Their Obsession With Cheetahs

The CubbiesEvery night my children go to bed with cheetah cubbies that may be leopards.

They are cheap stuffed toys, the kind you see at the front of lesser family restaurants. Nothing extravagant, but wherever they go in the house, they are usually in the same room, many times next to each other. And each evening, they are needed for nighttime or there might be tears.

The cheetahs started with my son when he realized how fast they were.

My son has always loved to run. Back when he used to go to daycare and I would pick him up, on every nice day he would be in the playground racing with his friends. The teacher would just shout “Go!” and watch the kids run around and around again, not considering it was the parents that had to deal with the kids with sweat-soaked hair that would always need a bath later.

Now my son wasn’t always the fastest, he did good, but there were always kids a little faster since they might be older or just plan bigger. But that didn’t matter to my son, he would always tell me on the way home how he won… even when we both knew he didn’t.

He was Dash from The Incredibles for Halloween when he was four then the year after that The Flash. Whenever either costume was put on he would get this look in his eye, scream “zoom” and take off running around our house hoping to find a bad guy some place.

A red blur of speed!

 Last Christmas, my daughter gave her brother a giant stuffed cheetah. (Well, actually the parents did but she happily took credit for it, she was one then.) My son immediately declared it was the mommy cheetah, and they both happily agreed. The cheetah cubbies were grabbed and quickly were reunited.

They are now a family of cheetahs. Continue reading

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Re-Posted: Pete the Cat Review

I just found this e-mail in my Facebook message box:

“Hi Scott. Thanks for you outstanding review of the Pete the Cat picture books. It was one of the best I have read. I really appreciate it. Be Well, Eric”

Moments like that are the reason I love having a blog.

The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

My Favorite in the seriesI have always been allergic to cats, which means my relationship to them has been one of avoidance for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, most cats do not know our little “arrangement,” and seem to seek me out, enjoying the little sufferings that they cause me as I sniffle and cough at their mere presence.

Each time this occurs, the cat owner will laugh and tell me how cats always seek out the one with allergies, the one showing them the least interest. They always seem amused by this idea; me, I have always have seen it as something more sinister. Yes, I might giggle out loud but inside I am preparing for the possibility of feline confrontation.

Okay, let me clarify, I don’t think cats want my downfall, nothing like that; I simply think cats know they have some power over me and relish in it.

Finally…

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Book Review: Cozy Classics- Pride and Prejudice, Jack and Holman Wang

There is a conundrum out there unique to lovers of literature that others might not understand. Might even laugh at.

See, we lovers of books want to express and share our love of a good story, and many times this aim is focused directly on our unsuspecting children. The idea of our kids, at any age, having a library of classics is a dream. We want them to be readers like us! And we parents will try every trick in the book to make it happen.

So where is the conundrum?

I’ll explain it via a story: When I was a child I was given a large collection of illustrated classics. Basically, they were cut-down edited versions of great works for young readers with a black-and-white illustration on the right page; so I was, honestly, being spoon-fed the story. While as a kid, I loved reading these… but there was a cost. See when I was finally at the age to read many of these classics in their original (as the writer intended) form, I really didn’t have a driving need or interest. Yes, by getting an adapted version for the young, the book was ruined for me!

On a side note, this is one of the reasons I love and hate the old TV show Wishbone as well…

Before you toss aside my point as frivolous, consider this, when was the last time you watched a movie adapted from a book and thought I want to read the book now?

Ah, now you are getting the point, eh? Continue reading

Nine Thoughts on Turning Five

My wife was in labor for 22 hours. 22!

It started the night before and I was deep in sleep when she broke the news we needed to leave for the hospital NOW. I was so deep into it that it took almost a minute of her waving at me, as I stood dumbfounded, that we needed to move.

I drove so slowly to the hospital, my wife was getting frustrated. I wanted everyone to be safe, I even avoided the highway, worried about drunk drivers.… Yes, it was a Sunday night, but someone could be drunk on a Sunday, right?

Once we were there my wife’s suffering began as future parents after future parents went in the delivery room before us. Finally, I had had enough. There are only a few times I can remember that I got all “extreme,” but this was one of them, as I confronted the doctor and nurse in the hallway. They said there were two ahead and I corrected them, without blinking, no, my wife is next… After five minutes of arguing, my wife was being prepped and ready to go.

One of my most vivid memories is of my son’s birth. When we first heard his cry, my wife turned to me, her mouth open in surprise, tears streaking her happy and tired face.  Then they showed him to us. His face was bright red from the screaming. I asked politely (and very overwhelmed) if I could see him; they of course said yes. I stood over him consoling him. At the sound of my voice he immediately stopped crying and then rolled on his side towards me.

You don’t forget things like that… Continue reading

My Solo Dad Tricks

I’m on solo dad time for the next few days.

This is not a big deal really, I keep an eye on my two little kids without the wife around all the time, but I do admit my son has been known to call the evenings when it is just the three of us (and the mom is away) “silly nights.”

Yup, silly nights.

That is the dad I am in many ways. You could call me the “prop comic” of fathers, always coming up with new games and new ways to play with toys. I think I average about two to three a day, but don’t expect me to remember any. I usually forget them the minute after we have moved on to the next activity.

I’m not the kind of parent who feels comfortable with the television and movies for helping pass the time. I don’t want that crutch. I want the parental interaction, but after eight hours I can get… well, silly.

Pesonally, I don’t know how teachers and at-home parents do it. I would go a little stir crazy if I couldn’t find things to challenge myself mentally with during the day. I love being a dad, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about my super kids; this is all about me and it is true in most things I do. I always need my mind to be working to be happy. Anyway, I have three fallbacks I pull out if I need to keep my mind in the game. Continue reading

The Fears of a Four-Year Old Superhero

My four-year old son has four superhero capes, he is very careful to choose the right one to wear on a given day.

He has two different superhero identities. They are Super Greyson and The Grey Lightning.  Super Greyson can fly, The Grey Lightning can run fast; both fight bad guys and monsters.

And yet, for all of these capabilities, my son (like any normal four-year old) has fears. So far there has not been a concern about monsters in the closet; we’ve been avoiding Monsters, Inc. for that reason (While I love the film, Pixar you open a possibility of a can of worms with that one!), but there are others that have crept up to surprise both his mother and myself.

Bad Guys

You think a superhero would be okay with bad guys, but his fear of them seems to have really grown in the last few months. Continue reading