Category Archives: good times

Kids: they have weird brains

Like a lot of parents, I had certain preconceptions about what my kids would be like that have been … uh, challenged, let’s say, since I had actual kids. As a former “gifted” child and general nerd/brainiac/teacher’s pet, for example, I was sure that my kids would be nothing less than child prodigies – or at the very least, academically and artistically inclined, and certainly above average in those areas. I mean, DUH.

Such arrogance. In reality, of course, my kids – like all kids – are a mixed bag. (Not to mention being so young it’s really difficult to tell what their ultimate strengths and weaknesses will be.) Take the Hatchling. Her verbal skills, as I think I’ve mentioned here before, are not quite in line with her peers – she’s a late bloomer – but she’s been able to catch and throw just about any kind of ball since she was two. She’s pretty iffy on the concept of rhyming (Me: “does ‘cat’ rhyme with ‘dog?'” Hatchling, enthusiastically, “YEAH!!”), but she can memorize songs and movie lines in one or two takes. (Eerily so – it’s not at all unusual for her to incorporate movie lines into regular conversation, which can be unnerving if you don’t catch the reference.) She can only write a few letters, poorly, but she does drawings that are really cool and complex, and put together in a remarkably sophisticated manner for a four-year-old.

Today was another excercise in contrasts. I was trying to teach the Hatchling the classic kid’s game of “I one the sandbox.” You know, from Sesame Street. Ernie starts off with “I one the sandbox,” and Bert goes, “I two the sandbox,” and they keep going until Bert gets to “I eight the sandbox,” and Ernie is all “YOU ATE THE SANDBOX?!?!” and, you know, hilarity ensues. So I’m trying to get the Hatchling to go back and forth with me, numbering the sandboxes, and though she’s been able to count to 20 since she was two or two-and-a-half – a long time – she just could not get the hang of it with the sandbox stuff added. I’d start it off with one, and then I’d say, “what comes after one?” and she’d get flustered and say “Six!” or something, and, then I’d say, “No, you say ‘I TWO the sandbox,'” and she’d go “I 2-3-4-5-6-7” or “I have THREE sandboxes” or something equally off, and finally we just called it quits. We worked a little more this afternoon and evening on what-comes-next games with numbers and letters, so she could practice giving herself time to think, and right before bedtime I thought we’d try the game again. She still got confused by the addition of sandboxes to counting, but we persevered. Finally I got to seven-ing the sandbox. “What comes after seven?” I asked her. She thought about it. “EIGHT!” “Right!” I said. “So I said ‘I seven the sandbox,’ and now YOU say ‘I eight the sandbox.’ She frowned with concentration. “I eight the sandbox.” “YOU ATE THE SANDBOX??!!?” I said, and, y’all: she just about peed her pants with laughing. I mean, it KILLED her with the funny. We had to do it about five more times before she went to bed, and even as I was rocking her sister to sleep I could hear the Hatchling lying in her bed muttering “… ate the sandbox … heheheheheh.”

And this is still kind of crazy to me. She struggles with a simple counting pattern, but a homophone-based pun? THAT she’s right on top of. Which, I dunno, maybe that’s completely normal for a kid her age, but it isn’t what I would have expected going into this. (Though, given her grand-paternal heritage, I probably should have known that punning humor would be her native territory.) And I guess that kind of sums up my entire experience of parenting. None of this is what I expected going into it. Sometimes that really sucks (breastfeeding issues, anyone?). But often, like tonight, it means you spend the evening laughing your face off about eating sandboxes. Which is not a bad way to end the day.

The Man I Love

Mr. Squab spent some quality time with the Hatchling this morning playing with her various and sundry stuffed animals and babies. The Hatchling is still at that sweet stage where all her play is about how much her animals love each other, and most of her time is spent posing them in hugs and snuggles, and making them give each other professions of undying friendship and bonds of eternal brother- or sisterhood. Which Mr. Squab totally went along with, except a) he made all her animals sound like Ron Burgundy, and b) when he was “talking” to the other animals, he gave all the dialogue a lewd undertone that was too subtle to be picked up by the three-year-old but just about made me pee my pants laughing. Sample:

Hatchling (as stuffed frog): Gimme a hug, bear.

Mr. Squab (as Ron Burgundy bear): Ooh, yeah! I looooove hugs. I never had me a REPTILE* before. (Makes bear do writhy dance.)

Hatchling (innocently): Oh, nice hugs!

Mr. Squab: Hey, Sheep, want a BEAR HUG???

Me (prostrate with laughter): Oh, god, that is so inappropriate on SO MANY LEVELS.

*Yes, apparently Mr. Squab thinks that frogs are reptiles. He’s a graphic designer, people, not a biologist!

Happiness is …

1.) Taking the kids on a nice walk to a fun family event in the beautiful morning weather.

2.) Getting to see a great movie, on opening weekend, in 3D, with your favorite date.

3.) Having friends who are big enough suckers to agree to watch both your 3 year old and your 2 month old while you attend said movie. And who are awesome enough to cope with an infant freak out and live to tell the tale. (It is soooooooo nice having friends with kids the same age as yours.)

4.) Enjoying an impromptu pizza on the patio in the backyard of said friends’ house, watching the kids run around wearing each other out while you enjoy a beer.

THAT is a good Saturday.

Fa la la la la, la la la la

This is the first year the Hatchling is old enough to want to help with the Christmas decorations. We finally got the tree up this weekend, and she was very “helpful” with the ornaments (or as she likes to call them, the “wondaful decowations”). Sure, she wanted to hang all of them off the same small branch, but at least she did manage to actually hang some all by herself!

Decorating the Christmas Tree, 2008 from Squab on Vimeo.

Contrasts abound

Yesterday, Mr. Squab, the Hatchling and I went to the State Fair with some friends. I ate:
cheese curds
fresh lemonade
grilled corn on the cob
a cone of chocolate chip cookies
a caramel apple

… it was delicious.

The Hatchling also totally enjoyed herself, mostly just looking at the sights from the comfort of her stroller, but also going on:
Aquatic bumper cars
a Dinosaur-go-round
a Whale ride

She went all by herself – or at least, with no adults – and totally had a blast, as these photos show:

The weather was perfect, the kids were well-behaved, and we were in and out before the crowds got too crazy. It was great.

TODAY, on the other hand, I had an appointment at the diabetes clinic this morning, then had to haul the cat to the vet with two kids in tow (nephew is hanging with us this week), then get lunch, then clean up the chocolate milk the Hatchling spilled all over the place, then fend the cat off from my own food, then put the Hatchling down for a nap, then try to do something productive and totally fail, then take the kids to the park and around the block, all while feeling so tired I want to lay down and die, partly just because, and partly due to the fact that two of the medications I’m on have fatigue as a side effect.

Can I just go back to yesterday, please?

A celebration of Two-ness

We just got the Hatchling’s Two-Year photos back, and just like last year’s, they’re flippin’ adorable. I swear, if I could, I’d hire Katy to just follow me around and document my life in photos, because it would look WAY more interesting and beautiful that way. As it is, we’ll just have to settle for a yearly dose of crazy cuteness. Enjoy the slideshow.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.


I went to see Sex and the City on Friday with two of my chicas. Unlike some people, we did not go all-out glam, but Ali wore some serious fuck-me shoes and we had a very good time. I found the movie extremely satisfying. It ain’t Godard or anything, but it’s a damn good chick-flick. (I thought the scene where Samantha feeds Carrie her breakfast was really beautiful – in fact, the whole portrayal of Carrie’s depression was brilliantly done.) And watching the audience was almost as good as watching the film itself. Even in the lobby, it was extremely apparent who was there to see SATC and who wasn’t. The entire theatre was crammed full of hetero-women in their 30s and 40s, drunk off their asses on cosmos and wearing clothes that really would have looked better on their daughters, and gay men, also drunk on the cosmos but generally better attired. We sat down just as the usher was telling everyone to be sure and move all the way in. The man I was sitting by asked if they could tell people not to try and save whole rows (the answer was no). I looked around and realized we were in the midst of an enormous group of extremely tipsy, extremely loud women.

“Are those the people you were talking about?” I asked the man.

“Hell, yes, honey,” he said. “They told us they were saving this row, and I was all, ‘You might *think* you are, but we are sitting HERE.”

I laughed. “What I like is that not only did you sit in their row, but you took the very best seats!”

“Damn right,” he said, “if they are going to have the paleolithic gall to save an entire row on opening night, they deserve what they get.”

Paleolithic gall. I dunno what it means either, but I’ll be damned if I don’t try to use it at least three times this week.