Son of the Ferg

Broken Flip Flops and Busted Shins

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Today I reenacted a scene from Home Alone because my son needed another pair of shoes.  Here’s what went down.  Last weekend, Monica and I bought a few pairs of flip flops for Oliver because there was some crazy sale where they were $1 each.  We got a variety of sizes and colors so he’ll be set for awhile.  Today was the second day that he wore one of these new flip flops.  At about 9:30 AM, I get a call from one of Oliver’s teachers at day care.

 

She informed me that Oliver broke his flip flops and now he doesn’t have any shoes to wear.  We send in extra shirts and pants in case he messes up the clothes he’s wearing but we never thought to send in an extra pair of shoes.  After I get over my initial stunned silence at the first sentence and my relief that the call wasn’t because he was hurt or had hurt another kid, I had to figure out what to do about my kid’s feet while I was at work.  Fortunately, my schedule was pretty open and I was able to run home and pick up a pair of shoes for Oliver.  Now that I think more about this, I’m curious as to how he broke them in the first place.

 

Walking while thinking deeply of how he's going to destroy his flip flops one day.

Walking while thinking deeply of how he’s going to destroy his flip flops one day.

 

About halfway home, I realized that I had forgotten my house keys.  After cursing loudly and repeatedly in the car, I decided to just keep going.  I’d figure it out when I got there.  How hard could this be?  My neighbor has a key and I think that I hid one somewhere on the property (PLEASE DON’T ROB ME) so I can probably get in the house, right?  I tried all the doors and they were all locked as always so that ruled out the easy approach.  My neighbor wasn’t home and I couldn’t remember where I had hid the key.  So now what?  Well, we’ve got this one window that I knew wasn’t locked so I figured I’d try to jimmy it open and get in.  (SERIOUSLY, PLEASE DON’T ROB ME).  I’ve actually done this once before so it wasn’t a crazy thought.

 

If any passerby were to look over, they would have seen a grown man wiggling through a window, falling over, and then having said window slam closed on his shins.  This is where the Home Alone reference comes in.  I felt like Joe Pesci trying to break into a house and getting foiled by a child with a variety of fun, yet deadly traps.  The only difference here is that I was playing all the parts.  I was my own enemy for forgetting my keys in the first place, forcing me to squeeze through a window.  I should mention that the shoes were in view the entire time I was doing this.  If I was Mr. Fantastic, I wouldn’t have had to get into the house at all.

 

After tumbling through the house and retrieving the shoes (and a pair of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle socks), I swung over to the day care center to drop them off.  Oliver’s teacher met me in the hallway because she didn’t want me to see him for fear that he’d get upset when I had to leave again.  I was in and out of that building in less than a minute.

 

So, the moral of the story: You get what you pay for?  Or always be prepared?  Or maybe just remember your damn keys.

Easter Eggs and Boulder Birds

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This morning, the day before Easter, I took Oliver to the Rockland Boulders stadium nearby.  It’s a minor league baseball stadium that is pretty nice.  There was a Halloween event last year that Oliver seemed to dig, plus it was free so it was cool to get out of the house for a bit and check things out.  Monica stayed home as she wasn’t feeling well.

 

This thing started at 8:45.  Oliver and I got there at 8:38 and there was already a line wrapped around the front of the building.  We hopped on line with the cold wind blowing to the point where it nearly knocked us over.  Oliver sat on my shoulders, wearing his Ninja Turtles sunglasses and clutching his Easter basket.  He was ready.  We’ve been talking about going to this for at least a week.

 

At long last, the doors open and we get on another line.  Everyone was broken up into two groups:  Kids 5 and under and kids 6-10.  From this vantage point, we could see that the outfield was covered in colored plastic eggs.  There was a small divider breaking it up into two sections.  This was going to be a madhouse.

 

After waiting on this line for a few minutes with the wind still barreling down, we were ushered onto the field itself.  Me and at least a hundred other parents crowded around the field, holding back kids that were anxiously awaiting to grab some eggs.  Oliver kept pushing forward, ready to go.  He didn’t understand why he had to wait.  The eggs were right there!  He had no idea what was inside them.  He just wanted to grab them.

 

At this point, there was a guy with a microphone walking around, reminding everyone of where to line up and plugging the corporate sponsors.  Boulder Bird, the team mascot popped up and even he was having trouble with the wind.  Oh, and there was an Easter bunny.  They were all trying to keep everyone entertained until the crowd could file down the stairs and get to the field.  This was going to be fast and if you weren’t on the field when the whistle blew, you weren’t getting anything.  Microphone guy gave the one minute warning.  Things were about to get under way.

 

Then it happened.  A lone kid ran out onto the field in the 5 and under section.  His mom ran after him but it was too late.  The damage was done.  The flood gates were opened.  A horde of screaming kids and parents came bolting onto the field.  Oliver and I ran out there.  We got a few feet out with me urging Oliver to pick up the eggs before he got the hint.  He grabbed one or two as people passed us by, going for the eggs deeper in the field.  Then Oliver became an egg-grabbing machine.  He had a mission and that was to get as many eggs as possible.  We had a nice little area where we weren’t really being bothered.  The older kids had run by us already and the real little ones were still putzing around at the line.  He nabbed five eggs and then one more that he basically took right before another kid could claim it.  Just like that, it was over.  I looked around and there was not a single egg left on the ground.

 

I picked up Oliver and had a look around.  He was shivering from the cold so I held him close.  He showed moderate interest in Boulder Bird for a minute but didn’t want to get close enough to actually get a picture with him.  After circling the mascot for a few minutes, we head out.  In the car, Oliver was eager to check out his winnings.  After opening an egg, he bit into a fun size Snickers without taking the package off.  It was 9:30 AM.

 

 

Spider-Man’s Penis

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Hello to everyone that arrived on this blog post expecting some sort of erotic Spider-Man fan fiction.  I’m sorry to disappoint you, as that’s not what this particular post is about.

 

As mentioned previously, Oliver has developed a great working nerd knowledge.  He enjoys watching the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show (which is pretty great) as well as Hulk and the Agents of SMASH, along with a handful of Disney Junior shows that are less entertaining to me.  He can correctly identify a number of comic book characters and I could not be prouder.  Then we get to Spider-Man.  Just in case you didn’t know, Spider-Man is my all-time favorite comic book character.  I’ve stayed by the wall crawler through thick and thin, including the lows like the Clone Saga and One More Day.  While Oliver can point out Spider-Man in a picture, he can’t quite say his name.  Instead, he says “Penis.”

 

spider-man

 

That’s right.  My 2 year old son calls Spider-Man “Penis.”  I’ve tried countless times to get him to say it properly, even sounding it out.  He’ll repeat each syllable separately — “Spi – Der – Man” — but when I roll it together and say it all at once, he just spouts “Penis.”  I’m starting to think he’s just messing with me.

 

I have no idea how he developed this.  He knows the word for penis and happily yells it at me nearly every time that I change his diaper.  He does have some trouble with certain words.  For example, Superman comes out as something like “Sup-re-sam” but you get the idea.  This is just far out there.  I can’t bring him to a Spider-Man movie for fear of him yelling “Penis!” at the screen.  At least it makes for a great story.

I’m a Proud Nerd Dad

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Well, I turned around for a minute and suddenly five months have gone by on this little blog of mine and there’s nothing but cobwebs and a stack of WordPress updates waiting for me.  In that span of time, Oliver has almost reached the two year old mark. I’m well past the time where I rattle off his age in months.  I gave that up after 18 months.  For a bit, he was “1.75 years old.”  Now when people ask how old he is, I just say “He’ll be 2 in March.”

 

The kid’s vocabulary has been growing leaps and bounds.  He seems to come out with new words every day, some of which I actually understand.  It’s funny because Monica and I work as translators for him sometimes.  My brother was over the other day and Oliver would say something that may sound like gibberish to someone else, but we understand what he’s trying to say from being with him all the time.

 

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I’ve been trying to expose him to some good nerd stuff as of late.  He loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and can correctly identify half of them (Raphael and Donatello.  He still has trouble with Leonardo and Michelangelo.)  He can say “turtles” but when he asks for it, it comes out as “hyung-ya.”  I don’t know why.  I will be impressed if that turns out to be “turtles” in Chinese or something.  When corrected, he’ll repeat the word correctly.  We’ve watched both the original cartoon and the new one on Nickelodean which is surprisingly good.  He has also developed a new found appreciation for pizza as a result of the shows which I’m totally OK with.

 

In addition to this, Oliver has developed a fascination with the Incredible Hulk.  I don’t know why, but he absolutely loves the big green guy.  He’s had an Avengers sippie cup for ages but only recently seemed to notice the characters on it.  He can identify most of the characters, but Hulk is the only one he can really name.  (For the record, he can also correctly identify most of Batman’s rogues gallery.) This love for the Hulk spawned one of my favorite pictures of Oliver ever.  Unbeknownst of this Hulk fascination, Monica’s aunt got him a few little Mr. Potato Head super heroes, one of which being Big Green.  Check out the look on his face below.  It’s pure and absolute joy.

 

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Needless to say, I’m so friggin’ happy that he’s digging this kind of stuff.  I’ve been able to share some of the things that I loved as a kid (and as an adult.  Who am I kidding?) with him.  I’m looking forward to digging through some of my old comics and other shows and movies on DVD to see how he takes them in.  He already loves reading the “My First Batman Book” and “My First Superman Book” so I can’t wait to get him into actual comics.  I just wish there was more of a selection when it came to kids funny books.

What Are You Doing?

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I realized recently that every single day I ask my son “What are you doing?”  This is because he is constantly doing strange things.  At least, they appear strange to me.  They may be perfectly normal for him based on his current understanding of how the world works.  For example, he went through a phase in which he would take a big sip of his milk and then just open his mouth, letting it all flow out freely.  This was something that was entirely unpredictable.  It could come at any time during the feeding process.  Other odd things include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Hitting the television
  • Putting a USB plug in his mouth
  • Playing with the toilet paper
  • Knocking over his car playset
  • Eating crayons
  • Spitting out a piece of half-chewed food in favor of trying something different
  • Throwing all of his books on the floor

 

Kids are weird.  Although these strange things can be frustrating (to me anyway), they are very fun to watch.  Yes, I have to clean up after him, but Oliver is a fun kid.  He keeps my life interesting by constantly surprising me.  I never know what he’s going to do or say next.

 

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Speaking of saying, Oliver’s vocabulary has exploded over the past few days.  He is repeating everything but his own name.  For some reason he won’t even try that.  While Monica is spending her time teaching him colors, I’m getting him to say “poop” and laughing like a lunatic every time he says it.  He makes it sound fancy, with a little flourish to it.  I clearly have my priorities as a father.  I want him to know how to say the basics.

How Many Months is That?

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My son Oliver is now 17 months old.  For those counting at home, that’s almost a year and a half.  I recently told Oliver’s age to a colleague at work and she responded with a confused look, asking why I was still counting months.  I didn’t really have a good answer and I still don’t.  It’s weird.  I don’t tell people that I’m 366 months old.  That would be weird.  So why do count months in babies?

 

I thought this counting months thing would stop after Oliver turned 1, but we kept going.  On a recent play date (Yup, those are happening), a fellow first time dad said that he’d stop after his kid turned 2.  I’m thinking it’s a compromise and I’ll stop after 18 months.  Then he’ll be a year and a half and then two and that’s it.

 

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Truth be told, I think the month counting is due to the changes that occur at such a rapid pace during this time frame.  Oliver at 12 months was way different than Oliver at 17 months.  He’s like a completely different person.  He’s now walking, talking, climbing, and getting into all kinds of mischief.  He started walking at 11 months and now he runs.

 

Watching Oliver grow, learn, and change has been one of the parts of being a parent that I love.  There are so many things that we take for granted.  Things like eating with a fork or putting on a shirt are second nature to us, but a child has to learn how to do every little thing.  It’s a whole new piece of knowledge that he has to develop.

Bill Murray’s Hair

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Since Oliver was born, his hair has been slow growing.  He barely had any when he came out and since then, he’s been very slowly getting more.  He’s now almost thirteen months old and he’s got a bunch of hair.  It’s just not all over his head.  It’s patchy and a little thin and reminds me of Bill Murray.  He’s got this curly thing going on too.

 

 

There are worse people that he could remind me of, I guess.  Hopefully it grows in soon.  I think he’s going to look like a completely different person when his hair comes in.

My Kid F-ing Hates Shoes

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It seems that any time a woman walks by baby shoes in a department store, she’ll have to look at them and say “Awww!”  Yes, baby shoes are adorable because they’re miniaturized versions of adult shoes.  They also usually have cool characters on them like Batman.  Unfortunately, they’re pretty much useless.  Here’s a tip for all new or expecting parents: Don’t buy your baby shoes.  You know why you wear shoes?  To protect your feet while you walk.  What’s something that babies don’t do?  WALK! So why would you waste money on adorable little sneakers that will go on the kid’s feet for no reason outside of an aww-factor?  It’s stupid.

Oliver has gotten to the age where he almost needs shoes.  He’s not quite walking yet, but he is cruising.  This means he can pull himself up by holding onto the side of a couch or an end table and then use that as support to walk along side it.  In an effort to get him used to shoes, we got him a pair.  He hates them.  It’s a struggle to get them on his feet and once they’re there, he tries to push them off by rubbing his feet together and tugging at them.

 

Hello? No, I don't want any shoes.

Hello? No, I don’t want any shoes.

He does this thing when you try to put his foot into the shoe.  He curls his toes in.  This turns his foot into this block that makes it near impossible to succeed in your task.  It’s like I’m at the end of Cinderella and I’m trying to put the glass slipper on the evil step-sisters.  (Not that my kid has ugly feet or something.  He’s cute as hell.)  Usually I get close enough so the majority of his foot is in there but if you push down on the heel, it caves in because his foot is like an inch from the bottom.  I just figure it’ll fall into place if and when he stands up or finally uncurls his toes.  The one time I got his shoe on without issue it turned out that it was on the wrong foot.

Monica and I seem to be the only ones that even attempt to get his shoes on.  The folks at day care have given up.  Most of the time I send him in there only to pick him up later shoeless.  Yesterday he only had one on.  It came off and they just couldn’t get it back on.  I don’t really blame them.  If only there was some sort of baby shoe horn.

Brusha! Brusha! Brusha!

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Oliver has teeth now. Six or seven of them to be exact. As a result, we have to brush them. He has a love / hate relationship with brushing his teeth. On the one hand, he loves the idea of this new toy and the taste of the toothpaste (Fruity!), however he hates the actual activity of brushing his teeth. He’d much rather prefer to just stick the brush in his mouth and suck the toothpaste off. Don’t worry, it’s fluoride free for just that reason.

Anyway, Monica started singing when we first started brushing his teeth. I had no idea what this tune was at first. She had to tell me. It’s this little bit from Grease. I’ve seen the movie once and only remember a pre-Scientology John Travolta. Not this part.

 

This song is sung pretty much every time we brush Oliver’s teeth now.  I’m even doing it when it’s just me and him.  It got to the point where I was cleaning the bathroom and scrubbing the toilet while singing “Brusha! Brusha! Brusha!”  It should also be noted that I have no idea what the rest of the words are of the song.  “Try the new bytano”?  No clue.

 

The routine during the week now includes Oliver and I brushing our teeth together.  I get him settled on the counter in the bathroom, facing the mirror because he loves to look at himself.  (He’s his mother’s son.)  Then I get his toothbrush together and try to coax him into letting me brush his teeth a bit.  This involves me opening my mouth really wide and hoping that he mimics me.  This works at first but the moment I stick the brush in there and try to scrub away, he pushes at it with his tongue and gets upset.  Ultimately, I have to kind of hold his head steady and get in there which makes him cry.  Once I get enough scrubs in, I hand him the brush to finish off the rest of the toothpaste.  As mentioned previously, this really just means that he sucks on the brush.  He also drools a lot.

 

This morning was a little different in that he was watching me like a hawk.  The initial process was followed like normal and then I brushed my teeth while he played with his brush.  I finish up and rinse and spit.  Oliver watched me do this right next to him.  Then he turned, looked at himself in the mirror…and spit all over it.

 

The aftermath.

The aftermath.

 

I guess I should be happy that he’s paying that much attention to understand what I’m doing, but now I have to clean this up.  Thanks kiddo.

I Think My Son is Wolverine

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The next subject in my series of posts about things that no one really talks about when raising kids is fingernails. Also, how insanely quickly babies heal. Infant fingernails grow at a ridiculous rate. I have a feeling that if left untended, they would grow to be like one of those guys from the Guinness Book of World Records in a matter of days, all curly and stuff. Gross.

Anyway, their fingernails require constant attention because if they’re even a little bit over the finger, they’ll cut their faces open. I’m not saying that infants are like emo cutters looking for attention. It’s just that they rub their faces when tired and they have a tendency to do it in such a way as to scrape a stray thumbnail across their face. This happens ALL THE TIME. It’s insane. There was one week where I picked up Oliver from daycare and every other day I had to sign an incident report because he had a new gash on his face. I tried to explain to him that he doesn’t have to prove anything to the other kids. They already think he’s tough. It didn’t matter.

Behind those eyes lurks a savage animal.

Behind those eyes lurks a savage animal.

It’s not just himself that he cuts up either. I fell asleep holding him once and he got me right below the eye. It looked like I was in a knife fight but the real reason was far less cool. He also does this thing when I feed him too where he plays a thumb war with my fingers, but mine don’t fight back. Instead it’s like a carpet bomb against my cuticles as he gouges at them over and over again.

To combat these self-inflicted facial lacerations and parental abuse, you have to constantly check out the kid’s fingernails. There are these flimsy nail scissors you can use to cut them but there are also these sturdy tiny nail clippers that work a lot better. The trick to trimming the nails is to do it when the child is sleeping. Trying to do it when they’re awake or even pre-occupied with a bottle or a toy is nearly impossible. You have to forcibly hold the kid’s finger with one hand and try to get a line with the nail clipper with the other all while he’s flailing about, trying to get free.

Fortunately for babies, they have a crazy fast recovery time. Oliver would scratch his face and the next day you couldn’t even tell it was there. This seems to be the case with other bumps and bruises. He had his first real tumble a few weeks ago and ended up with this big bump on his forehead. This was completely gone the next morning. It’s for this reason that I think my kid is a baby version of Wolverine from the X-Men. He’s got sharp claws and a fast healing factor. Plus, I think I saw him with a cigar the other day, but I could have been imagining it.

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