Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
I’m assuming it’s pretty typical for infants and toddlers to not enjoy wearing hats.
My experience has always been that if I could sneak a picture of Jack wearing a hat, I was lucky. And then within a nanosecond later, he would always take the hat off his head.
Until this past weekend.
While Jill was at Publix buying groceries, I had put Jack down for his nap. When he awoke, he was ready for me to lead him on an adventure.
Once downstairs, he saw my new white fedora on the kitchen counter; pointing at it and grunting.
I placed it on his head and he liked it, but he seemed to acknowledge the hat was too big for him.
Curious by his sudden interest in a hat, I ran back upstairs with him to his room to pick through the half dozen caps in his top drawer that he has never wanted to wear before.
For some reason, he instantly fell in love with a striped wool cap with a blue puff ball on the top.
Back downstairs, he saw his Radio Flyer wagon and asked me, “Wah-wah?”
So I packed up Elmo, a book, and a water cup; somehow managing to pull the wagon through the front door with Jack in the wagon with those recently named belongings.
Keep in mind that last Sunday afternoon when this event took place, it was nearly 85 degrees outside. What was weird is that he barely sweated. Instead, his neckline was drenched in drool. (He has molars coming in right now.)
It’s hilarious to me that after insisting on wearing a wool cap while being pulled around the neighborhood in a wagon, the look on his face for the majority of the ride was not happy but, at best, stoic.
Granted, he didn’t want out of the wagon, nor did he want the hat off. In fact, a few times when the hat barely started to slip off, he communicated to me (in grunts) to straighten it up for him.
Once Jack stumbles into a routine, good luck on talking him out of it.
I imagine Jack used this road trip (though it was technically a sidewalk trip) to ponder his life thus far.
Perhaps that hat is his thinking cap? [Insert laugh tracks here.]
So much goes through a 17 month-old boy’s head when he finally gets a chance to just stop and think everything; while watching planes fly overhead on their descent to the Nashville airport.
In our neighborhood, there are over 200 townhouses.
People had to hear the wagon rolling in front of their house; looking out their window to see a man in a white fedora pulling a Radio Flyer wagon containing a seemingly dazed and confused little boy who was obviously willingly wearing a wool cap on a humid afternoon.
But since this is evidently one of Jack’s comforting new routines, I imagine soon, that the neighbors will simply say, “Oh, here comes that father and son wagon team again.”
Jack wore his hat for the rest of the afternoon until it was time for bed.
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Thursday, December 30th, 2010
During my first summer teaching English in Thailand, I took a week-long vacation to the magical island of Koh Samui, as referenced in the movie Meet the Parents (“Jack speak-a Thai?”). While there, I went to a highly promoted (via hand-painted street banners) Muay Thai boxing tournament. Inside the dimly lit warehouse-style building on the outskirts of legitimate commerce, I felt like I was part of the movie Bloodsport staring Jean Claude Van Damme. Afterwards, as a souvenir, I cut down one of the street banners advertising the event and hung it up in my college dorm at Liberty University the next Fall. Everyone who saw it laughed at the poor English translation: “Super and Real Fight”. I mean, it was a real fight, and I would say it was super as well, but for the fight to be super and real in the same adjective phrase just sounds funny. And that is why I couldn’t title this entry as “Jack’s First and White Christmas”.
In preparing our move from Nashville, TN to Fort Payne, AL (which is located between Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Atlanta), my wife (who is from Sacramento, CA) had asked me if it ever snowed in Alabama. Though the words “snow” and “Alabama” seem like they don’t go together at all, though do. Just like a lot of people don’t realize that Alabama actually borders the Gulf of Mexico and has several beaches, like Gulf Shores. I told my wife to expect it to snow a few inches, up to three times a year. And sure enough, as we woke up around 6 AM Christmas morning to feed and change Jack, we looked out the window to see large snowflakes falling steadily.
A couple of hours later, we drove 0.7 miles to my parents’ house to spend the day with them and my sister and her husband. Turns out, the snow didn’t stop falling and the temperature remained low. So the seven of us ending up staying the weekend together, being that the roads were iced over. One of the gifts my parents bought for Jack was a really cool wagon; ideally for when he gets older. However, when we started getting ready for bed on Christmas night and we were deciding where Jack should sleep, since we hadn’t packed his travel crib, I said, “Well, what about his wagon?” Not many people can say that their first Christmas was a white Christmas and that on top of that, that they slept in a wagon. But I guess it’s not all that strange, being that we were celebrating a holiday where a baby boy slept in a manger. We didn’t have a manger for Jack, but we did have a wagon.
Jack is swinging Christmas morning before we left for my parents' house.
We got snowed in.
Jack's presents from his parents.
Jack's presents from the family.
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The Four Generations of Shells: Baby Jack is the only Shell boy to carry on the family name.
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