December 2008 Archives

Jude has had some trouble going to be lately.  He'll try to sneak out of his room.  He'll try to get you to stay in his room.

"I want you to stay (pronounced tay)," he'll plead desperately.  If that does not work he'll tell you his walls are crazy.  "No, listen to me: Look at the walls.  Now close your eyes.  See all those colors?  My walls are going crazy.  I can't sleep because when I shut my eyes my walls go crazy." Sometimes he'd argue with me, "Why do I have to sleep by myself? You and Daddy don't."

Some nights he makes me turn off more lights.  Then he makes me turn on more lights.  I give him stuffed animals until they take over the bed and he ends up taking himself, his pillow and a few buddies to our bed in the middle of the night.

Last night, I even gave him a toy Scooby Doo van with a little light in it (probably some toy someone gave us from a kids' meal) to turn on if he got scared.  When we went to bed very, very late that night, it looked like the Scooby Doo van was successful, as our little buddy had not joined us in the big bed.

I remember Chris and I commenting about how we missed our little buddy. It's a pleasant feeling to wake up and find that one or the other woke up to go potty and snuggled in to our bed with us.

The next morning, as we enjoyed sleeping in, Chris woke to to hungry kids playing in our room on our bed, waiting to be fed.  One of them was driving a Scooby Doo van across his chest:

Jude (giggling mischievously): I drived it on the his nibbles.
Karenna: They're not nibbles; they're nipples, Jude!

A while back Karenna and Jude negotiated some ground rules for playing with each other. As described by Jude, "You're the boss of your room, and I'm the boss of mine."  The kids seem to have kept to this pact (for the most part).

Today, around naptime, I gave Karenna, as the boss of her room a few options:

  • She could go to her room and begin cleaning right away, completely skipping a nap.
  • She could take a nap first and then clean her room.
  • She could clean part of her room, use her nap as a break, and then return to cleaning when she woke.
"I do not care what you decide, but you can't do other things until your room is clean.  I am the boss of this house.  Your room is in my house, so that makes me upper management.  You are middle management.  I gave you a job to accomplish; how you do it is your business," I told her.

I then walked back to Jude's room to tuck him and remind him that he was "helping Blue Bear take a nap" so he needed to be quiet.  When I returned, I found Karenna drying dishes with Chris.

It appears another upper management type came to her with another high priority task and told her she could delay mine (both nap and room) if she decided to work on his special project.  Hmm, organizational issues? Seems to me we have problems with this management structure, just a wee bit top-heavy for a four person enterprise, no?

After Chris was about to eat Pop-Pop's electric deer, Jude was going to said he was going to call Pop-Pop and tell him.

While making imaginary phone calls, he had another thought...

"Maybe we can call the guy with the Star Wars toys," he said.

"You mean Paul?" I asked.  (A friend of ours had just returned from a trip home, bringing with him his collection of childhood toys.  We told Jude about how Daddy may have to go play Star Wars with this other daddy some time.  This was too tempting an offer for the little boy.)

"Yeah," Jude sighed, "I love Paul!"

Leave it to Daddy to teach the kids about yellow snow.  From there Karenna invented brown snow (you don't want to know) and green snow (snow + Christmas tree).  (Oh, and if you haven't read about Electric Deer Season, do it now...)

Daddy: I will eat the tree.
Jude: No, you will get shocked.
Daddy: Then I will unplug it first.
Jude: No! It will stab you.
Daddy: Then I will eat the reindeer.
Jude: No we're saving it for Pop-Pop!

Jude loved loved books, every Dr. Suess we read,
And Harry Potter and Matilda stories for bed,
Last night, when the Jude-man lost his bedtime book,
It was not to be found, So I offered to look,
"Is it in my room, Joodlebug?" No, not there.
Jude and I looked nearly every where.
Then who should offer to help, but the Daddy himself,
"Jude's been reading and hiding on the bottom bookself,"
But, as I headed toward the shelf behind our tree,
I heard a voice from a boy just over three,
"No, don't look there, there's not candy canes!"
(If you are parent, I don't need to explain
what I found on the shelf, sticky and half-eaten,
no book, but a mess by a boy who may need a beatin')*

Disclaimer: We do not beat our children. This is fiction people!

Last week, my dad made another one of his silly calls to the house.  The kids really enjoy it.  Karenna told him Chris bought a reindeer for the front yard that lit up.  Pop-Pop teased her and told her he would eat it.  She and Jude took turns trying to tell him that it would shock him.

So today, when we picked Karenna up from school, a family friend called my cell phone.  She moved away, so Karenna misses her.  I passed the phone to Karenna to talk.

"Can I have a turn on the phone?" Jude asked.
"No," I said. He's too little to be handling my phone.  Instead he played with his toy phone.  The next thing I knew, I heard Jude's pretend conversation...
"No, Pop-Pop! Don't eat that! No! Pop-Pop, listen to me: It will shock you!"

Pop Art Snowmen

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Big Boys

Chris borrowed The Force Unleashed from a friend and has been playing it.  He's been very excited about it.  I kept trying to ask him what makes the game so interesting.

Me: Is the gameplay good?
Chris: You get to use the Force.
Me: What about the story?
Chris: Nik, you-get-to-use-the-Force.
Me: What about the graphics?
Chris: I'm playing a PS2 game.  It's not about that.  You don't understand.  Did I tell you you get to use the Force?

Little Boys

Jude has been watching Chris play the game.  He's also been involved in this conversation the whole time, half-attentive...

Me: Chris, who lent you this game again?
Chris: Dave Spaar
Jude (emphatically, for a three-year-old): I love Dave Spaar!

Okay, so I said we screen our content before allowing the kids to watch.  How we choose to screen our content may be different from what other may do it.

Yes, we let the kids see Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.  (Other than muting out a few parts, I liked that my kids ask questions about the fact that the characters don't fit into neat boxes of good and evil.)

While off with Jude today, he demanded several repeat viewings of Dr. Horrible.  It inspired him to want to do something nice for his Daddy.

Jude: I want to buy Daddy a Captain Hammer costume and gloves.
Me: You do?
Jude: Yeah, I want to get him a Captain Hammer shirt.  Not that one with the Captain Hammer face on it though.
Me: You mean you want the want the one Captain Hammer wears instead?  The one with the hammer on it?
Jude: Yeah, that one with the hammer!  Captain Hammer is a tool.


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I did the bedtime ritual with Jude tonight.  We read a story (P.D. Eastman's Big Dog, Little Dog), and he put it away and turned out the lights.  I stayed with him a few moments and then I attempted to leave.  He's been sick, so he's a little extra clingy.

Jude (tugging on me): I want you to stay (pronounced "tay").
Me: Jude, I have to go now and you are supposed to go to sleep.
Jude: How am I supposed to go to sleep without you?
Me: Jude that's what big boys do. How about I check on you?  How many times do you want me to check on you?
Jude (holding up three fingers): Three-and-a-half.  (He knows that he's three-and-a-half now so it's his favorite number.)
Me: Why don't you just close your eyes a bit until I come back to check on you three-and-half times?

So I went out to blog this, started a few lines, checked on him, and our talk continued like this...

Me: Will you go to sleep?
Jude: I will try...  And I want Daddy to check on my four times!

Jude got sent home from preschool sick today.  This means he's been alternately weepy sleepy feverish and yinky playful mischievous when the children's Ibuprofen starts working.

Since the Christmas tree is up, I have to run interference during the latter.  It took all of ten minute for him to turn off the power supply to the lights on the tree, take a stool from the kitchen, bring it to the living room and unplug all ten Hallmark light and sound ornaments from the stand of lights from various locations around the tree!

He then moved to the Nativity set and I put my foot down.  "Jude, you can't play with the Nativity set!" I told him, "If you break it, Daddy will be very upset.  That was your Grammy's from when Daddy was a boy."

Thankfully he stopped playing with it, but that was not the last we heard on the topic.  At dinner tonight, he told Chris and Karenna, "We don't play with Daddy's Jesus Christ Superstar action figures.  They were Grammy's from when Daddy was a little boy."

My sister's best friend in high school used to have a name for that burst of silly energy you have right before falling asleep: yinky.  We use this term to describe the Joodlebug (a.k.a. Jude) right before bed.

Take tonight after a bedtime story, turning of the lights and settling into his pillow, Jude shot upright and played with his nose.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Boogies," he explained.

"I'll get a tissue," I said.  Not wanting to disrupt the bedtime routine, I added, "You stay here!"

After I got back, he did some crazy nose blowing action, jumped all over his bed and flung the tissue across the room.  Then he flopped on the bed.

"I'm a nut," he said flatly.

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