Archive for the ‘Escapee Dad (Brian)’ Category

Cooking Something (anything!) Up

So apparently Mark thinks Brian doesn’t know how to cook.

Me (trying to lure Mark to help with dinner):  “Come on, kid, I’ll show you how to make pesto.”

Mark:  “Why?”

Me:  “Someday you will need to feed yourself.”

Mark:  “I already know how to make ramen.”

Me:  “You might want to eat something besides ramen.”

Mark:  “I LIKE ramen.”

Me:  “Fine.  But someday you may want to impress a girl, and we love guys who cook.”

Mark:  “Then why doesn’t Dad know how?”

Since I’m leaving Friday and will be gone for a week, Mark’s belief in his father’s inability to navigate the kitchen has moved from a curiosity to a source of grave concern.


Mark:  “I think we should go to the grocery store.”

Me:  “Why?”

Mark:  “We need some frozen dinners.”

Me:  “Why?”

Mark:  “So I can eat while you’re gone.”

Me:  “Dad can cook.”

Mark:  “I think it would be a good idea to have some frozen dinners.”


Mark:  “I think we should go to the grocery store and get some frozen dinners.”


Mark decides to stay silent but is obviously skeptical.


[We are at the grocery store filling a prescription]

Mark:  “While we are here, I think we should get some frozen dinners.”

Me:  “You know, I have successfully left children alone with your father and none of them died of starvation.”

Mark:  “I DON’T WANT TO DIE AND I DON’T WANT TO EAT RAMEN FOR A WHOLE WEEK.  Can we PLEASE get some frozen dinners?”

Dr. Frankenstein, I presume?

So we had to revisit Electrical Safety at our house…

Mark has an ‘Inventing Table’ in our dining room and was having a giant fit because he couldn’t get the Lego minifigure attached to a D battery.  Finally he got frustrated and left.

Yeah, I should have pegged earlier to what he was trying, but I didn’t.

Which is why when I went upstairs, I found an alligator clip wire attached to the wires of an exposed outlet (in an area we’re working on–I KNOW, but they should be old enough to leave such things ALONE), a mini-screwdriver hanging from the other end, and a Lego dude on the floor.

Which is when I figured out what he’d been trying to do:  make the Lego minifigure MOVE by running electricity through it.

Obviously, our next Audiobook for a Captive Audience (what we listen to in the car) needs to be Frankenstein.

AND Brian got cornered into explaining Electrical Safety to him, as well as clarifying why the Lego minifigure wouldn’t have moved even if he had managed to run electricity through it.

Disturbingly, but not surprisingly, the information that the plan was flawed from the beginning was more effective in getting Mark not to try it again than the information that electricity could STOP HIS HEART.

Badly Behaved Parents at Paul’s Graduation

So eldest child graduated from high school on Monday…

I’d like to say we were all well behaved and considerate of the solemn occasion.  Well, most of us were.  Mark, Kate, and Sam brought books and read during the ceremony, so they were quiet if not actually attentive.  Paul’s grandparents were well-behaved and used their grandparental privilege to snag a little nap after Paul crossed the stage.

Paul’s parents, however, whispered together snarkily the whole time.  Sorry, people sitting around us.  There were too many absurdities, I guess, and maybe a little self-delusion that we couldn’t possibly be old enough to have a child graduating from high school by acting juvenile.

Such as:  “I didn’t know ‘videographer’ meant ‘playing video games on one screen, in full view of the audience, while filming the ceremony on the other.’  It’s true what they say.  Ya learn something new every day.”

Then there was the chamber choir rendition of the John Lennon song, which sent Brian and I off into fits of choked giggles whilst imagining which of our cherished high school rebellion music would be slated for such treatment.  Guns and Roses’ ‘Sweet Child of Mine’?  Jon Bon Jovi’s ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’?  Madonna’s ‘Circle in the Sand’?  AC/DC?  Poison?  Twisted Sister?

Worse–will we be attending our grandchildren’s graduations to choral remixes of ‘Call Me Maybe’?

Then the earnest young Valedictorian claimed that you can’t have real emotions in texts, and we started exchanging risque ones to prove otherwise.

But the Honor Society recognition really separated the Mildly Naughty Parent from the Hardcore Naughty Parent…

Brian and I were both struck by the gender imbalance when the Honor Societies’ members were asked to stand.  A good 90% of them were young women.

Brian (whispers to Sam, which I don’t hear):  “See how few boys there are?  There’s an opportunity for you.”

Me (in Sam’s other ear):  “Looks like the Honor Societies are going to be your chance to meet girls.”




Bad Parents

We are heading home from bowling.  The light rock radio station is on.  It starts playing an oldies love song.  Which is say, one Brian and I listened to in high school.  He squeezes my hand.

Mark (disgusted):  “You ALWAYS get mushy when a love song comes on.”

Brian:  “Oh?”

Me:  “What’s wrong with that?”

Mark (now spluttering indignantly):  “It’s not NORMAL.  You still like each other.  You are BAD PARENTS.”

Viking versus Valkyrie

So I had Mark at the dentist on Tuesday.

Dentist:  “Those two top teeth are loose.  Encourage him to wiggle them.  They need to come out.”

Bet she didn’t mean for them to come out the way they ended up doing so…

I’m on my way to a meeting last night.  My cell phone rings.

Brian:  “Were Mark’s two front teeth baby teeth?  I hope.”

Me:  “WERE?”

Brian:  “They’re gone.”

Me (I’d left the house a mere 10 minutes earlier):  “WHAT HAPPENED?”

What happened was, Mark and Kate were playing in the basement.  They got this idea to play tug-of-war.  And then Mark got the idea to hold the rope in his teeth.

Next tug…POP!  Kate yanks both front teeth out.

Which Brian only learns because of their frantic, furtive conversation about whether they should tell anyone.  “There’s blood.”  “Not that much.”  “They’ll notice.”  “I dunno.  Maybe.”

Let’s just recap, shall we?  Mark gets BOTH FRONT TEETH jerked out by a rope and there’s no shrieks of pain, no bloodcurdling howls of distress.  Just a conversation about whether they have to ‘fess up.  Good lord.  I know I’m living in the wrong century.  But this kid is too.  Of the four teeth he’s lost so far, only one has exited the premises in anything like the normal fashion.

Kate tried hard to pretend she had a minor role in this whole affair, but remember, she helped him break his arm three years ago, so we know better than to believe it.

UPDATE:  I was wrong.  Mark has lost four teeth–NONE of them in the normal manner.  I was talking to Brian and he reminded me about the one Mark knocked out on the TV cupboard whilst playing Wii.  So that’s 1 due to exuberant video gaming,  2 courtesy of his sister, and 1 yanked out by me.

When he showed me his first loose tooth, I foolishly offered (as grown-ups do in a lame jokey way), “Whoa!  That’s really loose!  Want me to pull that out for ya?”

Mark:  “YES.”

Me:  “I was kidding.”

Mark:  “No, really, I want you to pull it out.”

Me (hesitantly getting a napkin):  “Well…okay…we’ll try.”  I give it a pull and a twist, Mark watching interestedly, and the tooth comes out.

Mark immediately leans forward to check it out.  “Cool!”  He opens his mouth wide.  “Am I bleeding?”


Sunday Funnies: The Unintended Consequences

Mark and Kate have started reading the newspaper comics.

Also we have a butter dish shaped like a cow.

These two seemingly-disconnected realities of our life combined recently…

Brian:  “I think I’ll have some butter on my bread.”  (Lifts the cow to scoop some up on his knife.”

Mark and Kate (chortling):  “My spleen!”

I DID mention that breakfast is weird around here.

Mark Changes His Tune

So Mark’s up in our bedroom with his dad, dancing and singing (Mark, not Brian), “I’m Sexy and I Know It.”  God knows where he heard this.  I have a fair number of vices for children to pick up on but risque pop music is an alone-in-the-car indulgence.


Brian:  “Do you know what that means?”

Mark:  “No.  What does it mean?”

Brian (deciding to punt):  “Go ask your mother.”

Mark (down with me now):  “What does ‘sexy’ mean?”

Me:  “It means you want girls to kiss you.”

Mark:  “WHAT?”  (A pause, then the singing resumes)  “I’m NOT sexy and I know it.”

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pancakes

Kate is my Sid the Science Kid.  Which is why stuff like this happens at breakfast:

Kate is assembling the solar system model.  Which was Paul’s originally, so Pluto makes an appearance.

Kate:  “Pluto shouldn’t really be here.  It’s a dwarf planet now.”

Mark (incredulous):  “A dork planet?”

Kate (ignoring this nonsense–she’s busy doing SCIENCE):  “What’s next…what’s next?  Neptune?”

Brian whips out the mnemonic.  Kate deigns to learn it even though it mentions Pluto.

Me:  “Sounds about right.  Pancakes 10,11, and 12 are in the pan right now.”

Mark:  “Harharhar.”

Kate:  “I can’t find Uranus.”

Me (sniggering, because I have a 10 year old’s sense of humor):  “We have the oddest conversations around here.”

Kate (under the table):  “I found Uranus, Dad.”

Brian snorts yogurt.

Vulture or Long-range Planner?

So Brian’s heading out to clean the pool…

Mark:  “Wait!  I want to come with you.”

Brian:  “Why?  I’m just going to clean the pool.  It’s not time to swim.”

Mark:  “I know.  I need to know how to clean it.”

Brian:  “Why?”

Mark:  “So I can take care of the house when you are dead.”

Parental Old Age

So here’s how the dinner-time conversation went down yesterday:

Kate (looking at the calendar):  “Oh!  I didn’t know someone had a birthday in December.”

Me:  “Dad.  He’s turning 40.”

Kate (eyes huge):  “40!”

Sam:  “That’s OLD.”

Mark:  “REALLY old.”

Sam:  “Why isn’t his hair gray?”

Kate:  “His beard’s turning gray.”

Mark:  “Wow.  That is REALLY OLD.”

Sam:  “Won’t he be retiring soon?”

Kate (to me):  “How old are you?”

Me:  “39.”

I decided NOT to mention that I also turn 40 next month.

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