May 31, 2013

Simon Says

Nino (playing Simon Says with the Princess): "Simon Says touch your nose."

Princess Teacup (giggling and touching her nose): "Here it is!"

Nino (laughing): "Good job! Now, Simon Says touch your toes."

Princess Teacup (bending down and grunting with the effort): "Here are toes!"

Nino: "Ha! Good job baby!"

Princess Teacup (laying on the floor, looking under the couch and retrieving a small, shiny dime): "Yay!"

Nino (suddenly worried that she'll try to eat it): "Uhm...Simon Says give Nino the coin."

Princess Teacup (putting her hands behind her back and whispering): "Simon Says I don't want to play anymore."

May 30, 2013

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (27)

Hey kid,

When I was in grade school, there was a bully who terrorized our school; his name was "Alex" (that wasn't his real name but that doesn't matter).

Alex was not the "sharpest tool in the shed" but he was definitely the strongest and he more than made up for what he lacked in analytic ability with sheer, brute strength.

My parents didn't raise me to be a "fighter" but, at the same time, they didn't raise me to be a fool either and so I had my fair share of random dust-ups growing up.

I knew that my path would eventually cross Alex's and that I would need to prepare for that eventuality.  So I did what seemed so obvious to me, even as a second grader: I hired Alex to be a bodyguard.

For a weekly salary of a single dollar and a pack of gum (one stick dispensed daily), I asked Alex to "help keep our friends safe".  Alex, not realizing that he was the only bully in the school, gladly agreed (he was a big fan of chewing gum).

The moral of the story is this: life will throw challenges your way and, often, the solution will not be obvious to you.  Use the skills that you have to face the challenge head on.  Don't be quick to fight; but don't be a fool either.  Not all strengths are physical and not all victories are earned with black eyes.


PS - if you ever run into a bully and you can't figure out how to deal with them, come and talk to me immediately. I know a few people who'd be happy to help.

May 29, 2013

Silent Postings Remixed (1)

Editor's Note: beginning this week, I will be "remixing" all of our previous Silent Postings.  It will combine my love of these images with the song lyrics they remind me of.  It's random, I know, but I think it'll be fun.  Plus, I think it's a great way for Sippy Cup to learn a little bit more about his Dad and the music he listened to in the car (before Skynet figured out how to beam music directly into our brains which, I presume, is the ironic way we will listen to music in the future whilst fighting the Terminators).

May 28, 2013

Her Tatoe

Princess Teacup (trying to open the laptop while we're eating dinner)

M.O.M.: "No baby.  You can't play with the computer while we're still eating dinner."

Princess Teacup (pouting and crossing her arms): "I want puter!"

Me: "Mommy said 'no'.  And it's pronounced com-puter.  Here, play with your new Mr. Potato Head!"

Princess Teacup (shoving the toy away): "No! I don't want Tatoe!"

Me (grabbing the toy before she pushes it off the table): "Fine. You're in a nasty little mood." 

Princess Teacup: "Stop it Daaeee! Give me Tatoe! I want my Tatoe!"

Me: "You just said you didn't want it!"

Princess Teacup (grabbing her beloved Mr. Potato Head): "Give me my Tatoe!"

Me: "I swear you do this on purpose."

Princess Teacup (hoisting the toy over her head): "Yay! Tatoe!"

May 24, 2013

"Justice Families" by Andry Rajoelina

Sippy Cup and I are both big fans of comic book superheroes and of Batman in particular.

At a very early age, I used comic books to encourage a love of reading in him and promote a wider appreciation of art, color and design.

A few days ago, I came across the "Justice Families" series of illustrations created by Andry Rajoelina and was blown away.  The beauty of these illustrations is not only the level of talent and ability Andry clearly has (if you need further proof, here is the link to his DeviantArt page); what I really loved about these pieces is how they re-imagine the relationship between Superheroes and their Sidekicks as they are depicted walking hand-in-hand on their way to school.  There is a sense of recognizable familiarity and sweet intimacy to each of these scenes, even though their subjects spend most of their time together "fighting crime".

Parenthood often feels like a heroic duty; to misquote Stan Lee, a "great responsibility" that requires an equal amount of "great power".  However, what I often forget is that I have two little sidekicks who are always right next to me, who are willing to "fight the good fight" with me, who are fiercely loyal and devoted to me and who look up to me.

Andry's illustrations reminded me that my journey into fatherhood, literally, could not have happened without my two little sidekicks.  And I know that they will always have my back.

Image Courtesy of Andry Rajoelina

PS - Andry also let me know that he plans to have these limited-edition prints available for sale in the Greek-Art Online Store; do yourself a favor and buy one.

May 23, 2013

Not On Thursdays

Sippy Cup (at the dining room table): "Dad, can you cut my pancakes for me please?"

Me: "Sure thing buddy. Do you want some syrup also?"

Sippy Cup: "No thanks. Not on Thursdays."

Me: "Uhm. What?"

Sippy Cup: "I don't eat my pancakes with syrup on Thursdays."

Me: "How are those two things related?"

Sippy Cup: "Dad! I have art class on Thursdays!"

Me: "OK. That still doesn't help me connect the dots."

Sippy Cup (sighing): "If I eat my pancakes with syrup, my hands get sticky. I can't do my art projects in art class if my hands are sticky!"

Me: "OK. I guess that makes sense."

Sippy Cup: "Duh. That's what I've been trying to tell you."

- 5 minutes later -

Me: "Wait a second...have you been going to school without washing your hands in the morning?!"

May 21, 2013

Potty Training

Princess Teacup (handing the M.O.M. a gift she recently received): "Mommy. Open."

M.O.M. (sitting up on the couch): "OK sweetie.  Oh, this looks like fun!  The little doll comes with a potty!  You can help her go to the bathroom baby."

Princess Teacup (clapping her hands): "Yay! Bathroom!"

M.O.M. (opening the package and handing her the doll): "Here you go love."

Princess Teacup (grabbing the doll and miniature potty): "Thank you Mommy!"

Me (looking down at her): "That's kind of cool.  It might help us with her potty training."

Princess Teacup (setting the miniature toy potty on the floor in front of the couch): "Bathroom!"

M.O.M. (smiling): "Yes baby.  You can help the little girl use the potty!"

Princess Teacup (promptly sitting down on top of the miniature toy potty on the floor in front of the couch): "Potty!"

Me: "Aaaaand, of course, that's precisely what she would do."

May 20, 2013

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (26)

Hey kid,

Yesterday was a cool, cloudy and rainy day.

For the first time, in a very long time, we got the chance to spend the entire day hanging out at home.

You, your sister, your mother and I all got up early, ate breakfast together, played games together, watched movies together, read books together, took afternoon naps together.  We spent 12 waking hours together and did everything as a family.

These kinds of days are few and far between.  And, since nothing momentous happened, these are the kinds of days that are so easily forgotten.

Nevertheless, I just want you to know that yesterday was perfect.

And I can't wait for the next cool, cloudy and rainy day.


May 17, 2013

Quick Learner

Princess Teacup (dancing in circles): "My butt!"

Me (trying to hide my laughter): "Ok. This needs to stop."

Princess Teacup (laughing maniacally): "My butt! My butt Daaeee!"

Me: "Listen love, you need to stop saying that.  It isn't very nice.  And it's rude."

Princess Teacup: "Rude?"

Me: "Yes baby. I know it's funny.  But you can't keep saying it all the time."

Princess Teacup (walking away): "Ok booty face!"

May 16, 2013

"Hey! Who dat?"

Me (settling down to dinner at my parent's house): "This smells and looks delicious.  Thanks Mom."

Princess Teacup (roughly sliding down into her chair and whispering): "Ouch. My butt."

- Everyone at the table bursts out laughing -

Princess Teacup (eyeing everyone suspiciously): "My butt?"

- Everyone bursts out laughing again -

Princess Teacup (smiling): "My butt!"

Me (sensing danger and turning to the M.O.M.): "Uh-oh. Don't you realize what's happening?"

- Louder and more pronounced laughter drowns out my words -

Princess Teacup (standing up on the chair): "My butt! My butt! My butt!"

Me (shaking my head): "She's discovered punchlines."

Princess Teacup (banging on the table with her spoon): "Hey! Who dat? My butt!"

May 15, 2013

No Matter What

Me (putting on my jacket): "Ok guys, I'm getting ready to leave for work."

Sippy Cup (in a voice which is increasingly deeper each day): "Ok Dad. Bye. I love you."

Me (kissing him on the top of his head): "I love you too. I'll see you later.  Have a good day at school."

Princess Teacup (holding up her hand): "Bye Daaee! Five?"

Me (kneeling down so that I can give her a high-five): "Bye Lady Baby.  I love you."

Princess Teacup (opening her eyes wide with concern): "Coming back Daddy?"

Me (freshly awash in the post-vacation getaway guilt): "Yes love. No matter what. Daddy will always come back."

May 14, 2013

Things I Never Thought I'd Have To Say (12)

"You know, I know we needed a break from the kids, but I really miss them and I kind of wish we had brought them on vacation with us."

May 7, 2013

One Little (Nasty) Bird

Me (singing Bob Marley's Three Little Birds to her while changing her diaper): 
"Don't worry about a thing / 'Cause every little thing gonna be alright."

Princess Teacup (smiling)

Me (smiling back): "Rise up this mornin' / Smiled with the risin' sun"

Princess Teacup (giggling): "Daaeee."

Me: "Three little birds / Pitch by my doorstep"

Princess Teacup (smiling): "Aww Daaeee."

Me: "Singin' sweet songs / Of melodies pure and true / Sayin' 'This is my message to you-ou-ou!'"

- Sudden rude noise from my daughter -

Princess Teacup: "Daaeee! Gas! Hear that? Gas! I gas Daaeee!"

May 6, 2013

Apples to Nanas

Me (in the kitchen, preparing my lunch)

Princess Teacup: "Daaee. I want apple."

Me: "Sure thing love."

Princess Teacup: "Yay! Apple!"

Me (handing her an apple from the fruit basket)

Princess Teacup (shaking her head): "No. Apple."

Me (looking from the apple to her): "But this is an apple."

Princess Teacup (shouting): "No! I want apple!"

Me: "Well, first of all, stop yelling and be nice."

Princess Teacup: "Ok Daaee."

Me: "Thank you. Now, tell me what you want."

Princess Teacup: "Apple."

Sippy Cup (quietly walks into the kitchen, grabs 2 bananas, peels them and gives one to his sister before walking back out to the living room)

Princess Teacup: "Yay! Nana!"

Me: "Do you two plan these things late at night?!"

May 3, 2013

Morning Routine

My children have a very precise bedtime routine (you can read about the importance of following the specific steps of this routine here).

However, they have an extremely erratic morning routine; since they wake up whenever they see a crack of sunlight streaming through their bedroom window, I can only assume they are following some sort of ancient, pagan, sun-worshiping ritual to start their day.

As an example, here is how I started my day this past Wednesday.

- 6:14 am -

Princess Teacup (from the living room): "Daaeee! Come! Come quick!"

Me (from the comfort of my bed, my voice muffled by the pillow I have used to block my face from the sunlight): "No!"

Princess Teacup (raising her voice): "Daaeee! Peas!  I want T! I want Elmo! Peas?"

Me (my voice rising with each word): "Why don't you children evER SLEEP?!"

- Rapid patter of little feet followed by the boom of the master bedroom door being thrown open and slamming into the wall - 

Princess Teacup (whispered voice full of promised violence, like the rumble of thunder): "Daaeee. T. Now."

Me (rolling away from her voice): "No."

Princess Teacup (running over and promptly slamming the remote on my exposed neck): "Elmo!"

Me (sitting up, rubbing my neck): "What is wrong with you?!"

Princess Teacup (both fists in the air): "Yay! Daaeee up! Up Daaeee! Come! Come! Elmo! Yay!"