Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Scary Potter

We have talked a lot about Brant’s every expanding vocabulary and it has improved so much we can actually have a conversation. Well, as much of a normal conversation as you can have with a 2-year old who drops face-first to the floor crying if you don’t get the right mix of Kix and Reese’s Puffs together for his snack.

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Baby Brant.

He likes to point things out and for the most part is pretty good at saying what they are. He knows motorcycle and bicycle (although he uses them interchangeably), copter, pains (planes), bus, big truck, Meeeekey Mouse and more.

Brant also knows Buzz Lightyear, but I think he’s confused on what Buzz says. “To da sky,” Brant says when playing with Buzz. I tell him that is Woody’s line, Buzz says “To infinity and beyond!” He looks at me, cries, and we move onto next thing.

The best Brant-ism in the world came via Mrs. Bowman (Happy Birthday!) to her Facebook peeps last night: “The world according to Brant: ‘Scary Potter’ is the book his dad and sister read at bedtime.”

Each night I crash on one end of my daughter’s bed and we read some Harry Potter. Brant has watched about 2 minutes of the first movie and knows it’s scary. But so are George Washington and Thomas Jefferson on Biography. He doesn’t say “scary” quite correctly, however. It comes out as S-car-ee, not S-care-ee. So when he walks in and sees us reading the book, he gets a frown, points and asks “Scary Potter?” Yep, want to come up and read with Daddy and Maren? “No, too scary. Scary Potter too scary.”

He’s sticking to Elmo and Clifford books for now. There not quite so scary.

 

Book learnin’

“Dad, if you could be any person in the world, who would you be?”

Whenever I hear that question, or something similar, I think “trick question.” It’s like the “do I look fat in these jeans?” question. There’s no real right answer, only answers that can get me in trouble.

So I tip-toed around it. “I don’t know, honey, I’m pretty happy being me, you know minus some pounds.”

“I’d be Hermione Granger,” she screeches back without a bit of hesitation.

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War and Peace is next

For the uninformed (which was me up until about 3 months ago) Hermione Granger is part of the J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the smarty-pants girl who keeps Harry and Ron Weasley on the straight and narrow. It’s not a bad choice for my daughter. Hermoine is uber-smart, very loyal and courageous. Not a bad set of values for a wizard, or a 7-year old.

Maren got her first Harry Potter book for Christmas and while she is a very good reader, they were a little too much for her to digest. She’s been tearing through Boxcar Children’s books for a couple of months, but we have had to work on understanding what we are reading and not just reading for the sake of, you know, reading.

So far Harry Potter’s been extraordinarily enjoyable for both of us. Since she can’t quite read them and I’ve never read them before, we’ve read bunches of pages every night before bed. Since Christmas we’ve knocked out the first two years (books) and are now 50 or so pages into the third book.

They have cost each of us some sleep. On Thursday night there was about 50 pages or so left in the second book. I finished a chapter, shut the book and looked at her and her eyes were like saucers. “Couple of more pages, pleeeeez,” she begged. Forty pages later we’re still going and I hear “it’s five minutes until 9, put the book down!”

At that point, there was no stopping the Bowman Reading Tandem. We were finishing it, no matter how mad mom got.

I love to read books myself because I love reading good writing, sometimes dreaming I will one day be able to write like that. But it’s a thousand times more enjoyable reading to her and now she and her little brother crawl up on a chair together and she reads to him. Makes me melt every time.

Open your wallet

The Huffington Post reported this week that the cost of raising a child born in 2011 from birth to 17 is now nearly $235,000. Factor in inflation, which is awesome, it’s nearly $300,000.

Oh, and then you have to pay for them to go college, and get married, and move away, and then move back … wait, did I type that out loud.

So, in explain-it-to-me-like-I’m-a-two-year-old language, it costs a lot of money to be a parent. It’s totally worth it, but when you look at the big picture, it is somewhat staggering.

The story says it will cost a parent $550 the first 12 months for just diapers. For new parents, I think the cost of diapers is striking. Perhaps more disappointing (and for those who are either about to have a baby and aren’t big on the whole diaper changing thing, don’t read the rest of this sentence) babies will go through roughly 2,700 diapers the first year.

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Check out this fella’s mohawk. It’s awesome.

I’ll wait while you pick your chin off the floor. That means, dear old daddy with the fear of getting squirted on (it will happen), that you’re on duty (or dooty, depending on your luck) about 7.4 times a day for the next 365. For some, that’s a worse than the $550.

Speaking of shocking, the cost of daycare fluctuates depending on where you live, but a significant percentage of your salary will go childcare while you work. It’s a lot of money and it is painful to write the check every couple of weeks, but spend a day or two at home with healthy kids tearing the house apart when daycare is closed for a holiday and you will pay them whatever they want.

The story also discusses costs for activities your kids start take part in. Right now my daughter plays soccer in the fall and spring, takes ballet and gymnastics during the school year and swimming lessons over the winter. They each cost something and we have to cut corners to make all the ends meet, but we do it. Kids should try a bunch of stuff, because it doesn’t hurt to try and you (and they) never really know what is going to stick when you’re 7. I know this because so far my daughter has wanted to grow up to be a policewoman, a teacher, a dancer, a cheerleader, an American Girl doll, Cinderella, Rosetta and now Harry Potter’s girlfriend all in the span of 3 minutes.

So as I sit and think about how much my wife and I (and grandparents and great-grandparents, etc) have spent so far, it is a bit overwhelming. Then I think my son isn’t all that far off from doing his own stuff which means more money.

You know what, I’d pay anything for them to do whatever they want, to become whatever they want, to try anything they want. Just wait, you will, too.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/learnvest/cost-of-raising-a-child_b_2829753.html

Longest weekend … ever

A couple of times a year Mrs. Bowman packs her bags for a long weekend of fun. Well, that’s if your idea of fun includes spending a weekend with relatives and using every waking moment at the outlets shopping for children’s clothing (well, that’s how I picture it in my head).

The trip leaves my kids with full closets of clothes that I swear they will wear one time.

This weekend was her annual trip south to shop for summer clothes. It could not have come at a worse time, but I wasn’t going to tell her not to go, or to go late.

But on the day of departure – Thursday – Maren came home from school saying some kids noticed some red spots on her chin and Brant was his normal approaching-the-terrible-twos self. Pretty typical Thursday actually.

Then we realized Maren had a rash on her trunk so I ended back at the hospital where we found out it was an allergic reaction to medicine she was taking for strep throat, which she had been taking for nine days.

So my wife says she’ll stay home and leave Friday. No, I said, I can take care of Maren on Friday. Go spend money.

Big mistake. Big.

Plan was to keep Maren out of school Friday, send Brant and then party all weekend while mom’s outta town. Chuck E. Cheese on Saturday morning, eat Cheetos on the couch that night and then sleep in late on Sunday.

Plans, as most parents know, are for suckers.

As the girl sleeps in Friday morning, Brant wakes up crying for mommy. Great start, compounded by the 102 fever he is sporting, too.

This weekend has now just got all kinds of awesome.

Actually, it could have been worse. Maren was just out of it all weekend, rash spread to her cheeks and toes (poor kid stayed covered up all weekend so no one could see) and Brant’s temp dropped to the point where he resumed hitting every horizontal surface in our house with his toy hammer. We learned that Finn McMissile will indeed fly (by either jumping off a coffee table or throwing).

But he was not happy. If you notice, in video above, not even a doughnut for dinner was enough to talk him off the ledge. Separation anxiety has returned to our house in a big-time way.

The grandparents where certainly an invaluable help and everyone (I think) kept their sanity. Maren and I spent enough time in bed to finish the first Harry Potter and start the second. Brant watched Cars 2 17 times and mommy returned home to a happy boy, a sick girl and houseful of adults with their nerves about shot.

Guess there is little question who balances things in our family.