Ruben Day 817–the playground

Germany is glorious this time of year, with extended sunlight til 10 PM. It almost makes up for the dark and gloomy winter months. I’m not especially affected by the light and dark cycles, but the happy vibe is palpable everywhere. Growing up in a one-season climate, I only now understand all the hoopla over spring.

K is due Friday, and although she’s likened herself to an elephant, at least gestationally, we’re holding out hope of an early birth. I have three close friends whose wives are also due in May, and we have a small bet going on birth order and weight, so I’ve politely asked #2 to please hurry up, and to do some extra situps if he’s already 8lbs 1oz or heavier. It’s all about priorities.

It’s been a while, so running through some noteworthy Ruben moments from the last few months:

We tend to think Ruben doesn’t remember all that much, but his second birthday is clearly burned into his brain. He can now spot cake from 500 yards away, and if I say no, he can’t have any, his retort is “happy TWO”, which is Rubenisch for his second birthday party (which apparently carries over ad infinitum). How can you argue with that?

We use the doctor-prescribed “timeout” method to stop Ruben from unwanted behaviors and situations. While it does work to calm him down during his occasional (but increasing) tantrums, he doesn’t seem to see it as punishment at all. We have him sit in a corner, and he immediately starts picking at the wallpaper and quietly talking and giggling to himself. Yesterday, he threw a car in mock protest, and before K could get a hold of him, he ran to his timeout corner and sat himself down. Sigh.

Ruben has discovered the favorite game of two year old boys– running and screaming. He’s also fascinated with dribbling (bball and soccer both) and kicking. He still is car-crazy, but I can live with that as long as the sports seeds are ripening (sprouting? whatever).

Overall I think we’re very lucky. Ruben is very good-natured, always smiling, with a healthy appetite, consistent sleep habits (doesn’t protest bedtime and still puts away his books and toys! more or less), isn’t really territorial with toys and space, etc. I’m not saying all this to brag, and I have no doubt he’s going to make me eat these words soon for even daring to write them. But since I try to write this for posterity’s sake, it’s only fair to document what a good kid he is. We are lucky.

The video is from part of our Sunday routine. We go running with the jogging stroller along the river (K walks these days) and then stop at the local playground to give Ruben time to get some energy out. About the only thing to disrupt him from his slide/swing/sand shovel routine are ambulance/police sirens (BEE-BOO in Rubenisch), as you’ll see.

After, we generally enjoy a nice Sunday brunch. It’s all very idyllic…we’ll have to see how things change with (happy) #2.

And yes, the black bars mean I filmed with the digital camera and forgot (again) that I can’t film in portait. Well, I can, but then have to waste time trying to figure out how to rotate, and end up with black bars to preserve the aspect ratio. Just think of it as Ruben, letterbah edition.


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