29 December 2011

A conversation between M- and D-: He's got a soft spot for them

Now that my son E- is officially 1 year old, hopefully he's sturdy enough to not require conversations like the following to take place between his 7-year-old brother D- and his 4-year-old sister M-, with D- giving his best approximation of my explanation of the fontanel:

D-: No! Don't touch his head! Remember there's a part on top where he has no head bone, and if you touch it, you're touching his BRAIN, and then he'll be crazy forever?!

M-: Crazy?

D-: Yeah, you know, like....

M-: Like he says, "Uhhh, spaghetti is macaroni, ummmmm..."?

D-: Yeah, just crazy; like his brain doesn't work right. So just don't touch his head.

You may enjoy my previous M- conversations, D- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

22 December 2011

A conversation with M-: Away in a manger full of presents

Here's a revealing conversation I had with my 4-year-old daughter M-, when I absentmindedly vented my brain of the potentially hazardous buildup of Christmas songs stuck in it:

Me: "I don't want a lot for Christmas / ..."

M- (interrupting with an important point, while gesturing slightly to herself): I do.

Me: Oh you do, do you??

M-: Yes. Do YOU want a lot for Christmas?

Me (really overselling my angelic virtue): No. I just want everybody to be happy.

M- (brow furrowed in earnest reflection): ... Well, I want a lot for Christmas.

You may enjoy my previous M- conversations, (7YO son) D- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

19 December 2011

A conversation with M-: Ready to leave the nest

The following conversation took place when my wife J- was fixing up my 4-year-old daughter M-'s hair one night before bed, as she and M- both complained about how tangled it was:

Me (pointlessly defending myself): We were running late, and I forgot to bring a hairbrush with me this morning, so her hair looked like a rat's nest... I had to just comb through it with my fingers and pull it back into a ponytail.

J- (about to share a story of mild mortification under the firing-squad gaze of Other Mothers of Daughters, after she'd had an "all-ready-to-go" daughter in a tutu packed into the car by her husband): Yeah, I could tell, at dance class...

M- (cutting in, as she realized we were talking about her): Don't call it a rat's nest!

Me (realizing it didn't sound very nice, after she'd uncharacteristically decided to pay attention when adults speak): That just means how it looks-- it wasn't your fault.

M- (not comforted at all): Don't CALL it that.

Me: Would it be better if I called it a (dementedly happy voice) "squirrel's nest!"?

M- (probably more frustrated): Don't call it a nest at ALLLLL!

Note: I made no promises. I calls 'em like I sees 'em.

You may enjoy my previous M- conversations, J- conversations, and (7YO son) D- conversations.

30 November 2011

A conversation with M-: And "Eeyore" is in the Top Names list every year

This is a bizarre, but typical, conversation I recently had with my 4-year-old daughter M- as I was preparing lunch for the kids:

M- (after I'd opened the floor for lunch-plate requests): I want the We-need-the-Pooh plate!

Me (since this wasn't the first time I'd noticed this, I figured I'd ask): Why do you keep calling him "We-need-the-Pooh"?

M- (blankly): Because that's his name.

Me: No, it's "Winnie". "Winnie-the-Pooh."

M-: ...... "Winnie" is a strange name.

You may enjoy my previous M- conversations, (7YO son) D- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

27 November 2011

Conversations I never had with my son, Vol. 1

We all know boys and girls are different, yadda yadda yadda-- I won't bore you by spewing back some old saws you've heard and said a hundred times yourself. I just feel compelled to begin recording some of the noteworthy quips, statements, threats, and conversations with my 4-year-old daughter M- that definitely have never before come up with my 7-year-old son D-*:

M- (having described in detail, in the manner of a time-share salesperson, a water park/resort that a classmate was going to): ...So... can we go there, too?

Me (having known where she was going the whole time she was going on about it, and not in a mood to humor her): No... I don't think so.

M- (more than a little smugly): Well, when I'm bigger, in college, and I'm on a date with my friend, we will go there. We'll stay there and go on all the rides and have SO much fun. ...When I'm in college and on a DATE, with my friend, together.

* And presumably won't come up with their infant brother, E-.

02 November 2011

Things that amuse me, Vol. 10

Here's another selection of items that have been amusing me since the last time I posted a collection of these:

1. At 7 months old*, my son E- discovered that pulling one's tethered pacifier out and forcibly unclipping it instantly creates a devastatingly effective set of nunchuks with which one can threaten people to meet various demands.

2. It's come to my attention that I've recently been keeping about the same hours as a house cat. Except, without all the naps. I guess that's not really amusing, but instead subtly tragic. Maybe I should go find myself a sunny spot on the floor by a window somewhere... after I finish thoroughly licking myself and then staring alertly out the window for a few hours.

3. My wife's very simple explanation for the baby's sudden crying jag in the other room, "Oh, he just got really excited about the thing in his hand, and he fell over."

4. In case they needed another reason to pity them, basketball coaches for 7-year-olds have so many fewer weapons than those of older kids. The kids are too oblivious to respond to the tried-and-true psychological torments that are the hallmarks of coaching; they don't really much care if they make a shot, so long as they get to take one; and, for example, when sternly warned that continued misbehavior would mean one of my son's teammates would, "have to run to the end of the court and back", all his teammates immediately leaped up, hands in the air, shouting, "I wanna run! I want to run!!!"

* Now outdated, as he's currently 10 months old and thinks pacifiers are SO lame.

24 October 2011

Corporate intelligence: A new Lowe

Well folks, someone has finally done it. After all these decades... well, centuries, really... a business has found a way to break through all the advertising noise, to make all the overloaded, tuned-out consumers around them sit up and take notice, to come to the table when they're called, without having to bang a drum or shout over the constant dull roar of inferior pitchmen.

You may not, nay, almost certainly have not, yet gotten to see what I am about to reveal to you, as I am one of the elite few privy to the rare, twice-daily, special messages from the ritziest of the insanely enormous home-improvement stores, Lowes, a store in which I can't particularly remember the last time I thought about setting foot.

I, as a presumably-now-part-owner of "MyLowes", was just offered the once-in-a-lifetime chance to... wait for it... Get a SNEAK PEEK at their NEW COMMERCIAL!!!

Who wants to wait in line with the common horde for the chance to evaluate Lowes' latest evaluation of their own product offerings and pricing, when can't-miss line-jumping opportunities like this are available?? I can hardly even remember a time when I wasn't this kind of special.

Hopefully, someday, you too will be so lucky to ascend to the airy heights at which I'm now soaring.

19 October 2011

A conversation between M- and D-: Truth and Consequences

I'm not sure that there's a lesson to be found here in this conversation between my 7-year-old son D- and my 4-year-old daughter M- as they got ready for bed recently, but it is what it is, and I swear this really happened:

Me (to D-, who's given to sleeping shirtless solely to save himself seconds of time in the evenings and mornings): Get a shirt on, or you'll be sorry-- this morning you were huddled up in a freezing ball again.

M- (gleefully butting in): He should have "CONsequences", Dad!

D- (seeming to have temporarily forgotten his deep familiarity with this word): What?

M- (in a rational, expository tone, with only a slight hint of smugness toward the end): Consequences-- you have to sleep with no shirt, and you're very cold. That's "consequences" of what you did.

D-: BANG! Two socks in the face-- that's YOUR consequences!

You may enjoy my previous M- conversations, D- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

14 October 2011

A conversation with M-: The letter of the law

Here's a puzzling conversation I just had with my 4-year-old daughter M-, as she hit the home stretch in her quest to write out the whole alphabet.

Me (singing a portion of the song, since I couldn't bear to sing it all again for the 50th time): And the next letter is.. Q, R, S; T, U...

M-: Vee!

Me: That's right, now write that down.

M- (hesitating at the paper): Uhhhh...

Me: It's like the U, but pointy on the bottom, like this: (writing in the air)

M-: ...

Me: Remember... it's like an upside-down A, without a line across the middle?

M-: Oh! Like a V!

You may enjoy my previous M- conversations, (7YO son) D- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

30 September 2011

A monologue from M-: Keep your powder dry, and your crayons sharp

All three* of my children are very intelligent, but they definitely have different ways of manifesting these smarts. This is in part because they just have different ways of thinking, and one way my 4-year-old daughter stands apart is that much of her thought process happens out loud, and usually far beyond what would be considered necessary volume.

For example, the following puzzle is excerpted from a longer chain of thoughts idly expressed --without interruption by me-- as we colored a life-sized outline of her body for her dance class:

M-: ... If you need any crayons** sharpened, I'VE got a crayon sharpener... It's really nice, because you can sharpen any crayon you want, anytime, and you can never lose it, because it's attached to the big box of crayons, and that would be really hard to lose. ...Actually, I don't know where it is right now... I think we lost the big box of crayons... I lost my crayon sharpener, Dad.

* Updated banner coming, someday, someday...

** Notable fact: We were using markers, there was nary a crayon to be seen.

27 September 2011

Classic quotes, Vol. 33

Here's a selection of some recent quotes from my 4-year-old daughter M-, my 7-year-old son D-, and my infant son E-:

M- (referring to E-, known to be a bit drooly as his teeth come in): I kissed him on the head... because I don't kiss babies on the mouth.

D- (after I helpfully pointed out that he might not like working for the Lego company so much, since they'd make him WORK, and turn his fun hobby into a chore): Oh no, I would LOVE that job, because Legos are... (at a temporary loss for words, eyes suddenly bulging) my LIFE!*

M- (eagerly, when told I also made a necklace of Fruit Loops when I was a kid): Do you still HAVE your necklace??

E- (every chance he gets, expressing himself through mime, as he's only 9 months old): Here, let me hold your face still with one hand, so I can better rip those elusive glasses right off your face.

M- (when told she has a very big vocabulary): What does that word mean?

* These days, it'd be hard to argue with him... well, I should say, harder to argue with him on this topic than on every single other topic that comes up.

07 September 2011

A conversation between M- and J-: They call me MISTER Princess!

The following short but sweet conversation between my wife J- and my 4-year-old daughter M- speaks volumes about what we face these days with our little "senior in preschool".

J- (obviously quite serious, calling her over a second time for a reprimand): Excuse me, ma'am!

M- (pointedly referring to her ongoing game, to explain her previous lack of response): Do you mean, "Princess"??

J-: No, I do NOT mean "Princess"!

* She'll have put in two and a half years before kindergarten!

You may enjoy my previous M- conversations, J- conversations, and (7YO son) D- conversations.

31 August 2011

Classic quotes, Vol. 32

Here's a selection of some recent quotes from my 4-year-old daughter M- (who's clearly very into music lately) and my 7-year-old son D-:

M- (referring to my new organization for all the outside toys): You are the Superman of balls, Dad!!

D- (when asked what was so funny while walking into the room, as if casually relishing a tasty morsel): Oh; M- told an UN-appropriate joke a minute ago... (chuckling some more)

M- (singing): There was a farmer who had a dog... whose name was Bingo... (slowly remembering, without much concern, that she 1) doesn't know how to spell things, and 2) didn't perfectly memorize the lyrics to work around this handicap) ...G-L...I-N!!

D- (trying to cushion the blow to the chef's ego on omelet night): THIS part I don't like? (pointing to the "egg" part) ...but everything else I like... (forcing an encouraging smile)

M- (emphatically, while eating "fruit on the bottom" raspberry yogurt): When you stir it all up and smoothen it out, D-, it's REALLY good. It's like a strawberry sur-VEY* or something. It's a really good strawberry sur-VEY!

M- (practically screaming, while strumming a toy guitar): I'm going to start a BAND!!! (after being asked if it will be a loud one) OH yeah!!!

M- (part of a much longer, and clearly very inspiring, song she was cranking out on her guitar and microphone): "We arrrrrre kiiiiiiiiids... but we will grow uuup one dayyyyyyy... and weeeee willll have a houuuuuuse... // And we will have to pay our mortgagggggge, eeeeeeeveryyyyyy dayyyyyyy..."

* Maybe a cross between "sorbet" and "parfait"? Either way, it was said about 100 times in that snooty tone of voice people use when trying to authentically pronounce the only foreign loan word in a sentence.

15 August 2011

A conversation with M- and D-: I see your unbeatable strength, and raise you my imagination

While setting up a sort of industrial-strength collapsible steel bin in the garage yesterday, I stood on it so I could reach each of the sides at once. My 7-year-old son D- and 4-year-old daughter M- were immediately shocked that this device could EVEN hold up DAD!

I informed them that it could probably hold up an elephant, since it's made of centimeter-thick hardened steel bars crisscrossed in a grid of one-inch squares, supported by large, thick, solid-steel feet. I made the mistake of adding, for effect, that they couldn't break it if they tried.

They immediately took this as a personal challenge, and sought to undermine it the only way they knew how.

D- (conversationally): Well, the Incredible Hulk, if he was here, he could just SMASH it like that. Right?

Me (distracted): Sure, I guess... since he's not real, and they can make up anything they want about him.

D- (strangely triumphant): Yeah, so he could...

M- (looking to contribute): And they made up that he's the strongest guy in the whole world... so HE could break this if he wanted to, but we couldn't.

D- (exultant, but now totally off topic): HE could break ANYthing... he's so awesome. ERRRRRRGGHHH...

M-: Yeah!

This went on for a few more idle minutes. Meanwhile, thoroughly put in my place, I continued to feebly assemble this contraption as their own personal ball- and toy-storage bin. And of course, I then had to lay down for a few hours to regain what meager strength I manage to muster each day.

11 August 2011

Potential book titles, Vol. 3

Here are a few more titles of fiction and nonfiction books I might write, if I ever manage to finish something* that takes more than 10 minutes at a time:

Leftover Birthday Cake: Why Parents Have Been Having Children Since Ancient Times

Why Would I Even Have To Forewarn You To Not Put That In Your Mouth??

Enter Title Here: Sometimes I Put Things Off A Bit Too Long

Put That Down: When I Said I Wouldn't Tell You Again, I Meant After This Time

I'm Starting To Understand Why People Demolish And Rebuild, Waste Be Damned: A Home Remodeling Story

* Such as writing a decent blog post of substance.

28 July 2011

Amusing searches, Vol. 15

Here are more of the most amusing searches that brought people here recently, in this case all to one post-- we'll again call this The Least Depressing Searches That Led People to my 10 Reasons my 3-Year-Old Son May be Homosexual Post.

(All search strings are reprinted exactly as they were entered, and the search text links to the post at which the visitor arrived.)

why is my 5 year old son's tooth sensitive to hot? (Oshawa, Ontario) - I'm guessing because his central nervous system works. Don't worry, though, that should clear up in a few years

my 3 year old son trys on clothes in secret (Marathon, WI) - If your 3-year-old is able to somewhat competently put on and take off a whole outfit, I wouldn't worry too much about what he or she puts on in particular. Just enjoy the extra 10 minutes of sleep you'll get in the morning.

how long is a normal 12 year olds penis (Hailsham, UK) - Oh, I dunno... anywhere between, say, 1 inch and 15 inches? Just like the range for everyone else? (Most women excluded.) One can only hope you're keeping this preoccupation to yourself.

what is wrong with my 3 year old (Leicester, UK) - Assuming your 3-year-old is like most, let's see... 1) He smells like he doesn't much care for baths; 2) He really could stand to wipe his nose, but not on his clothes again; 3) He should be returned for warranty service on his volume control; 4) He's just so needy! I mean, seriously, does he EVER help with chores, or carry YOU in from the car? And 5) The kid doesn't even know how to read!

24 July 2011

Things that amuse me, Vol. 9

Here's another selection of items that have been amusing me these days:

1. Only a kid* can be taken just as seriously with chocolate smeared all over his face as he is any other day and time.

2. Much like a dog chasing a car until it slams on the brakes, every time I succeed in swatting a fly with my bare hands, I immediately regret even attempting it. And yet, there I am again swinging away the next time.

3. My wife --who shudders at the mere thought of an insect** going about its life far underground, much less anywhere inside her house or immediate one-mile area-- so craves the attention of a cat that, when faced with what I'll call my Dismayed Reaction to her observation of fleas and ticks on the stray cat she and our kids had been frequently petting for a few days, she shrugged them off and casually explained, "You just need to wash your hands..."

4. My two older children, D- (7-year-old son) and M- (4-year-old daughter), have lately alternated between 1) experimenting with the power of demanding privacy in the bathroom/when changing; and 2) loudly offering each other audiences before their porcelain throne/mooning each other at will.

* Or possibly Hitler.

** Even a firefly!

18 July 2011

Classic quotes, Vol. 31

Here's a selection of some recent quotes from my 4-year-old daughter M-, 7-year-old son D-, and wife J-:

D- (to my mom, after he chose to dump unhealthy amounts of cinnamon on his toast): Your cinnamon is really HOT!

M- (missing the point of a race during Cars 2): Why are they driving so fast??

J- (mindlessly talking aloud to herself, after realizing Father's Day was approaching): Oh, sh*t, that's coming up already...

D- (as my dad tried to point out that he wasn't listening to the requested story he was reading aloud): What??! I can not hear you over the sound of me talking!

M- (shouting at J-, who had quietly advised her to really start sleeping, while she was pretending to sleep): I am, MOM!

J- (suffering through a diet, as M- pulled a pack of Hostess cupcakes off a grocery shelf): Put that down right now! (muttering to herself) Put it down before I buy them...

M- (ending a series of overly dramatic comments about a forklift she was hearing at Costco): Watch out, that fork lifter's going to fork us up!!

24 June 2011

Important Question: If I didn't notice a sparkle, can it still be a vampire?

This is the kind of urgent question that cannot wait until it's not the middle of the night to ask of The Internet.

This evening, close to midnight, we were shocked to discover an intruder in the house that may be either a bat or some kind of darting swift or swallow. It didn't stop panickedly swooping toward my indefensibles long enough for me to get a good look at it before finding a safe enough nook in which to plot its revenge.*

So, after several fruitless hours of searching, the question I have for you all is this:

Which one of us will wake up with this thing on our face?

It's kind of important that we know this as soon as possible. Please share your educated hypothesis** in the comments.

* And J- couldn't see much from under the blanket, where she was, quote, "Protecting the baby."

** Additionally, I suppose, you could answer by telling us who will
never wake up after this thing was on our faces?

19 June 2011

A conversation with D-: Candy, or The Optimist

After three kids, plus a keen self-awareness during my own childhood, I know a thing or two about how children's minds work. Some aspects are very simple and obvious, others more complex, but this recent conversation with my 7-year-old son D- reminds us that the most important thing is we are all slaves to our most basic needs.

Me (repeatedly calling from the shower to D-, waiting in the bathroom to come in and get washed): D-? ... D-? ..... D-?? (muttering, unsure if he really left or is hiding somewhere in the bathroom) ...Alright, no candy for you, then...

D- (after a very long pause): ...Wait, what did you say??

Me (ignoring my own triumph over the chronic, and talented, hider): Hey, there you are, buddy-- come on, it's your turn to get clean next.

D- (suddenly very compliant, but urgently looking to resolve his confusion): Okay, I'm coming, but, so... what did you say just a minute ago? "No something for me," or something??

I decided to play dumb on this one, stalling for time long enough that an, "I don't remember what you're talking about," was plausible and thus above his keen suspicion. Can't give up this trick just yet-- I have so few of the old standbys left, at his age.

Happy Father's Day!

You may enjoy my previous D- conversations, (4YO daughter) M- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

17 June 2011

Things that amuse me, Vol. 8

Here are some more of the random happenings and such that have amused me lately:

1. On a church sign in town: "Celebrate Jesus, the Resurrected One". I was thankful for the clarification that they meant THAT one, not the dude slopping the refried beans into my burrito on the more fun side of town.

2. Stores don't even bother offering 99-cent Mother's Day cards for wives, because they know not enough husbands are stupid enough to walk into a bear trap like that.

3. Sleepy babies=Drunk adults at the end of the night

4. The unfortunate motto of a Louisiana home-repair company I stumbled upon is, "Where Quality Is Not An Option". ...I can understand what they're going for, but still I'd strongly suggest they re-form the Slogan Committee to brainstorm a bit longer on this.

31 May 2011

Classic quotes, Vol. 30

Here's a selection of some recent quotes from my 4-year-old daughter M- and 7-year-old son D-:

D- (after milking a legitimate cough a bit much): I AM sick-- I've always had a cough like this. ... YES, always... well, since last evening.

M- (rooting around behind her in her car seat as we drove): I've got a BUNCH of toys and stuff in my seat crack! I've got crayons, and Cheerios...a penny. I've got a PENNY in my SEAT CRACK!

D- (running, eagerly, after it was pointed out that Momma's crude humor was technically appropriate given her location*): Then I'm gonna go to the bathroom to say a bunch more BUTT things!

M- (finding a new way to protest, a few days after an explanation of Intellectual Property law): No, D-!! That's MY trademarrrrrrrrrk!

D- (unaware of the sad, overwhelming facts about himself these days, after reflecting on all the "bad kids" in his yearbook): Wow, MY teacher is lucky! Every OTHER teacher has a BAD kid in her class who has to go to the OFFICE like every day!

* For the record, no, she was in the bathroom washing dishes**, NOT using the toilet.***

** Until our kitchen is reassembled (but it's only been 8 months!!), that's where we're forced to wash them. We couldn't be happier about this...

*** She NEVER does that.

27 May 2011

A conversation between M- and D-: Children, Interrupted

Here's a 100% authentic, oblivious conversation between two masters of a certain art form:

M- (continuing a story about school): Well, sometimes we talk while the teacher is talking, anyway, so...

D- (interrupting): THAT'S called "interrupting". It's...

M-: It's NOT good. It's very RUDE! Dad hates th...

D-: Dad was doing that back to us yesterday...

M-: Yeah he was, it's very annoying!

You may enjoy my previous (4YO daughter) M- conversations, (7YO son) D- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

25 May 2011

Amusing searches, Vol. 14

Here are more of the most amusing searches that have brought people here recently, this time with the theme of: The Least Depressing Searches That Led People to my 10 Reasons my 3-Year-Old Son May be Homosexual Post.

(All search strings are reprinted exactly as they were entered, and the search text links to the post at which the visitor arrived.)

4-year old son walks gay (Harlingen, TX) - You know what they say, if it walks like a gay, and talks like a gay, you're probably unnaturally obsessed with your child's sexuality. Father or mother, I'm just glad this is how you spent your Mother's Day.

5 year old behaving homosexual (Queen Creek, AZ) - You'd think living in a place named Queen Creek, Arizona, you'd be resigned to this kind of thing. He's just trying to fit in!!

when 2 year olds smear feces on the walls (Covington, KY) - Let me finish that for you: "...then the fun begins!"

is it wrong for my 3 year old to sleep with me (Marysville, OH) - Yes, but only because the resultant insomnia might cause you to murder him or her "in your sleep".

20 year old son maybe homosexual? (Billings, MT) - Preeeeeeeeeeetty sure by this point, it's no longer your concern.

30 April 2011

Logic and Reason never brought me candy or presents

My now 7-year-old son D- (I really need to update my masthead...) is at that age where he views Logic and Reason as his own all-powerful keys to unlock the secrets of childhood that adults often-unintentionally guard so fiercely.

And yet, at the same time, advanced as he is in the twin arts of Sarcasm and Skepticism, he can't quite resist the pull of childish naivete. He's the kind of kid (much like myself back then) who doesn't "really" believe in Santa, but who feels compelled to make a calculated hedge against the possibility of facing the huge downside of a disappointed, vengeful St. Nick.

Because of this swirling sea of uncertainty, the following exchange between D- and his 4-year-old sister M-, taken from a larger stream of chit-chat about school and life on our way home one afternoon, was obviously quite agonizing for him. (I've abbreviated some of the pauses and excluded descriptions of his pained facial contortions, for your own sanity in reading through it.)

M-: We have a TV in our [preschool] room, too, up REALLY high. That's where Snowflake was sitting one time.

D-: Who's Snowflake?

M-: The elf who was hiding around our classroom... right before it was Christmastime. You can't touch him, though, or he'll lose his magic.

D-: Wellll, that can't be right, because you guys had to touch him to put him up there.

M-: No! He FLEW up there, by himself, at night.

D- (thinking hard about this): Wait... was this in a movie?

M-: No, it was in my class, for real. He's really magic, and he hides all over the room! You can't touch him, or he loses his magic.

D- (thinking again, then making absolutely sure): .....So, was this ON the TV, like a movie or a show?

M-: No! It really happened, to me, in my classroom, at Christmastime. For real.

D- (thinking some more): ...And you said his name was Snowflake?

She had of course discussed this, as you might imagine, in depth at Christmastime, but he was apparently too hopped up on Yuletide hysteria then to pay any attention.

It's also worth noting that during this conversation, she didn't even mention what these "magic powers" are, nor did she allude to the elf's supposed occupation as Spy for Santa. "Magic" speaks for itself, I guess.

I can't help but picture that once he was as sold as he could be on the idea, he was immediately plotting how to capture it and extract its secrets.*

* These days, whether pirates, leprechauns, or odd-looking kittens are in question, "secrets" should be read as "Goooooooooold!"

28 April 2011

Things that amuse me, Vol. 7

Here are some of the happenings and such that have been amusing me lately:

1. Only a baby can sit there crying after punching himself in the face and still reel in the sympathy of the whole room.

2. There's nothing like an earthquake, string of tsunamis, resultant fires, and impending nuclear meltdowns to make a 7-year-old ask me why I don't turn off the music and turn on the news on the way to school.

3. I recently wiped out several dozen flies flirting and sunning themselves on the east side of my house. They died as they lived-- trying to make thousands of babies and irritating the hell out of me.

4. A baby is the kind of person whom you can't trust to not urinate on you during any given 1-minute period of the day.

5. Unlike his do-gooder cousin the Easter Bunny, the equally famous After-Easter Bunny has this week been employing his Magical Rabbit powers of whisking himself around to the baskets of all good little boys and girls of the world to remove just enough candy each time that they'll never notice.

04 April 2011

A conversation between M- and D-: Don't tell my parents they said this

While we were casually discussing Walt Disney tonight, the kids asked me if he's still alive:

Me: No, he died before I was born... maybe when [my parents] were teenagers?

D- (jaw to the floor): Whooooooaaa!! He died a LOOOONG time ago! ...I can't even beLIEVE it!

M- (running in from the hall): D-, he died like a hundred YEARS ago!!

D-: I know!! I can't believe it!

Time really is a fuzzy concept for them, whether it's years, days, or minutes. It's generally baffling and/or frustrating, but luckily, I'm occasionally able to use it to my advantage.

You may enjoy my previous (4YO daughter) M- conversations, (7YO son) D- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

31 March 2011

Amusing searches, Vol. 13

If I ever found out more about the people who arrived here via Internet searches, I think it would only be a letdown compared to the outlandish caricatures that spring to mind for each search (complete with funny voices). If one of these people is you, well, you'd better start upping your game.

Anyway, here's a grab-bag of some of the most amusing searches that have brought people here.

(All search strings are reprinted exactly as they were entered, and the search text links to the post at which the visitor arrived.)

Goldfish crackers MSDS (Saginaw, MI) - While they may be as addictive as cocaine or as dangerous as other chemical substances, I'm pretty sure Pepperidge Farm still is not required to issue an MSDS for Goldfish crackers.

but it is indisputable that while you cannot possibly be genteel and bake? what does this mean (San Antonio, TX) - Why Google pointed you to my main page for this, I don't know, but maybe they're on to something, because I just so happen to be able to pass you, dear reader of Great Expectations, along to this dictionary entry for genteel. I'm pretty sure the rest is self-explanatory.

why raisins are gross - I'm glad Google's fighting the good fight to present my own views on the wonders of raisins whenever someone so foolishly puts a statement such as this out there. I can only hope this searcher was looking for reasons someone with no taste buds might make this claim, so that they could most effectively refute those reasons. Yes, I take my raisins seriously.

sexually irresistible woman (Haradok, Belarus) - You know, I've been called a lot of things in my time, but I think that's a first. To my face, anyway.

spongebob vagina (Leer, Germany) - With someone as absorbent, yellow, and porous as he, I would think even a scientist would have trouble distinguishing one orifice from another. Sorry to disappoint you, Extremely Disturbing Person.

25 March 2011

Classic quotes, Vol. 29

Here's a selection of some recent quotes from my 4-year-old daughter M-, 6-year-old son D-, and wife J-:

M- ("agreeing" with me after being told she had to eat lunch instead of play with her favorite toy dog, Woof): Okay-- as soon as I'm finished with The Adventures of Woof, then I'll eat lunch.

D- (confused, then disappointed, realizing he accidentally got up in time for school all by himself): Is it a school day??

M- (sadly not yet accurate): ...It was a long time ago. I mean, not like when they used to fight WARS, and everything... I mean like a few DAYS ago.

J-'s student (transcribed, for later write-up purposes, without any context at all on a Post-It note stuck to my DVD J- brought back from school): Say my name one more time and this spoon's going up your ass!

M- (talking to me from the bathroom, as she's wont to do): So was that popcorn supposed to be an "appetite" before lunch?

08 March 2011

The downside of exposing children to classic novels

Quoting the escaped convict in Great Expectations recently, my 6-year-old son D- threatened to cut out the liver of his 4-year-old sister, who refused to be quiet at bedtime.

Needless to say, she didn't get the reference.

28 February 2011

Classic quotes, Vol. 28

It's been a surprisingly long time, but at long last, here are some quotes I've collected in the past few months from my 4-year-old daughter M-, 6-year-old son D-, 2-month-old son E-, and wife J-:

M- (calling down from upstairs while supposedly getting ready for bed, in an overly dramatic announcer's voice): I have a feeling! [...] I have a feeling... of monsters?

D- (matter-of-factly to M-, as she returned from informing me that she's "pretty sure [she] heard a mouse", because she "heard footsteps somewhere but they weren't Mom's"): So, what did he say about all this mouse business?

M- (sassily, when called out for playing in her room instead of cleaning): I was folding a shirt. ...Is that called 'playing'?

J- (reluctantly, referring to her then-overly-pregnant state): Alright... while I'm dressed and looking relatively decent, you should probably take my picture.

M- (in the tattletale voice): D- is pretending to haaaaaaarm meeee!

E- (while smiling): Ah gugrggggg!*

* Trust me, this is much, much cuter in person.

26 February 2011

Important Question: How does she fit all that clutter in just one bag?

This thought occurred to me recently, and I decided it was a fair question to pose to all of you, or at least those of you who read blogs on weekends and who are also in the habit of commenting.

So I suppose this Important Question is directed at you three, then:

Do you remember how old you were when you discovered there is no housekeeping fairy?

That's right-- what tender, innocent age were you when you coldly realized that the person who was sneaking around cleaning up when no one else was looking was actually... you?

19 February 2011

Things printed on bibs to keep parents from abandoning babies

Here's a list of catchy infant bib slogans strategically engineered by the baby apparel industry to help defend against the distinctly anti-social habits of its primary customer base,* the world's cutest self-absorbed douches.

Sometimes (say, around 3:30 in the morning on Day 42), a simple "I Love My Mommy" just doesn't cut it.**

1. Pretty Soon, Everything You Do And Say Will Be Unbelievably Hilarious To Me

2. Daddy's Little Wingman

3. Sometimes I Smile By Accident!

4. Chubby Cheeks! Chubby Cheeks!!

5. One Day, I Will Choose Your Retirement Home

6. Yes, I Really Do Say "Goo" Sometimes

7. I Am Powerless To Resist Your Efforts To Make Me Talk, Gesture, And Dance For Your Own Amusement

8. Daddy's Little Tax Break

9. Don't Forget, You Can Start Lacing My Nighttime Bottles With Rice Cereal As Soon As The Doctor Only Rolls Her Eyes At The Idea Instead Of Threatening To Report You To The Authorities

10. Have You Checked How Tiny My Toes Are, Lately?

* They also service dolls and extremely tiny adults.

** This list might more accurately be titled, "
Things printed on bibs to keep parents from leaving their babies to fend for themselves in the backyard each night from 11pm to 7am".

31 January 2011

One-item lists, Vol. 3

Most inconvenient things about my wife getting a Caesarean section
1. I wasn't allowed to make her laugh for several weeks. I really have no idea how else to interact with her.

Reasons I don't want my wife using my side of the bed as a storage area when I'm not there
1. Because I get to find in it lovely treasures like, say, the shriveled stump of an infant's umbilical cord lying next to the used tissue in which it was allegedly once loosely contained.*

The kinds of ways I count my blessings
1. The snow didn't blow around and drift waist-high like usual during a recent windstorm here... thanks to the preceding hours of heavy rain freezing everything solid.

Proof that "ladylike" tendencies don't kick in until after age 6
1. (Female classmate of my son's, apropos of nothing in the hallway one morning during a schoolwide Norovirus epidemic): Destiny, I wasn't in school yesterday! ...Yeah, I pooped in the car, so...

How I can tell my daughter may be the ultimate Anti-Vegetarian
1. Nothing has changed since I posted this. My 4-year-old daughter M- recently smiled between mouthfuls of ham roll-ups and said, "Since I watched Babe today, I was in the mood for ham! ...Because pigs make ham."

* And let me tell you, the only thing more shocking than finding such an item is realizing that you were able to identify it, completely out of context, in under 10 seconds.

30 January 2011

A conversation between M- and D-: Sometimes love just ain't enough

Here's a quick little exchange that pretty well sums up our days at this stage, with my son D- six and my daughter M- now 4.

Me (sick as ever of the nearly non-stop bickering, which apparently I may miss someday): I thought I told you two to go to separate rooms?!

D-: She keeps following me!!

M- (the world's newest queen of drama... bow before her): That's because I love you! I follow you because I love you! (to me, desperately) I follow D- because I love him!!

You may enjoy my previous (4YO daughter) M- conversations, (6YO son) D- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

18 January 2011

A conversation with D- and M-: The forbidden fruit

What better and more appropriate way to start out the year --after having closed out last year with a brand-new baby-- than with this recent conversation with my 6-year-old son D- and my then-3-year-old daughter M-?

D- (reading a joke from somewhere): What kind of fruit do ghosts like to eat?

Me: I don't know, what?

D-: Boo... (switching to spelling mode) B-O-O-B-E-...

M- (jumping in, proud to show off her impressive "reading" skills yet again): Boobies!!

D- (shocked, confused, sure this must somehow be a dirty joke he accidentally read, but slightly amused): Heh-heh.

Me (obviously now relating a much-less-funny joke): Boo-berries. ...Not boobies... It's "BOO-berries", because pretend ghosts* say, "Boo!", right? ...Boo-berries.

* Must always be on guard-- no, ghosts aren't real, go to sleep!

You may enjoy my previous M- conversations, D- conversations, and J- conversations.