Monday, August 31, 2009

clarification on heads and tails

A recent twitter post of mine was a little vague, I think. I guess 140 characters can't explain too much.
It involves the guy at the video store and his daughter. Both were little. I'm saying this because I think his size influenced the Napoleonic bullying of his offspring. Anyway, she was about five and had picked some Lion King sequel and he groaned, "Not again!" Then he followed it with, "You haven't seen this Harry Potter movie yet. Let's get this."
Now, I'm not really into censoring but this kid was too young to really get much of the movie, so it was clearly for him. When she didn't bite, he topped it off with,
"I'll tell you what. We'll flip a coin. Heads: I win; tails: you lose."
Seriously. Even Madge later said, "I couldn't believe that. That was really mean."
Way to make your offspring a sucker. He even clarified it to her to make sure she knew the difference between heads and tails and then quickly glossed over the fact that she'd lose either way.
Let me rephrase that. She wouldn't get to choose the movie she wanted. But I think he loses either way.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coco Tuesday

All right, another.
Coco was chewing on his shirt collar over the weekend and somehow bit on the button and has been complaining about his teeth ever since. This is not a good introduction to a story in which I am one of the main actors. Sure, on TV or in a book this could be amusing, but grrr.
We went to the dentist today because it hasn't gotten any better. It seems to "only" be the molars coming in. "Only" in the sense that it's probably not an abscess.
I sure hope not.
The news is helping Coco out, though. I think he thought the button chewing caused it and therefore he was to blame for his own misery. Who wants that, I ask?
Speaking of which - yes, you need to fill in the gaps in my reasoning - there was a somewhat interesting review in the New Yorker by James Wood about the new anti-atheism. Thoughts, anyone?

Madge Monday

And again I'm behind.
Monday was a double-playdate. I took four kids to the pool. Yippee.
It wound up fine, with only a few minor scrapes and scratches and whinings.
It was Madge's best friend and her little sister, who is half a year older than Coco. Madge finds this little sister annoying. I finally realized on Monday that it's not only because the little sister is pesky but because she has a told-you-so air about her that is very much like Madge's.
When it flared up and I pointed it out to Madge, well, let's just say it took a while to deal with the tears.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Tell you what. Do yourself a favor and get "Where is the One?" onto your iPod of whatever portable means of listening to music you have.
But, as tempting as it may be to crank it up, especially if you're out and about after dusk, don't - and I repeat: don't - make eye contact with anyone while the song is zipping up and down your spine.
You'll just make a fool of yourself.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Sorry I can't embed this thing.
Please feel sorry for my children, because I have this on CD and can't help belting out the "ayayayayyy" and the harmony part at 1:30. (Stick with it.)
And please write your thoughts on the horse's role in the comments.

Friday, August 21, 2009

some soap

I was playing this today - got it off the iPod in no time and in F#.
How come the kids tell me to stop screaming when I sing this, but feel free to shout along with the recording?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Footy Goodness

Coco's first pedicure. Madge is obviously already an old pro.
Coco's ecstatic expression is a result of the back massager in the chair, which is giving him a mild concussion in this picture.
He's convinced that I need a pedicure, too. I'll see if there's a blacksmith available to take the spurs out of my hoofs.

Not So Puzzling

I'd like to use this forum to formally apologize to the cat.

Sorry, Baci, for accusing you of taking three pieces of the sky. You keep laying on the puzzle and pawing at the pieces that I thought it was a logical conclusion.
I was wrong. I had merely not sorted them out correctly.
Except for that one piece that wound up in the Barbie hot tub.
So I guess I'm only two-thirds sor.



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Coco Tuesday

My schedule is all off. Vacation is beginning to tell. Yesterday, yesterday...
Oh, we stayed home all day. Lounged about. Watched TV. Enjoyed the air conditioner.
Today we went out and made up for it a little by doing the usual pool visit, followed by some hot dogs and french fries. Then, later in the afternoon we got ingredients for some creamy tomato soup. Very successful.
Coco gets super talkative when we leave the house and start walking somewhere. It seems that his legs only go if his jaw is going, too. It gets hard keeping up with what he's saying, especially since Madge is so fond of correcting him and he is definitely not very accurate in the statements he makes. For example: Germany is so big because it takes to long to get there.
Where do you even begin with a statement like that? And he makes it often, I think because he wants to be challenged. But I'm a bit tired of the bicker-fights and feel like I contradict the kids too much as it is.
They don't really see it as, "Oh, Daddy is showing me that there are multiple ways of seeing the same thing." They see it as, "Daddy thinks I'm wrong again."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Madge Monday

We rented Amadeus over the weekend. Madge didn't really want to finish watching it because she was worried she'd cry. In case you didn't know - SPOILER ALERT - Mozart dies.
Between a previous Barbie movie and this, Madge now thinks she's the Queen of the Night. Her iPod is loaded with arias and she's hooting and heeing away at various coloratura passages. It's cute, but after a while I get tired of shooing away all the stray dogs.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

repeat but new

Coco is getting older. This is obvious to everyone except his parents. Whenever I do notice, though, it tends to be in context of him doing something that Madge once did. Right now, for example, he argues more and more when he's asked to desist or change or something.
It seems I should know how to handle it. Patience seemed to work okay for Madge. But here's the catch: she doesn't have much of it and jumps on him very quickly.
Also when he ventures theories of causality. "I got my wart from the ocean." (Because that's where we first discovered it.)
She's like the lyric from that "Mother-in-law" song: Every time I open my mouth, she steps right in and puts me out.
Now that I wrote that line, it makes little sense. But that's how I remember it. So there.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Coco Tuesday

Grr, grr, grr. I'm really beginning to dislike previews. Not the kids at the beginning of DVDs which start to warn you slowly but surely that the movie you are about to rent is not going to be as good as you hoped, but the kind that gets repeated on TV.
And not because they make the kids want to see the movies. I don't mind that so much - except for the case of the Avatar preview, which looks way too dark to do justice to the fun Cartoon Network saga.
No, it started with the Night at the Museum 2 and Rodin's Thinker (cut to 15 yrs from now, lovely American tourist kids in Paris: "Oh, it's the guy from that movie that I loved as a kid!") saying the immortal lines: "Boom! Bang! Firepower!"
Coco and his friends were endlessly rehashing the line and correcting each other on the correct pro- and e-nunciation. "No! No! It's: 'Boom! Bang! FYE-uh-Paww-waaah!"
Now it's a preview for Shortz that has the little guy all riled up, and for reasons that are more hair-raising, I think. The line in the preview is, "Say hello to my little friends!" Which the kid in the preview says as he's releasing a bunch of tiny aliens from his backpack. Coco is saying it all over the place and I get the feeling people - especially those without kids and therefore without knowledge of the preview - think I've been letting him watch Scarface.
And trust me, Coco doesn't deliver the line softly.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Madge Monday

Coney Island again, this time strictly for sun- and sea-bathing purposes. But today was hot, so two of the five boroughs emptied out onto the beaches of Brooklyn.
Coco is still new at this beach thing, so his towel etiquette is lacking. In other words, he kept tramping over the new* towels with his sandy feet. So did the offspring of the two boroughs that visited our ten square feet of beach space, especially after the Icee vendor parked in front of me.
Other than that, it was relaxing. Madge got a bit of a rash from the sand in her suit mixed with the sea water.
She also got to be big caretaker sister because the ride home is long and he fell asleep on her shoulder. That kind of thing makes her feel good.

*Incidentally, if you want to meet friendly gay couples, just go shopping on your own in the bedding and towel section at Macy's and nod and smile. I'm just saying.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Coney Island

Now that the rides are disappearing, the freak shows are popping up. Unfortunately, the Mermaid was taking a break and maybe science was no longer able to keep the Headless Woman alive, so all we got to see was the World's Smallest Woman, a 29 inch individual from Haiti. When I say "we," I mean everyone except me. Somehow betweeen the groupings of people who went - "No, you go first and tell me what it's like." "No, you go." "Okay, I'll go, but you'll have to go next." - I wound up passing on the attraction. I did get to go on the Cyclone again, though. What a great rollercoaster! Every time, it surprises me. Come visit, I'll go with you.
We went on the Wonder Wheel, too, which freaked out some of us because we went on the swinging gondola.
And finally we topped it off by letting the kids go in the water. "Just your feet, though." An hour later, we were buying new clothes. Maybe we should invest in hearing aids instead.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Coco Tuesday

Why me? is Coco's current battle cry. And also, You never had this exact bruise, pain, incident, etc., so you don't know how it feels.
We went to The Highline today. It's not some Amsterdam-style bar. It's an elevated subway line that got converted to a public park. Very nice. Almost too nice, gentrification kicked into overdrive.
After we had some gelati*, we were ready to head home and Coco kicked into his own overdrive on a stretch of the park we hadn't walked on before. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't really learn to read until this school year, so he missed the sign that warned him of the uneven pavement. Very arty ridges in the cement served as unwanted and unseen speedbumps, causing a wipeout and skinned ankle and hands.
He didn't appreciate Madge's telling him that "Daddy still has a pebble in his knee from when he was a kid." Poor Coco.

*Pun alert: I don't think the plural of gelato is gelatoes unless you, like Coco, wear sandals and spill a lot. HeyOOO!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Madge Monday

I saw Louis C.K.'s half hour on HBO in which he picks on his daughter a bit, justifiably.
Two-year-olds ARE stupid. Especially when it comes to playing hide-and-seek. It is just as he describes. They tell you where to hide and when it's your turn to seek, they won't let you find them even though they hide in the open.
Madge, when she was younger, added this running patter when she was the seeker: "Where are you? Don't scare me. Don't jump out and scare me. Where are you? Say something."
If she'd known what one was, I'll bet she would have been worrying a rosary the whole time, too.

I do have a fond memory, though, of Coco being asleep and us playing a theoretical game of hide-and-seek. I was laying in bed, tired out from getting Coco to sleep, probably, and also from being up too late the night before. She wanted to play, so I said, "Okay, let's just play from here. Imagine where you're hiding and don't tell me. I'll start looking."
I dutifully counted to twenty and said, "Ready or not, here I come!" And then I looked in all the places she might (not) be: "Are you in the dishwasher? No. Are you in the catbox? No. Are you under the bed? No. Are you in the Heffalump chapter in Winnie-the-Pooh? No."
The game lasted much longer than a regular game, mostly because our two-bedroom has many more invented hiding places than real ones.
Good times.