been listening to these stories and they're giving him ideas. Now that he's reached the age where we can quietly discuss why punching the cats might be a bad idea or why spitting his food all over the floor is not proper restaurant behavior, when pressed for his feedback or understanding, he's not giving us the answers that we're looking for.

My five-second peruse of Positive Discipline has left me completely helpless in this situation. I know that I'm supposed to discuss his actions and the repercussions that result when he does something naughty, but what do I do when he looks me dead in the eye and disagrees with me?

It's like arguing with the cats. As previously mentioned, you can't win an argument with the cats. They'll poop in your shoes.

Finn and I had a Dudes' Night Dinner tonight while Kitty was at an appointment, which means that I pull out all the culinary stops:
  1. Completely forget what Kitty had told me that she had planned for us for dinner
  2. Try to piece together something from the stuff in the fridge
  3. End up eating dry toast with turkey on it
Shockingly, Finn did not seem to appreciate my Daddy dinner skillz and proceeded to spit his dry-toast, turkey sandwich all over himself. As this is behavior that we are trying to nip in the bud, I promptly removed him from the kitchen and he sat in the living room (fake) crying.

After I finished my dinner, I went in to see him and asked him if he understood why I made him sit in the living room.
"I spit it out," he replied, looking remorseful.

"Correct. I don't like having to put you in the living room, so are you going to not spit it out tomorrow night?"

Double-negative. That wasn't the answer that I was looking for. Thinking that perhaps I had confused him with my phrasing, I tried again.
"Let me ask the question a little differently. Are you going to spit it out tomorrow night?"

Obviously, this approach isn't working.

I think I need to put a pin in his mouth.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Prepping for Finn's second birthday was akin to the Y2K prep that consumed my work life in 1999. Assuming the (relatively mild) tantrums that had erupted around feeding & dressing were indicators of the Terrible Twos, Kitty and I were furiously programming ourselves with Positive Discipline and patience-building exercises to be ready when the clock struck 12:00 AM on March 28 and the world as we know it came to an end, replaced with non-stop kicking/screaming/head-butting.

Just like Y2K, however, Y2F was a total non-event. If anything, Finn is more docile - if snottier - than he was a week ago. He now cheerfully sits on the potty with his reading material and can even tell you whether he's putting on his right or left shoe in the morning (thanks Mema).

Of course, I can't share this information with anyone, because as soon as I gloat, I get the universal response:

"Oh, didn't you hear? It's actually the terrible threes."

Things that I've learned since Finn has turned two:
  1. Do not, under any circumstances, announce to a party of pre-schoolers that you have cake unless said cake is on the table and ready to serve.
  2. Have plates & utensils ready, unless you want said attendees to eat said cake from the serving dish with their faces.
  3. Blowing out a birthday candle is not an instinctual skill. Unless you're Finn's friend Reid, who was more than happy to help out.
  4. Two-year-olds are even more vain than one-year-olds. When showing Finn pictures of his party on my phone yesterday, I showed him my new favorite picture (above). His response? "No more Daddy, more Finny."
Here are the pics, in case you're dying to know what kind of cake it was. (Spoiler alert: It was a Nemo cake.)

Speaking of the cake, I finally finished it yesterday. We probably didn't need to get one the size of a Buick. Hopefully the terrible threes come with smaller cakes.