April 24th, 2012

This morning Elliot was playing in his room with his Lego guys, when I heard the “You are Special” song from preschool (to the tune of “Frère Jacques”/”Are You Sleeping”):

“You are special, you are special./If you look, you will see/someone very special/someone very special/it is Dumbledore. It is Dumbledore.”

I’m glad they’re taking a break from battling evil to build each other’s self-esteem.

Spring spinning

April 22nd, 2012

About a month ago we went on a “signs of spring” walk around the neighborhood. The kids were on the lookout for robins, tulips, leaves opening on trees, green grass, etc. Later that day Elliot and Siena had been spinning around in the living room, trying to make themselves dizzy, when Elliot excitedly told us he had another sign of spring:

“You know it’s got to be springtime because we’re spinning! And we’re always going to be spinning in the spring!”


Spick ‘n Span

January 17th, 2011

Elliot has been cracking us up lately with his new catch phrase: spick and span. The phrase is not that funny on its own; the hilarity is all in the usage.

A frequent example: “As soon as we get home I’m going to spick and span into my jammies and be all cozy.”

Or: “I just spick and spanned and BOOM. Pajamas.”

Yes, this catch phrase is always used in the context of pajamas. No, we don’t know why.

Mass destruction

September 26th, 2010

Elliot has developed a new weapon: the Bice Hammer. It shoots fire, he wants you to know, and it is easy to make at home. All you need are a plastic clip and two popsicle sticks.

Beware the dreaded Bice Hammer.


December 17th, 2009

The other night I was driving around with the kids looking at holiday lights. We passed one house that had some lit-up reindeer in the yard, and I pointed them out to the kids.

“Look, guys, this house has reindeer in front of it!”

They responded enthusiastically, and as we approached the next house with lots of lights (but nothing remotely reindeer-shaped), Elliot exclaimed, “Ooh, look at all the reindeer at DAT house!”

This went on for the rest of the drive — every display of lights was excitedly referred to as “reindeer.”

I started to explain but stopped myself. More fun this way.

Defend your fort

November 16th, 2009

Elliot and Siena like to make a fort in our basement by taking all the couch pillows off, placing them on the floor just so, and then covering them up with blankets, so they can crawl in between the couch, pillows, and coffee table. I asked Elliot what he was doing, and he said, “Making a fort.”

When the pillows were in place, but no blankets had been placed on top of them, yet, I went and laid down on the floor where he was working.

Elliot: Daddy, what are you doing?
Matt: I’m laying down in our fort.
Elliot: No, this is Nana’s and Elliot’s fort. You have to get out of there.
Matt: But where is my and mama’s fort?
Elliot: Well, it’s upstairs with Piggy. You can do ‘dat up ‘dere. I need to finish this with mine pillows.
Matt: Oh, well…can I help you?
Elliot: No, I can have to do it my own self.

It was looking like a very cool fort. He even went upstairs to get more pillows off the couch and his bed. He did show some interest in me being around, though. When he was done, he laid down in his fort, and called out to me, “Daddy, I’m hiding in my fort. I want to play hide ‘n’ seek. Come find me. Count to 1-2-3-4-5. You got to count, and I have to hid in my fort. You can’t find me!”

Potty talk

October 15th, 2009

Me: “Elliot, do you need a clean diaper?”

Elliot: “Yeah. I go poop.”

Me [Thinking this is good -- he's admitting it instead of pretending like no, he doesn't need a clean diaper but yeah, it does smell kind of gross in here now that you mention it, Mama. Weird -- maybe it's the cat. Which is what he usually does when I ask about the state of his diaper.]: “Do you want to try using the potty next time you have to poop?”

Elliot: “Um. . . I can do that next Sunday.”

Monkey Pie

September 23rd, 2009

Months ago, sometime in the spring maybe, I was leaving to go out somewhere. I gave Elliot a hug and a kiss, and as I turned to go he said, “Bye-bye, Monkey Pie!”

I don’t think I need to explain how funny that is. If you do not find that cute and hilarious, then get thee to a doctor because it is possible that you, like the Grinch, have a heart two sizes too small. [Did I just reference Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss in the same sentence there? Why, yes I did. And a better summary of the contents of my brain these days would be hard to come by. Quotes memorized in high school English and nonsense rhymes, with all useful information like WHERE ARE MY KEYS strangely absent.]

So the name stuck. I call Elliot “Monkey Pie” from time to time, and he returns the favor. It’s become our own weird term of endearment, with the added twist that sometimes he says  ”Munkin Pie” instead, a cross between Punkin and Monkey. Compared to the genius of wordplay that is my son, Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss had nothin’.

Stand-up comedian

August 26th, 2009

Elliot and Siena are obsessed with knock-knock jokes lately. (Elliot pronounces it “goke,” as in “I just goking,” which is what he says when he tells me he doesn’t need a diaper change and I sniff to find that yes, in fact, he does.) Most of the time Elliot retells whatever joke Siena just finished telling, making it his own by goofing up the timing or saying “who” too many times. But he has one joke he invented all on his own, and it comes up in any joke-telling session.

“Who’s there?”
“Dime who?”
“I’m dime-ing!”

I don’t get it either.