24 December 2013

Things that amuse me, Vol. 18

So where was I? Oh yeah...

Four kids is a lot. Did you know that? Anyway, here are a few of the things that have been amusing me during the past several months:

1.  Before I had kids, I can very confidently say that no one had ever happily stepped on my taint to get a boost up.

2. How many episodes of Mad Men does it take before a woman stops saying things like, "What?! He's married!" The world may never know.

3. My 9-year-old son D- recently found out that dyslexia is a real condition, not just some kind of unhelpful super power of Percy Jackson. Since he got four books and one movie into the series before realizing this, he still might not be able to resist following slow readers around school, watching for magical fight scenes to break out after the tears and misplaced anger blow over.

4.  I'm becoming convinced that it may be the primary purpose of dry cat food to serve as bait to draw mice into The Kill Zone. Either way, the cats get fed, though, right?

5. My 3-year-old son E- opened a fortune cookie to find the observation, "You are never bitter, deceptive, or petty." And that's how we discovered the unwritten label, "Fortune Cookies not intended for users 3 or older."

16 September 2013

Classic quotes, Vol. 47

Here's a a slice of the backlog of quotes from my 6-year-old daughter M-, 2-year-old son E-, and wife J- during the past month or so:

M- (shouting louder than E-, who was quietly playing a game while J- and I were in bed): No, that's too loud!!

J- (while pregnant, doubling down on a self-deprecating remark I'd batted away): It's kind of like I'm fat... I'm fat with baby.

E- (really working hard to sell a biological impossibility): My 'gina hurts!

M- (using Important Proclamation voice): I don't think I told you, Mom... but I named my pillows. ...Cushy, and Cushion.

J- (looking at a beach picture online): You know, I know European people are all proud of their bodies and everything, but... some people need a little more shame in their lives.

E- (when asked 'what he'll want to eat for lunch later'): No!

31 August 2013

Pony Express Posts: Belated Announcement

Well, I suppose there's no point continuing to wait for a substantial, creative manner of announcement to float down from the heavens on a golden harp-shaped hovercraft, now that it's been a couple months.

My procrastination has been holding up a backlog of what's been passing for content here the past couple years (since we bought the house), as a lot of what I've thought of saying the past 6 months or so was in some way tied to this news... news which I had been trying not to just throw out there unceremoniously, much in the way I'm about to do right now:

We had yet another baby last month.

See? That's her right up there, as proof. The second coming of M-, hereby to be known as A-. So we've completed our set of two boys and two girls.*

Yes, that's right, according to most people's reactions, as well as a quick flip through a generation's worth of census data, we are now the modern equivalent of that 8-kid family** people used to marvel at during the Baby Boom and Generation X's heyday.

Do we feel more complete now, you wonder? Have we started getting a human amount of sleep yet? Have we worked out some kind of daily routine now that school has started for J- and the kids? Have we any hope of shaking off the influence of our hypnotizing alien captors soon? Take a glance at the posting history here and then pencil in your guesses before I stop by with the answer key as soon as I can.

In the meantime, with this official notice out here, I should be able to at least get back to posting more lists of tidbits and such a few times a month, with more promises of actual paragraphs and thoughts and time and craft someday, once again.

It's the thought that counts, right?

* This means I'll have to update the banner again, so soon*** after the last time.

** All I can say is those people are lucky they were able to delude themselves into thinking that small children wedged tightly enough across the bench seat of a station wagon would provide their own restraint in case of a high-speed accident. Otherwise, the country would either be a fraction of its present size today, or it would have been swarmed throughout the '60s with extended vans, RVs, and "Parental Sanity trailers" featuring a half-dozen kids suspended along the walls with heavy-duty straps.

*** Obviously a relative term, given that some of the pictures were several years out of date when I replaced them a couple months ago...

15 July 2013

Classic quotes, Vol. 46

It's been too long since my 9-year-old son D-, formerly the star of this blog (back when I actually wrote posts with beginnings, middles, and ends), had the spotlight around here. Thanks in part to my extreme lack of posts in the past several months, I'm able to devote a whole quote list to this kid*:

D- (losing patience about an hour into the new Superman movie): When's he going to start flying and punching buildings down and stuff?

D- (when my neighbor pointed out that he'd forgotten to bring his checkbook to an auction): No, it's okay-- my dad brought his.

D- (after some over-the-top violence in a Bugs Bunny cartoon): That's outrageous!!

D- (seeing a display of Jelly Belly dispensers at a store, with cash burning a hole in his pocket): They've got candy, I've got money-- let's get in business!

D- (muttering to himself after cutting his foot): Sweet mother of Holy Moses...

* Who now seems to be firmly a pre-teen, and thus Not a Kid. Hard to believe he was a toddler when this thing started!

30 June 2013

A conversation with D-: Nine is 18 in kid years

The following is a surprising conversation I had with my 9-year-old son D- recently, in which he reminds me that even as he pushes daily toward becoming that legendary beast, a Pre-Teen, he's still in fact in single digits. Thus he's prone to relapses of Toddler Brain, even as his attitude tells him he should be moving on to Teenager Brain already.

D- (coming up to the dinner table, where a portable griddle had been left sitting out): Hey, this thing's in my spot!

Me: Just sit over here like usual.

D-: What?? I always sit here!

Me: "Always"?! You only started sitting there just recently.

D-: No! I always sit here. Since, like... two days ago!

You may enjoy my previous D- conversations, (6YO daughter) M- conversations, (2YO son) E- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

25 June 2013

A conversation with E-: It winnertime, and the lyin' is easy

Being that my son E- is now firmly 2-and-a-half, the following is the nice version of most every conversation we have with him these days.

J-: Okay E-, it's bedtime.

E- (jumbling up something he's heard us tell ourselves as we serve dinner at bedtime these days): Nooo... it's winner-time!

Me: Did you mean "summertime"?

E-: 'Es.

J- (unmoved by this ingenious ploy): Well, it's night-night time either way.

E-: No it not... (looking out the window, for effect) ...It mornin' time!

He went to bed shortly afterward, under formal protest.

You may enjoy my previous E- conversations, (9YO son) D- conversations, (6YO daughter) M- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

30 May 2013

Classic quotes, Vol. 45

Sorry for the long delay in posting; I'm spinning off my axis out here lately! I do have a bunch of pieces of things to post (along with the usual pile of unwritten Actual Posts, my shame of the last few years...), so I'm backdating this post to May 30th from June 25th, because who knows, I might catch myself up a bit soon.*

Anyway, here's just a very small selection of the quotable material my 2-year-old son E- provides us on a daily basis:

E- (very seriously, and with a straight face, after falling down and being offered kisses from his big brother D-): Can 'oo kiss... my butt?

E- (confused, threatened, and nearly stumped by his 6YO sister M- calmly responding, "No, you're done," to him reflexively parroting something he's heard us say to satisfying effect): ...I'm NOT done.

E- (very frequently, always about 10 times in a row, even when nothing noteworthy has occurred): What just haaaaap-pened?

E- (walking downstairs with D-, sounding as contemplative as someone with only two years of memories can): D-, one time...? I pell down da 'tairs. I tumbled down da 'tairs!

E- (all while I chewed and swallowed one small bite): Tan I have a bar? Tan I have a bar? ...Tan I have a bar?? Tan I have a bar?

* Don't count on it.

25 April 2013

A conversation between E- and J-: Pleading the Fifth at Two

The following is a conversation initiated out of the blue by my 2-year-old son E- (who's lately been known to loudly demand to know "why you put me in trouble?!?" and to order us to "[not] talk to me again, ever!") with my wife J- one day after she got home from work:

E- (very seriously, as if honor-bound to tattle on me for an internationally recognized crime): Daddy yell, at me.

J-: Daddy yelled at you? Were you being naughty?

E- (mildly offended): I NOT, be... naughty.

J-: You weren't naughty? Then why was Daddy yelling at you?

E-: ...

E-: ...

E- (happily, aborting the plan and going for a distraction): I can jump, jump, jump around! I jump around your bed!

J-: Were you being naughty? Was that why Daddy was yelling at you?

E-: ... (runs from the room)

You may enjoy my previous J- conversations, (2YO son) E- conversations, (9YO son) D- conversations, and (6YO daughter) M- conversations.

19 April 2013

One-line movie reviews

I know how it sounds when I say it, but there's no other way: my kids watch almost no TV at all. (At least, not at our house.) However, rest assured, they do watch movies quite regularly. So by this stage they're all savvy enough to cut right through the verbose ramblings of old people like me, to create movie reviews for the Twitter generation.

For example:

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
[About halfway through this, one of my favorite movies]
[9YO son] D- : This is definitely NOT a 'wonderful life'.
[6YO daughter] M-: Yeah, it's depressing!

The Tigger Movie (2000)
[2YO son] E- (disappointedly, throughout the movie): ...Where Pooh-bear go??

And I may as well include this post from the vaults, with another similarly pithy movie critique from D-, back when he was a mere 5-year-old: I think I've broken my kid (June 2009)

These less-than-effusive summaries are most notable just because as kids, their standards are so low that they seem to think any moving pictures put in front of them are "awesome".

It's a bit nauseating sometimes, when they (or worse yet, "we") are subjected to some terrible bit of would-be entertainment for any length of time, and they sit there clearly making no distinction between, say, an animated car insurance commercial and the finest creations during this, the Golden Age of Children's Movies.

Some day, I tell myself, they will appreciate what Pixar has wrought for them. Comments like these are the only real hints that I might live to see that day in person.

16 April 2013

Things that amuse me, Vol. 17

Here are a few of the things that have been amusing me recently:

1. Almost every time* I log in to eBay lately (or when they send me a "tantalizing" daily e-mail trying to draw me back to their site), they suggest that I might be intensely interested in purchasing a scale model of Vin Diesel's head. No matter what I shop for. Do I have to break down and buy one just to make it go away? Is that their twisted strategy to move odd products after being listed for too long?

2. Only when your 6-year-old girl stays home from school do you get to find out exactly how lovely your 2-year-old son's head looks filled with many sparkly hair clips.

Even his favorite dog demanded to get in on the action

(Despite the look on his face in this picture, he couldn't be happier about the attention, or the accessorizing.)

3. I am astounded by the logic of a PR rep (for something I still haven't paid attention to, on principle**) who decided that I, like everyone else who received her e-mail, likely did not pay the proper amount of attention to it, so she forwarded it to everyone all over again within the span of a week.

Now, of course, such an annoying action is far from uncommon, and it results in many, many e-mails coming in to bloggers' inboxes every day, but where this lady goes beyond the call of duty is by including this explicit and cringe-inducing opening sentence in her followup: "I know you must get a million emails like this daily, so I wanted to resend and ensure you received the info below."

...Make that a million and one.

* The rest of the time, it suggests an equally creepy "Jason Statham" head.

** See that? You got your wish, lady-- I'm writing about your e-mail!