April's Real Blog

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."


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  • At 9:09 AM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, so that xxplainz it. i wondered y u asked me how i felt 'bout ethnic middle-aged landladies 4 wen we go 2 university. thoze brochures u had been sent frum the johnston institute that were pushin' that company "ethnic landladies R us" were kinda frightening. i dunno if i have evah seen so many pics of middle-aged, overweight, women w/beauty marks as r in thoze pics. i think ur idea 'bout gettin' a one-bedroom apartment iz better. az u sed, "w/1 bedroom there wud b no doubt".

    speakin' of no doubt, r we goin' out w/eva & duncan's silhouette 2nite? eva seemz 2 think we r, but i wuz w8in' 'till u told me whether u hadda work @lilliput's or not.

  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    What your brother needs to do is sell all the furniture that's still in its crates and create some living space for his children. It isn't as if he really cares what Mira thinks so it would be a great way to show her they don't want her help AND do something good for his family.

  • At 12:43 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Honestly dear catfish, if you want to get some furniture inexpensively for your Amazon River home, there are better ways to go about it than to try to get me to sell mine.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 2:58 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    jeremy, i hafta work 4 a coupla hrs, but then eva wants us 2 meet her an' duncan's silhouette @ the all-ages show they're having @ milborough fuze box.


  • At 4:11 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    Ugly Brother,

    You are going about this all wrong, why aren't you yelling and screaming more?, when your children annoy you, you should take Mom's advice, and beller at the top of your lungs, there should be no egg timers or patience involved, how will your kids know they are brats?, when Frenchy does annoying stuff, I scream at her as loud as I can, and it really works, she never fights with her siblings, I use that method at school too, and now not only do all the classrooms report improved STAYING IN CHAIRS and KEEPING EYES ON THE BOARD, but I am in charge of making morning announcements, to save wear and tear on the PA system.


  • At 4:40 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Slightly older little sis. It is a sad thing to confess, but women are definitely stronger than men are. Men may have physical strength and men may show courage and may be better-looking, but the strength that women reveal in their ability to endure, to support others and to unhinge their jaw to shriek nonstop at their children makes me feel weak and insignificant. I have tried and tried again to unhinge my jaw and achieve the volumes mom did and does when she is trying to “make a point”, and I am simply not able to do it.

    A few years back when Lovey Salzman saw me trying to discipline my children with our mom’s tried-and-true method of screaming at us, she said, “Oy. Don’t be schmuck. Use an egg timer.” So, I swore that if the time ever came for me to have to discipline my children, I would remember Lovey’s timer advice. And it did.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 2:55 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Did 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


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