Wherein Niklas Achieves Terribleness.
So, Niklas's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks. He got an early present today. Behold!
Thus far, it's proved to be an exceedingly popular choice, though there was a bit of confusion at first. Given the generally cylindrical shape, Niklas assumed it was a trash can. "Trash can!", said Niklas. Andrya assured him it was a potty and showed him that he could sit on it. "Ah, sit trash can," said Niklas.
Several minutes later, once the terminology was sorted out, we took his diaper off and let him go to work. It had been a while since he'd had anything to drink, so nothing happened but he did seem to enoy sitting on the toilet an awful lot. After he had his dinner, though, success! Andrya sat him on the potty and after a minute or two it was a pee-pee extravaganza. "Pee-pee!" said Niklas. Also, there was hand clapping. This was soon followed by "more pee-pee" and further clapping of the hands. He didn't want to get up, but finally Andrya was able to coax him off the potty by promising he could flush his leavings down the big toilet. Following this initial success, I expect the next, what, three days? six years? of potty training to go disastrously wrong so as to even things out.
There are a couple of new potty-centric pictures around somewhere.
2008-09-04: Niklas apparently has not yet picked up on the notion that he should be especially good on the days leading up to his birthday. Yesterday, he put on a display of naptime screaming the likes of which I do not think I have ever heard and I have heard some screaming, let me tell you. Right now, he's tearing the keys off the laptop he killed last year. This is superior to today's earlier project which involved him tearing the keys off of my laptop. Other transgressions of late include throwing my towel into the pool (the deep end, mind you, and towels sink) and insisting at 9:00 that he wants to go somewhere only to change his mind after I take a shower and get dressed. To sum up, Niklas is getting a bunch of rocks for his birthday. Not good rock, either.
2008-09-05: So Niklas's big thing lately is to ask where something is. "Where'd Elmo go?" "Where'd shoes go?" "Where'd keys go?" And so on. It's made extra entertaining by both his inflection (which indicates that he not only knows where whatever he's asking about actually is, but that he's also the one who put it there) and the fact that he holds his hands out to the side and shrugs whilst making his inquiry. As an example, he'll put his Elmo doll in a bucket and cover him up with a blanket and then ask me if I've seen Elmo. This game is great fun for everyone with the possible exception of the Elmo. Who wants to be stuck in a bucket? No one, I bet.
2008-09-07: Niklas had a pretty laid back weekend. Yesterday was a bit rainy, so we hung out inside for most of the day. It cleared up in the afternoon, so we asked Niklas if he wanted to go for a walk. "No", said air-conditioning lover Niklas. Today, we went to the beach where I mananged not to get knocked over by a wave whilst holding Niklas thereby acheiving greater success on that front than I did last weekened. Also, I put some seaweed on Niklas's head which is always amusing (to me, not Niklas or Andrya).
Niklas's favorite song of the moment is Riot On The Village Green by the band Scissorfight. He loves the chorus which features this man yelling "burn it down". "Burn it down," says Niklas. He also loves singing the Elmo's World theme song.
Here's Niklas's latest masterwork.
What could top that? Perhaps these Niklas-centric pictures.
2008-09-10: So the car had to go for its annual legitimate mechanical inspection/capricious and arbitrary aesthetic checkup this week. This provided me with ample opportunity to put Niklas to work. As my primary assistant in the washing of the car, he did a great job scrubbing this one spot on the front bumper and also dragging the hose as far away from the car as possible. Then, as the principal chamois adjunct, he contributed to the drying of the car by continuing to sponge the crap out of that one spot on the bumper. The aide-de-camp of our waxing enterprise spent the entire operation performing essential "drive the wheel" maneuvers in the front seat and tracking grass over the recently vacuumed (by me, in the horrible, horrible humidity) carpet. So to sum up, success!
Something that's pretty cool about Niklas is his love of giving out the big hug. If you ask him for a hug, he'll smile really big and throw out his arms and say "big hug". Then, he'll hug you. Good times.
2008-09-13: So today is Niklas's second birthday. That can mean only one thing: Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!
I'm all partied out now, so details will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some new pictures.
Happy Birthday, Niklas!
2008-09-16: Well, apparently I was more partied out than I thought. Anyway, Niklas had an excellent time on his birthday. We kicked things off with a trip to the playground where Niklas drove the wheel, played on the big boy swing, did some sliding and drove the wheel some more. After some attempted car thievery, we hit the zoo/aquarium/building with the drawers full of dead things, which is always popular. Plus, there's a ship's wheel to drive. We followed that up with a quick trip to John Smith's Bay where Niklas fell over and got covered pretty much head to toe in sand. He said "good time beach", so I guess he wasn't overly bothered by that. By then it was lunch time, so we took sandy Niklas off to his favorite restaurant (the North Rock Brewing Company, Niklas has a passion for microbrews) for some cluck-clucks and fries. He was especially excited when I used chopsticks to feed him. He tried them himself, but his "violently stab at stuff" method didn't pan out.
After a quick nap, it was time for presents and cake. There was quite a bit of loot, including a ridiculously popular car thing from Andrya and me (the time involved with the assembly of which drove Niklas a bit nutty), a Little People zoo with about 10,000 pieces from his grandma and grandpa Meeker and a bunch of Elmo DVDs from his grandma and grandpa Vennard. Niklas closed the day out by eating a piece of cake the size of his head and running about all sugared up. All in all, it was a successful birthday.
2008-09-19: So Andrya and I both had our birthdays on Wednesday (I'm still the old one). Niklas was so excited about that fact that he couldn't sleep past 5:30. Hooray. He wouldn't go back to sleep in his crib so we brought him into our room and let him lay down between us. He calmed down, but didn't do much sleeping. What he did do was slowly but surely encroach on my space until I was laying on my side with my butt hanging off of the bed. Happy birthday to me. After a rough start, the day did improve. Niklas gave me a new pair of boots so I can retire the ones that got all peacock pooped up. He gave Andrya a new purse, but there were no poop connotations with that. We also took the ferry out to St. George's, which was a good time. Niklas had an awesome time trying to smash up anything and everything in the St. George's historical society. Thankfully, we were able to escape without the destruction of any historical artifacts.
2008-09-21: Niklas, Andrya and I went to the lighthouse a couple of days ago. Despite the fact that he had but days earlier cried (at length, loudly) about walking half a block up a slight incline, Niklas climbed all the way to the top by himself. He even climbed up the hill to get to the lighthouse. I assume he was still running on cake energy.
Here are a couple of new pictures that feature Niklas and a building he did not destroy, but not at the same time.
2008-09-23: Yesterday, Niklas and I did a bunch of stuff. We washed the car, Niklas broke into the car and played with all available levers, knobs, buttons and wheels, we went to the zoo and bought some groceries (but not at the zoo). That afternoon, we went to the post office and stomped around Fort Scaur a bit. Whew. Today, we made up for that by not really doing anything. Of course, even when we're not doing anything Niklas still manages to make quite a mess, so there's that.
2008-09-25: So here's an interesting story (says me, that's who) from probably a couple of months ago that I've managed to not relay until now. There's apparently an island wide shortage of size five overnight diapers. This is inconvenient. Niklas uses size five overnight diapers to prevent sleepy time pee-all-over. How much more does an overnight diaper hold than a regular diaper? Based on the amount of urine in his urine soaked sheets, several gallons. After the utter and complete failure of using regular size fives as overnights, we put him in some size sixes. This worked sort of ok for a while, as I only had to change the sheets every few days. One day, at about 7:00, Niklas woke me up from a horrible dream (wherein I went to play hockey but didn't have any skates and hence could not play hockey) with some fairly pleasant jabbering. This was before he started every morning off by either listing Sesame Street characters, expressing a desire to "drive the wheel" or demanding cake, so I'm not sure what he was on about. Anyway, when I went in to get him up and change his diaper, I noticed that there was some stuff all over the floor in front of his crib. It looked like he had ripped up his secret stash of tissues and strewn the debris around in a ticker tape parade type fashion. Note that Niklas does not nor has he ever had a secret stash of tissues, but it was early and that was the best theory I could come up with at the time. Anyway, when I started to pick the stuff up off of the floor, I noticed that it had more of a sopping wet cotton type consistency. This made perfect sense once I realized that if there had been a parade, the participants were showered with pee-soaked diaper guts instead of old-timey stock market info. I guess that Niklas was irritated with how full his diaper and decided to empty it out a bit. Apparently, he was happy with the results (I was not), because he went right back to sleep. Anyway, now (as there are still no size five overnight diapers in the greater Bermuda area) we put him in a size six when we put him down for the night and if it's significantly full when we go to bed, we change him. When he's out, he's out, so it doesn't really bother him. Thanks, Niklas, for adding symmetry to my diaper changing day.
2008-09-28: Last week, Andrya sent Niklas and I on a mission to find the wittily named Long Beach in St. David's. Our downstairs neighbor, Andrew, had described its location to her thusly: "You go through a turnstile, then over a hill then through a gate it looks like you're not supposed to go through." While this type of directional guidance wouldn't be of any use in Chicago, that's plenty to go on in Bermuda. Before we started Beach Quest '08, we stopped off at the St. David's Lighthouse.
Niklas had an inordinately good time running around the lighthouse grounds. He was pretty upset when I insisted that we leave and even more upset when I wouldn't let him drive. He has mastered opening the driver's side door and getting in the driver's seat. If he figures out how to hotwire a car, things will go very poorly for me. Anyway, after I got him out of my seat and strapped into his, we were off to find the beach. Since St. David's is probably all of one square mile in size, this took less time than I had anticipated. It turns out that the beach is on the grounds of the old US Naval Air Base which is, signage notwithstanding, now open to the public. So, yeah, success. Our rapid triumph left plenty of time for a trip to the playground before we headed home for naptime.
The weather here has been pretty mediocre of late, so there haven't been many picture opportunities. Yes, I know cameras work indoors. Please stop poking holes in my excuses. Here's this, then.