cocoa purl

Chocolate Covered Misadventures (knitting, childrearing, surviving) of a Passable Mind

Et Tu, Dr. Suess? June 18, 2007

Filed under: adventures,kid's stuff,LG,rambling — cocoapurl @ 3:46 am

Like most people, I LOVE Dr. Suess. I love him not just for breaking the Dick and Jane choke hold on children’s literature, but for his sheer irreverance, and, let’s face it, outright trippy use of words just vaguely tied together by a theme of some kind. His illustrations are equally weird and wonderful, if not for the sheer nuttiness of an animal who’s primary purpose is to haunt your toothbrush (a Noothgrush, I believe). And I’m ALL for silliness, especially in my literature.

Up until this point, LG’s Dr. Suess exposure was pretty limited – Wocket in my Pocket (As in: “There’s a Woset in my Closet and a Ghair beneath my chair, but the Bofa on the Sofa acts as if he doesn’t care.”), Dr. Suess’s ABC’s, and a few other DS classics geared to the under 2 set. Now that he’s turned two, I told those who were interested that, Yes, he loves Dr. Suess, and Yes, he’d love some of the classic stories for his birthday. So, sure enough, he recieved “Cat in the Hat”for the event – the birthday edition, no less.

We’ve read it faithfully every night since that day (almost two weeks ago) – I point this out only becuase its a LOT longer than A Wocket in My Pocket, and I’ve actuallly fallen asleep reading it. TO him. No easy trick, but I did it.

But I digress. Lately, I noticed a slightly annoying habit in the formerly easygoing LG of mine. I’ll give you an example:

ME: C’ mere, big guy – time to wash up for lunch.
LG: I don’t LIKE lunch.

(Those of you who know my boy know that this is a highly unusual statement. I’ve actually been maimed holding sandwiches for him to bite into.)

ME: What do you mean? I made you grilled cheese.

You can use your imagination as to what may have happened next. We’ll just say it involved a lot of ketchup. I’m not proud. Besides, ketchup has LYCOPENE, doncha know. Positively a food group.

When getting dressed to play in the pool:

ME: Let’s get your swim trunks on, buddy – we’re going outside to play in the pool.
LG: (Pointing to his Nemo swim diapers) I DON’T LIKE THAT. I DON’T WEAR IT.
ME: But you DO like Nemo, Honey. You wore them yesterday.

(Let me point out that this last statement just slipped out – I fully realize the futility of using this argument with a freshly minted two year old. Like he gives a poop about consistency.)

LG: (Louder and Louder). I DON’T WEAR IT! (At which point he plucks the offending swim diaper out of my hands and flings it across the room.)

One Unhappy Boy
Just look at that face. Just tell me you wouldn’t do everything you could to avoid that face.

Now, you may wonder what all of this has to do with Cat in the Hat.

Like every parent, I’m looking to assign blame on someone other than myself. How could my formerly affable boy go all Mr. Hyde on me? Surely there’s an outside force at work. It couldn’t have anything to do that he’s two, nuh-uh, no way. Hmm, let’s see, what new to LG lately…Aha! Teletubbies and birthday presents, or more specifically, books he got for his birthday.

The newfound facination for Teletubbies: boy, would that be great if they were the culprit. If ever there was a mind-rotting, undermining, and downright evil TV experience, the Teletubbies are it. I’m pretty sure extended exposure violates the Geneva Convention. But after extensive (EXTENSIVE) viewing, no luck there. In fact, Tinky Winky and friends don’t seem to have much of an aversion to anything to speak of, other than sitting in their spilled Tubby custard. Don’t ask.

(You may be asking yourself, as any reasonable individual would – why on earth would she let her child be exposed to such depraved stupidity? I myself would have said the very same thing. The answer is: he LOVES it. More importantly, he’s completely and totally engrossed. And I don’t mean that he enjoys it from time to time, I mean he wakes up and its the first thing he asks for. BEFORE MILK. Its all I can do to limit it to 1/2 hour per day. Sometimes, I just cave and allow him to park himself, slackjawed and surely shrinking brand new brain cells, in front of the TeleBoobTube. All for the sake of laundry. Or making dinner. Or – gasp! – cleaning. OK, OK – I may sneak in some knitting from time to time. I’m no martyr.)

So that quickly leads me to my next suspect: books we’ve been reading recently. A lot. After reading Cat in the Hat for the umpteenth time, I noticed there’s a fish (in a teapot, naturally) that strongly objects to the Cat in the Hat and his idea of fun. So much so, he says, surely enough, on a quite frequent basis, “I don’t LIKE it, not one little bit.”

Hey, Dr. Suess is a good a scapegoat as any. Green Eggs and Ham is NOT going to be introduced any time soon.

I’m thinking of starting an adult bookclub for Dr. Suess books. I think he had issues with his mother.



Thomas the Train and Gender Reassignment June 2, 2007

Filed under: BG,kid's stuff,LG — cocoapurl @ 7:40 pm

BG is not afraid of a little modification. In fact, he thrives on it. While shoe shopping, I made an offhand comment about how the heel was too high, but that I really liked them. “I could modify that for you,” he said. He wasn’t kidding – he wanted to modify $90 dollar shoes to his (or my) specifications. I pointed out that it may make more sense to buy the right thing in the first place, but that argument fell on deaf ears. His gears were turning on how to balance them post-modification so that my toes didn’t point up like a leprechaun’s. He doesn’t come with me anymore. (Hmm, coincidence?)

I love this about my BG (not being irritating while shoeshopping, the modification thing). It makes him fearless and incredibly handy. Which is why I no longer blink an eye when he performs surgery on, well, anything.

We went to the Train Store this morning. LG’s eyes boggled. Somehow he was both slackjawed and grinning at the same time.

We walked out one hour and one minor tantrum later (we got off easy), with a box of wooden track and a Bertie car. I don’t know which one of my guys was more excited. Actually, I do – LG fell asleep in the car on the way home, while BG was busy coming up with the Perfect Track Configuration. It’s the perfect use of his spatial superpower.

(For those of you unfamiliar, there’s a whole gaggle of characters associated with Thomas the Train. I have a suspicion that some are completely random and created for the sole purpose to divest adults of $10 each time another one shows up. But that sounds cynical.)

Evidence of an Obsession
Evidence of An Obsession: The entire sheet of stickers off the paper and on his shirt in under a minute. All before breakfast.

Anyhow, while LG is still napping, BG spends a good hour and a half working on this track. But there’s a problem.

The Less than Perfect Track
The Less than Perfect Track. Note the trains lined up in the background. I don’t know who did this. I don’t really want to.

With a piece of the track in his hand, he says, “I need a female. All I have are hermaphrodites. Or are they bisexual? Anyway, I’m going into the garage.”

The Surgical Table
The Surgical Table
We Can Rebuild Her. We have the Technology.
We can rebuild her. We have the technology.

She Makes Everything Work Better
Five minutes later, he has sucessfully reassigned the gender of said track, or at least, one end of it. He doesn’t know yet what to do with the remaining, um, item. I’ll aslo refrain from the obvious commentary on how everything is better now that the piece is female. But behold the track:

Pure Boy Bliss

Pure Boy Bliss.