The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Holds remote to head, ‘hello?’

That’s right boys and girls, ladies and gents, the kid is mimicking us more and more these days. And that includes phone impressions.

Today I’ll be sharing about the 17th month which had some really awesome, and really unpleasant firsts. Let’s dive in.

One of the great firsts happened one morning on a whim. The kiddo was playing in the kitchen, and I was sitting on the floor either looking at my phone or admiring him (really, it’s one or the other … and I ought to kick the phone habit). I held out my arms and asked, ‘can I have a hug?’ and what do you know – he stopped playing, crawled over to me and onto my lap. I was blown away. First – YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT I JUST ASKED? And second, you actually DID what I asked? Amazing.

Later in the day I had my wife ask the same question and sure enough, he responded again … so it wasn’t just some fluke.

I told my mom about this and she mentioned a similar story with my brother. She was laying on the floor near him and realized he needed a change. She said, ‘oh I’m so tired … will you just grab a clean diaper for me?’ And lo and behold my brother crawled over to the diapers, grabbed one, and crawled back.

It’s incredibly strange to spend months, months and months and months talking to this tiny person and then all the sudden one day boom, here they are responding to whole sentences. I feel like I can see my son trying to focus more on what I’m saying, too. And sometimes I feel like I’m responding with a few too many words. If you have traveled to a place where you speak a tiny bit of the language, you might have experienced what I imagine my son (and all kiddos) experience in life for a while. Where they do or say something and they expect you to respond with a word they know like, ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ But instead you say a BUNCH of words rapid-fire like, ‘well not right now darlin’ but maybe in a bit when mom’s out of the shower.’ My son just stares and I can practically see the eyes saying ‘does. not. compute.’


When trying to fold laundry, try just giving your kid a bucket of toys and maybe he’ll have a blast throwing them over the couch while yelling ‘BOWWW’ with each throw.

My wife was watching the little language man one day when she noticed he looked tired so she asked, ‘do you want to take a nap?’ and he nodded yes. Amazing. It’s been fun to get to ask more and more questions, and see him respond. He helps pick up toys, he kicks this big red ball we have (with mom and dad’s standing assistance) and more.

It is varying levels of helpful, too. For example, he will clean up toys with me … which is wonderful, and then he’ll grab the box, turn it upside down and dump it. That is less helpful. I also asked him to help me put up dishes one day. ‘Will you take this spoon, and put it in that cabinet?’ (Note: we don’t keep our spoons in a cabinet, but he can reach the cabinet so …). And what do you know, he actually took the spoon and put it in a cabinet! Not the cabinet I asked, but still, pretty good! Now it’s almost like a mystery when you open kitchen cabinets to see what strange treasures you’ll find.

And now switching topics entirely, one of the most fun days of this past month was when we were still in the Phoenix area for Christmas. We headed to a fancy new acquarium there which the kid LOVED. He would stand at the glass, making his most delighted faces, squawking his most delighted squawks, and in general just eating up every bit of it. A large shark would leisurely glide by and he’d press his face close and say ‘woah!’ (A new word which is a favorite. And It’s not like just sharks inspire that, dropping his pacifier aka ‘baba’ also inspires saying that word … or seeing Dido, our name for our robot vacuum …)

Another hysterical and strange and sweet moment came with some of the kiddo’s cousins. He has a 6 year old and almost 3 year old cousin we stayed with for a few nights* and he adores watching older kids play. The 3 year old and him had a strange very close staring contest that led to … kisses? Maybe? The kiddo gives kisses now (something that kicked off right after 18 months) but it is just him pressing the general mouth part of the face against your face. There are no kissy lips, just a sort of vague notion of a kiss. (It is adorable, by the by.)

*Ok so. The few nights at my sister’s place. As mentioned my sister has two kids and one night after everyone had gone to bed, around midnight or so, the little monster woke up. No worries, let’s comfort him, hand him a baba that he inevitably throws out of his crib (he starts the night with five in there, and often by the time you get him up he’s down to one). Ok, ok … nope, didn’t work. My wife and I were concerned about staying very quiet so we brought him into our bed with us and that just seemed to wake him up. He went from sleepy to PLAYTIME. After maybe 30 minutes of failing with that my wife headed to the couch and I stayed in bed with him because I often have better luck getting him to konk out. There was a brief period where I thought, ok … ladies and gentlemen … this … could … be … But then he sat up, took out his pacifier, said ‘BOWWWWWWW’ and then threw himself onto my chest**. (He sorta plays my chest like a drum and I respond by saying ‘ow! oof! ouch! oh no! whoof!’ to every hit … It’s pretty fun.) I head out to the family room where my wife had taken up on a couch and it’s about 2 am. He’s WIDE AWAKE, we’re baffled, and we figure he needs to cry for a while before he’ll settle and sleep so we decide to head to my parent’s where we won’t wake the house with his cries. Of course, this created a strange morning for my sis and her husband when they woke up to a deserted room and no word from us. But hey, at least they got a solid night’s sleep.

**The Jason Bourne movies have a real enjoyment of what I’ll call improvised weapons. Whoever the fight scene coordinators were really liked Jason Bourne being in some environment, and then Bourne would pick up any old item around him and use THAT as a weapon. Tea spoon? Try LETHAL tea spoon! Old sneakers? Try old sneakers of DEATH! Anyway. The thing is, my son is like this, only he makes anything around him a toy. It’s 2 am, he’s supposed to be snuggling with me to soothe him and put him back to sleep but then, woah dad … your ear is so BENDY! That’s super cool! Let me just see how many directions I can bend it! And woah, look at how smushy your nose is! I should try smushing it, then taking out my pacifier and saying ‘nose nose nose’ and then smushing mine and saying ‘nose nose nose.’ It’s not ideal when you’re trying to get him to sleep, but kudos, kid, on the improvised toys.

And now for another quick transition we’ll jump back to Colorado, where vacation is over, and it’s the kiddo’s first day at a new classroom. Scary! This is just a chance for me to express my gratitude to the teachers there. The kiddo had some very sad dropoffs which are awful ways to start your day. Saying goodbye to your darling little creature who is crying and reaching out for you. The teachers would take a picture of the little fella playing happily or smiling or just some variation on the opposite of how I last saw him. I’d drop him maybe 745 and then around the time I got to work and got settled, boom, there I’d have a picture of my sweet little fella. It just did wonders for me not hearing his cries bounce around in my head as I began my workday.

One sort of amusing at this point (key: AT THIS POINT) thing that the kiddo has started is what I’ll call ‘tantrum light.’ This takes a few forms:

1 – sitting on his tush, legs out front, arms to his sides, and he twists his torso back and forth swinging his arms wildly while making a very frustrated/unhappy face and he makes generally ‘not pleased’ noises
2 – getting into the crawling position and then kicking one leg out randomly at the air (this was short lived but a real treat to witness)

While these were and are entertaining … boy do I dread the day of the real tantrums.

The kiddo is an only child, and it shows in many ways. Probably lots of them are ways I don’t even realize. But one that I do think exhibits the fact that his every need is catered too probably too quickly is his use of the word ‘help.’ Or ‘hep’ as he says it. He’ll go up to one of our couches and try to climb up while saying, ‘hep hep hep’ over and over because guess what, we probably will come by to help him. (Although now he CAN climb up if he goes to the middle where it’s sunken in.) Likewise, when trying to open any of a number of containers he will continue to struggle mightily while chanting ‘hep hep hep.’ It’s like a tennis player’s grunt at this point. Is it helping? Maybe not, but they’re going to do it all the same. (Same goes for the word ‘open’ … this is heard especially frequently in front of the kitchen pantry door. He’ll just sit there, trying to pry it open while saying ‘open open open’ … But bad news as of next month, he can now open that door. Shoot.)

Oh boy. This is already a whole lot of words and we’re about to embark on a crazy story. Future self, I hope you’ve got some free time.

One day my wife called because our daycare had called her, the kiddo was sick. She was wrapped up for the rest of the day and I was able to flex, so off I headed. I said confidently to my coworkers, I’ll get him, put him down for a nap, then work more. One guy said, ‘IF he naps.’ Oh indeed, friend. When I got to daycare he had thrown up a second time, and he was by himself (away from the other kids for good reason) looking just absolutely wiped out and a little afraid. He was sort of whimpering and just the saddest little sight. I picked him up and comforted him as best I could. When we got out to my car I was a little afraid to drive home because I thought he was about to throw up again, but eventually we hit the road. Once home we let the dog out and boom, the mood struck and out came a good bit more vomit. The poor little guy perked up after that though and he was feeling very playful briefly. Eventually that stopped and I calmed him down and put him down for a nap. Thirty minutes later he woke up immediately upset and crying, I ran upstairs, picked him up and there came the ‘I’m about to throw noise’ (hereafter known as ‘the noise’) so I rushed us to the bathroom where he threw up some on/in the tub. Phew, crisis mildly contained. I got his and my shirts off (puke was on them) and then I wrapped us up in a blanket and laid down to have him nap on me. Twenty or so minutes into his nap he’s up and the noise is again with us, so we rush to a tub and he again throws up, but now it’s much, much less. Having gotten that out he snuggles in and we lay back down … twenty minutes later it’s the same story. My wife had called our pediatrician who advised us to come in after a certain number of times throwing up and we had hit that point and then some.

At the doc we had him take a drug that was supposed to settle his stomach so that he could begin to take on fluids instead of rejecting them (always a plus). He and I begin walking around to see if the drug will hold before we try some water … And that was a big nope. He threw up maybe three or four more times during our doc visit, at this point he was ‘throwing up’ (there was practically nothing coming out) every 15 – 20 minutes. The doc had another doc look for a second opinion and they said, ‘ok, head on home, hopefully with a familiar environment he’ll relax and be ok … But if he throws up JUST ONCE MORE … Head to the ER, get him hooked up to a bag of fluids with an IV and he’ll be a-ok.’

Fingers crossed we got in the car and began the … doll, doll … he’s throwing up on me.

We didn’t even make it to buy Powerade for the little fella.

We got to the ER at maybe 6 and we left at maybe 9 or 930. His bedtime is usually around 630 so this was quite a night for the little guy. When we told one of the ER docs that he did want to drink, he would point to cups and say, ‘awa, awa’ she said that was heartbreaking and you know what? I’m inclined to agree. Really, this would be a tough thing to write if I wasn’t just listening to him giggling and playing happily with my wife.

The IV was rough for the little guy, and his little arm would bend and it would stop the drip. And BOY did his belly go from depleted to as big as I’ve ever seen. They ended up doing one big bag, and a smaller bag, and the first bag had zofram (to settle his stomach). I managed to get him to fall asleep on my chest which was great for letting the drip do its work without interruption. After the first bag, I think, he woke up, looked at a big hanging light over our bed and said, ‘airpane.’ It was wonderful to hear because it meant he’d finally come back to himself a little bit. The little fella had been INCREDIBLY dehydrated and it happened so fast.

It was a heartbreaking evening seeing his poor little body on that big hospital bed, his little arm with an IV hooked up, knowing how absolutely wiped out and destroyed his body had gotten with dehydration. But wait, the fun didn’t stop there …

The good news for my wife and I, not only did we get to see him experience this awful bug/sickness/whatever … but we got to experience it first hand too! My wife’s folks happened to have a visit planned for the weekend after all this and my wife’s stomach was off all weekend, then I was hit HARD on Monday night (4 hours of everything leaving my body, to the point that body parts started to tingle … that was new. Apparently a sign of dehydration – neat!). And then my wife’s mom got sick after their visit. Our own little cruise ship.

BUT! Aside from spreading germs the trip was a smash hit because we took the kiddo sledding for the first time! It was a blast! I think he enjoyed it, we’ve got pictures of him making little silly faces and/or smiling while sledding with mom or dad. And I KNOW he loved watching myself or my wife sled by ourselves. It really amused him watching us. He is very good at being entertained by other kids at play, and for once mom and dad were seen as kids.

One exciting thing that happened this month (last thing – promise!) is a new set of swim lessons. It’s the same class he and I had done before, the class runs for 6 – 18 month olds, and previously all the kiddos were around his age … but this time he is THE BIG KID! (For once in his life! He’s perpetually tiny at doc visits.) And one thing that’s fun is he really gets the instructions much more. I sit him up right outside of the pool and he actually wiggles a little to fall in to the water toward me. And we do this thing where we form a circle and pass a ball around and he just constantly reaches for the ball no matter who is holding it (it’s pretty funny). The other little babies don’t care, and here is my greedy little kid reaching out saying ‘ba … ba … ba.’ We also do some things where you hold the kiddo and have them kick and … whaddya know, he actually started kicking on his own, too! He’ll be swimming in no time! (I mean … we can dream, right?) The most fun thing though was blowing bubbles. The teacher stressed the parents doing this over and over so I did and dunked his face so that his mouth was underwater but not his nose … he loved it, even though I’m pretty sure he was drinking pool water 90% of the time. But then … BUBBLES! He actually blew bubbles! And the next time my wife gave him a bath (the next day maybe) I heard him busting a gut laughing and it was because he’d blow bubbles in the bath, then laugh hysterically. Such an absolute delight to hear.

Ok, till next time chatty dad.


It’s Valentine’s Day. Hurray?

At my son’s school we can get Valentine’s cards to have the kids give each other. Adorable, most likely. A bunch of 12 – 24 month olds handing tiny little cards to each other, pretending to read them saying, ‘ba ba ba ba? Ba ba.’

But here’s the disappointing news – we aren’t supposed to write in the cards! This, of course, makes me want to write in the cards.

white black and red person carrying heart illustration in brown envelope

Photo by on

Here’s what I would write:

‘Hey babe, you, me, Tijuana, and lots of mistakes – this weekend?’

‘Of all the babies, you are my least favorite. Your nose is always runny and it’s gross.’ (I know exactly who I’d want my son to give this to.)

‘When the grown ups aren’t looking we should begin the revolution.’

‘Sometimes when I poop my pants and sit in my diaper … it’s like a warm, squishy hug on my tush.’

‘You can never defeat me.’

‘Oh my God I love your hair. Nah I’m kidding girl you look like a mess.’

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Attn: Ellen (2/13/19)




Back (apologies for my handwriting!)



The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

You know that thing where a 3 year old sorta speaks English, but you also have to look to the parents to say ‘please translate.’ I wonder if it’s like that for any new White House communications directory, chief of staff, etc.

OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?


January 2019 Haiku

January 1 (Tuesday)
Happy New Year, all!
Sans those who floss every day
You show off weirdos

January 2 (Wednesday)
Back to work today
And no customer issues
While on vacation!

January 3 (Thursday)
What age will stop
The January letdown:
So far til Christmas

January 4 (Friday)
Government’s shut down
Can I get a discount on
Federal taxes?

January 5 (Saturday)
Haircut for kiddo
Makes him look like world’s smallest
Corporate drone (like dad!)

January 6 (Sunday)
Bag of mixed veggies
Kid LOVES peas, can’t get enough
Green beans? BETRAYAL!

January 7 (Monday)
Sunday self: DO IT
Monday self: why, past self, why!?
(Zero donuts left)

January 8 (Tuesday)
Drop kid at daycare
Teacher does elephant noise …
Kid (and I) amazed

January 9 (Wednesday)
Daycare calls: kid puked
Keeps puking … Doc, then ER
IV bag heals him


January 10 (Thursday)
Late night snuggle time
Kid wakes crying, pick him up
Melts right into me

January 11 (Friday)
In laws visiting
Grandma happily sets up
Delayed Christmas gift

January 12 (Saturday)
Wife and folks are off
Running errands; Kid, me have
Cheese eating contest

January 13 (Sunday)
Kid’s first time sledding!
Not sure how much he loved it
But all else sure did

January 14 (Monday)
And kid’s stomach bug
Has transferred to dear old me
Weight loss. The bad way.

January 15 (Tuesday)
Four intense hours
Of feeling like hot garbage
But now I’m better?

January 16 (Wednesday)
Hardware-software team
Solving a hardware problem
… So I’m of no help

January 17 (Thursday)
Manual testing
Hoping next release is good
(And I wrote good code)

January 18 (Friday)
Cracking my son up
By yelling the word ‘HEY!’ lots
I’m a funny guy?

January 19 (Saturday)
Kid is walking! (Nah.)
Walks holding mom or dad’s hand
Great progress, monster!

January 20 (Sunday)
Folding some laundry
While kid throws toy after toy
Yelling ‘bowwww’ each time

January 21 (Monday)
Word: equivalent
Meaning: thing we’re still trying,
And failing, to have

January 22 (Tuesday)
Testing the product
Code gods, please let me find stuff
Before customers

January 23 (Wednesday)
Bath time has new thrill:
Blowing bubbles in water!!
Cracks up him and us

January 24 (Thursday)
Wife and I date night!
Dinner, pie, and no kid!
A delightful night

January 25 (Friday)
Government is back
World’s worst ‘vacation’ over
For so many folks

January 26 (Saturday)
New challenge unlocked
Kid pooped in swimming diaper
Poop. Was. Ev…ery…where.

January 27 (Sunday)
Mall walking with son
Each step propels him forward!
… About 3 inches

January 28 (Monday)
Appointment for son
His gross motor skills lagging
Take breath. Plan. And go.

January 29 (Tuesday)
Retirement lunch
Teammate’s last day is Thursday
Glad for him, but sad

January 30 (Wednesday)
High fever for kid
Cuddles, quick naps and lots of
Saying ‘no!’ to things

January 31 (Thursday)
Another sick day
First half dad works. Second: mom.
That’s teamwork, friendos!

Dad Jokes – Camping Style

The tent is set up. Your family is nestled in for the night. Somewhere nearby an owl says, ‘who-who! … who-who!’
You say, ‘it’s me. Dave.’
Your family groans.
The owl pipes up again, ‘who-who! … who-who…who!’
You sigh with frustration, ‘I just … told you. Owl.’

Your family is hiking, dawn is right around the corner and you spy a field full of deer. Gathered there in the pre-dawn light they are a majestic sight. Their rituals have existed long before you, and they will continue when you’re dead.
You say, quietly, to your spouse, ‘hey deer?’
She shakes her head. She knows where this is going.

Someone in your family has accidentally forgotten to put some food item in the bear box. A bear has wandered into your campsite and, after consuming the scrap you left out, has wandered into a neighboring campsite and mauled a camper. Seeing the mangled corpse and a trail of blood you cover your children’s eyes and whisper, ‘unbearable.’

Your children have insisted that they each want their own tent, and for some reason you decided to comply instead of forcing them to be uncomfortable in an effort to build their character. And yet, despite having their own tents your children still begin to bicker with each other. You shake your head and say to them lovingly, ‘you kids are in tents.’

Your spouse has divorced you because the awful jokes were slowly driving a wedge into your relationship. Wracked with grief and rage you buy all of the junk food you can fit in a shopping cart, and then drive into the woods. It’s 7:42 am and you are halfway through your chocolate mousse when an actual moose appears in front of you. You stare off in the distance, wishing you hadn’t wrecked your marriage before you begin mumbling endlessly to yourself, ‘mousse, moose … mousse, moose …’

two people lying inside tent

Photo by Teemu R on

Attn: Ellen (2/6/19)




Back (apologies for my handwriting!)



The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

No silly joke today. Just excited about the day my son is old enough to go out and listen to the Earth’s poetry like the kid on this postcard.

Sincerely, OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?


Music Monday

Watch Out for Language Here, Mom


Music to Nap to (Sorry, Musician)



From an Apple Ad
(Apple Continues to Win at Discovering Little Known Talent)


This playlist.

All Music Monday Playlist.

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