May 11, 2004
I don't have much time to read (or watch) the news these days. Job, travel, kid, and chores take up my entire day. Nonetheless, I keep hearing about how some Iraqis have been mistreated while incarcerated by the US military.
The leadership of our country keeps refering to "a few bad Apples" as being to blame for this shameful behavior. Every single time they talk about it (that I've heard, anyway), it comes back to "a few bad Apples".
I'm doing my part. This past weekend, I gave away my old Macintosh computers. If a few bad Apples can bring such shame and disgrace upon our current administration, how could I even dare to harbor them in my home?
BTW, if you or anyone you know is interested in old Mac (pre-USB) paraphenalia, like scsi cables or mouses or whateverhaveyou, please let me know. We've still got an old ZIP drive, etc., etc.
May 18, 2004
"When are you going to put up some new pictures of Alex?"
I get this question almost as frequently as "When are you going to lose some weight?" and "When are those lobotomy scars going to stop scabbing up?"
But work and cleaning out the garage and work and cooking dinner and work and writing the great American novel and work all take up a bit of time, and the next thing you know... it's been over four months since the last Alexander update.
This past weekend, a friend of mine and Paulette's from our college days stopped by our house en route between vacation and home. She happened to have a spiffy camera with her, and shot a lot of photos. So here's your pictures of Alexander, already. :-)
Alex has become quite the articulate kid these days. He seems to be interspersing real words with a generous supply of creative babble, but the sentences he produces often seem to make sense. When he wants to be entertained, for example, his sentences will end with "Nemo?" or "Wanderin'!" or "Nuk."
"Nemo," of course, is his way of asking to see the DVD of "Finding Nemo".
Many months ago, Paulette and I rented the DVD of "A Mighty Wind", a Christopher Guest mockumentary about the folk groups of the 60's. While we were watching it, Alex would keep dancing whenever they played music, so we ended up getting the soundtrack. The word "Wanderin'" is the title of two tracks on the CD, plus it's featured prominantly in the first line of the CD, so Alex asks for the CD by asking for "Wanderin'".
As for "Nuk", that just seems to be Alexander's generic word for "music". Go figure.
I'm pleased to report that he remains a happy, healthy, intelligent, and beautiful child. Of course, good looks will get him farther than intelligence in this society, but that's no reason not to encourage him to think. You know... just in case his amazing good looks should someday leave him (as they did me).
Speaking of good looks... Remember how I lamented a few essays ago about my darkening hair and corresponding loss of identity? Well, everywhere we went this past weekend, people commented on how positively blond Alexander looked -- to which I would reply, "Just like his father," only to be greeted by totally blank stares.
Anyway. Um. Where was I? Oh, yeah, the kid's got good looks. No doubt about it. The fact that he has this incredibly infectious smile makes him even more of a star when we go out for a walk. As we pass by, people look at him and can't help but smile. Then they look at me and their eyes say, "Isn't that nice? His grandfather is taking him out for a stroll."
As for the "healthy" part of that equation -- like any child, he gets sick from time to time, but not so often as to keep the household in a perpetual feedback loop of illness. We hope he's getting sick *just enough* for him to build up his immune system. The evidence suggests he's doing okay in that regard: just enough, and no more.
His favorite activities include: going to the park once or twice a day, and going for at least one vigorous walk; listening to music and singing along to "Wanderin'"; reading the Sunday comics and then shredding them to pieces; playing "Where's Elmo" with the monthly Sesame Street magazine we get as part of our Parenting magazine subscription; watching "Nemo", Baby Mozart, and the 6 o'clock news (and, sometimes, Wheel of Fortune afterward), although we are careful to limit his television viewing on a day by day basis; chasing soap bubbles; drawing with pens or with crayons (usually all over his mommy's crossword puzzle); pressing buttons wherever he can find them; and playing in the driver's seat of the car. He likes that last one so much, he broke the rear view mirror off the windshield of our Passat.
Let's see... what else can I tell you about the little guy?
He goes to bed without complaining. That doesn't mean he necessarily goes to *sleep* right away -- tonight, for example, I know he was awake and playing in his crib for at least an hour and a half after we put him in his crib -- but that's okay. If he wakes up in the middle of the night, he usually doesn't call for us. Instead, he turns on a Mozart music box we've attached to his crib, and he just lets the music carry him back to sleep. In the mornings, he's good about letting us know he's up without screaming for attention.
Which is all by way of saying that Paulette and I have absolutely as wonderful a kid as we could have ever asked for. Even if we have to make sure to read Dilbert or do the crossword puzzle before he does.
PS: all of these photos were taken this past weekend.
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