Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Paint Manufacturer's Mystery

A. has been asking me questions about paint lately. "What is paint made of?" "Who first made paint?" etc. Last night, after he was supposed to be in bed, he drew a mock-up of his new invention: A paint machine.
I don't know if you can read the typing (done by me, not him, BTW, although he did label the machine "Pait") - over on the left are the chambers for the ingredients, on the top is a vent for steam, the broccoli-shaped thing is a hand that does the work inside the machine, and the square with the little squares inside is the screen to talk into. The paint comes out the right side.

So this morning he wanted to actually build his creation. He told G., "The things I need are: plastic, wood and some flat bed trailers."

They went out to the garage and got some shoeboxes, plywood and duct tape. G. also attached a mini tape recorder to talk into.

"It's not exactly the same," complained A.

"What else does it need?" I asked.

"It needs a hand inside."

"OK, so we'll figure out how to add a hand."


The thing is, when it's done, I think he believes it will really make paint.

After the building frenzy, we drove through a very nice neighborhood to a very nice park. A. found it puzzling, though, that some of the houses were made of plain wood shingles and not painted. To further his distress, the playground equipment was bare wood, also unpainted.
I tried to explain that sometimes people like the look of wood itself and leave it unpainted on purpose.

"But WHY??"

Friday, June 29, 2007

At the County Fair

He's not ashamed to pick the pink jet-ski.

Because he knows it's a chick magnet.

Monday, June 25, 2007

So this morning as I'm pouring my coffee I see A. wandering around outside our courtyard in his jammies.

Me: What are you doing out here?

(several rounds of "I don't know" and "come inside, then")

A: I want to find a Christmas tree but I can't dig one up.

Me: ??????????????

This is all from a book he's been liking, "Bialosky's Christmas." On Christmas Eve, Bialosky Bear puts together a Christmas party. Apparently A. is using this as his template.

So we dragged in our little potted pine tree, with the understanding that it has to go back outside tonight, put it in his room, and he's now working on decorating it. He tried to climb up into the craft closet by himself, but thankfully was unsuccessful.

He told me, "Now we won't have to decorate it when Christmas comes!" Right, we're gonna leave it like that, with foam snowmen and blue ribbon until December.

Actually, that could happen.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Slow Down, Dude


A: Mama, will you help me rebuild my rocket?

Me (looking at the pile of books, paper and tape he's amassed): Sure, buddy. You'll have to show me how it goes.

A: OK! And then you can light a match, give it to me, I can say 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1, light the rocket and yell blastoff! And it will zoom up in the air!

Me: Um, yeah. There are a couple of problems with that plan. First, you can't hold a lighted match until you're 8 years old at the earliest, and maybe not even then. Second, if you light this rocket on fire, it will just catch fire and burn. You need fuel and some kind of compressed gas to set off a rocket.

A: OK, you can hold the match, and we can use gasoline for the fuel.

Me: Ai yi yi.


Today we watched Neighbor Boy shoot hoops.

Neighbor boy: Hey, A., you want to play basketball?

A: Well, Neighbor Boy, there are two problems with that. The first is that I need to use a smaller ball, and the second is that the hoop is too high.

Me: ::::snicker::::::

Later in the day, Neighbor Girl showed up with a whole ream of paper, probably pilfered from her parent's office, and offered to sell it to A. for a dollar. I was at work and G was in charge. G vetoed the sale, which I don't understand because that sounds like a bargain to me. A. could have resold it for 5 times that amount. And G. says he majored in finance?


And, in other "A is growing up too fast" news, I present my 4-year-old riding his 2-wheeler without training wheels. It's a big day in the neighborhood.


I don't know about this kid. When I put him to bed tonight, he didn't want to wear jammies, just underwear. It's warm, fine, whatever.

Now, an hour later, he comes out with sweatpants and his snow jacket on, and tells us he wants to have a Christmas party. Christmas is months away, we tell him.

"I know that!" he insists. "I just want to have one now."

OK, dude, there are going to be times we insist that you conform to society, and the Christmas season doesn't start until August. So go back to bed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Flush with his successful paperclip sale, A. decided to sell blank pieces of paper yesterday. Without a word to us, he dragged his laundry basket out again, got a little cup for the money, and set himself up on the sidewalk with a pad of lined paper.

When he wasn't immediately mobbed, he started yelling, "Paper for sale! Paper for sale!" It wasn't a bad idea - if all these kids have paperclips now, it stands to reason they might want paper for them. Isn't that called vertical marketing? Or maybe it's horizontal, I don't know. I took an incomplete in economics.

His yelling didn't work either, so he relocated to our neighbor's driveway, where their kind 10-year-old son took pity on our 4-year-old and bought 30 cents worth of paper.

What I loved is that when I came home from work and he told me the story, he was not discouraged at all. "There were no other people who could buy today." I loved that it had nothing to do with him, or his choice of goods, it was just a slow day.

You hold on to those office supply dreams, buddy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hoping He Will Take Care of Us in His Old Age

A: I need to set up for my sale.

Me: Really? What are you going to sell?

A: My paperclip collection. I'm going to make lots of money.

Me: Oh gosh, honey, are you sure you want to sell that? You know that means you give your paperclips to other people, right?

A: Yeah, right after they give me money.

Me: (imagining him getting laughed at) I'm not sure there's a big demand for paperclips right now, you know? It's 7:00pm and everyone is going to go inside pretty soon, and I'm not sure the neighborhood kids really want to buy paperclips.

A: (ignores me and goes inside the house)

He brought out his laundry basket, his little porcelain box in which he keeps his precious paperclip collection, and a small plastic bowl for collecting the money. He has only a tentative grasp on economic principles, and an even more tentative grasp on currency, so I wondered how this would go.

He was mobbed. I severely underestimated the appeal of paperclips to little kids. So I ran inside and grabbed the video camera.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Check me and my bad bargain-huntin' self out:

I went to a warehouse sale for Flax, and got this toy (which retails for $30) for $7:

And this one (on their site for $35) for $8. I think there are a couple pieces missing, but 95% of it's there.

We got to the warehouse right when it opened, which was a good thing because there was only one of each toy on the shelf. I think they were there because the packaging was torn. Both boys love their incomplete, hand-me-down Tinkertoy set, so I've been looking for more building toys but the cool ones are always so expensive.

Special Events

I'm all giddy because I'm hosting my first blog tour for Mother Talk . Welcome! Refreshments are over in the corner. Feel free to spike your coffee with the libations under the table.

So I'm supposed to write about this new site for moms (although I suppose dads could use it, too) - Mamasource. I should give full disclosure before we start that I did receive a stylish orange commuter mug and a small pack of post-it notes in exchange for reviewing this site.*

Here's the official blurb:

Mamasource is a safe and easy way to connect with other moms in your local area. Find the advice, referrals and insight you need, in a supportive community of moms helping moms. As a Mamasource member, you can:

Ask other local moms any question you need help with.

Read the questions other moms have asked- and see what answers they have received.

Share your own advice and practical referrals with other moms who need your help.

Mamasource is a free service, but to protect our members we are an invitation-only community. We have a strict no-spam policy and your personal information will never be shared with advertisers.

(I especially like that last part about it being invitation-only - it sounds like the kind of exclusivity I can never afford. And I think you can consider my link to them as your invitation.)

When I first had the A-man, almost 5 years ago, my due date boards were my lifeline. I was a regular on the August 2002 i-village board (although I think I was the very last one to give birth which was kind of annoying) and checked in daily. Those moms covered all the stuff I couldn't find in any of the "What to Expect" book. I learned most of what I knew from those boards. Mamasource is all of this advice in one place - minus the trolls. When a baby question came up, I could quickly explain to G. the pros and cons of almost anything, cementing my repuation as The Expert in the house. (Except the idea for duct-taping A's Easy-Ups when the side seam split. G. came up with that all on his own.)

So Mamasource users can request advice about anything and everything, from simple (when do I turn my baby's car seat around?) to poignant (my kids witnessed domestic violence - how can I help them?). The community seems to be building quickly, so just about every query gets a response, and most of them get enough to spark a genuine discussion. Moms looking for ideas about potty-training or discipline can exchange plenty of ideas here. You can also save discussions that interest you into your "files" for future reference.

My favorite feature, though, is the opportunity to read local business reviews. I'm always looking for kid-friendly restaurants where the meals don't come in bags or a local business that gives good kid haircuts. At the moment, because it's a new site, some of the reviews are posted by the businesses themselves, and I'm looking forward to more parents getting on the site and adding reviews to the listings.

Overall, it's a very attractive, clean site that's easy to navigate and will become a quick reference for advice on any parenting questions.

Thank you all. Please use the recycling bins, and come again soon!

*I couldn't help but notice that yesterday's stop on the blog tour received a mug and a book and I think some money, but she didn't mention any Post-Its! Ha! Score!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A: Here, Mama. I drew you a heart.

Me: Awww. It's beautiful! What a great heart. Um, what did you draw in the middle here?

A: It's a picture of the top of my head.

Well, he is a redhead.

And in other news:

Last week we found some neighborhood boys performing science experiments in the pothole in our street. We've had this large, and getting larger, pothole in front of our house for about 2 years now. A and Ben joined in the fun.

Now, just the following week, huge machines show up to finally pave the road. Coincidence?

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