Home Litrachure Nelgraphix Benjamin

Even before the very day we cut his umbilical cord, our boy has been a constant source of amazement, amusement and consternation. The story of his coming to be ours can be found here, and a copy of his (and our) appearance in newspapers across the country (some with accompanying giant color photos of the family), see here.  See the Benjamin Galleries, here and also the newer one here. And now, Ben has his own website, here!

Every day since has been a new challenge and a new opportunity to witness the awe and majesty of the disharmonious coming together of tiny synapses to form an incredibly large, charming, delightful, funny and infuriating personality.

His first word was "Bob" (our dog's name - pic of him with Ben, below). 

I have described Benjamin to my pals as the kind of kid who seeks to understand his universe by deconstructing it. My boy has an insatiable appetite to see the insides of everything. By the time he was 1, he had every single on/off button and switch in the house figured out. 3 VCRs, 2 CD players, 2 stereo receivers, and about 1 zillion toys to date have been victimized by Benjamin's curiosity. All of these have been consigned to various landfills and recycling centers throughout the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Region. Oh, and he figured out how to set off the fire alarm at his preschool.

Benjamin is also the sweetest little love boy. He loves to cuddle and make kissy-face, when he isn't terrorizing Bob or throwing a hissy-fit. He's been telling me lately that, when he gets older-older, he wants to be a fixit-tool-guy like his daddy. So you see, at 4 years old he's already got the manipulation thing down pat.

Benjamin likes to cuss. He called Gayle a "doo-doo head" and when she told him it hurt her feelings to be called names, he turned to her and said "hey, I was only f-cking kidding!" Just the other day, we were watching a rented video called "There Goes a Spaceship" starring Astronaut Dave. When I was trying to put his shoes on and fumbled around with the laces, he said "Jesus Christ, Astronaut Glen! Get it right!"

One of my favorite things about Benjamin is when he gets serious and starts telling us stuff. His tales are filled with bizarre mixtures of fact and fiction and he delivers them with the cutest determined facial expressions. He is very expressive, and uses his hands when he talks. It's a trip to watch him sort through stuff in his mind - you can see it on his face. Alright, already! So he's too damned cute!

4/2001 - Here's an excerpt from an e-mail message sent to my buddy Rich about the boy:

--things here are status quo, same old same old, except for Benjamin, who continuously finds ways of stimulating the oddest, most obscure
synapses. did you know that more than one violent is violence? i assume you know that infusing quantities of liquid soap in a pre-school's fish tank will lead to the demise its residents... and i bet you know that a hairbrush, when flushed down the toilet, leads to late nite trips to the 24-hour home depot to get a new toilet ring and various other plumbing parts, followed by a long hot shower to cleanse ones self of the various and sundry residue that accumulates in all the nasty little parts of the toilet which one ends up rooting around in to remove said hairbrush....

how does a 4-year old know when he's "only fucking kidding"? and why, out of the blue does one suddenly, urgently inform his dad that, when he gets "older-older" he wants to be a "fix-it guy" like his dad? and, what ever happened to my own ability to laugh heartily with every molecule in my body like Ben does?

2/2002 - Holy Shit! He's 5 already!!! What a busy little guy! He never stops! Here's what he's up to these days:

Benjamin has become the paper airplane king. He folds dozens a day, and like snowflakes, no two are alike. Some of them are really interesting, and all display the strangest, most interesting aerodynamics. I know I'm going to be finding folded pieces of paper on top of cabinets and behind furniture for years to come.

Benjamin has his own little workbench in daddy's wood shop (glorified name for "Garage with a whole bunch of crap in it"). He knows how to use a hammer and a screwdriver, and constructed a really interesting birdhouse all by himself. We work together on Saturdays, for as long as either he or I can tolerate it -- though Benjamin has his own, boy-sized (but REAL) tools, he seems to NEED dozens of my tools.... CONSTANTLY! Fortunately, there has been only one very minor casualty -- once he bopped his thumb with his hammer. That woke him up! He's amazed that I can take out the few splinters he's gotten with my "special" tweezers with NO PAIN. He's chomping at the bit to get his hands on my power tools.... I tell him he can use them when he's 40.

We took him to LegoLand and San Diego Wild Animal Park for his 5th birthday last month, where Benjamin finally figured out that roller coasters were cool. I can't wait until he's ready for me to take him on the monster coasters at Magic Mountain. LegoLand was lame, but the Wild Animal Park was very cool, except for the fact that Benjamin chose that day to be the poster-boy for child-free living. Boy o boy did he have a bug up his ass that day!

He's heavy into his Legos - he's into making weird vehicles, his Tinker Toys (cranes and very tall structures), and his Thomas trains (one may often have great difficulty navigating one's way through the living room, as it's frequently covered, wall to wall with wooden track).

He still loves to curse and call us odd names. He calls us "shrink rat," something he picked up from Toy Story 2, where we've seen Woody (about 100,000 times) saying to the Old Prospector that he must be "shrink wrapped"... Oh, and he picked up "foul, reeking scum" from an animated Lord of the Rings video. And to top matters off, my boy has learned the fine art of BELCHING. He's a PRO! It's just lovely around here...

We're school shopping these days, desperately trying to find a public school worthy of our boy. It's slim pickin's here in sunny Southern Cal - any school worth going to requires a lottery or other impossible hurdles. I'm praying he gets into SMASH (Santa Monica Alternative School House), 'cuz it's freakin' cool, and exactly the kind of experience I want my boy to have. Gayle thinks I'm insane, he'll never get in. I'm banking on the fact that he's got just as much chance as anyone, and we've been damned lucky so far. Boy do they make it difficult to get into a good school!

2/21/02: This morning while I was drying off from my shower, I overheard Ben singing quietly to himself. "Twinkle twinkle little bell, how I farted in your shell."

5/17/02: Ben tells me he's going to name his 2 (!) children "Frickin" and "Butt-face."

12/28/05: Obviously, I've neglected my parental duty most severely, having not made an entry to this informal Ben-blog in 3˝ years! It's gone by so damned fast and has been SO full, it's hard to know where to begin an update!

Ben's in 3rd grade now, at Pacifica Community Charter School, in L.A., and doing great. It's an amazing school (read about it!), and Bennie owns the place. After failing to land a spot at SMASH (see above), we stumbled upon Pacifica via a little ad on the bulletin board at pre-school, and it turned out to be almost everything I was looking for in SMASH, and more. He's also taken comic-art, ukulele lessons, Tae Kwan Do (sp?) and more extra-curricular courses at Otis and elsewhere, and is just about to start learning to play guitar. He's been to Costa Rica, Mexico, all over California, and totally in my face. He's currently addicted to his Tamagotchis, and is listening to a lot of Green Day, Metallica (yuck!), and of course, Bob Dylan on his CD Walkman. He loves to draw and write in his journal. He's not big on sports (chip off the old block!).

We keep our bed-time reading tradition alive, having now worked through the entire 7 volumes of the Chronicles of Narnia and all of Lemony Snickett's Series of Unfortunate Events, plus every Dr. Seuss book known to man and so much more. It's my very favorite part of the day.

Ben still cusses like a sailor. It's a challenge. We're working on that. He's tall and lean and very particular about just about everything. Like a true Jew, he has 1000 opinions, and none of them are presented mildly. It's just so mind-fucking that he's so... BEN in such a short time. Barely 9 years from zygote to a fully developed boy... unreal.

I've added a Benjamin Gallery, containing more photos of my boy (in addition to those below).

For those who've made it this far and have not yet puked, ye shall be rewarded with pics!

Pics of my boy!


Early Baby Days:  

Original, and doctored pic - doctored one was used for the invite to Benjamin's Official Adoption Party:
The obligatory family foto (by Ron): My personal fave:


Ben with his brother, Bob:  

Goofy-face In a train and on the ferry in New York, 4/2001:
11/12/01: That last one is pretty spooky, in light of recent circumstances. It totally wierds me out that he was so close to those towers, thank g-d on a whole other day...

These are Ben's School Pix. taken 10/2001:

Harry & Dumbledor(?!), Halloween 2001
MORE PICS: See the Benjamin Gallery

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