Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Clock Watching!!

Working on our sleep form

   Wyatt was - for the first time - extremely interested in the analog clock on our wall. He stands up on the couch, points to it, and asks about each number. My parenting instincts sprung to life and I seized the moment.

   He asks "What does this number do?" It's the one-two. I mean the twelve. I say "Eat lunch." He goes around the rest of the numbers.

1: Play outside
2: Play outside
3: Do a craft
4: Eat a snack
5: Play outside
6: Dinner
7: Play Inside
8: GO TO BED.


video

Now, obviously I was lying. It should really go like this:

1: Watch TV
2: Watch TV
3: Play on my iPad
4: Watch dad watch TV and play on his iPad
5: Think about doing a craft but play video games instead
6: Argue about how many bites of dinner to eat
7: Do push-ups (hundreds)
8: Go to bed

   But my dishonesty isn't the point here. The point is that WYATT GOES TO BED AT 8:00 NOW. That first night, when the hand pointed to eight, I said "Look, Wy! The clock points to eight! What does that mean?!" He thought, smiled, and yelled "Time for bed!!" Then he hopped in bed and we read 5 books. Since then, when the clock points to 8, we hop in bed. That simple.

   This is probably the greatest moment in parenting history, slightly above the invention of Netflix.

   He's gotten a little bit creative with his time-telling, actually. A couple days ago, he looked at the clock and said "It's 2:00 6:00!" (reading both hands) "Clock says CHICKEN NUGGETS." HE said this last part with a very grave, stern face. It was chicken-nugget-o'clock. The clock had spoken. So in a couple hours I turned off my Playstation and made chicken nuggets for the both of us.

   Last year, there were times Wyatt was going to bed at 1:00am. This is not the same as 8:00pm, for those of you doing the math. It helps that the little man rarely naps anymore, and that he trusts the sun cycle ("Go sleep when it's dark, that way sun comes up! Right dad?!") It also helps that at 7:40, both of the hands are really pointing at the eight, so I can say bargain that it's bed time, but I'll give him one more show to watch a few more minutes to write his letters which he can totally do.

My mood: super relieved and proud and also I'm the best
Wyatt's mood: much happier
Lincoln's mood: content
Cara's mood: tired
Listening to: Kanye

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easter 2015!!

Wow, this picture is so ... very ... looking-at-the-camera ... like. Nothing says Easter like a big ol' flower couch.

   Cara and I have worked pretty hard to get Wyatt to understand some things about Easter. One day, I came home from work and Cara was excited to have Wyatt tell me the Easter story. Then, she was appalled when he talked about nothing but eggs and bunnies for 3 minutes. Cara claims this didn't come from her, but she's been known to lie.

   Still, we knew we'd done our job when Wyatt woke up on Easter Sunday. Cara saw him first, she said "Happy Easter!!" and Wyatt paused, got excited, and said "Jesus is not dead! Jesus is alive!" This is way cuter and way less spiritually-creepy as it is sounding, right now.

   However, by the end of the day he was crying and demanding more eggs with candy in them. The ones without candy weren't good enough.

This cowboy needs more eggs.

   Our neighbors across the street have four boys, and everyone in the family loves Wyatt. They like Cara and tolerate me, but can't get enough of our little heartbreaker. They are the sweetest family, and give meaning to the phrase "It takes a village..." because I will often send Wyatt outside with a note that says "dad can't parent right now please watch me" taped to his chest. They gladly do.

   These fantastic neighbors hid a bunch of eggs for Wyatt while we were at church. When Wyatt found some, they hid some more. They all had candy in them. The ones that Cara hid had Tootsie rolls in them, which is probably worse than no candy at all.

 
Wyatt unwrapped lots of candy, left it on the floor, and walked away. When asked why he did this, he said "I'm getting it ready for my friends."

My mood: forgetful
Wy's mood: greedy
Lincoln's mood: still much just hungry and/or sleepy
Listening to: Wyatt singing his Baby Cow song

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hide And Seek!!

   Wyatt has been all about playing hide and seek lately.

   He's awful at it.

   Here he is hiding behind the curb:

Not sure if he's hiding, crying, praying, or counting. Either way, my parenting style is of the kind that says "quick go in the street but also hide so cars can't see you!!"

   I also have pictures of him hiding behind the world's thinnest tree, shortly after exclaiming "I'm going to go hide behind the tree, dad!!" Our games go a lot like this:


video



video


   After a few rounds of this, I told him to stop telling me where he's hiding. He'd respond with. "Oh. Sorry dad!! I'ma go hide behind the tree now."

   He only hid behind the curb, the tree, and his bike.

video

    When we play inside, it doesn't get much better. He's way more excited to have me find him than to actually hide well, but gets upset if I don't make enough of a game out of it. He did find this little gem of a corner, however:

This is honestly his best hiding spot ever. The blankets in the corner behind the couch. His tactic of saying "I'm here, dad!!" as I walk by is still less than ideal.

   Sometimes he hides in our hall walk-in closet. He likes it because there's a door. On this same, magical day of hide and seek, he decided to hide while I was feeding Lincoln. I realized he had been eerily quiet the whole time. I checked in on the closet, to find this:
He said "I'm feeding my animals." Yeah, Wyatt, because animals just love dry rice. Stupid.

   I wasn't really mad, I had never told him not to play with the rice. I let him keep the rice he already had, and put the bag away. When I finished, he performed the most devious act of his young life: He walked up to me with a rope. He wrapped it around my feet a couple times, then around a chair a couple of times. He said "You tied up now, dad! You can't move!!" Thinking he wasn't allowed to play with the rice, he tiptoed backwards, staring at me the whole time, towards the closet. "You can't move!!" He stepped into the closet, then poked his head out one last time. "You can't move, dad, you tied up!!"

   I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at something he's done, and I've seen him pee on his mom when he was a baby.

I let him play for a while. He eventually broke two of the glasses. Parenting is hard.

My mood: exhausted from finding the hider so often
Wyatt's mood: sad about the glasses and rice
Lincoln's mood: he was just chilling, watching Wyatt hide worse than a bike rider in traffic.
Cara's mood: needs sleep
Listening to: Blink 182

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pretty Hungry!!

Lincoln was crying before this picture was taken, and Wy never knows what to do with that.
I knew: Stop everything, take a picture.

   There are things that people never tell you about parenting. Granted, these are precious, precious few things, because everyone and their butler has opinions to share with you. And they will share them with you, but seriously, some things you don't think about until it's too late.

   Here's a big one: Sharing your food with the children. Cara and I are horrible about this. There have been times we've taken the kids to a restaurant (still getting used to that term, "the kids." Like how my students have a tough time getting used to calling me "Overlord Gilchrist"), ordered food for just her and I, with the intention of sharing some with Wyatt. Then, seven minutes after the food has shown up, it's gone, and we realize that Wyatt hasn't even sniffed at a french fry.

   I hate sharing my food with Wyatt. I also hate making him food and not eating it myself. I loathe the idea of food existing and it not being for me. Are you eating right now?! STOP IT!! Put the food down and I will come over and eat it for you. No judgements.

   You have to understand. Growing up in the house I did, you had to eat your food fast and you had to claim it in a hurry. Not because there were a lot of kids, mind you. Not even because there wasn't enough food. It's because I wanted all of it and I would eat it all so my siblings and parents really had to get aggressive. Sometimes they'd even call me to dinner late so they could get a head start. Joke's on them, though, because whenever they did this I'd just go to the kitchen at night and eat most of the noodles dry so they wouldn't have any spaghetti the next day.

   Today, I made a meal that Wyatt and I were going to share. Screw Cara. He was outside playing with the boys, so I figured I'd eat my portion and then give him the rest. You have no idea how much self control it took for me to not eat the entire thing. Maybe you do have some idea, because you are thinking "Holy Crap, Grant, this isn't a big deal. You just don't eat some food. Stop acting like what you are talking about is important," to which I reply "Please don't say the 'crap' word around me."

You're thinking: "Awwww, that's so cute! Wyatt is giving Link a kiss!" No! He's just really hungry because there's never leftovers for him. I knew just what to do, though: Grab a snack and then take a picture. A very blurry picture.

   I saved him a Wyatt-sized portion. When he came back inside, it took some convincing, but he started to eat it. He ate freely and gladly. I started to panic. This meal was good. What if he wanted all of it?! What if Cara saw that I made some food and she wanted some?! I convinced Wyatt he'd had enough. He said "No dad, Wy still hungry!" Ugh, fine. Eat more.

   Parenting is hard.

   I only ended up with like two additional bites. Here I am, a full-grown man. A stinkin' lion, master of his pride, and I am down to counting bites and weighing portions with the little lion cubs. This is not how the jungle intends it. Or the savannah. Why on earth are lions called "the king of the jungle?!" That's clearly malaria. 

   There are other things that are hard, too. Letting your kid play your video games, which will totally ruin your stats. Watching the little brat build a Lego toy when yours would be so much cooler, or when he wants you to read him a book and all you want to do is not read him a book.

Wyatt blowing bubbles from the top of his car. Yes, I know: My pictures never match the theme of my posts. Get over it.
   See, this is the truth. Other mommy blogs out there might tell you that parenting is hard because you LOVE SO MUCH or because you are just SO EXHAUSTED FROM GIVING YOUR KID THE WHOLE WORLD but it's like "come on chill out and ease off the caps, lady." Parenting is hard because being awesome is hard, and adding a kid to that mix just makes it that much harder for me to be constantly awesome.

Wyatt's mood: skinned knees all the time
Lincoln's mood: aloof
My moodSOHUNGRY
Cara's mood: watching Hunger Games
Listening to: Third Eye Blind

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Baby Cow Mama!!

   As any good parent knows, it's helpful to get a child who is about to become an older sibling some sort of doll, so that they can show their affection towards the new baby and mimic the parents. All good parents do this.

   Cara is not a good parent. Recently, Wyatt took the initiative to adopt a baby cow, because someone who is Wyatt's mom gave him no baby human.

Blurry Baby Bump

   Wyatt is... an unorthodox parent. He loves his baby cow very much. He likes to take care of it when we are all sick, he likes to hang it upside down from the crane truck and laugh hysterically, and he likes to put it in his shirt to keep it ... warm? Safe? Or is that his womb? I don't know. He'll place it gently in a shopping cart to ride through the store, and he'll throw it across the table to get my attention.

Some of Wy's best parenting. There's a lot I could learn from this kid. Note
the koala comfortably driving. Note the still-terrifying "M-is-for-Monster."

   He wants to sing lots of baby cow songs to his baby cow. He doesn't know any baby cow songs. He'll ask me, over and over and over "Sing the baby cow mom song!!" So I'll make up a song about a baby cow mom. It goes like this "Baby cow mom, baby cow mom, this is the song of the baby cow mom," only the tune to it is way better than however you just heard it in your head.

   The problem, however, is I'm singing the wrong baby cow mom song. He gets very upset and whines at me that it's the wrong one, to sing the other one. Please remember, there is no actual baby cow mom song. Much like Atlas or Hercules or some Greek character I am not going to bother to look up, I am stuck pushing a boulder up a hill, and as soon as I am about to reach the top, the boulder starts screaming that I should push a different boulder that isn't real and sounds totally different. Xena? I am pretty sure that one is Xena.

   Wyatt likes to say that I am the baby cow's dad, he is the baby cow's mom, and the wolf is the baby cow's mom. I am terrified to ask what the wolf actually is, but otherwise I think this makes pretty good sense.

He really wanted to take some family photos, so here we go (wolf mom not pictured, because we are in a fight).

Wyatt really wanted his arm around me in this picture. And he REALLY wanted my knee to
 play a large role. He also thought Cara should be in it so she dangled some hair in the corner.

   Wyatt loves to put the baby cow between his legs, lightly shake it back and forth and say with great excitement "Baby Cow is hatching!!" You might think it's weird that he thinks a mammal is hatching, when that's only for spiders, but it makes sense. When we told Wyatt where babies come from, we made a cute little medley of the classic stories: The stork, some eggs hatching, God knitting in the mommy's belly, and any Twilight werewolf references that seemed to fit. The whole time, Wyatt was like "Why are you telling me this I never asked I'm barely three," so it worked out great.

   One day Wyatt will outgrow the baby cow. We are hoping it is tonight, because I had to steal it from him while he was sleeping to get that crane picture above, and now I have no idea where it is. But whenever that day comes, I feel like this is something we will forget all about in 10 years. That's the main reason I write this blog: To have lots of ammo to use against him when he is in his formative, highly embarrassable years.

My mood: very amused by all of this
Wyatt's mood: very paternal and maternal at the same time
Cara's mood: glad Link is sleeping better and feeding less frequently
Link's mood: starting to smile!!
Listening to: Andalucia by Pink Martini

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wyatt's Best Hero!!

We had our friend Betsey Jaskilka over at Framed Living take some photos of us. Here are Lincoln, Wyatt, Cara, Grant, and Grants' Chins.

   Guys, I am just in a really good place right now. It's a Tuesday night, and the kids and the wife are in Portland with Cara's family, planning a fun zoo day tomorrow. This isn't why I am in a good place, but it certainly helps. I, of course, am choosing to spend it with you, talking incessantly about myself. This is generally my move at parties, and everyone seems to love it and want to talk about nothing else, so we will just keep that trend moving forward.

   I teach math to high-school kids. This means that I can do things that they can't and it makes them think I am a genius. It helps that I teach a lot of freshmen, who know next to nothing, so whenever I factor or complete the square, their jaws drop. I get to spend most of my days telling people that I am smarter than them and that they need to listen to me, and they do!!

   I also have a three year old son who thinks I am the greatest thing to happen to humanity. I am starting to agree. One of Wyatt's most common phrases is "You my best hero, Dad!!" HIS BEST HERO, GUYS. There are other heroes out there, but I am by far the best. And if I help him beat a level of Mario - I mean, no, he's not playing Nintendo at our house, just reading and drawing and abunchofsticks in the back yard and nature and none of those electronicsohmygoshstupjudging me. Anyways, if I help him beat a level of Sticks, he is unbelievably impressed. He thinks I can fix anything, if "anything" means a light bulb and definitely not my car. (We have "Mom's car," "Dad's truck," and "Broke car.") And the other day, when I made a turn into a parking lot, he exclaimed "Nice turn, Dad!!" Seriously.

Look at these two little guys. Also, we have NO IDEA whose hands those are, and it's freaking us out. 

   So between the students that are in awe of me, my son who idolizes me, and my wife who hangs on my every word, action, and thought, I am pretty much the king of my little hill. Which is why I don't go to parties or interact with adults. For one, it breaks the illusion, and also I don't seem to get invited to parties anymore.

   I am untouchable. I coach kids in ultimate frisbee, a sport no one ever plays, so no one out there is better than me. I was once the a top-20 ranked player at Tetris on Facebook. Top 20, guys. Sure, the game had only been out for 4 hours, and within two days I wasn't in the top 10,000, but I don't think you can claim top-20 at anything, can you? I mean, I even ride my bike to work for crying out loud, so I can win any argument about global warming. But that's not why I bike to work. I bike to work because I saw my belly in the mirror one morning and thought "Oh gosh it's happening" and hopped on my bike, hoping that one ride would cancel out two whole packages of E.L.Fudge cookies that I consumed in one night. Hour. It was one hour.

   I mean, they say that fat weighs more than muscle, which is probably why I've gained a little weight in the last year or so. Also YESIKNOWFATWEIGHSLESSTHANMUSCLE why is it so important for you to always correct me on these things?

   With a free night and the world at my fingertips, a man-about-town like myself wants nothing more than to do some laundry, watch Zoolander for a record ninety-third time, write a quick note to his dozens and dozens of blog followers, and drink some tea. Well, dozen. I mean, hi mom. I'm great.

   I am not even 30, so clearly, "man in his prime" looks a lot like me.

My mood: just being honest and accurate.
Wyatt, mom, and Lincoln's moods: I have no idea but I can safely assume they are missing me terribly.
Listening to: all kinds of music with words we don't want Wyatt or mom to hear.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Uncle Bear is Engaged AKA We Have A New Babysitter!!

Wyatt and Uncle Garrett. Wy calls him "Unk Bear," and here they are hunting Christmas Trees

   Well, America, we've been adding family members left and right and upside-down over here. First, Auntie Ashley got married to Kirk, which lead to the cutest set of pictures in the history of Western Civilization. Then our precious little Lincoln was born, which lead to the greatest picture ever taken in the history of instagram (scroll down a few). And now, my brother, Uncle Garrett is engaged!! To an actual girl this time!!

   We haven't talked about Garrett much over here at My Kid Is Special, because, well, he's never really done anything before. My fiancee-in-law is named Faith, and she is sure excited to watch my kids whenever I want, all the time, for free!! Here is a really, really good picture of her that proves she's real.

She's the girl on the left. Not the one holding her hair. The one in the black-and-white striped, old-timey prison uniform. No, not that one, the other one. The one who is looking at me like "When is the earliest I can kill you?!" She's super great, though.


   We like Faith because she's not afraid to scare the living coconuts out of small children.

This was Faith's rendition of "M is for Monster" and also sweet dreams Wyatt!!
   Seriously, that's messed up. You can see that Cara tried to add some pink and some hearts and rainbows and MyLittlePonies and stuff to make the whole "M-Is-For-Monster" thing a little less terrifying, but it wasn't too effective. And, it's not like we can take it down, that was Faith's first piece of art!! It belongs on the wall of letters!!

   Here's a picture Wyatt took himself, so we at least we can safely assume that it's not seeping into his pysche or anything and OHMYGOSHTHAT'STERRIFYING

Why would you even go with "M is for Monster" in the first place?!

   It comes as a part of our wall of the alphabet. When Wyatt walks by, we'll often ask him to name each letter. Look!!



   As our more astute readers have noticed, the letter "E" doesn't belong on the wall of letters. We were Entertaining some Energetic Elementary-aged kids and "E" was Eviscerated, so for now Wyatt reads "A, B, C, D, there should be an E here, F, G ..." only he doesn't actually do the part with the E. We don't think he is going to be too screwed up by this.

   Yes, you read that correctly. My ThrEE year old can say the letters up through N, gets read to almost every month, and likes to color and play with Play-Dough that we make ourselves. He likes to help make coffee, can't sing ANY songs, and only eats chocolate and cookies for food. It's pretty clear who the world's greatest parents are. In case it's not clear, it's me and also sometimes Cara.

   That isn't even all of the family art up in the house!! The big thing in the middle was done by yours truly. No, not truly. It was done by Cara, which is weird because it is so geometric which makes you think it's be done by me. The two on the right are some of Wyatt's adventures in water-painting (there are two more on the left, but I couldn't get them all in one shot without having horrible glare. And not in the cool Michael Bay ways).

Art on the walls by Cara and Wyatt. But don't feel bad for me, I have some art that is prominently on display in the trash can. If I were to be honest, that's where it belongs.

  Also here's a picture of our other special kid while sleeping.

Good skin day for Lincoln.
My mood: proud of my brother and a little concerned for his fiancee!!
Wyatt's mood: not wanting to eat anything
Lincoln's mood: wanting to only eat everything all the time
Cara's appetite: making lots of great food for us to eat and also lots of chicken nuggets and fries!!
Listening to: James Taylor