Saturday, November 21, 2009

Secrets, secrets

"Andy is going to go to Grandma's and make something special for Thanksgiving."
"Really? What?"
"Apparently it's a secret."
"It starts with P!"
"Oooo... umm... parsnips?"
*giggle* "No!"
"Potatoes? Parsley?"
*giggle* "Nooooo! It's pie!"
"Yeth! A P pie! Pie that starts with p!"
"Oh. Pumpkin? Are you making pumpkin pie?"
"Aaaa! You guessed it! Daddy, don't tell, its a secret! You're not supposed to guess!"
"Oh. I forgot already what kind of pie..."
"Pumpkin! Pumpkin pie!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Goldfish Lessons

So we have our goldfish, Chris and Quille. And they are still alive, thank you very much.

Unfortunately, goldfish was not what I was planing to have. I was thinking of some smaller, less territorial fish. But goldfish is what we have. And goldfish get big, they are highly territorial, and if they get pissed off at each other, they tend to chew each other's fins off. So I woke up one morning to discover Quille basically had no tail fin, and his dorsal fin severely munched.

I made some changes. I don't have a second tank. I have been keeping the water superlatively clean, and I re-arranged the stuff in it so that Quille can hide in the fake plats and get away from Chris. However, the damage is done. Quille's tail and fin are healing, but I doubt they will ever fully recover. Also, the injuries were severe enough that he was a pretty sick fish, and so Chris has now well outstripped him in size. Quille is looking better, but he's smaller than Chris. Hence Quille's ability to hide in the plants and avoid his nemesis.

Yesterday, Joey noticed.

We were watching the fish, when Joey started insisting that Chris was Quille. With the kind of odd, since he knows the two fish and can tell them apart, or at least he always had before. When corrected, he frowned.

"My fish is small. Quille is the smallest fish ever. He is small, small, smaller." We began a spiral into the depths, and just before school is not a good time. So I put on my mommypants and tried to talk about it while we put ourselves together, while we walked to the bus, while we waited.

Yes, Quille was smaller. He had been sick, but now he was better.
Nope, that wouldn't do.
I reminded him that fish do not live long. We talked about acceptance of others as they are, about Nemo and Gil and their fin issues, and what it meant to love a pet or anybody- just as they are, not as we wish they were.
But Quille was still small, small, small and Joey was still upset, upset, upset.

And then I remembered watching the fish darting around the tank that morning. You would think a bigger fish with a bigger tail would win that race, but our little Quille is a tough little fish.

"Well, because Quille is smaller, he is faster than Chris. And he hides better."
"My fish is faster?"
"Yes. Quille is faster, because he is smaller."
"My fish is the fastest!"

On to the bus he went, quite happy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Entrance, Exit

This time of year, I am often holed up on the weekends working, scoring essays for the GRE. One of the perks of the work is that occasionally boys saunter in for kisses.

Andy pops in. He is bearing a number of small pieces of paper he has colored for me. "I'll put them here, mom," he assure me as he gingerly tucks them into frames of pictures in the room. "There! Now don't lose them!" He pops out.

Joey wanders in. He looks sad, and he sprawls on the bed. "Are you OK?" I prompt. "Daddy says I have to stay in my room one hundred years." "Wow, thats a long time. What happened?" "Andy sat on my arm. I am Buzz Lightyear." That may not tell you much, but for me, it conjures up a scene where Joey is annoying Andy by pretending to be Buzz Lightyear falling down the stairwell, complete with slow-mo and shocked face. At the end of the sequence, Joey pulls off a glove to pretend his arm has come off (or he hides an arm in his shirt, pulling it out of his sleeve- but the "sat on my arm" indicates glove). Andy then sits on the glove, probably purposely, but you never know. Joey proceeds to take action to recover said glove. Result: the crying I hear downstairs and a Joey in my bedroom.

Andy comes wailing in, tears down his face, and into my arms as I swiftly move the computer aside. All attempts at conversation are repulsed; I hug him, kiss him, and he darts away. I haven't a clue.

Joey bounces in. "Hi Mommy!" he calls loudly, probably letting his Dad know that he has not gone to his room as he was told to do. "Hey, little Buddy! Whatcha up to?" "Mud is brown!" "Yes it is." "Ducks are blue!" "Are they?" "I'm a green caterpillar!" "I see!" He hugs me and leaves without another word.

Andy comes in, with a big bag and a soda- lunch! Yum! "Hi Mommy!" he chimes as he gives me the bag. "Do I get a kiss, too?" He giggles and lets me smooch him. "I miss you, Mommy!" "I miss you, too, sweetie." "I'm not a sweetie! I'm a Andy!" I guess he doesn't have the concept of "synonym" down yet.

Joey appears, grinning. He has small pieces of blue painter's tape all over his face. He comes over, and puts one on me. "I'm sick," he says, drawing an exaggeratedly sad face. "Oh dear," I respond helpfully. "Do you have the polka-dot pox?" He doesn't respond to this, but moves the tape from my arm to my face. "Your face is broken. I fixed it." "Thank you," I respond, hoping it is the correct response. You never know. "I'm so cute!" he announces, snatches the tape from my face, and bounces out.