Not really a holiday, exactly. But good question.

Me:  “Oh, look.  It’s November 5th.  Guy Fawkes Day.”

Mark:  “Guy Fawkes?  Who’s that?”

Me:  “He tried to blow up Parliament in 1605.”

Mark (incredulous):  “And we celebrate that?  WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?”

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Successful Play-doh Extraction

So we’re at the doctor on Wednesday…

Doctor:  “Mark, um, the inside of your ear is blue.”  Looks some more.  “Did you put a bead in here?”

Mark (emphatically):  “No!”

Doctor:  “Does it hurt?”

Mark:  “No.”

Doctor:  “Do you have trouble hearing?”

Mark:  “Yes!”

(Inside my head):  THAT explains a lot.

Doctor:  “Well, it has to come out.  Schedule with the ENT.”

Scheduled with the ENT.  (I have to type it as ENT, not Ent–otherwise I has visions of Treebeard poking twiggy fingers into Mark’s ear).

Hastily rescheduled Friday morning after a sobbing Mark called from school that the 2 PM appointment overlapped the school Halloween costume parade.

ENT:  “Okay, Mark, let’s get that bead out.”

Mark:  “Will this take long?  The costume parade is at 2:30.”

ENT:  “Not if you hold still.”

MARK FREEZES

ENT:  “Oooaaaakkky.  It’s crumbling, so not a bead.”

Mark (indignantly):  “I did NOT put a bead in my ear.”

ENT:  “I think it’s play-doh.”

Mark:  “Oh.  That.”

(Inside my head):  The paper wad up the nose.  Now this.  You’re out of easy-to-retrieve-from orifices, kid.

In the car:

Me:  “How DID you end up with play-doh in your ear?”

Mark:  “I sleepwalk.”

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.

Monday.

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.”

Tuesday.

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

Me:  “YOUR FATHER KNOWS HOW TO COOK.”

Mark decides to stay silent but is obviously skeptical.

Wednesday.

[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?”

On Determining Gender in (Magic?) Cats

Overheard from the backseat on the way to Target this afternoon:

Kate:  “If Cloudy were magic and could turn into a human, I’d marry him.”

Mark:  “Why?”

Kate:  “He’s seen me naked.  And he’s a boy.  I’d HAVE to marry him.”

Mark:  “Maybe he CAN turn into a human but he doesn’t, because he only likes you as a friend.”

Kate:  “Cloudy LOVES me.”

Mark:  “Maybe.  And how do you even know he’s a boy?”

Kate:  “He MUST be a boy.  His farts are TERRIBLE.”

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.

Superhero Island

Mark almost never shuts up.  I don’t know how they handle this at school, but at home, after a while we have to ask him to leave the room in the interest of maintaining what little sanity we have left.

That’s okay, he wasn’t talking to us anyway.  Mark spends most of his time in imaginative play–it just has to happen out loud, apparently.

Given what I’m hearing, I’m becoming convinced that he’s a future TV producer.  Remember the game in which the Army pilot rescued people and committed other acts of derring-do, all with his collie in the co-pilot’s seat, with his own special dog-sized helmet?  That would run for 6 seasons on CBS.

His latest offering:  Superhero Island.  In which the Avengers, among others, end up on Survivor.  He has a set of action figures and provides them with conflict and snappy dialogue:

Wonder Woman:  “Wolverine, you didn’t do the dishes.  Again.”

Wolverine:  “Growl.”

Wonder Woman:  “Don’t growl at me.  I’m not doing the dishes just because I’m a girl.”

You KNOW you’d watch this.

The Power of MOM

So we’re at Godspell Friday night.  Now, Godspell has some medievally moments of direct address and audience interaction.  Also the songs are pretty catchy and repeat themselves, so Mark was singing along regularly.  It’s karmic justice that I have a kid who does not believe in the fourth wall, given my research obsession with direct address.

All was well, more or less, during the first half.  The singing could be kept under control, and he agreed to dance in the aisle right by our seat.

Second act…not so much.  Because we get to the crucifixion.

Mark:  “[to me] What are they doing?  [to the actors] WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  [to me] HE’S DYING.  DO SOMETHING!”

Not sure what he thought I could possibly do but I’m choosing to be flattered that he thought I could do so.

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