October 25, 2007

Day Tripping

Well, we've successfully completed 1 week of daycare. Maddox is getting settled in. Nicole and I are so lucky to have such an easy baby. I really, honestly think he enjoys it. His teachers both love him and work with him. I'm positive he's their favorite. He's got to be. He's so handsome, how couldn't he be? Truth be told, Nicole and I did check out the competition (i.e. the other kids and their cuteness levels). Here's the run-down: He's in a room with about 5 or 6 other kids less than a year old. So we did a quick check to see how Max ranked on the cuteness factor. Not to intentionally be mean, but let's see... 80% to 90% of the class consists of either the "flat-heads" or the "always cryers", or a combination of the two. This means Max is automatically in the top 10%. Really his only competition is this girl named Juliette. She's a sweetheart with big brown eyes and a beautiful smile and she's got a cute name. I'm not going to lie, she's tough competition... but, as is the case with all women, she's also getting older by the minute, which in her case means she won't be in the class much longer... so we'll wait her out. Max will be king in about 3 - 4 months.

His main teacher is Miss Jackie. She's an older African-American woman whom I believe came to Dallas shortly after Katrina. She's so nice to Nicole and me and she's so great with Maddox, plus she really knows her stuff. Very well educated on child development. And the best part is that Max really likes her a lot. Just hearing her voice makes him smile, and that makes us so much happier about the situation. Plus she gave Nicole a hug on her first day to drop Max off. How great is that? She's going to be great for Max.

Something I'm starting to notice about myself as I transition into a father... I now judge stories/movies based on what they are telling and how they tell it. Used to, I wouldn't care too much about what was said or what the story meant so long as it entertained me on the broader, less specific about what's going on scale. For instance, our bedtime routine consists of Nicole feeding Max while I read to him a story from a book. Usually the stories are ones that have been passed down from generation to generation. In our case, a lot of these stories are found in condensed form from a book we bought at Sam's. So maybe this is where my problems start. Because some of these stories aren't really teaching the best lessons to children. Let's call this my "What the hell?" segment, because that is the feeling I get after reading some of these stories.

The "What the hell" segment starts with Jack and the Bean stalk. To refresh everyone, here's a summary. Jack and his mother are poor. All they have is a cow that doesn't produce milk. Mom says sell it for food. Jack trades it for "magic" beans. Beans get slapped out of his hand by pissed mom. Beans grow. Jack climbs up, finds castle with giant and lots of goodies. Jack breaks in and steals everything but the kitchen sink. He runs away, chased by giant, chops bean stalk just in time for the giant to fall to earth and die. Jack and mom live happy and rich. Did I miss anything? In case you missed them, here's a closer look at my problems:
  1. Jack stops to talk to a strange man about some "magic" beans. They might as well have been mushrooms. Bad move. Now, from my son's point of view, Max thinks that out of every weird random guy that wants to talk to him, at least one of them might have something "magic". Why not just have Jack go to this man's van to get the magic beans?
  2. Jack climbs the beanstalk as high as he could go. Obviously not the best idea for any kid ever. Especially since we have really tall, mature trees in our front yard.
  3. Last, but not least are all crimes Jack committed. Let's see, Breaking an Entering, Stealing, Fleeing from a crime scene, Homicide and probably the cover up or "tampering".

Yay for us! Sweet dreams son.

Anyway, this week we still have a candy corn outfit to make. I'll try and post pictures as soon as I can. But I don't promise anything. I honestly don't know where the time goes. I'm working at work less than usual, I'm spending less quality time with Nicole than normal and the grass in the front yard stays long longer than usual. We'll figure it out. We have to I guess.

October 3, 2007

Giggle It

Slowly but surely we are getting back into the grind. Nicole's first day of work was last Monday, and, as you can imagine, it wasn't greeted with a whole lot of enthusiasm. Even from me, and I hadn't spent every hour of every day with Max for the last 12 weeks. So, needless to say, last week was one we had been dreading for awhile. It makes it a little sweeter that his Nana (my mom) is babysitting him this week, and for a few more weeks. Mostly because our day-care parlor decided that a 10 month waiting list was as disposable as the diapers Max poops in. But it's okay. We are all still alive. After a week, Max is still alive. He's still happy, and I think the time with Nana is really helping him. She's been working with him and entertaining him during the day. Teaching him to play the drums and that sleeping in the big bed is much much better than his crib, all this against my knowledge, obviously. But it's good. Everybody should taste what it's like to be spoiled once in their life. Unfortunate for Max that his glory days occurred in week 13, but what can you do. Those were the cards he was dealt.

Something for the record books... Max recorded his first successful spit up attempt at his father. He's 1 for 1. It was a big day for him. Big day for me too. I now have first hand experience on the matter and can only compare being spit up on to being in a safe, but still destructive car wreck. The comparisons are many. First, while said tragedy is happening, time slows way down. Then, after it's over and you reflect on the happenings, you realize a few more things. 1. You realize just how fast it actually did happened. 2. You realize just how out of control one or both of you were. And 3. You realize the many paths that could have been taken to avoid said tragedy. In my case... the first path to avoidance would mean that tossing a baby in the air (gently or not) immediately after he eats is the equivalent to speeding in a snow storm. Seems painfully obvious, but yet, we've all been there. Funny how that works out. Plus, it doesn't help that babies play it so cool. One minute they are fine, the next minute you've been hit. Oh, and let's not forget the biggest comparison, after it all goes down, chances are pretty good that somebody has pee in their pants.

Okay, so let's talk about Halloween costumes a little. I think Nicole is asking for suggested costume ideas. At this point, she's getting desperate for suggestions because I seem to be drawn to the idea of dressing him up as a piece of candy corn. I don't know why, but I've had this idea for a long time. I think even before we had a name for him, I was on to the candy corn thing. Nicole and I have discussed it at great length and both agree that it has a lot of upside. The first being that we've never seen it before. The second being that Nicole and I both like candy corn as a candy, and we both like Max as a son. Seems too obvious right? Sure seems like all upside with no downside. Well, there are a few downsides. The first is that I've never seen a candy corn costume and, as a result, I will have to make the costume myself. And I'm not very good at costume making. We'll just say that my experience is limited. Which leads us to the bigger downside: If this somehow works out in my favor, no costume will ever be out of reach for us, or for Maddox, but really for us. I know this doesn't sound like a downside, and it isn't, for us anyway. For Max?, yeah probably. "Who wants to dress up like a corn-dog??"

Okay, so the biggest happening to me so far is that Max is starting to giggle. It's not a complete 100% giggle yet, probably more closer to 80%, but he's still giggling and it's probably in my top 5 things that I like about having a baby. I'm going to attempt to post video of little Maddox almost giggling so that you can enjoy also. If it doesn't work, I apologize. If it does, then somebody owes me a coke! (Crossing fingers)...