Monday Miles: The Abominable Fur Man

Monday Miles is a sporadic feature from my 10 month old son, Miles.  Yes, he’s a baby genius.  Enjoy.

Even though he scares her into sleeping with the light on, my mom continues to read an unhealthy amount of Stephen King.  She started this a few years back, after she read all 1,500 pages of “The Stand” in two weeks.  From my own personal experience, what you read can have an impact on your daily life.  For example, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Too Late” always makes me not sleep (nice try, mom!)  Naturally, if you’re reading about nothing but possessed dogs, murderous maids and epic plagues, you’re going to get a little nutty.

There is a monster living in our house.  He hides under the china hutch, and comes out at night, after my mom has finished sweeping and gone to bed.  Every morning, she knows that the monster has been running laps around the dining room table because she finds his fur.  “YEARRRGH!” my mom will quietly yell (she thinks I don’t know that she’s yelling) “BACK AGAIN!”

I have never seen the monster myself, but I know he exists, because my mom is always taking out her weapons: broom, vacuum, and if the Fur Man has been especially furry, the Shop Vac.

The battle ends quickly, with not a single trace of the Fur Man in sight.  But, without fail, the signs will be there the next morning, and my mom will spot it with her squinting (PUT ON YOUR GLASSES, WOMAN!) eagle eyes.

I think the Abominable Fur Man is best friends with Maggie, our dog.  It seems like every morning, after my mom has cleaned up the evidence from the Fur Man’s visit, she gives Maggie a very skeptical look, as if Maggie is inviting the Fur Man over for cookies and milk after everyone is asleep.

Maybe the Fur Man is nice; maybe he’s friends with Santa, and my mom just doesn’t get it because she reads too much Stephen King and thinks everything is a monster sent here from outer space to make noises in the middle of the night and give her more chores around the house.  You’d think she would be more understanding, what with all the “hug trees, love each other, don’t forget to recycle” stuff she’s telling me all the time.

The next time I find traces of the Fur Man, I’m going to follow them to his hide out, where I will hug him and take enormous mouthfuls of fur.  And if I can’t find him, I’m sure the dog will cooperate.

He looks harmless.  And delicious...

He looks harmless…
and delicious.

Happy Monday,

Miles

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Monday Miles: The Toddler Olympics

Another Monday.  Boring?  Not when the Winter Olympics are quietly playing in the background  22 hours a day (we’re “anti-TV”, remember?)

These look delicious.

These look delicious.

I understand these games must be a pretty big deal, as evidenced by my mom’s tears while watching Ice Dancing.

Yeah, I'd probably cry, too.

Yeah, I’d probably cry, too.

My dad is talking to competitors that most certainly do not speak English; however, his coaching skills seem to be working.  Since everyone is in the Olympic spirit around here, I thought I’d start my own version: The Toddler Olympics.  Here are the games I’d like to pitch…

Diving  Different from the diving portion of the Summer Olympics, as the Toddler Olympics Diving Competition requires no water.  In fact, extra points are awarded for diving onto hard surfaces.  Preferred platforms include the changing table, mom and dad’s bed, the couch, and toys that I’m not supposed to climb.  Additional points are awarded for creativity and difficulty.  Simply hurling yourself off the changing table in an attempt to inflict great bodily harm will not suffice; you also need style.

Poking  Think of this as toddler-level boxing.  Poking requires skill, precision, and the wily tactics of a fox.  You must poke your finger in one of your opponent’s face holes.  This is achieved by distracting them with your ability to “almost” walk, attempts at self-feeding, and most importantly, your undeniable cuteness.  When your opponent least expects it…BAM!  Finger in the eyeball.  Fishhook their nose.  Thumb jammed into their ear.  And, the coup-de-grace, grabbing their bottom teeth with one hand and bopping them on the forehead with the other.  Additional points awarded if your fingers are covered in food during any portion of the poking.

Cat Chasing  Self-explanatory.  Chase the cat in as many loops as possible around the dining room table.  Additional points awarded if you successfully climb over and under all of the chairs, pull the tablecloth off the table, and scare the cat into climbing on top of the china hutch.  Super extra special points if you touch the cat.  Gold medal if you grab the cat’s tail.  Points deducted if mom catches you trying to poke the cat in one of his face holes.

Milk Dancing  Similar to diving; this event is held at the high chair, and involves a sippy cup full of milk.  You may shake, twirl, bounce and launch the cup into the air, all while wildly flailing your arms, singing loudly and nodding your head in time to the Miss Lori’s Schoolhouse music playing in the background.  Additional points awarded for style.  My personal favorite move is “The Simba”: holding your sippy cup over your head as if presenting The Lion King, then promptly turning it upside down and pouring milk all over yourself.  It’s my mom’s favorite move.

Floor Food Competition  This is a single-competitor event that takes place entirely on the floor.  You must locate and consume all stale Cheerios, dog kibble, dust bunnies, leaves and the things my mom calls “OHNODON’TTOUCHIT!” as quickly as possible.  Additional points awarded for consumption of live floor food (example: bugs).

Wrestling  Oh, you think toddlers are too young for wrestling?  I beg to differ.  This competition could also be called “Avoid Wearing Pants.”  You must flip and flop, tuck and roll, stand up and bounce, and even attempt to Swan Dive off the changing table in an effort to avoid wearing pants while your opponent attempts to dress you.  Additional points awarded if you distract them by laughing adorably.  Gold medal if they give up and just let you run around in a diaper.  My mom says I’m better than Ali when it comes to pants wrestling.

Hurling  No, not that kind of hurling.  This is the kind where you throw things at things.  Another event in which additional points are awarded for creativity.  While I could win some points by throwing my cow across the room, I win big points if I throw my cow and pig – at the same time – at the dog.  The louder the hurling, the better.  Super extra points if you knock a glass off the table.  Gold medal if you knock mom’s coffee cup out of her hand.

And there you have it.  The Toddler Olympics are a work in progress; additional games will be added as skill levels advance.  I have big plans for when I figure out how to run on two legs…

Happy Monday,

Miles

Monday Miles: My Favorite Things

The hills are aliiive…with the sound of my mom doing her best Julie Andrews impersonation.  Oh, did you think I was going to say Carrie Underwood?  NO.  That was a travesty, and we will not acknowledge NBC’s attempt to recreate the magic of Broadway on live television.  Just air the original movie, network executives.  That’s what 95% of the viewing population remembers, anyway.

Also, heads up to Hoda and Kathie Lee…we didn’t need an entire week of viewing clips from “live” rehearsals shoved into the fourth hour of Today.  My mom says the Fourth Hour is for wine, fashion, wine, cooking segments, wine and make-overs.  Also, Kathie Lee’s knock-knock jokes and making fun of Carson Daly.

I digress.  In the spirit of Ms. Andrews, and with inspiration from not Carrie Underwood, I have compiled a list of my own personal favorite things.  Actually, a song.  And yes, I am fully aware of my “baby genius” status.

To the tune of, “My Favorite Things”:

Waking up early and banging on my crib,
Lasagna mud mask while taking off my bib.
Finding that blanket with delicious strings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Unplugging cords from electrical outlets,
Peeing mid-diaper change; mommy sings, “NOT YET!”
Beating that toy ‘til it no longer dings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Chasing the cat since his tail is delicious.
Refusing that broccoli, it looks quite suspicious.
Hiding my mommy’s wedding rings…
These are a few of my favorite things.

Chewing the corners off all of my new books,
Pulling the shower curtain off of the hooks.
Jumping off toys like my legs are springs,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Trying to stand up while I’m in the bathtub,
Leaving my trucks out so dad gets a toe-stub.
Throwing my chicken toy; HEY, he has WINGS!
These are a few of my favorite things.

Stashing my binkies underneath the carseat,
Tasting the kibble that I see the dog eat.
Ruling the house because I am the KING,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When it’s naptime,
And the phone rings…
It can make me mad.
But then I remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so baaad!

Twirling in open meadows is one of Julie's favorite things.

Twirling in open meadows is one of Julie’s favorite things.

Happy Monday,

Miles

 

Monday Miles: A Review of “Goodnight Moon”

Happy Monday, Constant Reader!  Thank you so much for supporting my mom’s hobby…it gives her something to do besides ask me yet again if I know what sound a cow makes (of course I know, but what fun is it to respond right away?)  My mom is one of those who wants her children to always feel free to express themselves, even if it means wearing a plaid fishing hat for two years straight and walking around on all fours (ask her about it) so she has given me my own little corner here on Hysterically Ever After.  Every Monday (or sporadic Mondays, you know how moms can be…) I’ll be the featured writer.  Settle down, folks…the fun is just beginning.

My mom is an avid reader.  Well, she was an avid reader, before the best thing ever in the history of all time and space (me, duh) came into the picture.  Now, she binge reads until the wee hours of 10:30pm, then complains about how tired she is the next day.  She wants me to share this love of reading, which I appreciate.

She’s been reading to me since I was in the womb.  Now that I’m on the outside, I get to see what all the fuss is about.  Since she can no longer read Stephen King novels to me, the first book she chose to read aloud to me was “Dr. Seuss’s ABCs.”  There are 26 letters in the alphabet, which the good Doctor manages to squeeze into 60 pages, including illustrations.  We usually made it to page 23; there’s something about the letter H and that “hen in a hat” that struck me as delicious.

"H" is for DELICIOUS.

“H” is for DELICIOUS.

For the past couple months, we’ve moved on to more advanced reading.  Her current favorite is “Goodnight Moon.”  Because I have to hear this story 7+ times a week, I thought I’d give a review.  Enjoy.

Goodnight Moon: A Review

“In the great green room there was a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of…”

Great opener.  I am intrigued by the balloon in the nursery, and concerned with the lack of balloons in my own room.  I’m not sure why baby bunny needs a telephone, but I’m also not sure why baby bunny is wearing pajamas, so who am I to question the bunny’s lifestyle?  The scene has been set – it’s cozy, inviting, and making me a little drowsy.  That’s my mom’s favorite part.

Seriously, where's my balloon?

Seriously, where’s my balloon?

The story continues with a summation of room decor: picture of cow jumping over the moon, picture of three bears sitting on chairs.  Kittens, mittens, toy house and…a young mouse.  Obviously pest control is not the primary concern of the homeowner, but again, it’s a bunny, so for all I know the mouse could be a cousin.

Our plot takes a frightening twist as we continue surveying the room: a comb and a brush (okay, baby bunny is furry) and a bowl full of mush?!  That sounds disgusting.  Also, I’m not allowed to eat in my room, so why does baby bunny have a bowl of mush on his nightstand?  What’s in the mush?  Is it left over from dinner?  Or is it breakfast mush?

Also in the room: a quiet old lady who was whispering “hush.”  Now I’m getting a little creeped out.  Who is this old lady bunny?  Why is she sitting the room knitting, telling someone (or something) to hush?  The author quickly moves along, ignoring these nagging questions.

Goodnight room.  Goodnight moon.  Goodnight cow jumping over the moon.  Goodnight light and the red balloon.  Goodnight bears.  Goodnight chairs.  Goodnight kittens and goodnight mittens.  Goodnight clocks and goodnight socks.  Goodnight little house and goodnight mouse.  Goodnight comb and goodnight brush.

We seem to be winding down, right?  Telling every animal, painting, sock and mitten “goodnight,” slowly forgetting the purpose of the bowl of mush, or the intent of the quiet knitting old bunny.  And then…

GOODNIGHT NOBODY.  What does that mean?  Is it foreshadowing for a greater event?

"But if it's not even there, is it really there, man?" Note: I am too lazy to rotate the image.

“But if it’s not even there, is it really THERE, man?”
Note: I am too lazy to rotate the image.

Again, the author quickly moves on, ignoring yet again this important question.

Goodnight mush.  And goodnight to the old lady whispering “hush.”  Goodnight stars.  Goodnight air.  Goodnight noises everywhere.

A few items of note; there are several pieces of artwork featured in the story (cow, bears) but the author never acknowledges the painting above the bookcase.  The one with the bunny who appears to be flyfishing in a river, with a carrot, to catch a baby bunny.

"Here, bunny bunny bunny..."

“Here, bunny bunny bunny…”

The bear painting features the cow painting.  It’s a painting within a painting.  Have the bears been to baby bunny’s room before?  And why are they just sitting around in those chairs, expressionless and without pots of honey?  These bears are not to be trusted.

Ominous bears in chairs.

Ominous bears in chairs.
Note: I actually tried to rotate this one.

Baby bunny has a telephone on the nightstand to call for help…to be rescued from the crazy old knitting bunny, or the bears who are probably watching him right now, or the big bunny who is fishing for baby bunnies.  But is it too late?  The blank “nobody” page seems to elude that time has run short; no one is on the way to save baby bunny from eating the mush.  The story ends abruptly, with no resolution to baby bunny’s fate.  I’d like to think the story was a dream, and he will awaken from his baby bunny slumber to a nice warm bowl of carrot mush.

Overall, the simple tale is one of repetitive, dream inducing sleep words.  My mom loves sleep words.

I have two final comments to make; first, the story needs more Oxford commas.  And second, my mom would never say, “goodnight noises”, as this implies you are letting the noises be.  My mom has skills, a very special set of nap and bedtime inducing skills.  She would find the noise; she would hunt it down, and then eliminate it.  Sometimes that means telling my dad to roll over and stop snoring.  Sometimes it means telling the cat to get off the china hutch and where did you find that Christmas ornament?!  Most of the time, it means kicking the dog out at 3am because she won’t stop pacing circles around the dining room table.

I give “Goodnight Moon” four out of five stars.  It’s good sleepytime material, if you ignore the illustrations.

See you in seven days,

Miles