Questions I Asked My Kids

Hey there folks. I’m so sorry this is a day late. I tried my hardest get the video recorded, edited and uploaded in time to post their answers yesterday, but the Gods were against me. Though I’m stronger than the Gods, I can’t stop time (yet).  So here it is. The moment you have all been waiting for! Let the answers begin. The link to the video is below. It has a bonus question which does not appear here.


1. Did you have any dreams?
Crash: Pretty sure I did but I can’t remember them
Bang: Yes. I ate a whole bunch of muffins, apples, bananas, and the whole house and got as fat as can be.

2. How do magnets work?
Crash: Something included with the Earth. We did magnets in school last year.
Bang: With the force. It has sticky stuff and it can go together

3. Why does it get cold in the winter?
Crash: Because the Earth orbits around the sun and when it’s cold for us we’re facing out into space and when it’s warm in summer we’re facing the sun.
Bang: Because the snow has ice, really really cold ice

4. Why do we have to sleep at night?
Crash: So we won’t be extremely tired the next day
Bang: So we can go to the park

5. Dad just bought a dragon. What should we do with it first?
Crash: Ride it into outer space. If it was the ender dragon I would like ride it literally like everywhere. It would be my airplane
Bang: Burn the house

6. How many cookies can you eat?
Crash: Infinite. As many as I wanted to.
Bang: 139

7. If Piper could talk, what do you think she would tell us?
Crash: I want more food.
Bang: Baby sick

8. Why do mom and dad kiss?
Crash: To show their love
Bang: Because they love each other

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9. Why do wasps sting?
Crash: That’s how they protect themselves
Bang: to protect… so they don’t get stomped on.

10. How much did you weigh when you were born?
Crash: 3 pounds.
Bang: Zero pounds

Bonus (for video only):

Can you sing me a song?

 

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Be Hated

Sometimes you have to stand your ground. Fight for what you believe in. Speak your opinion when your opinion is warranted.  Even if it means pissing some people off.

This was the gist of Adrian Tan’s convocation address  (http://bit.ly/Ykz0za). I found it through Derek Muller’s YouTube video, Be Hated.

Essentially, they’re telling us that we’ll have our own opinions, our own methods, our own reason for doing what  we do. Sometimes it won’t mesh with other’s opinions, methods, and reasoning. does that mean we should change?

Hell no. Be you.

I’ll be me.

You chose to breastfeed or chose to bottle feed. You chose to public school or private school or homeschool. You chose not to limit screen time or to limit it or to not allow it at all. You chose to stay at home or to go to work. You chose the sadan or the minivan or the SUV. Somebody, somewhere will hate you for your choice.

They’re not you. It wasn’t their choice to make.

I think this easiliy applies to our kids. If we don’t piss them off sometimes, we’re not doing our job as parents. I do that every night with 3 little words, “It is bedtime.” I’m not saying we need to always piss them off. There’s no need to create a battle where a battle isn’t needed. However, if you make a decision in the best interest of your children you need to stick with it regardless of how unpopular it is with the lolipop gang. There comes a time when we have to be judge and jury, not a friend. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them in that moment. It does mean we do love them because we are caring about their well-being and are seeing to to it that we follow through.

“It is bedtime because I said so” is sometimes a sufficient arguement. Of course, you give them the whole explanation. Just don’t let it turn into a negotiation. My kids love a good negotiation like Danny Roman and Chris Sabian.

Go out and do well.

Go out and do good.

Go out and be hated (but don’t be a jerk).

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Things ’round here ain’t always pretty as a peach or happy as a lark. I’ve never hidden that on the blog. This parenting gig isn’t easy.

Unless you were my parents. They had it easy.

We all know the challenges and the struggles and the frustrations. We all know the messes and the dirt. Just Google “shit my kids ruined” and you’ll find thousands upon thousands of people who understand #TheStruggleIsReal.

But I don’t mind telling you about the times we snap. I don’t mind telling you that our kids know how to push us to the edge of sanity. Like last weekend.

I had the kids in the truck ready to go for a short hike to a waterfall. We were all buckled. That’s when I noticed the oldest had Crocks on his feet instead of shoes. I shut off the truck, run back in and grab his shoes and back out the door. It took me as long to get his shoes as it took you read that sentence. Yet, when I got back to the truck the youngest is crying because the oldest did something to the youngest because the youngest laughed at the oldest and the oldest didn’t want to be laughed at.

What the hell am I doing so wrong that I can’t leave them for 15 seconds without an assault and battery?

Yet, I know they are good kids. I see how they play with our neighbor’s 2 year old. They are gentle. They are kind. They take him to see our parrot but are careful not to let him too close (she bites). They jump on the trampoline with him until he’s laughing so hard he can’t stand up.

I know they are good kids. I witness their behaviour when we are out to eat. They treat the server with respect. They always use their pleases and thank yous. They ask for their meal of choice with their inside voices so nicely.

I know they are good kids. Their teachers rave about them. They tell us they are sweet and caring. They earn “best bucket filler” awards (that’s the award for doing nice things for others). They earn good grades. They have friends.

I know they are good kids. I look for the good in them. I believe in the good in them. However, sometimes I feel like Obi Wan believing in the good of a little boy named Anakin. We all know how that turned out. Even if he was good in the end, there was so much destruction to get to the end. The (only) difference between Obi and I though is that I don’t know how my boys will turn out. I can only continue the struggle, lead by example, and do what we parents do – keep up the good fight.

So I closed the truck door, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and promised I wouldn’t kill the kids. Then we went for a hike and that almost made it all better. The youngest was cranky with me because I apparently didn’t know enough about mushrooms.

Thanks to Modern Mommy Madness for inspiring this post and the belief in children’ s goodness.

boys

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Sunday Share LOL

I really do believe that laughter is the best medicine. Like that time DW and I had gone shoe shopping for her. Her feet were as swollen as her 8 month pregnant belly. She was my little punch buggy. In need of larger shoes, we hit up the mall. Shoe store after shoe store after whatever store might have sneakers (tennis shoes, running shoes, whatever you call ’em shoes) turned up nothing. Now her feet were sore, we were getting tired as we had gone one evening after school. All of this adds up to one cranky, pregnant lady. Finally, we were in Payless or something, DW was sucking on a hard candy and as she bent to try on her millionth pair of shoes she drooled. Laughing at a pregnant, cranky lady can be hazardous to one’s health. Fatal even. I tempted fate and I laughed at my drooling wife. She laughed, too. The laughter caused someone to fart which caused us to both laugh harder. Laughing harder almost caused pregnant wife who had a baby sitting on her bladder to almost pee her pants. This made us laugh even harder.

I don’t remember if she got shoes that night.

So, if you’re like me and are in need of a good laugh… here you go…

Return of the Modern Philosopher
Here’s another chat with Lucifer himself. Hell is a red state indeed.

Ah Dad
Not just another day at the gym.

Sheila Moss
Men, women… what’s the difference?

Anxious Mom
Candy causing another fit of laughter

You the Daddy
Laughing through pregnancy. I wish I would have seen this when DW was pregnant…

Lastly is my latest YouTube video. I pieced together our hike to a waterfall (not Uisge Ban, but just as inpiring) yesterday. It’s certainly not the most exciting thing to do with a GoPro, but it was fun…

Life Before and After Kids

Here is “Set Back Saturday”… One of my favorite posts that I have written Since I started blogging. Life before we had kids was significantly different than it is today. Not necessarily for better or worse. Just different.

All In A Dad's Work

We all had a life before our little parasites came along to suck every ounce of energy from our marrow. Our life was our own to do as we pleased. Beyond the scope of normal life responsibilities – work, bills, and doing whatever the hell we wanted – we were pretty free. Normal things were normal. Simply using the bathroom wasn’t even a thought. We just did our business and washed our hands. But life has changed drastically since those days. *If you don’t have kids, let this be your warning.*

Before
Going out the door. You put on your shoes, your coat, then left. What’s there to think about?

After
You holler to the kids that you’re leaving. NOW! Get your coat on, get your shoes on. Find one kid’s shoes, find the other kid’s coat. Argue that it’s cold outside and they need to wear winter coats, not…

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Go Ask Your Father: Knowing, Playing, Making, Cutting…

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A blurry photo of their first time playing Skee Ball. They earned enough tickets for a piece of gum and Tootsie Roll.

Here were are at another Friday. Arguably, it’s the best day of the week. Personally, I prefer good old Tuesdays. Now that’s a great day.

Just kidding. Everyone loves Saturdays!

Hope y’all have a good great weekend!

Do you know everything?

Lets just say I know enough to make you think I know it all. It’s easy when they’re five. I even tried to admit I don’t know everything.

He didn’t believe me!

He then asked, “Do you know how paper mills work?” (We have a paper factory here). I know a little bit about how they work simply because I know how paper is made. I explained to him how to make paper. “So you must know everything.” Crash has learned that I sometime fudge the truth so it appears I know what I’m talking about. After an explanation he’ll ask, “really?” Kind of like when my parents tried to tell me eggs came from chickens! I knew better. They come from grocery stores. My parents didn’t know everything. Then I’ll throw the question, “What do you think?” back at him just to make him think about what I said and compare it to reality.

Who’s going to play with me?

We all holler “not it!” and touch our noses. The last one to touch their nose has to play whatever made up game with no rules Bang has devised.

Just kidding.

We play with him. Our poor, attention deprived, little mongrel. We play Bug Trails. We play plasma cars. We play kickity kickball. We usually hear this question after someone stops playing and he’s not ready to be done playing so he comes looking for someone else to play with him. Which leads me to believe we should have had 4 kids, not 2. This way there are plenty of kids around to play with. (DW’s uterus just thunder punched me)

Why is called “made from scratch”?

Our cookies are made from scratch. Perhaps I’ll share our recipe with you one day. They’re to die for. Well, not die, really, but they’re good enough to devour. But why do we say they’re from scratch when nothing is scratched. It dates back to when starting lines were “scratched” into the dirt. If you weren’t all that fast (say Crash vs. Usain) you’d get a head start. However, if you were on equal terms you would start from the scratch. Eventually, starting from the scratch came to mean the very beginning. So it wouldn’t matter if you talking about a race or golf or cycling or baking, from scratch meant the start line.

Did they cut me open when I had heart surgery?

I wrote about this a while ago in a post titled “With An Open Heart“. Yes, Crash, they cut you open to operate on your heart. Your ribs were separated and sewn back together with titanium. Your little heart was only the size of a strawberry. Your pulmonary artery and your aorta were switched. They were the size of a barrel of a pen. Your coronaries to were switched, too. They were as small as the tip of a pen. It was done by a surgeon who was probably 6’2” and had massive hands. But they were sure and steady hands. We were told they are the best hands on the east coast. I believe it because every heart checkup Crash has had in the last 9 years has been nothing but good news.

Questions I Asked My Kids (ep 25)

Holy cow! Did you see what that said up in the title of this post? Better read it again just to make sure.

Yep.

Episode 25! Twenty five!

That means I’ve asked 250 questions and received 250 answers. Some of them have been duplicates, of course. Who in their right mind can think of 250 questions to ask their kids?

I’m not in my right mind.

Or my left mind.

My mind likes to wander (it’s okay, it’s not lost) (yet). If you happen to see, tell it to be home in time for supper. We’re having slow cooker pork roast. It won’t want to miss that.

Questions

1. If we could have any animal for a pet, what would you like to have in the house?

Crash: Cat
Bang: Donkey… no no, a camel

2. How far away is the moon?

Crash: 53,000 miles
Bang: 139 66 meters

3. How far away is the sun?

Crash: 5 million thousand
Bang: 3 million km

4. What is the internet?

Crash: The internet is what you use to send emails to people and it’s like Google search webs
Bang: A person made out of wires in the radio.

5. What are you thankful for?

Crash: Electronics
Bang: Sleeping

6. If you could pick a superpower to have, what superpower would you want?

Crash: To be faster than Usain Bolt
Bang: Flying

7. What’s the grossest thing you can think of?

Crash: A plant that spits poop at you
Bang: Pooping on the floor

8. If you got an allowance, how much do you think you should get each week?

Crash: $3.00
Bang: 39 5 cents

9. What song will you request in the truck?

Crash: Lost Boy

Bang: Get Away From My House

10. Can you tell me a story?

Crash: Once upon a time a boy played video games all day.
Bang: One day a boy pooped on the floor and his mom got angry. So she threw him in the trash can.

My Reading Buddies

Most of the time I feel like we’re in over our heads with this whole parenting gig. What the hell did we get ourselves into? None of this was in the brochure.

Can’t I get a refund?

Can’t I get an exchange?

In-store credit perhaps?

The noise! Oh the noise. Why do they insist on playing so loud. I swear their voices must be heard by a few other countries. If anyone is wondering what the constant sound of thunder is, it’s coming from our house. If they’re not playing loudly, they’re pissing each other off loudly. Usually for fun. Except it’s only fun for one of them. The other one just screams and screams.

Then there’s the dirt. Don’t even get me started on the dirt. And laundry. And messes.

Through all the noise, the dirt, and the messes there comes a time when something remarkable happens. A time when it gets quiet even though they’re still awake. A time when the messes don’t really matter even though they’re still there. There comes a time when they prove they really do love each other.

Crash disappeared to the basement for awhile the other day. No biggie. I thought he was playing Lego or Wii. Or on the computer because I forgot to sign out. That boys can smell when a computer is logged on three flights of stairs away. That’s where I found him, but he wasn’t watching Minecraft videos. He was writing a book for his brother. I thought my heart was going to burst with pride.

Mind you, it was only 4 pages long, but it was a book to teach to his brother! That’s like finding out Putin is sending food supplies to Crimea.

Bang learned it in no time. Of course, he simply memorized it. However, he has learned the beginning sounds for words. He knows the sound each letter makes at the beginning of words. When he comes to a word he doesn’t know he will start with that beginning sound. From there, he just takes a shot in the dark as to what the word might be.

Through the noise and the dirt and the mess there comes a time when we know we may not be getting everything right. Usually it feels like we’re getting nothing right. In th

ese quiet revelations I realize we’ve nailed this parenting gig. We have fostered the love of reading and books and words and questions.

Yesterday I wrote about our trip to Uisge Ban Falls. In that post I told that we had more traveling to do after our hike. That trip was to the mall. The boys spotted the book store and asked to go.  How in the hell could I say no? I could spend hours there. I have spent hours there. DW left us to go get some perfume. She knew we’d be there looking at books longer than it would take her pick out a new smelly. The boys went straight for the kids section. Then I was told ALL children’s books were 20% off. She might as well have told me DW just bought herself a Princess Leia costume (you know which one). Okay, maybe I wasn’t that excited, but you know what I mean.

The three of us bought two books each. When you have a whole bookstore to choose from, how do you pick just one? I was lucky to make it out with just two.

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Bet you can’t guess who bought which books… Which to read first…

Now that you’ve made it this far, here is a 30 second video of a 5 year old learning to read.

(I silenced their names)

Uisge Ban Falls

If you’re like me the first time I saw that name I had no idea how to pronounce it. It’s Gaelic as Cape Breton has very strong Irish and Scottish roots. It’s pronounced ISH-kuh Ban Falls. It’s Gaelic translation is “white water”. However, according to the Canadian Geological Database it is Easach Ban Falls. There are two trails leading to the falls. The short trail is about 1 mile in length and will get you to the falls in less than a half hour. The longer is closer to 3 miles will take about an hour. However, it follows the river to the falls. The boys are familiar with hikes as I take them on occasion. We took the short path, though, on account that we had more traveling to do. 

The trail is fairly rugged. Roots finger their way across the path. Roots claw their way over bolders in search of better soil, proving that paper does indeed beat rock. There are bridges to cross at which the boys would toss leaves and stick from to watch see them float away in the current of the river. There are more photo opportunities than you can shake a stick at. 

Once you are at the falls you will essentially be in a three sided bowl whose sides are 500 feet high. Your eyes and ears will feast upon two waterfalls. The lower is about 10 feet high. The upper falls allow water to cascade 50 feet and pool on a platau before flowing down the lower falls. 

It was an absolutely beautiful October Saturday. Clear skies. 20 degrees (C) (70F). The leaves have started changing, though they’re not quite in their full glory yet. A few leaves littered the path. Hikers galore seized the day. Even though we were an hour and 15 minutes from home we managed to meet three families from home. Every time a dog passed us the boys would ask its owner, “Can I pet your dog?” We (when I say “we” I mean DW) taught them to ask first. If given permission they then hold out their hand for the dog to sniff. If the dog gives permission then they can pet. 

Sorry, Pa. We still couldn’t find your sunglasses (he lost/forgot a pair there about 10 years ago). 

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For What I Don’t Have

Happy Canadaland Thanksgiving!

Or Columbus Day if you’re in the States. 

I normally don’t get all religious. Normally, I don’t get religious at all unless I’m in church. However, on occasion a story will come along that just makes sense. I get it. Thanks to Father Conrad for this homily.

It’s a Jesus story, but also a story about giving thanks. For when Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem (for his crucifixion) he met 10 men all asking to be healed of leprosy. If you’re up for a Halloween scare Google images of leprosy. I triple dog dare you. Anyway, Jesus told the 10 men to go see the priest. They did and *POOF* they were healed. One man returned to thank Jesus. Only one was thankful for his healing. 

While 9 men were asking themselves “Why me? Why do I have to be a leper?” the tenth was asking “Why me? Why heal me?” He was the thankful one. 

How many lottery winners ask, “Why me?”

How many ask, “Why me?” when good fortune comes their way? Yet we’re quick to question the bad luck, the bad situtations, the tragedies. Yet we always seem deserving of the good that comes to us. 

The theme, naturally, is to give thanks. In the past we usually tell what we’re thankful for; family, friends, food and house (usually in that order). Today is a little different. There’s a twist, if you will. 

There are so many reasons to give thanks. But what am I thankful I don’t have?

I’m thankful that I don’t have:

  • leprosy
  • to cook the turkey today
  • to be the turkey
  • kids who hate me (usually)
  • to worry about money (usually)
  • troubles that are anything more than trivial
  • to worry about where my next meal is coming from, where I’m going to sleep, who’s going to love me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ll write another of these thankful posts at the end of November. I love getting two Thanksgivings.

What are you thankful you don’t have?