Archive for October, 2005


Friday, October 14th, 2005

We’re working on a couple of concepts with Toby at the moment. One is shadows, which is going OK at the moment what with the beautifully sunny weather we’re having. However this morning while I was walking him into school he got a bit upset because “the lady [who walked past us] walked all over my shadow”.

Another concept is that of recycling. Bob the Builder right now is very into social conscience, so there’s a lot of “reduce, reuse, recycle”. We were reading it tonight, during a very long and somewhat infuriating (for me) going-to-sleep session, and Toby said “Daddy, we don’t recycle cats do we? Just … um … t-shirts and jeans.” I said that usually it’s papers and bottles and boxes that we recycle. Toby almost redeemed himself by saying “yes, and also cans” but I have a sneaking suspicion that he still doesn’t really get it, although to be fair, his statements were factually correct.

bad parents

Friday, October 14th, 2005

Today is Friday which is usually Emma’s day off, and she was planning to have Toby at home with her. However when we asked him this morning what he wanted to do today, he said “go to school”. And he was very definite about it. So we decided to send him to school, which Emma was doubly unhappy about because she thinks he doesn’t want to spend time with her, and also she has to clean the house (it needs to be cleaned, but also we’re having a party for a friend on Sunday to which, alarmingly, 23 people have been invited).

Seeing as the weather is still so good for the time of year – high of 70F forecast for today – I decided to walk Toby in to school, but of course we went through the usual nonsense with him not wanting to wear a coat or sweater. So after a lot of arguing I decided that he’d just wear his shirt without another layer, and he’s old enough to tell me if he’s freezing. I hate to admit that he was right and it was so mild that he didn’t really need a coat, but that’s kind of beside the point. Oh well.


Thursday, October 13th, 2005

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The actor who plays Chewbacca in Star Wars, Peter Mayhew, has become a US citizen, and here’s what he had to say about the United States:

“Whatever people say about America, it is still one of the most wonderful countries in the world, despite the politics, religion and everything else that goes on.”

. That’s pretty much how I feel, depending of course on what you mean about “everything else”. Although that doesn’t leave a whole lot, does it?

toby talk

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Paul posted a nice wee story about Sam and his talking today which prompted me to document some of the things Toby says these days. Before we start though, I should mention that we took Toby to the park a couple of nights ago because it was a beautiful fall evening, and it reminded me of when he was smaller and would do a toddler run down the street, shouting “shallwerun!” as he went.

Anyway, Toby, like Sam, is quite into explaining things. In fact for some weeks now he has started sentences and entire thoughts with “coz”, so if he comes through to our room in the night he’ll wake me up and say “coz I need some water” or “coz I had a funny dream”. Last weekend he and I went to the grocery store and got some flowers for Emma while we were there. When we got home and were in the garage I got him to phone her – he didn’t say hello or anything, just “coz we did get you some flowers”.

The other thing he’s learning about is knowing when he knows something or not. Now he’s learning about letters more we’ll ask him for examples of words that begin with a certain letter. He’s really good with some, like C for cat or cucumber, but sometimes the conversation will go “Toby, do you know a word that begins with G?” “Yes” “What word begins with G?” “I dunno”.

Also he’s a little confused sometimes about explaining things, especially when it’s an uncomfortable situation. The other night he had drawn on something he shouldn’t have and the conversation was “Toby, why did you draw on the door?” “Why.” (not said as a question, just the word) “Yes, why did you do that?” “Why.” “Toby, what’s the story here?” “Coz I did draw on the door”.


Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Emma had to go out last night for some classwork so Toby and did stuff together. First was getting some groceries – mostly healthy, plus a big piece of animal to cook for our friend Arwen’s birthday dinner on Sunday. When we got home it was time for Toby’s bath, which he always enjoys, in fact his first word was “bath”. He’s getting really good now at getting his hair washed and has learned that he needs to look up at the ceiling so as not to get water in his eyes when I rinse his hair. In the midst of all his chattering and la la la-ing, he came out with an interesting phrase. I had just turned off the tap after filling the bathtub, and he said “look Daddy, the water stopped coming out of the … water bank”.

hypocrisy etc

Monday, October 10th, 2005

Christopher Hitchens writes an excellently outraged article about the religiousness or otherwise of the latest Supreme Court nominee here in America. He makes the good point that because she attends an evangelical conservative church she should either be a committed Christian whose life’s work is to convert people (he doesn’t mention that doing good deeds etc might be part of the deal too, but then neither do many evangelical conservative churches) or she’s a big fat hypocrite. Either way, not ideal.

In other religious political observation news, I saw Jon Stewart on David Letterman’s show over the weekend. Stewart was talking about the Bush response to Hurricane Katrina and pointed out the absurdity that the President’s main strategy to make things better appeared to be his National Day of Prayer. Especially as three days later Hurricane Rita moved in. So that would have worked out pretty well then.


Friday, October 7th, 2005

Emma and I feel good as middle-class parents now that Toby is a classical music buff, officially. We have a CD in the car of Bernstein conducting and narrating Children’s Classics, featuring Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals and the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Toby’s really gotten into Peter and the Wolf over the the last couple of weeks – he knows the story and laughs at certain points. He really gets into it.

He liked Carnival of the Animals before he started asking for Peter and the Wolf, and often when we’re in the car he’ll ask for the “Elephant Song”, and roars for the “Lion Song”. Emma said he was cuckooing along with the cuckoo song yesterday.

On the CD Bernstein talks about each animal’s music before the actual piece, so they play the bits of tunes used during the fossils movement for example. One comment he makes which I really enjoy is when he’s introducing the Swan. Usually it’s played on the cello but for this recording it’s played quite impressively and beautifully on the double bass. The comment I like is when he says that it’s “played on, of all things, the double bass”. Now usually when I say “of all things” I’m going to come up with something rather extreme, so I would have preferred “of all things, the kazoo” or “of all things, the banjo”, or “of all things, the triangle”.

crazy, continued

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

In the continuing saga of Tom Cruise and Katy Holmes it seems that they are expecting a baby together. Congratulations to them, although I have previously posted how spooky the whole environment they live in appears to be. Anyway, the reason for the post is the amusingly mixed up grammar in the photo caption on the BBC web page:

Holmes romanticised about marrying Cruise as a young girl

no posts

Wednesday, October 5th, 2005

I know I haven’t posted for ages. Been on vacation in Calgary, which I would like to mention at some point, and since then pretty much non-stop at work. Apart from that most things are good apart from we had very heavy rain last night – apparently 6 inches or more – and our basement has a light coating of water in it, or at least it did when I left the house this morning. I tried using our ShopVac but the water kept on seeping through. Not nice at all, and the cats were most concerned.