Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The War Is Over

I do not view parenting as a competition. I don’t look down my nose at dads whose three year olds don’t know their numbers or letters. I don’t cluck when I see dads at their wits end with tantrum throwing babies. But there was one thing I secretly thought I was better at than any other dad on the planet: not getting peed on.

Every time a dad would say, “I got soaked from ear to ear,” I’d frown and say, “Aw man, that sucks,” but inside I’d be saying, “I am still champion. You must bow down to me!” I prided myself on narrowly escaping a near constant barrage of pee over the Eli’s life. I’d even tell stories around the campfire about my exploits. “…I heard the pee go right past my ear…”

Well, Monday night it happened. The Sniper finally got the kill shot. And the worst part is it was my own fault.

Anticipating a pretty busy week at work, I rushed home Monday night. I caught the family just as they were setting up for bath time. Normally, this is a mommy Elijah routine. I normally see this is a chance to blog in the office or pretend to blog in the office while looking at bikini photos on the internet.

But Eli demanded I take a bath with him. He kept dragging me towards the tub while repeating, “Come ON, dada. Come ON, dada.”

Once we got in the tub I realized why my presence was requested. The night before, I invented a game called “Where’s Ducky?” I’d place Eli’s rubber ducky on the top of my head and say, “Where’s Ducky?” Eli would then try to convince me it was on my head and I’d pretend I had no idea what he was talking about. Eventually Ducky would fall off or Eli would knock it off and I’d scream in surprise. And Eli would laugh his head off.

Monday night I added a new element to the game. When Ducky dropped into the tub from my head I’d grab it and attack Eli, tickling him. After the tenth or eleventh time attacking him, Eli retaliated in the only way he knew how. He grabbed his wiener and whizzed all over me.

I recoiled in horror and shouted, “No!” over and over. But the damage was done. My reign of non-pee ended in a blaze of urine.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

First Haircut

Rather than get any work done today (It’s a Sunday and I’m in the office. I should’ve studied more) I looked back into the HamannEggs archives. I found that Elijah’s first official removal of hair was 2 Januaries ago. But as I so snidely wrote, we couldn’t count it because Di was the barber and for it to be official he had to be in a barber chair, with tears streaming down his face.

After 2.5 years of a snip here and a snip there, we realized Grover was much better groomed than our son. It stands to reason, because Grover is a bit of a diva. But Eli’s hair really had that lived in look Jim Morrison from the “Doors” was famous for. Di came to the conclusion that a man who died chocking on his own vomit wasn’t the image we wanted for our special little guy.

So Di took him to “Snippy Cuts” or “Wacky Snips” or some place that catered to children. I felt a little bad because if TV commercials have taught us anything, kids hate getting their first haircut. I had visions of a melt down so huge, he’d come back looking like “Glamamore, the half man half woman” and neighbor kids would pay two tickets to see him.

But I’m talking about Eli, the fearless boy, aren’t I? He apparently walked into the hair cut joint and essentially said, “OK, which one of you ladies is going to have the honor of cutting my hair?”

His marvel behavior could have been because the first thing he spotted when he walked in was “Curious George” on the TV’s. The new Curious George cartoon is currently his favorite thing in the world. It bums me out a little because I don’t think Curious George teaches much beyond the fact the Man In The Yellow Hat thinks its ok for George to wander around New York city by himself. And I miss Cookie Monster.

I digress. I guess Eli hopped right up into the rowboat that doubled as a barber chair (I’ll reluctantly allow it) and let the Eastern European woman do whatever she wanted. He only trouble came when she blocked out his view of Curious George to cut his bangs.

Now Eli looks a little like David Bowie in “Labyrinth” mixed with Kevin Bacon in “Footloose.” Which made Diana cry.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fashion Show

Right before we left for Boozetown, Colorado, Elijah started making pretty huge leaps in terms of potty training. It basically comes down to Baby Economics. His desire to acquire stickers eclipses any and all desire to urinate or defecate on our floor. When Diana went into the bathroom the other day Eli announced that she would, in fact, receive a sticker when she was done.

After several hundred trips to the potty with Di’s mom while we were on vacation, Diana decided to reward him with a trip to the store to buy underpants.

Hold on a minute. I just realized Eli doesn’t go on the potty when I’m around. He just lets it fly in his pants. Is he modest around his old man? We have the same equipment, for crying out loud. Maybe it’s because I shout, “Don’t miss or I’ll spank you!”

Anyhoo, Di bought Eli a hundred pairs of tiny underpants featuring every cartoon character and Sesame Street character on the planet.

When I took him up to bed last night I discovered said cornucopia of undergarments in a hamper and got maybe a little too excited. Eli immediately removed his diapers and started trying on undies.

One by one he’d yank them on and say, “Help! Help, Dada!” when they got bunched up around his butt.

And then, get this, he’d walk over to Diana’s mirror and check himself out. The hilarious little guy would then turn around, look over his shoulder AND CHECK OUT HIS BUTT.

After sixty or so pairs I scooped him up and said, “That’s enough, Fabio.” And put the little fashionista to bed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Those of you who have read more than one HamannEggs post will know Di and I went to Colorado last weekend sans Elijah. It gave me a glimpse into an alternate universe of our lives if we didn’t have a two year old son.

My alternate life would most certainly be spent on the liver transplant waiting list. Diana’s friends sure know how to have fun. I’m sure these shakes are only temporary.

Having done enough damage to the beer supply of The Rocky Mountains, we rushed home to reunite with our son and dog. I can’t tell who missed us more. The one who screamed with delight and ran around laughing his head off, or Elijah.

We demanded Di’s mom give us the lowdown on what happened while we were away. I figured we’d get the usual peeing in the potty/pooping on the walls stories when Sheila dropped a bomb on us.

“When the microwave ended, Eli pointed to the word “end” and said, ‘End!.’”

Di and I both accused her mother of being a bald faced liar.

She then told us that they drove past a gas station featuring an advertisement with the word “Go” on it and he shouted, “Go!”

It made me wonder if we should have left our son with a woman who clearly consumes hallucinogens. I half expected her to tell us about Eli growing fairy sings and shooting rainbows out of his nose while they rocked out to the Grateful Dead. But no, she insisted our son recognized two words without prompting.

As with all of Eli’s development, I’ll wait to make it official until I’m in the room. Which, based on my near future work schedule will be sometime in his mid to late teens.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of Di’s friends who said nice things about the blog and pretended to like me for 48 hours. Including the author of the famous “Fussy Ninja” blog, who my wife thinks I have a man-crush on. I could admit that, but then I’d have to admit my man-crush on at least 4 or 5 other dudes from the wedding.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Diana and I are heading to Denver to the weekend without Elijah. Although he is in the capable hands of Di’s mom, here is an abbreviated list of the things we’re worried about.

Eli getting kidnapped.
A gang of post apocalypse mutants attacking the house.
The apocalypse.
A meteor hitting the house.
Dr. Magneto.
Elijah wrapping a cord around his neck.
Grover eating him.
Penis taught in his zipper.
Pine Sol.
Penn and Teller.
Hoof and Mouth.
Chicken Flu.
Pig Flu.
Monkey Flu.
Falling into the toilet.

Having too much fun and not missing us.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sun King

Even though Diana and I are one in the eyes of the Catholic church and the state of Illinois, there are a few ways we differ, aside from genitalia.

One difference is wine. One of us is extremely knowledgeable about wine and its origins and its varieties and tastes. The other knows wine stains on a couch cushion don’t come out and it’s best to blame them on the dog.

The other difference is the sun. One of us has beautiful olive skin that is only made more beautiful in sunlight. The other has Irish skin kept lily white by playing Star Wars in basements for 37 years.

That brings us to our son. Poor Elijah. He loves the sun. He loves playing in the backyard. Loves playing at the beach. And, as you know, loves exploring the digestive tracts of plastic fish at the Lisle Water Park.

But he inherited his father’s tolerance for the giver of life.

Ever since summer descended on Chicago for its yearly fifteen minutes of glory, we’ve found that Eli can’t handle the sun. It’s not sunburn. He spends his days covered in SPF seal coat. It’s the energy sucking effects of the sun brought on by depletion of the Ozone layer from too many off Broadway productions of “Hairspray.”

The minute his body reaches its sun limit, he erupts in fevers and flu like symptoms that doctors have mistakenly called Hoof and Mouth Disease, Croup and Cat Scratch Fever.

Our alternatives are to buy him a big lady’s hat (vetoed by me) or keeping him indoors during the summer (vetoed by Diana) or moving to Seattle (vetoed by my brother).

p.s. Today’s post is in honor of Diana’s brother, Mike, who asked me to add another post so he didn’t have to continue to look at Saturday’s post, which portrayed Eli in a…less than manly manner. Here you go, Mike. Today’s photo is of Diana and Eli singing “It’s Raining Men.”

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shower Impersonations

Hey gang, I’m back from California for a while. I’m still not up to speed on all the hilariousness that happened while I was gone, so I’ll write about something that happened right before I left.

A few weeks ago, as you recall, Elijah started impersonating Diana. “Hey everybody! I’m mommy!”

Well, much to my delight, Eli has expanded his impersonations to include almost everyone he knows. If you say, “Eli, what does daddy say?”

He’ll respond in a hilarious low voice, (Low baby voice) “Hello. I’m dada.”

“What does grandpa say?”

(Low baby voice) “Hello. I’m grandpa.”

“What does Grover say?”

(Low baby voice) “Hello. I’m Grover.”

So after a long day of playing in the yard, Eli and I took our Sunday night shower together.

I was lathering his hair and he was attempting to soak every inch of our bathroom with the shower thing when he suddenly grabbed his, um, franks and beans.

He began urinating ferociously around the tub while shouting, “I’m dada! I’m dada!”

I said, “How did you know?”

On a somewhat un-related note, Diana had a major breakthrough in the war against naked poo crib flinging. She bough a bushel of large sized onsies. It seems Eli can’t figure out how to un-snap the crotch and is trapped.

There is also the added benefit of him looking like an old timie weight lifter. With Farrah Fawcett hair.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I was in a big, so important I lost sleep the night before, conference call when my iphone buzzed. It was Diana. Over the years, I’ve learned that when Diana calls my office line during the day, I can miss the call. But when she calls my cell, I better answer because something is up. Like blood gushing from Elijah or we lost Grover’s dog collar.

I quickly excited the rank smelling conference room and whispered, “What’s wrong?”

“Don’t you want to talk about Eli going to the zoo?”

I said, “You know that meeting that is the cause of 54 grey hairs on my head? I’m in it now.”

Di quickly replied, “Oh sorry. But call me soon.”

I went back to the meeting, but in the back of my head I was secretly happy. If whatever happened at the zoo warranted a cell phone call, the next blog entry would be a no brainer.

Later, I anxiously called home and asked for the scoop from my reporter in the field. I couldn’t wait to get the lowdown on what hilarious antics transpired earlier.

“He was soooo cute.”

"Uh-huh. What else?"

“He hugged a goat.”


“He was cute.”

Diana is the love of my life. She is a beautiful person, who has reached super-human awesomeness in my eyes.

But she is the worst HamannEggs reporter ever. I think it’s because she loves Eli so much. She is blind to any of the embarrassing, silly and potentially damaging things that make for good HamannEggs entries.

I mean, look at these photos. You can’t tell me there wasn’t at least one thing at happened that Eli will hate hearing about when he turns 18.

That night, I was reading with Eli in his fort and decided to go right to the source.

“Hey Eli, what did you do at the zoo today?”


“What else?”


“I give up.”


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yo Elijah Raps

I arrived home yesterday from a 6am flight and got a call from my boss as I exited the taxi. He had some important stuff to relay to me so I stood at the edge of the street listening and pretending to take notes.

As I was saying, “I completely agree,” for the tenth time, I noticed that Diana and Elijah were standing in the front door. Elijah was banging on bang on the door and howling. I hurriedly ended my conversation and ran into the loving arms of my family.

Eli was so agitated he couldn’t get at me in the street that he was pitching a huge fit. Which made me extremely happy.

Thankfully, he hasn’t grown a beard of learned how to ride a bike in my absence. But there is some hilarious speech development going on. Eli is about 90% there when it comes to speaking sentences. He gets verbs, nouns, even the dreaded pronoun. But he still hasn’t figured out how to string them together. So when he talks, his sentence structure is that of a 1980’s rap album.

“Where Grover is?”

“Where mommy go? Oh, der she be!”

“What noise that? I see airplane!”

“To the extreme, I rock the mic like a vandal, light up a stage wax a chump like a vandal.”

Alright, that last one is Vanilla Ice. But you get the idea.

I’m glad to be home, if only for a brief time.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Phone call

I’m still in California pretending staying at a kick ass hotel and eating out every night is work. But I do miss my guy and my gal. So I call them from time to time. On the telephone.

When I called this afternoon, after I got all my household state of affairs from Diana (house is a pigsty, boy is still sick, dog is very sad his father is gone, Diana is still in love with hot vampire from “Twilight”), I heard Elijah chirping in the background and asked to talk to him.

Diana put on the speakerphone and thrust it into his face. I said, “Daddy misses you very much, Eli.”

After a beat, Eli said, “I la Ooo. I la Oooo.”

I immediately got choked up. “I…I love you too, son.” I had to step out of the editorial house and into the beautiful Santa Monica sun to compose myself.

Diana got back on. I said, “Did you hear that? He said he loved me, unprovoked. I'm going to buy him a sports car stuffed with a pony.”

Diana replied, “Um…he said ‘Laundry.’ We’re doing laundry.”

I wandered back into the editorial suite and announced that I quit and I was going home. But then my producer said we had reservations at a fancy sushi restaurant.

So I guess I’ll stay.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Like most people, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life trying to get control of my emotions. It’s hard to stay out of mental hospitals when you act on your urge to stand up on a table and scream, “You are all just a bunch of jackasses! Jackasses!”

This is one of 1,226,711,664 things I love about Elijah. He feels things so intensely. If he is being ejected from the anus of a giant plastic fish at the waterpark, he literally howls with delight. I’ve seen him so happy that he balls his fists up and shakes uncontrollably. He also is not afraid to scream at a grown man, “I LOVE you!”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, he feels anger intensely. One of the greatest Eli moments is when he lays flat on his back, as if a corpse, and screams so loud Diana’s many knickknacks rattle on our shelves.

Over the last few nights, Elijah has been sick. And he’s pissed about it. He’s feverish, achy and generally miserable. Whenever he wakes up and realizes he still feels like poop, he screams to the treetops.

Of course this doesn’t seem so cute at 4am. Poor Diana has been taking the brunt of the assault since I was preparing to head back out of town. Whenever I tell her I’m sorry about it, she says, “It’s preparation…preparation for Elijah 2…”

On one such screaming fit, I snatched Eli out of Diana’s hands in the hopes of giving Diana five minutes of sleep. I took him downstairs and shoved Grover off the couch. I put him on my chest and, remarkably, he and I fell instantly asleep.

I woke up several hours later, soaked to the bone. My first thought was, “Did that little jerk pee on me?” My second thought was, “Did I pee on him?” I realized that Elijah was so feverish, he drenched through his shirt and through my shirt.

Unfortunately, Elijah realized it at the same time. He still felt awful and let loose a howl that brought Diana bounding down the stairs.

Elijah was furious. It was if he was screaming at Diana and I, “You are all just a bunch of jackasses! Jackasses!”