Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A while ago, I read that psychologists think those weirdo alien abduction stories are actually repressed memories from when you are an infant. Apparently, babies’ eyesight ain’t so good right after they’re born, so when they see their moms and dads peering into their crib they look like grey blobs with big eyes and little slits of a mouth. What does this have to do with Elijah? Be patient. Sheesh. You kids and your lack of attention. I blame MTV.
Anyhoo, we’ve moved Eli back into his crib. We just couldn’t keep him in his coffin closet during the day for naps. And, if you remember from 6th grade math:
(Elijah + No Nap) = Halije
So, we needed to contain the boy. Back to the crib for him. But we were faced with another hurdle. Namely, Eli can leap over his crib railing like a hurdle.
Unfortunately, this meant dropping $100 on a crib tent. What’s a crib tent, you ask? It’s a tent that fits over the top of his crib. It actually creepily looks like a mesh oxygen tent.
Thankfully, Eli loves it. And he has been sleeping much better and we seem to have banished Halije back to The Land of Screaming Two Year Olds.
The other night, I came to bed and Diana said, “Let’s go look at our boy.” It seems every night before she goes to sleep, Diana enters Eli’s room carrying a Star Trek flash light she got from a cereal box.
Well…it’s hard to call it a “flash light.” It’s a piece of plastic shaped in a kind of “U.” I think it’s the symbol for Star Trek (I’m a Star Wars nerd, not a Star Trek nerd). But when you press a button, a red light shoots out. I think it is for killing Klingons. But Diana uses it for seeing our beautiful son’s face in the dark.
Diana says that occasionally, she’ll shoot him in the face with the red light and his eyes will be open, but he doesn’t acknowledge her. Which brings me back to paragraph #1. I think he thinks he’s about to be abducted by aliens and is paralyzed by fear.
Let’s see, one minute you are asleep dreaming about sharing a banana with Curious George, the next minute you're awake, in a creepy oxygen tent, with that alien you remember from when you were two weeks old shooting you in the face with her laser.
Yep, paralyzed by fear.
Incidentally, I had to look up the spelling of “Klingon” on the internet. I stumbled across the official Klingon language institute homepage. They have a handy phrase section.
“nuqDaq 'oH puchpa''e’” means, “Where is the bathroom?”
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Hey everybody! It’s me, your loveable pal Grover. I know, I know. It’s been a while since I’ve written. Quite frankly, I don’t really read the blog anymore. Mostly because I can’t read. But also because me and the human puppy have come to terms with each other. I’m fine with being at the bottom of our pack. And the Man feels guilty enough that I literally barfed the other night from too many treats.
But I’ve just figured something out. The Woman is ripe with another puppy. I can hear it sloshing around in her womb with my super hearing. And from what I can smell, it smells like a healthy baby boy. A delicious, delicious baby.
Anyhoo, the other night when I was putting on one of the greatest sad dog performances of my career (which resulted in the Man sneaking me a piece of chicken), I overheard the Man and the Woman talking about naming the new puppy. Meh. My suggestion, “Stinky Hairless Poop Machine Number Two,” went unnoticed.
But then my ears perked up. The Man suggested they name the puppy’s middle name after me! (First name withheld) Grover Hamann. I was so flattered. I decided then and there to stop licking the Man’s food when he wasn’t looking.
But then the Woman looked at the Man the same way she looks at me when she discovers one of my hidden poops in the basement. I could hear her blood pressure go up. And I could smell she wanted to dump the Man’s wine on his head.
Being only as smart as a two year old human, I couldn’t understand everything she said, but I could make out the words “ridiculous,” and “asinine.”
Oh well, it’s the thought that counts. Besides, there is only room in this world for one Grover.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I’m a quite used to being ignored. Whether it be golf shirt clad account guys pounding away on their Blackberries while I pontificate or art directors doodling naked women on their sketch pads while I attempt to critique their work, it’s a good thing I enjoy the sound of my own voice so much.
And now I have the enjoyment of being ignored by my son. Which I assume will be the case for the next 20 or so odd years.
Last night, I arrived home at a decent hour to relieve Pam of her Elijah duties. I spotted Eli slinking down the stairs, naked of course. I grabbed him and forced him to kiss me hello and immediately peppered him with questions about school.
“Did you have fun?”
“Did you paint pictures?”
“Did you see your friends?”
I could tell Eli wasn’t listening to me and simply saying “yes” to everything I said to hasten me going upstairs to play trains. I noticed he had a big scratch at the end of his nose.
“Did you get an owie?”
(Jokingly) “Did someone punch you?”
“Really. Someone punched you.”
“Was it one of your teachers?”
“Your teacher punched you in the face.”
“Did she smash you though a window?”
“Did she run over you with a tugboat?”
“Did she shoot you with her laser eyes?”
“Did she sick her rabid goat on you?”
“Did she invent a time machine and go back in time and punch you when you were one minute old?”
“Do you want me to shut up and go play trains.”
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I worry sometimes that I am not accurately portraying Elijah in the blog. After reading the last few weeks’ entries, you can assume we have a nightmare child on our hands. A future Dennis the Menace slash Bart Simpson slash Calvin And Hobbes Calvin.
Lemmie clue you in on a secret. Writing about cute, nice, happy Eli is b-o-r-i-n-g. Stories that involve the Hulk-like destruction of our lives seem to make for better reading. I believe it was Mark Twain who said, “The secret source of humor is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.” I also believe it was Wikipedia, and not me who remembered that quote.
But it simply isn’t a good representation of our lives.
Take last Saturday. Elijah played quietly (yawn), ate his lunch (snore) said about 1,000 impossibly cute things (sleepy time station) and took a nap without incident (nappy nap nap).
What makes for a delightful, blood pressure dropping weekend makes for dull reading.
So sorry gang, I don’t have much to report. And I am damned glad of it.
I spoke too soon. Di called and said Halije is back. Our son refused to nap and made Diana’s life a living hell this afternoon only to fall asleep the moment she put him into his car seat for an important errand.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I was at the airport the other day listening to Diana run down our son’s recent offenses. He is really fighting napping over the last week, which turns Elijah into his evil doppelganger, Halije. According to Di, Halije was in rare form that day. Most notably, he screamed at a line judge at the US Open and yelled, “You Lie!” at the President during an important Healthcare speech to Congress.
As I got ready to board the plane, I pleaded with Diana to give me some positive Elijah, not Halije news. She mentioned that he brought home some art from school.
Oooh. That got me excited. As you may remember, the Hamann genetic pool contains some real artistry. My grandfather and older brother Dave are (were) accomplished photographers and Steve is an incredible painter. I, unfortunately don’t carry the visual art gene. My skills fall into the, um, word making type thing.
I asked if it was awesome. Diana replied that she didn’t really know what is was. But it was cute. Halije was howling in the background, so she had to let me go.
When I got home later that night, I poured myself a big glass of wine and stood in front of the museum wall (fridge). I was overcome with pride. It was obviously an abstract rendition of the superhero “Black Panther.” You can clearly see him punching his yellow fist into the left side of the page. For you non nerds, I’ve posted a picture of “Black Panther” as reference.
I ran upstairs and crept into Eli’s coffin and kissed the little artist as he slept.
p.s. Steve came over last night and remarked that Eli’s painting looks like an H.R. Giger piece. I attached reference as well. Let’s hope that wasn’t his intention.
Monday, September 14, 2009
As Elijah 2 fast approaches, I’ve dubbed Saturday mornings as “Mommy Peace And Quiet Time.” Which means I get Elijah out of the house for a few hours so Diana can feel a quiet house for the last time in her life.
Luckily, Steve’s wife Pam also subscribes to the concept of a peaceful house. So I can always count on my brother and his wee ones to come along.
For the last few weeks we’ve been doing the free Lincoln Park zoo. Which is great in theory, but by the time you add in the cost of parking and uneaten Lincoln Park fried food, the bill quickly escalates to “Sorry kids, we can’t even afford Clown College” territory.
So I suggested we do something actually free last Saturday instead of fake free. Steve offered going to the Northbrook Mall. I asked him if we were attending a Tiffany concert or planning on racing elderly mall walkers. After not acknowledging what I said, he said the mall would be empty in the morning and the kids could run around and act nuts without getting busted by Paul Blart.
Once we got to the mall I realized Steve was right. The place was empty and somewhat contained, so we let Finn and Eli run along the Abercrombies and Fitches for a while. But then we spotted the Northbrook mall’s main attraction several floors below: A big plastic tree for kids.
Elijah and Finn suddenly needed to climb on the tree more than anything in the world.
“Cooome on. I want there,” Eli moaned as he led me by the finger.
Steve had to take Rory via the elevator so as not to lose her to the monster who eats infants under the escalator. But Finn and Eli were willing to take their chances and I had to jog to keep up.
When the three of us arrived at the big plastic tree, I suddenly flash backed to urban myth kidnapping story I’ve ever read. In my memory, every child who has ever been kidnapped in the history of the world was taken from a plastic tree at the mall.
As Eli and Finn gleefully chased each other, I ran around the tree like a madman, trying desperately to keep both of them in my site at all time. Less bizarrely scared parents peered over their coffees at me as I grabbed Eli’s arm and shouted at Finn, “Finn! Stay with me and Eli! Do not have fun! Watch out for the woman with the Coach bag! She looks like a gypsie! (To a man not looking at my son) What are you looking at? He’s not for sale, pervert!”
By the time Steve arrived with Rory, Finn was in tears. Eli could care less. He continued to run around the tree hoping to get kidnapped by someone less neurotic.
Friday, September 11, 2009
When I was in grade school, I was a bit of a rule follower. And by “bit of a rule follower,” I mean I was the kind of kid who would shout,”SHHHHHHHHHHH!” when kids were talking in class and used to have full blown vomiting panic attacks at the prospect of visiting the principle’s office. So in other words, I was a complete lame-o.
Which leads me to the other two humans in our family (Grover is on the vomity panic attacker side).
The other day at Pre-School, Diana got there a little early and peeked her head into the classroom window to see Elijah.
Now, in our pre-school orientation where we got to hear the lady who runs the school speak in a dead on Mary Poppins accent (She did not, in fact, ride in on an umbrella. Bummer), they specifically asked us not to poke our heads into the classroom window to see our children. I remember this distinctly because the thought if it makes my heart race and bile rise in my throat. The reason being it is a distraction to the kids and at this early stage they don’t want kids to freak out at seeing their moms.
But nooooooooo. Mrs. Have Parties When Her Parents Are Out Of Town In High School broke the peeking rule. Of course Eli saw her. And he raced over to the door and began pounding on it.
His really nice teachers told him it was against the rules to leave the classroom before school is over. They also instructed him to get back into his seat. So Eli sat down in front of the door and waited until school was out.
I’m having a panic attack.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Elijah goes to school now. Huh? Come again? I know I’ve been busy, but did I suddenly miss three years of his life? I’m dumbfounded. School. To be clear, he is technically going to pre pre school. But…sheesh. Here, let me turn down the Harry Chapin that’s on a permanent loop on my itunes and give you the lowdown.
Eli goes to school three days a week at the YMCA. Now, there are two distinct comedy routes I can go here when poking fun at the YMCA. I can either go the Disco-anthem route or the scary transient hotel route. Let’s see if I can do both. Stay tuned.
As you can guess, Diana was way more unhappy than Eli was on the big drop off this morning (I had an 8:30 meeting and couldn’t attend. Mr. Chapin, that’s your cue). But Elijah had a lot going for him. First, his girlfriend Ryan (“Rhonnna!”) is in his class. Second, there is apparently lots of plastic food to play with. Third, his teachers are really nice. I think their names are “Construction Worker,” “Police Man” and “Weird Mustached Biker Guy” (That takes care of the Disco-anthem joke).
By the photographs though, I can see a little trepidation in Eli’s eyes. It’s a little surprising given his propensity to shout, “Hi! I Eli!” to complete strangers. It may be because it’s dawning on him that he’ll potentially be attending school for the next 20 years. Or it could be the hobo asleep on his nap mat (Scary Transient Hotel joke! I win!).
As you can tell, I have absolutely no idea what happened at Eli’s first day of school. I plan on getting the full low down tonight. I’ll hopefully post a less asinine blog tomorrow.
p.s. Today’s photos are what Eli wanted to wear to school and what Diana forced him to wear to school. See if you can tell which is which.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Scroll down a few HamannEggs entries. No, not to the one where I admit loving to see my son disfigure himself. The one where he destroys his room. Over the last week or so, we’ve been having trouble getting Elijah to nap.
Which seems harmless enough. So he’ll be a little sleepy. He’ll be a little droopy eyed and yawn a lot. But oh, no. When that kid misses a nap he turns into a different person. He is no longer Elijah, impossibly cute kid who sings the alphabet song and shouts “I love you!” He turns into Hajile, the devil boy. Hajile does not do anything that doesn’t involve screaming. Or throwing things. Like 150 pound dogs.
We do not like Hajile. We do not like when Hajile comes to visit. And the only way to keep Hajile away is napping. We, and I mean Diana, have been trying everything to encourage the nap. Begging, yelling, locking doors, threatening. But to no avail. And after an hour of so, Diana will finally have to open Eli’s door where she’ll hear the words, “There is no Elijah…only Hajile.”
So, out of desperation, I took an imaginary trip to Chicago City Hall. Where I had an imaginary meeting with the honorable Mayor Richard M. Daley.
“Imaginary Mayor, thanks for taking the time.”
“No Problem. Can I offer you a city job? You don’t gotta show up or anything.”
“No, thank you. I was wondering if you can give me some advice on getting my son to take naps.”
“I’m glad ya imaginarily came down here. While your particular kid problem may seem large, da solution is easy. Do what I always do. Bribe da kid.”
“Yeah, bribe da little S.O.B.”
“Wow. Thanks, your honor. We’ll try it.”
“No problem. Be sure you tip your waitress on the way out.”
So yesterday I bought a box full of fifty-cent plastic dinosaurs. And we explained to Eli that if he took a nap and didn’t destroy his room, he could have one.
And wouldn’t you know it? The little kid slept. And today he asked (ASKED) to take a nap so he could get a fifty cent dinosaur.
Hajile has been nowhere to be found. Eli has been an absolute joy. He spent the day with my brother’s kids at the zoo shouting, “I love the zoo! I love you, uncle Steve! I love songs!”
Thank you, imaginary Mayor Daley.
p.s. Today’s photo is the last known photo of Hajile.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Sorry again, gang. I’ve been out of town and haven’t been able to witness any Elijah silliness. But when I got home last night, Diana gave me a real doozy.
Diana was in the kitchen when she heard Eli talking to himself in the living room. She peeked in on him and discovered him pretending to talk on his toy cell phone.
Wait a sec. I have been waiting patiently for Eli to start pretending. I spent the majority of my childhood pretending to be Han Solo, so I’m excited at the prospect of adopting likeness of cowboys or astronauts or wookees with my son. Pretending to be a dude on the phone isn’t exactly what I had in mind, but at least it’s a start.
Anyhoo, Di caught Eli pretending to speak with his girlfriend Ryan. Remember Ryan? “Rhonnnnaaaaa!” The conversation went word for word like this:
“Ryan? What up?”
“What up, Ryan?”
“Hi Ryan, what up?”
“Ryan! I have a poopy pants!”
At which point he slapped his toy phone shut and yelled for Diana to change his diaper.
I honestly cannot decide what is more hilarious. The fact that he is the only person in our family to ever say the words “What up?” or the fact that he needed to tell his girlfriend he dumped in his diaper before his mother.
I don’t have any photos of Eli pretending to be on the phone. All I have is another one from the zoo, where he is hugging a goat. But I’m fairly sure he has a load in his pants.