Thursday, February 28, 2008

Some big shoes to fill.

I know it's terrible cliche, but it's constantly amazing how quickly Eli has turned from our baby to a little boy. He eats with his silverware and, on a good day, doesn't hardly spill any. He's drinking from a "big boy" cup when he's not running around. He has a favorite Disney movie (have we let him watch too much?). He plays the harmonica better than his mom (not really all that impressive, if you consider my skills). And . . . He's got huge feet! Well, maybe not really, but he seems to like putting on our shoes lately.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Snow Slide

We've been loving winter. Really. Especially the last few weeks when it's been a little less cold and Eli can play outside for longer than 10 minutes at a time. With all the snow this winter, Jeff build Eli (and maybe himself?) a snow slide off the back steps of our deck. We've been taking Eli to the mall to play on the play-place there this winter when it's been too bitter cold to play outside. Everything is seriously padded there, including the floor, so it was a great place for Eli to learn how to go down the big slide on his own. One day, in the back yard, Jeff started pilling up snow on the steps and Eli was content to stuff his face in big piles of snow and lick. When the slide was completed, Jeff sat Eli at the top and ran around to the bottom, repeatedly asking Eli to wait, wait, wait! He got to the bottom and looked up at Eli who was still sitting at the top, looking a bit confused. But then Jeff said, "Eli, it's a slide!" Eli's response was one of his chuckles from his gut and a big push off the top. He'd seen plenty of slides, but none made out of snow before. After a little sun in the afternoon and some rain the next day, the slide is primed for speedy sliding and Eli's having a great time - especially since he's started getting hot chocolate to warm up when he comes in the house.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese." - GK Chesterton

For the last four years I've been a part of a motley group of seminarians, professors, pastors, plumbers and others called "the glimmerings". We are a reading group that also dabbles in poetry and essays. Lois, one of the group members, showed up with the Chesterton quote which resulted in an assignment for poems on cheese. It took me about two seconds to conjure up an image of Eli and his beloved string cheese. Here is the result.

Little man roams

Little man roams
for the world is his throne
King of a kingdom
that encompasses home

Running and climbing
movement never ceased
A hundred thousand kilowatts
of energy in release

Surging through his domain
to establish peace
With the shield of sippy cup
and a scepter of cheese

Flopping and waggling
he conducts his symphony
Two point four ounces
for all to see

Tending his flock
herding sheep on the farm
It’s a milky white flexible
extension of his arm

Better than the cheddar
that melts on his taco’s
Higher than other snacks
it is this he chose

perfect for little teeth
Full of z’s and syllables
it is the string lover’s cheese

But in the grip
of a 19 month old
This edible screwdriver
is better than gold

40% play toy
50% fuel
10% bargaining chip
100% cool

Tear it or smash it
bend it around
Low impact drum stick
to bang and to pound

Abuse is no stranger
to this strung out cheese
But never complaining
it was designed to please

A perfect companion
for after a nap
Even if a stubborn one
takes too long to unwrap

He’ll take it.

And he will love
every last bite
As inch by inch
it vanishes from sight

Living to the fullest
this cheese has won
the love of a child
whose roaming lives on

An every shortening tool
whose work goes undone
Bye-bye string cheese
the end has come

~ Jeff Petersen