BB’s potty training is going well. He wears pull ups at bedtime and is even sometimes dry in the morning. He wakes me up at 5am to announce he has to go to the bathroom even though the potty chair is in his room. A fact I blame on the darkness. Damn you Fall/Winter. However, he has started to do something I can’t really explain. He will go to the potty either by asking or being told like at school and he will make peeps for sometimes almost a minute. However, occasionally about 3 minutes after he goes he says he has to go again. Oh, did I forget to tell you that if he ever asks to go to the potty that usually means he just went in his pants, the chair, the floor any surface that exists. It is really weird. While we are unpacking the potty stuff we might as well discuss his number twos. He weighs about 31 pounds and when he goes solids there is a volume issue that I challenge NASA to try and explain. Either way like all parenting issues, there are good days and bad days. I just accept that not only do I need to keep a change of his clothes in the car, but mine as well.
We were driving to one of 75 Fall festivals this weekend and I was trying to listen to The Mommy give me directions from the sweet app Waze (even if the new design stinks) and the boys were being their typical selves. I told them “Stop talking I need to concentrate.” This simple act started a chain reaction that resulted in BB telling anyone who would listen that we all needed to be quiet since he needed to concentrate. The circumstances of this announcement/whine felt random and without a true need to be silently pensive. I guess in theory based on the total number of times he told us, I’m sure at least one of them he actually did need to concentrate.
I know what you are thinking, if BB is the human tornado and the one man wrecking crew aka the destroyer of books, why would we read him a book called “I Want to Eat Your Books”? Well, frankly we are trying to distract him because idle hands etc. Karin Lefranc’s new book with art by Tyler Parker kills two birds by being about Zombies so that LTD will dig it and the message of friendship is nice for BB. The tale wastes no time in getting to the Zombie wandering around school. However, we quickly learn the Zombie is a new student. No Walking Dead references here, instead of brains the new kid eats books. As usual I won’t spoil the ending but I will hint that eventually books go un-eaten. Also in honor of the upcoming holiday of All Hallows Eve a surprise guest makes a cameo at the end of the book.
I’m not hip enough to teach the boys about Banksy, but they certainly know their Legos. Jeff Friesen’s book honoring the street artist, Bricksy, Unauthorized Underground Brick Street Art has inspired LTD and given BB a good chuckle. The thing I like best about the photos of Legos in various street scenes is that the boys learn that one can use Legos to create anything. A lot of kids simply make the X-Wing fighter or Batmobile on the box and never experiment or use the Legos to create their own designs. The book uses an original Banksy in the corner to create a larger spoof splash page. The only down side is that since LTD is an artist (as he will tell anyone who asks or doesn’t ask) he know has another tool in his toolbox to create amazing works. Like we needed an excuse to buy more Legos.
With two boys running around we don’t have a lot of princess stuff in the toy chest. Okay, we don’t have any, but usually the guys don’t play the gender card and certainly talk about Frozen when they see it. However, LTD has on occasion identified pink items to be avoided. That is why The Mommy and I encourage the reading of books with female protagonists. Ava the Monster Slayer is one such book. Lisa Maggiore’s story with pics by Ross Felten centers around the glasses wearing, stuffed animal pig carrying Ava and her quest to retrieve said pig from the dryer in the basement.The message of the book is particularity useful as LTD refuses to go upstairs alone to put on his PJ’s even though it is light out. On a side note he will request BB go with him, which I find funny because whatever is upstairs that frightens him, he thinks BB will either fight or serve as a human shield. The action is depicted with a colorful comic book style kinetic energy and while not be too scary doesn’t paint the monsters as being cute. In fact they are worthy of slaying. Of course long time BTCS readers know I will not spoil the ending of a book, but as I often write, I think you know that Ava’s piggy doesn’t get eaten by monsters.
Since it is almost time for our annual trek into NYC I thought the boys would like a pep talk for dealing with the people of said city who occasionally exhibit a less than friendly attitude. Kelly Canby’s new book, All the Lost Things focuses on a little girl named Olive and her adventures in the city. The tale centers around her noticing everyone being cranky and feeling bummed about it until she finds basically a lost and founds under the street. The art is funky with almost a graffiti vibe and features hand written text which makes the book more kinetic. In keeping with BTCS policy of not spoiling the ending I will tell you that Olive gets to take items out of the lost and found and use them back in the city in her quest to get everyone out of their stress of the city induced funk. The only challenge will be explaining to the boys that next time we are in the city they won’t find any lost and found under the streets except maybe an alligator or CHUD.
Now that BB is way past allowing us to be in a stroller and way way past sitting still, I find that not only does my back constantly hurt but so do my feet. The Mommy has strict rules about what I can wear in public and shoes with holes do not make that list. Rockport’s Walk 360 Oxford handles two of my concerns. One they look cool and the sole has this special design that LTD thinks makes the shoes look like they are from the future. Secondly, they sport hard core cushioning so my dogs don’t bark when I spend all day chasing BB from one end of the Earth to the other. Additionally, they feature something I never knew I needed which is a good amount of breathability. How do I know this, you ask? Well, when I get home my socks aren’t drench in gross foot sweat which was a strong feature of my old shoes. Shoes are one of those things that you always forget are important like a good mattress, but now that I actually notice a different it is probably time to start paying more attention. Of course BB pretended to eat my feet the other day so maybe I won’t need shoes soon.
As summer winds down the boys wanted a taste of what is to come. Mary Ann Fraser’s No Yeti Yet is the perfect precursor to the winter ahead. The tale takes place during a very snowy day as two brothers (one skeptical) hunt for Yeti. As the boys search they question various aspects of the titular Yeti’s qualities. However, and without giving spoilers, the true magic of the book is that the Yeti is actually on every page. While the brothers in the book are having trouble seeing the creature my boys have no problem announcing loudly in my ear that they have succeeded where others have failed. But don’t worry the boys in the book get an answer to their questions in a very cool way.
Now that BB has started the official preschool room things have moved to a whole new level. The teachers don’t want to see any diapers and so potty training is in full swing. LTD is in charge of morale, happy to give BB an M&M for a job well done (and happy take one himself as a fee). BB loves wearing under wear and has taken to the potty without trauma. He still doesn’t really understand the cause and effect in terms of need based potty use, but the school takes him so often that it seems like a barely has a chance not to go. So we are deep into extra clothes and travel pottys’ but BB is learning quickly. In fact he has made several pronouncements as of late. Just so everyone is clear, the step stool is not a potty, Batman is not a potty, Wonder Woman is not a potty, Daddy is not a potty. and the list goes on and on. One thing is certain with one in first grade and one almost out of diapers we don’t have babies anymore and new adventures begin,
Mike Curato has followed up his beautifully illustrated Little Elliot, Big City book with an equally majestic tale featuring Little Elliot. We have many, many books floating around but BB gravitates towards only a few that make his limited playlist. He really digs Little Elliot and I’m happy to bend to his repeated expression of “again” since the art is so cool. In this outing Little Elliot, Big Family; Elliot and Mouse are doing great, but when Mouse goes off to his family reunion it leaves Little Elliot to wander the cold New York streets searching for the meaning of it all. Yes, I’m being overly dramatic but the retro images give everything a heightened since of gravitas. In keeping with the Beyond the Car Seat policy of not spoiling the end, I won’t reveal too much, but I’m sure you would be safe in your assumptions that the tale’s conclusion doesn’t involve Elliot forever wandering the streets alone.
Create a Family Portrait with Little Elliot here.