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Friday, September 11, 2009

Fatherhood Friday post: From Chaos to Routine

The past two weeks have been nice, as we have avoided much of the chaos that defined most of the early summer and the past month since Eli moved in. We are snuggly wrapped up in our own routines with school, work, and daycare and life seems to be settling into a delightfully predictable grind. I went back to work full time mid-August but we did not have daycare for a variety of reasons (our day care lady’s desire to be a carnie, black mold, the usual). That left Tod with two kids who were still getting to know each other and the limits of our patience and that made for some stressful days indeed. I took advantage of my Dean’s offer for FMLA time off and ended up missing two of the Professional Development days offered the week before classes started. It was nice to have that down time to do nothing. No really, we did NOTHING one whole day. We sat on our butts and watched T.V. It was magical.
Since then, Tod has gone back to work, and Eli has survived his second week of daycare. He doesn’t seem to be too worse for the wear, but the mornings are a little stressful, as his screams come through the walls as we walk to the car to go to work. He is becoming more vocal, and any day now will start using words. I can feel it. Right now, he’s still in caveman mode, and relies on his canon of grunts and other noises to make his requests or displeasure known. He’s also quite the little beat box, and produces some amazing noises that Biz Markie would love to have in his repertoire.
He’s also become much bolder around Anna. He initially just took whatever she did to him, stealing his toys, hitting him, biting him, etc. Now he’s much more active in his reaction to these offenses and there have been moments where we have had to bite our tongues so we didn’t LOL at the situation before us. A perfect example of this took place at Tod’s parent’s house. Anna was playing with some Legos, and Eli had two of them that were ACROSS THE ROOM from her. She spied them in his hands and rushed over to grab them from him telling him, “NO ELI! I was playing with them, they’re MINE!”

Ever seen “Finding Nemo?”

Remember the seagulls?

MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXRgpum7OUo

Eli went about his business and found some other blocks and put together a pretty sizeable stack. He then came up behind Anna and smashed the blocks over her head just like a wrestler would do with a folding chair over his opponent’s head. He squealed with glee as he brought down the blocks to her head and then ran off. Anna then stood up screaming and crying in “pain”. I am certain that there was some pain involved, but I am also certain that this wasn’t just her head that was hurting, but also her pride. I had to look away as she put on the act of her young life and feigned outrage over his behavior. The pressure in my head from stifling the laugh about caused a hemorrhage in my skull.
But lessons were indeed learned that day. Anna quickly found out that Eli will be (and quite possibly already is…) a formidable opponent. They are now playing together in that bizarre way kids play. Many times this play is just running around screaming at each other and laughing hysterically when they catch each other or when they fall. Car trips are insanely loud, as Anna can get Eli to crack up by doing godknowswhat to him in the backseat. This causes her to giggle, which causes him to laugh even harder and it continues until my ears are ringing. The laughter is infectious and we usually join in or just shake our heads and drive on. They may not be siblings by birth, but they are falling into the groove of what it’s like to be brother and sister quite easily. Life is good and I am happy for that.