Category Archives: DS1

Oh, the things I do for my kids

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aka “twist my arm”

DS1 has been fixated on baking soda and vinegar volcanoes again lately.  Sadly, for him, the inlaws were here recently and DH used all the vinegar making escovitch fish.  So after much pestering multiple times daily about going to buy vinegar, I finally had errands to run today which took me to where they would have vinegar.

So, they’ve been out there trying it in empty plastic easter eggs and other such things.  Last I heard DS1 was in here looking for rubber gloves to blow up with it.  Just now, though, he comes in and stands by me @ my desk.

DS1 “Mom, have you had any beer yet today?”  So, right away, I know that there is definitely an ulterior motive at work here.  For the record, I almost never have beer during the week.  It should be noted that today was recycling pickup day.

Me: “No. ”

DS1: “Oh.” Big dramatic sigh follows, complete with the full-on dejected body language.

Me: “Why?” Even though I’m pretty sure I know.

DS1: “We need something to make a volcano in.”  Followed by the look of eyes which are wordlessly begging (which is, of course, preferable to the audible kind) “PLEEAAASSE drink a beer”

Me: “OK, DS1 if you want to bring me a beer and a glass, you can have the empty bottle”.

So, I’ll just enjoy this beer while I veg for a bit before getting dinner.  All in the name sacrifice for my kids.

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I really need to know how that works, exactly

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I’m getting ready to clean the rooms that didn’t get done yesterday.  The first step in this is getting the boys to make their rooms (tv/play room and bedroom) vacuum ready. Usually I assign them all to separate areas because, experience shows, having them “working together” on one room is an approach that will leave me twitching and thinking about running away from home.

However, today the mess is really all in one room.  And a friend is on the way so we need this job done as fast as possible.  I put them all to work together and prepare for the onslaught of “he’s not doing his share” “he’s telling me what to do” etc etc.  Think of about 14 variations on that and you’d be about par for the course.

Several minutes later, DS1 comes out to me and DH in the mancave where DH is watching football and I’m annoying him by talking about stuff not related to football.  He says “Mom, I {DS2} and {DS3} in hyper speed mode and the room is almost all cleaned up.

Sure enough, I go in there and it’s like the Cat in The Hat was there.  Being the mother of the boy, it’s a bit concerning how adept he is at manipulating his brothers but I guess in certain circles this is known as being a good motivator.  I just have a couple of questions about this “hyper speed mode”.  Does it require batteries?  How, exactly, does one turn this on? Is there a switch? Magic words? Will it work for homework? Getting ready on school mornings?

And, most importantly, why did no one tell me sooner that my children were equipped with this feature???  Is DS1 also equipped with it? DH?  And if not, is there any kind of aftermarket installation available?

My future engineer’s solution

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DS1 has an idea for eliminating injury and death from auto accidents.  Brilliant, eh?  Here’s how it’s gonna work as explained by him.

“The auto makers should install a device in cars where as soon as there was a sudden jolt in the motion of the car it would instantly create a force field around the passengers.  This would scramble their atoms so that any hard objects would just pass through them without causing any damage.  Of course, the cars would still be wrecked but at least the people wouldn’t be hurt.”

Yup, he’s quite the visionary.  I told him that was a great idea and that he can work on that when he’s a grownup if they haven’t already figured it out by then. Also that the path from here to there involved studying hard and doing his homework.  The look he gave me seemed to indicate that he thought I was reducing his grand vision to the mundane.  I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong, though.

ETA: I think I’ll ask him whether he thinks it’ll be hard to get the first volunteer to test out whether the atoms unscramble properly after it’s all over with.  I should probably have video recording capabilities handy to capture the reaction.

Today’s gem of wisdom

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Courtesy of DS1.  He had some birthday money just burning a hole in his pocket and disrupting his ability to sleep or concentrate on anything other than his choices for means by which to stimulate the economy.  (the shopping genes are dominat, apparently.)

So, we made a stop @ Best Buy this afternoon where, after much indecision and a few “discussions” with me about why he wasn’t buying this or that game with violence ratings (for the bazillionth time) he settled on Civilization IV.  He already likes SimCity 4 which is, apparently, similar but on a much smaller scale both in terms of space and time.  There was a man in the games aisle who plays many many hours of various computer games as he’s recovering from double knee surgery.  He totally sold DS1 on the coolness of it – I think the talk about getting science points for building observatories and the like was what put it over the top.

So, as we’re driving home DS3 asks “do you have battles in that game?” Mostly, I’m sure because I told him he couldn’t get any more sequels to Command and Conquer which is just really all about war strategy.  I suspect DS3 was trying to figure out if they just put one over on me by ending up with a game with battles anyway. (Go ahead and picture me rolling my eyes.)

DS1, in his infinite wisdom (and because he’s suddenly already an expert even though the game is not even installed yet) responds “Of course.  You can’t get a society from the Stone Age to the Space Age without winning a few battles.”

Maybe this game with have a stealth lesson about hypothetical peaceful societies.  Of course, what fun would that be?

I think we know where all the Canadian blood went

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Today we have not even approached 70 degrees indoors or out.  Now, my peeps up north do not appreciate the Florida interpretation whereby < 70 degrees as a high = cold.

DS1 appears to be getting a clue about this sort of thing as he approaches the ripe old age of 10.  He spontaneously dressed in long pants – warm ones, lined with jersey knit – and a long sleeved shirt today.  When he realized he was still cold he went back and put a tshirt on underneath.  This indicates 2 things to me. First, remarkable progress in that he didn’t need to first freeze, complain of freezing to me, refuse when I suggest he dress warmer on the grounds of anything more than tshirt / shorts not being comfortable (rinse, lather, repeat).  It also indicates that he failed to inherit any of my Canadian blood since all this dressing, layering and further wrapping up in a blanket to play computer games was brought on by indoor temps of 64 degrees.  He also contends that it is too cold to play outside at about the same temps.

DS3 has not progressed quite as much but still did OK.  He got up, put on a tank top and shorts.  Realized after about 2o minutes that this was not appropriate dress for today and asked me where the warm clothes were which he promptly went and changed into with socks for extra warmth (they all will only wear socks under duress).

DS2, on the other hand, put on his tshirt and shorts as always with no socks.  He has repeatedly proclaimed that he is not cold.  And actually does not appear to be feeling the cold.  He did, however, just say “Is there any warm air conditioning?  I’m just sayin, I’m not cold… I’m just saying” which kind of amused me.  He was also more than happy to partake in the warming hot chocolate “even though I don’t need to warm up”.

Just now the other two are cheering when DH mentions that he’s about ready to turn on the “warm air conditioning”.  DS2, OTOH, just wandered off outside to ride his bike.  Still barefoot in tshirt and shorts.

Given that I, born and raised in Canada, am also sitting here in all my warm layers with my supah warm n.a.p. blanket around me (the big one) and fuzzy socks (and have been most of the day) I can only assume that not only did the boy get his and both his brothers’ shares of the Canadian blood, apparently I donated mine to him, also.  Of course, the case could easily be made that I lost mine years ago in a necessary evolution which enabled me to get through a Florida summer without dying.

ETA: He just came in and said “It’s cold out there.  I’m not saying *I’m cold* I’m just saying that it’s cold out there.”  It’s entirely possible he is actually cold but in denial as the prospect of wearing clothing that touches him below the elbows or knees is, to him, a much greater evil.

A Christmas Eve Theory floated by DS1

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First let me just say that I am very skeptical about the how genuine DS1’s apparent enduring belief in Santa is.  Not only for the fact that he is going to be 10 but, also, the boy is a very very logical thinker.  I think this belief has been (intentially, by me) shored up a bit by Santa’s habit of bringing him presents that I have made very clear *I* won’t be getting him.

So, anyway, just now he’s getting in the shower and he likes me to sit in there.  So, he starts on this great long and detailed explanation of how this could possibly work.  Most likely, this has been sparked in his ever-busy brain by us having a laptop on the live Santa tracking all afternoon.

In a nutshell, this is his theory.  He is able to go fast enough becuase the reindeer actually have a special sort of engine they’ve invented that is powered by light and when the light shoots out the back it propels the vehicle (or reindeer) forward at the speed of light.  It is possible, he notes, that there are also mirrors involved in order to get the needed forward motion.  Then, in order to make all the stops (and to avoid having to devise a braking system that could make so many frequent stops from lightspeed to stopped) he doesn’t actually stop.  He’s got a special beacon that he picks up and aims at the house.  The magic Santa key (which we hang on the front door) only responds to this beam (and only Santa has one).  when the beam hits the key, it doesn’t actually open the front door.  It slides open a secret panel in the roof of the house at which point Santa shoots the present out of his special launcher.  The presents are, of course, equipped with parachutes so that nothing is broken during flight and landing).  Then before the super secret Santa roof panel closes back up, he uses a tractor beam (which he knows exist because “the Chrono-Legionaires have them”.  What are Chron0-Legionaires, you ask?  Well, they are soldiers in Command and Conquer, of course) to instantly transport those cookies right up into his hot little hands.

Another flash of the beam and the roof is closed up and off he goes.

So.  Now you know how he manages to get so much done in one night.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy – like most things in life, having the right gadgets for the job makes all the difference. (<- that last bit is mine, not his.  I’m a big fan of gadgets.  I think I can live without a tractor beamer, though.  Or maybe not – it could be useful, say, when we are late for school when a child realizes he doesn’t have his shoes / homework / backpack / project / whatever.)

My little geek child

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Every night DH or I sit in the chair in the boys room after the lights go out for about 15 minutes while we play audiobooks on the CD player (or music if they fail to settle down to the stories).

Mostly, we play from the collection of Robert Munsch stories as they are favorites.  (the I’ll Love you Forever author.  the rest of his stuff is quite funny and downloadable @ robertmunsch.com)  Just now, there’s a story playing called “Pigs”.  There’s some line in it about “Megan  knew she was in bad trouble”.

I’m sitting here w/my laptop as I’ve got a little project thing I’m trying to finish but I heard the story with one ear.  Then I hear geek-child – aka DS1 – saying in a quiet but audible voice “OK.  that is worded badly”.  I don’t say anything.   He says “for Real. That is worded really badly”.

I’m so proud.   I birthed a grammar geek.  Normal children listen to the story, this one critiques it.  I hear 4th grade is big on writing.  Lucky for him, he’ll have plenty of opportunity to show us all how it should be done.