Friday, February 24, 2012

Table Manners

There are many words that describe my wife -  kind, caring, and compassionate immediately come to mind - but there is one particular word that sums her up best of all.

And that word is "gluten".

She was gluten-free before gluten-free was cool.  But now that EVERYONE is gluten-free, like a true hipster, she's moved on to much more restrictive diets.  In fact, now the only thing that she will eat is homemade chicken broth.  There is a chicken in the crockpot on my counter every night.  In fact, there's one right in front of me right now.  I'm not kidding.

To be fair, that's only part of the story.  It's not just a broth-diet, it's a diet that is heavy in delicious fats and soups - often together.  Given that one of her favorite past times is eating butter directly out of the container, this is right up Kitty's alley.

Sidenote:  when we were up at the cabin last weekend, Kitty was reading Finn a book about fairies and talking about the four elements:  earth, wind, fire & water.  She made me ask him what the fifth element was.  Like his Mother's son, he informed me that it's "butter".

Unfortunately, as it turns out, Finn's not a big fan of this constant barrage of soups.  This has caused a crisis of table manners.  We've been forced to institute martial law at the table:  no questions (as they are invariably:  "how many carrots do I have to eat before I can have a treat?"), minimal fork movement (as it tends to be used as a stabbing implement) and most importantly - to combat a severe case of the squirms - if the butt leaves the seat, Finn leaves the table.

It was under these guidelines the other day that I happened to notice that he was eating lunch while laying completely prostrate across his chair and the adjoining bench.  I asked him what he thought he was doing and told him he was going to need to get down and go into the living room until he was ready to eat at the table like a big boy.  With a straight face and without missing a beat, he looked at me and said, "But Daddy, I'm just doing my exercises."

I couldn't get mad.  I let him keep eating like that.  Any kid that thinks butter is the fifth element is going to need all the exercise he can get.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ninja Parker, CPA

Speaking of doing my taxes, it appears that our little accountant is ready for tax season.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Options & Deals

I don't have many tools in my parenting toolbox (yelling, yelling louder and whisper yelling make up the majority of it), however I have found that giving Finn a little bit of control of his own destiny does help to move things along when he might be acting a wee bit stubborn at a time where I really need his cooperation.  In those cases, I definitely try to present him with choices that will help him choose the best path forward.

For example, he can choose to get dressed or he can choose to watch his stuffed animals set on fire.  Or he can choose to go potty or he can choose to do Daddy's taxes while watching Daddy eat all of his chocolate chip cookies.

Reasonable choices.

Unfortunately, my son has now outsmarted me.  Upon my return home from work this evening, weary from a full day of color-coding my email and pretending to pay attention on conference calls, Finn started begging me to play with him.  I tried to decline, but he wasn't having any of it.

"Daddy, here's your options.  You can help Mommy make dinner or you can come play with me."

Touché, young Jedi.  Touché.


On another note, Finn finally has a Deal.  It's been a long-standing joke around our house to ask him, "Finn, what's your deal?"  He'd always reply, very quickly and succinctly, "I don't have a deal."

The other day, he got really excited and told us that he now knew what his deal was.  So now if you ask him, "Finn, what's your deal?", he'll tell you.

"My deal is that I put my underpants on backwards."

Yes, it is.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


As he nears his fourth birthday, Finn has somehow managed to achieve a level of adorableness that has heretofore only been seen in baby monkeys, sleeping kittens and miniature '80's sitcom children like Webster and the girl from Small Wonder.

  • He answers every question with an emphatic, "Of course!"  
  • His favorite game is "1-2-3-SNUGGLE!"  
  • He regularly begs me to tickle him just so he can laugh himself silly.

To top it all off, he is now also obsessed with that pinnacle of cuteness, the most adorable thing there is in the world:  being sweaty.

Apropos of nothing, he will now inform those around him of how sweaty he is.  The minute he gets in the car, he'll announce that he's sweaty.  The minute he steps foot outside into 30 degree weather, he'll point out that he's once again sweaty.

The other day he informed me that his car seat was making him sweaty.  When I offered that perhaps it was the fact that we had just spent the last 20 minutes running up and down the ramp inside of Petco that had made him sweaty, he scoffed. I then asked him what he thought made people sweaty.

His response:  "Sweaty is when you're doing something good and you get hot."  

I thought about that for a minute and decided that I could work with that logic.  If I get sweaty when I do things that are good, that means that I've been my best when I've been:
  • Getting speeding tickets
  • Drinking too much tequila
  • Bluffing at poker

On a side note, it turns out that one of the side effects of teaching your son the passcode on your iPad so that you don't have to get off your lazy butt to unlock it every time he wants to watch garbage trucks on YouTube is that that also grants him access to everything else on the iPad.  Including my online poker account, which Kitty caught him playing last night.

I'm pretty sure he was raising the pot with a 7-2.  Interesting to note: he wasn't even sweating.

Of course, that's probably because he was playing with my chips.  Freeloader.