Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Searching For Lukie Fischer

It all starts here Gortron

"I win daddy" announced Lukas, rather succinctly as his Knight moved down two places and over one to occupy the spot where my King previously sat.

Lukas, who has been playing chess since the day he started kindergarten last Fall, is actually getting good at the game.  He even attended a week long chess camp a couple of weeks back, as the youngest competitor. He won the 'Fierce Competitor' trophy, which he proudly shows everyone who comes over, pointing out "I'm the FIRST in our family to win a chess trophy."

 Given that, we had bought a wooden set for his birthday that we have set up in our living room.

It was a good move on his part, the taking of my King that is.  Even though I had him dead to rights leading up to that move, having captured more of his major players than he had of mine, my little guy - who just recently turned six - seemed rather nonplussed by his predicament.

It was like he didn't really care.

That seemed odd to me.  In all honesty, I was very proud of how well he was taking his imminent demise at the hands of his more experienced father

The strange thing though (and there is often a strange thing isn't there?) is that he was not only nonplussed, he actually started dancing back and forth from one foot to another.  And singing.  Yeah singing.  He sang over and over, something to the effect of  "I'm going to win, cause my Knight got in.  I'm gonna win, cause my Knight got in".

I thought that was cute.  But not cute enough to save him from being soundly defeated in what was to be mere moments.  The hammer was most certainly about to come down.

Then he took my King in one swift move.  I was aghast!

"Hey" I advised.  "You didn't say 'check' before you took my King.  I didn't know you were there."  I was prepared for him to complain about this, the fierce competitor that he is. But instead he just looked at me and acknowledged something.

"You're right daddy, I should have said check."  he admitted   "Right before I beat you." he smiled.

I had to smile myself too, since he was pretty cute through the whole of the game.  I think I need to brush up on the game myself.  Because at this rate it won't be long at all before he is legitimately beating me at chess with one hand, while building Lego's with the other.

At that point I can envision needing to take him to one of those outdoor chess parks, so we can find an old Russian guy sitting on stump for him to play. Just one of those games could take hours, so I'll have to have my phone fully charged.   After that I'll probably have to arrange a match with some super computer named Gortron, or Mind-bender - which has never lost to a sentient being before.

Yep, I can actually envision these things. Unfortunately though, what I couldn't envision was his Knight taking my King.

Even if he didn't say "check" before he dealt me the deadly blow.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Sucker Dad's Guide to Not Surviving a Hike

Is your phone fully charged Dad?

It's been a good week for me as I was 'forced' (lots of arm twisting) to take the whole week off from my work because Lukas' school, which goes through the summer, was out of session the 1st - 3rd preceding the holiday weekend.

It didn't hurt that the weather here in Seattle was simply gorgeous, with sunny skies, low humidity, and cool breezes.  I am thinking of calling his school to see what it would take to get them to close next week too.  But I'm not hopeful.

As we did on an earlier break, Lukas and I decided to take advantage of this time together to, among other things, go on a local hike.  Okay, so I decided  for us - but he was eventually okay with it once he resolved himself to the fact that he could still build some of his birthday Lego sets after we got home or, gasp, the next day!

The hike wasn't overly long, but we survived about a thousand feet of elevation gains during our nearly 5 mile round trip which wasn't bad since we didn't take many breaks along the way.

However, once he saw an impending climb to crest a pretty high hill on the last leg of the hike,  a pretty tired Lukas looked at me and asked "Can you carry me up the hill daddy?"

Of course being the sucker for a cute kid that I am, I grumbled a bit about having to carry an extra 45 pounds uphill, but obliged nonetheless and immediately felt good about my decision as my boy wrapped his arms around my neck and whispered "I love you daddy" into my ear.  Yeah, that's gold.

That good feeling didn't last too long though, as about 10 minutes later I was huffing and puffing up to the crest of the fairly steep incline.  As I set him gently down at the top, I bent over to catch my breath and looking at him I, only half jokingly, asked him "If daddy fell over right here and you couldn't get me to talk to you what would you do?

"Well, I would blow my whistle daddy." he responded referring to the one attached to his backpack.

"But, we haven't seen anyone on the trail in at least an hour buddy" I reasoned  "So what else could you do?". "I don't know" he raised his hands with a shrug.

This was not promising.

"Well, you would have to reach into my pocket buddy" I gave him my serious look "and pull out my phone."

And then he hit me with a response that reinforced the fact that I was raising a comedian.

"To play Angry Birds!?" he asked with a pretty big grin, before he broke into laughter.

I'm pretty sure he knew I meant to call 911.  If not, I guess those crazy birds would at least keep him occupied until someone happened along to stick a fork in me.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Saw Our Baby Girl on the Cover of an Old Magazine

Mrs. LIAYF was going through some old magazines the other day and had to do a double take.

I'm not your kid Mr.

Subsequently, as I came home that afternoon I found the magazine sitting on our entryway dresser.  I didn't pay much attention to it though, until my lovely wife came in from the kitchen with a smile.  "Did you see the cover of that magazine I found?" she inquired.  "Yeah, that's a cute girl." was my response.

"Who does that girl look like?"  my wife continued.

"Annabelle?" I asked, already knowing the answer to my question because, honestly, the little girl on the cover who must be all of 3 years old, bears a striking facial similarity to our Annabelle.

I will have learned to blow my nose by age 3.
Maybe, by the time Annabelle turns 3 a time machine will have been invented, and we all travel back to 2009 wherein she gets her picture taken to be on the cover of a magazine very few people will have heard about by the time 2013 finally rolls around.

Don't laugh, it's happening out there.

Could this be what our little cutie pie will look like at age 3?  Of course, we have no idea.  Unless I find another slightly older version of myself loitering around the house one of these days, because he was trapped here when his time machine broke. Then I could ask him.

In the meantime, it's simply a lot of fun to speculate.