Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Semi-Hooky, Learning Curves, and Bad First Dates

Yes, it's true, I should be at work right now but I'm going to go into work an hour late and not make it up because I'm really behind on the blog and all my entry ideas keep falling out of my head. If I don't put it down on the blog, it eventually falls into a deep dark pit along with my early childhood memories and all the other math I ever learned in my life. It's not that I mind work really, I just prefer maintaining my sanity better.

So I was trying to do the righteous parent thing yesterday, whereby I responsibly turn off the TV and responsibly try to boost Alex's intelligence by making him utilize his analytical skills. I grabbed a bunch of "thinking" toys, or what Alex calls, "Toys that piss me off"; toys that require a certain amount of skill to operate since you gotta do this to hear that, or do that to make this move. I sat down with him and practiced with him turning the knob on the Jack in the Box, putting particular shapes into particular slots, and stacking cups. He'd get frustrated at each of them because he wasn't getting the same result as I was, and start tossing them around. I read Pooh to him as well, and he'd enjoy it until he closed the book and then got mad at it because he wasn't done looking at the book.

Eventually, I resorted to using the stacking cups as containers, and named the colors as he put little links and toys into them.

"Red! That's a red cup."
"Put it in the purple cup."

So, he's beginning to at least speak basic German.

I know I should be more patient, and I will likely try to do that more often, but I think the answer laid in what happened afterward when I took him in the bathroom with me. Once you have babies, you'll understand that babies will invariably go into the bathroom with you a great deal, so that you could keep your eye on them. So he was in the bathroom with me, doing his exploration when I farted. And I farted with so much force and magnitude that it startled him. Made him jump. He looked at me for a few seconds, then he put his lips together and went, "BBBBBBPPPPPPTTTTT." And laughed. Cracked me up so I did it, and he did it, and we were both laughing hysterically.

So, that's where Alex's learning curve is still at. Fart jokes.

Now anyone who's been reading this blog may know that JL, our 15 year old resident teenager and catalyst in training, has been seeing this guy at school, Will. He's an okay sort of guy, but he went down a notch this last weekend. Basically, despite a failing grade, we agreed to let them have a playdate on Friday, even though we had a lot of things to do on the weekend, what being the last two weekends before Christmas and all. Well, he sorta agreed and sorta didn't show up. Didn't even call on that day to cancel it. So when he called the next day, I told him that he stood US up because we were making time for him and he failed to show up, and we let JL know that that wasn't really okay. But she wasn't really upset because I suspect that her Dad's influence has dulled her natural responses to Men Behaving Inappropriately. Namely the art of making yourself the victim of circumstances and shifting blame and responsibility to someone or something else, and managing to make the woman feel sympathetic about it. So the few times he's called, I've been frank about the whole matter, saying that we were too busy to accommodate watching them. Hey, if he had the respect because he earned it, but now he's got to earn it back. We may be tough parents, but we're just looking out for her emotional well being. A quiet and forgiving and empathetic girl like JL still needs to understand what's acceptable and what's not in a relationship.

And for the record, his excuse was lame.

Argh! I'm late for work now!

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