Saturday, September 15, 2012

On to academic domination, and Fred Meyer Playland

Guess who starts Headstart Preschool next Tuesday! Give you a hint.... Baron!!!! We are so proud of him and also deeply, deeply saddened by the inevitable realization that our baby is gone and our little boy is here. It's so exciting though!!! I can't wait to hear all about everything he does and following his progress and being there to help him whenever he needs. Lovin our little Monster!!! So, we've never dropped Baron off at any grocery or retail store "Playland" to be watched by some unhappy old lady desperately waiting for her next smoke break. Mainly because I've always figured that he'd be the kid that would go so crazy and be so far beyond any babysitters experience that we'd get called back to pick him up after five minutes. But, for about a month now he's really been wanting to go into the Fred Meyer Playland. We usually go to the one on Lombard and Interstate but we frequent many grocery stores, mostly to entertain the beast for free and disrupt the general order. Last week we finally relented and acquiesced to his repeated demands and signed all the paperwork and got him admitted into Playland. As soon as the attendant opened the door he ran in and never looked back. We no longer existed. Poof! Gone. So, we slowly, dejectedly slunk away towards the produce section, questioning our place in the universe more than ever. It was so bizarre shopping without him. We both kept stopping every couple of minutes and looking around frantically for a child that wasn't there. I kept waiting for the inevitable page to rescue the Playland attendant before the end of the world happened on her shift at the hands of my cute little angel. Nothing. We had an hour limit and after about forty minutes we headed back, paid for our groceries and then went to retrieve our devil spawn. I looked in and Baron was just playing away, his usuall whirl of activity, while three other kids his age were GLUED to the t.v. It was so amazing. The Attendent gushed about him. She told us that he was the only kid who offered to help pick up toys and he played the whole time and interacted great with the other kids and, as usuall, found a girl to shadow and play with and just on and on and on.... She said he was more than welcome to come back. I asked her several times if we were, in fact, talking about the same child. We were so proud of him. He never ceases to amaze and astound me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I thought he was going to get pulled right out of my arms

Hey, this incident happened during the summer of 2011 but the blog has listed it as being April 2012. If I had half a brain I'd know how to fix it, but I don't so I can't. He's had some really, REALLY close calls in his life, and that's not even counting his time in the NICU. A least a few times I've had every nerve of my body light on fire and scream as I see Baron doing something that will definately get him hurt, maybe a trip to the hospital. About two weeks ago he cracked his head open for the first time. SWEET! He was running in Andy's house and fell and hit his head on the corner of Andy's table. Gave him a gash in his head about an inch and a half long. I was so ready to jump in the car and race to the closest ER. But, it didn't bleed much, which is a good sign with a head wound, right? And, of course, would you believe HE DIDN'T CRY!!!!!!!!!!! He winced, he writhed, he wined a little, but he did not cry. Crazy, freaky, unatural little monster.
But, today he cried. Reader, never in my life have I lived a moment of my life and thought, "This is just like a horror movie, but it's really happening to me, right now." Until today. We were playin around Lloyd Center Mall, killin time, disrupting the general calm, just another father/son outing. We were in the elevator bound for the third floor. The food court. I was holding him because he's been a real pain in the patootie the last couple of days, can't be trusted on his feet. We're right up against the doors as they open to let us out and I start to walk forward but only take a half step before I'm jerked back a little and instintively tug on Baron and look over and see that the doors are jammed because Baron's hand is wedged between the two layers of door. I pulled and he wouldn't budge, he was really stuck in there and the doors aren't opening back up like they're supposed to when they become stuck. I can't reach the door controls. The small group of people on the other side of the half way open door are still trying to comprehend what is going on. Now, this all happened in the course of maybe five or six seconds but it really, truly seemed a lot longer. I was hyper aware of every nuance of the situation. And for a split second that elevator was a giant, evil, unstoppable terminator machine that had a hold of my son and was hurting him. I was in a panic and I did what my instincts told me to do; pull. Now, in retrospect I realize this was probably not the best course of action but I did it and he popped free and then he started crying as I held him against my chest and pushed straight through the people waiting to get on the elevator. I rushed over to a quiet spot and checked him out and he was okay, probably more scared by my actions than any actual pain. A friggin elevator. Is everything dangerous?

First day at Daycare!!

Well, as hard as it was for us, both emotionally and financially, we found a Daycare for Baron the day before I started my new job. Man, it was not easy. So many preschools and even quality daycare's have a several month waiting list. And cost around 1500 bucks a month. Yeesh. We were able to find one in St. John's, close to Nano and Papo's house which is ideal because we are relying on Papo to pick up Baron when he gets off work so we can afford to have him in day care. The lady who runs the daycare seems good. I know I've seen her around town and she says that she takes the children out everyday if possible so I'm sure we've crossed paths here and there. I have trouble with her name though. Lo-chi? I believe she's Indian (like, from India. Native Americans are not Indians. Chris Columbus thought he landed in India. Meh.) and she has a strong accent that I have a little trouble understanding but most important, she loves her kids. I'm sure I could make a long list of little things I saw in her home that made me nervous leaving our son there but, really, I know I could make a long list of little things in any home we would leave Baron in. Hell, I'd probably be nervous is it was too CLEAN. To me, and Christina, the most important thing is that the person taking care of our super special boy loves kids and shows it. Still, it's hard. But, I dropped him off just after nine this morning and he raced up to the door (having only been there once the day before) and when he ran inside he made himself right at home and didn't even notice (or care?) that I was leaving. When I got home from work today he actually told me that they all went to the park and he climbed the stairs and went down the slide and played games and sang songs. He told me this. I love him so much. But then, just an hour ago, wife and I are sitting on the couch and he comes over to us crying, but not a normal cry. We asked him different questions to get him to tell us what happened and we were able to figure out that he had given himself an electric shock by putting the cable to my keyboard in his mouth while it was still plugged in. Dear readers, this terrifies me to my very core. After the last three years and every damn thing we've been through and the lengths we've gone to keep him safe and healthy and he electricutes himself. In the mouth. Needless to say the keyboard is put away, out of reach and I'm on high alert again, looking for anything that's a danger. Guess what I found? EVERYTHING'S A DANGER WHEN YOU HAVE A TODDLER/KID!!! You can baby proof to a certain extent but there's just no stopping a child bent on doing things that they shouldn't.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

And on to the Next Adventure!!

Wow, is this really my first Baron Blog for 2012? How sad. Bad Daddy!

Well, as always, so much more has happened in such a short amount of time than I could ever hope to chronicle here but their certainly are a few standout moments I'd like to share before I'm off to play and/or deal with the Monster Himself.

This last week the three of us spent some time at Clackamas Mall, which we haven't done for quite a while. We inevitably ended up at the play area and he jumped right in. I've told the wife a few times that he's really coming out of his shy stage and being very forward and friendly with new kids. And this is just within the last two weeks. But, it's mostly with girls. Cute girls. Well, he wanted to show Mommy just what I was talking about. He started running around and instantly got the attention of at least four little girls. He was wearing a bright yellow shirt with Spider-Man crawling himself across the front and at least one little girl kept calling out, "Spider-Man! Spider-Maaaann! Spiiiiiideeeeeeerrrr Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaann!!!". Relentlessly. Loudly. Repeatedly. But, I digress, he found a group of three girls that were near his age and they chased each other and went back and forth and up and over and on and on and..... you get the picture. And the wife and I watched as he walked up to one girl, grabbed her hand and walked her across the play area and right up to Mommy, stopped and waited for a few seconds until Mommy acknowledged his little companion. It was so cute. The wife and I laughed and the little ones went back to their trouble-causing and when the wife and I looked back at each other, their was a definite hint of absolute fear. He's too friggin young to be bringing the cutest girl on the play ground over to meet Mommy!!! But seriously, that's something he would not have done last month. Not a chance.

A couple of weeks ago he and I were at the play ground at Mt. Tabor and three attractive young ladies showed up with a cute little girl and Baron was allllll about them. One moment, he and I were playing and then he walked over to the blond, grabbed her hand and took her off in the opposite direction! That was a first, and a pretty big moment for him that I won't forget. Then! Then, these ladies took their girl over to the swings and Baron was right next to them while I was about fifteen feet back, an abandoned and discarded father. Keep in mind, Baron has never, ever in his life liked the swings. I think he has some of dad's fear of heights. So, the brunette picks him up and puts him in the swing and walks around behind him and backs up as she pulls him back. My hand covered my mouth as I knew what was coming. I could still see joy in his face as he rose up backwards into the air. But I could see it, just below the surface, the probable terror and panic and time-out. She held him for a split second and then rushed forward, pushing him in front of her as he quickly went down, leveled out and then shot up towards the sky as she pushed him over her head as she ran through. He! LOVED! it! As he came back down all he was showing was smile. I was, and still am, absolutely amazed. I told her that I've been trying to get him to let me do that for three years. His good times lasted for another thirty seconds or so before he wanted down but for a moment their, he was flying, and he loved it.

We were at that very same play ground today and he wanted in the swing and then wanted right-the-hell out. Shortest phase ever.

Starting next week Baron's life, and mine, will change dramatically. I'm going back to work! After three long, wonderful, magical, memorable, frustrating, demanding, years I'm going back to work. I'm so ready. I love my son more than anything in this universe, but I need a schedule and a routine and so does he and I don't have the self discipline to implement anything on my own. I've tried. I've done good by him. I like to think that my time spent with him has been good for him and I've been a good, positive influence on him. But, life keeps going, keeps changing and we gotta roll with changes and step up to the challenges that each new phase brings. Baron's out of his shell, he's a strong, positive little boy and he's ready to get out there and mix and mingle and learn and absorb and do it all without Daddy literally, constantly being less than two feet away. Keep your eyes open and strap yourselves in, this ship's taking off!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

His 3rd birthday and then on to Xmas.....

His birthday was great. Just family, at Papa's Pizza again, and he got spoiled rotten. Again. But the best part is, Mommy and Daddy got to do some of the spoiling this year! The theme was Spider-Man and Mommy helped Nana put up a bunch of Spider-Man decorations and Nana made awesome little cupcakes with web designs in the frosting and all his presents from Nana and Papa and Mommy and Daddy were exquisitely wrapped in Spidey paper. Auntie Angel chased him through the giant hamster tube play equipment in Papa's play room. Better her than me! (I was impressed!) I'm not even going to try to list his shwag but it was a good haul. I was really pleased by the things that the wife and I were able to get for him. Awesome birthday for an awesome little Monster.

And then, after his birthday party we went downtown to Pioneer Courthouse Square and saw the big tree and then we went up to the Zoo to see the Zoo Lights and ride the train! That was a crazy experience but ultimately worth it. Zoo Lights, on a Saturday night two weeks before Christmas is a very, very busy place. The type of crowd that I avoid like the plague. But I stayed optimistic because it was something that I wanted Baron to see and despite the just-one-degree-above-freezing temperature (and the fact that I was wearing shorts, like I always do.) and the long wait in a couple of different lines it was a lot of fun. For this stodgy ol' codger it's alotta fluff and brou-ha-ha but with Baron with us we look at the whole spectacle from a different perspective and it's suddenly new and amazing and fun again. It's a novelty but it's also a local holiday tradition and that is part of what the spirit of the season is all about; celebrating the novelty of old traditions. I'll have to put up some pictures.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Our first haunted corn maze. Yikes.

The wife and I have really been looking forward to this holiday season. Baron is, of course, older now and we really think that he'll "get" the holidays and get into the spirit of things. Our hope is to decorate what little space we have with whatever little decoration(s) we can buy and really embrace the crazyness and really point out all of the decorations and symbols of each holiday and explain everything. And sing silly holiday songs. ESPECIALLY CHRISTMAS SONGS!!!!! Love, love, luv, LOVE me some Christmas songs. Year 'round if I could get away with it, but I can't. It makes "people", (my wife) highly irritable to hear Christmas songs in March or July or September. I don't get it but I gotta accept it.

Anyway, the first holiday on the docket is every bodies favorite candy fest, HALLOWEEN!!! The wife and I talked about getting pumpkins and what the boy would wear and what we might wear and going to the pumpkin patch and the corn maze and all that stuff that makes October worth putting on a calendar. Nana and Papa took us to the corn maze and it was really fun. By all rights the whole experience should have been a disaster but every time things looked like they were stacked against us karma would come up and turn things around for us. From the get-go I don't think anybody knew it was a haunted corn maze. Haunted corn maze's are for adults and teenagers who think that a spooky corn maze is a good place to make out with their special some one. Not for little kids. It didn't really dawn on me until we were in line to get in and the scary music was loud and the fog machine was firing up that Baron wasn't going to be into it. But we were there, we might as well try. What's a little terror? For all the noise and excitement Baron did really well waiting in line. We also did not realize that the maze wouldn't be opening until after dark so we waited in line for about forty five minutes before we started moving forward. Then, a group of young, evilish teeny boppers that were loitering on the other side of the ropes broke through and piled into the line right in front of us. I became almost irrationally mad at these pukey punks but wasn't gonna make a deal about it, especially in Baron's presence. We moved up about thirty feet and I heard them as they realized that they needed tickets to get into the corn maze, which they did not have. Ah.. innocence. Where everything is free and their are no repercussions until they slap you in the face. So, they stepped aside while we went in. The scary clown gave us the rundown, no touching, no leaving through the entrance, no tearing through the corn in a flight of gut wrenching terror. Baron made it twenty feet in on his own before he jumped into mommies arms. After a few different people in scary costume jumped out at us from the corn we decided this might be a bad idea and that we should find the exit. But see, here's the thing; WE WERE IN A CORN MAZE!! The whole point is to TRY and FIND the exit and it's not supposed to be easy. I've been in a few corn mazes' and I've never been through one in a short amount of time. I'd never tried it in the dark. I began to fear more and more that we were going to be stuck in that maze for at least an hour, at best. Nana led the charge by flashing her nice camera in the eyes of people who jumped out at her, as she giggled in a frantic fashion. That part was pretty brilliant. She actually used her camera's flash as an effective defensive weapon.

We had come around a familiar section of corn that looked a lot like the other sections of corn we had passed in the dark when somebody tripped on something and stopped to inspect said item. Turns out it was one of Baron's rain boots that must have fallen off when we were in that section of maze before. We didn't even know he was missing a boot! Score!!

But here's the crazy part; we were out of there within thirty to forty minutes. I couldn't believe it. We should've been chasing our tails much longer than that. Not that I'm complaining, far from it. We just really beat the odds on that one. And when we emerged triumphantly from the corn maze EXIT the line to enter the corn maze had grown into a giant serpent that coiled around the entire farm area and their was a line of cars trying to get into the parking lot. Now, that's crazy, but can you imagine what that maze must've been like later that evening? Hundreds of hairless apes shoulder to shoulder in a dusty dark corn maze. Imagine the percentage of those apes that were drunk or in the corn to get drunker! That, in every way possible, sounds more frightening and disturbing and grotesque than whatever some stoners in hockey masks could whip up to fit the limpest definition of 'scary'. Ewwwww..... No, no, we had an excellent time in the maze, all things considered. Baron was scared, of course, but it could have been a really bad scene. I liked it and when I'm older and grayer I'll look back on the whole occasion fondly.

Mommy had to work on Halloween evening and Baron is going through a phase where he's really scared or pretends to be scared so I didn't have any expectations for trick or treating. We don't live in a neighborhood for it, bunch of stuck up old pirates. I dressed Baron in his Batman pants and shirt with velcroed cape, grabbed a Spider-Man bucket and hit the streets. We walked all around the hood, enjoying the lovely, sunny fall weather. A couple of places were decorated but admiring their creativity from a short distance was as close as we were going to get to their front door. When all was said and done and we returned home he poured out his bucket on the floor and enjoyed the spoils of his holiday; Two rocks and four leaves.
I love that kid.
So friggin much.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Luv dem berries

We just went for a little walk behind the house here and the blackberries are gettin nice and ripe. I can't tell you how many years it's been since I've grabbed a berry off of a vine but he pointed to them and said "Boo! Boo!", which is his way of saying 'blue berries'. He loves blue berries!! So, I chose a nice, big, ripe blackberry and handed it to him. He looked at it for a second and then trepidatiously brought it to his lips and gave it the tinest of nibbles. He considered the flavor for a moment before he voraciously shoved the remainder into his ravenous maw. They passed the taste test, to be sure! So, I figured if they're okay for him they should be okay for me, right? I chose for myself another nice, big, ripe berry and popped into my mouth and immediately spit it right back out as my eyes watered and crossed at the sourness of what I had just sampled. I do not like sour. Blech!! I really hope his tasted better than mine! He wanted many, many more but we were on our way back home to change his diaper. Something about the majesty of the great outdoors makes him load his pants every time we go outside. It's irritating sometimes. I doesn't matter if I change his diaper right before we head out the door, as soon as he hits that fresh air he drops a lethal stink bomb. It's time for me, as his parent, to look forward to the day when he has a child and gets to experience the joy of diaper changing. Vengance is a dirty, stinky thing. As it should be!!