Monday, February 26, 2007

Mad at Jesus . . . again.

Grandma Poppie recently stayed with us for two weeks. At some point during her stay, presumably on a Sunday getting ready for church, she told Smith that Sunday was Jesus' day. Smith has not taken kindly to this.

Tonight (like every night), Smith insisted on saying the prayer. He began this prayer like he begins every other:

"Heavenly Father, thank you for the day. Thank you for my family. . . ."

Then he paused. He unfolded his arms, opened his eyes and started yelling. "But not the baby, and not Jesus! It is not Jesus' day, or the baby's day. It is my day! Jesus doesn't have a day!"

Smith might grow up to be an evil dictator. If he does, I'm blaming Poppy.

Marveling at the Power Rangers

Due to the influence of one of Smith's Cleveland friends, Smith unfortunately loves Power Rangers. We don't let him watch it, or play it on the computer, but he regularly pretends to be a Power Ranger. For the uninitiated, the Power Rangers is a TV show adapted from a Japanese program. In the show, the Rangers morph from humans into superheros wearing brightly colored battle suits featuring helmets to pretect their secret identities. In superhero form, Power Rangers fight like ninjas, punching and kicking everything in sight. They are irritating beyond description.

Smith and I often play computer games together and tonight, we were perusing the Disney website looking for new games we may not yet have tried. Accidently, I clicked on the Power Rangers link. Lights began flashing, loud music with a heavy asian beat blared from the speakers, announcing our entry into the Power Ranger portion of the website. Oh no.

I looked at Smith. This was his lucky day. I couldn't go back now. He looked at me with excitement, then turned his head back to the screen. His jaw dropped in wonderment and awe, taking in every flash of light, and every kick, punch and karate chop. "Dad," he said, "I think my mouth is going to fall off."

Sunday, February 25, 2007

At least he is paying attention?

Smith was very attentive today at church. Here are two examples:

1. During the sacrament prayer, he got stuck on the word, "thee." He looked up, turned to me, and asked, "Vee? Dad, what is vee?" I looked at him and enunciated, "Thee. Smith, he is saying thee." He blurted back, "Dee? Vee-Dee? Dad, what is Vee-Dee?" I gave up and tried to divert his attention.

2. I received a calling today. In sacrament meeting, when I was asked to rise for the congregation's sustaining vote, Smith stood up on the bench right along with me. We were in the last row of the chapel. When the congregation raised their hands to sustain me, Smith's hand also shot upward. Then I heard him yell out, "YES!" Heads from every row, all the way to the front of the chapel, turned to look at us. Thanks for the vote of confidence little man.

Lick the Wall

This morning, Smith asked why Mom and Laine were not going to church. I explained, "Laine is a brand new baby and could get sick at church, so she is staying home." Smith replied, "When we get to church I am going to lick the wall so that I can get sick, and can stay home from church."

Video Savant?

A few days back, Smith and I went to Blockbuster. At the checkout counter, he said to me, "Dad, today we are getting a kid show, but not a mommy and daddy show." This was indeed true. We were renting some Scooby Doo movie for him, and nothing for Whitley and me. Then Smith said, "Last time, we got a kid show but not a mommy and daddy show. But the time before that, we got both a Smith show and a mommy and daddy show." I thought about it, and he was right. But I had to think pretty hard, because that was four or five weeks ago.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Big Gulp

Smith and I did some male bonding yesterday. We went to the park, pushed around some rocks and dirt, played baseball, and ate burgers. While devouring in silence, Smith suddenly stopped and said, "Dad, watch this." He seized his chocolate milk and took one big swig, filling his cheeks with liquid. We made eye contact, and then he threw back his head as far as it would go. His chin was directly above his Adam's apple, like a bird when choking down a worm. After a dramatic pause, he swallowed the whole mouthful in one big gulp, emptying the entirety of his mouth. I could see his little Adam's apple slowly and deliberately move up and then down. He slowly lowered his head, looked at me and uttered an exaggerated, "Aaahhh . . . ." Smith then turned to me and said, "I've been practicing that for years."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Got Milk?

"She needs some milk!" Smith exclaims to Whitley and me. "Laine is hungry and needs milk!" I think to myself, "So, he gets it already. There is at least one conversation I won't have to have with him." Smith continues, "She needs milk from Mommy's tummy. Mommy has milk in her abs." Smith points, indicating Mommy's supposed milk-filled abdominal muscles. "I have abs too, see? Dad, do I have milk in my abs?"

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Big Brother

On Friday, Smith became a big brother. His sister Laine was born at 6:06 p.m., weighing in at seven pounds and five ounces, and stretching out to 19 inches long. She is beautiful, sweet, and precious.

For months now, Smith has been calling the baby "Flash" after the superhero. Initially, Whitley and I thought this was because he wanted to name her Flash. Cute, right? Telling this to our friends and family was always good for a cheap, polite laugh.

When we found out the baby was a girl, Smith was with us in the doctor's office. The ultrasound nurse told us the baby was a girl, and Smith was enraged. "It's not a girl! It's a boy! It's FLASH!" After this episode, Whitley and I thought, "Okay, so Smith doesn't just want to name the baby Flash, he actually wants a little brother!" Smith, after all, is captivated with all things masculine (punching, baseball, kicking, trucks, fighting, wrestling, dinosaurs and other various meat-eating entities), so we thought it natural that he would prefer a brother to sister. To avoid conflict, Whitley and I decided to find ways to refer to the baby by gender-neutral appellations. Problem solved.

Flash forward (pun intended).

At approximately 7:00 p.m., on February 16, 2007, Smith arrived at the hospital with his grandma Poppie to meet his baby sibling. I was sitting on the couch across the room from the door, holding Laine. Furtively, Smith peeked around the bed at the bundle of blanket in my arms. "Is it Lainey, or is it Flash?" he said quietly. He inched forward, leaning ahead to try and catch a glimpse of what I was actually holding. "Is it Lainey, or is it Flash?" When Smith arrived at my side, he met his sister for the first time. He looked in at her face. The excitement drained from his face and body. He shoulders dropped. He put his head in his hands. He fell, face forward, onto the couch with a soft weep. Whitley and I discovered that Smith didn't want to just call the baby Flash, nor did he just want a little brother. He explained to us, "It's Lainey. It's not (sniff, sniff) Flash. She can't run fast, and she's not wearing a red costume." He wanted, well, Flash.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Talkin' Baseball

"Hey dad, where's your glub? Oh, there it is. Dad, where is my glub? Oh, right there. Okay. You are Callrado, and I'm the Ankees. See, I'm wearing my Ankees hat. I'm battering up! I'm battering up five times . . . ten times! Dad, don't throw your heater. What's the other kind of ball? Oh yeah, throw your curball. I'm ready! Yeah! I hit it! Now I'm running the bases . . . don't tag me . . . I'm safed!"

Scary Strawberries

Mom: Smith, did you have a bad dream?

Smith: Yeah.

Mom: What was it about?

Smith: Stawberries.

Mom: What?

Smith: There were scary strawberries. And they had spikey things. And they were cutting each other. . . .

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Do you speak Smith?

How proficient is your smit-cabulary?

1. Bideo
2. Movie veeder
3. Pocks pickle
4. Some pin
5. Over dare
6. Wummer woman
7. Moodie (not moody)
8. Miss or Piff
9. Gund
10. W, X, Y and G!

Friday, February 9, 2007


Yesterday, when Whitley dropped Smith off for school, Smith ran over precisely to where he had hidden two prized toy dragons, two days earlier, for safe-keeping. I guess it looked as if he had schemed it for days, which I am sure he had. His teacher said, "Yup, Smith is one of our detail-oriented ones." What an interesting choice of words. Then, when she picked him up a few hours later, a different teacher told Whitley, "he is our most detail-oriented kid." Is "detail-oriented" a preschool teacher code word for problem child?

I must admit, Smith's detail-oriented-ness is not a revelation to me. Smith has always a bit, shall I say, persnickety. Since he was a one year-old, he has played with his matchbox cars by lining them in laser-straight rows. At bedtime, he makes me read the copyright and title pages of each book we read. And he has a bathroom ritual (which I won't describe in detail) reminiscent of a superstitious baseball player's sequence of gestures and maneuvers performed each time it's his turn to bat.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Polyester pleasures

Smitty got a new sleeping bag yesterday. It is made out some splendidly silky, polyester material that is very slick when slid on carpet, especially with a body inside (perhaps you can see where I am going with this).

Last night, from 7:00 until 8:00, I took Smith to the top of the carpeted stairs, put him into the bottom of the sleeping bag, closed off the top of the bag with my fist, and then ran down the stairs as fast as I could, as Smith bobbed and thudded behind. Some thuds caused Whitley to croon her head around the corner to make sure all Smith's teeth were still in order. Each time we reached the bottom, I heard Smitty's shrieking, wheezing laugh. As soon as he could catch his breath, he would scream, again!

This continued until he laughed so hard, he peed his pants.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Today's Headlines

"Hey Smith! What did you do today?"

"I went to school. And I went to the park. And I went pee in my pants."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Potty Talk

Whitley is eight months and 23 days pregnant. Approximately 184 times per day, her body is contorted in unnatural ways. To cope, she often is forced to hunch over or curl up, grab her knees and moan for extended periods of time. This morning, she was thus suffering in the bathroom. Smith was outside the bathroom door and could hear his mom in agony. Smith consolingly said to his mom, "It will be okay mom. Just push really hard with your stomach. Pretty soon, it won't hurt to go poo."

Never let it be said that I failed to teach my child anything of use.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Mad at Jesus

Yesterday at 11:10 a.m., I was holding Smitty in the church's foyer. Per usual, we were late. Smith had just been asking strangers to write their names on a piece of paper, when out of the blue, he crossly said, "Jesus doesn't decide, I DO!" And again, "Jesus doesn't decide!"


So I asked him, "What are you talking about?"

"I am (pregnant pause) angry with Jesus . . . . I want a boy baby," Smith muttered. "I decide, not Jesus."

I later discovered that Whitley had told Smith that Jesus decides whether a baby comes out as a boy or a girl. Way to go Whit. Now our son is mad at Jesus.

spreading the smitty word