Thursday, September 30, 2010
I finally got the flu, gang. It stinks. Except for the not going to work and getting to spend the whole day in bed eating soup and playing on the internet part. But I find it difficult to write without, you know, throwing up. I tried to get Grover to do one of his guest blogger pieces, but he’s still mad at me for having a second baby.
As I’ve been laying up here sweating, I’ve been able to hear the delightful caterwauling of the kids downstairs. But at about 3pm, Diana tried to get the kids dressed and ready to go to Target. “Elijah, get your shoes on. Elijah, get your shoes on….”
I dozed off into a fever sleep and woke up at 3:55. Diana still hadn’t gotten Eli out the door. “Elijah, get your shoes on. Elijah, get your shoes on.”
Our son has become the King Of The Lollygaggers. I can’t decide if it’s because he knows it drives us crazy or if it’s because TV has shredded his attention span.
Last weekend, in order to give Diana a sick break, I took Luca, Elijah and Grover on a simple walk around the block. After forcibly cramming him into shoes and a jacket, we walked outside. This is how it went:
I’d walk 50 yards with Grover and Luca and wait. And wait. And wait. Eli would walk two steps and examine a leaf. Then he’d grab a stick that looked “exactly like a Star Wars gun, daddy!” And shoot passersby. And then he’d fall to the ground, dead. And then he’d crawl two steps. And then he’d notice an anthill. He’d have a heart to heart with the ants and then take another step. Where, inevitably there would be an interesting leaf.
At this point my patience would be evaporated and I’d stomp over and grab his hand to drag him along our walk. Holding his father’s hand flies in the face of his idea of walking, so he’d howl that he wouldn’t lollygag anymore and keep up as long as he didn’t have to pass me his flu germs.
Eventually, I’d relent and let him have his hand back. Eli would actually keep up for a…
Hey, that leaf looks awesome.
p.s. Today’s photo is the result of Diana allowing Elijah to dress himself for school. It must have been “Teenage Thai Prostitute Day.”
Monday, September 27, 2010
Even though we’ve been home for less than two days, the fantastic memories from our vacation have been pushed aside to make room for the horrible flu that’s ravaging the Hamann house. This vile bug has picked off everyone. Eli, Diana, Luca.
Everyone except me. I feel like the last man in a zombie movie. Armed only with a gallon of Purel and a delicious Spanish red wine.
But I wanted to give you an update on Luca’s bag o’ tricks.
He points now. Thank goodness he only uses this power for good. Because the sight of him giving you the finger with that big lopsided grin can explode your heart. God have mercy if he gives you the double barrel fingers. Last night, when he was covered in his own vomit and possibly the largest diarrhea in the history of man, he still managed to point at me, smile, and say, “Gee.”
The best is when he gives you the old “E.T.” He loves it when you return his point and touch fingers. He laughs. You laugh. You promise to buy him a yacht. He hopefully eventually forgets you promised to buy him a yacht.
Not content with crawling, Luca also stands now. Which delights him to no end. He gets so excited by his own balancing act that he clucks like a chicken. His standing also results in lots of falling. So he has a permanent bruise on his forehead. But it also resulted in this story:
The other night, while Diana was in bed with the bug, I was in charge of getting both boys put to bed after baths. I raced Luca up the stairs and plopped him down and locked the baby gate.
I snatched up Elijah and shoved him (maybe a little too hard) towards the stairs so I could make the nighttime milk run.
When I rushed back, I found Eli laughing hysterically on one side of the gate at Luca, who was standing on the other side of the gate. Luca was engaged in what we like to call “The Naked Crazies.”
I said, “Eli, keep him crazy. I’m going to get the camera.”
Having no luck in my short search for the camera, I grabbed my phone and raced towards the stairs. I heard a horrific shriek. An Eli shriek. I thought for a moment that I’d be spending the evening at the Evanston hospital.
But then I saw it. Eli had taken a direct hit of pee from Luca. After the initial shock, he found it as hilarious as I did. Luca found it to be funniest of all. Probably because it was his pee.
Eli and I marveled at the ferocity of Luca’s pee. He must have nailed every stair down to the first landing. I congratulated him on his pee. And then I calculated whether pee was something you had to actually clean up from carpet or if I could just let it dry.
I wont tell you what I decided. But next time you’re over and smell pee, it was Grover.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
For Diana, one of the selling points of our South Haven vacation cabin was its proximity to fishing. She thought this was a can’t miss father/son activity. The kind of bonding activity that we’d both remember for years to come. Provided I blogged about it. She even went so far as to purchase a childrens’ fishing pole and tackle box.
Now, considering I referred to the fishing pole as a “fish stick,” the chances that this father and son moment would include the actual catching of a live animal were very slim. And I meant to keep it that way. The thought of me mincing around a hooked bluegill was not the image I wanted my son to have of his father. But I had to at least make it look good.
I asked one of the Lexus driving locals where the nearest fishing hole was. She explained that it was off season and there was no fish to be had. Perfect. I explained to her that it was just for show and I had any actual interest in the physical act of fishing. This was a photo op.
She suggested we fish in the nearby creek. She said it was perfect because it was filtered water from the nearby nuclear power plant.
Um. What? We were cabining near a nuclear power plant? The woman was kind enough to point to the massive cooling tower over the ridge. Her handyman companion said, “Yeah, you may just hook one of them three eyed mutant fish.” Spare me the Simpsons references, townie.
Anyhoo, Elijah, Diana, Luca and I trekked down to the place where the nuclear stream met Lake Michigan. Eli was elated at the prospect of netting a shark or a whale. Diana was elated at the prospect of photographing Eli’s first fishing outing. Luca was elated at the prospect of eating sand.
I looked at Eli’s kid tackle box and selected a bright yellow lure. I attached it to his line and showed him how to cast.
And then we were fishing. Really fishing. I began to actually relax and enjoy this moment. Fishing isn’t about killing a lesser animal. It’s about fathers and sons sitting together and not talking to each other. I welled up at the sight of my son saying, “Where are you, fishes?” I suddenly desperately wanted him to catch a fish. I wanted him to boat a marlin that day.
But as I looked down at the 3 inches of nuclear water, I knew he’d have to wait another day.
Eli eventually got bored of not catching any fish and announced that he had to pee. So I taught him something I was an expert at: urinating under rich peoples’ docks.
Monday, September 20, 2010
We’re heading off to vacation, gang. So I won’t be able to report the comings and goings of poop and pee this week. I imagine the 17 people who follow the blog will fall to negative two. But who needs ya?
Where was I? Oh, bringing the boy into the church. No surprise, but Luca’s biggest religious day to date began with Elijah. Vomiting all over our bed. I blamed it on him chugging from my bedside water bottle all morning and yelled at him thusly.
It turned out that Eli was, in fact, sick. So most of Luca’s Christening day was spent following Eli around with a bucket and carpet cleaner.
Around 3 pm, Diana’s folks arrived to drive with us to the church. Luca was dressed in a blue shirt and sweater to bring out his eyes. The Lord likes coordination. I declared Eli okay to attend the ceremony. Eli responded by vomiting all over our couch.
Diana’s dad Don leapt to the rescue. He would stay at home with boy #1. The fact that the Bears were in a tight game against the Cowboys had nothing to do with it. Nothing at all.
CUT to the church. Our small, but powerful contingent was all there. Luca was in great spirits.
And, I say this with almost 100% certainty, I believe the priest liked Luca best. He gave Luca an extra portion of scented oils. And I am sure the priest winked at him when he delivered his sermon. This story was most likely repeated among the parents of all the other kids. But they lie.
Luca and the priest had a falling out the minute the dunking occurred. Luca decided at that very moment that being nude in front of 50 or so strangers and the indignity of getting ½ submerged in holy water was too much.
Luca cried until we held him upside down. At which point he laughed. He loves being upside down. I couldn’t help but feel it was semi sacrilegious having an upside down baby at church, but whatever.
We all high tailed it back to the house for that most Christian of meals, wine and pulled pork sandwiches.
We were greeted by Don, who instead of his suit, was wearing one of my towels around his waist.
I thought, “Sheesh, the Bears winning is exciting. But not THAT exciting.”
It turns out Elijah had puked on him with such ferocity that it rendered his suit unwearable. I think Don burned it in the yard.
We scrambled to find Don something that was more appropriate to Luca’s Christening than my white towel. We opted for my old blue bathrobe.
The rest of the evening was spent with some of my favorite people eating and drinking and laughing at Don’s expense. And if that isn’t evidence of a higher power, I don’t know what is.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
A few months ago, Diana was trying in vain to entertain Elijah at the Evanston library. Suddenly, a (these are Diana’s words) completely nerdy 5 year old latched on to our son. He suggested they play “Spy.” Not knowing what a spy was or how one plays it, Elijah immediately accepted the invitation.
Diana, seeing an opportunity to not have to constantly entertain the boy, let Eli go off with the nerdling. What Diana didn’t know is playing “Spy” involved the nerdling proclaiming Diana their boss. Which meant she had to send them off on missions.
At first, she was into it. “Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find me a monkey wearing a sweater. An argyle sweater.”
But after a while, she became bored with her role as mission giver outer and started phoning it in. “Uh, find me a book. Or not. I don’t care.”
The nerdling whined that Diana wasn’t fulfilling her job as spy boss. Diana told him it would take one phone call for him to get reassigned to a listening outpost in Siberia.
But the spy game had an affect on Elijah. He loves being assigned missions at the house. “What’s my mission? What’s my mission?”
We’ve found this to be a great distraction tool on long road trips. Where his missions exclusively involve finding things in the passing scenery.
Given the fact that his viewing radius is roughly 2X2 feet from his carseat, we make it fairly easy for him. I look ahead a block or so and spot a bicyclist or a Target store or anything else that will pass directly in front of his face roughly 2 seconds later.
It ever ceases to amaze him that the thing I just asked him to locate just happens to be right under his nose.
But, like the library, his ability to keep asking to play the world’s easiest game doesn’t ebb.
“What’s my mission? What’s my mission?”
So after the second straight hour, we get into the “Find me a black car” phase.
“Find me a black car.”
“Found one! What’s my mission?”
“Find me a…white car.”
“Found one! What’s my mission? What’s my mission? What’s my mission? What’s my mission?”
Then comes the cheerful suggestion that we play “Who can stay quiet the longest?”
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Sorry gang. I was in Germany this week, suffering through some fairly crippling jetlag, mixed with some fairly inedible Business Class food. You now have my official permission to punch me for complaining about Business Class.
I arrived home yesterday at 1pm, which felt like 34am. I swung open the door and waited for my family to cover me with their love. And waited. And waited.
But the house was empty.
My heart began to ache. Instead of a spastic 3 year old, an overly optimistic 9 month old, a lovely 30 something year old and a homosexual goldendoodle, I got a silent, yet slightly destroyed house.
I started to have a mini panic attack. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t watch TV. I couldn’t open a bottle of beer (we didn’t have any). I wandered around the house, dabbing my tears with wooden toy blocks and Star Wars guys. I really needed to see the family unit.
Suddenly, I saw our black WV pull up in front of the house. Diana began the ritual of extracting the boys from car seats. I ran out onto the porch and yelled, “Heyyyyyy you guys!”
Diana lit up and greeted me with a kiss. She handed me Luca, who smiled the greatest smile in the history of the world and said, “Dada.” Yeah, it was more of a baby babble “Dadadadadadadadadada.” But to me he was greeting me by name.
And then Elijah leapt out of the car. Diana said, “Look Eli! You dad is home from Germany!” I shouted, “Come here, Eli! Give me a hug!”
Eli shouted, “Daddy! Can I play wif your phone?”
2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
Grover didn’t arrive home until an hour or so later. His response to me being home was the usual uncontrollable humping.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Look, I know. Kids will be kids. They’ll fall out of trees. They’ll break their arms. They’ll get huge gashes that need twenty stitches. But I have a hard and fast rule that governs all my child raising: NOT ON MY WATCH.
I don’t want to be the one who contributed to their life-changing injuries. More over, I don’t want to be in attendance of their life-changing injuries. Does that make me an overprotective parent? Sure. I’ll gladly accept that label while Diana sits in the emergency room.
Last weekend I almost blew my one and only rule.
Here’s how it went down. I had Luca on the changing table and removed his (thankfully) pee filled diaper. I reached over to the trusty Diaper Genie and attempted to plop the sogginess into open lid. But it wouldn’t fall in. There was a pair of sweat pants jammed in there. Elijah sweatpants.
Look, we’ve all been there. You have an accident in your sweatpants and you want to hide the evidence. So you jam them into a garbage can. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. We’ve all done it. Most of us just haven't done it during an NCAA game at Murphy's Pub. I've said too much.
I quickly became engaged in a tug of war with the Diaper Genie. It simply would not release the sweatpants. I yanked and yanked.
And then I saw Luca fall off the changing table out of the corner of my eye.
Luckily, I have cat-like reflexes. So I stuck my leg out and pinned him to the side of the table. This prevented him from falling all the way to the floor. But it also prevented him from not getting completely smooshed into the changing table.
He cried. I hugged. He cried. I kissed. He cried. I shushed.
Ask any parent. Every kid falls off the changing table. It’s a rite of passage. Elijah famously fell off the changing table when he was roughly the same age as Luca. BUT IT WASN”T ON MY WATCH. It was Kitty’s fault.
But this one was all me.
p.s. Bestest picture ever.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
There are so many hysterical things that come out of Elijah’s mouth that I could dedicate an entire website to them. And then I could make a TV show called “Kids Say The Darndest Things.” And air it on CBS from 1998-2000. And get Bill Cosby to host. But it would end up just being a rip-off of Art Linkletter.
But occasionally, Eli will get into some hilarity that I cannot, no, will not keep from the HamannEggs public.
It’s his use of the word “Man.”
For some reason, he saves his “Man” exclusively for Whole Foods. Which is appropriate, because Whole Foods always is filled with extras from a “Cheech and Chong” movie. The place never ceases to give me beard envy.
Eli loves to ask Whole Foods employees for free samples. I cannot come within 100ft of the meat counter without the following coming from Eli’s mouth:
“Man? Hey man? Do you have free steak with toothpicks in them? Man? Man?”
The bearded dudes behind the counter typically ignore him. And me.
The other day, Diana and the boys were at Whole Foods when a lunatic breeched their tight security. And began raving like, well, a lunatic. He was shouting and screaming at the top of his lungs.
Elijah clamped his hands over his ears and began talking to the lunatic. “Man! You’re too loud, man! Hey man! Too loud!”
I’d love to say Eli was able to quiet the lunatic with his calm, 1960’s turn of phrase. But I imagine the lunatic did what they always do. Lick the apples I’ll eventually eat.
p.s. Eli started another year of school yesterday. Dear son, please stop growing up. Love, your dad.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Man, it’s been a while since we’ve had a good old fashioned poop story here at HamannEggs. Consider yourself warned.
Luca is nothing if not consistent. He likes his bedtime at 7:01pm exactly. He likes his wake up at 6:01am exactly. And he likes his epic BMs at 7:35am on the dot.
Now, this puts me in an awkward spot every morning. Because if I want to make it to the office on time, I need to be out the door at 7:35. So when he fills his diaper with goodness, I’m stuck with the choice between taking the time to clean him up, put him in new clothes (it’s usually that copious) or sneaking out the front door and letting Diana deal with the stink.
I typically opt for changing him. Purposely leaving a stinky D for your wife to clean up is the lowest of the low. Even if said wife constantly leaves knives caked with peanut butter in the sink. There. I said it.
So I usually try to quickly change Luca and get him mopped up before they send out a missing person’s report at the office. Which is where the trouble arises.
Immediately after I remove Luca’s diaper, he grabs his genitals with a ferocity that makes me wince. I wonder if he is simply making sure he still has his stuff since they spend so much time covered in diapers. But because his morning BM is usually so abundant, his little grabby fists become caked in doo doo.
Which is when we begin our dance. I pry his poopy hands off his stuff and attempt to clean them off before he can touch me or his face or our walls. But then I have to attempt to clean up his butt-ular region. Which means releasing his hands. Which gives him the opportunity to latch them onto his still poopy stuff. Pry hands off stuff. Clean up hands. Try to clean up butt. Pry hands off stuff. Clean up hands. Try to clean up butt. And so on and so forth until I scream, “Stop grabbing your poopy genitals!” And then tear out my hair with poop filled hands.
I tried to get Diana to commiserate with me on this Luca poop issue over the weekend. She said, “Oh. Just give him a toy. He’ll be so distracted he won’t grab his poopy stuff.”
I scrunched up my face and blurted, “Why don’t you just give him a toy?”
Diana calmly said, “I do. That’s why I’m not covered in poop.”
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Lately, I’ve been feeling bad about tossing Luca into his nuclear power plant. All he wants to do is explore his newfound talent of crawling and I essentially hobble him for 20 minutes every morning while I shower. I know what you’re thinking. “Ooh, the guy who once sent DVD’s of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ to all his relatives as Christmas presents wastes water by scrubbing his stuff for 20 minutes.” I have no excuse. I love hot water.
Anyhoo, yesterday, I decided to just let him do his thing while I showered. First, I made sure the baby gate to our back steps was secure and all the dangerous doors were closed. Then I gathered Elijah and Grover.
“Eli, I want you to watch Luca while dad showers. Make sure he doesn’t get into trouble or hurt. Grover, I want you to watch Elijah while he watches Luca while dad showers. Make sure he doesn’t get into trouble or hurt while he makes sure Luca doesn’t get into trouble or hurt.”
They both stared at me blankly.
I began showering with the door open. Every few seconds I’d call out to Eli.
“Eli! Is Luca ok?”
(Clearly not watching the baby)“Yes.”
I saw out of the corner of my eye that Luca was crawling around the kitchen.
“Eli! Can you make sure Luca is ok?”
Eli barely glanced into the kitchen and said, “Luca is playing with the stools.” The metal, not very well balanced stools that fall over if you breathe too hard on them.
“Eli, can you distract Luca? I don’t want those stools to fall on him. Give him a toy to play with!”
Not taking his eye off the TV, Elijah threw a Grover chew toy in Luca’s general direction.
I muttered a swear to myself and began vigorously rinsing the conditioner out of my beard. I looked out of the shower curtain and saw that Luca had entered the bathroom and was taking a real interest in our toilet paper rolls.
“Oh hey man. Good boy. Stay in here.”
But then I noticed that Luca was essentially crawling through Eli’s urine from earlier (Eli’s aim has really been off lately).
“No! Don’t crawl through the pee! Don’t crawl through the pee! Aw.”
I scooped him up and doused his hands with Clorox (not really). But we both learned our lesson about freedom.