I am NOT the Maid

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Dear diary,

Most nights I eat my dinner at 6:30. Mama and daddy trade who feeds me (why can’t I feed myself? I’m a big boy) and they each make their dinners. It’s part of our routine and I don’t mind it. Plus, most nights I get to see Vanna after Uncle Alex. It’s the only time I get to watch the teebee. And I LOVE the teebee.

Some nights, though, mama and daddy take me out somewhere and put me in one of those weird chairs with holes for my legs. I usually try to throw myself out of it a few times just to see if I can, but mama and daddy won’t let me get out. Disappointing.

Two nights ago mama and I went to the big red store with the circles and I rode around in a shopping cart. I was pretty bored, as you can see in the photo I’m sharing. I played “no bones” for most of the trip, which entertained me. Every time mama tried to help me sit back up I would melt into a baby puddle in my basket again. It turns out that if I play “no bones” well enough, mama thinks the basket is a safe place to put stuff so she started putting things in there with me. Perfect! Then when she wasn’t looking for a second I would try to eat whatever I could grab. So “no bones” turns out to be even MORE fun than I thought it was originally.

Anyway, after the big red store with the circles we got back in the car and when we got out the next time, daddy was there! He’s magic, I think. He’s nowhere, and then BAM, right in front of me. It’s amazing, really. Mama is pretty much always there.. I’m pretty sure she’s not magic at all.

Okay, so, we went in and they put me in one of the weird chairs and a very tall man came and petted my head while he asked mama and daddy what they wanted to drink. I tried to pick his pocket, I’m pretty sure I saw a wallet in there. But my arms aren’t quite long enough yet.

In the past when we were at one of the restaurants, as mama calls them, I didn’t have any responsibilities. All I had to do was stay in the chair with the holes and play with my toys. I actually really like going to restaurants because there are SO many people to watch and usually they look back at me and smile. I like to encourage that so I usually stick my tongue out at them.

But diary, I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older now or what – but mama tried to make me WORK while we were there. Usually the tall people with badges come and take stuff off the table when mama and daddy are done with it. But this time mama made ME clean the table off! Can you believe that? She kept putting little pieces of stuff in front of me, and like a responsible boy I kept clearing the table by picking the pieces up and throwing them on the floor. I didn’t want the table to be messy, so what else could I do? At first it was a little fun – I squooshed some of the things before I took them off the table – but that got old. Mama and daddy laughed when I did it, which I thought was rude. Mama even tried to put some of her garbage IN MY MOUTH. I yelled at her. I don’t eat trash. Well, I don’t eat trash that I’m allowed to eat. Only trash that makes mama squeak if she sees me eating it.

I was only able to stop her from giving me her trash when I started putting it in my chair instead of on the floor. Then she decided it wasn’t so fun to torture me. Lesson learned.

Not the maid,
Finn

Positive Reinforcement

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Dear diary,

I have been training mama for a little more than eight months now and I’ve learned a lot about what is (and isn’t) effective.

Today I thought I’d tell you about the strategy that has been most effective on a longitudinal scale. It’s a type of positive reinforcement (I find the effects of positive reinforcement are generally more advantageous to me and more replicable).

Diary, this is a big secret I’m telling you. I trust you.

It’s my tongue. Really. All I have to do is stick it out and mama is putty in my hands. Even if I’ve been doing something that makes her make the Mad Face, if I stick my tongue out it’s all better. I started using this trick months ago and I’ve finally perfected it.

I try it on the doggies and the kitties too, but it’s far less effective.

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I have other training exercise I use on mama and maybe someday I’ll tell you about then, but really – if you want things to go your way, all you have to do is stick out your tongue.

😛
Finn

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A Shocking Statement

Dear diary,

Mama told me that today there were a LOT of people spying on my diary. She says they think it’s very funny, and as you can see I find this to be a shocking statement.

Diary, I thought that you took me seriously. I never write silly things to you. This is where I know I can share my deepest thoughts and feelings and be validated. Now I don’t know whether or not you’ve violated my trust. But if I can’t talk to you, then who?

And besides, as much as I AM surprised that people think I’m funny, the picture above is really from last night. Mama got me new toys. And daddy and I were playing in the living room when she brought them in. Diary – they are round toys, like the balls in my play table. But one of them has TAGS on it. Clearly, that’s what I had laser-focused my gaze on here. I have no idea why mama cuts the tags off of things she buys. Does she not know that she depreciates their value to me when she does that? The ball toys are really good, except that they run away from me when I try to grab them. I push to try to get to them but for some reason they go further away. So I yell at them, and daddy brings them closer. I’m glad I trained him well as early as I did.

Also – could we talk for just a second about these pajamas? I love monkeys as much as the next guy, but the scale of the bananas printed on these jammies in relation to the monkeys is so completely outrageous that it makes me want to write a strongly worded letter to the manufacturer. How do they expect less detail oriented babies to gain an understanding of real life relationships between objects?

Incensed,
Finn

Admitting When I’m Wrong

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Dear diary,

In the interest of honesty I feel it’s my responsibility to write a correction to one of my previous sentiments.

You may remember that during the carrot/orange cereal debacle I loudly decried that orange food was poison. I felt strongly about this conviction at the time, but subsequent events have altered my perception.

It appears there is more than one orange food. I know this because mama presented me recently with orange cereal again, and of course I tried to refuse it but sadly was unable.

What I discovered, though, was that it.was.DELICIOUS. I gobbled that cereal down grinning the whole time! The next day, mama didn’t even mix the orange stuff with cereal, she gave it to me straight, and I ate with gusto! Since then I have been eating this delicious stuff – mama calls it sweet tatoes – excitedly every time she presents it. I wave my arms and squeal at her to make sure she understands it’s great. She’s not always the smartest, you know.

So that’s all. I wanted to tell you that even though I still strongly believe that carrots are of the devil, sweet tatoes are fantastic.

Satiated,
Finn

Near Death Experience

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Dear diary,

Yesterday Mama tried to kill me. Twice.

Are you listening?

We went to the place with the big tub again. I like that place, except I don’t like the little room with no windows because there’s nothing fun to do in there. When we got into the big tub, and sang that weird song about the bus and mama made me make the motions. It was a little bit goofy but I played along.

I digress. Mama murder. So I was just floating along in the giant tub, playing with a ducky (I couldn’t find my octopus friend. Disappointing.). That man, Chris, who makes us sing the bus song, he started talking to all the big people. I wasn’t listening very closely, but I heard him say “dunk.” I thought it was weird he was talking about that place where mama gets the big white cup of HOTHOTDON’TTOUCH, but grown ups are weird.

Then, mama put me all the way up to my shoulders in the pool. She was still talking to That Man, asking him a question. Then, suddenly, she blew in my face and tried to kill me. it only lasted a second and I wasn’t sure what had happened. My whole head was all wet, and I think I ate a little bit of the pool. It didn’t taste good, so I choked and spit it out.

Everything seemed fine after that, but a while later she tried to kill me again. Both times when I came up from the water she was yelling “yay!” I’m not sure if it was because she was happy I was alive, or because she had successfully tried to kill me again. The second time, I didn’t eat any of the pool.

Soggy but surviving,

Finn

The Owl Place

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Dear diary,

This has been an enriching week for sure. Today we went back to that car place AGAIN, which was not super fun. But I didn’t have to get out of the car today and now mama says her car doesn’t scream anymore. That’s good, I think.

After the car place we went to a place that had lots of owls and LOTS of TVs. I liked looking at all those different TVs. Auntie Sarah was there and I accidentally bit my finger really hard while she was holding me so I yelled a bunch and she made it ok.

My favorite part about the owl place (besides all the ladies with owls on their shirts who smiled at me) was what mama says are balloons. I grabbed and grabbed at them and they had strings that I could hold really good. I tried to bite the balloons but mama and daddy said nono and took them. So I got a little bit mad and hit daddy with the balloon. But I kept playing with it.

There were other babies there too, like my friends Logan and Quinn, and I think I like other babies now. When I smile big at them they smile back at me, just like the baby in the mirror does! I could get used to that.

Dreaming of balloons,
Finn