Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Getting Bigger

Heidi and I were talking last night about Thomas and how his personality is developing. Thomas has always been a very agreeable little boy, eager to please and quick with a smile.

In the last month or so he has become more assertive, when Thomas is offended he now makes the offender aware, very aware, that he has been offended. He will walk across the room, raise his hand and hit the offender. We are working to curb this behavior.

When Thomas wants your seat, you need to be prepared to protect yourself. He squeezes his way in and works whomever it is out.
If you fight back, Thomas is ready and willing to bite to remove you from your perch. We are working to curb this behavior.

Thomas has thrown caution to the wind. He will attempt to climb anything with a hand and toe hold. If he can find two points of contact he will attempt to scale. If he falls and does not knock himself unconscious, he will try again. We are working to curb this behavior.

When Thomas gets to the top he likes to jump off, usually he waits for an adult to walk by, but not always. If you see Thomas standing on something elevated be prepared to catch him. He will not necessarily warn you he is coming, sometimes he just jumps. We are currently working to curb this behavior.

I think that most of Thomas's physicallity comes from spending so much time at the bottom of the pig pile. Merry and David have learned a lot of tricks. Thomas, as always, is working hard to catch up.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wocket Skateboard

David: "Daddy is my wocket skateboard in the back of your twuck?"

Me: "What?"

David: "My wocket skateboard!"

Me: "Huh?"

Heidi: "A rocket skateboard, all day he has been talking about a rocket surfboard, now it is a rocket skateboard"

Dave: "Whif buttons that you press and handles for when it flies. It has two wockets on the back that fire comes out. Is it in your twuck?"

Me: "I think you have to be a cartoon to have a rocket skateboard."

Dave: "Noooooooo!"

David broke down in tears because I did not bring home his rocket skateboard. I never heard of a rocket skateboard and I was not aware that I was expected to bring one home. I tried to improvise, I took the mini-ironing board, that is in the toy box for some reason, placed it on the floor and started surfing. He didn't buy it. Merry did and had a great time rocket surfboarding around the imaginary world.

Heidi will not fess up to it but I think she told David that if he cooperated Dad would bring him home a rocket skateboard. I can not wait to get home today without Davids rocket skateboard. I am the Destroyer of Dreams

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Monday, November 27, 2006

The Long Weekend

Wow, that was a long four days. I am happy to be back at work, as crazy as that sounds.

The first thing is that bloglines has not picked up my feed for the last couple of posts, this annoys me.

Second, The Clam Diggers lost the annual Turkey Day Football game. It was not due to lack of effort, just manpower. Some of our most potent weapons did not make it this year and we were over matched in the athlete department. My hamstrings and triceps are just now recovering. Four days of stretching and they are still uncomfortable. All that jogging did not help much as far as I can tell. I do not like to lose the annual Turkey Day football game.

Third, my children really got on my nerves yesterday and by all accounts are lucky to still be alive. My breaking point came when a dispute erupted over who deserved possession of a pink, magic wand. Merry and David embarked on an epic battle that resulted in me taking the wand, snapping it over my knee and putting it in the trash.

My action towards the wand united the two combatants against a common foe and the the crying, whining, pulling, pushing, chasing and hitting transformed into telling Mom how bad Daddy was. Bad Daddy! Happily. I do not like losing my patience with my children.

My respect for my wife and her patience was fortified yesterday. Living with "Wrongside" and his contrarian point of view is very trying, I probably would be making those "get home as soon as possible or I am going to run away" phone calls too, if I were under his assault of "No's" and "I don't want to's" all day.

I also learned that sometimes I need to take a deep breath, slow down and take control, instead of being swept into the vortex of toddler / pre-school energy that takes over everything in its path. It is very easy to get swept up in its energy, stepping back is tough but necessary. When you slow them down they are much easier to control. I like getting control of my children and I like being reminded how to do better.

Two other things that happened over the long weekend that I liked are Heidi signed on another business builder to her down line and I got all the leaves in my yard picked up.

In conclusion, that makes four "likes" to three "don't likes" another positive weekend in the books. It was close though.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving song

I'm a little Indian on the go,
Here is my arrow,
Here is my bow,
When I go out hunting hear me shout,
Bears and Buffaloes
You better watch out!

Does not seem like a great song for a hunter to be singing but my pre-schoolers love it. I have found it to be very catchy and have been humming along all day.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's not that Bad

I went to the Barber shop today and the man with the shears got me thinking. We were talking about the state of the world we live in and how messed up he perceives it to be and how he is glad he is on his way out and how he is glad he is not responsible for raising a family in these trying times and blah, blah, blah.

You have to be careful how you address the man with the shears, so in a polite manner I reminded him that when he was raising his family the Soviet Union had missiles parked 90 miles off the coast of Florida. I reminded him that they practiced ducking under their desks at school to avoid nuclear annihilation. I reminded him that kids were being drafted into war, I reminded him that Presidents were being impeached.

The generation before his dealt with the WWII, you do not experience bigger problems than World War. The generation before that had WWI and so on and so on. Things do not change, man is inherently a vile beast that strives to conquer and enforce his will. There has never been a time when Man has not been engaged in war.

We do not have problems, Madonna's baby's daddy has problems. We live in the most powerful nation on the planet. When you are at the top, people want to knock you off, it is the nature of man.

Be thankful this holiday season for the things you have, even the problems. I read recently that a life with out problems is not a life at all. You just want to be dealing with the appropriate problems. When you solve those there is another set waiting for you if you are lucky.

Be thankful for the soldiers that make up our Armed forces. This volunteer force is the best trained and equipped fighting force on the planet. I am glad that they are on our side. Pray for them to achieve their mission and return home safe to their families.

Be thankful for our Democracy and its ability to adapt to the will of the people. There is not another Nation on the Planet as free and flexible as the U.S. of A. and I for one am glad I was born one of her citizens.

For me it starts at home, in high school they used to say "Think Globally and act Locally" it does not get more local than family and friends. This Thanksgiving will be spent with those closest to me. We will play, eat, drink and watch football:


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Friday, November 17, 2006

The Tube

Heidi is off with the girls, the children are asleep, it is just me and a cold bottle of inexpensive(cheap) Chardonnay. The best part of this story is that I located the remote control a couple of days ago and I am free to surf the channels.

What channel did I find? What channel have I not been able to get away from all night? A channel I never heard of before. This channel is called The Tube. In the next room Marvin Gaye is "Getting it on" and I am mesmerized. Every time I go to surf away from this channel another song from the past or a great song from the present presents itself.

I feel like I am watching MTV back in 1982 or whatever year it debuted. The difference you may ask. No commercials, unbelievable. Some of the videos I watched tonight in no particular order include: Tom Petty, Bob
Seger, Billy Idol, Tina Turner with Ike, The Black Crows, Sheryl Crow, R.E.M., The Cure, Duran Duran, Bruce Hornsby, Steve Winwood, George Harrison, Pink Floyd and on and on. There are newer artists as well, I just can not remember the names of the whipper snappers.

Go congratulate the Dubya's on their newest edition and have a nice, safe weekend.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Two Hand Touch?

My mom is the second child of a small Irish Catholic family in the northern suburbs of Boston. All of her siblings have at least three and as many as ten children. Growing up, this mass of humanity got together every Sunday at Gramma's house.

The boys would play kill the man with the ball, wiffleball, football, soccer or just plain tackle until and after someone cried. The girls would work out dance routines and the parents would sit around a table, tell stories, argue, and drink until and after someone cried.

There are over 30 first cousins spread across the country and we no longer get to see each other every Sunday. The cousins all have their own families and the logistics are very complicated. However Thanksgiving is a day that a majority of the family gets back to the North Shore.

On Thanksgiving Morning we meet on the turf of Emerson Field in Peabody and play, we play like we are 12 years old and that our future depends on Victory. The teams generally fall along the same lines as they always have.

Each year there are add ons and fall aways depending on the dating situation of the younger cousins. There are players who may miss a couple years due to family obligations or work. The constant is we all know, no matter where we are in life that on Thanksgiving Morning, people we love will be battling it out.

I would like to give a special thanks to Deits for calling this blog out to all of the cousins. We have yet to hear from Bobby but are looking forward to his return. I spent last season on the sidelines due to a bit of a knee problem. My knee is better, I have been jogging and I am ready to KICK SOME ASS.

The Mall Rats vs The Cape Ann Clam Diggers is a classic along the lines of Army vs Navy and Harvard vs Yale. It is a natural rivalry dating back to the late seventy's. Go Diggers!

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Three T's of Three

Three is a special age, I do not know what it is about age three but I do know that it is special. Three is not two and it is not four. Three is tough, no longer a baby but not yet a full fledged big kid. Three is hard for everyone involved.

David, aka Wrongside has always been a handful and true to form the threes are proving to be a special challenge. For myself, who gets to get away everyday it is easy to remind myself that if I were acting so poorly it would be because I felt very upset about something. When you are on the receiving end of a tantrum at the pharmacy, after a morning of draining whine attacks, it would be hard to keep that perspective.

David and I have had a couple of talks about negotiating life and working to get what you want. We have discussed the pros and cons of different strategies and when to fold'em and when to hold'em.I always come away from these discussions feeling refreshed and proud, like a teachers whose student finally understands. Then I get the call the next day that David has forgotten our talk and reverted back to acting his age. The nerve.

As so many before me have written, the terrible two's are nothing compared to onslaught that can be expected when the Tenacious, Titanic, Tumultuous Three's come around.To scream that loud for that long, it has to hurt, it just has to.

Luckily, when you are three, your perspective changes rapidly.


Thursday, November 09, 2006


At 16 months Merry could speak complete sentences. David had a very large vocabulary at the 16 month mark. Thomas has command of one all encompassing word.

"Mommy", when he wants his milk, when he wants to be picked up, when he wants to play ball, when he needs a hug, when he wants his brother to let go, when he wants his sister to stop hugging him.

Mommy is not a person, Mommy is a command. When Thomas needs something Mommy is the word he uses to get it. He looks up at me when I get home from work, he raises his arms towards me and with a big smile says "Mommy".

This makes me laugh out loud, every time. I tell him over and over that my name is Daddy but it has yet to sink in. Eventually I know it will but for now, the word Mommy is getting results and we all know that what matters are results.

Mom is not impressed and is working feverishly to expand his vocabulary.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Halloween 2006

Tigger Thomas tickling the ivories for our listening pleasure.

Princess Merry, probably waiting for a servant to bring her some cake, "the service in this castle is terrible!"
Buzz Lightyear, psyching himself up to save the world!

We had a great Halloween season at The Old Blue House.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Before children, when Heidi had a well paying, full time job, I enjoyed the luxury of a high end audio/visual system. This was five or six years ago mind you. The TV was and still is a 36 inch Panasonic hooked up to a Bose Lifestyle surround system. There is a Sony DVD player and JBL VCR.

Now, six years later, the sub woofer for the Bose system is blown and needs to be replaced. The DVD player is hooked up to the Bose so there is no sound when you want to watch a movie. The VCR is obsolete and does not work, unless you want or need to destroy a tape.

What brings this sob session to the surface is Thomas, my youngest son. The only thing I had left was the remote for the digital cable. I was able to listen to music with a click of the remote. There are plenty of music channels on cable. I could watch any movie I wanted with a click of the remote. On Demand people. I was living with out the luxuries and doing just fine.

Thomas has placed the remote in a safe place. A very safe place, that I have not been able to determine. I can no longer sit in my chair and operate the television, the movies and music are gone. I have to get up off my ass and physically change the channel.

Where am I? It is either 1980 or hell. I feel sorry for myself, I once was proud and now I feel nothing but shame. No stereo, no DVD player, no remote. I am a slave to my children, I have given them everything and what do I receive in return for my sacrifice?

Hugs, giggles, smiles and love. Not a bad trade now that I think of it.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Out of The Blue

Sunday afternoon and I am heading to Grampy's house to pick up Merry and David. Grampy took the two little dears Saturday afternoon and kept them overnight. Heidi and I are very lucky to have him.

We had a wine tasting party Saturday night. The wine was red and I drank a lot of it. Sunday was a disaster that left me considering the pledge, you know the pledge to hop on the wagon for a bit, the pledge not to injure your system again, the pledge that passes as soon as the cobwebs clear. Which was not until today.

I am thankful that I was only responsible for Thomas and he did not wake until 9 am. I spent the day doing dishes, feeling like crap and cleaning up. Then football.

I went to pick up Merry and David around 4 pm at Grampy's. For a change the kids were ready to come home. Merry was excited because we were having a new friend over for dinner. David was simply exhausted, he fell asleep on the ten minute ride home and was not heard from again.

Merry met Maddy for the first time in the middle of last week. Mom and the kids
stopped by her house to drop off some stuff. They visited for twenty minutes or so. Those twenty minutes made quite an impression.

Merry was happy to get home and visit with her new friend, she told me "Dad, they do crafts at their house every day. They really know how to live!" I do not know where she picked up this saying but it did make me laugh.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Where are You?

Freezio and Emily have disappeared. They did not say goodbye, they simply vanished. It has been a couple months, Freezio posted one little fictional post that I think Emily wrote and other than that, nothing.

I frequent the comments on other blogs where they used to show up and they are not there. I check my statcounter and see that they have not been by. They owe no allegiance to me and may be experiencing something that warrants their absence. I still feel slighted.

Freezio was the first Daddy blogger that I felt a connection to. We started about the same time and would frequently comment on each others blogs. I looked forward to his take on my thoughts and enjoyed reading his posts.

When Emily appeared in the blog-o-sphere her honesty and prose blew me away. She exposed herself, her fears and her struggles and quickly became a must read for many. Then without so much as a goodbye, they were both gone. It troubles me, I find myself wondering about them and their family often.

Their son The Voice, kept his parents on their toes, to say the least. The New Baby, we never really got to know, although the impression I came away with was that she was/is far less challenging than her older brother.

It strikes me as odd that I have this attachment to a story. I only know/knew this family through written words and I morn the loss of those words. I hope and pray that they are well and I will continue to keep an eye out for them. If you are in contact, with either of these two, let them know that Peter at The Tutu Boutique, hopes that all is well.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fight or Flight

The list of battles I am willing to fight is dwindling. I will fight to keep the kids from jumping on the couch, when Mom is home. I will not allow biting, ever. Hitting each other has shifted for me, now as with most things in life, circumstance has enterred into the equation. Finishing your supper, have a bite and ask to be excused, do not expect food later, however a snack bar or cereal may be coerced.

I find myself swimming with the current instead fighting against it. The pull of three toddlers is strong and most of the things that I catch myself demanding of them do not make a bit of difference. I attempt to be a good example and make them aware of other people's feelings and good manners. Beyond that, does it really matter?

An example that comes to mind, that often leaves me wondering, is picking up the blocks. The three of them love to play with the blocks, they build and destroy tower after tower. Then they move on.

When I get home, it is time to pick up the blocks. I make an announcement that it is time to pick up the blocks and then I get to it, picking up the blocks. Eventually they show up and help. If I insist that they pick up up the blocks I get excuses and arguments. If I start they follow, swimming with the current.