Will the Science Guy

Will’s favorite two shows on TV these days are Wild Kratts (PBS) and Octonauts (Disney Jr.).

Wild Kratts is a great show all about animals featuring the Kratt brothers. They open with a segment that includes a live shot of a particular animal or group of animals – then it moves into an animated piece for most of the show, returning to the brothers at the end. It’s what might be called “edu-tainment” where the kids are really engrossed in the story, but they don’t realize that they’re also learning. A lot from what I can tell.

Octonauts is a Disney show about an underwater group of friends whose motto is “Explore, rescue, protect!” They talk all about the different oceans, and what lives in them. Each episode goes in-depth on a particular species of ocean life.

Because of these two shows, Will has learned a lot about wildlife. He knows the difference between predator and prey. He knows how to draw a Humboldt Squid. He can describe a zebra fish. He knows so many facts about which animal is the fastest, most powerful, strongest, most clever. While we don’t watch excessive amounts of TV, I do like the fact that these shows are grabbing his interest on some pretty fun topics.

Tonight he wanted to walk over to our community pool for a night swim. I told him it was too dark. His response: “I’m nocturnal; I’m active at night!”

A Week of Firsts and Thoughts on “Lasts”

It’s been a week of firsts.

First, we took the front rail off of Phoebe’s crib, so it has now been officially converted to a toddler bed. She spent her first week in this new arrangement and did very well. The only difference is that she comes downstairs in the morning instead of yelling, “Dad / Mom, come get me! I’m done with my bed!!”

William also had a first on Sunday when we were at the pool. This was Super Bowl Sunday and we headed over around 11am and found a completely deserted pool on a day that was 70 and sunny.

Anyway, Will needed to use the bathroom, so he steps out of the pool and heads that direction. Instinctively, I head that direction too, and he stops, turns to me and says, “It’s okay Daddy, I can go by myself.”

He’s been going to the restroom by himself for a long time (at home), but this is the first time we can remember him going in public – especially at the pool.

Thinking about all the “firsts” that we’ve been through also makes me think of a book that Will has that describes all the “lasts” a child has growing up. It’s called, “Let Me Hold You a Little Longer,” and it’s written from the perspective of an empty-nest mother who is recalling how she wishes she would have noticed all the last times her son did certain things – the last time she rocked him to sleep, the last diaper she changed, etc. It’s a great story and incredibly sad in some ways as she chronicles all the things he does thru the years.

I keep thinking about some of the things that Will does that he may be getting a little old for. For example, we’ve done “Rock a Bye Baby” almost every night for the past 4+ years. It goes like this: I stand next to his bed as the very last thing we do before he goes to sleep. I’ll hold him and he puts his head on my shoulder, while I sing Rock a Bye Baby and sway back and forth. When he was a baby, I’d stand there for 15-20 minutes — until I could feel him relax and start to fall asleep. As he got older, the time would be shorter, but I’d still feel him kind of let go of the day just a minute or two into it.

These days, he doesn’t always request it – but we still do most nights. I keep wondering when will be the last time that I do Rock a Bye Baby for him. It makes me really pay attention now to each and every time, since you never really know when it will be the last.

Popular Tunes

For the benefit of everyone in the future who may read this, I’ll define Spotify: it’s a music streaming subscription service, where you can create online playlists of your favorite tunes and stream them to your phone, iPad, or computer for a fee (with no ads). I subscribe to Spotify for $10 a month, since I need to learn new tunes for Rock Out Karaoke, and I just like to have music with me at all times.

Anyway, I’ve created a playlist for Will; made up of songs that he has liked over the past couple of years. Sometimes, we’re flipping through the radio stations and he’ll ask me to stop on a particular song. Other times, he’s really quiet and will ask me at the end of a song what the name of it was. That’s usually my cue to add it to his list.

What’s interesting is the diversity of his tastes. He likes some of the high energy dance songs (Gangnam Style; I Like to Move It Move It), but he also likes to slow it down (True Colors).

Here are a few on the list currently:

Keep Your Head Up – Andy Grammer
Riptide – Vance Joy (I’ll be surprised if this guy ever has more than this 2014 hit)
Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain & Tennille (don’t ask)
Drift Away – Dobie Gray
Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (this one goes in and out of fashion for him)
Ho Hey – Lumineers (this was a big favorite in 2012; not so much anymore but it’s still on the list)

Phoebe likes most of this as well – and actually shows a little more of an interest in music. She loves to sing. She may turn out to be our musician someday.

Playing Catch Up

Obvi, we haven’t been the best about keeping this blog updated. We have tons of photos and several videos from the past several months, but we haven’t captured some of the day-to-day things that make our lives fun / interesting / exhausting / frustrating. Here are a few fun facts:

Phoebe LOVES Frozen. Anything with Elsa & Anna. She got lots of this kind of stuff for Christmas, and it hasn’t subsided. She even wants her birthday party to be Elsa & Anna themed.

Phoebe is so nice and so very sweet to everyone. She hands out random compliments (much like Will does) to adults. Things like, “I like your shirt.” Or “I like your beard.” She tells me that she’s glad I’m home a lot. Sometimes she says she doesn’t want me to go to work. Makes it hard to leave. Often times we need “one more hug and one more kiss” on the way out the door – or even after I’ve reached my car. I’m always happy to oblige. Work can wait.

Phoebe is also surprisingly great at sharing. Will is not. So if Will wants to play with one of her toys, she may refuse initially – but she will usually hand over whatever it is that he wanted after a minute or two. She is so easy going, and is really nice to her brother.

Will’s Questions

Last night at bedtime, Will had a series of questions for Danielle. Here are a couple of our favorites:

“Does God know karate? God definitely knows karate. And Jesus knows karate too, but God knows all the commands.”

“Who is more powerful: Dedicek or God?”

New Mexico!

“New Mexico! New Mexico! Todaaaayyyyy.”

Will made up a new song today after playing with his map puzzle of the 50 states.

“My friend Jack Bartson taught me that song. When I was a baby he came to my house and sang that song.”

(Will doesn’t have a friend named Jack Bartson).

Random.