He’s Such A … Good Big Brother?

When we first found out that the Mother of the Gremlin was pregnant, we were extremely concerned that the Gremlin himself would not be a very good big brother. This was not in the least because the Gremlin is a picky, bossy tyrant of a 5 year-old, but rather from the fact that to function, he requires his life be scheduled to the minute – somewhat akin to Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory.

It was an amazing surprise when the Pickle arrived and the Gremlin … loved him. The best anecdote we have of this to date is the fact that wherever we drive, the Gremlin will always reach over across car seats and hold the Pickle’s hand.

Now this is not to say that we have been sitting back and just hoping the Gremlin would magically come to enjoy his brother’s company. We had been putting enough time and energy into preparing him for his brother’s arrival that had we been alternatively tasked to create alternative energy or create peace in the Middle East, we would have put big oil out of business and be given the Nobel Peace Prize. One of the things we had been talking to him about was if he or his brother got in trouble.

“So buddy, we need you to keep calm more than anything – if you’re yelling or whining we can’t understand you. But just stay calm and tell us what you saw. You won’t get in trouble, and we’ll get your brother fixed up, okay?”

We weren’t sure if this was soaking in or not until Thursday. Everyone was going about their daily routines – the Father of the Gremlin was diligently working (and by that I mean, writing an update for this site), and the MOTG, Gremlin, and the Pickle were packed in the car on their way to CostCo. They had just pulled onto the expressway when the Gremlin piped up.

“Mumma, you should pull over and take a look at Pickles. I think he has something in his mouth and now he can’t breath.” The MOTG looked back, and the Gremlin calmly smiled up at her – holding his brother’s hand – and there were normal signs of stirring from the Pickle’s car seat. The MOTG was skeptical, but the Gremlin seemed very sure.

Once she pulled over and walked around the car, the MOTG did not manage to stay as calm as the Gremlin. The Pickle’s face was moving from dark red to purple, and he was swinging and jumping, trying to move in his car seat. The MOTG fished around his mouth, and managed to extract a wood chip that had become lodged in the Pickle’s throat. Once it was removed the Pickle began to breath again, right up to when he made a lunge that grabbed the wood chip and tried to again stuff it in his mouth.

The MOTG safely disposed of the wood chip, and made an inspection of the car seat and clothing to ensure no further playground-related items would be able to be inserted into the Pickle’s airway. She got back in the car and started down the road.

“Thank you very much for telling me that, buddy, you probably just saved your brother’s life.” The Gremlin just smiled, and kept holding onto his brother’s hand.

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The Park Peep Watch (Yep, Again)

It’s always interesting to me how certain things just happen to certain people. I, for instance, can’t count how many surreal experiences I have had with the US’ domestically challenged population. From public exposure, to people “talking to me” from 20 feet away in a line without my knowledge, I am a magnet for weird occurrences with the homeless population.

The Gremlin, however, seems to have the opposite issue – specifically that repulsion is between his pants and his waist. You just can’t keep pants on the kid.

Well it just so happened that the Gremlin, having joined a preschool, managed to find several kids his age interested in the same things he was. He was departing from a playdate with his brand-new friends when it hit again.

“Momma, momma! I have to potty!”

“Well, we’re almost to the car, and the bathrooms are back through the parking lot, through the park and inside the zoo. Can you hold it until we get home?”

“No momma, it’s about to come out!” At this point, the Mother of the Gremlin took stock as to where she was – she’d deliberately parked in the free parking lot, which was significantly segregated from both the rest of the park, and the street. There was very little likelihood of anyone coming into the lot at that time, and he couldn’t be seen.

“Okay, buddy, just go ahead and go in the bushes.” The only thing that could really happen would be for his friend to drive by, and that was unlikely because they were going the other direction-

“Justin! BYE JUSTIN!” The Gremlin, who was in mid-stream, had bolted out into the parking lot waving multiple appendages as his friend and friend’s mother drove through the lot, waving back at the Gremlin and laughing.

Pickle Update and Working Hard (Or Hardly Working)

With a 7 month-old crawling Pickle, the attentions of the Mother and Father of the Gremlin have turned to such fun activities like: ‘Making Sure Pickle Doesn’t Pull the Flatscreen Down’ and ‘Making Sure Pickle Doesn’t Fall Down the Front Stairs.’

This has kept the Gremlin acting out looking for attention. Through various tantrums and other authority-defying actions the MOTG first figured out what he was doing and asked him about it.

“Buddy, do you think you were good?”

“Not even remotely.”

“Yeah, it feels like you didn’t even try.”

“Mumma, sometimes there’s no point in even trying.”

Favorite Toy of the Week: Lego Star Wars Droid Escape

Uniform Confusion

In the mass toy-palooza that was Christmas, the Gremlin overlooked one very small, but very important thing: Uncle Zach’s TargetĀ  mini-Lego set.

When he pulled it out early this week, he re-assembled the Target dog (one of the 3 options), and then decided his favorite option of the set was to build a polar bear, and have him be halfway through building the snowman (the other 2 options).

It was during clean-up time when he was done with this that he found the box had a nifty trick to it.

“Daddy, what’s this?”

“It looks like a gift ca….uh-I don’ t know buddy. Let me see it.”

“GIFT CARD?!”

This ultimately led to several hours of looking through the Lego magazine and comparing prices and quantities to determine what the Gremlin could afford with his newfound wealth. Just when the Mother of the Gremlin and I didn’t think we could take another minute of comparing weapons between Cole and Jay, we turned the page to find the bad guys, or – even worse – Dinosaur or Star Wars Legos (“Can I get a Star Wars guy and a Ninja set? What if I got this set and this set? Or I could get this set because this weapon is cooler, but I like this guy’s costume better, but this is the guy I wanted, so maybe I could get him too in the separate pack?”).

After an arduous time of deliberation, comparing weapons to weapons and sets to weapons, and guys to sets, and weapons to guys, and guys to weapons, and weapons to weapons, and sets to guys, and weapons to sets and weapons to guys, and everything else 50 times over, the Gremlin was pretty sure he knew what he wanted. He decided he was ready to go to Target and… actually look at them in real life.

The tension built throughout the trip. Due to previous experiences, the Gremlin now has to take his turn at shopping last. He sat patiently through the grocery shopping, and started to squirm during the shopping for the Pickle, and was about to burst when he was finally released to tear down the aisle, fly past the girls toys and skid to a halt to find…

The Lego aisle was completely cleaned out.

The Gremlin whirled around.

“They’re GONE!” The Mother of the Gremlin knew he was about to go into Full Meltdown and jumped in to calm him down.

“Well, let’s get someone who works here to look in the back for more.” The Gremlin considered this carefully and finally sniffed and nodded in agreement.

“How do you tell if someone works here?”

“They’ll be wearing a red shirt.” The Gremlin, armed with this information, marched off on his mission. He zeroed in on the first red shirt he saw and stormed up to the man.

“Hey! Mister! Why don’t you have any Legos?!”

“Umm, I don’t know – I think there should be some here….”

“No! The ones I want are gone!”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry – do something about it! Go look in the back!”

“I don’t think I can do that.”

“Yes you can, go back there and use your eyes!”

“I can’t go in the back, I don’t work here.”

“Then why are you wearing a red shirt?”

“Yeah, good point…”

The Gremlin turned to the MOTG, “we need to find someone who works at Target.”

Almost as soon as he said that, he spotted another person in a red shirt. He stormed up to the next man.

“Do you work at Target?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you sure?”

“Well, yeah, that’s what it says on my nametag.”

“Oh, that’s how you tell! Well, then, can you help me find something?”

“What do you need?”

“The Training Set.”

“Uh, okay, do you know where it is on the shelves?”

“Yes!”

“Great, where?”

“GONE!”

After a mildly entertaining ‘who’s on first’ routine about the location of the set, they finally made it over to the shelves and found the tag by the empty area pointing to the Lego Ninjago Training Outpost. Showing none in the back, they ordered one to the store, and the Gremlin got first crack at the new shipment.

And now paces around Target employees to find their badge.