Monday, February 25, 2008


It finally happened. A kid on the school bus has an iPod and Marin wants one for her birthday.

First, a rant. Can anyone explain to me why a first grader needs an iPod? Is he so stressed out that he needs immediate relief anytime anywhere? Is it to pace his 10K runs every other day? Perhaps the world of a 6 yo is so harsh he needs to retreat into his own private space? Parents!!!! Wake up!!! Put the price of that iPod into his 529 plan and have an extra thousand or two for college.

Second, the story. Marin is at dinner last night telling me what she wants for her birthday (which is not til September). "Daddy. I want the box that puts things in my ears and sings to me." I look at Colleen "Huh?". Colleen says "She wants an iPod. A kid on the bus has one."

I said "Marin, why do you want an iPod?"
Marin "No Daddy. Not want it. Need it." (Dear God, its a question of survival now)
I asked "Marin, when would you use an iPod."
Marin, matter of factly, "On Tuesday and Friday" (very convincing)
I asked what songs her iPod will sing
Marin "ABCD, and Santa Claus songs and Life is a Highway"

Now it occurs to me that what I was viewing as playful chit chat, has turned into a dogged negotiation for Marin. She believes she's scoring major debate points and is about to close the sale on this thing. Thank God for Colleen, sensing the rising tension, she breaks the impasse with a chocolate chip cookie diversion.

Let this be a lesson to us. Do not underestimate the negotiation skills and determination of your child, even if she is really young and English is not her native tongue.

favorite songs

Every time I drive Emmy to school I have to sing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and Tom Cochrane's "Life is a Highway". Then Emmy sings them to Colleen on the ride home in the evening.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A rare moment of candor

Our kids, like most kids, are at their slowest when we are most pressed for time. Colleen lets the kids know we are unhappy by pointing out they are 'dilly dallying'.

Dilly Dally is an olympic sport at bedtime. Just as we get the kids tucked in they need to go potty, or they're thirsty or hungry, too hot or too cold, or they want to read a book or tell us a story, they want to feed the cats or call a relative on the phone. The list goes on and on. Our standard reply is "No More Dilly Dally".

The other night we just get the lights turned out and Emmy sits in bed and says "Mama. I need some dilly dally water." We both bit our tongues to stop from laughing.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Everybody let's get stoned

When I take Marin to kindergarden, we usually go a few minutes early so she can help Mr. Stone set up the gym class for the day. It gives Marin a change to burn off some morning energy and she really enjoys helping Mr. Stone. Mr. Stone gets a lot of mentions at our dinner table because of this.

Today I took Emmy so Colleen could get to work for some early meetings. As I carried Emmy through the halls of the primary school, she pointed at every adult male and loudly asked "Are you stoned?" It took me awhile to figure out she was trying to meet Mr. Stone. In the meantime, her question made for some embarrassed looks and uneasy conversation.

Whose the coach?

Marin plays kindergarden basketball on Saturdays and I volunteered to assist the coach. Coach Cruz is a very large black man - former division 1 college running back who has maintained his conditioning.

Last week we were in line for team photos. Marin was chatting with one of her team mates and proudly says "My daddy the coach!"
The little girls says "He's big"
Marin says "No, that coach is my Daddy" and points to me.
The other girls says "No, that coach is your Daddy" and points to Cruz.

This exchange went on for 3 or 4 rounds, and finally Marin just gave up with this look of exasperation on her face.