Friday, July 25, 2014

Adult Kissing Baby

Jonah is the kind of kid who has never blocked affection.  He doesn’t turn his head or scream when you try to give him lovin’.  Jonah takes what he can get.

So, when Sunday or I kissed him on the cheeks or the neck, he usually giggled or presented himself for a little “sugar search”.  This month, however, Jonah stepped it up a notch.  He tried to show us that he’s a team player and he’s willing to be more proactive in his lovin’.  Jonah started the lifelong activity that we hope he’ll enjoy forever:  kissing.

For many, the hierarchy for kissing begins with the more innocent “peck” on the cheek, then the lips, and then the more adult open-mouthed kisses.  Jonah has not been hipped to the jive, man.  He was a little more “adult” in his lovin’ and he had no clue that he shouldn’t be kissing his Momma the way he did.

Let me paint the picture for you.  Sunday or I held Jonah, with few distractions.  (We have discovered that Jonah does not “perform” when other people are around.  He simply won’t bow to the pressure.  He won’t.)  Then, Sunday or I would say, “Jonah, give me kisses.” 

While we requested multiple “kisses”, Jonah only gave one at a time.  To be honest, one kiss at a time from Jonah was plenty.  And when he decided to make his move, he was lightning fast.  (I’m not looking forward to his dating days).

Here’s the scene: 

Sunday says, “Jonah, give me kisses.”

Jonah smiles and says, “Momma.”

Sunday says, “Jonah, give me kisses.”

Jonah shakes his head and says, “Momma.”

Sunday says, “Jonah, give me kisses.”

And Jonah, cobra-like, strikes.  Before she knows it, Sunday has been “kissed” by Jonah. 

Let me break this down for you.  Jonah distracts whoever is requesting the kisses by saying “Momma” or “Dadda” or “Nana”.  This misdirection allows Jonah the time to gather his plan.  Then, as the person requests another kiss, Jonah moves in for the kill.  He opens his eyes as wide as he possibly can open them, and then he cocks his head back, and pivots in for the kiss.  His mouth, however, is wide open, and his tongue is sticking out.  (He may be part French, I don’t know.  If he suddenly surrenders every time someone wants to fight him, we’ll know he’s French).

As he acquits his object of affection, Jonah’s face does not betray a look of satisfaction.  In fact, I believe that Jonah is as surprised by his attempt at lovin’ as the person who receives his kisses. 

Thus, both kisser and kissee leave the experience with an overwhelming sense of confusion and disillusionment.  I am happy to report, however, that Jonah has not given kisses to those who have not been able to handle the shocking aftermath.  At any rate, the end result is a wet kiss by an overexcited toddler.  It’s like being seduced by a large mouth bass.

When kissing Jonah, however, make sure that he hasn’t eaten in the previous hour or that he isn’t currently drinking something.  Sunday has had a mouth full of used crackers simply as a result of her desire to have a kiss from Jonah.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dangerous Toys

We have friends who have outfitted their homes with hundreds of dollars worth of toys, often putting a second mortgage on their SUV’s to pay for it all.  These kids have computer game systems, electronic robots and battery-powered cars.  In fact, some of those cars cost more than the first couple vehicles I drove.  It’s pretty crazy. 

As for Jonah, he has not been exposed to that many toys.  We are not too interested in giving him a bunch of toys that he’ll lose interest in within about 30 seconds of receiving it.  (translation:  our apartment is not big enough for a battery-operated car).   Also, we truly believe that Jonah will be better off in the long run if he can find and discover his own fun around the house.  (translation:  we can’t afford a robot). 

Thus, Jonah has spent his eleventh month motoring around, finding fun where he can get it.  I usually try to scatter toys throughout the living room in a vain attempt to occupy him, but he has found that universal source of fun:  the cabinets.

Our kitchen is that very-small-galley-type kitchen that many old apartments maintain.  Thus, we have cabinets on both sides of our bowling alley kitchen space.  For us, it’s a convenient place to prepare meals and to store kitchen utensils, pots and pans.  For Jonah, it is Toys R Us. 

He goes into the kitchen, looking for cabinets to open and drawers to denude.  He first began playing where we keep the pots and pans, so we weren’t too concerned about safety. 

We were concerned, however, about our hearing.  There are many people who talk about the “cuteness” of children playing in the pots and pans, ignoring the toys bought for them.  While we looked forward to this stereotypical time, we didn’t consider the annoying habit Jonah may develop:  banging the pots together.  By the time we discovered that we hated his love for the pots and pans cabinet (time elapsed:  3.5 seconds) he had developed an eternal love for pots and pans only.

Thus, the toys we now owned were no longer desirable.  In fact, Jonah quit liking any toy that didn’t either make a ton of noise or have Teflon on it. 

We had to act fast.  We have learned that much of our lives of parents is made up of correcting and diverting attention.  If “no” doesn’t work, then we move to “hey, check this out.”  Since we didn’t want him to play in the pots and pans, we figured we’d better divert him to something else.  Eventually, Jonah fell in love with the drawers. 

We had two drawers from which he could choose.  The first contained cheese graters, thermonuclear devices, melon ballers, ninja stars, garlic presses, hand guns, and metal spatulas.   The second contained more kid-friendly stuff like wooden spoons, plastic scrapers, and other nice items sold by The Pampered Chef. 

Guess which drawer Jonah liked?  Yep.  Within seconds of discovering the more dangerous drawer, he had a cheese grater in one hand and a ninja star in the other.  We were both mortified and hopeful that one day he might be able to successfully throw a ninja star.  (The dream of all caring and concerned parents:  expert use of ninja stars).

Anyway, we tried to dissuade him from playing in “the dangerous drawer” with the non-dangerous toys from The Pampered Chef.  That was a no-go.  Obviously, Jonah is not going to become a chef, pampered or not. 

Jonah likes to put things on his head.   Unfortunately, that includes pots and pans as well as thermonuclear devices.  Thus, we decided action had to be taken when we saw that Jonah tried to put the cheese grater on his head.  The poor little guy almost scalped himself. 

After a short discussion, Sunday decided to remove all dangerous items from the “dangerous” drawer.  Thus, we no longer had at our fingertips ninja stars or melon ballers.  We had to live our lives without the future hope of balling melons.  How brutal.

Jonah, however, had other ideas about the drawers and he attacked the newly-formed drawers with alacrity, noting the lack of dangerous material.  After a week of not having any clean cooking utensils from The Pampered Chef, we decided to empty one drawer and fill it with Jonah’s toys. 

Jonah now enjoys the safer—and quieter—form of play that we have forced him to enjoy.  His own toys are great.  They’re no fun like the fun you can have with melon ballers and hand guns, but he has dealt with it fine.