Photos: Samurai Futaba

28 07 2010

All I can say is, E is a good sport.

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Reminds me of a cross between The Mikado and Samurai Futaba:

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via Saturday Night Live – Samurai Delicatessen – Video – NBC.com.

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Photos: Bedhead

28 07 2010

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Yes, E has added winking to his arsenal of charisma. I think Grace taught him.

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from the vaults: Reading and Singing

28 07 2010

I am pleased to say that E loves books and loves to have books read to him. I mean to, one of these days, have a run-down of his favorite books, but for now I’ll just share some videos of us reading (and singing).

Last summer Dana and I discovered Aladdin Books. They’re an international Korean bookstore chain with a branch down in Annandale, Virginia. One of the best purchases we made there was this combo CD+songbook of fun Korean children’s songs. I swear E already has half the songs memorized; I can barely recall one or two.

Fortunately, I can (sort of) read Korean. Here’s me reading and singing the lyrics of a few songs to E:

I know, my pitch control leaves much to be desired. E’s no better. Here he is, climbing out of an ottoman having emptied it of all the board games we store in it, grabbing for the flipcam and engaging in a fairly incomprehensible medley of songs he knows. He eventually runs away with the camera.

And here I am, reading to E his least favorite book: Dare You Go…Into the Jungle.

Dare you go...into the jungle

It’s a book that I picked up at a thrift store. It has a pretty clever sense of suspense, and the last page has a pop-up of a crocodile that scares the bejesus out of E. Dana and I just had to record for posterity his genuine fear of this book:

Forgive us, E.





from the vaults: messy daredevil

5 03 2010

This was e over the last summer, what I call his Daniel Craig phase. He had his first major haircut, which he got at Chinatown. It took three adults to hold still his screaming little head.

e was getting really good at climbing around over the summer, developing more confidence with his coordination, and here’s a typical example of his derring-do:

and again, this time with his blankie:

One of the smartest things we (okay, my wife) did was notice that e had particular affection for a certain felt-y fabric from the craft store and cut out several large swatches of it — one for his bed, one for our bed, one for the car, one for his grandparents’ house, etc. — so that we were always within arm’s reach of his blankie.

Here’s e trying to get a handle on eating yogurt and fruit with a spoon. Bib still needed.

And several clips of him eating watermelon. Man, he really likes watermelon.



Next week (or so): reading.





The Wild Thing

23 10 2009

There was a time would E would sleep through the night, 12, 14 hours, without so much as a rustle. We knew we were lucky, lucky to have a baby that would let us have the night to ourselves, undisturbed.

That changed when E started climbing out of his crib. I think it must have been around month 20, in the summer. He’d start awake from a nightmare, climb out of his crib, and seek us out for consolation. What were we to do? The kid just had a nightmare. You’ve got to let him sleep with you.

Pretty soon it was every night. We changed out the guard rails for a set that had an opening in them because there was no point in pretending that nothing was stopping him from just hopping over them any time he wanted to. We’d put him to bed and sneak out when he fell asleep, but at one or two in the morning, when we ourselves were sure to be in bed, he’d climb out of his crib, march down the hallway with his favorite blanket, and claw at our bed.

The Chinese have a nickname for their little ones. They call them Little Emperors. E is almost two now. He is eagerly testing out newfound powers of refusal, of demand, of whiny attrition. He is our Little Emperor.

And Dana just gives in. She’s ragged from all the school work and stress and doesn’t have it in her to deal with wet eyes and screaming sirens of protest. But I’m the Dad. I’m the man of the house; I’m the law. The buck stops with me, buddy.

So one night, when Dana is away, I decide to take the opportunity to put my foot down. I give E his bath, put him in his pajamas, and turn out the lights. I fish around for the Mighty Brite reading light and read him Goodnight Moon. He’s yawning. Good sign. We say our prayers, and I lift him in my arms and set him in his crib. As I do so, I say, “I’m leaving, E, and I want you to stay in your crib. I don’t want you to leave this room tonight.”

He rocks his head back and forth and ever so faintly says, “No. No.”

“Yes, E. Stay in your crib. I am closing the door,” and I latch the door shut.

Then I go down the hall, get in bed, and wait.

And, indeed, ten minutes later I hear him get out of his crib. I hear him run his hand across the door. What is this? The door’s never been shut before. How am I supposed to get out? I can hear him scratch at the groove between the door and the frame.

And then I hear him go nuts. He starts to whine. And then bawl. And then I hear him stomp around the room blindly. He starts opening all his drawers and flinging out all his clothes. I almost get out of bed when he starts throwing his toys. He  starts banging against the door, first with his shoulder, then with his head. He presses all the buttons on the toys attached to his bed. And then it sounds like he’s ripping pages out of one of his books.

I hear a thud, thud, thud, and then I realize he’s tipping over the rocking chair.

I’m sitting up now, but it’s suddenly gone silent. I sit uneasily for five minutes, ten minutes. What’s happened? Is he hurt — trapped, perhaps, under the rocking chair? Is he lying on the floor, exhausted? Is he back in bed?

I think I see a flash of light underneath the door. No… how can…?

And then, dumbfounded, I hear the doorknob being rattled. Chk-chk. Chk-chk.

Is my son seriously…? Chk-chk. Chk-chk.

And before I could answer my question, the door flings open, and E comes howling like a banshee down the hall, waving the Mighty Brite wand so that I see white flashes of his wrathful, grimacing face racing towards me like an avenging spirit.

I was literally flat on my back in fright. I almost fell out of the bed and found myself scampering away from him as he came to the side of the bed and started clawing up. When I got him to settle down and nestle into bed — my bed — sweetly asleep, I could still hear my heart thumping, and I had to laugh out loud, nervously, to force myself to exhale and calm down.

Needless to say, he still sleeps in our bed every night.





Putting away childish swings

23 07 2009

One of the advantages of having a long summer break is that I can finally get around to tying up some of the loose ends I kept on procrastinating on about during the school year. This blog, for instance.

We have three floors; the first floor is pretty much a basement, and all the bedrooms are on the top floor. e spends most of the day on the second floor where the kitchen-cum-dining room-slash-living room is. His grandmother does a great job of keeping up with his wake of distraction, but Dana and I are more lax in picking up after him. We, uh, want him to learn to pick up after himself — yeah, that’s the ticket.

So anyways Dana and I, in finally getting around to tidying up a little, began with packing up e’s swing, which he was getting a little too big for. It was also getting a little dangerous because he would crawl into it on his own but has had a few incidents where he wasn’t able to crawl out of it as successfully. I wonder with all the times I’ve let him fall on his head whether I’ve permanently affected his phrenology.

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On a bicycle built for two

23 07 2009

One of the more noticeable changes in e is his command of the language. A couple weeks back he started becoming obsessed with bulldozers and the word “bulldozer” (which he pronounced “bull-dojo”) — to the point where he would wake up and chant “bulldozer” 50 times in a row. It’s pretty encouraging for a word aficionado like me to witness my son latch on to a multi-syllabic word like that and fixate on it. Having a lot of construction in our neighborhood further encourages him, too. (He’s only recently beginning to learn to distinguish between a bulldozer and, say, a backhoe — “bucko” to him).

Shortly soon after he added to his register of favorite things’n’words “bicycle.” He’d want to fondle my bike when he’s in the basement, and he becomes intensely interested in other kids’ bikes and trikes. Like this one that was lying idle at the park:

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To accommodate him we recently purchased a CoPilot Taxi and a bike helmet:

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I kind of hate that I’ve lost the use of my bike rack, which I used to strap my U + cable lock onto. And e is only kind of eager on going on bike rides with me; he’ll tend to either fall asleep in the CoPilot or scream about having to wear a helmet.

And I think now he’s entering a train obsession phase.