"Theron is a little boy"
24, 2009: Theron has (I swear to g-d) both grown noticeably and started speaking
more clearly... sometime last night. Samples of dialogue: "Uh-oh, Daddy. What
going to happen? What going to happen? Alien Spaceship, Mommy." (This while
watching Jimmy Neutron.) Also, while watching the same movie: "Oh, Carl is-is
riding a buttefly." And "Oh, theys are t(h)rough the rock."*
When I came into the kitchen tonight: "I eat cake, Daddy, I eat cake." This
was followed shortly by: "Daddy, wash hands."
Later, in the living room:
Theron: "Look what I found, Daddy."
Me: "Is it a tube?"
Theron: "Yes. Is a tube."
Or, when he's feeling put upon, he'll lay down on the ground and say, "Go
seep. Go seep right now." (This is, basically,
pouting/tantrum by threatening to go to sleep on the spot. It would be more
annoying if it wasn't so cute.)
It still helps to know what he's talking about, but he's a lot more clear
than he used to be - and he's expressing more complex thoughts and longer
April 7, 2009: Last night I went into Theron's bedroom to find that he had
removed his pajamas and was sitting on the bed in only a diaper. (This is not
the first time he has done this.) I asked him if he wanted me to help him put
his pajamas back on. He said, "No, Daddy. Want shirt." So I
grabbed a t-shirt out of the closet and put that on him. Five minutes later he
was asleep under the covers.
April 8, 2009: And, following up on that, last night while I was waiting for
him to fall asleep, I heard this: "Hello? Anybody home? We have a door here..."
It's a quote from Monsters Inc. So, yeah: he's making more complex sentences,
but he can also get through much longer sequences without
stumbling over his pronunciation. His pronunciation is getting a lot better,
too. It probably helps that we talk to him in Big-People sentences.
I should add, for the record, that I put him down to bed in just a shirt and
a diaper. Given the choice between that and pajamas, that was what he wanted.
April 9, 2009 - One more note on almost-three-year-old dialogue: Theron and
his mother came by work today to pick me up. (It's Thursday, and we usually go
have dinner with my parents on Thursdays.) As we're going down the hall, one of
my co-workers looks at Theron and says, "Well, hi. Who are you?"
Theron thinks about this for a moment. Then he replies, "Theron." And, in
case more explanation is needed, he adds: "Theron is a little boy."
This Month's Entry
isn't really a lot of material, but I think this is going to be a brief entry
anyway. I'm nearing the peak of my busy season, my allergies are trying to kill
me, and I just don't have a lot of time to write. I'm actually collecting
samples of Theron's nearly-three-year-old dialogue for use in a future writing
project; more about that some other time.
We'll probably be a bit sparse on pictures, too - the screen on the digital
camera got broken - but I'll throw in what I can. (Update: No, apparently I've
plenty of photos for this month.)
Being the Sole Caregiver
(April 12, 2009) The Beautiful Woman went out of town for her aunt's birthday
this weekend. The timing on this was a little off, as it's Easter weekend and
we'd already made plans with my parents. So, as a compromise, my wife went off
to Houston for the party, while Theron and I stayed here for Easter.
This required some interesting planning, as she left early Friday afternoon
while I was still at work. Theron stayed with some friends of ours, whose little
boy is a year younger than ours, and I went over to pick him up after work. This
was the first time we've really done anything like this, which caused my wife a
little stress; but in the event, it worked beautifully. Theron didn't mind being
left, he was well behaved for our friends, and nothing Went Horribly Wrong. In
fact, his first real complaint occurred after we'd finished eating, when I told
him it was time to leave.
(These same friends called later to warn us that their son had developed an
unexpected fever, but when they took him in to the doctor the next morning, it
turned out that the boy was merely teething. It was just a temporary
temperature, and not contagious.)
took Theron to the park to run around a little, then took him home and put him
to bed. He accepted this with good grace, and slept until five in the morning. I
took him into the living room and gave him some food, and he let me drowse on
the couch while he watched Robot Dog. When the movie ended, he tried to climb up
on the couch and go to sleep on top of me, so I moved us into the bedroom and he
slept 'til about ten a.m.
We went out for breakfast - he ate two pieces of French toast (with whipped
cream on top) and two slices of bacon - and then ran some errands. After that we
went back home, where I tried to clean the house a little while he played with
his trains. Somewhere in the middle of this, he comes wandering up to me and
says, "Daddy. Go to book store, buy just one book."
So I figured, Why not? I took him over to Half Price Books, where he
picked out a Bob The Builder Activity Book. Then I took him over to Boomerangs,
which is a kind of indoor playground filled with inflatable slides, bounce
houses, and suchlike. He bounced, ran, slid, climbed, and jumped with great
abandon, for about two hours. When he finally wound down, I took him home for
dinner. After dinner, we went out to the park and did more running, jumping,
climbing, and sliding.
Despite all that, he woke up crying at about eleven o'clock. I'm not sure
what caused it. He was really stuffy; that might just have been from crying, but
I gave him a little medicine for it anyway. Then I gave him a couple of meat
sticks, and after that he seemed to settle in. So possibly he was hungry, or
he'd just had a bad dream. It's also possible that he was missing his mommy. I
really don't know; I couldn't get him to tell me what was going on. He was only
half-awake; I swear he was trying to sleep and cry at the same time. (I haven't
seen him do that since he was six months old, and even then it didn't work very
I got him back to sleep, and he slept until about nine o'clock this morning. He
was still a bit stuffy when he woke up, but otherwise he was bright and chipper.
So I got him dressed and ran him down to meet his grandparents at church - an
arrangement which gave me a couple of hours of blessed solitude to eat breakfast
and work on the house.
I don't know how single parents do it.
I caught back up with my parents at their house for an Easter meal. They told
me that Theron had tried to load his Easter eggs into another child's basket.
(Apparently she needed more eggs.) Theron then demonstrated his prowess with the
My wife returned just as we were sitting down for the meal, and all was once
again right with the world.
Why I am the Luckiest Man on Earth**
little background: Theron's bedtime routine, at present, begins with a little
bit of wind-down time in the living room. This usually involves some combination
of playing with toys, doing puzzles, and watching television. We have, through
heroic efforts, managed to find quite a number of shows and movies that Theron
will watch; we offer him choices based on how much time we have before he needs
to go in the bathtub.
(After the unwinding-time, he gets a bath, then we take him into the bedroom
and put him in his bedclothes. Up until recently, we used pajamas; now he just
wants a shirt and a diaper. Once he's dressed, he gets a vitamin. Then we try to
read him books while he jumps up and down on my head and/or tickles us. After
that, we brush his teeth. Then I carry him around to turn on the "moons and
stars and planets" night light, and turn off the overhead light. Then I put him
in bed, and he either goes right to sleep or putters around the room for a
couple of hours.)
Lately, Theron has been rejecting our movie/TV show suggestions. He wants to
watch something else. He wants... Daddy's Game.
The game in question is called
It's a fantasy adventure - a long, complex, extremely detailed adventure.
There's an enormous number of things to see and do, and Theron can name most of
them. ("Daddy crash in water." "Daddy make rat fall down." "Door!" "Go back in
cave!" "Talk to Friendly Monster." "Is an Alligator Monster." "Look at all the
Dark Elfs." "Find skeleton." "Is an octopus.")
This is why I am the luckiest man on the face of the planet: I play video
games in the evening at my three-year-old son's request.
The Downside of Luck
We have a wireless controller for the X-box. It doesn't work very well, so I
seldom use it myself. Lately, however, I've turned it over to Theron, so he sits
there and fiddles with it while he watches the game. This may not have been as
good an idea as it seemed at the time: last night he handed me the wireless
controller ("Hold this please.") then picked up my controller
("Thank you."), and sat down in my lap. His first action, now that he had
control of the game, was to walk my character off a cliff and into the ocean.
Fortunately, I've done a lot to improve the me-character in this game. He can
breathe water, he heals quickly, and he has good armor. Basically, there's very
little that Theron can do to get him killed. So the character was just treading
water while a pair of
tried to eat him. Theron, despite his inability to do anything but fumble with
the controller, was thrilled to be in charge.
This will either be a tremendous bonding experience, or the end of life as I
Theron climbing a wall
Theron reaches the top...
Riding the frog
Climbing on a boat
On board a ship
at the Dallas Arboretum
* At on one point in the movie, the kids build spaceships out of carnival
rides. Carl's ride is a pink butterfly. Later, two of the other kids use their
spaceship to drill through a meteor.
** Okay, actually, there are quite a number of reasons for this. The fact
that I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world is one; the fact that
we have a bright, funny, active Podling is another.
*** All images marked with the MJR logo are copyright Michael Raiford, and
are used here by permission.