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, April 29, 2009

The Mountain Comes to Mohammed

I had forgotten I grew up on a farm. My entire childhood was one long sequence from the "NEVER LET A CHILD DO THIS!!" section of the farm safety videotape. Considering the number of plows (chisel, disc, and moldboard) that I've climbed on; the number of tractors I've ridden on; and the number of chemicals to which I've been exposed, I should've either lost a limb or grown an extra one. Combines, hell. The combine to me wasn't a picture in a book: it was a giant machine I could climb on and into; get a little trapped in the hopper or pull on a lever in the cab and nearly crush my sisters with header. Who knew it would actually move?

The things I wish for Max, the myriad of things I took for granted (Saturday morning cartoons, my Deadhead Uncle, my own barn to play in) that Max will know only in his own weird way, could fill it's own blog.

However, for a kid into all things large, diesel powered, with huge hydraulic accoutrement, you couldn't find a boy luckier than Max. Since the spring he was born, there's been a stupidly huge highway project going on near our house. There are miles of cranes and front loaders and piles of dirt in easy view of the construction zone-slowed traffic. More locally, though, we have the sad fate of two huge elm trees. Last summer, Max got to watch guys with chainsaws in sky-high cherry pickers saw the tree down to its trunk. Then, a few days later, we awoke to a front loader (driven by Santa Claus, no less) right outside our house. This spring, closure was reached when a crazy, huge saw-thingy came and Vita-Mixed the stump into oblivion. An hour later, this awesome grappler came to finish the job.

Here's Max, long gone catatonic after a whole day of heavy machinery-spotting. He was so zoned-out, when the cool grappler driver extended the arm out until the claw was two feet from Max and then jerked the arm so the claw slammed together, the boy didn't even react. It was like that time George Clooney pulled up at the house with a limo load of supermodels, the trunk full of tackle: he asked me to go fishing and perhaps later a baseball game. I just stood there mutely until he shrugged and drove off.

Friday, April 10, 2009

More Classic Sneeze

If you like Art and you like kids and you like to laugh until you snort milk through your nose, cleeck here.

Court-Ordered Miles Post

The mothership has reported that our Max-centric trend of late is not appreciated. And I will say that while Max is pretty funny, Miles takes humor to an almost subliminal level. He'll flash things (spoon, 4 year-old battery, brush head off your toothbrush) at you, blurt a word-sound and then scoot away like he's pulled the pin on a comedy grenade. He does this partly 'cause he still chooses scooting over the more ubiquitous walking and partly 'cause it's true: he's halfway down the hall when you realize it was all an elaborate and epically hilarious joke. He's an artist.

Scoot, scoot, scoot.

"What's that Miles? A fork? That's a fork."


Scoot, scoot, scoot.

Did you see that? Wait about five minutes after you read this post, you're going to laugh so hard, you will pee your pants. Hey, don't get upset: you don't have to live with him. We're all in diapers in this house now.

Oh, plus, I'm holding Miles posts hostage until he walks. No more cute Miles baby 'til the little bugger walks!

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Hilarity Continues

Here's Max perpetratin' his latest fad: pretending to be going to bed. The last few days, randomly, Max will grab the nearest blanket, nearest pillow, get snuggled in where ever he hangs his hat and announce he's going to bed. This declaration is followed by emphatic, cartoonish snoring for about thirty seconds and then a hearty, "Good Morning!"

That's funny, but that's not what this post is about. What this post is about tonight's dramatics: Miles (the other brother) seems to have entered a new phase of teething. Being the stinky hippie parents that we are, we've turned to nature's answer for teething pain: lots and lots of Children's Tylenol. Tonight, when we were dosing Miles, Max decided that he wanted some cherry-flavored, pain-killing syrup.

Now, how do you get your Acetaminophen fix if you're not actually sick. Obviously, the best answer to immediately pretend you're sick.

"Oh, I want to have some Tylenol too!"

"No, Max, you're not sick. Miles' teeth hurt right now, so he's getting Tylenol."

"But I am sick.. . . Cough! Cough!" I'm not kidding! He fake coughed! Then after the fake coughing, he started moaning, as if he were in pain and all the while putting on his best "I'm-woefully-sick-please-give-me-some-drugs" face.

After Katie and I got done laughing, we gave Max an Oscar and then let him thank us until we had to cut him off with some out-music.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Reasons 4,358, 5,791 and 6,121 I Love Max

He's a night owl. Back when Max first started in his big-boy bed, there were a few nights of trouble. By "trouble", I mean for a week or so, there was a lot of getting out of bed, footsteps to his door, door getting cracked, eye peeking through crack, door slamming shut when you got up to walk towards door, footsteps thumping across floor, and little boy body jumping back into big-boy bed. This was typically accompanied by an emptying of dresser drawers followed by some wailing and then sleep. Our reward for this was opening his door an hour or two later to find the boy curled up on the floor; his head on his pillow, no blanket and everything he could possibly reach strewn about like some crazy carpet.

After some talkings-to on our part and, I guess, maturing on Max's part, we've all come to a agreement: As long as he stays in his room, he's cool. After we put Max to bed, the boy almost immediately leaps out of bed, flicks on his light and proceeds to putter about his room until he decides to go to sleep. Sometimes this can last five minutes, sometimes two hours. Here's what I love: At some point, he decides he's tired, he turns off his light and climbs into bed. It just cracks me up, trying to be in his head. "Oh man, I've read and re-read every damn book in here, I've sung every song I can remember and I've talked to every stuffed animal. . . eh, might as well go to sleep." Walks over to wall: click! Walks back to bed. It's beautiful.

He's a showman. The first couple of music classes that we took were fine by Max. We'd go to class, he'd play along, shake the instruments and run around once in awhile. Outside of class, though, he was like, "Music class, wha. . ?" He'd listen to his Elvis, his Jonathan Richman, his Holly, Buddy (what Max calls Buddy Holly) but, pop in that damn music class cd and he'd react like he was getting scanned. This last class though, the beats got him hooked like a crack head junkie. As with all his favorite discs, he has the whole freakin' thing memorized, knows what songs come in what order and has all the b-sides.

So, we go to class one day and, joy, his favorite song is dropped. Most kids just hung with their parents, sitting on their laps, maybe mumbling along, sort of singing or, depending on their age, drooling, uh, musically. Max, though, leapt up, stood in the center of the parent/kid circle and began to belt out: "STAR SHINE! NUMBERONE NUMBERTWO BYEBYE GOODNIGHT!!!" Had Katie and I been in a chair, we would have fallen out of them, laughing with joy and pride. As it was, being that we were already on the floor, we just sort of tipped over.

Max is clairvoyant. A few weeks back our homegirl, Kelli, was planning on coming down for a visit. A few days before she was due to arrive, I mentioned to Max that Kelli was coming. He came back with, "No, daddy, Kelli is not coming. Kelli is sick!" Ha-ha! So I called Kelli and left her a voicemail about the cute thing Max said. Kelli called the next day, saying she had listened to the voicemail, laughed, gone to bed and woke up with the nastiest cold: trip canceled. So, I guess, really, he can either tell the future or cast spells. Perhaps both. Kell-kell lives up Moorhead way, where the Red River prefers to color outside the lines. And the other day, ominously, Max mentioned that, "Kelli's car is stuck in the mud!". I hope he turns out to be a better singer than a wee Nostradamus.

Here's Max, dancing his pants off to They Might Be Giants. Whoops! There's reason 6,122.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

How to Tell if You've Properly Indoctrinated Your Child

We're pretty big on the "please"'s and "thank you"'s 'round here. I can remember visiting my grandmother with a friend when I was 13 or so. 13, of course, being the or, at least, approaching the absolute peak of disdain for anything parental or, really, just about anything non-girl. Not that I ever talked to a girl when I was 13. . . or 14. . . or 15. So, we were up at my granmother's farm, and I remember, at the end of the weekend, grandma commenting, "Polite boys." At the time, I took it as a compliment, but now that I'm older an wiser, I realize she meant, "Probably, these kids are punk-bastards. They are, however, polite punk-bastards."

In an effort to create our own, polite punk-bastard, we've got Max on the please and thank you train. Even when he's a screaming, bellowing mess, we can convince him to ask politely for something. This usually results in the dialectical comedy of going from, "I WANT ICE CREAM!!!!!" to an absolute whisper of, "I. could. have. some. icce. cream, pllleaasse." Because, if you've been yelling, and you've been asked to be polite, it means you should whisper your request, right?

Last night, though, it became clear that our brainwashing was taking hold. It was 1:30 am and Max had been fighting through the first night of cold. After deciding that sleeping on Daddy wasn't as comfortable as he'd like, he unhappyily stumbled into bed. 1:30 am, exhausted, stuffed-up nose, half-crying, feels like crap and we have this exchange:

"Are you ready to get into bed, Tex?"

"Yeah." And he climbs into bed. "Hey!," he says, getting under the covers. "Where's my kitty?" (Never mind that "kitty" is actually a bear in a kitty suit. Some Starbucks Halloween leftover).

"Here's your kitty, big guy."

"Oh, thank you, daddy."

"You're welcome."

It was then that I knew he was ready for the next phase of training: He was our little Patty Hearst and it was time for some SLA-style bank robbery. . . but polite SLA-style bank robbery!

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