Boys, Money, and White Powder
things always start out so innocently.
Okay, so I woke up a bit late this morning. Theron and
his mother had already been up for a while, and the
Beautiful Woman was making French toast.
Two things you need to know. First, a few weeks back,
Theron acquired a piggy bank. It's made of molded blue
plastic, in the shape of a pig sitting upright; you drop
the coins in through a slot in the back of the head,
just behind the pig's ears. There's a little plug on the
bottom, which you can unscrew in order to retrieve your
savings. Second, we keep a medium-sized wooden bowl,
into which we dump our spare change. It lives on the
mantle above the fireplace. Every few months, one of us
will collect the coins and take them down to the bank to
be counted and exchanged for bills.
Apparently Theron took an interest in dropping coins
into his piggy bank. The Beautiful Woman, wanting to
keep him occupied while she cooked breakfast, pulled the
bowl down and let him go to it. (Yes, coins are a
choking hazard, but A. Theron doesn't show the usual
small-child fascination with eating everything around
him, and B. he was fairly closely supervised.) So Theron
put coins in his bank, and his mother cooked French
Unfortunately, by the time I got out there, Theron had
moved on to the next stage of this activity. He was
sitting at the table; in front of him was his piggy
bank, the bowl of coins, and a plate of french toast cut
into small slices and sprinkled with powdered sugar. He
was no longer putting anything in the bank. Instead, he
was busily transferring the coins from the bowl to his
plate, and in the process covering everything around him
with powdered sugar.
So that was my first sight this morning: boy, money, and
There's a drug joke here somewhere...
Dangerous New Skills
Theron is coming up on eighteen months (a year and a
half) old. (He'll get there on December 7.) I am, of
course, perfectly appalled by this. For one thing, I
shouldn't still be surprised that we have
a kid. For another, well... I'd just gotten used to
having a baby; now we have a little boy. How did that
Theron's latest trick is that he will grab us and push
us to where he wants us. He started by getting behind us
and actually pushing, but that isn't terribly effective;
it's hard to see where you're going when you're pushing
an adult in front of you. Instead, he started grabbing
our fingers and pulling us to where we should be. (For
example, in front of the television, putting the Muppet
This was really cute for about the first
Theron is also making rapid strides in language
acquisition. I think he has a forty or fifty word
vocabulary. Unfortunately, thirty-eight to forty-eight
of those words all sound like "Uuh!" when he tries to
say them. This is a difficulty for him.
haven't written anything about Halloween yet, mainly
because this year it was a bit anticlimactic. We got
some trick-or-treaters, but nowhere near as many as we
had last year. Our neighborhood is ethnically diverse,
which I like, but for some reason all but two of the
kids who visited us this year were minorities.
Demographically, that's... odd... and I
don't know how to interpret it. Does it mean that the
white parents are too scared to send their kids out?
Were a bunch of the local churches hosting "harvest
festivals" that lured the kids away? Whatever the cause,
I can't help but think that it's their loss. Halloween
is the best holiday of the year; it seems a shame to
I hadn't really selected a costume -- or given it any
thought; it's been a busy year -- so I pulled out some
of my renfaire clothing, and added a sword and a pair of
silver pins. This makes a fairly convincing
Asha'man outfit, except that I don't think anyone
Theron also had a costume: he went as one of The
Incredibles. When we originally bought the outfit, we
thought he'd be Jak-jak, but he's gotten tall and mobile
much faster than we expected. So, he was Dash instead.
He liked it, except for the mask -- he refused to wear
So, he helped us hand out candy until his mother gave
him a chocolate bar. Then he started trying to raid our
candy dish (and he was quite capable of picking out the
"right" sort of candy). Fortunately, he hasn't yet
figured out how to open the wrapper. So, he would steal
the proper type of candy bar, bring it to one of us, and
tell us (in no uncertain terms) to open it for him. ("Uuh!")
Unfortunately, Theron did figure out that
the easiest way to move his father around was by the
scabbard of my sword. This means that my five hundred
dollar katana now has chocolate handprints all up and
down the sheath.
The Beautiful Woman took him to a couple of nearby
houses, and then over to his Grandmother's house for a
special bonus round of Trick-or-Treating. For a kid who
isn't quite a year and half old, I'll count that as a
fairly successful Halloween.
On to the next holiday!
Meanwhile, Thanksgiving has fallen on us like a rain of
bricks. Owing to the largesse of my employer, we had
(effectively) a four day weekend this year. Wednesday
night was dinner with the Beautiful Woman's parents.
Thursday was Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house,
with contingents from Florida and Oklahoma (both from my
mom's side of the family). Theron had a good time
playing with Austin, the five year old, in the cardboard
playhouse. Friday morning began with breakfast with the
Beautiful Woman's parents, and then I joined some
friends for an informal HALO tournament.
This last event was in honor of Thanksgiving, too.
Nothing says "founding fathers" like running around
trying to slaughter everything in sight.
So... The holiday season is officially upon us. I won't
be caught up on my rest any time before January, the
collective IQ has dropped about forty points (and the
traffic shows it!), and the retail push has begun.
Anything that needs to be finished before the end of the
year needs to get done within the next three weeks, and
of course there's about three times as much stuff as you
can actually do in that time frame.
I skipped Black Friday (also known as National Drive
Like An Idiot Day -- petition your congresscritter to
have the name changed!) in favor of the HALO tournament.
This may have been the best decision I made all year. I
have also created a CD of holiday songs, mostly in
self-defense. These are not your typical Christmas
carols -- or if they are, they certainly aren't the
versions that people are used to hearing. Insofar as
it's possible to be ready for the Christmas Season, I'm
"Ooh. Ooh. That's a big knife, Theron. That's a
...And you know, I think I'll just leave that section
title to stand on its own. The boy takes after his
Pursuing Stuffed Animals
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Pursuing Live Animals