#AtoZChallenge: N is for Name

Remember Rumpelstiltskin? It’s one of the more screwed up stories I remember reading as a kid. A dad says his daughter can spin straw into gold, the king says she has to do the gold spinning or he’ll kill her, and a little creepy, unnamed dude makes the magic happen by taking something that belongs to the girl as payment. (Because obviously someone who can spin straw into gold needs a ring or necklace.) And then the little creepy, unnamed dude wants the girl’s firstborn to work his magic one last time, which she agrees to. She then marries the king who wanted to kill her, gets pregnant, and the little dude wants her to uphold her promise. Naturally she doesn’t want to and has to guess the dude’s name to keep the baby.

Spoiler alert: the name is Rumpelstiltskin.

Okay, so I probably didn’t need to summarize that story since everyone likely knows it, but I do like to emphasize the screwedupness of some of the stuff we read as kids, so there’s that.

Now for the relevant stuff.

If Baby Girl became a creepy little dude who went around doing favors and taking firstborn babies, victimized miller’s daughters would have a hard time guessing the name she calls herself, too. She has a a bunch of nicknames she’ll use, and rarely will she use her real name when asked. At first it was cute — well, mostly it still is — but I’ve been pushing her to say her real name, just in case she gets separated from us. So far that isn’t working out too well.

Here’s how her name has progressed since she started talking:

See? The miller’s daughter would be screwed.

Mostly Baby Girl will use parts of that mouthful, but occasionally she’ll go with the unabridged version. I imagine that when she learns to write her name in a couple of years, she’ll shorted that up a bit to either her real name (which isn’t Ona, in case you were wondering), or maybe SBOKKSP. Or, maybe I’ll just teach her to write “Batman” and have a laugh at her teacher’s reaction.

Did you have a funny or cute nickname as a kid?

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#AtoZChallenge: M is for Marriage

First came love (yesterday), today comes marriage (as promised), and then comes…eh, I’m not promising any babies in a baby carriage.

Little Man has had a few thoughts on marriage, which is no surprise, since he has thoughts on everything. One is that all wedding ceremonies are like Jim and Pam’s wedding in The Office, and that they all start out by guests dancing down the aisle to Chris Brown’s Forever and end with a kiss. Another thought is that my best friend and I should never end texts with “Love ya!” because I’m married. (And so is she, but I guess he’s not too concerned with preserving sanctity of her marriage.)

Both of today’s doodles occurred when Little Man was five. With the first one, you should know that I’m a big fan of The Lord of the Rings. I’ve got the poseable action figures, Sting replica, and tattoos to prove it. One day I was talking LOTR with Little Man when he informed me that there could be no future between Gandalf the Grey and me. (No, I don’t have a thing for wizardly looking older men — this is one of those random things.)

Another thing you should know is that I’ve got freckles. Lots and lots of freckles. Depending on the lighting and how much time I’ve spent in the sun, sometimes I look like the bucket-of-blood scene in Carrie, only if someone dumped freckles instead of blood. I choose not to doodle them because it’d probably look like I had a tick infestation or something. Anyway, Little Man asked about my freckles one day, and I told him that they were angel kisses, which is what my grandmother told me when I was little. As a little girl, I loved the idea. Little Man? Not so much.

And lets not even get into the time I referred to Robert Downey, Jr. as my other husband. But at least he’s looking out for his dad, right?

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#AtoZChallenge: L is for Love

Is Flashback Friday still a thing? I occasionally see a Throwback Thursday in my Facebook feed, but haven’t seen Flashback Friday lately, so maybe that one’s out the window now — an old school meme even. Maybe one day soon we’ll be saying, “I remember back in the day when we did Flashback Fridays and not these newfangled Memory Mondays the kids are into now.”

So, yes, this post is going to take us back in time a little — back in Little Man time. (In all fairness, so do some of the other posts, but for the sake of opening paragraphs and all that, we’ll just ignore that.)

Kids know a lot about love. They love their toys, marshmallows (yeah, I’m looking at you, Baby Girl, as if you can read this), and the godawful Power Rangers. They also know about loving their daddies and mommies and sometimes their siblings. They even know a little bit about marriage, as you’ll read about tomorrow.

Both of my kids love me. Baby Girl’s love sometimes crosses the line between doting daughter and obsessive stalker, and Little Man has mostly thought that I’m the most awesome person ever. They’re also both pretty open about the fact that they love me the most. (Poor husband.) Baby Girl currently tells us that she loves me “this big” (arms spread wide) and my husband “this big” (pointer fingers spaced about an inch apart). Little Man tries to be more diplomatic now, but those last-second changes to add his dad’s name to cards that profess how much he loves me aren’t fooling anyone.

Yes, I accidentally made Baby Girl a giant toddler.

For today’s #AtoZ doodles, we’ll step back to when Little Man was 4 and 6. (And we’ll also have a quick cry over realizing that one of these was half a lifetime ago and the other was before Baby Girl was born.)

The first one, at age four, occurred one night when I was tucking in Little Man. I told him how much I loved him, but apparently it wasn’t enough.

And in this one, a six-year-old LM had just given me a letter saying how much he loves me when things got morbid.

He has quite a way with words.

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#AtoZChallenge: K is for Kid Goals

Both of my kids have goals. Ever since Little Man was a toddler, he’s often talked about the things he’s wanted to do. Becoming a scientist and curing cancer, creating a Death Spray, and holding a human heart are a few of the things on his list. Baby Girl hasn’t been quite as verbal about her goals as Little Man, for obvious reasons, but she has expressed that she wants to be a doctor and go to the gas station for all the snacks (not necessarily in that order). That’s a little less exciting (and devious) than creating a Death Spray, but the girl’s got goals all the same.

Here are a few other goals they have:

He’s still working on the beat boxing thing.

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#AtoZChallenge: J is for Joker

There are two things my family loves: Star Wars and superheroes. You’d be hard-pressed to go in any room in our house and not find something related to one of those two subjects. (And on the off-chance that there wasn’t a toy or comic book or whatever lying around, then you’d most certainly see something related to Lord of the Rings, so there’s that. Dork Central over here.) There are often discussions about the better superhero, villain, or Star Wars episode. And, if, god forbid, you confuse Star Wars with Stars Trek or mix up your comic book worlds — suggest that Iron Man is a Justice League member, for example — then prepare to be dead to us all.

Okay, maybe that last line is an exaggeration. But there will be judgment and appalled looks. We try to keep the looks concealed, but if you call us “Trekkies” while we’re talking about how awesome the latest Star Wars movie is, then all bets are off.

Little Man still sings my praises for being a cool mom. I’ve yet to grow up and act like a typical 30-ish mom — and probably won’t — so we have a lot of shared interests. Namely the stuff listed above, but we also share the same dry sense of humor, plus a love of The Office and old school video games. This stuff makes me the-bomb-dot-com (and that comment definitely proves the whole “dorky” thing isn’t all talk). Anyway, while singing my praises one day recently, he paid me this little compliment:

I can’t remember what I said to warrant that comment, but I can only imagine that it was equal parts amazeballs and sinister. (As sinister as a 33-year-old stay-at-home-mom can get, anyway.) At any rate, I know it was a compliment and that my heart went Grinch-mode and grew three sizes.

That mash-up would look slightly terrifying. (+1 to Baby Girl for knowing that this was supposed to be Mommy Joker/Wonder Woman when she saw this.)
For the record, I actually have dressed up as Wonder Woman and the Joker for Halloween — just not at the same time. A few years ago I went as the Joker and my husband went as Catwoman (not the Halle Berry Catwoman, though). We also did the superhero thing as a family this past Halloween:

What nerdy interests do you guys have?

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#AtoZChallenge: I is for Illness

Despite making a list with topics to write about for almost every day of this challenge, I’ve only used 3 of the 8 topic ideas I’d planned. For whatever reason, the original idea isn’t going to work out, so I’m left scrambling at the last second trying to find a new topic. Clearly I should have just skipped planning altogether and winged it.

Since the “I” for today isn’t going to work (I accidentally used it for part of another post), I asked Little Man for suggestions. He considered it for a moment and suggested “illness.” Since one of us has had a virus or some other illness for the better part of the last four months, it’s no surprise that particular “I” word was at the forefront of his mind.

“Yeah, girl,” Little Man said,  “You know how we’ve been getting sick all the time. Ooooh, you could draw how we get sick on purpose, too, that way we can get out of school.”

Uh, what?

“You each got the flu twice since the beginning of the New Year to get out of school? Plus strep?” I asked. And then there were other various stomach bugs and colds. That would be pretty hardcore.

Little Man looked rather sheepish. “Well, not exactly like that. But we were happy to get sick because we did get out of school.”

“Hmm. So there was a silver lining with getting the flu.”

Illness it is, then.

Rather than give you a visual of the behind-the-scenes flu puking action (maybe I’ll save that for another day), I’ll write a little bit about how Baby Girl keeps claiming to be sick. Most of the time she looks for excuses to go to the doctor, because she loves the doctor — she even walks around with a stethoscope half the time. (Last week she said she needed to go to the hospital over a scratch.) Sometimes, though, her illnesses appear when she wants something.

Like on Sunday:

I was cracking up over her sudden illness that could only be cured by a popsicle, but things turned south after I said she was full of crap. (Oops.)

Thought bubble not shown: “Out of all of the four-letter words I’ve said, ‘crap’ is the one you’re offended by?”

Yeah, she got the popsicle.

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#AtoZChallenge: H is for Hulk DNA

Like a lot of kids, Little Man has a love-hate relationship with school. He usually enjoys going — and often comes home excited about the things he got to do — but is less than thrilled with other parts. Namely having to get up in the mornings, staying for seven hours, and going for five days per week. (Half days two or three days per week is what he thinks would be suitable.) Oh, and the homework — he hates that, too. He considers it a form of medieval torture, and in kindergarten — when he’d come home with an hour’s worth of homework that required cutting, pasting, and coloring — I didn’t disagree.

During a complaint session back in first grade, Little Man gave us some interesting reasons for why he shouldn’t have to do the school thing.

You can’t say that the kid doesn’t have his priorities in order — Hulk DNA should definitely trump working on handwriting.

What are some excuses your kids (or you as a kid) came up with to try to get out of school?

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#AtoZChallenge: G is for Gift

For those of you who don’t know me that well — I’m a klutz. If “Most Likely To Die By Tripping Over Her Own Feet” had been a superlative in high school, I would have gotten it, hands down. I’ve broken bones, torn ligaments, and have gotten quite a few burns and cuts. Coordination and grace aren’t adjectives that anyone would ever use when talking about me, unless they were being sarcastic.

If you’re a clumsy person or live with someone who is, then you know that we tend to have quite the collection of injury-related materials. Some people like to collect coins or fancy handbags, and then there are people like me who can break out the Wrist Brace collection from the Fall 2010 line or a Knee Brace ensemble from 2013. And we can always accessorize with a nice pair of crutches or cold packs, or, if we’re getting really fancy, throw on that orthopedic boot. (In all seriousness, I probably have more injury related items than I have jewelry.)

My clumsiness has not escaped my son. When he was in kindergarten, he wrapped up some items he found around the house as gifts to give his dad and me, for no reason other than to be his sweet little self.

Here’s how that went:

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t use it again.

Are you steady on your feet or are you a walking disaster like me?

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#AtoZChallenge: F is for Fe

After soccer practice one night this week, I was helping Little Man get dried off after his shower when he commented that his belly was sore. He had mentioned running a lot at practice, so I said he’d probably overworked his abdominal muscles. I showed him where they are and he rubbed over them and was apparently impressed by what he felt, as he made this comment:

That’s right. The slender nine-year-old who hasn’t gained a pound all year has abs like iron. Boom.

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#AtoZChallenge: E is for Eating

Everyone knows that toddlers can be picky eaters, but I think mine takes the cake. She’ll eat exactly two vegetables (corn and cucumbers), one meat (fish sticks), pizza, and some other not-so-healthy things. Quesadillas are a staple food in our home. I’m super picky, but she makes me look like I have a diverse palate. I’ve been assured that she’s perfectly healthy and that she’ll eat other things within time, so there’s that at least.

But this post isn’t going to be about my food concerns as a parent so much as it is about Baby Girl’s lack of consistency regarding things that go into her mouth.

To set the stage for the doodle, you should know that green beans are met with a look of disgust. I’ll try to coax her into eating one, but eventually have to settle with her just licking one so she gets a taste and hopefully gets used to it enough to eat later. Carrots? “Yuck, I not like it!” Grilled chicken makes her cover her ears (because this is how to keep food from going into your mouth, apparently) and say, “No, Mommy, no!” as if I’m trying to poison her.

So, that’s how she reacts to normal food. You’d think that she’d apply this…high standard (or whatever you’d call it) to other things she’s willing to taste, but no. She’ll let the dog lick her sucker and then pop it back in her mouth; she tasted dog food once willingly (no siblings tricks on this one) and wasn’t fazed; and, in a significantly more disgusting move, this taste-testing happened:

Diaper changing time is going smoothly, and then…

It is what you think it is; here’s a close-up:

I heard the retching sounds Sam made and asked what was going on.

“A piece of poop fell out of her diaper and she picked it up and licked it!”

Was Baby Girl retching? No. Was she at all grossed out? No. She did look rather pleased with herself for the reaction she got from her dad, though.

Green beans – 0
Poop – 1

(After posting this, I realized this isn’t so much a Things Kids Say post as a Things Kids Did. Oh well. At least I got it in before midnight!)

What gross thing has your kid tasted?

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