Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Speak and Spell

B-A-B-Y. Computaaaaaa!!

Bub has a new hobby, and it’s spelling. Poorly. He learned his ABCs pretty quickly, and now can even recognize most of the lower case. What a cruel trick that is, by the way. The existence of the lower case.

Anyway, it’s cool that he has this knowledge that words represent objects, but like an armadillo with a three iron, he just can’t figure out what to do with it. Hasn’t the foggiest concept of a tee time.

So, inevitably, this happens:

“T-O-S-H-I-B-A. Computaaaa!!!!”

Yep, that’s a computer, all right. It was hard to discourage this habit, especially since he was just so goddamn PROUD of himself.

It started with his Baby Einstein DVDs. The thing would come up at the beginning, before the video, with a flamboyant D! V! D! It’s Disney. And he started saying that when it came on. And by golly, he was watching a DVD. Brilliant! The boy was a genius!

He could even read backwards:  “Y-V-A-N-D-L-O. Shirt!”

Or from the middle out: “Y-O-T-O-A-T. Car!”

He could even read encrypted messages: “1-5-A. Box!”

Eventually, we explained that Toshiba was not, in fact, computer. Toshiba was a multi-national corporation that sold many commercial electronic wares such as TVs and computers. He took is all pretty well, and after a couple tries, busted out:

“T-O-S-H-I-B-A. Toshiiiiiba!”

But while I was still on hold with MENSA, Uncle Aaron came for a visit. We proudly showcased Bub’s dizzying intellect with our computer. Then Aaron took out his laptop. Seemed harmless enough, but this solitary act would bring the tenuous walls of Bub’s lexical world crashing down.

“What does this spell, Bub?” Aaron said.

“S-A-M-S-U-N-G. Computaaaaa!!!”

Um, yeah. Awkward. I mean, that doesn’t even look like Toshiba, man. Let alone computaaaaaa!!!! I sheepishly deleted MENSA from speed dial, quietly consoled myself that while this one may have failed me for the last time, there is of course, another Skywalker.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Eat You

There’s this game we play around here. It’s called Eat You. That wasn’t the original name. The original name was I’m Gonna Get You! Catchy, I know. The “rules” were pretty simple: Bub and I would be in the same room, bored, and I would eventually just say “I’m gonna get you!” He would run shrieking into the dining room, where I would chase him around and around the table.

Eventually, my large lung capacity and stride advantage would prove to be too much for young Bub, and he would again fall victim to being another hot meal for Zombie Daddy.

Armarmamarrmrarrmm. Burp. Game over.

Bub eventually started to get a bit more brazen, despite his lackluster win-loss record. I’d be doing the dishes and he’d kind of saunter in like, ‘Hey, nothing to see here, just taking a little walk with bankie and looking at some magnets and stuff,’ and then:


Some things, it turns out, just don’t translate outside of the house.

Segue to the playground. Bit chilly, only a few kids there. Bub wanted to play Eat You! but I just wasn’t feeling it, so I redirected him to the playset.

A few minutes later, I was playing with my phone, when against the steely sky, I hear:

“EAT YOUUUU!” I instinctively popped up, assumed zombie gait. But then I realized he wasn’t talking to me. He was standing in front of the slide, taunting a girl in a Dora jacket. Smooth, Bub.

So I walked over just in time to see the girl blurbling to her mother:

“Mommy, he said he’s going to eat me.”

And her mom started getting all pissy, looking at Bub like HOW DARE YOU, YOUNG MAN? and then she spotted me attempting to slink away.

“Excuse me, is this your son?”

“Who, him? Nope, never seen hi…”

“Hi, Daddy!” Bub screamed. Shit.

“Oh, that one, yes. Why, is there a problem?”

“He just threatened to eat my daughter.”

“Oh, no,” I chuckled. Her eyes narrowed. “He didn’t mean literally, like, eat your daughter. He’s a VERY picky eater, actually. He was just playing this game we play at home. I think he just thought that everybody else played the game, too.”

“What kind of game is this, exactly—Baby Cannibal?”

“No, that’s gross. It’s called Eat You. That wasn’t the original name, but never mind. Anyway, I am Zombie Daddy, and I chase him around going ‘Eat you, eat you!’ and then I catch him and pretend to devour him. It’s fun. The kids love it.”

And some things don’t really seem that weird until you say them out loud.

“Honey, grab your sippy cup,” she said, mentally noting the make and model of our stroller. “It’s time to go.”

Then Bub, God love him, looks at the girl being hastily shoved into her stroller and says:
“No eat you?”

“No, Bub, not this time,” I interjected. Cue the Charlie Brown music. “But don’t worry, I’ll eat you when we get home, okay buddy?”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Funny Funny

HP, what's a pirate's favorite letter? Arrrrr. Nothing.

So we recently suspended Bub’s Wii privileges, as they were. It’s not that I have a problem with my kid playing video games (clearly), it was that he started getting a little too into it. “BOOM, nice shot!” was one thing—it extends to his golf set and small pieces of reality. But when he started walking around yelling, “One player, two players!” we decided to pump the brakes.

He’s taken it pretty well, for the most part. In fact, it’s to the point where he can even laugh about it. Let me explain:

If you’re not familiar with Mo Willems, it’s because you don’t have kids. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, which is pretty self-explanatory from narrative standpoint, quickly became a household favorite, and Bub’s probably heard it at least 800 times.

Then a month or so ago, he started doing something that took us a while to figure out, but it was an ultra-abbreviated version of the book. He pretty ingeniously condensed the entire story to a loop of:

“No fair, mom would let me. LET ME DRIVE THE BUS!!! Sad pigeon.”

He busts this out quite frequently, because it gets a good reaction from everyone except HP, who is largely indifferent, doesn’t appreciate avian humor. The other night, winding down at dinner, he started up again. I was bored and too lazy to take him out of the high chair, so, like Guns n Roses’ “Don’t Cry,” I started coming up with some alternate lyrics:

“No fair, mom would let me. LET ME PLAY THE WII!!! Sad Bub.”

He started belly-laughing his ass off. “More?” Then he started saying it, too, while his buttered peas looked on. It started getting good to us:

“No fair, mom would let me. LET ME DRINK THE MILK!!! Sad Priestess.”

“More? More?”

“No fair, mom would let me. LET ME WATCH THE GAME!!! Sad Daddy.”


“No fair, dad would let me. LET ME GO TO THE GYM!!! Sad Mommy.”

And so on. He hasn’t come up with his own, yet, but the wheels are turning. More importantly, he got why it was funny. The kid has a sense of humor. He’s gonna need one in this family, especially when he’s old enough to read this stuff.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bits and Pieces

It was bound to happen. Especially given the amount of time we spend naked together. Bub found my penis. I don’t mean he discovered it, like Boron or Atlantis. He CAMEACROSS IT a while ago.

No, it’s more like it just caught his eye. He’d walked past my window display a hundred times, but my fall line-up really spoke to him.

He was flabbergasted.

“Daddy’s…Daddy’s, um…Daddy’s…”

And in that very moment, I was humbled by the power of language. I could have called it anything, anything in the world. It could have been an oscillator or sedan. Parking ticket. It would have stuck. That guy that named the titmouse has to live with that.

We have strictly avoided baby-talking this kid, so I wasn’t going to start with my wee-wee or pee-pee. Yet, penis seemed a little too clinical for a two year-old.

I also had to consider that everything he relays under his current grammatical regime can be (and often is) construed as an insult:

“Daddy, weiner!”

Anyway, I panicked. It didn’t help that he’s standing there, pointing at my crotch, demanding answers. I chickened out, in a weird way. I pointed at mine, then pointed at his, made some sort of nod-nod gesture, then for some reason, said:

“High five!”

Whatever. Nobody’s perfect. I just wasn’t ready. I’m sure it’ll come up again. No pun intended. Just might want to think twice about hitting Bub up for a high five.