For his sixth birthday, Finn got a cool Crayola lightboard & marker kit, which I've started using to leave fun messages for the guys at bedtime.
Coincidentally, John found out about a completely kooky kids' book called Crabtree, about a deeply disorganized man who has misplaced his false teeth and proceeds to reorganize all of his belongings in an attempt to find them. Inspired by Crabtree's collection, and illustration, of broken items, I created a night-time message for the boys that consisted of bedtime items broken into pieces, which they then had to mentally reassemble. Hilarity ensues:
Our most excellent and super-creative friend Maria came up with a great idea for the Micronaxx: Playdate business cards! Since we often don't bump into other kids' parents at Pasitos or Finny's daycare, it can be challenging to get playdates scheduled, since we don't have contact information for the guys' school buddies or their parents.
John usually gives one of his own business cards to the kid at school that our boys want to have a playdate with, and that works fairly well - in fact, this is how we've met and become friends with a few families in our neighborhood! Maria had the fantastic idea to create playdate business cards for each guy that he can hand to his friends at school. She asked the guys what they'd like to be called, and what sort of picture they'd like on their cards. With a little editing and help from Mom-o and Dad-o, here they are. We loved the initial idea and we love the finished product even more!
- Rookie dad-move: Acknowledging a bad word heard on the radio. Immediate aftermath: “Hey Finn, let’s chant ‘Badass.’ BadASS, BadASS…!!”
- Finn’s decorated our street-facing window with math equations—in Spanish! So proud.
He’s also added the word “mofo.” So, ehhh…
- Finn appeared by our bed this AM with a clipboard, marker, & inexplicable Freud accent. “Do you vant your day to start vith ‘no’ or ‘yes?’”
- Finn cocks his head in curiosity at saline sinus spray. “I would call this ‘Nose Champagne.’”
- Finn introduces his new red lion to my childhood Red Kitty: "It's your brother from another mother!”
- "Dad-O, what about 'ridunkulous'?" asks Finn. "It's more ridiculous than 'ridonkulous!'"
- Asia intrigues Finn: “Those planets have a lot of ‘knees.’ Japa-knees, Chi-knees… And Germany has only one ‘knee.'”
- "Dad-O, you shouldn't draw graffiti on things," admonishes Henry. "That's called 'fertilizing.'" (Er, "vandalizing," son. :-))
- Our friends' 2-year-old calls fish "glub glubs." Finn's intrigued: "Does he call sharks 'killer glub glubs?’"
- At 7:38am Margot is teaching the boys the proper use of the term “buzzkill.” I love my family.
- Finn: "Why is it 'pee' and 'pull'—'people'?”
Henry: "Yeah, what do people pull?"
Finn: "Your leg!"
- I catch Henry holding his sandwich over the warm vent. "I'm making a grilled cheese," he explains.
- “Dad-O, I’m giving you an example,” says Henry. “Like when you walk by the food court & they give you a chicken example.”
- I'm trying to explain Easter being a "movable feast" when Finn breaks in: "Yeah yeah, a movable candy feast, I get it.”
- After listening to a war photographer, Henry tells his sock monkey, “Bruce ate a BBQ monkey leg—but don’t worry, it wasn’t your family.”
- Finnster, emerging from raiding the snack cabinet: "Look, Dad-O, I've got a Finny-positive chocolate chip Z Bar!"
- I told the boys about KitTea, a (real) proposed tea house full of gatos. "No, Dad-O!" said Henry. "We don't want to eat cats!!”
- The boys have set up a lemonade stand out front to sell homemade “puke” for $3. (“I can’t believe no one is buying our puke!!”)
- "Mom-O, you know what's fun about your dad?" asks Finn. "He's fun to be around, and he makes SUPER delicious buttered popcorn!"
- “We get to eat the pot tonight!” a preschooler just told me. Er, that’s potLUCK, son.
I love Jack Handey's “Deep Thoughts”—especially this one:
One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take mylittle nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. "Oh no", I said, "Disneyland burned down." He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.
Man was I thinking of that the other day when we & the lads walked (and walked, and walked) through the mall en route to the super-pneumatic, hyperkinetic promised Bouncy Land—only to discover that it was closed & padlocked!
Poor Hen cried & cried. We felt terrible, but don’t despair: We almost immediately located another “jump-around place,” drove there and had a ball (actually 300 balls, as the boys tried to force-feed me the contents of a ball pit). Henry was delighted, gleefully announcing, “I’m making myself a new chair, and it’s gonna be called ‘Your Face!!’” All’s well that ends with Dad-O at the bottom of a well.
- “Make me breakfast or I’ll smash your crotch off!!” MAN do tantrums suck, but they can produce some unintended comedy.
- "Dad-O," announces Finn, "if you don't give me more sushi, I'm gonna gun you down!” Aaaand, maybe less NPR listening for somebody.
- "This is as high as I go," yells a flustered Finn from play equipment, "and I don't wanna fall, so I don't need to catch a bunch of crap!!"
- After a contentious morning Finn started poking my arm. "I'm pushing your buttons!!" And how!
- Margot to Finn: "You're disrespectful."
F: "You're disrespectable!"
- Bareheaded Henry glowers at me: “Hmmph! I’ll just use my frown as a hat!!”
- A morose Finn sulks out of his room, post-timeout, carrying a homemade banner: “FINNEGAN SUCS.” Ay, dios mío…!
Capitalism is thriving at our house, with The Boat (Finn) and Green Car (Henry) running roughshod over their poor Cat (Dad-O) and Dog (Mom-O) parents. In fact, I think Finn remains undefeated thus far! Here are the little robber-barons in action last night:
...ideally wielding a baby sledgehammer in the rain amidst piles of broken wood & nails. (Not pictured: Learning to ride a skateboard near said piles. KOBI rides again!!)
(And yes, Mom, I was holding his hand the whole time, keeping him away from any actual danger. :-p)
Man, I've been totally neglecting this category, so let me set about fixing that. Today's edition: Music.
- “Dad-O,” asks radio-listening Henry, “are ‘musicians’ real? And do they really pull rabbits out of hats?”
- Henry: "Dad-O, what is 'heavy metal?'"
Me: "Oh, stuff like 'Breaking The Law' & 'TNT.'"
H.: "Oh! Heavy metal is good for me!!”
- Listening to Lorde’s “Teams,” 4yo Henry says, “She actually takes her hands off & throws them up in the air!” (I’d be kinda over that, too.)
- From the back seat this morning: "Dad-O, could a baby duck fit into a can of beer?" I guess the Pixies bring the weird out of Henry. #age4
- 80's rocker nomenclature baffles young Henry.
"I guess he must love watermelons."
"John Cougar Watermeloncamp."
- Henry, singing: “We built this city…”
Me, chuckling: “What would Mom-O say if she heard you?”
Henry: “G__DAMN it!!”
(M.: “He’s not wrong.”)
- “The Rolling Stones?” Henry’s intrigued. “Do they sing quarry music?” Rock on, little man.
- Upon hearing Neil young's Harvest Moon, Henry says "I think this is an old prospector making train track music."
- I hear crooner Finn mashing up José Feliciano & Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart": “Feliz Navidad, aaa-gain…”
- I make the mistake of turning on KFOX in the car. From the back seat the boys immediately yell, “What Does KFOX Say?? Nya nya nyah nyah…!”
- My reciting of Public Enemy lyrics leaves Finn shaking his head. "I'm a white man, and I'm not familiar with anything Dad-O says!!"
The Germans have a treacherous racetrack they've dubbed "The Green Hell." I wouldn't go that far in describing last Saturday's festivities, but there were moments when, as somewhere between 12 & 15 4-to-6-year-olds simultaneously tried to asphyxiate me, I thought, "Wow, I wish I were wearing a GoPro so that other people can see what it looks like to die this way." Check me out (if you can even somehow see me) at the bottom of a tot-pile at our friends Jake & Shay's annual St. Paddy's party:
Soon after I first met our friend Maria in Kansas City, she mentioned that as a kid she'd had something like 26 pen pals. Now she has two more (or maybe together one full-sized one) in the form of the Micronaxx. She'll sometimes send them fun calligraphic work, and they like to return the favor by riffing on her supposed love of eating strawberry stems. Here you can see what they whipped up following a quick video chat with her:
I awoke to the sound of Margot "cracking up," as Finn later put it. Apparently when she greeted the dudes around 6am, they treated her to a news flash: “Henry can’t marry Maya anymore because she keeps singing ‘Let It Go.’" This is the super annoying, catchy, and strident theme from Frozen. Ask the parents of any young girl. Finn continued, "We’re gonna write a note: ‘FORGET IT, Maya!!’” And so they did!
The boys love to call me KOBI (King Of Bad Ideas), and now look what I discovered on campus at Google—a rolling Bad Idea:
The CoBi is a seven-passenger death machine that I pedaled past yesterday. Here's hoping I can get the little KOBIs (Kids Of Bad Ideas) on it soon.
(Seeing this Margot makes a loud "thbbbbtp!" sound while giving a thumbs-down. "I'd rather team-build over drinks!")
Finnster & G-Man recently helped their Pasitos buddy Jesse celebrate his 4th b-day. Downside: They're not into spicy Mexican candy. Upside: Hen walked off with a papier-mâché dino leg in which to store future treats.
This post is a bit belated, but the party wasn't: Happy Birthday to our big, bright, blonde boy! We had a ball (my totally sore, bouncy-house-strained neck notwithstanding ;-)), and we'll post photos soon. Meanwhile, let's sing!
Hear the chaos!
See the uncooperative candles that keep threatening to go out!
Celebrate our big blonde guy turning 6!
Side Managers: noun. Each guy chooses a side of the shopping cart to hang off of, while (of course) reaching out and touching EVERYTHING in our path as we wind through the aisles.
Frescals: noun. Somewhat indeterminate. Applied to lots of items at the grocery store, and pronounced with super-zesty rolled R's, while being the most interesting side managers in the world. "Frrrrescals! You're a frrrrescal! That's a frrrescal!"
Scalliptions: noun. Also indeterminate. Applied to many items, people, behaviors, and actions. "These scalliptions are making me thirsty! Watch out, I've got a scalliption reserved for you!"
Itsy-bitsy-bitey-bo: phrase. Finny's re-styling of some of the lyrics from Lorde's "Royals" song. I believe the real lyrics are "it don't run in our blood."
Hom noms: noun. Crackers or cookies. Onomatopoetic - this is the sound a kid makes while eating delicious snack food.
Banana butts: noun. Describes the very tip at the bottom of the banana which sometimes has a grayish/black spot inside. These remain uneaten by Nacks under the age of 6.
Onesies, Flatties, Granules: nouns. Descriptive names of various small Legos. Onesies are the cubic Legos with one raised bump. Flatties are the ones with no bumps that are used to finish off a surface smoothly. Granules are the zillions of small, round Onesies that populate my carpet.
Safetying-off: verb. Erecting a barrier to prevent someone from getting too close to a dangerous area. The boys like to use yarn, traffic cones, and cardboard blocks to "safety off" suspected danger zones in the backyard, basement, or living room.
Standpoles: noun. the vertical piers that support bridges. Mom-o, my bridge is going to collapse because I can't find a tall enough standpole!