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!
Finny described a new salad he'd devised for his leonine buddies yesterday morning, called "Rarnchibone." Of course, young Henry had to follow suit with an owl-appropriate salad called "Hoonchibone." Recipes follow:
Rarnchibone consists of "A bunch of grapes, a hamburger patty on the top, lettuce, lots & lots & lots of berries. It's the same for hoonchibone, but instead of a hamburger patty, it's a mouse patty."
Heh—I have to agree with Margot on this one:
Today's Word of the Day from my calendar is “Chivy," which should include the following…"see also: Henry Seamus Nack"
- To tease or annoy with persistent petty attacks
- To move or obtain by small maneuvers
Original meeting "to harass or chase"
Crazy Hen; poor Finn.
In the movie Goodfellas, a minor character is named "Jimmy Two-Times" because he always says things two times—for example, "I'm gonna get the papers (get the papers)."
I've thought of Jimmy a bunch lately as Finn's clearly been enjoying his own lines—to the point that he'll often immediately repeat them in a whisper. While recounting some anecdote he might say, "…so I told Magdalena, 'I'm the dad!' ('I'm the dad!')"
I don't think he knows we hear it, and he just clearly enjoys mastering language, conversation, and social conventions. We'll have to see how long it goes on. (Margot might say, "Probably forever, given the way you repeat jokes just to make sure I heard your cleverness." ;-))
- Finn's stuffed, but he swears he’ll find room for a donut: “My tummy has a garbage truck crusher-blade in it!”
- "Dad-O, when we grow up, we're only going to eat pasta, bacon, and Nutella!" I'm way ahead of you, boys—way ahead! #livingthedream
- I guess we can forget about the boys getting that big Crest endorsement deal: "This tastes like being electrocuted!!"
- Henry eyes a giant tank of horchata (super sugary rice milk), then presents me with a batting helmet: “Fill this up with it!” Best/worst idea ever.
- "Krispies are for closers!!" — me, trying to bribe the boys into finishing their sandwiches
- Finn befouls our sheets with crumbs, sucks them up: "I'm a street sweeper!" First time I've kicked someone out of bed for eating crackers.
- We call our food-distended tummies "food babies." Henry pats his: "I've got a whole food preschool in mine!"
- "You've gotta lay off that Coke, Dad-O," Finn informs me. "You're gonna end up allergic to water!"
- "I'm not making a mess," explains Henry, sprinkling Oat Squares on the carpet. "I'm making dinner for the ghost in the basement."
- Mischievous Henry starts edging out of the crosswalk: "Dad-O, I'm 'Break-in'-the-laaaaw, break-in'-the-laaaaw!!'" (Judas Priest, Age 4. :-))
- The Barenaked Ladies come on the radio. "This is a dork singing!" declares Henry.
- "I don't think these guys are Talking Heads, Dad-O," says Finn. "I think they're just Talking Scalps."
- Finn: "Why are they called 'U2'?"
Me: "Well, I dunno. The U2 was a cool airplane…"
Finn: "Was Bono homeless & did he sleep in the airplane?"
- Listening to "Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing" with the boys. “Why did the baby do that, Dad-O? Why is he so naughty?”
- Finn’s singing Styx’s “Renegade”: “The meter maid, who had it made…” #misheardlyrics
- The lads are listening to The Clash:
Finn: "Henry, the casbah is a desert castle, and the jet fighters rock it with bullets."
Henry: "Yeah, from their lungs!"
- Finn's relating to "I Shot The Sheriff": "It's like when Jacobo attacks me at school & I kick him in the face. That's self-defense for me!"
- On an airplane: "Dad-O, I thought I saw Johnny Cash out on the wing," reports Finn, "but it was just the winglet."
- Listening to the boys' a cappella duet of "Crazy Train" as they play Lego trains, I feel kinda great about my parenting.
- Finn's morning musical request: "How about the banana song by Barry Elefante?"
- Blasting "Sledgehammer" while your 3yo jumps around, "dancing" & randomly hammering things, is a terrific morning kickoff.
- The boys keep donning underwear outside their regular clothes. I explain that's only for crazy old ladies, like Madonna.
- The boys have renamed themselves "Lynyrd Skynyrd" & "Billy Idol." In related news, I really need to expose them to better music!
Little G-Man's been taking his vocab to new levels lately, but not without hitting some rather amusing potholes. Recent developments:
- The boys have learned about omnivores, herbivores, and carnivores at Pasitos lately. Now when Henry sees a temporary gathering of rides & attractions, he says, "Look, Dad-O, a carnivore! [carnival]"
- They've heard that our friend Juliana is a talented singer. "Dad-O, I think she'd be good at singing teriyaki [karaoke]."
- Near the beach the guys note warning signs that explain how to flee a giant wave. "See, this is the way we'd go to evacuate from a salami! [tsunami]"
- "Dad-O, I'm a new superhero called Bat Saber—like a bat lightsaber! He crushes old people who don't like bats!" (Henry adds, "Yeah, and I'm Rain Man!!" #VerySpecialPowers)
- "Dad-O, do pirates sometimes have to get blasted by otters?" Um, otters? Took me a while to realize he meant SEALs (specifically, Navy ones).
- "Dad-O, those cats want to fill up our sandbox with poop," says Finn, "which I call 'butt presents.'"
- I dreamt that our boys—like bats—navigate by echolocation. They were ceaselessly repeating "Mom-O, Dad-O! Mom-O, Dad-O! Mom-O, Dad-O!"
- I let the boys watch nature videos unattended on YouTube this morning. It's all fun 'til a croc bites off an antelope's hoof!
- Finn describes his birthday wish: "Well, it's a really expensive Lego set for teenagers…" He tells me that to save up, "stop buying food"!
- In the fall Lego time spontaneously turned political: "Dad-O, this is Obama. 'Come here, Romney, gimme your butt cheeks to kick!'" (Unprompted!)
- I offer Henry some Lego-ing help. "No, I can do it," he says. "It's a little be complicated for dads, but not for kids." (Maybe true!)
- "Dad-O, this is my Lego chase truck. It was chasing a bird, which turned out to be Henry's hand, which made off with a Lego sailor hat…"
- "The hand-bird was carrying the hat on its thumb." Good to know!
- "Dad-O, I wish we lived in the United Steaks," declares Finn. "Leo & I just *looove* meat!"
- "Dad-O, I don't like McDonald's pickles."
"But you like other pickles, right?"
"Yeah, but McDonald's pickles are made in China."
- Margot: (squeezing Henry's toes) "This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home."
Henry: "No he didn't!"
Margot: "He didn't? What did he do?"
Henry: "He went to Mojo Burger! And this one went to the pizza place!"
- "My hair got in my eyes, Dad-O," reported shaggy Finn, "but I just put Leo on my head [he demonstrates]. He's my hair clip!"
- Finn, trying to stall bedtime: "Dad-O, here's a deal: go cut off your whiskers & do your homework, then come back and cuddle with me."
- Halloween fun with the tots: Margot: "What if grandma & grandpa were ghosts?" Henry: "Nooo! They have to be humans! (Silly Mom-O.)"
- Morning science questions: Finn: "Dad-O, why is Santa octurnal?"
Henry: "Yeah, like bats & owls & apostles?"
- "'Steely Dan?'" Henry's incredulous. "What do they steal?"
Me: "No, 'steel,' like metal."
H: "Why do they steal metal??"
- Hen, on hearing some hip hop: "Rap music?! Turn that off!!" He then cries 'til we give in & turn on Johnny Cash.
- Henry is mashing up "Peanuts" with Peter Gabriel. "Shock the Lucy to-night!" he sings.
- Henry's midday requests: Some soup, Dave Brubeck, and a nap. #MyBoy
- Henry asks me to explain a Taylor Swift breakup song.
Me: "You'll understand when you're older."
H: "Maybe I won't want to understand…"
- "'Steely Dan?'" Henry's incredulous. "What do they steal?"
- "I can easily make this girl's voice with my body," says Finn of Ellie Goulding. "I can't make that Axl Rose stuff, though."
- From deep within a pile of Lego forest police loot, Finn's begun to sing: "Police Navidad!"
- Finn's singing his bizarre version of Rudolph: "...You might even say it blows!" (He calls the character "The Ol' 'Dolph.)
- "Dad-O, when i grow up I want to be a policeman who acts like a ninja," Finn tells me, "but not a bad cop like that Sheriff John Brown." [from I Shot The Sheriff]
- I hear Finn singing: "'…so call me maybe.' Oh Dad-O, that song gets stuck in my head! I sing it at preschool, I sing it everywhere!!"
- The boys on "Dirty Deeds": "AC/DC sound like pirates!" Of the Ramones' "Sheena": "These guys are old warriors! They're berserkers!"
- I imagine our always-underfoot kids singing like the Scorpions' "Rock You Like A Hurricane": "HERE I am!! (bom, bomp) FORM a human bar-i-cade!!"
- The boys are becoming a bit "pants-optional." I now sing to them some modified Beatles: "Hey! You've Got To Hide Your Butt Away."
- "Dad-O, why is 'Leonard' part 'nerd'?" asks Finn."
Yeah," adds Henry, "and is 'Peter' made of poop? 'Pee-turd!'"
- "Ah-froot-erzayn, Dad-O," Henry tells me. "That's how fruit says Auf Wiedersehen."
- Finn: "What's the English word for guacamole?"
Finn: "What's the Spanish word, then?"
This is blowing his mind.
- Finn explained family slang to his teacher today: "My dad calls me 'sucka,' and I enjoy it!"
- "'Damn,'" says Henry, quoting his mom, then explains: "She's talking about a little wall that holds back water."
- Henry: "Dad-O, let's give that road a hit!"
Finn, translating: "He means 'Let's hit the road!'"
- The human bod:
- I'm not sure the boys drew the right lessons from "The Little Engine That Could." "Dad-O, we'll grab those mean engines & pee in their funnels!"
- Henry spies me from the bathroom, his eyes twinkling: "I'm gonna use my large intestine!" Thanks for sharing, buddy :-P!
- We got an eyeful of elephant anatomy at the Oakland Zoo. "That guy must have a *really* big large intestine!" observes Henry.
- Finn's resisting independence: "I'm not gonna poop by myself at kindergarten, or in high school, or even in *college*!"
- "I'm pretty sure I popped out of Mom-O as a 3-year-old," says Finn, "'cause I don't remember being a 1- or 2-year-old."
- "Dad-O," says Finn out of the blue, "I think New Yorkers speak a language called 'New.'" Cue discussion of 'fuhgeddaboudit,' 'badabing,' etc.
- "Dad-O," whispers an excitedly conspiratorial Finn, "when it's just boys around, let's say 'buttcheeks,'—just not when Mom-O's here." ("Yeah, buttcheeks!!" adds Henry.)
- Half asleep on his feet, Henry uses the bathroom & says "Auf Wiedersehen, pee pee." Endlessly surprising, these guys...
- "Dad-O, why is it a sewage treatment 'plant'?" asks Finn. I explain that auto plants make autos, etc. "Oh," he says, "so the sewage plant makes poop!"
- Homophonic fun with the big guy: "'Dye'? Does it go into your clothes and make the grayness, like, die off?" Well yeah, kinda!
- Finn claims the sitter let them watch "Pee-pee-est Kids." Took me a sec to decode: ah, "PBS Kids"!
Finn's recently taken an interest in "writing books," his at-school technique of stapling together a few sheets of paper, then scribbling down some random marks. The other night he took me on a tour of his oeuvre:
"This one," he said, pointing at a blob-covered set of sheets, "is called 'Donde Estan Los Dots?' And this one"—a bunch of lines—"is called 'Donde Esta El Sharp Thing?' And this one," he said with great pride, pointing at yet more randomness, "is called 'The Terrifying Pig That Split Me In Half With A Cross-Tie.'" I'll admit, I did not see that last bit coming.
- Breathless Finn runs in sounding like he's cracked the secret to cold fusion: "Dad-O, there's even a Spanish word for 'Spanish'! It's 'Spañol!"
- "El cerdo!" says Finn out of the blue.
"Yeah, and what's el cerdo?" I ask.
"A pig who speaks Spanish!"
- Finn wonders about our friend's "Ram jeep." "What's a 'Durango'? Maybe it means 'ram' in Spanish."
- Gluteus Minimus:
- Lego time spontaneously turns political: "Dad-O, this is Obama. 'Come here, Romney, gimme your butt cheeks to kick!'" (Unprompted by me!)
- "Dad-O, what was that shadow?" asks Henry. "Well, was it itching its butt?" asks Finn. "'Cause then it was me."
- "Henry!!" yells Finn. "If you don't stop that, I'll kick your butt! [pause] Dad-O, kick his butt!!" (I'm just hired muscle.)
- Questionable parenting:
- I probably shouldn't have told Finn to "get out of my junk." He now lowers his head & runs yelling, "I'm aiming for your *junk*!!"
- I confront stick-wielding Finn: "Were you aiming for my head??" "No," he says sheepishly. "I was aiming for your crotch." (That's not better!)
The other night during T.A.L.B., Finn reminded me that we like our stories to involve policemen rappelling down from helicopters. "Can we talk about the whittle boards?" he asked. I was kind of baffled, and he attempted to clarify: "Yeah, you know, whittle boards. Whittle boards, like this!" and began flapping his wings. Ah, Little Birds! He said, "Now every time I want to hear about whittle boards, I'll just flap like this!" You've got a deal, son.
Finny is our chitty-chatty, super-verbal guy. He loves narrating the adventures of his vehicles and toys, and he's always happy to meet new folks and fill them in on the important details of his life...like "Hi, I'm Finny. And this is my brother Henry. I'm four, and he's three. My favorite colors are red, yellow, green, silver, and orange..."
The noticeable thing about all this chatter is that Finny's always had a hard time correctly pronouncing his R's. They come out very soft - often sounding like W's, which is totally common among kids under 5. We're so used to it, we don't even really hear it when he says things like "Henwy" or "cahws" (cars). Of course other folks do, which has made us wonder if it's something that will resolve itself or if we'll need to take him to speech therapy to get it sorted out.
The great news is, I think he's sorting it out for himself. And I think going to bilingual Spanish preschool, with all its rolling R's, has really helped his pronunciation! In the past few weeks, I have noticed more and more hard R's creeping into his words. He's actually working so hard he over-pronounces them, and the R's are comically noticeable since he's really growling out those R's! CaRRRRs, HenREE, cARRRpet, TRiscuits, and so on.
I'm sure at some point, the new correctly-pronounced R's will sound totally normal, but for now, it sounds so unfamiliar to my ear, it's like listening to someone with a British accent try to sound American!
[Great post, hon. I think it's time we got Finny his very own keyboard, don't you? See below.
-- Love, Dad-O-in-Seattle (who enjoys getting corrected on his Spanish pronunciation by El Finnstero. ) --J.]
- Li'l gasbag Henry is making excuses: "I have allergies, Dad-O. That's why I keep farting on you."
- I attempt to explain mid-engine vs. rear-engine cars to Finn. Eyeing a Porsche 911 he says, "So, it's got room for kids??" Don't get your hopes up, lad!
- I'm trying to convince Henry that the big red-brown thing the Shuttle drops (its external fuel tank) is not, in fact, a turd. (Seems he's not buying it.)
- Our impatient boys are miffed: "Dad-O, preschool never teaches us how to drive real cars!!" I say there's time. "But when--kindergarten!?"
- The 400 Blows:
- Pool-nudist Finn doesn't appreciate my playful swatting. "Hey, this isn't a butt-cheek fiesta!" he scolds.
- "Dad-O, can we play?" asks Finn, contemplating a toy hammer. Then he smiles: "Could we maybe decapitate Henry?"
- "We're Irishmen," the boys announce out of the blue, "named Gerry & Mike." Er, okay… #GoIrish!
- Remarking on a hyperactive playmate, Finn observes, "Man, that kid has a lot of energy. He's like Freddy Mercury!"
- Finn's Irish heritage is coming in handy: His Chris Cornell impression sounds *just* like a banshee.
- Finn, having recently listened to Paul Simon, explained his pile of stuffed animals: "I'm making them my bodyguards & pals." (And yes, he's now calling me Betty, and I call him Al.)
- Best sartorial compliment ever, courtesy of Finn: "Your black suit looks cool, Dad-O. You look like Johnny Cash!"
- Brotherly love:
- Finn wheels around on his too-close little bro: "Jeez, Henry, it's not 'Follow Finny Day!'" (Henry, giggling: "Yes it is!")
- "Feliz POOPleañons, Goonie!" says Finn. ("It's años made of poop," he helpfully notes.)
- Our potty trainee gets legalistic:
H: "I want an M&M for pooping."
M: "Well, you didn't actually poop."
H: "Well I *farted*!" #partialCredit
- Finn, beaming, returns from the baño: "I really taught that pee-cake a lesson! It'll have to ask its pee-cake parents for dry clothes!"
- Finn leads me gently through the campground. "I thought," he says, "we'd sit & have a little chat about silliness..."
- Sugar highs:
- The boys wake up, bouncing around.
Finn: "We need donuts to be little champs!!"
Henry: "Yeah, I don't have ENERGY. I'm a lazy BONE!!"
- Finn emerges from his nap, whispering: "Remember our plan? [sings quietly] 'Sugar in the mornin', sugar in the evenin', sugar at suppertime!'"
- The boys wake up, bouncing around.
- My workout terminology intrigues Finn. "'Flat flies'? Sounds like you're making fly pancakes."
- Henry turns to me: "Dad-O, I'm a pickle."
Me: "A... what?
H: "Yeah: I'm picking my boogies."
- Pretzel power:
- Southwest Airlines must season their pretzels with "bath salts," given Finn's reaction. "Aaagh, I want to suck your arm hair!!" (I suggest that he enjoy his own. "But I just have peach fuzz!!" he protests.)
- I hear the boys singing in the kitchen: "Auntie Laura's pretzels bring all the boys to the yard/That's right, they're better than yours…"
- Proud Moments In Fatherhood: 4yo nudist streaks past brandishing a beef jerky stick while chanting, "Bang me in the head with a meat stick!"
- "Dad-O, do kid crooks go to kindergarten?" asks Finn. "Yeah," says Henry, "it's called 'Crookdegarten!'"
- Finn's telling Margot about "the South": "It's hillbillies driving in circles all day. They call it 'NICECAR.'" (I've taught him well.)
- "Mom-O, we're not getting you any cake for Mother's Day," says Finn, "just some sand & a bag of guff!" ("Is guff Gummi?" asks Henry.)
- Finn's increasingly fascinated by Schwarzenegger. "Do *ost*riches also come from *Aust*ria?"
- "Look at that plane pulling a frog book!" Henry says, seeing a plane towing a Geico gecko banner.
- Finn on nature this AM: "Dad-O, I hear birds tweeting! I think they're using Twitter! (Can you tweet that?)" Love the monster we've made
- Finn & I are exploring nature.
Me: "Hear those birds tweeting, bud?"
Finn: "Yeah--I think they have tiny iPads."
- "Do more sets, Dad-O!!" insists my 4yo weight trainer. "You're doing that resting thing where your heart gets all small!"
- Nudist Finn is attempting to "skate" across our room on Perfect Push-Ups, all while singing Rocky's theme. "Getting *strong* nooow…" That's my boy!
- Finn swings by, bends over, and kisses my chest. "I'm giving you a peck on the pec!" he explains.