Beatin’ the Heat

Hello Friends,

Wow, what a sweaty day! The phone says we got to 94°, the car said 100°. Either way I don’t really care, it was hot in the Chi’ today!

After errands and camp we sprung Wife from work early and hit the backyard. Today was a day for the kiddie pool. A bit of a random post, but I thought I would share.

So, how did you beat the heat today?

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Happy Pride!

Hello Friends,

Just sending good wishes out to all of our LGBTQ friends and family out there for a safe and happy pride celebration! It is 80º and sunny here in Chicago, with a breeze to keep it cool, so the day is perfect for the parade.

It is still tricky with the girls in crowds, so we’re not joining the fun this year. They still identify as “boys have yucky germs and kissing is gross” (unless its from Mommy), so I don’t know how much they will appreciate the love and goodwill of the Pride Parade. But Mommy and I are thinking of all our loved ones who can gather and celebrate their love under today’s blue skies.

Have a good day, friends! We’ll see you around the detour.

Quotable, Maybe Not Share-able

Hello Friends,

Wife recently brought home this little gem of a book and I thought I would share, both the book and my concern with using it. At face value, My Quotable Kid, appears as advertised: “A parent’s journal of unforgettable quotes.” Published by Chronicle Books, this hand-sized journal seems like a perfect tool to capture the funny things that kids say. The pages are printed with a series of empty, lined thought bubbles and text boxes, ready for filling. One issue that I have with this medium is similar to my concern with blogging in general – how much should I share?

Sweetie is now 6 and her comments are funny and insightful – definitely share-worthy. The Cricket is 3 (almost 4), and while she is sometimes profound and definitely funny, her comments can be surprising.

For the first example, let’s take a look at the naming of our Nissan Versa. So many people name their cars, our family is no different. The other day Cricket decided our car needed a name and that needed to happen…right now. Her suggestion: “Daddy, let’s call our car ‘Blackie’.” Sheesh. Looking at the car, which is black with dark-tinted windows, the name is obvious. Without that image, however, the comment from this child, with her pale “White-Hispanic” complexion, is a bit cringy.

Moving on, let’s talk food. Kids get their words wrong all the time. Everyone knows that, right? It caused me pause, however, when Cricket ordered lunch the other day by asking for “a big tit of pizza.” Yep, just like that. Again, funny, but it stops you when you hear (or read) that request without context. Okay, not sure what context I can give that one, though.

The last example stems from Cricket’s bathroom use. We had a bad run at the end of the school year where Cricket seemed to forget all of her training. One part of the recovery had Wife encouraging Cricket to hold her pee and walk herself to the bathroom. The other day when I commented that I had to use the toilet, Cricket, ever the helpful child, recommended, “remember Daddy, squeeze your vagina.” Ummm…yeah.

Out of the mouths of babes, eh? Kids say the darndest things, no? My Quotable Kid sits accessibly in our kitchen, just waiting to archive funny sayings like these. While I can’t buffer every quote with some sort of preface, they would spark some fun storytelling with the readers. Got any good quotes to share (Ha! – I know you do!)? Leave them in the comments below!

Singing Like a Dead Bird

Hello Friends,

The girls are in a singing phase right now, breaking out into song for just about any occasion. Much of their singing happens at the table when the girls should be eating. The other day, though, Cricket broke out into song when we were just hanging out, and I managed to catch it (I don’t think she realized I had the phone camera on).

A bit of a warning here: she is three and sings as such, and the content is just a bit morbid. For whatever reason, we have come across multiple dead birds lately. The girls are curious, not scared or disgusted, and apparently the Cricket stores the images in a special place.

Enjoy!

Unicorn Fail

Hello Friends,

while the past few Mondays have been reserved for a “Sweet” joke, this week started with the joke on me. Sweetie had a social crisis and I was completely clueless.

One theme ran through the entire kindergarten year: unicorns. Many of the little girls were having unicorn-themed parties, wearing Halloween costumes, hosting spa-days (really!), drawing pictures, etc.. Unicorns invaded!

We were not safe. Sweetie showed an interest so we bought unicorn-themed books, threw her a unicorn-themed birthday party, and as a cute gesture I gave her the unicorn knight Lego collectible mini-figure. Apparently the min-fig was the straw that broke the unicorn’s…no. Apparently the min-fig was the final “thing” as Sweetie responded to it not with joy but with tears. And me? I was all, “huh?”

UniKnight

What’s not to love?

After calming down, and taking the min-fig completely apart, Sweetie admitted to me that she didn’t really like unicorns. Again – huh? “But your birthday party,” I probed, “you asked for the unicorn theme.”

Sweetie’s response – “Some of the other girls really like unicorns, so I said I liked them too.”

Wow.

It is still early in our summer break and we are already into the life lessons. What followed was a brief and gentle conversation about how Sweetie needed to be honest with herself about what she liked and did not like, and then how to represent herself genuinely. I did my best to explain peer pressure, pack/group mentality and social norms to my 6 year old without making her feel ashamed, silly or like she was in trouble. First unicorns, then what? I had to resist spiraling down that path.

We revisited the topic when Wife came home. Again, gentle, brief (as in “no lecturing”) and hopefully empowering. I think Sweetie was worried she had disappointed me as she promised to make me a custom Lego set which she hoped I would like. I assured her that if it came from her I was sure to like it.

I do like it. Besides that it came from my daughter, I also felt it was fitting to our situation. What to call the scene? I couldn’t decide. To be more specific, I kept getting distracted, falling into thoughts about social pressures already creeping into my First Grader’s existence. And that won’t stop. I know it’s more about teaching her how to navigate the pressures, not trying to prevent them or have her ignore them. There is, and will continue to be, so much to unpack here. This will be a lesson we hone together over time. And that’s real life, actual, not imaginary like the invading unicorns.

So that’s my take away, and the working title for Sweetie’s MOC: Finding Our Way.

“Sweet Jokes”, 6/4/2018

Hello Friends,

Sweetie just wrapped up her Kindergarten year. Despite not being surrounded by like-minded comedians, she is still bringing the jokes. The latest example of her humor:

Sweetie: “What do you call a panda bear with no tail?”

Me: “Oohhh, I don’t know. What?”

Sweetie: “A useless panda.”

Me: “Huh. Hmmm.”

I am not sure this was an attempt at humor or just a stab at the Cricket. Her favorite animal is the panda bear and her favorite stuffed animal is her little panda bear, “BB” (thanks Buyo and Panda Express!). To be clear, BB does have a tail.

PeiPei

This joke, along with a slew of others that were left on the editing table, sparked our conversation about the difference between “funny” and “silly”. Funny being genuinely humorous and silly being an attempt at humor that misses because it just went the wrong direction. Like the direction 5 and 6 year old children take…often.That is now a sort of litmus test during our joke brainstorming sessions. It seemed the easiest way to tell Sweetie that her jokes were not funny without crushing her spirit. Double-edged sword though, as she is not beyond telling me, “Dad, that was just silly, not funny,” when I reach too far for a laugh.

On that note, I think that wraps up our current Sweet Jokes series. If Sweetie comes out with something really funny in the future I will be sure to share though. I hope it has brought some smiles to you all out there. It’s been fun for us, and we’ve found that sometimes a little silly can be just as good as some funny.