Posts Tagged ‘kids’

It Should Have Been Obvious

February 7, 2011

I was upstairs this morning, trying to put away some laundry, when I head blood-curdling screams coming from downstairs where the kids were playing. Fearing some horrible scene awaiting my discovery, I bolted down to the living room.

Edvard Munch's "The Scream"

From Wikipedia.

To my surprise, the kids both had huge grins on their faces as they ran back and forth across the living room, shrieking at the top of their lungs all the while.

“What are you guys doing?” I asked.

“Playing screaming,” our three year-old answered matter-of-factly, as though this should have been completely obvious.

The kids promptly resumed their “game,” apparently commencing the lightning round.

Einstürzende Cosgrove

January 4, 2011

The kids had dueling stereos playing in the living room this morning. In the one corner was Sparks Fly by Miranda Cosgrove, and in the other corner was Halber Mensch by Einstürzende Neubauten.

I swear I am not making that up. They were also perfectly content to have both playing on repeat mode for several hours.

The overall effect of the aural clash was the impression that Dieter from Sprockets had been tapped to run Nickelodeon (which, now that I think about it, would do a lot to explain how much of the humor in shows like iCarly and SpongeBob SquarePants somehow makes it in there).

Dieter from Sprockets, from Wikipedia.

We all know who SpongeBob's real creator is.

The Cosgrove CD was a Christmas present from the grandparents to our three year-old son, while the Neubauten album is something I’ve had in one format or another for many years.

That a couple of preschoolers would enjoy listening to treacly tween pop isn’t the least bit surprising, but their enjoyment of Einstürzende Neubauten is only surprising until you stop and think about it for a moment:

  • What do toddlers and early preschoolers enjoy doing? Banging and scraping stuff together loudly, especially if they’re metal pots and pans, with occasional random screaming.
  • What has Einstürzende Neubauten made a career out of doing? Banging and scraping stuff together loudly, with occasional screaming.

Add the two together, and of course little kids are going to like avant-garde German industrial music from the mid 1980s. They haven’t had the chance to form a preconceived opinion that it’s strange yet; all they know is that it sounds kind of like what they like doing anyway.

Add processed pop music targeted at kids to the mix, and they’re all over it — which is how we ended up with Einstürzende Cosgrove playing in the living room, over and over again, all morning. To them, that isn’t weird at all. I, on the other hand, was ready to curl up into a little ball muttering, “Can’t sleep – clowns will eat me,” by lunchtime.

I can’t help but wonder what a DJ mashup of the two albums would sound like, if only for the entertainment value provided by potential track titles like “Kissin’ Yü-Gung” or “Shakespeare Brennt.”

Anyway, now is the time on Sprockets when we dance.

Bring Me a Projection Screen!

September 29, 2010

From Hyperbole and a Half, here’s a public safety video my kids desperately need to watch now that they’re old enough to chase around and torment the cats:

I Don’t Know Whether I Should Be Proud or Ashamed

September 3, 2010

Our 19 month old daughter climbed onto the sofa, grabbed the remote control from the top of the sofa, and flopped down on the couch.

She then proceeded to press the correct button to turn on the TV and put the remote down. The satellite receiver was off, so the screen just showed snow. She then picked up the remote again and pressed the right button to turn on the satellite receiver.

Luckily the receiver was set to a Sirius music channel rather than actual television. All the same, she tossed the remote to the floor and proceeded to lounge back on the couch with her head on the armrest.

Confounding Rampant Genderism, Then and Now

July 21, 2010
Cover of "Bob the Builder: Let's Find Shapes"

From Amazon.com

Right now my 18 month-old daughter is in that stage where she wants to have the same book read to her over and over, and over and over, and over and over . . . The book of choice is Bob the Builder: Let’s Find Shapes, which isn’t the least bit surprising considering her favorite toys have always been things like dump trucks and toy construction equipment.

The book is a little unsettling, though, due to the context in which the only clearly female character in the book appears. I realize that on the Bob the Builder TV show, many of the construction vehicles have female voices, but we don’t normally watch the show, and you can’t tell the machines’ genders from the book. Instead, the only woman, Wendy, appears holding a tray of cookies with the caption, “Wendy has star-shaped cookies for Bob.”

It’s flabbergasting, considering the book was published in 2002. As bad as that is, the book isn’t nearly as cringeworthy as some of the older things we have around the house.

Take, for example, the series of 25 pamphlet-style cookbooks I somehow wound up with from my parents that were published in the early 1960s. They’re littered with such gems of statements as, “Here are 250 recipes gathered . . . to help the hostess increase her repertory and add variety to her family’s everyday menus,” and “Sunday night suppers . . . give Mother an opportunity for training the children in the entertaining of their own guests.” Throughout the series of books, the person for whom the recipes are compiled is always assumed to be a woman, a mother, and a “homemaker.”

Better yet, the recipes in question are always for things like “Chicken á la King with Ham Rolls,” “Paté de Foie Gras,” “Chicken Pie de Luxe,” pies, cakes, cookies, and even candy made from scratch, because the female homemaker and parent in question clearly has nothing better to do than spend all day cooking an absurdly complicated evening dinner. There’s even a category of “After Sports Suppers” to be made when, you guessed it, the men are all sitting around watching sports on TV. My personal favorite is a recipe for something called “Chicken Calcutta,” because adding a pinch of curry powder and a pinch of chili powder to something apparently makes it Indian (it’s part of a “Cosmopolitan” recipe section of “Oriental” food).

I can’t help but wonder what a person who helped compile that crap would think of our household today, where I stay home with the kids while my wife goes to work, and our daughter plays with toy dump trucks and rugby balls when she isn’t busy trying to wrestle her two year-old brother to the ground. To top it off, our son likes to pretend to go to work. When he does this, he says, “Go to work,” and puts on one of my wife’s necklaces, rather than a tie.

I hope that individual could withstand passing out from shock just long enough to hear me to say, “Welcome to the 21st Century, dickhead.” It wouldn’t matter if the cookbook author in question was male or female; you don’t need to have one to be one. This is the 21st Century, after all.

The ABC Book for Nerdy Kids

March 28, 2010

From the “I don’t know what it is, but you’d better hurry up and get it to the Dork Festival” department, here’s the A to Z of Awesomeness.

I’m half-proud to say that I only understand about half of the geeky references in it. My personal favorite is the letter “J,” which manages to be both incredibly funny and deeply disturbing at the same time.

The Doctor Who Letter D.

Adventures In Lousy Parenting

December 24, 2009

The two year-old and I are fencing with empty wrapping paper rolls. I’ve taught him to say, “En garde!

This Day in Stay-At-Home Parenthood

December 22, 2009

I only now noticed that I’ve been wearing my shirt inside out all day. It’s now 1:57 p.m. I’ve been wearing this shirt since I got up this morning at around 6:40 a.m.

If this seems familiar to you, odds are you’ve simultaneously had a 27 month-old and and an 11 month-old at some point in your life, too.

The Kids Are All Weird

October 26, 2009

I have to wonder what the exact purpose of all the baby toys we own is when it’s painfully obvious that the baby’s current favorite toy is a can of mushrooms. It’s shiny, and it has a label with bright colors! Plus, you can roll it around the room. What more could anyone possibly want?

As for our two-year old, he completely polished off a heaping bowl of leftover lentil and tomato curry with brown rice for breakfast this morning. It’s one of his favorite foods. He also likes to pull my wife’s paperback copy of Nightmares and Dreamscapes off the shelf, point to the picture of Stephen King on the back cover, and shout, “Dad!” He’s also done this to the TV on the few occasions he’s seen Barack Obama on television. For the record, I look nothing like Stephen King, nor do I resemble the President. He also refers to Abby Cadabby, and only Abby Cadabby, as “Mom” when watching Sesame Street.

No, my wife is not purple.

We. Are. So. Wrong.

March 3, 2009

My wife and I were watching Elmo’s World on Sesame Street tonight with the kids. The segment’s topic was “skin.”

When Elmo wanted find out more about skin, a computer-animated talking book appeared. Its face was on the cover, and the book was light brown in color. My wife grimaced and said, “Is that supposed to be made out of skin?”

“It’s the Necronomicon!” I replied. Then we both chuckled.

All this was well within earshot of the kids. They will be very, very strange one day.


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