Archive for the ‘toby’ Category

swimming and growing

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

Last night we took Toby to the Foss Swim School for his first ever swimming lesson and were pleasantly surprised at his confidence and willingness to go in the water and take part. The school came highly recommended by friends, and we were impressed as soon as we arrived at the setup and the enthusiasm of the kids and instructors.

Toby was in a beginners’ class for 3-4 year olds, and there were three kids with the one instructor which is a great ratio. They spent a fair bit of time sitting on the steps at the edge of the pool with feet and legs in the water while they used cups to pour water on themselves, then the instructor supported each of them while she pulled them along to learn how to kick or paddle while using floats. The first couple of seconds of this Toby was quite upset but almost immediately started laughing and shouting “Look Daddy I’m doing it!”. The only thing he really didn’t like was when he had to go on his back, but apart from that we were quite proud. As I was getting him changed afterwards he was saying that he wanted to go again right away and that he missed his coach already.

This morning we took him to the doctor’s for his three and a half year checkup. Fortunately no shots were required but that didn’t stop a bit of grief – he got quite upset when he had to take off his clothes and wear the gown for Dr Williams to check him out. We were reassured that examining screaming kids is a large part of a pediatrician’s day. Toby did a bit better with the sight tests, although he didn’t like wearing an eyepatch to test his eyes independently, but he did very well with the blood pressure monitor and the hearing tests. For the hearing tests he had to wear some 50s looking headphones and after the nurse had demonstrated what the testing machine’s beeps sounded like, he sat with a very intent frown listening for each instance of the sound, and when it came said, “Oh! I hearded [sic] it!” So he seems very healthy as we suspected – everything good and his height and weight are both in the 50th percentile so he’s progressing along just fine.

soft notes

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

Emma used to think that Toby really didn’t like her singing, and would tell me that every time she sang he would cry, which wasn’t actually true. But she was finally made to feel better by a request a few days ago.

As well has having some “real” Kipling for Toby (he quite likes some of the Just So Stories) we got him a book of the Disney version of the Jungle Book. When she reads it for him, she sings little bits of the Disney songs in the appropriate places. A couple of nights ago they were hanging around and he said “Mummy, will you sing a song for me?” When he was asked what song he would like, he said “The soft notes that the girl in the Jungle Book sings”


Friday, August 25th, 2006

I was just IMing with my friend Kristi – she was telling me about her trip to the State Fair yesterday where Emma and I also went and spent most of the day and got about 100 pounds heavier on deeply fried food. We also saw a lot of animals, from cute fluffy bunnies to a 1,000 pound pig to some extraordinarily tall horses. And some really fat (short-armed) Minnesotans.

Kristi went to the butterfly tent, which reminded me about a conversation I had with Toby this morning. He was talking about the plants in our garden and how they were recovering from the heavy rainstorm last night. He said, “You know daddy, butterflies go to the flowers and they pick up the … the juice and they take it back to their houses and make the leaves and put them on the trees. From their butterfly hives”.

Bonus Toby story: After the storm he and I wandered over to the Wedge to get coffee and stuff. He was very happy to be wearing his raincoat, and as we were walking back I noticed he was talking into his sleeve. I listened closer: “Hello, is anybody at home? No! Who said that? Me, hand. Don’t be silly, you can’t talk!”

toby photos

Saturday, August 12th, 2006

Just posted a bunch of new photos. Some were a bit overdue – our trip with friends over the Fourth of July weekend. (Strangely the Fourth of July is the only day of the year Americans refer to in the British way of saying the day then the month – you’d think as it’s all about celebrating independence they might have changed it to July Fourth).

The others were taken just today. Toby was sent a present by his grandad which arrived yesterday – a full Southampton soccer kit, including a ball and kit bag. We happened to have some pretty cool Reebok kids’ size 11 boots which we got him in secret a couple of months ago – they’re still a little large but they work. So we got him all kitted out and we had a great time down at the park. Enjoy the photos, and please ignore the fact that I totally need to update the templates and formatting etc. I’ll find the time one day.

the power of why

Friday, July 28th, 2006

A selection of the “conversation” Toby and I had on the bus on the way home yesterday:

“Daddy, why is the bus bouncy? Daddy, why is the driver wearing gloves? Daddy, why does the driver have a fan? Daddy, why is this the road? Daddy, why is that man getting off the bus? Daddy, why are we going fast? Daddy, why are we stopping at the bus stop? Daddy, why are we stopping at the red light? Daddy, why does that lady have a baby? Daddy, why does that man have a funny moustache? Daddy, why are we going home? Daddy, why …”

Yes, you get the idea, and yes he has hit that age.


Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

Toby’s been somewhat obsessed with babies lately – a few of his friends at school have baby siblings so I think there’s been a fair bit of chat. And on Friday night we went for dinner at my friend Kyle’s – his wife is expecting their first baby in a week or so, so it was quite the topic of conversation. In fact after dinner, Toby said “What’s that bump there on the lady?” We told him it was a baby in her tummy, to which he replied “Can I see? Can you open it so I can see?”

On the way home from school in the car tonight he had a conversation with Emma about the whole thing – he thought that we should have (actually that we should get) a baby (and we’re not planning to any time soon by the way). Emma asked him how you got a baby, and Toby’s response was “Well, you go to a store and you collect one and it is very very small and you put it in your mouth and it goes down to your tummy and it grows until it is big and then it jumps out and lives with you in your house.” There was some discussion about what we would do with a baby, and where it would sleep. Toby said that it could sleep in his bed with him and he would keep it warm with his warm hands, and in the morning they would jump out of bed together and bounce down the stairs to have breakfast.


Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

I had an 8am meeting this morning – kind of harsh – and Emma also had an early start so it was a bit of a dazed rush out of the house. We made it though. In the car at one point Toby said “Hey, Daddy, look!” “What is it, Toby?” “I found a finger booger!” “What’s a finger booger?” “It’s just something you .. discover”.

We’re also particularly glad that we have air conditioning at home now because it’s going to be a hot and humid weekend with a forecast high around 100F (39ish C) with lots of humidity. Eugh.

a dog named…

Saturday, July 8th, 2006

We went for Chinese food tonight, but when we got to the restaurant it was all booked up for a big wedding. The staff tried to tell us that we could have a table in the back, but we decided that we felt a bit out of place in our casual clothes, so we got takeout.

At home while we were eating, Toby got a bit wistful-looking. Here’s approximately the conversation:

Emma: Toby, are you all right?
Toby: But… I think I would like to have a dog
E: But you already have two cats
T: Yes, but I would like two cats and a dog.
Andrew: Oh, what kind of dog would you like?
T: A one .. one which is green and white. With green spots, just like a cow
E: And what would you call your dog?
T: Maisie. Maisie the dog.
A: Well that sounds pretty cool.
T: Yes, he will be a good dog for me to have
A: A he? Well you can’t call a boy dog Maisie
E: So what would you call him?
T: I would call him … Tree
E: So would you get up every morning to take him for a walk?
T: Of course. Every morning.
A: I think you have it all planned out.
E: Where would he sleep?
T: We would make .. in a dog cage. A special dog cage that we would make
E: Where would we put the dog cage?
T: In my room. So that he can’t get out.
A: Don’t you think the cats would mind?
T: Yes they would but Tree wouldn’t be scary, he would just say “ruh”
E: What would Tree eat?
T: He would eat shoots of trees. He would use his teeth and his claws to open up the trees and then he would catch a bug which lives in the tree. And he would snap it with his teeth and it would be dead so that then he could eat it.
E: And what kinds of games would he play?
T: He would run and chase me up the stairs. And then he would put his butt in my face and I would say eugh because his butt is all smelly with poo. And the cats wouldn’t like that either because of the poo.
E: Well he sounds like quite an unusual sort of dog. Is he interesting?
T: No, not very interesting. He’s just my dog. Tree.

At this point we thought that we should ask Toby to draw a picture of Tree so that if we ever saw a green and white dog we could buy it. Toby said that no you wouldn’t buy a dog called Tree, so we said that we would just get him and bring him home, which apparently was a good plan. Here’s the picture – guess what the brown is behind Tree’s tail (click on the picture for a larger view):

i’m lightning mcqueen

Saturday, July 8th, 2006

We just took Toby to see the new Pixar movie, Cars. He’s been kind of obsessed by it for a few months on account of the copious merchandise in Target and other stores – he has branded sandals, bubble bath, stickers and underpants (must-have for the under-5 set). And he had seen the trailers on the computer. He had decided that he is the main character, Lightning McQueen, and every time he saw McQueen in the trailer he would shout “Look! There’s me! Lightning McQueen!”.

This was only his second time at a cinema, but he seemed quite confident and a lot less nervous about the place than first time, and was really into the whole experience. Several times he pointed out that he was indeed Lightning McQueen but on the whole he was quiet and engrossed. For some reason the fact that there was a talking truck was a very big deal for him, something of a surprise to us considering that all the cars and other vehicles also talk. The movie itself, by the way, was pretty good – not the best ever in that the story and some of the characters I thought were kind of flat, but the animation was wonderful so it was certainly worth seeing.

bonus toby photo

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Paul found a photo of Toby from late 2005. I think there’s some craft work going on – it looks like Toby’s working on opening a glue pen or something. I like the concentration. Click on the photo for a larger view.