In which Theron becomes a Puppy Dog
has been a puppy dog for about the last two weeks. He runs around on all fours,
he barks, he pants, and he lets us scratch him behind the ears. This could be really annoying, except he isn't using it that way. He
nods and barks to mean "yes", or shakes his head and barks to mean "no". He
still eats his food with a fork.* He's generally well behaved, it's just that
he's a well-behaved puppy dog.
This is, I think, the logical progression of Learning To Pretend. Back in
June, Theron started speaking for two of his stuffed animals. By July, all
the stuffed animals (and most of his toys) were talking, and Theron had taken to
insisting that he was a Wingy Monster. By the middle of August, he was having
conversations between his fork and his juice cup. Around the beginning of
September, he became a puppy dog - but unlike his earlier career as a Wingy
Monster, he now actually behaves like a puppy dog. More recently,
he's added "frog" and "cat" to his repertoire.
Plus, he's started to tell stories.
Get that song out of my brain
His current viewing obsession is the Mickey Mouse Club (the newest version,
done in middlin'-decent computer animation). The music is completely different
from what I remember from my youth, and there are no live human beings anywhere
on the show, but overall I have to say that it's pretty good. Theron loves it,
and is busily trying to memorize as many episodes as he can manage. As a result,
I find myself humming the "Hot Dog" song at some very odd moments.**
He also makes us dance to the opening and closing songs, but perhaps it's
best if we just ignore that and move along, yes?
Anyway, this has led to yet another round of "Guess What Theron's Referring
To Now". Not only is he trying to memorize the entire show, he's incorporating
bits of it into other things. On the way home from church with his grandparents
last Sunday, he sang "Look At Donald And His Ducks"***. A few days ago in our
living room, he picked up a rubber ball and pressed a block against the bottom
of it: "Look! Is a Glove Balloon!" Last night, he was playing with the rubber
ducks in the bathtub, and had one of them sit in a plastic cup and ride up to
the telescope - and explained to us what the ducks were doing.
All of this is directly attributable to the Mickey Mouse Club, but it's the
last bit that really interests me. He's pulling a scenario from one source,
inserting his own characters, and running with it. (In the show, they looked at
various towers through the telescope, until they found the Halloween Tower. In
the bathtub, they just looked at the Candy Tower.) This is, I think, the
starting point for telling his own stories. ("The secret to creativity is
knowing how to hide your sources." ~Albert Einstein****)
Playing with Daddy's Toys
after I posted the last entry, my father - Theron's grandfather - went up into
his attic and brought down a box of toys which had been... hibernating... up
there. There were something like twenty-eight Star Wars figures, along with one
G.I. Joe, a couple of Transformers, a dozen random other figures, and a small
pile of broken toy-bits. Among the random others were some old Dungeons and
Dragons figures - more like molded plastic statues than action figures - which
we took outside for Theron to play with in the dirt.
Theron thought this was great. "Look! The Elf has a sword!" was followed by
"Look! The Lizard Monster has a sword and a axe!" and similar exclamations. He
now uses the creatures to cut sand and talk to each other. We expect adventures
to follow shortly.
Making his opinion known, Part One
Theron is now attending his Mother's Day Out program four days a week. This
is good for two things: his socialization, and my wife's sanity. He's moved up
to the next class, and seems to be okay with that. All is well on that front,
with one small exception...
There's a girl in his class who doesn't really want to be there. Apparently
she cries pretty much from the time she's dropped off until the time she leaves.
And the other day, Theron walked up to her while they were playing outside and
said: "Stop crying!"
Theron's teacher related this to my wife and the teacher confessed that she
felt like cheering, having wanted to tell the little girl the same thing. I have
no idea whether this had any effect on the girl, but it's funny to me that he'd
do that. For the most part, Theron is only distantly aware that other children
Making his opinion known, Part Two
A couple of weeks ago we were at the Bounce House Place. We, in this case,
consisted of myself and Theron; I was giving the Beautiful Woman a little time
off. This is generally a good arrangement, since Theron can exercise and I can
play on my laptop.
Theron has, incidentally, added a new element to his bounce house activities.
This time, when he reached the bottom of the big slide, he practiced crashing...
We'd been there, I think, about three hours. It was now time to go. So I shut
everything down and went to collect Theron. He was less than enthusiastic about
this, and asked for "one more slide". So I said, "Sure, why not?" and turned him
loose. He immediately went to the bouncy slide in the far corner of the building
and disappeared into the back of it. It has these high walls around the back,
and little tunnels to get in. Theron went in... and didn't come out, and didn't
come out, and didn't come out.
I eventually located him, by holding the digital camera above the back wall
and watching the viewscreen. (In the process, I got a very odd little video of a
girl - maybe eight years old - coming up to him, inspecting his hand, then
kissing one finger and walking off.) Finally, Theron scooted back out the
entrance tunnel, and tried to go back in the other tunnel. I caught his ankle
and dragged him out.
Me: "Time to go home."
Theron: "No! Time to stay here!"
One more piece of news
The Beautiful Woman is pregnant again. It's a little too early to say that
we're going to have another kid, since any number of things could go wrong
between now and then. But, my wife is pregnant, and according to the sonogram
there is a detectable heartbeat and the embryo has implanted in the right place.
Also, her THC (or HGH, or HCG, or whatever that hormone is actually called), her
hormone levels are doubling the way they're supposed to. After the last attempt
- the one that miscarried - this is something of a relief.
Like I said, this isn't full-grown News. But what news there is, is good.
And now, more pictures and videos
I decided to make up for the last entry by including a whole bunch of things.
It's funny to me how many of the really fun elements of parenting
don't fit into any particular narrative structure. Enjoy!
Monster Ball in Jar and Bag-Cape...
...so we got out a real cape...
...and later, he added Bunny Ears.
Not afraid of heights
Black Toes (from crafts)
The Cave of Pillows
No more monkeys...
Putting the Monster Ball in the Jar
The Lobster attacks Daddy
Making a Headstand
Rocking in the Rocking Chair
Under The Pillows
* Yes, apparently he's a puppy dog with opposable thumbs.
** In the shower was fairly understandable, but while playing HALO? This made a
lot more sense after we realized that They Might Be Giants was responsible for
the music. They Might Be Giants, for those who don't recognize the name, is a
band. I shan't try to describe them, as I don't think I can do them justice;
look around on i-Tunes or Youtube, and you'll see what I mean.
*** To the tune of "Old MacDonald Had A Farm", but with slightly different
**** At least according to a Google search. I first encountered it in a