No 4-month-old in the history of the world has ever been forced to endure such punishment.  I begged and pleaded, but Daddy stuck to his guns – I was grounded from technology until I could learn to control myself.

It all started with an accident.  It was a Friday just before Christmas.  Dad was on my case because I was slacking on the blog.  He reminded me of our agreement of one post per week for one year.  I ha already slipped and combined three posts in one the weeks before.  What kind of son would he be raising if he let me continue to slide?

Well, I will tell you what kind of son that is.  It’s a well-rounded individual with many interests and talents…a 21st century Renaissance Man.  He didn’t agree that an obsession with Mario Cart DS qualified as anything less than a diversion.  This argument resulting in my first ever grounding.

The grounding didn’t last long, though.  Mommy got home and stated in no uncertain terms that her pride and joy would not spend Christmas in timeout.  The very fact that Daddy tried it resulted in his grounding for the holidays.  Of course, this didn’t leave him too happy with me.  Mom negotiated a two-week release on the blog, but Daddy promised he would keep an eye on me from there.

I spent the New Year in Ripley, TN watching my folks play cards and drink beer.  I didn’t quite make it to midnight despite trying.  By 11:30 PM, Hoppy (my grandpa) and I were out cold in the recliner.  Life was great and I was ready to make a new fresh start with 2011, my first full year of life.

The first two weeks of January were a blur.  I started the year with a new interest, the Mac App Store.  I discovered Pac Man, Basketmania, and Smack Hockey.  The games were wonderful!  Dad didn’t notice my obsession because he was so busy at work.

Then I came home from school in different clothes.  My teacher tried to change my diaper right after a nap and I hit her with a full strength spray of urine.  She should have seen it coming; it wasn’t my fault.  Daddy laughed at this explosion, but told me to control myself in the future.

On the way to school the next morning, Mommy called Dad’s cell phone.  She worried that I used my last change of clothes the previous day.  Daddy assured her that I could control myself and that it wouldn’t be necessary.  He had faith in me.  The good news was that I did have extra clothes, even if they were too small for me.

Daddy got home late that night.  When he looked through the front door he saw me with my white belly hanging out of a shirt two sizes too small for me.  That’s right!  I peed on another teacher, but not just a teacher, the school director.  I was developing a reputation.

This is when Daddy grounded me for a week – no more buying apps online – oh, and I owed him $10.95 for all the games that I purchased.  He also changed the access password.  Not nice!

The next day at school, Daddy told my head teacher about the punishment.  There was no way I would do this again.  But, he didn’t count on my rebellious nature.  How dare he ground me from Pac-Man!  I would get revenge and I did.  At this point I had peed on 4 out of 5 teachers since starting school.  In late-January, I peed on the fifth.  I got her good, too.  This time not only did I need a change of clothes, but she did, also!  It was glorious!

Daddy didn’t seem to think so.  Now, I had no computer access of any kind.  He got online and found out that I hadn’t posted on the blog in months.  He screamed something about months being half my life.  That if a 5-month-old can’t stick with something every week, how will I ever get a full-ride to Harvard.  Seriously, Daddy, I just want some apple sauce and an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Harvard can wait, maybe forever.

But, I got off punishment.  Mommy is such an easy ally.  This week I went to stay with Gran and Hoppy overnight.  This was my first real overnight trip; the first one where Mommy couldn’t easily walk down the hall and get me.  She was emotional, to say the least.  She made it clear to Daddy that her son would not go away in trouble.  She demanded my freedom from punishment and naturally, Daddy gave in.

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  • My dog (Domino) ate my posts.
  • Dad grounded me from the internet for two weeks because I tried to open a Facebook account. He says I still can’t have one.
  • We are renovating the kitchen and I have spent each of the last 14 nights supervising the work done by the sub-contractors.
  • I was temporarily hypnotized by my success in the stock market (Boston Beer – NYSE:SAM). I made 30% in two weeks and spent the last week looking for another winner!
  • I’m getting older and need more rest.

Okay, so none of the excuses above make up for the fact that I haven’t posted in nearly a month. It’s been just as hard on me as you, though. I have been frustrated by my unplugged life and I vow to redouble my efforts going forward.

So, here are a few highlights from the last few weeks.

Week 13 – I made a significant cognitive advance this week. I hit myself in the head with a toy for the first time. It hurt. Dad just laughed at me and promised it wouldn’t be the last time. I hope it is; I mean it really hurt!

Week 14 – Daddy finally figured out how to use the webcam from school. He has now seen me online twice. Both times I was leaving the classroom with a teacher. I tried to tell him how popular I was a school, but he wouldn’t believe me. They love me there!

Week 15 – I have heard so much from Mom and Dad about this Harry Potter character.  Apparently, there are several books and movies about him and Mom doesn’t say much so as not to spoil the story for me.  However, I have learned he has a lightning bolt scar on his forehead.  Mom and Dad enjoy his story so much that I scratched my own lightning bolt mark on my forehead.  Okay, it’s just a straight line and I did it on accident.  But, now I am trying to convince them it was a Harry Potter thing.

Week 15 (again) – I heard so many people cheering the runners for the St. Jude Marathon this morning.  I saw a few runners on our way to lunch, but I heard the cheers from my backyard.  It sounded fun, and given Dad’s 5k experience, this might be something I would like to do.  So, if any of you out there are so inclined, please tell Mom and Dad to get me a Baby Jogger stroller for Christmas.  If I get one now, Dad and I can be ready for the half-marathon next year.

Life is settling into routine. I sleep nine hours each night, wake up happy and ready to enjoy my five ounce bottle. I go to school and hang out with all my friends and teachers. Mommy picks me up, usually after everyone else has left, then I go home for at least one more bottle before bed. Yawn! That’s pretty boring.

I want to spice things up a bit. Daddy told me and Mommy about people repelling down his building yesterday as part of a fundraiser. Now, that sounds like fun! Unfortunately, I missed the deadline.

So I am determined to do it next year. All it requires is a $1,000 donation to a very worthy cause. I have 365 days to raise the funds. If every reader here gives $5 each time they read a post, I will have enough funds to participate next year!

Okay, Daddy is screaming now that there is no way is 1-year old son is going to dangle off a 24-story building. Blah blah blah! The old man needs to get a sense of excitement. Why did I have to be born to two bankers. They are way too cautious!

Well, since the repelling idea is apparently out, I need suggestions! What can a thrill-seeking newborn do for some fun around here? Any suggestions?

The Family

Ahhh

Chooo!

That’s better.

Dad has started calling me Ross Perot.  Ross Perot was a businessman turned politician in the 90s who was famous for “the giant sucking sound”.  He was referring to jobs moving south of the border to Mexico.  It wasn’t the most eloquent way to describe the phenomenon, but it made people listen.

Well, Dad calls me Ross Perot because I have discovered a giant sucking sound my own.  Today I discovered my hands.  It happened when I realized that I could push my binky back into my mouth without help (these hands were pretty useful)

.  The sucking sound came when I realized my hand tastes better than my binky.

So, for the past two hours, I have been removing my binky and sucking on my hand. I think it is awesome!  Dad thinks it is funny.  Mommy wakes up, puts my binky back in my mouth and says, “Buddy, stop that.  You don’t need to suck your hand”.  So, I wait until she falls back to sleep (it doesn’t take long), then I remove the plug and find my hand again.  Dad just laughs and waits for Mommy to wake up again.  There she goes and now she is threatening to strap my hands down.  Yeah, right!

Daddy’s Photos (That’s right, the lazy bum finally took some more shots!)

My post is a little late because I spent four days last weekend in St. Louis.  I had a blast meeting so many of Mom and Dad’s friends, but was amazed at how different it is up there.  It’s a lot colder there than here.  People there don’t ever seem to go to work.  They stay up very late.  They have tons of brownies – literally tons (I had never seen a brownie).  I want a brownie – bad!

These were new experiences, but the biggest difference is that St. Louis is home to a giant red bird!  That’s right, a giant red bird!  I didn’t know such a thing existed, but it does.  And, apparently he frequents St. Louis weddings.

I was just minding my own business.  I was sitting at a table with Aunt Hannah.  It was just after dinner and I was really tired.  After all, weddings in St. Louis last all day and this was the fourth wedding weekend event I had attended – rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, a Friday cookout, the wedding, now the reception – so, actually it was the fifth event!

Dad was acting crazy.  He had one of those adult beverages in his hand (not the first one I saw him with), he was dancing (I guess you would call it dancing), and Paw Paw was laughing at him.  Daddy had just given Cousin Kindale back to Nanny and picked me up to dance with him.  Now that was scary enough.  I mean the man has no rhythm!  It wasn’t long before he had me dizzy for the first time in life.

That’s when i saw the Big Red Bird.  I thought it was the verrtigo from Dad’s horrible gyrations.  But, then everyone screamed “FredBird”.  That’s right, he had a name!  Then, he bit a pregnant lady on her belly.  Suddenly, he was holding me.  I couldn’t believe it!  Daddy had willingly given me to a giant creature of another species!

It turns out that Fred Bird can dance much better than Dad.  For the three minutes he held me, my vision cleared and all was good.  We posed for a photo and I had made a new friend.  Then, I found out his friend, Rockey, lives in Memphis.  Dad promised I will meet him in April at a Redbirds game.  I can’t wait to see him now that I like giant red birds!

Daddy and Mommy have been talking a lot lately about phantoms.  Given that it is almost Halloween, I assumed they were discussing the presence of ghosts and goblins in the area.  After all, I know there is something out there – Domino is constantly barking at something in the house.  My guess is he can see something I can’t.  Maybe Daddy knows what it is and won’t say.  Regardless, it turns out they haven’t been talking about poltergeists.

No, Mommy and Daddy have been talking about experiencing things that are not really there.  For instance, Mommy frequently complains about hearing Jimmy Buffett’s “Volcano” (“I don’t know where I’m agonna go when the volcano blows” – bet you’re singing it now, right?).  My Monkey Bouncer plays that song and I love it.  Mommy hears it at work.  She says it isn’t really playing, but she just knows she can hear it.  Somewhere, probably Margaritaville, Mr. Buffett is very happy that his song has such an impact.

I had a similar “phantom” experience with Mommy this morning.  She was holding me in the chair and we were chit-chatting as usual (she loves to talk).  I had a momentary period of blindness and then suddenly I could see Mom again.  I didn’t think much of the blindness until it happened again…and again…and again.  It always ended abruptly with Mommy coming back in focus saying “peek-a-bo” (whatever that means).  Well, I know Mommy didn’t disappear (or did she?), so I guess I experienced “phantom blindness” (or Mommy is an awesome magician).

But, the best “phantom” story belongs to Daddy.  It all started about a week ago, when I really started to fill my diapers with special contents.  When Mommy or Daddy replaces my diaper they store the old one in a pail, the Diaper Champ, in my bedroom.  After four or five of my special diapers get there, the old “Champ” begins to ripen (if you catch my drift).  It got so bad last week that Daddy started putting a stick-on freshener in the can.  It doesn’t help and every time you open the Champ it fills the room with a lovely aroma.

Well, Daddy had a big business breakfast on Friday.  Over five hundred people where there and Daddy was sitting at a table with his boss and a potential client.  As he was eating his eggs, he recognized a familiar scent.  That’s right, his eggs started to smell like the Diaper Champ!  He knew that couldn’t be right, but the smell persisted.  It wasn’t him – Daddy hasn’t been to Millington in months – so it must be the eggs.  When no one was watching, he moved the eggs close to his nose to catch a whiff.  They smelled like eggs.

So where was the stench coming from?  He checked his shoes, his suit coat, even his tie and couldn’t find anything.  Daddy was worried that the Diaper Champ had embedded its aroma on him!  Fortunately, a few minutes later, the smell died.  It was a “phantom stink”!

I got to watch the best movie ever this morning – Terminator 2: Judgment Day!  It has everything – a loving mom willing to escape the psycho ward to help her son, a 12-year old boy destined to save the world (kids always do), a bad guy who just won’t die no matter how many times you shoot him with a bazooka, and a governor.

Wait, a governor? You mean to tell me that the governor of California is actually a futuristic robot who was once sent back in time to kill Sara Conner, but has since been reprogrammed to help her?  No wonder that state is nearly bankrupt.  Who could expect a machine to exercise fiscal responsibility.

It turns out that all morning was turn-back-the-clock day.  Dad and I spent three hours watching Beverly Hills 90210 as well.  The 90s must have been a real weird time.  Those kids seemed to have problems with everything – boyfriends, tapered acid-washed jeans, and diet pills are just a few of their issues.   It’s a wonder Mommy and Daddy survived that era.  Trust me, the Jersey Shore is nothing compared to the kids of West Beverly High School.