The Kids

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

The boy cracked me up this morning when he announced that he had an answer to the hypothetical question, “Who would you invite to dinner, dead or alive?” No one had asked him this question, but he busted out with an answer nonetheless. In order it was: 1) Bill Gates, 2) Michael Dell, 3) Warren Buffett, 4) Ndamukong Suh, 5) Michael Jackson, 6) Johnny Cash, and 7) Jesus. That would […]

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The Smell of Failure

Until this afternoon, the worst odor I had ever smelled was that of decomposing rat. Did you know that there is a product called RatZorb that is made specifically to absorb that smell? This is one of the many unfortunate facts about rats that I learned at my previous residence. Back to the present: I have a new “most disgusting” odor. It is burnt microwave popcorn. I’m not talking about […]

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Jeannette McCurdy’s Funeral

Jeannette McCurdy was a checkered garter snake. She lived in our backyard until this morning, when she was discovered deceased on the neighbor’s driveway. Before her untimely demise, Jeannette looked something like this: She was a lovely little snake, with a nice yellow stripe down the middle of her back. She was about 10 inches long. We don’t think she made it to full adulthood. My children gathered with their […]

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Mysterious Benedict, Part 2

I tried a new voice on as I read to the kids today. The character is called Constance Contraire, and she’s supposed to be a cranky, little thing. I decided she needed to sound nasal and annoying. My six-year-old stopped me after the first line. “Who is Constance?” she asked. I explained that she was the character we had just read about. She looked shocked. “My God!” she exclaimed, “she […]

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The Mysterious Benedict Society

I *love* reading to my kids. We read intermittently over the summer, but I’ve decided to do nightly reading now that school has started. We wait until Dad is home and read as a family. He plays Angry Birds on his iPhone and listens. Or surfs Craigslist for Corvettes. And listens. He can multitask. I’m bad at that. I can’t even listen to the radio while I drive. Reading to […]

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Our Little House

School started Monday. I finished my summer reading to the kids this afternoon with the end of Little House in the Big Woods, a book we read together three years ago (half my daughter’s lifetime) and that the kids wanted to revisit. I’m so glad they did. I had forgotten how delightful this book is. We finished re-learning about how Ma made cheese and how she prepared hominy (which she […]

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Long Live The King

I never know when a teaching moment will show up. Today it happened when I looked in the fridge at lunchtime and noticed that we were out of jelly. “How about PB and banana?” I asked the kids. “That was Elvis’ favorite sandwich.” “Who’s Elvis?” they wanted to know. Which was a better response than the expected, “Yuck!” So while I slapped together the ingredients, I told them. “Elvis was […]

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The Truck

The Big M has long had a dream of owning a Corvette. To help make this dream a reality, he sold his nice truck and used a portion of the proceeds to buy a less nice truck as his daily driver so as to free up funds for the dream car. Our boy has been very involved in the process. Every time Dad takes out his wallet, an eight-year-old voice […]

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Like a Rolling Stone

How is it that — thanks to children — I no longer have a gag reflex at the sight of someone else’s vomit, feces, or urine, but I about lose my mind when I see crayons on the carpet? Entropy is the natural order of things, so why am I so irritated when they trash my house? I don’t feel disrespected. They’re just doing what comes naturally. But the clutter, […]

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