Monday, February 22, 2010


I typically don't play Hide-N-Seek with Adam and the main reason is because I lost him in a Peebles for about the longest 10 minutes of my life last summer. Another reason is that too much Hide-N-Seek eventually turns into Hide-N-Grab-Your-Leg-As-You-Walk-Past-The-Coffee-Table-Causing-You-To-Wet-Yourself. We tortured my grandmother with that game for years and to this day she still gives the dinning room table a wide birth when nobody is around. Plus with Alex just days away from making his first official appearance, neither Mandy nor I need any extra help becoming a nervous wreck. Still though the weather was nice this weekend and what kinda parent would I be if I didn't play with my kid outside while I can.

Hide-N-Seek is a pretty easy game to follow. Basically you have your Hiders and your Seekers. The Hiders hide, the Seekers seek, and everyone switches places at the end of the turn. Not too many ways to screw that up.....unless the Hiders start hiding before the Seekers know they are expected to be seeking. Adam and I found the perfect spot where we just knew Mommy wouldn't find us. There we were curled up inside that thimble sized tent just laughing at how funny it will be when Mommy came looking for us. Me looking feeling like Clifford The Big Red Dog stuck in a...well stuck in a pup tent.

Minutes went by. Then some more minutes. Then we almost took a nap. Then Adam made me crawl out and get his umbrella in case it rained. Then we spent several minutes discussing the downsides to opening an umbrella inside a space barely big enough to fit a Smurf. Then somebody cut the cheese and no matter how hard we insisted that the guilty party should claim it, the cheese remained cut by some mystery felon. Then a dog barked and several more minutes were spent as I tried in vain to explain my theory that maybe it was really a dragon just pretending to be a puppy and that we better run inside before our feet got set on fire. Still we sat waiting to be sought.

Finally we heard the call we had been waiting on "Hey Boys!!! Where are you???" We thought for sure we were caught. Then we heard it again, but this time from far off in the distance. It was at that point Adam decided we really had found a good hiding place and that Mommy might need a clue to where we were at "Hey Mommy you can't find us!! We are in the tent!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA"......nothing happened. The birds quit chirping. The dragon dog quit barking. The Seeker quit seeking. That's when I decided to us my never fail parent patented Read-Between-The-Lines tone "Hey Mommy you can't find us in the blue tent in the middle of the backyard. I bet you can't find us!!!"

Still no Seekers, but what we did hear was the sound of two very hungry bellys growling alone outside. Thus we proclaimed that not only had we won Hide-N-Seek, but as a reward we should be able to watch Phiney and Ferb while eating brownies.

Monday, February 08, 2010

I Can't Handle The Truth!!!

The Scene: Highland Park COC, Muscle Shoals Al.
The Time: Approx 8:20 Wednesday Feb 3 2010
The Crime: Pulling of fire alarm
The Accused: Adam Beck

In a lot of ways having a kid is like playing private detective. When they cry you have to uncover why. When they act like a monkey on speed you just gotta see what all the excitement is about. When they are silent something deep down inside of you just knows that all is not right in the world and things are very very wrong close by. Once they start school and are not with you for eight hours of the day, it gets harder to uncover what deeds they have spent their time doing. The trick of course is that it's not always what you say, but how you say it. For example "How was your day?" and "Did you have fun at school today playing with your friends?" would seem to be the same question, but will give you completely different answers. The first will get you a simple "Good" with the second you should end up with something resembling "Mikey hit me in the arm and I cried so the teacher said he might not be able to come back anymore then Taylor pinched Katie during nap time and I laughed and fell out of my cot and we had pizza for lunch"

What really makes this game of cat and mouse even more difficult is that sometimes you look at all the answers in front of you and come up with what appears to be a complete picture. So in the case of this week's crime you react and declare a guilty verdict. The guilty party is abolished to his bedroom without TV for the night. Plus he must hear us yell at him periodically for hours to come. And then there are times when after the sentence has been carried out new evidence comes to light. This new reveal leaves everyone feeling like the system failed them and no amount of ice cream can give them back the time they lost.

Looking back we asked the right questions "Did you pull the fire alarm?" "Yes Mommy" "Did somebody talk you into doing it?" "No Mommy" "Why did you do it?" "I don't know Daddy" "Do you understand what you did is wrong?" "Yes I pulled the fire alarm"

It seemed like an open and shut case until days later when after receiving another round of guilt Adam pleaded his case by saying "I was only trying to find the light Mommy"......and that's when we discovered the one thing we forgot to consider......where everyone was at the time the crime took place. You see it all started with a spotted puppy being thrown inside the church. The puppy got thrown by Adam. As he was attempting to find it in between the pews, they person in charge of turning off the lights that night did his job perfectly leaving 10 kids playing in a dark sanctuary. Adam comes screaming out to me begging me to find his beloved stuffed spotted puppy. I flip the switch, lights come on, puppy is found, lights go out, I exit stage left, and Adam along with several others find themselves in a windowless room in the dark. That's when my scared little boy did what he thought was the right thing to do, he found the first switch his tiny hands could reach and he flipped it. The ensuing panic sent everyone fleeing the dark room and Adam carrying the weight of the blame.

So now that it's all in the open what is a good detective to do? Should we stop fighting crime all together? Of course not. The guilt we will carry is our punishment and one night with no bed time is his reward.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Catching The Baby Bug All Over Again

It's hard to believe that we are about to take a trip on the baby train all over again. It seems just like yesterday that I posted:

Baby Fred where are you!!!Baby's room painted...check.Floors good and clean...check.Crib, cradle, swing, and rocking chair put together and safe...check check check check.House ready to be shown to the millions and millions of future visitors....check...sorta.Baby Fred......still not ready....oh ok we can wait......we'll just pass the time by watching TV....or ummm I know I can cut grass.......let's rent a thumps twiddling... TV's boring...grass not no good...BABY FRED WHERE ARE YOU!!!!!This is torture.....

Two weeks ago if you'd asked if we were ready for Alex to arrive, we would have scoffed and laughed at how insanely unprepared we were. As this week comes to a close though it seems that there isn't that much that needs to be done. The room has been painted (had to hire somebody cause I caught a bad cold), the bed will be put together this weekend, and for the most part all the furniture is in place. Nothing left to do now, but put the final touches down.

With all this activity it's easy to get caught up in the baby buzz and forget that we still have some time left on the clock. It didn't help that this week also found me playing with 9 month-old Henry at our Tuesday night Idol Party (easily the best part of the week). Ever where I look there are signs that a baby lives here now except of course the actual baby part. To make things even more interesting (and possibly the cause of this sudden spurt of activity) the Dr. told us last week that the planned due date of March 12th may be moved up a week. When you start dealing in weeks instead of months and you feel behind the curve on the baby prep as it is, loosing 7 days is just the thing to guarantee mass hysteria.

Although we are not yet there, with every curtain that is hung and every onesie that is put neatly in it's place I hear that same clock ticking as I did with Adam. Nothing seems to be catching my attention. I'm losing my focus at work and chalking up problems to "we will figure it out somehow". I can't help but wish this current lack of enthusiasm for anything other than family would last for years to come. My days are going by faster, my problems seem smaller, my faith in God is ever present. It's almost time Baby Alex.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Oliver's Tale

Adam has been going to the Hill since he was nine weeks old and except for a minor little issue here or there we have never had a problem with him being affected by what others in his class are doing. Like most kids he went through the biting phase. Occasionally he will come home spouting a new potty word. Nothing major though until "Oliver" joined his class.

The first time Adam mentioned Oliver he was referring to the fact that Oliver didn't have any friends because he was mean. Then a couple bruises were blamed on Oliver. This went on for a few weeks and suddenly something changed. Suddenly Oliver was the cool kid in class. The rebel that together with Adam loved to chase the girls and growl like wild dogs. We couldn't help but wonder which was better: Oliver as a friend? or Oliver as an foe?

We did some checking and it seems that Oliver is a foster child and hasn't had the best family life. Without going into great detail I'll just say that Oliver has had a harder life that most 4 yr-olds. With this bit of knowledge in our heads and hearts, Mandy and I tried not to chose Adam's friends for him. Instead we encouraged him to play with all his classmates equally. Making sure to ask how Katie or Ben were doing. Things settled down for a bit, then suddenly last week Adam came home saying that Oliver and him no longer had to listen to teacher. Two days later Adam proclaimed that him and Oliver no longer believed in God and didn't plan on going to Chapel.

Sadly this was the last straw. It was time to put an end to this Oliver business. We told Adam that when it came to Oliver he was to be nice, but he needed to play with other kids. This morning was our first day back since last week's talk concerning who Adam would obey and who he should not follow. As I was dropping Adam's things off (snacks, coat, sleeping bag, sleeping buddy, etc...) I noticed he kept hiding behind me. I also noticed Oliver's foster mom was talking to teacher. After I shook him loose a couple times, the teacher asked the most obvious question at the worst possible time...."What is wrong with you this morning Adam?"

My child never listens to me. I have to tell him 100 times to go to bed at night. 1,000 times to finish his cheeseburger if he wants Gummy Bears so bad. 1 million times to quit making that noise that sounds like the cat is about to throw up. Today he heard me loud and clear. He heard me so well that there at the most inappropriate time, he simultaneously proved that he had heard every word I had ever said since he was born and he that understood all of it by pressing play on his inner tape recorder by quoting "My Mommy and Daddy say I can't play with Oliver anymore" All I could do behind my scarlet face full of embarrassment was try to laugh it off and say "Adam....that's not exactly the what we said". Looking at my watch I sudden realised I was late for work and bolted.