Friday, May 28, 2010

Pants off dance off

The only thing that beats waking up at 4 AM is waking Finn up at 4 AM.

Wait, actually there is one thing that beats that: waking Finn up at 4 AM to get on a plane to Chicago, where we have a three hour layover, then getting back on a plane to Westchester County Airport, then arriving back at Grandma and Grandpa Parker's roughly twelve hours after we started.

Yeah, that's definitely better.

Since we'll be traveling for the next ten days or so, there will likely not be much blogging. Particularly since Kitty has decided that my iPhone is no longer family-friendly following a minor baseball-game-score-checking-at-the-dinner-table incident the other night.

So to tide anyone that's actually still reading this thing over, check out some of the recent posts over at Jena's blog. They're chock full of Finn content, but pace yourself since that will obviously also dry up while we're out of town.

I'd start with this one. Whatever it is that Scott (the guy on the couch) does for work, that's what I want to do.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fine Whine

I've frequently mentioned Positive Discipline as a parenting philosophy that Kitty and I are trying out. Mostly because it's funny to think that we have a "parenting philosophy" when it's all I can do to remember which floor I've parked on at work, even though I've been parking in the exact same spot every day for almost 9 years.

We attended a Positive Discipline workshop at Jena's a couple of weeks ago (free booze), where I learned that I am a parent that "loves too much". Great, right? Turns out it means "pushover".

In my case, this manifests itself in me doing whatever Finn asks, provided he throws in a little whine. I mean, have you seen how cute this kid is - especially when he's wearing my shoes? Who could let an angel like this be unhappy for just one second?

This mindset is apparently not a good thing. During our workshop, I was reminded to not just focus on making Finn happy now, but to focus on the type of person that I would hope he becomes. Which, as it turns out, is not a person that spends 75% of his day whining.

Unfortunately, that's the road on which he's currently headed. He has developed his whining skills so well that he is now in demand as a speaker at environmental rallies and [insert political party] conventions.

What happened to the kid that was walking around at ten months and bolting down the slide by himself? That's him over there in the corner crying about how he can't get his jacket zipper down.

Have you ever read The Little Engine that Could? Boy, is that book repetitive. I'd like to punch that "funny little clown" in his red nose, but I can't because that book is now a teaching aid for us to reiterate to Finn the importance of continuing to try, even if things don't work out immediately.

It kind of works, in that he'll repeat "I think I can" while crying at the foot of the stairs because he doesn't want to walk up them. That's about as well as my counting lessons have worked, insofar as he can now count to five. However, "one-two-three-four-five" is the answer to any question that includes the words "How many?"

Of course, my teaching aid for counting was my Simpsons UNO deck. Maybe the question of "How many Chief Wiggums do you see?" is a bit advanced.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Sometimes blogging is hard. I had every intention of posting something incredibly clever this weekend, but Kitty was in San Francisco, which means that once again it was all I could do just to keep Finn and me alive. I didn't shower for two days. Finn and I met Archer and Cyrus at the zoo and the gorillas were staring at me and holding their noses.

With the Mommy back home tonight, we decided to head out on the town and have dinner at a local Japanese restaurant.

Before I tell the story, I've got to explain the picture. For Christmas, we were given "Mr. Bacon vs. Monsieur Tofu", which has become my teaching aid to explain to Finn how much better pork fat is than coagulated soy bean curd as evidenced in the pic. I've got Finn well-trained to reply "Yucky," whenever I break out "Mr. Toe-Food" (Finn's pronunciation, not mine, but fitting).

Tonight at dinner, however, he gulped down an entire plate of tofu that the waitress brought him without our asking, even though we have never seen him eat a single piece of tofu. It wasn't until he was done and that he asked for more fish, that we realized that he didn't know it was tofu.

I was then left with a dilemma: let it slide and hope that he doesn't ever realize that he likes tofu or explain that it was tofu and thereby put back into his hands the decision of whether Mr. Bacon really does rule over Monsieur Tofu.

Ultimately, we opted for the latter. I'm putting my faith in Mr. Bacon to establish his dominance in my son's eyes.

You're my boy, Bacon.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

She Makes Cheese

There are many things that I apparently don't know about my wife, which Finn has kindly pointed out to me via his Mother's Day card from daycare.
  1. I didn't know there was a firetruck song, much less that Finn and Kitty sang it together. I can only hope it's as good as the Schoolbus Song, which consists of the lyrics "Round and round" repeated roughly 437,000 times.
  2. I had no idea that she and Finn preferred purple lines to other colored lines. That would explain, however, the purple lines on the table and the wall.
  3. I had no idea that she made cheese. I find this particularly surprising as she has always claimed to be lactose intolerant. I like cheese and I am now sad that she has never made cheese for me.
Lastly, I had no idea that Finn's penmanship was so good. Truly a lost art these days, particularly with a toddler that spends most of his time texting Layla on my iPhone.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Mommy

Dear Kitty,


As you decide how you would like to spend your day, I would like to state for the record that the reason that I wanted to do brunch tomorrow instead of dinner has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that ESPN will be televising the finale of the Yankees-Red Sox series from Fenway at 5 PM.


At least, that wasn't the original intent, but upon reflection, it does kind of make sense, doesn't it?

Of course, it's your day so it's your call. Don't let the fact that Finn & I spent the day with you today toiling through the annual West Seattle Garage Sale checking out all of the broken & dirty toys and krap-knacks that our neighbors are selling for way too much money sway your decision.

We enjoyed it. Really. Because we were with you. And you're the best.

To all of the mommies out there, both Ninja-related and not, have a fantastic Mother's Day. Have a glass of wine, put your feet up and above all, get as far away from the rest of us as possible, because though we mean well, I can't guarantee that we can make it through the day without pestering you.

Consider yourself warned, Mommy.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reverse Psy-cat-logy

Cash: Meow.
Finn: No Cash, you can't have any salmon.
Cash: Meow.
Finn: OK Cash, have some salmon.

Monday, May 3, 2010


This post was supposed to be about our amazing power over our son, back when I started writing it last week. Ah, last week. The glory days of manipulation.

Before the picture at right was taken.

I was going to write a post about how utterly powerless Finn is in the face of our awesome reverse-psychology mind games. How we had learned to easily bend Finn's will to our own and how our lives were guaranteed Easy Street from here on out.

Finn was supposed to be washing my car as I typed this.

Turns out we blew it all. We flew too close to the sun and Icarus-ed our way out of early chores and, more importantly, a non-whiny two-year old.

In other words, we wasted all of our reverse-psychology mojo scoring hugs.

As previously discussed, Finn's never been one for quiet snuggling. His "snuggling" is more of the Greco-Roman variety. This leaves a big hole in our lives where hugs should be. Enter reverse psychology.

"Finny, can I have a hug?"
"Don't you dare give me hug."
"I want hug."


Turns out it works exactly 37 times. No more, no less. And once those 37 times are used up, you end up with a toddler who refuses to walk another step and sits down in the middle of the road crying. No matter how many times you try the, "Don't you dare get up and start walking back to the cabin" move, all you've got is a crying Ninja with wet pants.

Not only does this make it difficult to complete a neighborhood walk, it also severely limits my entertainment options. Without manipulation (and hugs), I'm left with using Finn's toys to play Stuffed Chicken Basketball and Laundry Basket Basementball while he runs around the house ignoring me.

Luckily I'm very good at those games. I'd tell you how they're played, but then you'd know when I'm cheating and we can't have that.

In fact, whatever you do, don't you dare let me win at Laundry Basket Basementball.