Wherein Niklas Wakes Up Early. Also, Snowman Adventures.
Andrya usually takes the ferry to work, leaving the car for Niklas and I to use for sight-seeing, errand-running
and the occasional rum smuggling. (The rum smuggling is not nearly as lucrative as we had hoped, possibly owing to the plentitude of legal,
reasonably priced rum.) On Friday, though, there was a ferry workers strike, so Andrya took the car leaving Niklas and I stranded with nothing
to do but go to the local park and beach. Despite the incredible
distances we had to travel we did just that. We headed out at low tide, so we went straight to the beach to
take advantage of the big stretches of sand that are underwater most of the time. Niklas at first seemed to be more interested in the
rocks behind the beach than anything else. It turns out that this was just a ruse so as to get me to lower
my guard and allow him to make his usual run for the Atlantic. I was mostly successful at keeping him out of the
water, but his shoes (all of a day old) and socks (and mine, but let's remember who the star is - it's Niklas) got a bit wet. At this point,
Niklas was still in a fine mood. As it was plenty warm out, I decided to take his wet foot attire off and let him run about bare foot. He
must have become quite attached to those shoes in the first 24 hours because when I put them in my back pack and set him back down in the sand,
Like any reasonable person, I fled the scene of the disaster. Of course, I was obliged to carry the disaster with me for the long walk back up the very steep hill that leads to our house, so my escape was less than perfect. When we were back inside, a snack and some milk placated his fury somewhat and he went down for a nap so as to sleep off the rest of his rage.
We let Niklas have a bit of cake tonight. As you may recall, he's a fan. The cake eating went like this - he would put a handful of cake in his mouth, say "mmmmmmmmm!", grin like a madman, and then repeat. This went on until the cake was gone. At that point, he wiped his cake covered hands off (good) using his hair (bad). The cake must have made an impression, because when Andrya went in to check on him after he was down for the night, he was smacking his lips and saying "mmmmmmmmm". I also love the dream cake.
2008-02-04: Today, Niklas and I went to the playground, the beach and another beach. Also, it was hot. Now, here are some new pictures. Yeah, I know the picture page still says January. I'm working on that, but this beach going takes up a lot of my time. 02-02-08: Hey, I got around to fixing something. Were this the Super Bowl, I'd be throwing that in face of all of the people in the media who doubted me. Well, since I'll likely never play in the Super Bowl... take that, CBS! And now, without further ado, here's this.
2008-02-05: Silly, silly, stupid me naively thought that we were beyond the era of the spectacular poop disaster. The worst thing in recent memory was the time he suddenly grabbed a poop filled diaper when I was taking it off of him and we learned an important lesson about momentum. Since that took place on the changing table, I look at it as more of an occupational hazard than out and out disaster. Today, though,
Niklas was walking around the living room after dinner. In the course of my diligent child care, I was distracted for a minute by important world events on the TV. Maybe it was an X-Files rerun, either way. So I looked away from him for a second and when I looked back, he was holding something in his hand. It looked like a raisin, which, since it had been a few hours since he had had any raisins would make it floor food and hence, verboten. I got up to take it from him and he dropped it in my had without a fight. It looked like it was covered with a bit of the vegetable beef stuff I had fed him for dinner. The flu has been going around our complex, so I was concerned that it was not floor food at all but rather a raisin he had wolfed down without chewing and then thrown up under the influence of the dread sickness. Then again, it could have just be a raisin that had fallen into his highchair and then had some of the vegetable beef stuff smeared on it while he was eating dinner. As I don't have ready access to a forensics lab, the only course of action was the sniff test. The verdict? Both hypotheses were proven incorrect. Instead, the mystery substance on what was indeed a raisin was poop. It turns out that he had a massive, massive post dinner poop that had blown out the side of his diaper and fallen down and out of his pant leg. To top things off, while I was puzzling over what was going on, he stepped in some more of the poop and tracked it around the floor. Today's final score: Niklas 117, Me 0.
2008-02-08: The last few days have been action, action packed for Niklas and me. Neither one of us was particularly enthused to give anything up for Lent, so we decided that we would spend some time each day cleaning trash off of the local beaches. As Niklas has always been quite adept at picking up stuff he's not supposed to have, this seemed like a natural fit. Instead, Niklas has taken on more of supervisory role while exploring his interests in hole digging and poking the sand with sticks. Niklas's superior management skills have motivated me to drag seemingly endless amounts of rope and plastic out of difficult-to-get-to-while-carrying-Niklas-sized-people coves. Viva Lent! On a related note, Niklas has recently learned to throw things in the trash can, so that's a plus. On the downside, he's also shown great enthusiasm for taking things out of the trash. I don't like walking into the kitchen and finding the floor covered in dirty diapers.
2008-02-10: Niklas had a pretty laid back weekend. Yesterday was rainy, so he spent most of the day playing with toys and avoiding taking naps. He also tried to shove an entire grilled cheese sandwich into his mouth at once. He wasn't quite successful, but I'm sure he'll give it another shot. Today, we took him to church where he acted like a meth-head on Cops. When we got home, he wrecked up the kitchen real good, tried to steal the toilet brush and generally wore his mother out while I watched hockey. Eventually, we subdued him with an afghan.
There are a couple of new pictures up around here somewhere, assuming Niklas hasn't moved them to one of his hiding places.
2008-02-12: As I mentioned before, Niklas has been moving towards a one nap schedule. Ideally, this nap would be in the early afternoon. Niklas has no use for ideals and therefore he has chosen to take his nap at 8:00 in the morning. While no one loves an early morning nap more than me, the resulting fussiness that occurs when Niklas trys to stay awake for nine consecutive hours is not quite worth it. Fortunately, Andrya and I have come up with an incredibly complex and intricately detailed plan to address the situation: when Niklas starts yelling to get up at 6:30, we tell him to go back to sleep, WHICH HE DOES. We've done this the last couple of days with shockingly successful results. He gets up again around 8:00 (which is much more tolerable than 6:30, let me tell you) and has some breakfast. Then we go to the beach and the playground and run whatever errands we have to before coming home for some lunch. After that, he takes a nap while I continue my efforts to find a way to drink beer, watch TV and sleep at the same time.
2008-02-17: People with daily access to Niklas have been complaining about the lack of updates. I'm not naming any names, but it might very well be one of these people. Maybe the taller one. Anyway, given that, I guess the rest of you must be pretty outraged. Not this outraged, but still. So, what's Niklas been up to? Pooping. A lot. Yesterday, there were four poops. I don't know if he's ever pooped four times in a day before, though I have blocked out a lot of what went on the first several months of his life. On the plus side, he saved this tremendous output (as it were) for a day that Andrya had off from work, so I only ended up changing one poopy diaper. Success! Note to 1998 me, if he's reading this somehow: yeah, changing only one poopy diaper in a day will one day be considered a success for you, so there's that. The four poops were relatively disaster free, though he did somehow end up with a bit of his principle export on his face. Yes, that was when I was changing him. Good guess. Luckily, he is not bothered by such trivialities.
Also, Niklas wishes everyone a belated Happy Valentine's Day. In lieu of candy, here's this:
2008-02-18: Today was action packed for me and Niklas. After a breakfast packed with action (also, cereal and applesauce) we headed to the beach for some actiony Lenten beach cleaning. I would say that next year I'm giving up chocolate instead of doing the beach thing again, but I would feel guilty about it. Well played, Catholicism. Action. Anyway, Niklas had a pretty good time running about the beach (with action!) while I picked up vaguely identifiable pieces of plastic and other miscellanea. After that, we jumped back into the Action Mobile and actioned off to the playground. Niklas enjoyed some slide action, action, action before chatting up an older (3 and a half) girl from New York for a while. After that, he had a semi-action packed snack and we headed to the grocery store-of action! Later, there was a nap and some more outdoor action, but I think you get the point.
Here are some new pictures that contain shockingly little action.
2008-02-24: What's Niklas been up to lately? Kicking my... well, you know. He's decided that he'd like to wake up early, skip some naps and even poor milk about the kitchen from time to time. As I've mentioned before (I'm not looking it up, but it happened), Niklas has been sleeping in longer in the morning and cutting out one of his naps. I fully support this as it means I don't have to wake up at 6:30 in the morning. This past week, though, what had been an 8:00 wake up call has been moved up to 7:00. Better than 6:30? Yeah, sure. As good as 8:00? Stop asking such stupid questions! Sorry, I'm tired and cranky. Anyway, he's shown very little interest in resuming his morning nap despite all kinds of eye rubbing and fussing. Pleasant!
So, how does tired Niklas differ from well rested Niklas? Well, usually when he has something he's not supposed to have (the toilet brush is an unfortunately common example) and I take it from him, he chatters a bit and wanders off to his next adventure. If he's sleepy, he screams at me like I'm a one of those bee-beard guys carrying and extra suitcase full of bees and he's allergic to bees. Another issue is that Tired Niklas does not have the ability to eat like a civilized memeber of society. In lieu of placing food into the proper receptacle (his mouth), he throws it on the floor or dumps it on his lap. Then, he turns his sippy cup upside down and gets as much milk or juice on himself and the floor as he can before the sleepwaling guy in charge of him (me) can drag his... well, you know over to the high chair. Also problamatic, No-Sleep Niklas falls down a lot. Usually, when Niklas falls down, he pops right back up and continues on his merrily destructive way. When he gets up early, yells until I pick him up and then he yells at me for holding him. Clearly, I am a jerk.
Despite Niklas's reign of terror, we're still managing to have a pretty good time. Yesterday, Andrya and I took him to the playground where he was able to indulge his love of the slide and his inner engineer. We also went to the beach where he indulged his love of getting his feet covered with sea and sand despite my requests that he stay above the waterline. Today featured some stomping about in the park and super-deluxe church squirming.
Hey, check it out. Pictures.
2008-02-25: Apparently, complaining on the internet is an effective way to get Niklas to sleep in to a reasonable hour. Let me now take this opportunity to complain about the fact that Niklas does not do his share of the cooking, cleaning or writing of my personal correspondance. Anyway, after plenty of sleep last night, Niklas was in pretty good spirits today so we went to three different beaches and the playground. Here are some pictures that capture all of the fun and excitement of our day minus the beaches, where I apparently couldn't be bothered to take the camera out. Niklas's Grandpa Jack spent some time outside today, too. He built Niklas this awesome snowman.
Thanks, Grandpa Jack!
2008-02-26: Niklas's day started off so well. He got up at a reasonable hour and ran about, laughing and smiling. Then, he laughed and smiled as he ate breakfast and smiled and laughed while trying to remove absolutely everything from Andrya and my closet. Oh, the smiling and the laughing. After I crammed most of our stuff back into the closet, I dressed Niklas up in his town-going clothes (which coincidentally look a lot like his beach going clothes) and we smilingly and laughingly got into the car and drove into Hamilton. When we got to town, we played in the park for a few minutes before heading off to do the thing we went to town to do. In lieu of a recap of the events that followed, I present to you this graph of Niklas's mood throughout the day:
On the plus side, his haircut looks really good.
What's Niklas's Snowman up to today? Glad you asked. He knows where to get the absolute best sunblock.
2008-02-27: Today, Niklas declared sleeping in to be a silly thing. He wasn't screaming or anything, but his early morning babbling was too loud for me to sleep through, valiantly try though I did. This gave us an early start on our pro bono work as waste removal engineers. Niklas, as usual, was pretty enthused about trowing things into the trash bag. This meant that I had to spend as much time taking things out of the bag as putting trash in, lest I was to end up dragging a bag of rocks about. Occasionally, he got a bit too excited about the picking up of things and started flinging stuff in my general direction. He can throw a bigger rock than I enjoy being hit with, let me tell you. Anyway, today he changed things up a bit by also trying to eat sea shells, sticks and sand whenever I turned my back for the briefest instant. Do you know how to get sand out of a kids mouth? I do not.
Niklas's Snowman took his leave of us today. Bon voyage, Snowman.
2008-02-28: So the tub in Niklas's bathroom has been draining at an ultra-slow pace lately. Normally, I wouldn't care about that so long as it did eventually drain, but Niklas is so cruddy that the slow drain leaves a significant amount of Niklas crud in the tub. I thought it would be a good idea to take care of this before Niklas's bath tonight, so at about five, Niklas and I headed to the bathroom for some plumbing action. As I was taking the cover off of the drain, I heard a bunch of splashing. This was odd, since the tub was empty. The toilet, though, had plenty of water and that's what Niklas was using for racket-making purposes. Well, then. After taking a break to wash and disinfect Niklas's hands, I was able to remove the drain cover. Niklas yelled at me for a few minutes because I wouldn't let him play with the pieces of the drain, but soon he was laughing and having a good time... because he was playing in the toilet again. After a second dose of soap and disinfectant, I was back working on the drain while keeping one leg on the toilet seat cover. It was like Twister, but with a toilet. Awesome. Anyway, I couldn't see anything clogging the drain, so I went to get a flashlight. Niklas was furious that I wouldn't put him in charge of the illumination part of the project, but he quickly got over it when I forgot to Twister-up the toilet and he was able to get into it again. After I cleaned him up... again... I managed to figure out what was broken (it's this thing, if you care) before he could cause any further toilet mischief. Instead, he subjected me to several minutes of high decibel yelling because I wouldn't let him play with the tub parts. Um... success?
Chock full of crepes, wine and cheese, Niklas's Snowman is on the road again. Viva Chicago.