Archive for the ‘toby’ Category


Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Toby was much more into Hallowe’en than last year – he was happy to wear his Buzz Lightyear costume to school after only a little cajoling, and wore it all day. Tonight we went out trick or treating which was a lot more fun than I expected especially as we know quite a few of our neighbors now. Toby didn’t really say “trick or treat” at the houses but told us it was OK because he was saying thank you so nicely, which he actually was.

When we got home I think most of the kids had been past already because we only got four or five people coming round, which means we have about two tons of candy left over. The last kids to come round were really funny – they had big wigs on and said in fairly passable accents “Hello, we’re from Scotland”. Strange. I told them that I in fact am from Scotland and their dad, who was standing back on the sidewalk just cracked up with laughter. He said he had no idea what the whole thing was with them saying that, but they just got it into their heads and you can’t argue with 8 year olds.

contrasts in sportsmanship

Monday, October 30th, 2006

We’re really proud of Toby tonight. He had his fifth swimming lesson, and this week it was assessments for who should go up to the next class (here’s a listing of the very beginner levels – Toby is currently in the Little 1 class). The first couple of weeks he was clearly uncertain about being in the water but last week something clicked for him and his classmates, and they’re zooming around, going underwater, swimming with a lot less help from their teachers (still using a float though) and full of confidence. It’s great to see and he’s obviously pleased. So he has been approved to go to the next class in the new year.

On the other hand, I’m currently watching the Minnesota Vikings getting hammered by the New England Patriots. The Vikes are all over the place, and generally disorganized. Considering how much these guys get paid you’d think they should be doing better. Also a New England defense bloke weighing over 325 pounds just headbutted the Vikings quarterback in the back – not sporting.


Saturday, October 28th, 2006

We’ve joked a few times in the past that Toby appears to be something of a politician – there have been a few instances where we’ve asked him an awkward question and he’s answered confidently on a completely unrelated but much more positive topic.

Tonight I noticed politician tendencies but in a considerably more admirable way. For one of his bedtime stories I was reading The Great Goat Chase, in which a farmer’s three goats break into his turnip field and despite the efforts of the farmer and various animals (dog, horse, cow and pig) the goats can’t be chased away and stay in the field eating turnips. (Incidentally Toby remembered that a few nights ago we’d had turnips at dinner time, as part of a pork and apple roast thing Emma put together). Eventually a little bee comes by the group of sad farm denizens and offers to help – they ridicule the idea that a small animal could fix the situation but she flies past the goats and shouts that if they don’t leave the field she’ll sting their bottoms, which works and the goats go back to their field.

I think Toby originally got this book around the time that our adopted country was threatening Iraq, and the parallels of belligerence were grimly amusing to me. However tonight Toby demonstrated a rather enlightened political philosophy – he turned to me and said, “Daddy, why doesn’t the farmer just give the goats a few of the turnips? If he does that, they’ll just take them back to their field and not eat all the rest.”


Saturday, October 14th, 2006

This morning I took Toby for his first ever big boy haircut. We went to Kid’s Hair, which as you might expect is rather specialized in this area. Toby was totally great, really confident and calm, helped somewhat by the fact that they have little TVs at each hairdresser’s work area so he could watch Winnie The Pooh. He looked totally cute in his little chair with just his head poking out through the top of the sheet the hairdresser attached round his collar – the sheet went right down to his feet. He didn’t wriggle at all and commented several times that it didn’t hurt a bit, and agreed earnestly with the hairdresser that he would indeed look very handsome. I was very proud of him.

Tonight while we were having dinner we noticed that he was stretching up his arms and looking rather sad at the same time. Emma asked what he was doing: “I’m trying to get big”. Bless. We asked him why and he said it was so that he could run faster. Emma told him that he could already pretty much run faster than her, which cheered him up – he said that Daddy can run even faster than he can but that’s OK because that’s the way things work. So he was happier after that.


Thursday, October 12th, 2006

On the bus on the way home from school, Toby sat next to two very tall and elegant African-American transvestites. They were both wearing pink and white sneakers, pale jeans, white furry jackets, one had a white and gold purse, they both had very long nails and big bling earrings. Toby didn’t seem to notice particularly. He’s a cool urban kid.

interesting mix

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

From Emma this morning:

I was informed [by Toby] on the way to school that such and such a building was an “apartment store”:

E: do you mean department store?
T: Yes, an apartment is somewhere you live
E: Well some people do, we have a house. Charlie and Lola live in an apartment don’t they? They call it a flat
T: Yes, their apartment is called Playhouse Disney dot com


Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Toby’s got a good head of hair now, but you might remember that he was pretty much bald until he was two. Too bad we didn’t know about!

luckily he saw the funny side

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Toby’s pretty good on the computer – he likes to play a Winnie the Pooh game and various things online at PBS Kids but fortunately he has never (as far as we know) bought a pink classic car on eBay.


Monday, September 25th, 2006

We’ve had quite a full house this weekend – our friend Arwen was over for a few days to see people and go to a wedding on Saturday, and Emma’s parents are here too, for a quick visit.

Toby has been revelling in all the goings on – particularly enjoying his grandad being here which is excellent especially as they haven’t seen each other for over a year. There’s been lots of soccer and running about, and Toby has even come to terms with the fact that his grandad calls it football. In fact Grandad is the only person who is allowed to do this.

We were quite impressed with Toby last night – at dinner he said that once he was done he wanted to read his book about the hungry triangle, where a triangle gets bored of having only three corners so gets change into a quadrilateral, but that gets boring so he becomes a pentagon, etc etc until he has so many angles he doesn’t know what to do so decides to go back to being a triangle again. We asked Toby what shape the table was and how many corners it had, and got the correct answer. Then Emma’s dad (a bit of a maths geek) asked how many corners a circle has. Toby’s answer was “it has lots and lots of corners but they are very small [holding his thumb and forefinger very close together] so you can’t see them”.

nonsense and nonsensibility

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

This week at Toby’s school the theme is the five senses. So tonight at mealtime we were asking him about it to see what he’d learned:

Us: Toby, have you been learning about senses at school this week?
Toby: Yes, the five senses.
Us: (somewhat impressed) Nice – can you remember what they are?
Toby: Yes, they are things that you need … when you go to the beach.
Us: ?
Toby: There is your father and your mother and your brother and a baby.
Us: Not, um, touch and taste and…
Toby: Oh yes, we did talk about those too.

So I’m not sure if there was a lot of metaphor used when the teachers described this to the kids, or if his mind was wandering or what, but I think he gets it in a three-year-old sort of way.