#AtoZChallenge: Y is for Yellowstone Park

Have you heard of the super volcano that’s going to erupt and end the world?

I have, courtesy of my 9-year-old.

The boy came home from school one day convinced that the super volcano underneath Yellowstone was going to erupt soon and when it did everyone on Earth would be dead within minutes. Everyone in the United States would be dead within seconds. And he was gonna kick back and watch it all happen, because, “it’s the end of the world — you can’t do anything about that.”

Thanks, Little Man — as if I didn’t have enough to be anxious about already.

After much fact checking, my husband and I thought we had convinced Little Man that while a super volcano erupting would indeed be catastrophic, it wouldn’t be the extinction event he was picturing. Nor is it likely. At all. We discovered tonight that our conversation didn’t really take hold, though.

At a cookout this evening, the end-of-the-world event came up. Nothing like birthday cake and mass death, right? Little Man asked his cousins if they knew about the super volcano at Yellowstone that could kill every body on Earth in seconds. They didn’t, and interestingly enough, there was no moment of panic from either boy. They went back and forth discussing ideas on how to save the world, and then had their cake. When I was that age, there wasn’t much on my mind beyond Teenage Ninja Turtles and The Baby-Sitters Club, and here these kids are talking about how to pull a Bruce Willis and prevent Armageddon 2  during a family get-together. Kids today and all that, amirite?

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for Uh…

Yesterday I mentioned how both of my kids have mad skills where talking is concerned. It’s like their mouths are driven by motors, and there is no off switch. That gets a little overwhelming at times for this introvert, but generally I’m pretty enthralled with their chatter (which you can probably tell given that my A to Z Challenge theme is Things Kids Say), since much of what comes out of their mouth is either interesting or funny or so smart.

For example, a couple days ago, Little Man was telling his sister how amazing she was for building something with Legos. That boy has become a Jedi master at making my heart melt. And then the kids were chatting away over what they wanted to be when they grow up when Baby Girl told Little Man not to be a scientist, but to be a doctor like her because he’s a big boy, which made me giggle.

Other times, though, they leave me speechless or monosyllabic, at least. “Huh?” “You what?” or “Uh…” while my brain scrambles to process what I just heard. I feel like my brain has been in the “Uh…” mode for most of the past two years with all the political craziness, so you’d think that I’d be a pro and react a little faster by now, but not really.

The first “Uh…” doodle for today was a couple years ago, when I was planning Little Man’s birthday party…

That’s me, your friendly neighborhood hacker mom.

And then there was this one, when Little Man was five.

Well played, kid.

The last one falls under the “Uh…” and “Gross” umbrella as quite a few posts Baby Girl related have.

This wasn’t as bad as the poop tasting, but is still pretty damn gross. In case you were wondering, after recovering from the initial shock, I got her foot out of her mouth and grabbed the clippers to trim the dead skin away.

What have your kids said that leaves you speechless (or close to it)?

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#AtoZChallenge: T is for Talkative

Both of my kids are little chatterboxes, which came as a bit of a surprise since my husband and I are both fairly quiet people. Picture Lorelai Gilmore, and you have my son. Picture Lorelai Gilmore after drinking a dozen espresso shots, and you have my daughter. (And in case you can’t tell what my recent Netflix binge of choice was, it was Gilmore Girls.)

Like any kid, they often have to be reminded not to interrupt. Over and over and over. They’ll learn eventually, or so I’m led to believe. But for now, we have to keep working on what seems to be an involuntary action that causes them to cut in on every other sentence that exits our mouths.

Parent: “Hey, do you think that chi–”

Kid: “Come see the size of this poop!”

Parent: “Do you want to go to–”

Kid: “Oh my god, I think I’m developing superhero powers!”

Parent: “We need to pay–”

Kid: “I WANT GOLDFISH!”

You get the picture.

A few years ago, when Little Man was five, I tried telling him not to interrupt in a different way after an especially interruptive day.

Sigh.

I suppose that looking good is a possibility, but not quite what I was going for. It took a bit of prompting before it finally clicked that I was referring to listening and not just talking over me/people.

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#AtoZChallenge: S is for Sick

Little Man has always had some concerns about germs, but he’s very inconsistent. One on hand, he’ll question the staff at the doctor’s office about how often they sterilize their equipment, and on the other hand, he’ll eat something off the floor without giving it a second thought. I’m not talking about eating a cookie he dropped off a clean floor at home, which isn’t that bad, but more along the lines of scooping up cheesecake with his fingers off the floor at Walmart (which he did with Spidey-like reflexes). The gross factor is through the roof with that one.

Last week my husband asked for a drink of Little Man’s Gatorade. Little Man had just let me have a sip, but he still shot down my husband because of germs. My husband wasn’t sick or anything, so he asked why, and the kid explained how he doesn’t mind too much about drinking after girls, but that drinking after men or boys is usually out of the question because they’re extra germy.

Those are some interesting points; the thought of beard dipping makes me gag, but as far as I know, no one Little Man knows has a beard long enough to dip. For the record, Little Man has grabbed his dad’s drink plenty of times– usually after wiping off the straw or cup rim with his shirt, which we’ve explained doesn’t exactly kill the germs. But that’s where the “inconsistent” part comes to play again.

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#AtoZChallenge: Q is for Quiet…Not

There are three things a mom wants: rum, Netflix, and peace and quiet. (There might be an “and” in that last one, but we’re still counting it as one item.) Okay, so maybe other moms don’t all want to be couch potato boozers, but they at least want the last thing sometimes, and if there’s one thing you can count on in life besides taxes, it’s kids not being quiet.

Answering an important phone call from your doctor’s office? It’s gonna sound like you’re at a rager from all the background noise. Trying to send an email — or write a blog post — and need to focus so you don’t come across like you’re drunk typing? Obviously this is the time the kids will decide to work on their banshee wailing. Or maybe you want to catch up just a little on all the sleep you’ve lost over the past nine-plus years? They try to set a new record for decibel level.

The one with the monitor is Baby Girl’s version of The Feeney Call.

“Q” is definitely not for “quiet” when it comes to rousing Mommy.

Thanks to Welcome to the Nursery for the inspiration for this doodle!

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#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: 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: 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: 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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