The Life Aquatic with Jack Holwerda


I mentioned recently that bathtime at our house comes with its own set of challenges, something that I really should take the chance to remind myself of as often as possible.  In the comments section of that entry, my friend Will came up with a solution that I've been using with some success on nights when Courtney is gone at work.

Tonight, well... Tonight I decided to mix it up a little bit and see if Blake could be trusted both to get himself clean and not to soak the entire bathroom in the process.  That part of the gamble paid off.  I bathed the little two first, dried them, got Jack into jammies, and was helping Ava into hers when...

Blake's voice: "Daddy!"

And then I saw this.  You can see that his hair is still wet and neatly combed from when I took him out of the bath about five minutes earlier.

I don't know who's the slower learner, me or him, because five minutes after that, when I was combing Ava's hair, and Blake had finished in the tub and drained it, I heard another sound.  This time, since the water was gone, it was more of a THUNK than a SPLASH.  Yep, headfirst into the empty tub.  Clearly, he's going to be the thinker of my brood.

Yellow Peril


I'm kind of feeling like I've failed in my fatherly duties, since Blake clearly does not know to avoid the yellow snow.  In my defense, there's only snow on the ground a few days each year in Lubbock.


Everything you know about Santa is wrong


I had another blog post lined up for today, but then Ava dropped this one on me, and sometimes you've just got to go with what life gives you.

Context: there really is no context, just that Ava was carrying on and on about Santa, and then told me something that I honestly did not know before... Click Play to hear the conversation (or just scroll down for the transcript if you are multimedia challenged):

Danny: Ava, say that again...
Ava: Santa has a vagina!
Danny: What does Santa not have?
Ava: Um, not have a penises.
Both: *Laughter*

Monday wrap-up


Blake's cast came off today.  He's glad to have it off, but is still really protective of the arm.  We played Beyblade together for a while before his bedtime.  He gloated over every victory, and blamed every loss on the arm.  (SIDENOTE TO DADS:  Beyblade is actually a really awesome toy that you will enjoy playing with your children.  Seriously!  If you have boys who you are uncertain what to get for Christmas, get them some Beyblade.  The cartoon is awful, so you can continue hating that.)

Jack is unable to reach light switches to turn the lights off all at once, so instead he prefers to kill the light in his parents' eyes a little bit at a time by pulling everything off of tables and shelves and destroying it.  We have maybe a quarter of our Christmas decorations out this year, and no ornaments on the bottom section of the tree, because he is at that delightful "JACKIE SMASH" stage of toddlerhood.

Courtney is working tonight, so after dinner I was rounding up the kids for their baths.  Jack had to have a little pre-bath wipedown of some things, and Ava decided she was unhappy with me about something.  When I went into the backyard to throw away Jack's diaper in the trash can out there, she Fred Flintstoned me and locked the door.  Blake came to my aid a few minutes later.  Ava is getting coal in her stocking this year.

Fake Santas and Real Victories


Although Lubbock doesn't get buried in snow like other parts of the country, it's still cold enough outside that going to the park on the weekends isn't always an option.  Unfortunately, on days when Courtney is sleeping before or after a night shift, that's always one of my standby places to take the kids so they can be out of the house for a while.  That doesn't always end well. Last weekend, I bought a year of membership to the Science Spectrum, a kid's science museum which seems to be one of the few places that my kids don't get bored with going to.

Today was the museum's Christmas event, and since Courtney is working tonight I took the kids.  The main goal of this outing?  Seeing Santa (and getting that out of the way, Daddy thought).  We got there and headed straight for Claus Corner, where we stopped.

Blake: "Daddy.  What's with this guy?"
Me:  "What do you mean?  It's Santa, right?"
Blake:  "Santa wears red, not a black coat and jeans.  Santa's hat isn't a cowboy hat.  Santa has reindeer, not a horse."
Me:  "Man, I dunno.  Just take your sister and brother over there so I can get a picture."
Blake:  "OK, but I'm hanging on to my letter to Santa until we go see a real one."

Luckily, other activities, such as decorating and eating gingerbread men, were better received.

Jack looks like he's upset here, but he's actually just in the middle of a really enthusiastic "Cheese!"  This is his photo face lately, which I kind of love.

After we got home, Blake was really eager to put ornaments on the tree, since we just got it put up last night.  This is where I have to give you a history of our two separate sets of ornaments.  There's the lovely set of colored glass balls that Courtney bought our first Christmas as newlyweds, and there's the box full of my childhood ornaments which I've never been allowed to hang on the tree because they don't fit her vision.  Blake and I hung all of hers, and then he asked if there were more.  Opportunity!

"Well, there's one of mine that was my very favorite when I was growing up, but we can't put it on the tree."
"Why not?"
"Remember in Rudolph when he goes to the Island of Misfit Toys, the ones that nobody wants?"
"Mommy wants to send my favorite ornament to the Island of Misfit Toys, just because it's old and not fancy."
"<gasp> Mommy!!!"

And that's how my favorite childhood ornament ended up on our Christmas tree.