Pickle Update – My Brother Taught Me How To Defend Myself

The Pickle has been developing steadily, from control of his hands to basic vocalizations. We had been working on ‘ba-ba’ – the word his brother the Gremlin used for ‘pacifier’ and the Pickle seemed to have picked this up. He’s been duplicating that sound twice, and the Mother of the Gremlin and I joked that it almost sounded like he was saying ‘ba ba ma-ma.’ And then she put him down for the night.

The MOTG fed the Pickle, made sure his diaper was changed, swaddled him in a blanket and set him in the crib. At this point I was not there, however the MOTG swears the Pickle spit out his pacifier, looked up at her and enunciated

“Bad, bad ma-ma!”

This is not the only disturbing trend we noticed this week. The two thrift stores by us are probably two of the best in Seattle – they’re in a family neighborhood where the average income is above the mean. This means there are many great deals to be found, which then inspires the MOTG to make the rounds at least once a week.

While at the busier store, the MOTG had the Pickle in ‘exploration mode,’ so named because he finally (and enthusiastically) faces out towards the world instead of cuddling up to his momma. He was busy taking it all in when he spotted The Enemy. The Pickle exploded at the sight, waving his arms, kicking his legs, shouting in his best danger voice at the top of his lungs!

The Enemy was at the other end of the aisle, also in ‘exploration mode,’ and holding…. Franc the teething giraffe. That’s right – there was another baby, with the Pickle’s toy!

Both mothers thought this behavior to be somewhat entertaining, and approached each other to allow further exploration. The Pickle, realizing he was closing in on his target, began to calm down and calculate his next move. Just as soon as the other Franc was in range, the Pickle made his brother proud.

He reached out with both hands and caught the other baby’s teething giraffe. He then pulled it away, and began to shake the giraffe up and down. The mothers and other people in the aisle thought this was entertaining until they realized that Franc the giraffe was delivering rather harsh blows to the other baby – each punctuated by the squeak of the teething toy’s noisemaker.

The mothers stopped any additional damage from being inflicted, however they then made the mistake of attempting to get the kids to ‘play nice’ together. This involved giving Franc right back to the Pickle.

He again immediately grabbed the neck of the giraffe and began pounding it against the other child with a squeak, squeak, squeak! They were broken up much more quickly this time, however the Pickle was so upset about losing his Franc that the MOTG had to take him home to show him that he did, indeed, have his own Franc.

Favorite Toy of the Week: Franc the Giraffe (aka Sophie)

Sledding and Love

Seattle encountered its worst snowstorm since 2008 this last week, and the Gremlin enjoyed this time as well – building snowmen, having snowball fights, and – best of all – sledding.

For the third time today, the Gremlin departed the house to play in the snow – this time with the Arch-Gremlin.

The city of Seattle was taking this opportunity to play in the snow as well – and as the city does not plow or salt non-arterial streets, it allowed for more neighborhood fun time. The entire neighborhood was out sledding in the streets – with parents coning off areas as well as standing guard, to children sledding down the middle of the street, throwing snowballs at each other, and making snow angles in my bushes; not that I’m bitter about having the little ankle-biters pounding all over my porch while I’m trying to run a conference call.

Everything was going well – up the hill, down the hill, lather, rinse, repeat – right up until the Arch-Gremlin’s Father got too winded to pull them on the sled. The Arch-Gremlin started it.

“Pull me! Pull me!” The Gremlin was confused.

“How?” The Arch-Gremlin sighed with annoyance.

“Here, I’ll show you, get on!” And before he could climb aboard, she grabbed the rope attached to the front of the sled and began running down the hill. The Gremlin took off after her, and after a few minutes made a frantic dive onto the sled… Just as it was coming to a halt.

“Okay, your turn!” The Gremlin, finally catching on to the wiles of the Arch-Gremlin, also immediately took off and left her staring at powder. Once she was able to get onto the sled, the Gremlin had a bit of a different sense of responsibility, as he actually began pulling the sled down the hill.

This did not sit well with the Arch-Gremlin, who promptly rolled off the sled and demanded the Gremlin attempt to get on – and continue the game.

The Gremlin decided his word to take the Arch-Gremlin sledding was paramount and shoved her onto the sled, which he then began to pull. The Arch-Gremlin did not take this well and rolled off the sled and attacked the Gremlin.

I don’t know if you have ever seen two winter-snowstorm bundled 5 year-olds try to land punches on each other in the snow, but I imagine that’s what two marshmallows in a cage match filled with down feathers looks like.

Anyway, by the time the parents arrived, the instigator was quickly identified as the Arch-Gremlin.

“Well, yeah I hit him – he shoved me in the sled!”

On his way home the Gremlin spoke to the Mother of the Gremlin

“Mumma, I definitely going to marry Jasp-air.”

“What? Why?”

“Because I know – it’s the only thing that can happen.”

“Why do you know that?”

“Because, I fight with her and even though we’re angry with each other, I still love her, just like you and daddy!”

The father of the Arch-Gremlin looked at the MOTG.

“So, you and your husband are getting along well, then?”

The Laws of Supply, Demand, and Cuteness

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the Mother of the Gremlin packs up the Pickle and the Gremlin and drops the Gremlin off at school. The Pickle has grown accustomed to these surroundings, even very interested in them.

The other day they were at school when the Pickle grabbed a plastic giraffe toy off shelf. The Gremlin turned to his teacher.

“I’ll buy that giraffe off you for a dollar.”
“Because I’m going to sell it to my brother for five dollars, and I’m going to make a profit.”
“How much profit?”
“I don’t know!”
“Why would I only sell it to you for a dollar?”
“Because I’m cute.”

His teacher turned to the MOTG.

“The weird thing is I kinda want to give it to him.”


Favorite Toy of the Week: Lego Ninjago Brickmaster


The Gremlin recently held the Mother of the Gremlin to her promise of a movie over the holiday break as soon as he determined Tintin was remotely related to Pirates.

The MOTG and the Gremlin have a ritual whenever they go to movies, where they get a large popcorn and whatever high fructose corn ‘juice’ they have, and then eat it together – literally together in that they are only allowed to take handfuls of popcorn together.

However, before they were able to sit down and enjoy it, they needed to order it. The Gremlin had the concession stand scoped out as soon as they purchased the tickets, but he still refuses to talk to strangers. The MOTG ordered the popcorn, and the Gremlin grabbed her.

“Tell him to put butter on it!”
“I will buddy.”
“Tell him now!”
“I will.”
“You’re not telling him!”

When the MOTG sighed, the very nice concession attendant took this as his queue, not realizing he was dealing with the Gremlin.

“I can hear you buddy, and I’ll make sure-”
“HEY! Don’t listen in on my private conversations!” And he turned to the attendant and gave him the finger. By ‘gave him the finger’ I do mean did the very thing his mother and father have been trying to get him not to do when he stuck his foot out, pouted his lip, glared, stuck his first finger up and waved it slowly – the ultimate menacing finger-shake.

(I will try to get him to finger-shake at me tomorrow and post a picture of the most hysterically angry 5 year-old ever)

Favorite Toy of the Week: Star Wars Lego Genosian Starfighter