On 10 Things That Scare Me

Son,

In an effort to get to know your dad better…

  1. Injury or illness to you or your mother
  2. Losing my memory
    • I’ve said for a long time that I think I will live well into my 90s and maybe even older. I say it jokingly most of the time, but I really believe that. And the truth is, I want to live that long, so long as my memory stays in tact. Not knowing who you are or your mother is or anyone else I love would crush me and I hope that never happens.
  3. Not having an honest relationship with you
  4. Spelunking
    • Rando. It’s not that I have a fear of small spaces, but the thought of crawling through a cave that is getting smaller and smaller to the point I can no longer move just creeps me out.
  5. Not being able to give you the kind of life you want
  6. Losing my ability to be active
    • Aside from being a dad and husband, the thing that I most identify with is being an athlete. This sounds silly as I type it out, but being a “runner” or being able to race, play sports, exercise — these things are very important to me. Not being able to be active is something that absolutely scares me.
  7. Someone taking advantage of you — mentally, physically, or emotionally
    • A lot of how I feel isn’t meant for this medium, because a lot of how I feel is as much anger as it is fear. But the thought of someone else taking advantage of you in any way I think is any parent’s fear, and I am no exception.
  8. Snakes
    • It’s not like I have nightmares of snakes, but I’m not going to get in line to hold one, touch one, etc. There are Facebook pictures people post about seeing these big snakes on trail runs, and I’d be trail running the other way if I cross anything like that.
  9. Being alone for a long period of time
    • Since I started writing this (and it’s been a few days now since I’ve started) I think a lot about what it would be like to have been my dad when he and my mom split. He moved his life to Florida briefly to follow Jordan and I, and I think about how lonely he must have been in a new place with no friends when he wasn’t seeing us. I like being along for small amounts of time, but long-term loneliness is something that scares me.
  10. Life moving too fast

 

On you, lately

Son,

OK so since the last time we talked (if you’re going to give me guff for not writing to you recently, then I’m going to pretend like we don’t talk at all aside from these posts) a lot has happened. First of all, you’re a genius. And with all due respect to all the other kids in the world whose parents say the same thing — all due respect — they’re all totally wrong and you set the bar for genius toddler (GT for short).

You’re now, what, like 19 months old? That sound right? Yea, got all your colors down with the exception of pink/purple. You kind of default to pink for either of those colors, but there is probably something left brain going on where you are just over analyzing due to your superior GT. Body parts (boop boop — your mom will get that) you have down, and you’re happy to show off your chest, belly, nose, ears, hair, etc.

Where is Momma’s hair? Yea, you can nail that one too. I feel bad for anyone who is making an SAT test in the next 16-17 years, know what I mean?

GT aside, you are a wee-bit short for 19 months. Your mom showed me a picture of you and your friend Ethan, who is a few months older than you, and he basically looks like Lebron James next to you, son. So while you’re fast, fast, fast, we need you to do a bit of grow, grow, grow in the next few months, k?

So what else is new with you?

Oh, you can basically say all the words now. Your mom and I, and Deb-Deb to an extent, pretty much work on the same 20-30 words with you. Well, the other day we were getting groceries delivered to our car (we bougie), the guy was wrapping up and you just blurt out, out of nowhere, “THANK YOU!.” Your mom and I whipped around and gave each other a “where did that come from?!?” Basically, GT.

Areas for improvement

Not that your mom or I grade you as a whole…

Sidebar – we do grade you on individual meals, errands out, trips to G-ma’s house, etc.

…but if we were to grade you, you’d have less than an “A” in the following areas:

  • pinching your mom
  • demanding snacks, then fake-feeding Rogue
  • that second nap on weekends when your mom and I would really love a nap in the afternoon
  • finishing most meals — though you are getting better here
  • being a tornado
  • wanting to mow the porch, which leads to ringing the doorbell 100x or teetering on the verge of death (aka – falling off the step)
  • letting us pick your boogers

On that last one, you’ve been rocking some serious boogs these past few weeks, and you sound like a sick baby. So when we can literally see a massive loogie-stone dangling out of your nose, you defend yourself like a little boxer when we try to get it. It doesn’t help that those things are stuck in there like cement is holding on to them, but if you would just give us one good go at it, we’d all be a little better off.

Things you love

In no particular order, here are some of your favorite things at the moment: your mom/dad/dog, GIGI!, video chatting with Mima/Papa/your cousins, anything that ends in -ch/-sh (porch, watch, brush, trash, wash), Zeus!, pool, Peppa, big trucks (pickups, but mostly garbage trucks), school buses, pictures of yourself, stinky mel, hats, walks and being outside, Deb-Deb (and watching for her car), taking someone’s phone, remotes, roaring like a dinosaur, dinosaur books, dancing while being held, animal sounds, and 1,000,000 other things that I can’t think of right now.

Pretty much, you’re a pretty happy GT, and you continue to make your mom and I so happy every day — so don’t mess it up.

-Dad

On No No No

Son,

Lately, you’ve been doing this thing that I think you got from me and I think I got it from my mom.

momma.gif

But anytime you trip, or fall, or something bonks into you, or you just decide you’re mad at one of your toys, you shake your finger at it and say, “no no no!” It’s the funniest thing in the world because your mom and I see it coming from a mile away. We’ll see you running across the living room, and you trip on the rug and fall down. Sure enough, after a two second, hurt-but-not-hurt cry, you stand up, turn around, and “no no no” the rug. Nevermind you ran into something that literally just sits in the same place ALWAYS, but shame on that carpet for tripping you.

The other funny thing about it is the way that you say it. There are two ways. The first is when your little inflection kind of raises up with each “no.” The first no starts at a mid-range note, and jumps to a higher octave by the last “no,” which also drags out for an extra beat or two.

“no no nuuuuw.”

The second way you do it is with more of a stern, “I’m talking down to you” tone. In a way that you’d tell a dog (not your dog, though) “bad dog!” You furrow your little brow and look down at whatever it is, and kind of “nuh-nuh-nuh.”

The first way is kind of a warning shot, and the second one comes into play when you mean business.

Look how sad your dog looks when he gets the business end of your “no no no.”

The rub comes in when you run into Rogue and try to “no no no” him. Or worse yet, you “no no no” your mom or I when you are in a mood.

That, homie, is crossing the line.

And I recognize that we created this monster. I also recognize that we feed this monster when we laugh at you shaming the rug, or the water for rushing from the straw into your mouth too fast and causing you to choke. It’s like, slow your roll, water, I like you but I don’t LIKE YOU LIKE YOU.

I tell you all the time, but you are such a funny kid. I can’t remember where we were recently, but you said “HI!” to every single person who walked past you. I think we might have been out to dinner, and you will look at someone two tables away and yell “HI!” to them. Your mom and I talked about it, and while you make most people’s days a little bit brighter, someone might want to just be in their own space.

So, I guess, recognize that cuteness and funniness have times and places. The right time is most of the time, but not all the time. Ya dig?

Love you, buddy.

Dad

 

20 Things about You

Son,

Today isn’t unlike any other day. It’s not a milestone month and while your personality changes daily, there isn’t anything special about today that would make me want to point out milestones or landmarks in your life. With that being said, I wanted to give you a little snapshot into who you are today, May 31st, and what makes you so uniquely you.

  1. You are very shy when you meet new people or come into a big group away from home, but you are a total ball of tornado energy when you’re at home and with your dog.
  2. You love seeing yourself when we first Facetime your cousins or Papa/Mima. Your face lights up and you laugh, and it is the perfect start to a phone conversation.
  3. Everything goes in your mouth. Doesn’t matter. You’ve even found a way to turn kisses into changes to open-mouth tastings of your mom and me.
  4. You wag your finger and “No! No! No!” anything you bump into or that knocks you down. You were standing at an end table, fell to your butt and momentum (very gradually) threw you back and you bonked your head on the floor. When your mom calmed you down, you turned to the floor and, very seriously, told it “No! No! No!”
  5. You love to be carried. But when you don’t, you absolutely turn to dead weight and try to drop down to the ground. But then you usually sit there for a second and want to be held again.
  6. We can finally sit for 10, 15, 20 minutes and watch shows — better chance if snacks are involved. Your favs are Peppa Pig “Pepppppa Pig!,” Sesame Street (mostly for Elmo), and Dinosaur Train (more so with Deb than with us).
  7. You are a huge smoothie guy. We don’t make smoothies often, but when we do, you have some of ours and also need your own.
  8. You love carbs like your mom and dad.
  9. You will request-beg-demand to go outside (in that order), but once we do, you barely say anything. You obviously love being outside, but you are more likely to take everything in than to comment of everything.
  10. Birds, school buses, big trucks, aggressively smelling coffee and flowers (audible snnniiffff), snugs with your mom and dad, reading and rereading the same three books are all your jam.
  11. I wouldn’t say you have a hitting problem, but I think you want to pat other people like you would your dog a little too aggressively sometimes. We were at a brewary the other day (a kid-friendly one, mind you — and yes that does make it better), and you were being held by your mom. She walked by a man sitting down, and you basically “good-boy’d” him by pat-patting him on the head. I guess he was doing a good job at minding his business until you came through. Well done, sir.
  12. You are very social with people and other kids your age (after that initial shyness), which is really good because your mom and I worry with you not being in a daycare system, that you might not have otherwise been good with other kids (is that a run on sentence? I’m going to roll with it).
  13. You love to dance.
  14. You love to be crazy sometimes, and just run from the living room around the kitchen island for no reason while you scream like a crazy person and laugh at yourself. Rogue doesn’t know how to handle that Reagan.
  15. If pools are cool, then you’d be Miles Davis. Not sure what that means, but what I mean is that you love being in pools.
  16. You are so smart. People we meet think you’re older than you are because you’re a great walker (you do have an athletic dad!), you have a great head of hair, but also because you’re so smart. You interact with us and with people, and know what all your eyes, ears, mouth, nose, hair, shoes, Mama/Dada, doggie, books, racecars, Mickey, school bus…. the list goes on and on, and you’re not even a year and a half.
  17. You are a perfect little balance of your mom and I and we love seeing each side of us come through a little in you.
  18. If we’re not talking to you, especially when you’re eating, you’re letting us know about it.
  19. Airplanes are either great or terrible for you — there is no middle ground.
  20. You love your momma/mom-ee, dadda/dadd-ee, dog, Deb-Deb, G-ma, Gigi, Papa and Mima, and everyone else in your family. Strangers are still dangers, but you know and recognize the people who love you and give them all the love back.

There are so many other things that you do, say, are, feel, and show with all your little energy that this list can’t capture who you are. All I want to say now is that you are so amazing and so loved. You are also a ladies man and have just about everyone eating out of your palm when you put your head on your mom or dad’s shoulder, then blow them kisses as you tell them “bye-bye.”

On that note: bye bye!

Dad

On Mother’s Day

Son,

This will be your second Mother’s Day. For your first, we were down in Florida visiting Mima and Papa, and you were just a 3 month old baby — it was actually your very first vacation! Your dad didn’t do a very good job at making your mom feel special, and I am determined to make up for it this year.

There are so many reasons that Mother’s Day is one of the most important holidays and why you and I need to go out of our way, this year and, really, all the years, to make your mom feel loved. I’ve come to know that being a mom can be a thankless job a lot of times. Nobody tells her that she does a great job on days when it’s just the two of you and she isn’t able to get any work done. Most days, nobody says “thank you” for making sure our refrigerator is full, that there isn’t dog hair taking over the house.

Now that I am thinking about it, here are just a few of the many things you and I are thankful for your mom (and should make a point to tell her that we love her more often):

  1. We’re thankful that she cares about you so much, that she stays up at night figuring out the best ways to make sure your butt rashes stay in check, your belly doesn’t hurt, and you are in the best health you can be (she even set an alarm @ 1:30am the other night to check to make sure your rash wasn’t getting any worse)
    • side note: that is parent speak for something else, but no need to subject anyone outside of the inner-circle for why your rash might get worse at 1:30am… just saying, your momma loves you a LOT
  2. We’re thankful that she plans ahead and makes sure that you experience new things, like zoo trips, COSI trips, swimming lessons before vacation, and ways for you to experience more than what the world of Peppa Pig might allow
  3. We’re thankful that she wants the best things for our family, and works so hard to make sure we give ourselves every opportunity to have the life we have and the life we see for ourselves in our future
  4. We’re thankful that she has us looking our best (and in clothes that fit) — God knows if it were up to me, you might still be rocking a tank top made for 6 mo. olds, belly-showing and looking like a baby Zeke Elliott.
  5. We’re thankful that she puts up with us, because between your drunk-baby tornado of terror and my inability to remember what we’re doing, where we’re going, or even how to get there, we are probably a little harder on her than we should be
  6. We’re thankful because your mom has no less than five jobs, with each one requiring her to juggling so many things, and she still finds time to be the best mom and wife
  7. We’re thankful because she supports the things I want to do, and will absolutely support anything you decide you want to do as you grow up
  8. We’re thankful because she makes a point to Facetime your Mima and Papa, Uncle Jeff, Aunt Katie, and all your cousins. Just because they live far away doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get to see them, talk to them, and make sure they know how great you are
  9. We’re thankful because she balances us out so completely. Lets face it — you and I can be a little messy/all over the place/scatter-brained/not always making sense/don’t tell her we love her as much as we should, and she still finds a way to keep us looking good
  10. We’re thankful because she is the best in every way

Truth be told, I don’t know which one of us put your mom through more to this point. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Despite the fact that she has 1000 balls up in the air at any time, still finds time to look as good as she does, and makes sure that our worlds keep on turning day after day, she still finds time to love us, make us her top priority, and give everything she has so we can be in a better place tomorrow than we were yesterday.

So even though you can’t say it yet, I will just say it for you, son…

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY, KELLY/MAMA/B! WE LOVE YOU SO VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH!

 

On TGIS(pring)

Son,

I love you. Your mom loves you. Rogue loves you, but that might be because you leak food like an old car leaks oil. But let’s be honest with each other, we need this warm weather so we can get outside.

Sure, we have passes to the zoo which has some indoor exhibits (hello, you’re a huge fish guy). And we have COSI passes, which is fine for taking a long afternoon (perfectly spaced between naps and meals, of course). We even have gone on some fun field trips to the Franklin Park Conservatory to see some butterflies. But for the most part this past winter, we’ve spent A LOT  of time….. indoors.

Now, we do a lot of fun things indoors. Some of your recent favorites have been playing with poker chips (usually before bed), looking at race medals, dancing to Alexa (next!), and snacking while watching Peppa Pig, Sesame Street, Dinosaur Train, and GooGoo and GaaGaa. Now, as much fun as we have all the time, you can get a little cranky when you get bored. Which is why having the option to go outside is something we all, your mom and I especially, welcome with hope and excitement.

Spring has given us a few warm and somewhat dry days so far, and we’ve taken advantage. You love walks with your dog, playing in your yard, and the occasional trip to a local brewery where your mom and I can settle in while you find some fun outdoors (we’re there with you, BTW. We don’t just send you off and saddle up to the bar). A recent fav. has been Nocterra, where we met another couple who had a baby a little older than you and, fingers crossed, we might have made some adult friends!

There is so much your mom and I want to do with you as the weather gets warmer. We have a lawn mower that blows bubbles, plastic tee ball set, plastic golf clubs, a fenced in yard with minimal amounts of sharp corners, a hose with a sprinkler attached, jogging stroller that may or may not have been recalled because the front wheel falls off (feeling lucky? let’s get a run in!), and tons of other things you are going to love and we are going to love watching you experience for the first time.

Now granted, you’ve lived through a Spring-Summer-Fall before, but you were a baby who couldn’t even roll, and now you’re a walking-ish, talking-ish, unstoppable ball of energy ready to get out in the world and take it over.

So here is to warm days at the park, lots of sunshine, snacks on the porch while we look for school buses, unplanned adventures, and maybe a few more trips to some breweries because it helps keep your mom and dad sane. We can still drink our milk and watch Peppa, but we’ll do that looking forward to getting to go play outside afterward.

On you being a “Taby?”

What it’s like living with a Taby.

Son,

Taby. I guess it’s an internet word that real people don’t use but is used to represent that special time in a child’s life where he’s not quite a toddler, but no longer a baby. Therefore, as the world you are growing up in tends to do, a word is made up and circulates around the web.

Taby. You are 14 months old and you are a Taby.

The taby-stage is probably the most stressful time for your mom and I because you tornado around the house like a madman, not quite walking but not quite running (ralking? wunning?), and crash into anything and everything at all times. You know you’re in the danger zone when your arms stick out at shoulder level (#frankenbaby), and you go charging out of view toward who knows where.

Another component of the Taby-stage is that you love attention from your dog, and you love snacks, and you love getting some serious attention from your dog when you have snacks. Typically, you make it rain Cheerios on the floor for Rogue as your motoring through the house. The fun thing about Cheerios is that they have no smell, so Rogue doesn’t always get all of them and we find lots of Cheerios in the carpet later that day, later that night, later that week. Why are there Cheerios in our office? Taby-stage.

You also love noise. Noise from your Taby-mouth, usually in a high-pitched, pterodactyl-shriek. If someone asks me what a typical day is like with you, I’d say something along the lines of “tornado #frankenbaby-pterodactyl Hansel-and-Gretel’ing Cheerios throughout the house with a dog-shadow close behind.” This might not make sense to some, but I feel like other parents would say “Taby-stage, right?”

Anyway, as stressful as it can be sometimes helicoptering over you and making sure a face plant into just about anything doesn’t happen, you’re more fun now than you’ve ever been. You’re still hilarious. You are more snuggly than ever. And when I call you and your mom when I’m leaving work and I hear “DADA!” screaming in the background, it gives me the biggest smile of the day.

It’s almost Spring now, and the weather is getting nicer and nicer. I can’t wait to take you outside so we can go running together in your stroller and play in the backyard where, if nothing else, there are fewer corners for your to find and more room for you to tornado around screeching as loud as your little Taby lungs desires.

Dad