Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Of Boys and Playgrounds

Over the years, I have learned by observation that little boys have a different way of meeting other little boys than (for instance) little girls do. One thing I've noticed is that a seemingly essential part of the meet & greet process right off the bat, is to throw out all their important "stats" and basically do a bit of friendly bragging and comparing before they commence to the shuffling, scuffling, wrestling part of the friendship. This all seems very important so I try not to interfere if I don't have to, but I do try to... overhear.

Some boys are more prone to exaggerating and embellishing than others. It can be pretty comical when they do because another thing I've noticed about young boys is that they tend to be horrible liars.

My son Elijah however, has never been much of a bragger and is pretty darn truthful on the whole. He tends to hate the spotlight or undue attention. (Funny how different brothers can be?!) This is why the following conversation was particularly amusing to me as I overheard my son Elijah during a recent "meet & greet" process with another little boy his age on the playground.
Elijah: "I have a spiderman suit. It would go pretty good up here."
Playground boy: "Well I had a Spiderman suit too but I got rid of it and now I have a black ninja suit that I'm wearing for Halloween."
Elijah: "Oh."
Playground boy: "Black ninjas seem cooler this year."
Elijah: "Oh. ...I climb up on roof tops in my spiderman suit."
Playground boy: (incredulous) "....On what roofs?"
Elijah: "Well, mostly the pool house roof... and the shed roof."
Playground boy: "Huh-uh-uuh."
Elijah: (calmly and humbly) "Yeeeah, I do. My mom lets me. And then she lets me jump off."
Playground boy: (long pause..............) "Your Mom wouldn't let you do that."
(At this point "Mom" is hiding behind the bush, feeling a little bit like a reckless excuse for a mother as I wait and wonder what my son's answer will be)
Elijah: (grinning) "Yeah well she's pretty crazy about her blog sometimes."

Playground boy: (just stares very confused at my son.)

Elijah: "And she likes to take pictures all the time."

(I hastily stuff my camera in my pocket)

Playground boy continues to stare at Eli and realizes that he seems to be stating facts and does not seem to be lying or bragging.

Playground Boy: "Anyway... yeah, I don't know why I ever got rid of that Spiderman suit. I think I'll probably be Spiderman again next Halloween."

Elijah: "Oh. Cool. So did you see Spiderman 3... ?"

At this point the "meet & greet" was magically commenced, the friendship was apparently official and the two boys happily start scuffling and shuffling around the playset together demonstrating all their coolest spiderman/ninja stunts.
Boys. Mysteries.
Mothers: Perhaps the moral of this story is that if you let your sons do crazy stuff, then they won't have to make up crazy stuff to brag about on the playground. Perhaps I am just crazy and finding a moral to back up my antics.
But lest you think I am actually a reckless mother, here is a "behind the scenes" shot of Spiderman's sister checking his landing area for any sharp objects during his big photo shoot. See, we take proper precautions. Look how patiently Spiderman waits for his spot check.


Monday, September 15, 2008

No Ordinary Grandpa

My Dad, who we affectionately call Papa Wheely, (and who we also acknowledge as the source of the inventor genes), was apparently reading my blog the other day! He was so impressed with Silas' homemade fishing pole...that he brought him a real one rigged with little magnets and with little magnetic fish to "catch" until we get a chance to do the real thing! He has always been inventing such fun things. But this isn't actually the reason for the title of my post. In fact, it is probably worth mentioning that most "ordinary Grandpas" do not try to go sky diving either! (DAD! Really! At your age!!!) But that is still not the reason for his very, very un-ordinariness.

You see, for all these years, we've felt it best that we just keep Papa Wheely unaware of what a famous Grandpa he is. We feared he quite possibly could abuse the celebrity of it all, and as most of you know, superheros usually keep their identities hidden from close family members for safety reasons. (Like so they don't get kidnapped in the night by green goblins and such.) So for his own safety, we've just played it pretty normal up til now. So all this time, he's been going by the title Papa Wheely and having no clue how famous he is.
But going under cover for that long can be a lot more pressure than most ordinary people realize. So when Spiderman overheard Grandpa talking about his near skydiving adventure and realized that Papa Wheely likes to live on the edge... well, what the heck. Sometimes you just gotta blow cover. So... just out of the blue, while Papa was sitting in the rocker, getting a hug from little grandbaby Juliet...
Spiderman just shows up.
Papa couldn't believe the stunts he was seeing right there in our living room.

He had thought Spiderman was a New Yorker.

And when Spiderman actually sat down for a few moments to chat with Papa Wheely...

He was pretty starstruck! But then...he started to recognize the charming, funny little voice coming through that mask...You can imagine Grandpa's surprise! When Spiderman revealed his true identity, Papa shouted out: "I'm Spiderman's GRANDPA?!?!?!" A lot of things make sense now. (uh hem...like trying to go sky diving at 63!)"Bye bye Papa Wheely,
Thanks for the fun visit...

We love you!!!"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

How Does a Man Redeem Himself...

when he has done it again. Dinner is ready, he was supposed to be home an hour ago, he's got half his commute still ahead of him and a wife about to chew him out over the phone (I would never do this, but I hear that some wives do)?
How does he? Well.....he could tell her to go get James Ussher's big fat ANNALS of THE WORLD book down from the shelf and open to page 716. Then when she replies with a saucy
"What, now?! Aren't you driving?!?!"
...he could patiently persist... until she finds something like this....

with a card like this inside...

with a very sincere apology and other sweet things written inside including that "this card is not to excuse" his "tardiness and absence" but just to know he is working on his "terrible vice" of being late. And he promises to make it up to her...

Then Signed, In Love and Repentance

oh heyll yes !

This should do the trick!

Too Impressed to be Mad

So a couple days ago my kid comes walking in with his homemade fishing pole and whistling... because I'm guessing he must be in his Huck Finn character, stops right in front of me and says:
"Hey, check me and my fishin pole out, Mom."

I immediately notice that his reel is actually one of our spinning hot tub jets that has apparently been removed from the hot tub and rigged to another one of his contraptions. And...what the heck? It really reels!
See really... I could be mad. (Maybe I should?) But I am really just too impressed. The kid has never been fishing except for briefly on our recent boat trip where he must've studied the beauty of the fishing pole. If you can see, he used the following materials:
1 sturdy piece of kindling
1 Target pants hanger
(no doubt with the actual pants somewhere upstairs lying on the floor)
1 Hot Tub Jet
(as is typical with this son of mine, the most maddening is also the most genius part)
1 piece of thread
1 safety pin to anchor thread to the tip of the pole
1 bead (I'm guessing for asthetics because he noted similar objects when inspecting a real pole)
1 weight (um...a nut from Daddy's tool drawer)
1 toy fish tied to the end

1 brother to play Tom Sawyer and sit and keep you company while you "fish"I guess you could say I'm just reely, reely too impressed to be mad. ;)

While I was publishing this...
The son I was not mad at, just came over to my desk, munching on an apple and out of the blue said:
"Mom? You should try to go on that one show on TV where those um, people...they run up big mountains and win prizes and thtuff."

I began to get this uneasy feeling while asking"Really? Which one is that?"

"You know... the one for....you know....not very thkinny people?"
(he's doing this really fake-polite, teeth clenched with raised eyebrows smile now and I can see little bits of apple in his teeth and spittle on his lips)

"Um, so do you mean The Biggest Loser?"

"Yeah!!! That one! With all the f.. people who need to be skinny! That way you could get...y'know...thkinny... and win usth a lotta money too."
Okay. Now I'm mad! Get out of here you little JERK! --Before I break that fishin pole over your thick SKULL!!!! (just kidding. I would never...break that fishing pole.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You Can't End the Summer without a little TERROR at the FAIR!

We felt we hadn't had enough panic attacks to call the summer good.
We needed to find a good way to make the kids really look forward to the school year...
The kids and I couldn't help but giggle at each new expression of terror that came circling around. It looks sadder in the pictures than it actually was. It was pretty funny. Even she thinks so now.
Because after awhile, once she remembered her Daddy's arms were around her, she thought it wasn't so bad. She even waved!And raised both hands!!! Yey Essie!I flippin LOVE this picture.My two youngest kids have been a little out of control lately. I bet Brian (I should've bet him a large sum of money) that they wouldn't make it through the fair without a meltdown.Can you even believe this kid?
The meltdown came when Daddy wiped his hands clean (he had wanted to lick them clean)And little miss "Cheese"...Her meltdown came when Daddy tried to lick the drippy parts from the cone.
I love how ticked off she looks here. It was really a fun day. And I won the bet. :)