Max and Miles who, to Me, Will Always be Secretly Named "Gus"

The blog about Max and his little brother, Miles. Stunningly cute boys and future leaders of the rebel forces.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kid TV

Back in the day when we felt less breedy, we got us a puppy. Where we were -- literally and figuratively -- at the time, there was another puppy 'bout the same age as our puppy. You could set these two puppies to a-playin' and stand there for hours watching them slobber all over each other. This was called "Puppy TV".

We still have the puppy but our viewing habits have changed significantly.

My Dad spent most of Memorial Day sitting on a chair in the backyard watching Ye Olde Kid TV proving he was smarter than me. I was inside cooking breakfast for everyone. Between pancakes and pots of coffee, I'd glance out the window and there'd be Dad with the dumbest grin on his face. At first I figured he had just remembered a routine from one his old Bob Newhart or Bill Cosby albums. (By the way, in case anybody wonders why I am the way I am, listening to these albums about ten thousand times as a child might be a good place to start. There's a lesson in there somewhere, I suppose.) But then I looked again and I could see he was rendered stupefyingly happy by the sight of his grandchildren running madcap around the yard.

Mostly, it was Aurelio dashing about with Max trailing behind in absolute awe of his gigantic cousin. In a quiet moment, seen here, Max takes the opportunity to teach Aurelio about one of his favorite pass-times: Tasting Charcoal Briquettes. Aurelio is wisely hesitant.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kids are not Perceptive

While there is an extensive and detailed list of things that Katie and I love about each other, like any couple, we have our share of charming foibles that drives the other bonkers.

Katie will mention, innocently enough, I suppose, "Man, we really need to get XYZ Job done soon." What I hear is: "Hey, lazy, sack-of-poop Husband! Stop blogging and organize the basement/organize the garage/pick up your socks!" I immediately get defensive and stammer about time and kids and how can you expect me to do anything? How? That's my foible.

I'll be preparing something for dinner, chopping some carrots, let's say. Katie'll come into the kitchen, look at the recipe, look at what I'm doing and ask, "Is that really the way you want to chop those?" Bonkers! Makes. Me. Bonkers! Playful, pain-easing, shorthand for this has become, "Critique! Critique! Critique!"

Oh, the fun we have in this house.

The other day, Katie, Max and I were hanging out and she mentioned one of those "XYZ" jobs. "Blurt! Blurt! Blurt blurt blurt!" I said. Katie responded by doing a little pantomiming dance of my over-reaction, complete with a dopey-sounding defensive voice. Very entertaining. She then turned to Max and asked, "Max, who am I?"

Max wrinkled up his nose and growled, "Daaa-deeeeeeeeee!"

This, admittedly, was pretty funny.

That seemed a little too easy to me, though. So as a control experiment, I did a crazy dance while pointing at Max's shoes, pants and shirt, said, "Critique! Critique! Critique!"

I stood up and asked, "Max, who am I?"

"Maaa-meeeeeee!" Growled back a wrinkly-nosed boy.

We've really got to pull these "how-to" books about parent psychosis diagnosis out of his bedtime rotation.

Dancing with the Miles

We don't watch a lot of Dancing with the Stars around here. Although, if you wanted, you could call Grandma Kay, who could give you a plethora of information about all the dancers. This wouldn't be straight news you'd be getting; there were would be lots of editorializing and probably a few spoilers, as she has and can and will predict all the winners down to what they'll be wearing. Freaky!

Intuitive and knowledgeable about The Dance as Grandma Kay is, she's still at a loss when it comes to Priscilla Presley's face. Freaky!

What we do know around these parts, though, is dance fashion! So, if you put a pair of slightly flared sweat pants on a baby, it's time for that baby to dance!

Kay said it would happen.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Speaking of Joy

This one goes out to my daddy-blogging homeboy, Hamann.

The other day, Katie and I were having a semi-joking conversation about how she had sucked all the joy out of my life. As is typical while we have these oh-so-playful conversations, we pretty much let Max drop off our radar. So, Katie and I were laughing about our awful life when Max, who had grown bored in the basement among my boxes of broken glass and jars of nails, climbed up the basement stairs, heard us talking and decided to spring up the last couple of steps to surprise Mom and Dad.

He plopped into the kitchen with an excited little yell and Katie observed, "Speaking of joy."

Recently, in a spate of CD buying madness, I got the soundtrack to "Juno". Now, say what you will about the movie, you can't really argue with the soundtrack. It's one of those cases where the soundtrack of a movie kicks booty all over the movie itself. "The Virgin Suicides" is probably one of those. Then there's this, which is a movie I've never gotten around to seeing 'cause I've heard it bites. The soundtrack, though is good, weird fun.

Anyhoos, there's a line in a song on the "Juno" soundtrack that nails it. Everytime I hear it, I think of Max's voice: the breathy way he tosses off "Bye!" when you're leaving for work. Or his face when he's totally pumped about something. Well, fine, it's everything about the boy.

In the song, there's a dream and the singer ends up -- in the dream -- in a giant tire swing, singing along with the tire swing pusher and "the sound of our voices made us forget everything that had ever hurt our feelings".

Feelings, you are healed:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

If I Hold Onto this Tree, Maybe the Room Will Stop Spinning

You might be a better person than I am but, if you haven't wondered what it would be like to get your kid wasted, there's something wrong with you.

Perhaps a little context is in order. Max got tubes today. Remember, way back in the day, a whole two months ago, when we were in the hospital for five days? Well, even after all the antibiotics and the chicken-sacrificing, Max still had a tendency for ear infections. Our ENT recommended: Tubes. Oh, I mean: Tubes.

Surgery went fine. Man, it takes, like, five minutes. We had barely gotten our seat trays unfolded and the doctor was back in the waiting room, telling us how well it went. However, before the procedure, in the pre-op area, Max was having some traumatic flashbacks to his previous hospital experience. The anesthesiologist poked his head into the room and wondered if we wouldn't want something to calm him down before the real deal started.

"It'll just make him a little groggy," the doctor said.

Five minutes later Max was pointing at his socks, happily observing (accurately), "Sooocks!" This was followed by the dumbest laugh you've ever heard a stoned person laugh. I was half-expecting Max to tug at my sleeve and ask, "Dad? Dad. Have you ever really looked at your handssss? I mean, really looked?" Thankfully, he didn't. He just laughed like a goof-ball and drooled all over himself. The real trouble started when he wanted to get behind the wheel of his toy car. He kept swearing to us that he drove better with a few in him. Falling out of the little plastic car while laughing uncontrollably was not the best way to convince us this was true.

Goat Boy Lives!

Turns out, Miles is one helluva eater. In one day, he went from a diet consisting entirely of breast milk to (progressively): rice cereal, pureed carrots, over-cooked pasta, peeled grapes, toast, french fries, pirogies, tacos al pastor, beer, steak, and popcorn.

It was an impressive day.

Basically, now, Miles' life is a series of feedings; be it milk, be it rice cereal, where, if the meal ends before he decides it should end, he pounds on the tray and cries until you reconstitute more rice cereal. Then he sleeps.

It's like we're in some baby version of "Little Shop of Horrors" shown at one of those "medieval" restaurants where you call the waitress a wench.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Time Out

This isn't a picture of Max's first time-out which, according to Katie, was not exactly what you'd call a "Kodak Moment". I've worked about 16,000 thousand days in a row recently, which results in less blogging and less time with the family. This results in Katie having it up tO HERE, even with the world's cutest, yet occasionally impudent, two year-old.

My schedule should get back to semi-normal, here, in a few days so we'll be back to regular posting soon.

Meanwhile, Max has used the verb "does" correctly. As in: "Does! Flips! Red! Bull! 'Copter!" This would be Max, excitedly describing the way a large, stuffed chicken flips in the air when I throw it for Frankie. "Red!" and "Bull!" are referencing one of Max's favorite youtube links.

Here, though, you see Max in a quiet moment. These are the times that are just breath-taking to me. Somewhere in his day, the boy has settled in, next to a small cabinet where we keep (coughcoughstuff books and toys when people are coming over coughcough) some books. Where, of his own volition pulls out books, and begins to "read" them. He calmly sits, flipping through the pages, looking at the pictures and, I guess, reading. After a while, he notices Katie and I watching him, sort of snickering with pride; sort of crying because he's so cute, and he notices the TV's still on or that the sun is out.

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