E is for Questions I Asked My Kids

It is for the greatest name, ever. It’s an Old Norse name from the elements ei which means “ever, always” and riker for “ruler”. Essentially, it means Eric is always the king. Being a Leo, also make me a ruler. I’m a natural born king!

You can stop laughing now mom and DW.

 is for enqire. We all know kids can ask 1500 questions an hour (nearly light speed). I return the favor by asking them my own set of questions every week. This might be episode 37. Times 10 is 370 questions. I’ve asked them as many questions in 37 weeks as they’ve asked me just since suppertime. 
What did I enquire about this week?

1) What is something your good at in school?

Crash: Art
Bang: Math and reading

2) What is something you need to work on in school?

Crash: Listening and staying focused
Bang: My 5 senses book

3) What is your least favorite thing to do in school?

Crash: Social Studies
Bang: Working

4) What is your favorite thing to do in school?

Crash: Gym
Bang: Play trucks

5) What animal would be fun to have as a pet in the house?

Crash: A dog – a golden retriever or pug puppy
Bang: Giraffe

6) What word does Dad use most?

Crash: How was schoo?
Bang: Get ready for bed

7) What word does mom use most?

Crash: How the medication work?
Bang: Stop playing with that

8) Where do you want to go this summer when the weather gets warm?

Crash: To visit Nana and Pop Pop and to the pet store
Bang: Beach

9) What book do you want me to read to you tonight?

Crash: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Bang: I’m Dirty

10) How tall do you think you’ll be when you grow up?

Crash: 6 foot 4
Bang: 16 feet

These questions (and any questions I have asked in the past) are free for the taking. I would love to hear your kids responses. Be sure to link to this post! There’s no need to equire about me on Twitter – find me @stomperdad

Go Ask Your Father: Universe, Rubberband Balls, Owls, and the Inevitable Travel Question

This is our last sleepover for this trip. Tomorrow we’ll attempt Hope for Wildlife and then make trails for home. The boys are excited to see in real life what they’ve been seeing on TV. There are the animals which they love and the rescuers/vets they’ve met through the show. I’m kind of excited, too. DW’s brother say they have a talking crow. We call him Russel or Sheryl. You know… famous Crows.

1. How big is the Universe?

Freakin’ huge. I can’t even begin to fathom the size. It’s measured in distances that light can travel in years. In one second it can travel 186,000 miles. With every tick of the tick tock clock light can travel around the Earth 7 times. So you can imagine the distance it goes in just one year is pretty far. The known universe is estimated to be 13.8 billion years old. This is 3 times older than Earth. When the light left the stars of the farthest galaxies Earth didn’t even exist yet. However, while looking at light that 13.8 billion years old, the universe has moved to 46 billion light years away. This puts the known universe somewhere around 92 billion light years in diameter. Or about the same as Trump’s Ego.

2. How are rubber band balls made?

These are easy. If you happen to have enough rubber bands on hand and an equal amount of time, you can make these fun things on your own. Start with one and simply twist and fold it into a tiny ball. Continue doing this with other bands, wrapping them around your starter. Eventually, you’ll have a ball of rubber bands. The largest one made weighs 9,032 pounds and is 6 feet 7 inches tall. About the same size my Ego.

3. What’s a screech owl?

There are Eastern and Western screech owls and they are very similar. They average the same small size, 6 inches in height or 9 inches  and 4-8 ounces in weight. Adult plumage is a combination of brown, black, and white. Nesting screeches are grey and fuzzy. It’s their voice that sets them apart. If you hear it you would compare it to a kid screaming. Just looking it up. It’s haunting.

Listen to a screech owl

4. How much farther?

If you’re lucky you won’t hear this question get asked before you even leave the driveway. You hope to never hear it during a three hour trip. But, without a doubt, it will be asked. Even if you’re only driving 10 minutes down the road. We’ve made a few side trips since getting here and without a doubt the youngest always wants to know where we’re going and how long it’s going to take to get there. I do my best to give them my best estimate. But sometimes I tell them, “The Promised Land and we’ll be there in 40 days and 40 nights.”

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Questions I Asked My Kids: Would You Rather…

So apparently I’m doing this blogging this all wrong. DW shared an article with me about a lady who is making over $50,000 a month with her blog. A MONTH! I’d be happy to make that in year, let alone 30 days. She also spends 40-60 hours a week on her blog. I might spend 7-10 if I write every day. 

1. Would you rather drink lemon juice or eat a cricket?

Crash: Drink lemon juice
Bang: Eat a cricket
Mom: Drink lemon juice
Dad: Eat a cricket 

2. Would you rather have stupidly huge hands or huge feet?

Crash: Huge hands
Bang: Huge hands
Mom: Huge hands
Dad: Huge hands

3. Would you rather have your grandmother’s hair or her first name?

Crash: Her Hair
Bang: Her hair
Mom: Her hair
Dad: Her name

4. Would you rather be the best player on a team that never wins or the worst player on a team that never loses?

Crash: Worst player on a team that never loses
Bang: Best player on a team that never wins
Mom: Best player on a team that never wins
Dad: Best player on a team that never wins

5. Would you rather have feet for hands or hands for feet?

Crash: Hands for feet
Bang: Feet for hands
Mom: Hands for feet
Dad: Hands for feet

6. Would you rather be blind or deaf?

Crash: Deaf
Bang: Blind
Mom: Deaf
Dad: Deaf

7. Would you rather be horrible at a job but get paid alot or be perfect at a job and get paid a little?

Crash: Horrible at a job and get paid alot
Bang: Perfect at a job and get paid a little
Mom: Horrible and get paid alot
Dad: Perfect and get paid a little

8. Would you rather be able to only whisper or only shout?

Crash: Shout
Bang: Shout
Mom: Only whisper
Dad: Only whisper

9. Would you rather give up electronics or junk food?

Crash: Junk food
Bang: Junk food
Mom: Junk food
Dad: Junk food

10. Would you rather have an elephant trunk for a nose or a giraffe’s neck?

Crash: Elephant trunk
Bang: Giraffe’s neck so I can go through the ceiling
Mom: Elephant trunk
Dad: Elephant trunk

I encourage you to ask your family member these questions. Bonus points if you can guess their answer!

Questions I Asked My Grandmother

1929 was a big year. Herbert Hoover was president. The stock market plummeted and U.S. securities lost $26 billion becoming the first financial disaster of the Great Depression. Trotsky was expelled from the U.S.S.R. The Cubs lost the world series to the Philadelphia A’s and the Boston Bruins defeated the NY Rangers for the Stanley Cup. A stamp cost .02¢ and a gallon of gas was .20¢. It was also the year my grandmother was born. Without her (and my grandfather), my dad wouldn’t be here. Without him (and my mom), I wouldn’t be here. Without me, you wouldn’t be here reading this. We can all thank my grandmother.

A few weeks ago I sent a letter off to my grandmother, my Dad’s Mom. It was done the 1929 way, written in ink on paper, sealed in an envelope and sent via postal service. Though, the way the postal service moves I could have sworn I sent it by pony express. Actually, I know it wasn’t by pony express. It would have gotten there faster if it was.

Today is “Questions I Asked” day a day early. As you’ve already read up there in the title, I didn’t ask my kids the questions this time. She graciously responded in her very unique penmanship. I can easily pick her handwriting out of a police line-up.

So what did I ask her? How did she answer?

1. When and where were you born? How many siblings do you have?

I was born on a farm at home near Longwoods, Maryland in 1929. I had 3 sister and 3 brothers.

2. What was school like for you?

Small classes, know everyone. What I liked best was being in school plays and history classes.

3. How did you meet Pop Pop?

We were introduced at a barn dance by a friend.

4. What was it like raising kids on “the farm”? 

We ate good food, played together, and worked in the chicken houses together.

5. Which trip/vacation was your favorite?

Probably going with Kathy (her daughter, my aunt) to Ireland, Scotland, and England.

6. What do you miss most about the “good old days”?

Memories of WWII when we had an Army Observation Post at our house. We had company every night and met interesting people in our neighborhood.

7. What did you do for fun as a kid?

My sister and I played with dolls and kittens.

8. Did you ever get into trouble as a kid? What did you do?

Once only, my sister was a trouble maker. One day I fastened her in the hen house. There was a black snake there.

9. What is a memory of my dad as a kid that makes you laugh?

He only saw me cry once. He asked if I had something in my eye.

10. How far back have you traced our family heritage? Who was it and where were they from?

Back to the 1600’s for some ancestors. They were from England. Nicholas Goldsborough is my ancestor six times – family marriages.

After note she included with her letter…

Once my children (she had seven of them) were out of school and on their own, I may have neglected them. I knew they had their own interests far removed from mine.

So I pursued my own interests- civic activities- historical and genealogical research. It was always easy sandwiching family and others.

Now, in recent years, I’ve been writing about my childhood and parents as I remember them. I have many loose leaf notebooks. 

The research I did for others broadened my interests and many friends have I acquired.

My research included murders, suicides, law suits, a few scandals and some boring. 

Only one long time effort researching Leo’s (my grandfather) Mother’s family. It cost a lot of money. There is a copy of it in the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

grandma

Crash and Bang with their great-grandmother

 

Go Ask Your Father: Calories, Sphincters, Magnificent, and Boats

Welcome to Friday. Friday night, actually. It is here anyway.

Let me start again.

Welcome to Saturday! Saturday morning actually. It is here anyway. We haven’t been here for an entire week. Perhaps we need more Saturdays in the week.

So there I was yesterday, watching Curious George with Bang when it dawned on me. I could watch Curious George all day long. It’s the one show I don’t mind watching over and over and over. I can relate to the Man in the Yellow Hat. I know what it’s like to have monkeys. Especially curious ones.

It seems the questions are coming full blast now. While I’m loving answering their questions, I can’t keep up. I forget their questions before I get a chance to write them down. They ask while I’m driving. They ask while we’re laying in bed at night. They ask while we’re out for a bike ride. The most inopportune times to enter them into Wunderlist on the cell phone.

1. What are calories?

low-calorie1This arose from watching TV. A yogurt  commercial claimed to have just 80 calories. Inshort, a calorie is a unit of energy. Or at least that’s what I told Crash. His response was, “That yogurt has 80 units of energy.” You’ll find calories listed on all your food labels. Scientifically speaking, a food calorie is equivalent to the amount of energy required to raise one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. Your lifestyle can be a determinate on how many calories you need in a day. More sedentary lifestyles, as those of sloths and couch taters, require fewer calories. Those who lead active lifestyles, like athletes, require more calories. Kids require a million billion bajillion calories because they go and go and go and go and….

2. What’s an anal sphincter?

I don’t believe I had to answer this question. No questions are off limits. And thanks to Sheldon Cooper and The Big Bang Theory, here I am answering this. Here was the scene. Sheldon was trying to relax Leonard so Leonard wouldn’t get mad about not being mentioned in scientific journal article about a project he had worked on. So Sheldon was massaging Leonard’s shoulders and told him to relax all his muscles. Except his anal sphincter, don’t relax that. So if you had a map and a flashlight, where would you find an anal sphincter? You’re poop hole. Fun fact: sphincters are strong enough to restrict the passage of any fecal material but sensitive enough to differentiate between solid, liquid, and gas. Just like dad… strong yet sensitive. Eight year olds just LOVE that word, poop, too. So please don’t relax your sphincter. You’ll have a message of infantile proportions.

Note: I’m including pictures of anal sphincters. You can Google those on your own time.

3.What’s magnificent?

I am, son. Totally. Well, not so much magnificent as awesome or super or any other word that would describe a dad. Though, compared to mom words, these are mediocre descriptions. Thanks to “The Day The Crayons Came Home” the sequel to “The Day The Crayons Quit” we have the word magnificent. Poor Pea Green doesn’t like his name because nobody likes peas or pea green. So he changes it to Esteban the Magnificent. He goes off to explore the world, but since it’s rainy he decides to stay home where it’s nice and dry. Those are two great books to read. Kids love them and they’re not so bad if you have to read them 3 kajillion times.

greencrayon

The real Esteban

 

Esteban 001

Bang’s Esteban

 

4. Why do boats float?

Because their hull pushes A LOT of water out of the way.

Pushing water out of the way is called displacement. Archimedes realized this when he took a bath. The water level in his tub rose after he got in. This was his body displacing water to make room for itself. If an object is lighter than the amount of water it displaces it will float. That’s why a small iron nail sinks while giant iron ship can float. The nail doesn’t have to displace much water to make room for itself while a ship displaces tons of water. In water, there are two forces acting upon the object. Gravity, which pulls downward and buoyancy which pushes upward. The more water an object displaces the more buoyant it is.  I, apparently, don’t displace much water because I can’t float. However, DW has two, built in flotation devices. So, should we ever go overboard, I’ll be clinging to her. Lest I become lobster bait.

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H is for Hotel and Questions I Asked My Kids

If you remember from last year, I wrote about this place already. Except last year was mid-April. We were on H in the A-Z Challenge because H was for hotel (it was also for Hyper). If  you missed it or forget what happened last year, you can read it here. It was slightly embarrassing.

We weren’t able to get checked in until 3 today, but DW’s conference started at 11. This left the boys and I up to no good for 4 hours. We hit up Wal-Mart for a few forgotten items (my bathing suit being one). Then the mall. Then the park. Finally, we’re in our room and the boys are aching to jump in the pool, but we’re going to have some supper first.

Anywho, on the questions. We both know it’s what you came here for.

What makes you happy?

Crash: When you tickle me
Bang: Jumping on the tramperline (that’s how he says it)

What makes you sad?

Crash: When I get hurt
Bang: Hugs

What would you like to do tomorrow?

Crash: Go swimming, go for a walk so I can 11,000 steps, play tablet and hang out in the hotel
Bang: Go swimming

What do you like to watch on television?

Crash: The Gaming Show (In My Parent’s Garage)
Bang: Team Umizoomi

How much money do you have?

Crash: Only $10
Bang: 49 and 80

What do you do that is naughty?

Crash: Everything! Being mean to my brother
Bang: Whining (contributed by his big brother)

What is the best job in the world?

Crash: Being an engineer
Bang: Cleaning

What’s the best part about Truro?

Crash: Staying at the hotel
Bang: Swimming (I’m sensing a theme here)

What’s the best part of staying in a hotel?

Crash: Swimming and the restaurant in the hotel
Bang: Going swimming and going on the elevator

Bridge