Kids Say The Darndest Things

The Gremlin has been spending waaaay too much time around his mother. We were talking yesterday when we had this little exchange.

“So, buddy, are you excited about moving to Seattle?”
“Um, no.”
“Why not?”
“I don’t want to live in the suburbs”
“Oh, buddy, Seattle’s a city – not the suburbs.”
“Yeah, it is a completely separate city than Chicago. It has suburbs, but it’s a city.”
“Oh, well, I guess I can live in Seattle then.”

Stupid Redux

So the Mother of the Gremlin is attempting to go back to school, again. Assuming she graduates this time, with her fourth change in major, she will have 2 degrees, and 2 minors. Hopefully this will give her a competitive advantage over the poor saps who graduated years ago with only one degree.

To return to school, though, the MOTG must face: Not-concerned-about People University – for lack of a better moniker, we’ll call it NPU. So the MOTG took the Gremlin to NPU the other day to reactivate her account and register for classes. Upon reaching the registration building, the MOTG was told by the woman at the front desk that she was no longer in the system (after leaving for 3 years to have the Gremlin). The MOTG informed the woman that she was in the system, but needed to be reactivated. The woman informed the MOTG that she needed to go to admissions to re-apply.

After much discussion, and several attempts at reasoning with the woman, the MOTG decided to go ahead and go over to admissions, just to prove the woman wrong. After walking across campus, she was informed by admissions that she was in the computer but needed to be reactivated and that was done by registration. After yet another trek across the campus, the woman at the registration desk that she had not re-applied correctly and needed to go back over to admissions. While the MOTG stared in exasperation, the Gremlin looked up.

“Wow, you’re S-T-U-P-I-D.” The woman was shocked.
“It spells ‘stupid.'”
“That’s not very nice,” the woman informed him. “That’s not the way to get people to like you.”
“Well I don’t like you,” the Gremlin retorted, implying that he didn’t care if she liked him or not.

The MOTG left, as she was pretty sure there wasn’t too much else the woman would do for her. After thinking about it for a minute, she re-entered through the back stairs. She went upstairs and was re-registered by the helpful woman on the second floor. After mentioning that the other woman was unable to help her, the upstairs registroir said,

“Yeah, we’re having some problems with her.”
“See?” said the Gremlin. “S-T-U-P-I-D.”

Next week begins the saga of the Gremlin moving from “Sha-cago” to “Seapple.” Tune in as we encounter such traumatizing things as packing toys, returning ‘big boy beds’ and worst of all – bath time.

My Little Foodie

The Mother of the Gremlin was given passes to How To Train Your Dragon (the Gremlin says “thanks Pa-Pa!”), and when the MOTG goes to a movie, it’s usually an excuse to stock up on popcorn. This particular theater had kiddie-packs, and gave the Gremlin popcorn, a drink, and a treat for $5, so the MOTG purchased two – claiming her other child was in the bathroom.

The Gremlin, staying true to form, devoured his popcorn during the previews, and turned to the MOTG.

“Mommy, will you please share your popcorn with me?”
“No buddy, you had your own.”
“Yeah, but it’s all gone, so will you share that with me?”
“But you didn’t share any of yours with me.”
“I’ll share some of that with you now.”

The Gremlin soon found himself stymied as the MOTG would not give up her popcorn, and sat quietly, but popcorn-less through the rest of the movie.

Later at the store, the Gremlin – getting more independent every day – took his own basket and began buying ‘his groceries.’ This included a banana (a surprisingly ripe banana with a blue Dole sticker on it), a container of chocolate covered pretzels, ‘daddy pop,’ sugar, and a grapefruit. There was a minor clash of wills when it was time to check out, but the Gremlin soon focused on getting his regular treat from the store, and selected the chocolate covered pretzels.

As soon as they were home, the Gremlin asked for something to eat. With the time growing closer and closer to dinner, the MOTG told the Gremlin he needed to eat something healthy, to which the Gremlin immediately responded by asking for the chocolate covered pretzels. When the MOTG refused, the Gremlin pulled out the container and pointed to the sticker he had removed from the banana and stuck to the pretzel container that said, “The healthy choice.”

The Best Vacation Ever (aka Daddy’s Business Trip)

We recently traveled out to scenic Shaumburg (slogan: We’re like the Miracle Mile of Chicago, but located in the middle of nowhere!) where the Gremlin decided he was on “the best vacation ever.”

It all started with trains (of course): the Gremlin taking the L to get on the Metra, which then had to sit and wait for the Amtrak to pass through a tunnel, which he was able to view out the window. After that he met with the Father of the Gremlin (hi) who then took everyone to a hotel room with… get this… round pillows. Apparently the simple novelty of compacting and rounding a pillow was such an inventive breakthrough that it kept the Gremlin fascinated for a cumulative total of 6 hours. He was only in the city of Shaumburg for a grand total of 24 hours, several of which were spent asleep. From there, however, was a harrowing encounter where the Gremlin was ‘almost eaten by a scary alligator‘ at his new favorite restaurant – Rainforest Cafe.

There were many more fun-filled events including swimming, Ikea, cable kids TV (which is shocking like regular kids TV), train toys, and the elevator (which he was so fascinated with that he spent an hour riding and pushing buttons for businessmen while in his swim trunks).

The only disappointment for him came when the Mother of the Gremlin informed him that he wouldn’t be able to go to Legoland. After doing extensive research (reading the reviews on it was determined that it was not worth visiting for a grand total of $60 to spend 20 minutes looking at the sculptures also visible at the Michigan Avenue store for free.

The MOTG usually breaks this news to the Gremlin by informing him that the store in question is ‘closed’ thereby halting any toddler-related tantrums. Unfortunately, the MOTG had told this to the Gremlin one too many times.

During one of his 15 trips into the elevator past the front desk, the Gremlin stopped and introduced himself. The MOTG, and the front desk, thought this was adorable, and lowered their guard. The Gremlin, sensing weakness, struck.

“‘Scuse me, is Legoland open?” The MOTG glanced frantically over – trying to give the international parenting ‘look’ for “I have to travel with him today, please cover my lie,” but the woman was all eyes for the little curly-haired blonde.

“Of course, honey! It opens at noon, and at 10am on the weekends.” The Gremlin looked up at the MOTG.

“I knew it.”

Just Another Day At the Store

The Mother of the Gremlin was at the store this week, after she had this exchange with the Gremlin.

“Momma, can I have some yogurt?”
“Sorry buddy, we’re out.”
“Momma, can I have a cookie?”
“No, buddy, we don’t have any.”
“Momma, can I have some milk?”
“I think we’re all out.”
“Yeah, we ate all those too, buddy.”
“Can we go to the store tomorrow?”

So the MOTG left the little darling in the cart and began to go down her list. Everything was going well until they reached the bread aisle. The MOTG, being health-conscious, picked up a loaf of wheat bread. The Gremlin stood up and pointed.

“I want this one.” He pointed off to the loaves of white bread.
“No, buddy, we’re getting this one.” If there’s one thing the Gremlin doesn’t like, it’s being told ‘no.’ He set his feet, put his hands on his hips and started yelling. The darling said – I kid you not –
“Woman, I’m sick of this healthy stuff! Get me some chocolate I need a candy bar!”

This turned more than one head, and as the Gremlin continued to rant, an older woman walked over to him and asked if he was being a good boy. He stopped crying, no trace of a treble in his voice and looked up at her.

“I don’t need to be good – I’m adorable. And a genius.”

The Gremlin lost that argument, but with his one treat he chose Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. They ended up at the checkout, where the MOTG was approached by a man, staring amusedly at the Gremlin. Apparently he was a spectator at the Gremlin’s meltdown in the bread aisle, as he spoke to the MOTG.

“So he won this round, huh?”

When they finally made it home, the MOTG parked and unhooked the Gremlin from the car seat. He immediately asked to be carried inside. The MOTG looked at him.

“Buddy, you have to walk so that I can carry groceries.” The Gremlin considered this momentarily and then countered.
“Or momma you can carry me and I can sit and watch TV while you go back for the groceries.”

I’d like to say that the MOTG won this battle, but that would be a lie – especially after the meltdown in the bread aisle. At least the Gremlin was quiet while she finished bringing the groceries in…

Timing is Everything

The Gremlin received a new bed from his grandparents (quote upon receiving the bed, “I can actually move around now! Thank you papa and grandma!”) and now wakes up every morning at 5:45am and jumps on said bed until he wakes up the Mother and Father of the Gremlin. This is only marginally better than his last system of laying in his cramped bed singing.

We have since instituted a new system where we encourage the Gremlin to get up in the morning, get a few books and sit quietly. Ever since, we’ve found the Gremlin doing various other things. The first morning he was found sitting in bed with two books. The second morning he had migrated to the floor and was quite taken with his trains. The third morning he was nude and under his high chair.

That day we came up with a new plan for fear of having a full on Vegas-style party the next morning. We began setting the TV to his favorite morning channel (Quobo) and turning the TV off so that it would turn on to that channel.

Since then he has decided that it’s ‘his channel’ and asks for it throughout the day (especially when he knows he’s getting on the MOTG’s nerves). Recently, he’s found a show called 3-2-1 Penguins! which he has declared (much like Curious George and the color green) to be ‘his favorite.’

He was discussing this with the MOTG one morning and asked if he could watch 3-2-1 Penguins! every day. The MOTG, attempting to limit his TV time, stated that she didn’t know when it was on (similar to limiting his trips to ‘the train mall’ by telling him it’s closed). He got ‘the look’ again and turned to the MOTG, exasperated at having to explain this whole thing out.

“Well what time is it now, momma?”