Turns out, our friends at GoGo Squeez arranged for our family to go see the show. (After all, by now you’re sort of a poster child for them- considering typically anytime I take a picture of you eating a meal, there’s always a GoGo Squeez pouch visible in the shot.)
Leading up to us going, though, I just wasn’t positive you’d have the attention span to sit still long enough for us to stay the whole time, no matter how “spectacular” the event was. I gave you 30 minutes, tops. Fortunately, my doubts proved to be wrong.
And might I say, not only did you last the entire 2 hour show, but you showed off your potty training skills as well. For the 25 minute drive there from our house and back were no problems. There was a 15 minute intermission during the show- Mommy just took you to go potty and everything went well.
Seriously, I can’t get over how cool it is that you’re like… serious about not wearing diapers anymore. Wow. It’s like the end of an era.
Not that either of us will miss diapers!
During the show, you were pretty much glued to the screen, I mean stage.
I asked you afterwards what your favorite part of the show was; you quickly responded, “The bears!” I’m still trying to figure out what’s going through your head regarding what appeared to be a stage full of dancing, mutant bears… pandas included.
Your jaw dropped when you saw them during the Santa’s Workshop scene.
And you loved the live camels during the Living Nativity. As well as the 3D snowball fight. Not to mention, Santa Claus himself.
There was one part where the stage was filled with doznes of Santas, but you recognized right away that the “real” Santa had disappeared. During the whole song, you were quite distraught: “Where’d the big Santa go? Is he coming back?”
I also laughed out loud when the The Living Nativity scene began, after you saw the camels, recognizing the scene from your children’s Bible that Mommy reads you at bed time, you shouted out with excitement, “Is Jesus coming?!”
Our family had so much fun. With all the running around we usually have to do on the weekends for errands that we don’t have time for on the weekdays, it feels like we seldom get to take time just to go out and simply do something fun for our family.
For me, it was a proud family moment and activity. Plus, even though I moved to Nashville 8 years ago, it was my first time to go to the Grand Ole Opry! (What a shame that it took this long, huh?)
And again, it confirms for me: You can handle the travel to and from an event like this, at age 3, sans the diapers.
This parenting thing is starting to really get fun these days.
Disclaimer: The Radio City Christmas Spectacular mentioned in this story was provided courtesy of GoGo Squeez.
Photo credit for “on stage” photos: MSG Entertainment.
With Christmas being about two weeks away, Mommy and I decided it was time we should get a Christmas tree for our family. So we did what I assume most American families were doing yesterday afternoon- we drove over to Lowe’s to find the cheapest option on the clearance rack.
It wasn’t until we had already got there that I realized you had brought your giant Easter Bunny with you.
Seriously, how did you get that thing past me? I honestly didn’t even notice. And evidently Mommy wasn’t too thrown off by it either because I never heard her bring it up in conversation.
Okay, I think I actually need to meditate on that fact for a minute… Somehow, you got the idea that it would be logical, appropriate, and/or helpful to bring a giant yellow Easter Bunnythat is nearly as big as you are.
And most importantly, I didn’t even notice.
As for me, that could be the end of this story, because that is pretty awesome.
We ended up finding a nice Rosemary tree, 15 inches tall, for $3.75. When the manager noticed that we were interested, he gave us a proposal:
“Would your family like two trees this year? I’ll sell them to you for $1.50 each?”
I suppose he was making a proactive effort to clear the shelf space, so I didn’t hesitate to accept his offer.
As I was loading them both in our car to head back home, you announced urgently, “I need to go potty!”
Mommy took over loading the trees while I ran you to the restroom inside Lowe’s, chanting this mantra to you the whole time: “Jack, keep holdin’ it, keep holdin’ it! Don’t go yet!”
You thought it was funny. What I didn’t realize is that apparently you have much greater bladder control than I give you credit for.
Needless to say, you didn’t get your “big boy underwear” wet. With my assitance, you went in the big potty in the Lowe’s restroom.
While that may not seem like so big of a deal, it does mark the first time that I’ve ever been the one to take you potty in public, since you started wearing your big boy underwear.
It was pretty cool for me to be a part of.
Well, what can I say? Our family bought two Rosemary (Christmas) trees:
One for the living room and one for the kitchen counter. Because that’s normal.
I remained clean-shaven for the entire month of “Movember” last month, though quite the opposite is true for December.
It’s just too cold. I’ll get over it soon, but a few days ago as I was getting ready to take you to school, without realizing it, I was singing the mysterious song, “The Wolfman’s Brother,” by the band Phish.
(Please note that I never have been and never will be cool enough to be a “phan” or part of the “phellowship,” which means that I’m not a huge fan of Phish. I’m more of a Guster kind of guy, myself.)
I only know that one Phish song and it was in my head after I looked in the mirror that morning; I guess I simply reminded myself of a werewolf.
As I buckled you into the car seat, you smiled while looking straight ahead, then began singing, “It’s the Wolfman’s brother, the Wolfman’s brother…”.
You surprised me.
“Oh, you were listening to me sing that? You actually got the words and the tune right!” I replied.
Granted, it’s mostly the same 3 or 4 words repeated over and over for the chorus, but that served as a reminder to me:
You’re pretty much always paying attention, especially when I assume you’re not.
And that would explain why you’re slightly obsessed with A) being a garbageman (I mean, “waste collector”) and B) getting a toy garbage truck.
On the Saturday following Thanksgiving, you saw for the first time, the garbage truck stop by our house.
It usually stops by on Thursdays, but Thanksgiving was on that day, so we happened to be here the day it came instead to make up for the holiday.
Every day since then, you have built a “garbage truck” out of storage baskets, couch pillows, and the Wii steering wheel, placing your Hot Wheels and trains in the back.
“That’s my garbage back there,” you always clarify to Mommy and me, referring to your toys.
You even made it clear to us in your most recent Christmas gift request:
“I want a plane, a Ruldolph reindeer, and a garbage truck- a big one, that I can put my cars and trains in for the garbage.”
That’s who you and I are, at least for this month:
The Garbageman and the Wolfman’s Brother.
We could probably be Batman’s villians, with nicknames like those.
What do a frozen tire and a frozen mac-and-cheese pizza have in common? Other than them both having a Pac-Man sort of thing going on in that picture collage, they were two important plot devices in today’s story.
Let me back up to where the story actually begins, with Mommy quietly waking up at 8:03 AM. She had let me sleep in; I had stayed up until past midnight writing yesterday’s letters to you.
“Nick… something happened to my tire. I just looked out the window. It’s flat. What do we do?”
It’s been a while since I’ve had to change a flat tire to a spare to get it down to the nearest tire store… probably a dozen years, but for some reason, I tend to think most clearly first thing in the morning and late at night. (Evidently my head is just in the clouds for most of the day in between.)
The nearly brand-new tire for Mommy’s car got a nail in the side of it, and overnight, it froze after it flattened.
As it began snowing, you watched me through the front door, making snake shapes out of your Thomas the Train track against the glass.
Thank God this happened on the one day of the week where it didn’t really interfere with our family’s schedule. Had this happened any other day than Saturday morning, it definitely would have been quite annoying and offensive us getting to work and school, or at least church.
Lucky for you, Mommy and I let you pick out a toy car while the tire was getting replaced. You chose a green 1963 Aston Martin, by the way.
(Not to self: Always buy the extended warranty on tires from Firestone… We only had to pay 20 bucks to cover taxes and a re-up on the warranty. Brand-new tire and labor, $20.)
What could have been a really bad day, where I wasn’t able to change the flat to the spare to drive it to the tire store, meaning we had to pay for a tow truck or something, and where I didn’t fork out the extra cash last time for the extended warranty, we would have lost hundreds of dollars today.
Instead, only 20 bucks.
Plus, you got a very special treat for lunch once we got back to our house. I couldn’t have planned it this way, but yesterday, Annie’s Homegrown had someone personally deliver one of their new Macaroni & Cheese pizzas for you to try.
And by default, you have become an unoffical poster child for them.
(We’re even trying to work it out where we can visit their headquarters in Berkely next summer when we visit Mommy’s side of the family in Sacramento.)
So, unsurprisingly, Annie’s Homegrown chose you as one of the first kids in America to review their new Macaroni & Cheese pizza. I kept a little notepad handy to document your thoughts on it:
After seeing Mommy pull it out of the oven, you proudly proclaimed, “I’m going to eat all of that pizza!”
I should point out that you didn’t know you were doing a food review, so I found it pretty interesting that on your own, after you finished the last bite, you provided solid and definite feedback that I didn’t even ask you for:
“Daddy, I like this new mac-and-cheese pizza you got me.”
So I think that pretty much sums it up for the folks at Annie’s Homegrown and for the other curious kids across America who heard about that new mac-and-cheese pizza:
Jack liked it!
Since I was already recording everything you were saying, I want to remind you of the last thing you said before I stopped writing it all down:
“No Huggies, no kissies, ’til I see that wagon bean!”
(That’s your verson of the 1986 hit by The Georgia Satellites, “Keep Your Hands To Yourself.”)
The highlight of my day, though, was going back through the pictures of today’s events and seeing the parallel pictures, comparing me changing and rolling the flat tire in the morning to you changing and rolling your “brown tire” (the base of a papasan chair) later in the afternoon.
It wasn’t a coincidence you were doing that.
Yeah, that pretty much made my day, kid.
Disclaimer: The food mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Annie’s Homegrown, for the purpose of reviewing.
I have opened and assembled some interesting toys for you in the past year or so, but one of your 3rd birthday gifts just really takes the birthday cake.
It wins the prize for not only “Just Plain Bizzare,” but also…
“Clearly Not An American Product!”
This Tomica car playset, which I hinted to Nonna to buy for you as a birthday gift when we were at TJ Maxx with her and Papa a few months ago, is labled as “Hypercity Rescue Gas Station Fire.”
As I was unboxing it for you, I took a picture so you could see how weird it was.
It reminds me of the very memorable and always hilarious “freak gasoline fight accident” scene on the movie, Zoolander:
I like how on the cover of the box there is a nerdy guy having to run away from his extremely cool sports car convertible, and how the fireman is instantly on the scene, putting out the fire.
Clearly, there are no injuries. The fireman saves the day and the man who drives the red convertible runs out of the way just in time. It is assumed the insurance company covers the expenses lost in the explosion of the building. Happy ending every time.
Again though, clearly not an American product.
I think it’s safe to say Hot Wheels would never create something this weird.
Granted, they make a car playset where cars drive up a ramp in order to jump into a live T-Rex’s mouth, which Mommy and I bought for your birthday… but that’s nothing compared to “Hypercity Rescue Gas Station Fire.”
Not to mention, this set comes with a lot (!) of stickers to apply and no instructions.
Just the good ole fashioned, “Figure it out yourself!” deal.
From what I could understand, the set is designed to be easily wrecked, so the “on fire” stickers can be revealed when the assumed 3 year-old boy who is playing with the set decides to blow it up every 45 seconds.
You wanted a gas station playset for all your cars. Well, you got it.