November 2010 Archives

Patent Pending

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Karenna: How do Santa's reindeer fly anyway?
Me: I don't know.
Karenna: I think I'll write a letter to Santa asking him.
Me: He might not tell you.
Karenna: Why not?
Me: What if the technology is patented?
Karenna: What does that mean?
Me: You get a patent when you have an idea and you don't want other people to copy you.
Karenna: I won't copy him.
Me: I know, but what if you told someone who did?

A little while after changing the subject to what the word tragedy means...
Karenna: So when my friend told the boy I liked what I like him, that was a tragedy.
Me: Why is it embarrassing to like someone?  Everybody has crushes. You shouldn't be embarrassed.  Look at Jude; he has a whole list of girls he has crushes on and he's not embarrassed.
Karenna: That's different.  He likes those girls, but they all like him back.  Even girls he doesn't know come up to him and say, 'You're cute'.
Me: Don't you think people like you?  A lot of people like you.
Karenna: Mom, can we please stop talking about this.
Me: Why?
Karenna: Because it's patented information.

Crayon Gourmet

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The other night, Chris made orzo with spinach, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and feta.  Jude didn't eat his, so tonight we gave him the plate we wrapped up as leftovers.

"Do I have to eat this?" he asked. "I don't like spinach."

"You have to try it," Chris told him.

"You have to try something forty times before you can say you don't like it," I said.  This is from an article I read in a parenting magazine years ago.  It takes up to forty tries to acquire a taste for new foods.

"How much do I have to eat before I can have a banana?" he asked.

We divided the food up and showed him what portion he had to try.

"Jude, you're making yourself think you don't like it.  You've already decided so your brain is telling you that you don't.," I told him.

"That's not true. My brain doesn't tell me anything. Brains don't talk!"

We were getting frustrated and so was he.  Since adult logic wasn't working, I thought I'd try kid logic, "Jude, you mean to tell me that out of all the stuff you put in your mouth, you don't like spinach.  You eat crayons! Now, you can't mean that daddy's spinach and orzo is any worse than crayons."

"Gee thanks," Chris interjected. "What a compliment.  'Daddy's orzo is better than eating crayons.'"

"It is not better than crayons.  Crayons taste good," Jude replied. "Except for the brown ones; they taste awful."

Karenna and her friend we playing in the living room while Jude was cleaning up the art bin.  The next thing a I knew, I saw Jude toss a Superman folder and hit Karenna's friend in the head.

"Jude," I yelled.  "We don't throw things in the living room!  You just hit Karenna's friend on the head. Now give her a hug and tell her you are sorry."

He hugged her and we could tell he felt bad. "I'm sorry.  I wasn't trying to hurt you, I just wanted see if I could make it fly."

Now that I thought about it, he probably thought it was shaped like a paper airplane, though in my opinion it was too heavy and lacked an aerodynamic shape.

"No, Jude!" said firmly to get the notion out of his head, "Your folder does not fly in this living room.  You can hurt someone."

Then he responded like a smart-ass, "Well technically, mom, it is Superman, so it does."


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Jude has been singing a lot of Kindergarten songs lately.  When he tires of the words that they use in school, he makes up his own new words to them.  Mixed in with his kindergarten songs, though, is his new-found interest in The Clash, particularly the song Bankrobber.

On the way home from dropping Karenna off at ballet, Jude began to sing "My Daddy was a bankrobber but he never hurt nobody, He just loved to live that way and he loved to steal your money."

"Your daddy's not a bankrobber though," I said.

"No," he answered, as if I were an idiot for asking such a thing.

"What does your daddy do?" I asked. 

This question wasn't quite as easy.  Whenever non-IT people ask what Chris does, I'm always tempted to translate.  My latest version is part translation of Chris jargon and part teasing him when I say, "You know how you're on the phone and you keep pressing numbers thinking, For the love of God, just let me talk to a real person? Well part of Chris's job is to program things like that to keep you from talking to real people."

Jude has been to Chris's office once or twice and has seen the test phones lined up on his desk and another desk nearby.  I was fairly certain he remembers this.  I also know that he's aware that his dad does something with computers.

I waited for Jude's response...

"My dad pays bills," he answered.  (Um... daddy was a bill-payer but he never hurt nobody. He just loved to live that way, and he loved to steal my money.)

Every morning we try to get Jude moving, but with great difficulty.   We usually try being extra silly to curb his crankiness.

I stopped in Jude's room and overhead Jude say, "Dad, see it's not your Mario shirt; you're wearing that one to work!"

"Oh, I just forgot to put my Mario shirt on," is what I think Chris said, "Maybe if you hurry up and wear it before me I won't be able to wear it."

I chimed in as Karenna walked in behind me, "Karenna are you wearing your pants or Jude's today?"  Karenna likes to play along.

Jude said, "I am going to put on my own pants today!"

"Okay, well, Karenna has her own pants on and I have mine, so I guess today is Wear Your Own Pants Day!"

"Wear Your Own Pants Day?" Karenna asked.

"Yep.  So when you see your friends at school wearing their own pants make sure you tell them Happy Wear Your Own Pants Day!"

"I can't tell them that!" she said. "I'll get in trouble!"


"You can't say 'wear your own pants' in school."

"Why not? They do it every day? And how do you know?  I was a teacher.  I should know what was allowed."

"Things have changed since back then.  My teacher will send me to the principal."

At this point Jude told not to bother his sister.

"What if I emailed your teacher?" I asked. "And I explained that it was Wear Your Own Plants Day?"

"Don't do that, mom!" she said. "You can't do that! That's wasting the Internet."

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