Sunday, January 21, 2007

Beware of Overprotective Father

The past two weeks have been very, very cold. Something about an Arctic cold front from the north. All I know is that it's been too cold for the girls to go outside.

So this weekend, when the weather finally warmed up a bit, we lost no time in taking the girls out to the local park to stretch their legs.

On Saturday, I took the girls by myself to the park while Terri was working. Our park is great, because it has an enclosed playground especially for infants and toddlers, away from the "big kids" playground. There is a fence enclosing the entire playground, with safety gates to keep toddlers from running off into the main park.

As I approached the play area, I noticed that there was a set of grandparents who had brought a toddler into the playground. The toddler was off climbing the play structure with grandma, while grandpa sat at a bench, reading a book.

Sitting on the ground next to grandpa was a small dog, about two feet long, one foot tall, white and fluffy.

I immediately noticed that the dog was unleashed in the toddler area, and other than grandma, grandpa, and their grandchild, there were no other kids in the play area.

Now, if it were just me, a small, 2' x 1' white fluffy dog would be no reason for concern. But being alone with two 18 months old, my internal "Daddy" alarms went off. Just a small nip of a finger from a strange dog could have huge consequences.

My worst fears were realized when I opened the toddler gate and pushed the girls' stroller into the play area.

The dog got up to see what the commotion was.

Grandpa didn't look up from his book.

The dog walked over to the stroller.

Grandpa didn't look up from his book.

When the dog got about two feet from the stroller, grandpa still hadn't moved, and the girls were starting to whimper, as if to say, "Surely, Dad, you are not going to let this monster get too much closer to us?"

When the dog was close enough to jump or bark at my girls, and grandpa still hadn't moved, I finally took action. I used my foot, and gently nudged the dog away from the stroller and back towards the bench where grandpa was sitting.

Grandpa FINALLY looked up from his book. "Oh, he won't bite," said grandpa.

Trying to be polite, yet firm, I responded, "Yeah, well, my girls don't know that, and proportionally, he's as big as a horse to them!" I smiled, even though I wanted to shout, "Get your dog out of the toddler play area!"

My tone must have had just enough of an edge to it, because grandpa was nice enough to take the dog and tie him up to the gate just outside the play area.

I may not have made friends with grandpa this weekend, but at least I'm not taking the girls into the hospital for rabies shots!


On a final note, there are two great things about taking the girls to the park:

1) They love climbing the play structure, riding the swings, and playing in the sand.

2) They fall asleep about an hour earlier on nights when they get to go to the park!

Playing in the sand (color is funny because I used my cell phone camera).
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Caroline looking for a Ritz cracker.
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Watchin' the tennis players.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Time Flies

Last night I dismantled the girls' cribs in anticipation of twin beds being delivered tomorrow.

Holy cow, they are growing up fast!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Car Wars

The girls are fighting over one of these cars today:

YES. There are two of them. YES. They are exactly the same. NO. I don't know how they can tell one apart from the other.

My girls are nuts sometimes.

Here they are fighting over a bag. Yes a bag. We have, like, HUNDREDS of them. Yet they both wanted THIS one.

Is it wrong as the Father to sit back and laugh silently to myself while they fight over a bag?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Mystery at the Mall

Back on Christmas Eve, after we took the photo of Santa (see "Girls' Second Christmas"), we stuck around the mall to let the girls run around a bit and relax from the horror of meeting St. Nick.

While following Caroline as she wandered around the front of the Nordstrom Cafe, I came upon this scene:

It is was a table in which no one was sitting. On the table, however, were the following items:

  • A large M&M cookie with one small bite taken out of it.
  • A child's cup of milk, still completely full.
  • A glass of ice water with the ice cubes still unmelted.
  • Six napkins in various states of use.

Caroline stayed in the area for over 20 minutes, and no one returned to the table. No one cleared the table, presumably because they were waiting for someone to come back. After all, no one abandons a perfectly good (and expensive) Nordstrom Cafe cookie, milk, and water for no good reason.

As we finally left the area, I took the above photo, and forgot about it until downloading images from my camera into my computer this evening.

I took the photo, because I was curious: What happened to the people at this table?

A few conclusions that I've deduced from the photo:

  1. There was a child sitting at the table, as evidenced from the child's cup of milk.
  2. The child most likely was eating the cookie, as evidenced from the small bite taken out of the cookie.
  3. There was only one parent with the child, as evidenced from the fact that only two chairs were set around the table.
  4. The child and parent had just sat down when they left in a great hurry, not even bothering to take the cookie or their drinks, as evidenced from the fact that the child only managed to take one small bite of the cookie, and drank almost none of the milk.
  5. The child and parent had left just minutes before Caroline and I wandered by, as evidenced from the ice still in the cup of water.

However, as to what actually happened, I have no clue. However, as a parent of twins, I was able to come up with a few theories:

  1. The child threw the mother-of-all-temper-tantrums, causing the parent to pull the child out of the mall in a great hurry, without taking the expensive snack and drinks.
  2. The child's nose started to bleed, requiring the parent to rush the child to the bathroom. There, they either left for home, or it took over 20 minutes to stop the bleeding, at which point the parent thought their snack would have been tossed out, and they abandoned the snack without coming back.
  3. The child wet/pooped in his/her pants, requiring a hasty exit from the mall, again abandoning aforementioned snacks.
  4. The other parent found child and parent at the table, and had found an incredible deal on overstocked beef sticks at the Hickory Farms wagon, and the family rushed off to buy them, abandoning the cookie and drinks.
  5. The child and parent walked into a nearby store just for a minute, fully meaning to come back to their table. However, when they returned, a strange man was taking a picture of their cookie and drinks, and so they ran off to report him to security. When they returned, he was gone!

We'll never know why that poor cookie, milk, and water were abandoned. But feel free to leave a creative comment on what you think happened.

New Year's Eve Review

New Year's Eve - 11:35 p.m.

Am I at a party? No.

Am I drinking champagne? No.

Am I dressed in formalwear? No.

I am a parent of 17 month olds. I just finished putting Caroline down in her bed, and now I'm watching "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" -- with the volume muted, of course.

I realized that I haven't done an update on the girls development in quite a while. Like many parents who blog, I use this blog as a future baby-book for the girls, so it's important to occassionally update what they are doing developmentally.

So without futher ado in the final 25 minutes of 2006, here is a recap of what Katherine and Caroline are doing as of December 31, 2006:

  • Walking, running, climbing, and falling. Their favorite furniture to climb is the sofa in the family room.

  • Climbing the sofa.
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  • Riding their "Little Moose Mountain" cars around and around the house.

  • Pushing each other around in their "Little Moose Mountain" cars.

  • Fighting for toys when they think Mommy and Daddy aren't watching.

  • Fighting for Mommy's purse.
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  • Hugging each other when they realize Mommy and Daddy ARE watching.

  • Hugging each other after fighting for Mommy's purse.
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  • Saying the following words, among others: "Kitty-cat", "doggy", "more", "all done", "no", "stop it", "yes", "WOW!" "YEAH!"

  • Dancing to every song their hear.

  • Dancing to "Ring-Around-the-Rosey" with each other and with Mommy and Daddy

  • Holding hands in preparation for dancing.
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  • Favorite Foods: Cheerios, Kix, Cheese, Mac 'n Cheese, Fruit (all kinds!) and Teddy Grahams.
Snacking on Teddy Grahams
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