Diary of a SAHD: Coming into her own – and then some.

Purple?  Don't mind if I do.

Purple? Don’t mind if I do.

WARNING: The following is a mix between quasi update and gratuitous daddy bragging on my daughter.  If you’re sickened by parents gushing on their kids, this post ain’t for you.  The next blog over is doing something on pro-football cheerleaders, knock yourself out.

On to the gushing.

The prevailing theory on micro-preemies is that they can catch up to their “normal” peers by two or three years of age.  To do that preemies will likely have various therapies after discharge from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  For Anne Marie that amounted to a speech therapist and an occupational therapist once a week.  Both are top notch people.

Because of them, AM is a good bit ahead of schedule.  To that end we have bid goodbye to Miss Kelly, the occupational therapist.  AM is 17 months old actual and 12.5 months old adjusted.  She’s doing some amazing things.  The doc was so impressed with AM’s abilities she felt there was no reason to continue.  Kelly had a lot if not all to do with that and we at Frank’s Place thank her for her service.

It was pretty obvious from the beginning she would not really face any serious physical issues. My fear, the one that kept me up at night, was her cognitive, or mental ability.  There is no guessing or approximating with that.  You’ll just know when you know.  My fears have been unfounded.

I got your kiddie gate right here old man.

I got your kiddie gate right here old man.

This picture is all the proof necessary.

If it’s hard to make out, she is building a ladder to climb over the gate guarding the stairs.  Not quite the Great Escape, but still damn impressive.  That is a full diaper box I mistakenly left in the kitchen.  She pushed it to stairs with the express purpose of jumping the gate. Therapy? Yeah don’t think so.  I’m not sure Frank can’t even do that now and he’s four.   Well he could physically do it, but he wouldn’t bother thinking about it.  Maybe he needs therapy.  I know I do.

The girl has made her presence felt in the hood too.

When she could crawl she would go to the door and look out the side window at the kids doing kid things in the cul-de-sac.  She wanted out bad.  So now that she’s older she can get out there, germs be damned.  And she’s announcing herself with some authority.

Right now she’s the only girl out there amongst five boys.  Until her neighbor Caroline gets to walking Anne Marie is dealing with them all on her own. That’s a tall order.

But I think she’s doing OK.

Once around the park James, you know how I love the park.

Once around the park James, you know how I love the park.

That’s not really James in the picture.  That’s our next door neighbor Bennett.  He’s the good hearted one of the hood.  When Frank almost killed him by pushing Bennett’s car into the curb at high speed, Bennett jumped out of the wreckage, gave his car a kick and a few choice baby words and turned to Frank.  Looked like some kid on kid crime was about to go down. But Bennett gave Frank a hug.  He’s a good kid. I was yelling at him to pop Frank in the mouth or at least drop him with a kidney punch once he had Frank in a hug.  But he didn’t, just hugged Frank and said it was OK.  Bennett my friend, we have to work on your road rage.

Just kidding Whitney.

While all this was going on, Anne Marie was sampling just about every toy in the street.

Not sure these boys know what they’re in for.

Diary of a SAHD: Cartoon Wars II – The Doc is in.

I think I admitted a while back that I let the kid, Frank, watch TV well before the age of two.  It was more like I aimed his baby swing at the TV with the golf channel on while I did laundry, vacuumed, made beds, etc…  So I didn’t really let him, I guess I kind of forced him.  Anyway from that and watching movies in the car on frequent trips to Lexington to see Grammy, Frank settled into some regular cartoons, detailed here: Cartoon Wars I.

Well the kid is four now so while he woulds still rather go outside to play with the kids in the hood, there are times when the TV has allowed me to get some things done.  To that end I think it’s time update his viewing proclivities.

It’s interesting to see the evolution of this.  Old friends have been replaced, shows he shunned from he beginning have become favorites now.

Following are the shows of the day and my unapologetic opinion/review of them.

You take Tri-care Prime Remote Doc?

You take Tri-care Prime Remote Doc?

Doc McStuffins

He did not like this show at all when it first came out.  Now, he doesn’t miss it.  Doc McStuffins is a girl who can talk to the animals, the stuffed animals.  She’s a toy doctor.  She boasts she’s the best in the business and has never lost a toy.  Hard to dispute, since to my knowledge she is the only toy doctor in my HMO network.  Plus even toys have HIPPA rights I guess, so really no way to know how their treatment went.   No matter.  Good show, good music. Although Lenny may not think so.  His gender was changed because of this show.  Read here: Lenny goes to Finland.

Jake and the Neverland Pirates

Big favorite when it came out, still a big favorite.  So much so, that we added some pirate ship accouterments to his play-set.  The music is good, and they’ve even dropped some new tunes.  In case you were unaware this is the summer of Pirates and Princess’ on Disney Junior.  So Jake has been running in conjunction with Sophia the First, a little girl whose mom marries into the royal family.  Isn’t that always the way.  Anyhow, Sophia has, by the strong lead in from Jake and his crew, made it to the viewing list.

American dog in Paris

American dog in Paris

Gaspard and Lisa

This has replaced Agent Oso as the dumbest cartoon in the history of televised cartoons. Gaspard and Lisa are dogs who live in Paris, France.  They are the only dogs in France capable of speech.  They go to a school where they are the only dogs.  They are the only dogs living in a high-rise apartment a stones throw from the Eiffel Tower.  They are the only friggen dogs wlaking on two feet in this stupid cartoon and the human characters are demonstrably dumber than the dogs.  No one seems to mind though.  They just go about their business interacting with the dogs as if a full grown Yorkie, Gaspard’s father, who makes his living as an investment baker in Paris is just normal.  I won’t even mention the issue of Gaspard and Lisa actually watching a dog in one episode.  The comedy is forced, the tag lines are forced, it’s all just ridiculous, or should I say re-dog-ulous.  I’m here all week folks, try the veal and tip your servers.

Rolie Polie Olie

Don’t get it, never will.  But he likes it so much it has replaced Little Einsteins.  That’s huge.  Olie, as are all the characters in the show, is comprised of various geometric shapes.  They are immune, impervious, unaffected by forces, natural and supernatural.  They can got into space without equipment but somehow can’t hit a 7 iron to a green 100yds away.  30 wonderfully nonsensical minutes wasted watching Olie’s father hack away at a golf ball.  I mean he had just returned from a day trip to a newly discovered planet completely made up of ice-cream for goodness sake.  My gut tells me this might be a little below Frank’s brain pan, but he digs enough for me to get 3 loads of laundry done, so there’s that.

Mickey who?

Mickey who?

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie and his buds in the 100 acre wood have not displaced Mickey and his band of socialists in the “club house” (read collective) completely, but they have cut deeply into the mouse’s viewing time. 90 minute movies about each character in Christopher Robin’s world was genius.  The Piglet movie is currently getting the most play.

Of course all these cartoons appear on the Disney Jr. channel so Mickey wins in the end, as it appears, he always will.

 

Diary of a SAHD: Oh to be a golfer in summertime.

As y’all might be aware I am a golfing enthusiast.  A phanatic.  A worshiper to say the least. Thankfully Frank has picked up the bug.  He’s not completely infected yet, but the strain of the virus grows stronger every day.  As we were driving home after our last outing, he actually said to no one in-particular, “I just love the golf course.”

Yeah I cried.  Not man tears either.  I had to choke back blubbering, eye blinding tears.

But, alas, our summer of golf is slowly coming to an end.  Not for me, mind you, but for Frank. After a week at the Jersey Shore Frank will start his final year of Pre-school.  That may actually free me up to play some more.  I love school.

Frank has learned a lot on the golf course this summer.  His swing has evolved from an angry woodsman all hopped up on cocaine, to a novice golfer determined to hit the ball past his old man.  His main goal is bragging rights.  He’s a trash talker, that one.  It was a rough 18 holes if I ever chunked one and he managed to hit his tee shot farther than mine.  18 holes of trash talking is the reward for coming up short against Frank.  I mean he’ll talk your ear off anyway, but when he’s hit it by you there is a little extra sting in the “Hey daddy I hit mine farther than yours” line. And Frank is a no-look trash talker.  He is talking smack while he’s walking down the fairway looking to where he hit his ball.  There is just something disconcerting about a 4 year old strolling along not looking at you while making fun of you the whole time.  I can’t wait till his little sister hits it past him for the first time.

That's my girl!

That’s my girl!

She already has the bug.

Frank didn’t pick up a club until he was two. Anne Marie has been carrying around that putter in the picture on the left for the last month. She’s only 16 months old now.  Man I can’t wait.

Still, I don’t know where he gets it from, all this trash talking.  While it may be a surprise to people that know me, I am not a trash talker as it relates to sports I actually participate in, especially golf.  I just don’t play that way.  Never have.  I don’t compete against other guys when I play, I just play.  You might say it’s for the love of the game, if you’ll allow me that tired phrase. So I am a bit baffled as to where he gets this bravado from.  Probably his mother.

Anyway, as the pros compete in the PGA Championship, the last major championship of the year, thus signaling the start of the end of the the golf and summer season, here is a look back at the summer of Frank – on the golf course.

Of course every good golf season starts off with…

... a good haircut.  Thanks Courtney!

… a good haircut. Thanks Courtney!

... a trip to Dollywood with the cousins to clear the mind

… a trip to Dollywood with the cousins to clear the mind

... and to church for the "Blessing of the Clubs"  Or Anne Marie's baptism, whatever.

… and to church for the “Blessing of the Clubs” aka Anne Marie’s baptism, whatever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok get me to the course.

Early spring, but a good tee shot to start.

Early spring, but a good tee shot to start.

Good looking putting stroke right there.

Good looking putting stroke right there.

Yeah, we practice in the rain.

Yeah, we practice in the rain.

Striking the pose.  Must be a good one.

Striking the pose. Must be a good one.

His first green in regulation.  (ask a golfer)

His first green in regulation. (ask a golfer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting in the work.  

 

 

The payoff.

That's a good move for a 4yr old folks.

That’s a good move for a 4yr old folks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, this is the actual payoff.

Why we love the golf course.

Why we love the golf course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cause nothing says it’s been a good day of golf like hotdogs and chips in the clubhouse.  Thanks Miss Marianne.

It’s been a good summer.  We played a lot of golf.  We ate a lot of hotdogs.

Not sure how we can improve on that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diary of a SAHD: I peed in the forest!

That's not the forrest Frank.

That’s not the forest Frank.

Mrs Frank’s Place – “Hey, can you switch the towels from the washer to the dryer for me?”

Me – “Sure, I just have to go potty first.”

Mrs Frank’s Place – “Really.”

I didn’t even realize I had said “potty”.   It’s been a rough go, you know, getting Frank to go.

But we’re knee-deep in it now.  Figuratively of course, although there were a few times….  It’s crunch time.  We are now in mission mode.  Peeing and pooping with a purpose and there are 3 distinct objectives.

The boy must be able to: 1. Know when he has to go, and then actually go. 2. Hit the target. 3. Hike up his drawers, button his pants, and wash his hands.  He must be able to do all this before he can start the next and last year of pre-school.  To quote one of my favorite lines from Full Metal Jacket – “It’s a huge poop* sandwich and we all have to take a bite.” (* sanitized for this family friendly blog)

Number 1 is where the problems are.  No, not #1, he pees great, best pee-er I’ve ever seen.  It’s 1. on the list above where the issue lies.  The particular problem with 1. is #2.  Get that?  He seems to have no earthly or bodily idea when #2 is coming, and when he finally realizes it, we are way past the point of no return, so he hides under the dinning room table until the storm passes.  Of course the storm doesn’t really pass, it just transfers from him to me. I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the fact that Frank’s Thomas the Tank Engine underwear is the ultimate victim here.

Obviously it’s my fault.  Frank got so good at doing all three list items as it relate to peeing that we never really concentrated on the pooping.  I just assumed in this one instance math laws would be suspended and 2 would follow 1.  Like any hack golfer who goes to the range, we only hit the clubs we’re already good at hitting.  We don’t work the tough clubs cause we like to hit the ball.

Well, it was gratifying to see Frank jump up, yell, “I have to go potty!” then  run to the can and shut the door.  You knew he was successful when the sound of a roaring NASCAR engine shook the door.  His battery operated Lightning MaQueen potty took another one for the team.  The unmistakable sound of his step-ladder being drug and then slammed into place in front of the sink comes next.  Water on, whine of the soap dispenser, then water off.  The ladder slams back to its resting place so he can open the door, and… “Daddy I went potty, do I get a piece of candy!?!”

Yes Frank, yes you do.  I imagine this is what a fine opera sounds like to the learned listener.

He has managed a few successful #2 trips, and he used the big potty too.  No one is more thankful than Lightning MaQueen.

But in the mean time we’ve amped up our game in the #1 department.

I gambled the other day, deciding on underwear instead of a pull-up while playing in the yard.  We were playing Driving Range, (read here for a definition: And so it begins), and Frank jumps from his tractor just as I have lofted a perfect 7 iron that was definitely going to hit the truck bed of the tractor.  In other words he chooched me because he knew I was going to win that round.  The boy hates to lose.  Anyway, he comes running, yapping about having to pee.  He wants to run inside and heads for the deck.  I calmly tell him to come back, and he only gets more excited.  I walk, again calmly, over to the woods lining our back yard and motion him to come over. He’s incredulous.  I tell him to pull his pants down, and now he gives me a look like “the old man has just gone round the bend.” But he drops his drawers and I tell him to point it away from his feet. If you don’t know what “IT” is, well…  I can’t help you.  Aim at that tree, I say.  Amazing how quickly he understood and applied that concept.  Two seconds after I told him to aim, he was hitting everything that moved. Ants, ladybugs, etc…

After he yanked up his drawers he says, “Let’s call mommy and tell her I peed in the forest!” It was like a brave new world had opened up in front of him.

Much like Columbus, I bet, when he found the new world, only to realize Amerigo Vespucci had found the American continent before ole Chris even figured out his three ships were on a tiny island (Dominican Republic) and not on the east coast of India.

Yeah, it was probably something like that.