Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or treat

When I picked Biscuit up at day care today, his teacher told me that they had been going over the process of trick-or-treating. Apparently, they talked through how they should ring the doorbell, yell "trick or treat," wait for candy, then say "thank you."

Biscuit put his new-found training into action this evening. It was his first time trick-or-treating, and if you just it by the candy alone, I'd say it was a big success.

His excitement level was off the charts. 

A couple of our friends and their son joined us on our search for candy. They have a son who's a year younger than Biscuit -- let's call him Cowboy. (Guess what his costume was?)

It took Cowboy a few houses to get the hang of it, but he needn't have worried. Biscuit was not shy at all. The boys would hold hands (the cutest thing you ever saw!) and walk up to the door. Biscuit is all about ringing doorbells right now, so he usually claimed that task as they were walking up the driveways.

When someone came to the door, Biscuit would yell, "TRICK OR TREAT!" I told him he needed to say it loudly, and boy, did he. Most people would pick a piece of candy and hand it to the boys. But if the people were willing to hold the bowl down to their level, Cowboy and Biscuit would gladly help themselves.

The first house we went to was one of our neighbors. She came to the door and made a fuss over Biscuit's costume.

"What do you say?" I said to Biscuit.

"PEAS!" he said.

"No, the other thing," I prompted him.

"THANK YOU!" he said.

"What did you practice at day care today?" I asked him.

"Oh, yeah. TRICK OR TREAT!" Biscuit said.

It only took one house for him to perfect his methods. For the rest of the evening, he was dragging the rest of us from house to house. I wish I could've bottled the energy he had.

One very cool house had turned the garage into a very creepy Halloween scene. Black lights, a strobe light, creepy noises and a big skeleton with red, blinking lights and an evil laugh.

Biscuit wouldn't go up the driveway. I wanted a closer look, so I picked him up and carried him. We went in, spoke to the people, got some candy and started to walk out. I put Biscuit down in the driveway just as the skeleton's evil laugh started.

"LET'S GET OUT OF HERE!" Biscuit yelled.

Here are a few pictures of Biscuit and his loot:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Firefighter Biscuit in action

The temperature is supposed to be in the low 30s tonight, so I just turned on the gas logs in the living room.

I think I brought the colder weather on us because when a friend of ours in Vermont sent a photo of a beautiful snowy scene she shot there the other day, I said to her, "Would it be terribly cruel to tell you that Biscuit and I played baseball in the backyard this evening with no jackets on?" I think she sent this cold weather to pay me back.

Anyway, I turned the logs on and the flames shot up. Biscuit's eyes got kind of big, and he said, "Whoa! I'll be right back."

Biscuit came running back into the room wearing his firefighter hat. "I got my firefighter hat, Mom. I'm going to put out the fire." He was holding a pretend fire hose and started making a "shhhhhhhh" sound like water.

I said to Biscuit, "Don't put the fire completely out because it's going to keep us warm."

"I'm just playing, Mom. My fire hose is just pretend," he said with the tone you'd use to talk to someone who wasn't very bright.

There are a thousand comebacks I could've used, but alas, he's too young to understand any of them. So I just pursed my lips and stared at him until he started giggling. Clearly, I need to practice my watch-your-tone-mister look.

Don't ever change

Biscuit can be pretty expressive when he gets wound up talking. He makes faces and talks with his hands, and lately, I think his brain gets ahead of his mouth when he gets really excited.

Biscuit will say, "Wha-wha-wha-what do you ... Mom, Mom, Mom ... what do you, what do you call it, Mom, when a firefighter needs to climb something to rescue somebody?"

It's like he knows the question he wants to ask or the statement he wants to say, but he just can't get it out fast enough.

One completely adorable thing he does when he's asking a question is to turn his hands up toward the ceiling and shrug his shoulders.

He lined up a bunch of assorted trucks on the couch tonight, then started asking me questions like, "Mom. Which one of these trucks can help a sick person to the hospital?" (The answer is the ambulance, by the way. Or the ambience as Biscuit says it.)

But every time he asked me a different question, those little hands turned up toward the ceiling, he shrugged his shoulders and he tilted his little head to one side.

There are some things that Biscuit does that I wish he would do forever.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Firefighter Biscuit

As promised, here are pictures of Firefighter Biscuit in his firefighter coat with his firefighter pants and his firefighter boots.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Almost ready

Biscuit is a wee bit excited about Halloween. 

And when I say "wee bit," I actually mean that he is so excited that he is driving us NUTS!

"Is it ready yet, Mom? Is it ready?" Biscuit keeps asking me about his costume.
"Almost," I keep telling him. "Almost." 

He's going to be a firefighter. Not a fireMAN. A fireFIGHTER. If you dare to call him a fireMAN, well then, you're just wrong.

He said to me earlier, "I'm almost ready to be a firefighter, Mom. And then I can save the day!"

Some people have asked me why I'm making a costume I could buy. And for those people I have three reasons:

  1. Making this costume has been cheaper than if I had bought it, especially seeing as most of the pieces of it can be used again.
  2. My Mama always made our costumes. She always said making them yourself makes them individual and special. Anybody can buy a costume.
  3. Biscuit got the fire chief hat about a month ago. He was so excited. He got his boots tonight. Again, so excited. I showed him his in-progress outfit. Third time, so excited. Eventually, he'll understand that having to wait a little while builds anticipation and in the end, appreciation.
Anyway, here's what I've done so far:

His firefighter coat is actually going to be a T-shirt since he will be wearing it all day.

Firefighter badge made from a make-your-own button kit.

Firefighter pants made with sweatpants and tape.

 I'll post some pictures of his complete ensemble tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy boy

You want to know what it takes to make my son happy?

Apparently, all it takes is a toy horse. A hand-me-down toy horse, even.

A friend of mine at work helped her daughter clean out some toys she's outgrown, and knowing how much Biscuit loves horses, this lovely member of the equine family came to live at our house.

Biscuit asked where it came from, and I told him a lady at my work sent it to him. I told him the woman's name, and he thought I was telling him the horse's name. So now, I have a friend at work and a horse at home with the same name.

"This is my new horse. She likes to run."

"This is how I would ride her."

"She jumps reawy high."

"My horse, she say, 'Naaaaaaay!'"

He hasn't put it down since I gave it to him.

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few thing Biscuit has been saying recently:

Good manners: We went out for pizza last night, and there was a family there celebrating a girl's 13th birthday.

Sounds nice, right? Wrong. The three boys at the table were making loud, obnoxious rowdy-boy-type noises, including burping so loudly that we heard them across the restaurant. What's worse is that when one of the boys had a particularly long, loud belch, the mom said, "That was a good one, son!" and high-fived the boy.

This kept going for a while, and finally, Biscuit heard it and realized what was going on.

"Mom, that boy ... he's burping. He's burping, Mom. He didn't say excuse me after he burped. Mom, he should say excuse me after he burps," Biscuit said.

That's right, my almost-3-year-old has better manners than your 10-year-old.

That's not my mama: The regional director was visiting Biscuit's day care today. She stopped by the 2-year-old class and stopped just inside the door. The kids and their teacher were having circle time, and I guess the director didn't want to interrupt, so she turned to leave. 

Just then, one of Biscuit's classmates saw her and said, "Griffin, it's your mama. Your mama is here." The teacher said the director did favor me. At least enough for Biscuit to jump and start walking toward her.

"Mom! Mom!" Biscuit yelled.

Very quickly, he realized that it wasn't me. And from what I was told, his lip started to quiver, then he lost it.

It's nice to know the boy was so excited to see me. But it breaks my heart that he was so disappointed.

Rhyming words: When Biscuit and I were leaving for day care and work this morning, I had to turn the defrost on to clear the windshield.

"What are you doing, Mom?" Biscuit asked.

"I'm getting the fog off the windshield," I told him.

Biscuit has been learning about rhyming words, so he said, "There's a FROG on the windshield, Mom?"

In my typical morning haze, I said, "No, not frog, FOG."

Then Biscuit said, "There's a HOG on the windshield, Mom?"

It finally dawned on me what he was doing, so I said, "Yep. There's a hog on the windshield."

"NO, MOM! There's not a hog on the windshield. I'm just playing," Biscuit said. (Or paying, as he says it.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A tasty treat

A friend of mine made these jack-o'-lantern cake pops for a charity bake sale at work. I got one for Biscuit, and I let him try it out the other evening.

He was excited that it was a pumpkin. He's really getting into Halloween. And he was even more excited when I told him he could eat it because it was candy. I didn't explain to him that the inside was different from the outside, so when he bit into it, he got a really weird look on his face.

It didn't take him long to realize how tasty it was, but once he took the second bite, the camera was traded so I could use my spare hand to catch the crumbs.

Did I mention that I was dumb enough to let him do this in the living room?!?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

 Some things that Biscuit has said recently:

Oh, I get it: When you explain something to Biscuit lately, he'll say, "Ohhhh. I get it." I couldn't figure out where that came from until last week. 

Jeff had to go out of town for the day for a work thing, and the night before, I said to him, "I know you have your bsaketball thing tomorrow, but I didn't want to miss Zumba, so I called a friend to babysit." 

Instead of saying, "Okay" or "I understand," Jeff said, "Oh. I get it." As soon as the words came out of his mouth, I thought, "THAT's where Biscuit has heard that." It's amazing to me the little things that his little ears hear, his little brain remembers, and his little mouth repeats. 

Where's the mud? There are certain books that Biscuit knows mostly by heart. They're the books we have to read to him over and over and over and over. And even though we always read the books word-for-word, the same every time, he tends to ask certain questions or make certain comments every single time we read them. 

One such question comes in a book we have from Jeff's childhood about Paul Revere. Paul Revere is riding through the swamps trying to get away from the Red Coats. One British soldier's horse sank down in the mud and fell down, throwing the soldier in the mud as well. And every single time we read that part, Biscuit says, "Where's the mud?" 

I have no idea why he says it, but if you look at the illustration on that page, you can see swampy water with reedy grass, but no actual mud. I don't know if Biscuit is drawing our attention to the fact that the words say there's mud, and there isn't really any mud, or if I'm reading into his comment.  

The frustrating thing at this age is that he doesn't have the words to tell you why he says what he says. He just blurts out whatever is on his mind. 

He also comments on a book we have about rescue vehicles. The first page talks about fire engines, and every single time we read it, Biscuit says, "It's not a fire engine, Mom. It's a fire truck." 

Manners: Biscuit is doing pretty well with his manners. I have to remind him sometimes, especially around our friends, but out in public, he does a good job of saying please and thank you. I'm glad he feels so comfortable around our friends, but I try to tell him that just because you see these people a lot doesn't mean that you don't have to say please and thank you to them. Actually, he should be saying please and thank you to them more than other people because they're going to do more for him during his life than say, the lady at the grocery store checkout. 

I'm also trying to explain to Biscuit the difference between "by accident" and "on purpose." He will throw something that misses his target and hits Jeff or me, and he's usually very quick to say, "I'm sorry, Mom. It was an accident." 

But he'll also use that line when he runs toward you and proceeds to crash into you, all the time making car skidding noises. "Hey, be careful," I'll say to Biscuit. "That hurt Mama."  

"I'm sorry, Mom. It was an accident," he'll say. And I explain to him that crashing into someone like a careening car is in no way an accident. 

He's much better with please and thank you, but we'll keep working on the rest.

This year, he gets it

Last night, I went into the attic and dug out two electric jack-o-lanterns to put on the front porch. I hadn't planned to decorate for Halloween, but I realized yesterday that this year, Biscuit gets it.

A few days ago, Biscuit came running into the living room and said, "Mom, I want to pretend to be a firefighter for trick or treat." I smiled and said OK, thinking it was an offhand comment. But the next morning, Jeff was getting Biscuit dressed, and Biscuit said to him, "Dad, Mom said I could pretend to be a firefighter for trick or treat." And he has continued to mention being a firefighter several times a day since then.

He already had a fire chief hat, and I bought these rain boots. I didn't mind buying the boots because he can wear them for more than just Halloween. But my Mama always made costumes for my brother and me, and I'd like to carry on that tradition. We'll see how it goes, and I'll definitely post pictures.

Biscuit and I ran to the grocery store yesterday evening, and as we were walking out with our purchases, Biscuit saw a bunch of pumpkins for sale. "Mom, we have to have a pumpkin for trick or treat."

We went to a pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago, but Biscuit didn't seem to have any interest in buying a pumpkin that day. I'm not sure what's changed between then and now, but apparently, we're going to be carving a pumpkin this year, too!

I told Biscuit that we couldn't get one at the grocery store. I told him we'd go to a local church that's having a pumpkin sale. I thought he might be disappointed, but he said, "And I pick it out?"

"Yep. You can pick it out," I told him.

If he's getting this excited over Halloween, I can't wait to see him at Christmas!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I've seen better days

I was a bad mama yesterday morning. There's no way to sugar-coat it.

Jeff had to leave at 5:30 a.m. to go to an all-day work thing in another town, and I knew he wouldn't be getting home until late last night. So I was on my own with getting Biscuit ready and getting him to day care.

That might sound simple enough, and I guess it should've been, but it wasn't ... at all.

Jeff and I have our routines in the morning about who does what as far as Biscuit is concerned. So when Jeff isn't here (which is pretty rare, luckily), things get a little more complicated. Add to that, I am a very routine-oriented person, and I gave birth to another such person.

Just for good measure, throw in the fact that I had a sinus headache and that Biscuit and I are still getting over pink eye. Nobody in our house was singing "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning." That's for sure.

Biscuit didn't want to eat his breakfast. He didn't want to change out of his pajamas. He didn't want his face washed. He didn't want his hair combed. He didn't want his teeth brushed. And he most definitely didn't want drops put in his eyes.

And quite frankly, for as much as he didn't want those things to happen, I didn't want to have to do them.

I was grumpy. I had no patience. I yelled at him a couple of times. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I just didn't treat him very well.

I don't want to get into all the details, but it took everything in me to get us both of us out of our house and him to day care and me to work. And then I sat at work feeling guilty about how I had treated him. I wanted to walk to my car, drive to day care and cradle him in my arms like I did when he was a wee-tiny baby.

The thing is, Biscuit didn't remember anything about our morning struggle. I got to day care to pick him up, and he said, "Mom. I'm so happy to see you."

I'm sure this won't be the last time that I doubt my parenting abilities, but I really hope these kinds of days are few and far between.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Visit to the doctor

Biscuit and I were home with pink eye today. I hated staying home from work over something so simple, but pink eye is very contagious, so Biscuit couldn't be at day care. Plus, it made my sight so blurry that it would've been hard to stare at a computer screen all day.

We've had bouts of pink eye before, so last night, when I figured out what was going on, I went to the medicine cabinet for the drops we used last time. It was just my luck that the expiration date on the drops was June 2011. I know they say some medications last past their expiration dates, but I didn't want to take any chances with something that was going in our eyes.

I called Biscuit's doctor and made an appointment, then I broke the news to Biscuit.

He was so excited. Yep. Excited.

"We're going to the doctor, Mom? COOL!!!" Biscuit said.

Biscuit's doctor is in a big office building, and as I pulled into the parking lot, he looked around and said, "Yep. This is the doctor's office."

We rode the elevator, which apparently was very cool. And as we walked into the office, Biscuit immediately walked over to a mom and two kids and said, "I'm Griffin. That chair is red. Red is my favorite color."

The little girl was talking to her mom and didn't really acknowledge Biscuit. The boy was using one hand to slide beads around on one of those twisty wire things with the wooden base. When Biscuit walked up, the boy slid the toy toward the middle of the table like he was offering Biscuit a chance to play. I thought that was really sweet, but when I got to a position to see the kid's face, I realized he had the index finger on his free hand shoved middle-knuckle deep up his nose.

Seeing that, I sort of encouraged Biscuit to come over and read one of the books I had stashed in my pocketbook. We only read about two pages when the nurse called his name. We went back and Biscuit stepped on the scale. 29 1/2 pounds. He's still a little guy.

As a matter of fact, when I told my brother, he said, "Dang. A sack of taters weighs more than Biscuit does."

The doctor came in and spoke to Biscuit and me. He told Biscuit he was going to get his light set up and then he was going to check him out.

As the doctor started setting up, Biscuit reached down and pulled his pant leg up above his knee. I couldn't figure out what he was doing at first, but then I realized why HE thought we were at the doctor.

Labor Day weekend, Biscuit and I were in Georgia visiting family, and Biscuit tripped and went skidding across a concrete driveway. He completely removed the top layer of skin from his knee, and it bled and bled and bled. He was really tough about the whole thing and never actually cried. The sore healed, but he has about a quarter-sized slightly pink circle still on his knee.

Ever since he fell, Biscuit has been asking if we could have the doctor look at his knee. When I told him Jeff was going to the doctor last week (he had bronchitis), Biscuit asked if he could go with him because his knee was still hurting. I know his knee is fine because the only time he ever mentions it is when he sees it.

But as we were sitting in the doctor's office, it occurred to me that even though Biscuit's right eye was swollen almost completely shut, he honestly thought we were there to have his knee checked out.

The doctor rolled his stool over to the exam table, and Biscuit was looking down at his knee. I could tell that the doctor hadn't even noticed Biscuit's pants leg being pulled up, so I said, "Griffin fell a couple of months ago and has been asking ever since then if the doctor can take a look at his knee."

The doctor was so nice. He shined the light on the pink spot on Biscuit's knee and said, "I think you boo-boo looks really good. I think Mom should give it a couple of kisses, and it'll be okay. Now I need to look in your ears and nose and eyes, okay?"

The doctor emailed a prescription to the drugstore we use (ain't technology grand?!?), and Biscuit got two cool stickers. I was so glad the doctor humored us and looked at Biscuit's knee. I was also secretly glad I wouldn't hear anymore about how the boo-boo on his knee still hurt and how he needed to go to the doctor to get it fixed.

We gathered our stuff and headed out of the office. And I'm still surprised at what Biscuit said as we were walking down the hallway.

Biscuit was holding my hand, and he looked up at me with a concerned look and said, "Mom, I don't think my knee is really better."

Returning to the scene of the crime

Remember the meltdown to end all meltdowns at the diner?

We've returned a few times to the scene of the crime without much drama. But if I'm honest, I have to say that every time we've returned, I get a few butterflies in my stomach, wondering if there will be a repeat performance.

Last night, as we were finishing up our errands, Biscuit asked if we could have pancakes for dinner. And guess where he wanted them from. I looked at Jeff, and he said, "Sounds good to me."

We went to the diner and had a really nice dinner. The food was good. The boy was in a great mood. And it was just an overall enjoyable experience.

So imagine my surprise when the manager came over and started chatting. He asked Biscuit if his pancakes were good, how old he is and about the cars we had drawn on his paper placemat.

Then the manager said, "Wow. You are such a mature little boy. Good manners and so independent. I'll tell you what. If you finish your dinner, and Mom and Dad say it's okay, you can have a scoop of chocolate ice cream ... on me."

Now, Biscuit had just finished pancakes with syrup. The last thing I wanted him to have was more sugar, not to mention the chocolate. But it was such a nice gesture on the manager's part, I figured, what the heck.

Biscuit ate his pancakes so fast, I think he swallowed most of them whole. And with his mouth still crammed full of his last bite of pancakes, Biscuit said, "I can have my chocolate ice cream now?"

When the server came by to refill Jeff's coffee, I said to Biscuit, "Can you tell her what you want?"

He told her he wanted his chocolate ice cream, and he said please, and she brought him a dish that was mounding over with chocolate ice cream.

I helped him eat about a third of what was in the bowl, and he said, "I'm full, Mom. I'm done."

I said, "You're full? You don't want more ice cream?"

Griffin raised up his shirt and starting poking his belly button. "No more food," Biscuit said. "My hole is all full."

I couldn't help but laugh as we were leaving. All I could think was that this manager had no idea that only a couple of months ago, he probably would've been praying for us to hurry up and get out of his restaurant. But last night, he was rewarding our little man with ice cream.

Ah, the moods of a toddler.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's a deal

I was out and about a good part of today, and I wrongly assumed Jeff had already given Biscuit a bath. 

Jeff just looked at the clock and realized it was an hour later than he thought it was. He went to tell Biscuit, who was watching TV in our room, that they were going to take a quick shower, then Biscuit was going to bed.

"Biscuit, time slipped up on me, and we have to take a shower," Jeff said.

"Um, let's wait 'til this show is over and THEN take a shower," Biscuit said.

"It's a deal," Jeff said.

Let's see if Biscuit, who is already past his bedtime, is a good sport about honoring their deal.

My guess is no!


Odd twist to the pre-shower events.

Biscuit just came running, buck naked, into the living room and in a tiny little Edward G. Robinson voice said, "Yeah, see?" Then he ran back to our bedroom. Then Jeff did the same impersonation.

Sometimes, with boys and men, it's just best not to ask!

Of mimics and memories

Monkey see, monkey do and an elephant never forgets are the perfect cliches for Biscuit right now. He's been doing a lot of copycat behavior recently, and Jeff and I have been amazed lately at his memory.

Cell phone: I carry my cellphone in my front pants pocket. I don't really like having it with me all the time, but I do it in case day care needs to get in touch with me during the day. When Biscuit and I get ready to leave in the morning, I stop at the desk by the front door and stick my phone in my pocket. I guess Biscuit pays more attention to my routine than I realized because when we got to the pumpkin patch last Saturday, Biscuit had his cell phone in his front pocket. The funny thing is that it's a real cell phone. It belonged to Jeff's Dad (apparently the phone went swimming on a fishing trip), and he gave it to Biscuit to play with. It's pretty funny to see a toddler walking around talking on a real phone.

DVD player: Jeff and Biscuit were watching "Adam-12" one night in the living room. When the episode ended, Jeff hit the stop button on the remote. Biscuit got up, walked over to the DVD player, hit eject, took out the DVD and hit the off button. Did I mention that Biscuit has never been allowed to touch the DVD player? Apparently, he's seen us work the player enough so he knew exactly what to do.

Dishwasher: We had a similar experience with the dishwasher. I put the soap in and closed the door, and Bisuit said, "I want to push the button." Before I could point to the "Normal" button, he had already pushed it. There are 8 buttons on the front of that dishwasher, and he knew exactly which one would start it up.

Red head: Last weekend, I was coloring my hair (Shhhh. Don't tell. I have a wee bit of gray I have to cover up.), and Biscuit walked up and asked what was on my head. "I'm fixing my hair," I said to him. "Is your hair red yet, Mom?" Biscuit asked. I only color my hair once every two months or so, and I never mentioned to Jeff or Biscuit that I was going to color my hair that day. I have no idea why or how he remembered that the stuff on my head was what makes my hair red.

George: Dr Pepper recently ran a tuition contest, and they put the winner, whose name is George, on the side of the cans. I was drinking a Dr Pepper one afternoon, and Biscuit asked me who was on the can. I told him it was a guy named George. Two weeks later ... TWO WEEKS ... I was sitting in the living room holding a can of Dr Pepper. Biscuit walked up to me and said, "Is that George on that can, Mom?" I told him it was and asked him how in the world he remembered that. Biscuit looked at me and said, "Um, because his name is George." Okay then.

Books: Biscuit can recite whole passages of books. He loves stories. And he often takes parts of several stories and puts them together. Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don't. But either way, it's pretty impressive how much he can glean from hearing a story only one or two times. Sometimes he'll say to Jeff and me, "Hey guys, listen to a story ..." then he'll open his hands like he's opening a book and say "Once upon a time ..." Then he'll proceed to tell us bits and pieces of things he's heard recently.

Sometimes when Biscuit says or does things, Jeff and I look at each other with amazement. Usually it's because we have absolutely no idea where Biscuit heard or saw whatever it is that he's repeating. I hope Biscuit's inquisitive nature continues throughout his life and that his memories serve him well.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Closing the deal

We have been incredibly lucky with the massive amounts of gifts and hand-me-downs we've received since Biscuit was born. So I've tried to give as much as we've gotten.

The problem now is that the three little boys who were the main recipients of our hand-me-down clothes have outgrown Biscuit. One of the boys is about 4 months younger than Biscuit, and the other two are a year younger. But Biscuit is still small for his age and has grown pretty slowly. As a matter of fact, he'll be 3 next month, and he has just now moved into 2T clothes.

Anyway, we got a flyer week before last on our mailbox that said there was a neighborhood yard sale planned for this morning. The home owners' association was going to advertise the event, and everybody in the neighborhood was welcome to set up sales in their yards.

Since we recently found out we aren't going to have any more children, I decided that I needed to purge our house of baby stuff. Yard sale, here we come!

Last weekend, I sorted all the clothes by size and bagged up some items, like 6 pairs of socks in a bag or 4 bibs or 3 burp cloths. I didn't want to deal with a bunch of 25-cent or 50-cent items. I marked the clothes at $1 for each item, then individually priced the toys and some other things.

I got up at 6 a.m. and started setting up. I had a table for each size of clothes (0-3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months and 18 months), a table for toys and books, a table for socks, shoes and other stuff and a hanging rack for coats and multiple-piece outfits. I didn't know if I was being too orderly by separating the sizes like that, but according to three different ladies, they bought more stuff at my sale because they didn't have to sort through, looking for the sizes they needed.

I got my first customer at 7:15 a.m. People came and went until about 11:30. I waited it out until noon and called it quits. I made more money than I thought I would make, and when I packed up the leftovers, I brought in less than half of what I had put out. I call that a success.

The first part of the morning, I was on my own. But Jeff had to leave for work about 10:30 a.m., so about 10, he said he needed to get ready to go, and he brought Biscuit out to me. I was a little worried about keeping up with Biscuit and customers, but it turns out, I should've had him out there the whole time. My little man is quite the salesman.

He spoke to everyone who came up and told people that the clothes and stuff at our sale was stuff from when he was "a wittle, bitty baby."

Biscuit asked me about the books and toys on the one table, and I said, "Those are things for little boys, and you're a big boy now. We'll give those books and toys to people, and they'll give us money for them."

You know how they say be careful what you say because you'll hear it come back to you? Well, it's true.

One lady walked up and asked how much the books were. I told her, and Biscuit walked over and said, "You can have those books for some money." That lady bought 6 books!

He said to one lady, "You have a wittle baby. This stuff is for wittle babies." She bought a sackful of clothes.

I think we might have found our boy's calling!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cowboy Biscuit

When I was a kid, I remember all the little boys having cowboy boots. Most of them were black with white, swirly stitching. So when Biscuit got on his horse and cowboy kick, I thought it might be fun to get him some boots.

It sounds like a simple-enough idea, but it was way harder than I thought it would be. Most of the boots I found were real-live Western boots ... as in leather with leather inlay and leather soles. They cost about $50 to $70 a pair. Um, no thanks.

The other boots I found were covered in cartoon characters. And I wasn't interested in those, either. A respectable cowboy can't be walking around with cartoon race cars on his boots!

The closest thing I could find to plain ol' cowboy boots was a pair that looked like brown Western boots on the bottom with thick camo fabric on top. They're not exactly what I was looking for, but when he's wearing them, his pants cover up the camo part and they look like regular boots. They were also in my price range, another important feature.

When I took them out of the packaging, Biscuit went crazy. He was wearing his pajamas at the time, but it didn't matter. He wanted his boots on RIGHT THEN! There he was, clomping around the house in pajamas with monkeys all over them and brand-new cowboy boots.

I should've gotten the video camera out to record him learning to walk in them, but I couldn't stop laughing long enough. He was taking really long strides and sort of leaning back a bit. Remember the "keep on truckin'" guy from the 70s? He looked sort of like that.

Anyway, he hasn't had a chance to wear them out and about, but he asks to put them on at home so he can stomp around.

Here's Cowboy Biscuit striking a pose in his new boots.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Big, giant race

Biscuit told me he had made a big, giant race. 

"It has cars and trucks and everything, Mom," he said.

I guess we should find him a checkered flag because right now, he waves the American flag to start his races.

I'm not quite sure in which direction he intended for all these cars to go, but he declared a winner.

Oh yeah, guess what color the winner was?!? Yep, red. "Red's my favorite color."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sometimes you can't win

Yesterday evening, while I was running a couple of errands, Jeff called to tell me that Biscuit had done his business in the potty.

This was big news.

We've been encouraging potty training, but Biscuit just hasn't seemed that interested in it. Jeff and I are on the same page about the whole thing, which is good. We want to encourage Biscuit, but we don't want to nag and push him into doing anything he isn't ready to do. Our philosophy is that it'll happen when the timing is right.

Anyway, when Jeff called, he asked if I would pick up a little prize for Biscuit's accomplishment, and I told him I would. 

Our son loves flashlights (or as he calls them "fash-wights") and for $3, I bought him a Spider-Man flashlight that I knew he would love.

I brought it home and handed the bag to Jeff. He loaded up the batteries, made a big fuss to Biscuit, telling him how proud he was about his bathroom accomplishment, then gave Biscuit the flashlight.

Biscuit was thrilled.

About 5 minutes after the grand presentation, the flashlight stopped working. Jeff checked it out and realized that the bulb had blown. And to make matters worse, they had glued shut the plastic housing where the bulb was. There was no way to get that part of the light open without breaking the plastic.

We explained to Biscuit that the light was broken and that we would get him a replacement. In the meantime, I got out a small flashlight I keep in the kitchen and gave it to Biscuit.

"Until we get your flashlight replaced, you can play with my flashlight, okay, Biscuit?" I said to him as I handed him the light.

Apparently, my flashlight was not satisfactory. When I handed it to him, he threw it on the floor.

"No! I don't want THAT fash-wight," Biscuit said.

I explained to Biscuit in no uncertain terms that we do not throw things and that we take care of our things and if he couldn't abide by those two rules, he wouldn't get to play with any of his things anymore.

For some reason, he didn't like hearing any of that.

I told Biscuit to pick up the flashlight and bring it to me. He plopped down on the floor, reached over and gave the flashlight a shove on the floor. It rolled over a few times and stopped about a foot away from Biscuit.

He KNEW that I wasn't happy because he wouldn't look at me. With his head still lowered, he cut his eyes up at me just long enough to see that I was staring at him with no expression on my face.

"Pick up the flashlight and bring it to me ... now," I said.

He brought the light over and handed it to me. Then just to improve his situation, he said, "I'm sorry, Mom" and hugged my leg. I looked over at Jeff and rolled my eyes. This child is 2 years old, and he's trying to play me.

A little while later, I was changing Biscuit into his pajamas. He was standing on my bed as I was adjusting his pants, and he said, "Mom, are you angry?" 

What a horrible question. Of COURSE I was angry. I was fuming. I was so mad and felt cheated that the stupid light I bought him as a reward broke after 5 minutes. I was frustrated with how Biscuit had acted when I gave him the substitute flashlight. I was steaming over the fact that something that should have been so simple had become so complicated.

"No. I'm not angry," I said to Biscuit. "I'm very proud of you for using the potty."

"Thanks, Mom," Biscuit said. "I'm proud for you, too."

"Biscuit, I want you to remember that you have to take care of your toys," I said. "The only thing I want to see you throwing is a ball, okay?"

"Okay," he said.

As I was setting Biscuit down off the bed, I realized his feet were cold, so I told him to run into the living room and sit with Jeff while I found his slippers. I grabbed his slippers out of the bathroom floor and headed toward the living room. I stopped at the edge of the dining room and pitched Biscuit's slippers over to the couch where he and Jeff were sitting. I knew as soon as those slippers left my hands what I had just done.

"MOM! You DON'T throw things, Mom. Do you hear me? You DON'T throw things," Biscuit said. I think he even had his teeth clenched when he said it.

Well, at least he heard what I was trying to say.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First paying job

Biscuit had his first paying job today. He got a whole 10 cents for a job well done.

When Jeff got to day care to pick up Biscuit, he found him in the 3-year-old classroom with kids of assorted ages. At the end of the day, when there are only a few kids left, the classes often get combined.

The teacher had asked the kids to help pick up the toys in the room, but apparently, Biscuit was the only one who helped.

So when Jeff walked in, she walked over and asked, "Can he have this?" motioning to the dime she had in her hand.

Jeff said, "Sure. Where did it come from?"

She explained that since Biscuit helped her clean up when the others didn't, she wanted to give him a reward.

Biscuit doesn't understand the concept of money yet, but he does know how his dolphin-shaped bank works. You drop the coin in the dolphin's mouth, and it rolls in a zig-zag pattern all the way down to a clear bubble that's supposed to be the dolphin's belly.

I think we'll go ahead and feed the dolphin tonight before Uncle Sam gets word of Biscuit's earnings and comes after his share.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few recent comments from Biscuit:

Doggie: "Fetch, Boy. Go get it," Biscuit said to his little plastic dog. 

It's a white and brown dog on a leash. As Biscuit pulls the dog by the leash, he makes a squeaky little sound that's supposed to be a bark.

"Mom, can you pet my dog? He's soft," Biscuit said as he rubbed the dog's plastic head.

"Wow. He IS soft," I said to Biscuit. "What's your doggie's name?"

"He's named Boy," Biscuit said. "You know, like, 'Come on, Boy.'"

Biscuit started walking and pulling his doggie behind him. He took a corner a little too sharp, and his dog fell over.

"Oh, no! My doggie fell down," Biscuit said. "Can you help him, Mom? You're Dog Doctor."

"Okay, bring him to me," I told Biscuit. He brought the doggie over, and I messed around with him for a few seconds, then I said to Biscuit, "Okay, he's all better."

"Thanks, Dog Doctor. He's really, really better now," Biscuit said.

Farm animals: "Mom, this is a horse. Horses are farm animals. Cows and pigs are farm animals, too." Then he held up a frog. "Frogs are not farm animals. They're hoppity animals. They hop, hop, hop. They're hoppity."

Bring on the rock 'n' roll: Jeff and Biscuit went out to dinner tonight. As they were eating, Biscuit said, "Dad, I don't like this music. This music is too quiet. The restaurant music is too quiet, Dad. Can you ask them to play some rock 'n' roll?"

You can't be offended: In the past week, my son has called me "The Man," a pig, a dog and a monster.

You might think that I would be terribly offended, but instead of jumping to the conclusion that my son is being rude, I have to wait and hear him out.

"Mom, you're The Man," Biscuit said to me. I said OK and asked him what the man was supposed to do. "The Man turns the movie on so we can watch it. You can turn the movie on, Man?"
On another day, Biscuit was talking about farm animals and said, "Mom, you're a pig." Again, you can't assume that he's being rude. You have to wait for the explanation. "I'm a horse. Naaaay. Naaaay. What do you say, Mom?" And that's my cue to snort, grunt and say "oink."

My only complaint is that the worst thing Jeff has been called is "customer." Biscuit said, "Dad, you're the customer, and I'm the helper." Biscuit paused for a minute, then said, "How can I help you, customer?"

Maybe I'll tell Biscuit that Dad wants to play jungle, and that he really wants to be a snake!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin patch

Yesterday afternoon, we went to a pumpkin patch/corn maze/petting zoo-type place with a couple of our friends (and their son, who is a few months younger than Biscuit). It's something I wanted to do last year but never got around to actually doing. So when our friends offered an invitation to join them, I didn't hesitate to say yes. 

Plus, our boys get along well together. We met at their house, and as we stepped up onto the front porch, their son walked over to Biscuit and said, "Look at my Spider-Man" then handed over his Spider-Man action figure. According to his parents, it was a pretty big deal because he LOVES his superheroes. Biscuit checked out the Spider-Man, then said, "Look at my horses" and handed over one of the horses he was carrying (speaking of big deals!).
The farm was about a 20-minute drive from our friends' house, and the whole way, Biscuit was asking if we were going to see the horses. I didn't know if there were going to be any horses, so I tried to prepare him for the worst. I told him we were going to a farm, and in his mind, a farm is not a farm without horses.

Luckily, they did have a pony, and that was close enough. They also had some chickens, a calf, a sheep, a couple of pot-bellied pigs and some rabbits.

We decided to go on the hay ride, so we walked up the hill to a big tractor with a long trailer behind it. I was a little surprised to realize that instead of sitting on hay bales, we would be riding on nice, cushioned boat seats ... not that I was complaining. While we were on the hay ride, we saw a couple of horses and some geese and ducks down by a pretty pond. Those horses added to the pony we had seen earlier seemed to be enough for horse-crazy Biscuit.

I've always wanted to do one of the big corn mazes, but I went to the website for this farm, and their corn maze was about 6 acres. If it had been just Jeff and me, I would definitely have done it. But all I could think of was getting halfway through it, Biscuit getting bored and melting down. Needless to say, that would not have made for a happy afternoon. So we were quite content to skip the maze and hang out in the kids' area.

They had these cool bouncy horses that were a lot like the Hippety-Hops we had as kids. There were three different sizes, so Jeff, Biscuit and I each had a horse that worked for us. When we lined them up beside each other, Jeff said it looked like the opening seen of "Bonanza." So of course, I had to hum the theme song while we bounced.

They also had a barrel train that was quite ingenious. They laid hand trucks down and hooked them together. Then they took oil drums and cut holes in them and built wooden platform seats. They mounted the oil drums on top of the hand trucks and hooked the whole thing behind a small tractor. I think both boys enjoyed it.
Our friends' son was fascinated by Charlotte's Web. It was a web made of rope and netting that kids could climb on. Biscuit got on the web for a few minutes but didn't stay for long.

"Mom, spiders live in webs. I don't want the spiders to get me," Biscuit said. I tried to explain to him that it was a play web, not a real one, but he wasn't buying it. He wanted to get off the web and go back to the bouncy horses.

By the time we left, both boys were pretty tired. Biscuit was asleep before we made it out of the parking lot. He slept all the way home, then I carried him into the house and tucked him into my bed, where he slept another 3 hours. 

Biscuit slept so hard that when he got up, he thought it was the next day. He walked over to Jeff and said, "Dad, do you remember yesterday when we played on the horses at the farm?"

I think everybody had a good time.