Archive for January, 2013

1/30/13, A better mommy

“I wish I had a nicer mommy that lets me do what I want!”

“Gee, I wish I had a nicer kid that does what he’s told.”  Stick out tongue and make goblin face to convey sarcasm to a six year old.

“Well, I’ll get my wish before you get yours!”

“Oh really?  Are you shopping for new moms right now?”

“That’s right,” he grins.  The monkey struts away satisfied he’s won the argument.  He can be heard talking to himself all the way up the stairs, “First, I’ll get some pieces of skin and put the brains in . . . then work out the lungs . . . and some intestines . . .”

1/28/13: Hmmm . . .

“Frankie!  Where are you?”

“Right here.”  The monkey is fully reclined on the snuggler in the living room with his hands folded behind his head.

“I told you to put your boots on.  You’re going to be late for school.  Why are you sitting there?”

He smiles serenely.  “Sarcasm.”



“Do you even know what that means?”

“Um uh . . . you know.  When you’re half joking and half serious.”

“What does that have to do with sitting there instead of putting on your boots?”

“I’m not sure.”

1/24/13: Grrrr!

“I don’t LIKE these pants!”  “Why do we ALWAYS have to watch what Henry wants?”  “If you don’t let me play Wii, I’m not doing ANYTHING!”  “I ALREADY DID!”  “Stop telling me what to do!”  “I DON’T LIKE IT!”

The little ape crosses his arms and gives me his best mad face.

The monkey in me wants to smack that defiant look off his face then roar and beat my chest like King Kong.   Breathe.  Must.  Not.  Lower.  Myself.  To his level.  “Those are the rules.  If you’re not going to cooperate, you’re going to your room.  Understand?”

Mad face. Mad face. Mad face breaks into a defeated nod.

“You need a hug?”


1/21/13: My little Baryshnikov

Sitting on the floor of the gorgeous new atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art listening to a jazz ensemble, the three-year-old starts to feel the music.  He gets up and begins to sway, jump, leap, and spin.  And then there was an actual arabesque.  Really?  Then a dramatic backing up with hands reaching out in front – shuffle, shuffle shuffle (he backs into some passersby).  He then spreads his arms like a bird and swoops around before transitioning into a low pirouette (from which he gets dizzy and falls on his butt).  He pops back up and begins again – turning, swaying, soaring . . . windmilling his arms.  The song comes to an end with the little one crouching on the floor an exhausted swan.

After a dramatic pause, he leaps up in a huge frog jump and shouts, “RIBBIT!”


1/18/13, The Best Medicine?

Henry comes running.  “Frankie smashed my finger!”  Blubber, blubber, sob, sob, sniff, sniff.



“Come here!  Did you smash your brother’s finger?”

“Uh.  Whoops?”

“That is NOT okay.  Tell Henry you’re sorry.”

A stream of nonsensical babble comes flowing out along with goblin faces.

“What the heck was that?  Say you’re sorry!”

“But I’m trying to make him laugh.”

Roll eyes.  The big daddy monkey is constantly trying to get sobbing boys to laugh it off.  “That’s NOT as good. You can’t -”

“Yeah, Fwankie.  If you want to make laugh you got to smack yourself and fall down,” Henry sniffs.

I snap my head to the monkey on my hip who all the sudden has made a miraculous recovery.  “What are you-”‘

“Okay!” Frankie grins.  He promptly whacks himself in the face and hits the deck.

As promised, Henry laughs.



1/17/13, My, My

Actually found a matching pair of gloves this morning in the messy bin of winter hats and lint.  They were the kind with little skeletons all over them and had been lost since last winter.  I hand them to Frankie before school expecting to hear, “Awesome!”  or “Cool!  You found them!” or maybe even the totally unrealistic, “You rock, Mom!”

“Look what I found, Frankie!”

His face lights up like a birthday candle and he sputters, “Woa!  Ho!”  He turns them over and shoves them onto his hands and adds,  “. . . my, my.”

My, my indeed, Frankie.  My, my.

1/15/13, Boobs

“Mom?  What are dose?”

Adjust shirt to hide accidental cleavage.  “Boobs, honey.”

“Why you got boobs?”

“Mommies have boobs to feed babies.  When you were a baby, Mommy fed you.”

Poke. Poke. Poke.

“No, dude.  You don’t touch ladies’ boobs.  They’re private.  They’re just for babies, and you’re a big boy now.”

Scowl.  Pause.  Thinking.  Thinking.  I go back to reading the article he interrupted until . . . what the . . ?  I look down and a little mouth is trying to chew through my shirt.

1/14/13, Are they still moving?

“Mom, I have a question.”

“You do?”

“Yeah.”  He looks deadly serious.  I put down the spatula and give him my full attention bracing for whatever troubling subject is about to land on breakfast.

“Okay, honey.  What is it?”

“If a person has a pumpkin for a head, are they still alive?”

“Umm . . .”  Mind goes blank.  Must say something. “Uh, well.  Are they still moving?”


1/9/13, Thunderdome

“Everyone, stop!  Here this!”

Monkeys freeze in the hallway.

“These are the rules.  If anyone knocks heads and screams, if anyone cries, if anyone gets hurt . . . IT’S PAJAMA TIME!  Got it?”

The monkeys nod.

“Are you going to be careful?  Are you going to take care of your bodies?”  The hoard is silent as the referee’s eyes circle the hallway like a warning.  “Are you going to PLAY SAFE?”

“Yes, mom.”

“And what happens if somebody cries?”

“We have to go to bed.”

“That’s right.”  One more glare at the monkeys.  “Okay.  GAME ON!”

And they go tearing down the hall laughing like lunatics.  At least there’s the “law”…



1/6/13, Do you want me to say ‘Three’?

“I don’t want to take a bath!”

“You have to take a bath.”


“I’m sorry, honey.  We’re taking a bath.”

“ARGH!” the three-year-old barks then flops to the ground like a pile of noodles.  A greased, kicking pig in a pile of noodles.

An ankle in each hand, I say calmly through gritted teeth, “If you kick me again, it’s lights out, Henry.  No stories.  No hugs.  No blankie.  Got it?”


“Stand up.”


“One . . . Two . . . Do you want me to say ‘Three’?”

I don’t specify what happens at three.  He takes one look at my murderous face and pops up.  I pull his shirt off and carry his clothes to the hamper in the hall.  He’s still standing where I left him, staring at his tummy.  My hands ball into fists.  Breathe. “Come on, Henry.  Bath!”

“Mom?”  He pushes a finger into a tiny pink dot on his chest.  “What are dees tings called again?”

“Nipples, honey.”

“Nipples!”  He grins.  “Why they all pokey?”

“Um . . . because they’re cold.”  I don’t want to smile back.  I really don’t.  Damn.  “Go get in the bath, honey.”