Sunday, September 30, 2012

Yo, Dude, Check the Calendar. Tomorrow is October

September is done. This means just one thing in our household - trout fishing is over for the year. Everyone gets a little somber around our house on this day; I get somber because the trout season is ending, and the Wife gets somber because I go fishing and leave her home alone with the three hooligans. We got through it swimmingly, as I like to say, because I'm a huge dork, and I even caught a few trout. And the rest of the family seemed to have an OK day, as well.

That guy's casting form is pretty boss!
When I used to fish a billion days a year, the end of the trout season was even more somber for me. It meant a huge change in my day-to-day life for several months, and I usually made a big deal about it, even cracking open a beer and smoking a cheap cigar as a way of toasting the season that was ending. Now I don't drink any more, and I never really liked the cigars, so I gave those up a long time ago, too. Today, when my dad and I were done fishing, we just got in the car and hurried home, as I was trying to get back in time to help wrangle the hooligans into bed. I did not get home in time to get them in their jammies, but I did get to see them before they went to bed. I would say that was a way better end to the season than any cigar would have been.

Scott, Minus the Dew

I've done the unthinkable. Which may not surprise some of you, who probably think I'm pretty good at doing things most people wouldn't think of. But believe me, what I have done will seem unthinkable to a lot of people who know me. I have given up Mountain Dew!!!!!! Oh my goodness, it seems even weirder when I see it in writing! I, Scott Andrew Hanson, have given up the thing that I have loved for a majority of my life. I have consumed so much Mountain Dew over the years that the Pepsi Company sent me a special unit that lets me hook myself up and "drink" a Dew intravenously. (This is untrue. But would be cool.)

I really didn't plan to give up my Mountain Dew. It just sort of happened. You see, I got sick last Monday night. It was a stomach bug that I probably got from the Girl. She had been sick the week before, but when it hit her, she was sick for a total of about three hours. By the next morning she was just fine. When it hit me, I was sick for what seemed like an ice age. It was really only about five days, but still, that's too long to be sick. I won't go into the gory details, but I will say that this stomach bug came with all of the awful stuff you would think a stomach bug would come with. Needless to say, I did not feel like eating much for most of the week, and sweet, fruity pop did not interest me, either. When I did drink anything it was either water or Sprite, which we have always heard was good at settling an upset tummy.
No more Mountain Dew for me. I guess I'll just have to get my vitamins somewhere else.
Now, I am feeling much better, but I still have no interest in sweet, fruity pop. And the lack of caffeine in my life is going smoothly, as well. I seem to be sleeping very well, and am not noticing any zombieishness throughout the day. I keep wondering if the lack of corn syrup in my body will have any ill effects on me, but so far, so good.

I guess we'll just have to see how this goes. I thought there would have to be something weird that would happen, going from 4-5 cans of Mountain Dew per day to none. But so far, there hasn't been anything. I haven't even had a hint of a headache yet, which seems odd. I have every intention of sticking with this. If you see me drinking a Mountain Dew, feel free to smack it out of my hands. I will thank you later. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Funky Tale

I haven't blogged in an entire week. I'm sure you have been going through withdrawals, not having anything good to read. I haven't really felt like writing lately, because I haven't felt like doing anything. I've been sick, and the only thing I have felt like doing is sleeping. Good thing I'm so good at sleeping, huh? Oh, I guess I also have felt like running to the bathroom about 50 times a day, but that's far less exciting to write about. From Monday evening through Thursday of this week, I think I averaged about 20 hours of sleep a day. Maybe 23... At some point in the week, my beautiful bride looked at me and said "It's amazing how much you have slept this week!" All I could say in response was "Thank you!"
This is where I spent most of my time this week.
You might think that, since I was just laying around the house for a large portion of the week, I would have spent a lot of time writing, and that I would have posted so many blog posts that we all would have gotten tired of me. But that didn't happen. When I get sick, laying around, doing nothing, my mind tends to get a little funky. Or, I should say, my mind usually goes into a funk. I don't think it's full-blown depression, but it's worse than just being a little bummed out. I don't want to do anything, I am easily irritated, I start to worry about every little thing. Life is sad. And, as a result, I didn't feel like writing, even though there probably were plenty of things going on around our house that I could have written about. Like, ummm, hmm. Wait a minute. I slept through everything interesting. Now that I'm starting to feel better, I will try to stay awake for all the fun. I know I will have something to write about real soon.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It's Time to Celebrate!

It was brought to my attention today that we have reason to celebrate here in the Hanson household. It's really big news, even though you probably won't see any stories about it on the evening news. It's something that should garner more attention than it does, if you ask me. I'll just come out with it, since I can tell you are beside yourself with anticipation. I don't know if you realize this, but today marked the day that we washed our one millionth baby bottle at our house! When we washed our first bottle, just a scant three and a half years ago, this day seemed like it may never arrive. And now that it's here, we are definitely going to celebrate. We are going to live it up, like we normally don't do. It's going to be wild! I am going to mark this momentous occasion by going to bed early, and the Wife got her party on by taking a nice, relaxing bath. It doesn't get much more wild than that around our house these days! It's crazy!!

It's time to celebrate! WooHoo!!
On a less exciting note, we met another milestone this afternoon when we picked up our 5,000,000th pile of dog poop. Thankfully most of them have occurred outside, but still, this doesn't seem like something to whoop it up over. We won't turn down any congratulatory presents you may want to send us, though. Let me know if you need our mailing address.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Baby is Getting Old!

As I am writing this, it is near the end of the day that marks the Baby's 6 month "birthday". Half a year old already. It's hard to believe. Especially since her Mommy and I have aged about 5 years in that time! We spent part of the day visiting the hospital that all of our kids were born in, not just as a way of reminiscing, but instead to visit some friends of ours who had a baby late last night. I kind of thought we might get welcomed by all the nurses in the maternity ward with a hearty "Welcome back, Hansons!" as we walked through the doors, but alas, that did not happen. In fact, I realized that during all the time we spent in that hospital having three kids in the past 3 and a half years, I don't ever remember seeing any of the nurses more than once. Is there a high turnover for maternity nurses? I am not sure, and I don't plan on going back any time soon to continue my research, just in case you were wondering.

Kids always seem to enjoy celebrating their half-birthdays. I wouldn't say that the Baby is that way, yet, since this was her first half-birthday. It would be more accurate to say that I was the one looking forward to this day much more than she was. I was looking forward to it because, as I have written about in an earlier post, 6 months is the age we start to feed our kids solid foods. I was especially excited about this for the Baby because she has been far more ornery than her siblings ever were over their first 6 months of life, and I theorized that maybe once she started to eat food to supplement her milk intake, having a fuller tummy would make her more satisfied and happier, overall. Well, we actually started her on food a couple of days early, feeding her some apple a couple of times, and fried eggs both of the last two mornings. Oh, and we tried her on some string cheese, too. She seemed totally enamored with all of these foods, gumming them into smithereens. She even got some in her tummy, as evidenced by the diaper I changed last night. I won't go into any further details about that, you can just figure out what I mean on your own.

So far, the food intake hasn't made her any happier, but it's still early. I am hoping that something changes soon. The Wife and I would prefer that our next 5 years of aging actually takes 5 years to happen!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No Singing, Daddy!!!

Early on in our parenting tenure, we had to implement a "No Singing at the Dinner Table" rule. The Girl was carrying on full-blown conversations and singing around the house when she was about 15 months old, so it was imperative that we nip it in the bud. Whatever a bud is. I've never understood that one. Any way, we implemented that rule, and everything was peaceful around our dinner table for quite a while. Once the Boy was old enough to talk and sing, Mommy & Daddy made sure we were clear about the importance of the rule, just to make sure everyone understood that eating time is talking time, but not singing time.

For some reason, the Boy has really grown to love this rule. Usually we would be ecstatic when any of our kids truly embrace one of the rules we have in our house, but this time he has taken it too far. He thinks that the "No Singing" rule applies to every facet of life, and he does his best to enforce it. I think it started innocently enough, when we were singing "Happy Birthday" together as a family, probably to celebrate the Girl's 3rd birthday earlier this year. Everyone was singing along in perfect harmony, almost to the end of the song, when the Boy remembered our rule, and shouted "NO SINGING!!" at the top of his lungs. Actually, it was pretty funny, and how can you get mad at such a good rule-abiding kid, who at the time was not even 2 years old.
Unfortunately his zest to keep us from singing has blossomed into an all-out obsession. This has not gone over well with the Boy's parents, especially Daddy, who is liable to break into song at the drop of a hat. If the Boy is around, I can get three, maybe four, notes out of my mouth in a given song, before he hits me with a bellowing "NO SINGING, DADDY!!" We have tried to convince him that singing, in general, is fun, and that we only have a moratorium on it while we are eating. He has decided that, instead, he will impose the "No Singing" rule on any musically-inspired activity, whether it's humming, or whistling, or even dancing. I could just be doing a simple head-bob while driving down the road listening to the latest Justin Bieber song on KDWB, and I'll get a "NO SINGING, DADDY!!" boomed at me from the backseat. How could anyone object to Justin Bieber? I think we're on the verge of installing the first-ever "Yes singing" rule in the history of mankind. I just hope we're not too late.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bring on the Germs!

Our motto as parents has always been "Bring on the germs!" We have always felt that the best way to build up our kids' immune systems is to let them get dirty, don't be afraid to let them touch things, don't avoid people or other social situations, and don't use hand sanitizer unless it's absolutely necessary. I think that our plan has worked out well. Oh sure, all the kids have gotten some minor sniffles every once in a while, but nothing more than that. Until today, that is. The Girl was spending a delightful day at Grandma D's house, when she suddenly started to not feel very well. She took an early nap, but still didn't feel well afterwards. Soon, she got sick all over my sister, who just happened to have dropped by for a quick visit. That's what I call bad timing! The Girl seemed to be feeling better when I got there to pick her up, so I decided to take the 5 minute drive to our house. About 200 feet from our driveway she got sick again. And then again, about an hour later. She seemed better before going to bed, but Daddy made sure to put a bucket next to her, just in case.
This is an actual photo of the germs that made the Girl sick. If they weren't so cute I would be really mad at them.

Since this is the first time any of our kids have thrown up, other than when they spit up when they were infants, there's only one sure thing for Mommy & Daddy to do now: become totally paranoid that we're going to get sick too! I started feeling the pangs of paranoia kick in right after dinner, when I felt some gastrointestinal unease starting. Then I remembered that I pretty much live in a constant state of gastrointestinal unease, so my pangs subsided. If my gastrointestinal unease turns into gastrointestinal turbulence, that will be a real cause for concern. But until then, I should be okay.

I have always thought that the Wife had a higher level of intestinal fortitude than I, but after we put the kids to bed, she asked me, "Now that we have a sick kid, do you wonder if we're going to get sick, too?" Always wanting to share my true inner feelings with the woman I love, I told her, "No, don't be silly!" I guess I chose that moment in time to finally keep my true inner feelings locked up inside. Hopefully the contents of our stomachs stay locked up inside, too. Wish us luck!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Dog Just Brought Us Another "Gift"...

There is a lot of clutter in our house, which is something we are really not all that proud of. And, although we aren't real happy about it, it's a pretty understandable situation, knowing that we have a large herd of small children running amok in here. Small children are not known as being very good at picking up after themselves, but, in general, they are known for being good at throwing stuff on the floor in random places. Hence the clutter.

Even though a lot of the clutter has been perpetrated by our kids, they are not the only guilty parties. I guess some of the blame has to go on Mommy and Daddy's shoulders, as well, but we humans alone are not the only purveyors of clutter in our house. Many of the things that are strewn about the place were dropped there by our friendly and annoying, small, yippy dog, Toby.

Toby is part Yorkshire Terrier and part Poodle, otherwise known as a Yorkie-poo. As a breed, Yorkies are known to be very good hunters of rodents. Toby does not usually hunt rodents, but he does display a trait, whenever anybody walks in the front door, that is somewhat similar to hunting small furry creatures. He always feels compelled to find whatever small, soft, and usually furry object he can find, and bring it to whoever happens to be walking in the door, as some kind of gift. Or maybe it's a peace offering, since he usually has done something naughty while we've been out of the house. Whatever the case, every time anyone shows up at our door, it's the same story - first Toby and our other annoying yippy dog, Gromit, bark as loudly as they can at the person for way too long, and then Toby heads off, and can be seen streaking from room to room, in search of a suitable "gift" to bring the person. It usually turns out to be one of the kid's stuffed animals, but it also could be another type of toy, a sock, or a slipper, or even a pair of our underwear that was carelessly put away. Toby is pretty indiscriminate when finding a gift. He just doesn't want to show up empty-handed.
Toby, shortly after he had dropped a "gift" somewhere in the house.

What happens next should be pretty obvious. Toby is a dog, so he is not well-versed in the act of gift-giving. Instead of bringing whatever he has to the newcomer, Toby just runs around with it in his mouth for a while, and then randomly drops it somewhere in the house. This wouldn't be a problem, except dogs are even worse at picking up after themselves than kids are, so Toby's "gifts" just add to the amount of clutter we have. Did I mention our dogs are highly annoying? I guess we should just be thankful that the gifts he leaves around usually aren't the other type of gift that dogs sometimes leave. If they were, that wouldn't make for nearly as fun of a story.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

There's a New Scooter in Town

My name is Scott. Scott is a good name. I have always been happy with my name. There's one thing about my name - it can't really be shortened to make a nickname. Getting rid of one of the "t"s wouldn't make a difference, and shortening it to "Sco" would just be weird. Who would want to be called "Sco"? Not me. So, if people have ever wanted to give me a nickname - and at certain stages of my life it has seemed like everyone has wanted to give me a nickname - they usually take Scott and then lengthen it. I've been called "Scotty", "Scottish", "Scotland", "Scott-Man", and so on and so on. My most widely used nickname over the years, though, has probably been "Scooter", or some derivative of it. "Scooterlicious", "Scooter-de-dooter", and even "Scooter Pot Pie" have been popular monikers for me amongst my friends. I guess I have to say I kind of liked them too.

I am in a stage of life in which not many people call me by nicknames any more, unless "daddy" counts as a nickname. Or "Studly Man", but that's for another blog post. Only a couple of people call me Scooter, and that's with great irregularity. I think it's about time for me to pass the "Scooter" nickname on to someone who can get much more use out of it - the Baby. She has begun to scoot herself all over the place lately. All we have to do is lay her on her back anywhere on the floor, and she quickly rolls over to her tummy, straightens out her arms to prop herself up, and off she goes, scooting herself backward with her arms. In just a few seconds, she'll be off to some other part of the room. The thing is, she can't see where she's going, so she usually ends up somewhere she doesn't really want to be, like up against a wall, or under the sofa, or in Wisconsin.
Time-lapse photography of the Baby flipping herself over and then scooting under the sofa. That was when the fun ended.

I'm not really sure how long the "Scooter" nickname will work for her, though. She's already starting to get up on her knees, which is one of the first signs that a baby is ready to start crawling. It seems way too early to her mom and me, since she's not even 6 months old yet, but who are we to question a baby? When the crawling inevitably happens, I'll take back the "Scooter" nickname for myself, and she can go by something more clever. "Crawler" sounds a little creepy for a baby, like maybe she enjoys playing with worms or something. We'll have to come up with something better than that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This School is a Blubber-Free Zone

Today was the day our family has been talking about for over a year. It finally happened: the Girl went off to preschool for the first time. She has been anxious for this day ever since she found out my sister's daughter, the Cousin, got to go to preschool last fall. There was more than a little jealousy involved on the Girl's part, but when she found out that she would be able to go this year, the jealousy subsided (somewhat), and excitement took over. We have been talking about all sorts of school-related topics throughout the year: the fun things she would get to do at preschool; the new friends she would make at preschool; the interesting stuff she would learn at preschool; her new princess-themed backpack she got from her grandma to take to preschool; and on and on. Actually, what we talked about the most wasn't something you would normally think about when you hear a child is going off to preschool for the first time, but it's a big indicator of whether they are truly ready for it or not. We talked a lot about the fact that the Girl would have to wipe her own bottom if she ever went #2 while at school. This may seem like an odd thing to talk about, but we talked about it endlessly. And now, if she ever does have to go, we're pretty sure she'll be able to handle it. I know you were worried!

The biggest surprise of the morning had to have been the fact that I did not blubber like a baby when we dropped her off at school. As soon as our first child was born it was obvious which one of us was the emotional parent. Las Vegas oddsmakers would have listed me as a cold-blooded cinch to at least shed a few tears this morning, but my eyes remained dry the entire time we were at the school. OK, I might have misted up a little at home, but only because I was dumb enough to pick up the Girl, look right into her big blue eyes, and say "I can't believe you're going to school already. It seems like just yesterday that we were bringing you *sniff* home from the *whimper* hospital."

Thankfully I regained control of myself, and that was as close to blubbering as I got. I probably would have gotten more emotional if she had paid us any attention when we were leaving her classroom. Instead, she was already having fun playing with all the other kids. I don't think she even knew we had left. I guess my little girl really is growing up.





Monday, September 10, 2012

My Son, the Cow

In my last post I wrote about what a stinker the Boy has become since he turned 2. At least I think that's what I wrote about. The chaos in our house has been pretty intense lately, so maybe I am remembering things wrong. In any case, the boy has become quite a stinker- hitting, kicking, and openly defying his mommy and daddy any chance he gets.

In the last couple days, though, he has taken his defiance up a notch. Now, when I try to get him to stop being a stinker, he not only gets me with his favorite phrase, "NOOOOO, DADDY!", but now he has started to back that up with a loud "Moooooooo!!!" He usually backs that first moo up with a second and sometimes third moo, as well. I am not really sure why he has started mooing at me. Does he think I look like a cow? Does he think that if he pretends to be a cow, I will get scared and back down from trying to get him to stop being a stinker? Does he think that cows are at the top of the food chain, and that his lowly old Daddy will run away so as not to get eaten by the frightening bovine? Is it just that cows were one of the first animals he learned how to imitate, and, being 2, he doesn't have a lot of other stuff in his tiny brain to throw at me? I am not sure. What I am sure about is that the mooing does not make me any happier about his being such a stinker. In fact, it might make things worse.
Is this a cow or the Boy? They both have similar amounts of hair...
I'm not really sure what to do about it, though. I can't rope him like a calf - PETA would get mad at me. I can't brand him - he doesn't like hot things. I guess that means I'll have to use the old-fashioned method -giving him a timeout. I'm sure that works for cows just as well as it does for kids. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Can We Just Skip This Year?

The Boy used to be such a sweet kid. He readily said "Thank you" at the proper times, he was very giggly and happy most of the time, and he would give us all random hugs for no reason at all. Then he turned 2. Now he is obstinate, he grabs things out of people's hands without asking, he hits people (especially Daddy), he does not listen to his parents, and one of his favorite hobbies is kicking the dogs (luckily his short legs don't get much force behind the kicks). Before his birthday I thought he was going to be an even easier kid to deal with than his older sister, the Girl, was, and she has always been a very good girl. At least that's what other parents have told us. We weren't always so sure. One thing is for sure: she never went through a hitting or dog-kicking phase.

Another thing is also for sure: I am not liking the Boy's two-year-oldishness, if I may coin a new word. I wish we could either go back in time to the day before he turned 2, or skip ahead to when he is a full-fledged 3-year-old -- wise, mature, kind, and soft-spoken. You know, like every other 3-year-old....What, are you saying your 3-year-old wasn't all of those things? Maybe we should skip ahead to when he's 4. Or 40!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hair, Hair, Long Beautiful Hair

The Girl is almost 3 and a half, which, these days, means that it's time for her to go to preschool. I never went to preschool, so my school experiences didn't start until I was 5, when I went to kindergarten. That doesn't really have anything to do with this story, other than to sound like I think things used to be better in the old days, and to prove, like my wife says, that I am far more curmudgeonly than I should be for only being 38 years old.

Any ways, the Girl is about ready to go off to school, and she and her mommy, the Wife, thought that it would be fun to trim a little bit of her hair to make it look nice when she meets all of her new classmates. The Girl has always had a lot of hair, already having had 5 inches cut off about a year ago. It was obvious she had a lot of hair as soon as she was born, but it really hit home when the nurse who gave her her first bath, in the hospital, asked us which side of her head she should part her hair on. I don't know about you, but we did not head to the hospital thinking that our new baby was going to come out of the womb needing hair styling ideas. We did not come prepared with a tube of Baby Pantene Coconut-Infused Styling Gel, or whatever newborns are using these days. Within a couple of months her hair had grown into a nice Elvis-like pompadour, and it has continued to grow ever since.
So, last night, the Wife got out our hair cutting scissors, and proceeded to turn the kitchen into a salon. The Girl seemed excited to have her hair cut, but only if a small portion was being cut. Her mom and I told her she would probably be getting about 5 inches cut off. The Girl tried to talk us down to 1 inch. After some thoughtful bartering, we landed on 3 inches as the magic number. Luckily 3-year-olds aren't good at measuring! The Wife made the first cut, and let out a very audible gasp when she saw what she had actually cut. She turned the Girl towards me so I could get a better look, and I saw a chunk of hair had been cut that was more like 9 inches! There was a very dramatic pause by everyone in the room, and then the Wife said, "Well, I gotta make it even!" So, the Girl got 9 inches cut off. Mommy did an excellent job, and it looks very nice. Hey, at least she doesn't look like Elvis again!
 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Let's Play Doctor!

The two older kids have a toy doctor's kit that one of them got as a gift. Currently, it's got a stethoscope (which the Girl can actually pronounce! Proud Daddy moment!), a thermometer, a blood pressure sleeve, and one of the things that doctors use to look in your eyes, ears, nose, throat, and belly button (at least that's what I have told our kids). I am pretty sure the kit is missing some pieces, because I seem to remember that it used to have a little hammer for checking reflexes and a pretend bandage that could fit on a child's wrist. I have seen the bandage fairly recently, so I am sure that it exists. The hammer seems to have disappeared into the toy abyss in the basement, so that may have been a figment of my imagination.
I trust both my kids' doctoring skills more than I would Dr. Nick Riviera's. Photo courtesy of simpsons.wikia.com

Lately, both the Girl and the Boy have been very excited to play with their doctor's kit, a lot. Usually the Girl gets to be the Dr., and the Boy is happy to be the nurse, but some times he wants to be a Dr., as well. Daddy always gets to be the patient, whether I want to or not. Being the patient usually means I just have to sit down and let them do their examinations, but some times I lay on the floor, moaning and rolling around like I am really in pain. I was doing that this morning, really getting into my role, when Dr. Girl told me "Just lay still! We need to give you your check up, so we're going to have to sit on your tummy!" That was all the cue that Nurse Boy needed, as he immediately ran over from the corner of the room and leaped on my stomach with all the force his 30 pound frame could muster. He then continued to jump on me, getting more and more air with every jump, until Daddy was truly rolling around on the floor, moaning in pain. It was very nearly the first ever successful Heimlich Maneuver ever performed by a 2-year-old on an unsuspecting, and non-choking, Daddy. Luckily his fervent bouncing resulted in ejecting his body from atop mine before anything came up. I think for the next exam I'll stick to sitting in a chair.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This Blog Shows Initiative In The Classroom

Today is the day after Labor Day, and for most kids in Minnesota, that means it's the first day of a new school year. I was just looking at facebook, and a large number of my friends have posted photos of their kids, lined up outside their front doors, with their backpacks slung over their shoulders, before heading off to school. Some of the kids actually had smiles on their faces, which seemed odd to me. I was never a fan of the first day of school.
The author (right) with his childhood friend, Mark, on their first day of kindergarten, oh so many years ago. That wasn't a smile on my face, I was just squinting from the sun.
None of our brood went off to school today, but the Wife and I did take the Girl to Preschool Orientation this morning. For some reason, preschool in our school district does not start until next week, but we had the chance to go in and see the classroom and meet the teachers today. The Girl also met a very nice young 4-year-old gentleman who offered to let her play with one of his cars. Daddy made a mental note to keep my eye on that kid. I know how older boys are!

We have been talking to the Girl about going to preschool for several months now, and she has always seemed very excited about the idea, which made us happy. Over the last week or so, though, her mood has changed from "giddy about school" to "downright surly", I'm sure just because it's all new and she has never been in daycare or any other social situation similar to this before. She does go to Sunday School at our church, but most weeks there are only 3 or 4 other kids in class. This morning she did not seem to want to go to the orientation, but once we got there she seemed to have fun. In fact, she was having so much fun she didn't want to put the Play-Dough away when it was time to leave. I wonder if it also might have had something to do with the fact that the 4-year-old gentleman was also playing with Play-Dough...I think I may have to have words with that boy next week when preschool starts for real.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Butterfly Apocalypse Now

I have been to the Minnesota State Fair what seems like a billion times over the years, but this year I stumbled upon a building that I had never noticed before. It was a strange looking building because of one thing - it had screens instead of glass in its windows. It was also noteworthy because the outside of the building was festooned with colorful paintings of butterflies. Yes, it was the Butterfly House, which I'm sure a lot of you have seen at one point or another. This building is completely filled with exotic butterflies from around the world. People of all ages were inside, trying to tempt the butterflies to land on them, which is the big attraction of this building.

Being the manly man that I think I am, I had never noticed this building, or if I had, I quickly walked by on my way to finding more manly endeavors, like deep fried cheese curds. But now that I have two toddlers, things have changed. The Girl wanted to head inside the Butterfly House as soon as she realized what was in there. It took a little longer for the Boy to get enthused, but eventually he did, so the Wife took both of them inside while I watched through the screens, along with my mother- and sister-in-law.
The three of them paid the small ransom that it cost to enter the Butterfly House, and soon joined the hordes of people inside. Everybody was being inundated by the butterflies - I saw one kid who had 10 or more butterflies perched on his t-shirt. I also saw my Boy, who didn't seem like he was enjoying himself too much. He didn't seem to be too excited about all the bugs flitting around his head, but he was being a trooper, and by that I mean he was not throwing a fit or screaming to get out. There were chairs near the exit of the building, so the Wife took our two kids over there, with the hope that the Boy would settle down a little, and  a few butterflies would decide that they all made adequate landing spots.

The next few moments happened too fast for me to accurately describe, so let's just say that one of the butterflies ambushed the Boy with a sneak attack on his knee, and the Boy reacted with a quick and deadly counterstrike to the butterfly's midsection. Chaos erupted, and the next thing I knew my Wife was herding my two kids through the exit, the Boy displaying a long black smear of butterfly goo up and down his leg. Mom and dad were slightly embarrassed, but we told ourselves that things like that probably happen quite often. The Boy seemed unfazed by his deadly deed, so we wiped off the goo and moved on to the next attraction. I wonder if we'll be allowed back in the Butterfly House next year...