The toothless wonder

This evening, Tyler and I hung out at home while Sarah did some Christmas shopping… alone. I played with a toy airplane and Tyler played with a toy car. We drove all around (because my airplane wasn’t allowed to fly… his rules, not mine) the living room. We visited a restaurant and ordered take-out, took it back to our cave and ate it. Afterward, the car and the airplane farted. After a few trips to the restaurant, and a few trips back to the cave for farting, I suggested that maybe we should visit a pet store on our next trip out of the cave. Tyler thought this was a splendid idea. While at the pretend pet store, we looked at lizards, giant spiders, dinosaurs, and snakes.

“Tyler, do you remember touching a snake when we went camping with Grandma and Grandpa?”

This led to us watching the snake video… which led to us watching a few videos of Tyler when he was a baby.

Take this video, for example. It’s only 57 seconds long, so be sure to click play:

Not playing? click here

As he cried in the video, I asked him about it.

“Tyler, do you know why you’re crying here?”

“Yeah. I cryin’ uhcause I have no teeth.”


Picture of Tyler and Delilah

I love my son. I swear I do. Every day, I tell myself that I could not possibly love him more than I do at that particular moment. Then the next day, I realize that I love him more than I did the day before.

But he can really annoy the hell out of me sometimes.

Over the holidays, I was off work for two weeks. Sarah and I alternated sleeping in and waking up with Tyler. We spent entire days just lounging around, playing, and relaxing. Interspersed with these times of zen were periods of chaos, which is to be expected during any holiday season. Me being at home gave Sarah the opportunity to have a bit of a break from full-time, non-stop parenting. A break that she needed and deserved. A bit to her chagrin, Tyler also thoroughly enjoyed my sudden availability. On a few occasions that Sarah felt the overwhelming desire to give Tyler a hug, or read him a book, he shunned her in favor of me. So, while I know that she loved having me around, the flash of green that sparked in her eyes a few times did not go unnoticed. Quite the contrary, because I can relate.

My return to work Monday was an adjustment for all of us. Although I talked at length with Tyler about it on Sunday, telling him that I had a great time but that I had to back to work the next day, and although he said “yeah” at all the appropriate moments, signaling that we were on the same page, I get the impression that my eighteen month old little man didn’t fully grasp what I was conveying to him. Maybe I should have just said “Daddy work morrow byebye luh-loo.”

It also didn’t help that, due to both work and treacherous roads/weather conditions, I had to spend a night away from home on my first week back. Tyler hadn’t seen me in forty-five hours after having me at his disposal for two weeks. That’s like 8 months of separation, in toddler-years, right?

When I got home – after six hours of white-knuckled driving, mind you – and had given Tyler my undivided attention for the better part of ninety minutes, I made the mistake of thinking I could talk to my wife for a moment or two. Tyler turned his attention to driving his little police car on his road-rug, so I started to tell “HI” Sarah about “HI” my “HI” long day “HI” when Tyler decided that “HI” he absolutely HAD to “HI” talk to me “HI” again. I tried to “HI” talk over him “HI” and continue my “HI” conversation with “HI” Sarah when I finally “HI” had to “HI” bend to Tyler’s will.

“Hi, Tyler. How are you?”


“Oh, did your truck get into an accident?”

“Yeah! Figgst.” He jumped up and ran to his toybox, returning with a tiny toy wrench.

“Are you going to fix it? Yes, good job, Tyler. You are fixing the truck.”

“Yeah,” he said as he pretended to tighten a bolt on the tire. When he finished, he went back to playing. Me, unable to be the better man, unable to just let things go and attempt to finish my conversation with Sarah, waited until he was well into playing with his car. Then, I decided to poke the sleeping bear.

“HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI,” I said in my best try-to-be-as-annoying-to-Tyler-as-he-was-to-me voice. It worked, too. He turned to look at me.

“HI,” I said again.

Tyler replied flatly, without even a hint of humor, “Done.”

Why you little shit, I thought. Before I could even make an attempt at a reply, Sarah broke into laughter. I joined her. It was good to be home.

The apple doesn’t fall far…

I’m trying to live in a world where I don’t view this as bad parenting… but…

Delilah has a bit of a quirk that Sarah and I have exploited, much to our my amusement. Whenever she is introduced to something she has never seen before, Delilah tends to be wary of it. What I do, at that point, is start chasing her around the house with said object. Here, just watch this video.

It appears that Tyler may have picked up on this little “game” of mine. And he seems to love it as much as I do.

Delilah and Tyler are loving each other more and more every day. He’s finally getting to the age where he can play, and Delilah couldn’t be happier with that.

Note: The first video was shot two months after we brought Delilah home with us. She was found next to a dumpster by a couple college girls and they couldn’t keep her at their apartment. We adopted her. She was severely underweight at the time, and was still quite underweight at the time of the video. She looks much healthier (pure freakin’ muscle) now, as you can see in the second video.

Tyler’s love of the B.S.

I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t blogged lately. I can’t exactly say it’s been a lack of inspiration because Tyler is doing new, funny things just about every day. Is there such a thing as blogger’s block? Like writer’s block, but I am far from a writer. With the nicer weather, we (the family) have all been outside a lot more, which lessens the time I spend on the computer. Officially, and publicly, I’m saying it’s a lack of time. Privately, I just feel like I don’t have the "words" for what I want to say.

Tyler’s got a bunch of green goo coming out of his nose. He isn’t acting sick, at all, so we’re operating under the assumption that he’s teething. Since babies are essentially in a perpetual state of teething for the first few years of their lives, I could be both right and wrong in our diagnosis. Unfortunately, Tyler HATES getting his face washed. More than that, hate is a severe understatement of how he feels about getting his nose wiped off. He screams until there isn’t an iota of oxygen left in his tiny lungs. I sometimes wonder if he’ll forget to breathe. It’s around that time that he sucks air in, and repeats his lung-draining yells for Child Protective Services to come and save him from the evil, nose-cleansing washrag of doom.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Tyler LOVES the blue bulb that I call the "booger sucker". It resembles a turkey baster in both appearance and function. The two primary differences are that the booger sucker is much shorter than a turkey baster, and the booger sucker sucks boogers out of a baby’s nose, whereas a turkey baster has no affiliation with boogers… unless you’re using it incorrectly. As a side note, our turkey baster has served other purposes than just squirting turkey juices on a cooking turkey. It is currently stained a shade of red, because Sarah used it to make Jell-O shots at one point for a work-outing that I attended a few years ago.

The origins of Tyler’s love of the booger sucker are unknown. When I’ve previously used it, I would make weird noises and laugh in the hopes that Tyler would tolerate its infiltration into his nostrils. It worked, to an extent. Recently, while, uhh…. expelling Tyler’s nose treasure onto a paper towel, it make a very sickening slurping noise. Hearing it makes Sarah’s stomach turn. I’m not a fan of the noise, but I can handle it. Tyler started laughing his little butt off at the sound. Since then, I’ve made quite the ordeal of blowing the snot onto a papertowel. The level of joy in his laughter is directly proportional to the amount of drama I put into the action. The best responses come when I act as if it takes every ounce of strength in my body to dislodge the yellow-green blockage from the neck of the booger sucker. If this results in the nasty slurping sound, Tyler is even more joyed and doubles his laughter. It’s now at the point where he starts laughing as soon as he sees the mucous evacuation device in my hands.

My current goal is to try to get the same reaction from Tyler while washing his face. And why not? I like taking on the impossible tasks. So far, not so good. Try as I might, the evil, nose-cleansing washrag of doom is just as evil as it ever was. Sound effects be damned, Tyler hates the rag monster.

Note: After typing this post out and before pressing the “Publish” button, Sarah informs me that she’s got a sore throat and a runny nose. So, it looks as if Tyler’s less-than-awesome attitude and his green goo situation may have indeed been due to being sick. Sorry, little one; we honestly thought you were teething.

Second note: See the medicine in the background of the booger sucker picture? Yeah, Tyler’s right ear was in really bad shape when he went to the doctor. His left ear looked great, but the doctor "winced” when she looked at his right ear. The words “red” and “bulging” were used. He’s got three weeks to get better. After that, she’s referring us to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Specialist.

Blowing Some Balls

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I can say, with absolute certainty, that nothing in my life has ever compared with the joy and warmth that fills me when I hear Tyler laughing. Tyler takes after his father in the sense that he is quite easily amused. If I’m watching a movie and see Matthew Perry run into a glass sliding door and crash to the ground – all this because he’s trying to dissuade his assistant and Jimmy “The Tulip” Tudeski from murdering his wife – I will laugh every time. Sadly, I don’t own a copy of this movie, so I can’t be a hundred percent sure of the details of the scene.

One of Tyler’s toys is an orange plastic tiger that is holding a purple plastic basket. On the basket it a blue plastic bird. The accessories to this toy are three – you guessed it – plastic balls. Tyler received this toy as a Christmas present from his Aunt Jillian. When you put a ball into the basket, it plays music and says things like “woohoo”, “good job” and “you’re grrrrrreat!” I find it a tad interesting that this orange tiger toy says “you’re grrrrrrreat” in a very similar way that another orange tiger – which is not owned by the same company – says “they’re grrrrrrrreat”, in reference to the yummy qualities of a certain breakfast cereal.

Playing with this toy with Tyler entails ME dropping the balls in the basket while I say “daddy puts the blue ball in the basket.” Tyler usually watches with mild curiousity for a few moments, before crawling away to find a power cord to chew on. Sometimes, Tyler would pick up a ball with each hand. I would then giggle madly (to myself) when I told him what he was doing. “Tyler is holding his balls.” *snicker* A few days ago, Tyler seemed to finally “get it”. He picked up a ball and dropped it in the basket. I was so excited that I almost jumped up and performed cartwheels. Almost. My worries that maybe it was just a fluke were whisked away when he made 9 more baskets.

Last night, after dinner and before bed, we found ourselves playing with the tiger toy while Sarah took some alone time to unwind and read the paper. Tyler picked up a ball and swung his arm towards me, like he wanted me to have it. I said “can daddy have the green ball?”, as I pulled it from his hand. I couldn’t tell you why I did this, but instead of dropping it in the basket, I made a chomping noise and put it in my mouth. Tyler grinned a little. I aimed down a bit and shot the ball from my mouth, popping Tyler in his leg. He laughed, hard, and handed me another ball. “Can daddy have the red ball?” Chomp. Pop. Laugh. Honestly, I have never heard Tyler laugh this hard before. A baby’s laugh is quite infectious. Sarah put the paper down, laughing, to watch Tyler. I laughed everytime he did.

After a few minutes, I lay down on my back and started shooting the ball in the air, and catching it in my hand. Tyler started laughing even harder. If we weren’t having such a great time, I would have grabbed the camcorder. I don’t know how much that toy tiger cost, but it was worth every penny.

And if you were thinking of something entirely different when you read the title of this post, then shame on you. If that never even crossed your mind (liar), then shame on me.