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  • Spelling Is Impotant

    July 30, 2006

    Anybody Googling for anything antique, usually end up here at Antique Mommy sooner or later — undoubtedly disappointed to find the only antique around here is me.

    Today, however, Mr. Google dispatched someone searching for antique coffee urine. There’s plenty of that around here of a morning. I just didn’t know there was a market for it.

    Brought To You By The Letter “N”

    July 19, 2006

    (Scene: Morning. House of Antique. Sean and the crazy lady.)

    Sean: (pulling a hand from behind his back) Mommy! My fingers are stee-eee.

    AM: (freaking out) Your fingers are stinky?! What did you touch?! Did you touch poo poo? Because poo poo is bad! Very! Bad! You never, and I mean NEVER EVER touch poo poo. Do you hear me? Come here right now, we need to Clorox scrub your hands.

    Sean looks at Antique Mommy and in an act of toddler defiance, grins wickedly and moves his spread out fingers towards his mouth.

    AM: Sean! STOP! Do not put your fingers in your… DO NOT… Oh me, Sean, why would you put your fingers in your mouth? Why oh why oh why would you do that?

    Sean: I got je-wee on my fingers. They stee-ee.

    AM: Oh. Sticky. Well, that’s different. Carry on.

    Magic Words

    July 10, 2006

    Manners are a big thing at the House of Antique. I happen to think that good manners and a well written thank you note can take you a long way in life. Consequently, I have made a considerable effort toward teaching Sean the basics and he is pretty good about saying “please” and “thank you”.

    Just this morning as I handed him his sippy cup of milk he said, “Thank ya’ Mommy” like a little cowboy and my heart swelled with pride. And then I pulled his tiny index finger out of his nose and he wiped it on my shirt. We are still working on the not wiping boogers on other people part of manners.

    So later today, when I heard him in another room rummaging around, I intuitively knew he was up to no good and I called to him to come. No response. “Sean, I need you to come here right now. I need to talk to you.” No response. “Sean if I have to come and get you, you will get a time out. Do you want a time out?”

    And that’s when he pops his head around the corner, all smiles and dimples and says, “No thank you Mommy! I’m still playing.”

    It’s really hard to give a time out to someone with good manners. Which only proves they really are magic words.

    I’m Sure He Meant That In The Nicest Way

    June 10, 2006

    This morning, as I was getting Sean out of his pj’s and into appropriate mud pie making attire, there was this exchange:

    Antique Mommy:  Sean, you’ve got a suntan!  You’re as brown as a berry!”

    Sean:  Eat me!

    It won’t be long before that won’t be funny.

    You Wipe Up My Life

    April 5, 2006

    This morning Sean once again said, “I do see chicken wipes.” So again, I just had to ask him, “Did you say chicken wipes? What does that mean, chicken wipes?” And he looked at me like “Not again with the chicken wipes woman!” If he knew how to roll his eyes, he would have.

    And then out of the blue, it came to me. It was a moment of supernatural clarity, similar to those I occasionally had when I was in school and taking an exam. The answer to a question that I absolutely did not know would just come to me, bonking me on the head, as though it had been dropped from the ceiling. Finally, chicken wipes made sense. Not perfect sense, but it made as much sense as anything a highly impressionable toddler whose mind is not burdened with context or logic comes up with.

    Here then, the mystery of the chicken wipes is revealed to you, so that you may get on with your life:

    Chicken wipes are strung on Chicken trees during the Chicken season. Although some people leave their chicken wipes up on their house all year. Merry Chicken everyone. Mystery solved.


    post~script: Thanks to everyone who emailed me suggestions! Your ideas helped me obsess in the right direction long enough to come up with the answer!

    The Thread That Leads To The Pit

    April 3, 2006

    The inner-workings of Sean’s marvelously complex mind is a fascinating, albeit mysterious, thing to me. The connecting thread of thoughts and events and ideas that occupy his thirsty brain is long and thin and sticky like that of a spider. It collects everything and forgets nothing.

    Lately, he expresses thoughts that seem to come from nowhere. Or at least nowhere we’ve been recently. And in true toddler fashion, it is imperative to him that these thoughts be expressed clearly and vociferously and repeatedly at the most unlikely of times.

    Recently without cause, provocation or prompt he was upset that he didn’t see our Christmas tree anywhere. And last week as we were walking around the block, he became agitated that no one had their pumpkins out on their front porches anymore. Never mind that the pumpkins have been gone since November. “I no see punkees Mommy!” Most of the time I just try to soothe him by saying we’ll see those things again next year. Sometimes that works but other times he will spend the rest of the day obsessing over the lack of pumpkins in our neighborhood and asking what happened to them. After about the 10,000th time, my evil twin will tell him “Some bad men came along and smashed them all in the streets spilling their orange guts everywhere, okay? They’re gone, get over it.” And to this he replies, “Mommy where did the punkees go?” That is one of the lovely things about toddlers—they don’t recognize when you are being a sarcastic jerk.

    Or maybe they do and they just bide their time so they can pay you back in spades by broad siding you in front of strangers– like the other day when he brought up something completely out of the blue that seemingly had absolutely no context and no relationship to anything, anywhere, ever. Great Scott, I hope he doesn’t grow up to be one of those geeky people at cocktail parties that stops a flowing and jovial conversation dead in its tracks by interjecting some bizarre fact like “The great limitation of the circular saw was that it could only saw a log with a diameter equal to half that of the saw itself” or “I have a blog”.

    Anyway, I had to go pick up some drapes at a sewing workroom and I took Sean with me. He sat in a chair in the office chatting up the owner telling her how old he was and all kinds of other fascinating facts like “I don’t go pee-pee on the potty yet.” Then all of a sudden he looked at me and started begging, “Mommy! Don’t throw me in the pit!” The owner raised one eyebrow and looked at me suspiciously. I was desperately searching my Sean-To-English dictionary hoping it was a “chicken wipes” moment that I could easily translate into “Wow my mom’s great!” But I couldn’t quite stretch it that far.

    With no reasonable explanation to offer in my defense, I quickly settled my bill, collected the drapes and hurried out of the store with a kicking, twisting, screaming, pit-phobic midget under my free arm and I sped off before she wrote down my license plate number. As I was driving home I racked my brain trying to figure out what had prompted this strange outburst. Finally I decided to just ask him.

    “Sean, why were you saying ‘Don’t throw me in the pit’? What is that all about?”
    To which he softly replied, “Yeah.”
    Okiedokie. I made another pass at it. “No Sean, really, what did you mean? Mommy wants to know what you’re thinking.”
    Again, “Yeah.”
    “Yeah? Yeah, what?”
    “I don’t want to go in the pit Mommy.”
    “Okay Sean, I promise, I won’t throw you in the pit.”

    No I didn’t say that. My evil twin wanted to say that, but I wouldn’t let her. Being the calm and collected T. Berry Brazelton type of mom that I aspire to be, I left it at that and we engaged in a fascinating dialogue about chicken wipes and which are the best kind. But like a clue in the NY Times crossword puzzle, my mind just wouldn’t let it go.

    At 4 am, I awoke from a very pleasant but highly unlikely dream that all my laundry was done and my scotch tape was exactly where I left it. And inexplicably, my minds eye flashed upon some fabric in the sewing workroom that had lions on it. In the fog of the small hours of the morning where logic has no currency, I followed a very long and invisible thread from the lion fabric to the story of Daniel in the lion’s den which I had read to Sean before bedtime several days earlier. There was indeed a thread. And for some reason it was a tremendous relief knowing that he’s not destined to be a loser at cocktail parties.

    Mystery solved. Make a mental note to avoid Old Testament stories at bedtime. What else is there to do at 4am? Laundry….. or blog.

    There’s A Chicken In Your Kitchen

    April 2, 2006

    After my recent “chicken wipes” post several people emailed me to say that after discussing it with the experts (their children) they concluded that Sean might be trying to say kitchen rather than chicken. And I think they might be on to something. Sean has the Little Peoples Noah’s Ark set and “Mrs. Noah” as we call her, is carrying a basket or a pie or something — and he calls it a “kitchen pot pie.” It reminded me that confusing kitchen and chicken is not uncommon for people new to the English language and not just toddlers.

    About ten years ago, our friend Mark who had been living in Thailand for many years became engaged to a Thai girl and he brought her over to the house for dinner when he was back in the States so that we could get to know her. Noi was working bravely at learning English at the time. After dinnner, she asked to see the house so I showed her around. As we were heading back towards the kitchen, she grabbed my arm and said sincerely, “You have a very beautiful chicken!” I didn’t know what to say, so I smiled politely and said “Why thank you” which is what I always say when someone compliments my chicken. About ten minutes later I realized she meant kitchen.

    Mark, who speaks Thai, had a good laugh over that at Noi’s expense, but she paid him back by telling us of the time he walked into a local bakery in Thailand and asked for transvestite bread. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but I think I would have ordered the kitchen pot pie.

    The Big Party

    April 1, 2006

    Last weekend, we were invited to a birthday party in the neighborhood. Our neighbor’s oldest little girl was turning six and her parents went all out and threw a fabulous party for her.

    It was a western themed event and they served up hot dogs for the kids and brisket for the adults. They had cowboy hats and bandanas for the kids to wear. They brought in a petting zoo, had pony rides and a bounce house. They also have the Mercedes model of those big wooden combination fort/slide/rock climbing wall/swing sets in their backyard that Sean was coveting. Okay I was coveting that too. We have none of those things – no swing set and certainly no farm animals. When Sean wants to swing we go to a nearby playground and we are so pathetic that we borrow our neighbor’s cat for our petting needs.

    All that to say, that this wonderful party really made an impression on Sean. So much so that he is still talking about it a week later.

    As we were driving out of the neighborhood this morning and past their house, Sean said “Mommy, I want to go back to that big party” — as though the party were still in progress. I chuckled as I imagined my neighbor Cheryl a week later with 50 children and farm animals still running around her back yard. “Well Sean, that party is over,” I said, “but maybe they will have another one next year and we can go again.”

    He thought about that for a second and then with mucho gusto he said “Yeah!” as though he had just slammed back a shot of whiskey, and then he added, “and then I will say HOO-RAY!! — just like that!”

    Is there any other way to say “hooray”?

    The Chicken Wipes Mystery

    March 30, 2006

    Sean’s language skills are progressing rapidly. Even just four months ago, on his second birthday, he was only saying only a few words and phrases that we understood. The first phrase that he used that we understood was “I need that.” That phrase we understood because he said that about everything he saw about 1,000 times a day. Apparently, two-year-olds need a lot of stuff.

    However… there is a particular phrase that he uses and I still have no idea what it means, and it is this: “I do see chicken wipes.” Chicken wipes? One thing I’ve learned about toddlers learning to speak is that, like everyone else, they need acknowledgement. If you don’t let them know that they have been heard, they will continue to repeat “I do see chicken wipes” louder and longer and higher until you hope a chicken will come along and peck out your eardrums. To prevent such a scenario, I try to mirror back to him what he says so that he might move on to another equally esoteric topic. When chicken wipes come up, the conversation usually goes like this:

    Sean: I do see chicken wipes.
    AM: You do see chicken wipes?
    Sean: (shaking his head like I’m the dumbest woman on the earth) No Mommy! I DO SEE chicken wipes!
    AM: Ohhh, okay. You DO SEE chicken wipes. Is that what you said?
    Sean: (sighing and giving up) Yeah.
    AM: Really, that’s what you said?
    Sean: No.

    There’s a free box of chicken wipes for anyone out there who can translate “I do see chicken wipes” into English.

    * * *


    Wise Guy

    March 20, 2006

    Sean: Mommy! Get me milk!

    AM: Get me milk? That’s not how you ask. How about “Get me milk pleeeease” maybe?

    Sean: Mommy get me milk pleeeease maybe!