Saturday, September 29, 2007

advanced speller

Evan: "What does H-H-L-I spell?"

Eric: "It spells 'hhli'. It doesn't spell anything, really."

Evan: "Oh. How do you spell 'holy'?"

Eric: "You mean 'holey', like it's got a lot of holes in it, or 'holy', like it's from God?"

Evan: "I mean like 'holy crap'."


Eric: "Sage, you are a pistol."

Evan: "Why do you call her a pistol?"

Eric: "Because she's *crazy*."

Evan: "Yeah. We shouldn't have bought her."

Eric: "Oh, but I like having her around."

Evan: "Why? She destructed all the buildings in the world. They all have to be rebuilt now."

Eric: "Yeah, but I don't mind all the craziness and destruction because she's also a very very sweet baby."

Evan: "At least when she's sleeping."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

true enough

Evan: "If you hear a loud BANG somewhere in our house, it's probably Destructo-Baby."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mysterious Team vs. Plan Team

I don't buy into most binary systems, but this one seems pretty solid. Everyone on Earth is a member of either Mysterious Team or Plan Team. At Evan's preschool, where this dialectic originated, it was purely a matter of gender. If you were a boy, you were on Mysterious Team. Girl, Plan Team. In the adult world, it's more complicated. It's entirely possible to be a woman and be on Mysterious Team, although men remain disproportionately represented there. Some of my grownup writer friends and I have chosen sides, and have spent a lot of time debating the merits of each. After several good-natured but slightly barbed exchanges, my friend Jason (a Man on Plan) pointed out that the two terms were being used as shorthand for "You guys are really boring" and "You guys are really flaky." The realities of Mysterious Team and Plan Team are, of course, infinitely more nuanced than that. In his poem "Under Which Lyre," W.H. Auden traces the lineage of both teams back to the Greek Gods:

The sons of Hermes love to play
And only do their best when they
Are told they oughtn’t;
Apollo’s children never shrink
From boring jobs but have to think
Their work important.

Related by antithesis,
A compromise between us is
Respect perhaps but friendship never:
Falstaff the fool confronts forever
The prig Prince Hal.

If he would leave the self alone,
Apollo’s welcome to the throne,
Fasces and falcons;
He loves to rule, has always done it;
The earth would soon, did Hermes run it,
Be like the Balkans.

But jealous of our god of dreams,
His common-sense in secret schemes
To rule the heart;
Unable to invent the lyre,
Creates with simulated fire
Official art.

And when he occupies a college,
Truth is replaced by Useful Knowledge;
He pays particular
Attention to Commercial Thought,
Public Relations, Hygiene, Sport,
In his curricula.

For my part, I think I've come up with even better team mascots than Hermes and Apollo, or even Falstaff and Hal:

Mysterious Team = Ernie
Plan Team = Bert

You can perhaps guess which team I'm on, and where my sympathies lie. Evan recently explained to us that Mysterious Team members *do* make plans. They just make mysterious plans. He added that "girls can be invited to be on Mysterious Team, and boys can be invited to be on Plan Team." However, he said, he would always be on Mysterious Team, and Sage, when she came of age, was going to be on Plan Team. This struck us as appropriate, since Sage was, well, planned, and Evan was a surprise (if not exactly a mystery).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

weapons of minimal destruction

This is an oldie but a goodie. Someone in the neighborhood was clipping a bush, and Evan had gathered up a fistful of stems with pointy, glossy leaves on their ends. Naturally, he had decided this was a weapon, and was running around jabbing the air with it:

Eric: "What kind of weapon is that, Evan?"

Evan: "My AMBUSH!"

Monday, September 17, 2007

a hint of condescension?

Evan: "Sage is thinking ... with her little tiny baby brain."

where are your priorities, man?

Eric (tucking Evan in): "I could never love anyone or anything more than I love you."

Evan: "What about the world's biggest bus?"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

six degrees of separation

Eric (reading to Evan from "Ramona's World"): "... because in the state of Oregon..."

Evan: "Oh! So Ramona lives in Oregon!"

Eric: "Yes she does. And you know where in Oregon? McMinnville, I think. Because Beverly Cleary, who wrote all the Ramona books, is from McMinnville, and there are McMinnville street names in the books and everything."

Evan: "Yeah. So Ramona lives near Omi and Poppop."

Eric: "That's right. And you know who teaches in McMinnville? Uncle Stefan! He may even teach at Ramona's school."

Evan: "Yeah! He may even know Ramona. He's probably told her about me."

you got that right

We've joked so much about Sage mooching other people's food that now, when she sees someone eating something tasty-looking, she points to it and says, "Mooch! Mooch!"

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

roundup of famous Evanisms

"The reason I'm licking the baby is because she has cinnamon on her."

Eric: "Hey Evan, what's the name of your ant?"

Evan: "Um... Ant-o!"

Eric: "Oh. What's the name of your praying mantis?"

Evan: "Bill. Bill Pierce."

Eric: "Evan, stay out of the bathroom. I need my privacy."

Evan (coming into the bathroom): "I need my privacy too."

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Do I dare to eat a peacho?

About two years ago I visited Evan at preschool and brought him some Fig Newtons to eat with his lunch. He tried one and told me he didn't like it. I had forgotten all about this until today, when Evan came into the room where I was working and apologized.

Evan is incredulous that I've been working for three months on a short poem and still haven't finished it. To show me how easy it ought to be, he just dictated the following poem to me:

Peacho peacho peacho,
deacho deacho deacho,
I pick a peach from my peach tree
and I eat it.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Today we took a hike:

Evan (on the trail through the woods): "I love these woods!.... Friend-love, not kissing-love."

And tonight:

Evan: "What does 'despair' mean?"

Eric (distracted and not up for nuances): "It means 'sadness.'"

Evan: "Oh. Why can't you just say 'sadness'?"