Thursday, February 28, 2013

Luca Flu

I was stuck in an Ohio airport last night as the Midwest was pounded by the second snowstorm in as many weeks. 

I called home to talk to the family knowing I wouldn’t see them before bedtime.  And possibly not before breakfast time.  Diana had the phone on speaker.  Luca, in particular, was excited to hear my voice.

“Wick!  Wick!  Wick!  Wick!”


“Can you see airplanes?”

“Yep.  Just not mine.”

“Wick!  Wick!  Wick!  Wick!”


“Are you at the gate?”

This inane conversation made my heart ache.  I wanted to hold that tiny little Spider Man in my arms so badly.

I arrived home quite late and found Luca sleeping in our bed.  Apparently he instructed Diana to make me tuck him in. to his bed.  Which made my heart ache even more.

Unfortunately, my carrying him jostled the Flu virus that had invaded his body.  Within an hour, he was barfing his face off.  He was burning up and miserable. 

Over the course of the evening, we (Diana) had to strip off layer after layer of puked bedding until all that was left to cover him was his little security blanket.  Which was soon covered in barf.  We had to pry the last bit of comfort from his weak little arms.

And this morning, he was too sick to even come out of his room to watch his beloved cartoons.


While I was in the shower, Elijah stood at the toilet, peeing on the seat.  I took this opportunity to try some preventative measures.

“Dude.  Luca is super sick.  And you might get sick too.  The only way to keep this from happening is to wash your hands a lot.  And try not to stick your hands in your mouth.”

I looked out from behind the shower curtain and saw Eli had his fingers in his mouth, tasting for Flu germs.

“I’m not going to get sick,” he said.  “I already had a cough.”

“Well, this is worse than your cough…get your hands out of your mouth…so you should really wash your hands.  A lot.”

We went back and forth on this for way too long before he waved his hands near the faucet to shut me up.  He then ran back to the TV, knowing he could watch whatever he wanted with Luca upstairs barfing into the last inch of clean cloth in the house.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sledding 2013

Oh…Saturday.  How I love thee.  It’s the one day where I have total control over Elijah’s and Luca’s upbringing.  With Diana at work, I get to mold my sons into men.  Which normally involves taking the El to downtown Evanston and consuming 5 Guys burgers and lemonade.  That means they will become obese, diabetic men.


Last week, after a sizable snowfall, I offered to take the boys to the local sledding hill.  As you recall from last year, this hill is called “Lovelace Park,” almost probably not named after the 1970’s pornography actress.

Steve brought his kiddos along and did me the solid of buying me a giant Dunkin Donuts coffee. 

We arrived at the hill and after a minor Luca meltdown (he couldn’t find his gloves or wanted to bring along a Spider Man figure or I don’t know) found ourselves having a pretty great time.

Steve took the big kids to the big part of the hill and I took Luca over to the smaller part to get his nerve up.  After we slid down twice (“Again!” he screamed over and over) I felt the serious affects of the coffee hit me.

We Hamanns are kind hearted, but we have weak bladders.

I leaned down to Luca level and said, “Whoo boy.  Those two runs sure were fun.  Whelp, I guess it’s time to head home…”

“Noooooo!!!!” Luca shouted.  “Again!”

I looked over to where Eli and his cousins were sledding and tried to find an infraction that would warrant going home as a punishment.  They were all maddeningly well behaved.

I dragged Luca over to his cousins and gave Steve the pantomime of urinating.  Steve enveloped Luca into their “Biggest Sled Train In The World” and I ran to the bathroom hut.


My bladder clenched.  I looked around.  To my chagrin, the designers of Lovelace Easy Joke Park hadn’t included any tree coverage to clandestinely pee pee.

I ran back and plastered a giant smile on my face.  I announced with way too much enthusiasm, “Hey Gang!  Uncle Rick is buying everyone McDonald’s for lunch!  Yay!  Let’s go!”

I began running to the car, hoping the children would follow, tempted by nuggets of what is technically called food.   Nope, they wanted to continue doing the extremely fun activity they were already enjoying.

Did I wet my pants?  I don’t know.  Who’s to say?  It was snowy and wet out there.  Pants get wet all the time. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


In another attempt to give meaning to the brief 24 hours our whole family gets to spend together on Sunday, we’ve instituted a family dinner.  Ideally, we would prepare the meal together for togetherness.  But when the chopping time came, I found myself alone in the kitchen.  Whatevs.  Prevents people from messing up my chef mojo anyway.

After the meats were balled and the sauce was sauced, we lit some candles and set the table.  I turned on a jazz station on Pandora and spooned out some noodles onto plates.

Diana placed the boys’ plates in the middle of the table and placed hers at the end, the Queen Bee seat.  From the kitchen I heard a terrible ruckus.  Elijah and Luca were screaming at each other. 

They were fighting over who got to sit next to their mother. 

My side of the table was decidedly un fought over.  I stopped Eli in mid fight and, even though I knew the answer, asked, “Don’t you want to sit next to me?”

Elijah, who I love dearly, stood still and considered me thoughtfully.  I could tell he was choosing his words very carefully.  And channeling Bill Clinton, he destroyed me in his best politician voice.

“Dada.  I don’t mean to be harsh.  Luca and I love you.  We do.  We love you just as much as mommy.  But if we had to say who we loved just a little bit more…”

He made his fingers measure an inch.  Then his eyes drifted over to his mother.

You gotta love that he correctly used the word “harsh.”

I tried to be cool with it.  I really did.  But I declared no ice cream for dessert over a very minor infraction of not eating the overcooked and fairly awful meatballs I made. 

The boys took pity on me later and let me read to them from our newly purchased Super Hero Encyclopedia.  I took comfort in if they had to choose who knew super heroes just a little bit more, their eyes would drift over to me.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Parent Teacher Part 2

The other night, I was begging Luca to brush his teeth when the phone rang.  I saw from the caller ID it was Elijah’s teacher.  Oooh.  Scandal.  Maybe Elijah showed his butt in class.

“Hi, this is Mrs. P____, Eli’s teacher.  We had a parent teacher conference scheduled today and it seems as though you forgot…”

As a very nervous little boy who feared authority, it was a sense of pride for me that I never got in trouble.  Ever.  And I was not going to start now.  So I immediately and thoroughly threw Diana under the bus.

“Diana forgot!  Diana Diana Diana.  It’s all her fault.  She did it!  Maybe we should take the children away from her.  She’s a menace!  And probably drunk too…”

As you can guess, his teacher hung up, confused and more than a little frightened. 

Diana rescheduled and brought Mrs. P____ a lovely bottle of wine.  So we learned that Eli is a lovely, well behaved child who is her favorite student by far.

Actually, he is doing great.  Particularly in reading.  According to Mrs. P____, they want you to be at a level 3 or 4 by the time you leave Kindergarten and Elijah is reading at a 7.  She delights at watching him pour through book after book.  And in all candor, I am extraordinarily proud of this kid.  I was strutting around like a peacock upon hearing the news. 

And yes, he still has trouble paying attention in class…cough cough too much TV…cough cough.  But she didn’t seem too concerned over it.  It comes down to the fact that he really wants to know what EVERYONE in his class is doing.  Why is this kid crying?  How come this other kid only reads at a 3?  Why is Mrs. P___ chugging from that wine bottle?

Mrs. P___ ended the meeting with a detailed account of how I threw Diana under the bus on our phone call and how funny it is that I am insecure child. 

And now I must destroy her.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Love Poop

Diana says, “I know what love is.  Love is covering your and your son’s head with a blanket and holding his hand while be poops.”

Yeah, we’ve entered great and terrible stage of Luca’s potty training.  Great, because he will actually go on the toilet.  Bad, because he has very specific needs to make it happen.  He likes to create a temporary “Poopatorium” in the bathroom with his special blankie.  And he prefers his Mother to hold his hand.

I specifically say “Mother” because Homie don’t play dat.  I refuse to do the Poopatorium tent and hand holding routine.  Not because I’m a bad father and a jerk (not entirely), but because I have a lightening quick gag reflex.  I shudder to think the kind of damage I’d do if I barfed on Luca in his special time.

Which leads me to this awesome story.

Saturday night, Diana was working and the boys were running around, post bath, acting like lunatics.  Suddenly, Luca started dancing and prancing.  Urgently.

Elijah shouted, “Luca has to poop!  Go get his blankie!”

“Nooo!” shouted.  “Let’s not!  Let’s just sit on the potty and do your stuff!  It will be great!”

Luca got more and more agitated.  I tried to put him on the potty.  He leapt off and danced.

“Come on, man.  We can do this.  How’s this?  I’ll hold your hand and you can poop.  But I can’t do the blankie.  If you do this I’ll buy you that Super Hero Encyclopedia.  I’ll buy you a Kindle.  Two Kindles.  Five.”

“He’ll take you to Chuck E Cheese,” Eli added, seeing a golden opportunity.

“Yes, what he said!  Chuck E Cheese!”

Can you see where this is going?  Do I really have to tell you what happened?  Do I have to explain the plop, plus the whole roll of toilet paper, plus the whole bottle of Formula 405?