Archive for the ‘Greg’s Take’ Category

Impulse control.  Takes several years, sometimes lots of years, to master. Today’s challenge: Watermelon.

Watermelon is yummy, at least that’s what the entire Robinson household believes.  Especially Grace.

Today, Daddy sliced some watermelon up for lunch.  Grace was excited — almost too excited.  Well, definitely too excited.  Honey, I’ll put this at your place, but you need to wash your hands first.  What ensued was pretty distressing for all parties involved.

Crying.  Sobbing.  Yelling.  Tears splashing down her cheeks.  Those short huffs that chatter your teeth.  Red explosive face with all memories of watermelon (or anything positive whatsoever) destroyed. — What the heck is going on?  She’s washed her hands by herself a hundred times.

Grace, do you need Daddy to walk with you to the bathroom?

No change.  Just more yelling.

Honey, can you use words?  

No change.  Just more yelling.  Seems that I’m the only one who’s bothered by the noise.

Honey, I’ll put it right here on the table, so you can see it.  I’ll save it for you.  I promise I won’t eat it myself.  What do you have to do before you can eat it?

No change.  Might have turned it up a notch when she saw it.  No way I’m giving in now because volume shouldn’t earn watermelon.  Should I carry her to the bathroom?  — FINALLY, she walked several yards over to the bathroom and yelled all the way.  Mission accomplished?  Suddenly:


Geez.  Looks like she got some payback on Daddy for being such a hard-ass on the handwashing thing.

I kept my cool.  Quickly walked down the hall and deliberately forcing my heels down, so she could hear the sound of me storming to the bathroom.  When I got there, I found that in anger, she’d slammed the toilet lid down on the seat and shattered the toilet lid.  How could 15 seconds of handwashing escalate to toilet busting?

Apparently, realizing the magnitude of her destruction, she shifted into quiet gear.  Although her shirt and hair were soaked with tears, the yelling had stopped.  I found her concentrating on getting that seat back on track.  Looks like her impulse control (or lack of it) had gotten the best of her.  Although I don’t recall this particular response, I’m sure I did the same or worse in the same “ill mannered” way.  

Grace, did you break this toilet?!  (as if Thor had thrown a lightning bolt while she was simply washing her hands.)  ….She nodded yes.  Honey, why did you break the toilet?  …No answer.  I repeated the question, but I still got a blank stare.

No watermelon, Grace.

Daddy, noooo. Complete with the tone suggesting that she’s the victim of an abusive and whimsical draconian decision.  Somehow I doubt this is the last I’ll hear of that tone.  I actually felt like the nuclear option of cancelling her swimming playdate with Ally, the neighbor across the street.  But, I thought about what Elizabeth “Bish-Bish” maintains about the punishment fitting the crime.  That said, what is the sentence for toilet busting these days?  

Grace, when Mommy gets home, you’re going to tell her that you broke the toilet.  — As if Erin needed clarification on why there was now a shattered toilet seat on the stairs.

Noooooo.  (yes, w/the exact same tone as before.)  I’m getting a lot of mileage out of full allocution to mommy.  Erin carries a lot of street cred, and even if she’s not around, Grace is fearful of such accountability.

Let’s go back to the table.  Do you want a pancake or peanut butter and pickle toast?

I want watermelon!

Grace, should I give you watermelon?  She nodded gently, yet firmly.  Obviously, at under 4 years old, we haven’t reached that level of introspection.  

Abby doesn’t say much these days, but she sure does take a lot in.  After seeing what had happened, she left her plate of blueberries and approached her sister.  She then proceeded to stick her finger in Grace’s belly button.  In our house, doing so makes one’s belly button buzz.  BZZZT!  Assuming that Grace was in no mood to buzz on Abby’s behalf, I buzzed.

To my astonishment, Grace stopped pouting and also buzzed.  Abby smiled and widened her eyes in delight.  Then Grace buzzed Abby back, which made Abby crinkle her nose up and laugh.

Thanks, Abby, for being the cute little sister with unconditional love.

Read Full Post »

We filled her pool with water and put it in the grass in the front yard. This, an extremely thrilling event, first took place with Aunt Jenny and Bish Bish. Thanks to them, the Garner Robinsons are fully equipped with a pool, ball, ring, a cup, four squirt guns, and a floating plastic cupcake.

She who holds the squirt guns determines who gets wet.

“Daddy, watch out! The fish might get wet!”

“Daddy, where is the Fathergun?” (watergun, sic) — Not sure what that means, but I’ll get one by prom night.

“Daddy, my squirt gun is empty.” — And? At first, I couldn’t see where the fill hole was, but I knew that I’d soon get a closer look at the water.

Honey, you always need to ask somebody if you can squirt them in the face, okay? Surprisingly, all parties observed that rule, although some of us actually requested a squirt in the face.

Read Full Post »

Grace: Lip.

Some lip from the elder Robinson daughter this morning — literally and figuratively.

Grace was eating some peanut butter toast. Normally, she likes this. This morning, however, she was piddling around.

“Honey, could you finish your toast?”
— I have something in my mouth.

[Three minutes later] “Grace, how’s that toast coming?”
— Good. [ed note: spoken with total nonchalance. Not one bite taken]

“Grace, Mommy and Daddy need to go. Can Daddy eat your toast?”

Well, so it begins.

Read Full Post »


Grace, don’t poke your sister. It makes her cry.

Grace, please don’t sit on Abby. She’s too little.

Grace, don’t head butt Abby. Remember about “gentle and careful?”

Abby, don’t spit up on — uh, Good job, Abby!

Read Full Post »

This weekend, Erin made sure that our family should take all measures to avoid hearing from our homeowners association. [Side note: I hate homeowner associations. We pay $200/year to somebody else to tell me to mow our lawn and weed our garden bed. The value add is for that somebody to hire somebody else to mow common areas. I’d take that job for $150/year. Anyway, that’s not this blog.]

Mowing a lawn can be a big job, so I asked Erin to see what she could do about supplementing our personnel. After awakening from her nap, a diligent worker reported for duty.

Daddy, that’s a lawnmower.

— Indeed it is, Honey. Know what that does?

Yeah. It makes the grass short. Vroom!

Apparently, they LOVE watching the mowing people mow the lawn outside the Day Care windows. I think I’ll try to capitalize on this.

— That’s right! Do you know why I pay somebody else for the privilege of mowing my own lawn? Oh, never mind. Nobody can give me a good answer on that. Would you like to help Daddy?


— That’s what Daddy wants to hear. Could you get your lawnmower? (Grandpa gave her a plastic John Deere lawnmower a year or so ago. Perhaps he could identify?)

Okay, Daddy. …Here it is!

— Now, could you start on the other side of the lawn and get the tall grass that Daddy missed?

With enthusiasm: Yeah! (after 90 seconds). I can’t find any.

— Daddy is indeed good, Honey. Why don’t you mow the driveway while Daddy finishes up?

Got to train them while they’re young.

Read Full Post »

Opening Day. A very, very important day. On the way to work, an unembellished recount:

Honey, did you know that today is Opening Day?


You did?


What does Opening Day mean?

“It means that we open presents!”

Well, Grace, that’s not really it. Opening Day refers to the first game of the baseball season. Do you know about baseball?

“Take me out to the ball game….!” — in a loosely adapted tune.

That’s right, Honey! (That’s an alternative to the more typical songs at Day Care. I knew a 5 star Day Care was worth it.)

“Yeah. Let’s sing it together.”

(us) “Take me out to the ball game. Take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks. I don’t care if I ever come back cause it’s root, root, root for the home team. If they don’t win, it’s a shame. Cause it’s ONE – TWO – THREE strikes you’re out at the old ball game!…BASEBALL!” — A little freelancing and improvisation, but all the key points were there. Who cares at age 2.5 that it’s 3 rather than 4 strikes.

Grace, when we get home, I want you to run up to Mommy and say, “Go DODGERS!”


Go Dodgers!


(slowly) My favorite team is the LA Dodgers.

“My team is ELE DOD-JURS”

Well, close enough. Honey, next year we’ll work on balls and strikes. Eventually, we’ll make it over to platoons, OPS, and the infield fly rule. Then – finally – you can help me understand why LA can’t sign a decent left-handed relief pitcher.

“Okay, Daddy.”

Read Full Post »

“Honey, Lasagna and Vagina are two very different things.”

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »