April's Real Blog

Friday, February 29, 2008

Transformers? Bwuh?

Liz sent me another e-mail:

Yay, we're still on me! I had a nightmare that we switched back to Mike and that he had a story about making some Kraft Dinner for those kids of his, but that they dumped it down the sink and Mike sent them to bed without supper while thinking a pun. I'm so glad we're on me!

Like I started to tell you, Candace and Rudy were at my apartment and Candace had asked me about how things were going with Anthony. And I told them that thing about taking things one day at a time. Well, Candace asked me some syko-babbly question about how compatible we are, and when I stared at her without answering, because I remember I had to learn "compatible" in a vocab quiz once but hadn't thought about the word in ages, she kind of sighed and said, "Are you and Anthony well matched?" I thought about how we are always finding we are wearing the same shade of brown or mustard yellow or eggplant, and I said, "Yes, we are pretty well matched." Candace had to get all competitive by saying, "Rudy and I are pretty well-matched too, Liz. We just sort of 'click', I guess." By then, we were all standing up, and Candace and I were holding our mugs. I saw that Candace was facing Shiimsa, who was on the counter, and I thought, "Oh, yeah, I have a cat."

Then I realized that Rudy was talking again, I think he heard about how Pattersons are always doing the best wordplay and he wanted to show off, because he started to gesture with his two hands, like he was pretending to open a jar, and he said, "Like those Transformers! You know, you get some goofy monster thing, then... click-click, you fudge around it and it turns into a car or something!?" Candace had put her mug down and picked up Shiimsa. I was putting my mug on the coffee table, and Candace was asking Rudy, "You're comparing me to a Transformer?" And Rudy said, "Nope! No psychoanalysis, Candace. You know what I mean. It's the way we figure each other out!" I sat on the couch and felt myself looking like Mike with a confused look on my face while Candace answered, "A 'goofy monster thing'?" Then Rudy sat next to me on the couch, grabbed his right foot, and said, "Click, click, click" while leaning in like he was going to put his face onto his foot. Candace asked, "What are you doing?" And Rudy said, "Putting my other foot in my mouth!" And I laughed. Because I saw there was no way Rudy was flexible enough to put his foot in his mouth. I said, "Maybe April can do that, with those yoga classes she takes, April does stuff like that to be annoying and maybe so that she can put her foot in my mouth." And then I laughed some more because I pictured you, April, with both feet in your mouth! Ha, ha, ha, I'm laughing all over again thinking about that!

More tomorrow.

Liz, FYI, putting your foot in your mouth is an expression. When you say the wrong thing and realize you've accidentally insulted someone, that's called putting your foot in your mouth. And in case you care, I'm flexible enuf 2 put my feet behind my head, but I never put my feet in my mouth (at least not literally). Oh, and memo to Rudy, Transformers are "robots in disguise." Not "goofy monster things."


Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rudy and Candace Speak Telepathically

I got an e-mail from Liz. She wrote:

April, I am so excited because I got a special telegram from the Johnston Institute saying I could leave Limbo and that I was going to be the one everyone talks about for a while. Finally. I thought Mike was going to go on with his stories forever, I just couldn't stand it, so I haven't even been reading your blog this week.

Anyway, the telegram said I should report to my apartment and invite Candace and Rudy so we could have a conversation about Anthony. I was hoping my instruction would be to go to Anthony, who would be on bended knee hiding an engagement ring behind his back, ready to say, "Liz, will you marry me and make me the happiest man alive?" You know, all romantic-like. Before I left Limbo, I looked in the mirror and gasped because I saw that I was looking almost exactly like Mike. I was about to let my hair down, but one of the officials at Limbo stopped me and said I was supposed to keep my hair in its bun. So if you think you see Mike but with his hair in a bun, that's me.

As soon as Candace and Rudy got to my apartment, I made tea. Because as you know, it's not possible to have an important talk without tea or coffee, that's why Mom always is ready to make some. Rudy is such a rebel, though, he had iced tea instead of regular, steaming hot tea.

So we all sat and Candace got right to business with her question of "So, how's it going with you and Anthony, Liz?" And I couldn't see her because I didn't have eyes just then, but I ignored that and said, "Really well, Actually." And Candace said, "That is so cool!" Then I remembered what I'm always supposed to say, and my eyes came back, but I closed them just to be safe, and said, "We're taking it one day at a time. We're not rushing into NEthing; we're just totally at ease with one another." Rudy reached across the table to tap Candace on the arm and say, "Just like you and me, right, Babe? We just sort of know what the other's thinking!" And Candace gave her this strange look, I think she was trying to look sexy or trampy, and she said, "OK!" Rudy said, "'OK'... What?" And Candace got really ugly the way people do a lot of the time when you see them from the side, and she said, "What am I thinking?" And Rudy said, "Hah! I knew you were going to say that!" And I sat holding up my head with my hand propped under my chin, feeling I looked more like Mike than ever, and feeling confused. They didn't even have thought bubbles, April, so how could they have been thinking and reading each other's thoughts, that doesn't even make any sense.

I'd tell you more, but now that I'm having my turn, I want to make sure I get to keep it for a while. So I'll tell you more tomorrow. Unless you really annoy me, so I have to chase you and threaten to beat you up. But even then, I'd probably tell some more, because IT'S FINALLY MY TURN!!!


Well foax, something mite actually happen this week. Or mayB not. Liz, U sound xxactly the same as U did this past summer. Has yr relationship w/Anthony not progressed at all since then?


Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And Dee uses Grandma Marian's wedding dress?

Well, Mike has the next installment in his "what we found in the crawl space" story. Let's C how long it took them 2 get 2 "Hey, this dress wd B PERFECT 4 LIZ!"

Formerly little sis. There comes a time in a man's life when you have to consider that your wife has gone crazy. Take this dress of Grandma Marian’s that Deanna found in the crawl space for example. After she found it, she became completely obsessed. I was dipping my tea bag into my coffee cup to get the best flavour out of it, when I saw Deanna had laid the dress out on the table, spreading it out and admiring it. She said, “I’m going to take this to the dry cleaners and see if they can spruce it up.” I said, “Really?” This was my way of saying, “Why do you want to spend money making a 60-year-old dress look good? It’s not like anyone will ever see it again.”

Then Deanna grasped the dress in both hands and said, “Then, I’ll put it in one of those pretty boxes with the window on top.” I held my tea cup with the usual Patterson pinky extended and said, “And then what?” This was my way of saying, “You’re going to put it in one of those boxes like they put pastries in the grocery store? Is it your plan to put the dress in the kitchen so people can look at it, while they are eating a doughnut?”

Then Deanna gave me this strange look, where her nose and her mouth were starting to be grotesquely distorted. She said, “I don’t know! But, your grandmother’s wedding dress is far too precious to leave in the crawl space!!!” I suddenly went dark from one of those unexpected silhouettes, but while I was there, I started to wonder why it is that my wife, who barely got to meet Grandma Marian before she died, would suddenly be obsessed with her wedding dress. I know that Deanna has embraced the Patterson family and mom and rejected her own mother for the longest time. It never occurred to me that Deanna might also embrace my Grandma Marian and possibly reject her own grandmother too. This could even go back to even earlier generations. Maybe Deanna prefers my great grandmother to her great grandmother. Maybe the same is true of my great, great grandmother or my great, great, great grandmother. I tell you, April, I think there is no depth to which my wife would not sink in her quest to fully immerse herself in all things Patterson. I thought about discussing this particular aspect of her personally with my wife, but there were far more important things to be discussed. Manly things. I said, “So is my hockey gear!!” Considering all the discussion of frilly feminine things like wedding dresses, pastry boxes, and dead grandmothers; I felt it was time to bring up a man subject and there is no manlier subject than hockey. I’ll bet you forgot I even played hockey at one time, didn’t you, April?

Well, my wife apparently had forgotten that, because she said to me, “But honey!...You never USE it!!!” She clutched that wedding dress to her bosom and I tried with all my might not to look at her bosom. And yet I did and I felt all my manly, hockey bravado melt away so I was just left with a dumbstruck look on my face, my coffee cup with tea in it and my extended pinky, and a strange feeling my nose had grown. I looked downward and sure enough, there was the cursive “Lynn” lined up with my manhood again.

It is difficult to feel manly when your wife has gone nuts over something really girly.

Michael Patterson
Actually, Mike, I do remember that U played hockey. Mostly cuz there R times when Mom gets in this weird mood and starts muttering abt U. It starts out kinda sounding like, "Mutter mutter mutter, Michael mutter mutter mutter Mike." Then she'll go, "2 think I drove him 2 all those hockey games and practices and sat in the stands 2 cheer him on even when I was freezing my butt off!" I'm not sure what that's all abt, but I estim8 she does it every 4 wks or so.

I'm not sure what Dee is getting at. Does she have a habit of using old bridal gowns?


Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wake up, Liz, yr story mite B coming after all

Yeah, so there's more 2 tell abt Mike and the junk from the crawl space, apparently:

Formerly little sis. There comes a time in a man's life when you simply have to agree with your wife’s intuition about things, even though you know full well she is probably wrong. Such is the case with my Deanna and her tendency to “know” things which happened, that she could not possibly know happened.

After finding the stuff in the crawl space I told you about yesterday, my lovely wife, Deanna started going through the things in the crawl space and coming into the room where I was doing research for my next novel Breaking the Windjammer to show them to me. Did you know that encyclopedias, even the really cheap ones which come in 3-ring binders, are a veritable fount of information? I have learned so much about real windjammers with our set of 3-ring binder encyclopedias. What they do not explain though, is why my wife was so fascinated with declaring how each item she found was some kind of valuable item.

You see, April, you may find that after you are married; you may want to keep your dress so that your children and grandchildren can wear it too. In fact, you may invest in one of those vacuum-sealing dress boxes, which will keep the dress like new for decades. Or, you could store your wedding dress in a shoebox and put it in a crawl space and not let anyone know about it. I am sure you can tell the relative difference in attention to proper dress storage between the two methods, as I did when became an expert in the matter from my research on it for one of my weekly columns entitled, “So You Only Thought Your Mom Was Fat When She Got Married.”

When Deanna came up to me with this dress in a shoe box, and said, “Remember that old stuff of your mom’s that I pulled out of the crawl space?...Check this out! I think it’s your Grandma Marian’s wedding dress,” it was all I could do to restrain myself from exclaiming about proper dress storage. In fact, when Deanna pulled the dress out and put it up to her body as if to try it on for size, it was even more difficult to restrain myself from pointing out how Deanna couldn’t fit into that dress and Grandma Marian was even less likely, because she was not a particularly small woman. Instead of pointing out to Dee the errors in her assumptions I said, “You’re right! --I’ve seen it in pictures. I didn’t even know my mom had it!”

Deanna held the dress wistfully up to her eyes to see it better and made yet another statement she could not possibly know. She said, “I think Grandpa Jim brought it with him when he moved here from Vancouver.” My thought was, “No. More likely mom brought it with her when she cleaned out Grandma Marian’s stuff in Vancouver”. When Deanna is in one of her “make up the things that happened” moods, it is best not to get in her way. The way Deanna was looking at it, started to creep me out, so I said to her, “What should we do with it?”

At this question, Deanna clutched the dress to her breast, and exclaimed, “Michael, this is an heirloom!!!” I wanted to say that people don’t put heirlooms in shoeboxes and throw them into nasty crawlspaces, but once I again I restrained myself. Instead, I decided to build on the logic Deanna had already used. If it was an heirloom and it had been stored in a crawlspace, I said, “Oh. Then…I guess it goes back into the crawl space.” After all, isn’t that where the shoeboxed heirlooms go?

Needless to say, Deanna did not agree with that sentiment. In fact, she had another completely different sentiment for the dress involving my sister Elizabeth and her wedding day. I could tell from the way the gears were churning in her head, Deanna was beginning to think that Elizabeth should be wearing Grandma Marian’s wedding dress. This is, of course, a ridiculous idea. For one thing, it is white. For another thing, Elizabeth would never be able to fit into the dress. It was too small for Deanna, holding it next to her body; so you know Elizabeth is way too big for it.

Well, this was an exciting story about Deanna finding a wedding dress in the junk. Tomorrow, I think I will have some more to tell about this fascinating story.

Michael Patterson
Oh, I wdn't worry abt the fit, Mike. I M guessing this will turn out 2 B a magic wedding dress that, when Liz tries it, will reconfigure itself 2 B the perfect fit 4 her. And yeah, I can't imagine it wda been Gramps who brought it. That totally sounds like Mom, when she packed up all their stuff. And what the heck w/sticking it in the crawl space? Do NE of U psychology peeps think this sounds like a sign of sum unresolved hostility Mom mite have had against Grandma Marian?


Labels: , , , ,

Monday, February 25, 2008

All Mike, Almost all the time

In case U mite have had NE doubt that Mike has taken over as the focus of Milborough, here's his l8ist slice of domestic life:

Formerly little sis. There are times when a man realizes that no matter how long he has been married there is something new he learns about his wife. It’s a part of the mystery I think that has kept my marriage so strong over the years, is that half the time, I have no idea where my wife is or what she is doing.

For example, just the other day, I was walking through a room I thought I knew and there was this little door on the side of the wall and it was opened. I looked through it expecting perhaps to see elves or leprechauns or some other kind of little person; but instead there was my wife, Deanna. I said to her “Deanna? What are you doing in the crawl space?” I called it a crawl space, because she was crawling in it. It seemed like a catchy phrase to me.

She replied, “I found a bunch of stuff in here!” For a moment there I thought she might have uncovered the thing that we hid in the house that you remember we found back when you were about 6 years old and we swore never to tell anyone about. Fortunately it wasn’t that. Deanna shoved out two boxes, one taped shut and the other opened and said, “This box hasn’t been opened in 20 years!...There’s baby clothes and Christmas cards…” I know you are probably wondering how my wife knew the box hadn’t been opened in 20 years. Possibly she had the box carbon-dated, or she counted the number of rings in the dust; but the truth of the matter is that our mother has the habit of putting dates on everything to the point of excess. So, the label actually had the date when the box had been sealed.

However, looking at the baby clothes and Christmas cards in the other box, I was struck by this sudden realization. I said, “But, my folks had a yard sale!” Then I remembered that mom had said she planned to have a yard sale with all her old stuff in it, and if she had included 20-year-old baby clothes and her old Christmas cards, then no one would buy those, even if they were Christmas cards sent to Pattersons. Naturally, Christmas cards sent from Pattersons are the ones which carry value. I also noticed a distinct lack of dust on these items. If a box had not been opened in 20 years, you would think there would be 20 years of dust on it, and yet both boxes and my lovely wife, were completely unperturbed by any appearance of dust. Could it be that my mother was such a neatnik that she dusted boxes she had in crawl spaces, or could it be that my mother couldn’t sell these items in a yard sale, and so she decided to store them in our crawl space, or could it be that my wife has a natural force about her which repels dust? Any of those answers are plausible.

My wife was not putting these things together and went enthusiastically back into the crawl space saying, “I guess nobody looked beyond this rock.” I think she was saying something related to the phrase “leave no stone unturned”, but who knows? She was too busy pulling out one box after another to ask. Eventually we had quite a pile of cardboard boxes, and some sealed food containers, which I fear is food with which my mother held some sentiment (last pastry made by Grandma Marian and things like that), an old coffee pot, and some books. I suddenly began to realize that there was enough room in that crawl space for another office or another bedroom, and my mind immediately raced to that possibility.

Whenever I see a big, messy pile of things; my natural tendency as a Patterson is throw out some words of condemnation. It’s just a reflex action, eh? I said, “Man, how come people collect so much JUNK!!” I realize, of course, that these words of condemnation were aimed at my parents and you; so they were foolishly uttered. The only thing I could do to compensate was to put my hand in my right pocket and thrust my hip out, in a sort of pseudo girlish repentance.

My wife put things in perspective for me. She said, “That’s not junk, Michael…That’s OURS!” As she said this a mysterious bag of things appeared in front of the junk. I decided to switch pocket hands and gave the cameraman a look which was intended to say, “My mom has scammed me by hiding all this stuff in the house, so now I have to get rid of the junk she couldn’t sell in that yard sale.” That’s the conclusion I came to anyway. When Deanna was initially drawing a comparison between the words, “Junk” and “Ours”, I had thought there was some kind of pun in there. I immediately thought of words similar in meaning to “Junk” in the hopes that one of them would sound like the word, “Ours”. My mind raced through: clutter, collateral, debris, filth, hogwash*, litter, miscellany, offal, refuse, rubbish, rubble, rummage, salvage, scrap, trash, waste, bits, crap*, detritus, dregs, dross, fragments, garbage, offal, pieces, refuse, remains, rubbish, rubble, ruins, shit, trash, waste, wreck, wreckage. I couldn’t think of a single one that would work; so I was forced to accept the fact that my wife Deanna had not actually made a pun, but made it look like she was making a pun.

And there you have it, formerly little sis, the new thing I learned about my wife: She fakes puns. It’s sad but true.

Michael Patterson
Mike, "fakes puns"? Can't it B the much simpler conclusion, that she wasn't trying 2 pun @ all? Really, there R ppl who go thru their daily lives WITHOUT looking 4 a punnertunity in everything they're abt 2 say. U shd try it!

Liz, if U R so angry abt the fact that I xxist, U shd really take that out on Dad. One time, when U were a baby and Mike was in kindergarten, Mom was feeling bored and restless, and Anne Nichols suggested she cd always have another baby. Mom raised this possibility 2 Dad, and he was all absolutely-positively-NOT abt it. Then Mom suggested he take the permanent, surgical solution (get a vasectomy so he cdn't get Mom preggers again 4 sure) and he was like "I'm not THAT positive!" So there U have it, blame Dad.


Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

2 Late 2 Order a Whole Other Life?

K, so I went in2 the kitchen and found that Mom and Dad had their old slide projector and were making stacks and stacks of slides. I heard Dad saying, "Let's put vacations in this pile...." and Mom saying, "OK, and I'll put pets over here." Then Dad was like, "Then we can figure out approximate dates by..." And I interrupted him w/"Whatcha doing?" And Dad sed, "...Trying 2 put our lives in order." I'm pretty sure I looked gobsmacked 4 sum weird reason.

Mom added, "The slides were all out of order, so we started 2 make sum stacks. She pted 2 the various stacks while saying what they were: "Liz slides there, Michael here, U over there, yr dad's folks, my folks, stuff from B4 yr dad and I were married, vacations over on the counter there, and pets here."

I was like, "Mom, I have this distinct memory from when Gramps was living here, and U guys dug out the old slides, and there were only Mike an' Liz slides, none of me. And when I asked Y, U told me that by the time I came along, U weren't doing slides NEmore. What gives?" Mom sed, "If U look @ that small stack of 'April' slides, U will C there are all from yr three summers @ the farm. Yr Aunt Bev and Uncle Danny still do slides." I sed, "Oh."

Then I sed, "How come U have more vacation slides than U have of all the other stacks combined?" And Mom sed, "Well, U know yr father and I luv our vacations." I sed, "Abt that. R U guys going 2 abandon me during March vacation again this yr?" And Mom sed, "W8 and C. MayB yr father and I will go 2 one of our favourite warm-weather locales, or mayB we will ignore March vacation al2gether." And I sed, "I noticed U did not mention taking me w/U on a trip sumwhere as an option." Mom laffed and then sed, "No, I did not."

Then I sed, "Y do U suddenly want 2 put all these slides in order NEway?" And Mom sed, "Sumtime in September, every1 will B reminscing abt our past, from their earliest memories of us, and they will B going in chronological order. We received a memo from the Johnston Institute saying we need 2 do this 2 help that process along." I sed, "Geez, September's going 2 start a dull era." And Mom sed, "Nonsense! Ppl luv our old memories! Especially since we'll B filling in sum details they don't remember, sum of which mayB never happened!" And I sed, "What, R we George Lucas?" Mom gave me a blank look.

Well, that's all I've got 4 now.


Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, February 23, 2008

They're BUNK beds, Mike!

Mike has the conclusion of the new-bed story 4 U:

Formerly little sis. I think there comes a time in every parent’s life where they have to admit that, despite having gotten the best example possible of parenting from their mother (like our mother for us), there are some things which defy your expectations.

For example, this week I have been telling you the riveting story about how I realized that the way to solve the problem with my children teasing and bickering and fighting all the time, was to put the kids each in their own room. Sure enough, as I was taking off my socks to go to bed…by the way, did I tell you how much starch my wife Deanna has been putting in my socks lately? You won’t believe this, but I can literally push the sock off my foot and the sock stands up straight off my toes. It is quite amazing to see. Where was I? I was taking off my sock, and Deanna was putting on her pink pair of pyjamas, as she leaned against the bed. I don’t know if you have ever seen Deanna putting on clothes or pyjamas before, but she doesn’t sit on the bed, just leans against it. What was I saying? Oh, that’s right. Deanna said, “Well, that’s done! The kids each have their own room.”

I responded, “Finally!” and followed that with my explanation, “I was so tired of their teasing and bickering and fighting.” Once you have the solution to a problem which had been annoying me, it is a great thing to be able to say that the solution is in place. No more teasing. No more bickering. No more fighting. And all this is due to my saying to Deanna that we needed to spend the money to buy the bed which would bring peace to the house. We had to buy on sale, but the point is the problem is solved. Deanna agreed with me and said, “Yes. It was definitely time.”

Well, I was buttoning my pyjamas and having a difficult time with it, because these were those kind of pyjamas to button which did not have visible buttons. After I was finished, I decided to step into the hallway between my room and the kids’ room, put my hand to my ear in order to hear better, and also to let the cameraman know that I was listening. I said to my wife, “And…listen! No noise! --They’re actually SLEEPING!” I said that last part a little too loud, and my wife said to me, “Good move!” I said in a much quieter voice, “Yeah.”

You see, April, the way it used to be was that my children would tease and bicker and fight most of the night long. This is why it was so shocking to hear them sleep for a change. Deanna said to me, “They are so quiet, Mike. Either they are dead, or they are running around outside the house.” Well, I had to confirm what was happening. We went into my daughter’s bedroom and what should we find there, but my daughter and my son sleeping together on the same lower bump bed? They were sound asleep with “Z” coming out of them.

It was at this point, I had to revise my initial thesis. The children were not teasing or bickering or fighting all the time; and yet they had managed to go to sleep without a night long battle. How was this possible?

First I had to analyze the differences. They were both sleeping in the same room and in the same bed without my having to use an egg timer; so my theory that the reason they were teasing and bickering and fighting all the time was not related to them being in the same room.

Before they were sleeping in the same room in different beds, and now they are sleeping in the same room, but in a brand new bed. The answer was obvious, the teasing and bickering and fighting was caused by poor quality mattresses on their previous beds. Of course, bump beds don’t have very good mattresses on them; so it had to be a different explanation.

Then I realized the answer. Both of my children must have been gotten into the bump beds, knocked themselves unconscious with the “bump”; but not before pulling the covers over their body. But, on closer inspection, I saw that they did not have any marks on them from running into the bed and losing consciousness.

So, it occurred to me there might be something about the bed. My daughter used to sleep on a bed with sides, and my son used to sleep in a crib, with sides; so the difference is in the sides. Perhaps with this new found freedom of being able to fall out of bed at night, my son and daughter decided to test their ability to stay in bed with the worst possible conditions of being in the same bed at the same time. Honestly, I didn’t think my son and daughter were that ambitious.

Then another answer occurred to me. My son had said yesterday that there was too much room in the room. Perhaps, what he meant was that in order to keep from teasing or bickering or fighting all the time; he and his sister needed to be in a room that had less room in the room. Well, with that giant bump bed in an L-shape between the top and bottom bump, I mean bunk, it certainly takes up almost all the room in my daughter’s room.

This means I could have solved the problem years ago, by not insisting that Deanna keep their room so clutter-free. Perhaps this is the reason I teased and bickered or fought all the time with my sister. If mom had not been such a good cleaner, we might have gotten along better. No, that’s not right. I already know I teased my sister, because she deserved it from being cuter than I was.

Then it occurred to me that the reason they stopped the teasing or bickering or fighting all the time, even though they were sleeping in the same room and in the same bed, was the peace of mind which comes from knowing you don’t have to sleep in the same room, but choose to do so anyway.

You see what I mean about defying explanations, little sis. My wife Deanna said to me simply, “Mike. What’s important is not understanding why they have stopped teasing or bickering or fighting all the time; but they that have stopped.” That is why my wife and I get along so well. It is her simple, homespun, wisdom.

Michael Patterson
W8 a minute. W8 a friggin' minute. This is what Mike sed 2 Dee: "I was so tired of their teasing and bickering and fighting." He was tired of it. It bothered him. Was he concerned abt the effect the teasing and bickering and fighting had on his kids? No, it was all abt his peace b-ing disturbed. So let's think abt this. Mike, if Merrie and Robin NEVER teased or bickered or fought, does that mean they wd have had 2 share a room 4ever, despite the availability of other rooms in the house? Oh, and what if separating them didn't have NE effect on all the teasing, bickering, and fighting? Wd U have put them 2gether in one room again? Gah!


Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Roomy Room of Robin's Own

Have U been dying 2 know how Robin reacted 2 his new room? No? I didn't think so. NEway, Mike came by 2 share:

Formerly little sis. If there is one piece of advice our father gave me which I cherish to this day, it is the advice, “When your wife decides to decorate, that’s when you should evacuate.” I truly did not realize the degree to which this was true until we got into our new house. I swear to you, April, that my daughter and son’s previously combined bedroom changed decorations so often, sometimes I couldn’t even tell if my son’s crib was in the room. There would be shelves behind the bed or not. There would be shelves to the side of the bed or the crib. The picture on the wall behind the bed changed regularly.

Once I decided that my son needed a room all to his own, my wife went into a frenzy of redecorating and did not even let my son go into the room until she was completely done. She even placed his name on the door in big letters, so he would not be confused about which bedroom was his (which was a problem in the past, as you may well remember from the time you woke up with him in your former room, the rec room).

On the day of the grand entrance, my wife, the lovely Deanna, pushed him forth by his shoulders and said, “Go in, Robin! You have your own room now. …Your own private space!” On this first day in, my wife had opted for the shelves behind the bed and the menagerie of stuff animals lining the top of the shelf, in front of the picture mounted on the wall, which changed every time you looked at it. My wife loves those kinds of pictures. Me personally, constantly changing pictures makes me a little nervous, like you get around an inconsistent artist.

My wife was fishing for compliments and said to my son, “Isn’t this cozy?” while forgetting he was not a 60-year-old woman, but a 3-year-old boy. Then she said, “Why don’t you try the bed on for size!” which was another odd statement since this was my daughter’s former bed and my son had slept there just a few weeks ago. Sometimes when Deanna gets into a decorating mood, she loses her ability to speak sensibly and coherently. I have to remember this particular aspect of my wife, especially when she says things like, “Mike, why don’t you get a big hammer and remove this wall!”

Well, my son laid in the middle of my daughter’s old bed, and according my wife, did a fair impression of someone being crucified, even including the awkward positioning of his body and the pained expression on his face. Then my wife said that he sat up and stared at the ceiling fan, as if he hadn’t seen that in the room before. Now that I think about it, I don’t remember a ceiling fan in that room either.

According to Deanna, after my son sat in peaceful contemplation, he told her, “The bed fits, but there’s too much room in the room.” I tell you, formerly little sis, when Deanna told me that was what he said, it almost brought tears to my eyes. My son is truly embracing what it means to be a Patterson. He just got a big, new room all to himself; and he has found a way to allow himself to suffer while he is in it. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. You know, a man tries and tries to be a good father and to show his children the way of life required for being a Patterson. There is nothing so gratifying as to see all that time pay off, in just the few small words of a child.

Michael Patterson
Hm, I thot U were gonna say U were all proud cuz Robin tried 2 do wordplay (room/room), but I guess I can C how yr pride abt him acting like a martyr mite overshadow that. So, Liz, it's 4 stories like this that U R being kept in limbo?


Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Meredith Outsmarts Dee

Mike believes U R all sitting on the edge of yr seats, w8ing 2 find out what happed next after Meredith's new beds were delivered. Here's his next installment:

Formerly little sis. Shopping in furniture stores can be tricky. You think that when you see the furniture on display in the store, then that is how the furniture is going to look in your home. After all, the common perception is that you are just moving something from one place to another. However, I can tell you, even a simple move like from a downstairs apartment to an upstairs apartment, can be tricky when it comes to beds.

For example, in the store, my daughter's bunk bed had a ladder all the way to the foot of the bed, and the bed was taller than I was. Not only that, but I could swear the bed did not have a desk beneath it. Yet, when the bed was assembled in my daughter's room, the ladder was about 1/3 metre from the end, it was about my wife Deanna's height and there was a desk with a chair and lamp under it. I mentioned those differences to Deanna and she said, "Well, I guess you are not as observant a writer as you thought you were." She seemed to be completely unperturbed by the differences, almost as if she expected the bunk beds to look differently. That's one thing I can say about Deanna and our home decor, when there are unexpected changes in things we ordered together, they never seem to get her upset.

While I was mulling over these alterations in my mind, Deanna began putting a pillowcase on a pillow, in that way she does where she pins the pillow under her chin and forces the pillowcase on it, using her chin for leverage. I would show her the way mom taught us to do that, but experience has taught me saying "Mom does this better" is not a good thing to tell your wife. Besides, if I showed Deanna a better way, then I might find myself putting pillowcases on pillows. Nobody wants that, especially me.

While she was doing this, my daughter walked up to her and said, "Can I call my friend Karina an' tell her I got bump beds?" Deanna's reply was "Sure!" My reply would have been "Don't call it 'bump beds' to your friends or they will think you are an ignorant Quebecoise girl." However, I was too disoriented to respond.

Then I realized my daughter was playing my wife like a violin in a glue factory, with a series of extremely intelligent questions. My daughter said, "Can I tell her she can sleep over sometime?" Deanna replied, "Of course!" She didn't expect the trap which was coming.

As my wife showed her firm, rounded buttocks to the camera as she made up my daughter's bed; my daughter proceeded on her inquiry with "When can she stay over?" My wife remained firmly non-committal with "I don't know. We'll have to figure that out." Having been rebuffed, my daughter decided to try a different tact. She said, "Can I have TWO friends?"

As you probably recollect, my daugher has never had a friend over, and so it was with great surprise that she informed us of this Karina. I would have thought she had two friends, until I examined the question and realized that she was not saying, "May I have two friends?" but "Can I have two friends?" She was questioning her ability to have that many friends and given her normal disposition, this is a reasonable question.

At this point my son piped up and said, "What about ME? I gots friends too!" Well, I am sure you know what direction my son was going to take that statement. If Deanna said, "Yes" to my son, then you could be guaranteed that little Cribbie, my son's crib friend, was going to get invited. My wife wisely responded, "Let's just think about it, OK?"

However, she should have used her words more carefully, because my daughter immediately got on her call phone and called Karina, using the exact words which Deanna told her to. She said, "Hello, Karina?--I'm thinking of inviting you for a sleep-over!!" Deanna was dumbfounded at how easily she was verbally manipulated and I was bursting with fatherly pride.

It didn't last too long, because my daughter's next words were, "It's Meredith, Karina. Meredith Patterson. I sit next to you in kindergarten. I have blonde hair. No, it's not bleached. Yes, the girl with the fat lips." Then there was some crying about something. I don't remember what. More tomorrow.

Michael Patterson
Aw, poor Meredith. And Mike, pls don't waste NEmore time B4 U teach her and Robin that they are not "bump beds." But leave out yr prejudice against the Quebecois.


Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Poor, friendless kids

Well, the good news is we haven't segued in2 a flashback yet. The bad news is:

Formerly little sis. My lovely wife, Deanna, has often stated to me that she expects that the reason our children don’t seem to have any friends, is because they are unusually, emotionally attached to inanimate objects. A good example of this occurred the other day. I didn’t witness it myself; but Deanna has pictures.

It was a dark and stormy night, just the time of night when something unexpected could happen. In our case, the unexpected thing was the delivery of our recently-purchased bunk beds. Why they couldn’t come during the day between 9 and 5, as they said they would, who knows? Needless to say, delivery men in Milborough seem to make their own hours when it comes to delivering things. It was so late in the evening, that Deanna was actually home. The ASAP Delivery truck backed into our driveway and my son or daughter was heard to yell, “The truck is here! The new bump beds are here!” As you can tell, my children have almost immediately picked up on my slang term of “bump beds”. Deanna felt she put the statement over with the kids with her well-timed head injury.

Up to the front door the delivery men came. I said to them, “Which one of you is Mr. A Sap?” One fellow said, “Are you trying to call us names?” I said, “No. Your truck says ‘A SAP’?" The deliverymen scowled to themselves and muttered something about puns being the lowest form of humour. But what do deliverymen know. They can’t even tell time.

As they walked down the hall, a silhouette said to them, “Up the stairs, second door on the left, please.” I couldn’t tell if the silhouette was I or not. As the delivery men entered the house with a bed mattress, the whole house seemed to swim in front of me. I could have sworn we had wall paneling in the hallway by the entrance hall and our stairs to the upstairs were right beside our stairs to the downstairs. Yet the paneling was gone, the downstairs stairs were gone. It was almost as if someone had looked at our house and said, “The only thing important here are the stairs and the hall.” I had to go sit down, I was so disoriented.

While I was doing this, Deanna was taking the crib frame out of the house by herself (because she is strong Deanna). She said she used her power of good motherhood to read from the expression on my son’s face he was thinking, “?!”. This means that he was excited and inquisitive at the same time. So, Deanna told me she said, “I’m taking your crib to a friend who’s going to have a baby, Robin…you’re much too big for this now.” There are some that would say perhaps my son is a little slow, because between the conversation I told you about a few days ago, where I told him he was going to a bed with sides or “wif sides” as he calls it; and the trip to the bed store, where we tried out my daughter’s new bed; it didn’t sink in to him that he would have to give up his closest friend, his crib. I suppose he thought the crib would stay in his new room to comfort him and for him to talk to.

Deanna put the crib frame against the wall, and my son said, “Can I hug him goodbye?” Deanna thought this was a breakthrough. She was sure that my son was now able to sever his bizarre attachment to his only friend, the crib. And as mom as trained her, you have to preserve those moments in pictures, no matter how strange they may seem, so that 28 years later you can show them to many other people, who can then confirm how strange it was. To that end Deanna said, “Of course you can! …But let me get my camera first.”

As my son was hugging and weeping over his crib, Deanna told me her thoughts were along these lines: “Where did my neck go? Does my hair in the back really look like it is falling in a sinkhole on the back of my head? Another milestone…another memory.”

It wasn’t until later when we had to pry my son’s hands off the crib as he cried all night long over the loss of his only friend, “Cribby” that we started to realize just how desperately our kids need friends. Fortunately, now my son is in a room all his own, we can lock him in, and stuff towels underneath the door to muffle the sound of his weeping. I don’t think any of us lost any sleep over it, except my son of course.

Michael Patterson
Aw, poor kids. Since we R doing so well w/Francie's future-therapy fund, mayB we oughta do the same 4 Meredith and Robin?


Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oh noes, is he cuing a flashback again already?

So, here goes with the bed-buying tale w/Mike:

Formerly little sis. Well, who should happen to show up at the furniture store to make sure I didn’t mess up in buying a bed but my wife, the lovely Deanna? I guess a little bird must have told her I was doing a majour furniture purchase without her input. Called her up, didn’t you April?

Deanna got there and she pointed me over to the beds with the “SALE” sign on the wall and I was informed that this is where I could look for a purchase. I said, “But Deanna, Anthony Caine has a bunk bed for his daughter and we can’t have his little half-Quebecoise girl showing up our daughter, who is a Patterson.” Deanna mumbled something about Anthony Caine as an example for parenting; but I could tell that she had given in to the pressures of social standing.

My kids were already on the bunk bed having politely taken their shoes off. It was kind of an interesting design, April. Most of the other bunk beds had one bed directly below the other for space savings, like Anthony’s Caine’s did; but this one had the other bed poked under the top bunk with the short end of the bed first so it extended out from the bed and it was not attached to the upper bed in any obvious way. I could tell why this bunk bed was on sale, in other words.

My daughter said, “Is this the kinda bed, Dad?” I said to Deanna, “Anthony Caine’s daughter’s bed is better than this.” Deanna glared at me and pointed to the “SALE” sign. So, I grabbed hold of the ladder giving it a mighty Patterson pull, which is always the best way to check a bed’s safety and quality of design. If the ladder can withstand my might, then I’m sure the bed is safe, eh? I said to my daughter, “It’s what I had in mind!” Deanna just stood to the side with her hands in her coat pockets glaring at me.

I felt the time had come for a discussion of my philosophy of bed-buying. I said, “If we get this, Merrie, we can have company! Either you can have a friend for a sleepover or Robin can stay in your room and we can use his room for a guest.” You have to play up the positive aspects of these things to fool the child into thinking things are getting better for them. After all, if my daughter thought about it, she would realize she has more room in her old giant bed than these 2 bunk beds put together.

I was under the impression my son was going to question me about the matter, when I said, “When I was a kid, we called these 'bump beds'!” You see this is the sort of leading statement a Patterson parent uses for distracting their kids---a story about the history behind a pun. My son fell for it immediately and said, “How come?”

As if on cue, my wife, the lovely Deanna had wandered under the bunk bed and stood up too quickly underneath the bunk. The sound of her head to the faux wood of the bunk bed made a “BONK!” noise. My daughter said, “You got it wrong, Mom! Your head is supposed to make a ‘BUMP!’ sound to go along with Daddy’s joke.” She’s such a good girl. I can tell she is going to be a first class punner.

Michael Patterson
Mike, please don't B setting up 4 another flashback to 1979/1980. It's only Tuesday, yo! And no, I did not call Dee. How cd I possibly have dun that when I didn't even find out abt yr bed-buying until after U had already dun it? U goof.

And what's all this abt the bunk bed b-ing such a gr8 thing cuz U can have guests? I can just C how this cd go. Suddenly Weed loses all his $ thru bad investments and "needs" 2 stay @ Mike's house. But just "temporarily," until he's back on his feet. So Merrie and Robin hafta go back 2 sharing a room, "Oh, we know U won't mind, after all it's just temporary." And next thing U know, Weed is just living there w/no end in site, and it looks like Robin is never going 2 get his room back. I know what that's like!


Labels: , , ,

Monday, February 18, 2008

We're back to present-day Mike

Happy Family Day (new holiday!) 2 my fellow Ontario peeps, and President's Day 2 U States ppl. No school 2day, woot!

Sorry 2 all of U who were hoping we'd get 2 move on2 a Liz story this wk (including Liz herself). We R back 2 Mike, and it loox like we R gonna get all the deets abt moving Robin in2 a big-kid bed and in2 his own bedroom:

Formerly little sis. You may remember how much trouble my wife has with getting the kids ready to go someplace. Thanks to my experience now as a kept man, I have developed a capability my wife does not have. I can get them dressed to go outside. The secret, formerly little sis, is to have the kids wear a different outfit every time they go outside. It confuses them, and in the midst of their confusion you can take them places.

Just the other day I had my kids almost completely dressed except for zipping up my son’s coat and my daughter putting on her boot. It had been so long since my son had gone anywhere away from home, he said to me, “Where are we going, Daddy?” I said, “To buy a new bed!—You’re going to be moving into your own room.”

My son continued on with his inquiry and said, “A new bed for ME?” I replied, “No, for Meredith. You’re getting her bed because it has sides on it.” I know that statement is probably confusing to you, April, because the last time I looked Meredith’s bed had no sides on it. However, I can also remember times when Meredith’s bed had sides on it but my son’s bed was not right beside it in the room. Well, my only explanation is that this was one of those days when Meredith’s bed had sides.

My daughter realized her tactical advantage, stuck her tongue out at my son, put on lipstick and sang to my son “I get a grown-up bed! I get a grown-up bed!” With her French-looking toque, she looked a little like a young, blonde Edith Piaf. I had gone to put on my coat, but I could help to be captivated by her melodic phrasing, except of course if Edith Piaf were talking about a “grown-up bed” it would mean something entirely different from that of my innocent daughter.

My son hurled his head back, sprayed tears, and showed off his neck which either had a bow tie on it or had a big hole where the tracheotomy tube used to be. I suspect bow tie is the real answer. Unlike most situations where a Patterson throws their head back, there were no teeth showing, which I can only attribute to my son’s youthful, somewhat toothless age. My son cried, “I don’t WANNA bed wif sides!!!” As I said before, formerly little sis, I suspect my son was confused about that whole “sometimes the bed does or does not have sides” issue. As for why my son would complain about a bed with sides, when he had spent his entire life sleeping in a crib with sides, I cannot hazard a guess as to why he would take issue with sides being present.

In retribution, he pulled my daughter’s hat over her eyes. Naturally I responded with a firm parental rebuke of “That’s enough! Nobody’s getting into the car until the silly stuff is over!! NO MORE TEASING!.” You have to threaten a child with something they want, in order to appeal to their better nature, and of course there is not very much that ranks higher with a child than getting into the car to go shopping for furniture with their dad. Naturally my kids stopped. But then they turned into silhouettes and one of them said, “Daddy? How come we hafta have separate rooms?”

I would have thought it would be obvious, since they are constantly teasing each other, why they would need separate rooms, so instead of explaining I decided to make a face at them. I know you disapproved of my grimacing at my kids to make my point, so I opted to try something new this time. I gave them my Herman Munster face. I was tempted to yell out “Lily!” or “Grandpa”, but I don’t think my kids would have gotten the joke.

Tomorrow. The joy of bed-shopping with small children.

Michael Patterson
Yeah, sorry foax. The official Johnston Institute memos have been saying that Mike and his fam R supposta B, like, the Mboro "focus" now, cuz we've come full circle from when my mom an' dad had yung children. Never mind Liz and I still have lives 2 lead an' stories 2 tell! And ppl still, like, care abt my Gramps and Iris. And there R even a few ppl who want 2 know if my dad retires or my mom, well, whatever, but U know what I mean.


Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

2 Boring Mikes 4 the price of 1

Sadly, even 2day's "Sunday" story is gleaned from the relentless past. Here goes Mike, again:

Formerly little sis. Do you remember how I told the story just last Sunday about how my son took his gloves filled with snow by his sister and whirled them around until they were stretched into shapes not unlike carrots? Well, even if you don’t, I am sure that you will not be surprised that when I was thinking about things I had done in 1979, I remembered something I had done which was remarkably similar thing to the thing my son had done last Sunday..

I had been sitting among a pile of my toys: a Lincoln log cabin, a 6-wheeler truck, a train set, a yo-yo, a bouncy ball, a teddy bear, a purple castle complete with a dead pink guard a naked pink king and other clothed castle characters, a pool ball, a jar of glue, a sequence of plain yellow blocks I had used for a car ramp, a set of marbles, scissors and paper and tape, a Story Time book, an expanding telescope, and one of these things they called record albums I am sure you have never heard of before. While I was sitting there, I noticed I was wearing a pair of ugly green socks, which did not match the colours on my clothes, which were blue pants and a purple-striped shirt. My right foot was bare as I took this sock off my left foot.

Suddenly I had 2 green socks, instead of just one, and I stared at them with pleasure. I stuffed one of the socks into the other one, with my eyes closed for this solemn moment. It wasn’t a sacred moment however; it was actually sock-ular. Get it?

As my son did just last Sunday with his gloves, I discovered the added weight of the extra sock, allowed me to whirl the sock in a circle. I remember the emotion of that moment. My sock, which had previously just been something to absorb the sweat and stink off my body, was now a work of art. I danced about the room as I had been taught by the master. My sock-in-a-sock bounced off the floor around my teddy bear, my blocks, and my bouncy ball. I marveled at its circles, its points of striking the floor, and its ability to defy the laws of physics.

Then once I was done, the magic was gone. I discarded my green socks onto the floor and stuck my hand in my pocket (the standard walking position for most Pattersons). Since they were not there later when I went back for them, I presumed mom had taken care of them. Although I seem to remember mom complaining the socks had sat there so long, they had developed hair over time.

So, you see, formerly little sis, my children are slowly turning into me. Soon, you won’t need to hear any stories about what they are doing, but simply stories about things I did, and then as a transfer of learning, you can apply it to my children in the modern time. That’s what I call “Two Mike stories for the price of one Mike.”

Michael Patterson
Omigah. I think I just fell asleep. Let's all think "new material" thots 4 2morrow, eh?


Labels: , , ,

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mike Defended His Torment-Territory

Mike has a not-quite-heartwarming story 2 share w/U all:

Formerly little sis. Every once in awhile there comes a time when a man has to stand up for his own. A time when right is right and wrong is wrong. A time when a man has to have really good hair.

I lot of times when I remember back to 1980, I remember myself with a fairly significant receding hairline for a kid who’s just 6-years-old. But today when I was reminiscing, I thought back to a time when Lawrence Poirier, my best friend next door, and I nearly came to blows, all because he crossed the line. He delved into territory he shouldn’t have even thought about.

Yes, April. When Lawrence was 6-years-old, he hit our sister Lizzie. I was furious. I grabbed him by the collar so that the back of his collar was tight against the back of his neck (and he went googly-eyed and his tongue stuck out as if I were choking him, so I must have really gotten this shirt-pulling thing wrong), and I said, “Don’t you ever hit Lizzie again, Lawrence!”

When Lawrence was flustered, I remember he used to do these great contortionist tricks to distract his opponent. He would pull his shoulders out of their sockets and bend his left arm around backwards. Then he said, “Honest, Mike…it wasn’t hard…I just er…sort of pushed…” That technique usually worked but I did my best vulture imitation taught me by the master, and those contortions had no effect on me.

Well, then Lawrence did one of my favourite contortions where he puts his hands together and makes it look like he has 8 fingers instead of the normal 10. And he did the thing with his eyes, where he made one look like it was going to cry and the other one look like Quasimodo. Then I looked down and realized Lawrence was wearing a dress and not pants. I am not so heartless, formerly little sis, that these contortions and this public transvestitism did not touch me. But I still had to have a show of strength, so I waved my fist in the air and said the classic Patterson threat, “Well, just you watch it. Or else.”

Lawrence did one more contortion with his right arm as I walked away thinking, “Nobody picks on my baby sister…---But me.” Those are words to live by, formerly little sis. Words to live by. I was feeling pretty good about myself, and then I realized I didn’t have the receding hair line any more. It was almost as if someone had decided to redraw my face into one more suitable for the memory.

So, formerly little sis, that’s the story about how I stood up for my right to be the only person allowed to pick on my baby sister.

Michael Patterson
Hey, Mike, do U still have that policy abt being the only one who's allowed 2 pick on Liz? Cuz if U R, U mite hafta spend sum time following her from one place 2 another and theatening 2 beat peeps up.


Labels: , , ,

Friday, February 15, 2008

What. Ever.

More reminiscing, foax, can U stand it? This time Mike has a story abt not wanting 2 eat his veggies, back in his kindergarten days:

Formerly little sis. As you are aware, my lovely wife Deanna has an affinity for carrots.

When mom first discovered this particular precocious preference, she laughed and laughed. She said, “It serves you right Michael after all those times when you would just sit and stare at your plate of food and refuse to eat your carrots.

"You would just sit there, and I would say to you, ‘Alright…just eat the vegetables, Michael…’ and you would do nothing. Then I would walk to the other side of you as if I were speaking to a different you and I would say, ‘I’ll be happy if you’ll eat just a FEW carrots, then.’ And I pointed to your plate so you would know which ones were the carrots. And then you would sit there and do nothing.

"And then I would give up and lift up your plate where a few peas would fall off onto the table and I would say, ‘OK…I guess if you can’t eat, you can’t eat.’ But then as I was walking away with the carrots you would yell, ‘Hey! What about dessert?’ The sound of your voice yelling for dessert caused me no end of irritation Michael. So when you tell me that Deanna loves carrots, it’s the funniest thing to me. Hysterical.”

And she would cackle about it whenever Deanna was around. Occasionally she would say to Deanna, “Are you having carrots, tonight? I think a family can never have enough carrots. And if there is dessert, it should be carrot cake, or carrot pudding. I have recipes I can give you, Deanna. I think you are just the perfect wife for Michael.”

Sometimes it can be a bad thing when your mom likes your choice of wife. I have the slightly orange skin to prove it.

Michael Patterson
Erg. Well, let's try an' guess what Mike's memory-topic will B 2morrow. We've had Mike teasing Lizzie, Mike wanting 2 play in the dirt, Liz with a potty on her head, Mike not wanting a bath, and now Mike not wanting 2 eat veggies but wanting 2 eat dessert. First winning guess receives a gently used copy of Stone Season, with an inscription to a "cool sister."

Jeremy, sorry abt Liz, Anthony, and Francie horning in on our d8 last nite. I can't believe they roped us in2 babysitting while they, um. U know. Liz owes us big time!


Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bathtime Flashback

We've made it 2 Thursday, foax. If we R v. v. lucky, we R only in the current round of flashback torture for another 2 days. Only? NEway, Mike is in the mood 4 reminiscing abt when Mom bathed him. Bleah:

Formerly little sis. I have discovered that one of the unfortunate side effects of remembering about wanting to play in dirt or sticking a toilet on your head, is that it brings up the unpleasant memory of having to be bathed. I mentioned back on Monday that mom was not really keen on the bathing, and that’s why we had those bugs flying around our heads. Well most people didn’t notice the bugs. In fact, April, you denied that they even existed; but that’s what comes from having a mother who is much more interested in having a clean house than a clean child.

Every once in awhile, Lizzie or I would get so dirty that we would pass a certain threshold of dirtiness, which required us to be cleaned. I think that threshold was usually when Anne Nichols or Connie Poirier would make some off hand comment about how I was starting have the same skin colour as Lawrence, or something about an offensive odour. I don’t know for sure; but I do know that when this threshold was passed, I had to take a bath.

Mom is an excellent cook and housecleaner, but she left a little to desire with respect to bathing kids. I suspect that she considered cleaning children to be not unlike removing a stain from a piece of furniture; because after being bathed by mom, I usually felt as though I had gone through a wrestling match and lost badly.

For example, I remember one occasion where I was sitting in the bath tub with the bubbles just right and I was playing with my boat, The Windjammer, and my little featureless action figure; when mom dumped shampoo on my head and started scrubbing away. Naturally I said, “AAAAGH! Noo! I don’t want my hair washed, Ma! CUT IT OUT!” Of course my pleas fell on deaf ears.

Namely they were my ears, after mom started scrubbing them with her wash cloth. She pinned my right arm between the bathtub and her right arm, which she used to get me in a headlock. Then she started vigourously scrubbing my left ear with her left arm. You know one of the most sensitive parts of your body is your ears, and a powerful scrubbing of them can be quite painful. I remember yelling, “Lay off the ears! You know how I hate water in my EARS!” This is quite true. After a bath from mom, not only were my ears sore and tender, but I often couldn’t hear well from the water in them for a few days afterwards.

Mom was not sympathetic to my plight and I could sense my Windjammer sailing away from me to safety. I just wish the rest of me could go there with it; because then mom would grab my right arm and jerk it upwards as she slapped a wash cloth so heavily across my ribs, it would make me bug-eyed and stick out my tongue from having the breath knocked out of me. Sometimes I would get a little faint from the blows and imagine my foot was detached from the rest of my body. As this was going on I could hear mom say, “Enough, Michael—You need a scrubbing—You are filthy!”

As mom locked her left arm around my back, and shoved a wash cloth into my right ear, I protested, “I AM NOT! YOU JUST LOOK TOO CLOSE!!” These kinds of protestations were rarely effective, particularly since they complimented mom on some cleaning she noticed need to be done. If mom was on a real cleaning rampage, sometimes the pain elicited from the ear-scrubbing alone could cause me to pass out. I am not sure if that happened on this occasion; but it probably did. I’ll ask mom.

If I passed out, then I will reminisce about something else tomorrow. If I didn’t pass out, then there will be more reminiscing about bath time. I know you can’t wait to find out which one.

Michael Patterson
Mike? FYI, I take a shower every day and use soap and shampoo. It's one thing 4 U 2 say U had bugs flying around U cuz Mom didn't wash U well enuf when U were 2 little 2 handle yr own hygiene, but it's another 2 claim that present-day me has this issue. I don't! I'm clean! Gah!

But that bath story is pretty awful. Sounds v. painful. MayB this helps xxplain sum of Y U R the way U R, Mike.


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mike's Flashbacks Go To Potty

Remember how the theme of Mike's flashbacks this week was going 2 B him teasing Liz cuz he thot she "deserved" it? No? Don't feel bad, I don't think Mike does either. Here's his l8est installment:

Formerly little sis. After I told you yesterday about how I wanted to go outside to play in the dirt, I thought I would remember something from 1979 about Lizzie doing something to give her equal time.

As you may or may not know, April, toilet training varies from child to child. My son has gone back and forth. I remember when he was a little over two years old , he had a definite sense of what the toilet was and how to use it. However, this last year, he was regularly soiling his diaper. And yet still he sometimes surprises me by wearing green-polka-dotted boxers.

During mom’s day, it was much easier. “Grandma Marian” would call her up and tell her to do it. There was one time I remember when mom was on the phone receiver with the cord obviously disconnected from the base of the phone, having a great, conversation with “Grandma Marian”, while sewing at the same time. She would say, “Of course I’m going to train Lizzie, Mom—I just don’t think she’s ready for it yet!”

Then she would sew some more and say, “Yes, I do have a potty…She just won’t sit on it.—Sure it’s a regular one. No, it’s not too big…”

Then mom would look at little Lizzie walking around. Lizzie learned to walk at a very young age, and the way she would keep her balance was by putting her potty on top of her head. This would cause mom to make some kind of comment to “Grandma” like, “I’d say it was a perfect fit.” or “Lizzie doesn’t let her potty go to her head.” Or “Lizzie is very headstrong about her potty” or “When it comes to a potty, Lizzie likes to immerse herself in the subject.”

Now, you are probably thinking, what is mom doing spending money on a training potty, when she wouldn’t do that for you? The answer is that mom didn’t actually spend money on a training potty. Little Lizzie’s potty she put on her head and walked around with, was an actual metallic, grey, pot with a handle. Yes, April, mom loved Lizzie that much and why? Because she was cuter than I was, so she deserved it.

Michael Patterson
W8, Mike, R U saying that Mom had, like, pretend-phonecalls w/Grandma Marian, where she didn't even have the receiver connected 2 the phone? Was this supposed 2 B a "pressure" technique 2 get Liz 2 use the potty? That seems pretty mean!


Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And it's only Tuesday, foax

Mike wants to bore you with share more reminiscences:

Formerly little sis. I think I have already tired of reminiscing about teasing Lizzie in 1979. I decided to reminisce instead about Spring time. I know that technically, it’s not going to be Spring until March, but when it comes to reminiscing about things in 1979, what’s a little thing like a common frame of topic to hold me back?

I remember it just like it was yesterday. I was sitting in between a space ship and a box of crayons, with my youthful, but seriously misshapen hands against my little cherubic cheeks, looking languidly out into space (which in this situation means with my eyes wide open like I was surprised by something), “I want summer to come!...I’m bored, bored, bored, bored, BORED!” I leaned up to the window with its oddly angled window frame, which would have encouraged water to come in the house, if it could make it past the window. I looked plaintively (which in this situation means with my eyes closed) out at the falling rain of Spring time and said, “There’s nothing to do in here…I wanna go OUTSIIIIIIDE!!!(which in this situation means outside.)

Mom came over to me and explained in a calm voice (which in this situation means not really like mom at all), “You’ve got a zillion (which in this situation means mom’s math abilities are somewhat lacking) toys, Michael!—Cars, trains, boats, building sets…What more do you want?” I sadly looked in my mother’s face as she spoke and then I turned to the camera and said…Wait a minute? Camera? Why would I be reminiscing about having a camera in my house? That’s really odd, eh? Hold on, mom is telling me something……

OK. Mom said that as Pattersons we shouldn’t insult people who think they have cameras watching them in their homes, as they are the only ones who truly understand us. Now, where was I? Right. I turned to the camera and said, “Dirt.” And behind me, mom looked astonished to realize that of all the zillion toys had, she could have saved a lot of money and simply given me a nice bag of high quality dirt to play with in the house. No, wait. Mom is interrupting me. She says, “She was astonished because she did not realize what an effect her superb cleaning had on my ability to play inside.”

Well, there you have it, formerly little sis, another sterling reminiscence of my time in 1979. I think tomorrow I will reminisce about how it was Summer time and how I wished I could play inside.

Michael Patterso
Ah, now we know Y Mike got so upset when Merrie got Robin 2 eat dirt. That's MIKE'S dirt, yo!

OMG, Y, Y, Y, do we hafta B stuck in this flashback rut? Grrrrrr.


Labels: , ,

Monday, February 11, 2008

Flashback 2 the Last Time We Had a Friggin' Flashback

OMG, here we go again. AGAIN. This is like torture. (Note 2 Luis, I know it isn't REALLY like torture, so pls don't lecture me.) NEway, Mike is launching in2 flashbacks again:


Formerly little sis. As I predicted last Saturday, the stupefied expression on my wife Deanna's face when I talked about how my little sister Lizzie deserved to be teased when she was little because she was cuter than I was, has led me to remember about a time back in 1979, when I was teasing Lizzie because she was cuter than I was.

Actually, now that I think about this more carefully, "teasing Lizzie" was mom's interpretation of what was going on. It was really something completely different. You know how sometimes we Pattersons let the hair cleanliness go a bit and we attract little fleas near our scalp. Sometimes they look like little dots flying near our head. I've seen them on you from time-to-time, particularly when you go through a long period of having your hair perpetually in one of those super strong hair clips.

Well, on this particular occasion, those little fleas were bugging my sister, Lizzie. So she sat down, as I squatted behind her and reached to see if I could get some of those fleas out of her hair. We didn't have your hair clip excuse back in those days. Mom was just not much into bathing children. It was a fear of potential drowning I expect. She would often say, "If you keep splashing that water, Michael, you're going to drown me." As I remember this occasion, I either wasn't wearing any pants or I was wearing one of those pairs of pants which mom said were from the brand name "Artist too stinking lazy to draw" pants.

Well, I decided to reach for those fleas without opening my eyes and so I accidentally grabbed one of Lizzie's hairs and pulled it. She said, "YAAAH". Mom was on me in an instant, grabbing me with her right hand, which as I recollect had 2 thumbs and then I reached out with my right hand, which also had 2 thumbs. Then the fleas from Lizzie's head jumped to my head and started taunting me. Suddenly I am beginning to wonder if I am remembering this from real life or if I am remembering a dream. The physical details are starting to seem either too much like the illogical sequence of events in a dream, or the illogical sequence of events conceived by a middle-aged housewife living on the edge in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, who could care less how many thumbs a hand has.

In any case, this dream mom said, "Michael, are you going to stop teasing Lizzie, or am I going to have to punish you?" That was a curious question. I was very tempted to ask, "Who are you? What did you do with my mom? And what is this punishment thing about which you speak?" Instead of saying that, I said, "I don't know—what's the punishment?" using my middle finger of my left hand to pick at my teeth, where those fleas had gotten caught. I don't think mom got the message of that gesture. I suppose I should have said, "What is punishment?" to be clearer, but I was young then and not as well-versed at writing as I am today. Even little Lizzie seemed confused by the question of what punishment is, and she stared plaintively at mom for an explanation. Mom looked dumbfounded, as if she never expected anyone to call her on that question.

More memories tomorrow, April. See you then….

Michael Patterson

Well, this is sure 2 B xxcruci8ing. BTW, I M posting this entry by e-mail cuz I M having Blogger trubs. Sorry if the formatting comes out wonky. And I do NOT have fleas, U freak!


Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kids doing the darndnest things?

I asked Mom Y it's like every1 is focusing on Mike l8ly, and Mom sed, "It's the circle of life, April! Mike and Deanna are a young, married couple with small children, roughly the same age that Mike and Liz were when every1 started focusing on yr dad and me. Everything has come full circle! Isn't that wonderful?" I sed, "No. Mike's boring, and Liz and I still have stories 2 tell in our own lives!" Mom sed, "Liz has 2 B patient, since her story is keeping ppl in suspense and keeps bringing them back. And what R U complaining abt? "We did that 'driving' thing last wk!" And I sed, "Mom, U R seriously torturing Liz, U have no idea what all this 'patience' is doing 2 her. And the 'driving' thing was totally lame, since I've had my G2 since early December." Mom sed, "Quit being such a picky face. Where's yr father?" I sed, "Workshop." Mom was all, "I've got to go yell @ him." I asked, "What 4?" Mom was like, "I haven't narrowed it down yet, but I'll think of it on the way 2 the workshop."

NEway, here is the l8est story from Mike:

Formerly little sis. Sometimes you have to buy the high quality mittens. I know that mom has trained you and me since we were little to always try and find a bargain, to shave the sheets in order to make things last; but there are times when quality has to take precedence. The idea of buying a mitten for a boy, where the mitten is sized bigger than his hands, on the premise that his hands will grow into them is patently wrong. That is girl thought. A boy will go out in the snow and try his best to destroy his clothing and he is often successful. A girl might demurely touch the snow, and might be able to make a mitten last; but a boy is a little dynamo of clothing destruction.

I tried to explain this concept to my wife, the lovely Deanna; but she did not believe me. There she was in her purple turtleneck sweater with matching socks, kneeling down before my boy putting on his coat with the mittens attached to it. All I could think was, my boy will destroy those cheap, oversized mittens in about 2 seconds out in the snow. Deanna said, “No Michael. Our children will use their sand buckets and shovels, and they will hardly even touch the snow. These mittens are perfectly fine. They even have a little mitten security line to make sure he doesn’t lose them.” I thought, “Buckets, security lines? These are not how a man plays in the snow.”

Well, to be doubly sure, my wife pushed the mittens firmly onto his hands and sent him out into the cold though the front door, carrying his bucket and shovel. My daughter, dressed in her all-pink outfit and I were already outside waiting for him. I was busy shoveling the sidewalk. You know, April, how sometimes when you shovel a sidewalk, it seems like you shovel and shovel, and all the snow stays the same place? This was one of those kinds of days.

Naturally since his mitten was oversized so he could “grow into” it, it fell off his hand almost immediately after exiting the house and my daughter noticed. Being the bright and intelligent girl she is (taking after me, of course) she suggested that my son could turn those mittens into Australian bull-roarers. She deposited snow into each mitten and then encouraged my son to whirl them around as if he were an Australian aborigine. This he did this to great effect, the whirling part and not the aboriginal part. In fact, when he had both mittens filled with snow; he whirled them around so boyishly that it was difficult to tell the difference between them and a couple of carrots. You may laugh, little sis, but around my household, a carrot is a very serious vegetable.

Eventually I got tired of clearing the sidewalk in front of our house, and seeing the same amount of snow there. So, I motioned for the kids to come in for lunch. My lovely wife, Deanna, showed me my son's gloves all pulled into long ribbons of mitten fabric and looking a lot like carrots.

I said to her, “Now, Deanna, will you buy higher quality mittens for my son?” She replied, “Michael. These gloves are still perfectly fine, once they are dried and reshaped.”

By the way, if you see my son and it looks like his hands are really nice carrots, they aren’t.

Michael Patterson
BTW, Mike, Mom wants U 2 come over and shovel, so she and Dad can crow abt what a "wonderful son" U R and how they did such a fantastic job raising U.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, February 09, 2008

"Great idea" 2 Mike = "obvious" 2 every1 else

Well, Mike tells what happed when Dee came back, w/out telling us where she was, how l8 she got back, or whether they ever got 2 eat dinner:

Formerly little sis. Did you ever have one of those moments when a really great idea pops into your head? Well, I did recently and it was quite an arresting experience. I could swear it affected me so much, even physically, that my eyes seemed to be moving around my head of their own free will. That is how powerful my great idea was.

I remember the moment well. My wife, the lovely Deanna, had come home and she was tying her bathrobe tightly around her body, which was supposed to send me the signal that nothing was going to be loosened up for me that night. I was putting toothpaste on my toothbrush, and standing in front of this ornate mirror that Deanna had gotten from her friend Sennough White. Then my great idea just jumped into my head and I said, “I think it’s time that Robin moved into his own room.” My wife said, “I agree.” This is something she normally says when I have a great idea.

Sometimes, there is just no denying an idea’s greatness, so Deanna added “He’s used to this house now. He should be able to sleep alone.” The idea affected me so much, I can just see myself now with toothpaste all over my face and looking as if I were a rapid dog needing to be put down. I said, “Beshides…Meredith likesh to tease him, and it drivesh me crazy.” As you can tell from my translation of my speech, having a toothbrush in my mouth caused me to say, “Sh” for all my unvoiced “S” sounds. My voiced “S” sound in the word “tease” was not affected, because as everyone knows, toothpaste in your mouth while you are brushing only affects unvoiced “S” sounds.

You may remember from back in my wife’s September, 2007 monthly letter, she was talking about studying Daoism. Well I could tell the effect of that study from the words my wife uses. She said, “It’s karma, Mike—you teased you sister, didn’t you?” I can you that there is nothing worse than when Deanna goes into her “Buddha is the best” routine, so I had no desire to point out that karma is actually the effects of all your deeds actively creating past, present and future experiences; and not retribution for teasing a sister. I quickly diverted the subject by actually taking blame. I responded, “Yeah, but she deserved it.” Deanna, at first didn’t seem to notice I had taken blame, and she continued on squeezing water out of her makeup-removing piece of material. She said, “Why?”

I responded with another confession, “She was cuter than I was.” That was true back when Elizabeth was young and before her breath got to be so lizardly. These days, though, I would put me way ahead of poor, unmarried, childless Liz. Nevertheless, my second confession got to Deanna. Her body stiffened like a board, and her eyebrows rose up under her hairline. I probably would have seen more, but my eyes were still being affected by my great idea. I suppose you are wondering if this meant my lovely Deanna started down the road to reminiscing about things occurring in 1979. I will tell you next week, if she did.

“Robin should move into his own room.” I tell you little sis, when I come up with a great idea it’s a great one. As often as you come to baby-sit for us, I’m surprised you never thought of this yourself.

Michael Patterson
OMG, Mike, didn't U even read yesterday's entry, where I sed the kids shd have their own rooms? And if U ever LISTENED 2 me (instead of 2 the private show U have running in yr head @ all times), U'd KNOW that every single time I've babysat, I've mentioned that they need their own rooms. Gah!

Also, it hits me as sad that even tho U "take blame" 4 teasing Liz, U actually--ALL THESE YEARS LATER WHEN U'RE SUPPOSED 2 B AN ADULT--say that Liz "deserved" 2 B teased? What? That's disgusting. This is a time 4 U 2 admit that NO1 deserves that and U were just being awful 4 no legitimate reason. OMG.

And please, please, please do NOT B setting us up 4 yet another FLASHBACK. Flashbacks = terrible, terrible karma, I M sure!


Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, February 08, 2008


Hey, Meredith and Robin, I will B sure 2 save my blog entries 4 U so U can show 'em 2 yr therapist sumday. Here is the latest from Attic Guy/yr dad:

Formerly little sis. One of these days, when you are off on your own, you will live in a place with a middle-aged ethnic woman nearby to give you advice on your life. I can only hope that when that day comes, you will have a woman as knowledgeable and competent as Deanna and I had when we lived next to Lovey Salzman. From the time that my daughter was born, Lovey showed me the ways of Egg Timer Discipline. It may not have worked initially when I tried to use a timer to get my daughter and my son to share that Galaxy game, but never give up when you are using tried-and-true methods taught to someone from the old country.

I had taken my two fighting, disobedient children to their room and told them to go to bed. Well, they managed to get their pyjamas on, and my daughter got on her bed, and my son lowered the railing on his crib, so he could climb into the crib; but did they actually go to sleep? No! Why not? Because I didn’t tell them to go to sleep. I told them to go to bed, which they did. You have to watch how you word things with a 3 and 5-year-old. They are not old enough to realize what you mean when what you say is not exactly what you mean.

I had gone back to my chair to read my newspaper, and I could still hear them fighting. You would think that after I put them to bed early because of their fighting, that would stop them from fighting. Maybe I should give some thought to letting them have their own bedrooms. It might make a little more sense to separate 2 kids who are fighting into different bedrooms. Ha! Ha! That’s a silly thought.

I listened to them fight. My daughter said, “Ha, Ha! Robin’s mad an’ I’m sad, an’ I know howta tease yaah! Drink some ink, an’ then you’ll stink, an’ then we’ll hafta freeze yaa!” Her rhyme was going very well until the last word. As you know, April, “tease yaah!” does not rhyme with “freeze yaa!” You need that final “h” sound. I got out of my chair and said, “Well, that does it. My daughter is not even rhyming properly.” As I went up the stairs to their room, I heard my son say, “YOU stink!. His rhyme was even worse than hers.

I popped into their room, and saw that my son had once again, failed to pull up the bars on his crib, after he had put them down to get in. With the egg timer in hand, I was ready to deal out justice by the timer full. I said, “That’s IT, you two!! I’m turning on the timer. If you’re not quietly lying down in 15 minutes, there’ll be no T.V. tomorrow!” I had on my serious face, you know the one where my eyes are squinty and I only have 3 fingers on my right hand. It works every time. The kids were both looking at me with wide open eyes as the timer went, “Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick…” I left the room and went back to my chair and my reading. I could hear kids saying, “No, Meredif. We don’t hafta lie down till the timer stops. We can still play until then.” And my daughter said, “T.V. We can watch T.V.? Since when can we watch T.V.? If I could have watched T.V., I would never have wanted to play the stupid Galaxy game.” My son said, “Meredif!”

The sounds of their voices faded and eventually I heard the tell-tale BING!! of the timer finishing its 15 minutes. I rose out of my chair to check and make sure they were quietly lying down. I found them both in my daughter’s bed, sleeping away. I thought to myself, as I pulled the covers on them, “Saved by the bell!” and then later “Saved by Lovey’s timer bell” That ethnic timer idea worked its Voodoo magic once again.

As I was saying before, April, when the time to find your ethnic middle-aged woman comes, make sure she knows her stuff. If you get the right one, that ethnic advice will be a treasure to you for years to come. That reminds me, I should probably call Lovey up to see if she’s had a heart attack or at least has bought my book.

Michael Patterson
"It might make a little more sense to separate 2 kids who are fighting into different bedrooms. Ha! Ha! That’s a silly thought."

No, not a silly thought. A sane, normal thought 4 a change. Mike, U have FOUR bedrooms. It makes no sense 4 U 2 have those kids sharing a room. And while we R @ it, yr THREE-yr-old is old enuf 4 a big-boy bed. Sheesh. And I don't think I want 2 have an "ethnic middle-aged landlady."


Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 07, 2008

When U C Mike, just say, "DUH!"

Mike's got another story 2 show U his parenting is made of fail:

Formerly little sis. I like sleeping. Don’t you? I find that after I have had a troublesome day, there is nothing like a good, long nap to ease my sorrows. It’s sort of like baseball – 3 strikes and you’re out and headed toward being pleasantly unconscious. One strike would be kids fighting over a vegetable peeler. Strike two would be fighting over a Galaxy game. Strike three would be fighting over getting to play with the bunny.

After my daughter and my son got into an argument over the differences between seeing and looking, I did the only sensible thing a father could do. I picked up the child who was the lightest and said, “Well, it’s obvious that you two can’t get along this evening, so I’m going to separate you.” So I picked up my son and he said, “No!” and my daughter said, “No, Dad!” I suppose they thought I might not be smart enough or strong enough to separate them; however I remembered that the boys in our family are always the lightest. My boy picked up his teddy bear for extra weight, but he was still the lightest.

I may not have mentioned this before, but this fight was going on your old room in the house, the rec room. I said, “Meredith, you stay in the rec room. Robin, you come upstairs with me.” My daughter uttered what must have been a magic spell with the words, “Nyaah!! I get to play with the bunny!” , because the bunny that I have not seen in months magically appeared on the floor along with a big, empty cage.

Upon seeing the bunny, my son started yelling, “I WANNA BE WIF THE BUNNY!!” You may note, formerly little sis, that my son did not say, “I want to play with the bunny.” He said, “be wif”. Obviously, I can’t let my son be a wif(e) to the bunny. Humans and bunnies aren’t allowed to marry in Canada, at least not yet, anyway.

Well, the thought of my son marrying a bunny simply took the energy out of me. As my daughter was going “Pfttt” behind my back and my son was crying a generous arc of tears. It was like I was talking about before. I suddenly became very sleepy. I said, “Maybe you both should go to bed.” That seemed like a great idea to me. I would get to sleep. My children would be sleeping and wouldn’t bother me. However, there was one problem:

My daughter said it best, “I don’t wanna go to bed! It’s no fair!!! We’re not TIRED yet!!” That’s right, April. You probably remember from my post last Monday that I had not yet finished supper, because while I was in the process of making it, I was taking time to read my newspaper. It was actually sometime around supper time, but unfortunately not late enough in the day for my wife, the lovely Deanna, to have returned home from the pharmacy. So, my kids were right that it probably was a little early for them to go to bed. I was at my wit’s end, trying to keep up with them. After all, they had disturbed my supper-making and interrupted my newspaper-reading and…there’s bound to be something else in there. Oh yes, they ruined my masterful use of a timer to break up a fight.

Then I felt something mysterious come over me and I suddenly felt like my face was beginning to look like Grandpa Jim’s face. My chin jutted out in a way it had never done before. My eyebrows lightened up, and I could feel the temperature on my forehead was higher and a few beads of sweat sprang off my forehead. I was thinking, “Who’s looking like Grandpa?” and my answer to myself was, “Well…I am.” Let me tell you, April, it is a frightening experience. Just remembering it again has shaken me and I need to stop writing now.

Michael Patterson
Mike, after all this time, I cannot believe U R referring 2 the rec room as my "old room in the house." NO! My "old room in the house" is the one U AND DEE TOOK OVER AND FOR WHICH U NEVER THANKED ME. I'll take those thanks from you anytime, Mike. Anytime.

Another thing. U have FOUR bedrooms in that house. Yr kids do not have a 2 share a room! Duh! Also, Robin's "wif" was mispronouncing "with," not "wife." Another "Duh."


Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Unclench, Mike!

Mike has sum more 2 share abt his life as a parent:

Formerly little sis. I remember when my sister and I would get into arguments and we rarely had the opportunity to just talk it out. Mom would intervene with some screaming, and whatever method we could have developed through the pure joy of conversation didn’t have a chance to work. I figured I could just stand there or sit there, giving disapproving looks and my children would eventually come to a logical conclusion about whatever it is that they were arguing.

My fatal mistake as it turned out was the assumption that there was a logical conclusion. You may recollect from my writing yesterday, my son had stated that “Merediff was SEEING at me!!!”

My daughter’s counter argument was, “Daddy, Robin’s being a baby!” This argument may work well on the 5-year-old set, but for me I really needed to hear how she wasn’t “seeing” at my son. My son, however, caught on to the illogic of her argument and restated his point. He said, “AM NOT! She was seeing at me!!!” he pointed a finger toward my daughter, and she very cleverly chose that moment to have no eyes. Well, that did confuse the matter. After all, how can she be “seeing” at my son, if she has no eyes? I gave them both my Alice the Goon , slow burn.

Well, my daughter’s eyes suddenly sprang back into her head and they were open very wide, not unlike your speed freak eyes you occasionally get. My son pointed out, “Look! She’s doing it AGAIN! She was SEEING at me!!!” This was a clever move on the part of my son, because now he had definite proof of his claim in addition to a visual definition of what “seeing at me” means. His case was very strong, despite the fact, to illustrate his point, he was pointing at his chin.

My daughter countered with “Duhh!! Can’t I LOOK at anybody? All I did was LOOK at him!” and the patented Patterson splayed hand to the chest. This is a good counterargument. Instead of denying my son’s definition of the phrase, “seeing at me”, my daughter indicated that she had another, more common, definition for what she was doing, i.e. “Look”. She was using one of her advantages of age, which is to know the words for things.

I decided to sit on the chesterfield to reason this one out. While I was sitting there, I decided to try my own version of “seeing at” my son, to see if he noticed. He didn’t. He was concentrating on his sister and imitating her eye movement. He said, “I was playin’ an’ she was doin’ THIS wif her EYES!-- She was SEEING at me!!!!” Well, I had already gotten the subtle difference, since I had actually seen her do it a few seconds before. And I was a little distracted that my son could say the “th” of “this”, but couldn’t say the “th” of Meredith. Despite this demonstration, my son felt the need to emphasize the point and said, “SEE?!! as if he wanted corroboration that I had seen him do the eye motion.

But then I realized he had actually used a double-entendre, because his final “See?!!” could be taken as a question as to whether I witnessed his demonstration or a question as to whether I understood what he was trying to say. Wordplay from my son brought tears to my eyes, which I couldn’t let my children see, so I slapped my hand up to my eyes to hide my tears, and also to get in another good grimace. You can’t grimace enough when it comes to kids.

Michael Patterson
You can’t grimace enough when it comes to kids. Yeah, you totally can. And you totally do, Mike. Unclench! BTW, the "th" sound in "this" and the one in "Meredith" are different sounds phonetically. They're represented by different symbols if you do phonetic transcription. My English teacher demonstr8ed this 2 my class this yr.


Labels: , ,