Stop Making Sense

Miles quite taken recently with calling things (and sometimes people) “dumb” or “stupid.” Trying to wean him off this verbiage, Amy told him a better way to express himself would be to say “xxx doesn’t make any sense.” Which, by evening, turned into “I don’t want to eat this soup. It doesn’t make any sense.”

He’s been running around the house lately, inexplicably pleading “The taxes are going to get me! Save me from the taxes!” This morphed from last week’s variant on the same theme: “Save me from the ticklers!,” which he started saying after holding a live starfish and being tickled by its thousand sucker feet. You know how it goes – starfish, 1040EZ, all on the same continuum.

Fly On, Little Wing

M Trapeze 1     M Trapeze 2    M Trapeze 3

Miles and I trekked up to the Physics of the Circus exhibit at the Lawrence Hall of Science recently — he was just big enough to be allowed on the trapeze. Talk about one of those days when I wished I had a proper camera on me. This cell phone business doesn’t cut it. He wasn’t heavy enough to bounce it himself, so they had to “fly” him manually by tugging rhythmically on the elastic stays. Then I got a turn to get harnessed up and try some flip-dee-doos (which was exhausting). In mid-twist, I heard a small voice calling to me from the ground: “You’re doing great, Daddy!” Wanted to jump down and hug him.

Yesterday, zookeepers from the East Bay Vivarium came to Miles’ preschool. When they asked if anyone wanted to volunteer to let a tarantula walk on their head, M’s hand shot up. No shots of that, but he apparently wasn’t scared a bit.

Fly on, little wing.

Poop for the Circus

At a playground under the BART tracks, Amy and Miles came across dozens of pieces of honeycomb and hundreds of dead bees, a beehive fallen from high above (apparently after having been sprayed). Amy was marveling at how perfect the hexagons were, such a feat of nature.

Miles: “These bees are so talented, they could make honeycomb for the circus. [Pause]. If they weren’t so dead.”

Lately Miles has been announcing that his poop looks like various letters of the alphabet. Last night he yelled from the bathroom “I made the letter T!” Amy asked him if he thought he could poop his way through the whole alphabet.

Miles bragged: “I’m such a talented pooper, I could poop for the circus!”

Music: Mission of Burma :: The Mute Speaks Out

Rocket to Mars

Miles and I made a rocketship a few weekends ago. It was all his idea – he saw a pile of cardboard on the curb and said “Daddy let’s make a rocket!” Outta nowhere. Lots of cutting and taping and gluing and painting (yes, much of the paint ended up on his legs and on the deck). Had to go online to remind myself how to make a cone (just cut out 1/4 pie from a disc and it’ll curve up nicely). A brave knight’s helmet will service in a pinch as a space helmet. Great weekend project. Of course it’s been sitting in the garage since that day…. but it’s the fun of making that matters.

Miles Rocket1   Miles Rocket2   Miles Rocket3

Yesterday was his “four and a half-est birthday,” which called for the making of a cake covered in green frosting grass. Make make make. That’s all we do around here lately. And I love that. He still talks about last year’s Maker Faire, and we’re pumped to go again this May.

Music: Sweet Honey In The Rock :: Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed On Freedom

Dr. Miles, At Your Service

Amy and Miles decided to play doctor. Amy describes the scene:

Miles set up a doctor’s office in his bedroom yesterday, and I got treated. I thought you might like to hear about his techniques.

The nice thing about this doctor’s office is that you get to sit upon two pillows, so it’s kind of like having a little throne. The doctor first ran a green crayon down my arm and then kind of pushed it in to draw some blood. I got a Barbie band aid for that. At this point, the brilliant doctor already knew what was wrong with me. A bone had broken somewhere in my body, and when it fell off, it made a hole in my heart. He crammed my left hand into a toilet paper tube and then inserted the whole hand into a little plastic oven (from his play dough toys). There was a whooshing sound as more air went into my body. Finally, a small, plastic red thing was kind of plunged in and out of my mouth a few times and I was ready to go.

On my second visit to the doctor, I was diagnosed as having a crammed tummy. This procedure is easy. You just take a magnolia seed pod and crunch it around in the patient’s belly button. This will uncram everything.

While we were playing, I asked Miles if he would like a doctor’s kit for Christmas and then immediately regretted it. What fun is a stethoscope when you can have your hand crammed into a toilet paper tube? Maybe he’ll forget that I brought that up.

Music: Herbie Hancock :: Succotash

Sleep Elixir Eno

Bedtimes for Miles have become more time-consuming in recent months, as he finds more ways to push all the right buttons. “Please stay Daddy. I love you, and I miss you so much when you’re at work.” Cripes, what are you going to say to that? So I lie with him, tell another story… eventually try to leave the room and “the arm” reaches out, hooks me by the shoulder. “Please… please… stay.” Get firm about it and either he wails or gets up and walks into the living room. Bedtime has become a nightly two-hour ritual.

Then, last week, I brought a CD player into his room and put on Brian Eno’s “Thursday Afternoon.” Suddenly, things were different. He drifted off within minutes. Totally at peace with bedtime. Burned copies of Apollo, Compact Forest Proposal, and Plateaux of Mirrors for him (summary review). Not always perfect, but even when it doesn’t work, few things could compare to the absolutely peaceful feeling of napping at the end of a long day, listening to Eno by night-light with your three-year-old son’s arm wrapped around you.

Then, tonight, halfway through Apollo, he suddenly sat up and asked, “Daddy, what is this? Sad music for a doctor’s office?”

Music: Brian Eno :: Bottomliners