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Boys, Money, and White Powder

Boy. Under Table.These 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 toast.

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 white powder.

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 happen?

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 Show on.)

This was really cute for about the first two weeks.

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.

Theron Incredible!I 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 miss it.

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 recognized it.

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 that.

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 ready.

"Ooh. Ooh. That's a big knife, Theron. That's a dangerous knife."
...And you know, I think I'll just leave that section title to stand on its own. The boy takes after his father.

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