& sleeping cutie

So fair warning here: chances are I’m going to piss you off a bit here, particularly if you’re the parent of a toddler who’s a little less than cooperative. At times, this might sound like I’m complaining about something practically every parent would give almost any amount of money for. Know that I’m not, but really just making an observation. It’s still okay if you hate me for this. I’ll understand.

haters-gonna-hate_1231

The thing is, Squatch likes sleep. He gets that from his mom. Not that I don’t like sleep—I’m a pretty big fan—it’s just that Karli and Squatch can work the hell out of a nap. We’ve lucked out that we haven’t had sleeping problems very often or very long with this one. Yes, you can start to hate me now. If it makes you feel any better, he does get up pretty early

Keepin it classy in KC.

Keepin it classy in KC.

This past Sunday, Squatch and I took in a Royals day game with my mom as a belated Mother’s Day celebration. It meant he had to miss his nap, and really only got about 10 minutes of sleep on the way from the game to the barbecue place*. By the time we got home, he was beat. He was a really good sport about it, but he crashed early and slept in (till SEVEN A.M.!) the next morning.

*Gates Bar B. Q., if you were wondering. It doesn’t really get much better than baseball and Kansas City barbecue on a beautiful day. And while we’re on it, I’ll just go ahead and put it out there—KC barbecue is the best barbecue. I’m not even going to argue it, so don’t even try.

Monday, he finally did take a nap—FOR FOUR HOURS! Yeah, I know. That’s what I’m going to talk about, and why you’re going to hate me. Because while there is sheer awesomeness to be had in a four-hour nap, especially due to its rarity, there’s one thing I observed about this phenomenon: It’s really hard to get stuff done when your kid naps for four hours.

“But that’s just stupid. I can get a lot done in that four hours.”

First off, good to see you again, Imaginary Internet Reader. Haven’t heard from you in a while. And secondly, you’re right—sort of. The thing about kids, especially young ones, is that schedules and routine really matter. These guys can’t tell time, so routine keeps them from constantly flipping their shit. And if your kid routinely takes two hour naps, you learn to get things done during those two hours.

When your kid hunkers down for a four-hour nap, you don’t actually know it’s going to be a four-hour nap. You get your plan set for the two-hour slot you usually have to fill and you do all the things before your kid wakes up.

Only then he doesn’t get up. So what do you do? You don’t want to start on something you need to dedicate a ton of time to because he’s already passed his normal waking point, and he can pop right out of bed at any time now, demanding your attention. Instead, you decide to undertake tasks that you can easily abandon at a moment’s notice and require little commitment. You’re paralyzed on your couch because you just know the minute you settle into that big project, that’s when he’s going to get up.

And that’s how you spend half your afternoon watching YouTube videos instead of doing something actually useful.

“So why don’t you just wake your kid up after two hours so he keeps his schedule?”

Screw that, IIR. It’s four hours of me time. I’m not giving that up, not for all the YouTubes in the world.

(A quick coda: Yesterday’s was a three-hour nap, only the internet was out at my place for most of it, so I went with a book instead. Books: The internet before the internet was the internet.)

Advertisements

How I Spent my Summer Vacation, Part 2

The Grind

It’s Squatch again. You guys loved me last time, so Daddy let me do another one. He’s sitting on the couch watching the Come-On-Down-Scream-And-Jump Show.

Even when we’re not conducting baby torture experiments in a rented minivan, we’ve been staying pretty busy all summer. Any given day, I have a pretty hectic schedule of playing with my cars, eating big boy foods, playing with my zoo animals, reorganizing the DVDs, and poking the cat. Speaking of big boy foods, WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT HAMBURGERS? I went all this time eating mush when I could’ve been going to town on some meat patties! I thought you had my back, computer people. And ice cream, too! WHAT ELSE ARE YOU HIDING FROM ME?

Zoos are awesome, guys! They even let you ride the animals!

Zoos are awesome, guys! They even let you ride the animals!

Some days I take Mommy and Daddy to the zoo. We’ve been a bunch of times already this summer because it’s been pretty nice out most of the time. When it’s nice out, the animals like to come out and talk to me, and I can talk Gram or Aunt Kellie or my buddy Jack or Grammy to come with me. My favorites are the monkeys and the lions and the bongos. Daddy’s favorite is carrying me everywhere, even when he tells me how heavy I am. I can tell he loves it, which is why I make him do it.

The zoo even has a place where you ride animals on sticks around to music, and I get to go on it every time we go. I got to ride a kangaroo and a penguin and a lion already. Next time I kinda want to try one of the monkeys because they look like they know how to party.

I also get to go to the park and the library a lot. At least, I get to go when Daddy’s not watching the Wear-A-Costume-And-Jump-Up-And-Down Show or the Boring-People-Ask-Lots-Of-Questions Show. I got to go to a baseball game a couple weeks ago, and I watched Daddy play in a hockey game, too. My favorite part was the zamboni. I think baseball could probably use a little more zamboni, if you ask me.

All ready to go. I'm just hoping there's not too much homework.

All ready to go. I’m just hoping there’s not too much homework.

It’s getting toward the end of summer now, which means Daddy has to go back to school. And that means I’m going to school, too. Mommy and Daddy found me a place that they say I’ll like, but I’m going to be the judge of that. I went and looked at the room where I’m supposed to be hanging out, and there’s no zoo animals or cars or kitties to play with. It’s not looking good so far. I’ve yet to search their cabinets to see the status of graham crackers and goldfish, but I’m not holding out hope.

I’ve been working on a plan for the first day. I call it Operation Take Me Back Home. I can’t go into details since Mommy and Daddy will read this when they scrape themselves away from naptime, but I will say it involves a lot of crying and screaming and not letting go of Mommy no matter what. The kinks are still getting worked out, but I think I can get it polished in the next couple weeks. Wish me luck.

One of the big parts of the summer has been me figuring things out, though. Like daycare—I figured out what’s going on there all on my own. Plus, there’s the reason Daddy says he needs more naps:

It’s still a work in progress, but I’m getting a lot better at it. I figure I should be a pro by the time daycare starts so I can follow Mommy back out to the parking lot.

Oops. You weren’t supposed to know that part.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 1

Road Trippin’

Hello Citizens of Daddy’s Computer—Squatch here. I’m just checking in because it’s about time somebody filled you in on what’s going on around here, and since Daddy’s too lazy to do it, here I am. I took the liberty of commandeering his Lappy while he takes a quick nap. Just don’t be too tough on him, computer people. He tries hard.

This summer has been nutso bananas. Of course, the highlight was my birthday party. Any day where the adults watch everything you do and fawn all over it AND GIVE YOU AWESOME THINGS—BEST DAY EVER! I’m thinking about maybe doing it again in September, once the weather cools down a bit. Birthday parties are awesome.

But aside from that, I had plenty of other things to occupy my schedule. A couple weeks after my party, we took off on a trip with Wumpy and Gram. A car trip. Across the states. SOOOO MANY STATES! In case you aren’t familiar with the concept, car trips are a punishment for taking too many naps. So the adults put you in a car for about a bazillion hours to make sure you don’t ever nap again. However, whenever they finally let me out of the car, I made sure we had fun.

Wumpy and me doing the arch dance. Not pictured: massive amounts of diaper sweat.

Wumpy and me doing the arch dance. Not pictured: massive amounts of diaper sweat.

Like the first day, we stopped in St. Louis—a city in the same state where I live. WE DROVE ABOUT 37 HOURS AND HADN’T EVEN LEFT THE STATE YET! But because I’m nothing if not helpful, I put my bitterness aside and we had a fun time.

I’ve you’ve never been to St. Louis in July, I think you need to know that it’s hot. Like that’s-not-pee-in-my-diaper-it’s-sweat hot. And the adults thought it’d be fun to walk everywhere. They obviously didn’t ask for my input. So we walked around America’s boiler room for the afternoon before arriving at the arch.

Now the thing you need to know about Daddy is that he’s a weenie. Don’t get me wrong—I love him almost as much as I love Mommy, but he’s still a weenie. Even before we left Kansas City, he was telling Mommy and Wumpy and Gram and really anyone within the sound of his voice that he wasn’t going up in the arch. But I think the heat must’ve fixed his head, because by the time we got to the place, Daddy decided to stop being a weenie and go on up with us. And I guess that peer-pressured Gram, because she decided to go up, too. Squatch: 2; Adults: 0.

So, when you get inside the arch, you change out of your sweaty diaper and sit around in a big room for a long time. This is to make sure your butt sweat doesn’t disturb the delicate construction. Then you stand in a line and wait some more. Then you stand in another room and wait even longer. Then, after about 6 hours of waiting, they put you in a space egg.

Daddy was a weenie about the egg, too, but he survived.

Daddy was a weenie about the egg, too, but he survived.

When you get out of the egg, you’re in a much smaller room with windows. Outside the windows, they put Little People playsets, but you’re not allowed to touch them because of the windows. Rip off.

I think this is more punishment. But at least it was pretty.

I think this is more punishment. But at least it was pretty.

When the adults decide you’re done watching the toys, you go back in the egg and leave. I don’t know what Daddy was such a weenie about. I think he’s afraid he’d have to clean up the toys like when I play in my room, but since I couldn’t even touch them, I guess he had nothing to worry about. Back in the big room, Wumpy and Gram bought me a cardinal puppet from the arch toy store. Daddy told me that this is a cardinal from St. Louis, not a St. Louis Cardinals because the St. Louis Cardinals suck. I agree.

Daddy says this was Barry Bonds's stick. Then he laughed. I don't get it.

Daddy says this was Barry Bonds’s stick. Then he laughed. I don’t get it.

The next day, we left for another car trip, only this time it was longer. We stopped in Louisville at a place where they make sticks for baseball. Daddy was pretty excited about this one. We watched how they made the sticks, which was silly because I get sticks from outside all the time. But in baseball they use special sticks, which I got one of from Wumpy and Gram. It has my name on it. I showed it to Gordie when I got home, but she didn’t like it as much as I did. She just sat in the corner while I played with it.

The sticks were cool, and so was the rainstorm that happened while we were eating lunch. I thought we were going to get to stay in the pizza place forever, but adults suck, so they made us leave. We drove about another 14 hours and made it to Cincinnati that night.

I should’ve mentioned at the start that the point of this whole trip, besides punishing me, was for Wumpy to reunion with his family. Which I guess is Mommy’s family. Which I guess is my family. Only none of them live in Cincinnati. But I guess they lived around there about a thousand years ago, so it was kind of like a family history trip.

This house was definitely not baby-proofed. Here I am showing Wumpy all the damage I could do.

This house was definitely not baby-proofed. Here I am showing Wumpy all the damage I could do.

We spent the next few days going around to all the old places where they lived a billion years ago. I got to touch a lot of old things and talk to a lot of old people. They were really nice to me. In case you didn’t know, old people love babies. It’s because we share a lot of interests—naps, soft foods, going to bed early, yelling at grown-ups. I managed to get some naps in on a couple of the tours, while on others, I staked my place as the center of attention.

Getting to meet all Wumpy’s family was a lot of fun. And they all loved me, of course. But I must have done something wrong, because after a few days, they stuck me in the car again for the LONGEST CAR RIDE OF ALL. We drove for about 2 years, only stopping once at a park so I could play with sticks—real sticks, not baseball sticks—and another time at a Denny’s so I could get a pancake and sausage. Here’s a tip for you adults: if you’re going to drive for any longer than a month, you’re going to have to stop more than twice. We babies really need to play with toys. And not the stupid toys that you give us in the car seat. Real toys.

Anyway, we finally made it back to my house, and I spent the next three weeks napping. Good naps to get revenge on Mommy and Daddy for making me car trip for that long. I showed them.

Speaking of naps, Daddy is getting up from his, so I better go play with him. I’ll tell you about the rest of my summer later. Till then, you stay classy Computer People.

CoolDude

& a lesson in manhood: redemption road

Lessons in Manhood

Lesson 9: Obligations and Forgiveness

Squatch, you might have noticed that Daddy likes baseball. Just a little. You like it at this point in your life, too, but in reality you crack up at any moving shape. You’re pretty easy to entertain. Don’t ever change.

We’re Giants fans in this house, and we’re even winning Mommy over, but you knew that. Otherwise that Brian Wilson doll would just be kinda creepy. Last night was Game 1 of the World Series. You’re almost 4 months old, and you already get to experience your first Giants World Series*. Too bad you won’t remember it.

*Don’t get used to this. It doesn’t happen every year. Just every other year, apparently.

Let me tell you about the pitcher who started for the Giants last night. His name is Barry Zito, but I like to call him the Albatross*. This is because he signed the biggest contract in baseball (at the time) before the 2007 season and immediately began to make every Giants fan regret it. It’s not stretching to say he stunk. He’s been the highest paid player on the team every year since, and most of those years, he’s been pretty much the worst player. Last time the Giants were in the Series, they didn’t even put him on the roster.

*This is just Daddy getting all lit nerdy on you.

This year, he’s done better. Not “You Were Worth Every Bit of the $99 Million They Paid You” better, but he provided a solid outing for the Giants whenever he took the ball. They even won 12 straight games when he started heading into the playoffs. He was still Barry Zito, but he was looking a little more like the guy the Giants decided to give that ridiculous payday to.

Still, we Giants fans didn’t really trust him (or like him much) heading into the playoffs. You see, Squatch, when you don’t follow through on your obligations, on what people expect from you, you tend to lose people’s trust. They stop liking you. And in the case of Barry Zito, when the Giants decided to pay him $16 million a year, fans expected him to be worth at least most of that. Only he wasn’t living up to those expectations, and the fans generally wrote him off as a loss.

Till last week. For some reason, in Game 5 of the NLCS, with the Giants down three games to one, they decided to start Barry Zito—he guy who has tortured Giants fans for six long seasons with sub-par performances and general suckiness. They sent him out to take the mound, and Giants fans around the world could be heard muttering, “Well, it was a good season anyway.”

But he came through. Barry. Zito. BARRY ZITO. He shut down one of the best offenses in the National League. He pitched like he was the Giants’ ace, like he’s been doing this all along. He stood on the mound, he threw the ball, and he somehow managed to handle every expectation that Giants fans had when he signed that contract in 2007.

He was a hero.

Now, Squatch, you’re probably wondering about that. Can one game—one good game—cause an entire fan base to suddenly say, “All is forgiven”?

Yep.

You bet your ass. It was a performance that shifted the momentum of the series, ignited one of the greatest comebacks in Giants history, and got them to the first World Series of your (as-of-yet) brief lifetime. He earned that $99 million.

Then he went out last night and did it again in Game 1 of the Series. He again shut down one of the best offenses in all of baseball. He outpitched the reigning (and likely repeating) Cy Young winner. He had fans chanting his name. He got a standing ovation as he exited the game. And the big difference was that people thought he could do it this time. We trusted him. We believed in him.

Forgiveness is a big part of being a Man, Squatch. Forgiving someone for six years of disappointment after he shows up when he’s needed most—that’s expected. That’s earned.

The lesson here is that you need to live up to your obligations. You do what you said you’d do, what others expect you to do. And if you don’t—if the world seems to turn on you when you fail to meet those expectations—you have to earn that trust back. Sometimes that takes time. Sometimes it never happens. And sometimes it just takes one great day.

& making a name

Felix is everywhere these days.

When we first decided on a boy name for Squatch and bestowed it upon him, there really only seemed to be two Felixes:

  1. Felix the Cat
  2. Felix from The Odd Couple

Of course, there were others, but you never seemed to hear the name very often. It was one of those names that everyone knew to be a name, but you never met anyone named Felix.

Then he was born and everything changed. It started with the Olympics. Allyson Felix became a household name. Everyone was talking about her every time you turned on a station with a peacock. Squatch was only a few weeks old, and it was pretty cool to hear his name attached to someone getting such positive attention for what she was doing. Granted, it was her last name*, but it was still pretty cool. There was another track dude we saw running at the Olympics with the first name of Felix, but he wasn’t ‘Murican, so screw him.

*I kind of wished I could’ve snagged one of those track bibs with “Felix” written on it for him. Oh well.

Then in August, Felix Hernandez went and pitched a perfect game and “Felix” was all over the news again. I don’t know if we noticed it more because of our kid or because it took the attention away from Matt Cain’s perfect game, but once again, it was cool seeing Squatch’s name pop up in the news.* There seemed to be a trend happening, but I wasn’t quite sure.

*In order to cram this in, other recent athletes named Felix: Felix Potvin, Felix Pie, Felix Jones—all of which gathered brief headlines before mostly disappearing from the sports page.

I became sure when I saw the trailer for a movie:


In case you missed it at the beginning there, the game the main character comes from is called Fix-It Felix, Jr., which is also the name of the Jack McBrayer-voiced character. First off, how awesome does this movie look? I’m totally going to see this when it comes out. Second, there’s the name again! And this time it’s not just some athlete. It’s a video game hero. How is Squatch ever going to live up to that? We might as well have just named him Luigi and gotten it over with. Granted it’s not a real video game*, but still—what’s next, some dude soaring through the stratosphere like a superhero?

*Although they did create a version of Fix-It Felix game for iPhone. Karli downloaded it. She’s a nerd like that, too.

FOR THE LOVE—! Everywhere you look these days, there’s someone named Felix doing something awesome. Which on the one hand is very cool. Felixes represent. But on the other hand, did we just inadvertently, through some crappy timing, set the bar too high for Squatch? Or even worse—do we now look like we’re just following some kinda trend? Apparently, Felix was one of the top ten names in Quebec in 2006, which means Squatch shares his name with a bunch of six-year-olds in Montreal. Karli found an article recently that talked about how one trend is a rise in boy names with an X in them—the first one listed being Felix*. Are we just following the crowd?

*Full disclosure: The article was on the Disney baby blog, so this could be a subtle plug for the aforementioned movie.

One way to look at it: I think we’re just noticing it more because now we actually know a Felix, so every time we see one now, it stands out more. It’s like seeing the arrow in the FedEx logo for the first time, and then you can’t unsee it. There’s no trend happening in reality, just in our own minds.

Another way to look at it: We’re not trend followers, were trend setters, baby! He may be one of the youngest, but he’s the original. Ahead of the curve, sucker.

20121015-111457.jpg

The original. O-effing-G, Baby.