Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Oh the wonderful things we'll make you do

Lucien flipped someone the bird in math class last week.  He pried his middle finger up out of his clenched fist and said, "I'm going to show you my middle finger now."

He got in trouble and I got a call from the teacher.  She said he didn't seem to know exactly what it meant to flip the bird but he knew it wasn't nice.  I explained the subtle yet loaded sociological meaning of the middle finger to him later that evening and he said, "OK, I'll only use it when I get real mad."

I went out with a friend, Seattle Twin Mom, Saturday night and mentioned the middle finger story.  She told me when she was about Lucien's age, her brother (who is six years older) told her showing your middle finger meant "Have a nice day."  So there sweet little Seattle Twin Mom went, flipping the bird all over her small hometown.  Her mom got a few phone calls from concerned citizens wondering why that cute little girl down the street suddenly turned into a real a**hole.

Alex and I try hard to do fun things with the kids on the weekends.  The kids don't always enjoy our "fun" ideas but they are still dependent and small and semi-portable so don't have much choice in the matter. 

Alex took the kids to a Japanese restaurant for lunch recently, one of those places where food circles the room on a conveyor belt and you have to grab your lunch as it passes by your table.  Lucien and Coco initially thought food whizzing by on a conveyor belt was awesome.  Their enthusiasm fizzled when they realized those containers of mackerel bits and octopus were lunch.

At first she was merely suspicious

 But then the sushi made her sad

So much for Japanese.  Let's try Vietnamese.  We've got a great Vietnamese place down the street from our house so we attempted more food horizon broadening.

We knew it was a failed experiment when Coco started eating plain lettuce

There's one food the kids will never turn down -- crappy U.S. macarons.

I'm not a food snob in general (raised on wiener bean casserole, after all) but there's something about the French macaron that's sacred and holds a very special place in my heart.  I have yet to find a macaron in the U.S. that truly captures what's happening over there in Paris.  Whenever a new French bakery-type place is recommended to me -- seriously, their macarons are the real deal! -- I take a bite and realize it is merely another pale ghostly imitation of the real deal. 


The highlight of our most recent macaron attempt was when Lucien pointed to the counter and said, "Look, they have Macklemores!"  It couldn't have been a better fusion of our son's Paris and Seattle lives.

(For those wondering what the hell that meant, Macklemore is a rapper from Seattle)

There's just something off with the texture

There was a Life Sciences exposition at the Pacific Science Center over the weekend.  Lucien is a science-loving kid so we knew he would love it.

Except he didn't.  The brain table, which had real human brains cut in half and reeking of formaldehyde, made him knead his hands nervously and ask to go home. Guess we should stick to bugs and leave people out of it.

The kids are going to start refusing to leave the house with us

It was the most glorious Fall day on Sunday so we pulled out the scooters and went on a nice long walk through our fine city.   We didn't fully take into account Seattle's topography when planning our route.  There are lots of hills up in here.

We realized we weren't going to make it home easily when we saw Lucien, two blocks behind us and trying to scoot up a large San Francisco-style hill, yelling around about hating his scooter a whole, whole lot.  We eventually grabbed both of them by their jackets and began pushing/pulling them home. This would have been manageable except I wore slippery-soled boots.  I would slip while pulling on a kid, lose my grip on the kid, and the kid would start rolling backwards screaming before leaping off his scooter into some bushes.

It's family fun, kids.

Al and I left the kids with a sitter later that afternoon to go watch the Seahawks game at a rowdy Capitol Hill bar.  It was nice to get out together.  The kids were also thrilled because we were far away and no longer inflicting our ideas upon them.

I was reading a local news blog lately.  There was a story about some recent robberies in the C.D., one in particular in which a police helicopter located the burglary suspect hiding on someone's roof.   The following was written in the comments.

"...If it was a random 9pm burglary – then that is a freaky deal. We should all be up in arms and patroling the streets with pick handles.  We really need more detail on this kind of stuff. It makes a huge difference in the perception of risk. If it’s just thug on thug crime – I’m going to be leary of thugs. But if they be bustin into just anybody's house I’m gonna be all hillbilly."

What does it mean to get all hillbilly?  I'm picturing a lot of straw chewing and wearing of tank tops.  Is the idea to confuse burglars until they forget where they are, become disoriented and wander out of the C.D.?  I guess it's worth a try -- yee-haw, y'all.

Hillbilly is a decent idea but an even better way to fight crime is karate.  Lucien's pretty good at karate but Coco has a ferocity about her never before seen in a four-year-old karate novice.  Sure, sometimes she turns a somersault for no dang reason in the middle of the mat but other than that, she gets mean out there.

Hang in there, kids,


  1. You do realize that the kids - especially Coco, apparently - may use that karate stuff against you and Alex next time you threaten to take them out for some weekend family fun. Maybe there is a course in, say, pillow fighting you could sign them up for?

  2. Have a nice day?! LOL Oh big brothers can be so mean!:))) Almost as bad as my friend who was taken to a wake with her school, but who wasn't told ahead of time that you're supposed to offer condolences and not "congratulations" to the grieving family when shaking their hands:))))

    The suspicious look on Coco's face in the Japanese restaurant is priceless:) (I took my husband to a Japanese restaurant in The Hague and it was NOT a big hit. I feel I'll never hear the end of it;)

    Macklemores? Ok, the kid is losing his French big time. A trip to Paris is in order!:))) ( because we know that he doesn't make the effort in Qc city.)

    Getting all "hillbilly" on someone? Why did I suddenly hear banjo and "squeak like a pig, boy!" when I read that?

    Coco is fearless!:)) Love it!:)

    I was visiting the old blog last week and couldn't believe how small she was when you left Paris! Then it hit me: you've been back almost two years now! Wow! I was still in The Hague when you wrote your last Parisian post! How time flies!

  3. okay this time maybe I'll be the first comment...Macklemore macaron's ..tea spit take..thanks for that

    love the pic of the kids in their karate outfits..

    and was that geniune sunshine in one of those Seattle??

    greetings from the city with the #inadrunkenstupor crack smoking mayor...we are so proud.

  4. Replies
    1. What, PCS? The burglary victim? The rooftop? Were they the same house? Tell me more! Have I met Greg before?

  5. MJ, check out this recent "Seattle Times" article. Is there any that are worthy?