Friday, November 30, 2007

Wasn't I that guy in a thing last year?

Sam kept looking at the nativity scene we had set up in out foyer. After a day or two of staring at it in puzzlement, he told Kathleen, "Hey, didn't I play that 'Jesus dad guy' in that 'thing' last year?"

It was true. He played Joseph in the nativity play put on by his preschool class last year, as a three year old. And a year later, as a four year old, he remembered well enough to relate the image of the nativity, Jesus. Mary, and Joseph and the angels, in a little desktop statue to a play done a year earlier. It is amazing how those little minds work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

That boy is a nut!

After bed, PJ is calling down from the stairs, "Dad!  Dad!"

"What is it!"  I yell back, annoyed.

PJ has his hands stuck down into his pajama bottoms.  "I found a middle nut!"  he tells me.

"WHAT!"  This can't be good.  I am envisioning a trip to the emergency room, or at least a long, awkward talk.

"I found a middle nut!" 

"Come down here and show me what you have."

It is only by the time he has come down the stairs that I determine that he is very excited about the METAL nut he found under his mattress, and is now holding in his hands.  I take it from him and put it with my tools, shaking my head as I walk down the stairs to the basement.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Not Age Appropriate

This weekend we addressed a couple of movie issues with the little kids. While I know what the movie ratings are and what they mean, there are a couple of tricky issues that you run into while considering them.

"Trasformers", the recent big budget action movie based on the inexplicably popular robotic toys, is one good example. Its a spectacle of a movie, and the special effects are astonishing. But there are a lot of locker room jokes that give the movie a PG-13 rating. Mostly I think this was a marketing tool to get all the kids who are not quite old enough to get into PG-13 movies more interested. PJ, of course, had already seen the movie at a friends house, ignored all the pottie humor, and spent the two hours explaining to me who all of the autobots and decepticons were. I don't think he even noticed the human actors. He just wanted to see these cool robots change shape. I needn't have worried about Sam either. He just got on the couch, made himself comfortable, and promptly fell asleep.

Later, after the kids got a bath, Kathleen and I were sitting in our bed when one of Kathleen's all time favorite movies of all time came on. Yes, "Pretty Woman." Anna is sitting on the floor doing something, Sam is now asleep in his room, and PJ is flopping around in the bathroom like an oversize carp. I say to Kathleen in a whisper, "Are you sure this is age appropriate?"

Kathleen waves her arm at me. "Its just Pretty Woman, besides, its been edited for TV."

A few minutes later, we get to a scene where there was nothing graphic, but there was very strong implication of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere doing, well, certain things together. "Uhhh, Kathleen, I'm not sure if this is..." I started to say. Kathleen grabbed for the remote control.

"This isn't age appropriate, is it?" Anna said, being helpful. Kathleen switched the channel. "Oh, I had put a towel on my head, but that works, too."

Just then Sam woke up and came down the hall towards us, screaming like a buzz saw. We invited him up into bed with us. He crawled in next to his mom and screamed at her. Anna was next and she got into bed with us, in between Kathleen and I. I went to check on PJ, and found him in the bathroom, with his underwear stuck around his ankles, sitting on the floor and shivering. He had gotten stuck. I helped him put his pajamas on, and then he followed me back into bed.

We sat there for just a few minutes, and I couldn't help but think what a special moment this was. I tried not to dwell on the fact that we were watching a movie about a businessman who falls in love with a hooker. But the kids are getting older, and soon we won't have moments like this anymore.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

I'm just not into it - Nov 7, 2007

My mom came down to visit on Friday, which is always a fun time. She showed up Friday afternoon, and my wife immediately left town. Ha! Just kidding. Not quite immediately, but the following morning, Kathleen and Anna took off to go to some Girl Scout camping trip. I could never get her to go camping, but when the Girl Scouts calls, suddenly she becomes Davy Crocket, and starts putting on my clothing and cheerfully heading out the door with my Flannel Shirt, my fleece jacket, my backpack, sleeping bags and all the other gear. Go figure.

So Saturday morning Mom and I took PJ and Sam to his soccer practice. Its a beautiful day, although the fall weather is finally starting to hit us. We get to the soccer field and Sam runs off to join his team, the "the mini strikers." PJ disappears under a tree with his gameboy, huddled up against the glowing screen for warmth. Suddenly the coach is asking for volunteers. I stand up, and he say s to me, "OK, we're just going to do the same as every week, ok? Just take these six kids over to this field and they'll do the rest."

"Like last week?" I am thinking to myself, "you mean when Kathleen took Sam?" So I go over to the field and wing it. Basically, you throw a soccer ball at a bunch of four year olds and they swarm over it, like goldfish after a cheerio. Then they kick the ball around the field until it eventually kick it out of bounds, at which point you tell them, "new ball!" and throw another ball in the field. Then you go chase down the old ball, which by now has rolled down into some gulley somewhere, and repeat the process.

I notice that Sam is over by my mom, standing next to her. He looks upset. I run over there. I am getting a lot of running in today. "Sam, they need you out on the field." I say to him, thinking to myself, "If you are gonna just sit here why am I out there chasing around soccer balls?".

"I don't want to."

"Why don't you want to play, Sam?"

"I'm just not into it?"

What? He's just not into it? "What do you mean, Sam."

"I'm just not into it."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Anna was a scary vampire for Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Originally uploaded by peteshaw
PJ wanted to be the Cheese!

Happy Halloween!

Originally uploaded by peteshaw
For Halloween, Sam wanted to be a mouse...