Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Patience

By royal decree of the Mommy, TV at our house is a luxury reserved solely for the basement - where the sounds of my yelling at Tim McCarver and Joe Buck can be moderately muffled. For the last week or so, however, we've been watching it upstairs. The moldy smell in the basement carpet had ultimately become too much to bear and we had to move the whole operation up to the living room. As of last Thursday, we had officially been waiting a month for the new carpet to be delivered and installed.

Why is it taking so long? It could have been installed the next day if we had gone with our first (very affordable) quote from a big box store, but when you have a chance to spend an extra few hundred dollars and wait an extra three weeks by going with the little guy, I don't know about you but I take it!

While this is apparently the price you pay for supporting the small businessman, it is also a good exercise in patience. Another good exercise in patience? Olympic figure skating. I mean, really?

It's a good thing we have all of these opportunities to practice, because we're needing to apply our new patience skills with increasing regularity. Part of growing up - I've been told - is learning how to do things yourself. Who knew that learning how to walk up and down the stairs would take an hour? Every day. Each way. Don't even talk to me about how long it takes our little pupil to get dressed/undressed in the morning. He'd much prefer to pull every book off of every shelf in our house over putting on his socks.

And who can blame him, really? Socks are annoying.

To help facilitate these sorts of things - and to avoid the inevitable tantrum that kicks in if you try to force the issue - we've started mimicking daycare practices and giving Finn the 2-minute warning. Time to put the toys away? 2-minutes. Time to leave the toy cars at the drugstore? 2-minutes.

No threats, just the 2-minute warning, then follow-through. Kitty's much better at applying this approach consistently, but I'm trying. Luckily Finn has no idea how long 2-minutes are, so I can kind of fudge it if my beer is getting warm.

Unfortunately, it turns out the 2-minute warning goes both ways. The other day, before the TV was in the living room, Finn wanted to go downstairs to watch ElmoBigBird. Kitty was busy in the kitchen and told him he had to wait until she was done. His response?

Yup. "Two minutes."

Sometimes, apparently, learning can happen quickly. Well played, boy. Well played.

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In the pic above, Finn is noting that while he is wearing a Mariners hat - since the Mariners team store weirdly doesn't stock children's Yankees hats - his true loyalties lie with the pinstripes. At least that's what I will assume he's noting until such time that he can articulate an alternative.

At which point, he'll be kicked out of the house.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Young Love

Finn had his first Valentine's Day date this past weekend, which puts him roughly 22 years ahead of me.

23-month old Finn: 1
23-year old Daddy: 0

The grainy picture to the right is the best I could do to capture the moment with an iPhone and low light without startling the wildlife. Not pictured are the 435 Yo Gabba Gabba* toys on the table/floor/nice Indian waiter's head. Also not pictured is Finn's maniacal giggling every time Layla looked his way.

He's playing it cool, just like his Dad. If he keeps this up, he might be 23 before he gets his next date.

They ended the evening with a romantic run down the hallway to the bar, presented for your enjoyment here.

video

What the video doesn't pick up is the fact that the bar patrons at the end of the hallway were offering drinks to our little lovebirds.

They never do that when Kitty and I run down that hall.

* If you don't know Yo Gabba Gabba and/or you enjoy parties in your tummy, definitely click the link. You won't regret it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day

Finn really dropped the ball with this whole Valentine's Day thing. Daycare apparently had a big to-do yesterday, complete with Valentine cards, candy and the like and Finn didn't bother to tell us until we were dropping him off.

OK, maybe that's not entirely true. Maybe he did tell us.

Suckers. He didn't tell us. He can't say Valentine. He can probably say Ralla-tie, but I'd probably think he was asking for some high-performance tires.

OK, maybe the truth is that Jena emailed us about Valentine's Day and Kitty forgot.

OK, maybe that's not entirely true. Maybe I forgot. Whoops.

Kitty was really broken up about this, though I did point out that Finn was still going to get Valentines, it's just the other kids that were losing out. That certainly made ME feel better, but didn't help Kitty. She consulted the Decision Tree and ran off to the store at lunch to quickly put together some incredibly complex origami constructions which she got into the cute, heart-covered mailboxes right at the end of the day.

Finn rewarded her thoughtfulness by destroying the house in a V-Day brownie rage.

Jena - I know you're reading this. How about a brownie warning from here on out? We're going to need some Home Depot day laborers to put this place back together.

The splash of red in the picture above is in honor of Valentine's Day and is the second in our "Finn in inappropriate proximity to Bloody Mary" series. It's also in remembrance of Daddy/Finn weekend. It was a delicious weekend.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Who DAT?! 

In fear of this weekend's anticipated testosterone levels, Kitty skipped town for San Francisco with the rest of her sisters to visit Nicole for her birthday. That left me some quality one-on-one time with Finn to prep him for the most important activity of the weekend.

Eating chicken wings.

As you can see below, he's got the dipping part down (albeit with ketchup). It's the eating part that still needs work.

video

Next year.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wernstrom

You know that your son has hair issues when he starts looking like a secondary Futurama character.


At least I'm pretty sure that I read that in some random esoteric magazine for TV nerds.

I think it was O.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Leper Appreciation Day

Baseball season can't start soon enough. I don't think that I can watch the Cars DVD ever again - it turns out that 647 times is my limit. I need to find another video distraction for Finn and I'm going to do my best to make it baseball.

This is going to be no small feat, given that Finn's attention span is too short to even make it through a toy commercial - we can only watch Cars/Sesame Street/Yo Gabba in 5 minute increments - and given the fact that the average Yankees game is 4 1/2 hours long to ensure that we're all getting our money's worth.

To start the process, Finn and I joined Spiro and True at Mariners Fan Appreciation Day at Safeco Field on Saturday. Finn's allergy/leprosy/elephant-boy-syndrome had returned briefly, so I figured it would be good to bring him to a crowded stadium filled with other kids. Other parents love that stuff.

We showed up at the park at 10 AM, just in time for the traditional opening of the gates, to discover a line that covered two entire city blocks. We then learned that they wouldn't be opening the gates until 11:30 AM this year; only season tickets holders were allowed in at 10 AM. The thought of convincing Finn to stand in line for over an hour did not bode well, however Spiro - being a deviant savant - managed to locate a secret staircase in the team shop with a door that was manned by a genial (and perhaps confused) gentleman who scanned our tickets and let us right in to the stadium.

It was like being let into the chocolate factory. The place was empty. Don Wakamatsu was signing autographs. Chone Figgins was being interviewed by Dave Niehaus on the roof of the dugout. You could borrow a mitt to shag flies in the outfield, run the bases, or pitch to the bullpen catchers. We sat in the dugout and walked through the clubhouse.

(Incidentally, this offseason's marquee acquisition - Cliff Lee - has the locker closest to the door. This does not bode well for Seattle's chances at re-signing him as a free agent in 2011.)

Finn was in shock the entire time. I don't think I heard him utter a single word and he spent most of the time on my shoulders. I was hoping that he'd be a little more talkative, since I had worked out his new baseball catchphrase, "Bye baseball, see ya," which he would shout out immediately after launching one into the cheap seats, Kenny Powers style. This is a derivative of his current favorite sentence, which he uses to say goodbye to me (Bye Daddy, see ya), the cats (Bye Tango/Cash, see ya), his trucks (Bye diggers, see ya) and his diapers (Bye poop, see ya).

So he could practice, we went out to the batting tees in left field. They're set up close enough to the wall to allow you to pop one out and feel great about the fact that you can hit a baseball 20 feet. It turns out that Finn isn't quite big enough to swing the bat, so I figured I'd take a couple of chops while Spiro hung on to Finn. From watching the other dads, it was clear that there was a predictable pattern:
  • First swing: duffed into the ground
  • Second swing: picking up some distance
  • Third swing: launched into the seats
Prepping for that, I stepped into the batters box and took my first cut. Predictably, it rolled weakly into the outfield grass. I stepped out of the batter's box, adjusted my imaginary batting gloves 342 times, stepped back in and took another cut. This one shot up into the air, but I got under it, so it dropped short of the wall on the warning track. But now I was warmed up. I adjusted my gloves again. Dug my imaginary spikes into the artificial turf, reared back and swung with all of my might. And boy did it go flying. The tee, that is. It went about 15 feet out into the outfield, while the ball rolled about 6 inches. I think the 5 year old girl at the next tee was laughing at me.

Bye pride, see ya.

Next year I'm wearing real batting gloves.