Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Smit h an d Hawke n

Scene: The Back Patio. John and Arthur are taking a break from using trowels to dig out dirt for a step.

Arthur: Uhhn! (Points and reaches for garden shears that John has moved about three times already).

John: No, Arthur. Those aren't for you. (Thinks about ways to explain why that don't involve pantomiming a severed finger.) See? (picks up safety locked shears; squeezes handle so the blade wiggles impotently against the anvil; runs index finger over the side of the blade.) Ouch. See, this part can cut you. Ouch.

Arthur: (Eyes go wide and he giggles) Ouch! (Reaches for shears.)

John: (Mentally slapping forehead) Ugh. You're not supposed to like it.

-- L A T E R --

Mark: What have you been teaching the child? He keeps pointing at things and saying 'ouch ouch.'

Friday, September 22, 2006

Three is a Dish Washer

I've been watching the scrub jays in are yard for the last few months, and wishing that we had more crows visiting. We had a lot of crows around the old house, but I had no idea that scrub jays lived in Eugene until we moved to the new house.

So today, the day of the new moon and the autumnal equinox, there were three crows in our back yard. (Insert spooky "oooh" here.) It had taken them about a week to locate the bird feeder in the ornimental cherry tree. Arthur and I got a pretty good look at them while an installation guy installed a new dishwasher. So I guess we'll have to re-write that old crow rhyme to include kitchen appliances.

Yes. It's true. We have a dish washer. It's wonderful, and already I don't know how I lived without it. Really. (Thank you Mom and Dad.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Equinox Eve

Happy Equinox; I can't beleive it's only been a quarter of a year since we signed the papers on our new house. We're mostly in and living out of boxes. Not all of the paint is done and we still have some trim to finish. The old place still has some minor things in it that we'll have to taxi over to the new house.

On the Arthur front...

Arthur can walk -- sort of -- have I mentioned that yet? The last three weeks are sort of a blur. In any case, Arthur and I have a game where I'll help him stand, and then I'll say, "Ready? Three, Two, One!" and let go. He'll take a few steps and then more or less fling himself forward for me to catch. Sometimes I don't always get there in time and he tumbles onto the grass.

We also take walks to the local stores. Arthur can push his stroller about the length of a block. He's also acting like a boy; he really likes trucks and today he was very excited to find a tether-ball. And while he likes birds, airplanes seem to be better. He's climbing everything he can get to -- like the chase lounge, and most recently, the kitchen table chairs.

He's also quite the computer geek. He really wanted to play with the computer at the doctor's examining room, and he was very happy when he got a chance to bang on the keys of a Eugene Library Computer. He was very dissapointed that a spare monitor that was on the bedroom floor wasn't plugged in.

Oh, yes. At fifteen and a half months, he's figured out that electrical appliances don't work unless you plug them in first -- we have a select comfort bed and Mark says that Arthur plugged in the little air pump so he could hear it wheeze as it inflates our bed to rock hardness.

The cat is here in the new house, and she's been using her powers of gravity control for evil. I don't know how an eight pound cat can sound like a herd of elephants at 3 AM, and I suspect that she's figured out where the most resonant spots of the house are. That, and she continues to take delight in stepping on our heads. I slept much better the week she was still at the old house, and I've come to the conclusion that a good half of the bumps in the night that used to wake me up in the old house convinced that raccoons, tramps or theives were trying to get into the house were in fact Muriell.

As if that wasn't enough, I'm pretty sure that she's been teaching Arthur how to whine. We've been working on that one. When Arthur points and grunts at something -- usually food -- instead of just giving it to him we ask him if he would like more of whatever it is and we use the sign language for it. I think we're having pretty good luck using Skinnerian opperant conditioning to reward him with what he wants when he signs for it.

When Arthur isn't whining, he's saying some words. Probably his favorite word is 'no.' When he's just saying no to say no, I do try to turn it into a game by saying 'yes', and it usually goes back and forth with no and yes for a few rounds and then we switch to 'Daaad' and 'Arthur.' Arthur also says the word 'hot', which he combines with 'ouch' -- so he sounds a little Scottish and says, 'hoouch'. I've been playing a lot of Rex Harrison singing 'Why Can't The English Teach Their Children How to Speak;' we'll see if that has any effect.

The latest word I've been trying to teach Arthur is 'Gollum'; he thinks it's about as funny as I do.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Finished -- I think

Almost everything is out of the old house and in the new one. Or at least the new garage.

Almost nothing is out of boxes except for Arthur's toys and some clothing.

And we still haven't finished with the paint job.

And our internet connection isn't up yet at the new house.

At least the weather has been decent -- not too much rain and a reasonable temperature.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Plan (No Promises)

Here's the plan for this weekend as I understand it. Since none of this has been written down in the Book of Big Decisions, it could all change (except for the U-Hall rental).
    • Pack (as Arthur allows)
      • Construct Boxes
      • Pack books, plates, toys, laundry, past issues of Dragon Magazine, and embarrassing items...
    • Paint
      • Walls and cabinetry in Kitchen
      • Window trim in Dining Area
      • Window trim in Living Room
      • Floor trim everywhere
  • SATURDAY -- at the new house
    • Pack (as Arthur allows)
      • Construct More Boxes
      • Pack anything Arthur picks up and thrusts at us
    • Paint
      • Walls and cabinetry in Kitchen
      • Window trim in Dining Area
      • Window trim in Living Room
      • Floor trim everywhere
  • SUNDAY -- at the old house
    • Pack (convince Arthur packing means putting things into boxes)
      • Pack piles of paper, computer stuff, even more toys, dirty laundry, past issues of The Space Gamer, and eye the dumpsters...
  • MONDAY -- U-Hall Day
    • Move The Big Stuff