Thursday, February 28, 2008

Uh oh

This can’t be good.

Best Head-butt ever.

As his parent, I am pre-disposed to thinking Elijah is cute. But Diana is finding when they’re out running errands that the general public agrees wholeheartedly. They can’t walk into Target without at least one person stopping them to marvel at our little guy. At which point Diana will produce a switchblade and say, “I’d like to see you try and take him.”

But one of the unfortunate (for him) side effects of being so unbelievably cute is everyone from his grandmother to Grover wants a hug. It’s as if we think his cuteness may rub off if we manhandle him.

But here’s the rub: Eli hates being hugged.

If you grab him and try to snuggle, he’ll act like a cat thrust into water. He’ll shove and kick, he’ll cram his fingers into your nose and mouth and try to leap from your arms.

It’s not that he’s unaffectionate. He’ll smile at an ax-wielding maniac.

But when he’s really feeling in the mood, he’ll give you the greatest gift ever: the head-butt.

If you’re lying on the floor watching reruns of The Daily Show, he’ll crawl over and gently lay his head on your head. Or on your shoulder. And then your heart explodes with love.

At which point I am tempted to hug him. And he tries to escape to the nearest dog dish, cord or stereo.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Baby Ruth

I think I’ve mentioned in the past that Diana has instituted “Family Bath Time” with Elijah. Which means jumping in the tub with the boy for some hilarity. Eli loves it. So does Di, because most days it’s the only way she can take a bath of her own.

I’m not as wild about it. Mostly because I don’t like to leave my chest hair and other important stuff open to grabby 10-month-old hands.

But last night Diana beat me down into reluctantly bathing with Eli. I’ll admit he’s pretty great when he’s tub-bound. He splashes, he crams all 150 bath toys into his mouth and generally screeches like a happy monkey. And last night he avoided ripping out anything important.

So long after the tub cooled off and both of us were prunes, I hollered for Diana to take Eli upstairs to dry off and apply baby lotion. Boy gone, I set to collecting all manner of rubber duckie, sponge and octopus. And what do I find?

A giant Eli poop.

I leapt up screaming, “Doodie! Doodie!” Diana, thinking I was being attacked, came running in. She took one look at the fecal submarine laughed her butt off. As someone who has been peed on numerous times, it was just desserts.

I proceeded to shower for 45 minutes, scrubbing several layers of epidermis off. My skin is raw today.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Slack Jawed Yokel.

Elijah now officially has three new teeth coming in up top. Which means he’s now exactly three times cuter. How do I know? Science. Look it up.

Oh, yeah. The teeth don’t have names. I gave up already.

But the most hilarious part of his new teeth is they’re coming in all wonky. He has a major gap between his two new front teeth. Big enough to drive our Subaru through.

It makes sense because there aren’t any other teeth to keep the new ones in line. We’re told they’ll line up when he gets the full set. But I hope not.

So for now, he looks like a little hillbilly. I desperately want to buy him a tiny pair of overalls and a straw hat. No shoes. No shirt. If he’s good I’ll give him a corncob pipe.

I want him to stand on our front porch and yell at the city folk to “Git off my land!” But he’s still only on “Mama” and “Dada.”

On a completely unrelated note, Diana and I made out our wills today. Leaving Eli the vast Hamann fortune. Line up, future gold-diggers.

We left Grover all our tennis balls.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mr. No Steven Hamann

There was an ad in the 1980’s for a child safety product that read something to the effect of, “Does your child think his name is ‘no’?”

I think about that every time we put Elijah on the ground. As soon as his little feet and hands touch carpet, he bolts for the trifecta of NO-ness: The stereo, the cords and Grover’s dish.

If I’m brushing my teeth in the bathroom I can tell where Eli is in our living room based on Diana’s “no’s.”

“No, Eli. Not for babies.” That’s the stereo.

“No, Eli. Cords are dangerous.” That’s the cords (duh).

“No Eli, That’s for Grovers, not babies.” That means his little fingers have touched dog water.

And so on and so forth until Diana gets frustrated and takes him up to his room where we have removed all the not for babies items. Unless you include the ball pooping train.

The best slash worst slash best part is he knows he’s being naughty. A split second before he reaches for a no item, he’ll look over his shoulder with a look that says, “Are you watching this? I’m about to touch a forbidden object. Pay attention to me.”

Diana’s dad suggested kicking Eli in the butt. But we’re not going to try that. Yet.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What Not To Watch

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but when I do my Saturday morning duty with the doo doo maker, I’ll put on the TV. Mostly to keep myself awake from the 6-8am slot. I know, I know, you aren’t supposed to allow your less than one year old to be exposed to the evils of television. My answers are:

a) He doesn’t really pay attention to TV.
b) Mind your own stinking business, busybodies.

I do try to keep it to Sportscenter. Because the violence is sports-based. And that means it doesn’t count, right? Right?

But from time to time I’ll have to administer the scary movie commercial eye shield. Why the makers of Torture Porn feel the need to advertise at 6:48am is beyond me.

But I’m finding that I have to use the same technique on Diana. Now that we’re parents, our tolerance of terrible things happening to children is really low. We’ve eliminated “Law and Order” from our TV schedule. All it takes is one grizzled New York cop describing a fictional child abuse case to throw Diana into a “Let’s move to Utah” rampage.

Last Saturday night was date night at the Hamann house. Which meant some candles, a rented movie and the chance of me making out with Diana.

But Diana made the huge mistake of renting “Gone Baby Gone,” the Casey Affleck vehicle. I don’t want to give too much of the movie away, but the title doesn’t refer to a well-hit baseball.

As soon as the movie ended, Diana stomped around the house, angrily questioning the brain capacity of the writers, actors and producers of the film.

Needless to say, I didn’t get to make out with Diana. Thanks a lot, Gone Baby Gone.

I thought about going to my backup, but Grover’s breath smelled like dog food.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Eli: 1 Marianna: 0

I rushed home last night from work because it was one of the few days where my stress level wasn’t heart attack inducing and I wanted to celebrate by eating my favorite Diana’s-at-work dinner: “The Third Grader.” The Third Grader is fish sticks and tater tots and green peas. The only thing missing is the mini carton of chocolate milk.

But before I could create my feast, I had to relieve Marianna and get the Elijah download. She described in great detail how smart he is and how sweet he is and how he’s standing and babbling and is developing a great sense of humor.

But then she hesitated.

What? What happened? Did he fall down the stairs? Did he finally find Grover’s breaking point? Did learn how to juggle?

Marianna got red faced. “When I bathe Elijah…he…he…PEED ON ME!”

I couldn’t tell if she was embarrassed for herself or Eli. But I couldn’t keep from laughing. She assured me this was a rite of passage for her and all her babysit-ees. But apparently, she shrieked (because, oh I don’t know, someone was urinating on her), and he shrieked (because she shrieked). Everybody shrieked.

After she left for home I sat back and remarked to Grover that we have both made it 10 months officially without being peed on. If I have one goal in life, it is not to be peed on by my offspring. Grover sighed in agreement.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Eli The Daredevil

The list of things that make Elijah laugh like a lunatic is as follows (in order):

1. Diana saying anything.
2. Grover fighting the urge to bite him.
3. Being upside down.

He can be as angry as a snake (missed nap, hungry, cold, wet), but if you grab him by his ankles and swing him, he’ll howl with laughter.

Which leads me to believe, combined with his attraction to power cords, that we have a tiny daredevil on our hands.

Let me paint you a picture from yesterday. Diana and Eli and Grover were playing upstairs in Eli’s room. Diana realized that she desperately needed to put some clothes in the dryer or else her husband Rick was gonna be sore when he got home.

So she surrounded the boy with blinking things, locked the baby gate and ran as fast as she could to the laundry room. I’d say a grand total of five minutes passed before she came back upstairs.

She discovered our son had unlocked the baby gate and was sitting on the top stair, swinging the gate out over the abyss. A loss of balance would have meant baby ass over teakettle all the way down the stairs. She could see Grover egging him on. “Come on…I triple dog dare you to hold on with just a pinkie…it’ll be fun…”

Luckily for us, Eli doesn’t speak dog.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Me vs. The Crib

When we were little, our dad almost never swore. Why? Because teaching swear words is what PG-13 movies are for. We would go months at a time without hearing so much as a “Dang” from the man.

Unless he was working with tools. Nothing could make our dad go ‘round the bend faster than putting hammer to a nail. And installing storm windows? Forget about it. My brothers and I used to sit at the top of the stairs and giggle while listening to dad damn all of his tools to a fiery eternity.

Which leads me to last weekend.

Diana rarely asks me to do things around the house that involves my workbench. Mostly because I share my father’s opinion that tools are best left in their box. Or their original packaging. That doesn’t mean we’re sissies, mind you. We just don’t want to ruin our manicures.

But we were at a critical stage of needing to lower Elijah’s crib. Now that he can stand on his own, the chances of him doing a double gainer over the side were skyrocketing. It’s a simple procedure. Unscrew 4 bolts. Lower crib mattress. Screw in 4 bolts. Baby safe.

Little did Diana know when she asked me to lower Eli’s crib that I had stripped all the bolts when I put it together the previous summer. So I spent a great part of the day Saturday swearing, throwing tools and promising to take a hatchet to every piece of furniture within a five-mile radius.

Diana just stood there, holding Eli, wondering where her mild mannered husband went and why he was replaced with a man who kept muttering, “I’m just going to burn the house down. That will show this stupid crib.”

Eventually, after a trip to Home Depot in an attempt to find migrant workers who know how to build cribs, I lowered the crib.

Then Diana asked me to install child-proof latches on all our cabinets.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

First Swim

From time to time, I get suggestions on what to write about on HamannEggs. A lot from Diana in the form of, “…I never thought poo could travel all the way up his back…” Or from my mom, whose suggestions consist of, “I haven’t seen anything on the blog in six hours. Do you have writer’s block?”

This week, I got an email from my brother Steve. “Hey (swear word). Why didn’t you write about Elijah’s first swim? Did you leave your head up your (swear word)?”

He’s right. My head was up my swear word this week. I completely forgot Eli went to the swimming pool last weekend. Let me back up.

Eli was in the process of driving Diana around the bend. He was still adamant on not sleeping. And his shrieks were causing Diana to slowly bang her head against the fridge. So I suggested taking Eli on an adventure. To which Diana did a cartwheel.

My plan was to take him to the local mall, as it was a billion degrees below zero. I was going to stroller him from fast food joint to fast food joint to see if I could consume my weekly recommended calories in one sitting. I figured Steve would be into something so self destructive.

But when I called him, he 180-ed me by suggesting taking our boys to the gym for “Family Swim.” I looked down at the squirming, angry Eli and figured having him scream at the pool is just like having him scream at the mall. Except wetter.

So, I borrowed a pair of swimming diapers (basically diapers that don’t do anything but delay pee from entering the pool) from his cousin Finn. And Pan, Steve, Finn, Eli and I met my buddy Matt and his son Parker for some tepid baby pooling.

It was fantastic. Eli loved it. He looked like a little tadpole. He splashed. He kicked his little legs. He let Parker eat his foot. He kind of played ball with Finn.

And he worked himself out so hard that he slept without a fuss that night. Diana went out and bought Eli his own swimming trunks. So we’re gonna hit the gym again tomorrow. To work on our pecs.

*Dear mom. In the second paragraph I say that your son Steve uses swear words. That was for comic effect. Steve would never swear.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


How many times a day do you use the “s” sound? A hundred? A thousand? Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore. There. I just used it 8 times.

Well, Elijah just discovered the “S.” Which will come in handy if he wants to say, uh, “salad.” Or, uh, “Sandwich.” Can you tell my brain has been burned by too much thinking about clever advertising?

Back to the boy. Di was changing him yesterday and he started with the snake sound. Di decided to “Sss” him back. Apparently the “S” is the funniest sound in the history of baby babble, because the report is he couldn’t stop laughing during their call and response “S” rap.

Here’s something that I’ve been toying with. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we counted every time Elijah used the “S” sound from on? We could keep a log of “S.” I bet we could get a government grant. Doesn’t the government need to know how many times we say “S?” I think so. For national…”S”ecurity. Bam! I still got it.

But that would involve following him around constantly listening to every time he says the magic letter. At school. On the toilet. On dates. At his wedding. It would be a lifetime of work for a letter that really is the poor man’s “R.”

Yeah. When he gets to “R” we’ll talk.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sleep Is For Suckers

Elijah made another gigantic baby evolutionary leap over the weekend. He can now pull himself up. It’s really exciting and he seems poised to be on track to walking any month now.

But this recent bout of developmental speediness has a major drawback. Eli doesn’t want to sleep anymore.

Look at it from his standpoint. First, his world just expanded exponentially. If your active area was three feet by three feet, sleep would be a nice change of pace from the sheer boredom. But now he wants to get out and explore all the possibilities of the house. Possibilities like knife drawers, electrical sockets and back stairwells.

And at the end of a big day, he isn’t looking at his desk calendar thinking, “Oh, boy. I do have a tough day tomorrow. Better recharge the old batteries…” He’s thinking, “Sleep is for suckers. I need to see about yanking that phone off the bedside table.”

Getting his point across is the tough part. He figured out a while ago that if he screams bloody murder, we’ll come running. So at 4am, 5am, 6am he will howl like Grover is chewing his tootsies. Diana will run into his room just to prevent our neighbors from calling the police.

But that just reinforces his “scream = mom” mathematics.