Monday, December 19, 2011

Number 4

I thought having three sons would prepare me for son number four.

I was wrong.

Very. Very. Wrong.

Last night, as I was putting him to bed, I smelled a strong odor of urine.

Me: Ethan? Did you have an accident in your bed?

Ethan: No.

Me: It's okay if you did. You just need to tell us. We won't get upset. But I don't want you to sleep in stinky sheets.


Ethan: Welllll...... maybe.

Me: Okay - well, let's get up and I'll make your bed all fresh!

I pull off the sheets, and wipe down the plastic mattress protector with some wipes, and start putting on new sheets.... and all the while talking...

Me: You know it's okay to have accidents. But you really need to let us know, okay?


Ethan: Uhm... mom? Could the pee have run down the side of the bed?

I stop.
I turn.
I look at him.

Now... let me backtrack to two days ago when Paul and I learned that Ethan had peed in the garbage can in the laundry room - where we put all the lint, candy bar wrappers, and other stuff we find in pockets...

Ethan had chosen to pee in the garbage can because, as he put it, "He couldn't make it to the toilet," which happens to be right around the corner...

Instead, it took Paul three days to discover that the strong urine odor was coming from the garbage can... the small pool of liquid at the bottom cinched his investigation.

Me: Why would it run down the side of your bed?


Ethan: I don't know.


Me: Ethan. Did you pee on the carpet?

Ethan: No!

I bend over and smell the carpet. Nope - nothing.

I turn a bit and notice an "under the bed" plastic storage container sitting on the floor.

Me: Ethan? Did you pee in the container?

Ethan: Nooooo.....

I'm still standing in one place, but looking around and wondering... 

...and then it hits me.

The container is covering the heating vent.

No. No. Way.

I pull the container away, exposing the closed white vent.

Me: Ethan? Did you pee in this?


Ethan: I don't know.


Me: Ethan. You need to tell me the truth. Did you pee in this?


Ethan: Maybe.


I lean over and smell the vent. 

Yup. He peed on the vent.

But I didn't notice any stains on the white vent... 

Oh. My. God.

I pulled the vent up and smelled inside the vent.


Me: Ethan? Did you pee down this?

Ethan: Are you going to get mad?

Me: Answer my question.

Ethan: Yes.

Me: You pulled this cover off and you peed down this hole?

Ethan: Yes.

I stare at him for a moment, then get up and walk out - looking for his father... who I find in the kitchen downstairs. Paul asks me what I said to Ethan.

Me: I didn't say anything - I was too grossed out to say anything.

Paul: Well you need to get after him.

Me: Where do I being! He PEED DOWN OUR VENT! GROSS.

Paul: You need to tell him that isn't okay.

Ugh. Excuse me for being a little overwhelmed by this - I mean, how in the world do you begin to tell an EIGHT-YEAR-OLD that he shouldn't pee down your heating duct?! Should I be having this conversations AT ALL?

I get back upstairs and begin my lecture.

Me: Ethan. Pee is poison. Your pee is poison. Everyone's pee is poison. It is all the yucky stuff that your body cannot use - so it gets rid of it as pee. So, you put poison in the heating duct... and now, the air that come through this pipe to heat your room is going to smell like pee - which is poison - and is harmful to smell! You don't PEE in here! We pee in the toilet. We don't pee in the garbage can, or on the carpet, or in a bottle (that's another story), or anywhere in the house EXCEPT for the toilet!


Me: Do you understand?

He has the slightest hint of a grin... just the slightest... and that throws me over the edge.

Me: ETHAN! This is not funny! If you EVER EVER pee in anything in our house besides the TOILET, you... you... YOU.... are going to be grounded for the rest of your LIFE!

Now he looks scared.


I stomp out of his bedroom and into mine where I find my husband and my oldest son laughing their butts off.

Me: Stop it. If he hears you laughing he'll do it again!

Zachary: Oh my God. That is amazing. Where does he come up with this stuff?

I don't know. But clearly our other three sons have ill-prepared us for EPIC son number four.

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's pencil... not penis

Ethan had to stay after school yesterday.

According to his third grade teacher, he had a rough day which translates into, "His was being a little shit."

This morning he showed me his "Behavior Correction Sheet."

Ethan: You have to sign it.

Me: Okay - let me read it first.

I read aloud:  I was flinging... peee...nn. Pee..nni... Pee...niisses. I was flinging penises at Christian. What? You were flinging PENISES at him! ETHAN! What are you doing?

Zayd was standing next to me reading and starts laughing.

Zayd: Oh my God Ethan! How do you fling your penis at him!

Not to mention I was unaware Ethan had more than one.

Ethan: NO! No! I didn't do that! I was flinging my PENCILS at him! God!

Me: Well it says PENISES here!


Ethan: Oh.

Me: Holy cow Ethan. You can't spell penis when you want to spell it, and now you are spelling penis for everything else!

Ethan: I'm sorry! I didn't know how to spell pencil!

Me: So we spell PENIS instead?

Zayd: Well, we did teach him how to spell penis yesterday.


Damn, I say to myself. That's right.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


When Zayd got home from school, he sat at the family computer and opened up his gmail. Then, he spun around to face me, and started chuckling.

Zayd: (mumbles and chuckles)

Me: Huh?

Zayd: Are you going to get mad at Ethan?

Me: Why?

Zayd: Come and see what he sent me.

I look over Zayd's shoulder and see an opened message with "(no subject)" from Ethan. In the text box is one word:


I stare at the screen for a moment.

Zayd starts chuckling again.

Zayd: Are you going to get mad at him?

Me: Why would he do that?

Zayd: (laughing) I don't know! He didn't even spell it right!

Me: Yeah, but why would he do that?

Zayd: (still laughing) He thinks it is funny!


Zayd: You're mad.

I walk over to the basement door, open it, and yell down the stairs.

Me: Eeeethhhaaan!

Ethan: What!

Me: Come here please.

He appears from the basement.

Ethan: What did I do?

Me: Just come up here for a moment. Zayd, will you show him the message.

Zayd: Ooops. I deleted it.

Me: (sigh)

Zayd: Wait! Wait! Shoot! I didn't want to delete it! Let me see if I can find it!

Me: Never mind. Just tell him about the message you got from him.

Zayd: Ethan? (he gets the giggles again). Why did you send me a message that said penis?

Ethan tries to hide his guilt by acting like he has no idea what we are talking about.

Zayd: You didn't even spell it right!

Ethan: It was just a joke.

Me: What if you had mistakenly sent it to grandma?

He looks at me shocked. Clearly, that hadn't crossed his mind. He starts to walk sheepishly toward the basement steps.

Me: Ethan! And you spelled penis wrong! Do you know how to spell it?

Ethan: (stops and turns around looking embarrassed) Don't tell me how to spell it!

Zayd: It's spelled p-e-n-i-s. Not p-e-n-e-s.

Me: Okay?

He starts heading down the stairs.


I yell after him.

Me: If you are going to send inappropriate messages, at least spell them right!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Baby comes to visit

I'm babysitting a baby today.

The last time I spent four consecutive hours with a baby by myself was eight years ago. That's a long time. But I'm excited. I think this is how being a grandmother might feel.

Baby comes.
Najla babbles like an idiot with baby.
Najla feeds cute baby.
Baby naps.
Baby wakes up.
Baby cries.
Fussy baby goes home.

I announced to my boys this morning that their mother was going to spend part of her day babysitting a baby.

Zach: Uh... is said baby going to be here for an extended period of time?

Me: Her name is Freya. She's a girl. She's staying for several hours.

Zach: I'll be referring to the baby as an "it."

Zayd: Will she be here when we get home?

Me: No.

Zayd: Thank God.

Ethan: Are you babysitting because you miss holding a baby like when we were babies?

Me: Well, I do miss holding a baby, but I'm doing this because a friend needed my help.

Ethan: Will I get to see the baby?

Me: No. I don't think you'll be home in time.

Ethan: Dang.

Zach: Are you qualified to take care of said baby?

Me: I believe I am.

Zach gives me a look that clearly questions this response.

Evan enters the scene late.

Evan: I heard you're watching a baby today.

Me: Yes.

News travels fast.

Evan: Love the way we are the last to find out about these things. Just like your trip to New York. Had to find out on Facebook.

I didn't realize that I had to run my activities by my sons before I proceeded to tell whomever I wanted to tell. Is this going to get worse as they get older?

Evan: Are you nervous?

Me: No - I'm looking forward to it.

Evan: Yeah. Will we get to see it?

Me: It's a she.

Evan: Will we get to see her?

Me: I don't think so.

Evan: Oh. That's too bad.


Evan: What about Mollie?

Me: I'll keep her in her kennel if she is a problem.

Ethan: Are they going to pay you?

Me: They want to but I told them I wouldn't accept it.


Ethan: That's because you're so nice.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Worst news on Prairiewood Drive

This morning, Ethan, Mollie and I took a jaunt around our neighborhood on Prairiewood Dr. Ethan road the new bike he got for his birthday this past week.

Ethan: Mom. I have the worst news ever for Prairiewood. I mean, it sucks. It just sucks.

Me: What happened.

Ethan: You aren't going to believe this. It is bad news. Are you ready for the bad news?

Me: I'm ready.

Ethan: You know that big bump in the sidewalk? The biggest bump on the sidewalk in all of Prairiewood?

Me: Yup. I know the bump you are talking about.

Ethan: Well... it's gone. It's all gone. The biggest bump on Prairiewood is gone.

Me: What happened?

Ethan: It just disappeared! Gone!

Me: You mean someone fixed it?

Ethan: Yes. They fixed it! That was the best bump ever. It was such a fun bump mom and it was the biggest one.

Me: Oh no. Yeah. That was a great bump.

Ethan: I'm going to miss that bump. I loved that bump.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Green is Good

Me: Do you like the color orange?

Ethan: Oh yes! Orange used to be my favorite color and now it is my second favorite color. Because my new favorite color is green.

Me: Why?

Ethan: (very seriously) Because green is good and green is the color of everything and green means go and green is God.

Me: Green is God?

Ethan: Yeah! Just look!

He points outside.

Me: Where?

Ethan: Look at the tree branches. See? They're green.

Me: Ahhh. Green is good.

Ethan: ... and God.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Soft and squishy

There was a lot of lovin' from the boys when I put them to bed last night. I walked in and sat on Ethan's bed where he promptly put his arms around my neck, pulled me close to him and took a deep whiff of my neck.

Ethan: Oh my goodness! You smell beautiful! Your perfume is beautiful!

Me: Why thank you Ethan.

Ethan: Wait, come back here. 

He pulls me back down again and nestles his face in my neck. Another deep whiff...

Ethan: I love your smells mom. You smell beautiful.

I touch his cheek with my hand...

Ethan: MOM! Your hand is so soft!

Okay this is kinda getting weird.

Me: Well, I put on some lotion before I came in... maybe it's that.

Ethan: It's so soft. 

Next thing I know, Ethan is poking his finger at my belly button area.

Ethan: Is it my fault that you are squishy and soft here?

Okay - so I need to explain where that came from. A while back Ethan noticed my squishy belly. He found it funny and probably a little odd.

Ethan: Why are you so squishy mom? Dad isn't as squishy as you!

Me: I'm squishy because of you and your brothers. Each time I had another baby, my belly stretched out more... 

Ethan: So I made you the most squishy?

Me: Yup.

Apparently that bothered him because at bedtime last night...

Ethan: I'm sorry I made you squishy mom. 

Mom: Oh my gosh, I don't want you to be sorry sweet face! 

Ethan: Why?

Me: I like my squishy belly. It reminds me of when you and your brothers were in my tummy and how happy I was to have each of you!

Ethan: So you aren't mad I made you squishy?

Me: No. Never. I would be sad if it wasn't squishy.

Ethan: Thank you mom. I love you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I saw; then sawed

I was taking the dog for a walk this morning and passed by my neighbor who is a carpenter. As I continue my remodeling mania - I've been thinking about removing some spindles that are between by living and ex-dining room.

My husband swears these spindles are holding the wall up...

I'm pretty sure Paul is lying to avoid a project. So I ask Matt to stop over.

Matt says the spindles are not holding the wall up.

That's all I need. I get to work taking out the spindles. I shuffled through all of Paul's tools in the shop and find these two items. One is clearly a saw, the other has a blade that cuts through stuff... but I'm not sure what it is, or why the blade isn't a complete circle.

Whatever. I started with the hand saw. After about 10 minutes, I decided it was taking too long and my hands were hurting. I pull out the other saw/blade/thing. Evan promptly stops me and says:

Evan: Mom. I don't think that is for wood. I think it is for metal.

Me: Well, if it cuts through metal it'll cut through wood, right?

Evan: Yeah, but you'll ruin the blade.

Ruin the blade? The razor I use to shave my legs needs replacing ever few weeks - surely we can buy a new blade for this thing?

Ta DA! It worked! My GOD I love this electric thing! I've never used an electric tool besides a drill... but my new favorite electric thing is this half-circle saw!

Even better, the boards that the spindles were connected to were just nailed to the drywall. Two nails. That's it!

I just pulled them right out.

Then I vacuumed up, took the spindles to the shop, and walked away. All in all, a 1/2 hour of work to finally saw off four large thorns in my side.

Now... I'm wondering how hard it would be to smash those half-walls out of the way... Tell me what you think?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Funky rug or shiny grass?

Now that I am a stay-at-home working mom, I have been a one-woman remodel/redecorating machine. I just finished painting and tiling the mudroom...Pics to come...

One of my favorite areas of the house is our sunroom/eating area addition. It is bright and happy and the perfect place to read the paper and drink a cup of coffee or visit with friends. It's been in need of a rug. I could kick myself because I found the perfect one a couple weeks ago in Minneapolis at Home Goods --part of the TJ Maxx group. I didn't buy it. I drove out the parking lot and "forgot" to do that. Seriously. How does someone forget to buy a rug?

Today I was at Scheels Home and Hardware -  just 2 minutes from my house which I LOVE but my husband... well... it makes him nervous. Unfortunately, the Scheels website does not have any pictures of their Home and Hardware location..but let me assure you - it is fabulous! They have gorgeous furniture and decor. Even better is their customer service. Each department; paint, hardware, decor, lawn and garden, and clothing; have experts who really know their stuff.

I brought home this rug today for my sunroom. I was told if I didn't love it, I could bring it back. It was much brighter looking in the store, and has a silky sheen to it. It was super reasonable... and it feels great to the touch...

And Mollie took to it right away...

But I'm not sure I love it. And when I spend money on things, I want to love it. What do you think?


Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm Bored Jar

Ethan and Zayd have spent the last four weeks -- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday -- at the community theater rehearsing for their performance of "Disney's Aladdin for Kids." I have picked them up each day and listened to every song and line in this musical hundreds of times; I know the blocking; frankly I could be the alternate for any of the parts - including the street rats. And while somedays I wanted to poke my eyes out from the endless Aladdin chatter in the car, bedroom, laudary room, restuarants, and through the bathroom door -- nothing compares to what I am about to endure:

"I'm bored."

Ethan said it to me for the first time a couple of days ago and I thought to myself: Life is over as you know it. Before I could start crying, an idea popped into my head:

An "I'm bored jar."

I've been reading a lot of crafty/mom-type blogs lately and I recently came across this idea. Get a glass jar and fill it with slips of paper with ideas of what the kids do when they say they are bored. Brilliant. Let's do it. I show Ethan some of the things I had read about it on the computer.

Here are a couple I'm Bored Jars I found:

From Stephanie in her Somewhat Simple blog:

From a blog called Home Spun Threads:

First let me say that I really enjoy reading these two blogs. The things they come up with and put together are so cute!

But, guess what? I am not the bored one. And, while I enjoy feeling inferior while reading these blogs, I will not put myself through the hell of actually realizing I am inferior by attempting to make such perfect pieces of art out of pickle jars.

So I explained the overall premise of the I'm Bored Jar to Ethan and sent him on his way to make it on his own. He showed up every couple of minutes with questions like "Where are the scissors? Where can I find a jar? How can I color the jar? I'm hungry because I am working so hard. Can I have a sandwich?

With the exception of the sandwich - I made him hunt for stuff and figure the rest out. It took him the entire morning to create his I'm Bored Jar.

Ethan, 7, concentrating on not being bored.

Then it was time to fill it with ideas.

Ethan: I'm going to put, "Play a board game with Mom."

Me: Oh noooo. These things have to be things that don't need me or money involved.

Ethan: Go to the pool?

Me: That involves me. I would have to keep an eye on you.

Ethan: Play in the sandbox?

Me: There you go!

A few hours later Zach announced that he too did not want to be involved in the "I'm Bored Jar."
Apparently Ethan had put in a slip that said, "Follow Zach" - or something to that effect.

Zach: Okay - he put in there, "Play with Zach" and he's been following me around. I refuse to be part of the Jar.

Me: Then help him come up with some ideas.

That suggestion was a mistake.

Zach: Write down... Bet on horse racing.

Ethan: Okay!

I hear Ethan slowly repeating the phrase: Bet on horse racing.

Zach: And... how about... go clubbing.

Me: Zach! Don't do that to him!

Ethan: Gooooooooooo cllubbbbbbbbinnnnnng. What else?

Zach: Organize a 5k fun run/walk for rabies.


Ethan: I don't know how to spell that.

Zach obligingly helps him spell it out.

At no point does Ethan ask what any of these mean, which I find troubling.

Zach: Organize a gang.

Me: Okay - this is not funny. Don't tell him to do that.

Ethan: Orgaaaaaannnnizzzzze a gggaannnnnng.

Me: Come on Zach! Help him come up with good ideas.

Zach: I think these are all very good.


Zach: Make a documentary of mom's day.

Ethan: How do I do that?

Zach: You just follow her around with the camera all day and video tape everything she does.

Ethan: Oh! Okay!

He writes that down too.

Zach: My work here is done.

He goes to the basement to play video games.

A few minutes later I hear Ethan.

Ethan: I'm bored. Oh! I'll pick out something from the I'm bored jar!


Ethan: Bet on horse racing!


Ethan: Mmmmoooooooommmmmmm! How do I bet on horse racing?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Circle of life

Zayd and Ethan are watching me sort laundry in my bedroom.

Me: These are yours Zayd, right? (holding up a pair of tighty whiteys)

Zayd: Oh my God no!

Me: Oh. I thought you wore these.

Zayd: No mom. I wear boxers now.

Me: Now?

Zayd: Yes. I graduated to boxers.

Me: Ooh-kaay...

Zayd: First you wear briefs... then you wear boxer briefs, then you wear boxers...

Me: I didn't know that.

Zayd: Yeah.


Zayd: And then when you think about it it really goes like this... first you wear diapers, then briefs, then boxer briefs, then boxers then boxer briefs, briefs and finally diapers again.


Zayd: It's the life cycle of underwear.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A quarter of appreciation

Yesterday our cleaning lady was here, tackling the Amundson abode. I always feel better knowing I've got someone who comes to bleach the place down once every two weeks.

Sharon is around 65 years old. A sweet midwestern lady who swims in her pool everyday in the summer, and knows how to bake some amazing Christmas goodies. She also loves to chat.

Ethan also loves to chat.

He was chattin' it up with her about the storm that passed through the day before, the damage it caused around town, the four quarters he had in his pocket, the tooth he pulled out and the one that he can't get out, the garage sale we plan on having, and the play he is in...

And one more...

Ethan: Sharon. Do you want one of my quarters?

Sharon: Well thank you! But I don't need a quarter.

Ethan: But do you want it?

Sharon: No. I don't want it. You keep it. You never know when you might need a quarter.

Ethan: Well... I want you to have it.

Sharon: You are so nice to offer it Ethan. But I think your mom gave you the quarter.

Ethan: I know. But I want to give it to you.


Ethan: I have three other quarters.

Sharon: Honey, that is really nice. But I don't want to take your quarter. Someday you might want to buy something and you'll think, 'Darn it. I wish I had one more quarter."

Ethan: But Sharon... you are working so hard cleaning our house.


Ethan: It's a tip.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bedtime break

Paul and I were out with another couple last night - Zach was in charge of the critters back at the ranch.

We got home around 10 p.m. (I know, we're just crazy party animals). As soon as we walk in the door...

Zayd: Hi Mom and Dad!

Strike one. Zayd is still awake.

Me: What are you doing up?

Zayd: I wanted to wait for you to put me to bed.

I come into the kitchen and see Zach in the hallway, trying to pick the lock to the guest bathroom.

Me: Who locked the door?

Zach: I have no idea. And I am injuring myself trying to pick this lock.

Me: Let Zayd get it. (Zayd is a master at picking locks). Zayd! Will you come and unlock the bathroom door for us please?

Zayd comes to the rescue.

Me: Where is Evan and Ethan?

Zach: In bed.

Me: You put Ethan to bed.

Zach: Yes. I put Ethan to bed.

Me: Okay. Thanks.

I head up the stairs to check on Ethan. I walk into his bedroom...

...and Ethan is not there.

After a nano-second of confusion... I head back down the stairs to ask my "sitter" where exactly he put my youngest son to bed.

Me: Zach? Where is Ethan?

Zach: He's in bed.

Me: Uh. No. No. He is not in bed. Where is Ethan?

Zach: I put him in bed.

Now I'm panicked. I'm panicked because as a toddler, Ethan used to hide from us in the house and no matter how many times we would call for him, he would not answer. It sometimes would take five of up to 10 minutes to find him... a lifetime when you are looking for your child. This incident took me right back to those days...

Zayd then offers in a sing-songy voice...

Zayd: I think I know where Eeethhhannnn iiiis!

Me: Where?!

Zayd: Here. In the bathroom.


What the hell is Ethan doing in a locked bathroom, and how long has he been in there, and why doesn't Zach know he is in there?

We both peer in.

Then we both peer down.

Ethan is on the floor. Motionless.

I panic.

He's dead. I'm sure of it. My oldest son has left my youngest son to die on the bathroom floor. We can only open the door a couple inches because the bathroom isn't very big, and Ethan is lying on his side - taking up all available floor-space that isn't being taken up by the toilet.

Zayd starts laughing.

Zayd: He's asleep!

Thank you God.

I reel around and look at Zach.

Me: How is it that you didn't know your brother was in the bathroom!?

Zach: I put him to bed!

Me: You actually put him to bed?!

Zach: Yes!

Me: So you made sure he put on his jammies, you tucked him in and you saw him asleep in bed?


Zach: Well... no. But I went up there with him and he said he was going to bed.

Me: Urghh. Zach!

Zach: I didn't know he'd come back down!

I turn back to the bathroom where Ethan is still lying motionless on the floor.

Me: Ethan... Ethan... Wake up. Wake up honey.

Zayd and I end up having to nudge the door against Ethan a few times to wake him up. When he does wake up, he looks totally confused.

Me: Honey! What were you doing asleep in the bathroom!?

Ethan: Huh?

Me: Why were you in the bathroom?

Ethan: I didn't want to go to bed without Zayd.

I sprouted at least a dozen more gray hairs.

Friday, May 13, 2011


It's late. Paul, Evan, Zayd, Ethan and I are in the car coming home from a long evening at a hotel pool where the boys swam almost nonstop for three hours.

Zayd: Uh. Mom? Don't you want to talk to Evan about something?

Me: I do?

Zayd: Eh hm... yes. You do. Swim trunks?

Me: Oh! I thought you didn't want me to say anything.

Evan: I did not pull down your swim trunks Zayd. It was an accident.

Zayd: Ohhh. Riiiight. It was an accident.

Evan: They didn't even come down very far.

Zayd: Yes they did! They came down all the way!

Evan: Zayd! No way! I was just holding on to you when we were going down the slide and they pulled down just a little.

Zayd: Uhhh... You pulled them down so my Jimmies were showing.


Me: Your WHAT? (I turn to Paul) Did he say jimmies? What are jimmies?

I figured this must be another boy-term that I am totally out of the loop on...

Paul bursts out laughing and so does Evan... Ethan just starts laughing because everyone else is.

Paul: What are you talking about Zayd?

Zayd: My Jimmies. That is what Chase and I call it. (Chase is his friend)

Evan: Okay. So Jimmies must be either butt or testes.

Paul: Well, there's a big difference between those two things.

Me: Why are we calling anything Jimmies?

Zayd: It's testes.

Evan: You call your testicles Jimmies?

Zayd: Yes. It sounds better. So... like... if I get kicked I can say, "Whoa. You kicked me in the Jimmies."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Excitment = poop

I'm on the computer in the kitchen when Ethan comes in from outside doing a combination prance-like duck waddle.

He prances waddles right up to me.

Ethan: Did you know that when I get excited I have to poop?

Me: No. Wow. Interesting.

Ethan: Yeah.

Me: So, you must be excited?

Ethan: No.


Ethan: Well... actually yes.

Me: Ah.

He walks away into the guest bathroom and shuts the door.

A few minutes later, he emerges.
Ethan: Uh... mom? The toilet is clogged.


Ethan: I was pretty excited.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Another Game of Life

Tonight Ethan, Zayd and I played the "Game of Life."

They've learned some good lessons from our previous games together. Now when someone lands on "Get Married," Zayd, who is always our banker says, "Do you WANT to get married? If so, do you want to marry a boy or a girl?"

Ethan got upset when Zayd first said he didn't want to get married.

Ethan: You aren't getting married?! That's lame!

Zayd looks at me and laughs

Zayd: Why is that lame?

Ethan:  Because then you are going like be all by yourself in your house.

Zayd: Well.. you don't have to marry someone...

Ethan: Well, I don't want to adopt a wife!

During our game we also get to choose whether or not we have kids - even if we land on a "Baby!" spot. Ethan, however, takes a lot of pride in marrying a girl, and having lots of kids. He usually ends up with a car full.

Ethan: I had the most kids again!

Zayd: You don't want that many kids...


Zayd: Aaaaannnnndddd I'm going to find out why on Friday.

It took me a second to get this. Then I realized that this Friday he is getting "The Talk" at school.

Me: Ohhhh!

Zayd: It took you a while to figure it out didn't it?!

A bit later in the game, Zayd got twin boys...

Zayd: Oh! 


Seeing there were no boy figures to put in the car... Zayd said...

Zayd: Well... it looks like they were born with girl parts.

At the end of the game, we all read our "Life" cards aloud -- the achievements we made. Zayd had done everything from become president to cure cancer...

Zayd: I also found a solution to population!


Zayd:  And it isn't killing everyone.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More brotherly love

Ethan is standing in the kitchen in his comfortable state: shirtless and sockless, sporting a grimy face and fingers... a hint of odor smelling of a combination of maple syrup and pee... and holding his crotch and occasionally touching his nipples

Zach: Wow Ethan. You are such a stud. I mean really? Could you be more attractive?

Ethan smirks shyly... basking in the compliments.

Zach: Look at you! The muscular chest, the pants, the feet. Wow.

Ethan: I know.

Zach: Do the girls just run after you all the time? How do they keep their hands off you? Do you think I can look like you? Will you help me?

Ethan smiles shyly again rubbing both his nipples now.

Zach: There is something about the way you rub your nipples. And your scent... it like attracts the girls - right?

Ethan: I don't know.

I turn around from the sink and look at Ethan. Honestly, there is something cute about him. He's my grimy little 7-year-old with eyes and a smile that will melt your heart. Even with one hand on his crotch and the other on a nipple.

Me: Ethan - you are so cute!

Zach gives me a look that says, "You are an idiot."

Zach: Seriously mom?! Don't encourage this! He is gross. He smells gross, he looks gross. What if I was standing here doing the same thing? You wouldn't think it was so cute would you?

Me: I don't know. You could try it and I'll tell you what I think.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Brotherly love

I'm not sure how it started, but our youngest, Ethan, has found it necessary to distinguish between brotherly love, and "love love" as he calls it. Zach, our oldest, enjoys toying with Ethan on this topic. The two of them were with me as I cleaned out my office at work recently. Rather than help, they entertained me with their banter.

Zach: Ethan? Ethan. Ethan, I love you.

Ethan: Like a brother or love love me?

Zach: Both.

Ethan: That's gross.

Zach: But it's true.

Ethan: No. 

Zach: But Ethan. I love love you too. I can't help it.

Ethan: Mom? Zach is using inappropriate language with me.

Zach: Ethan? 

Ethan: What?

Zach: Will you date me?

Ethan: No. I won't date you.

Zach: Why not?

Ethan: Because I have to be 16 to date. Mom says.

Zach: I don't think you need to be 16 to date me.

Ethan: Yes I do.

Zach: Well, what if you were 16? Would you date me then?

Ethan: No.

Zach: Why not?

Ethan: Because you'd be too old for me.

Zach: Okay. What if we were both 16. Would you date me then?


Ethan: Sure. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Snippy snippy

I was sitting at the walk-in clinic waiting room with Zayd and Evan on either side. There were lots of babies around... and I was ooo-ing and awww-ing over each and every one of them.

Evan: Do you want another baby?

Me: Oh... It sounds nice, but no, no I don't. Not anymore. I couldn't have one anyways.

Evan: Too old?


Me: No, your dad got the snippy-snippy.

Which, by the way, is what my mom calls it. I think it has a nice ring to it.

Zayd does his little snort-laugh.

Zayd: Too much information.


Evan's eyes grow very wide.

Evan: Uhm. You mean... Do you mean?

He leans in to get closer to my ear.

Evan: Do you mean he got it cut off? (he's pointing to his crotch... subtly, of course)

Me: What?

Zayd: Oh my God Evan! (he starts laughing uncontrollably) Oh my God! You don't know what that means?

Me: Evan. No. He didn't get his penis cut off.

Evan: Oh.... Thank God. I just thought... I don't know.


Evan: Do you mean he got his... his... other parts cut off?

Me: What other parts?

Evan: (He lowers his voice) His nuts?

Me: Holy cow child! No!

Evan: Oh!

Zayd, still laughing from the earlier exchange, now is laughing even harder.

Me: Evan! It is not that traumatic. Goodness! The little tubes that carry sperm from the testicles are snipped. They are just little tubes that are cut. It only takes the doctor about 10 minutes and that's it.

Evan: Ooooohhhhh. Yeah. I knew that. I think I knew that.


Evan: Thank God. (he lets out a huge sigh and sits back in his chair).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Disco Color

Zayd is obsessed with disco.

He also has a mildly concerning affinity for lederhosen. But that's for later.

For Halloween, he was a "70s/Disco man" as he called himself. He just had to have an afro, Lennon glasses, and a peace sign necklace.  He really wanted a polyester suit with wide leg pants complemented with platform shoes, but we couldn't find one small enough, and unless something can be altered with duct tape, I'm useless.

During the car ride home from school yesterday he excitedly explained an art project he worked on which featured his obsession.

Zayd: Mom? You know what pop art is?

Mom: Uhm...

Zayd: You know... pop art?

Mom: I guess.

Zayd: Well in art class, we had to do pop art. I did mine on disco.


Zayd: Because you know I love disco.


Zayd: Anyways, so I wrote DISCO in big letters at the top of the page, but I made the D... you know... groovy.

Did he say groovy?

Mom: What did you make it?

Zayd: You know... groovy.

Right then.

Zayd: And then I made the I like a flower. Because there were lots of flowers in the 70s right?

Me: Uhhh...

Zayd: I mean, there were... (pause) I mean, everyone had (pause) lots of flowers.

Ethan: The 70s and 80s were very colorful you know.

What the...?

Ethan: Oh Zayd! You know Ghostbusters is on tonight!

Zayd: Oh! That's right! 

Ethan: Wanna watch it with me?

Zayd: Yeah.

Ethan: I love the 80s. 

Zayd: Me too.


Zayd: Okay. So my pop art. Then I had to draw two more objects for my pop art thing.  I drew a.... oh shoot. I can't remember what's its called.

Me: A disco ball?

Zayd: Oh my God! How did you know?!

Me: I'm amazing. 

Zayd: You are. So I drew a disco ball with the word "70s" on it. And then I drew an afro dude.


Zayd: He actually looks like a cross between you and me.


Zayd: He's pretty darn cool.

At least I have cool.

When I put them to bed that night... disco came up again.

Zayd: (big sigh). Mom? Do you think Disco will live again?

Mom: I don't know.

Zayd: I wish it would.

Mom: Why?

Zayd: Because I love it. I love everything from the 70s and 80s.

Ethan: The 80s were colorful. I like the 80s too. 

What's with the colorful thing?

Ethan: Hey mom? How old was great grandma and grandpa when dad was born?

Me: Uh.... let me see... hang on.


Me: About 50.

Zayd: So when were they born?

Me: Hmm... Shesh... 

Zayd: I think great grandma was born around 1916.

Me: Okay.

Ethan: So they got old then?

Me: What do you mean?

And did I miss something or did disco just die again?

Ethan: Well... when you are a grandma and grandpa you are old. But when you are a great grandma and grandpa, then you are really old.

Me: Not really. Someone becomes a grandma when their child has a baby. And when that baby has a baby, then they become a great. Some people become grandmas and grandpas when they are younger. 
When you have a baby, I become a grandma.


Ethan: Okay. Why are we talking about this? I don't want to talk about this.

Okay then.

Zayd: Mom can I get suspenders?

Me: No.

Zayd: Why not.

Me: I don't know.

Zayd: But I want them.

Me: Lederhosen and now suspenders?

Zayd: I know.

Ethan: What's lederhosen?

Which led us down a different path for about 5 minutes...

Ethan: When did things become color?

Me: What?

Ethan: When great grandma and grandpa were alive, it was black and white. So when did things get to color?


Me: Oh! Things weren't in black and white then honey. People didn't live in black and white. Everything was color - just like it is for us! It's just that they didn't know how to add color to pictures and movies back then yet.


Ethan: What?

Me: I mean, the technology wasn't invented yet to add color to pictures and stuff.


Ethan: Okay why are we talking about this?

I have no idea. Nor do I know why they want disco to come back.

But now I do know why the 70s and 80s were so colorful.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Old Spice

Today when I picked up Zayd and Ethan from their after-school program, Zayd pulled me aside and cupped his hand over his mouth to whisper in my ear.

Zayd: Uhm... I'm scared for Thursday (he whispers).

Me: (I whisper back) Why?

Zayd: Because. Thursday is the puberty talk (he whispers).

I stand up and say in a normal voice...

Me: Well that shouldn't be scary, should it?

We start heading out the door to the car.

Zayd: Well... kinda.

Me: But you already know about all that stuff. We've already talked to you about this.

Zayd: I know.

Me: So why are you scared?

Zayd: Because the other talk was the Talk talk. THIS talk is about puberty.


Me: And you think the puberty talk is going to be worse than the Talk talk?

Zayd: Oh my God. (He stops in his tracks and stares at me). I hope not.

Me: Well then... what's to be scared of?

Zayd: I don't know... (his voice trails off).


Zayd: But they want us to discuss it.

Me: Who wants you to discuss what?

Zayd: The nurse who is coming to talk about puberty. She wants us to ask questions and have a discussion.

Me: Hmmmm...

Zayd: That sounds uncomfortable.

Me: Well then, don't discuss. Just listen.

Zayd: Yeah. But that's uncomfortable too. Kinda.

Me: It'll be fine.

By now we are driving home. We drive in silence for a few minutes and then he says...

Zayd: However. There is one great thing about this puberty talk.

Me: What's that?

Zayd: We get free deodorant.


Me: Free deodorant.

Zayd: Not just any free deodorant. Old Spice.


Zayd: God. I'm really excited now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Papa gets picked up

I may have shared this before...
Papa is a ladies man.

With the exception of my mother, Papa seems to charm every woman he meets - from waitresses, to mall walkers, to random passersby after car accidents.

Yes. Random passerby after car accident.

I heard this story tonight over the phone from my mother, Nana.

Nana: Oh my Gad. I forgot to tell you... You are not going to believe it! You are not!

Me: Oh no. What.

Nana: Papa got in another car accident.


Nana: Oh yes he did!

Papa's little mint green Ford Focus has had its share of bumps with other cars, including mine. There was the time that Papa backed out of his garage and used his rearview window to leave a nice looonggg deep gouge across the side of my car door. $5,000 later, I've got a new car door.

Then there was the other time Papa didn't quite see that pole behind him in the parking lot...
and the time when he didn't see that other car...
oh.. and then there was that mailbox.

Me: Is he okay?

Nana: Oh ya. He is fine. But we don't know if the car can be fixed.

Me: It's THAT bad?

Nana: We don't know.

Me: How don't you know? If you don't know if it can be fixed, that must mean it was pretty bad!

Nana: Well we don't know.

Okay - I'm obviously not getting anywhere here...

Nana: And we tried to call you to pick him up but we couldn't find your phone number!

Me: You don't know my phone number?

Nana: Welll... Papa had it written on a paper but he threw it away. And I don't know what he did with it! And I didn't know what to do.

Me: Okay. Okay. Hold on... why did he need to get picked up? What happened?

Nana: I don't know.


Me: You don't know.

Nana: Well, someone hit him.

Me: Someone hit HIM? You mean it wasn't his fault?

Nana: NO! Can you believe it? (she starts laughing).

Me: No! What happened?

Nana: I don't know.


Me: Mom.

Nana: I don't know! The guy didn't see him and he hit him!

Hmmm. Not helpful.


Me: Where did he hit him?

Nana: At the mall.

Me: I mean where did he hit the car?

Nana: In the front.

Me: Oh God. It's a good thing he didn't get hurt.

Nana: Ya! It was on the front part of the passenger side! I would have been the one hit!


Me: So why did he need to get picked up?

Nana: The car wouldn't start!

Me: Where is the car?

Nana: At the body shop. But we don't know if it is worth fixing. It has been crunched so many times.


Me: Did he get mad at the guy?

My father can be very scary when he is mad.

Nana: No. He felt sorry for the guy. The guy works at the mall. Papa tried to get his attention because he saw that he wasn't looking.

Me: Thank God he wasn't going fast.

Nana: I know.


Me: So then, how did he get home?

Nana: A woman.


Me: What?

Nana: Yah. Your dad found a woman.

Me: A particular woman or just a random woman?

Nana: Yah! He found just a woman to bring him home!

Of course he did.

Me: Of course he did.

Nana: I know. When she brought him home, he wanted to invite her in for coffee.

Me: How did he find a woman to do that?

Nana: You know your dad!

Yes. Yes I do. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hair plants

Zayd: Mom? If you water your chest will you grow chest hair?

Me: No.


Zayd: If you water right here (he points to upper lip) will you grow a mustache?

Me: Uh... no.

Zayd: Why not?

Me: Because you aren't a plant growing in the soil with sunshine.


His eyes grow wide.

Zayd: What if you took some hair and put it in some soil and watered it. Would it grow?

Me: No.

Zayd: How do you know?

Me: I just do.

Zayd: Have you ever done it before?

Me: No.

Zayd: Then you don't know for sure.

Me: I suppose.


A devilish smile comes across his face as he stares at my head of hair.

Zayd: Can I have some hair?

Me: Go grow your own.