Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Two Words, Sounds like...

No we aren't on a charades kick at 53 Hancock St.  No, we are in the phase of language acquisition where Ethan is sucking up new words faster than we can throw at him.  I have had to bust out the big guns with stuff like a grocery store line discussion of the differences between "omnivores, carnivores, and herbivores."  At some point, like with Isaac, we will stray into taxonomy because all of my normal-use big words have been explained.  Pachycephalosauridae anyone?

This past two weeks has Ethan fixated on two words: bro and dope.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  In part it is because his big brother, who is infinitely cool, drops those words like gray clouds drop rain.  But it is also because those words work in so many different ways.

But the funny part of this is that Isaac himself was obsessed with the word "dope" (as in cool or interesting not either the dumb person or the drug).  But Isaac swore for probably three or four weeks when he first heard the word that it was "doke."  I tried to softly redirect him to the right word and I tried to show him examples of it being used.  But until his friends corrected me, Isaac assumed that I was an out of touch, geezer. 

Now Ethan is laboring under a mispronunciation.  Its not dope or even doke, its...wait for it...dofe.  What?  How did he get that out of the letters d-o-p-e?  Well, it doesn't matter because, for now, Ethan thinks it is dofe.  Eventually, I am sure, he will hear Captain Cool (Isaac) say it correctly and all of a sudden he will not yell and scream when we tell him that it is dope. 

So you, two words, sounds like DOPE. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Recently I realized just how much we assume and have as inherited information as adults.  An interaction I had with Isaac recently proves this to me.

Isaac and Ethan's bath process started getting long, like two hours long.  There was, of course, lots of running around crazy and plenty of nakedness.  But we have decided to split them up and Isaac now takes a shower.  As I am in the bathroom one night, assuring that he doesn't fart around for 40 minutes, we had this conversation:

Isaac: Dad, where is the soap you use?

ME: Just use the tear free soap.

Isaac: No, I don't use that soap anymore.  Its kid soap.

ME: It is fine, just use it.

Isaac: Listen, I just want the Dove soap.

Here, let me insert a pronunciation guide: Isaac calls the soap Dove, as in "He dove off a cliff..."

ME: Isaac I think it is pronounced "DUV" not "Dove"

Isaac:  Dad, that makes no sense.  Why would they name a soap after a stinky bird.

ME:  It is supposed to be calming...

Isaac: I don't get it.  Pass me the Dove.

ME: Do you even know which one is the Dove? 

Isaac: Yeah, it is the one with the bird on it.

Ugh.  I am so dumb.  There is so much in this conversation that is really just a clash between inherited knowledge and earned knowledge.

And yes, we now call it Dove as in dove off a clip.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Back From and To Ohio

This summer has been a whirlwind for Isaac (and his family).  After a great birthday at Great Wolf Lodge, with his grandparents in tow, Isaac parted from the humid hills of my home state Ohio.  You read that right—“Isaac.”  Not “us” or “Isaac and Dad.”  Just “Isaac.”  It was a tough two weeks for the rest of us, though Bianca and I had a great time giving the Beeth a bit of extra attention.

Isaac of course had a great time with Nanna and P-Pa.  He was taken to all of their favorite spots, introduced to tons of people, took in an Air Show with P-Pa (which is like taking in a World Series game with Hank Aaron),  made Buckeyes with Nanna and GG, and raced through the backcountry roads as copilot in the Corvette.  The night time rountine was a bit different (ending close to ten...P-Pa...) and he and his grandfather watched almost three full seasons of Alf (yes, Alf).  In all, he had a magical time in Ohio.

When I went to get him he was very happy to see me, but probably only about 10% as happy as I was to see him.  Since coming home he has been more tender with is brother, both of whom contend that they missed each other more than their parents.  But last night as we were getting ready for bath, Ethan was getting a bit of attention.  He had been a little booger, but caught himself and was making amends.  In Isaac’s eyes, he was getting rewarded for being bad.  In a bit of a huff, Isaac turned to me and said: “I want to go back to Ohio.”

So grandparents, Mission: Accomplished.  Also, are you ready for Camp Sculimbrene in two or three years when all three grandbabies are there?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Lean To


For about a month the three of us have been working on the above lean to.  It is a slow project, mainly because I am the only one that can cut stuff, haul stuff, or dig fast enough to get something done, but I am fairly certain that's not the point. 

Tonight, after a great dinner and a fabulous spring weekend, Ethan, Isaac, and I went back to work on the lean to.  It was the first really warm evening and after some chopping and carrying, Isaac got a bit hot.  So he ripped his shirt off and kept going.  Ethan, not one to ignore his older brother, did the exact same thing about ten seconds later.  I, being more modest and less shapely, decided to keep my shirt on.

Still we worked quite well.  The basic structure is up and the fire pit is ready.  The boys can be seen here, combing the resting area for large rocks.  Isaac used a branch as a screed board and Ethan "chucked the big ones" into the pit.  All in all, I can't imagine having more fun in an abandoned lot.  I also cannot imagine two little boys more filthy.  By the time we came inside, they looked like 19th century kids straight out of a coal mine. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Ethan GPS

Isaac was an okay car kid.  He didn't like it too much when his car seat faced the wrong way (and who would) but even after he switched directions he was never thrilled.  The iPad in the car has been a patience saver for us when Isaac's riding for more than 30 minutes. 

Ethan on the other hand is a positive joy in the car.  I don't have him in the car alone all that much, but when I do I am stunned at how good he is.  From his tiny seat, in either my car or Biancas, Ethan will call out locations.

"Are we on the highway?"
"I like Summer St.!"
"When is Water St.?"

No matter where we are, Ethan is calling out spot.  He knows when we are in Worcester because he asks about his hospital.  He knows when we are near Rota Springs.  He knows if we are going to Church. 

The best part is when he calls out not just where we are but where he thinks we are going.  If its around dinner time and we are over by Panera he will notice and ask:

"Are we going to Panera?"

But if it is a different time of day, even in the same location, Ethan will look around and ask:

"Are we going to the doctor?"

And then if we are near Isaac's karate, he will make sure Isaac knows (because I am not sure how much Isaac really pays attention to this kind of stuff): "Brudder, we are near your karate!"

I love my little GPS and boy is he smart. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


If you are at our house these days (circa March 2018), there is one word and only one word that matters--buttcheekola. 

Isaac had a bit of potty talk working its way into his vocabulary.  This meant that Ethan was also getting an injection of potty talk.  At some point Bianca and I decided that we needed to give them a word, not an actual bad word, but a word that they felt was a potty word.  This way they can "swear" without swearing.  They get the thrill of profanity without being profane.

After making the terms of the deal clear with the boys, they picked a word Isaac made up: buttcheekola. 

So now if you poke your head in at dinner time or just randomly listen in on our conversation in the car, you will hear the word "buttcheekola" more than 100 times an hour.  Isaac is a buttcheekola, Ethan is a buttcheekola.  Isaac is mad that Ethan called him a buttcheekola.  Ethan is furious because he is NOT a buttcheekola.  Its a swear, an exclamation, a joke--everything that little boys want and it is all found in one made up word.  Its just scandalous enough that it SOUNDS bad, but no one on Earth would mistake it for an actual swear word.

In a word, buttcheekola is perfect.  A solution to many problems for both parents and kids, all in a single four syllable word. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Isaac Anthony, Esq.

Twice a year St. Bernard’s hosts a book fair.  They convert the library into a mini bookstore and the kids browse the offerings.  There are a lot of books that are from popular series—Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc.  There are also kids “refernece books” like the DK guides to Star Wars movies and the like.  I had book fairs too and this is where I feel in love with Guiness World Records (which I still get annually to this day).

In previous years it was alway a bit of a hassle because one of us had to go at some point and pay for the books that Isaac had scouted out all week.  This year they instituted a new e-wallet system.  Bianca loaded up Isaac’s e-wallet with $25 and explained to him how it worked.

Bianca: Isaac, this year they are using an electronic wallet.  You do not need Mom or Dad to pay for things.  You have $25 to spend.

Isaac: What if I don’t spend it all, do I get what’s left over?

Bianca: No Isaac.  The book fair supports your school.  This $25 is for you to spend ONLY at the book fair.  Do you understand?

Isaac, with slightly stooped shoulders: OK

Well, that night I came home to a bit of controversy.  Apparently, Isaac spent his money on a car poster (McLaren 720, if you are curious).  Bianca was upset because he didn’t buy books. When I confronted him he told me:

“You guys said the money was for the book fair.  I bought something at the book fair.  You didn’t say I had to by books.  I don’t think it is fair that you are mad at me.”

I had to preserve the Parental Facade and be stern, but deep down inside, the lawyer in me was tickled by this argument.  We decided as punishment, Isaac had to use some of his money to pay for the poster.  When he conceded and paid the cash ($5), we rewarded him for taking responsibility by giving him $2 back.  Or least that’s why Bianca gave him the money back.  Personally, I paid him for making a good argument.