Anybody remember Boy Wonder, the pint-size version of Super Man? Well, today I had the pleasure of spending an entire day with the caped crusader, none other than my son, Kerrigan. Having spend most of the last month away from home, teaching courses both in London and Los Angeles, I now have the opportunity to spend two whole days with Kerrigan all on my own, while my wife, Zuzana, attends her 15-year high school reunion in the city where she grew up, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia. [This post was written on April 28, 2007.]
First, some basic observations on Keri’s budding personality.
Keri really knows what he wants, and he has no trouble expressing it. He let me know every step of the way. When he wanted to watch a “Miss Patty Cake” video, he would take me to the computer and clap his hands (that’s her call-sign). For what to eat, he would point to each item, bread, yogurt, soup, and also show the sign for “more” (touching your fingers together). His favorite now is bottled cherries prepared by his great grandmother (Zuzana’s grandmother). For that, he takes me to the fridge, opens the door (or at least tries to), then points to the shelf with the cherries on it.
He loves books. In the evening, he thumbed through a book on “Investment in Slovakia,” prepared by the accounting firm, KPMG (where Zuzana used to work). He was actually engrossed by it. He climbed up into a chair, curled up with the book, and proceeded to flip through each and every page. I managed to grab the video camera and captured the episode on tape.
Now, a summary of the day’s events.
After Zuzana left, Keri and I played together for about an hour, at which point I put him down for a nap. He slept until about Noon. After he woke up, I changed his diaper, dressed him, and took him on the bus to go have lunch at McDonalds (ok, I could have cooked something but chickened out). There I ordered him a Chicken McNuggets happy meal, and I fed him the chicken without the breaded coating. After that, we went to the play area and mingled with the other kids for about a half hour.
At this point, we decided (ok, I decided) to go to a nearby park. After chasing some pigeons, we walked to the town center and, after a futile attempt to hook up with some friends, caught a bus back home. For the first time, I didn’t take the stroller, because I thought Keri would just walk wherever we wanted to go. Well, Keri gets a tad distracted along the way, wandering off to explore every nook and cranny. So to get anywhere, I had to carry him. Needless to say, after about four hours, I got myself a fairly good workout. The few times he did walk, I attached a leash to his wrist to keep him from running out into traffic. The other challenge was keeping his hands clean, seeing as he likes to get down and dirty and touches everything he sees. He especially likes to grab a fistful of gravel or sand and watch it slowly run through his fingers. To make matters worse, he likes to suck on his fingers to ease the teething pains he’s going through.
As soon as we stepped through the door, I stripped, changed and bathed him from head to toe. Then he watched a video while I prepared dinner. After eating, he played with various items in the apartment, and I put him to bed about 8 pm. So that’s 12 hours of Keri, with only a two hour nap-break. What a job. I have no idea how my wife manages to do this every day. I gotta hand it to her. It’s one tough job, albeit an extremely rewarding one.