Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mommiest Moments: December, 2008

[Reading Spot Bakes a Cake]

“But Spot is baking a chocolate cake! I guess Eric Hill [the author] doesn't know that dogs shouldn't eat chocolate.”


Mommy: Danny, pick up your blanket.

Danny: I am pretending to be a shepherd. [Drapes the blanket over his head in Nativity pageant style.]

Mommy: Fine. Go herd your blanket upstairs.

“I think we should not buy this movie because it is Sponge Bob and has bad grammar.”

--Danny. Apparently my ranting from some months back actually did sink in!

Eric: You mean the boxed stuffed animals will be jealous of the ones who stayed out? You mean this might make them mad at each other?

Mommy: It will likely create a rift in the community, yes.

[Telling the boys an Orex story]

Eric: But how did that work?

Mommy: Magic.

Eric: Because it is fiction!

Danny: No, because it is fantasy.

Eric: [argues]

Mommy: Both terms are accurate, but Danny's is more precise.

Danny: [smirks]

“You're laminating him!”

--Danny, to a friend. I wish I knew the context.

“It took me over an hour to write the clues and he solved the first two in seconds! I had no idea he knew what an exoskeleton was...”

--Gail, after designing a treasure hunt for Eric.

Mommy: [laughing] Luthien, you are not a cat. You are a unicorn.

Luthien: Meow. [giggles]

“Mommy, look! I am still going, even though you stopped pushing me. I am pumping with great skill! And without getting tired.”

--Danny, swinging

“Oh. I guess we will need a Grandpa to build us a new playset at our new house.”

--Danny, very calmly taking the news that we had to leave the playset behind.

[Eric runs into Danny, who falls down and starts crying.]

Jon: What happened?

Eric: [wanders casually downstairs] I accidentally bumped into Danny but then I said 'sorry.'

Jon: I'm sure your saying 'sorry' made him feel much better. Why don't you also try giving him a hug?

Eric: [goes upstairs] Danny...[Danny continues wailing melodramatically] Danny, get up! [In the tone of a drill sergeant shouting at “you lazy whiners”] Danny! GET UP! I am trying to give you a hug! [Pause] [Danny keeps crying]

Eric: [frustrated] Daddy, Danny is not following [Danny stops crying] my instructions!

Danny: Mommy, Eric hurted me! [Describes altercation over the only remaining unpacked toy, the train set]

Jon: Hmm. Perhaps we should pack up the train track.

Danny: But then we wouldn't have any toys!

Mommy: Yes, but then you wouldn't be fighting over toys.

Eric: [Comes downstairs]

Jon: You two need to work it out.

Danny: Come on, Eric. Let's go work it out.

Eric: [shrugs] Okay. Sorry... [Tries to give him a hug]

Danny: But, Eric! We need to go work it out!!

Jon: Are we going to run out of boxes?

Gail: Probably. But I'll run out of synonyms for "Books: Mixed Genres" long before that.

--My labeling efforts also included "Variegated," "Diverse," "Conglomerate," "Disparate," "Integrated," "Mongrels" (Jon's suggestion), and "Warring Factions" before I was forced to recycle.

“Oh, look! It's a ramshackle sleigh!”

--Danny. I was stunned, until I realized he was quoting from The Grinch Stole Christmas.

“Arrgh! Here I have a broken wrist, but no music calling to get out of. What a waste!”

--Gail, after falling on the ice.

[Orexes, bright-orange half-elephant, half-dinosaur bandits from the Monster World, figure frequently in my stories as villains. This Christmas, I ran a multi-chapter story about the Orexes racing westward, hopping time zones to stay ahead of Santa. They had a Cunning Plan to heist his sleigh, loot his bag of infinite holding for expensive electronics, and re-sell them on the black market.]

“...so the Orexes were unable to leave the Bangkok airport because political protesters had blocked all the roads...”

“So, chagrined by their discovery that the embassies in New Delhi had security, they abandoned the plan to burgle the children of Western diplomatic staff...”

“...the Orexes were surprised to discover a list of problems in Moscow: poverty, low birth rate, and low church attendance. Not to mention the trouble of scaling the fire escapes of ill-constructed Communist-era tenement housing. (To ambush Santa on the roof.) All in a bitter blizzard...“

--My sister Cheryl later pointed out that Russia celebrates Christmas a different week. Ooops.

“So, furious that no one in Charles de Gaulle airport would give them directions in English...”

“So members of the local Brazilian Mafia surrounded the band of bandits and said, 'Nobody loots in this neighborhood except us! Get your own territory!'”

Mommy: ...so the Orexes rushed toward the target-rich United States, coveting the expensive presents for rich American children...

Eric: But why would Santa only give presents to the rich kids?

Mommy: Um...he wouldn't. But the Orexes had a rudimentary conscience and decided that rich kids would also get presents from their parents and so could better afford to lose out on Santa's stuff.

--Whew. He almost had me there.

“So the vengeful Orexes arrived at Eric and Danny's house only to discover that the house was completely empty—except for the booby traps the boys had left behind...”

“The Orexes were crushed—not only that Santa had beaten them there, but also by the ton of coal bestrewn about the Illinois Governor's mansion...”

“In every case, the Orexes were thwarted by lack of research and planning. The moral of the story is that you should always do your homework before embarking on a life of crime...”

Christmas morning, 2008: Ursa Major admires the pillow and blanket Danny made for her. Now she can hibernate comfortably through the Indiana winter, knowing that the Orexes have returned to the monster world and are unlikely to filch her bedding.