Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

That’s My Baby Sister

There’s something liberating about posting in the middle of the day instead of after midnight. And timely.

Lately, Ben’s obsession has been babies. He told us a few weeks ago that he has a baby sister named Sarah. At first he pretended that his blankie was Sarah, but just this morning he cast his small bean-bag Razorback in that role.

This latest trend probably is his reaction to several of our friends’ pregnancies or fresh-borns. Alvis’ wife is about to pop, and Lady J on Thursday gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. (by the way, I call one of our couple friends “Lady J” and “Sir J” not because they’re royalty or into anything kinky, but because they have the same first initial. I needed some type of qualifier).

After whom is Ben’s virtual baby sister named? I’m not sure, but I’m guessing it isn’t my second-to-last girlfriend (Shannon being the last and final).

Last night, when we went to see Lady J and Sir J’s baby girl R after I got off work, Ben watched her skillfully lie there on her mommy’s hospital bed wrapped in a baby blanket burrito. He asked, “Does she crawl?”

We all laughed. “No, Ben she doesn’t crawl right now. She doesn’t do much at all right now,” I said.

“Does she walk?”

More chuckles as we worked together to prevent Ben from poking her vulnerable skull through her knit cap. A finger to the cerebrum rarely is a good thing.

Click on either photo to enlarge.

Ben looks on as R, a baby all of us can see, does her best nothing.

Ben peeks at what’s inside a baby blanket burrito (note Tow Mater in Ben’s hand).

Today, the TV was turned off until about 10:15 this morning, when I sat down on the couch to write this. Ben, who awoke at 7:30 and went to the donut shop with me, showed no interest in watching until I mentioned it. He said he wanted Cars instead of Wonder Pets, until he saw the latter were saving a chimp lost in space. So, he watched the last 15 minutes of crudely animated classroom pets fill the heroes’ shoes.

Now, while driving a plastic wind-up Tow Mater over a jungle map, he’s watching Cars, which holds up to repeated viewings better than perhaps any other kids’ movie. All the kids (boys and girls) in our group of friends are obsessed with it, and compared to other recent 3-D animated fare, I must say that’s refreshing. Not once have I heard a parent say, “If I have to watch that one more time, I’ll (censored) smash something.” That must mean that the final teaming of Disney and Pixar was a success. Good thing they went their separate ways, eh?

Meanwhile, I’m reading online reviews of The Iron Giant, which I’ve never seen, to find out if it might be good for Ben to watch with me tonight while Shannon’s out with friends. My boy and I try to have a movie night at least a couple times a month, with hot, fresh Paul Newman’s Pop’s Corn.

Recent fun Benglish:

Shannon: I’m just flustered, that’s all.
Ben: I don’t want you to be flustered, I want you to be my mommy.

Ben: Daddy, you’re my favorite daddy in my house, Daddy.

And just last night after I covered him up again…

Me: Sleep well, young prince.
Ben: I’m not a prince, Dad, I’m a boy.

15 Responses to That’s My Baby Sister

  1. Very cute stuff, Mark.

    I can’t say enough good things about Iron Giant. I have a minature Iron Giant sitting next to my upstairs computer and have forced just about everyone I know to watch it at some point or another. I think you’ll like it.

    And Pixar and Disney are back together. Actually, Disney just went ahead and bought Pixar. They’ve slated Toy Story 3 for an ’08 release.

  2. Hmmm…did you just upload those photos…I didn’t see them before I posted. Ben is outrageously cute in them.

  3. I think it’s worth mentioning again that Ben also thinks that everyone (men included) who has a belly must have a baby in there.

    Moksha – he just posted the pics a minute ago. The cuteness is almost too much to handle, isn’t it?

  4. Oh, and once when he said baby Sarah was hungry, he had to point out that she doesn’t have a mouth to feed. Another time he said she had 2 mouths. Evidently she’s a changeling. We don’t have any ordinary kids around here – no, sir. Take that, Lannie – bet you can’t add that to your kid’s long list of talents!

  5. Ben looks completely enwraptured with the baby. That’s soooo adorable. I’m not going to say the predictable and inevitable… *bites tongue* You must hear that quite enough.
    How cute that he has a virtual baby sister named Sarah. Mark, he must be emulating that Excellent Daddy thing you’re doing.

  6. Moksha – Just finished watching the movie. Very good. Now I want an Iron Giant on my desk.

    Yes, I posted the pics a couple hours or so after the post was up, and apparently at about the same time you were reading.

    Linda – He definitely likes them a lot and loves taking care of them. And us, too. Tonight while we watched the movie and had popcorn, he turned to me and said, “Daddy, you look really hungry. Here, have some popcorn.”

    Later, he said, “Daddy, you look really thirsty.” He picked up my cup from the coffee table. “Drink some of your water.”

  7. Mark, you haven’t seen Iron Giant? Brad Bird (writer, director) is a freakin’ genius. He also did The Incredibles, years later, if that helps.

    Listen to Moksha. I cried at the end of Iron Giant. And then I was suffused with a wee hint o’ hope.

    See it, enjoy it, love it.

    (Yes, that Ben is way too cute for his own good. And seems to have a great cerebellum of his own.)

  8. Mark – This need to take care of you is a wonderful sign that you and Shan will be pampered in your senile years. Encourage this behavior ;)

    Si – I admit I still tear up a bit everytime I watch the end of that film.

  9. Great pictures. A’s cousin had a baby boy on Thursday, and LC talked about it all week long. They went there Thursday to be there for the birth, but she was in labor for 18 HOURS…ouch. They came home at about 6 p.m., and LC walked in and said, “Daddy…babies take a long time to come out. I didn’t have good patience.” After I stopped laughing, he proceeded to tell me about how excited he was to go see the baby the next day.

    I met them there at lunch, and he looked at the baby all of 30 seconds, and then wanted to play with his cousin A. Seems about right. Babies are a little boring.

    I really like your recaps of Benglish. Great stuff. Keep those coming.

  10. Simon – It had me choked up, but with Ben there firing questions at me, it was difficult to stay in the moment. I won’t say anything more specific to avoid spoilers, but it was very good. (However, and someone’s going to accuse me of being political, I thought they could have inserted their anti-killing message without making it completely anti-gun. While I don’t have any desire to hunt, I wouldn’t have used hunting as an example of an evil use of guns. Otherwise, I’d never be able to eat meat again — simmer down, Moksha! At least that part was brief and relatively early.)

    Moksha – He’s got “nurture” written all over him. So, I guess his circumcision shouldn’t have been my primary concern about potential locker room disrobing.

    Charles – Ha! LC didn’t have good patience. That’s great! Ben was rolling his wind-up Tow Mater around on the floor near the end of our visit.

    Benglish had been away too long, and we lost a note with some good ones on it. Dang.

  11. What? I wasn’t gonna say anything. The moral superiority that comes with not devouring our animal brethren insures a sense of humility potent enough that I’ll just keep my mouth shut. Oops. Did I say that outloud?
    (What a jerk!)

    As for the anti-gun thing, I see your point, but wasn’t disturbed by it. I’m not particularly anti-gun, but I thought the scene was consistant with the character and a good way to show his conflict over his nature without being particulalry graphic. I suppose he could have witnessed a drive-by shooting…but I’d actually have more of a problem with that.

    And besides…I’m not so sure that “guns kill” is such a bad message for kids. You can, of course, disagree, but I’d rather start from this general concept of “guns are dangerous, don’t touch guns” and allow the other side of the argument to develop with nuance over time, than to do it the other way around. But that’s just my opinion (backed by my overblown sense of moral superiority) ;)

  12. Oh, and I was just saying it’s likely that Ben will send you to a good old folks home. You know…probably splurge and put you in the one with the pottery wheel. That’s all.

  13. MG – I see your point. Guns can kill would be more accurate for me, because my parents fire off thousands of rounds of ammo per month at targets without killing anything.


  14. Has nobody else picked up on the fact that Ben is trying (without actually saying it) to ASK FOR A BABY BROTHER or SISTER????? *LOL*

    Come on Mark… get working on it! *S*

  15. Dave – Oh, we’re clued into that pretty well. I think Linda mentioned it without mentioning it in number 5.


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