Rock Fists

Rock Fists

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