2 surprises

1. I, for some reason, know all the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody.

2. Alice loves it.

The Right Pooh

Henry and I were the first up this morning. We chatted quietly as we set the breakfast table together. Every now and again, he would cough a tiny cough. After the fifth or sixth cough, I started to worry a bit.

Me: What's that? You keep coughing.

Henry: It's just a biscuit cough, Dad. Not one to tell about.

Which, is almost a direct quote from A.A. Milne. Which made me very very very happy. Especially after the cough went away.

*hint hint*

If a certain prime minister were really wondering what he should get me for Christmas, might I remind him of a few vacancies in his senate.

I'd be a great senator. People would talk.

"Damn," they'd say. "Great senator."

And I'd be like, "Come on. Great?"

People love humility.

A hazy memory

I've been struck down with a fantastic combination of stomach flu and a sore throat, which, at a loss for something clever to say, sucks.

During the worst of it, Erin managed to restrict the chaos of our house to the first floor, which left me time and space to sleep/moan upstairs. I have a vague memory of a mid-afternoon visit by Henry and Jane.

Henry snuck into my room, his stuffed dog Walk Walk held before him. He tip-toed his way towards me, placed the dog gently beside me, and whispered, "I'm not supposed to say anything. I'm being very quiet."

"Thx, bddy," I moaned.

Jane, two steps behind him, approached with her stuffed dog, Blue Puppy. She tip-toed her way towards me, placed the dog gently beside me, stood back, and smiled. Her head cocked to one side, her smile slowly melted to a look of concern.

She picked up the dog. "Mine," she whispered, and walked out of the room.

Overheard: Their mouths, my words

"Listen here, buddy boy..." - Jane, to Henry.

"I see two problems." -Henry, to Jane as she tried for the third time to fix a toppled block tower.

"Jane is what you call a Jerk." -Henry, to me. Let it be clear, I would never call either of my kids a jerk, even if they're being one. But the first part of the sentence is classic me.

I bet you can't.

I arrived home from work today to find Henry and Jane marching around the house, blowing whistles and banging drums. They both wore cowboy hats with paper signs stapled to the fronts. They read:


Top that.

A feat of feet

Henry is a cougher. Any type of cold he gets eventually migrates to his chest. It keeps him up; it keeps me up. I happened to mention this to a neighbour, who recommended I slather his feet with Vicks Vaporup. "It sounds crazy, but it works."

It did sound crazy. I smiled and said it sounded interesting.

Henry started coughing again last night just after supper. I gave him a bit of cough medicine before bed. The poor boy coughed himself into a tizzy in the first hour of the night. Suddenly, the Vicks On The Feet Thing didn't seem so crazy.

I crept into his room, quietly told him I was putting medicine on his feet, and slathered them up.

It worked. I mean, it really, really worked.

I'm as skeptical as the next guy, but oh man. Next time he has a cough, I'm doing it again. Only next time, I'll put a pair of socks on him. His sheets are a mess today (sort of Shroud of Turiny, but more feety).

Operation Mole

When the kids write their annual letters to Santa, besides the customary pleasantries and inquiries about Rudolph's health, we ask them to list two things they want for Christmas. Then, we try to give them just one of those things. I believe the lesson has something to do with learning you can't always get what you want. (but if you try sometimes...)

For Henry, weeding the list down to just two items is a matter of great stress. After many weeks of whining, looking for legal loopholes, and - frankly - questioning the authenticity of such an unjust elf, he managed to select: 1. Lego (which he recently discovered at his grandma's house); and 2. "some Thomas trains" (note the plural "trains" - that's his attempt at squeezing through a Santa loophole).

And then there's Jane. Dear, sweet Jane.

Erin: Jane, I'm writing the letter to Santa. Have you decided what you want to ask for?

Jane: Mmmm. (thinking) A mole.

Erin: Um.. a mole?

Jane: (ignores her, keeps playing)

Erin: Ok. (writing) "Jane would like a mole "... What else would you like?

Jane: (ignores her, keeps playing)
Erin: Jane?
Jane: (ignores her, keeps playing)
Me: Janey.. you've got to answer Mummy. We're sending the letter to Santa tomorrow.
Jane: (ignores me, keeps playing)
Erin/Me: Jane!
Jane throws down her toy, levels a powerful pair of eyes at us, and furrows her brow.
Jane: I. WANT. A. MOLE.
And now Erin must learn in about three weeks how to sew a stuffed mole... and make it look an life elven handcraft.