Saturday, March 28, 2009

Birthday, monsters, and aliens

March 27th was my 48th birthday which I find difficult to believe -- let alone accept! Talk about being the oldest dad at the preschool! One day as I walked down the long hall in the Boise State Children's Center to pick up Ethan, two little kids leaned out the window to their classroom and exclaimed "Hey, that looks like my grandpa!" The other said, "Yeah! It does look like your grandpa." Refraining from knocking them into their room, I picked up Ethan. Yesterday, I picked him up immediately after his nap, and we headed to the movie theater to meet his mom for an opening day viewing of "Monsters vs. Aliens." Ethan's been very excited about the movie, and, knowing it opened on my birthday, he counted down the days to my birthday. Every morning, he'd ask "Is it your birthday today Daddy?" That was kid code for "we get to go see my movie on your birthday." We had a great afternoon at the show (which had enough obscure adult humor to make all the parents laugh a lot), and another boy from his school -- Noah -- coincidentally sat behind us. Ethan was excited and asked what color our house is. I replied "Gray and white," and, as we were leaving, he ran up to Noah and said "Hey, if you want to come to my house to play, it's the gray and white one." Even though I graduated from high school when my mom was 48, having a pre-schooler at 48 in my case is OK. Especially because I'll remember this birthday forever!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Frank Stein

Garage sale season is beginning which means Heather is out and about on Saturday morning finding treasures. She loves finding deals, and she comes home with some amazing things. And some not so amazing things. But, 95% of the time, they're great. Ethan too is developing a love for garage sales because he's realized it's likely he will get some sort of treasure. Today, a woman was selling Halloween stuff, and Ethan bought a hanging skeleton as well as a Frankenstein set complete with a head and hands. Tonight as he was getting ready for bed, he told his mom to set something "over by Frank Stein."

Basketball, puddles and paint!

Yesterday was 70 degrees in Boise, and today...well, the weather alternated being beautiful to pouring rain to thunder and lightening which is unusual for Boise. Ethan was a bit nervous about the lightening and made sure he was in the house safe after stowing his bikes in the garage. It's "bikes" because he's thiiiisssss close to giving up his reliable red "motorcycle" in favor of a bike given to him by his cousin. It has hand brakes, and he rode it today for the first time. He spent most of the time riding in puddles and getting soaked. He also played basketball with neighbor Nick though their definition of playing basketball involves Nick jumping over Ethan's head and dunking the ball. As Ethan gets taller, Nick had better jump a bit higher. In between puddles and basketball, Ethan helped Daddy with what is the third remodel of the guest bathroom in 10 years. Dad shouldn't be allowed to watch HGTV. Ethan told his mom that she wasn't allowed to help "because painting is for boys and girls aren't good at it." As she watched how both her boys painted, it was obvious she disagreed with Ethan's assertion.

That's a poopy job

The other day, Heather was driving with Ethan who saw a sewer truck doing its duty. Ethan asked his mom what it was and she explained. He said, "That's a poopy job!"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Boys' Day: Monster trucks and black eyes

March 14, 2009 was a "boys' day, Daddy!" I had arranged for the Dunham boys to join friends who also have 4 year old boys to attend the Monster Truck Jam at the Idaho Center. Heather was appalled at the prospect of getting in touch with your inner Mullet and declined to participate; however, Ethan looked forward to the event for weeks. He would say things like "I think the trucks are there already, Daddy. Let's go check!" This was two weeks before the show.

Yesterday, he was up early for a Saturday because he was so excited. Daddy and Ethan enjoyed tacos for breakfast. It was, afterall, a boys' day. We ignored his mother's carefully chosen and ironed fashion selection for Ethan. What boy in his right mind would wear ironed cords to a Monster Truck Jam? Ethan said, "sheesh" and chose Levi's. Secure in our wrinkled Levi's, we departed at 11:30 to meet AJ LaBeau, Joe Kreizenbeck, and Zach Eaton at Wings near the Center.

All was well in the private back room with the free Wii game until we were booted to a smaller table due to a scheduling conflict. The four boys decided to play Foos Ball, and Ethan suffered the indignity of a younger girl slamming one of the Foos Ball rods into his eye causing an instant black eye and cut which is darkening today. As we left the place to head to the Monster Truck Jam, Ethan told me "we're never coming back to this place. I don't like that girl." We assured him this wasn't likely his last black eye in a bar from a girl. The picture at the top of this post shows the immediate aftermath.

Arriving at the Monster Truck Jam, we settled into our seats, and the boys' eyes were almost as big as the wheels on the monster trucks. We plugged our ears though I had to hold my hands over Ethan's until we purchased the $20 earphones shaped like monster truck tires. The show was OK, but the highpoint for each generation in our group was the motocross dudes whose jumps and stunts were amazing. As we left, Ethan assured me he needed a "ramp and a red motorcycle" so he could "go higher and higher." Later that night, he confirmed to his mother and me that he intends to produce a "motorcycle show every night -- but not school nights -- and every morning in the church parking lot" behind our house. With that future in mind, I fear the black eye will be the least of the residual ailments stemming from what was really a perfect boys' day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two More Weeks Grandma

We visited Grandpa and Grandma over the weekend in Twin Falls to celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary and his 84th birthday.

Heather and Grandpa celebrated in Jackpot...both days. Both losers...both days and both people.

Grandma, Ethan, and I hung out in Twin, visited the Herritt's Planetarium and Museum and CSI and checked out Candy Cane Park's "heavy equipment" as Ethan calls playground equipment. Grandma also got to cut Ethan's hair.

On Sunday morning, Ethan told us he wanted to stay there for two more weeks. It made his grandparents smile.

Friday, March 6, 2009

On the road again...

OK, I'm not a country music fan. In fact, I can't tolerate most of it and almost break my fingers pushing the radio buttons if I hear the first twang or CW star garbling one syllable words into mult-syllable yodels about heartache. Nevertheless, I've been thinking of Willy Nelson's "On the Road Again" a lot because the past four weeks, I've been out of town almost full time. I'm sitting in LAX this afternoon waiting for my plane back to Boise, and I'm so eager to see Heather and Ethan. His phone conversations keep progressing in maturity and content, and last night he asked "you coming home tomorrow, Daddy?" This morning, evidently thinking I can see through the phone, Ethan said, "You've been gone this many days Daddy" meaning he was holding up all 10 fingers (though I've only been gone four days). He'll run to greet me tonight at the airport, jump into my arms, hug me, hang on me, stare at me for a couple minutes, and then call me "Smarty Pants." And then, secure I'm home, he'll squirm out of my arms and run to baggage claim. I can hardly wait.