Thursday, January 31, 2013


Selfishly, awfully selfishly, I’ve been trying to keep Elijah and Luca excited about Superheroes.  I missed my window on Star Wars and I was worried they’d get into something I didn’t like.  Sports, for instance.  So I indulge them whenever they want to pretend to be Marvel characters.  I always have to be Hulk because he matches my dad persona and they also get to be thrown around when I’m Hulk.

Last night, I heard the boys and Diana upstairs playing Ninjas.  Ninjas?  Was that something I approved of?  Let’s see.  Violent? Check.  Costumed? Check.  Loved by weird overweight teens?  Check.

I found the guys in a makeshift dojo (our room).  Diana was playing the Ninja Master and instructing the boys in the ancient arts of espionage, infiltration, sabotage and assassination.  Her unflattering Asian accent sounded a lot like Betty Davis, but it worked. 

She would haltingly shout, “Hai!  Kick!  Double Kick!  Jump kick!”  The boys would obey.  Luca seemed to think the secret to being a ninja was falling to the ground after every move.  Kick, fall.  Punch, fall.  Roundhouse, fall.

When she had them stand at attention, it was almost too adorable for words.  Especially since Luca wanted so badly to fall to the ground.

Like the jerk at a party who needs to one up everyone’s story, I announced that I had some moves I’d like to teach the boys.  Diana happily conceded the floor due to her love of watching me physically make a fool of myself.

I demonstrated my secret, ancient praying mantis technique, my deadly lion punch and the undefendible crocodile arms.  The boys took great glee in mimicking my awkward and vaguely racist moves.

I then sparred with Eli, who could not stop my back flip iron monkey move.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kindle Backfire

Last Saturday night, I was basking in my parental successes.  I had (in my mind) singlehandedly turned the corner on Luca’s potty training with the introduction of Kindle playing on the toilet.  Letting him mess around on my tablet directly resulted in his first ever poop on the potty.  And there were clear signs that my days of spending a billion dollars a month on diapers were coming to a close.

Before retiring for the night, I took one last obsessive look at my email.  I mean, there could be an advertising emergency.  Someone may need an “a” changed to a “the.”

I was surprised to see I had 10 unread messages waiting for me.  Huh.  I looked at the subject lines and they were all identical.  “Your purchase is ready to be shipped.”  Ten times. 

My immediate reaction was, “Dianaaaaaaaaa!” But then I realized the purchase was a Lego Headless Horseman.  Ten little plastic Headless Horsemen were on their way to my house.  No.  The Headless Horsemen army was headed to my Dad’s house.

I looked at the Kindle resting so very innocently next to my phone.  I turned it on and clicked on the app in the electronic carrousel.  Sure enough, when I hit the button, I saw just how easy it was for a tiny poopy hand to order Lego after Lego. 

Luca’s poopy hand.

I spent the next hour canceling orders and emailing my Dad to alert him to the strange packages that may or may not be heading to my house.

The next evening while he was on the potty, I tried to explain which button on the Kindle Luca was never to touch.  This button.  Right here.  The shiny one with all the incredibly cool Lego toys.  And the one touch ordering.

Dad, expect more Legos soon.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Huge Stinky News

I was at a big fancy work dinner at a big fancy club last night.  We’re talking chandeliers.  We’re talking scotch.  We’re talking a sea of chubby middle aged white men making decisions that directly affect non chubby middle aged white men.  It was glorious.

About halfway through my steak of panda and side of dodo egg, my cell phone buzzed twice.  The Rick Hamann equivalent of “blowing up.”  I noticed both Diana and our sitter Hannah had sent me text messages in all caps.  The messages were identical:


Yes, they both had eight exclamation points.  I stood up in the club and shouted, “Huzzah!”  And then ordered my waiter to throw my dish against the wall in celebration.   

Yes!  He did it.  The Holy Grail of potty training.  The Ark of the Covenant of diapers.  The Crystal Skull of Childhood.  The Last Crusade of…ah never mind.

I’ll be honest, I had my doubts.  As you know, Luca needed a very specific set of circumstances to make poop.  Starting with the Poopatorium and ending with complete and utter silence.

But with the invention of the Kindle, he’d been opening up to the concept of going on the toilet.  And last night, right before bed, Luca announced that something was happening and started doing his penguin walk. 

Hannah, in an act of pure inspiration, threw him on the potty.  Luca began to wail in anticipation. 

Suddenly, it happened.  He grew up.

Looks like we’re all going to Chuck E Cheese!  I didn’t get home until after the boys were asleep, but this morning when Luca walked down the stairs for his milk, I gave him a standing ovation. 

As he descended the stairs, he sang, “Oh yeah!  Oh yeah!  Oh yeah!” 

Oh yeah in deed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kindle Poop

There was a time when the idea of being the sole parent of Elijah and Luca for two straight days would fill me with intense dread.  Not because I don’t love them.  I do.  Very much.  My dread would come from the fact that I have really zero control of them.

For a long time, requests to put your shoes on please put your shoes on for the love of all that’s holy please put your mother loving shoes on would be met with complete and utter silence.  Occasionally they would honor me with a “No, Wick.”  But mostly ignores.  No matter how hard I yelled.

But this last weekend, I discovered I could, in fact, get them both to do what I want.  Anytime.  Anywhere.  How?  The Kindle.

The kindle is a workingman’s version of an ipad.  You can read books on it, you can surf pornography on it, and most importantly, you can play Star Wars Angry Birds on it.  It’s the currency of our lives.

Oh, you don’t want to put your shoes on?  No Kindle.  That’s right.  Oh, don’t want to eat your corn?  I’ll throw that Kindle into the street.  Not gonna take a nap, huh?  Well, then I’m not gonna not destroy the Kindle.

Last night, I achieved the greatest Kindle bribe in the world: Potty Training. 

Luca is 50% potty trained.  In fact, he doesn’t wear a diaper at all during waking hours.  That kid is a pee pee star.  Even when we wears the occasional diaper, he’ll go pee in the potty.

Poop is another story.  We still haven’t figured it out yet.  Despite near toxic amounts of stool softeners, he’s still holding it in.  Which is bad enough, but when he deems it critical to finally release his bowels, the result is so copious, so…so impressive.

I decided it was time to convince him to at least give sitting on the potty for that purpose a shot.  When I asked him about it, he responded by running way screaming “Noooooooo!”

I found him hiding behind the couch (Poopatorum location #4) and suggested the following:

After dinner, you have the option of unlimited Kindle time, provided you spend that time sitting on the potty.  You are under no obligation to make a poop.  This is merely practice for the day you make stuff happen. 

It goes without saying if you do make stuff happen, you get an instant trip to Chuck E Cheese.  Even if it’s the middle of the night.

He agreed.  And he sat.  And sat.  And played.  I mentally noted that I would be giving this Kindle up for good because…ew.

Elijah, in that hilariously Elijah way, announced that he would need to sit on the potty immediately after Luca.  I informed him that he already knew how to go, but he used the lawyer skills inherited by his mother and tricked me into letting him play on the Kindle on the toilet.  Ew times two.

After a few minutes I asked El if he was in fact just sitting there to play the Kindle.  He said that he now preferred to sit while he pees. Like mommy.

Who doesn’t?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Luca Love

I’m kinda glad the last few posts have been more Luca focused than usual. I feel like Elijah’s antics get more coverage than boy #2.  The thing is, Luca tends to be hilarious in subtle, smaller ways rather than giant 1,000 word odysseys.  So I’ve kept a list of small, Luca-sized things I love about him. 

Here are just a few.


Luca calls me by my first name, “Wick.”  “Wick, will you play with me?  Wick, I have to go pee pee.  Wick, I love you.”  My father is quick to point out this is some kind of Oedipal thing, but I simply adore the formality. 


Luca refers to woman as “Gals.”  Sometimes I think I’m the dad of a 1950’s banker.  That gal does this.  That gal does that.  I have no idea where he got it.  When we were in Florida, he was concerned that one of the gals who handed out ice cream was suffering from a cough and informed her he hoped she was feeling better.  I think this 20 something woman would have married him on the spot.

3)Bone Shakes

Luca gets so excited he literally shakes in his bones.  He’ll run up to you and cradle your head in his hands and vibrate because he is just so happy to be alive.  I just love this maneuver. 


Luca loves loves loves playing.  He will rest his head on the floor and use his eyes as a ground level camera to watch miniature fire trucks race by.  He also wants to make sure you are having as much fun as he is.  “Wick, are you playing?  Wick, are we still playing?  Wick, we’re playing, right?”

I know this seems like a few small things, but they are massive, gigantic to me.  They are galaxy sized reasons in the universe of love I feel for this kid.