Tuesday, March 13

Rigid Control Freak the Second

We thought we had our hands full with Doodle, y'all. At 2 1/2 to 3, Doodle was, as we described, a "rigid control freak."

Enter Scribble.

This kid will tell you the sky is red if it means he can argue. He'll fight on whether he pooped his pants, as you are changing the offending diaper.

But a few days ago, he took it to a new level. After corralling my hubby and I into the living room to join hands and play "Ring Around the Rosie," the whole operation was called off before we could get to the "pocket full of poseys." Why?

Because we were moving clockwise rather than counterclockwise! Silly us. We were corrected and instructed to circle in the proper direction, and ashes, ashes, we all fell down.

Friday, December 9

I Want the World's Most Dangerous, Dung Spewing Mammal for Christmas

Around this time of year, radio stations begin playing the legions of holiday music we've all forgotten about since last year. Music that should have been taken out back and put out of its misery with daddy's deer rifle, but lives and breathes anew each season. Who knew Billy Squier had a Christmas song? I do, because some desperate radio station plays it once a year. Hope you're enjoying those residuals, Billy. (Side note: Billy Squier is way hotter in his old age than he was when he was popular.)

Along with the Mariah Careys, Celine Dions, Bing Crosbys and Dean Martins come the novelty songs we love to hate. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, and ... of course ... that one we hate the most. The Hippo Song.

Some cherubic 10-year-old named Gayla Peevey recorded this song in 1953, and it has peeved modern day society ever since. I am also alarmed to find out in the course of my research for this post, that this fine masterpiece has been remade by the likes of country singer Gretchen Wilson, the talent for the ages Jonas Brothers, and the more likely Alvin and the Chipmunks. The version done by Alvin, Simon and Theodore is possibly more irritating than the original, if you can conceive of that. It's on YouTube if you don't believe me.

Why would a child choose a hippo for a Christmas, rather than "dinky Tinker Toys" (which are pretty awesome - have you ever played with them? They kicked ass. Note to self: get children some Tinker Toys this year)

After all, the hippopotamus (from the ancient Greek for "water horse") isn't exactly cute and cuddly like a Pillow Pet. Or fun to play with, like this amazing new game.

In fact, the hippo has been branded as one of the world's most dangerous animals. They've racked up a bigger human body count in the African wild than lions have. They aren't afraid of humans and will think nothing of cutting a bitch if they have to.

Also, they weigh 8000 pounds. Can the floorboards in your home withstand 8000 pounds of pressure? I'd bet you wouldn't like to find out. They also do this thing called "dung showering" which for many reasons, I won't describe, but it is what it sounds like. Just what I always wanted under the tree.

All I'm saying is, this misguided child should have quickly been shot down by her parents, long before the lyrics were penned and the recording studio was booked. Many generations of haters would have been grateful, and this blog post might have been about Mariah Carey instead.

Friday, November 4

Anything Could Happen

Scribble loves books. His favorites are books about animals, especially those with photos. He knows most of their names and the noises they make, and whether they could eat or bite you. It’s always fun to read one of these books with him, as his commentary along the way is priceless.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, Scribble was paging through a magazine that we got from the Cleveland Zoo. “Look at this,” he’d call to me and show me a large picture of a giraffe, which he knows is my favorite. Once he had my attention, he flipped the page to show a grizzly bear, and screamed out in mock fear. I laughed and went along with the game, saying how scary the bear was. He thought this was great, so he looked up at me as he curled back the next page.

“Anything could happen,” he said with a glimmer of mischief in his eye. As he turned the page to reveal the snake and lion, he repeated the scream performance, and in turn, I gave him my over-exaggerated look of shock and surprise.

Something magical happens when you get lost in a story or can’t wait to see what’s on the next page of a beloved picture book. The love of books, and the feeling that anything could happen as you turn the page, is something I hope stays with him through life.

Tuesday, August 23


This weekend, my husband made homemade spaghetti sauce with tomatoes from our garden. It was an afternoon-long effort and I know he was proud of the result. Last night, he used the sauce and made eggplant parmesan. Doodle and Scribble had spaghetti and meatballs, because, homeys don't play dat eggplant. Doodle takes his first bite and declares, "Dad, this sauce is BRILLIANT!" I was thinking to myself that it was such a great compliment coming from King Picky himself, until my husband confessed that he had given the boys Ragu from the jar.

Friday, July 29

Smurf My Life

Last night at dinner, I remembered a promise I had made to Doodle last weekend.

"We still going tomorrow?" I asked him, and as the words were leaving my mouth, I turned to my husband and said, "Why did I just do that? Why am I doing this to myself?" I mean, maybe Doodle had forgotten what we had talked about doing on Friday night.

But it was too late. I had to follow through. "We still going to see the Smurfs movie?"

And thus, my fate was sealed.

Thursday, July 14


I honestly can’t remember what Doodle was like when he was 2. I’m sure he was adorable, and his control freak behavior was probably just peeking its carefully-combed little head out of the surface. So, rather than let Scribble’s precious moments (not the dolls – eek!) slip away, I am using this blog space to take note of some especially cute ones of late:

At Scribble’s day care, every Wednesday the 2-year-olds get to have “Splash Day” and must come to day care in their swim suits and water shoes. I bought him the cutest little flip flops at Target that have little fishies and sharkies on them. Did I just say “sharkies”? Yes, yes I did.

Previous to this, Scribble has worn flip flops or any kind of sandal exactly zero times. And the putting on of shoes does not rank high on his favored activities list (but the taking off of shoes sooooooooo does.) So that first Wednesday morning, I began in earnest to try and get the kids out the door on time, as I always do, and always fail miserably at doing. When I tried to put Scribble’s toes into the flip flops, which involves separating the big toe from the other four, Scribble put up quite a fight. “I don’t want it the fwop fwops!” he said repeatedly, his legs flailing and showing unprecedented strength and avoidance tactics. Finally, I prevailed and the fwop fwops stayed on for approximately enough time to get him strapped into his car seat. We probably didn’t make it out of the driveway before the first one went. At least, when I got to day care, he was contained in the car seat and I was able to replace the wayward fwop fwops without incident. Since then, “I don’t want it the ______” has become a handy catch phrase in my house.


Doodle knows 2 or 3 knock knock jokes that he can tell without ruining the punchline. Example would be the classic “boo who” or the “orange you glad I didn’t say banana?” Telling of these knock-knock jokes is standard fare at the dinner table when conversation has lapsed. Not to be outdone, Scribble added one with his own flair last night:

Scribble: Na-knock.

Us: Who’s there?

Scribble: *starts laughing* Uh …. A BUG!

Us: *raucous laughter and overacting*

Repeat the previous about 10 times. Sometimes he couldn’t wait for us to ask “who’s there” before he delivered the funny.

Wednesday, April 13

Dopple Ganged

I'm an only child. People often find this surprising about me, because I don't fit the stereotype. I don't have that spoiled princess vibe going on, at least not most of the time. Although I had plenty of friends in the neighborhood to play with when I was a child, I had a vivid imagination and could entertain myself for hours on end by making up games with dolls, stuffed animals, etc. But I did always wish I had a sister. A twin sister. There's just something undeniably cool about identical twins. They have that whole language thing (I mean, you've seen those twin babies, right?), they understand each other in a way that no one else does. In high school was the first time I'd heard about her. I think it started with someone calling me by the wrong name. Laura. But it was a case of mistaken identity; apparently, I had a lookalike, and not only that, but she hung out at the same place I hung out at! I had just never seen her. Several more times during high school it was mentioned to me how much I looked like this girl. Or did she look like me? But after I went to college, I forgot about her. I never did meet her. A few months ago, I was in the elevator in my office, and this dude, kind of a creepy looking guy, is staring at me. I mean, staring hard. Made me uncomfortable and I couldn't wait to get off at my floor. "I know you," he said. I shook my head no. "You have a twin sister?" he asked. Again I shook my head. "You went to my high school." Since I went to an all-girls, Catholic high school, I found this impossible. "Man," he said. "There's a girl who looks just like you who went to my high school." I assured him it was not me, and thankfully the elevator god, Otis, opened the doors at that moment and I click-clacked my high heels onto the linoleum floor and away from his creepiness. But was it a strange pick up line, or, was she back? I chalked that up to a strange encounter with a strange person, until I was out meeting with my book club a few weeks ago. We met up at this wine bar none of us had been to before but wanted to check out. After we got settled, we were chatting with the bartender and complimenting the decor and artwork at the bar. She started telling us a little bit about the history of the bar when she turned to me and said, "You know this already, you're here all the time!" I gave her a furrowed brow. "This is my first time here," I said. She gave the look right back to me. "Come on now," she said, a little sass in her voice. "Don't mess with me. We put your paintings on the wall here!" She clearly has not seen that I can barely draw a stick figure correctly. I told her again that she had me mixed up with someone else. She was almost getting mad at me, thinking I was playing some kind of bizarre trick. Finally, she let it drop. After a raucous book club meeting that of course involved very little discussion of the book, I walked with some of my fellow book clubbers to the parking garage when I realized I was out of cash. As we were in a downtown area, at night, with no ATM around that I was aware of, I pulled up to the gate hoping they would take a credit card. An older lady was at the booth, and within eyeshot there was a security office where a man was sitting. As I pulled up she smiled and waved at me. Before I could share my cashless predicament with her, she gestured toward the security guy and said, "Fred says you're the girl who comes in here all the time. You don't have to pay." And lifts up the gate. I thought to correct her but, being that I had no money, said, "Thank you! Have a good night!" And drove away. Remind me to thank my twin for the free parking. If I ever do meet her.