Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Santa Claus

Benjamin said, "You know that I know Santa Claus is not real, right?"
Sure, I said, but it's nice to pretend.
"Now wait a minute," Steve says, "we have evidence! We had presents under the tree that said 'from Santa'."
Benjamin said, "yes, that's because some people know how to spell Santa Claus."
For the record, I didn't tell him Santa is not real. His best friend at school has 3 older brothers.


Stuart, we're going to go to the zoo today. "Today? Are we going to see cows?" No, we'll see elephants and monkeys and giraffes. He nodded and thought about this for a minute, and then, as if he was just checking, "Will we see dinosaurs?"

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Stuart got a rubber eraser in his Christmas Bon Bon.
He said, "I want to write something and then un race it."

Three little pigs

When we were walking to school on Wednesday, Stuart says, "Can we be three little pigs?"
"I'm the woof."
I'm the pig with the sticks.
Benjamin was an airplane at that point, but he was listening.
Stuart said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come IN!"
I said, not by the hair of my chiny-chin-chin.
Stuart said, "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down," and spit on my hip.
Benjamin said, "Do it to me!"
Stuart said "Which pig are you?"
Benjamin said he was the pig with the straw.
Stuart said "OK."
"Go, Stu!" Benjamin prompted.
Stuart said, "Knock knock."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jingle all the way

Stuart sings, "Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle bells all the way..."
Benjamin is trying to read here and there. He was sounding out the word red. He said:
He did the same thing with row (pronounced woah), and broke into a chorus of "Woah, whoa, whoa your boat," in which Stuart joined in with an enthusiastic, "Mehwilly, mehwilly, mehwilly, wife is but a dweam."

Friday, December 10, 2010


I've never heard anyone use the phrase, "he crammed a piece of fettuccine in his mouth" before, but it seems appropriate here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Steve told Stuart, as he (Steve) put him (Stuart) in his (Stuart's) car seat, I'm going to be careful not to bump your head like mommy sometimes does. Stuart said, "Yes, Mommy does that. We should put her in jail."

Ever since Benjamin's first sentence, "Good Mommy, no bump head," which he uttered in such a situation, I've been very careful, honest!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Stuart was being fussy. He was grabbing Steve's legs and saying "Pick me up!" Steve was trying to cook. He said, in desperation, Stuart, can I bribe you? Stuart immediately let go, and said, "Yes." Steve said, what do you want? "Fishy crackers." And that was that.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stuart's hat

Do you think he knows he's being photographed?

One day at breakfast...

Stuart, that's a big spoon.
Stuart nodded. "I have big mouth."

And then Benny said, "Look mommy! I can hop on one foot with my mouth open, holding my sock!"
And he did.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We live in a city, yes we do...

Benjamin said he wanted to be a farmer when he grows up because he wants to see a cow.

Monday, July 26, 2010


"Knock knock!"
Go to sleep, Stuart.
 "Knock knock!"
"Knock knock!"
"Mommy! Knock knock!"
Who's there?
Olive who?
"I love you!"
That's sweet, Stuart. Now go to sleep.
"Knock knock!"
Who's there?
Olive who?
"I love rocking the boat!"

Sunday, July 18, 2010


What do you want to do now, Stuart? "Boats. ...after all!" I don't know how I figured out what he wanted, but I did, and we went to Disneyland and rode the boats into Small World (after all).


Surf's up!
Benjamin pushed his fork into a potato at dinner and held it up. He said, "Now that," dramatic pause, " is an overcooked potato." Everyone is a critic.

Before we remodeled our kitchen, the countertop was made from 4 inch tile squares. Steve broke two of these tiles at one point, trying in vain to separate two frozen sausages, by banging them on the counter.  This morning, we were at Bristol Farms, and Steve was buying sausages. "What's a banger?" Benjamin asked. A sausage. "Is that what daddy broke the counter top with? Is that why they call them bangers?" I can't imagine why we didn't think of that one ourselves, in the all grief Steve has received from me for that trick.

When we were driving home from the market, Benjamin said, "Look, there's a balloon caught in the shrubbery. Sorry, I talked Australian. I mean bush." Bring me a shrubbery or I will say Ni!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Benjamin said (I kid you not, over 20 times in a row), "Birds of a feather are stuck together." I wonder what he thinks that means?

Stuart, where are you? "In bathroom." What are you doing? "Pillow." At that, I dashed into the bathroom, to find Stuart with one of the pillows from Benjamin's bed under one arm, opening the lid to the toilet. I asked him what he was going to do with it, and he said, "On top." Well, thank goodness for that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When I woke up this morning...

Steve says, "It's a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll" quite often when it seems like a reasonable random saying. It's from that ACDC song, right? "It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll!" So Benjamin hears the ACDC song on the radio and thinks it is SO funny since it sounds like the sausage roll thing.

Then a couple of days ago, the NPR guy said, "When I woke up this morning, I picked up the morning paper," and Benjamin cracks up. What's so funny? Benjamin said, "he said, 'When I woke up this morning, I picked up the morning paper!'" But what's funny about that? I never figured it out, and mentioned it to Steve later. He said, (from the Blues Brothers Movie), "When I woke up this morning, I heard a disturbing sound." I say again, Benjamin is a sponge.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Who's that knocking at the door (again)

Benjamin's making up his own knock-knock jokes now.
"Knock knock."
Who's there?
Wuh who?
"Whuk out below!"

He tried it on Stuart:
"Hey, Stu!"
"Knock knock!"
"No way."

Stuart's Restaurant

I overheard Stuart playing with the cooking stuff. He was serving food and speaking both parts of the conversation.
"Want some?"
"Yes, please."
"Here you go."
"Thank you!"
"Like it?"
"All gone."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Benny's card for Stuart

Benjamin draws people.They have a round head and legs. Here's one:

Last week, Benjamin came home from school with a birthday card for Stuart. He included a drawing of Stuart on the swings (look he's holding on!) and of himself, going down the slide.

That's a great picture, Benny. How'd you know to draw the swing like that? "I was just trying things out, and I tried that, and, yep! I sure did make a good one."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Food in your tummy

I should have saved that last picture of Stuart. It really goes with this story. Stuart was wearing a large portion of his food, and spilling peas (gleefully) over the edge of his plate. Steve said, Stuart! I do not want your food on the floor. I want it in your tummy. Stuart immediately, and obediently, lifted  his shirt, and put a pea in his bellybutton.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Stuy said, "Tummy's owie. Band-aid, please!"

Monday, May 3, 2010


I lay down with Stuart on my bed, to try to get him to go to sleep. He was not too sleepy and very talkative. He started out by asking for things. "Bub-owl! Bub-owl!" Where's Bub-owl, Stuart? "Don't know." He feels around and does not find Bub-owl, and says, "Down there!" I find the owl. "Bub-owl! Yay!"

Then after a pause, "Duck Blanky!" "Duck Blanky!" I thought if I just quietly ignored it, he'd give up, but after the 20th "Duck Blanky!" I called out to Steve who was in the hall way that we needed Duck Blanky.  Steve tossed it in, and Stuart said, "Yay. Duck Blanky, on top." So I spread the duck blanky on top.

There was another pause, and then, "Banana! Milk! Banana! Milk!" No Stuart. It's bedtime. "Banana!!" "Banana!!" "Wah. Banana." He would have stomped his foot, but he was lying down. I said that maybe I should go to sleep, and he should get up and do work, and he said, "No. Me sleep. You work." And he fell asleep almost immediately. Unfortunately, so did I, and now I'm too groggy to do much but go to bed. Tomorrow is another day.


Benjamin learned a new joke. Why is the 6 afraid of the 7? Because 7 8 9! He told it to Steve, "Why did the 7 eat the 9?" Later on that day, Benjamin came to me and said he had a new joke. "It's just like yours, except with different numbers!"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Route 66

I asked, "Where's Stuart?"
We heard the pitter patter of little feet.
Steve said, "En Route."
Benjamin said, "66!"
Was that a joke, Benjamin?
"No, I thought Daddy was singing the song and just forgot that part."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Daddy Head

Benjamin was calling Steve names. "Daddy-head!" Daddy-head?! Steve said, Please do not refer to my head without also referring to the rest of my body.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where's Daddy?

This morning, Stuart asked for Daddy. He said, "Daddy!" Where's Daddy, Stu? Here's Stuart's summary of Steve's day: "Daddy!" "Work!" "Car." "Backpack." "Sandwich."  "Home!" I wonder how Benjamin would describe it? I'll have to ask him.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Toilet! Man!

In March we replaced 10 feet of our sewer. It was so full of roots and dirt, I have no idea how it was ever draining at all! My children both understood what was going on. Benjamin explained in detail. "Mommy, do you know why the toilet is not working? The tree trunks are growing down into the broken pipes."
Stuart said "Daddy! Ring Ring" (which is the phone, in case you missed that.) "Man!" "Man!" What man, Stuart? "Toilet! Man! Man! Toilet!" It was expensive but satisfying, since the old pipes were so bad.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Naked Baby!

For some reason, Stuart believes that when you take off his clothes, he should run around the house as fast as he can. When Steve dried him off after his bath, he escaped and took off running. Steve eventually caught him and brought him to the bedroom, where I was unrolling Benny from his towel by pulling one side, sending him spinning across the room. Stuart, what's going on? He said, "Naked Baby! Naked Baby!" Then he looked around and said, "Naked Benny!" He looked at Steve, "Naked Daddy!" Naked Daddy?!  Stu said, "Hahaha! Joke!"

20 Answers

I taught Benjamin how to play 20-questions. When I was guessing, I'm pretty sure he kept forgetting what his thing was, and would after a while, just say, "Yay! You got it!" Yesterday, at breakfast, he said, "I know what we can do while we eat!" What, Benny? "We can play," dramatic pause, "20 answers!" I said OK. I'll think of something, and you guess. I'm ready. Now you ask me questions, and try to figure out what it is. "OK." Pause. "Um." After another pause, he asked, "What is it?"

Friday, April 16, 2010


Benjamin practices writing regularly. He has a wet-erase place mat with uppercase and lowercase letters that he particularly enjoys. On Katherine's birthday card he actually wrote, "Happy Birthday, Katherine, Love Benjamin," and made it all fit. Here is one of his first efforts. I love the E.
Here's the one he brought home from school today.
Can you guess what this is? The model number is R21, in case anyone wanted to know.
How was your day today, Benjamin? "Whooh. It was rough. The vertical stabilizer on the airplane that I was building just fell off, and it took me the whole day to put it back on."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What the...

This one's for those who have see the movie, Hunt for Red October, enough times to quote it occasionally.

Benjamin rolled a small handful of mashed potatoes into a ball, flattened the ball on his plate, then picked the disk up with his fingers to put it on his fork, before shoving it into his mouth. Steve said, What the heck are you doing? Benjamin said, "You can just say, 'What the...,' That's what Casey says. 'What the...'" (Casey's a friend from school.) Steve said, you could say, What the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. That's what you could say. Benjamin said, "I'm not following you, Jonesie!"

No, Benjamin has not seen the movie. He is a sponge.

Knock, knock!

Benjamin loves telling jokes. Today, he said, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" I don't know, I said. Why? "Because the tape had legs!" He laughed. I didn't. Does that make sense? "No." he said indignantly. "It's a joke."
Hey, Benjamin! I heard a joke on the radio (we can thank Lynne Rossetto Kasper for this one): what's the difference between a chilly bean and a regular bean? The chilly bean wears a jacket! I think that this is the first joke that Benjamin actually got. Of course he tells it often, and of course Stuart tells his own version. He says, "Bean!" "Jacket!" "Joke!" 

Benjamin also enjoys knock-knock jokes. I taught him the one that ends, "Orange you glad I didn't say banana?!" He told it repeatedly for days:

"Knock knock!
Who's there?
Banana who?
Banana banana. Knock knock!
Who's there?
Banana who?
Banana banana. Knock knock!
Who's there?
Orange who?
Good I didn't say banana!"

Then he laughs, and there's a pause, and then, "Knock, knock!" What was I thinking?

With all that knock knocking, Stuart picked up on it. One evening on the way to bed, Benny was having a horsey ride on Steve's back, and resting his chin painfully in Steve's shoulder. After asking him to shift his chin a few times to no avail, Steve got irritated, and made Benny walk. Benny threw a short but pointed tantrum, as Stuart and I looked on. As I lay down with Stuart to try to get him to go to sleep, he said, "Daddy." "Neck." "Benny." "Crying." And then, after a pause, "Benny happy." You want him to be happy, Stu? "Happy!" "Knock knock banana!" Good night Stuart.


Stuart came back from the playground, and Steve told him to come in and tell me what happened. He said, "Down." "Me." "Splat." And then he made a spitting noise and said "Sand." "Daddy." "Water."