The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

You know what, friendos? I’ve been bamboozled. Today is the time change day and my wife and I were straight up tricked by our surprising little offspring. We woke up to a cry and I looked at my phone, it was 530. Uh. The kiddo woke up a little earlier than we wanted but not too bad. My wife said, ‘is it Sunday or Monday?’ I answered it’s Sunday and she said ‘ok, I’ll get him.’ About an hour later I get up to let the dog out and look at the time on the stove … 530? 530? But. I …

Turns out the kiddo woke up at FOUR THIRTY, but with the time change that registered as 530 on my phone.

First of all, he shouldn’t have woken up so dang early. And second, for him to wake up at a time where we would ordinarily just go in and say, ‘shhhh, sleep little crazy, sleep’ but instead the kid conspired with stupid daylight savings to bamboozle us.

Well done, trickster.

Anywho, it’s now 1030 (aka 930 if it was yesterday) and the kiddo has been napping about an hour and a half and I’m finally sitting down to do this to do list item that has been on my list for about two weeks. So of course (OF COURSE) all thoughts are on this month but I have to block those out and go to last month, which is basically all of the month of February.

The 18th month.

Last month, the 17th month, we finally made an appointment with early intervention to find out more about his delayed walking. The doc had scared us at our 15th month appointment saying he’s way behind, get thee to a doc (a different doc). My wife called for an appointment and they said, basically, call back later because your son is a preemie so that sort of throws off timing. On the month or two later callback they went ahead and booked the appointment. It was a pretty fascinating experience, and we are very fortunate to live in a city that has such great resources.

We went to a school district building and into a room with four women. One of them was our case worker, and then the other three each had a specialty with little kiddos: one was gross and fine motor skills, one was social (?), and one was language I think. We all sat down and made ourselves relaxed and comfy right away which, by the way, is more of an art than one might expect. They each had such an unassuming and quiet presence that the kiddo just took to playing with the toys in the room straight away. Had they been ‘big’ presences I’m sure our son would have gone to my wife or I for comfort, but instead he seemed to feel right at home. One of the women (the motor skills one) would hand the kiddo various toys and watch how he played with them, trying to get him to do one thing or another. Meanwhile the other two ladies asked my wife and I questions about how he plays, interacts, how many words he knows. (Including the distinction of, ‘how many words does he know that only mom or dad would recognize?’ … His word for banana comes to mind, because banana is, no joke, ‘lalala.’) The ladies seemed to enjoy how at ease and comfortable the kiddo was, including crawling over one of them on the way to a toy they asked him to get. (Which continues to impress and amaze me.)

After a while they must have communicated with each other in some little nods because they had their assessment. The kiddo, was rated right on for this, that and the other, and even older than his age for language, but for gross motor he was ranked as at least 25% behind his age. This meant he qualified for assistance. Both a good thing to have, but a blow. 25% behind? That’s just … so much.

My wife and I left and processed things on our own. It would be a good thing to hear from a PT person the how and what to do, but boy … he just seems so close to walking and he’s not even 18 months and he was almost born two months early and just … 25%!

The next week we had our first appointment with a PT person and it was great. He’s now had I think two appointments and it is just so impressive how smart and crafty the PT person is. She comes to our house and looks around and comes up with ways to exercise the kiddo using things we already have. For example, his right leg is weaker than his left so she suggested we take this one noise-making toy and strap it around his right ankle so that it’ll be fun for him to stomp with his right foot. Clever and impressive stuff. We got some good tips from her and began using those right away.

The tips plus the natural progression of development played well together and before the end of the month we had our first steps! Hooray! (Which he can repeat, by the way.) My wife was witness to the first time or two of steps but then we really got cranking a few days into the next month. But shhh, that is next month’s thunder so we won’t steal.

The weekend after the initial assessment the kiddo and I had our first solo trip – party! We went to Phoenix from a Friday to Monday, and it all went pretty darn well. The flight out he took himself a nice nap, and a woman seated behind me on the plane commented on what a good traveler he was. Sure. Yes. True. But hey man, give me some credit for not moving a muscle while he napped on me too. Ol’ dad worked a little magic too, LADY. And the kiddo enjoyed the flight because we were surrounded by people who engaged, waved, smiled, all that good stuff with him when he wasn’t napping.

The kiddo had a blast playing with cousins in Phoenix, which is definitely fun to see, and we went to an ostrich farm (yep, you read that right). The ostrich farm involved looking at various farm animals and feeding them. And in a little bird area one of the birds landed on my head and  just hung out there for a while, and the kiddo didn’t even bat an eye which I found surprising and disappointing. Come on kid, this is funny!

One of the really fun things to see while there was how much my son LOVED ‘baby.’ Baby was a doll my parents had at their house which the kiddo enjoyed holding while scooting around. And baby would elicit many a happy ‘baby!’ being said by the kiddo which was fun to see, too.

Most of the time was spent hanging out with his almost three year old cousin and the two of them have a very strange and adorable relationship of enjoying staring at each other. My sister propsed the idea of some matching PJs so many a cute picture was also taken, you can be sure of that.

One of the best new things this month was kissing: the kiddo gives little kisses now! They are basically him making a little noise (sort of a ‘mmmmmah’) while holding his mouth open slightly and then gently pressing his face against you. So, most of the ingredients of a kiss. I don’t remember how those started, but once we realized he could do that we jumped in. The funny thing too is that at first he would only kiss our lips, which my wife and I both had not intended to do that but you know … whatever. Now he has moved on to kissing cheeks, shoulders, and even the dog (which we try to prevent because blech). He also stepped up his kissing game later in the month by adding blowing kisses, which takes you a second to know that is what is happening but once you see it it’s obvious.

The best is when you get a kiss unprompted. I don’t know why the kiddo decides to deal those out, but it makes you feel pretty good to be sitting there and up crawls this tiny crazy person and plants his little lips on your cheek for a kiss.

And now to do a 180, one of the most unfortunate parts of the month was a multiple day really high fever the kiddo rocked. My wife and I did a good job of trading off with missing work to be able to stay home with the kiddo, and thankfully he was in decent spirits aside from the fever. I think that week he was home three days. It’s funny how deviations in my normal routine really wipe me out these days. Before if I was sick, or some things came up that caused schedule shifts it was annoying but ok. Now I feel five times more wiped out by the time I get to the weekend if I’m sick, my wife or kiddo are sick, work is weird, or I can’t work out … basically if the big parts of the routine get disrupted then I get disrupted. But if I can still work out and go to work like normal I feel more ok even if I’m sleeping less with a sick kiddo. Funny how impacted I get these days. Whenever my son is sick the idea of a second child (which we want) becomes more daunting and scary.

I decided to start keeping track of when the kiddo is sick to the point daycare is impacted (the lingering cough would be tracked seemingly forever …) because I realized I have no concept of time. I learned this when my boss was out sick and I said to her, ‘oh that’s awful, and you had the flu last week too!’ and she said, ‘last week? That was a month or two ago.’

A very fun new game (for us) this month is what I call the ‘smelly game.’ It started with me holding my son up to my wife and saying, ‘smell his hand and pretend it smells awful.’ He LOVED it. The bigger, more dramatic reaction, the bigger the laugh. It’s also a fun way to learn what body parts he knows. ‘Have mama smell your knee!’ ‘Have mama smell your elbow! … No? Ok, foot!’ I think the most fun I had with this game was when I flopped my whole body on the ground reacting to, apparently, what must have been the world’s smelliest foot. But oh was he laughing.

One thought I have started to have creep in my head more is how much of my son is ‘typical boy’ kind of behavior. For example, I’ve read that boys are three times more likely to bang their heads to relieve stress (babies are fun, eh?). The things that make me think about this are when the kiddo head butts my chest with the back of his head (I’m holding him, he leans forward a bit, then boom, back with a bit of force) or when he sort of tackles and wrestles with stuffed animals or pillows.

Something that I find funny is the kiddo picked up a new skill which *I* found very exciting and entertaining but he didn’t really care about at all. He can now give raspberries! I had him give me a few on my belly and I wriggled and squirmed and laughed a bunch just like he does but his reaction was akin to, ‘ok whatever dad, back to my toy trains.’

And speaking of trains … boy, what a transition … When the kiddo and I were off galivanting in the greater Phoenix area, hanging out with weird alien birds and such, the Mrs. put together our Christmas gift for the kiddo! (Yes, it was a Christmas gift that we didn’t bother busting out til February because the kid has more toys than he knows what to do with.) When we got back home he immediately took to the table and loved banging the little knock-off Brio trains on the table. After a few days he also figure out how to plop a train inside a bridge and then push it down where it inevitably flies off the track which always elicits a quiet little, ‘wheeeee!’

Here’s a dilemma … do I waste space and text by apologizing for how long something already is, thereby making it even longer? Oh, a quandary!

The kiddo has really stepped up (EH!?) his walking game, and as a result he got less chatty for a while. But! When he does talk he has more and more things he is saying where he repeats himself over and over, and I just have to stare befuddled and sorry because I have no idea what ‘ah-do’ means. And then he says it more emphatically, and his little eyebrows furrow and his brow knits and oh he feels so passionately about pointing in that direction (or that direction, or that direction) while repeating ‘ah-do.’ Buddy, I’m sorry.

On the plus side with communication he is now helping (ish) with clothes. Often when he is getting pajamas on he has one pacifier (aka baba) in his mouth and one in his hand. He’ll switch the baba from one hand to the other to make it so you can actually put sleeves on, which is helpful. And he’ll kick his little feet up to help with pants, socks and shoes. He even tries to put shoes on, too, but I think he somehow gets the  wrong shoe on his foot 100% of the time. How is he so consistently wrong?, statistics shouldn’t allow this!

Anywho, the ol’ rambler … OUT.

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Attn: Ellen (3/20/19)

Front

 

Ellen391a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

 

Ellen391b

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

Maybe this is a little dark for a postcard but … Do you think the Catholic Church will ever have a Patron Saint of Not Molesting Children? Because it’d be great if that guy showed up.

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com
OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?

 

Music Monday

SxSW is upon us, and with it is a lot of weird, new music. I listened to part of a playlist NPR put together (man I’m cool) and here are a few I enjoyed.

 

 

 

 

 

This playlist.

All Music Monday playlists.

 

Friends. You’re. In. Luck. Because I’ve got a bunch ready to go for you, so all you have to do is the hard work of printing tiny pieces of paper and making those cookies and then somehow shoving the paper in and not getting it stuck in the cookie.

Let’s say you have been dating someone a while (or not, you impulsive romantic) and you decide you want to ask that person to marry you. Simple. The fortune will say, “will you marry me?” and then when your potential spouse opens the cookie, reads it, looks up at you with eyes full of something (love? fear?) you say, ‘did that asshole cookie just ask you to marry it?’ How could he or she turn you down now, you clever goose!

Let’s say it is finals week and you are taking a break from studying by making these cookies. First, terrible idea, you should be studying, but second, here’s what you say. “A+’s are rarely given, but the dumb dumb in front of you deserves one. So … chop, chop, prof.” A+? More like A++!

Fortune cookies.jpg

Source: Wikipedia


Let’s say you have just bumped into someone while driving, and you have pulled over to trade insurance information. Trade information and then, before driving away hand them a cookie and say, ‘terrible way to meet you but it was, as much as it can be in this situation, a pleasure.’ You’ll be off and driving wherever when they open the cookie, only to read, ‘everything I just told you was a lie.’ Not bad!

Let’s say it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re hosting a great big party. Write a really flowery, delightful, heartfelt compliment on all of the fortunes but one, and that one outlier will say, “blood.” That’s all fine and dandy. But the fun party game for yourself is watching everyone’s faces as they read their fortunes and trying to figure out as fast as possible who the outlier is. Neat game!

Let’s say a friend has just posted bail and they’ve been meeting with a lawyer all day long and they just don’t know how they’ll afford this, or how they’ll survive, or what this means for their friendships, their marriage, their life as a whole and they are just scared to death of everything right now. Bam. Fortune Cookie. And what’s the note say? ‘You’re un-bailievable.’ Heart warmed!

Attn: Ellen (3/13/19)

Front

 

Ellen390a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

 

Ellen390b

Cheerios is having this contest where you tell Ellen something good you’ve done and then you might get tickets to her show. But I had more pressing questions. The text of the postcard is

So Ellen, you like postcards? Cool. Cool. Me too. Umm … ok. Well, see ya!

Why am I doing this?

 

What’s Next?

Here is an interesting way to think about what businesses will die in our lifetime.

Instead of trying to think about what is next in a ‘disruptive’ sort of way, think about what you don’t like about a current business. And then, that might be the key that some other company uses (or the company itself will use) to change that business. A business ‘dying’ is loose, then, because Shell may die in its current form but still exist as Shell. Ok, let’s jump in.

Oh wait. Amazon is an interesting one. I worry about how powerful Bezos is, and his company, but my worry doesn’t exceed the amount of saved effort that company provides. Same goes for Google. I don’t like a number of things about Google, but BOY do they make life easier. My thinking is to discount moral objections, because laziness is the key here. What don’t you like about a current company / service?

empty gray metal shopping card near assorted plastic bottles

When the grocery store notices how much candy and sugary cereal I buy the staff will pitch in and buy me a self-help book.

Know what I don’t think is worth it? Going to an NFL game regularly.

  • What if there were more trains that took me to/from the game without effort. No traffic, no wasted hours of getting in and out of the game.
  • If the NFL was smart, when they are pumping a city for tax dollars to make you pay for someone else’s thing, they’d also get some money for mass transit.
  • That cost is harsh, and then you tack on any food or drinks? Brutal. AND the annoyance of getting up to go get stuff and missing some of the game.
  • This one is something the NFL itself will have to fix, and right now they have no reason to … But if they saw a drop in attendance, I bet some changes might come along here.

Know what is prime for AI and a better experience? Grocery stores.

  • The grocery store involves a lot more thinking, walking, and repetition than is necessary. You go to the grocery store and let’s say 50% of your list is the same every time.
  • Why do you need to go pick all these things out, if you have a grocery store membership card your store already knows exactly what your habits are.
  • Why should you have to bother with finding a new recipe that aligns with what you like when the grocery store can do this for you? Again, they track everything you buy (assuming you have one of those cards) so they can see that you’re trying to eat healthier based on your trends, they can see that you’re into whole wheat pasta, lemons, and chicken, so why not have the grocery store propose a new recipe for you? AND, while you’re at it grocery store, why don’t you go ahead and just have a little robot put together my common things in one container, and your suggested items in another container, and have that waiting in a cart for me. (You could ping the grocery store via their to be built app and then boom, their little robots will run off and compile your cart.)

Know what everyone is sick of? Washing their hands.

  • Poop particles, are they really so harmful?
  • Nah I’m just kidding.
  • But what would really be nice is a tiny robot who would pop out of my desk and put some lotion on my knuckles so that my hands don’t hurt AND I don’t have greasy lotion fingers (and keyboard).

So back to you, dear reader. What’s next?

February 2019 Haiku

February 1 (Friday)
Kid’s fever broken!
Hurray for feeling better!
(And, I pray, good sleep.)

February 2 (Saturday)
Beautiful day out
Playing at park with kiddo
Soaking up the sun

February 3 (Sunday)
Wife’s birthday ‘today’
Cake, gifts, and calling her old!
Fun was had by all!

February 4 (Monday)
‘Innovation’ work
Get to code what I want to
Looks cool … works awful!

February 5 (Tuesday)
Donuts out? Yes please.
Later that day – still donuts?
Fine. Yes. (No control.)

February 6 (Wednesday)
Signed basement contract
We’ll have a finished basement!
It’s gonna be sweet

February 7 (Thursday)
Next level cold temps
Sniffle, and my snot freezes
Jealous, Phoenix fam?!

February 8 (Friday)
Another week done
And what do we have to show?
Seven so-so tweets!

February 9 (Saturday)
Note to future self
When someone talks to my son …
Don’t answer for him!

February 10 (Sunday)
Home Depot morning
Picking stuff for the basement
Surprisingly fun

February 11 (Monday)
This code should be fun …
Teammate’s territorial
And we’re on same task

February 12 (Tuesday)
Storyboarding time
South Park references abound
(“Step three: profit” jokes)

February 13 (Wednesday)
Gave a speech today
Did it go over well? Not so much.
Is it over? Yes.

February 14 (Thursday)
Happy Valentine’s
May you have candy and love
Or, some GREAT candy

February 15 (Friday)
Dad and son trip time!
Kid and my first solo trip
Flying to Phoenix

February 16 (Saturday)
Hanging with cousins
Kiddo eats up all the fun
Happy times for all

February 17 (Sunday)
Ostrich farm today
Strange, smelly, and lots of fun
Kiddo fed a goat!

February 18 (Monday)
On the flight back home
Sat by kid seeing first snow
(Poor desert child)

February 19 (Tuesday)
Back at work today
And hey! Guess what! Hard problem …
Still a hard problem

February 20 (Wednesday)
Approached with idea
It would be fun and scary
(For now, it’s an IF)

February 21 (Thursday)
Read about toy fair
How can I convince my wife
That I should attend

February 22 (Friday)
Weeks with no Monday
Always somehow feel longer
Black magic work stuff

February 23 (Saturday)
Sleepy little boy
No swimming for us today
Instead: more nap time

February 24 (Sunday)
Basement clean up time
Prep for it getting finished
Where to put this STUFF

February 25 (Monday)
PT for kiddo
Neat how they take household stuff
To make kid ‘workouts’

February 26 (Tuesday)
Kiddo shrieks at me
I shriek back in faux surprise
Laugh, laugh, laugh … Repeat.

February 27 (Wednesday)
Kiddo took some steps!
Real, honest to goodness steps!!
Go little monster!

February 28 (Thursday)
Imagine, please, a world
A world without violence. Strife.
A world that’s … BORING.

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