Archive for July, 2010

Bahtmahn ahnd Cahtwohmahn: Best Fwiends

As if life wasn’t complicated enough, now I’ve been cast in the role of Catwoman.

Mark, of course, is Batman.  He’s designated me Catwoman.  But it’s not enough to just BE Catwoman.  I have to talk like Catwoman.  Apparently Catwoman sounds like Madeleine Kant voicing Natasha who now divides her time searching for moose and squirrel between Berlin and Boston.

Or at least that what Catwoman sounds like when I am her.  A voice artist I am not.

But imaginative Mark is.  He’s provided me with an entire complex backstory through which I have to filter my future actions.  I was bad, but now I’m good–mostly–working for a living instead of stealing jewelry, and with a complicated relationship to both Batman and my former fellow villains.  He checks with me before kicking any of their butts in case I’m still especially close with that one.

It also means that when Kate wants to rile up her brother, she urges me to return to my wicked ways, scandalizing and worrying Mark.  Cause I’m Catwoman, and I might.  Which would of course result in Batman getting held down and his ears kissed mercilessly.  Which would never do.  “Don’t do it!”  Batman pleads.  “Stay good!”

I’m not sure Catwoman cooks, eats, or cleans, because it is sure is difficult to do any of those things in her accent.  “Bahtmahn, dahling, would zou please eat your peas?  Sank you.”

He’s better at keeping his roles separate than I am.  For instance, last night I was making a salad for dinner.

Mark:  “My mom makes salad just like that!”

Me:  “Rweally?  How intarwesting.”

But of course, he’s been at the secret identity thing for a while now, and Catwoman is new to me.

What worries me just a bit is how much his father likes the Catwoman voice.  I can’t talk like zis all de time, dahlings.

Trigger Happy Ben 10


A scuffle.  Some shouting.

Kate:  “You killed me!”

Mark:  “I saved the world!”

Kate:  “I was a robot!”

Mark:  “A bad robot!”

Kate:  “A GOOD robot!”

Mark:  “Oh.  Sorry.”

But It Had Such an Honest Face

So we’re driving out to Target and go by a Chick-Fil-A.  Outside the Chick-Fil-A was someone in a cow suit, waving at the passing cars.

Mark:  “Mom!  Mom!  There’s a cow!  It’s waving at me!”

Kate (scornful as only an older sibling can be):  “That’s a person in a cow suit.”

Mark gives her a foul look:  “I know that.”

Kate:  “Why’s it there?”

Me:  “Chick-Fil-A sells chicken sandwiches.  Their mascot’s a cow, who of course encourages you to eat chicken sandwiches and not hamburgers, which are made out of cows.”

Mark is troubled.  I think it’s because of the revelation that hamburger comes from cows.  But no.

“Don’t listen to the cow!”  he says urgently.  “I like hamburgers.”

Accosting Strangers in Target

It’s easy to tell when Mark is ready to go visit Grandpa and Grandma:  He starts ‘recognizing’ them in stores.  Nearly always Grandpa, and usually Target.

Like last week, when we were there picking up a few things, and some poor unsuspecting old man walks into the same aisle.  Mark glanced up, looked again, whispered, “Grandpa?” as if not quite believing it himself, and sprinted down the aisle, cast flapping.

He’d picked a ringer, I’ll give him that:  a skinny old man in jeans, tennis shoes, plaid shirt, and a military ball cap.  He could have been Grandpa’s stunt double.  Or more likely, Grandpa could have been his; he was obviously frailer than Mark’s robust farmer Grandpa.

Mark figured out pretty quickly that it was not, in fact, Grandpa, but having rushed up to the dude and started a conversation, he behaved politely.

“Oh, you’re not Grandpa,” he said.  “My name is Mark Patrick Noland Butler.  What’s your name?”

The man liked this although it was clear he hadn’t understood a word.  “Hi, there.”  He must have had throat surgery because his voice was low and raspy; he was, actually, harder to understand than Mark.

Mark was obviously interested in his voice, and I could see him considering asking about it and then deciding it would be rude.  “My name is Mark Patrick Noland Butler,” he repeated.  “What’s your name?”

He ruffled Mark’s hair.  “Like your hair.”

Mark:  “It’s red.”

I decided it was time to peel Mark away.  After all, this “Grandpa” might well have a Grandma expecting him to help with the shopping and Mark could be getting him in trouble.  But I expect it’s a good thing we’re visiting the farm soon.

Hitting the ‘Paws’ Button

Betsy has learned to turn on the radio.  I haven’t decided yet if I’m impressed or terrified.

This would be a noteworthy, although potentially annoying, accomplishment for a toddler.  But Betsy is a cat,  Head Overlord of our three Feline Overlords.  So there’s fear mingled with my admiration.  Is she increasing her skill set in preparation for tightening her grip over us?

Or does she just like jazz?

It IS a feat.  Literally.  She does it by stepping on the button.  Then she lays down beside it and listens.

Not only do I now have a vague worry that the cat as well as the children is smarter than I am and developing a plan, I have to wonder whether, with this new WDUQ fan in the house, am I obliged to up my membership pledge?

Preschool Mutant Ninja Mark

Mark is  now a turtle.  At least in part.  That’s what his dad told him so he would cooperate with getting the cast on his arm.

As these things go, the trip to the ER was smooth until that point.  Mark was willing to tolerate the nurse and doctor touching his arm.  He explained what had happened with increasing relish each time he had to repeat it, finally developing a set piece.

Mark:  “Let me tell you the whole news.  I was on the blue ladder.  The second step.  And Kate was on the green thing–”

Kate (interrupting with pertinent clarification):  “It wasn’t my fault.”

Mark (waving his good hand to shush her):  “And her BUMPED INTO ME.”  (notes her scowl and bunching fists) “NOT on purpose.”  (she calms minutely) “And I fell off the ladder.”

Kate:  “And his arm hurt.  A lot.”

Mark:  “Yeah.  A LOT.”

But not so much that he didn’t enjoy visiting the Machine with Superpowers, i.e., the X-Ray machine.  “Like Superman!” he said with awe, not quite believing it until the technician showed him the picture.

X-ray Technician:  “See, Mark, here are the bones in your arm.”

Mark:  “Oooooo!”  A pause.  A glance down at his body.  “Can you show me the rest of them?”

X-ray Technician:  “I can only show you the ones that are hurt.”

Except , of course, when the doctor came back and ordered films of his other arm, to ascertain what it was supposed to look like…and Mark got to visit Super Machine again.

They determined that his forearm wasn’t broken, but badly bent.  Little kids’ bones are like green wood, they told me; it bends rather than breaks.  But it still needed to be immobilized.  They straightened his arm back out and put a splint on it.

Which was when the ER trip became, in Mark’s esteem, NOT FUN ANYMORE.  He clawed frantically at the splint while we tried with little success to stop him.

ER Doc:  “Um…if it turns out that he’s not able to keep the splint on, go to Children’s ER.  They’ll put a regular cast on it.”

Translation:  “You’ll be going to Children’s within the hour.”

Sure enough, Mark had the splint off before we got home.  We headed to Children’s Hospital.  Mark, however, was leery of anything touching his arm called a ‘bandage,’ ‘splint’, or ‘cast.’  He’d heard those words in the last place and it HURT.  Hence the ‘turtle shell’ he acquired.  He’ll be part turtle, mutant blue turtle, for 3-5 weeks.

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