So we may have confused the Pickle this year. It started with my mother coming in town two weeks before his birthday, and a planned trip to visit the Mother of the Pickle’s family over his birthday, the Pickle ended up with two annual celebrations. For the first one, we had a very small party – the five of us went to a local park and grilled out, partied with a pinata, did some hiking, and had one of the best cakes ever. Two short weeks later we were back in Chicago doing a very similar thing – a family/friends gathering with presents, fireworks, and even more cake (the cup kind).

So when we left for the day today, and I was queried by the curious youngster on our destination, I wanted to try to relate it to him and make sure he knew where we were going.

“Do you remember for your birthday we went to a park?”


“We’re going back to that park.”

“Oh-KAY!” I should have realized there that something was up – if only by the exuberance in his voice, but the tiny two-year old turned and talked to his brother.


Thankfully there were no tears shed as we cleared up that misunderstanding (at least until he demanded the ice cream/cake desert we did not have), but it was interesting to see the connection between the park and the events there.

Why Always At The Park?

Thankfully, I can finally write a story about the Gremlin that doesn’t involve him injuring another child. This time it was his friend! He hangs with a good crowd…

For several days we have been concentrating on the Gremlin’s eating habits. He has been complaining and uncooperative. Well, even more so than a normal 5 year-old. The last time this happened it was due to the Gremlin’s sleep habits so this time we reviewed his daily routine. Finding the rail-thin terror was packing in about 100 calories a meal (just kidding, he had to be eating at least 160 calories – exactly one chicken nugget), we began reinforcing meals, as well as snacks in between.

With the improvement in his behavior, other mother’s in the Gremlin’s playgroup have begun doing the same thing. Unfortunately for the Gremlin’s friend Oz this was not implemented in time.

Jay was working on actually drinking liquids during the day (as opposed to, well, not), and while his attitude was improving, he was still a bit irritable and playing by himself. Oz saw this, and being the kind-hearted boy he is, approached his friend.

“Hi Jay! How are you feeling?” Jay looked up with a scowl on his face – a look his mother clearly recognized as she started to get up – and punched Oz straight on the nose. With one toddler down wailing, the mothers swooped in to prevent further fisticuffs.

“Jay! Why did you do that?” Jay, also feeling upset and worn down due to lack of any liquids in his system, also began wailing.

“Because he asked me how I was feeling and I felt like punching him in the face! That was the answer to his question!” Jay’s mother was not incredibly pleased with this line of reasoning and made a demand of Jay

“Say you’re sorry!” Oz took this to heart.

“Jay, I’m sorry for asking you how you felt!”

And We Thought The Other One Was Smart….

The Pickle is proudly gearing up for his first birthday, and we keep forgetting what the milestones are for early child development. Regardless, we’re pretty sure that this one is more intelligent than the other one, which is a slightly disturbing thought.

For instance, this baby – who is just learning to walk – found an apple at the sprinkler fountain last week. Another family had left it by accident when they departed, and being the foodie that he is, the Pickle picked it up and tried to get the MOTG (MOTP?) to feed it to him. His mother declined

“No, I’m sorry baby, but it’s not clean. I’m not going to feed you something that’s dirty…” The Pickle was disappointed, and headed off… apple in hand. The MOTG and I have had our suspicions for some time on this one’s intelligence, so she watched the Pickle wander around until he saw the water fountain, and go wash the apple in the water fountain.

He then brought it back over to the MOTG with his plaintive question noise: “Unnnnh?” It might have been the intelligence, might have been the adorability factor, or it might have been the fact that the Pickle now screeches like he’s dying when we say no, but at this point his mother relented and sliced it up for him.

The Gremlin Composed His First Song

At the park today, amidst several jealous parents, the Gremlin composed his first song:

Oh you are a little pickle
Yes you are a little pickle
And I love you oh so much.
‘Cause you are the cutest brother
Yes, you are so cute
Even when you annoy the crap – uh, did you hear that mommy – stuff out of me!
And I will never hit you
Because I love you so much
Except when you touch my toys – then I’ll have to push you out of the way
Oh you are a little pickle
Yes you are a little pickle
And I love you love you love you love you love youuuuuuuuuuuu
And 7 + 3 equals 10
And BTW I’m really realy cool
Someday you will be too
But its okay because right now I love you
Even though your butt smells a lot
I love youuuuuuuuuuuu
Oh you’re a little pick and I love you
Oh you’re a little pick and I love you
Oh I love you so so much
Oh I love you so so much
Yes I do, yes I do, yes I do, oh I love you so so much
Yes i do, yes I love you
Oh I love you, yes I do
Yes I love you!

Park Peep Watch – I’d say again, but are you really surprised?

While attempting to ignore how often posts bear this titleĀ  on this site – and what that says about my son, and possible future lawsuits – the Gremlin has again terrorized a public park.

Due to the Father of the Gremlin’s procrastination and poor planning, the car was scheduled to go in for new brakes at 8am this morning. This left the Gremlin and the Mother of the Gremlin with no way to get the Gremlin to school except to walk the mile and a half through the pouring rain of Seattle. Actually, it didn’t rain on them, but I’m sure the Gremlin will remember differently when he’s 35 or 40.

The MOTG did what she could to make the trip more interesting – they played games and even stopped on the way for a treat, but disaster was imminent when the MOTG noticed the Gremlin doing his potty dance.

“Hey Buddy, do you need to go to the bathroom?”

“Nope!” And he ran 20 feet to show here, and then stood there doing his potty dance while she caught up with him. Fortunately, the Gremlin had run up to one of the many parks in between his home and his school. The MOTG looked around. The park was mostly populated by people walking their dogs, and those people were mostly in the clear space so the dogs could run and do their business as well. Without remember she was with the Gremlin, she looked down.

“Okay, if you need to go, you can go in the park.” The Gremlin’s eye grew big and he grinned the evil grin of Gremlins everywhere.

“I CAN?! Okay, I have to potty!”

“Okay, just go in one of the trees away from the people, okay?”

“OKAY!” The Gremlin shouted over his shoulder, and ran right over to the cluster of trees and shrubbery perfect for hiding the ill-timed indescretion from the rest of the park. As long as you were inside. The Gremlin, however, was not. In true 5 year-old fashion, he marked the people with the dogs, and made sure they were at his back.

He then picked the closest possible tree to them, and without even bothering to go behind it, dropped trou.

It was fortunate, however, that no people with dogs were near-BARK! BARKBARK!

True to the form of the bad timing that can only be associated with the parents of the Gremlin not wanting to be embarrassed but ending up so anyway, a person walking to the park with his dog had been following the MOTG. His dog was currently lunging against his leash towards the exposed buttocks of the child in question. The Gremlin looked up, and as he is 5 he is therefore never in the wrong.

“Gosh man, can’t I get some privacy here? I’m trying to pee!”

“Uh, yeah, well, uh, sorry about that. Uh, my dog kinda likes that tree. He, uh, tends to use it every time we come here.”

“Well tell him to wait! I’m using it right now!” The man was now almost next to the MOTG, but clearly not desiring to get any closer to the Gremlin.

“Yeah, uh, apparently it’s popular with dogs, and uh, well…” He seemed to realize he’d just associated the Gremlin with a dog and was trying to get over both his discomfort and embarrassment at the same time. The Gremlin, though, provided the MOTG with a way out.

“There!” He said as he started off down the hill and towards his school, wiggling his backwards Star Wars Lego underpants up over his bottom, though failing because he was also trying to walk with his pants around his ankles at the same time.

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.

Maybe He Can’t Read

At the park a few days ago, we noticed there was something off about the Gremlin. It took us a while to place it as he was running, screaming, pretending to be a fire truck as usual. Finally, we realized that whenever he tripped or played with something near his head, it just stayed there – even after he wasn’t holding it any more.

Upon further inspection, we determined the Gremlin had several leaves, a bug, wood chips, and 13 cents in assorted change stuck to his face, hair, hands, and legs. While I may have been slightly excited by the prospect of the Gremlin finally bringing me money for a change, the Mother of the Gremlin stopped me from getting the glue out and doing a ‘touch up’ on our little darling.

After cleaning him off, we guessed that the Gremlin was playing around in the back yard and had gotten sap all over him.

The next day, we asked the Gremlin to get ready to go to the park, and it was only accidentally that we walked in on him.

Instead of using the sunscreen, the Gremlin had mistakenly picked up a glue stick, and was thoroughly applying it to his forehead, cheeks, arms, legs, and neck.

Favorite Toy of the Week: Classic Fire Truck

The Gremlin’s YouTube channel has also been updated.