Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Three's not a crowd

Tom, like some leftovers, was only better the second day. The boys thought so, too, as they ogled over their new baby brother. He will certainly grow up well protected with bigger brothers like Peter and David.

Several people have asked about the naming of our latest creature. When criticized, I normally resort to blaming other people and in this case, it was Peter. Tom was the name that Peter started calling the baby from the first day he found out that Angie was pregnant. He also had a middle name selected, which was Jacob. If our last name was Jingle-Heimer-Schmidt, I may have considered this.

The freaky thing is that both names derive from the word 'twin'. Even freakier, Tom was born at 08:36 AM. Peter was born at 08:37 AM. Tom weighed 3,600 grams. Peter weighed 3,610 grams. Tom was 52 cm long. So was Peter, speaking of freaky things.

Tom looks eerily like Peter when he was born, so my theory is that Angie has actually been pregnant for over 4 years. Everyone thought Tom was 11 days overdue, but if I'm right, as I always am as long as you don't ask Angie, Tom has taken a hell of a lot longer than just 9 months.

In the end, we chose the middle name from a short list of Merlin, Finn and Quentin. Quentin means the 5th, and since Tom is the 5th member of the Johnson Zoo, we thought it fit. What's in a name, though? A diaper by any other name would still smell like shit, right?

At least one person has openly stated a preference for Nonameyet, although I am not sure that even Peter and David as big brother protectors could keep a kid from getting his ass kicked in school with a name like Nonameyet. Sorry, CRT.

I try and write these blogs every day and often I hit the 'publish post' button and the story disappears into a black hole. I don't know where it goes or who is reading it; who likes it and who just doesn't have a sense of humor. I don't really mind, though. I started this whole thing so that the boys could have detailed memories when they get older. I may regret some of tales since by then, I will be too old to defend myself against three boys beating the shit out of me for some of the things I wrote.

I get the occasional comment from friends and family that they like the blog, but yesterday I got my first 'real' comment. By real, I mean it did not come from someone who was forced to tell me how great I am in order to continue getting Christmas gifts. It came from a complete stranger and was well received. That's not to say that anyone out there who was about to send pages of praise should stop; December is right around the corner.

I was curious to find out who the mystery commenter was, so I went to her blog site and was blown away by an entire story dedicated to Tom's, uh, sorry, Nonameyeteventhoughhisnameistomsogetoveritalready's entry to jungle Earth. Click here to read the entire article. Thanks, Ceci and yes, you can publish any photos you like.

David apparently did not like all of the attention that he was no longer getting. While we were visiting Tom, he started coughing like crazy and burning up with a fever. I spent the rest of the day taking him to the doctor's and keeping him away from Tom.

At the doctor's, he got gummy bears. When I went to the pharmacy, he got gummy bears. Now, I am no genius - ask Angie - but I seem to remember a little story about a guy named Pavlov and his cat. Maybe it was a dog, but it doesn't matter. The point is, if David gets a treat every time he is sick, I have a sneaking suspicion that he will be perpetually ill for the next several years. If doctors really want to have kids like them, maybe they should just stop shoving big-ass needles into their arms.

At bedtime, David got his medicine and we read stories. Before climbing up his ladder to the top bunk bed, Peter went up and gave David a hug and said 'you're still my little brother and I'm still your big brother'. I don't know where that came from, but it made me want to puke, so it must have been cute.

David must have appreciated this, for he offered Peter his coveted 'bird spider' to sleep with. Peter shook his head politely and said 'no thanks' to the replica spider big enough to eat birds that David likes to sleep with. I don't know if Tom will be a spider man, but with superheroes like Peter and David to protect him, it doesn't really matter.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I was at Mama and of course Tom.
David: When I go to Mama.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David go to the clinic cause he was sick.
David: When I cry because I have angst from the lion.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with you and David and Tom and Mama - everyone together who we know to play football.
David: I go in the train mit you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thomas Quentin Johnson

Man, babies can be ugly. I am quite certain that women have some hormone released when they give birth that allow them to overlook the blotchy skin, wrinkled heads, purple hands, and all of the disgusting shit that comes out of their tiny bodies shortly after birth. Luckily, our baby was one of the cute ones.

Nonameyet has kept us all in suspense for the past few weeks and his grand exit to planet Earth was certainly no let down. It started this morning with a frantic call from Angie 'you need to get here now! I'm bleeding!' Talk about a wake-up call.

I raced to the car, blew through several red lights and even a few green ones to get to the hospital. Angie was scheduled for a C-section later that morning, but Nonameyet obviously thought it would be more exciting to speed things up a bit by creating a few complications. It was.

I got to the hospital just in time to see Angie getting whisked away to the emergency operating room. I was told I could not go in as planned and that Angie would be going completely under, instead of the local anesthesia we were expecting.

As I paced the hallway outside the operating room, I freaked out on two nurses and a doctor passing by when they asked me if I need anything. Luckily, they followed Angie's approach and just ignored me instead of kicking my ass out.

After fifteen sweaty minutes, Irmgard the nurse (no shit, it really is her name) came out wheeling a cart with an angel in it that turned out to be my son. She asked for a name and Nonameyet finally became Thomas Quentin Johnson. Tom.

He was incredibly peaceful. I would have expected screaming, kicking, farting...something, but he just laid there quietly, trying to open one eye. He does have two, so don't freak out and start calling him cyclops.

The nurse took us downstairs to get Tom cleaned off. As soon as she picked him up, he peed all over her. I like this kid already.

He weighed in at 3,600 grams, or 7 lb, 14 oz for those pathetic countries not using the metric system. There are only three, by the way. Aside from the United States, only Burma and Liberia do NOT use the metric system. Get with the freakin' program, guys!

Angie's drugs finally wore off and she woke up asking for me. Kinda. She was actually asking for Tom, but he was with me, so it is essentially the same thing. I went to the 'wake up room' and found a very groggy but very relieved Angie. Her arms were outstretched so I assumed she wanted a hug. Turns out, she wanted to hold the baby. Whatever. I didn't want a hug anyway.

The rest of the day went by in a flurry of phone calls, visits and diapers. In the afternoon, the boys came to meet their NEW BROTHER. They were impressed.

David kept running up to everyone and proudly telling them that he was now a BIG BROTHER. Peter is his idol, so this title is quite an impressive one. Peter could hardly contain himself when I allowed him to hold Tom in his lap. He rubbed Tom's cheeks and stroked his hair until he was glowing. Peter, not Tom.

As I tucked Peter and David in to bed, I thought of how fast time has flown with both of them. If day one of Tom's life is any indication of how fast time will fly with him, I need to figure out some way to slow that shit down. I also tried to remember when Peter and David were tiny ugly babies but I simply couldn't. I guess they were cute ones as well.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I saw Tom, the little baby who is my brother now.
David: When Tom come out the Mama's belly.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David screamed his head off.
David: When I see Mama and Mama sick.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: When the kindergarten finished, I want to go visit Mama and Tom, who is my brother now.
David: When Mama and the belly I see.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A view from a grill

I was busing grilling some kick-ass steaks and shrimp-kabobs to feed the hungry animals lurking inside, so I'm not sure who the perv is taking pictures.

Luckily, coloring books and crayons seem to make the caged creatures appreciate feeding time. As the hand that feeds them, I should be able to write whatever the hell I want without fears that they might bite me. Angie knows how to work the microwave, though, so I will try to be careful not to anger any pregnafied readers.

Today I decided to 'bully the belly'. This technique basically boils down to getting on all fours and screaming at Angie's belly for several hours, daring Nonameyet to show his face if he's not a coward. Instead, he chose to mock me by hiding behind Angie's inny and throwing a kicking fit like a big baby. I lost it and wanted to kick back but Angie stopped me with complaints like 'it'll hurt' and 'I'm not a pinata'.

Ok, fine, but Nonameyet and I will be having a LONG talk when he feels brave enough to show his smug little face. At that point, I will become the hand that feeds him and we shall see if he changes his tune. Probably not at first, since the hand that feeds him will actually be the booby that feeds him, but one day - oh yes, my friend - one day he will salivate over my grilled shrimp kabobs and wonder if it was really wise to keep us all waiting in suspense for so long.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played with Dalia to play 'Happy Birthday to You'
David: When Dalia come.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David take the crocodile game and I start crying.
David: When Gizma scratch me all over and I start crying.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To sleep by Dalia.
David: I want Little Einstein's

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One little, two little, three little monsters

I was pleasantly surprised today to find out that David could use fingers for something other than picking his nose and jabbing other people in the chest. Carol brought these early Christmas treats for the boys. I think for Christmas David will be asking Santa for a few extra digits and some more yucky finger puppets. I really don't care, as long as dynamite does not make 'the list' for at least a few more years.

Today began with a nice game of marbles with David. I used to play marbles as a kid, but I don't really remember the game starting out by dumping out a big bucket of marbles onto the kitchen floor and then running off to play with toy cars. That just goes to show how creative David can be. I guess.

Grams and Carol came over to help out with the boys. Somehow I think when Carol signed up for that chore, she was not aware that it would later involve David spitting into her hand. In David's defense, I think it was a well-intentioned love spit since he giggled like a little schoolboy afterwards. Oddly enough, Carol showed no signs of giggling.

Speaking of disgusting things, Peter ate snails today. Grams took us out to eat to what I thought was a nice restaurant until I found out they serve slimy little bugs for appetizers. Angie managed to con Peter into eating the icky treats with some kind of freaky pregi mind trick. I turned to David to side with me on this issue, but he was busy dipping his monster puppet fingers in mashed potatoes, so I sorta lost my focus, along with any appetite I may have had.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When the man at the restaurant said 'I'm going to put you in the food elevator', but it was just a joke.
David: When I go'ed with Mama and Peter and the book go boom.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I fall down from the tree at the playground.
David: You make me so go my room.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play mit David. Animals.
David: When I get in swimming pool.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

David's High Chair

You can't really tell in this picture, but David is sitting on the remains of tree that has been cut down. At least I think it was cut down. David was left on his own briefly before this snapshot, so I can only hope that he had nothing to do with the creation of this stump. I don't see David as the tree-hugging type, but I also don't think he is the tree-choking type. If I am wrong, I can only hope there were no witnesses.

Angie woke up to David head butting her belly. Angie screamed, David laughed, I snored. Then Angie head butted me to tell me about it. I told her not to worry, that David's little belly bonk was just his way of telling his little brother to cut the shit already and come out from hiding. Hide and seek will be funny. Later.

I took Angie to her daily doctor's appointment today and almost got us killed. See, in front of the hospital, I thought one of the side roads was one-way. Thought, as in the past tense of to think. Past tense, because I now know it is not one-way. According to Angie, to think does not appear in my vocabulary in any form or tense, but I think this is just her playful way of expressing how much she loves me.

Our near-death experience did not phase Nonameyet. It did phase Angie's digestive urges, which after the appointment told her she needed a milkshake. This time, without peanut butter.

At the milkshake bar, David chose the red straw, which is apparently the one that leaks chocolate shit all over your chin, shirt, hair and shoes. I reached for some napkins and essentially had to rip them out of the holder, because they were wedged in there so tight.

I unwisely chose that point in time to reveal to her holy pregginess how irritating it is for me when napkins are packed into the napkin dispenser so tightly that you tear the napkins to shreds trying to get them out.

She gave me a look that I have not seen since I accidentally broke her toe once in museum in Ireland and told her to be quiet when she screamed, but that's a different story altogether.

Her look puzzled me until she followed it with 'I am a week overdue, my belly feels like it can explode at any moment, and YOU want to explain to ME how NAPKINS can be irritating??!!'. At that point, she started hyperventilating and I really lost focus of what she was babbling about. My thoughts were still on that damn napkin holder. Man those things piss me off.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: To go to kindergarten when I take the Lion King bag.
David: When I look two Little Einstein's with the Fire-bird.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: David said Gizma scratch him and she didn't do that.
David: When the kitty scratch me and I cry.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To dress me up as Superman.
David: When I go'ed with Mama and Peter in the water splash.

see related cartoon

Floating 101

In this bath, we were testing out different fruits to see which ones would float, but it all started with a little grape stomping.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Class Clown

This is Peter, years before the joy of detention begins. It's kind of like this, only without the chocolate bar, funny faces and Irmgard the angry math teacher is standing behind you with a ruler and a frown. Trust me - do as much crazy shit as you can - they don't have detention in kindergarten!!

I woke up this morning and asked Angie how she was feeling. Overdue. There were so many emotions flying around in that one little word, and not a single one of them was funny. I chose not to reply and quietly slipped out of bed to make coffee.

Today was the BIG DAY for David. He wants to go to kindergarten and understands now that he cannot unless he starts using the toilet like a BIG BOY. So we took off his diaper and let him prance around the house like some kind of liberated hippie going commando. At one point he came up to proudly announce that he had a BIG POOPY in his pants. Great. As if cleaning a turd wasn't bad enough when it was nicely packaged in a convenient diaper.

Peter came home today with his leftover lunch, including a box of uneaten grapes. I noticed that one grape was completely smashed, so of course I asked. He explained that Lucy, one of the girls that he has been chasing around, stepped on it and crushed it when Peter offered it to her. I really don't know what is funnier - that Peter is now impressing girls with... grapes??!! Or that Lucy stomped on his weird affection offering? Or that he kept the squashed grape as some kind of bizarre love trophy?

Throughout the day, the phone was ringing off the hook with people who apparently think we secretly had the baby and are somehow trying to hide this fact from everyone. Normally, I thoroughly enjoy seeing Angie annoyed, but that is only when I am the one doing the antagonizing. When other people do it, I get no satisfaction out of it, so please stop robbing me of my cherished button-pushing. It has been over a week now since Angie has been annoyed solely from my own doing - I'm overdue.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When you drawed that picture from my mommy and me - it is so funny.
David: When I get on in the misomisa and then get down.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When Lucy didn't play with me today.
David: When Peter shlan goon and my foot on his nose.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with Paul and Jonathan.
David: When castle we go again.

see related cartoon

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Pin Cushion

This is Angie, getting ready for what will surely be painful. No, I am not talking about giving birth, although I've heard that's also unpleasant. I am referring to accupuncture, which somehow Angie arranged to have done in our living room.

That's right - she decided to have an audience watch her as she gets poked with needles. Lutz was the one doing the honors. Karin was busy chasing Christoph as he tried to render our stereo knob-less. I was the one standing by with a glass of water so that when Angie was done getting poked, I could test out something I saw on a cartoon once.

Angie's due date was the 18th and like a true Johnson, he is already three days late. Aside from scaring the crap out of Angie, the Freddy Krueger tickle did very little. I guess we will need to use more than just a few scary needles to get this kid out. The waiting game continues.

When Angie saw this picture, she wanted to put on this paint-on tan cream she has. This made perfect sense to me, because when people come to see the new baby, I am quite sure that the first thing they will do is to force Angie to kick back the hospital bed covers so they can check out her legs.

The boys missed the whole ordeal - they were busy feeding yaks with Grams & Opa. When they got back, they wanted to play with their animals straight away. I got them down and I noticed an immediate difference in their preferences. Peter had formed a small group of llamas, sheep, kittens, and several other nice, fluffy animals. In David's pile, he had collected spiders, snakes, crocodiles, tigers and several other not-so-fluffy animals. If they were preparing for an animal smackdown, my money would have to be on the Nature's Death Squad that David was forming.

Somehow Angie found out that I had bought her a book that she has really been wanting. I was planning to give it to her in the hospital, but today she backed me into a corner and demanded it. Something about the twitching in her left eye made me realize she was serious, so I forked it over, feeling somewhat like a kid who has just handed his lunch money over to some bully named Tyrone. At least she thanked me. You're, uh, welcome.

Although the accupuncture did not work, we have a doctor's appointment tomorrow that will hopefully give us some news. As for the cartoons I watched as a kid - complete bullshit.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I went to Grams & Opa's and I feed the yaks.
David: When we see the animals.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I almost put my hand in the yak to feed him and he made his mouth on my fingers.
David: When Gizma scratch me.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To feed the yaks.
David: When I fall in there with the small one.

Tom's point of view

Angie got annoyed that Tom was not coming out. I pointed out the chaos that is our family and asked why the hell anyone would willingly submit themselves to our family. Angie's frustration can be seen in this story.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Preg-o-shake

'Tastes great, less filling'? More like 'tastes like shit, doesn't work' if you ask me.

This is the concoction that Karin made for Angie to try and help Nonameyet begin his little prison break. Champagne, crushed almond and, by the looks of it, chewing tobacco did not encourage the little creature to come out, though. Well, if he has been listening to any of these blogs, I can't say that I blame him for wanting to stay where he is.

Peter made the astounding announcement today that if a shark got into a swimming pool, everyone would need to get out. It's great what they teach the kids at school these days, isn't it?

After a few hours we went to the hospital to check Nonameyet's heartbeat. Basically they slap a tape recorder on Angie's belly and fasten it with a seat belt.

Angie was nervous about getting pregnanter on a daily basis, so I thought I would be a gem and take her mind off it for a while. Normally I'm pretty good on just striking up interesting conversation so I thought I would just wing it.

I told Angie about this video I watched in one of my seminars where a bunch of guys were standing around bouncing basketballs. We were all instructed to keep count of how many times the balls bounced. After about thirty seconds, the presenter stopped the tape and asked us. Anywhere between 35 and 45 were the guesses so we were all in relative agreement. Then the man asked us if we had seen the big gorilla. We laughed and pointed at the silly presenter.

He replayed the tape and halfway through, a man dressed up in a gorilla suit walked on the screen, bouncing a basketball. After two or three bounces, he caught the ball, did a little gorilla dance and walked back off the screen. The point was to teach everyone that sometimes we get too focused on the task at hand to see real threats that are out there right under our noses.

At this point, Angie started laughing like a pregnant hyena. I thought the story was interesting, but not necessarily funny, so I was a bit perplexed. After a few minutes, Angie stopped snorting like a stuck pig long enough to shout out 'What the HELL does that have to do with anything?'

Now that she mentioned it, nothing, but I tried to quickly make up some bullshit line of comparison. I fumbled through some scenario involving doctor's as gorillas, babies as monkeys and, well... it only made her laugh harder. So much for winging it.

At that point, the nurse walked in. She checked on Angie and on her way out, she winked at me. She did not even make it out of the room before Angie started grilling me. 'Did she just WINK at you?' I acknowledged that it did look like she had winked at me but was quick to point out that one could not really blame her. Needless to say, I found this funnier than Angie.

On the way home from the hospital, we were supposed to pick up Peter and David, who were playing at Dalia's. Five minutes before getting to their place, Angie started having some contractions, so I shifted course and headed home. We agreed that if things got better, I would pick up the kids. Otherwise, we were going for the touchdown.

At home, we relaxed a little and things calmed down. If anything we got a few more hours of free babysitting. As long as we don't abuse it, we can probably get away with a few more 'false alarms'.

I went to pick up the boys and on the way home, I asked Peter what he thought the baby would look like. 'Red eyes', he explained. 'With blue hair and freckles on his back'. Holy shit, we're going to have an evil smurf with acne problems. What the HELL was in that damn shake, Karin?
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we go'ed to my Papa's work.
David: When I go'ed badada and then. Yeah.
Dalia: That we buy that thing - the puppet with her legs and that thing, you know.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I jumped and hurt me.
David: When I hit Peter with my sword.
Dalia: Nothing - I liked everything.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to Dalia's to sleep.
David: When I a bad guy.
Dalia: I want to see Peter tomorrow.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Nibble, nibble

Carol is a sweet lady and David loves anything with sugar, so it's not hard to understand why David is nibbling on Carol's cheek here. It's just not clear to me how Carol could still be laughing. I, along with anyone else that came within arm's length of David during in his first year of existence, have been bitten by David and know that it is no laughing matter.

Today started with a nice game of indoor dodgeball. Two boys against me was obviously not fair enough in the eyes of the pregnant one. At one point, Angie snuck around the corner and tried to break my glasses into monocles with a well placed hit between the eyes. I thanked her for the aggressive love toss and asked if it wasn't time for her nappy.

I fixed something today. If you are saying whoopee right now, you should know that hammers frighten me and drills petrify me. I'm more Mr. Broke-It, not Mr. Fix-it. Today's victim: our rocking chair. My only comfort was that the thing is so old and beat up, breaking it would not really be that terrible. Not for me, anyway. Angie seems to like it, but she smashed me in the face with plastic today, so I didn't really give a shit.

Needless to say, I will not be publishing the secret details of how I fixed the chair. I would rather let all the other pathetic not-so-handymen out there squirm a little and figure it out on your own. I can reveal that it took a shitload of duct tape and glue.

I don't know what Angie has done to anger the appliance gods, but now our dishwasher is broken. Since yesterday, dishes have been piling up. It's amazing how addicted to technology we become. We called around and couldn't get a repairman to come until Tuesday. Aaaaahhh! Jesus, what will we do now?!! After pondering that question for over an hour, we came to the frightening conclusion that we would have to do the unthinkable and actually wash our dishes by hand. Angie panicked and frantically looked at me for support. 'Don't look at me - I fixed the chair today'.

As we were reluctantly pulling the dirty dishes out of the dishwasher, I realized that rinsing the plates before sticking them in might be a revolutionary idea. One of them looked like the potato sculpture from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I almost said something to Angie but then I remembered that I fixed the chair; I was done for the day.

Opa and Carol stopped by today. Carol wisely chose to go to the zoo with Angie and David as Opa and I began fixing things in the house. The 'and I' part in the previous sentence still cracks me up.

First, Opa checked the dishwasher to see if it is broken or I am a moron. I am happy to report that I am not a moron, at least not where dishwashers are concerned. I am also not a moron when it comes to rocking chairs - did I mention that I fixed ours?

Next we hung up curtains, a few pictures, the toilet paper holder, and a couple ceiling lamps. You know what we did not need to work on? The rocking chair, because I fixed it.

After all that hard watching, I was hungry. I picked up the zoo crew and Opa & Grams took us all out for Greek food. The boys were exhausted after dinner, so we headed straight home. We brushed teeth, got PJ's on and settled in for a nice bedtime story. Can you guess which chair we used?
Ladder Talk:
[David fell asleep on the way home, so I have written what I assume he would have said]
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I saw Carol.
David: When Papa fixed the rocking chair - he is so awesome, isn't he?

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't look TV today.
David: When Papa fixed the green rocking chair, but somehow managed to drill a hole straight through one of the arms and then covered it up using a green marker so that nobody would notice. That, and of course when Gizma scratched me.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with Mama that game with the cat on it.
David: To sit in that kick-ass rocking chair that Papa fixed. Man that thing is cool.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Something's fishy around here

The theme today was fish. Not all of them had orange hair, bushy eyebrows and fish tongues, but then again, not all of them came from the mind of a two year old.

Today I took the boys to story time where we met up with Dalia and Clarice. As per usual, we were running a little late, so the story was just beginning as we showed up.

The first story was a counting book with fish, so David was relatively calm, relatively being such a relative word. See, compared to the other tiny creatures in the room, David was on what I would call socially acceptable behavior. Nose picking, spitting, and stripping down to your diaper being the nice things that David will now associate with reading time thanks to those kids who were obviously not so interested in how many spots Sally the Shark had on her fins.

The second story was called A Fish Out of Water. When I think of a fish out of water, I think of a lot of flopping around and spastic twitching, which is exactly what the kids started doing halfway through the story.

After story time, it was the arts & crafts hour. For David, it was more like the arts & crafts ten minutes. He's a small kid, so it is not surprising that his attention span is minuscule as well. He was not so interested in doing any of the work - but he was good at giving me orders on how he wanted his fish to look. Mmmm - does not like working, likes giving orders...sounds like maybe he'll grow up to be a manager.

When we got home, I let the kids beat each other up as I got dinner ready. I did not want to disappoint the boys, so for dinner - fish sticks.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When Dalia come with me to read books.
David: When I read the book mit Dalia.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David hit me and spit all over.
David: When Gizma scratch me.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go with you soccer playing when I'm finished with the kindergarten.
David: When I Bob the Meister.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The nutty professor

I know I already did a blog last week about David going nuts, but he really is. If I hadn't stopped him today, he would have collected enough chestnuts to spell out David the nut collector, just doing my job. I think he likes them so much because of the similarities with his own head. Brown on the outside, hard to crack open and not so much meat on the inside.

Angie had a doctor's appointment today. Her preg-o-date is in two days, so it's coming down to the finish line. As she left, I stopped and asked her if she had her cell phone. No, came the answer, as if I were a stupid stupo for asking that question. Because, what earth-shattering event could possibly happen two days before her due date where it might be good for her to be able to get in touch with me? How idiotic of silly old me. Hey sweetie, if you have the baby while you're out, don't forget to send me a postcard, ok?

After kindergarten today, Peter came home and gave David a big hug. Angie told him you're such a nice brother, to which Peter replied with a sigh I'm just doing my job. Very cute. Then Peter went to the toilet and called me in when he was finished to show me his new trick. I watched hesitantly as he put his chin about an inch from the toilet seat and then flushed, spraying water in his face. Not very cute.

After hygenically explaining to Peter why his trick was not a good one, I went in to wake up Angie, who was taking a nap after a long day of sleeping. She is in the last few days of the pregnancy and she has gone into hibernation mode. She did this with Peter and David, so I was not alarmed. It's almost as if her body is preparing for something.

She woke up groggy, mumbling something about beached whales and her arms being asleep. I left the whale comment completely alone and tried shaking her arms to wake them up. It didn't work, but she thanked me for trying to help. Hey, I'm just doing my job.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played with Karin and Christoph.
David: When Karin come mit that funny baby.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I cried because my tongue hurt.
David: When I bonked the shark on my head.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with Karin and Grams.
David: When I play mit Mama in the bath.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Having a ball

David might look a little blurry here. That is not a problem with the camera, though; that is David approaching the speed of light.

The event: Monday playgroup. The location: the ball pit. The story: David gets too excited and tackles an old lady. The lessons learned: don't ever let David into the ball pit again. Ever.

Every week David goes to playgroup on Mondays. Every week, David gets faster and faster. Every week, Angie gets pregnanter and pregnanter.

I am sure they teach this stuff in Science 101, but as the belly of a pregnant woman expands, the velocity of said prego slows down. What you end up with is the mother of a very excited boy who thinks that running away from Mama is a challenge to be met on a frequent and regular basis.

Today, David led Angie on a frantic chase in the classic kid vs. Mom showdown. Mom lost. And so did the old lady that David plowed into while trying to escape the evil clutches of mother. The poor woman was just sitting in the ball pit, minding her own business and trying to play with her grandchild when BAM! David came crashing down on her, giggling. Luckily, no broken bones and, if the past is any indication of the future, no lessons learned on David's part.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I saw your best picture of me that you drew.
David: When I play Mama in the balls at playgroup.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David tried to hit me with a sword.
David: When I cried mit my nuna.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with Petra.
David: When I get in the bath with Mama and Peter.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Storming the castle

Sir Peter and Maiden Dalia, along with what must be the court jester, stormed the castle today as Sir David slept. At one point, I am pretty sure I saw a swallow flying south with a coconut in its mouth as a Frenchman told some tourists to 'Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person'.

For those of you who may think I have lost it at this point, the quotes above are from Monty Python and yes, I am a fan. Besides, me losing it happened years ago.

The day started out with the sounds of Peter and David giggling. This is never a good sign, so I raced in to their room to see what the hell was so funny. As it turns out, tic-tac-toe can be pretty damn hilarious, especially if you use big fat purple markers and play it on the legs, belly and arms of your brother. As it also turns out, the game is not so funny if your father walks in on you just as you are about to move to the forehead for lack of any other playing space.

Angie found it quite amusing, probably because she did not need to clean it off. No, she was too busy taking a nice warm and relaxing bath. After she stopped her snorting, she asked me for some milk. Being her indentured servant for life, I mean husband, I brought her the milk and looked for her cup of coffee. I did not find one. I questioned this. She told me to put down the milk and leave. I raised an eyebrow. She told me to go away. I went away.

I contemplated returning to the bath with some chocolate syrup and a straw, but the notion of getting smacked in the face with a Nestle Quick bottle kept me from further disturbing Angie's bizarre milk bath. Instead, I got the boys dressed in long sleeve shirts to hide the purple X's and O's and headed out to meet Brian and Dalia.

Knights normally hold a feast before going into battle, so we took medieval gang to the royal Burger King for a banquet of grease and happy meal toys.

With full bellies, we decided to take the mountain railway up to the castle instead of walking. You would think that with such short legs, kids would always go for the shortest route possible, but no. Dalia decided to pick the car that was the furthest away, meaning that I had to carry David in his stroller up three flights of stairs. Luckily, my Arnold-esque body is in Olympic shape so I had no problems whatsoever.

David took one look at the castle and fell asleep, so I don't think he will be getting any offers to be the poster child for castle tours. Peter and Dalia, on the other hand, took over the place. They buzzed from the wishing fountain to the panoramic view from one of the towers to the humongous wine barrel in the cellar.

Not that they appreciated any of it, though. At the wishing fountain, they only wanted to peg pigeons with the coins. The fact that some of them actually made it into the fountain was probably the pigeon's wishes coming true, not theirs.

Instead of checking out the panoramic view, they decided to practice jumping off one of the stone benches. Yes, that's right - jumping. They could do that anywhere, but something about the alluring and majestic view brings out the Tigger in all of us, doesn't it?

The house-size wine barrel just made them thirsty, so we stopped long enough for them to split a Sprite. Nothing goes better with a Sprite than a side dish of silliness, so Brian and I obliged. Considering how silly he looks, I should not be surprised, but Brian can be a pretty goofy clown when he wants to, which the kids found hilarious.

On our way out of the castle, Maiden Dalia tripped and went tumbling. For any girl at any age, I think the knight in shining armor will always be Daddy, so I stepped aside and let Brian do his magic. In no time at all, the damsel in distress was back on all twos and running around again.

David woke up just before we left and tried his best to completely insult a 90-year woman by asking if he could play with her hammer. I explained several times that the woman had a cane not a hammer. As with most things I explained to David several times, he just ignored me and went on screaming 'hammer' over and over again. The woman either has lots of grandchildren or patience, for she just smiled at him and walked away. We walked away, too, and as we left the castle I saw that swallow again and couldn't help but wonder if it was an African or European swallow.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I went to Burger King with Dalia and by the SpongeBob toys.
David: When Peter sagt 'No here' and I cry with my nuna.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David hit me with the rubber pistol but it hurt so badly.
David: When Dalia bonk down and then cry.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To dress up to be big and to be Buperman, I mean Superman.
David: When Dalia come.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wine goggles

It's not a real wedding until someone does something even sillier than getting married. At today's wedding, that someone was Peter. It's always the same story with that kid and parties - if it's not a lampshade on the head, he's off fish-bowling the wine glasses. Someone should really take that boy's mom out and give her a good lashing.

Isabel and Götz walked down the aisle today. I didn't actually see this part, though, because our family name is Johnson, which is Latin for perpetually late.

Yes, Angie was still blow-drying her hair when we were supposed to be at the church. At one point, we (ha, ha) agreed that I should walk ahead with the kids. A sensible idea, if you forget that Peter and David walk slower than snails going backwards.

You would also need to ignore the weather - it was raining, which, as everyone knows, only further slows down snails going backwards, although I am not sure why.

Lastly, you would need to stretch the imagination and assume that once you reach the church, you could sit down without drawing massive amounts of attention to yourself. Oh, no. That is the point where Peter decided to announce our late arrival to everyone by shouting out very loudly 'I need to go pee-pee and maybe even a poo-poo'.

I am so glad that at some point during our awkward journey to adulthood we cease to announce our bowel movements to a room full of complete strangers; I just wish it would happen sooner. I also wish that churches didn't echo so much.

I quickly ducked out again, hopeful that Peter's untimely outburst did not constitute an objection to the bride and groom's vowels. We raced to a nearby ice-cream shop for Peter's nature call and somehow managed to slip back into the ceremony quietly, followed shortly by a fashionably late Angie. Her hair looked fabulous, though.

After the service, we walked ahead of the wedding procession to sneak a bite to eat since we did not have time for lunch. We had to hurry, since coffee and cake was to be served on a two-hour boat ride up the Neckar that was leaving soon.

Our pit stop was Pizza Hut, where we stood outside gobbling down a few slices of prime pepperoni. At one point, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a woman in a wedding dress walking down the street towards us. A comic double-take followed. Oh shit.

I nudged Angie, who took one look, whipped back around, and said calmly 'grab as much of the food as you can and lets go'. I snatched up a few pizza bones and my drink, which dropped to the pavement.

You probably know by now that I love run-on sentences as much as I do giving advice, so if you are ever trying to escape an embarrassing confrontation with a Bride and Groom and their entire wedding entourage by racing away from them as they approach because you are afraid they might find you stuffing your face before going to eat cake, do not drop your drink directly in front of them since this will only draw attention to yourself.

We did not stop to see if we were noticed. I thought it would be much wiser to simply write about the whole ordeal later and see if anyone actually reads this shit. We made it to the boat with full bellies, greasy fingers, and one surviving drink. If you look closely, you can see the straw and lid from Angie's drink sitting in the stroller's cupholder.

After all that pizza and running, coffee and cake on a nice cruise hit the spot. The boys raced around the entire time completely convinced that they were pirates searching for treasure. For some strange reason, we have collected quite a few chestnuts recently, so the boys also took to chucking these overboard as 'canon balls'. In case you were wondering, no ducks were harmed during the making of this blog, although not for a lack of trying.

The reception was awesome. Food, atmosphere, and plenty of other kids for our boys to play with. Peter took my digital camera and began taking what turned out to be some pretty strange pictures. The floor tiles, an antique light, the waiter's foot. Then came around 200 pictures of an 18-year old girl wearing red boots that Peter called 'the red feet lady'.

You might call it affection, but I think she would probably describe it to the police as stalking. Angie can confirm that I like older women, but 18 and 4? Sorry, Peter, I just don't think it's going to work. Maybe you could try winning her over by fish-bowling a couple of wine glasses...
Ladder Talk:
[David turned into a wedding crasher when he zonked out at the reception - no Ladder Talk]
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I went to the wedding and I found new friends. I really liked taking pictures of the red feet lady.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David go to sleep at the party.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with you Hippo Flip.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Davey goes nuts!

David went nuts today and, for a change, managed not to destroy anything. I don't know whether to reward this or punish the times when David decides get his destruction on. I do know that these brief periods of normalcy do not occur often enough for me to worry about little things like thinking, so I just enjoyed the silence.

David is going through a phase now where he follows everything you say with the question why? You might think this gets pretty annoying after five minutes, but it actually only takes three.

It got so bad, that a week ago I started answering why? with 'chicken thigh'. The immaturity did not stop there, though, oh no. What? Chicken butt. Where? Chicken hair. Who? Chicken shoe. I know it is pretty complicated, but I think you get the point.

A week ago, I was patting my brain on the back for such a creative way to deal with the whole 'why phase'. Now, and not for the first time, I am beginning to question my wisdom. Both David and Peter run around the entire day screaming 'chicken butt' at anyone who won't run away from them. I am sure that Peter's teachers absoultely love this little game, but I am starting to miss the simplicity of the question why?

After David's weird version of an Easter egg hunt in September, we picked up Peter from kindergarten and went to the zoo. As if there were not enough animals already, Angie organized to meet up with Karin, Christoph, Mariam, Meyssam, and Elias. At one point, we also met up with a little boy that Peter knew who could whistle; something that makes Peter insanely jealous.

The boys were, well, wild. Let me put it this way - when they went by the primates, the monkeys stopped and pointed at them. At least the boys did not fling anything disgusting at the monkeys.

Carol flew in yesterday, so we met up for dinner with Grams & Opa at a nice fish restaurant to celebrate. The restaurant is a little hard to find and I almost took a wrong turn until Peter told me which way to go. I was impressed at his navigation skills, but instead of accepting my compliment quietly, the little jerk decided to make fun of my driving skills. 'I can't even drive a car yet, but I know how to drive better than you'. Yeah, that's great, Peter, but can you whistle?
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I ate the fish and shrimps - they are my favorite thing to eat.
David: When Peter, Grams and me.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David started crying.
David: When Peter hit me.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To read a book with Mama.
David: When Dalia come mit me play.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hide and go streak

This is David, age 2. If David ever hopes to streak at age 3, he absolutely needs to learn the phrases 'no', 'stop', and 'God damn it, I mean it!'

As you can see, I had the brilliant notion of giving the boys a bath today. You might ask, 'How did that work out?', in which case I would call your attention to this photo again and ask how you think it worked out.

In addition to streaking, David learned to wink today. That is, of course, depending on your own interpretation of winking. For David this means closing both eyes and then opening one. It's cute, so if your version of winking is any different, send your comments to www.shutupshowoffheisonlytwo.com

Angie went to get poked by the prego-pokers today. Afterwards, she came home thirsty. I made some wise cracks (key word = wise) about her leaking water all over the place after acupuncture. It became immediately obvious to me that a side symptom of being pregnant is being utterly incapable of appreciating incredible wit and humor, even when it is standing right in front of you pointing a finger and laughing.

In addition to being thirsty, Pee-Rego was hungry. When I suggested hot dogs, sausages, steak, or chicken for lunch, the Pregetarian freaked out and got up on her soap box. 'Meat??!! Again??!! Why do we always have to have MEAT??!! Aaaarrrgghhh!'

I waited for Angie's second head to withdraw into her neck before asking what her Royal Pregginess would like to eat. 'Peanut butter on toast'. Oh, of course. How silly of me. I have known this woman for over eight years and not ONCE has she ever eaten peanut butter. In fact, she has denounced peanut butter as being disgusting and gross in the past. I don't know what changed today, but DING, DING, DING - WHERE IS MY PEANUT BUTTER??!!

By this point, I realize that Angie is not the one craving peanut butter; Nonameyet is the obvious culprit. Unfortunately, Angie does not realize this. Her focus is stuck on PEANUT BUTTER NOW! I tried to subtly change direction with 'Hey, slow down - that shit'll make your belly button pop out'.

In the end, Angie's fear of an 'outy' did not override Nonameyet's craving for peanut butter. He must be super stubborn, which is not such a nice thought, considering how stubborn Angie already is and David is proving to be. Peter and I are in the non-stubborn corner of the house, so it looks like we may be outnumbered. If tomorrow Angie asks for peanut butter again, I may have to scream 'no', 'stop', and 'God damn it, I mean it!' at her belly and pray that her belly button finally pops.
[David's streaking must have drained his energy - he was out before Ladder Talk began]
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: My dream I had this monster double the size like a T-Rex. It was called Lion de Moseros - he was my friend.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When you pushed me by my room and I bonked my head - the accident.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Play with you Wilde Kerle.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Swatch this!

Peter is always learning new tricks. Today we went to the Swatch store to visit Kika and he showed everyone how to super glue his shoe to his chin.

Angie had another check today to make sure she is still pregnant. She is. Thanks, Doc.

I stayed at home and set up a kick-ass balcony playcenter for David. If he could talk more, I am quite sure he would endlessly praise Papa's amazing ability to create hours of fun and excitement out of thin air. Ok, it was actually a box of Legos and a couple of chestnuts.

For some strange reason, David's voice started to disappear today. It was actually kinda nice. He has not been coughing and he does not seem to be getting a cold, so Angie and I were a bit baffled.

My only theory is that he is already sneaking out at night to moshe at heavy metal rock concerts where he smokes cigars like a Cuban and knocks back vodka like a Russian. Angie tells me I am just paranoid. I'm not, but the special agents camped out in my backyard certainly are.

Simone stopped by in the afternoon. I haven't seen her in a while, so it was nice to catch up on old times. Simone used to live in the apartment below us and when Angie and I first moved here, we slept in Simone's bedroom for a few months while looking for an apartment. Yes, I said months.

Simonelina has a big heart, a lot of patience and, as it turned out in the end, a very sensitive nose. It was summer. I had heavy black boots. Need I explain more? Just trust me when I say that nobody with a sense of smell would have contemplated trying Peter's little chin trick with those boots.
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played with Dalia.
David: When Dalia come again by the water, but no Brian.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: This is hard. I wished you just asked one question.
David: When Gizma scratch me.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to Dalia's to our playground.
David: When I go with Mama and watch Mr. Bean.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mama Hippo

Today David made up a game that involved a snail, a dolphin, and a hippo. He asked Angie what she wanted to be. 'I'll be the dolphin', Angie told him. To this, he cracked up for a good two minutes, then he shook his head and said 'no, Mama. You the hippo'. Then it was my turn to crack up.

David has a lot of misunderstandings about Angie's swollen belly. Today, he went into a long story about how his baby brother was in an egg and was going to hatch soon, 'like a crocodile'. In the world that David lives in, Angie must have at one point swallowed the biggest egg ever. To further confuse things, I joked in the beginning that Angie had been stung by a bee in the belly. He still brings that up.

Angie went to playgroup with David, where they met up with Karin and Christoph. Christoph ran up, said hello, and then bit David on the arm. Either Christoph needs to be fed more or David's arm looks like a big teething ring. At least this time it was not Gizma who scratched him.

After kindergarten, Peter came home and announced to everyone that he had learned something new at school today. We all gathered around to watch Peter's new trick, only to stare in utter disbelief as he began spitting all over the rug. Peter paused and looked up at us proudly. Ta-da!

Angie and I were speechless. We turned to find David spitting all over the sofa; apparently he's a fast learner. 'STOP!' we shouted in unison as we found our voices again.

Peter was devastated that his new trick from the playground wasn't destined to become some new and disgusting way of mopping our floors. It was easier to explain to Peter why that could only be done on the playground. David, despite many explanations, continued spitting all over the place for hours.

Thanks to Peter's newly found education, spitting can now be added to the growing list of things that confuse David's tiny brain, along with bee stings, eggs hatching, and Mama pretending to be anything other than a hippo.
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I went with Dalia playing.
David: When I take a bath.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't stay longer by the kindergarten.
David: When I bonk the shark so bonk bonk hard and when Christoph bite me.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to Dalia's and play.
David: When Dalia come back and then she's back by me, not Peter.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Finnish Tickle

Hey, Finnish people can be funny...

Sami stopped by today for a full-on tickle attack, followed by some soccer lessons in the garden. David loves his Godfather and the Godfather loves teaching David new and 'interesting' things.

For a while, David would run around the house trying to stick a computer mouse into the cat. He also taught David how to thoroughly irritate his older brother by calling him Loco Chico, something that Peter really hates. Thanks, Chorizo.

Peter spent the night at Dalia's, which meant that David spent the morning moping around, looking for something else to hit. He zeroed in on Gizma and spent the next five minutes trying to step on her tail. It made me rethink whether his Ladder Talk's frequent worst moment of 'when Gizma scratch me' isn't really a daily occurrence.

Peter's homecoming wasn´t until the afternoon and David chose to display his brotherly affection with a swift blow to Peter's head with a plastic sword. Three hours later when Peter stopped crying, he told David 'you broke my heart into pieces like a puzzle'. David did not appreciate the poetic simile nor did he really seem to give a shit about Peter's broken heart or head. He did get excited about the puzzle and kept asking where that was.

I realized that puzzles, like Finnish people, can be funny. I laughed, which made Peter mad, which made Angie tell me to be nice, which made me laugh harder, which made Peter furious, which made David giggle, which made me laugh even harder, which made Angie demand that I apologize. Sorry, Loco Chico.
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I slept by Dalia.
David: When Dalia come again mit Brian.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I thought by going up nobody was going with me but then Sebastian come up and scared me because I thought he was a bird.
David: When Gizma scratch me.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to the city and look to a movie.
David: When Dalia come again and the carousel.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

All fired up

This is kind of a scary picture. Peter is busy looking for...what, air condition? Dalia seems to be trying to find a sun roof; only David has his eyes on the road and I have seen his driving skills on his big wheel. Let me just say that it is a damn good thing that nothing is on fire and that this machine is on a track can only go around in circles.

After the kids had their fun, it was our turn. We went to the beer tent and let our glasses play bumper cars for a while. At one point, David found a dripping gutter and thought it would be a super smart thing to do to hold his big bag of popcorn under the water. Oddly enough, David does not like soggy popcorn. Oh, well, as they say 'live and do really dumb things'.

Peter was spending the night at Dalia's, so I took a slightly disappointed David home. In this context, slightly meant 20 minutes of crying on the car ride home. At home, Mama did her magic and was able to replace the tears with a smile. In this context, her magic was essentially a bribe of chocolates and candy. Just as effective as a hangar, but without the revealing movie later on.

After calming David with a sugar cocktail, Angie informed me that her belly was cold. I informed her that her belly sticks out so far that if it were warm, her internal organs would probably be on fire. She said something about me being an insensitive bastard and went to bed. I almost cried.

As Peter went to bed, I guess Brian made a comment about not letting the bed bugs bite. Peter promptly told Brian that he does not like bugs and that in his house, we don't have bugs in our beds. Next time he spends the night at the Roach Motel, I will make sure to pack a can of Raid.

Somehow, Peter managed to block out the fact that he was sleeping in a bug-infested bed. The purple unicorn and Ariel probably helped, as well as being able to hold onto Dalia's ear.

1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I looked Curious George.
David: When Dalia come mit Brian.
Dalia: When Peter, when we played Elina and Peter Pan at the same time.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When by Curious George I saw and Curious George go and came on the boat to Africa.
David: When the fairies come to us.
Dalia: I have no worst part today no even when Curious George went to Africa

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to do autch!
David: When Dalia come to the zoo.
Dalia: Play a lot.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm shining in the rain

Today was Peter's first day at the new Kindergarten. As you can see, he is glowing with excitement. The umbrella was part of a back-to-school package that Angie put together for him - a new umbrella, scissors, slippers, and of course, a gun. Luckily, the gun was made of rubber. He won't get the real thing until he starts high school.

Angie got a little nervous today about the baby room. Actually, it was more like a mild panic attack. Ok, it was a full-blown, head-spinning, freak-out-a-thon that ended up with me building IKEA furniture all afternoon. I now officially hate Sweden.

After lunch, David found a bag of marbles and what else would any intelligent human being do with marbles other than to quickly cram as many of them into your greedy little mouth as you can? I blame my father, who made me watch 'The Godfather' so many times growing up that I somehow passed on this freak gene to my children. Thanks, Dad - if I wake up to a dead horse in my bed, I am sending you the dry-cleaning bill.

The tricky part of having a mouthful of marbles is getting them out without choking to death. David immediately confused my concern with some new game where he runs away down the hall laughing. I finally tackled El Padrino by his bed and managed to extract all of them. At least, I hope I got all of them. I should know for sure in the next day or so.
[David's pillow made an offer he couldn't refuse, so no Ladder Talk tonight]
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I went to my new kindergarten.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When my belly full.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with you on the playground football.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Down with books!

I am not sure what the books on the middle shelf did to piss off David, but he sure showed them. I am sure that somewhere in his tiny brain lies a perfectly justifiable explanation, but like the whole OJ thing, we will never know for sure.

After clearing the shelves of aggression, David decided to move into the bathroom. For a change, I listened to the voices in my head and followed the hostile librarian to see what was next on his mental list of things to destroy.

As it turned out, David wanted to empty his bath toys into the empty bath. I said no. He cried. Angie came running.

David changed his tune quickly and explained to gullible Mama that he only wanted one toy and mean old Papa was being a mean old meany. Angie stared at me briefly and gave him the toy. David then turned to me and gave me the ultimate smug look of victory.

Instead of walking away, David smiled at me and said 'I stink, Papa'. Before I could blink, Angie walked past me and told me to change him. I glared at him and he just grinned contently.

I threw him on the changing table, undid his diaper and the little shit peed on me. As if that were not enough, he laughed at me. If he wasn't two, I would say that he was being very immature.

As I picked up the pile of books, I saw some that taught children how to use the toilet. Other books told kids of the fun you can have cleaning up your room. What I really needed at that point, though, was a book to show parents how to regain dignity after your book bashing, smug kid pees on you and then laughs. Until that one is written, beer works.
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played with Sebastian and Marie and play that trick with the cards - there's nothing in it then the picture is wrong and something is inside.
David: When Sebastian and Marie come and I won.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I tried to go on the bed and Sebastian pushed me out of the bed and I hit the floor.
David: When Gizma scratch.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with you that monkey game.
David: When I go Grams and Opa.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

David vs. the caterpillar

Disgusto Angie found a slimy little bug in our salad growing in the garden and decided to teach our kids that it's perfectly ok to pick up creepy crawlies. Captain Dave must be a fisherman at heart, for he immediately tried to hook the bait. Luckily for Angie's hand, the Capt'n has not yet graduated from the rubber hook.

At breakfast today, I poured a cup of coffee using Peter's mug. I have two - each one has a picture of me with one of them, as babies. David immediately demanded to know why I was using Peter's cup and not his. Oh, jealousy starts at such a young age. Having just changed a rather stinky diaper, I really wanted to tell him it's because you don't use the toilet like a big boy, but I restrained myself and told him the truth - that his cup was dirty and Papa was too much of a lazy bastard to wash a mug.

Today I started a very short-lived game of indoor dodge ball. Angie was off getting poked at her preggy-puncture class, so I thought I would entertain the boys by pegging them in the head with some inflatable plastic. As it turned out, it was more entertaining for me than for them. After ten minutes of 'ow, Papa, that hurts' and 'my nose stings', I simply gave up. If they don't know how to have fun, it's not my fault.

Before dinner, Angie played Curious George with Peter. My thoughts drifted slightly and I found myself thinking about what a dumbass the Man with the Yellow hat is. I mean, come on! Every freakin' story starts out with some absurd scenario and the man telling George 'stay here and don't get into any trouble'. First of all, it's a monkey. Hello? Do you really expect a primate to sit still just because you tell them to? Even if the man was stupid enough to do it once, why does he continue to do it over and over again? Aren't we just teaching the kids to treat anyone wearing a yellow hat like a moron?

During dinner, David started the most disgusting display of noodle-eating I have ever seen in my entire life. It was like watching a car wreck in fast motion. I could not take my eyes off of him. He did things to those poor noodles that will haunt me in my nightmares for years. My only consolation was that Disgusto Angie now pales by comparison.
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: My best part from today was when I play with Mama Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat.
David: Peter look TV.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David said 'I want to hit you' and then later when he peed all over the floor.
David: When I bonk a shark so bonky my head.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play that crocodile game.
David: When Dalia come back and Dalia come back.

Monday, September 1, 2008


'Security - we have two suspects, potentially dangerous, fleeing the scene on what appears to be tractors...'

I had the brilliant idea today of taking the boys somewhere fun, free, and protected from the dark clouds promising rain at any moment. First of all, fun for who? Second, what the hell was I thinking with 'free' at a toy store? Third, it did not rain - the clouds parted and the sun came out. Thanks, Mr. Sunshine - why don't you go burn yourself?

We had fun anyway, if you take me out of the equation. The boys raced around like a bunch of kids let loose in a toy story. Yes, that was intentional.

I thought I said the word 'no' quite often enough during a normal day with the boys. At a toy store, you can take that figure and multiple it by the number of times you get 'that look' from other parents where they suggest with their eyes that your kids might be a little out of control. Then double it and you have half of the number of times I said 'no' today. I never said that math would not be a part of reading this blog.

Peter kept running around the store with a plastic pistol telling people to 'Freak or I will shoot!'I think little Einstein meant 'freeze', but he was too busy making other shoppers get their freak on for me to ask him.

Our shopping frenzy obviously worked up an appetite and for dinner the Peter & David gang chowed down. With a belly full of cooked food, I thought the boys were sure to go to sleep without any problems. Silly me and my thoughts.

I went through the entire bedtime routine and at the end, the boys were more or less asleep. As it turned out for David, it was less, not more. I was in the living room massaging Angie's back or feeding her grapes or some other really awesome husbandy thing to do when I heard a blood curdling scream. My cat-like reflexes kicked in and I raced into their bedroom.

I picked up on two things straightaway. First, Peter was screaming his head off. Ok, the yelling was obvious from a block away, but at least the who was clarified. The second thing I picked up on was a little more subtle. It was David, whispering over and over 'Peter, there's a spider in your bed...there's a spider in your bed...'

I don't know what is funnier - the fact that David is already tormenting Peter or that Peter believes anything that David says. Given those choices, though, it is funny either way. I certainly cracked up. Peter did not.

I finally got Peter calmed down and reassured him that there were no spiders in his bed. Next, I yelled at David to shut his instigator and get some sleep. As I waited for the snoring sounds which is normally my cue to leave, I thought about my sisters. Man, I tormented the hell out of them, so I can certainly see where David might get it. I never tried the whole 'there's a spider in your bed...' angle, though. I'll have to keep that in mind next time they visit...
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I went with you to the playgroup with my mommy.
David: When I lola lola lola.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When we went to playgroup and we couldn't stay there 'cause I wanted to play the computer but other kids wanted to play computer too and I was standing there saying nothing all the time and I turned around and this boy said there said hi to this kid, but it was a lady, and she just - her name was Anna - then I was just standing there again and the boy was playing computer and then I couldn't play.
David: When Gizma scratch me.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play the lion game.
David: Dora dora please.