The Finnfatha continues to try stretching his verbal muscles. I’m totally charmed by his sometimes goofy-sounding attempts at sophistication:
He’ll now state a long string of info, then causally bolt on, “FYI.”
Giving me the long made-up back story for some of his trucks tonight, Finn said, “Well Sheriff & Sam like to hang out with Monster, but then, blah blah blah, they just want to go in my room.”
Other times he’ll just throw up verbal “Hail Marys,” trying out words he’s not quite sure of. Ranting at some ants in the hot sun, he said “These ants are feeble, they’re succulent, and they’re not good for eating!”
When I tried taking a shopping basket back from him tonight, he shook his head and said, “Whoa, hey, ay Dios mío, I need that!” Wait’ll he tries that one with las maestras at preschool! 😉
At lunch yesterday my friend Iván, father of a 1-year-old girl, remarked on how she’s uncannily similar to him in her mannerisms–things she hasn’t been taught & almost couldn’t have observed. When his mom sees her granddaughter pout or make certain faces, Iván says, she says “It’s you!!”
Our guys can be similar. I’ll sometimes catch Henry chewing on his knuckles or forearm. “I’m not eating my arm!” he’ll declare, but guess what? It’s just like my weird habit (which I caught myself doing while writing this post!)–and my dad’s for that matter.
Finny, meanwhile, has taken a keen interest in his often banged-up feet. “Check out my blood toes!” he’ll crow. Taking off his Crocs he declares, “A flock of blood toes is on the loose!” Offered some itch-busting eczema lotion, he shakes his head: “I’ll just play with my blood toes.” Let’s just say, the old man can relate. 🙂
When I asked Margot if she thought the boys mirrored any of her mannerisms, she had to think about it for a minute. “Oh yeah,” she said, “Finny’s definitely inherited the ‘I’m ready to go home now’ declaration from me.” (A rather well-known story about 2-year-old Margot concerns her wandering out into the middle of a grown-up Christmas party with her mom’s purse, finding her mom, and very definitively indicating she was ready to leave. NOW.)
Oh yeah, and there’s the stubbornness that both boys evince pretty frequently. We have no idea where they get that…!
Dad-o and I work pretty hard to come up with new, exciting experiences for the guys. The world’s a big place and there’s lots to see and do, so we’re trying to take advantage of as much of it as we can (and as is age-appropriate)! This past Sunday, we headed north to San Francisco for a boat tour of the SF Bay. They guys were pretty excited about the idea of a boat ride, having read about all kinds of ships in various books, and having seen a ton of them at lake Tahoe last month. Turns our our good friend Reen, a San Francisco resident of many years, had never taken a boat tour of the bay either! So we picked her up on our way to pier, and off we went to embark on our mini-adventure.
We totally lucked out on the weather. It was a gorgeous, sunny day without a cloud in the sky. As we left the pier, we spied the big floppy sea lions sunning themselves on the docks. As we motored past Alcatraz we told the boys that’s where “bad dudes” get sent to jail. “I’m not a bad dude!” exclaimed Henry. The most exciting part of the tour was when we cruised underneath the majestic Golden Gate Bridge – a new perspective on such an impressive landmark! Finny was fascinated by all the small sailboats that were practically tipped completely over in the stiff winds coming off the ocean.
Now, I won’t claim it was a photographically brilliant outing: trying to corral the constantly running G-Man as he swerved across the gently pitching deck, always eager to do a header down some staircase or other, kept Dad-O largely off the camera. Still, here’s a little gallery. Everyone had a ball, and our little sailors can’t wait to do it again! (The strangers in one of the photos were some kids doing a photo scavenger hunt on Fisherman’s Wharf.)
Despite our clear wishes, Finn loves shoving bits of fuzz up his nose–or should I say, he loves having Leo do it. For months now Finn’s claimed to be our ally, advising us, “I keep telling that crazy Looen not to keep shoving stuff up there, but he just really likes to do it!”
Meanwhile Leo has become fast friends with Menace (short for “Bushy-Tailed Menace”), Finn’s little chipmunk from Colorado. Leo drives Finn’s “Massive Crane” while Menace sits in the operator’s cab. As they’re a really professional crew, Finn tells us “They even have little [company] jackets.” (I’ve gotta get to work in Photoshop making those happen!)
Anyway, long ago we used to have big fun passing little objects through a knothole in Finn’s floor, sending them down to the basement & then back up. Finn’s big-guy bed ended up over the hole, so it’s been long forgotten. During a bedtime story the other night, I said that Menace had flown up in the air, gone down a crack, and ended up in a mysterious area: Under the bed! In the story Leo & Finn headed to the rescue and discovered (cue dramatic music) the hole!
“Raarh,” said Leo. “That looks like a great hole for stuffing things into! It’s like a nostril in the floor!!”
And do you think it was “game on”? Because oh yes, it was on. 🙂 Ever since then Finn (or rather, Team Leo) has been enthusiastically driving the crane under the bed, then lowering its hook down into the basement. I came home yesterday to discover that Finn had arranged a step stool to facilitate hooking on cargo, and that now a fuzzy toy chicken was swinging freely around the basement! “Mom-O asked if this was a chicken-swinging factory,” he reports, “and it is!!”
When I went to capture the action on video, I told the guys that Grandma & Grandpa would love to see it. As you can hear in the clip, Henry was sure we’d see G&G on the camera itself, so afterwards we fired up the iPad for some quick video chatting with my folks. What a neat way to show them a little slice of the guys’ lives!
PS–As the story continues, Leo & Menace stuff tons of popcorn down the hole. When they go to the basement to see the resulting “corn cone,” the neighbor cats scratch at the window, then *burst* through and spray corn everywhere. The boys then each grab a gato (Finn taking the fatty, Hen the smaller one), flip them upside down, and sweep with them like feather dusters. They kickstart the cats’ “motors” via their tails, then use them to suck up all the corn. Vrooooom!!
File under “Things That’s Embarrass the Guys in a Few Years.”
Lately we’ve been spending a good bit of time with our friends the Wiggins, and I’ve advised dad Michael: Hide your ladies!
Recently Margot walked by Finn’s room and heard him singing in his bed, crooning what sounded like “The Ju-li-aaaan-a Song.” When asked to repeat it, he turned a little sheepish. Later, though, he grew more bold: “Mom-O,” he announced, “I’m going to marry Juliana!” Margot explained that Juliana is already married to Michael, but Finn was unfazed. “That’s okay,” he said, “In a week or so, when I’m a man, I’ll marry Juliana.” (Knowing this “marrying” stuff–whatever it is–gets a laugh, he now claims he’ll marry Michael, marry his brother, etc.)
Henry’s a little more realistic, setting his sights on little Hazel. He and I had a fun little exchange a few weeks ago as I entered his bedroom:
Henry, waking, greets me: “Who is it? Is it ladies?”
Me: “No, it’s Dad-O.”
H: “Oh. I was dreaming… of ladies… ladies in my crib.”
Random bonus: My German colleagues sometimes say “Mach’ keine Fisimatenten,” meaning don’t do anything stupid/any nonsense that could lead to harm. Apparently the phrase dates back to when occupying French soldiers would call out to German fräuleins, inviting them to “Visite ma tente” (visit my tent). Thus German parents told them not to do any “Fisimatenten”. I thought of this phrase when Henry was showing Hazel the tent that’s set up in the basement. No fisimatenten, little lady!
Oh, Henry: Might you ever get a haircut *without* becoming a hysterical bucking bronco? The little guy keeps flipping out (almost literally) in the barber’s chair: “I don’t like the bee!” (buzzing clippers). Ah well: at least he finally wore himself out yesterday, making his post-chop sucker all the sweeter.
On Saturday the lads & I got down & (very) dirty at Rancho San Antonio, checking out old vehicles (“Not zooming,” notes Henry; “Non-zooming,” corrects Finn), trails, and animals. Having learned where bacon comes from, Finn dubbed a pair of hogs “Makin'” and “Fakin’.”
A wiser, more discreet father would’ve probably edited out the middle section of the clip above; unfortunately you’re stuck with The Nack Daddy & his inner 3-year-old. ;-p
You know the famous dance troupe Stomp, the guys who make music with all kinds of trash cans, buckets, etc.? We think Henry is auditioning. 🙂 (For some reason Finn gets an almost insane kick out of this clip, asking to watch it over and over again.)
We’ve been making the most of our warm weather & remaining long days, partying in the back yard. Lots of water is getting passed around (“Octoberfest isn’t going to prep for itself,” G-Man seems to say), and the guys like to sneak into a little nook near the back stairs. “This is my secret muffin-eating area!” declares Finn.