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All life is suffering

30 Aug

One morning I woke up to find one of my kids heading out of the house with a fishing net. He briefly noted that he was going outside to catch butterflies. I thought this was really sweet–and then this exchange happened:

Me: “Oh cool, you’re catching butterflies.”

Paul: “Yeah, we’re gonna kill them later with bb guns.”

Raising boys is __________.

They don’t dial 911. Home protected by Red Ryder BB Guns.

Shopping list: glitter that can kill you.

5 Mar

Winding down our Sunday, the kids decided to take a break from basement roller hockey and made a little science project. If you’ve never seen it, there’s a neat little trick you can do to create a whirlpool using two empty two-liter bottles.

DIY whirlpool; lots of whirling going on in there.

It’s a fairly simple experiment and not horribly complicated to create–or get to work. The kids were pretty intrigued by the cyclone effect. I honestly didn’t see the big deal with the whole execution since it’s basically just what you see every time you flush a toilet. But being that my kids seldom (to never) flush, I guess I see the potential novelty with the “experiment.” There are even kits you can buy to make the assembly a little easier. We just used old faithful for our tool: duct tape.

Apparently, you can also do fancy things with your cyclone’s water. Today, we used some orange food coloring for that nice (inadvertent) “whiskey” effect. But the boys wanted more, they wanted to step it up a notch. They wanted to make the experiment their own. They wanted…to put glitter in the water. (Yes, my boys.)

So, I began pulling out craft supplies in the quest for glitter. Boxes and boxes of googly eyes, pipe cleaners, embroidery floss, candy molds, felt. Wait, I found it–glitter!

But, oh no! The only glitter I had was edible. Edible glitter! But the boys were still ecstatic. I explained that this type of glitter would most likely dissolve in the water and not look very cool. They would need *real* glitter for their trick–not the easily broken-down edible type. They were apprehensive of my warnings. So, I handed over my coveted cookie-making supply and let them have at it. It looked like glitter to them; they were one step closer to their dream: a real live glitter suspension whirlpool. (basically, children’s Goldschlager.)

So, of course it didn’t work. The edible glitter almost immediately dissolved in the cyclone. There was slight disappointment. They still played with it for a while. Then they used the assembled experiment as some sort of eastern martial art weapon. And then, finally, they went back to playing basement roller hockey. Abandoning the cyclone.

Getting ready for bed tonight, one of my 8-year-olds looked at me, point blank, and said, “Mummy, tomorrow on your way home from work, can you stop at the store and buy real glitter–the kind of glitter that can kill you? For our whirlpool?”

So, tomorrow, to make a young boy’s dream come true, I am going to buy a big canister of glitter. Non-edible glitter. Beautiful, non-disintegrating, deadly glitter.

Edible glitter. Note: NOT available at specialty stores catering to gay assassins.

Gold, frankincense, and…soup.

7 Dec

Originally posted: Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 1:58am, but you’ll enjoy it more this year. I promise…

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My favorite holiday decoration is a hand-carved wooden Christmas pyramid, a gift from my father bought during his trip to Germany. It is such a neat little piece, bought shortly before he died…a wonderful reminder of him around the holidays.  It has a sweet little nativity scene at the bottom, angels armed with their trumpets looking out from on high, and then the shepherds and wise men rotate around JC and the fam when the heat from the candles hit the top propellers just right. We love watching it go around and around, it’s a magical little toy. Whimsical, really.

I  take a long time setting it up. I carefully unwrap all the pieces that I lovingly put away last year. I take the time to talk to the boys about all the little characters, from the angels to the sheep. Tonight, I was talking to the boys about the wise men and asked them if they knew what their gifts were. I pointed to wise man #1’s gift and said “gold,” then onto #2, “frankincense,” they seemed to be interested and said the names along with me with some prompting. But then I pointed to #3, there was a pause. Surely they had been talking through these in their Catholic CCD classes? This one wouldn’t be so hard, right? Larry, Moe, Curley…Barbara, Louise, and Irlene…bacon, lettuce, and tomato…gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Any third item of a pop culture triumvirate should come easy. So, after a second or two, my son looked at me, then looked at the last wise man’s gift, raised his eyebrows with excitement, then looked back at me and shouted… “SOUP!”

Sure, why not.

The poor king who had to lug the hot pot of delicious soup to Bethlehem.

 

 

So, in honor of my Dad, and the historical license that is afforded with such things, the gifts of the Magi (in my home) are now, and forever will be: gold, frankincense, and soup.

I like to think it was a nice lentil, or perhaps a corn chowder. Thanks again, Dad.

A few words for my twins, on the cusp of their 8th birthday

3 May

To my oldest boys:

I know that you have learned these things (all these wonderful things in just this week alone–in addition to so many other facts and lessons!), but I would like to record them for posterity and for others, so that they may also be so enlightened.

1. Although generally well-received, high-fives are not always an appropriate greeting to people you see at a funeral.

2. After you shared with me, “the absolute worst, worst, worst word” a person can say (at your request, by whispering it into my ear and spelling it…), and after I asked you three additional times to spell it, yes, C-U-R-T is the absolute WORST word a person can say.

3. I’ve never seen your little eyes light up so much (and with such excitement and joy!) as after you asked me the question that you’ve asked me so many times before, sitting there so cute with your pencils and notebook, “What should I draw?” Before I could answer, “a farm,” or “a cabin on a lake,” or “a bunch of dogs playing poker,” your brother said, without looking up from his book, “Trace your penis.”

I love you more than you love BB guns. But not as much as you’re gonna love your new zip-line. Rock on!

(Note: I have not delineated which twin said what, who are we kidding, I can’t even keep those kids straight.)

George Washington wiped out here

28 Jan

I was playing a U.S. President word game with one of the kids. Clue given: “What was a job Washington had before becoming President?” Three “hint letters” into the solution: S-U-R, my child excitedly yelled: “SURFER!”

ANY body part?

27 Jan

*Maximum* number of questions you should allow your child to ask your sister’s body piercer friend about his profession: 4

The conversation leading up to the threshold:

Kid A: (Question #1) What are those holes in your ears?
Piercer: Bamboo rings.
Kid A: (Question #2) Do you have a lot of other piercings?
Piercer: Yup
Kid A: (Question #3) Do you pierce people’s noses?
Piercer: Yup.
Kid A: (Question #4) What about belly buttons?
Aunt B: (exasperated) Oh my God! You can get *ANY BODY PART* pierced!!!
And….then came question 5.
It’s all a horrible parenting haze after that…

Duck Jesus

27 Jan
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