Having a child has been an experience I will not soon forget. Having a child that gives her interpretation of English words, well that’s just the icing on the cake. Last month it was “snarecrow” and this month has been “batastic” which is clearly the word fantastic, just heard wrong I’m guessing. She uses these words in the correct context which makes it that much more amusing. For example, Lia had been playing with Cassondra’s hair and putting clips in it when she steps back to view her work and says to her that she looked “Batastic”. In writing these past few years I have watched Lia blossom into a beautiful gem of a little girl with an active imagination. However, with imagination comes great responsibility to see through her cuteness to view what she might really be up to. There are many times when things grow eerily silent and she is not within viewing range and you call out to her “Lia, what are you doing?”. Now, in the past she would stop what shes doing and run into where you are at and reply “I’m not doing anything”. Fast forward a couple of months and when asked the same question you notice a slight pause before she replies “anything”. Now, I know she only almost 4, but she is deceivingly telling the truth. Anything IS what she is doing and that can account for many many things, so I just laugh and just check in on her to make sure she is not juggling knives, because that would be a bad thing… mainly because knife jugglers in the circus don’t make that much money.
During a Fall festival close to where we live, Lia had a chance to really live it up in a few moon walkers, face painting and of course, everyone wins children games. She had a blast and was not only the proud owner of more candy than she could devour, but also the new owner of 2 goldfish for which she “won”. Now when I say won, I mean they handed her a fish net and the object was to see how long it would take a toddler to follow a fish around in a tiny aquarium until the fish finally gave up. With our 2 new goldfish, we were given 2 coupons for 2 more fish at a local pet store which we headed to shortly after the event. There we purchased all the goodies needed to create a nice environment for our 4 newest finned family members. Lia was in charge of naming them which was fun because they had a different name every time she came over to visit, which of course was fine because they were her fish. It wasn’t until the third week of ownership that one of them died, and a few days later another one died until finally a third one had died. So, now we were left with one goldfish which we had pretty much thought his days were numbered, but found out to be quite the opposite (so far). What we did notice was that this goldfish seemed to be VERY happy with his new found space with no other tenants. So much so that he literally spends most of his days swimming back and forth like an aquatic Michael Phelps relaying from one end of the aquarium to the other. With this type of behavior in motion Cassondra and I came up with 2 conclusions: A. He is trying to get our attention and motion to us that something is wrong (for all we know he is swimming back and forth yelling “HEEEEEYYYYYYYYY”), or he truly glad to be rid of his roommates and he purposely knocked them off one by one while were not looking and he is some type of dorsal finned serial killer. We agreed on the latter and have since named him Dexter, named after a popular tv character who plays a serial killer with the same name.
The video above demonstrates Lia’s lack of patience of being video taped while she is trying to read you something or any other time for that matter. I laugh every time I see this clip because her expression and how her shoulders drop in disappointment with her body language all without saying anything. Although she is not able to read just yet, her imagination won’t prevent her from telling her own story to the book at hand. It’s amazing to see how absorbent she is to the world around her and remembering of key details to something you thought was less than minor. She is growing fast and I am enjoying every minute of it.
The other day it was another beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky as we played together in the front yard. I looked up into the sky, pointed and asked Lia “where are the clouds? Without the slightest flinch she looked up and said “They are behind the sun Daddy.” As an adult and father, it’s easy to treasure these cute things that are said because they are in fact priceless. In a way it’s funny to think of what she said, but what I enjoyed most was how she said it, like duh daddy… where do you think they are…everyone knows the clouds go behind the sun. Another cute thing she said recently was while at Wal-Mart looking at Halloween decorations she pointed to a scarecrow lawn decoration and said “look, it’s a SNAREcrow!” I held back my laugh and asked her again just so I could hear it one more time. I normally correct her when she mispronounces words, but felt it was ok to want to hear her say SNAREcrow just a few more times this Halloween season.
A few weekends ago we loaded up the boat and sailed to Baytown’s own Pirate’s Bay water theme park. Upon arrival you were practically out of the car before we got a chance to park as you could see the sky high water slides and the hundreds of kids not named Lia having the time of their lives. Rest assured you soon got your chance to experience exactly none of those sky high slides because they wouldn’t allow you to sit in my lap and go down them. However, you made up for it by enjoying the 2 foot water fountains that shoot of out the ground that can be found at any major mall, yet these were much better because they were not free like the other ones. After a few revolutions around the lazy river, you finally found enough courage to go actually play on the pirate ship that every 45 seconds dropped about 50 gallons of water on unsuspecting kids. They had a smaller version of the big kid pirate ship that you quickly took a liking to the water gun as you hosed people as they walked by. As the day progressed your courage to try new things were ever increasing, and despite your stature and limitations on certain big kid rides, you made the most of it.
When it comes to photos you are either rocking the inner ham that is inside of you with tongue hanging out and vogue poses, or you are the paparazzi shy “get that camera out of my face”. It’s actually funny and frustrating at the same time as I have missed some really great video ops because your camera radar is always on and very sensitive to any camera or camera phones being raised. One thing is for sure, you will never have to worry about seeing any pictures of video of yourself growing up because your life has been well documented since your arrival.
In the 2nd and final half of Liapalooza 2010, I’m happy to report that it was not only a strong bonding and learning experience, but something I will look forward to every summer from here on out. There may not have been over 35 bands playing at Liapalooza, but that doesn’t mean the decibel level didn’t reach that of a concert during one of her tantrums.
Although her fascination for taking care of her vast collection of babies is still active, she has now found a new interest in tutu’s, princess shoes and looking pretty. Now, I know she’s only 3.5 but it’s only natural for a father to be guarded in the fact that in the future with looking pretty garners attention and with attention come the boys. Deep breath, and exhale… I still have hopefully 10 or so years before I have to flex my daddy muscles to let these “so-called” boys know that she is my little girl and always will be. But I digress as we have a while before those days begin.
Much is how many of any one thing Lia wants plenty of regarding food, snacks and even toys. For example, if I am about to give her Cheeto’s, she reminds me that she wants “much of them”. Even though I have corrected her on many occasions and she has picked up on it, I still like to use it when she is not around when I want many of something…as it brings a huge smile to my face. So, if that’s me in the car next to you talking to himself and laughing or smiling, know that I am perfectly sane and happy as I reflect on how precious my daughter is.
So in closing the chapter on Liapalooza 2010, we leaned “much” things about each other and as our time together increases and we grow stronger together, I look forward to all of life’s obstacles, moments, and experiences we will share together.
This is my first solid summertime month with Lia and has been dubbed Liapalooza 2010. This is the first time since she was 4 months old that I have had for for more than one week straight and I couldn’t be happier. Although we are midway through our 2nd full week together, so many things have transpired, said and witnessed that I actually had to start making a mental note of things I wanted to talk about so bare with me as I try and flush out these wonderful moments of bonding, laughing and parenting.
Sine we live in a 2 story house, a baby gate is a given and necessity. Over the course of having the gate, she pretty much has ignored it’s existence and just realized it was an immovable obstacle and it did it’s job. This past weekend, she was ready to head to the donut shop as we promised donuts bright and early the next morning. Between climbing in and out of our bed, side stepping Dylan, and reminding us that the word donut does start to sound funny after 300 times of hearing it that we decided to finally start to get ready. While we were putting our clothes, she was still in her nightgown, but in her mind she had one foot already in Shipley’s. Standing firm by the baby gate and losing patience, she said that we needed to hurry as she hit the baby gate softly with her hands and said because she can’t escape “this”. It was an obvious statement, but the fact that she used the word escape let me in the fact that maybe there have been futile efforts to “escape” the gate before. Either way the wording was classic Lia and not soon forgotten.
Lia also has made it clear that diapers are for babies and that she wears “pooh-lups”. She only wears them at night but make no mistake about it, they are not diapers. The dialect on the word “pull-ups” is hysterical and cracks me up every time and I find myself asking her if she wears diapers just so I can hear her correct me and say it for me. I even wanted it recorded so I can hear it over and over, and of course so others can hear it because it’s just too precious. Listen for yourself as I have it available for your listening pleasure below.
Stay tuned for the rest of Liapalooza 2010 as there is more to come.
This question can be heard as a “stay longer” tactic deployed by my very genius daughter as I tuck her in bed for the night. It is usually followed by, I need to got potty (for the 3rd time), I’m hungry, and the ever loving “I need to go take my medicine”. What child on Earth WANTS to take medicine, much less remind their parent that it is fact time for that. What used to be a 10 minute ritual has now turned into a 30 minute bed time ordeal. Now, I’m not saying that I’m letting her railroad over me, but it’s hard sometimes to leave because she is sooo cute when trying to apply these sly tactics. It’s even harder to keep a straight face while she scrambles to keep the last person in her audience of one captivated before Act II Scene 1 begins.
She is witty, crafty, and manipulative…all which are traits I have bestowed upon her, but now I must teach her to use these powers for good as I have these 36 years. Although I have shed my cape and efforts against the evil doers of the world, I have put on a new cape and taken on the role of Captain Fatherhood. This role involves supervision, authority, delegation and compromise. The ability to take time out of the day to enjoy something that otherwise would have gone unnoticed if Lia wouldn’t have pointed it out. For instance the plane passing overhead, the bug in the flower garden, or quite simply how beautiful the world is when you have time to slow down and look through her eyes as she sees it. As a matter of fact, where was I when the world switched to the complicated, busy and sometimes ugly world my daughter has yet to see? I guess it doesn’t matter, because I traded my childhood badge for a shiny fatherhood badge to not only serve and protect my daughter at all costs, but to bring a smile to her face when she looks back over her childhood. Unfortunately, the pictures of us together loving, laughing and enjoying each other will only capture a microsecond of the special bond we shared, but the memories will last forever; and that is good enough for me.
Yo Gabba Gabba, thank you for providing my daughter with countless hours of education, and entertainment. You have all the ingredients for a highly successful children’s show. Colorful, energetic and lovable characters, fantasy based sets, and theme based episodes. You also provide a key ingredient to any successful show, and that is a hypnotic tune by the name of “hide and seek” that crawls inside your ear, burrows deep inside your short term memory and sets up shop. Of course this has happened before with a few other of Lia’s music, but none have been so penetrating as this song. I have found myself singing it in traffic, in the shower and of course before I go to bed. It takes a full 3 days before it slowly dissipates completely from the cranium.
On the subject of music, Lia has also been listening to one of my favorites “15 Bible songs for kids” which she thoroughly enjoys. She has enjoyed it so much that one particular time in the car when the cd ended and the next cd was loaded automatically via cd changer (which wasn’t Lia’s music) she cried “what happened to my Baby Jesus music”. It’s times like those that truly unforgettable and make being a father more enjoyable that it already is.
So Lia, thank you for bringing countless smiles to my face and hypnotic techno ear worms to my world. I love you.
That is the question Lia has been asking me as of late. She asks at random times and about 2 times a day which makes me think she is generally interested in my response. Of course I could be reading to much into it, but I really don’t think so because she literally stops what she is doing and looks into my eyes awaiting my response. “Yes” I responded each time telling her why she makes me so happy to be around her. I then ask if she is happy and she gleefully responds that she is and then continues on her way. Now, since I am on the topic of questions I have to share this cute story from a few weekends ago. I was on the way to the grocery store with her and we were having fun singing along to her music and then I turned around to ask her “Do you know how much Daddy loves you?”. Her response was “2 Minutes”. Or at least that’s what I thought I heard, or it could have simply been just “too many” as in her way of saying “too much”. I prefer to think it was two minutes, well because I love a good laugh and even when I ask her to this day it still sounds like “2 minutes”. I gave a good laugh then, and it still garners a good laugh now.
Being a single noncustodial parent can be difficult at times knowing that you are not able to see your daughter everyday and see her grow up and learn new things daily. When asked by someone, it occurred to me that during the explanation it was a lot like getting a new software update each time I saw her. Sort of like this week I am getting Lia version 3.3 with new features like “Are you happy Daddy” questions, better potty control and best of all “I want that Daddy”. The “I want that daddy” is a new feature that has truly taken me by storm in the sense that all toy commercial marketing is REALLY working on kids. Lia wants one of everything she sees, which I’m sure as every kid her age, but man it’s like watching a hypnotized person and as soon as the advertisement ends, it’s like the hypnotist snaps his or her fingers, and she is back to Lia again.
To make it fair, I think it would be funny have her sitting with me on a couch and watching a commercial that shows a little girl eating when her daddy tells her to and then I can say to her ” I want that Lia.”
Empty play is left around, silence fills the air abound.
Weekends gone but full of joy, what’s left are quiet lonely toys.
Sometimes sit where you played away, wondering the thoughts that came your way.
Here today but gone tomorrow, time with you is never borrowed.
Growing up fast untimely pace, slow down sweetie no need to race.
Can’t accept one day you will grow, can’t shift gears from fast to slow.
Pick you up from your bed, deep asleep rest your head.
Gently bounce and whisper soft, recap the day and my love aloft.
Descend to bed my arms extend, sweet dreams to you from my heart I send.
A new day awaits begin anew, toys where you left them and ready for you.