Posts Tagged ‘conversations’

One of the little benefits of having children is that they can eventually start to do things that you don’t really want to do anymore.  When I was growing up in Vermont, I proved to be a very handy lawnmower, wood stacker and dog food pourer.  So now, my time has come.  Big Brother is finally at an age when he’s actually starting to be useful.  And, while he’s still too young to mow our lawn or stack wood, you can bet he feeds that dog.   And he loves fetching things around the house for me — a diaper for Little Brother, a pair of shoes, Dad’s dry cleaning bag and other such tasks.  I’d say, though, that I have found him to be most useful in the area of reminders.  As my Mommy brain goes a little more J-e-l-l-o each day, his five-year old brain is sharpening.  So, we often leave the house with a recited list of errands.  Or enter the grocery store with a little chant of critical items.   And, it’s very, very helpful.  He’s saved me from near disaster many times.  “Mom!  You forgot to pick up the dry cleaning!”   or  “Mom!  Did you forget the taco sauce?”

A couple nights ago, the boys and I enjoyed a sunny late afternoon playdate with my wonderful college friend J. and her three kids.   We met at her house, ran the kids around outside and then, as the sun started going down, we all headed back into town for dinner at a local pizza place and ice cream across the street.   For the most part, the kids were stellar.   All five of them well-behaved at the restaurant — eating their dinners, sitting in their chairs, having fun but not to the detriment of other diners.   We were hard to miss with our piles of children but, thankfully, (luckily) we were also the picture of two functional Mommies enjoying a meal with our kids.  Until…

Packing up to leave, throwing away various paper plates, stacking trays and returning the ketchup to the counter.  Big Brother shouts to me from across the restaurant.

Oh!  Mommy!

Shhhh.  What?

Mommy! Racing across the restaurant now, undoubtedly attracting attention of many diners.   Jumping up and down in front of me now.

Mommy! VODKA!  VODKA!  We need VODKA!

(Oh. my.  goodness.)

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“Shhhh, J.  No yelling.”

“Mommy, look!”

“Shhhh!  What?!”

“Over dare!”    (Pointing and practically leaping from his highchair)

“What?  Where?”

“Over dare!  Over dare!  Mommy, is that Santa!?”

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“Yes, W.”

“Could I be a teacher when I grow up?”

“Sure!  Course you can.  You can be whatever you want, honey.”


“Ok, then now I’ve got three choices of what to be when I grow up.”

“Well, you’ve always talked about being a pilot.   Or, now, a teacher.  What else do you think you might become?”

“A clown!”

Oh, good lord.  Here’s hoping that was his first real joke.

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An actual conversation over lunch today.



“Who’s your favorite Dragon Tales character?”

“Ummm…I think Ord.”   (first one that came to mind)

“Ohhhhh.  I know why you like you Ord so much.”

“You do, huh?”

“Yup.   You just like him because he’s so BIG.  Like you.”


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My two year old is obsessed with Jason Mraz.  I know.  Weird.  But, he totally is.  We Tivo’d “Farm Air Presents Jason Mraz” and I’m not kidding when I tell you that Little Brother wants to watch it every hour of every day.   And, while we were in Hell this week, I swear we must have watched Jason Mraz sing “I’m Yours” three hundred and ninety-seven times.  Roughly.

And, Jason Mraz is now ever present in our conversations, too.  For example:

In the car from the backseat:

“Where are we going, Mommy?”
“Just a few errands.”
“Jason Mraz’ house?”

Or, the other night when Big Brother was miserably sick and Little Brother was still blissfully healthy and we found Little Brother using Big Brother’s toothbrush:

“No, no, no!  J., where’s your toothbrush?”
“Umm.  Jason Mraz.”
“Jason Mraz has your toothbrush?!”

It could certainly be worse, I suppose.  If it were Big Brother (a victim of my Magic 106.7 tendencies), Taylor Swift might stop in for visit and then I’d get all self-conscious and have to brush my hair or something to hold Husband’s attention.

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Big Brother had his five-year old physical yesterday (broke my heart not to call it a “well-baby check-up” anymore).  45 lbs, 45 inches tall.  Peed in a cup for the very first time.  Eye check, hearing check.   Four shots plus a lance to the finger in a hemoglobin check.   Poor baby.   Took it like a champ.   Tried to be tough because his little brother was watching and he’d been promised a lollipop from the dry cleaner when we finished up.

Doctor asked him all the important safety questions.   Do you wear a bike helmut?  Always?   What do you do if a stranger offers to take you home?  Gives you candy?  What’s your address?  Phone number?

Then, these nuggets. Nuggets worth saving for my own memory.


Doctor:  Do you brush your teeth?
W:  Yes.
Doctor:  How many times a day?
W:  Well…..(looks around a little nervously).  Two.
Doctor:  Ok…
W:  (Nervously)  But, sometimes, I sneak and trick my Mom and…well….
Doctor:  It’s ok.
W:  Sometimes I do it three times.


Doctor:  Do you go to pre-school?
W:  Yes.
Doctor:  How many days a week do you go to pre-school?
W:  Well, I go every day except for the last day before the weekend.
Me: (Interjecting.  Couldn’t help myself)  So, if there are five days in the week, and you go-“
W:  No, Mom!  There are seven days in the week!”


Yip.  That’s my boy.

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Last week my boys each got a progress report from their Nursery School.  Each report was good.  Certainly nothing to worry about.  Both are performing all tasks relative to their ages.  Big Brother speaks softly but often.  Little Brother still has a little issue with Mommy-separation at drop off but then has a wonderful time about 5 seconds after I’m out the door.

A typical Mom, I, of course, felt that they should have received Above Average scores across the board but I’m their Mom so maybe I’m just a teeny tiny bit biased.  

And then we went away to CT for the long weekend.  Bernie, our six year old yellow lab, stayed at a nearby kennel.  Where he’s a bit of a regular.  It’s pretty posh as far as kennels go, though, and we’re pretty sure they like him there.   Yesterday at pick-up they handed me the usual details on his stay with them — a doggie report card, if you will.  

And, well….compare for yourselves.   Here they are.


Hmmm…perhaps we need to refocus our efforts a bit.

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I’ve mentioned before that Big Brother has become something of a fussbudget when it comes to dinner.  And, I’m not exactly serving up brussels sprouts and organic chicken.   I’ll feed the kid Kraft mac & cheese, a chicken patty, spaghettio’s, whatever.  Just eat it, punk.   Nutritionally, he’s fine.  He loves all fruits and most vegetables, gets a boatload of protein from countless lunchtime pb & js.  But, the main course is killing me.
And his latest?  After I’ve indulged him by letting him request the night’s main course (I know, I know…I’m creating this monster), and he’s settled in his chair, he’ll proceed to eat everything else on the plate and then tell me his main course is cold.  “Mom?”  (“Yes, W.”)  “My mac is cold.  Will you reheat this for me?”
And, I do.  Once, sometimes twice.  But, it’s really starting to bug me.  The act is getting old.  So, when the request came a few nights ago, and subsequently the first reheat, I place the warmed meal in front of him.
“Is it too hot now, Mom?”
“I don’t think so, W”
But still, just in case, he talks to Little Brother (who will happily eat anything) and plays a bit.  Waiting for it to cool.  A minute or so later he deigns to lift his spoon.   And, for something like the nine milllionth time in nine million days he rolls his eyes and says to me…
“Oh no, Mom.  It’s cold again.”
Well, I lost it.  In a fit of total frustration, I raced over to the table.  Took the spoon out of his bowl, slammed it back down onto his placemat, yanked the bowl away, marched back towards the kitchen, threw the bowl in the micro and with my back turned to them said….(not quietly)
“You know what, W?!?   Next time, you won’t get a choice!  Next time, I’m serving you POOP!
Yup.  I said that.  I did.
And after about two beats of stunned silence later, from the table I hear,
“Mwaaahhhhhhhhhhh! Noooooo, Mom, please don’t serv…”
Oh my goodness.  Does my child actually believe that I would serve him feces?  Seriously?
Back at the table, wrap my arms around him.  “Oh, W.   Stop.   I wouldn’t do that.  I was kidding!  Really.  I promise, honey.  No poop for dinner.”
Sniffling.  Collecting himself.  “You wouldn’t?”
“Oh, no.  Of course not.  I mean, imagine the logistics of that.”

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When my friend Liza, who was my matron of honor (she hated the “matron” part) and is undoubtedly my most-tenured friend, recently asked me what the hell a “Serial Swooper” was, I realized I probably owe anyone reading this blog an explanation on its title.  Because, if Liza doesn’t get it….probably no one gets it.

I’m bilingual, you know. And so is my husband and, now, our kids.  I speak English and I speak Hills (my maiden name).   Because my Dad has always used a few words that are, as far as I know, completely of his own making.   Or, he takes words that mean something else and incorporates them into Hills vernacular with an entirely new definition.  One of these many words is the verb form of the word “swoop”.

“To swoop” is to remove something from somewhere else, usually in a quick motion, in an attempt to neaten up. To use the word in a sentence (a sentence often used as I was growing up)…”Marion.  Did you swoop my Wall Street Journal?”  Most likely, my father had been reading it, got up to do something else, left it on the couch (with all intentions of returning to it momentarily), and returned to find it was gone.  Not likely thrown out, mind you.  Most likely just “swooped” into a pile somewhere.  Because my mother’s style of “cleaning up”, like mine today, involved a number of well-organized piles.

And, no one is immune to my swooping, either.  Christmas week, as I lay in bed for a few extra minutes as Husband and my mother-in-law got up early with the boys, I hear this exchange from the living room.

“Yes, Big Brother”
“Where did you put my little chair?”
“I don’t think I did anything with it.  Did you ask your Mom if she swooped it?”
“Yes, Grammie.  And, she said you swooped it.”

There are more Hills words, of course.  And whole phrases.   Such as…
Zeeks — men’s underwear.
Panackacakees — pancakes.
FROST! — what you yell when someone (usually a teenager who isn’t listening) says “What?” for the hundredth time rather than “Excuse me”.   The explanation on this one is long and drawn out.  Just believe me when I tell you there actually IS an explanation.
Ratzenfratzen! — When something kind of bad happens and “Rats!” just isn’t good enough.
Really with you? — One of my favorites.  This, roughly translated, means “You can not be serious.”  Used situationally: “I think Elin should take Tiger back.”   “Really with you!?”
Rack — A synonym for “Yum”.  And if something is really good, you may even use the stronger emphasis form of Rack and say Rickety Rack.   And if it’s so good you can hardly stand it you might go as far as to say Rickety Rack, Reeky Fack.

Laughing out loud to myself.

You all must think we’re a pack of crazies.   But, seriously, my kids are using these words.  And, I’m actually pretty psyched about it.

So, anyway.   That’s why I’m a Serial Swooper.  Now you know.

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A couple days ago, Big Brother and I are in the car on a special “Mom & me” outing. I love these time and so does he. Just time spent away from the rugrat brother, with my undivided attention.

From the backseat of the car, he surprised me with this one:
“Hey, Mom?” As I’ve said before, he always waits for me to reply no matter what our proximity to each other.
“How come you don’t love Daddy as much as you used to?”
What? Did he really just say that? I must have it wrong.

“What was that you just asked, sweetie?”
“You and Daddy? Why don’t you love each other like you did when you had me and Little Brother?”
What in the world?
“But, we do, honey. We love each other as much as we always have. Why would you think that?”
“Well, you told me that babies come from when two people love each other very much…”
“And, then, you also told me that you and Daddy are done having babies.”
“So, you must not love each other very much anymore. Right?”
Logical little sucker, isn’t he?

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