Archive for the ‘toby’ Category

the day today

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Pretty good day today: firstly, had a dentist checkup and still no cavities, all looking good. Secondly Toby had a great soccer class. The pitch was good and muddy, it wasn’t too hot and he was really into the whole thing. He ran and ran, played really well and had a great time. Thirdly I found out that at least some of the upcoming Rugby World Cup is going to be on a channel we get through our cable provider.


Sunday, August 19th, 2007

We’ve often thought that gymnastics might be Toby’s ideal sport. It’s got a lot of things that he enjoys – at soccer class he seems to prefer the solo exercises more than the team game, for example – and the people who seem to do well tend to be stocky, flexible and self-aware – all of which he is, for his age – and don’t have to be tall and thin – which with his genetic heritage he is unlikely to be.

Tonight just before dinner Emma had the TV on and they were showing a gymnastics championship. They were showing the girls’ events, and I’m not sure Toby had seen anything like it. He took a break from his Lego adventures and was transfixed by the jumping, tumbling and balance. Emma was telling him how strong the gymnasts need to be, telling Toby to see how strong one girl’s muscles were. Toby said, “Yes, she’s pretty strong. If we had a fight, I think she’d probably win.”

toby’s tummy

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

There have been a few nights in the last week when Toby has woken up complaining of a sore tummy, which is very unlike him. There doesn’t seem to be anything physical going on, but it does seem to be a real thing. He has told me that he’s been having bad dreams which is also unusual for him.

We think that he’s probably a bit anxious about all the change going on around him – obviously the baby coming soon but not knowing exactly when, plus at school the older kids in his class are getting ready to go to kindergarten in the next couple of weeks. During the day he seems to have no problems with this at all, but we’ll have a chat with his teachers.

UPDATE: It seems, after long conversations with Toby and a short conversation with his teacher, that it’s a major growth spurt and he is just hungry all the time. He stayed home yesterday and basically ate all day, including a huge “snack” before bed. He’s eating lots of healthy stuff, and is getting to be just bones and muscles so we’re not worried about health – he’s just burning a lot of energy right now.

END OF UPDATE, back to regular programming…

I was very proud of him at swimming class last night. He’s getting ready to go to the next class up (he’s currently in Little 2 and getting ready for Little 3 – here are the levels), where they’ll be working on flipping from front to back, then back to front. Now that they are generally swimming without floats, this is a good skill for little people to learn to help them with breathing if they are swimming a long distance. Toby’s current coach has been trying this out with him and the other two kids in his class to start preparing them for this new skill. Last night Toby’s swimming seemed to go really well – his form was spot on and he was zooming around. When they did the flips, his coach said that she didn’t have to help him at all – he just did it with no problems. So she told me afterwards that next week if he’s doing it that well she will recommend that he skips a level and goes right to level 4.

the star wars

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

Yesterday was a kind of rainy Saturday (the first rain we’ve had in weeks) so it seemed the perfect kind of day to have Toby watch Star Wars for the first time.

I remember quite clearly when my dad took me to see it when it first came out – I would have been five. Toby usually gets to see animated movies, so I wasn’t sure how he’d take to it, but I think it went over really well. He spent a lot of time asking questions about what was going on and who the people were; a lot of time just glued to the action; and some of the time shouting “Ha-haaaa!” when there was lightsaber action going on. Judging by the amount of time he’s been talking about it since, it was a hit with him.

Just a few things to clear up though – although when he concentrates he’ll say Darth Vader instead of Dark Vader, he still says lightsaver. And my favorite – he is convinced that one of the main heroes is Toby-Wan Kenobi.

good question

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

Question from Toby yesterday: “Dad, do you and my mom own me?”

Not sure how to respond really – I explained that we are responsible for him but nobody really owns anyone else. In some ways the way he rules our lives (in the nicest possible way) he owns us, and thinking back I do remember just after Toby was born making the joke that although Emma and I are not US citizens yet, we do own an American.

So – parents and children, what do you think? Does a parent own their child?


Friday, August 3rd, 2007

One of the books Toby enjoys reading at the moment is Our Family Tree which is a children’s version of the story of evolution. It’s a pretty nice book – great pictures and a somewhat necessarily over-simplified version of the evolution of life on earth, and the origins of humans. Over-simplified because it doesn’t discuss what DNA/genetic code actually is and how organisms change from generation to generation, or really how single-celled organisms lead to multi-cellular, but there are good notes in the back of the book for parents, plus I have enough biology education to be able to explain some of these concepts to Toby – he loves this kind of stuff. In the Amazon review, their mention of “It is controversial to some for religious reasons” just makes me grind my teeth; the follow-up “it is a challenging concept to present to a young audience without losing scientific veracity” is a fair point. Maybe that’s why a creation story is easier for young children: the old “well we don’t understand, therefore god did it.”

Anyway, getting back on topic – one of the discussions which has come out of reading this, and trips to the zoo, is the difference between mammals, lizards, fish etc. Especially with Emma’s pregnancy we’ve been talking about how mammals give birth and feed milk to their babies. I think Toby gets the concept quite well, and yesterday according to his teacher at daycare he was telling his friends that we are all mammals, and then had a discussion with one friend who misheard and said “yes, we are all animals.” This is where it gets somewhat philosophical, because while Toby is prepared to admit that humans are mammals, he doesn’t believe that humans are animals. We wrangled over this for quite some time over dinner last night – in his view certainly apes are animals, and possibly cavemen because they have lots of hair, but not humans. In the end he kind of won the argument with “well, if I was an animal, and not a human, then I would just have to be a shark. A talking shark.”


Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

I think my toe is getting better – it’s still sore but not as excruciating as yesterday. Maybe that’s because I had a couple of beers after work, we’ll find out tomorrow.

In the meantime my son has been taunting me. He’s quite into Loony Tunes cartoons at the moment – he said to me last night “Because you hurt your toe you can’t go fast any more. So I can’t call you Speedy Gonzales – I will be Speedy Gonzales. And I will call you: Slow Gonzales.”

bad balloon day

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Toby had a pretty busy day today. This morning we trekked off to Como Zoo in St Paul so that he could see the lions, which he had not been able to do a couple of weeks ago on his school trip. We spent some time with the big cats, then went to see the sea lions who were a bit more fun, in that they weren’t just sleeping. One of the sea lions was very friendly and several times jumped up right next to Toby, with only a pane of glass between them.

Back home for a quick lunch, then we went to his friend Keller’s birthday party which was very enjoyable. We (Emma and I) are getting to know the parents of the other kids at school much better now, and we had some good chat (kids, school, work, houses, neighborhoods) with them while the kids ran around in the sun, and had story time from a visiting princess.

After the party we went out to get a couple of things – in the Sears store a lady was giving away helium balloons and Toby was thrilled to get one. However his happiness was short lived – on the way home we stopped at the car wash and while Toby and I went to the bathroom I let the balloon float up to the ceiling, and didn’t realize I’d forgotten about it until we were in the car on the way home. Floods of tears from Toby – a little excessive perhaps but it was beginning to dawn on Emma and me that he’s still pretty tired at weekends as he’s getting used to being in the preschool II class and not getting lunchtime naps every day, it catches up with him after a while. Emma had the great idea of going to the balloon store (it calls itself a balloon emporium) a couple of blocks from home, and he chose a pretty nice new blue balloon with stars on it for the 4th of July holiday. All was well until just before dinner when there was a huge bang from the living room and we realized that it had floated up into the path of the spinning ceiling fan – disaster. Again floods of tears.

Emma cheered him up by involving him in one of his favorite activities, which is baking cupcakes (I’ve put a few old pics of him baking at the end of this post). The cupcakes came out really well, and while they were cooling, Emma and Toby put together some icing. While it was coming together Toby wandered off to the living room – when Emma went through to see him he was on the floor, fast asleep.

Toby in his apron Toby and Emma baking Toby the chef

too cute

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Emma’s currently reading a book for Toby about what it’s going to be like for him to be a big brother. Toby still seems to be really into the idea – only two and a half months to go. Most nights Toby makes sure that he has a few minutes to put his head right next to Emma’s baby bump and sing either his ABC song, or the Rainbow song (“I can sing a rainbow”) so that the baby can hear.

lost boy update

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Follow up to yesterday’s post about Toby getting lost at the zoo:

He went to sleep really easily and seemed to sleep really well, so he was either through his upset, or totally exhausted from it. I think a bit of both.

Some more details came out before he said he didn’t want to talk about it any more. He said that he had called and called for his friends but that they couldn’t hear him; also that when he was at the “zoo man’s office” there was no chair for him, so he had to sit on the floor “next to a big door” until his teacher came for him. Lastly, and possibly most traumatic for him, he didn’t get to see the lions because his friends were looking at lions while he was lost. So I’m going to take him tomorrow after we’ve dropped Emma off at her class.