1, 2, 3…

“Arlo! Gimme back my glasses! I said ‘No touch!'”

“Neeuw ghasses!”

“Yes, they are my new glasses, gentle please- give them back to me please.”

“Neeeuw ghasses Papa!”

“Yes buddy, new glasses- they are Papa’s- No! No! Don’t bend them like that please! Those are my new glasses!”

This is not the first time this scenario has played out in a week. You’d think I’d catch on, but this kid is sneaky. We might be playing with trains on the floor or reading a book and he’ll nonchalantly nudge closer to me, acting all affectionate-like, and then boom! He lunges at my glasses and grabs them off my face like one of those 25 cent sticky hands snapping a sheet of paper.

giphy.gif

This time we weren’t doing either of those things- this time we were playing karate man. Karate man is a game consisting of me saying “Heeeee-yaaa!” and either lightly hitting or kicking him as if we were in a very important karate match. I just realized how bad that sounds when I write it out. It’s actually very disciplined, and honestly, I’m barely touching him- but at lightening speed.

Trust me, it’s not a one way match mind you- he retaliates. He comes at me with kicks announced with “Hheeee-hha!” Sure, his kicks are slow and drunk, and most don’t land- but he’s learning the sport. And he practices a lot, mostly on our new refrigerator- he walks right up to it and points at it, “Nuuee fwidge,” then karate mans it with his chunky foot, “He-haaa!”

“Okay buddy, can I have my glasses back now please? Please?”

He holds them up proudly in his fat greasy fingers like a new shiny trophy, “Neuww ghassis!”

“Aw please buddy, just give them back- I need them to see.”

He points to my eyes, “Iiiiyeeeeeees! Tuuuuuee iiyeees!”

“Yeah buddy, two eyes. How about those glasses, huh?”

“Tuuee iiiyeeees.”

“Bubo. Yes. Two eyes. Can I have my glasses back? Please.”

He ignores my plea. “Alright Bubs, I’m gonna count to three, and then you NEED give them back, okay- I’m counting to three. ”

“Tue iyeeeeeeeeees,” he points.

“One…”

I honestly began this without thinking about how it might end. But how can it end really? I’ll tell you how- it ends with me with my glasses on my face- that’s the only way this ends- I mean, I started counting- I’m a goddamn disciplinarian now.

Upon hearing “one” he furiously hits his belly button with my glasses, “Whaaann beeeboe!”

I hold back a proud smile and feign furrowed eyebrows.

“Whan nosssseeee,” he points to his nose.

“Twooooooooo,” I draw out.

But really, I only have one more digit to count and then he finds me out- I should have counted to five- he’ll comply though, right? I mean, IM COUNTING- that’s real. Kids know that’s real. But what do I do if he doesn’t let them go? I can’t grab them out of his hand- he’s holding on too tight- He knows! He knows I got nothing! 

“Tuueee feeeet! Whaan, tuuuee… tuuee feet!”

All those books I’ve read over the last couple years on child rearing and disciplining- none of them prepared me for this moment- sure, follow though on your directives they said- set boundaries- let your child use his whole brain or some shit like that- what they don’t tell you is how to take your glasses out of your toddler’s hands when he’s holding them hostage! This kid is not showing any signs of budging- in fact- he’s just smiling at me like he knows something I don’t- like he’s got me right where he wants me.

So this is how you’re gonna play it, huh Arlo…

“Three.”

We size each other up with our eyes and I give him a moment to decide our fates.

“Heeeeeeeeee-Yaaaaaaaaa!” I resort to my secret karate man move left only for rare situations like these. Palms up, both my hands sink into either side of his neck. It’s his most ticklish spot- he has no defense for this move- in fact, he loses all motor skills and his chin rolls clamp down on my hands and he throws my glasses. He has no choice but to giggle uncontrollably until I relent, which I do after a few moments of listening to his contagious toddler laughter.

He recovers. I pick up my glasses and look at them. Other than looking like they’ve just been slimed, they survive another attack.

“Good god kid, we’ve gotta wash your hands!”

He pops up and scampers down the hallway to grab his hand washing chair.

I clean my glasses on my shirt and listen to our dining room chair being dragged across the kitchen to the sink, while he sings out the new family motto, “Wash haaands! Wash haands!”

 

IMG_8048

Vacuum

Arlo said his first curse word today. Shit. No, I’m not saying shit because he said a curse word- I’m kinda proud actually- but that’s what he said- “shit”- with fantastic pronunciation by the way. I could blame it on his weekend away in Idaho visiting his grandparents- but I think he and I both know it came from an incident this morning- he was starting to fuss and wanted out of his highchair. I told him “Just a minute buddy, I have to clean up all this shit that you threw on the floor.” And then he said “shit”.

It’s a pretty clear cause and effect. I have nobody to blame but myself. It’s funny, a month or two ago I stopped listening to rap around him unless I could find edited versions- I didn’t want Kendrick and Mac to influence his speech- and they didn’t- I did. I’ve been trying to tone it down around him and I don’t really curse too much in front of him- actually, I only realize I do when Kylie is around and her eyes meet mine after I slip- her eyes can say a whole lot- her eyes can curse.

As you might have gathered, Arlo is repeating words now. I wouldn’t call it talking- it’s more like commanding. He points and says “water” (wah wah or awah). Or he points to the fridge and says “cheese” (sheezz). Or he points to the cabinet and says “cracker” (Krah Kah). He says “dada”, “mama”, and “mamee” for Mazzy. He recently started pointing at the moon (Mmnn) and stars (staahs) in the night sky or when noticing them in books. He seems to understand almost everything. I ask him, “Arlo, where’s does the poop go?” “Potty,” he replies, pronouncing it, “pah-yee”. I can tell him to put his diaper in the trash and he either takes it to the bathroom trash can or to the kitchen where it has a 50/50 chance of going into the trash or the recycling. I guess he doesn’t understand everything though- he still throws food on the floor when I tell him not to.

Anyway, he has a whole slew of words and seems to learn ten more everyday- like I said, today we started with four letter words. But he does have a very favorite word right now. That word is “Vacuum”. He says “AcK uUUuum”. And I have to write about it because this one has been around for almost a month now- that’s right- a month. And it’s not just the word that he’s obsessed with- it’s the actual vacuum.

At this point, every morning, just after waking up in his crib he says “Ack uUUuum” and points to the hallway. Our vacuum lives in a tiny closet in the hallway, and since Arlo can’t reach doorknobs yet, he enlists our height to open the door for him. Sometimes he nudges the vacuum out of the closet himself but usually he directs one of us to roll the vacuum to the living room where he can admire it throughout the course of the day. At some point during the day he likes to have it moved into the kitchen, or into his room.

He calls it by name every time he walks by. He might stop and press some buttons or flip some levers. Sometimes he hits it with its own accessories like the brush attachment. But if you tell him to give it a hug he blushes and shyly walks up to it- he sticks out his butt and puts the vacuum between his hands and rests his cheek on the dust reservoir. If we are out and about and and I tell him it’s time to go home he automatically says “Ack uUUuum”- sometimes he follows it with “Mama,” but not always.

Today I walked into his room and he was pretend vacuuming Mazzy with the wand attachment- making the vacuum noise with his mouth. IMG_7203Mazzy didn’t look too appreciative- Arlo does get a little aggressive with that wand sometimes. What’s ironic is that Arlo is actually scared of the vacuum when it is running- so much so that he needs to be picked up or worn in a backpack. Even if I just start walking the power cord over to the outlet he will freak out. It’s quite the complicated relationship.

I don’t know what Arlo’s attraction is to it. Maybe it’s because without the towering handle it’s about the same size as Arlo- it’s short, round, and a little bulky. It does almost look like a robot- kinda like a white R2D2- but Arlo doesn’t even know the concept of a robot yet. I don’t know, maybe Arlo yearns for a sibling so bad he has made up an imaginary one. Hmm… I guess while we are on this topic what a great time to make an announcement…

 

Arlo met his new cousin Desi in September! He was born August 30th. We made the trip to California to meet him when he was about six weeks old. Up until Arlo’s vacuum infatuation he had an infatuation with babies- It took Arlo a few days to warm up to Desi- he was a little scared of him- but very concerned- if Desi was in the same house with Arlo then Arlo would make sure to check on him multiple times to see where he was laying, and then usually just point at him and say “baby”- actually, just like he does with the vacuum. Hmm. I didn’t get permission from Desi’s parents to post a picture of him so I’ll just post a picture that portrays the love between Arlo and his uncle…

IMG_6928.jpeg

Well, that’s it, just a quick one today- my new goal is to write more posts- but shorter ones- ones that I can start and finish in a nap time. This one fell close to that, but then he woke up, and then I couldn’t get back to it for two days. So we’ll see how it goes.

I was planning to end this post by sharing a lesson I learned recently- I’m not going to tell you what the lesson was now, but I will say it had an accompanying photo of a wall in Arlo’s bedroom. The wall had a three foot vertical streak of poop that led down to a full diaper sitting on the floor. I will spare you the details and the actual image only because I would feel like I have cheated you if I left you with a disturbing picture like that instead of a more relevant one like this…

arloshark.jpg