Friday, January 29, 2010
I arrived home last night from work and heard the usual delighted shrieking upstairs from Elijah.
After removing my 14 layers of warmth I climbed up and found Diana and Luca sitting in Eli’s rocking chair. Luca was looking deep, deep into Diana’s eyes with a look that can only be described as “limitless love.”
I muttered, “Sheesh. Get a room, you two,” and went off to find Eli. He was nude, of course, and jumping up and down on the bed. Eli immediately started begging for “Belly Button! Belly Button!”
A few weeks ago, sheer boredom brought out a deep memory of mine. Do you remember in the 1970’s, there was a brief period of time when “Belly Bumping” was a fad? Belly Bumping was when you collected two fat guys (in 1970, “fat” was considered 180lbs) with beer bellies and forced them to crash into each other, belly first. I don’t remember what the rules were. Or what you won if you bumped correctly. Or if was even called “Belly Bumping.” But I remember it was hilarious and most likely played a major roll in the show “Real People.”
So I introduced Eli to the sport. Eli runs the length of our bed, naked belly first, and crashes into my much more massive stomach. This sends him flying backwards onto the bed, where he checks himself for broken bones, scrambles to his feet and shoves his belly out again. He calls it “Belly Button,” but I don’t think the producers of “Reel People” would mind.
For some reason, I’ve adopted the voice of professional wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage when we play. After I rattle Eli’s bones with the physics of 35 pound boy versus 170 pound man, I shout, “Oh yeah! I belly bumped you good! I am the Belly Bumping MASTER!” I then flex my-would be muscles and pose obnoxiously and repeat, “Oh Yeah!” over and over. This makes Elijah hyperventilate with laughter.
Unlike most New Years’ Revolutionists, I save my bodily revisions for February. I don’t drink alcohol for the month, I attempt to exercise and generally try to reverse some of the damage I’ve done to myself over the last 12 months. Why February? Because it’s the shortest month, silly.
So I’m hoping I won’t have as much belly to bump Eli come March 1st. But I’ll still have my Macho Man voice.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
It’s my intention with HamannEggs to give 50/50 representation of Luca and Elijah. But some weeks, like this week, will just have more funny stuff happen to one kid over the other. This week, it’s Luca.
If you’re looking for an Eli update, imagine a kid sitting in front of the TV. Now imagine the TV has a Curious George cartoon on it. Consider yourself updated.
Back to Luca.
Late last week, there was one brief period when he was fussy for one whole day. Heaven forbid. We didn’t pay it much mind except to occasionally say, “What’s the deal with him? Isn’t he supposed to be the quiet one?”
Diana eventually discovered it was because Luca had a slight cold and his nose was stuffed up. Did you know really young babies don’t know they can breathe out of their mouths? Me neither, but Luca’s doctor said it and if she said really young babies have x-ray vision, I’m inclined to believe her.
Later that day, Diana said Luca was feeling much better because she got the boogers out of his nose. It immediately conjured up images of that blue booger getter outer thing. You know what I’m talking about? It’s that blue bulb thing every parent has that looks like it gets out boogers. I actually think the official name is “Booger Getter Outer.”
So I said, “Did you use the Booger Getter Outer?”
“Did…did you use your finger?”
“No. I sucked it out with my mouth.”
Now, I’m fairly certain Diana would do anything for her sons. I can see her lifting a car off them in some kind of freak adrenaline surge. I can see her protecting her sons from a pack of wild boars with nothing more than a wine key.
Why does that image make me feel amorous?
Where was I? Oh yeah, booger sucking. Now of all the things I can imagine Diana doing in the name of her sons, placing her mouth on Luca’s nose and inhaling to extract boogers is not at the top of my list.
In fact, it wasn’t on the list at all until she placed that image into my brain. Never, ever to leave.
p.s. The HamannEggs family just got bigger. Our great friends Patrick and Leah just had a little baby boy, James William. He was 9 pounds, which means he can already beat up Luca. And probably Eli.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
When Di got knocked up with Luca, she decided to convert our dining room into a baby lounge. It was a place where she could chill out with the new baby without having to run upstairs every time he filled is diaper.
The Luca room has a nice daybed, a big, white changing table and loads of knickknacks only someone who watches hours and hours of HGTV could love. It has a nice, zen-like quality that I’m going to say helped make boy #2 the mellow guy he is today.
Well, over the course of the last 2 months, I’ve slowly but surely invaded the Luca Den. Diana decided she doesn't want to sleep there anymore. When the eventual zombie attack occurs, she doesn’t want to be on ground level. She’ll be able to fight them off with her unread copy of “Eat. Pray. Love.”
About halfway through every night when Luca does his wake up, I’ll stumble downstairs to finish my night’s sleep. I’ve also taken to sleeping there all night on the weekends when I do the overnight shift so DI can have uninterrupted sleep.
Consequently, a distinct boy stink has invaded her paradise. No, you can’t make me shower on the weekends. You just can’t. And when it’s just Luca and me all night, I don’t feel bad about my male gaseous emissions. What’s Luca going to do about it? Write a letter to the editor of Hamanneggs? It also doesn’t help that I have a bad habit of flinging my dirty socks into the corner by the radiator. It smells like roasted Fritos.
To top it off, Grover uses the daybed for his 23 naps per day. And, well, he stinks. Like a dog who enjoys the unseasonably warm weather we’re having.
Despite my unconscious desire to destroy the Luca Den, we decided to buy a new rocking chair for the room. We felt it was cruel to take Eli’s chair since he loves the danger of pinching his fingers on it. But I need a chair when I feed Luca in the middle of the night. I can’t feed him on the bed. It’s too tempting to fall asleep and use him as a pillow.
So we looked on Craigslist and found a good one for $50. Before I left to go pick it up, Di warned me, “Give it a good once over. I don’t want any poopy chair.”
I arrived at the downtown apartment of the chair sellers and, like everyone who picks up a Craigslist item from a stranger, wondered if I was about to be murdered. The couple was nice and had a young girl and another baby on the way.
I asked them why they were selling the chair. “Oh, uh, you know. Downsizing and stuff.”
I looked at the chair and saw it was poop free. Given my complete lack of small talk ability, I gave them $50 and high tailed it out of there.
Di seemed happy with the purchase and we set it up in the room. Later that night, I got to try it out on the overnight shift.
The minute I sat down, the chair groaned like the structural integrity of an office building was failing. In fact, the slightest move in the chair sounded like a Brontosaurus getting a glass enema.
Despite what you’d think, infants don’t like loud, grinding noises when they’re trying to eat at 4 in the morning.
Thankfully, I tightened all the understuff on the chair and the Brontosaurus enema noise has mostly gone away. But occasionally in the middle of the night I’ll be rocking with the boy and be reminded why Craigslist is awesome.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Last Saturday, Diana and her mom went out for a birthday dinner at some fancy French joint. Diana’s dad Don came by to act as semi designated driver and hang out to watch football.
Shortly after 8, Luca’s internal egg timer went off and he decided to be grouchy for exactly one hour. I was busy trying to get Elijah into bed, so Don grabbed Luca and enveloped him in his arms.
And began spanking him on his butt. Hard.
Whap. Whap. Whap. Whap.
For a second, I almost stepped in. “Take it easy, there, muscles. He’s seven weeks old.”
Luca got a look on his face that said, “What? Is? Going? On?” And then sighed, let the spanking take over and quieted down. A few minutes later he was fast asleep.
Whap. Whap. Whap. Whap.
The last few nights, I’ve taken to the old spankeroo myself during Luca’s nightly moment of anger. But I don’t seem to have the right touch. I’ve tried the theme to “Hawaii Five O.” I’ve tried “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron butterfly. I’ve even tried to remember some of the drum solos from high school marching band. But I was in the low brass section. The Dungeons and Dragons table of the marching band cafeteria. So my drumming is unintended syncopation at best.
It works, but not as well as Don, the Spank Master. I wondered if it was because his hands are calloused from years of actual work instead of my soft, computer caressing fingers.
And yes, I have wondered if his love of spanking will manifest itself later in life. But I assume his adult spanking will be a secret that he wont fully understand. Until he reads this blog entry.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
A couple weeks ago, Elijah decided he was potty trained. Diana explained he just decided diapers weren’t his thing. And I got to see it first hand the other morning as I got him out of bed and extracted his nighttime diaper.
“I don’t want to wear diapers.”
“Oh, cool. Well, we have a wide array of big boy underpants. Look. You can have Elmo on your crotch!”
“No. I don’t want underpants either.”
Hmm. I wasn’t sure what to do. Was Eli really going to be that guy? The no underwear guy? Does that mean we have to buy him leather pants and a “Member’s Only” Jacket? Will he start growing sideburns and wear dark glasses indoors? He does favor his Matchbox Firebird.
I tried to debate the merits of underpants. “Well, aside from the benefits of snugness, which are many, underpants eliminate the worry of getting your special guy caught in a zipper. And brother, you do not want that to happen. Did I mention you can have Elmo on your crotch?”
“No. No underpants.”
I zipped up his pajamas and led him downstairs. I looked at my own baby blue, saggy boxer shorts and realized at age 2 ½ he was already cooler than me.
This new commando Eli has been remarkably accident free. We still force him to wear diapers to bed, due to his propensity to dream about fish. And he wears diapers when we leave the house, because we just got a new German car so I can pretend it’s a Porsche. Urine isn’t covered in our lease agreement.
p.s. There is only a thin layer of sweatpants between you and the good doctor.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
When I tell people Son #2’s name, I get a wide variety of responses. A lot of people say, “I love it. I thought you were going to name him ‘Bruce.”
But my favorite response is, “Oh, Godfather. Cool.” Luca Brasi, according to Wikipedia is “One of Don Vito Corleone's personal enforcers. Brasi is portrayed as slow-witted and brutish, but his ruthlessness and his unwavering loyalty to Don Corleone means he is both feared and respected. Fluent in Italian and able to handle himself in any fight, he has a dark reputation among the underworld as a savage killer.”
Yeah, the savage killer thing isn’t really great. Nor is the slow-witted part. But I do love that we’ve injected some old school Italian in him with the name. The fact that neither Diana or I have more than a thimble full of Italian blood is besides the point.
But a thuggish enforcer for Don Corleone really fits him right now. He hasn’t gotten to the place where he smiles on command (today’s photo is a fluke). He still has his intense, stoic stare 23 hours of the day.
So last night I got home from a business trip and sat on the couch. Diana handed me my ration of wine and Luca. I held him directly in front of me and goo goo-ed and ga ga-ed. He just stared at me.
I began begging forgiveness in a thick, cartoonish Italian accent. “Pleeease Don Luca. I promise-a I’ll geta you da money! Please don’ta hurt me Don, Luca. Pleaaaaase!”
And then I’d swing his little arms and punch myself in the face with his fat little fists. I begged, “Please, no Don Luca! No!”
As you can guess, this entertained me to no end. To my surprise, this also entertained Diana. Luca could care less.
Truth be told, my “Don Luca” routine was ripped off from my twin, Steve. He used to beg forgiveness from his cat, Soze, in the same cartoon Italian. “No! Don Soze! I’ll geta you da money…”
But it’s much funnier with an infant. But way more inappropriate.
Monday, January 11, 2010
A few months ago, Diana asked Elijah’s pre-school teachers how he was doing. His teacher responded, “He really likes correcting us.”
Don’t I know it. Eli likes being right. And he likes letting you know when you are wrong. Let’s say you are presenting him with a plate full of his favorite food: Lavies. Lavies are Chef Boyardee canned ravioli. Don’t look at me like that. They have a full serving of vegetables. And he loves them. If you want to come over and cook him a plate full of organic bark bites, be my guest. Grover will enjoy eating them off our walls.
Where was I? Oh, Lavies. Let’s say you’re presenting him with Lavies and you say, “Look Eli! Lavies!” He’ll respond with, “No! They’re BIG Lavies.”
To which I say, “I stand corrected. Here are your BIG lavies.”
I really don’t mind being corrected. Especially when he’s right and I’m wrong. Like the names of obscure Curious George characters or the size of his processed lunch. But sometimes he makes up reasons to correct me.
The other night, I was reading a Richard Scarry book to him. Remember those books? The late 1960’s highly detailed and hilarious scenes of animals driving cars like the “Picklemobile?” Yeah, I just blew your mind.
Well, one of the characters is called “Goldbug.” He’s a bug. Who is gold. On each page of said book, you’re asked to locate Goldbug among the twenty or so cars crammed with rabbits or pigs, usually crashing into watermelon trucks. It was an early version of “Where’s Waldo?” Without the annoyingly smug look on Waldo’s face.
For some reason, Elijah refused to call him Goldbug. Every time I’d read, “Can you find Goldbug?” Eli would respond, “No! Not Goldbug. Mo Mommy Ma Ma. 'Can you find Mo Mommy Ma Ma.'”
At first, I tried to argue with him. “No, buddy. I can read and you can’t. His name is not Mo Mommy Ma Ma. It’s Goldbug. G-O-L…” But then I realized I was trying to argue with a two and a half year old who is still searching our closets for the talking cow that inhabits his dreams. I was already on the verge of insanity. Continuing the argument would simply topple me over to looking for my own talking cows.
I wondered if this was a name made up by his mother as some kind of self promotion. But I hardly think the woman who feeds, clothes and protect from harm every member of our family needs any more good press.
I finally gave up and put him into his crib and told him to lay down on his pillow. He corrected me. He would be sleeping on his Googy Bear, thank you very much.
Man, I am really lacking recent photographs. So enjoy this picture from four months ago.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Luca is going to be good looking. Real good looking. There is a chance, with his dark coloring and big blue eyes that he will actually be better looking than Elijah.
But, much like the ugly duckling that turns into a swan, we’re in a bit of a…ahem…unfortunate stage.
Luca has a full blown case of Cradle Cap. Remember Cradle Cap? It’s that stuff that grows on top of some unfortunate babys’ scalps that looks as though someone smeared cottage cheese on their heads and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
To top it off, literally, Luca is losing his hair. But, he’s only losing it on top of his head, which makes him look like the poster child for male pattern baldness. Oh yeah, that ear hair? Still there.
And he still has baby acne. And about three kinds of rash. And currently 2 ounces of formula caked in his chin folds.
Last night, I was doing the overnight shift and I looked at him while rocking him to sleep. Gooey, cakey, bumpy and stinky and I said, “I love you, son. But you’re a mess.”
He responded with an emphatic toot.
So when he graces the cover of “Space Teen Beat” and “Space Playgirl” magazines in 18 or so years, I’ll have the above photographic evidence to keep him from becoming too full of himself.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Since I’ve been taking over Elijah morning duties, I’ve noticed he’s begun to dream more. Or remember his dreams more. I’d say about twice a week he’ll wake up screaming bloody murder in the morning, chattering about nonsense about a recent nightmare.
Occasionally, he’ll say something slightly creepy like, “I feel sad because of what happens to Papa and Grandma.” Knowing there is an outside chance he’s clairvoyant, I’ll interrogate him about what happens to Papa and Grandma so I can warn them to stay away from sushi that day. But he usually responds, “Curious George recycles and goes to the garbage dump.”
Yesterday morning, I was running later than usual and needed to get Eli settled in front of the TV before my morning beauty regiment. But he began searching around our house asking about a talking cow.
“Daddy, where’s the talking cow? I need the talking cow.”
Thinking he was referring to one of the three plastic cows he owns, I joined him in the search. I opened a few closet doors and said, “Don’t you think the talking cow is in your room?”
“No. He’s in a closet.”
I asked him to describe the cow a little better so I knew what the heck I was looking for.
“He’s a big cow. And he talks.”
“You mean a full size cow?” And I leveled my hand at shoulder height.
“Yes. A big cow. He talks”
I tried to tell him we weren’t zoned for livestock in our house, but he was persistent about tracking down this verbal bovine. I realized it was probably something from the previous night’s dream.
I suddenly didn’t have the heart to tell him the cow didn’t exist. That by telling him things he dreamed about weren’t real, I would be stealing a part of his youth. I figured I could knock out Santa, The Tooth Fairy and The Eater Bunny while I was at it.
Thankfully, the all too familiar refrains from “Curious George” began blaring from the living room and Eli immediately bee-lined for his spot on the couch. As I showered, I wondered what the cow was telling him in his dreams. And if this cow was telling him these future events.
That would make him Hindu, right? I guess hamburgers are off the menu.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Alight. I’m going to say it. Luca is an awesome baby. There. Jinx away, jinxers. He slept through the night last night. With as much fanfare as spitting up on his onsie.
This morning I was getting Elijah his daily banana ration and Diana came down with boy #2. I asked, as I always do, “So…how did Duke do last night?”
Diana responded, “He woke up at 5:15.”
“Oh, after the 2am feeding? Great.”
“No. He woke up at 5:15.”
“Okey dokey. Smell you later.”
I put my coat on and walked out the front door. It took me until I almost got to the train to realize this major milestone. Our first son, who shall remain nameless, did not accomplish this feat until he was almost a year old.
We should be jumping up and down and getting tattoos of him on our arms. But, like everything with this kid, it was totally mellow.
Oh, yeah. And he rolls over too. Another major milestone. Rolling over. I dunno. I think I’m falling down on the blogging job with this kid. But he makes it so darn hard to get worked up over this stuff because he doesn’t get worked up. He just tries to explode that plastic frog with his mind powers.
Exploding the plastic frog? Let me explain. Because Luca isn’t in constant need of attention, he spends a whole lot of time in his bouncy seat. His bouncy seat is equipped with a string of little plastic hangy-guys that dangle right in front of his eyes. In the center is a wide-eyed green frog. It used to beep and boop, but it came from Diana’s sister in France and we don’t have the appropriate battery. So it just hangs there, staring at Luca.
But Luca stares back at it. Hard. Unblinking. He concentrates with all his might on the green Frenchy in an epic staring contest. I get the feeling that Luca is trying to blow it up with his mind powers.
And darn it, he deserves to blow up that green frog with his mind powers. He’s a good baby. I’d give anything for him to just once blow up that frog. Yes, it would mean he’s a Scanner (1981 movie starring Jennifer O’Neill), but I think he’d use his telekinetic powers for good.
p.s. Here is that Luca tattoo. It’s a little goopy and healing right now. And it’s subtle. Like Luca.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Hello. My name is Elijah and I am a TV-aholic.
It’s all our fault. Once Luca (you may call him “Duke,” but not “Puke-a”) came into our lives, we started relying more and more on the Babysitter 2000, otherwise known as TV. Eli would wake up, usually coinciding with Luca needing to be fed and he’s ask, “Can I watch TV?” Well, sure. It kept him occupied and relatively quiet for a couple hours.
But as Luca required more and more of our attention, Eli’s viewer ship went through the roof. What was once a regulated 2 hours per day max has devolved into an almost constant din of TV in our living room.
Now, we don’t let him watch the Playboy Channel, or worse yet, Lifetime (Fox News was way too easy). He watches commercial-less Curious George shows and Pixar movies.
However, Diana and I are worried that it just isn’t good for him. Studies that I am too lazy to look up probably say it can affect his attention span and his ability to, you know, communicate and stuff.
But I’m worried he’ll join the ranks of the morbidly obese. That years from now people will come from miles around to watch him wash himself with a rag on a stick (Thank you Simpsons episode 3F05. I wasn’t too lazy to look up that reference).
So we’ve begun re-instituting the TV turn off after his 2 hour limit. This has not gone over well. Aside from the tantrums and complete flip outs, Eli asks, “Can I watch TV?” every 3.1 seconds. I channel every father since the invention of the television when I say, “You have a room full of toys. Go play.”
Slowly but surely, he’s weaning off the boob tube. Why, two nights ago I actually caught him using his imagination with his toy jungle animals and explorers. Granted, he was pretending the two explorers using their jeep to go to Starbucks to get apple juice. But I’ll take it.