Archive for November, 2009


So Mark’s begun announcing, “I want to have privacy.”

What he REALLY means is:

“I’m about to do something naughty and I do not wish to be seen.  So please go away while I do said naughty thing.  Because I’m working from the assumption that if you don’t see me do whatever naughty thing I have in mind, I have plausible deniability on my side.”

You have to hand it to him, though.  He’s almost literally covered at the moment in the physical consequences of his naughtiness–a badly bruised toenail from knocking something over on himself that he wasn’t supposed to be touching at all, a not-quite-healed friction burn from putting his hand in the treadmill, scratches from petting Betsy too roughly, bruises on his legs from overzealous tampolining, lacerations on his head from some unspecified roughhousing with Sam and Kate–and yet he persists.  And with a new, brilliant plan to avoid such consequences:  privacy.

My preciouuussss

So Mark is sitting in bed with Brian last night, listening to his bedtime story.  Apparently it’s not as riveting as one would hope.

Mark (interrupting):  “Daddy, what’s dat ring?”

Brian:  “My wedding ring.”

Mark:  “Where did you get dit?”

Brian:  “Mommy gave it to me because she loves me.  And I love her.”

Mark (muttering mutinously):  “If she gave ME a ring, I would love her.”

Pittsburgh PR dodges a bullet

So I’m listening to NPR this morning and there’s an interview with the director of “The Road,” which opens tomorrow.  It’s a movie about a post-apocalyptic world in which a father and son struggle to both survive and remain human in the face of the dreadful, dreadful things that are going on.

The reporter asks, “The landscape in the film is so bleak.  How did you ever find a place so desolate, so eternally gray, so unrelentingly despairing?”

The director pauses.

I’m waiting with a fair amount of bleakness myself.  Because the movie was filmed right here in Pittsburgh.  I can hear it, as if the director has already answered.  ‘Where on earth did you find a place that looked like a nuclear disaster had already happened?’  ‘Pittsburgh.’

The director, bless his soul, responds with more diplomacy than his imagined counterpart.  “Well…there was an abandoned interstate…in Pennsylvania.”

So the whole state, not just us, takes the post-apocalyptic rap.  Whew!


Oftentimes you can tell when Mark talks that he likes and watches a lot of Super Hero shows.  But every once in a while all those hours of PBS shine through too.

Kate:  “Guess what my job was at school today!”

Mark:  “I have a hypothesis.”

Thanks, Sid the Science Kid!

Alien Nation of Affection

So Mark had his Omnitrix on this morning when he walked into the kitchen.

Me:  “May I have a hug?”

Mark:  “Wait!  Which alien would give his mama the best hugs?”

He paces.  “Think, think, think!”

This is worth it just to see him do the thinking gesture, which involves stroking his non-existent beard.  Thanks, Daddy!

Mark:  “Heat-blast?”

Me:  “That’d be too hot, wouldn’t it?”

Mark:  “You’re right!”

More pacing.

Mark:  “Not Gray-matter.  Not Wild-mutt.  He walks around like this.”  He drops to all fours.  “He can’t hug.”  Significant glances at his hands on the ground, where they have to be for Wild-mutt appropriate posture.

More pacing.

“I got it!!”  Fierce forehead slap, twinged with disgust, like the answer should have been obvious all along.  “Four-Arms!”

The transition-to-Four-Arms gestures were pretty entertaining too.  Hey, it’s tough to mimic two extra arms sprouting from your torso.

But he was right.  Four-Arms gave GREAT hugs.


So Brian took the younger kids around treat-or-treating, while I handed out candy at our house.  He was puzzled as to why Mark was hollering, “Uno, dos,” after leaving each house.

Now, we’re not shocked by the Spanish.  There are several shows on PBS which teach a smattering of Spanish.  But since he didn’t seem to be actually counting anything…well, as they say, the authorities were baffled.

Finally Brian just asked.  “Mark, what do you think ‘Uno, dos’ means?”

Mark (with that searing  scorn that toddlers and teens have perfected):  “Good-bye.  Of course.”

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