Daddy Would NEVER Hide Things. Really!

The other day the Gremlin was looking on the laptop. He’s found that we frequent Kids Woot, and was looking for the “Track Mover” actually named Harvey. He found a collection of trains that included Harvey, and then turned to the Mother of the Gremlin.

“Momma, is Daddy going to buy those, hide them in his closet, and only show them to Grandma?”
“What do you mean, buddy?”
“You know, like Molly’s talking station.”

Sadly, there may not be a Gremlin update next week – the Gremlin has decided that talking to Daddy on the phone “makes [him] too sad, and [he] wants to cry.” But rest assured, after that there will be numerous updates from the Gremlin’s time in Seapple – including his first realization that he has a yard.

Favorite Toy of the Week:  Jeremy  

He’s excited to ‘ride Jeremy to Seapple to see daddy.’


The Park Peep Watch

The Gremlin, displaying his grasp of the social mores instilled in him by his mother, has showed his peep to the entire park no less than three (3) times today.

The first attempt – a failed impromptu bathroom behind some bushes – actually involved the Gremlin hopping across the park from the only clump of bushes in the entire fenced-off kids section with his pants and underpants around his ankles shouting “It’s cold on my peep! It’s COLD!” I was just pleased that the rest of the parents at the park weren’t judging us at all. You could tell from the way they kept looking at us with envy because I had Panda Express.

The second and third exposures both involved changing out of and into his Thomas the Tank Engine trunks, such as instead of toweling them dry he preferred to drop trou right in the middle of the sprinklers because he’d decided he was ‘done.’ It’s funny, though. Even though I’d finished my orange chicken, the looks of envy actually increased after the Gremlin’s peep came out agai- oh… nevermind.

Well, at least he’s not afraid to be himself…

Favorite toy of the week:  Duplo Fire Truck

Pants STILL On The Ground

The Gremlin was at Target the other day, and with his personality he gets very possessive. So when he does get his one treat at the store, or even something extra – like a Thomas sheet set, for example – he clutches it in both arms and ignores everything else around him. Being of slight build (125th percentile in height, 76th in weight), we frequently have trouble securing the waistline of the Gremlin (who to this day doesn’t understand why he needs to concern himself with snaps or buttons). It struck again at the store, and he was dutifully following his mother when his pants found themselves around his ankles. Without the use of his hands, and without his mother noticing, the Gremlin began to assess the situation.

With his hands full, the Mother of the Gremlin didn’t expect any trouble once he was in line to pay, holding his sheet set. She didn’t immediately turn around when she heard the woman behind her laughing, so when the cashier motioned for her to look, it was already too late. She turned just in time to hear him speak to the rest of the line behind them.

“Aw, c’mon, lady! It just happens sometimes!” And without attempting to pull them back up, he turned around with a huff, mooning the rest of the store (again) with his tighty-whities.

Sharing and Spelling

So one of the Gremlin’s favorite places to go is the Barnes and Noble in the Old Orchard mall. This is not because of their expansive literary selection, their readings or other events, or an employee. This Barnes and Noble happens to have a Thomas train table.

The Mother of the Gremlin has an expansive criteria on when to go because the Gremlin is 3, and has decided that he owns every Thomas engine ever. This criteria is: during lunchtime. This is the time at which the train table is least used, so the Gremlin can usually play to his heart’s content for about half an hour (the required time for a parent to regain enough energy to fight the Gremlin about leaving).

When the Gremlin arrived, most of the other children had left – there was just a lone straggler who was lining up all the trains in a row, rolling them to the top of the bridge, and then flipping the bridge open, launching the other trains across the table. I liked the kid immediately.

The other child immediately surrendered to the Gremlin his favorite – the Cookie Factory Cargo Pack – and the Gremlin was immediately entertained. A matter of minutes after that, the other child’s mom got hungry, and the Gremlin was left with all the trains.

After almost 45 minutes of engine euphoria, another child approached the table, and stared longingly at the 15+ trains the Gremlin hoarded on the opposite end of the table, having seen the approach. The MOTG prompted the Gremlin to share, and – having just saved up an extra 15 minutes of fighting power – was forced to haul the Gremlin off at a decibel level usually reserved for tornado warning systems. In the car, the MOTG tried to talk to the Gremlin about sharing.

“Buddy, you weren’t sharing with that boy.”
“No momma, I did not want to give him any trains.”
“Why not?” The Gremlin shrugged, and the MOTG went on. “Buddy, remember how you felt when you got there and that other boy gave you some trains to play with?”
“How did you feel about that boy?”
“I thought he was S-T-U-P-I-D.”

Well, looks like we can’t spell things in front of him anymore…

Ears Like a Bat

So this week the Mother of the Gremlin and I have been eagerly awaiting the Thomas Talking Railway Station (and by eagerly, I mean we’ve been wondering how long it would take us to injure ourselves or him after hearing the same Thomas phrase repeated 50 million times) that I foolishly purchased off because I’m an impulse buyer for almost anything they have.

Anyway, Grandma came up this week, so the Gremlin was ecstatic right up until we put him to bed. Once we finally got the little darling down (and I promise, I didn’t use duct tape. This time), we were showing Grandma the recent purchase. Well, as any curious person would, she pushed THE BIG RED LEVER.

THE BIG RED LEVER inevitably kicks off a display of lights and sounds that will become indelibly imprinted on your brain over the next few days, and is set to a specific frequency that not only causes children to become addicted, but is also capable of causing migraine-level pain in adults. The Talking Railway Station is no different, with Sir Toppam Hat coming out and talking to the person who will be flayed for touching THE BIG RED LEVER.

A few minutes after we’d looked at it (and the two talking trains that came with it – Molly and Billy, of which we already have 2), we heard the Gremlin up and about. Going into see why he couldn’t sleep, the Gremlin greeted us before we even got to his bed.

“I want to play with the train.”
“Uh, what train, buddy?”
“The Thomas train you and Mommy and Grandma were playing with.”
“Buddy, you need to go to sleep. It’s bed time now.” Not being able to argue this, the Gremlin laid down, but had one last shot to get in.
“You think I don’t know, but I do. I know.”

He had heard half a second of one little child’s-toy speaker across the entire house while the TV was on, and knew it was a Thomas Train.

The Hoarding of the Fruit (Snacks)

The Gremlin is known for hoarding food in his room. I’m not sure if this is in preparation for 13 Baktun, or just a rainy day. The other day he was “making Mommy margaritas” and had a bag of limes in there (which, once discovered, the Mother of the Gremlin promptly raided so she could make margaritas).

Well, it so happens that our dear little foodie is such a terror at the grocery store that the only way we have found to keep him even semi-tame is to allow him one food treat he can buy and take home.

What the treat is usually depends on the area of the store he is in when he remembers he is usually allowed a treat. The other day, that happened to be right by the fruit snacks. This semi-gelatinous goodness had been a long-time favorite of the Gremlin’s, and it was even easier for him this time – they had Curious George fruit snacks, on sale.

After overcoming his initial paroxysm of delight, he happily clutched the box all the way to the checkout. And through the checkout (throwing such a fit the cashier was even acting timidly while using the hand-scanner on it…). And to the car.

Once the MOTG was finally parked, she wrested the box away from the tiny, vice-like paws of the Gremlin and was about to put it in one of her bags when she noticed it was a bit light. She turned to the Gremlin.

“Buddy, how many packages of fruit snacks did you get out of the box?”

“I ate two, momma, and put the third away for later.” The MOTG did the math in her head.

“Wait, how many did you eat?”

“Two, momma!”

“Where did the third one go?” The Gremlin avoided making eye contact, trying not to tell the MOTG. But she pressed again. “Buddy. Where is the other package?”

“In my pants.” The MOTG rolled her eyes. She flipped his coat off to the side and felt around in his pocket. Nothing. She turned the other pocket inside out. Still nothing.

“Buddy, do you remember what daddy says about lying?” He knew the answer to this one, and answered with enthusiasm.

“It’s bad!”

“That’s right buddy, so I want you to tell me where the last package of fruit snacks is.”

“Momma, it’s in my pants.”

“I just looked in your pants.”

“No, momma, ” the Gremlin laughed, thinking about how silly his mother was being, “not there. In my pants.”

The MOTG got the idea, and gave a little tug on each side of his hips. The Gremlin’s cargo pants dropped to the floor and the package of fruit snacks slid over to his mother’s foot. He reached down and picked it up.

“Momma, I share that with you.”

“No, thanks, buddy. You can go ahead and have it.”

“Oh, thank you momma, I’m so happy!”

So the MOTG loaded up her bags, and started off, the Gremlin contentedly munching on his fruit snacks. As she walked down the street to the condo, cars honked and whistled as they went by. Not seeing any cars in the middle of the road, or accidents, the MOTG shrugged it off and called for the Gremlin to keep up. Suddenly, she was disturbed by a man running up behind her.

“Excuse me, ma’am?” The MOTG turned to face this new obstacle between her and her lunch. (Funny how they both get really cranky when they don’t eat.)

“I think your son is having some issues with his pants.” The MOTG turned to look, and saw the Gremlin was still doing his best to keep up with her, running as best he could. It seems that, unburdened by the added bulk the single package of fruit snacks added to the Gremlin’s waistline, his pants had fallen to the sidewalk, and were beginning to come down and turn inside out over his shoes. Apparently the cars had been honking due to the miniature waddling pictures of Thomas and Friends on our son’s tighty-whities.

The MOTG took this in for a minute and then put all her groceries down, but the Gremlin strode past her.

“Momma, hurry up! I want McDonald’s!” He hadn’t said anything because he wanted to go get lunch as much as his mother had. And he rocked the Thomas undies proudly.

"I smell something!"

The Gremlin pushed his trains into the living room the other day – he’s super excited about Thomas, and all the things that go with it. He was leading, of course, with the one that made noise. Daddy foolishly bought “James” (his favorite, according to the Gremlin) not realizing it not only lit up, but also made “chuff chuff” noises when the wheels turned AND (even better!) made whistle noises when you pushed the button on the top of it.

James was immediately followed by Lady (the Gremlin’s favorite, according to him), who was purchased when the ‘Baba Fairy’ came, but that’s another story (specifically, the one before this). Right after lady was Percy (his favorite – are we seeing a pattern here?), and another train came along with the coal cars.

Well, James’ train came in, and immediately had to “park.” Of course, the parking moved depending on where Mommy and Daddy were, and today, it was right behind my feet. After a brief, but logical discussion of where to park (“James has to park there.” “But my feet are there.” “Okay, move them!” “That was not a nice way to ask, and I was here first.” “Please move them?” “Buddy, I was here first. You need to get used to sharing things and space with people.” “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”), the Gremlin calmed down and decided to try his other train. (“Coal car has to park there.” “Sigh.”)

Attempting to plead his case, the Gremlin scaled the couch to show Daddy that they were both at the same level. Halfway up the couch, the Gremlin froze. He smiled, and dropped into his father’s lap.

“I love you sooooo much!”
“Thank you, buddy, I love you too.”
“Daddy, I smell something.” Uh-oh.
“What do you smell?”
“Chocolate.” Dang!
“Can I have some pleeeeeeeeeease?”

That’s right, he smelled Oreos on my breath, and managed to score cookies out of it.