Rock Fists

Rock Fists

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Perfect Day

Boys, it's time to get up!  The Daniel and Douglas 500 has begun!! 

Both kids hop out of bed with the anticipation of a great day ahead.  They go potty all by themselves, including washing and drying their hands completely.  They both handle getting dressed with no issues or whining, including those pesky socks.  They head back into the bathroom to brush their teeth themselves.  Now I'm starting to get curious.

They head downstairs and get bagels for breakfast.  I help them spread the cream cheese and pour the milk.  They eat and chat with no problems or spills.  After they're finished they bring their plates and cups into the kitchen and put them in the dishwasher.  Now I'm starting to get intrigued.

They then put on their sneakers and I help them tie their shoes (they are still 4 after all).  They put on their coats (including zippers), gloves and hats and get into the car.  They buckle themselves in with no problems.  Now I'm starting to get worried.

I make it to school right on time.  They unbuckle themselves, grab their lunches from the front seat and head into school.  They hang up their jackets on the proper hooks and put their lunches away.  They give a cursory wave and say goodbye daddy as they dive into some legos.

I come home from work and the boys are already quietly eating dinner. After dinner it's upstairs and into the bath.  There's no whining, no fighting, they willingly go into the bath and play.  No problems washing and getting them into pajamas and all ready for bed.  We read a few books and then they climb into bed, cover themselves and are out as soon as their heads hit the pillows.  We shut the door and quietly say good night, but they are already asleep.

We look at each other in amazement and wonder if this was in fact the perfect d..

EH! EH! EH! EH! EH! EH! EH! EH!  SMACK!!!

Oh, it's 6am already? I shut off my alarm realizing that the perfect day was all a dream.

Ladies and Gentle-cars! It's time for today's Daniel and Douglas 500!!!

Boys, Start Your Engines!!!

Douglas : "Va-Roooooooooooom"!!!

Daniel : "Ugh".. Proceeds to roll over..

Yeah, that's more like it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Max and Mitch 500

Door swings open..  Lights are flicked on..

"Ladies and Gentle-cars!  It's Monday, December 12th and it's time for today's Max and Mitch 500!!"

"Boys, Start Your Engines!!!"

Mitch: "Va-Roooooooooooom"!!!

Max:  "Ugh"..  Proceeds to roll over..

Can you guess which one is the morning person?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rosetta Stone

People say that twins have their own language, and it is true.  When the boys were little, (and to a certain degree now) they would have this indecipherable language that only they would know and it would crack them up.  Not unlike that viral video of those 2 babies laughing in the kitchen.  That actually happens.

The other day we were driving home from school and Max was taking his whining to a new level.  We always tell him that he needs to use his words and not whine because we can't understand him.  He also has this tendency to speak really softly which, especially when you're driving, it's difficult to hear. (Usually because the music is turned up too loud to drown out his whining)


After about 7-8 times of asking him to repeat himself (and yes I turned the music down, maybe after #4), finally I employed his brother for some assistance.

"Mitch, can you help daddy out, what is Max saying?"

Mitch leans forward and proceeds to say that Max is trying to tell me that my door is clean...there are no more boogers left on it".

Who needs Rosetta Stone when you have a twin?  But as I learned, some things are just better left unsaid.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cadi-Girl

I had Cadi (that lovable yellow pooch in the picture) with me at work today..  So when I got back from my lunch I took her on a walk, which is customary when I bring her in.

After getting money from the ATM, I open the door and there is a mother and father walking in between a little girl, maybe 2 or so.  And while she rarely does it to people she knows, when she sees new people she sometimes barks (Cadi not the little girl.  I have no idea whether the little girl barks or not).  Anyway, Cadi barked in this little girl's face and I thought the girl was going to go flying into the street..  I had to admit, it was pretty funny..  Thankfully the parents weren't too concerned as they saw she was on a leash and we all went on our merry way.

It got me thinking that I'm so glad the boys are growing up with a dog.  They are being taught to respect animals and that not all animals are bad and/or dangerous.  They are great when meeting new dogs and are not scared.  They always put their hands out for them to sniff and get their scent.  They love curling up with her on the couch to watch a movie or just pet her as they know it makes her happy.  They love throwing the frisbee to her when it's nice out and enjoy taking her for walks. Even as recent as this morning I told the boys to say goodbye to Cadi as they were off to school and after Mitch said goodbye, Max says "no, Cadi's MY doggy"..  It was pretty funny.

I really have no idea what's going to happen when the inevitability of life rears its ugly head..  Forget about comforting the boys, who the hell is going to comfort me?!  I have a feeling that the two of them will be strong enough to comfort me and help me through it.  In the meantime, I'll continue to laugh as she barks in little kids' faces.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Future DIY'er

I don't even know why I bother..

I've never really been very handy.  I mean, I can hammer, use a screwdriver, wrench, etc..  But you're not going to see me out there framing a garage or anything.  I did put down hardwood floor in my hallway and the dining room..  While I did have some help (someone to measure, cut the pieces, etc), I think I contributed mightily.

As anyone who has tried to assemble kids toys knows, they are not always easy to complete.  True, some of them are extremely easy and the instructions are pretty clear; others not so much.  One such Cars 2 race track is one of those not so much, at least for me.  While it was pretty simple for the most part, there is a Big Ben (Parliament) Clock Tower that the ramp comes down from and another that lies under the tower and goes up.  Those ramps meet up, but don't connect and it's pretty cool.  Additionally, when the clock says 12 then you can open the other side of the clock and a car will fall out and slide down the track.  However, you need to open it first naturally in order for the car to be placed inside.  You would think that would be the easy part, but nowhere did it say how to open the clock.  Just that when it says 12, it can open.  I couldn't for the life of me get this clock to open. 

Max however sends Finn McMissle down the ramp and the car hits this little lever that's hanging down and what do you know.. the damn clock opened..  He was so excited..  I was, um..  excited for him.. yeah..  that's what I was..

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.  The day before the boys had woken up early and had gone down to the playroom.  They wanted to open another Cars race track set they had.  Max had brought up the Fisher Price screwdriver to show us the tool we needed to assemble it.  Hey at least he knew what the screwdriver looked like.  There's hope for him yet.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween

It is that time of the year again..  Halloween..  I'm not as a big a fan as I used to be.. What has happened exactly I'm not sure..  When I was little obviously I would dress up, but I can't even really remember what costumes I had..  I think one year I was Casper..  I'm sure at some point I was some super hero, maybe Superman, but honestly I have no idea..  As I got older, it became less about the costumes and the candy and more about the egging and shaving creaming.  Stink bombs in the mailbox, egging kids on the street and getting into huge shaving cream fights..   THAT was Halloween..

But then the crackdown came..  Police cars patrolling neighborhoods on Halloween to make sure no ruffians were about (Thank you O'Banion)..  And then I guess if I couldn't go egging or shaving creaming, then there was no point and Halloween became just another day on the calendar.

Fast forward a few years and I am out taking the Twinado trick or treating by myself.  To be honest, they were pretty good..  They said trick or treat and thank you to almost every house.. I was pretty proud of them..  I was also pretty cold..  Wearing gloves and earmuffs?  I mean, it is the first week of November right?  But I see that the boys were all into people's costumes, calling out who kids were and what they were wearing.  When we got home Max decided he was going to hand out all the candy to the kids who came to the door.  I really didn't have to do anything. It was kinda nice.

Maybe I should get more into it next year.  They'll be 5 and we can get really creative with their costumes..  Maybe I'll even break out the white sheet and bust out the old Casper costume for old times sake.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Why Is the Sky Blue?

Daddy, is it raining?  Yes, Max is it..  Why?

Ugh..  I had written a blog a while ago for another site titled the Age of Why..   Now they've been pretty good lately about asking those endless "Why" types of questions, but I had to think on my feet for this one.

"Well Max, the clouds in the sky are full of water.  And when they get to a point where they can't hold any more water, they have to let it go and it rains."

Now we all know less is more when explaining things to little kids.  The less words you use, the more apt they are to pay attention.  The longer you string something out, you've already lost them before you start the second sentence.

Max: "Why?"

"Well", I went on to explain "there is moisture in the air and the clouds trap it in and when they can't hold any more, they have to let it go" (not quite sure if that's 100% accurate or not but it sounded good.  Dylan Dreyer if you are reading this, feel free to comment).

Still looking perplexed from the backseat, I tried one more.. 

"Max, think of the clouds as your bladder.  When you drink a lot of water, your belly gets full right?"

Max: "Yes"..

"Ok, so when your belly gets full, you have to pee right?"

Max: "Yes"..

"Ok, so the clouds' belly got too full and had to pee.  So think of rain as the clouds peeing all over you because they drank too much water."

Max: "Oh, ok.. Thanks daddy.."

Think of how many mysteries of the universe could be explained to kids if we only put them in terms they can understand..  Relate everything to pee or poop and this parenting thing is a snap..

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Behind the Bag

October 25th, 1986.  I had turned 10 that summer and it was a fantastic summer..  I had gone to overnight camp for the first time in a little slice of heaven up in Brookline, NH.  My sister had gone the year before for a month, but she said wasn't for her.  My parents said try it one more time and this time your brother will go too.  After the first month, visiting day came for the kids who stayed all summer and it was changeover day for the kids who only went one month.  When my parents came up to get us, they asked my sister how it was and she said she didn't want to go back.  I then promptly said "can I have her month?"  I loved it so much I wanted to go the entire summer..  I remember vividly waiting not so patiently every morning that July for a counselor or camper to have a Boston Globe (back when people read the Globe) so I could see how the Red Sox did the night before.  My camp saying in the yearbook was actually "So how did the Red Sox do last night?"  I guess I was a little obsessed.

But in 1986, what 10 year old wasn't?  Hell, what 40 year old wasn't?  Boston sports in 1986 was something to witness.  The Celtics had just finished wrapping up their 16th World Championship by dispatching the Houston Rockets in 6 games (FYI, 85-86 Celtics best TEAM ever.  Ever.)  The Patriots had made their impossible run to their first Super Bowl the season prior (let's just say they scored the first 3 points of the game and the last 7.  Who really remembers giving up 46 in between?)  I also had my first beer during that game.  Coors Gold.  Mmm, Coors Gold...  Lastly, the Bruins had unfortunately lost to the hated Habs in 7 games in the Adams Division Semis (back when there were real divisions, none of this Eastern Conference/Western Conference crap.  Wales and Campbell dammit!)

But the Red Sox were different.  Boston was still a baseball town first and the hometown 9 hadn't won a World Series since..  well, you know when, I don't need to say it..  They had come close many times before my time (1946, 1967, 1975).  But this team was great.  Clemens, Hurst, Boggs, Rice, Evans.. 
I mean these guys were so good.  I thought it was over though when they were down 3-1 to the California Angels before they became the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and then became the Anaheim Angels I believe before finally settling on.. oh I don't even know.. I remember hoping Dave Henderson would somehow just get on base in Game 5 to keep the season alive.  He had gone 2 for 4  to that point and my sister and I were chanting "2 for 4 let's make it 3 for 5"..  You're really creative when your 10 and 14, huh?  And then somehow Hendu launched one over the wall and the Sox would go on to win the series and face the Mets in the World Series. (RIP Donnie Moore)

Fast forward to Game 6.  Heading into the 10th the Sox scored 2 runs to make it 5-3.  1 out.  2 outs.  Hell 1 STRIKE AWAY! (wait, I don't have to give that perm-head any royalties for using that do I? Boston folks, you know who I mean) And then, it was like a dam overflowed and the levees broke and it just all fell apart.  For the record, I do not blame Buckner.  Never have.  Well, maybe at that specific moment I did, but once I was old enough to analyze everything, I didn't.  He should have never been in there to begin with.  All playoffs McNamara had put in Dave Stapleton as a defensive replacement.  It's what you do in the playoffs.  Why not now when it means the most?  I didn't get it then and I still don't get it now.  But I digress..

We all know what happened..  Until 2004 when the Red Sox finally won it all (thank you Joe Buck for ruining it) Game 6 was all anybody could talk about regarding the Red Sox, that and that stupid "curse" (more royalties)..  And 2007 thankfully put it all to bed.  But some people still don't forgive Buckner.  I don't get that either.  Would I be this calm if the Sox hadn't won it in 04 and/or 07?  Perhaps not.  But I still wouldn't blame Buckner.  He has made peace with it a lot sooner than some locals have.  He finally got up the nerve to come to Boston and throw out the first pitch at Fenway and received a raucous standing ovation that lasted easily over 5 minutes.  I didn't think he was going to make it to actually throwing the pitch.  He was clearly moved by the ovation and I think it finally hit him that people were over it.

For a while it didn't bother me to watch it.  In fact, there were times after 04 that I would go back and watch it just to prove it didn't bother me anymore.  But after this most recent monumental collapse, the turmoil that is the front office and who knows what to make of the on-field product, it gives me that feeling again. 

October 25th, 2011.  It was time for a bath.  I had asked the boys numerous times to come upstairs, to no avail (nothing new there).  The bath was ready and the water was starting to get cold.  Finally I come downstairs to turn off Super Hero Squad and what happened to be on was E:60 doing some sort of retrospective of the 25 year anniversary of The Error.  So of course, I had to sit.  Suddenly, I was mesmerized.  It was pre-2004 all over again.  And since the boys love the Red Sox, they were watching.  I said "boys, I hope you never have to go through the agony of what I went through watching this game"..  They had no idea what I was talking about.  And as they show the replay over and over and over and over and over, I was like seriously people!!!  How many times can you show a 5 second clip in 1 minute?  Well the answer evidently is 12..  (for those of you who need a math refresher, get a calculator).

Well, apparently Mitch had had enough as well because he said "daddy, it's time to turn it off now".  Yes Mitch, it certainly is.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things 4 Year Olds Say

So we're at the doctor's office and Mitch says, "I'm hungry".  Well it just so happens that we always keep either crackers or gummies in the diaper bag, just in case.

So I pull out some peanut butter crackers and ask if he wants them.  He says "no, I don't want peanut butter crackers".  Well unfortunately for Mitch that's all I have.  So I said "sorry Mitch, that's all I have.  It's either peanut butter crackers or bust".

So naturally, his next words were "I'll take bust"..   Smart ass...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend at Thaler's

It's an All Testosterone weekend here at Casa de Thaler..  Amy is off with Cadi (our beloved 4 legged friend) to Maine for the weekend to visit friends for her birthday.  A nice getaway she desperately needs and deserves..

Surprisingly enough the boys were in a great mood..  Usually by the end of the week they are so exhausted Friday nights are easy.. They're in bed pretty early and asleep not long after laying their cute little heads down on the Spiderman pillow cases.. However this week has been a little different.. 

Mitch had been running a high fever off and on since Sunday evening..  It would go up to 102 and then back down to 97.  Max had a doctor's appointment Tuesday morning so when I went to drop him off, daycare told me that Mitch wasn't feeling well.  They took his temp and it was 101.8.  Looks like I was working from home.  He slept for the afternoon and woke up drenched like one of those hot summer nights with no air conditioning.  I figured his fever broke so he'd be good to go. 

Unfortunately, he woke up Wednesday morning and his back could have lit a camp fire it was so hot..  I decided it was time to see what was up..  We sent Max to school and took Mitch to the doctor.  He was such a rock star!  Normally he's pretty good, but this was different.  He was pleasant and courteous, he did everything the doctor asked him to and when it came time for the strep test, he just stuck out his tongue and said "ahh"..  I was beginning to think this wasn't Mitch at all and he had been switched with some other kid..  But I digress..  It came back positive so he wasn't going anywhere for the rest of the day.  Naturally, I was working from home again.  This time, he did not sleep.  He was eating, playing, jumping, had so much energy I didn't understand it..  Yes, he had a fever but he had all the energy of a normal 4 year old.  Thankfully, he still allowed me to get work done because he plays well on his own.  Had no problem also just chilling and watching a movie either.  And then, he crashed..  Right in his SpongeBob Mac and Cheese..  Just passed out mid forkful while watching The Backyardigans.  I didn't have the heart to move him (the fork was no longer in his mouth) so I just let him sleep for a bit..

Naturally, the phone rings and it's school.  Max has a temp of 102 and needs to go home.. Well, I know where he's going instead; straight to the doctor for a rapid strep test.  If Mitch has strep and his only symptom is a high fever, I can guarantee you that Max has strep too.  I was more sure of this than I was the Patriots were going to cover the 14 point spread in the 02 Super Bowl..  (I even put $35 on it I was so sure)..  Yes, I know.. lame..

So when Mitch woke up we went to pick up Max..  Sure enough, he comes bounding down the hallway, all excited, shows me the artwork he made and has no idea he's even sick..  We go to the doctor's office and while we're waiting I hear "Daddy, I gotta go pee".  Ugh, OK.  So the three of us cram into this little bathroom that an adult would have trouble fitting into never mind an adult and two 4 year olds..  So Mitch goes pee, which I guess I should just be happy he told me.. And we walk out and sure enough, they had called our name.  So Max immediately says "I don't want a shot!"..  I had to reassure him he wasn't getting a shot, he was just going to have a couple of large Q Tips shoved down this throat.. Hmm..  I wonder if the shot wasn't a better option.. 

Anyway, while waiting for the results, yes of course, Max says he has go to potty.  Once again we cram into the bathroom the size of an apartment in the East Village and he does his business.  Finally, the nurse comes out and says "Positive!" and I literally threw my arms up in the air in delight..  Listen, I don't want my kids to be sick, but if I have to be home anyway with one, it's only a matter of time before the other one gets it.  I'd rather them be sick at the same time and start them on meds at the same time so they can be done at the same time.  It just makes life easier.  Like when parents send their kids to chicken pox parties.. Do parents still do that anymore?

Knowing I'd be home with Max all day Thursday, I let them sleep a little later hoping they would feel well when they woke up.  We sent Mitch to school because it had almost been 24 hours since he started the meds and he had already had 3 doses by the time he went.  Max however had to stay in the car because he had to stay away from school during his "contagious" period.  You would have thought the world was ending..  Remember the scene in Just One of the Guys where the two aliens are picked to be on separate teams for gym dodge ball?  Remember the awful nails on a blackboard, ear-drum puncturing screech they made while being pulled apart?  Yeah, it was something like that..  They have absolutely zero separation anxiety from us (which I love), but from each other is a different story.  Cute, yet sometimes a little annoying..

I had 2 RFP's (Request For Proposal) and a client pitch to work on while my boss is on vacation so at least  there was nothing going on.  Max for some reason wanted to watch the show Chuck.  Not that prime program on NBC, this was a show about a truck named Chuck and his adventures with his friends.  GENIUS!  Just add that to another list of great ideas I didn't have.  However since there was only 1 Chuck episode On Demand (or On Mand as they like to call it) he watched it 5 times in a row..  I thought of sticking a pen in my ears so I didn't have to hear the theme song anymore.. 

By the time Amy came home from picking Mitch up I was lying on the floor almost passed out while Max watched some movie I didn't know we owned.  The Reef?  Kind of like a budget Finding Nemo I think..  Never seen it before.  They both went to school today and were totally fine.  No problems at all.  I completed my portion of 1 RFP and went to the client presentation.  Just 1 more RFP to go. 

And now, we get to tonight..  After work Amy drove to Maine with Cadi and it was chicken patties and homemade pizza bagels for dinner.  Of course served with a healthy does of Super Hero Squad.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Clown College

Took the boys to the circus recently.  It is simply amazing the crap that they sell there, and what's even more amazing is the amount they charge for it!  I will admit, I bought the boys these plastic cups with circus animals on them and they light up.  They were just really big sno-cones.  (FYI, the cups are still blinking, I think there is a date with the dumpster coming soon).  It was just to stop the whining..  Like in Clue when Mr. Green (Michael McKeon) slaps Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan) across the face and says the famous line "well I had to stop her from screaming!"  Well I decided against the slapping (they kinda frown upon that) and just bought the sno-cones..  It worked.

Anyway, I never really went to the circus as a kid, not that I remember anyway.. So I believe this was only my second time there (my first being last year).  My initial reaction last year was that there weren't as many animals as I had expected.  And this year, there were even less. It's more of a Cirque Du Soliel show now than a circus.  Trapeze artists, people hanging from the ceiling, people doing amazing stunts..  And then they mix in some elephants and lions..  But overall it was very cool..  The boys seemed to like it.  Mitch was much more engaged this time than he was last year.  It could be the age, they could be more mature, or perhaps he's interested in becoming a clown.  And based on the rising costs of college tuition and what it's projected to be in 2024 when he's about to go (ugh, I did really just type that?) I wonder..  do they give scholarships for Clown College?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Cheng Du Conundrum

So recently I went to go visit my friend Terrence who was in from the west coast..  It was a last minute decision to go as my wife had an appointment after work and I was going to be home with the boys..  I thought, why not..  I'll just pick them up from school and take them to the restaurant.  He's never met them before and would love to meet them..

Now, let's back up and refresh..  Max is completely potty trained..  I mean, this kid is 1 step away from wiping his own butt..  It is truly a miracle, and not one of those "I saw Jesus in my grilled cheese" kind of miracles..  But we were seriously starting to believe that Max was going to be the first child in the history of the world to graduate high school still wearing pull ups..  And then, one day, it clicked..  Thank God..

Now, Mitch on the other hand is a different story.. He peed in the potty first and has been doing that consistently pretty well without too many accidents for over a year now..  It's the pooping he has a slight problem with..  Sometimes he'll tell us he has to poop, sometimes he doesn't.  More often than not he just seems to slide away out of view and we don't notice what's going on until Max comes over and says "Mommy/Daddy (one word) Mitch is pooping"..  And sure enough, he is.. I don't know if it's a twin thing or what, but more often than not he's right..

Fast forward to after work..  I pick up the boys from school and head to the restaurant.  Now, since I came directly from work and this was a spur of the moment thing, I do not have the diaper bag.  Repeat, do NOT have the diaper bag..  This would normally have such items as, oh, I don't know, extra pull ups and wipes..   These are two very important items to have when one of your children is not fully potty trained.  He had already pooped twice that day however so I wasn't too concerned about him pooping again..

What's that old law from that guy Murphy?  Yes, that one..

Inevitably, Mitch has to go potty while we are in the restaurant.  I figure, great he told me, we'll go, he'll be fine..  Yeah well, he told me had to go potty, which he did..  But he neglected to tell me that he had already pooped.. What do I do?  I have no extra pull ups, I have no wipes, I have no extra underwear.. 

So I wet a bunch of paper towels and wiped him till he's clean.  And then Mitch learned a new phrase to add to his already extensive language:  Going Commando

Monday, September 26, 2011

Do You Believe in Miracles?

The following is a real conversation between real people.  These are not actors.

Max: "Mitch, can I play with the Iron Man Flashlight please?" (Spoken in a normal voice with no whining)

Mitch: "Ok."  Hands him the flashlight.

Max: "Thank you Mitch."  "Daddy, Mitch shared!"

Daddy:  "I know Max. I know", as he wipes the tears away from his eyes.

I now believe that anything is possible, even miracles.

Happy Monday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Twinado

I love my boys..  I really do.. but I'm not going to lie when I say I sometimes look forward to Sunday nights.. 

See normally people would say, huh?  Don't you have to work the next day?  Isn't the next day Monday, etc, etc?  But see it's different in my house..  Ever since the boys started daycare in January of 2008 someone has been watching them on Mondays..  It's either been my mom, my father in law, my mother in law, my sister in law..  you get the point.. 

But this specific weekend it was a little much..  My wife is in a mothers of multiples group and they have a tag sale every 6 months.  You tag and sell clothes that don't fit, toys they don't play with anymore, books they don't read, etc.  So it's been work all week, take care of the boys at night, then sort and tag till we go to bed, which has been late every night.  Then Friday night she had to set up so it was just us boys. No problem. Then, after getting home late Friday, it was up early Saturday for her to be at the sale by 6am.  So it was just me and the boys again.. Normally it would be no problem..

We did some errands and then we went to an indoor playground. Of course Mitch goes right for the house and puts on an apron and starts cooking..  He never cooks at home, but get him out of the house and he becomes Bobby Flay.  Max tried desperately to play in the house with him, but being my OCD child he wanted the door closed.  However the door wouldn't close and 3 times he got his fingers stuck in the hinges..  I guess if at first you don't succeed, try till you cut your fingers off.  Then, they were having shopping cart races (I guess I might be at fault for that one from the Target parking lot).  But since Mitch is a little, shall we say undersized, he was going too fast and went over the handle and into the cart.. This woman watched this in horror and tried to help him out while I sat there laughing..  I know, bad parenting at its best..  But it was pretty funny..  He of course was OK, I knew.  But at that point it had been a couple of hours I figured it was time to go home for lunch.

I had to feed them and then get them in a bath because once my wife got home she had to get ready as we were going to a work function for her office.  So I get them into the bath no problem, but then Mitch decides to poop while in the bath..  Of course he does..  then it's drain the bath, get everyone out and fill it back up, etc..  Totally didn't need that..  Then, we head to the work function which was 45 minutes and we were 2 hours late.  Of course the boys were so pleasant when we got there..  It took about 40 minutes for them to finally warm up.  We ended up getting home at 8p from that which was not fun. 

Sunday we had the Children's Hospital Miracle Maker Reception in Natick at 11am.  That was no problem except we had a birthday part to get to in Stow at 1p.  We started leaving the reception around 1245p and made it to the party around 130p.  This is only because you had to take a train to the parking lot of the farm and the train had about as good a schedule as the MBTA.  Somehow we managed to get it all in and we were home around 3p.  That's when the sugar kicked in..  All over the place with running and jumping and toys, wrestling, etc.. I don't know where they get all this energy all the time..  it's not like they have cake all the time.. 

By the time halftime of the Patriots game rolled around, I was done.  Thankfully my mother in law was there around 4 and helped entertain them.  By 6p the Twinado had passed over the house and was on its way to its grandparents house for the night.  But it left in its wake toys everywhere, food all over the place and the house in total disarray.  I think I found the dog huddled over in the corner shaking..

Like I said, I love my boys, but sometimes I just can't wait for Sunday night.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Conversation

Ten years ago yesterday the world changed and not for the better.  The world we woke up to on September 11th, 2001 is a far cry from the world we knew when we laid our heads down that very same night.  The kids that were in that classroom that President Bush was reading to are now 16 and 17 years old.  They don't necessarily know anything different.  This is the way it's pretty much always been for them.

And unfortunately, my boys will not know anything different either.  They were born almost 6 years to the day of that horrendous morning.  A beautiful, sunny, blue-skied day that turned tragic in a matter of seconds.

When is the right time to explain what happened to your children?  And I don't mean the generic "there are bad people in the world and they tried to hurt us" parental explanation for something that we as parents don't want to or are not ready to address with our children.  I mean the real explanation.  I feel badly for those parents who had to explain the events of that day to their children because they had no choice.  It was live and in color and they were going to ask questions. 

You can shield your children from many things, but this is something that is in our face and all around us pretty much all the time.  Whether it's on TV, at the airport or a train station it's hard to ignore.  Security measures are increased and my boys will know nothing of meeting a friend or loved one at the actual gate of their flight to welcome them home or pick them up.  That would be a total foreign concept to them, however it was commonplace just a short time ago.  At what age would they even begin to comprehend what happened, the ripple effect it has had on the world as a whole and how it changed their futures?  It's such a complex situation and it's difficult to grasp the gravity of it that there are some adults that still don't understand it.

How deep do you go when discussing it?  Do you stop at that day?  Do you go into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?  What about the economy?  What about before 9/11 and how past events had a role?  They need to know how it is all intertwined, yet can they understand and comprehend it?  It will affect them without them even knowing it, and it already has.

I used to think that the "sex" talk and the "drugs" talk would be the most difficult talks I had with my sons.  Now I'm not so sure.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And The Grammy Goes To...

So every day my boys are at school I call around 2p (nap time) to find out how their day has been so far.  Did they eat all their lunch?  Did they go potty?  #1 or #2?  Was it actually in the potty? (That's directed toward you, Mitch).  When they were in the infant room we used to receive progress reports each day.  These told us how much they ate, what they ate and when they ate it. It also told us when they went to bathroom, what it was, etc. We also were able to speak directly to the teacher who was with them all day which was a huge plus.  If there were problems or medicine they needed to take, etc you knew you were speaking to the person who was with them all day from start to finish.  However since they moved up to the toddler rooms, this is not the case.  No more progress reports.  So this is an easy way to get an update on how they are doing overall, as well as find out what they did that day so we can discuss it on the ride home or over dinner.

The other day Max's teacher told me a funny story.  They have a stereo in the class and while they normally listen to CD's I guess someone hit the tuner button and the radio came on.  Max then asks his teacher, "Can we listen to talk radio"?

Wait, what?  Talk Radio?  The only talk radio I listen to in the car with them is sports talk radio.  They like when the hosts say Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Dunkin Donuts (which is pretty often).  However I do listen to the Morning Buzz on Rock 101 out of Manchester, NH which has a morning talk show.  They love it when they say Morning Buzz because I think they think it's Toy Story radio.. Hey, whatever works to get them to school, you know?

But we try as best we can to have music on in the car at all times..  And all types of music.  We don't let them dictate and have us listen to the Wheels on the Bus 400 times in a row because they would and I would proceed to drive off a cliff.  When they drive, they can listen to whatever they want.  But when I'm driving, it's my music.  So they get a heavy dose of Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Lynyrd Skynryd, Chili Peppers, 80's and some other stuff.  My wife listens to a little more alternative type of music (DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER - she also likes some of the same music I like), so they really get a good mix between the two of us.

Whatever it is they end up listening to when they are older though will be their choice of course, but I'm sure it'll suck compared to my music. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Will Always Remember..

So there is that section in your High School yearbook that says something like, "I Will Always Remember" or something to that effect. It was always something like parties at so and so's house, football games and then a bunch of initials and letters that no one understood except for a select few people.. And I can guarantee you now that not even those select few people remember that they mean.

Well, I Will Always Remember Max and Mitch’s first Red Sox game.  It initially started when we told them we would take them if they started pooping on the potty..  It worked pretty well as Max is 100% trained and Mitch, well Mitch does ok.  A lot of kids regress sometimes during potty training so we’re not too worried.  But he’s done well enough to warrant still going..  (like not taking him was even an option)..

Well after weeks and weeks of  telling them it was coming, the day was finally here.  They wore Red Sox shirts because they were so excited and I brought their Wally shirts for the actual game in case they wanted to change.  After picking them up from school, we headed to the train.  First words out of Max’s mouth, “Are we there yet”?  Ugh, if this is how it’s going to go this is not going to be fun.  We were heading to Alewife and had about a 25 minute or so drive. But thankfully it went quickly..  So when Max asked me again and we actually were there I said, “yes, we are here”..

Max: “Mitch, did you hear that?  We’re here now.”

Mitch: “YEAH, I KNOW”, like Max had been saying it for the past 10 minutes…

Sometimes all you can do is laugh..  They are funny kids.

Anyway, they were very excited to ride the red train.  They were kept busy by Angry Birds and Mitch flirting with a girl on the T.  I swear he would have had a marriage proposal in another 5 minutes if we didn’t have to get off at Park St.  It’s those lashes, they get them every time..  The transfer to the Green train as it is known was pretty easy.  Got right on and got seats. Thankfully I remembered to take the bags of Cheez-Its from their lunches that they didn’t eat so they would have a snack.  I opened a bag for each of them because God forbid they actually share.  Max takes 1 Cheez-It and says I’m done.  Mitch of course does the same.  So now I have 2 open bags of Cheez-Its minus 1 Cheez-It each.  Typical.

But thankfully our stop came and we got out and met their mother, the Yankee fan on Comm Ave. (maybe a little show on CBS can take a cue on exactly how easy it actually is to meet someone's mother). The boys were very excited to go see Wally the Green Monster who lives at Fenway Park.  That’s all they kept talking for weeks.  So we walked through Kenmore Square and up towards Fenway.  Once inside on Yawkey of course we had to go in to the Souvenir Store where we promptly bought the boys green Red Sox hats (Wally color) and little Wally dolls.  Those Wally dolls ended up being life-savers..  On Yawkey Way a woman was very nice and was willing to take pictures of us.. Not that it mattered as Max rarely ever looks at the camera.  So we then went in so I could take the boys up the ramp to get a look at the field for the first time..  We went right down to home plate behind the net so they could see the entire park.  The bad thing about having twins is that there’s always an even ratio.  1 parent for each kid so it’s hard to take pictures..  I would have loved to have gone ahead and taken a picture of the boys’ faces when they saw the park for the first time..  But I guess you can’t have everything..

An usher then told us we couldn’t be down there without tickets, even though it was only 615p and the game wasn’t starting for an hour.  So it was off to the seats as the boys were getting a little restless.  They thought going up the escalator was very cool and loved seeing all the pictures of the Red Sox and the replica plaques of the Hall of Fame members.  Thankfully we were the first ones in the box.  The boys hadn’t even been in the box for 5 seconds before they found the popcorn and pretzels.  They made themselves comfortable on the big stools in front of the window and proceeded to eat everything they could find. Mitch had his first Fenway Frank and Max had his first Fenway Chicken Tender..  Overall they ate Fenway Franks, Chicken Tenders, popcorn, pretzels, pizza, ice cream, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, melon, red grapes, green grapes, orange and watermelon.  Thankfully this wasn’t all in the first 10 minutes.  Combined they only weight about 60 pounds.  I seriously do not know where they put it (or how they kept it all down).

People started to arrive and we went outside to the seats to hear the national anthem and the moment of silence for Mike Flanagan.  I was very proud of Max for being quiet and respectful through both of them.  However the cheering after the anthem proved to be a little loud for him so he went back inside.  watch a bit, go back inside, eat something, etc.. But everyone there was very cool and loved the fact it was their first game. Even the people in the box next to us were nice and interacting with the boys. 

Around the 4th inning or so, lo and behold, the ice cream cart arrived!!  So needless to say the boys had to have ice cream in a Sox helmet..  I mean, it’s a rite of passage no?  While ice cream at 815p might not have been the best idea we’ve ever had, it certainly did stop them from continuously running into the wall and the door, even for just a short time.

Then, the Green Monster hit.. Literally..  They both said I want to go home.  And that was the end of that.  They had a good run.  Like Loyola Marymount in 1990.  But they needed to go home. The fact that they didn’t have a nap at school, either of them and still made it to 845p was very impressive.  And they didn’t run out onto the field which was even MORE impressive..

I’d say their first game was a rousing success.  They ate, they watched, they had fun.  And other than the Hokey Pokey, isn’t that really what it’s all about?

Unfortunately, they didn’t get to hear Dirty Water, but this is just the first game of many more to come..












Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's Just a Game..


When is the right time to really introduce kids to sports on TV?  3?  5?  When will they actually comprehend and remember what they are seeing?  Me, I remember watching the Celtics in 1984 (when I was 8), but really not till 1986, when I was 10 do I remember vividly all 4 local teams..  Maybe it's because the Celtics (NBA Champions), Patriots (Super Bowl runner up), Bruins (made the playoffs, lost to the hated Habs in the 1st round of the now defunct Adams Division) and the Red Sox (well, let's not go there) were all really good?  I was spoiled.  I thought that's the way it always was and was going to be...  I guess I found out pretty quickly in the 90's that it wasn't the case.

It just so happened that Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final where the Bruins had their first opportunity to win the Cup in almost 40 years fell on the eve of my 35th birthday. Can you think of a better present than watching the Bruins complete the Boston Sports Championship Circle where every major sport in the city would have a championship that I actually watched?  But I digress.. This isn't about me, but it is pretty cool.

Before the game people were asking me if I was going to wake my boys up to watch the end of the game if they were winning.  I thought, wow how cool would that be to possibly watch with my kids the 1st Bruin to hoist the cup since Bobby Orr (which happened 4 years before I was even a sperm)?!  It would be amazing. 

And then, I had a moment of clarity and actually thought about it. So I'm going to put my two 3 and a half year old's to bed around 8p as the game is about to start.  Then, I'm going to wake them up about 2.5 hours later when they are fast asleep, carry them downstairs so they can be miserable, tired, cranky and probably fall back asleep while I get annoyed at them for not paying attention and most likely miss the end of the game? Yeah that’s a big fat no for me thanks.

So I say leave them be. Let them sleep and hopefully have great news for them in the morning.  I mean, the Bruins would get another shot to win the cup soon right?  Right?

This blog was actually written the night of Game 7, but wasn’t posted.  Obviously the tenses have changed from the present to the past and we all know what happened, don’t we?!?!  Stay classy Vancouver…

The reason I post this blog now is because we are taking the boys to their first Red Sox game this Friday.  I told them months ago that if they started pooping in the potty, we would take them to see the Red Sox.  Well they've been doing a great job of that, especially Max.  And to be perfectly honest with you, this is one promise I am perfectly happy to deliver on.

While they are just a hair short of 4 years old, I think that they will remember this.  While they do enjoy sitting and watching the Red Sox sometimes, they have become totally enamored with “Wally the Green Monster who lives at Fenway Park” for a few weeks now.  Ever since my friend Heidi bought them Wally shirts, they have become obsessed.  So we read a book about Fenway Park and they are getting really excited.  I can’t wait to see their reactions when I take them up the ramp so they see the Wall and the field for the first time..  I remember my first game in July of 1983. I went with my family and my cousin and his family.  8 tickets in the left field grandstand that probably cost a total of $50, if that.  The Sox lost 7-6, although I don’t remember who they played.  Probably the Orioles. I’m sure I could look it up.

In any event, since it’s a Friday night and they will have been at school all day, I am sure they will only last until the 4th or 5th inning or so..  And even though my rule is always never leave a game early, I guess I could make an exception for this one. Unless the Sox pitcher is throwing a no hitter or a perfect game.  Or the opposing pitcher is throwing a no hitter or perfect game.  Or it’s tied 0-0.  Or it’s really tight.  Oh who am I kidding, they’re staying till the end..

Monday, August 22, 2011

Flashing Blue Lights


My sons are very adept at pointing out public service vehicles, whether they be constructions vehicles, ambulances, fire engines or police cars.  They especially always see the blue flashing lights before everyone else.  It's kind of amazing.  

However, they don't stop at that point.  They continue to think it's funny to keep saying "daddy, police car, police car" when there is no police car.  I've learned to just sort of ignore it at this point.  Kind of like the boy who cried wolf. 

Except I know one of these times I'm going to ask "Where do you see the police car"? and the answer is going to be "Daddy, right behind you"..  That day is gonna suck..