Between Beaner duty in the mornings, long working hours, and other family obligations, as well as upcoming vacation plans, June's obviously going to be a light posting month. Thus every post I do squeeze in will likely have some variation on the word "random" in its title. Sorry about the spewing, but I want to record a few observations and happenings before I forget them. As I've mentioned many times before, this blog is the best resource I have for keeping track of my and my family's personal history.

First, I just want to say that I usually hate regular "update" e-mails from the companies I support with my purchasing or sponsorship dollars, and even the ones that I don't unsubscribe from or send directly to the trash I rarely read. One exception is the weekly "News from PBS 39" e-mail. I originally supported this station because it had Sesame Street on at a timeslot that was convenient for us to record, and because my closest PBS affiliate, WHYY, seemed not to care whether they got any money from me or not. (They had to be begged to acknowledge a rather large donation made as the result of an unexpected inheritance.)

PBS39, on the other hand, calls me occasionally to see if the station is meeting my needs, invites me to events (mostly in the Lehigh Valley, so I haven't been to any yet), and rarely asks me for money. Their "major gifts specialist" called me one day to ask what shows I liked most and to probe a bit into why I chose to support them when I had a station here in Center City I could support. (Apparently I'm not the only Center City resident sending them money; they've noticed a trend.) A few days after that conversation, I received a hand-written note from my caller, who not only remembered the Beaner's name, but enclosed a little Ernie doll for him. PBS is so getting more money from me this year, even if no one dies and leaves me extra dollars in their will.

Anyway, the newsletter. I look forward to receiving it every week because otherwise I'd probably miss some awesome Frontlines, American Experiences, and Masterpiece Theaters. I can know at a glance whether I need to stop working at 8pm or 9pm and watch "Growing Up Online" or an American Experience on Alexander Hamilton, or whether to check the TiVo later for the program. (As much as I love television, I rarely find myself looking for something to watch on TiVo unless I know it's there already.) It's so simple and straightforward, and like any good marketing piece, it gives me exactly the information I'm interested in (and that would be a pain to gather myself). Yay again for PBS39.

All of the following Beanerisms were uttered last Wednesday night:

  • "Mommy, come here!" he shouts from the tub. "Watch! I will now MAKE BUBBLES." He sticks the propeller butt of his bath turtle into a yogurt cup of soapy water, and viola!
  • While in the bathroom watching the bubble-making, I noticed that the toilet seat was up. "What do we do with the seat?" I asked, poised to lower it. Him: "Oh, I left it up in case Daddy needs to pee later. That way he won't have to lift it." I thought it was funny that he hit on the logical argument men have been making since the advent of the toilet seat on his first try.
  • I started a sticker system a couple months ago to encourage him to get in his jammies/get dressed quickly. Originally I used garage sale stickers (because they were cheap and simple), but I upgraded to pawprint stickers when I spotted them at the Lakeshore Learning Store. On the same night as the bubble making, the Beaner insisted on wearing socks with his jammies "to keep my feet warm." About 2 minutes after I helped him turn a sock right side out, he ran out of his room, raised his arms over his head in a victory V and yelled, "Da tah dah! Do I get a pawprint?" Me: "Um, where are your pants?" Him, looking down: "Oh. Oops!" (Every day I'm seeing more and more evidence that his mind works very similarly to mine; I probably would have left the house without pants if I'd added a new variable to my routine because hey, I always put on three things, and I just put on three things—socks, shirt, and underwear.)
  • After I'd closed the book on story time: "I don't think I want to be a father. I just want to be a kid all day."
  • About 10 minutes later, when he should have been asleep: "Mommy, what are ice cubes for?" Me: "To make things cold." Him: "I think we should throw some ice cubes up in the sky so it'll get cooler."


We spent the weekend at Al's parents' house so Al and his dad could play golf together for Father's Day, and while there the Beaner got a chance to drive his blue Jeep. On the way home, the Beaner announced that since he now knew how to drive the Jeep properly, he was fully qualified to drive our family car. I told him that he'd need a learner's permit, some lessons, and proof that he could reach the pedals before we'd let him drive the car. He finally agreed that this was reasonable.


While we were away, Al's timed watering system seems to have worked well for my container garden, but the thunderstorm-driven winds on Saturday must've been stronger in Philadelphia than they were in Northern Virginia. I returned to find the large beefsteak tomato plant leaning hard left, its support ring leaning with it. The larger of the two Patio Orange tomatoes and the Sprite grape were also leaning at about 75 degrees. I zip-tied all three plants to their stakes and went around straightening the rest of the windblown plants.

I have garden photos from Friday to post to Flickr, and I'll take some more tonight. The tomatoes are really growing well, and I'm pretty shocked that the "determinate" grape tomato plants are larger and ganglier than the smaller of the (indeterminate) beefsteak tomato plants.


The Stage Two Feingold Plan we're following is going really well, and the Beaner is being a total champ about refusing foods that might have artificial colors in them. (He hasn't fully grokked the no artificial flavors or preservatives requirements yet and puts everything under the "that has artificial colors in it" umbrella, but as the end result is the same—he declines offers of any foods I've told him aren't "safe"—I'm OK with that.) I love that he asks me if something's safe before he eats it, and that he's been so reasonable about accepting substitutes. I'm amassing a drawer full of treats that are "safe", and I've started carrying around safe lollipops in my purse in case a well-meaning bank or post-office employee offers him a neon-colored, artificially flavored specimen. He still gets his lollipop, so it doesn't matter to him.

He did mention this morning, "I used to be able to eat artificial colors, but not anymore. How come?" I explained that Daddy and I didn't fully understand that they weren't good for him before now; that it makes sense that they're not, but we hadn't thought about it as thoroughly as we should have, and now we've finally come to our senses. I was prepared to add that not eating all the artificial stuff would help his brain function better, but he seemed satisfied.

Posted by Lori in parenthood and random at 1:44 PM on June 16, 2008


Glad Feingold is working well! The whole substitution-thing works well. At the start of the year, I give the teacher a box full of "safe" treats in case someone brings something unexpected for the kids. Fortunately most teachers alert me ahead of time - "Hey, we're having an ice-cream party!" for example - and I can just bring something that approximates what the "other kids" are having.

As for PBS39, I love that personal touch. I still remember businesses (and go out of my way to patron/frequent them) that really "care" about their customers and take the time to listen.

Posted by: Karianna [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 30, 2008 9:34 PM

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