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Apr. 19th, 2011


Ansel was eating the piece of bread I gave him at dinner last night, and remarked that I put a lot of butter on it. Julie conceded I am much more generous than she is with the butter.

"Papa is leaderer!" he said; his speech, though complex, is not always clear. He still struggles with some pronunciation, and we had no idea what he was saying. Sometimes he goes into a fit when that happens, and sometimes he patiently explains.

"You know, when one person is fwarter than another, that person is leaderer." Fwarter? "Yeah, when he can do things that someone else can't." Oh, smarter. When someone's smarter, he's cleverer! I get it now.

"Yeah, papa is cleverer for giving me so much butter." Because more butter is what he wants, so the person who recognizes that and acts accordingly is cleverer. There's no arguing with that logic!


Feb. 21st, 2011

Eighteen Hundred and Thirty-Seven Straight Days with the Top Down.

Is there anything my blue convertible cannot do?

This morning, I dropped Ansel off at his daycare on Sherwood St in Ann Arbor, where it looked like there were 9 pristine inches of snow on the ground. I had followed tracks halfway down the street, but they disappeared just as the road went uphill; so there I was, blazing a trail through snow that went 4.5" to the bottom of my car, and then 4.5" above it. And it went uphill. And people were watching. And I had the top down. And then I did get stuck, just below the top. And then I let the "S" roll backward, went forward again, and crested the hill.

I couldn't believe it. I should have taken picture, but honestly, I simply assumed I was going to get suck (but didn't care); and it's getting easier and easier nowadays to find pictures of me on the internet, anyway.

And, oh yeah, I'm on Jalopnik now, so, ah . . . "Hi, everybody!"


Feb. 2nd, 2011

Eighteen Hundred and Twenty-Four Straight Days with the Top Down.

Today was one of my best morning commutes of all time. After a blizzard that never lived up to its expectations in the Detroit area, the expressways were covered in snow but devoid of traffic. Once my neighbor had plowed our street (with eight inches of snow; remember, the "S" has only four inches of ground clearance), I took off. A bit of a wobble to get onto I-94 because of the deep ruts, but once on — as fast as I could go, with only the occasional slow-down for people who drove close by so as they could take pictures.

Speaking of which, on the way home, a Tahoe from the Romulus police department came speeding up from behind me, with lights ablaze. They moved into the lane next to me, then dawdled in my blind spot for a bit before pulling up right next to me; so they could take pictures! Once they were done with that, they sped up and exited at the next ramp. That was a first for me.

Although in the morning, I had passed a Michigan State Police trooper; he had entered the roadway ahead of me, straddling two lanes, when he slowed down to a near-stop. I hesitated, but eventually swerved into the center turn lane (illegally!) so I could pass him; he then sped up and drove behind me for a while. Perhaps he was taking pictures, too; I assumed he might be running my plate, but he really wasn't behind me for long enough to do that.


Dec. 31st, 2010

On the Subtleties of Language

Ansel has three clear concepts of temperature: cold, warm, and hot. It applies to food (naturally!), his bed, the weather, the shower. Earlier this month, he complained that the water was hot, and he wanted it warmer. I was confused by that for a while, although I did eventually understand he wants it colder when he asks for warmer.

Then, later, I figured it out: warm is colder than hot, so if it's too hot, he wants it to be more like warm. Not cold, just warm, but more warm than it currently is, so: warm-er.

Warmer is colder. Got it, now.

Dec. 26th, 2010

On Knowing Your Own Strengths.

Ansel was playing with Easter egg hay the other day, making a fairly big mess. Julie, who was watching this, let him make the mess if he agreed to clean it up later. "Sure," he said. Sure he will.

When later come, he protested. "But it's a lot of work for me to do!" Well, you knew that when you made the mess. "Help me, mama!" No.

"But mama, if you asked me to help you, I would help you because I am so sweet and I love you so much, mama! I love you so much!"

What's a parent to do but get on the floor and help?

Dec. 20th, 2010

Seventeen Hundred and Ninety-Eight Straight Days with the Top Down.

233. On I-94 W near Lonyo.
A pleasant 28° F.

It was 25° F this morning, but gray; 25 is my sweet spot, but mostly because it's usually either snowing nicely, or beautifully sunny. Today was just so-so.

Dec. 18th, 2010

Seventeen Hundred and Ninety-Six Straight Days with the Top Down.

232. On Outer Drive and Southfield.
Barely freezing.

So, of course, the people with their phone cameras have been busy again. Like this one, on Facebook:

It made me wonder; how many photos of me are out there? Only a small percentage of the days I drive is it worth it to take a picture, but on those days, lots of people do. Let's say 10% of the time (bearing in mind that all of winter is 25%); but 10 people a day. So that averages one for each day of The Streak. That's crazy.

Dec. 16th, 2010

Seventeen Hundred and Ninety-Five Straight Days with the Top Down.

231. On Huron River Dr near Army National Guard.
I didn't know it, but it was 1° F here.

I continue to struggle to get the camera ready for Photostreak material; and I also don't feel much like writing without photos. So here's a rare glimps at the continuing Streak.

It was 9° F when I went to bed, 14° F when I woke up at 2 am, then, without anyone telling me, it started to drop to almost zero by 8 am. That's when I left to go to the dentist, which is what I'm doing in the photo.

Nov. 30th, 2010

Ansel and Doll

Ansel and Doll.

Ansel has a doll.

For pretty much as long as he has been potty-trained, almost a year now, Ansel has had a difficult time pooping anywhere but his own home. He's never pooped at daycare, and he holds it as long as he possibly can when on vacation; days if he has to, unless it's finally too late or sometimes barely in time. We've been telling him recently that if he poops at daycare, he can have any present he wants. Anything. Nothing going; for reasons no non-toddler can fathom, he insisted to go only at home.

Then on Sunday, he and I were in the restrooms at Sears in Iowa. He was peeing in his stall and I was peeing in the stall next to it, and I idly asked if he had to poop as well. "Uh huh!" he said.

"Really?" And he insisted, "uh huh!" He rarely says yes, as he prefers to say uh-huh. But sure enough, he pooped for the first time ever in a place he doesn't consider home. At first I wasn't making a big deal out of it because I didn't want him to realize he was doing it, but after a while I said, "that's great, you're pooping!"

"Oh, whenever I have to, I just go," he commented. Liar. Little liar!

So, mindful of my promise, I took him shopping that night at Dubuque, IA's lovely Theisen's Farm and Auto. First, I picked out a pair of snow boots for him, letting him choose the color. "Do you like this one," I asked; "uh-huh!" he said, "but it can't be my present!" It's hard to fool my toddler.

"I don't want a car, either, because I have lots of cars." True to his word, he picked out a $3.99 John Deere tractor because "I have cars, but I don't have any tractors!" He's right about that, but I thought he was short-changing himself, so I encouraged him to look around a bit more before committing. He then traded up to a #48 Jimmie Johnson NASCAR die-cast. "It's a car, but it's like the car at your work that you won't let me play with!" Everything he says ends in an exclamation mark, I can't help that. So I have this #88 die-cast in my home office that, indeed, I won't let him play with. Ansel has a masterful control of logic. I okay-ed the #48, but then his eye fell on the next, better thing.

A doll. He wanted the doll. Because "I don't have a doll at home." "But, Ansel, would you even play with a doll?" "Uh-huh! I play with dolls at Moe's house." Moe's house is his daycare/preschool. Like I said, you can't challenge his logic.

No matter how long I pushed him around the store, his wouldn't waver in his choice of the doll. He said it was going to be "his most favorite toy to go night-night with." Eh, what's a parent to do. "Any present he wants" was the reward for pooping, so I set myself up for that one.

And apparently, he wasn't bluffing. It is his most favorite thing to go night-night with. That very night, he cuddled up to his doll, which he has named Doll. A toddler and his logic.

Nov. 10th, 2010

Seventeen Hundred and Seventy-Two Straight Days with the Top Down.

Last week's weather forecast included snow, but no real low temperatures and no snow that would linger; very clearly not worth putting the winter tires on the car. But, delightfully, when I was stopped at the light on Rawsonville Rd on Friday night, snowflakes were falling down. Lightly enough, and sporadically enough, that most people who weren't outside (including those who were driving) don't believe me, but there it was: winter's first snow.


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