05 Feb 2012

Phases

16 Comments Toddler, Uncategorized

These phases of his. These interests of his. This growing he does. It kills me.

An interest in Dinosaurs was the first big one. Before that, it was Blues Clues and Backyardigans and stuff like that. But we moved through those swiftly, not really looking back. Then came the T-Rex and the Brachiosaurus and such. He was so focused on them, studying them, memorizing their defenses and diets and heights. He has hundreds, in the forms of action figures, or pictures on cards. Some are stuffed and some are on pillow cases, (one of which I hand-sewed.  Stop it. Sit down! It wasn’t that hard.)

Then came the Wild Kratts on PBS, and with it a love of animals like I’ve never seen. I mean this kid has always had an affinity for the furries, but this show made him LURVE animals of every ilk. Raccoons, Wolves, Badgers, Bees, Whales, Squid, Octopi, Lions and Tigers and Bears… (You say it.)

The zoo became his temple. The aquarium became the altar at which he prayed. And he studied, and again gathered information as if his job as a toddler depended on it.

Now we are on to Star Wars. Some kids at school and a close friend outside of school already had their obsessions, and now it was to become Garrett’s. He picked their brains, and read their books. He made us look things up on Wookipedia. He fell in love with Princess Leia, he perfected his Luke Skywalker pout, and he even dabbled in the Dark Side. We got Star Wars books at the library, we watched the Jedi Training at Disneyland, and his cousin bestowed the Star Wars encyclopedia on him the other night.

Yes young Jedi, you are nearly ready to know all. You’ve seen Episode IV approximately thirteen times and we are weak against your will to see the other movies. But you are only FOUR, young Jedi. You have so much time ahead of you to learn the ways of the Universe.

The way he’s moving through life, gathering and collecting and sifting through new knowledge every day… It fascinates me. I watch him light up with new information, and again when he teaches a friend. We pretend we are characters from the movie and he takes it so seriously. And then I remember only a year ago when we was a T-Rex and I was a Parasaurolophus, and my heart literally breaks to think of how fast it’s all going. Remember his second birthday, when he nearly fainted at seeing the Blues Clues Bouncy?

But here we are at this phase, now. And lucky for me, Princess Leia is far more attractive than a Parasaurolophus.

03 Oct 2010

Final Countdown

5 Comments Toddler

This isn’t some cryptic post about the end of the World or a countdown to some awesome event I have coming up.

This is the song from 1986 by Europe which my son has become obsessed with.

It started about a year ago with this video of Spongebob set to the song.  We happened upon it accidentally while looking up random Spongebob videos to entertain Garrett.  We watched this video about 10 times a day for at least a couple months.  Garrett sang it at the top of his lungs at the grocery store.  We danced to it as a family in the living room.  Then the novelty wore off for all of us.

About a year later, Garrett’s interests had turned toward dinosaurs.  So as good 21st Century parents, we took to our laptop, got on YouTube and typed in “dinosaurs”. Randomly, this video popped up.  Are you kidding?  There’s a video with pictures of dinosaurs set to the same song???  It began again.  Only this time it’s been going on at least THREE months and we dance to the song nightly.  Garrett likes to sing the types of dinosaurs to the beat of the song.  Instead of “It’s the final countdown”, he sings, “It’s a pterodactyl!” He even enjoys the occasional viewing of the original Europe video.  He watches with his mouth agape, seemingly taking in every 80′s-Hair-Band-Rocker move. Then he mimes a guitar solo and Russ and I create pretend pyrotechnics behind him.

Long story short, we’re saving up for guitar lessons, hair gel, leather pants, and a paleontologist’s kit.

02 Oct 2010

Three-Year-Old Birthday Party

No Comments Toddler

In the decade leading up to having my son, I went to plenty of kids’ parties that I felt were way too lavish for someone who’s still pooping in their pants.  So when it came time to throw our own parties, I’ve tried to keep things within my own budget… both mentally and fiscally.  Last week was Garrett’s third birthday party.  With that in mind, I’ve come up with a few suggestions for making children’s party planning as stress-free as possible, while still giving your child a day to remember.

PICK A THEME:  Whatever they love at the moment, go with it! Once you have a theme, it’s easy to build around. Originally our theme was Iron Man, but I found there was not a whole lot of Iron Man-themed stuff readily available, so I coaxed and prodded until Garrett agreed that a dinosaur party was the way to go.  He freaking loves those extinct giants! Then you can go to a site like celebrateexpress.com. We were able to get the plates, cups, silverware, napkins, balloons, streamers, party favors all at one place.  It was affordable and everything had a dinosaur on it!

MAKE THE ADULTS FEEL SPECIAL: Order food for the adults, and make something to eat for the kids. We order sandwiches, empanadas, and a big salad from a local place called Portos.  If you’re local to Los Angeles, you have to try it. It’s amazing, and they also make the cake!! If you can consolidate your errands that day by getting a bunch of stuff at one place, do it!  Then, I made a giant mac and cheese for the kids. Here’s the recipe I use, and I double it.  (Yes, I realize it’s Rachael Ray.) Since Read more