At dinner yesterday, Jonas kept trying to get a bit higher in his chair by standing on the seat. I asked him to stop, since it would cause Evan to try the same thing and before long there would be complete mayhem in the dining room.
Jonas: But I want to be taller than Mommy!
Jen: Don’t worry. If you eat your vegetables, you’ll definitely be taller than me in just a few years. Do you know why?
Jonas: Because you’ll be dead?
My ability to fight the urge to laugh was definitely tested.
I would love to not be frustrated by these things; but alas, my brain is just not wired like that. I’m using my brand-new $50,000 3D HDR digital microscope today and wouldn’t you know it…
Since I’ve been gone from the site for awhile, I’ll treat my friends and family to a funny video. I don’t want this one publicly available due to its graphic language, so you’re going to have to get hold of me for a link. Comment below, email me, etc… just let me know you were here and I’ll send you a link. Trust me, it’s worth it.
I now get this pop-up every time I try to load the San Jose Mercury News site, even though what appears to be the entire site loads fine right behind the dialog box.
Sunday: Got Jen’s car cleaned, vacuumed, shampooed… the works. Looks good-as-new now and is put in her parents’ garage with the windows open to dry it out. There is lots of evidence of mouse activity under the hood — mostly footprints and poop. From the tracks, it looks like a small mouse and not a rat. Phew.
Monday Night: Car still in garage, I dismantle dashboard and find point of entry for the mouse. Similar to my car, it used the cabin air intake (outside near the windshield wipers) and made its way down to the cabin air filter where it was able to use the recirculated-air intake (behind the glove box) to enter the car. It had even stolen a Swedish Fish from Jen’s low blood sugar stash and left it back there near the duct. There is no damage to the ventilation system (i.e., the mouse was able to squeeze through all the various grills and vents without chewing through, unlike in my car), so I put it all back together after a thorough cleaning and leave the car in the garage overnight to continue to dry the shampooed upholstery.
Tuesday: Jen’s car returns to the driveway in the afternoon. The interior is spotless: No food, no crumbs, no car seats, nothing but an empty car and a set of jumper cables in the tailgate.
Wednesday morning (today): New spot of chewed up upholstery under driver’s seat and at least one little turd in the tailgate. Sure seems like the mouse had been waiting for it’s easy-access meals-on-wheels to return, got inside, found a shockingly clean car, and decided to leave a little something just so we know who’s in charge.
Yeah, I’m pretty pissed.
Tonight there will be a bevy of traps left near the cabin air intake and under the hood. Either that or I’ll rig the car to blow up, terrorist style.
I’m going to post this because (A) it was a bright moment during an otherwise miserable day, (B) it portrays my fathering skills in a positive light (unlike the other day when the neighbors likely heard my voice in full-on yell mode), and (C) it may be useful to other parents.
Jonas is a picky eater. Sometimes it can be a real struggle to get enough food in him before the lack of calories causes a meltdown, which of course will prevent further eating of said food. Last night I got straight A’s on my parenting report card, though.
Ziti and peas were on the menu — quick and easy and I was home alone with both boys. Jonas doesn’t like peas. He’ll complain that they’re green… or round… or staring at him… or whatever comes into his head. Pasta he’ll eat, but will often find some reason to dislike it on any given day.
(On the other hand, 19-month-old Evan eats everything —
as long as he’s not throwing it across the room.)
Here’s one that all of us parents have used: “You know, that chicken will help you grow BIG and strooooong! MMMMM yummy!” And has that ever really worked for you?
No, I didn’t think so. But last night I figured out how to make it work.
“Jonas, I’m going to put my hand on your head and then I want you to eat a noodle. Let’s see if you get any taller after you swallow it!”
Noodle in mouth. Chew. Swallow.
I push down gently with my hand and he proclaims, “I FEEL IT! I’m getting taller!”
“Eat another one!”
He does and I push down a bit more. The excitement is palpable. My four-year-old is “growing” before my eyes and he is now ready to see just how big he’ll get.
“Try a pea, I bet that’ll make you grow TWICE as fast!”
Boom. Pea in mouth, hand pushing down much harder. I tell him that my arm is so tired from holding back his growth that I need to take a break. I wave it in the air for a moment and then start all over by gently laying it on his head.
This loop is repeated over and over… and over… and over. Evan is going bananas with laughter, watching the smile on Jonas’s face as he shovels in peas and pasta in an attempt to grow all the way to the ceiling.
When the eating slows a bit, I change up the game. Now I have him stand against the wall and I mark his height with my hand. He turns to step back to the table to eat a noodle and I slightly lower my hand when he’s not looking. He swallows and returns to find that my hand now bumps his forehead.
This is repeated until his plate is empty and he’s nearly finished three servings of pasta and a small pile of peas that is about 5x larger than ever before. It was not the quickest meal we’ve had, but we had fun. For the first time, I think he actually ate until he was F-U-L-L.
Some of you may think this type of trickery is wrong. Me? I call it survival.
Count the rodent’s nipples. Rats have six pairs of nipples, but mice only have five pairs.
Oh, I see. I’ll get right on that!