He’s Not a Fan

We went to a show at the big library in my hometown where my uncle, who is a children’s musician, was playing a short concert.

The library’s theme for their summer reading program was “Build a Better World,” so at the end of the show he told the kids to think of something they could do to help make the world a better place. “Tell one of the library ladies your idea on the way out,” he said, “and they’ll give you a sticker!”

I took the twins over to where kids were lining up for stickers and told them to think of something to say. I suggested recycling.

“Grown-ups love it when you say you are going to recycle,” I told the kids. No one liked that idea.

Little Girl decided she didn’t really want a sticker but Little Boy seemed to be thinking hard. When we got to the front of the line, he whispered something in the library lady’s ear.

“What?” she said. “I can’t hear you. How would you help make a better world?”

I leaned in to help listen and heard my son say, “I’d help the library put on better shows.”

I yanked him out of line before anyone could hear that statement and pulled him aside. “You can’t say THAT!” I hissed. “Think of something else.”

He looked at me. “Well, if I got the sticker I could try to make it last forever,” he said. “That would be good for the world.”

I rolled my eyes. “Just go back over there and tell the nice lady you are going to recycle, okay?”

He sighed and got back in line. “I’m going to recycle,” he said dispiritedly.

“Oh wow!” said the lady excitedly, handing him the sticker. “That’s a great way to build a better world!”

Little Boy looked less than enthusiastic, but he stuck the sticker on his shirt and came back to me. I was pleased to have avoided having him trash my uncle’s concert to library management, and he seemed fairly happy with the sticker, so I’ll call that a win/win.

Note: Later on, Little Boy was talking about how much he’d liked the show, so I said, “Why did you want them to get better shows then?”

It turns out that what he’d meant was that they should have more shows at the library LIKE THAT ONE. So I suppose he wasn’t actually trashing the concert… but it had sure sounded like it!

Oversharing in the Airport

We were going through the airport security checkpoint on our way back from visiting relatives for the summer when my bag was picked for extra inspection.

I suppose it looked suspicious because it was crammed so full of stuff.

The TSA agents dug through my backpack, randomly swabbing various items to test for bomb residue (including some paperback novels, my half- finished quilt squares, and a bunch of Laffy Taffy candy). I wondered which of the Laffy Taffies looked the most likely to be a bomb, since he was only checking some of them.

My nine-year-old daughter took the opportunity to ask me: “Mom, what’s a trophy wife?”

I tried to think of an explanation. “Well,” I said, “I guess it’s a wife that’s way better than the other wives so she costs a lot of money.”

All the TSA agents around us burst out laughing.

I shrugged. “Sorry guys,” I said. “Looks like she’s been listening to people trash-talk each other on family vacation.”

Do we still look suspicious?

The Fidget Spinner

This summer on family vacation, Little Boy purchased a fidget spinner at the souvenir store.
In case you haven’t seen one before, it’s a plastic and metal thingy that kids an spin around in their hand for fun.
They are wildly popular and were being confiscated left and right by the teachers at the twins’ elementary school all year for disrupting class. This of course makes them all the more a fabulous and coveted object in the world of kids.
He was extremely excited about his new fidget spinner and showed it to everyone at the vacation house. In a family full of schoolteachers, this did not go over well. Invariably they said, “Ugh! I hate those things!”
But Little Boy loved it! He played with it all the time.
That’s why I was surprised a day or two later to come in and find the fidget spinner resting in a pan of hot water in the kitchen.
“What’s this?” I asked. Little Boy complained that Little Girl had gotten annoyed with him and taken the fidget spinner away. “And she put it in her UNDERWEAR!!” he finished with indignation.
“I see,” I said. “So now it has to be sterilized?”
He eyed the offending object doubtfully. “Dad said he could get it clean but I don’t know…”
Well, so much for the fidget spinner, I guess!

 

It depends on what the definition of “old” is

Conversation with my just-turned-nine-year-old son:

  • HIM: Is Adventure Time an old show?
  • ME:  I guess… I mean it’s not a brand-NEW show…
  • HIM: So it’s old, then?
  • ME:  Well, I wouldn’t call it OLD, exactly…
  • HIM: Why not?
  • ME: It wasn’t around when I was a kid or anything.
  • HIM: (laughs) Well I know THAT. It’s in color!
  • ME: How old do you think I am, kid?
image from https://collectionofawesome.com

I tried to save a few bucks on formal wear

The Pet vs. The Rules

Our cat likes to sit at the top of the stairs.

Apparently this annoys Little Boy. He doesn’t like having to go past the kitty sentry to get up or down the stairs.

(In all fairness, the cat is kind of mean. He’s not above taking a swipe at passers-by. We are probably lucky he is a really small cat who can’t do much damage.)

Anyways, Little Boy came up with an idea to keep the cat from sitting in that spot.

He’s instituted a “No Kitty Zone” and posted signage to that effect.

So far we haven’t seen the best compliance level on this; the intended target can’t actually read the sign and the ban seems unenforceable.

We shall see what develops.

The Boy Who Was Covered in Snow

www.earlylearninghq.org.uk

I saw a kid completely covered in snow today outside the school.

It wasn’t my kid, so I didn’t take a picture. People tend to look askance at you when you start photographing other people’s kids, especially at an elementary school.

So you’ll just have to imagine this boy, maybe nine or ten years old, with a crusty snow covering over every inch of his body except his head. Got it?

Now the weather today was unusually warm.

By which I mean it was about 25 degrees. Above zero. Considering that last week it dipped to 50 below, this is practically a heat wave. So the kids were pouring out of the school in great exuberance to greet this relatively balmy air.

A teacher stationed by the buses was speaking into a megaphone, booming out over and over, “Get out of the snow! Get on to the sidewalk! Get out of the snow!”

Snow Covered Boy looked down at himself in consternation and then turned to say to a friend, “I’m going to say you pushed me into a snow bank.”

Good story, kid. You stick to that.

Talking to the twins about destiny

image from http://thesource.com/
image from http://thesource.com/

Little Girl came home from school telling me some things she had learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Apparently they watched a movie where a kid time traveled to meet the young Dr. King.

In the movie, the kid tried to save Dr. King’s life by bringing him back to the present, skipping the dangerous period of the civil rights movement. Then he found that the country of the present was unfairly segregated without Dr King’s intervention. So, the time travel kid had to put him back and let him go on and get killed. 

I know, right? Pretty heavy stuff. Especially for third graders. 

Anyways, this sparked a conversation about destiny and discovering what special talents God has given us to use for good in the world. 

Little Girl said she thought that Harriet Tubman had been sent by God to help the slaves. I said that each of us needs to learn what God has called us to do in the world. 

“Maybe my special mission is to be your mommy,” I said. 

Little Girl raised her eyebrows at me skeptically. 

“That’s not as interesting as Harriet Tubman’s special mission, is it?” I said, interpreting her expression. 

“No,” she said. “It’s really not.”

Little Boy piped up. “My special talent is armpit farts!” 

IMG_5475

He demonstrated this skill.

He really is pretty good at it. 

I don’t know if it’s destiny, though….