Monday, July 4, 2011

I need to vent

I know, I know - you don't have to tell me.  This was the year we were supposed to keep up with the darn blog.  Here it is July and our last post was...February.  Things happened.  What can I say?

Funny you should say that - I need to vent tonight.

First off let me be clear.  I absolutely love my son.  I adore him actually.  However, his alter ego Mr. Crazy Ben kind of gets on my nerves.

This weekend was a long weekend, not because we got an extra day off for the fourth of July but because my adorable son (he's my son when he's in trouble) decided to show a lot of his crazy side.  It all started innocently enough.  I decided to give my wife a break and take on the dishes, cooking, and Ben duties (and doodies) this weekend.

We were off to a good start.  Friday night went off without a hitch and Saturday morning, even though it started way too early - I'm talking before 6:30 AM early - was relatively pain free.

Somewhere between Saturday naptime and night night time the Crazy Ben decided to visit.  You can't reason with this version of Ben.  You can't even have a normal conversation with this Ben.

For example, a conversation might go something like this:

Crazy Ben - inching towards pantry door - mischievous smile on his face
Dad (Me):  Ben don't do that.  Ben - Daddy is in the pantry stay...Ben please don't... put it down BEN NO BENNNN...
"Whack!"  A flying toy train hurdles through the air, misses my head by inches, and bounces off the dryer.
Crazy Ben:  Laughing - anticipating my next words parrots "Ben no throw!"
Dad - TIME OUT.  Ben we don't throw trains.
Crazy Ben - starts to cry "No throw trains!!!"

When Crazy Ben comes to visit life is full of start-and-stop sentences like "Put Ben please don't...BEN stop....Bennnnn...but invariably it always ends in "TIME OUT!"

Crazy Ben can appear out of no where.  We could be lying in Bed cuddled up watching "Cars movie" for the 14,367th time since Friday and all of a sudden my eyes start to tear from a lightening pain received after a head butt to my nose.   Where did that even come from I'm thinking as I try to see through the stars while Crazy Ben says "Daddy crying..."

Crazy Ben usually comes out right before bed or nap time when Mom and Dad are at their energy lows.  He likes to run screaming through the house, arms flailing, laughing and often somersaulting dangerously close to any precipice or hard surface in the house (stairs, step down to family room, dining room chairs, etc.).  

By the way, you know how animals can sense an earthquake or some type of on coming natural disaster?  I think Max is developing his Crazy Ben sense because he has learned to disappear when the Crazy Ben is about to bring-in-the-noise, bring-in-the-crazy.  I need to develop this sense and then hide out with Maxy.

But as quickly as Crazy Ben appears, he can disappear and turn into the Ben I adore.  The Ben that can laugh until he makes himself hiccup.  The Ben that hugs you and says "I love you daddy."  The Ben that makes my heart melt and bear through the growing welt on my forehead.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Brain Training

Every day is a lesson here at the Mezoff Monjan household.  We are constantly asking Ben to repeat and say words, identify shapes and colors and letters, etc.   And he is picking it up like a sponge.  I am constantly amazed when he picks up something new, like pointing to the moon and saying moon or crescent, or identifying and saying circle, or being able to pick out the snow plow picture from all the other ‘Big Trucks” that he sees in his book, or by saying that something is blue (ok everything is blue these days but good grief he’s only twenty months!).  I feel like sometimes we are living in a constant gameshow where Ben needs to be tested with all the trivia that he has.  And then some days, he surprises me by coming out with a word that I had no idea he knew, like Shark, which was on my Sharkweek shirt.  

The words currently most in rotation now, besides no, are Chair, because who wouldn’t prefer going to sleep in a chair on mommy or daddy as opposed to a crib, and the other word is Office, because that is where Mommy plays videos on youtube for Ben.   And it’s quite an eclectic mix of videos for Ben.  He is very much into Alphabet and phonics songs and videos, in addition to ‘big truck’, ‘meow’, ‘bus’ and his latest and greatest ‘cuckoo cuckoo’ which means he wants to see the video of the world’s largest cuckoo clock and then imitate the dancing figures by twirling himself around until he is dizzy.   And he is truly clear about which videos he wants to watch and when.  All you have to do is move the cursor over his selections and you hear no no no  yes.   And then sometimes the ‘yes’ video once playing turns quickly into a NO video.  It really is hard to please a toddler.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Daddy and Ben Day #2

I learned a few things today. 
  1. You never really want to hear the words "Pew" or "Ewww" anytime after a nap or long sleep.  They are usually indicative of some sticky smelliness that will instantly send your gag reflexes to def-con 1.
  2. Ben is as stubborn as I am - when did that happen?  He knows what he wants and when, where, and how he is going to get it.  It was this premise that dictated when we were going to eat, sleep, play or watch lots of YouTube videos in mommy's "awface" today.
  3. Time out is really losing its meaning.  There was a point in which he went to smack Maxy on the rump and I asked Ben if he wanted to be in time out.  He looked at me and said "Yes."
  4. He really is super smart and is getting into the repeating phase.  When he hung up the phone during mid-conversation with a friend this morning I said "sh%t."  Ben immediately looked up at me, smiled and said "sheet."
  5. He loves Garlic Hummus.  It makes his breath smells like...well refer to point #1
Even though, at the end of the day I was a zombie, at some point had poop flung at me, and was still scared that he wasn't drinking enough fluids -  I also learned that this time together was precious and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  That feeling was sealed when Ben flung his arms around me and said "I wuv you."

I love you too Ben

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Ben and Daddy Weekend

If you would have told me 1 year ago that my Friday nights would no longer be pizza/wings and beer but rather juice boxes and the Fresh Beat Band I would have first said...what the heck is the Fresh Beat Band?

Fast forward to the present and you get a father and son weekend while Mom is out getting some much needed R-n-R.  To quote our new favorite music interest, "...and it goes a little something like this..."

Friday started off normally enough.  Told the nanny that there may be a bird/mouse/bat (something moving in the downstairs closet so please don't open - yes that is still in the realm of normal in our house) and I kissed Ben goodbye and went to work.

Sometime in the afternoon I got a call from our nanny "First Ben's alright," I waited with baited breath for the "but," which surprisingly came as "there is is a small bird walking around the basement and we can't catch it."

No problem.  I can handle this.  My first thought I tell my wife...then after rational brain took over I decided not to do so and get home as soon as I could wrap up my work.

I was able to get home at a reasonable hour, feed Ben (and subsequently Max) pasta while watching the Fresh Beat Band groove on screen.

Bed time came fast (7:30) which was a good thing and I was feeling pretty confident...nay cockey...I don't see what all the stress was about I thought to myself.

That was before 1am.  That was before the "Dada?  Daddy?  Daddy? Da Daaaaaaaa?  DaddyDaddyDaddy.  Dadddyyyyyyyyyyyyy?  Da?  DaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaDaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"

Now to be fair to Ben he's been battling a nasty cold so I went in and stroked his back until he fell back asleep.  As soon as I got back in bed (1:30-1:45am) it was DaaaaDaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa again.  I thought surely he will stop.  He's exhausted.  2:30 snuck up on us between the crying and DaaaDaaaaas.   He'd even lay back down and just repeat.  Then stand and repeat louder.  I clearly was not going to win this battle and resigned some where around 3am.

As soon as I went back into the room he went into a sleeping position and we negotiated a peace.  I would lay down next to him on the floor until he fell asleep.   And so it was that I found myself doing the worm/commando crawl out of his room at 3:30am terrified that I would wake my son and have to start the process over again.

I fell asleep to Ben's silence as the Fresh Beat Band lyrics "We had a great day.  It was a super way.  to spend the day together" cycled through my head over and over.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here are a list of my favorite words with Ben

Ben's vocabulary is growing exponentially. I am always amazed..when he points to something and then says it out loud. For example Ben and I were hanging out in the basement this morning and he was pointing out pictures to me. "Oval, Square, Apple, Bear" are rattled off in quick succession. However, I had to take pause when he pointed to the Stop Sign and he says 'oct-gon'. WHAT??? Ben what did you just say? "Boo" (that's blue but we have trouble with L). "No, Ben, this," I say pointing to the stop sign again, "apple," he says.

iPad and iPhone are probably two of Ben's most oft-repeated words and he definitely can tell which one is which. In fact, a common morning conversation often goes like this: "iPad, iPhone, Bear, Milk." All of these items get passed to Ben, who then holds onto each like some crazy toddler hoarder, and turns to mom or dad and says "maxy?"

It's the "Maxy" that just melts my heart. I genuinely think that he loves his dog - all though he might not show it so well some times. But among all of Ben's words (and there many now) Maxy is my favorite. It is something that I could listen to him say over and over again.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pee Wee Pele He Ain't - sigh

I know, I know, I know I shouldn't be disappointed. He's only 19 months for goodness sake. Lori signed Ben up for Soccer Bug practice/lessons and I, of course, was estatic. I got him a full kit (shirt, pants, socks) and grandma got him a Beckham shirt and pants kit too. We were set. We were going to school those other toddlers. Look out soccer world here comes the next Fredie Adu. I was already looking forward to the offers from Man U or Chelsea.

Instead, during the first practice, my son decided that he'd rather tackle the goal. When I say tackle, I mean full on run into the goal and grab the net...then proceed to hang on so tight and swing it around...I guess that's one way to mind the net. So, a little mortified, I run to extract Ben from the goal, who looks more like a crab caught in a crab pot, than any sort of soccer player. I run over and pick up my son who, in the mean time, must have sprayed super glue to his hands. I say this because no matter what I do to get him to let go he seems to hold on tighter and tighter. Ben, Dad, and a few balls all are now caught up in the mess as I try to swing the goal away - which turns into a big game as Ben is laughing his head off. I apologize to Coach Luis and thus ends practice one.

Oh, by the way, my wife Lori was of no help as she was balled up on the field laughing so hard that she said "I think I peed my pants."

Which brings me to practice number two:
We started off OK. Just Dad and Ben this time. We warm up and actually run and kick the ball. Then its time to go to the circle and pop bubbles (not sure what that connection is to soccer but Ben's engaged). He's doing fine until the popping bubbles turned with a finger turns into high-fiving/smacking bubbles and any other unfortunate toddler who might be in the way.

Then we moved onto doing the "airplane" (foot on ball with arms spread wide). We like this so Dad's starting to feel proud. All of a sudden - when it comes time to start kicking - Ben decides...nope this is not for me. There was a lot of "nooo" and "Limp Bens." If you're not familiar with the "Limp Ben" move let me describe it to you. When Ben doesn't want to do something he somehow convinces his body to go to Jello. All of his muscles and bones seem to disappear and he falls to the floor in a jiggly representation of, what was once, my active son. And, when I try to pick him up, he sort of looks like a cross between a rubber band and one of those crazy inflated dancing signs that you would see outside of a store - arms and legs going all sorts of akimbo. Thus ends day two...and soccer least for now.

Is it too early for basketball?

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Perfect Parent

Ok now that I am nineteen months into this ‘mom experiment’, I have to look back on my progress and laugh.  I am, at many times, the mother I never thought I would be.  PreBen I believed in making my own food for him, always buying organic for his food, barely letting him watch tv and I was also going to prove all my friends wrong that one could in fact multitask it all with a child.  Good gravy was I wrong.  This was my thought process both this morning when Ben lazed back on our bed, watching Spongebob Squarepants with his two thumbs perched on the inside of his front diaper (he is his father’s child) and then later again tonight when I plopped us in bed with him and the IPad as I tried to get caught up on Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, don’t judge) from last season.   And frankly I am thinking it now as I watch him bang his head on the crib in an effort to woo me to come and get him from his nighty night time.  I never would have thought I could so cavalierly say to Matt, “let him bang his head, he’ll stop if he really hurts himself” as we watch it play out on the baby monitor and hear the rhythmic thuds.   My friend Susan likes to laugh at me, because I would always question her parenting and ask ‘couldn’t she just walk away from the child for a minute so we can get thru a conversation without 80 interruptions’.  She just mocks me now and is very satisfied that life has turned out this way for me.