Sunday, December 30, 2007

Goodbye 2007!

As 2007 comes to a close, we had one last weekend to enjoy with the kids. Saturday wasn't too eventful, but the unseasonably warm weather was the perfect invitation for us to spend a few hours outside. After David woke from his nap, we headed into town. David rode his tricycle for a while while Julia rode in her car. Finally making our way to the park, they were soon joined by Olivia when they continued to play for a while.

Sunday was our busy day. Chance, Connor and Sarah came over for brunch. David loves playing with these kids, and they're really good to (and patient with) him. Even though they are much older than David, they play with him and make sure he doesn't get into any trouble.

After David and Julia's very short naps, we headed to American Museum of Natural History to meet some of Seth's friends from Australia.

Seth had taken David to the museum before and suggested meeting up here because of the museum's size and abundance of space. We found out (the hard way) that space isn't so abundant when the city contains more tourists than usual. In fact, the museum was so crowded that I was afraid I'd lose Julia who, not only refuses to be carried, but runs ahead of us without checking that Seth or I are in sight.
After visiting a few exhibits (which was all we could handle with the crowds), we decided to move our little gathering to a nearby cafe where David enjoyed his second cup of hot chocolate of the day. (Perhaps the caffeine in the cocoa is why David is still wide awake in his bed as I write this blog entry.) After his hot chocolate, he proceeded to tear the cafe upside down. Seth's Australian friend, Michelle, helped distract him by putting on a bandanna which he was interested in (for about three minutes.) Sigh

By the time we got home, it was too late to start preparing dinner, so we stopped off at Donna's Pizza in Palisades Park for dinner. This is one of the few restaurants where our kids "behave" because they are too busy enjoying their pizza slices!

Finally finishing dinner and putting the kids to bed, Seth finally replaced the kitchen faucet that he had put off for a few months now. This is perhaps the first thing he's actually fixed (outside of replacing batteries and light bulbs), although he did have a bit of guidance from his friend, Ty. In any case, hopefully this will be the start of more things getting fixed around here!

Anyway, this posting marks the end of another weekend and another year. It's been crazy and adventurous, but still wondrous at the same time. We hope (wish) that the next year will bring us three things: 1) health, 2) an end to David's terrible twos, and 3) hope that Julia doesn't ever hit the terrible twos.

We wish everyone a healthy and happy 2008 year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It is hard work, but somebody has to do it.

Christmas day was a lot of fun for Seth and me as we enjoyed watching our kids' reaction to opening their gifts. So why am I carrying our 2 ¾-year old while our 17-month old is walking by herself and dragging along an enormous monkey that's almost her size? David isn't a happy camper before his breakfast. (Wait until he discovers coffee!)

Would you believe that I had to beg David to open his gifts? I hope that this trend continues into his teenage years, rather than him expecting a video game system from Santa. He got into the swing of things after the first layer of wrapping paper was ripped off. It looks like someone was really good this year... *cough* *cough*

Once he unwrapped his new drum, a smile formed from ear to ear as he pondered the possibilities. (At least Santa doesn't have to hear our little drummer boy pound away at the drum!)

Our little sunshine was happy with just a pair of socks. That's all she wanted to play with. One day, while we're waiting for her to try on her sixth pair of Abercrombie & Fitch jeans, we'll look back on this and treasure the times where a simple pair of socks made her happy.

Evidently Santa needs a GPS system, as he apparently left some gifts for our kids at their cousins' place... and the unwrapping started all over again.

Finally, the kids performed their holiday show for the parents. Marko was playing accordian, David was on the acoustic guitar, Daria played saxophone, and Julia provided the vocals!

Taking a picture of the four kids in front of the tree proved to be a bit of a challenge, so I had to assist by holding Julia.

Thank you to everyone for being so generous to David and Julia. They are having fun with all the toys and they love all their new clothes!

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Day At Work - By David Meyer

Weekdays usually mean that Daddy takes a bus and a train to go to work to make money. He leaves early in the morning and returns at night. The Daddy that comes home is more tired than the morning Daddy. I thought it would be a good idea to tag along one day, just to see how difficult his day really is.

First was the wait for the bus. That took a little while, but I found the cool morning air refreshing.
Once on the bus, it was a short, enjoyable ride into Manhattan. (Hey, any ride where I'm not strapped into a toddler seat is enjoyable!)

Next it was onto the train. This was a bit scarier than the roller coaster rides I went on during the summer - I actually had to hold onto this ride! I can't believe they don't offer seat belts on this thing!

Once in the office, I had a hot cocoa and got settled in. After fielding a few phone calls...

... I made some modifications to some software design issues that were plaguing Daddy.

After all that hard work, I went out with Daddy for lunch. While Daddy got some Chinese food, I opted for a delicious peanut butter sandwich that Mommy made for me which I brought from home.

Once back in the office, I got right back to work and wrapped up a few computer-related issues before calling it a day.

All in all, it was more fun than exhausting. Still, by the time we got home, Daddy looked ready to collapse in bed while I couldn't wait to tell Mommy all about my day!

So when do I get paid, Daddy?

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Teenager in the Making.

You bit her? Oh man, that's not right! Hmm? Who? Yeah, I know! Well, she's nice and all, but she still wears those pull-ups and she had that accident last week. Oh, so are you going to that kid's birthday party Saturday? Yeah, me neither. They invited the entire class - how sad is that? I thought that... oh, can you hold on? I have another call.

There comes a time when you cease to be satisfied with the 3-D movie that is your life, and you want a more interactive role. No longer are you satisfied as an observer of events, but you want to have creative input with the script. This is where David is today (and Julia is not far behind!)

Since David was born, he's always had a CD put on to help him fall asleep. For the longest time, it was Ukrainian lullabies that filled his room as he drifted off to sleep, but in the past several months, he's been given different options to listen to. He's recently figured out how to change the CDs in the player, and has been actively choosing the music he wants to sleep to. It's actually kind of cute to watch him make his selection and then go to his crib.

In the car, when I'm flipping through the radio stations, David will say "no" to each selection until he hears the song he wants to hear.

Perhaps not so cute is his stubbornness to dress in the shirt and pants of his choice. Nataliya has gotten into the habit of leaving clothes out the night before; in the morning, David now looks through the choices that were made, and if he doesn't like them will look in the closet for another option, or even open the hamper and dig for something he wants to wear. At times he'll have a tantrum if it's not the clothes he wants to wear. We've even had to leave the house a couple of times with him wearing just his underwear and a shirt.

Then there's the subject of his meals. If he doesn't get what he wants, then he won't eat. (That's a tough issue to fight with him - while we don't want to get into the habit of preparing a special lunch or dinner just for him, we obviously don't want him to go to sleep hungry!)

Yep ... David may be more than a decade away from being a teenager, but moments like this are pinhole views into what's in store.

But it doesn't end with David. Julia has been recently showing some signs of the same desire to control her own life in subtle ways. For example, her desire to wear her purple knapsack; don't even think of trying to take it off before she's ready.

For now, their behavior is manageable and at times 'cute,' but we're not fooling ourselves. This will only get worse before it gets better.

Uhmm ... It does get better ... right?


Monday, December 10, 2007

Next Stop ... Kazimiroff Blvd.

First it was the Model Engineers Railroad Club Train Show. Then it was the "Station at the Citigroup Center" and the "NY Transit Museum Holiday Train Show." Now it's the "NY Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show."

Seth recently bought an entry-level TomTom GPS navigation toy which he used to successfully get us to the Botanical Gardens in no time. Once there, we met up with Uncle Taras, Aunt Ruslana, and cousins Mark and Daria, and then we made our way through the indoor gardens to where the train show began.

This was Julia's second trip and David's third trip to the annual train show, but they reacted like it was their first time. For a short time, there was no bickering, no pushing and no shouting.

Afterwards, we made our way to the Gingerbread Adventures where both kids played in the gingerbread house, decorated their own ginger cookies and explored muddy nature paths where David learned about bird nests. (Don't ask ...)

The kids (minus a fussy Julia) pose in front of a decorated pine tree. It's difficult to get all the kids to participate in a group picture, and we consider ourselves lucky to get 75% cooperation.

In all, it was a fun, yet exhausting, day for the kids. Once in the car, David and Julia fell asleep for the short trip home... thanks to TomTom!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Santa visits Leonia.

December in Leonia means cooler temps, shorter days, and a visit from Santa Claus. I know what you're thinking - why would Santa bother visiting a small town like Leonia during his busy season. Unfortunately, there are some questions which will remain a mystery.

For Julia, this was her first time meeting her northern neighbors. Generally a social person, Julia was a little uncomfortable with seeing someone with facial hair that was longer than herself and a stomach big enough to hold a small child.

Santa tells Julia that she's been naughty this year and will get a lump of coal. Meanwhile, David stares at the bag of lollipops next to Mrs. Claus.

I get into the picture to console Julia. (Will there ever be a nice holiday picture that I won't have to appear in?)

Overall the kids had a good time running around, and eating their goodies. David enjoyed his lollipop while Julia ate three large sugar cookies. At least Julia won't have to sit on Santa's lap again until next year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Our Family Musician

David has shown some amazing aptitude for music. At least that's what Seth thinks! But is David destined to be as good as... say... Eric Clapton!?

Let's compare:
  • Clapton didn't release his Unplugged performance until he was 47, but David is well on his way at two (and a half) years old!

  • Clapton had the benefit of playing with a Fender Stratocaster made specifically for him. David is using a plastic guitar from a garage sale with only four strings intact.

  • Clapton was at his best when he was either taking drugs, drinking to excess, or when tragedy entered his life. David's best work comes when he knows he should be going to bed or after some hot chocolate.
As for David's talent... well judge for yourself:

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Our second date.

It's been a long time since I took David to THE city alone. Of course, the one day I decided to do this again was the first snowstorm of the season.

We woke up this morning to at least two inches of snow. No one seemed to be as excited about it as me. After the kids' breakfast, we got them bundled up and let them out to play in the snow before it melted - while most people - childless, I should add - were sound asleep. I sat Julia on a sled and David was happy pulling her. She was so excited and very curious since it was her first time on the sled. For a short time, everything worked out pretty well.

Of course, where David is concerned, there is always drama. Suddenly, there were thousand things that started bothering him, from the snow on his shoes to the hat on his head. That's when the tantrums started. I hope we'll get a lot of snow this year because I'd like to spend some one-on-one time with Julia playing outside while David is in school. (He can be such a party pooper.)

It can get very costly to entertain the kids in New York City or Bergen County (where we live), especially in the winter when the activities are moved indoors; but it doesn't have to be. My brother suggested that we meet this weekend at the Station at Citigroup Center. It's an amazing annual train show that didn't cost us a dime.

I decided to take only David since the timing would disrupt Julia's nap time and also because she was still getting over her cold. David had a blast and barely had any of his tantrums. After the show, he hung out with Marko and Daria, running back and forth and enjoying some snacks. They even listened to the band play Christmas music.

Since we were already in the city, I planned to take him to the NY Transit Museum - Holiday Train Show (there can never be too many train shows for David). Even though this show wasn't as impressive as the one at the Citigroup Center, it was less crowded and it was perfect for David's height, which was a relief since I didn't have to pick him up.

Walking through the underground corridor between the Times Square Station to the Port Authority, I had to pick him up and carry him as various subway performers would catch his attention. He would stop to watch every single performer playing their guitar, keyboard or drums. If Seth had been us, he and David would have stayed there for an hour if that's what would make our son happy.

David loves sitting in the window seat on the bus. He looks out and gives me a play by play, whether we're entering the tunnel, passing another bus or going uphill or downhill. He gets so excited on public transportation like a typical suburban kid. Once we exited the tunnel into NJ, he was fast asleep. He stayed asleep until Seth took him from me and placed him in his crib.

On returning home, Julia seemed very happy to see me. She spent a few hours alone with her daddy, and from what I heard, they had so much fun playing that Seth lost track of time and put her down for her nap much later than usual. (I never forget to give the kids their naps as it is the only thing that I look forward to after 7 hours of insanity).

Friday, November 30, 2007

Fun with Flash Cards

As Nataliya was going through the lettered flash cards, David was happily telling her what the pictures were on each card. Things were going well. For the cards David didn't know, Nataliya would help him out. Then he got to this card:

Pointing to the card, David announced, "bicycle broken!"

While we find this very funny, it's interesting that he came up with that answer! Instead of viewing the picture as an object on its own, he choose to see it as an incomplete version of something else he would recognize.

David has been using the term "broken" to describe something not quite right, like a "broken (runny) nose" or "broken (bruised) finger." And while his use of the word might not be "broken," we're just happy he's communicating with us!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When a "Time Out" Is Still A "Time In"

Julia makes her way to the small trampoline and slowly climbs onto it with all four limbs. With her last leg in the air, moments from completing her ascent, she feels a tug on her clothes and a shriek. It's her brother, David, who in his quest to amuse himself has found his unsuspecting little sister. A stronger tug pulls her off the trampoline and a push knocks her onto the ground. He follows it up with half a dozen slaps and a happy shriek. In the wrestling world, it would be considered entertainment, but Julia's protests assures us that she's not entertained in the least. Mommy is forced to quickly intervene, giving David a "time out."

This is a normal everyday occurrence in our household. In fact, there are days where it occurs almost every ten minutes. I don't believe he's trying to hurt her intentionally - at least not usually -but he tends to play a bit too rough with her.

To curb this behavior, we've tried imposing time outs. While his time outs used to mean something with regard to his treatment of Julia, they've lost a bit of their impact. The main reason is that after David starts his timeout, Julia will actively seek him out and plop herself beside him! At this point, David will still be in time out but he can continue his rough play with Julia.

In fact, despite any pain or discomfort David inflicts on Julia, they're inseparable. If one child is absent, the other is visibly upset. Julia is always very happy to see her big brother, despite the inevitable "abuse."

So how do you discipline a child from hurting his younger sibling, when that younger sibling will purposely seek out the attention of the older sibling? Other than moving David's "timeout" from the corner up to his bed/room, is there anything else we can do? Could it be possible that we're a bit too cautious? Is it possible that we're disciplining for normal play? Is there a real danger here or just a perceived one? My psychology classes in college didn't cover these scenarios! (Then again, perhaps I was asleep during that particular lecture...)

Yeah, I know there's no guidebook that clearly gives the answers so I've decided to ask a professional.

"Cannot predict now."

Damn you, Magic 8-ball!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pandora's Crib

David had been in his crib, quietly paging through his books for the past half hour. Nataliya asked me to take away the books, turn off the lights and wish him good night.

Opening the door, David was happy to see me. That, however, was short-lived as I told him it was time to go to sleep. Doing his best to rebel, he threw his pillow out of his bed, followed by his blanket and stuffed animals. Realizing that he wasn't going to be agreeable to sleep, I simply told him I loved him, said 'good night', turned off the light and closed the door behind me.

Rejoining Nataliya in the living room, we could hear his protests on the monitor. A few minutes later, his protests disappeared. Another minute passed and we heard a rattling of the crib, followed by a thump. Nataliya turned to me and asked whether I left David in or out of the crib. I assured her I left him in the crib, but Nataliya was sure he was out.

Sure enough, Nataliya was correct. Turning the landing on the stairs, David slowly made his way downstairs wearing a smile from ear to ear. I couldn't help but laugh, but let's take a moment to reason this out...
  • Take one independent and stubborn child.
  • Mix in a generous portion of curiosity and an overwhelming desire to climb.
  • Now add the ability to escape his crib and have free reign of the home while his parents sleep.
Yeah, this could be bad... Sure we knew this day was coming, but we hoped it wouldn't happen untiiiil...oh, I don't know... maybe until he turned 18.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Glance Into a Wonderful Life.

For the last couple of months our house has been a war zone. We are all stressed out by David's behavior. Is this just the terrible twos? Is he perhaps just a strong-willed kid? Could it be that all boys this age are a handful?

Imagine my surprise when a miracle occurred through all this turmoil. A few days ago, my son didn't misbehave once ... really! David spent the first half of the day at pre-school. As he was having lunch, he started telling me that he rode a tricycle, painted, read books and ate a cupcake at school (although I'm not sure about that last one since he doesn't care much for sweets). Then out of nowhere he started singing "Happy Birthday to you, Mommy." I have no idea where it came from so I was in shock. I usually have to ask him over a dozen questions before he tells me anything about school and suddenly he was volunteering all this information without being prompted. When I told him it was "nap time," he actually ran upstairs to his room. That's when I started suspecting that the teacher had finally lost her patience with him and drugged him.

Following his nap, we went to the library where he sat on a bench for half an hour and looked through the books by himself . When he was done, he put the books back on the shelves. He also played a few computer games and when I told him it was time to go, he obliged. After checking out a Russian book from the library, which David insisted on taking out, he was quietly "reading" it by himself for a long time at home.

Seth "built" them a house, furnished with a portable boom box and a florescent flashlight, that preoccupied the kids for some time without me hearing any arguments.

There was no screaming that day. No temper tantrums and no pushing/pulling Julia. In fact, every one of David's requests were followed by "please." It was a miracle of a day!

I realize that a lot of families have toddlers that may be very easy-going who never act out; perhaps that's why there are so many families with 3+ kids. I had a glimpse of what a life would be with a well-behaved child. It's peaceful, relaxing, enjoyable, yet boring at times -- and I would do anything to have it every day! But knowing my child as well as I do, I won't bet on a day like this happening any time soon.

Now there is a chance, however slight, that I might actually get a taste of having a happy two-year-old. Julia is fifteen months old and is the sunshine of this family. She is friendly, agreeable, happy and incredibly adorable. At this rate, she won't experience the terrible twos.

However, at fifteen months, David was just as agreeable, happy and adorable. We'll just have to wait and see ... and pray for some more miracles.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Never a Boring Moment in This House.

It's been an exciting past few days, but not the kind of excitement I would like. Where do I even start?

David's cough came back a few weeks ago; the same cough that resulted in weekly doctor's visits last year. Since his cough kept him up all night long and interrupted his naps, he was extremely cranky and temperamental when awake -- so much that I was afraid to say anything that could set off his temper tantrums. Seth even borrowed a book from the library called "Parenting the strong willed child" and we take turns reading it. I must admit that after reading a few chapters so far has helped my relationship with my son.
Even though the doc still doesn't know what causes David's cough, the medications for asthma seem to be working. At least now he can sleep at night (and so can Seth as he was the one getting up all these nights to comfort him) and David's behavior improved a lot as soon as he started getting enough uninterrupted sleep.

The following week we were back at the pediatrician's office for Julia's 15-month routine check-up, except there wasn't anything routine about it. The doctor was trying to clean Julia's ear with a long plastic stick (I have no idea what its medical term is...) and he scratched the inside of her ear which then started to bleed. Neither one of my kids had ever screamed as loud, or as long, as Julia cried. She was hysterical, and wouldn't calm down for over an hour. Seth rushed home from work, but thankfully Julia's behavior was normal after her nap, although she still seem bothered by her ear. Needless to say, it was the last time we saw that particular doctor.

Today I took both kids to the hospital, or as David called it "a big house." (Every time we "take a tour" of a house we are potentially interested in purchasing, I tell David he is going to play in a 'big house.') David was getting a precautionary chest x-ray to rule out any serious issues with his lungs, and Julia went in for some blood work - another routine procedure at this age. Oy! They did great during their appointments, but not the waiting in between. For reasons beyond my comprehension, David wanted to use every single bathroom in the building. (Was he constipated, or overly curious?) After the third time, Julia, who had to accompany her brother during each bathroom visit, decided she'd had enough, threw her body onto the bathroom floor and refused to get up. At times like this, I look forward to their naps.

If you take all the madness out of our lives, we are a regular, yet busy family. Our days are filled with playdates, park outings, tricycle riding and even an occasional TV show (if David behaves well. ) Lately, our kids have been obsessed with Laurie Berkner (thanks, Ms. Anne!). We listen to her CDs in the car, in the house and even when they're falling asleep. I let David and Julia watch her DVD, but only a few songs at a time and they get very excited when I reach for the remote control. I know our kids are TV-deprived because they'll even watch CNN when it is on.

David loves having tea parties with me and Julia. They'll pretend to pour and drink from the tea cups (which are made in China and probably are covered with lead paint) and eat pretend -cookies and cupcakes.

I am already getting prepared for those cold winter days when it's too cold to play outside or when they're sick. I restocked our inventory of arts and crafts supplies and the kids and their friends have been having fun time doing all sorts of projects.

David and Julia patiently wait to see their daddy walking down the street from work since it's getting too dark and cold to meet him at the bus stop.

David's been brushing his teeth a lot lately in preparation for his first dental appointment in a few months. Recently, Julia has joined him, but I think she just loves looking at her reflection in the mirror and chewing on sweet children's toothpaste.

I know the worst challenges of the winter are yet to come and I don't think I'll ever be prepared for them. We'll just take one day at a time with a lot of patience, playdates, play-doh, and a few bottles of children's Tylenol (or was that recalled?).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


This is how it went tonight...

went trick or treating with Jordan and Mina in their neighborhood

raced from one house to another

rang the door bells until someone came out with a bag full of goodies

and we grabbed as many candies as our little hands could fit

then we carefully examined them ("chocolates go into my mouth and the rest goes back into David's bag")

since everyone was hard at work, an occasion break was well deserved.

We kept it short and sweet. It went really well considering there were 4 kids under the age of 3. Let's hope David doesn't start ringing random door bells tomorrow thinking that's what we do on the daily basis. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween starts early in Jersey.

On the last Saturday before Halloween, Leonia holds their annual Halloween celebration. It starts with a parade, but that was canceled on account of the rain. After the scheduled parade, however, the recreation center hosts an indoor party for this kids. The center is decorated every year for Halloween and the local kids do some mini-trick-or-treating, accepting candy from costumed characters. That's where we were headed.

As I was getting an uncooperative David dressed, I tried keeping his mind off his costume by telling him that he'd see Olivia soon - and it worked. As for Julia... well, usually she is the first in line to put on a princess costume in David's music class... but for me, she refused to cooperate. Tough, it is getting on.

Once we arrived at the rec center, David and Julia rushed from one candy station to another to get their share of treats. Almost immediately, their little hands started reaching into the bags and pulling out all sorts of goodies. They asked us to open each packaged candy and they went straight into their mouths. It was not long after that David found a lollipop and started screaming for it, despite our refusal to give it to him. (Running around the gym area with a lollipop stuck in his mouth didn't seem like a good idea...) Julia, on the other hand, was content with the bag of salty pretzels.

They ran around the gym with some of their friends, posed for a professional picture and ate too many treats. When they finally went home, they were all too happy to get out of their uncomfortable clothes.

The next day, we continued with the Halloween festivities by attending the James A McFaul 3rd Annual Cabbage Night in Wyckoff. We've visited this event every year since it started and it's always been a big hit with David. This year Julia joined in the fun. There are so many free activities for the kids that the three hours we spent there went by too fast.

David painted two pumpkins, one for himself and one for Julia.

Meanwhile, Julia enjoyed four pony rides.

David later joined her as his painted masterpieces were drying.

The kids took a short break to feast on hot dogs and apple cider. Neither one of them ever had a hot dog with a bun, but when there are limited food choices, they tend to not be as picky. (That's good to know for the future.)

The sound of a guitar drew David to the performance stage where a band was playing. While we were enjoying the music and watching the other kids dance, we were munching on the kettle-cooked caramel popcorn. I think Julia discovered her favorite food - after four bags of popcorn and she was still reaching for the empty bags.

David didn't care for a cotton candy; thus more for me.

After a few rounds on a hay ride, it was time to head back home.

The Wyckoff Cabbage Night was a hit yet again and all had a good time.

The early Halloween celebrations prepared the kids for this Wednesday's night of trick-and-treating. David already knows how to say "trick-or-treat" and he's looking forward to eating more candy. However, the one who is really excited about Halloween is Seth -- so much, that he's working from home on that day so he could take David out! In fact, he's the one who has been teaching David how to say "trick or treat" for quite some time now and they practiced David's "skills" at the rec center. Seth drew a big calendar on the chalk board circling the October 31st date and crossing out the days leading to Halloween.

David's painted pumpkins are sitting outside our front door now and we still have to carve the pumpkin that we picked up about a month ago at the Demarest farm. Other than that, we are all set to celebrate Halloween.

However, we have no idea how David and Julia will react to more candy than he's ever seen in his life. We'll probably give David some candy that night, but perhaps we could use some of it to our advantage. Having realized the power of a simple lollipop while toilet training David, perhaps I'll hold off on introducing the candy to Julia until we can use it as a bribe for behavior modification!