Bad Santa – A day at the Mall

December 23, 2003 – 11:00 am by Aaron

No, this is not a movie review and has nothing to do with the recent film starring Billy Bob Thornton. This is about what happens when grumpy old men get fat, grow a beard and decide to take a job as a mall Santa.

We went to a local mall this past Saturday with my wife’s sister and her two boys, ages 8 and 12. First we went to a portrait studio to get a portrait of all the grandsons for Jen’s parents. That went well, actually. The ironic thing being that Liam was the most difficult for the photographer to work with, yet he was the only one who was smiling in every single picture.

Liam was fun at the mall. The kid is absolutely fearless. The second I’d set him down, he’d be off running, regardless of all the huge people he was walking in front of, causing them to jump out of the way to avoid him. He didn’t seem to be concerned about where his parents were, until he would enter a store and turn to see if I was still behind him, then when he saw me he would smile crazily and tear off into the store away from me. Anytime I would cut him off he would laugh and run the other way. In one store he went to check out some fuzzy slippers in the front window and I went into the mall to look in at him. He saw me and just started laughing. He touched the glass between us and I put my finger on the glass, too, and he put his finger to my finger and just laughed and laughed. He was cracking me up. I had to grab him by his overalls a couple of times to save him from certain trampling – he thought that was great fun too.

He sat on Santa’s lap and didn’t cry at all. He just looked at Santa with his expressionless stare. Santa played some patty cake with Liam’s hands and that got him to smile enough for the “elves” to snap a picture, which they promptly charged us $20 for.

My nephews did the Santa thing, too, though I’m not sure either of them believe in him anymore. When Santa asked what they wanted, they apparently said that they didn’t know, or they weren’t sure, something that shy, polite kids would say. Santa’s response was something along the lines of, “Well, you guys are pretty stupid aren’t you.” Santa is pretty lucky I didn’t find out he’d said that until later that day, or Santa may have been seeking reconstructive surgery for Christmas. I told Jen’s sister to complain to the mall management about it, hopefully she will and Santa will be replaced next year.

Ear Infections

December 15, 2003 – 11:57 am by Aaron

That’s right, I said “infections” – plural. The poor little guy had an infection in both ears. He had a pretty miserable weekend two weekends ago. I should say *we* had a miserable weekend. Liam started not feeling well Friday evening just before I got home. Both Friday night and Saturday night he didn’t sleep well at all: waking up every hour or so crying and just generally being miserable. Saturday night he slept in hour bed with us. I don’t think anyone actually slept, except maybe Jennifer, who, as I’ve mentioned before, could sleep through a train wreck. I however was kept awake much of the night by Liam’s tossing, turning, kicking and crying. I felt sorry for him, but I felt sorry for me too.

Sunday morning we took him with us to go cut down a Christmas tree. He was not a happy camper. We have pictures of him being held and just looking miserable. The pictures are very cute but sad at the same time. You can just tell that the poor guy doesn’t feel good at all.

Sunday afternoon, after we returned from tree hunting, Jen took him to Urgent Care and was told he has an infection in both ears. The doctor prescribed a 5 day regimen of Zithromax. We could tell he was feeling better, though still not 100% better, after just two days of the medicine. It’s been a week and he’s back to his normal, mischievous, smiling self.

I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!

December 15, 2003 – 11:41 am by Aaron

Did you ever notice that when you’re late and in a hurry and you try to do the things you do every morning, but you try to do them a little bit faster, that you just end up taking even longer than usual? Dropping things, forgetting keys, knocking things off shelves. And the really bad thing is that it continues throughout the rest of the day. Maybe it’s just Mondays.

The weatherman

December 4, 2003 – 10:15 am by Aaron

I’m writing today to complain about the weatherman. Which weatherman? Well, all of them I guess. So far this season, they’ve hitting about 20% accuracy in predicting the rain. I could hit 50% by flipping a coin. In their defense, they’ve been pretty much right on with the temperature, fog, etc., but I can get that info by looking out my front door. What I want them to tell me is whether or not I should carry my umbrella to work today. So far, in that respect, they have failed miserably. It’s not forecast to rain until this weekend. I wonder what that water was that was falling on my head when I was out for a walk just now.

No

November 20, 2003 – 10:24 am by Aaron

Liam’s favorite word lately has been “no.” He says it so often I’m sure people think that’s all he hears at home. It’s not true – sometimes he hears “no, no,” “no, no buddy,” “get out of there,” “stop it you little…” Just kidding. He probably does hear “no” a lot because when he’s doing something that is ok, we don’t say anything, we just let him do it.

It’s funny the way he says “no” too. He doesn’t just say “no” the way adults do, it’s more of a drawn out kind of thing, like he’s added a few extra o’s at the end.

He says “no” more or less anytime we ask him a yes or no question. I never realized how entertaining this could be. Here is an example of a conversation I had with him just the other day.

Me: Hi buddy.
Liam: Dada
Me: Can I get a hug?
Liam: Noooo
Me: Don’t you like daddy?
Liam: Noooo
Me: Want a spanking instead?
Liam: Noooo
Me: How about a smoochie?
Liam: Noooo
Me: Is no the only thing you ever say?
Liam: Noooo
Me: Have you said yes lately?
Liam: Noooo
Me: Do you like this game?
Liam: Noooo

Sadly, he tires of the game long before I do.

He somehow recognizes the difference between yes/no questions and other types. When I say, “Liam where’s your sock/cup/toy/thing-just-dropped-in-the-dining-room?” He doesn’t answer, he looks around for the requested item and will usually, if he’s in the mood, retrieve it.

In other news, Jen wrote in “her blog”:http://www.aaronjen.org/blog/mom/ for the first time in a year. Yay Jenna! It’s good to have you back.

Little Boy

November 10, 2003 – 4:07 pm by Aaron

I realized a couple of days ago that we no longer have a baby, we have a little boy. He’s walking pretty much everywhere now. It’s a drunken, stumbling sort of walking, but he’s walking. Watching him got me to wondering – what motivates a baby to walk? I can understand their desire to crawl, who wants to lie in one place all day every day? But the transition to walking is not as obvious to me. When walking, all his toys are on the floor and he has to sit down or try to bend over – and more likely than not fall down in the process – to get to his toys. Walking is more difficult to learn, lots of trial and error and falling and getting up only to fall again. When first learning to walk, crawling is actually faster than walking. Is it a desire to be like mom and dad that motivates aspiring toddlers? Or is it just some instinct to “get up and go?” Maybe it’s the fact that there are many more interesting things to get into when you’re standing up.

Here I Come Daddy!

October 17, 2003 – 4:14 pm by Aaron

Liam was a walking little fool last night. There were several times when he took the initiative to let go of what or whoever he was holding onto and toddle forth to a new destination. Jen says that today he is going from sitting to standing without pulling up to something, and that’s new for him. Any day now he’s going to be my walking, running, getting into trouble little buddy and I can’t wait. Will try to get some pictures or video this evening.

New Pictures

October 17, 2003 – 9:03 am by Aaron

I posted up some pictures from over the summer. Enjoy. “Summer 2003 Pictures”:http://www.aaronjen.org/gallery/summer_03

Hi

October 16, 2003 – 4:25 pm by Aaron

Liam is changing so much so fast, I feel if I don’t write everyday then I’m already falling behind. Once a week or so has passed, the idea of writing everything that has happened just becomes overwhelming. If you’ve been reading this journal for any length of time this is a familiar theme to you. I’m constantly making excuses for not updating regularly. If this journal is going to stand as a legacy to my son so he can know my thoughts and feeling during his infancy, then I’m letting him down too. I need to write just a little bit every day, just a few sentences letting everyone know what’s happening.

Liam has started saying, “Hi.” He crawls into a room and you know he’s coming because he starts saying “hi” before he even gets through the door, and he keeps saying it until you acknowledge his presence, sometime longer. But he doesn’t always say it, so if I try to play the “look what my boy can do” card, he invariably clams up.

He’s not quite walking yet, but he’s definitely close. He has taken a dozen or so steps on two or three occasions. Again, he won’t do it when we want him to – standing him up and coaxing him to walk simply induces an incurable case of “Spaghetti Legs” – but if the mood strikes him, and you’re not paying attention, he will let go of whatever he’s using to hold himself up and come toddling toward you, putting his hands out and diving ahead when he gets withing two or three steps of you.

The worst thing about being a dad is having to leave for work and be away from him for close to 11 hours a day. I really need to either win the lottery or find a job I can do from home. I honestly don’t know how other dads can stand to be away from their kids for so long. Could I be the exception to the rule? Do other dads just not love being a dad as much as I do?

Photo Gallery Down

October 6, 2003 – 8:27 pm by Aaron

The photo gallery was having problems so I got rid of it. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to replace it.