Tuesday, December 21, 2010

just desserts

Eric: "Evan, what are you doing?! Don't blow on those cookies!"

Evan: "One of them had a fruit fly on it."

Eric: "Well then wave it away, but don't blow on the cookie! That gets your germs on it."

Evan: "So that cookie's got my germs on it now. Guess I have to eat it."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

no one was hurt

I just heard an unusually loud crash from our front hall, followed by Evan saying, "What do you know? Dental floss isn't that strong."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

his rights

Sage: "Also, this morning, Evan was singing, 'Sage has a boyfriend! Sage has a boyfriend!'"

Eric: "That's true."

Evan: "Yes, it is true. Sage does have a boyfriend."

Eric: "No, it's true that you were singing that."

Sonja: "Evan, that's not nice. We don't sing teasing songs like that."

Evan: "Don't I get a lawyer or something?"

Friday, December 10, 2010

hard to beat

Evan: "The second graders are really good at soccer. We usually beat whoever we play."

Eric: "That's great, Evan. But remember that the point isn't to beat people. The point is to run around with your friends and have fun."

Evan: "I know. I just have more fun when I'm beating people."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010


Two new entries on the wall calendar:

Dec. 30: "We leave Oregon."
Dec. 31: "Cry because I miss Aidan."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

drawer and remembrance

Today Sage insisted on wearing a new dress that her Omi had given her at Thanksgiving, "so that I can remember the remembrance of Omi."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

and a partridge in a pear tree

Today I looked at our wall calendar and noticed the following upcoming events, in Evan's handwriting:

Dec. 25: "Space Police vs. Power Miners"
Dec. 26: "Power Miners vs. Rock Monsters"
Dec. 27: "Shooting Ambush," "Badmiten Comptition."

mixed media

It's not at all uncommon to see my precocious son pull a huge, sophisticated tome off the shelf.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

who you gonna call?

Sage (running from the kitchen into the dining room): "I'm scared."

Eric: "What are you scared of?"

Sage: "Ghosts. In the kitchen."

Sonja: "Don't worry. Evan will protect you."

Evan (from the kitchen): "No I won't."

Sonja: "Yes you will, big brother. That's your job."

Evan: "What am I getting paid again?"

Eric: "Free food. Free housing. Free education. Free health benefits. Free clothes. Free toys."

Evan: "Okay, thanks."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

outtakes from the santa man-to-man

Eric: "Evan, do you remember when I explained to you about the Tooth Fairy?"

Evan: "I know where this is heading."


Eric: "Had you already figured that out?"

Evan: "I was suspicious. I was thinking of setting up a surveillance camera."

the cornucopia

Eric: "Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?"

Sage: "Yes."

Eric: "What was your favorite thing that you ate?"

Sage: "Pie, potatoes, and gum."

thanksgiving hospitality

And should you manage to gain entry...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

worthless pants

Sage just came clumping into my office and said, "Daddy, my pants won't get on!" I turned around and saw that she had put her shoes on first.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

at the toy store

Sonja: "Sage, what do you want for Christmas?"

Sage: "All the girl stuff."

And in case you were wondering, yes, the haircut is self-inflicted.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Evan's thoughts on education

Evan: "What's the hardest part of teaching?"

Eric: "It depends. Often it's the grading. But the teaching itself takes a lot of energy. It's kind of like putting on a show."

Evan: "Right. And sometimes you have to repeat the show, because your students weren't paying attention. They were obsessively texting their girlfriends."


Evan: "Daddy, do you think this is going to be the greatest battleship ever?"

Eric: "Evan, I'm just trying to finish grading one paper, and I need to be left alone."

Evan: "Well I'm just trying to build a battleship that will forever change you guys' lives."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

don't be a stranger

Sage: "Can we go to Bobo's for supper? It's right there!"

Eric: "Maybe, but it's early, and I'm not very hungry yet. Let's go home first."

Evan: "Yeah, let's go home. Hang out. Get to know each other."

sacred cow

Evan (discovering some long-lost toy under the couch): "Holy guacamole cow!"

Sage (rushing over): "Ooooh, let me see your guacamole cow."

Monday, November 15, 2010

take five

Sage (at dinner, accusatorially, and apropos of nothing): "Aren't you glad that I'm almost five?"

Eric: "Well, sure, Sage. I mean, you're four and a half, so I don't really think of you as almost five."

Sage: "Well I am almost five. So don't be a chipmunk."

miner's refrain

When I was a kid, Legos were little different-colored blocks that snapped together. We used them to build really squarish things, like flat-roofed houses and Volvos. Today Legos come in complicated, expensive "sets," from which kids can build things like Large Hadron Colliders and replicas of the Getty Museum. At the moment, Evan is obsessed with Lego Power Miners -- little Lego guys who use sophisticated drilling equipment to extract Lego gems from underground caverns while battling rock monsters. This morning I was awakened by Evan speaking at me -- not really to me -- about Power Miners: one continuous sentence that lasted about 10 minutes. Then he forced me to watch a 3-minute Power Miners promotional video on the computer. This afternoon, when Sonja and the kids picked me up from work, the conversation went as follows:

Eric: "How was everyone's day?"

Sonja: "Good!"

Evan: "Daddy, if you could only get one of the following two Power Miners sets, which one would it be? The Titanium Command Rig or the Crystal Sweeper?"

Eric: "Evan, I heard about Power Miners all morning. Then I didn't see you all day, and now I'm asking you how your day went, and you're going right back to talking about Power Miners. Can we talk about something else for a little while, please? So, how was your day?


Sage: "Power Miners!"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

parenting, for the most part, is very simple

Evan: "Daddy, Sage pulled her pants all the way down!"

Eric: "Sage, pull your pants up!"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Eric: "Are you comfy?"

Evan: "Yep."

Eric: "Nothing like snuggling into bed."

Evan: "Except snuggling into bed."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

the disorganized reaper

Tonight the kids put on a play about a young woman named Sheryl (Sage) who moves into a house that's haunted by Evan's Halloween costume on coat hanger.

The dialogue included what may have been the least terrifying death threat of all time: "I'll kill you with my scyyyyythe that I forgot in my caaaaaar."

paper airport

All Evan wants to do these days is build elaborate little models out of paper and tape. It's a hobby we will happily continue funding.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


"This is called duck tape. Because it's yellow, and so are ducks."

Monday, October 25, 2010

the big ask

Sage: "Do you want to give to UNICEF?"

Eric: "Absolutely."

Sage: "Okay. Give me all your money."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

literal north topeka

Evan: "That's true graffiti. That wall is solid."

soy sage

Eric: "Sage, don't drink your soy sauce -- it's so salty."

Sage: "I like salty things."

Eric: "I do too, but that's too salty to drink straight."

Sage: "I like too-salty things."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

men without hats

Evan (walking along with the top of an acorn on his head): "That would be funny if you were a really bad artist who couldn't make any money -- like, your paintings were really lame -- and you couldn't even afford a beret. And so you had to travel around looking for a giant acorn, so that you could wear its top as a beret. But you couldn't find one. And so you just had to keep putting the tops of regular-sized acorns on your head and trying to keep them from falling off."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

helpful hints

It's now 'H' week in Sage's class, and Evan is once again helping her brainstorm things that she could take in -- or do -- for Show & Share. His suggestions so far have included:

* acting "really hateful"
* wearing earplugs ("hard of hearing")
* going in with "horrible hair"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Halloween Boutique

Evan: "This place is creepy. And that's a compliment."

don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing

Highlights from today's post-soccer-game BBQ, which Evan declared "the awesomest party ever":

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

this feels like a setup

Sage: "I'm going to sing the breakup song to Boden. Because I'm breaking up with him."

Eric: "As I said, Sage, I'm afraid that's going to hurt Boden's feelings. He might not even know he's your boyfriend, and all of a sudden you're breaking up with him."

Sage: "He does know, because I told him today."

Eric: "You told him he was your boyfriend just so you could sing the breakup song to him tomorrow?"

Sage: "No, the day after tomorrow."

Monday, October 11, 2010

nothing but a G thing

Sage: "It's 'G' week at school."

Eric: "Okay. So we'll need to find something that starts with 'G' for you to take in on Friday."

Evan: "Grime!"

Eric: "Grime?"

Evan: "Or she could just take herself in: greedy."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"The S.S. Wilson"

Evan came into the kitchen and grabbed a pizza box and duct tape. An hour later: aircraft carrier.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Sage (unhappy about being told to clean the TV room): "Aaaaaannnnnhhhh!!!"

Evan: "Now that's a traditional temper tantrum."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

i got nothin'

Sorry the blog's been quiet recently. It's my memory that's failing, not Evan and Sage, who are as entertaining as ever. In lieu of a funny line, here's Evan loving the racetrack at a local hobby shop:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

through the looking glass

Our new kitten, Colin Crash-Landon Slappity-Joe Pickle McHenry (Pickle for short), is a dangerous combination of curious and clumsy. The other night Sonja had to rescue him, dripping, from a bathtub that hadn't been drained. This morning Evan put down the toilet lid and said, "Sorry, Pickle. Your magic portal has been closed off."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

rocket science

Sage: "What are those plastic things on your bottle rocket?"

Evan: "Fins."

Sage: "Oh. Like a shark has!"

Eric: "That's right. And they help the rocket in the same way they help the shark. They stabilize it. Right, Evan?"

Evan: "Right. And they give it character."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

can't think of a title for this one

This morning Sage referred to her ponytail as "my princess antenna."

payback time

Evan: "Ethan made up a great name for that team we played last week: the Rust Buckets. And I made up one for the team we played today: the Moldy Sheds."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

space cadet

Found on the wall at Topeka Collegiate. Looks like the second graders were asked to color their own space suits. I give you the galaxy's first Astro-SWAT:

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Evan: "Today while we were playing Bring on the Pain, I accidentally did the splits."

Eric: "You have a recess game called 'Bring on the Pain'?"

Evan: "Yeah. Trinity named it. It's really just dodgeball."

Eric: "Oh."

Evan: "It's not really painful. There aren't any ways to hurt yourself. Unless you accidentally do the splits. And I heard that Ananya wiped out on the blacktop. Actually, there's a variety of ways to hurt yourself playing it."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

no ideas but in things

Eric: "Pull your pants up, Evan. You don't want to be mooning people."

Evan: "What's 'mooning'?"

Eric: "Showing your bottom."

Evan: "Oh. Why do they call it 'mooning'? That's so abstract."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Orange Explorers

Sage was too shy to suggest her preferred name for the team -- the Orange Sparkle Ponies.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Sage: "I set up a trap for Evan, so that he won't mess up my stuff. It won't kill him."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

tax man

Sage: "Daddy, can you open my box of Nerds for me?"

Eric: "Sure." [Opens box.] "I'm just going to take a few for myself, okay?"

Sage: "Okay. Just a few."

Evan: "I'm glad I can open my own Nerds box, so I don't have to pay the Daddy Tax."

Friday, September 3, 2010

portrait of the artist as a young man

Evan is this month's featured young artist at Warehouse 414. His career retrospective opened tonight as part of the First Friday Art Walk.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

piano man

Evan: "Doesn't look good for this guy."

Monday, August 30, 2010

#11, Evan


(The Black Knights lost, by the way, 7-2. Now where was I? Oh yes: GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!!)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the most disgusting post that will ever appear on this blog

Sage: "What if I tooted in my own face?"

Evan: "You'd need a tube to do that."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Eric: "What lullaby would you like to hear?"

Sage: "I want to sing you a lullaby."

Eric: "Oh, good. What are my choices?"

Sage: "You can have 'ABCD,' 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' or 'I Hate Being an Alligator.'"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

thinking ahead

Evan: "When I die in like 30 years -- or, wait, in a long, long time, when I'm really old -- will you bury me King Tut-style?"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

it's hard being Evan

Evan: "I can do a pretty good impersonation of myself: Heeeyyyy. How's it goin'?"

Eric: "Actually, that doesn't sound like you at all."

Evan: "Yeah, you're right."

fire ants

"I got some more pepper for my ant traps. Remember the ant traps I invented? They kill ants by giving them heartburn."

Monday, August 16, 2010

cold case

Eric: "The 'service' light on our refrigerator seems to start flashing every few weeks."

Evan: "Maybe it has some sort of refrigerator virus. They're highly dangerous [wiggles fingers menacingly]. That's why they won't let you take refrigerators on airplanes."

we'll cross the rats-deserving-to-have-"duh"-said-to-them bridge when we get to it

Sage: "Have you seen 'Colly the Plant Murderer'?"

Eric: "No, I haven't. Did you just make that up?"

Sage: "Yeah. Duh."

Eric: "Don't say 'duh'! That's not nice."

Sage: "Can I say it to a bully?"

Eric: "No. Don't say 'duh' to anybody."

Sage: "Can I say it to rats?"

Eric: "No. Rats never did anything to you."

Sage: "What if they do?"

Eric: "And that's the end of this conversation."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

where does the time go?

Sage is so advanced, she may have achieved something like premature immaturity. She knows how to scoff and toss her hair dismissively. She now has twin career goals — to be a rock star and a cheerleader. And she's started carrying around a little black purse (an old binoculars case, actually) full of headbands, combs, sunglasses, etc., which she calls "my teenager bag." Maybe by the time she's 15 she'll be acting like an adult. Yes, that's definitely what's going to happen.

Friday, August 13, 2010

on the ball

I saw last night that our friend Todd, who is Evan's soccer coach, had posted this as his Facebook status:

"Trying to provide an example situation to my soccer team full of 8-year-olds, I put the ball down and say, 'So, let's say the ball is right here.' And Evan, a very clever 8-year-old, exclaims, 'The ball IS right there!!' I walked right into that one..."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

no, it wouldn't make any more sense if i provided the context

Evan: "How do my armpits look?"

Sage: "Rockin'."

yes ma'am

Sage: "Daddy, do you want to see all the princesses I made?"

Eric (distracted by internet): "Sure... sweetie... just a second."

Sage: "Well STEP ON UP!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

i've heard of that

Evan: "Kassy and I are playing a new game. It's called American Idiot."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

this year's model

Sage and Rishi in a new TCS mailer:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

the hawt of the matter

We always thought it was a little strange (and hilarious) that Sage had suggested the title "Hot Love" for the play she, Evan, and Lily put on last winter. Well, today she revealed that the name she'd actually proposed was "Heart Love." And I believe her, because she still pronounces her r's as w's. Mystery solved.

Monday, August 2, 2010

the soundtrack of our lives

Sonja and I were discussing possible names for our two new cats.

Eric: "I like Eli quite a bit."

Sonja: "Yeah."

Eric: "The problem is that it reminds me of 'There Will Be Blood,' and that's not a very pleasant association."

Sonja: "True."

Sage (singing cheerfully): "There wiiilllll be blood! There wiiilllll be blood! There wiiilllll be blood!"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

i wonder what the record was for

Evan: "What's the Naked Wheelie?"

Eric: "What?"

Evan: "The Naked Wheelie."

Eric: "I have no idea. Where did you hear about it?"

Evan: "In the Guinness Book of World Records. I think it's a big parade where people cover themselves in body paint and ride around on bicycles."

Sonja: "Oh, like the solstice parade. That was something they did in Seattle. I don't think they have one of those in Topeka."

Evan: "What's a solstice parade?"

Sonja: "That's people celebrating the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, like ancient people did."

Evan: "By riding around naked on bicycles?"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

this actually happened

I had some trouble helping Sage get dressed, because I didn't do a good enough job of convincing her that she had actually picked out the matching clothes I'd picked out for her.

Sage: "It's my day today, so we're going to do what I want."

Eric: "Whoa! I, me, mine."

Sage: "I'm not being mean."

Eric: "No, you're not being mean, but you are acting a little self-centered."

Sage: "I'm not acting self-centered!"

She then put on her princess tiara and stomped out of the room.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This evening Evan noticed that the top of a large acorn looked a lot like a tiny beret. "If I find a squirrel who likes to paint, I'm going to put this on him," he said.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

right again

Eric: "Sage, do you remember what makes a monkey different from an ape?"

Sage: "It has a different name."

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Evan: "I'm going across the street to see if Nathan wants to come over and play."

Eric: "Okay."

Evan: "If I don't come back, I've either been abducted by aliens or Nathan's invited me to play over there."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

the seafood lover in you

Sonja: "Did you know that Evan said he loves his toy stuffed lobster as much as he loves me?"

Eric: "Evan, that's a terrible thing to say to your mother, who made you with her body. Can you rephrase that, please?"

Evan: "Okay, I love my lobster almost as much as I love you."

Sonja: "Maybe you'd better just start over tomorrow."

Evan: "Okay. I love my lobster a lot, but not as much as I love you, Mommy. No offense, Lobster."


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

mussel beach

"I made a cake."

Friday, June 18, 2010


Here are Evan and Sage sharing a Coke at the Steamboat Springs Rodeo:

Evan had the pen because he was working on his newest comic strip, "Porcupine Get Out of My House" (concept/title suggested by Sage):

another shopworn simile

Evan: "My pinky toe sort of lies on its side."

Eric: "Mine too."

Evan: "It's like the bad boy in the band photo, turning its back on the other members."

Thursday, June 17, 2010


When you violate the laws of this land, Evan points out, you sicken the American eagle. Thus: ill-eagle.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

silly party

Yesterday, Evan and I enjoyed a game of rock-paper-scissors-spider-gun-steamroller-professional wrestler-clam-shark-sniper. I think we both lost.

the difference between kid #1 and kid #2

Evan (age 4): "Daddy, is this a waterproof band-aid?"

Eric: "I have no idea, Evan. I'm sure it'll be all right in the pool. But I can check on the box and see."


Sage: "Daddy, is this a waterproof band-aid?"

Eric: "Yes."

Monday, June 14, 2010

watching "the karate kid"

Sage: "I need to work out."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

many hands make light work

Sonja: "Evan, finish picking up your room!"

Evan: "I'm finished!"

Sonja: "No you're not, Evan. I need you to pick up all the little stuff on the floor so I can vacuum."

Evan: "The vacuum will suck up that stuff."

Sonja: "It won't suck up rocks!"

Evan: "Well Sage isn't helping at all."

Sonja: "Why don't you give her some direction?"

Evan: "Sage, here's your direction: clean the room."

Sonja: "You both need to get busy cleaning."

Evan: "I wish I were an octopus."

Sage (singing enthusiastically): "I'm an octopus who doesn't like to clean, doesn't like to clean, doesn't like to clean!"

the tooth will out

Sage: "Do you know where my sweet tooth is?"

Eric: "No."

Sage (points to left front tooth): "It's right here."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

stage fright

I type this during an intermission (or perhaps an armistice) in the most violent play I've ever seen. It's being staged by Evan, Sage and Evan's friend Gaby. I have no idea what it's called or what it's about -- there's been very little dialogue, just lots and lots of stabbing. Along with the knife, there's a magic wand, but it's being used exclusively to hit people, and also something called "the explodinator."

rain men

Evan: "One time when we were in Oregon and it was raining really hard, my cousin Aidan and I went outside in our underwear and played soccer."

Gaby: "Ew. Gross."

Evan: "I think it's more crazy than gross."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Sage: "Daaadddy! Evan told me I was a meanie!"

Evan: "Well she isn't giving me..."

Eric: "Listen, listen, you guys need to be nice to each other and share and stop arguing about little things that don't matter."

Evan: "Well Sage isn't being nice to me!"

Eric: "Well you can take the first step."

Evan: "Okay, I'll be the nice one and Sage will be the mean one."

Eric: "Saying it that way is not taking the first step."

Sage: "No, I'm going to take the first step."

Evan: "No I am."

Sage: "No I am!"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

the living is easy

Evan enjoying his cherry freeze:

Sage enjoying her retirement:


Evan: "Here's Golem being nice: 'You rocks.'"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

just asking

Sage: "Daddy, what if I helped you with the laundry?"

Eric: "Oh sweetie, I can handle the laundry. You can go play. But that's very nice of you to offer to help."

Sage: "I wasn't offering to help."

*This is my 500th post, by the way.

Monday, May 31, 2010

that would be something

Evan: "What if a plane ran out of gas right over the Space Needle and fell on it, and the needle part poked through the plane, but then someone came along and put gas in the plane again, and it flew away, but it took the saucer part of the Space Needle with it, and it was all lit up, and everyone thought it was a flying saucer?"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

the sun'll come out...

Evan: "I have an injury on my thumb, and one on my knee. This has kind of been injury day for me."

Eric: "I'm sorry, buddy. How did you get all these injuries?

Evan: "Just bad luck. Tomorrow I'll have no-injury day. Because of karma."

rf mph

Evan: "Daddy!"

Eric: "What?"

Evan: "Did you know that my bike can go from zero to really fast in 14 seconds?"

daddy, i presume

Eric (singing a lullaby): "Daddy was a little baby boy, long time ago..."

Sage: "Am I in this song?"

Eric: "Nope, just Mommy and Daddy."

Sage: "How did the writer know your names?"

Saturday, May 29, 2010

come as you are

Eric: "Let me wipe your mouth off, Sage."

Sage: "No! I don't need it wiped off!"

Eric: "Don't you want to look pretty for the party?"

Sage: "I am looking pretty!"

Monday, May 24, 2010

he knows how this movie ends

Sonja (leaning in the car window): "I'd better stay at work until 7 or so. I can get a ride home."

Eric: "Okay."

Sonja: "There's leftover risotto in the fridge. You can heat that up for supper. And there's salad."

Eric: "Okay."

Sonja: "See you later."

Eric (rolling up the car window): "See you later."

Evan: "We're free to order a pizza."

the chicken whisperer

Sunday, May 23, 2010

catch of the day

I come from a family that tends to demand documentary evidence to back up all fish stories. So...

Evan's bass:

Sage's crappie:

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Evan: "I found a rock in the yard that looks kind of like poop, and I can draw with it."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

blush and bashful

Sorting clean laundry. Yep, that's eleven pink socks, each one unique and special in its own way, like a snowflake.

that answers that

Eric: "Sage, why are you naked from the waist down?"

Sage (rolling around on the floor): "I'm Supergirl Who Always Likes To Roll On The Ground With No Pants On Her."

wish you were here