What I Said

I’ve been remiss in sharing stories about the kids in my family, even though my sister
J has sent along a passel of awesome anecdotes with her permission to post them.

As visitors here may recall, I only refer to my nieces by the initials E and M for privacy’s sake — but I call my nephew Ishmael because his initial happens to be the same as a personal pronoun that I have now used three times in this sentence alone. Me talking about “I” could be confusing.

Zooming towards four years old, Ishmael’s likes include Buzz Lightyear, superheroes, his mommy’s lap, building things, and knocking things down. His dislikes include being told what to do.

He still loves to play with his older sisters, but his relationship with them is no longer just extremes of jealousy and idolatry. Couple these more complex interactions with the first stirrings of independence from his parents, and you get situations like him approaching my sister recently to say “Don’t go into my room.”

Any parent of a small child who hears that naturally thinks (1) “Um... I’m going into your room,” and (2) “You know, I probably wouldn’t have been suspicious if you hadn’t told me not to go into your room, so thanks for that.”

My sister goes into his room and doesn’t see anything out of place, but she does know where he likes to stash treasured objects. She opens it up and sees a trinket belonging to one of his sisters. “Wow!” says Ishmael, who is shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on at Rick’s Café Américain. “M probably wants that back!”

Sometimes the hardest thing about being a grown-up is not letting the kids see you laugh when you’re supposed to be mad.

Related: E Mail I Elephants A Walk in
the Park
An M and E Post I before Zzzzz


  1. Ha! I love it - the concern, the surprise, the want to make it right! It's fascinating to watch humans develop their social functions, their clever ways to get in and out of trouble.

  2. This reminds me of my youngest brother (10 years my junior). He used to sidle into the room and nonchalantly say, “You don’t need to look in the other room.” Busted! Subtlety and cleverness are usually slow to develop.

    Joan! Hiya! Lately I’ve been enjoying reading through the archives of your blog, “Things I Yell at You”. Only, today I couldn’t find it. Just some annoying message saying that the blog I was looking for doesn’t exist. Say it isn’t so! You didn’t burn down your wonderful blog, did you? If it’s true, and you found it necessary to simplify your life, I’ll just say that I discovered it late but became a huge fan, and thanks for sharing and being so everlastingly funny!

  3. Hi, Marebabe! Aw, I'm really happy you liked my blog :D
    Sadly, someone sabotaged it and infected it with some manner of devilry. So I burnt the sucker down. Which I guess is sort of like setting your car on fire as you catch someone trying to steal it... slightly crazy but cathartic*!
    Apparently my blog was infecting other people as well and if my work is to spread misery, it'll be on my terms only ;)
    In truth, I hadn't posted anything worth reading in a year (at least) and was ready to let it go. Who knows, maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to start blogging again (and back up my work this time...)?
    I have decided it was an exercise in letting-go, like those sand paintings the Hopi make and then blow away**.

    *In an insane-person kind of way

    **Except their work is good and takes actual skill

  4. You’re right. It is “sadly”. But I’ll just say again, THANKS! Your blog was great fun. I’m glad to know that I’ll still see you in the comments of some of the blogs I visit. And if you ever get into Facebook, do think of me. I would love to get to know you as a Facebook friend. (You too, Mr. Blam!) My email address is Marebabe1@aol.com. *waving* See ya around! :)


  5. @Marebabe: I'm glad posting here worked for you this time around. Thanks again for the kind words about my grandfather... Whenever I finally get on Facebook, I'll try to remember to drop you a line. 8^)

    @Joanie: Noooooooooo! I can't believe that your blog is gone. You know, I've been at least half-expecting the vandals who sabotaged my blog the past couple of Aprils (with plenty of smaller strikes in between) to hit me again; I hope like heck that they didn't turn their attention to my blog buddies instead, because I'd feel terrible beyond measure at being somehow responsible for such a thing. The world is a better place when you're sharing what's on your absinthe-riddled mind.

  6. Ooooh! Trip to the dictionary. “Absinthe: a green liqueur made from brandy with wormwood and other herbs.” Me: “Ewww!” (I dunno. Green beverages and wormwood just sound yucky to me this afternoon.)


  7. The real, original version of absinthe was reported not only to be psychotropic but to literally eat away at one's brain. So I just assumed that Joan enjoyed it regularly.

  8. I’m reminded of an old saying: “It may taste like s***, but it gets ya there!”