Anecdotes and Collected Shorts

The Gremlin is ready for summer. He was saying this and sighing the other day, and so I asked him what his favorite part of the summer was. He then regaled me with his favorite summer ritual – removing as many clothes as possible. Apparently when he gets warm, he will ask his mother to take him to the Chicago Park District pool and sprinkler park. Once there, he will dress down to his trunks and then inform his mother that he no longer wants to swim, but wants to play in the sand. Apparently, that’s his ‘cool-down’ for the hot summers.

The Mother of the Gremlin has started to frequent a coffee shop called Family Grounds Cafe as it offers direct injections of caffeine, but also has a separate playground for toddlers – allowing mothers to gather together in relative peace. I say only relative because of one of the signs on the wall at the FGC:

“Unattended children will be given espresso shots and puppies. To date, 14 puppies have been adopted here.” and the 14 is actually a space of chalkboard that can be written on. The MOTG saw this sign and immediately corralled the Gremlin, having just seen an FGC employee walking around with a small portable kennel cage.


Mave Strikes Back!

It’s Friday, and in the Gremlin’s world, that means Art Class! Today, our little darling made a snake, a map, and several other things that the Gremlin “hasn’t decided what they are yet.”

The specific Art Class put on at this city of Chicago public park (and as we’re signing up for it again next week, I’m not posting the name, just in case) frequently has several ‘stations’ all around the room for different activities.

It so happened that Mave finally returned to the class (she had not shown since the unfortunate Name Spelling Incident) and was happily painting at the same table as the Gremlin. We assume this was due to her perfect attendance record at her preschool that her mother was raving about.

It was discovered during this class time that Mave herself is in preschool at this time (coming up on the completion of the school year). Well, she felt the urge again to display her spelling prowess and confessed to the table in a hushed voice as she painted,

I know how to spell my name.” Everyone at the table – Mave and the Gremlin included – continued to paint, each child filling their paper with mast strokes before claiming new sheets to instill with color and flavor.

“I know how to spell my name.” Mave spoke louder this time, allowing her voice to carry over the entire table as the students continued their education in color. The Gremlin let a beat go by before responding:

“I’m smarter than you.” Mave didn’t look up either as she responded.


It was at this point the MOTG realized that we should probably stop discussing his blog in front of him, the Gremlin delivering a perfectly timed (and perfectly egotistical) comedic line. Mave was undeterred, as was everyone else at the table. And nobody at the table even stopped painting…

Snow Day!

The Gremlin recently took a snow day – after the almost 2 feet that fell up here, even two days after that snow fell there were places that still had pristine snow.

One of these places was the park on the other side of the river from us – the drifts piled up all through the equipment, and allowed the Gremlin to climb to the top of the equipment and leap from the top of the equipment into the soft drifts.

Thanks to the temperature the snow had been completely untouched, and the Gremlin took advantage. He ran from end to end, where he saw a drift, he made a leap – literally being buried in snow before he would manage to get his feet down.

Well, after a few hours of this, the Gremlin finally got enough through his system that he needed to perform one of Nature’s functions. With good foresight from the Mother of the Gremlin, they were at one of the parks with a staffed Chicago Park District building – meaning there was an open bathroom nearby.

The Gremlin, going through one of his “independent” phases (that is until he decides he wants to go home and needs to be carried), stopped the MOTG from coming into the stall and locked the door. Per the Gremlin’s norm of attention (none) and drive to annoy his mother (lots), he took forever.

The Gremlin emerged while his mother was distracted by ‘preschool’ flyers and postings, and was on his way out the front door (to the building, not the bathroom) when his mother finally got caught up to him to take his hand and lead him out. And even then she was more concerned with him “not slipping” than, well…

When they emerged from the park district building, they saw that there began a trickle – other kids had seen the Gremlin and his sporting ways, and were in the process of making their own child-sized craters in the drifts. And more were coming too – pulling into the parking spaces by the Park District building.

The MOTG – not wanting to be overbearing – let the Gremlin loose and walked over to a group of moms that held at least a few moms she’d seen before. The other moms looked away from her has she stepped up, until one finally nodded and cleared her throat.

“Ughm, is that your son in the blue out there?” The MOTG nodded – his reputation preceded him.

“Yeah, that’s my AJ.” The mom finally pointed at him.

“The one in his underwear?” The MOTG froze, and turned slowly.

The Gremlin was climbing between platforms at just that moment, and gave everyone a beautiful showing of his Disney Cars tighty-whities that had been pulled up after he’d gone to the bathroom over his snowpants. The MOTG turned back around to her super hero-like baby (with underwear on the outside!).

“Ha, oh yeah… uh, we’ve been working on him dressing himself recently. I gotta go…”

Art and Literacy

Every week the Gremlin participates in a class for the Chicago Park District. This time around he is taking an art class which he talks about all week. It is a multi-media class, and he frequently does painting, clay, and beading all in one day.

Last week he had just finished his clay sculpturing, washed off, and sat down to paint when he keyed into a conversation one of the mothers was having with the rest of the table.

“My little Mave is just so advanced! She’s already learning her alphabet and can write her name.” The mother pulled out a clean sheet of paper and dipped her daughter’s brush into the paint. “Here you go Mave. Write your name! Remember? Just like we practiced!”

The mother started the M and the girl picked up on it. She scrawled out a rough approximation of M-A-V-E with an extra loop on the A and a few extra dashes on the E. The Gremlin took a sideways glance at the signature.

“That’s not an A,” the Gremlin stated. Mave looked over at him.

“Yes it is.”

“No, this is an A.” With a flourish, he reached across the painting, and marked a perfect A underneath the swirly &-type sign. “And, that’s not an E.” The rapport repeated with Mave disagreeing and the Gremlin again dipping his paintbrush and putting the correct number of horizontal dashes to the E.

He returned to his own painting for a moment.

“This is how you spell my name.” The parents at the table looked over to see A-L-E-X printed out in the corner of the page. “Okay, momma, I’m ready for a new paper.” And he went on with his painting. The other mother was silent for the rest of the class period.