Archive for September, 2010

Stegosaurs are Scrumptious

Maybe this happens to all families, but in our house every so often the entire crowd turns into T-rexes and have varied stegosaurus dishes for dinner.  Just last night we were chowing down on mashed stegosaurus with stegosaurus gravy, stegosaurus sandwiches, veggies and steggies, all washed down with stegosaurs juice.

Until Mark-rex suddenly decided to switch sides.  Or something.

“All right, T-rexes,” he bellowed, drawing back an invisible bow string.  “Hold it right there.  I’m Robin Hood.”


Mom Trumps the Lord of All Evil. For Now.

So Mark’s been getting in trouble at preschool.  Now we have an understanding about this.  If the teacher (or, as happened once, the principal) has to meet me at the door when I pick him up to tell me just how naughty he was, he gets a spanking when we get home.

He’s clearly been thinking about how to get around this proscription.

Today, as we walked to preschool, the Lord of All Evil tried to press his claim that he outranks Mark’s Mom.

Mark:  “I am Mark, Crusher of Rocks, Lord of All Evil!”

Me:  “There are no bad guys at preschool.  Only good guys.”

Mark:  “I will take over the world!”

Me:  “You’d BETTER be good at preschool.”

Mark:  “I will destroy EVERYTHING.”

Me:  “Not at preschool, you won’t.”

Mark:  “I am the Fire-lord!  The world will be mine!”

Me:  “I can spank the Fire-lord if I have to.”

Mark:  “Hffphm.”

I’m almost certain that last little noise can be translated as, in the words of most supervillains, “You think you’ve won.  But this ISN’T OVER.”

Perfect Graph Representation

I had no idea this guy knew my kids...

Hero Worship

Mark has discovered Beowulf and The Red Cross Knight.  Dragons, swords, arms being ripped off, deadly peril…what more could a little boy ask for?

If you dare plant your butt in a chair in our house these days, Mark will be at your elbow the next instant with the Beowulf retelling in one hand and the Faerie Queen retelling in the other.  “Weed to me,” he begs.

It’s pretty rewarding to ‘weed’ these books to him.

“Oh, wow,” he breathes at the bottom of every page.  I didn’t know eyes could get that big.

He’s shocked and thrilled by the ripping off of Grendel’s arm, the revenge of his mother, Beowulf’s trip into the deep, the Red Cross Knight’s three battles with the dragon and his various healings, and stabbing the dragon through the mouth.  “Oh, wow.”  He’s outraged at Wiglaf’s craven compatriots and the fools who wonder if the Red Cross Knight’s dragon is actually dead.

At the end:  “_I_ will kill a dragon now.”

The Red Cross Knight’s version of a dragon battle is clearly preferable:  “I fell in a healing pool!”  he calls.

In addition to not dying, the Red Cross Knight gets to marry Una, a not-irrelevant consideration.

Mark Wins Presbyterian Idol

So we’re at church yesterday and discover that during the service, the nursery kids will come down and sing.  I cross my fingers that the teachers have the good sense to leave Mark in the classroom.

Ten minutes later they show up.  No luck.  He’s there.  Brian and I glance nervously at one another.  There are just so many ways this could go bad.

The teachers begin leading the nursery kids in a little song.  So far, so good.  I dare to inhale.

Mark breaks from the group and makes a beeline for the microphone.  He’s obviously watched the big boys plays Guitar Hero:  Rock Band enough to know  that when you sing, it should be into a mike.

He’s belting it out, Sunday School rock star hand gestures and all.  Since he actually knows the words and is on tune, the teachers give up trying to peel him away from the mike.

Okay, I think, this is still a salvageable situation.

Which is when Kate breaks from the ranks of Children’s Choir (standing nearby, scheduled to sing next) and to all appearances starts trying to wrestle the microphone away from Mark.  He’s  fending her off with one hand and clutching the mike with the other.  Exercising enormous restraint, neither parent crawls under the pews, out of sight of the now-openly guffawing congregation.

She claims later that she was just trying to adjust the mike for him.  I’m skeptical.  She hasn’t had a solo yet in Children’s Choir, though she’s understudied for one a couple of times, and I suspect her nose was seriously out of joint that Mark managed to finagle one.

The Mommy with the Butterfly Tattoo

So Mark and I head over to pick up Kate from school.  We’re a little early, and he’s whooped from walking all the way from preschool.  There’s a short retaining wall right outside the door where Kate will come out, and two mommies are already sitting there.  But they have foolishly left 4.5 inches between themselves.

Mark plops himself between them.  He’s cute, so they tolerate this.

He turns to the mommy on his left.  “I’m MarkPatrick–”

He stops cold, and reaches out to touch her bicep, which is smack at his eye-level.  There, just peeking out of her sleeve, is a thumb-sized tattoo of a butterfly.  “What is THAT?”

She laughs.  “It’s a butterfly.”

Mark ignores this answer, although it’s obvious (but hopefully just to me) from his face that he considers that to be a STUPID answer, of course it’s a butterfly, what he wants to know is how did she get the picture there?  He says none of this, not from tact but distraction.  A new thought has clearly occurred to him.  Is this standard issue for moms?  Do they ALL have these awesome butterfly pictures on their arms?

He whips around to the mommy on his right and pulls her sleeve up.

No butterfly.  “Awww.”

The second mommy laughs too.  “I don’t have a butterfly.  But I do have this!”  She shows him her other arm, which has an even bigger tattoo, scrolling all the way along her forearm.

Mark is ecstatic.  “Ooooo!   What is it?”

“My son’s name.”

Satisfied at the results of his social observations, Mark hops down and proceeds to wheedle another little boy into letting him play football with him.  Unfortunately, Mark turns out to be a proponent of the running game.  That is, he snags the kid’s ball and takes off with it and is Most Aggrieved when Mama makes him give it back.

Preschool Flirting FAIL

A new little friend came over to play the day before yesterday.  An adorable little blond friend with whom Mark is already Totally Enamored.  The first time she came over, his jaw literally dropped when I opened the door and after an astonished pause, he started babbling, “Come on in!  Come on in!  We are SO happy to meet you!”

So when he and I go to pick up NLF for a second playdate, he starts his effort to impress before I’d even pulled out of the parking spot.

Mark:  “I fight crime, you know.”

NLF (skeptical):  “REAL crime?”

Mark (sensing a wrong step here):  “YES, real crime.”

NLF (skill skeptical):  “Cause someone stole my daddy’s bike.  We were at a friend’s house for dinner and when we came out, we discovered that his bike was gone.  Some bad person had taken it.”

Mark (hopeful again):  “We need to find him!  I will KICK HIS BUTT.”

NLF (withering tone):  “We don’t know who he is.”

Mark (hint of frustration):  “Then we’ll have to find him.  What did the bike look like?”

Two four-year-olds scan the street for Obvious Felons.  No luck.

Mark (still hoping to salvage the situation):  “Well, when we find him, I will kick his butt.  With MY SHOES ON.”

NLF:  “Hpff.”

What with this episode, and Mark confiding sleepily last week as I tucked him into bed, “I LIKE girls,” I’m now more concerned about Mark’s future love life than I am Paul’s, which (theoretically) is a lot closer.

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