Monday, 30 November 2009

Take that, Sun.

While at the park Jack told discovered something.

Daddy, the sun is brighting me.
The sun is very bright today.
I can put my hand up, and it goes away. Watch.

When I looked he quickly demonstrated.

His Favorite Show.

Jack is a little television addict. This doesn’t concern me very much though. If there isn’t a TV around Jack will happily find something else to do and his imagination doesn’t seems to be suffering. I was, and still, am unable to ignore a television if it’s on. When I was a kid I was into the Ninja Turtles and spent countless hours fighting my brother Jeff and wearing masks. I had all the toys and video games. I even went to the trouble of learning how to correctly use all of the turtles’ choice weapons in my karate class. Before that it was transformers, so I can hardly be concerned without being hypocritical.

Jack is into Ben 10. This show has only been around for a few years, but in the last 9 months or so has really started to take over. To sum up the show, Ben is a 10 year old boy who discovers a watch in a forest that turns him into 10 different aliens. Ben is an egotistical little show off, his cousin Gwen is a bossy, brainy little girl of the same age. With their grandpa they basically drive around all summer fighting the aliens that, more often that not, have come to earth looking for the watch. There’s another series (Alien Force) where they’re all older as well, it’s a little it more regimented but just as good. Of all the kid shows about now a days I’m happy to report that Ben 10 is among the best. The stories are intriguing the characters are dynamic and real. Helen and I have no trouble sitting and watching it with Jack over and over again, at least not yet.

Jack’s obsession with the show couldn’t have come at a worse time. Helen and had just purchased the last of his Christmas and birthday presents when Jack discovered the show and had not purchased anything Ben 10 related. I don’t think this will be much of a problem really because Jack doesn’t seem to have much trouble turning his toys and household objects into items from the show. We’ve since bought him a couple of DVD’s and have recorded hours and hours on our Sky+ box. Last week Helen even bought him Ben 10 shoes which Jack adores.

Jack now watches as least 2 episodes every day. He bounces around the room turning his toys into aliens and then fighting them in creative and often very loud ways. He runs around the house shouting lines from the show, things like ‘Time to get serious.’, ‘I need Stinkfly.’ 'Ready for action.' and ‘Why can’t I be Fourarms?’. While I was off to band practice one night I got a text from Helen saying that Jack was upstairs in his room shouting for Humongousaur be brought to save them. Apparently the battle was getting a little out of control and Jack needed the biggest of Ben’s aliens to help out. When Helen asked what she needed to do Jack said he needed Dylan, the biggest of Jack’s teddies, to come be Humongousaur. Helen took Dylan up to his room and the battle raged on. We assume that the good guys won.

It seems that the Ben 10 stuff now feeds into other programmes he watches. Today we were watching Dora the Explorer. Jack was getting really into it, answering their questions and running to the screen to help them point at various objects and locations. When the notorious fox Swiper appeared, instead of chanting the customary, Swiper no swiping, with Dora and Boots he produced a rather large firearm made out of the mast of his pirate ship and yelled OPEN FIRE!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Over a Slipper.

This morning Jack and were sitting in my chair. The time had come to start getting dressed and ready to go to play-group. Jack was complaining that his slipper has fallen off.  Instead of replacing the slipper I figured we'd get started with getting dressed. The conversation went something like this.

My slipper's gone.
That's fine, I'll go up and get your clothes and then we'll get dressed and go.
But my slipper daddy. It's off, look.
I know. Don't worry about it.
(sobbishly) My slipper.

At this point I headed up stairs. Now it took me probably 3 minutes to get myself dressed and gather his clothes, this is some of what I heard while I was up there.

My Slipper daddy. I need my slipper. Daddy? Hurry up daddy. Hurry. Daddy I lost my slipper, look. Why are you taking so long. I need my slipper daddy. Hurry up daddy. Daddy. Daddy hurry. Daddy I need you to hurry up. Hurry up daddy. I want one of those ice creams. Daddy hurry up. My slipper daddy hurry. Daddy your taking a long time. Daddy hurry up. Hurry Up! Daddy!

I finally came back down the stairs to see him sit in my chair hiding under a pillow and giggling, both slippers on his feet.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Happy birthday son, now say aah.

What a day to have a fever. It's Jack's birthday and he's not feeling well.

Last night Helen and I were up with him until after 2 nursing away a spout of bad dreams. Apparently the lady with the big monkey were terrorizing him.

This weekend has been very busy, so the nightmares weren't much of a surprise. He's eaten a lot of sweets and expelled a lot of energy.

In the baby group, three of the boys share November 15th as their birthday. So this weekend has been wrought with parties and junk food. Jack's party was the first, we filled out house with 13 toddlers and their  parents and partied until bedtime. Alfie's party was yesterday, his parents booked  it at a big play place out of town. There was dinner, ice cream, cake, dancing, a train ride and 90 minutes of play time. While the ice cream was being served is when a lady and a man in a giant monkey costume made rounds. Jack enjoyed it at the time but it would seem that it stuck with him.

As if the birthday parties weren't enough Meghan appeared on Friday night and was with us all day Saturday. Imagine Jack's delight when he got out of bed only to find her sat next to me waiting for him. They spent the whole day together talking, playing, fighting. She left Saturday night after helping put Jack into bed. Jack was sad to see her go but ultimately to tired to do anything about it.

So this morning Jack stumbled out of bed 40 minutes later than normal. He mustered up little enthusiasm for opening presents and refused his breakfast. Now he's wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa watching one of his new Ben 10 dvds and drinking a glass of cold milk.

We've given him some medicine which has started to kick in now because he's starting to brighten up. He's finished his milk, and has just placed his breakfast order.

We've got another party, Matthew's, and a lunch with Nanny to go to today so he could really do with getting better soon.

Monday, 9 November 2009

I used to have one of those...

One of the more common things we hear from Jack at the minute is little insights to his many previous lives.

I'm not saying I believe in re-incarnation, I mean from a quantum physics point of view it certainly makes sense, but beyond that I don't really give it much thought.

But Jack it seems, has been there before. He started telling us that he used to have things that he'd see in a shop or on TV. I used to have one of those. A BIIIG one, and it went PEWM PEWM
Then it started to change from just what he used to have to what he used to be at the time. When I was a big boy I used to have one of those, and it was BIIIG and it was a fire.

In previous lives it seems that Jack's been:
A Big boy.
A Bigger Boy.
A Bee.
A Doggy. (Possibly more than one.)
A Daddy.
A Girl.
A Monster.
A Guy.
An Airplane.
A Cement Mixer.
A Fireman.
A Ghost.
An Older Boy.

The list of thing he used to own is infinite, so I'll just sum up by saying most of these things were BIIIG and often made noises.


Jack has particular tastes. Some of which has developed through his wealth of experience, others just come with being two.

Kisses for instance, Jack has never liked. Occasionally he gets in a kissy mood but at those times he prefers to be giving out the kisses rather than receiving them. A typical goodbye for Jack follows a fairly specific format.

Goodbye Jack, are you going to give me a cuddle?
Yes, but NO KISSES.

Nanny seems to be the only person allowed to kiss Jack, the rest of us have to steal them at our own risk.

More recently Jack has developed an intolerance for babies. We have no idea where this has come from, but it's becoming more apparent every day.
Jack came back from his nannies last Wednesday. They'd spend their day together swimming and going to a play group. Jack has had a number of problems at this play-group in the past and haven't been there in quite a while. There was one child in particular that relentlessly roared in Jack's face that ruined the experience for him.

That evening when Jack came home and told me about his day he had this to say about the play-group.
There were babies.
It seems that most of the kids that used to attend have since moved on to school or other things and a whole bunch of under-one's have taken over.
I didn't like the babies, they kept touching me. I don't like being touched.
Jack reportedly stood up in the middle of the session and shouted at loud as he could. I DON'T LIKE BABIES!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Not Your's

-For Teri-

Thursday was my last day in an office for the foreseeable future. Starting this week I'm officially a home worker for the next 6 months. I'm of mixed feelings about the whole thing really. I've never worked from home before and don't tend to function well without supervision. I get distracted fairly easily and being at home just seems a little bit like playing with fire.

I suppose I should be thankful that I've still got a job, Out of some 60 people in my office I'm one of around 8 people that are still employed after the 30th, but I'm finding it hard to be thankful given the circumstances.

Over the last couple of weeks the office has been a strange environment. There's an aire of panic and contempt among my co-workers that's meant that not a great deal of work has been done throughout the entire month. While many have plans to move on to other jobs, or early retirement, some haven't managed to find anything yet.

The last week I brought in my Nintendo Wii complete with Guitar Hero and Mario Kart. It was amazing to see the same people that continually condemn my video games becoming almost violent when hit with a red shell moments before they would have taken 1st.

Last thing on Thursday I cleared out my desk. I packed everything I needed for home working in my bag and everything else went into the recycling or got donated somewhere. A co-worker was filling a box of supplies that were going to be donated to a school. Most of my desk contents ended up in there, including my stapler.
It was a momentous occasion, giving up my stapler, almost as momentous as that fateful day that I broke my mug. Like the mug my stapler has been with me since day one, I've defended it aggressively from those that might seek to borrow it without returning it. It's been my weapon of choice against my co-workers, especially the smaller ones, throughout my employment and also like my mug one of the few things in the office that I considered 'mine'.

There was a hush in the office as I carried the stapler over to the box, at least I was quiet. Comments were muttered as I dropped it in. As I somberly made my way back to my desk a colleague asked me if I should have scratched off the typex writing on it before hand to which I replied, 'No, that way they'll know it's not really theirs'.

I like to think that somewhere in a school somewhere hopefully a teacher of similar character will snatch the little black stapler out of a recently donated box, muse as the typex writing over the top reading 'Not yours' and the treasure it as I did. On second thought I'd rather they just gave it back.

Things You Never Though Possible.

Jack loves sweets. What child doesn't? Cakes are probably his favorite but he asks for chocolate most often. Considering he's my child it's not surprising that Jack has a sweet tooth really. Anyone who's known me for very long knows that I can consume an inhuman amount of sweets in any one sitting. Jack is certainly heading in that same direction. Snacks and treats are always at the forefront of his thoughts.

A while back we took Jack to Cadbury World. For those of you who don't know, it's basically a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. It's good fun to walk around the factory and see how it all came about and how it's all made. There tour is mostly video guided, they give visitors a bunch of free chocolate and there's a cocoa bean ride that bares a striking resemblance to the 'Small World' ride. At the end of the tour there's a gift shop selling discount chocolate etc.

We arrived at 10am and Jack wasn't impressed. Despite our telling him otherwise he was pretty convinced that we were going to Thomas Land so you can imagine his reaction when we pulled up in front of a fairly non-desrcript factory estate.

Jack was reasonably entertained by the gift shop while we waited for Helen to get the tickets but it was clear that he wasn't hugely happy. So in an attempt to lighten his mood I bought us all a piece of chocolate. Jack was pleased with this and pretty soon had chocolate all over his face and hands.

Helen then arrived with the tickets and after a quick clean up we headed out on the tour. Jack was quite receptive to the tour, he liked all the machinery and the dancing cocoa beans. There's a ride toward the end that very closely resembles the famous Small World ride, only it's dancing cocoa beans. But Jack seemed to enjoy it. There's a few virtual reality things that he played on too. All in all we got through the tour hassle free. At the end we headed to the part of the day that I knew Jack was really interested in, the playground. It was hot so I bought each of us a carton of chocolate milk and we set about playing.

The first thing I noticed was Jacks reluctance to drink his milk. Normally with a drink of any kind he's quite happy to just gulp it all down as quickly as possible, instead he just had a few sips and then headed out to play. Helen and I drank our milks and then noticed that the Essence show (a brief history video of Cadbury and make your own chocolate) was opening. So we called Jack back and got in line where we tried to encourage him to drink his milk. After a couple of minutes in line Jack started to grow impatient. Being that we were at a chocolate factory we tried to persuade him to come with us using our biggest motivator, 'Jack they give you more chocolate on this one' to which Jack said something that I honestly never thought I'd head him say, or any other two year old for that matter. 'I don't want chocolate, I've had enough chocolate today'.

From then on the rest of the day was turbulent, the sugar probably played a pretty big part in it. We went to the Essence show and got our chocolate cup, Jack actually spit his out, but he did pick chocolate and Jelly Babies as his flavor which I would have had a hard time with too. Jack renounced his chocolaty ways and ran off to play in the playground. Five minutes later he was eating chocolate off the ground.