Monday, June 30, 2008


This is Peter, years before he starts to hate me for doing things like this. I love him so much, but I simply could not resist. His love for Spiderman and clowning around have clearly influenced his early childhood development. He was born on April 1st, so I suppose he can get away with it easier than the rest of us fools.

David woke up this morning with his first bloody nose. With any other kid, you might expect screaming, kicking, biting, spitting, yelling, pushing, shoving, general freaking out and/or farting. Luckily, red is David's favorite color, so overall, I think he actually found the experience rather cool.

'Look Papa - red. David like red. My bike red'

That's great. You know what else is red? Peter's face, ten years from now.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I ride my bike and played the computer and I played with Grams and Opa.
David: When Peter fall down his head.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I fall down on my bike.
David: Peter fall down. Peter fall down. Peter fall down...

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Go to Dalia's or Toys-R-Us
David: Peter fall down. Peter fall down. Peter fall down...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Germany Wins!!!!

Germany won the 2008 European Soccer Championship!!!

Contrary to what mainstream news agencies keep reporting, Germany won. No, I am not living in denial. You are.

Whatever. At least I can still brainwash the kids. Or do you want to deny that, too? Germany - YEAH; Spain - BLAH. It works. Trust me.

Enough said about the last month leading up to tonight's so-called loss. Let's not dwell on the fact that we have held our breath for 3 weeks. Breathing is overrated. I can think of many people who could easily stop breathing. Fernando Torres, Spain's number 9, for starters.

Let's not lament on the 23 days of wishful thinking. Let's instead rejoice in being the vice-winner. Yeah, that's it. Is the glass half-winner or is it half-terribly-embarrassing-I-am-so-glad-I-did-not-bet-money-on-that-game- loser. I think the answer is obvious.

The kids had fun, though. David came running up to me at one point to tell me: I drink my first, then I drank it, then buuurrp, then aaaahhh. That funny, my belly. Thanks, again, to whatever brainchild gave my two-year old son Coca Cola for the first time.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When Dalia comes over to play with me.
David: When Petey come, Brian play with me.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I wanted to go home with Dalia, but Clarice said no I can't go.
David: When you fall down. [I have no idea what he is talking about]

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Maybe, ride my bike and...and...wash some dishes
David: When Opa come and Grams come and Grams come. Yes. That I like. Grams.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Urban Chipmunk

Time is relative...

10 seconds before this picture, Angie was standing in the kitchen with puffy cheeks that were full of water.

5 seconds before this picture, Angie turned to find me, grinning with a camera in my hand.

3 seconds before this picture, Angie turned beet-red and started blowing water out of her nose as she frantically tried to put on her 'picture' face.

10 minutes before this picture, Angie heard on the radio that if you hold water in your mouth while you cut an onion, you won't cry. Maybe, but you certainly draw in amateurs like myself who want to photograph 'the urban chipmunk' in action.

3 hours before this picture, Angie estimated around 100 people would be showing up to the BBQ that we, along with the neighbors below us, were hosting.

2 hours before this picture, I bought chicken and sausages for the estimated 100 people.

2 hours after this picture, 50 people showed up (not 100), and half of these people brought their own meat.

3 hours after this picture, I started to question Angie's abilities to estimate headcount.

5 - 8 days after this picture, we will most likely be having a shitload of chicken & sausage sandwiches.

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Little Bald Eagles

I came home from Berlin today to discover that an overzealous barber had gone to work on the landing surface of my two boys. They looked like bald eagles; cute ones, but still bald. I had only been gone for three days, but it had seemed much longer, as it always does. David immediately shouted 'carry me up' and Peter jumped in my arms without even asking. The long awaited hug was an armful of greatness.

I brought the eagles two snow shakers from Berlin. I made sure they were fairly durable and identical to each other in every possible aspect. They looked at the souvenirs and then stared at me as if to say 'are you joking?' It was not until I told them to shake it that their eyes really lit up.

They watched it snow in Berlin as I bored Angie with details of my conference. At one point, David came over to explain something that was obviously very important to him. He pointed at Angie's belly and said 'Baby'. I thought it was great that we were no longer calling it a 'bee sting', so I agreed with him. Then, he pointed to Angie's boobs and said 'two babies'. In David's world, apparently every woman is running around pregnant with twins and there is a completely different interpretation of the phrase 'cradling the baby'.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When you came home.
David: When the cat sleep.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When Gizma scratched me.
David: I no like it when my finger hurt.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Do that again, with the long day.
David: When Opa come.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bing! Turkey's Done

Turkey lost to Germany 3-2 in the quarter-final for the European Soccer Championship, in case you were missing the reference. I am in Berlin on a conference and our hotel is smack in the middle of a Turkish community. Gobble, gobble.

I called Angie today and winced when she told me she was at Ikea. The last time I let Angie loose at Ikea without supervision, I spent the following several weeks building furniture and cursing the Swedes. Luckily, Grams and Opa were there to control the situation. At our Ikea, you can leave the kids at an indoor play center while you shop. Every time we have attempted this so far, we get 'the call' within ten minutes:'

Little Peter would like to be picked up from Small-Land.'

Or, translated for adults:

'Your brat kid is screaming his head off and driving us nuts. If you don't come get him in the next five minutes, we are going to bury him in the pool of plastic balls to muffle his yap.'

David wanted to go, but they only allow children to stay if they are over three years old. Opa saved the day, though, and stayed with the boys. Angie and Grams of course expected the call anyway:

'Little Horst would like to be picked up...'

Angie also started Yoga today. I'm not even sure if I need to write more to make this particular fact funny, but ok. First of all, I did not know there were 'Yoga for pregnant women' classes. How does this even work? I thought Yoga was about stretching and bending. Angie is 7 months pregnant and, although I will surely end up on the sofa for this one, not that bendy. And I am sure the baby just loves that.

'Um, excuse me, host...Mother...whatever the hell you call yourself. In case you somehow thought I was swimming laps down here in some kind of Olympic size pool, let me make it clear: I am cramped. I would really appreciate it you didn't try folding me. I am not a sandwich. I understand your current physical state and the connection with Buddha, but maybe we could wait until I grace your presence before your next round of Zen-like sit-ups. In the meantime, it would be great if you could focus your energies on other things, like, oh, I don't know, finding me a name.'
[No ladder talk while I was away in Berlin]
1) What was the best part of your day?

2) What was the worst part of your day?

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Butt-Pinching Toilet Seat

As soon as I came home from work today, the boys practically tackled me in the doorway and began bombarding me with snipits of their day:

'...swimming pool and then we...'
' bell ... my bike...'
'...David ... an orange one...'
'...then we ... on our bikes...'

In the end, I pieced together that they had spent the day with Grams & Opa, on bikes and in the pool. On top of all that, they each had gotten new bells for their bikes. Needless to say, the boys had a ball. So much so that Grams & Opa earned the coveted Ladder Talk's 'Best thing that happened today' award.

Before going to bed, David wanted to use the toilet. Lately, he has been going on his own and tonight was another 'successful' run. 'Yeah, buddy! Great job!' Peter wanted to use the toilet, too, so David stepped aside and watched as Peter climbed up. Somehow, Peter managed to pinch himself between the toilet and the seat lid and promptly starting screaming bloody murder for at least ten minutes. David, who was witness to it all, kept looking from Peter to the toilet, muttering 'Peter, toilet, ow-a.' Only tomorrow will tell, but I am pretty sure that Peter's butt pinching has set back David's potty training by a good month or so.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we go to the circus Grams and Opa and ride our bike. We have got a - it's a new red klingel [pause to look at incredible rainbow outside]
David: Bicycle. Red. Bell orange. Pooh bear.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I was on the toilet and tried to pick up and it pinched.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to Dalia's.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Circus, Revisited

This looks more like it... a nice crowd of people, the big tent is actually open - great job, ladies!

Peter was quite the charmer today. At some point, Angie and Peter began playing the game 'I see something you don't see and that is...[insert color here, in case you are either a moron or one of those lucky bastards without kids]. At some point, Peter must have gotten bored with the game. Knowing his attention span, this was probably after approximately 20 seconds of playing. Without thinking through the consequences, he decided to change the game slightly. 'I see something BIG and that is...your belly!' Haha hehe hoohoo...

Peter was too busy cracking up at himself to notice that Mama had transformed into what I lovingly call Pregosaurus. It's that quasi-psychotic state that only pregnant women can get away with. Any married man with kids will know what I am talking about, even if they do not have the courage (stupidity?) to describe it in writing.

I stood behind Pregosaurus, waving my arms frantically and motioning for Peter to run for his dear, sweet life. I hoped to God that it would not turn around and catch me throwing signals to the enemy. For a brief second, I flashed to what life would be like without a head and quickly determined it would suck. I made feeble attempts to change the subject.

'Hey, sweetie! Did you know that there are 18 different shapes used for Animal Crackers?'

'Almost all lipstick contains fish scales.'

'The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds!!'

My adrenaline-induced comments were lacking a certain coherency, but oddly enough, the last one seemed to work. 'Let's have eggs for breakfast' was the welcome segway that secured Peter's mortality for the moment.

After an oddly silent breakfast, we spent the day filling our humongoid inflatable pool. Angie originally bought this behemoth for our old apartment, overlooking the small yet crucial fact that the pool was actually three times bigger than our old balcony. After The Curious Incident of the Belly in the Morning, though, I was slightly reluctant to poke fun at any things that were bigger than they needed to be.

Anyway, with our awesome garden, we were able to finally dust off our Olympic-size 'balcony' pool and put it to use. The boys loved it and weren't even ready to get out when it was time to go to the circus, prompting what some people might call an overreaction on my part. 'What?! Get out of the damn pool. We WILL be going to circus. Again. It WILL be open this time. You WILL like it!'

The boys did get out of the pool, the circus was open and they did like it. Really, all threats aside - it was awesome. Peter's favorite part was the bikini-clad woman that juggled hoops. David's favorite part was the bikini-clad woman that rode a unicycle. Papa's favorite part was the... clown. Really.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we go to the circus and I saw that lady with the rings.
David: Das lion and hippos... the lions sleeping.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That owa her on my leg. In the swimming pool it got bigger and bigger.
David: When the hippo eat it. In the water.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Sleep by Dalia's.
David: Um, das hippo in the water.

Brotherly Love

Today (Saturday, despite the misleading header), started out like any other with the boys screaming at each other at the butt-crack of dawn. The argument this time was apparently over their cousins, Stephanie and Patrick.

'Patrick is MY cousin!'
'No, MINE.'
'He is MY cousin and so is Stephanie.'
'No, Stephanie is mine. Patrick, too. Not you. Me.'

Ok, morons, let's go over the basic concepts of family and relatives again... Before I could intervene, though, they had disappeared to their room and began arguing over which color dinosaur each of them would be. 'I'm the purple one'... 'No, red. I'm purple'... 'Red'...'Purple'... This continues in an ever increasing volume and anger until Angie pops her head around the corner. 'I am sick of all this arguing - you need to stop it this instant. Give me the dinosaurs... NOW. When it comes to mothers, it is not so much the content of the delivery as it is the tone of the delivery. Seeing that Angie was turning shades of red and purple herself, the boys wisely handed over the plastic replicas and moved on to their next argument.

Colors tend to be a predominate theme for arguments between the boys. Knowing this fact and being the wise parents we are, Angie and I have bought everything Noah-style. TWO blue cups, TWO orange plates, TWO yellow get the picture. At least you should. Angie and I patted ourselves on the back and proudly congratulated ourselves on how big the collective Johnson brain was. Kids are a lot like criminals, though. As soon as you come up with one way of controlling their behavior, they almost instantly replace it with another channel for their delinquent drudgery.

We sat down for breakfast - or, as other families call it, lunch. Today we chose orange and dished out the food on two identical plates. Peter and David were apparently still carrying some leftover aggression over cousin possession or dinosaur ownership. Peter looked around for a way to annoy David. I know this look, although it is hard to describe. It is not really a smile, not a smirk; it is more of a concentrated grin that only comes up when looking for a way to irritate a fellow human for no other reason than to see if you can. Peter could.

'I have bananas' [putting the bait on the hook]
'Me, too, Peter. Me too.'
'My plate is orange' [throwing it in the water]
'Mine, too. Mine too.'
'My plate doesn't have any scratches on it' [reeling in the big one]

A slight hesitation as David checks the accuracy of this last statement. A quiver of the lower lip as realization sinks in. A brief silence as David takes in a deep breath that will be needed for the next five to ten minutes of screaming because his plate has a tiny scratch going down the middle. A smug look as Peter sits and enjoys the chaos he has instigated. Thanks, jerk-o.

Although the first half of the day could be described as Cain and Abel reenacted, the motto for the second half was definitely Brotherly Love. We had planned to go to the Zoo in Karslruhe with some friends. With the circus disaster still fresh in my mind, I made the arrangements. We met at the station, where we split up. I went to get the tickets and everyone went to the track. It took a little longer than expected, so I was running to the train with the tickets. Angie saw me and began boarding. Peter did not see me, and freaked out. I can totally understand where he might have believed that Angie would leave me behind. I have to admit, though, it was somewhat reassuring that Peter would not easily abandon me at a train station for some cheap thrills at the zoo with Mom.

The ride there was basically an hour of the kids playing a new, mega-intelligent game called 'Uppsala'. The way it works is that one kid says 'I live in Uppsala'. Then, it is the other kid's turn. That's it. Great, isn't it? You would think that after 20 or 30 times, this amusing and rather repetitive game might grown tiring. Not for the kids, who were still giggling 'Uppsala' when we pulled into the station.

The zoo was great. We saw animals. We went to the playground. Peter fell in a pond and got completely soaked. Papa laughed his ass off. Peter cried. Mama yelled at Papa. Papa laughed some more.

The ride back was very relaxing. Did I mention already this new game called 'Uppsala'? We agreed at the train station that Peter could spend the night at his best friend's house, so we went home to pack his suitcase. Before leaving, Peter explained that when David was 4 he could spend the night at a friend's house, too. I am not sure if this was another 'dig' to try and wind David up, but the explanation was accepted. 'I think I'm going to miss you, little brother' and the following hug created a bonding moment, even if they did not realize it.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I had that thing for dessert. That drink with the funny straw.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I have that owa here on my arm.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Maybe go to the zoo or to Dalia.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bike me, Papa

I normally wake up, get ready for work and leave before anyone else in the house stirs. The boys are usually fast asleep and surely dreaming of how lucky they are to have such a cool father. Angie will normally be dreaming about cucumbers and Gizma will be weighing the potential risks of biting Angie's toes.

This morning, I got out of the shower to find Peter, who unwittingly scared the crap out of me. "I want a cartoon, Papa." Oh, if only his requests could continue to be this easy. I flip on the TV and see a familiar show - "Oh, look. The Little Einstein’s are on."

My first mistake was incorrectly identifying the show. The second mistake was saying it too loudly. Within seconds, David was out of bed and running to the living room to see his FAVORITE show. A mixture of disappointment and disgust spread across their faces as they realized that the show was actually Dora the Explorer and not The Little Einstein's. They turn to me and my first gut reaction is to run. Quickly.

There is no easy explanation for my malicious trickery, although I am sure they now think I simply like tormenting them. I do, of course. but it was not my intention today. My only way out was to explain a new game, where they go and jump on Mama's head, allowing me to sneak out the door.

After leaving, Peter and David spent the rest of the morning crying because they missed their Papa so much. I don't really know this as a fact - it just 'feels' right, so it must be. What I do know is that Peter went for a bike ride. We have removed his training wheels and he has been doing great "going solo", although his bike rides are a constant reminder that we need insurance against smashing into parked cars.

Peter, as it turns out, gets his gift for the gab from his mother. They went to a park to ride his bike and Peter would not stop pestering this poor lady who was just trying to read a book in peace. The park had a circular track and every time he drove by, Peter would share some random tidbit of information with this very disinterested lady.
Lap 1: My name is Peter.
Lap 2: I am four years old.
Lap 3: My Papa is awesome. He's really cool and funny and I love him so much. [again, just an assumption]
Lap 4: I have a bother, David.
Lap 5: In September, I get a new brother. And it's a boy. [Just a quick question- how the hell could it be a brother and not be a boy? 'Genius' my ass...]
Lap 6: I have a feeling Papa is somehow making fun of me. Perhaps I should bring up how stupid he is when it comes to my cartoons....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Not Me

David's Godparents, Kika and Salami, came over tonight to watch Germany spank Portugal in soccer. No, we have not changed their names to protect the innocent. First of all, they are guilty as hell. Secondly, David has chosen these cute pet names, so blame him. Not me.

The picture here is taken shortly before the game starts after a nice BBQ on the balcony. At some point, David managed to remove his diaper and secretly hide it somewhere in the apartment - yes, we found it later - thanks, nose. It was David. Not me.

What you see here in the picture may look like laughing, but it is actually Kika realizing that David has decided to go 'commando'. Sorry again about the "grass stains", Godmother. It was David. Not me.

The game was great. Unless you are Portuguese. Even then, it was awesome. For me. Not for you. Sorry about your country. Blame your government. Not me. It works in Uhmarika.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we go to Dalia and play.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When we go and I wanted to watch the game but it was too late.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to the zoo with Dalia.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Messy People

I came home from work and played with the boys at the playground. David got around 200 splinters in his foot and Peter bashed his toe on a rock. Yay, isn't the playground fun? You guys wanna go juggle hammers next?

I am not a neat freak, but messy people have always creeped me out. It has gotten better since having kids; they will certainly cure you of any delusional fantasies of cleanliness. As we sat down to dinner, though, I almost bumped my head on a small grouping of what can only be described as red "clumps" stuck on the wall. It looked like brain splatter, only in 3-D. Concerned, I asked Angie what it could be. "Tomatoes. From lunch," she explains without even looking up. OK, never mind the obvious question of why the hell we are now storing leftovers on the wall - at what point in time, exactly, are we planning to actually clean it up? I only ask this because, as I write, the cute little wall snack is still ripe for picking - is the plan to continue adding other tasty morsels until we have a terrain fit for indoor rock climbing? As much fun as that would surely be, could we try to adhere to the minimum legal standards for health and hygiene? Thanks, sweetie.

When we moved into this apartment, Angie made the brilliant choice of picking white as the dominant color. White walls, white floors, white cabinets, white benches, etc. Hello? Two, soon to be three, boys terrorizing the house and you choose the Michael Jackson motif? Does it go well with the sofa made of fragile glass that will be most certainly be your next stroke of genius? Anyway, for dessert, the boys each got a bright red ice pop. Knowing what they do with tomatoes and how they obviously hate the walls, I kicked them out to the balcony. As you can see, David enjoyed his, despite losing more than half of it down his chin. Ok, I guess I still have a tinge of neat-freakness in me, but just look at that kid! Jesus! His chin is stickier than a big strip of fly paper. Yuck! Maybe we can scrub his chin on the tomato-based sandpaper Angie is growing on the dining room wall?

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played Sebastian and there were two times a race and he was on my bike and said he's a taxi. He was super-quick, but I was the first one.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I stepped on the stone and Gizma scratched me and there's an owa on my foot.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Same thing.

Peter da Vinci

Peter's first day at art class. The whole experience was slightly overshadowed by a minor mishap involving an empty circus. Check out the story.
Another fun art story was when Peter discovered the joys of spitballing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cirque d'hamburger

This is Peter, arriving at the circus and notably excited. Before I go on, though, let us backtrack and journey through the events leading up to this memorable snapshot.

I would normally take the train to work, but today I decided to take the car so it would be easier for me to leave in time for the circus.

Angie would normally go to playgroup in the morning with Peter & David. Since I had the car, though, the playgroup idea was scrapped. Strike one, Papa.

David would normally take a nap, but since I took the car, there was no playgroup, so there was no energy burned, leaving a very wide awake 2-year old for Angie to deal with. After several frustrating hours of trying, David finally did lay down for what would be a rather short nap. Angie seized the moment and decided to take Peter and sleeping beauty to art class that was conveniently within walking distance. She carried David downstairs with the intention of dumping David in his stroller as part of her master plan to have Peter doodle and David snore for the next hour or so. But, since I took the car, and the stroller was in the trunk of the car, the long awaited silence of naptime was replaced by the very annoyed and angry screams of a baby prematurely awoken. Strike two, Papa.

Not one to be easily deterred, Angie marched on to art class with David tucked under one arm, most likely to stifle the lingering screams and pouting. Sweating, out of breath, and suffering from minor hearing loss, Angie arrives at the art class only to find a note on the door: "Art class cancelled". Thanks for the very detailed and explanatory note, you assholes!

Angie and the boys then turned about face and march back home. At home, Peter rings the neighbor's bell to ask if their kids want to play in the garden. "No, Peter is too little" was the reply. You know what's not little? My foot, you little turd. Why don't you come over here so I can ...

Angie interrupts with a nice reminder that it doesn't matter if the retarded neighbors don't want to hang out - we are going to the circus tonight and that will be FUN!! As always, Mama knows how to bring back smiles to Peter and David. So, we pack into the car to and head to the circus grounds. We are supposed to meet friends at the main gate, so we park our car around the corner behind the big tent.

We now come back to the picture. Peter is so excited about going to the circus for the first time. We pause for a second in front of the BIG TENT to take a quick photo. MAN!! This is going to be great! Best time EVER!! As you can probably see in the picture, there are not many people. You would expect that if the circus was starting in 15 minutes, a larger crowd might be lingering about outside. As we turned the corner and headed towards the front of the tent, we noticed the ticket counters were boarded up and dark.

In front of the deserted ticket booth stood the family we were supposed to meet. For a brief moment, we stood there trying to figure out what was going on, when her husband and I locked eyes. Holy Shit! We exchanged a brief flicker of recognition. We let our WIVES plan this??!! Needless to say, the circus was closed, something that was clearly written on the schedules of the tickets now clutched in the hands of the two red-faced, but still stunningly beautiful, loves our of lives.

We could only blame ourselves. Shopping, nagging, breastfeeding - all things clearly within the responsibilities and confines of wifehood. Organizing a complicated event like going to a circus and checking that the show was actually playing is stretching the imagination a bit too far, apparently.

Being the quick thinker I am, I immediately tried to find a way out of it. Hey, Peter, wasn't that great? I love the circus - we'll have to do this again some time, huh?. The look of sheer disappointment made me stop, though. He was not buying it, so I resorted to what surely must be the next best thing to the circus - Burger King.

As the kids chowed down on burgers, chicken nuggets and onion rings, I could only conjure one thought - I never got my third strike.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we go to the circus.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When we go to the circus and it was not open.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to the circus.

see related cartoon

What is the Toilet Roll?

I write a family blog called The Johnson's Zoo. At one point, I began drawing silly little cartoons on strips of toilet paper, normally related to the events of that day. My son thought they were hilarious, so I kept drawing them and hanging them on our bathroom mirror for him to enjoy.

After a few weeks, I found out that my wife had been keeping them. When I asked why, she said they were funny. I took a picture of one for my wife's birthday, titled Happy Buttday! I liked how it turned out, so I decided to launch this site dedicated to our family's crappy art.

Enjoy. Or not.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Vegan Circus

Today, the boys were invited to the circus. Angie was hesitant at first, since she is an animal lover and everyone knows that circus folk don't treat their animals properly. In the end, she said ok because she did not want to deny our children the whole "circus experience".

I told her I agreed and made a well thought out comparison to a vegan who would not deny her children the thrills of going to McDonalds for a Big Mac. This was apparently not the correct statement to be made with a woman who is six months pregnant.

"Big Mac?" she exclaimed, casting the moron look in my direction. "Of course I don't mean a Big Mac. That's fast food junk. Maybe a nice steak, but not a Big Mac."

Ok, 'animal lover'.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we go to the zoo.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I got lost at the zoo because Mama was on the toilet.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To have Dalia by the circus.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ladder Talk

Ladder Talk is a ritual started with my oldest son, Peter. There is a small wooden step ladder next to his bed and for the last year or so, he sits on the ladder before going to bed to answer the following three questions:

1) What was the best part of your day?
2) What was the worst part of your day?
3) What would you like to do tomorrow?

You'd be surprised by some of the answers you get. You spend the entire day taking him to the zoo, then the swimming pool, and top it all off with a trip to the candy store. Then you get home, slap on the PJs on and settle down for that night's ladder talk, confident that the many hours you have invested would payoff. You ask the first question, certain that one of the many memories you have created that day would be selected as ladder talk's "best part of the day". Then, with the honest innocence that only a four-year old can get away with, comes the answer "When Mommy let me turn on the vacuum".

What? You little shit - I spend 8 hours running my ass around the city trying to fill your day with bonding moments of laughter and joy and it's the on/off switch of a Hoover that floats your boat? You know what? Next time, let Mommy drag your ass all over town and I'll stay at home and show you how the toilet flushes, or let you hit the start button on the laundry machine, or some other mindless task that will obviously rank high on your list of memories to cherish. Thanks, Mommy.