Sunday, April 29, 2007

It's on.

I remember a few years back, about to start a meeting at work. A colleague burst in and said "My daughter used the potty for the first time today!" Everyone in the meeting room ceased their conversations and said "Yay!" and applauded.

Even though I had no prospect of being a parent anytime soon, apparently the need for positive potty reinforcement is universal.

For the Monkey, the time is now.

Yesterday, we let him pick out his own potty from the store. At home, I took it out of the box and let him carry it around the house. But today it was down to business.

For his normal pre-bath time urination, instead of standing him up on the grown-up toilet seat and hoping his aim is good, I sat him down on the potty. #1.

It's on.

No pressure, though. Maybe we will encourage him to use it once in the morning before the first diaper, and once in the evening before bath. But there will come a day when he asks to use it. And that day will be called "a very good day indeed."

(May the Monkey forgive me for doing exactly what I didn't want to do.)


A Mother's Advice

Overheard today around the house:

"Don't touch that. Especially not with your mouth."

Believe me, it was sound advice.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Nashville Cats

It was great to visit with my friends in the city of my alma mater. Even though the weekend went virtually unplanned until the day before our arrival, there was plenty to do; and even though a 4-day weekend is a fair stretch of time, we could have used more time with good friends; and even though we covered a fair bit of ground, it was impossible to show the Monkey Mama the city I love in the depth that 10 years of connections brings.

I was presented with a new challenge. I am accustomed to "managing" the Monkey's naps, so that he gets the rest and relaxation he needs while we get to move through the day's agenda. And we managed his nap relatively well Friday. What I didn't count on was that the Monkey Mama (now with Baby August on board) needed a nap, too. So instead of touring with the family and showing them some favorite places and friends, I was home alone with a lively Monkey while the Monkey Mama caught some Z's.

A sign of things to come?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Heavy Construction

On a recent day off with the Monkey, we walked 4 blocks to the public library. My mom was a librarian, and I spent many a youthful hour in the children's section. So I guess you could say I'm partial.

On that short trip, we saw no fewer than 4 construction projects: (1) the major excavation/construction illustrated below, (2) a road resurfacing project, (3) some underground gas line work, and (4) construction of a playground/tot-lot in the area.

A friend's young son is heavily into airplanes. But his father is a pilot, and they made a point to get him interested. I always wondered if they were leading him along. And maybe I am leading the Monkey on through my mild interest in engineering and construction equipment.

But maybe part of it is the environment he lives in, too.

Below are a few random pieces of contruction equipment from the neighborhood.

It's like living in a freaking Richard Scarry book. What do people do all day, indeed?

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

What makes him tick

I have already posted that our Monkey enjoys a daily tour of the construction site in our neighborhood. But what explains the lack of pictures? Parental sloth.

Note that the Monkey has possessed distinct sign language words for the following, all for some time now:
  • Front loader ("scoop")
  • Bulldozer
  • Crane
  • Cement truck
  • Auger/Crane-mount drill
  • Air compressor
  • Jack hammer
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
...and many others.

In the larger scale picture, I estimate that they have dug about 25 feet down. I reach this estimate because the deepest point has 25 boards acting as retaining walls between I-beam pairs, and they look to be 4x12s (or at least 8/4x 12s). The assistant superintendant of the site tells me they're going down 50 feet. I guess what makes it tricky is that there is heavy rail and a metro station directly beneath them. (Don't go down 60'!)

In the smaller picture, note that the scoop in the photo is quite large. I have seen large dump trucks drive away with four scoop-loads of dirt, and they looked almost full.