Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tickle Giant

Hey gang, sorry I haven’t blogged much this week. I acquired a touch of writer’s block. A friend at my work passed away this week. So my brain was a little scattered. But needless to say, Josh we’ll miss you.

But let’s go back to our regularly scheduled silliness. Elijah, Diana and I are engaged in a massive game of “Tickle Giant.” What’s Tickle Giant, you may ask? It’s actually a game invented by Diana’s dad many moons ago. The rules have never been written down, but I’ve taken the time to detail them below, as modeled off the “Trivial Pursuit” instructions I found gathering dust in our basement.

OBJECT: To entertain a toddler who would rather be watching TV than eat, sleep or engage in any activity that doesn’t involve watching TV.

EQUIPMENT: One Parent. One Toddler. One or more sets of tickling hands.

SETUP: A Parent lies down on any flat surface, like a living room or bedroom floor or parental bed. The Toddler positions himself by the Parent’s head.

GAME PLAY: The Toddler places his hands over the Parent’s eyes and says, “Sleep. Sleep.” Extra points are given when the Toddler says the word with an adorable speech impediment like “Seep.” The Parent then pretends to snore. The Parent watches the Toddler out of the corner of their eye because the Toddler’s reaction to hypnotizing the Parent is usually pretty hysterical.

Once the Toddler is convinced his Parent is asleep, he or she will then touch the Parent’s nose. At which point the Parent leaps up screaming like a monster and begins relentlessly tickling the Toddler. The round is over when the Toddler either says “Seep” or he poops his pants from laughing too hard.

Rounds continue until the Parent declares it bedtime or the Toddler bashes his head on a piece of furniture or Grover gets too agitated and starts humping everyone.

Needless to say, Parker Brothers is very interested in acquiring the rights.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Much like I don’t want to turn this blog into a potty training depot, I don’t want to turn this into a laundry list of Elijah naughtiness. But it is hard to focus on the cute, funny, adorable things he does on a day to day basis when he takes a permanent marker and draws over every surface of our living room.

Allow me to elaborate. Last Saturday, Diana and I were playing with Eli. You know, the usual demonstrations of genius, tickling, explaining why he cannot watch TV, etc. But simultaneously, Diana and I left Eli alone thinking the other parent was on the case. Diana went to the office to check email and I went to the bathroom to check my stock report.

In the 2.4 minutes he was alone, Eli got a hold of a permanent marker from our dry erase fridge thing and drew little scribbles over every surface of our living room.

If you’ll refer to your HamannEggs trading cards, you’ll remember that Diana has moderate to severe ocd. So when she discovered Eli’s little drawing experiment, her eyes began twitching, her face turned bright red and steam began pouring from her ears sounding very much like a teakettle.

I scooped him up and ran upstairs to prevent him from being sent to The Island of Naughty Children And Husbands Who Leave Their Clothes On The Floor.

Here is a rundown of all the material Eli scribbled on plus their relative attachment to blue permanent marker on a scale from 1-10.

-Expensive wallpaper: 5. It kind of came off, but if you look closely you can still see blue. It’s either replace the wallpaper or send Eli to college. Guess which Diana wants to do.

-New flat screen TV: 1. It came off easily. The child may continue living.

-Non-expensive wall paint: 10. No matter how harsh the chemical, it will not come clean.

-Wooden block thing that holds TV: 1. Also came off easily. Which is kind of a bummer because I want to ditch it and mount the TV onto the wall like a hipster ad guy who lives in a loft.

-Dog: N.A. Any market evidence was hidden by Grover’s black fur. He could be a Picasso under there.

-Dry erase fridge thing the marker was meant for: 3. Surprisingly one of the few surfaces the marker doesn’t stick to.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grease Monkey

Every Toddler gets a small handful of quintessential folklore stories. Stories that so define them at that age they are told over and over into adulthood. Like the time my twin and I teamed up to steal all the hidden Easter eggs and smashed them before our family awoke. Or the time Diana rubbed her bare butt on her siblings to defend herself (she was thus named “The Butter”).

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present The Vaseline Story.

From the time Elijah was born, our doctor prescribed Vaseline for everything. Diaper rash? Vaseline. Dry skin? Vaseline. Ruptured spleen? Vaseline. So we keep huge jars of the stuff all over.

Well, yesterday Diana put Eli down for a nap and went about her business. She heard him chirping way past the usual zonk time and she thought he might need a changing. When she entered the room, she saw that he was drenched. At first she panicked. Did we have a water main break? Did he manage to pee so fiercely that he soaked his own hair? When she got closer, the explanation was far more terrible.

Apparently, Eli got a hold of an economy sized jar of Vaseline and rubbed the contents all over his body, pack and play, toys, blankets, sippie cup. Everything within Toddler reaching distance was covered in a thin layer of ectoplasm.

Diana stood there, unable to move, stunned by the sheer degree of destruction. Eli looked at her, bright eyed and full of love and said, “Messy.”

Messy indeed.

Diana immediately gathered him up and dumped him into the bath and washed his hair. His hair was still full of Vaseline. She washed it again. And again. And again. After the third washing he still looked like a dude who has been on Grateful Dead tour way too long.

According to the internet, which is never wrong, the only way to get Vaseline out of hair is to mix corn starch and dish washing liquid and apply liberally.

Tomorrow, I suspect we will be researching how to extract Vaseline, corn starch and dish washing liquid from a Toddler’s hair.

Today’s photo is after multiple hair washings.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Not Kosher

Diana and I rarely disagree on the raising of Elijah. Mostly because Diana hangs out with Eli 100% more than me, making it harder for me to raise him in the manner I wish: like a wolf.

But there has been a recent development which I cannot, nay, will not tolerate. Diana has gotten Elijah hooked on pickles.

I hate hate hate pickles. I hate their phallic shape. I hate the fact they were invented 4400 years ago in Mesopotamia (thanks Wikipedia!). But most of all I hate the way they taste. So pickley with their not quite sweet, not quite sourness. Make up your mind! The only use for a pickle is to give you something to fling out the window after visiting a McDonald’s drive through.

So after what must have been a systematic and devious pro-pickle campaign, Elijah is hooked. He asks for them morning, noon and night. “Mo pickle?” If it wasn’t so darned cute I’d yell at him for even suggesting such a thing.

And when he eats them he chews out the pickle innards and leaves the skin behind. Not even Grover the scavenger will eat those sad, flaccid pickle skins.

I’m not going to take this lying down. Diana hates olives. So I am going to get Eli hooked on them. She’ll see who she’s messing with. Yes, it is going to take a lot of martini drinking from me to accumulate enough olives to make it happen, but that’s just the kind of dedication I have to silliness.

Monday, February 16, 2009


A few weeks ago, I wrote about this cuter than cute little girl, Ryan, who loves Elijah (Jan 9th – ed.). Until recently, Eli wouldn’t give her the time of day. Until recently.

Let me back up. Yesterday, Steve brought Finn and Rory over for some Sunday afternoon destruction while Diana did our taxes. I laid on Eli’s bedroom floor with Grover and let Rory grab my nose while Steve and Finn pitched a heated Star Wars battle against the Dark Side of The Force.

Eli, not knowing a thing about Star Wars, was content with running around shouting. He would occasionally cross Steve and Finn’s path. They would see him and shout, “It’s Yoda! Peew peew peew (laser sound effects)!”

Suddenly, Elijah stood in his tracks and started yelling “Rhona! Rhona! Rhonnnnna!” He calls Ryan “Rhona.” I have no idea why. It’s not important to this story.

His yelling was so passionate, it conjured up images of Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Or Ned Flanders in the Simpsons parody of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

All Star Wars and nose grabbing halted as we watched Eli cry out for his love. It was as though watching his lazy father and emotionally stunted uncle suddenly made him realize what he was missing in ignoring cute Ryan.

Eli composed himself after a few tense moments and went back to trying to tickle Finn, who went back to trying to kill imaginary robots.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ah Marianna?

I’ve been wrestling with how to announce Marianna’s departure from the HamannEggs storyline. For those of you new to HamannEggs (hello Facebook friends), Marianna was, until recently, our Romanian part time babysitter.

Quite frankly, she was rarely blog worthy. She was very nice. Elijah loved her. She didn’t steal. And didn’t seem to mind when I came home reeking of my secret Metra train beer.

Our only beef with her was her occasional flinging open of our windows in the dead of winter when Eli “Make a poopie.” And her bizarre attachment to the TV show where Howie Mandel stands in front of those silver briefcases and hot chicks. As she explained with no sense of irony, “Diana. Sometimes I say ‘Deal.’ But sometimes…I say ‘No Deal!’”

Whenever I blogged about her, I usually had to add 25% more broken English and 50% more crazy to make it interesting.

So unfortunately, it was with zero controversy that we parted ways. She needed to take some time off for surgery. Plus she had a full time offer to sit some other kid. We couldn’t give her more hours. And my sister in law Pam was available. So out goes Marianna. In goes Pam.


I kind of wish we caught her plotting Romanian mafia stuff in our living room. Or that she took a shot at me with a Winchester. Her worst offense was leaving steak knives pointy side up in the dishwasher. Yeah. Let’s make that the reason we fired her.

Goodbye Marianna. Your lack of blog worthiness will be missed. Pam, please try to do something crazy once a week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Worst Transvestite Ever

On the rare morning that I actually wake up with Elijah, I spend a fair amount of time rushing around getting my act together. Showering, tooth brushing, psyching myself up in the mirror, one armed push ups, geese hunting, a ride on my horse “Bruce.” You get the idea.

So Eli is left to his own devices for small stretches of time. But given the morning is the only time we allow him his one true love, TV, he rarely gets into mischief. And that, my dear high school freshmen English students, is called foreshadowing.

While I was showering, I peeked out of the curtain and didn’t see Elijah in his usual spot at the end of the couch. I thought he must be trying to crawl into the TV in an attempt to go live with Elmo on Sesame Street. So I went back to singing my aria.

After toweling off (soak that image in, ladies), I strolled back into the living room, where I discovered Eli. His face was covered in a hideous brownish goo. For a moment I panicked. Did he drink from a barrel of oil? Do we have a barrel of oil? Did he eat my secret chocolate stash? Do I have a secret chocolate stash?

But then I realized he was straddling Diana’s purse. And clutched in his little paw was her sexy lipstick. Needless to say, it was not his color. And the his snotty little nose had dripped into his makeup, creating the bizarre brown soup.

I wiped him off and carried him upstairs to Diana. She marveled, as she usually does, about how beautiful he is.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

First Motor Vehicle Violation

Yesterday Elijah and I headed to the expensive hippie grocery store to see just how expensive red snapper can be. If you guessed $22 you’d be right. I like the hippie grocery store because you can sing at the top of your lungs things like, “We’re buying ginger, ginger ginger” and no one carts you off to the looney bin.

After we filled our cart and wowed the check out lady with just how grabby a toddler can be, we jumped into the Subaru and raced for home.

As we cruised up Church street business district, I felt a rush of wind and the distinct smell of a future blog entry unfolding before my eyes. Elijah had reached over and opened his car door, which hung wide open.

Thankfully, we had a two things going for us.

First, Eli was buckled into his car seat. So unless suddenly figured out a fastening system that continually baffles his parents, he was safe-ish.

Second, I am a notoriously slow driver. Please do not tell my sports car client, but I am content with allowing old women with two broken legs blow by me in their little motorized carts. Whenever Diana complains I say, “25 is how I stay alive!”

So I pulled over and shut the door and admonished my son. “Do not do that buddy. It’s very dangerous.” Elijah looked at me with an expression that clearly said, “Oh, this? The door open? That wasn’t me. Must have been Grover.”

We got home and I loudly proclaimed Eli’s new naughtiness to Diana, who told me that was way old news.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Couple Non Potty Stories And One Potty Story

If you have your updated 2009 HamannEggs calendar (12 months of Elijah’s butt), you’ll know I’m heading into the busy period of my year. Basically from now until July I’ll be in various stages of panic and late nightness and grouchiness.

So I haven’t had as much Dad on Eli action lately and have had to ask Diana for blog ideas. But it’s kind of hard to extract the kind of obsessive and pointless detail that makes this blog what it is. So consider this a quick potpourri of little cute Eli things as reported by Diana.

1. A while ago Diana and Eli were driving in the family Subaru. They went over a bump or down a hill fast (See? No Details) and Elijah shouted, “Wheeeee!” After a few moments, he stated matter of factly, “Bye bye whee.”

2. Elijah recently sat in the lap of Diana’s good friend and mother of one of Eli’s pals. After a few moments he fondled her in one of her mom parts. Despite my begging, Diana provided no other details aside from the fact that mom did not slap Eli.

3. Diana stumbled onto Eli reading one of his potty books out loud to himself. It’s about various animals who sit on a child’s potty. But his recital was a mixture of baby talk and real words to the tune of, “Garble garble garble…no monkey potty. Garble garble potty elephant. No no!” It doesn’t read very cute in blog form but Diana swears it was the cutest thing in the world.

So that’s it. I don’t have to work this weekend, so I plan on following Eli around gathering enough material to take us through next week.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I Tried

I tried. Honestly. I tried my darndest to avoid any and all potty related Elijah hilarity over the last 24 hours. And I had every intention of writing a Superbowl entry today. I was going to feature Eli’s obsession with chip dip. And his other obsession with double dipping.

But then I entered the shower this morning. While I lathered my pits and pieces I heard Diana and Eli enter the bathroom.

“Do you want to sit on the potty and try to pee pee?”

“Elmo elephants Elmo Elmo.”

“Ok. Let’s get your pants and diaper off…”

“Bye bye pee pee.”

“Good boy! You’re peeing in the potty! Wait. WAIT. Point it down! Point it down!”

When I stuck my head out of the shower I saw a very happy Eli sitting on his potty and my wife marveling at just how far unrestricted pee can travel across our bathroom.

As you recall, Eli hasn’t taken a shot at us in the better part of a year. I wonder if there is part of him who remembers dousing his mother in pee at 6 months old. As you may also recall, I have managed until now to avoid getting hit with his sniper fire.

The game is back on. I gotta stay sharp.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Magic Pee Pee

Unfortunately, this blog is going to be potty training central for a while. So sit back, drink a giant glass of water, followed by a cup of coffee, followed by 3-4 beers and enjoy.

Elijah was puttering around the bathroom yesterday with Diana when she asked, “Do you want to sit on the potty?” Eli looked at her with an expression that said, “Double Duh. Is there anything better?” He sat right down, not remembering to remove his pants. But we’re in the non judgment stage of potty training.

After a few moments, Eli popped up and exited, stage right. Diana finished whatever beautifying she started and peered into Eli’s potty. To her utter shock, it was full of pee.

How on earth could the child get pee into his potty around the protective layers of diaper plus sweatpants? Diana ran down possible explanations.

1. Elijah somehow acquired the skills of black magic. And could bend time and space to pee in some kind of alternate universe. But it seemed unlikely given the fact that he had yet to turn Grover into a goat.

2. Diana’s husband and or husband’s brother peed into Eli’s potty as a practical joke. Also unlikely given the fact that it would take one word from her to end their little Friday night nerd club.

3. Grover peed into the potty. Highly unlikely. As evidenced by the scattershot yellow snow outside, he does not have great eye-wiener coordination.

Diana was still contemplating when she encountered Elijah again and noticed his pants, which were soaked to the bone. This explanation proved much more reasonable. He peed with such force that it soaked through his diaper and pants and into the potty.

So mark it on your calendars. Eli officially marked his first pee pee in the potty. I’m sure it’s downhill from here into full time potty peeing.