Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Monday, January 13, 2014

Eight Crazy Nates

(click to view full-size)

This photo was inspired by a few my cousin created last year. For reference, I also considered calling it "Eight Men Out," "Eight Is (More Than) Enough," or "Hot Damn, Feet Freeze Fast When You're Barefoot in the Snow." (I was barefoot for about two minutes at the end of the shoot, enough for four back-and-forth trips to the camera — three takes, followed by the retrieval of my equipment.)

This is just a hunch, but I suspect it's much easier to do this type of shot indoors, with fixed lighting and non-freezing temperatures. Though of course that way you don't get nearly the same sort of looks from the neighbors.

The final tally:
26 - degrees Fahrenheit (-3.3 degrees Celsius)
10 - hours before all pain subsided from my toes
9 - photographs layered into one
8 - Nates
7 - visible goatees
6 - pairs of pants
5 - hats
4 - shirts
3 - jackets
2 - sweatshirts
1 - pair of shorts
0 - footprints

Monday, January 6, 2014

Not Getting the Full Experience

This is my 300th post (fact). And since I haven't shared anything about my son in over a year (exaggeration) I thought I'd do that now to start the year off right. Not only is he the smartest kid ever to wear diapers (hyperbole) and a half-decent negotiator, but come February he'll be the youngest U.S. Senator in history (outright lie).

He just turned two-and-a-half, loves animals and books and letters and Muppets and is so well-behaved my cousin remarked that as parents we're "not getting the full experience." No, we're not. And it is awesome. Here are a few snippets from recent months:

Conversation at dinner between 2-year-olds (who had spent all day together):
Him: "Hey, you have a robot on your shirt."
His cousin: "I have pizza." (pause) "I have pizza."
Reading an alphabet book to himself:
"J is for juggling. J-U-G-G-L-I-N-G. Juggling.
K is for kite. K-I-T-E. Kite.
L is for drink. L-E-M-O-N-A-D-E. Drink."

At some point he found a 2-foot piece of string. Every once in a while, he'll pick it up, hold it between his hands, and twirl it while jumping non-stop from room to room. As he says, "I'm jumping rope."
Talking into a toy phone:
"Hi, Grampa. Are you too busy? Okay, bye bye."

Our house contains several burrows' worth of stuffed rabbits. One morning, my son dug through a couple dozen of them and found the only non-bunny in the basket — a small stuffed bison — and immediately claimed it as his own. They were inseparable for a week, including at bedtime, so it became the first thing he slept with. The following week he added a lion cub to the mix. The week after that, a dog. Then Cookie Monster. Now his bed also holds a rubber skeleton, a bookmark with clownfish on it, a long-expired glow stick, an alligator puppet with hard rubber teeth, a seal, a small plastic Oscar the Grouch, and a little striped cat from IKEA. Every night and naptime he confirms each item is still there, gathers them all under the blanket, and hugs them tight.

If you ask him, he'll say he loves our cats Penny and Schrödinger. But not our dog, Sonya. Last time he told us this we asked, "Why not? Sonya loves you." The tears started flowing, and he wailed, "I don't want to love Sonya!!!"
He finally knows to say "I don't know," meaning we've reached the end of his Yeah Phase. What was the Yeah Phase? Let me demonstrate:
"Do you know what this is?"
"Okay, what is it?"
"What is it?"
He wanted a cookie. We'd told him repeatedly he needed to eat his dinner first. He responded with, "No. Cookie first, then dinner." This went on all meal, and he ate one solitary bite of pasta. After Denise had finished and stepped into the kitchen, he handed me his plate and said, "Here. You eat it. I get a cookie." I tell you, the kid is quick. I didn't learn that gambit till I was six.

I often have his stuffed animals and puppets talk to him. Then one night, with a puppet in his hand, he asked me to read him his book. I pulled out the book with his picture on the cover (and photos of our family inside), but he said, "No, my book." He repeated this over and over, getting more and more agitated, until I finally realized he was speaking as the puppet (who has no mouth) and asking for its book. Namely, Where the Wild Things Are.

Now he regularly talks for his animals/puppets and has conversations with them. He even has a designated puppet voice, lower and more gravelly than his own.1 And he uses his mittens as puppets.2 Or, if he has no puppet or mittens, he simply talks with his hands.

1 He's Batman.
2 Lately, his left mitten is a shark, his right one a train. Because of this.


Well, that's my son. Click on any of the above photos to see them larger. Or, if you're inclined, you can view all of his latest photos on Flickr.