Old McDonald’s and other Kid Antics (a 7QT post)


You know how you can say one thing one time and suddenly everybody has to repeat it every single time they see the object in question? There’s this house, on the corner of this one street, about which Alex said one day, “That’s a 1980s house.”

“More like a 1950s house,” I said, offhand.

And now we cannot pass this house—which lies along the route to Jazzercise—without Michael yelling, “There’s the 1950s house!”

I feel like saying, “I have no idea if it’s 1950s or 1940s or 1960s! It was just a throwaway comment!”


Photo by JeepersMedia, via Flickr

I’m sure we’re not the only family whose kids see golden arches and scream, “Old McDonald’s!” and burst into moo moos and baa baas. (Right? Please?)


Christmas songs offer a symphony of possibility for musically creative kids. (You do remember “Percy Jackson Ro-ocks”/”Let it blow”, right?) Well, this is the singing exchange I was treated to earlier this week:

“Grandma got run over by a reindeer, coming home from…”

“No, no, Nicholas got run over by a Reindeer!”

“ALEX got run over by a reindeer!”

“No, no, Nicholas got run over by Alex!”

At which point I hollered that they’d better all stop running over people and get their pajamas on, RIGHT NOW. After a scant few seconds’ quiet, Nicholas started up again: “Michael got run over by a toilet!”

Sometimes my life is like the “good night chorus” on the Waltons…only less friendly.


Photo by Rooners Toy Photography, via Flickr

Speaking of cultural phenomena, my kids are all in love with the Hulk. I find this puzzling. I mean, Mark Ruffalo = what’s not to like? But the Hulk in general? I don’t get it.

It’s a good thing I have an adult XY to explain it to me.

“He’s big, he’s strong, and he breaks things,” he said. “He’s a role model.”

I think I am doomed.


Last Friday we went to Christian’s office party. We were the first to arrive, and when the next guest walked in—a grad student—Julianna greeted her with, “Where are your people?” This was a matter of great hilarity the entire evening, and apparently it’s become the standing office joke this week.


Rocking new-to-her polka dots
Rocking new-to-her polka dots

Speaking of Julianna: I finally figured something out today. You can’t trust any answer she gives you to be true; e.g., “Did you use the toilet? Did you hit your brother?” I finally realized that this is a stunning example of EQ versus IQ. See, Julianna can instinctively understand what is the right answer to such questions, even if she doesn’t know the actual answer. So when you ask Julianna a question, you will ALWAYS get the right answer.

“Did you use the toilet?”


“Did you hit your brother?”


“Do you understand me?”


But it’s just as likely that the answers are no, yes, and no, respectively. Unless it has to do with food, of course. Julianna’s food IQ handles food questions just fine. (Tell me again how she is so skinny that she can WEAR HER UNDERWEAR SIDEWAYS????)


But back to the office party. We hold our kids to pretty high behavior standards—in general, but for this event in particular—and they did a beautiful job that night, even by our measure. We sent them out to the van while we said our goodbyes. “I can’t believe how well behaved your kids were!” Christian’s boss gushed. “Where’d they go, anyway?” She glanced out the door and said, “Oh. They’re running around in the street.”

Yup, that sounds about right.

-Bonus 1-

Because I can’t stop myself…my favorite Advent moment so far? Michael asking when it’s going to snow, me saying I didn’t know, and him chiming in, “Maybe it’s in the Advent calendar!”

-Bonus 2-

And just to prove that I can tell stories at my own expense…

Sunday afternoon we trekked out to Bass Pro to visit the Big Red Guy. It was raining hard, and my kids had been standing still complaining about getting wet instead of, yanno, walking to shelter. By the time we got inside I was in full German Shepherd mode. (Nobody can German Shepherd like a German mommy.) I was putting hands on the back of one child and the next and the next, going, “Move it, move it, move it, let’s go let’s go let’s go!” And I couldn’t figure out why this one kid WOULD NOT MOVE. Until I glanced down and realized IT WASN’T MY KID.

Now you all feel better about your own parenting skills. You’re welcome. Happy 4th Advent.