April's Real Blog

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:
April,

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.

Love,
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.

Apes

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14 Comments:

  • At 9:36 AM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, so how much do u hafta work 2day @lilliput’s 4 family day, since almost no1 in retail iz takin’ the day off? my mom & step-dad hafta work 2day @hospital & so i kinda have the house 2 myself so we cud have sum alone tyme 2, u know, play parcheesi or sum othah family day activity like that, if u don’t hafta work the whole day.

     
  • At 9:38 AM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    I don’t know what your work schedule is like, but Beatrice has to work the whole day today at Lilliput’s. She’s expecting it to be pretty busy there. I am taking a day off from Portrait Magazine, so I can take care of the girls. We’re going up to ski at the Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, in case you or Jeremy is interested in coming. The girls said to me, “There’s nothing interesting going on in Milborough. It’s boring us to death, daddy!” I had to agree. The town has been really dead since last September. I don’t know what’s been the cause, but I have noticed a number of people who casually visit Milborough have stopped visiting us and have moved onto other more interesting towns like Gasoline Alley.

    We’re leaving soon, so let us know.

    Love,
    Howard Bunt

     
  • At 9:39 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis. I don’t know why you are obsessed with hearing more about other people in the family other than me and my kids. However, I will tell your readers what is happening, just so they know.

    Elizabeth and Anthony. They are living together. He goes to work. She goes to work. The half-Quebecoise kid goes to daycare someplace. They come home. Liz makes dinner. They eat. They go to sleep. That’s about it. If you are expecting a fine romance like mine and Deanna’s with these two, you are out of luck.

    Grandpa Jim and Iris. He lies about and can’t talk and occasionally says “Boxcar” to get a laugh. Iris complains about it and interprets what he says. Eventually she will get sick of it and put him in that Sunset Manor place.

    Mom and Dad. Dad plays with trains. That’s all anyone sees him do. Even after he retires, it will be the same. Mom and Connie spend their days talking about how old they are and occasionally exercising to make up for all the food they eat.

    You. You go to school. You work at Lilliput’s. You will eventually go to university to study to become a veterinarian. Then you will eventually move back to Milborough after having dated many men, none of whom are as good for you as Gerald Delaney-Forsythe. Then you will play a cat-and-mouse romance game with Gerald which will seem interminable, and the next thing you know, you will be living with Gerald, and raising the 12 children he had with his 3 prior wives from foreign countries, while continuing to work as a veterinarian, a job which no one will see you do.

    Frankly, bed-shopping with my kids is a lot more interesting.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 10:04 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    jeremy, i don't hafta work 2day. moira didn't find out abt family day until abt a month ago, and by then she'd already made up the skeds, so she told me 2 just enjoy my day. do u wanna play family games @ yr house or ski w/howard and his girls? he sez we hafta answer fast. i hafta go take a shower cuz i just got back from running 3 miles.

    mike, u r so wrong abt my future. once i leave mboro, i m not coming back. if i get married, it won't b gerald. gerald is gonna b married 2 sum canadian jessica-simpson wanna-be.

    apes

     
  • At 12:17 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, it's fun 2 ski w/u & howard's girls r kinda fun 2b 'round. u did seem a little confused wen i talked 'bout that "bed-shopping" game we coulda done @my house. i guess u thot i wuz rilly talkin' 'bout parcheesi wen i sed "parcheesi". but thass ok. i will hafta learn 2 speak more directly next tyme.

     
  • At 12:26 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    April,

    I still can't talk about what's going on in my life, I got an official gag order from the Johnston Institute over the weekend, apparently The Good Witch doesn't know how my story is going to unfold, I might already be married, or I might be already engaged, or I might just be living in sin, she doesn't know yet, anyway she wants to reserve the right to maybe say this stuff already happened to me, and then talk about it in a flashback, you know how much she loves stuff to happen in flashbacks, so, pretty much, I can't tell you much of anything about what's going on with me, except that this limbo place is pretty boring, oh, and also, the Good Witch is actually mad at Mike, which is a first, for saying that Anthony and I are "living together," she says it is impolite to try to spell out the details of an unmarried woman's living situation, as s-e-x is a private thing and she is very conservative, and besides, it's not really accurate either, I mean, yes, Anthony and I are both here together in Limbo, but there's other people here too, like sleepaway camp, guess who I saw today, Lawrence Poirier!, he is here waiting to find out if he is ever going to be allowed to get married too, and Fiona Brass is here, and Dennis North, and a bunch of other people, we do go to work, Mike is right about that, but the fun part of Limbo is, I don't have to cook (Mike is wrong again!) because there is this guy with a skull for a face and devil horns who makes soup, it tastes terrible, but at least I don't have to make it.

    More later,
    Liz

     
  • At 12:39 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    Elizabeth,

    Slightly older little sis. It sounds like the medication Deanna gave you to deal with the emotions accompanying the lack of progress in your upcoming engagement and marriage to Anthony Caine are working great.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 2:47 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    Lunch at the ski resort was interesting, particularly when we ran into Maxine Hébert, Deanna Patterson’s former best friend. I remember the lunch conversation going something like this:

    Me(Howard Bunt): Well, ladies. I think it’s time for lunch. This place should have a salad or something for April to eat.
    Ana Alfarero: I thought you were going to make lunches for us.
    Me(Howard Bunt): Not this time. We get to eat ski resort food.
    María Alfarero: I hope I can keep it down. When Paul Mayes and I are married, I think I will hire you to cook for me, dad.
    Me(Howard Bunt): That’s a lovely thought.
    Ana Alfarero: Paul Mayes this. Paul Mayes that. I wish you would shut up about Paul Mayes and your engagement.
    María Alfarero: You’re just jealous because you are 12 and you aren’t engaged yet.
    Ana Alfarero: Auntie April isn’t engaged either.
    María Alfarero: That’s because she’s dating a villain. She’s in her “bad boy”phase, just like Elizabeth Patterson was when she was dating Eric Chamberlain.
    You (April Patterson): Jeremy is not a villain and he’s a lot nicer guy than Eric Chamberlain.
    Jeremy Jones: Thanks, April. Can we eat now?
    Me(Howard Bunt): Nobody’s getting any food until the silly stuff is over!! No more teasing people who aren’t engaged.
    María Alfarero: Oh, all right. Sorry, everybody.
    Jeremy Jones: “Silly stuff?” Howard. You’re starting to sound like Michael Patterson.
    Me(Howard Bunt): I know. The male parenting style in Milborough is started to affect me.
    {We start eating and Maxine Hébert spots us.}
    Maxine Hébert: Howard and April. Imagine seeing you here. I thought you were imprisoned.
    Me(Howard Bunt): I was acquitted.
    Maxine Hébert: No, I meant April. I thought she was imprisoned in Milborough and wasn’t allowed to have any fun.
    María Alfarero: She’s in her “bad boy” phase.
    You (April Patterson): I am not. I am in my “nice and attentive” boy phase.
    Maxine Hébert: But, April. In Milborough, that is a “bad boy”.
    You (April Patterson): You have a point.
    Me(Howard Bunt): Maxine, these are my daughters Ana and María, and April’s date is Jeremy Jones.
    Maxine Hébert: Ah, the boy who tried to kill you April. You must be very brave.
    You (April Patterson): Well, actually…
    Maxine Hébert: I am just joking. And little María, that is a big ring you have on.
    María Alfarero: 6 carats. My fiancé, Paul, says I’ll get a bigger one when we have our 10th anniversary.
    Ana Alfarero: 6 carats. La-de-dah!
    Maxine Hébert: You must be very proud, Howard. One of your daughters is settled already.
    Me(Howard Bunt): I am very proud of both my daughters.
    Maxine Hébert: Very diplomatic. So, how are things with my best friend, Deanna Patterson?
    Me(Howard Bunt): She lives in Milborough now, in the house on Sharon Park Lane where April grew up.
    Maxine Hébert: Deanna is a crafty woman. She said she would live in that house someday, and she did it.
    You (April Patterson): When did she say that?
    Maxine Hébert: Oh, at least 3 years ago.
    You (April Patterson): 3 years. How could she know 3 years ago? Her apartment was on fire just a little over a year ago.
    Maxine Hébert: Never underestimate Deanna. I wouldn’t put a little apartment fire beyond her. Was there anything suspicious about the fire?
    Me(Howard Bunt): My uncle and aunt Melville and Winifred Kelpfroth are still angry about how Deanna pointed the firefighters away from their apartment.
    You (April Patterson): And Deanna did say that she got her kids dressed before she took them out of the apartment.
    Maxine Hébert: You mean like she might have known how fast the fire would spread?
    Jeremy Jones: I think everyone just assumed she and April’s brother were just stupid, when it came to fires.
    Maxine Hébert: Deanna is not stupid. Stupid people don’t become pharmacists. However, Deanna is quite good at pretending she is stupid for her own means. So, is her husband still working?
    Me(Howard Bunt): He quit his job at Portrait Magazine and I have that job now. He recently published a book, and I think he is working on another one.
    Maxine Hébert: Well, Deanna is only partly successful then. It was her hope to get it so that Michael was not working at all.
    You (April Patterson): What? Why?
    Maxine Hébert: So, he would spend his day taking care of the kids, and she would spend her day at the pharmacy, and she would get home late enough so she wouldn’t have to deal with the kids at all.
    Me(Howard Bunt): I believe he has a sitter who comes into take care of the kids while he works on his writing.
    Jeremy Jones: Sitter? The guy has practically taken over April’s Real Blog and he spent the last two weeks talking about how he’s the one making lunch and supper and putting the kids to bed. Then in his spare time, he’s reading the newspaper. There’s no sitter.
    You (April Patterson): What are you saying?
    Jeremy Jones: I think your brother has stopped working and spends his day taking care of his kids. That’s what it looks like to me.
    Me(Howard Bunt): I don’t think Michael Patterson would give up his writing. At least he would never admit to it.
    Jeremy Jones: I’m just saying. He started off talking about how he was going to take both his kids to the same school where he went, and instead of doing that he mentioned once how April’s mom was subbing for the sitter, and now he’s all Mr. Househusband and is even taking his kids to pick out beds with his wife going with him to make sure he is doing it right.
    You (April Patterson): Oh my God, Jeremy. You’re right. Deanna is letting Mike pick out furniture without her being there. He’s…that’s…he’s turned into my mom!!
    Me(Howard Bunt): I always thought he looked more like her than your dad, anyway.
    Maxine Hébert: Deanna triumphs again! I must admit, when I met Mike for the first time, I never thought Deanna would turn that lazy ignorant lump into a househusband, but I was wrong. I only hope I am that good when I finally get a husband. Well, Howard, it’s been so good talking to you and April and your darling daughters. See you on the slopes.
    María Alfarero: I want to be just like Deanna Patterson.
    You (April Patterson): Gah! No you don’t!
    Ana Alfarero: She has the house, the man, the kids, the job where she is the boss and she doesn’t have to take care of any of them. I agree with María.
    You (April Patterson): Howard! Tell them they are wrong!
    Me(Howard Bunt): I can see their point. She managed to manipulate you and your parents out of your house, while making it look like it wasn’t her idea. If she was involved in the apartment fire, she managed to make it look like it was my uncle Melville’s fault. And I think I speak for the entire reading world when I say, if she has managed to get your brother to stop writing novels, then that is a wonderful benefit to all mankind.
    You (April Patterson): No. No. No. Deanna is put upon by my brother, who takes her for granted. My brother is just pretending he is taking care of the kids. That trip to take the kids to pick out a bed is just a fluke. It’s an anomaly. Jeremy, back me up here.
    Jeremy Jones: I think I can state with all confidence that we will hear another story about how Deanna takes care of the kids and April’s brother is an absentee father.
    You (April Patterson): That’s not what I mean, Jeremy.
    Jeremy Jones: April. Your sister-in-law is a lot smarter than your brother and you know it. She’s been doing this stuff to him for years. Remember that whole business with the birth control?
    María Alfarero: Birth control?
    Me(Howard Bunt): Just when her husband was getting ready to start his own business and spend all this time traveling around the world for his job, Deanna got pregnant, said it was because she changed birth control, and that her husband needed a steady job where he would stay home.
    Ana Alfarero: But she’s a pharmacist. How could she make a mistake with birth control?
    María Alfarero: It wasn’t a mistake, dummy.
    Ana Alfarero: Dad!! She’s calling me names.
    Me(Howard Bunt): Don’t call each other names. I think it’s time to start skiing again.

    That’s how I remember it, April. Although you can add or correct it how you wish,

    Love,
    Howard Bunt

     
  • At 3:37 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    Ugly Brother,

    Why would I take any pills you or your stupid wife gave me?, I put those in Frenchy's food, she is behaving much better now, so I guess your wife isn't that stupid, could she get me a refill?

    Liz

     
  • At 4:25 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    howard, nothing 2 add. that's how i remember the convo, 2. if all that is true, it's kinda shocking how dee made it look like she was totally taken 4 granted. tho mayB she really was, 4 a while, and quietly turned things around 4 herself.

    apes

     
  • At 4:46 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    howard, thass not rilly how i talk, but i hafta give u sum kinda dramatic license, eh? neway, thanx 4 makin' me sound a lot smarter than i rilly sound.

     
  • At 6:11 PM, Blogger Muzition said…

    I'm not having a happy Family Day! They don't have Family Day here in Quebec!

    I think that the other provinces get too many holidays!

     
  • At 6:49 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    sorry u did not get a holiday, muzition. mayB if lots of ppl in quebec complain an' say they want family day as a holiday, sumday it will get officially adopted?

    apes

     
  • At 1:41 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    April,

    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.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     

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