Filet o’ Fish

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:00 pm

Tobin and I were looking at a picture of a shark in a magazine.

T:  What’s that shark’s name?

A:  I don’t know.  What do you think its name should be?

T:  Maybe…Beryl.

A:  Beryl?

T:  Yeah, Beryl.  Or Sandwich.


The Tobin Times #30

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:05 pm

My sweet Tobin,

What’s new with you, little guy?  You’re officially two and a half now.  You love broccoli.  You have only very minimal interest in peeing on the potty.  You are crazy about reading books and can “read” many of your favorites aloud.  You would spend all day at kindergarten with your brother if it were allowed.

I did send in an application for you to go to Willowwind for preschool.  The application is technically for next fall, but you’ll turn 3 (the minimum entrance age) on August 21.  That’s cutting it pretty close, so I think we’re more likely to defer your start date until January.  You’re more likely to be potty trained when you’re about 3.5, and besides, I kind of want to keep you with me a while longer.

This has been a tough winter, and there’s no end in sight.  It’s so disheartening to look at the extended forecast and not see any highs over 17F.  We’ve only been able to really play outside once lately, on an unusually balmy and snowy afternoon.  It was perfect snowman snow, wet and heavy, and we got a pretty good anthropomorphic snow figure built before you took off for the park.  You couldn’t go very fast, since the snow was about up to your thighs, so it wasn’t too hard to catch you.

Of course, you got tired and wanted me to carry you.  It’s pretty hard to trudge through high, heavy snow with a toddler in one’s arms.  That was a good workout for me.  Once we got to the park, you and your brother had so much fun.  You went down the slides, swung on the swings, made snow angels, and threw snowballs.  Then we came home and had hot chocolate with marshmallows.  That’s what winter is supposed to be, not this Polar Vortex nonsense.

It’s a good thing we have our vacation to the Florida Keys coming up.  You’ve seen videos of yourself playing in the ocean, but it’s been long enough and you’re little enough that I hope you get another healthy dose of ocean glee.  If nothing else, it will be great to feel some warm sunshine on our skin and wear only one layer.  I’m a little nervous for the 4+ hour flight, since you can get awfully squirmy.  We got you your own seat this time, so maybe that will be more comfortable for everyone.  I’m planning on bringing lots of snacks and loading up the iPhone with stuff you’ll like.

You’ve been really sweet and affectionate lately.  The other day you were sitting on my lap,  and you turned around and wrapped your arms around me and said, “I love you soooo much.”  You’re generous with hugs and kisses, and you’re quick to comfort anyone who needs a little love.  Your tantrums seem to be diminishing a bit.  Could we possibly be sliding out of the period of disequilibrium that has haunted you (us) for the last half year?

Like every other kid in the nation, pretty much, you’re wild about Disney’s Frozen.  You can sing along with “Let it Go” almost as well as your brother.  You want to watch clips from the movie all the time, which isn’t so bad, but right now you’re obsessed with this fan video of a girl belting out “Let it Go.”  She’s making a good effort, but she really can’t hit the high notes, and could we please find a different video to watch over and over?  Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Word Girl are better.  You like those too.

Given our house-bound situation this winter, you and your dad have invented several active games to help you burn off some of your energy.  You play “race,” which is as simple as it sounds:  you say, “On your mark, get set, GO” and race down the hallway.  Your problem is that you always want to be looking over your shoulder to see if your dad is going to catch up, and one of these times I know you’re going to run into a wall.  Please, spring, please.  We need some serious park time.

You also like to play a modified version of tee-ball with a bath poof and your Jake and the Neverland Pirates foam sword.  Nobody’s lost an eye yet.

We’ll celebrate your next month birthday on the beach, little guy.  You can run and splash and be semi-nude all day if you want.  That sounds pretty great to me, too.  I’ll bring the sunscreen and you bring the smiles, okay?  We’ll be sure to take a lot of pictures.

Photo by Denny

I love you, Chub-chub.




Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:51 pm

Tobin recently suffered from a diaper rash, which is a lot better now.  I commented on it during a diaper change.  Later that night, at the dinner table…

T:  (sounding genuinely puzzled) What am I?

A:  Uh…Tobin?

T:  No.

A:  My little sweetheart?

T:  Am I…the Butt King?

And it’s true, that’s just what I had declared him.

Broad definition

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:49 pm

T:  My favorite animal.

A:  What’s your favorite animal?

T:  Um…a sheep.

A:  Oh, those are cute.

T:  I also like robots.  They’re even bigger.  (pause)  My favorite animal is ME!

Monthly Miles Memo #73

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:12 pm

My dear Miles,

Man, we’ve had a rough month.  Our whole family has been sick, on and off but mostly on, for pretty much the whole winter.  But your dad and I have noticed that despite all the challenges, you have been a really great guy.  You’ve been loving and mostly patient with your brother, cooperative when we need you to do things, and you’re even getting pretty good at keeping track of your mittens.  This has been not only a sick winter but a terribly, bitterly cold one.  You’ve had school cancellations and late-starts at least once a week for months, it seems.  Getting thrown off schedule makes everything confusing for our family, but you’ve handled it very well, overall.

There have been challenging moments, but most of the time you’ve done a great job.  In order to celebrate that, we had a Miles Appreciation Day the other week.  It involved doing some of your favorite things:  a morning trip to Daylight Donuts, and later a movie (Frozen, your current favorite), of course with popcorn and Sprite.

We read your first chapter book together recently, Beverly Cleary’s Ramona the Pest. I loved the Ramona books when I was a kid, so it was a lot of fun for me to read it with you.  I was surprised by how many scenes and details I remembered from reading it when I was your age.  Beverly Cleary is very talented at capturing and not belittling the emotions of being a kid.  It can be frustrating to be small, but a lot of things are elating, too (like getting recognition from a beloved teacher).  It’s different fare than what you’re used to, with no mad scientists or witches or dragons, but it only took one chapter for you to get hooked.  We’ve ordered another Ramona book for you with a bookstore gift card you got for Christmas, and I’m excited to keep reading with you.

Ramona the Pest was a present from your friend James, with whom you shared a small birthday party in January. He’s a new school friend, and you and he and some other friends from your class had fun at the Natural History Museum.  It was kind of a low turnout, due to crummy weather (story of our lives lately), but the kids who were there had fun.  You even had a cake decorated with the image of the Natural History Museum mascot, the giant sloth.

One of your favorite hobbies right now is making shadow puppets.  You read a Curious George book in which George did that, and now you’re always wanting to set up flashlights or position lamps to create a spotlight.  Then you twist your fingers into crazy positions, which fortunately you don’t ask anyone to guess.  I think there’s a dog in your repertoire, and probably a rabbit, too.  There are also a bunch I don’t recognize at all.

You’re a master builder of Lego, K’nex, and Lincoln Log sculptures.  We have a family rule:  if you didn’t build it, you don’t break it.  Not everyone does a great job of adhering to that rule, and that can be hard on you sometimes.  You don’t really embrace the ephemeral nature of block structures:  you want to keep them forever, and as much as we try to keep Tobin from destroying them, it doesn’t always work.  We end up taking a lot of pictures of them.

Photo by Denny

You had a dentist appointment recently, and your dad told me the hygienist said one of your teeth was a tiny bit loose.  He qualified it by saying the dentist said it could still be a while, but it won’t be forever.  Who knows whether you’ll lose a tooth as a kindergartner like Ramona, but you’ll have a window in your mouth one of these months.  I remember when you were a baby and I felt that first tiny tooth poking out of your gums.  I cried, and your dad thought I was weird.  I was happy you were developing well, of course, but it was such a big step out of babyhood.  I don’t know if I’ll cry or not when you lose your first tooth, but it will probably be that very same one that choked me up when you were just a little guy.

A couple of days ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep due to a snoring situation in my bedroom.  I decided to crawl into bed with you, and you were so cuddly and warm.  It was a really blissful hour until Tobin realized I was gone and demanded my presence again.  I don’t think you even knew I was there, as you’re a log-like sleeper these days, but I was happy in any case.

Photo by Denny

I’ve started doing some work from home part-time, and I’m volunteering at your school, and of course there the usual chores of life that pull me away from where I wish I could be.  Life is busy, and I’m happy to be busy with you, but there’s something really great about sneaking an hour out of the night just to be quiet with you.

I’ll keep you warm, little Miles.  I love you forever.



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