Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Coco Tuesday

Coco is starting to cover some sort of astronomy in his class. He's telling us about different planets, and we haven't told him about that, since we're still debating whether to teach creationism or that's-just-how-it-is-ism.
Lately, on the way home, he's been noticing that we don't get dizzy even though the world is spinning. To which I say, "Speak for yourself, kid" and fall down.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Madge Monday

Cute all around. Rainy, so we wound up staying indoors, but I had the foresight to buy some balloons and we made Madeleines - they even turned out quite well, though we had to fight off a sugar-high.
But we had that first-born thing - or just the older kid thing, I'm not sure.
Madge was reading while Coco and I were playing something he made up with the balloons. It looked fun to her, so she wanted to join. He didn't want her to, but we talked him into it.
Then, about a minute and a half into playing the game in a triangle rather than back and forth, she decided she wanted to change it. Where does that come from?

Friday, April 25, 2008

speaking of "no girls"

One day, Netflix sent us this.
The envelope says, "Little Britain Abroad," which is was we ordered. The disc says, "Raging Stallion Studios Sexascope: Chute."
Why, you ask, do I have a picture of this? Because, even though I sent a message saying that we got the wrong disc, they sent it back with a note saying that we mistakenly sent them a "personal disc".
And here I thought this must be the "recruiting" I've heard so much about.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

sans les filles

Just us boys today, since the girls are at the office - it's "take your daughter to work" day (really "take your kid..." but the age limit is seven and up).
We got some water balloons and let loose at the park, freely sharing with others.
This three-year-old obviously needed help with his balloons and for some reason - probably via transposition from "Coco" - kept calling me "Poke." Cracked me up every time.

oh, and...

During the nursing of the wound, Coco asked how long it would hurt. "I don't know" is not an acceptable answer* so I said "eighteen minutes" and set the timer. This seemed to help, though after the elapsed time he wasn't quite satisfied with the result and called for an emergency application of extra TV time.

*I learned this often, of course. Most recently when he asked me, "What is the last number?" And I said that numbers are cool in that way because you can always think of one bigger and he just asked again and I asked him if he meant how high can I count. This registered a little; he seemed to think he was getting somewhere with his dense dad. So I said, "The highest anyone could count is up to one hundred and twenty seven. If someone wants to count to one hundred and twenty eight, they can't do it."
This answer satisfied him and we went back to talking about Ben 10 Figures and which ones he wants and why he can't have them but Santa might bring them or he can get them for his birthday...

and again

I was trying to get away from posting about kids, but on their vacations I don't really get away from them much.
So you get to partake of our drama.
Tonight we were cooking. And because one of them cried when the other asked to join in on the fun, we made separate meals. Coco made mine and Madge made theirs. Mine was left-over noodles fried with some butter and onions and garlic. Theirs was "fresh" noodles with creamy red sauce. Yes, our menu is varied: some nights penne, some gemelli, occasionally farfalle...
Anyway, I was directing traffic when Coco decided to turn around and watch Madge, briefly resting his wrist on the frying pan. ... His attention was drawn to Madge because she had just dropped some noodles on the floor and was trying not to burst out in tears - she actually excused herself, saying, "I'm going in your room because I need a moment." This would have been hilarious if it hadn't followed on the heel of other highly emotional moments strategically placed throughout the afternoon. ... And it would have been funnier if he hadn't burned his wrist, of course.
So the rest of the evening was spent nursing a wound that the patient didn't want touched or looked at.
Julie tends to call in the middle of moments like this, but luckily for her and us, she had called about fifteen minutes before.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Coco Tuesday

Coco may have allergies or is just sensitive to pollen in the air - I'm not sure where one draws the distinction nowadays. He keeps rubbing his eyes and asking if they are red, which is better than what he was asking at first, namely, "Are my eyes still in?"

And the other day, when laying on the couch with Julie, he said, "Why are they called pillows? They should be called 'softers'."
right he is

Madge Monday

One of the reasons I do this bloggy thing is to remind myself that the kids are fun.
As, for instance, this weekend. Madge was lounging in our bed with Julie, reading and eating Ritz.
Now, I'm not averse to messes, but I'm a bit of a crumbophobe and both girls know it.
So I came in, saw what they were doing, got bug-eyed - in a silly way, I hope - and ran for the dustbuster to take care of matters. When I came back with my weapon in hand, Madge looked at me, giggled, and crushed a cracker over my pillow.
I love that kid.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Coco Special

The girls were getting their nails done, so Coco and I did man's business - getting groceries and watching a movie.
During our wanderings I was imparting some life lessons, so we had this conversation:

Me: Okay, so scissors cut paper, but paper covers rock, and rock breaks scissors.
Coco: What about laser guns?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Coco has become quite skilled.
He got a notepad in a birthday goody-bag and was writing in it. Madge asked him what he was writing and he said, "It says, 'I love Madeleine because she lets me play her Nintendo DS.' [pause] Madeleine, can I play your Nintendo DS?"

And yes, they say, "play Nintendo DS" without an interstitial preposition (on, or with) - as if it were a musical instrument.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Coco Tuesday

Reason number whatever why kids are cute.
I got a DVD in the mail today, Romero Lubambo showing and playing Bossa Nova progressions - the stuff I've been sweating over at home.
The kids saw it and said, "You're much better, Daddy."
Now, I know they're really saying, "An unampified guitar in the room sound much better than a TV's speakers."
But they're also saying, "We love you." And that just rocks.

The guitarist here, btw. is Lubambo.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Madge Monday

Poor Madge. First she didn't get to have her playdate yesterday because her friend was being punished and then she was actually sick today. More or less. Fever. Cough. Aches. Nothing major, though. So we got on one another's nerves and watched a lot TV and got frustrated with Coco together, mostly because he was getting antsy in the apartment.
Madge is rather cute when sick, though, because she is a little subdued and more willing to be cuddled.

It's weird how kids grow. They sometimes sit together on the couch, watching TV, huddled under a blanket. Now, though, when Madge moves too much, Coco falls to the floor. And, when I'm especially lucky, spills the popcorn.

offputting vocabulary

I was listening to the NYTimes book podcast again and they had a guy on who repeatedly used the word "heretofore." Not an incentive to buy the book, really, if the guy uses archaic and snooty language.
But henceforth I'll be integrating heretofore and forthwith into my speech.
I'm sure it'll get the kids to brush their teeth more promptly.

Friday, April 11, 2008


It's happening again. The weather is turning nicer so I'm trying to eat less and as a result I'm tired and cranky all the time.
I should resign myself to the fact that jolly suits me better than skinny bitch. Not that I've ever been skinny, but I sure excel in the other part.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

a dip in the past

Riding in the car with my dad in Berlin.
Listening to Bob Marley.
Explaining that Bob Marley is not saying that he's German and he hopes you like Germans, too.
(To be fair, I think my dad was 70% kidding, 30% serious.)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Coco Tuesday

Today we had the (hopefully) last installment of fillings. Yippee.
So of course we topped it off with toy shopping, which went fairly smoothly, too.
We got something we've been pining for ever since we've seen the delightful ads.
And now I know why the little singsongy slogan is as it is.

Moonsand, moonsand, sand that you can mold!
[Though we used to say "sand that you can move" or "moon," depending]

It's like that because

Moonsand, moonsand, sand that you can grind into the carpet and blow out your vacuum cleaner while trying to keep the cat from poisoning himself on it!

doesn't scan.

Madge Monday

I was noodling around on the guitar the other day, still trying to figure out what to play for Coco's class if they can ever decide on a day. I was plunking out the different Willie Nelson songs I know (on guitar - so far) and asked Madge which was her favorite: Sad Songs and Waltzes (Aren't Selling This Year), Undo the Right, or A Moment Isn't Very Long. (The only song among these that has more than I-IV-V chords is Sad Songs And Waltzes, which has V/V. Ooooh.)
Guess which one is her favorite.
Hint: It's the one that reveals most about her personality.

If you can’t say you love me
Say you hate me
And that you regret each time you held me tight
If you can’t be mine forever
Then forsake me
If you can’t undo the wrong, undo the right

It was right when you
Loved me only
And wrong when you held another tight
So before you go away
And leave me lonely:
If you can’t undo the wrong, undo the right

It’s too late to say your heart is filled with sorrow
You can’t undo what’s done, why do you try
So please help me to face
The new tomorrows
If you can’t undo the wrong, undo the right.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

You tell 'em, sister

Oh, jeez. Okay. Really.
If you're at work and have a bottle of bourbon handy, pour yourself some, maybe with a few ice cubes. Clink them around and sit back and enjoy.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Tones.
Just to get you in the mood, here's the refrain:

100 days, 100 nights to know a man's heart.
100 days, 100 nights to know a man's heart.
And a little more
he knows his own.

(I should learn to play the song and re-title it, "Sorry 'bout That.")

Friday, April 04, 2008


That's short for Parents As Learning Partners. Once a month, the professionals get tired of having a full day of kids and bring in the amateurs who send the kids to school for a little break in their schedule in the first place. It's a win-win.
Anyway, we went to Madge's class. And the work they were showing off was awesome. Books about their families. What better way to snoop into other people's private matters than through a lens that doesn't have much of a privacy filter and says almost anything for attention. But I get the feeling that the teachers censored stuff. Nothing about "Mommy likes to burn me with the iron if I forget to put the onion in her Gibson" or things like that.
Other cute items, though. One was clearly (or not so clearly, but that's the mood I'm in) a pre-rehearsed joke. It was something like, "My mom teaches third grade but she's smart enough to teach fifth." It was too well worded to be genuine. And a third grader is a little old for that limited perspective, I think. But, oh well. Still made me smile.
And a friend's kid wrote that if his family were a letter it would be C. At first I thought, "What a lousy grade, but kudos for your realism," but then I read on. It stood for cool, some other c-word (No! not that one!) like courageous, and comely. And I thought, "Wow, what a big word for a young kid." But on closer inspection it turned out that his "d"s were a straight line with a tiny squiggle on the bottom and the word was actually comedy.
For what it's worth, I do think this kid knows the word "comely" but just wouldn't use it to describe his family - though of course they are.
Anyway. I would have loved to snoop in more kids' businesses, but Coco was extremely clingy. First, he hates crowds - unfamiliar crowds, that is. Second, he gets shy around cute blondes and therefore always clings to the seat of my pants when Madge's teacher shows up.
Why the seat of my pants is something for him and his therapist to work out, I won't go near it.
There you go.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Now my unique job has become more unique. I'm not only the only limericist for public radio, but the only one for a Peabody-Award-winning show.
That's right. "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!" won an award. Yay, them (us, I mean).
I just hope they don't make me rhyme with Peabody this week.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The other post of the day

Ah, yes, now I remember.
I had set up a makeshift neck-breaker in the living room: several pillows in a slant leading from the sofa to the floor, covered in a blanket, which they proceded to tumble down. And shout - let's not forget that things are always more fun with noise. Everything was running smoothly, so I went off to the kids' bedroom to practice guitar.
Several minutes later, Coco comes in holding an ice-cube to his eye and a cold-pack to his head, saying, "Daddy, I fell."
A huge wave of "Oh, shit"-guilt built up inside me and just as it was about to come crashing down in a bunch of hugs and sorrys and I-told-you-to-be-carefuls, he followed with, "April fool, dahahahaha, dahahahaha."
The "dahahahaha" is from SpongeBob, who introduced Coco to the concept. Then there was a bunch of laughter from the hallway, from the instigator.
Those kids are good.

Coco Tuesday

Am I pushing the kids too much too soon?
You be the judge.
I got a size 3 soccer ball because they expressed an interest in playing soccer and I could tell that a full-sized (size 5, in case you care) ball would be too big.
We were playing today and I was fairly far away from them (with the ball). So I said, "Who wants the ball at their head?"
Knowing, of course, that few joys are as great as pushing down a header in just the right way.
And I was really excited, too, when Coco looked up. So I let the ball sail at him, and it was beautiful. A lovely banana curve right at his noggin.
Unfortunately I hadn't taught him about using the forhead and pushing it down and all that lovely stuff. I thought it was instinct.
But no. Instinct is getting smacked in the face (on the cheek that had only a few hours before recuperated from novocaine) and crying and coming at daddy with claws and spitting and finally throwing the ball at daddy over and over again.
Luckily, he's not the grudge-bearing child.