Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Granted, it is pretty

I decided not to bike this morning when I saw the snow. Instead I took the bus. It was 45 minutes late. I got very snowy while waiting. I continued to get snowy on the bus because the window next to my seat leaked. And even snowier walking the half mile from the bus stop to my office. I'm kind of wishing I'd taken my bike, though even if I got enough traction to remain upright I probably would have collapsed trying to power through the snow.

Ten minutes after I got to work (an hour late) my boss said we could all go home. But I'm waiting around 'til I can hitch a ride home with a friend. And hoping someone starts plowing so our plans for the evening aren't ruined.

Monday, December 22, 2008

only them

A: (forgetting for a moment that her brother isn't a human child, like yesterday when she tried to snuggle with him on the same pillow by the fire)

"Let's pretend I'm a princess and you're a prince"

C: (uncharacteristically congenial) "I'll be Obama and you can be Bush"

A: "OK!"

D: "She wanted to be a princess, not Bush"

S: "Yeah, that doesn't sound like a good game"

C: "OK, I'll be Obama and you can be Ralph Nader... (she agrees). OK Ralph Nader, go get Bush and throw him out of office."

A: Picks up the cardboard box that he indicated was Bush and tosses it across the room... (they go on to do lots of arrest and imprisonment charades with various members of Bush's administration. Cheney, for example, was a small, hard pumpkin...)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

he'll sleep tonight

One of my neighbors hired C to shovel his driveway for him. Not sure if he was being nice or if his three teenagers are that unhelpful; I suspect a bit of both. It took C forever but he did it, and he'd already shoveled our walk.

beauty contests would be more interesting if they had talents like this

C (leaving for school): Oh, I forgot the Obama picture I need for the demonstration!
D: What demonstration?
C: I wrote speeches for a demonstration at school. I'm going to be Obama and Owen is going to be Bush.
D: You can't have a demonstration at school. It's...
C: I have to GO! Bye!

S: So how did those speeches go?
C: It was great! At the end I pretended to hit Owen and then he pretended to kick me and then I pretended to knock him over!
S: So was this at recess or what?
C: No.
S: It was in class?
C: Music class.
S: Uh, what did your music teacher think of that?
C: She thought it was great!
S: ??
C: It was for the talent show.
S: You and Owen did a mock debate for a music class talent show? What did the other kids do?
C: Oh, singing and playing instruments and things like that.
S: Those are more traditional skills to share.
C: She said she'd never seen anything like it before!
S: I'll bet she hadn't. You wrote the speeches for both of you?
C: Yes. It was kind of hard because I was Obama and wanted to say lots of bad things about Bush but I didn't say all of them because I didn't want to make Owen feel bad.
S: That was thoughtful of you.

Monday, December 15, 2008

sing we joyous all together

Since we dug out the decorations, including the old Christmas songbook that Aunt Maureen gave us, we’ve been singing carols regularly. A not only has most of the lyrics memorized but can find the correct page for each song based on the pictures. Her favorite: Away in a Manger. I referred to it as a Christmas carol and she corrected me: “No, it’s a Solstice song.” When I suggested that it lays the Jesus theme on a little thick to not be a Christmas song she was a bit disgruntled.

C would know the lyrics of most of the songs if he were willing to think about them for a microsecond but he insists on reading the words. He’s singing in a slightly less monotonic way but I fear that he’ll forever sing as poorly as I do. I think his favorite is Deck the Halls, but this may be because I can’t bring myself to do the Twelve Days of Christmas with him too frequently.

(My secret favorite: O Holy Night. Thankfully this is NOT in the songbook. Most professionals seem to have trouble performing it well. While A would sound cute singing it and Dan might be able to do it some justice I think it’s best if we don’t try.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

C's reactions to YouTube videos

Radiohead (Creep):
I think he's a good singer but I don't like what he's singing about.

Jane's Addiction (Ocean Size):
It's great!!
Why aren't they wearing shirts?

Metallic (Unforgiven):
It's a sad song. I think it's about how people are never free.

Black Sabbath (Iron Man):
Do they just keep doing the same thing over and over again?

(Yes, I like to play happy stuff for him before bed.)

Monday, December 08, 2008

newsflash: it's cold

I just checked the temperature to see whether it’s REALLY cold and windy or if I’m sick and that's what accounted for my slow and painful bike into work. Indeed, it is “7° F (Feels like -7° F)” right now so it’s not all in my head.

(The trees misled me. How can they remain still when there’s enough of a breeze to prevent me from riding in higher gears?)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Morning treats from C

A breakfast in bed order form. Click to enlarge.

So apt to his personality. ("Leif who? "Leif me alone!")

Transcript of middle joke:
Who's there?
aroo who?
Aroo impeaching Bush?
Well, you should be!!!!

(Something tells me he made that up himself.)

C never had these

We'd never push our kids into particular careers.

Mad Scientist Blocks

Saturday, December 06, 2008

well, he could be neater

I think I'll put bits of the "Yes We Can" speech on a poster for him as a solstice present. (We already got him this book; we were amazed to find it on the shelves of an independent bookstore before Thanksgiving with details about the election. Impressive printing and distribution.)

they took my idea

Years ago I started leaving surprises out for C each day of December- usually a winter-themed library book, occasionally a pencil or something from the year before. I've included A in the tradition since she turned 2. She still enjoys the books/ trinkets but C was not impressed with them last year, so this year I'm leaving him a joke or a puzzle each day.*

This morning C gave me a puzzle to solve (scrambled word, with letters he'd cut out individually for me to rearrange, including one "mystery letter") and A hid a picture (labeled "MOMMY") under a block tower for me. It was super cute.

*Dan suggested leaving out Obama facts for him, which he would surely love, but I like to pretend I have a normal 8-year-old every once in a while. Not the kind who use their computer time to transcribe Obama speeches from YouTube.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

adult bath toys

There is a children's book about the true story of thousands of rubber ducks lost in a shipwreck being washed ashore and helping scientists learn about ocean currents. A loves it. It would be a very different kind of story were it following 130,000 inflatable breasts.

I should commission C to build a better mousetrap

We’ve bred smarter mice. Every year or two we have mouse problems but diligent live-trapping and releasing for a week or so has kept them under control. (I don’t doubt that mice remained in our walls/ basement, but if they’re not invading our living space I don’t have much of a problem with that.) This time our old traps were entirely ineffective- they were tripped, often with the bait stolen, but detained no mice. We bought another kind and caught a few. The captive mice often destroyed the more complicated mechanism of these traps, but we could live with that. Alas, we’re now encountering the same problem of the mice escaping after tripping the trap. We may be seeing evolution in action here- we took out the really dumb mice in past years and have already removed the dumbest offspring of those left.