Archive for April, 2011

Nariah says… #31

Posted: April 29, 2011 in Comedy, Nariah

Nariah was talking on the speaker phone to grandma and granddad tonight and wanted to play make believe. The topic was about being on a ship and mermaids. I’m putting away her clothes and listening to her and all of a sudden she breaks out into a song about mermaids. My first instinct is “oh cool, a new song!”
Here’s what followed:

Here comes a mermaid… swimming in the sea
here comes a shark… and eats up the mermaid
here comes another mermaid swimming in the sea
here comes the shark again, and eats up the mermaid…

I’m feeling a nervous silence over the phone and think to myself what a violent song this is. So I try to jump in for damage control.
Umm, Nariah, is this a new song you learned?
Its a new song, I’m making it up now…
Oh… Well why are the sharks eating up the mermaids?
Nariah looks at me sideways as if to say, “Helloooooooooooo” and says:
Because that’s what sharks do!

Helloooooooooo, I guess I don’t need to question her anymore.

Nariah says… #30

Posted: April 29, 2011 in Comedy, Nariah

Its Friday and I get Nariah to daycare just in time for the kids to go outside to the playground. As I put away Nariah’s belongings, one of her classmates come up to me as says “I brought a necklace today, wanna see?”. After replying in the affirmative and watching her run over to the “show and share” basket it hits me.
Oh shoot!
What’s wrong daddy?
Today’s Friday, and we forgot to bring something for show and share. Is the letter of the week ‘N’? Maybe I can catch mommy before she leaves the house and see if she can bring something in on her way to work.
Ok daddy. Ooh, maybe I have something on my shirt that starts with ‘N’?” and she starts to look at her shirt which just has a rainbow on it.
“Hmmm, I don’t think we have anything on that shirt boo
Nariah sighs and then lets out a big gasp. Queue gasp –> “Gasp!
What Nariah?
I know I know!!! I’ve got it daddy! Me!!!” she exclaims with the most gleeful look on her face.
You?
Yeah daddy! Nariah starts with ‘N’! I can show myself for show and share!

Now I’m pretty positive if I had mentioned her, she wouldn’t have liked that idea, but to see her get all excited about using herself and coming up with it herself was priceless.

Nariah says… #29

Posted: April 23, 2011 in Comedy, Nariah

All children participate in role-play. Nariah is of no exception. Today she wants to be a doctor and 4 of her stuffed animals are patients. Since I’m in the kitchen preparing some collards and kale, I can’t be her next patient, but she wants to give me a check up while i’m cleaning the greens. I agree as long as she can do it while I’m standing at the sink. So far I have a fever because my back is hot according to her. She’s going to fix it but first she needs to look at my eyes and ears.  After using that ear looker thingy (no, I don’t know what its called), she says,
Oh no! Princess Tiana poured juice all inside of your ear!“.
No wonder, I haven’t been able to hear out of my right ear all these years, it was juice! Next, my eye exam, she peers into my eyes with her flashlight.
My… your eyes are warm! Even I don’t know what to do with this!“.
I have warm eyes. LOL.
Next is Toya’s checkup. This turns into a pregnancy checkup as she’s checking the baby for movements and stuff. Nariah seems to be an all inclusive doctor as she fixes people, pets, bugs, stuffed animals, and now, babies in the womb. All of a sudden, Nariah pulls out the syringe and gives Toya  a shot right on the belly.

What was that for? Did you just give the baby a shot?
Yes, this is going to make the baby more interesting…

Make the baby more interesting? Where in the world does she come up with this stuff?

Nariah says… #28

Posted: April 22, 2011 in Comedy, Nariah

We’ve just finished a movie and lunch for Nariah’s spring break Friday. Its raining pretty good outside so I tell the girls to wait inside California Pizza Kitchen while I go get the car out of the garage and bring it to the front door.

When I get back to the restaurant and pick them up, Toya tells me how Nariah has this vivid imagination.
While you were gone to pick up the car, Nariah pulls out her toy phone and tells me she’s gonna play a game on it. This is her regular $2 toy phone mind you. The conversation went like this…

I’m going to play a game while we wait for daddy ok mommy? Wanna see it?
Sure, what are you playing?
Oh… Angry Dolphins.
Angry Dolphins?
Yeah, Angry Dolphins. You see, the dolphins are mad that these turtles came and took their baby dolphins. So you have to put them in this slingshot and have them knock down the turtles to get their babies back!

All I could do was sit there with my mouth open like “woooooooooooow
So you mean you didn’t bring up Angry Birds at all?
Nope, I never mentioned it. She did all this by herself
Man that’s pretty impressive considering I only let her play a couple of times and the last time had to have been at least 3 months ago

I don’t know how I’m going to keep up with this child.

Nariah says… #27

Posted: April 21, 2011 in Family, Nariah

Spring Break…
Its here and I wake up this morning for work as normal. Nariah is in our bed, I vaguely remember her coming in our room sometime earlier. Toya’s downstairs working from home. I roll over and start to wake Nariah up and then I remember, “Oh yeah, it’s spring break, I guess I should let her sleep in“. I tuck her back in, and start getting ready for work, the whole while grumbling to myself, “Why can’t I have spring break too? hmmph.

Fast forward, I’m funky fresh dressed to impress, ready to party, I mean work. I give Nariah a kiss on her cheek and whisper “Have an awesome spring break day with Mommy, I love you”. She jumps up a little startled and replies in a sleepy but surprisingly coherent fashion, “Good mooooooooorning daddy, have a great day at work!
Why thankyou baby, I will!
I hope nobody does mean things to you today
Awww, I’m sure they won’t boo
Nariah yawns and stretches, “Well if they do, just walk away ok?
Walk away, got it
And don’t forget to tell your teacher, I mean boss ok?
Yes ma’am, you got it!

Man, this child is wonderful! Love it!

Daddy on “Teasing”

Posted: April 16, 2011 in Fatherhood

Daddy, ______ teased me today

There it is. One of the situations you know every child goes through, but yet still catches you off guard when it happens to your child. Nariah has talked to us about teasing at school on several occasions, but for some reason, this time it just felt different. Maybe it feels different each time, but this time the discussion had a definitely different and heartwarming outcome.

Nariah is I guess what you would call an introvert extrovert (I’ve been told recently I am an extrovert extrovert). She’s a bit stand-offish upon first meeting you or even when just re-acquainting herself with you. But in a little while, she’s Miss Entertainer. There aren’t many black children in her daycare, so we’ve had the “different hair” and the skin color teasing. With some interesting timing, this Sesame Street song “I Love My Hair” came out around that time which really helped out with her accepting her hair being different. She has always been the tallest in her classes, even taller than the boys (I’m pretty sure she gets that from her mama’s side of the family) so I am certain that she’s in store for numerous height jokes. And she seems to be everybody’s best friend in class, which you would think would be a good thing. But who knew pre-school was just like high school with the cliques? Just that these cliques have snotty noses, Legos and grumpy naptimes.

So what do we tell Nariah? What we think any parent would say. We tell her to use her height to her advantage, take a chair, and knock out an apology… or tooth… whichever comes first. OK…OK…OK… So we didn’t tell her to do that. But for some reason, this conversation seemed to have more brutal honesty than normal. I mean you have the usual (or at least what we think is usual) talk about standing up for yourself, telling the teasers you don’t like what they are doing, removing yourself from the situation and playing with someone else, telling the teacher if it continues, etc… This conversation seemed to have more foreshadowing quality to it instead. I told Nariah that she probably will get teased about her height and about being smart and pretty much about anything that she has or does that is different than other people and what they do. Then I told her that even Daddy was teased when he was little. Her reaction was kind of funny, pretty much a “Noooooooooooo, get out of here!!!!!” type reaction. I asked her did she know any other kids that wear a hearing aid like I do, and she answered with a “No“. She seemed so concerned when I told her that it was similar when I was little, not too many kids wore hearing aids either and that I was teased a lot about that. She smiled a little bit though when I told her kids called me bigfoot and other names since I wore size 15 shoes in the 7th grade. I had plenty of ammunition to give for teases.

So this is where the conversation really became different from our normal “Parent – Child” talks. The “concern ownership” shifted from parent to child.
Daddy, who teased you? What were their names?
Their names? Oh baby they were just classmates from elementary on through high school
But what are their names? I want to know” and she starts to develop a serious face.
So I rattle off a few names to her.
Those aren’t any of the names you told me earlier today!
Nariah had asked me who some of my friends were in college while we were on the way home from daycare earlier and I told her a good 12-15 names.
After chuckling a bit, “No baby, those were people in college, they didn’t tease me like people did in elementary school and stuff

A little while later Toya comes up stairs and joins in on the conversation. A good five minutes into this extended conversation, Nariah leans over to me and gives me the most heartfelt warmest hug ever and says “I don’t want them to tease you daddy“. Really caught me by surprise. A true role reversal experience.
Daddy’s actually ok baby! Look at me, I’m happy, I have a wonderful wife, an awesome daughter. People can tease me now if they want to but it doesn’t effect me, because I’m happy with myself and what I’ve done.
Then came another heartfelt hug followed with “But I still don’t want people to tease you daddy” and she kind of starts to have the voice crack when you’re at the almost about to cry phase. She was really concerned and sad that people had teased me. Now I really started to understand how teasing hurts Nariah’s feelings and how she truly cares about other people’s feelings too.

I really do think she’s going to do alright with handling teasing and other issues all children deal with. I just wasn’t ready for that hug. It was unexpected and really meant a lot. I am now confidently certain that Nariah will not ship us off to a nursing home way out in Montana or somewhere when we get old and gray. (Not that anything is wrong with Montana for those of you that are from there or live there, just that we don’t know anybody in Montana).

Nariah says… #26

Posted: April 13, 2011 in Comedy, Nariah

Nighttime prayers. A time of reflection with the family and also a time for your children to get out any last bits of questions, comments, and silly bones out of their bodies so they can wind down for sleepy time. As on any other night, I lean over to kiss her after we finish talking and she kinda scootches back.
Daddy, you didn’t brush your teeth!
Huh?
You breathed on me!
No, I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet, but now we’re at the age where I guess children are vocal with their honesty. Toya finds it extremely funny for some reason and keeps laughing. I’m a little speechless because basically my child just told me my breath was funky. In an effort to make me feel better, Toya tells me about how Nariah has been doing this lately and how just the other night Nariah had said :
Mommy you breathed on me… and something smells!
Oh I’m sorry Nariah, Mommy had a lot of garlic tonight
No mommy, every night you breathe on me and something smells

Now I’m laughing at Toya. And also, now I’m free game to tell Nariah when she wakes us up in the middle of the night that she breathed on me and something really really smells!

Nariah says… #25

Posted: April 12, 2011 in Comedy, Nariah

Saturday morning I awake from my slumber. Its a little late in the morning, the bedroom’s empty, and the smell of breakfast fills the air. Mmmmm. As I make my way downstairs and see the girls in semi-nap mode watching TV, I start to realize that the breakfast smell must’ve been from awhile ago, as it doesn’t seem like it was “just prepared” as my nose led me to believe. So I make my way into the kitchen and see pancakes, eggs, sausage, and strawberries all done up nicely like. As I grab my plate, i’m startled because Nariah comes careening into the room.

Daddy! Daddy!
What’s wrong baby?
Mommy made pancakes!!!
I see! I’m going to get a couple! Were they good?
Daddy, Mommy made those pancakes with cornbread in them!
Nariah puts both hands on her head, bends over, and starts shaking slightly like she just caught a bad headache. With her head still down she says:
It…It…It freaked me out!!!!  It really freaked me out daddy!  She put cornbread in them!
Hahahaha, they freaked you out? So they weren’t good?
Nariah looks up at me smiling…
Daddy, they were goooooooooooooooooooooood!
And she runs back to the living room, leaving me standing there wondering if I had just participated in a cornbread pancake commercial or something.


Parenthood. Its a neverending course in life. You never seem to graduate and no one never really shows you the syllabus nor tells you what the prerequisites are. Learning over your mistakes is definitely an humbling experience… especially when they are humorous.

I know my wife and I aren’t the first and we are certainly not going to be the last parents to use code when talking around children.Whether its about Santa’s gifts status or the surprise vacation, there is a need to communicate with the the other parent, when more often times than not, kids will be around. I feel we have a smart child. I would like to think everyone will say the same thing about their children. But its amazing how some unconscious sense of arrogance can have you fail at this chapter in parenthood. I mean we are adults, they are children. Sooooooo, naturally we’re smarter right? What can a 4 year old really know about code words right? I understand that the human brain is a supercomputer and that children this age are information sponges… But to really think that we have to change how we talk so often is quite impressive.

Some parents may use Pig-Latin, “Ix-nay on the essert-day“, which is kind of funny in itself as we often struggle so much in trying to make sure we code it right that we mess it up more often than get it right. My wife and her sister developed their own version of Pig-Latin they used as children to talk code around their parents, and they are fluent with it. I mean it sounds like they are talking another language, and fast too! She tried to teach me, and I understand the concept, but I feel like I just took one course of Spanish 101 and was then set in front of a Spanish TV channel’s news show and instructed to decipher what they are saying. Total confusion.

Spelling, for a while this seems to be an easy method to communicating. This can also make you feel somewhat stupid when your spouse says “C-A-K-E” and you’re muttering to yourself “C……A….. what did she say?  J???? K???? E???  What in the world did she spell?“. The whole time your spouse is looking at you with a “Really? Is my husband that dumb he can’t spell ‘cake’?” look. Undue pressure. But spelling works, until you find out your child can spell better than you thought they could.

As with any typical weekend morning, we usually wake up to Nariah coming in our room or either already sleeping in our bed from quietly sneaking in. This particular morning Nariah has just come in to wake us up. Toya didn’t feel like cooking breakfast and was expressing that she was hungry, as in right now. I was indifferent as to whether cook or go out to eat. Toya says to me “Makes me wish W-A-F-F-L-E  H-O-U-S-E was closer to our house“. Nariah perks up her head from the bed and yells “WAFFLE HOUSE??!?!!??!!?!?!?
How did you guess that Nariah?
Because I know how to spell ‘waffle’ and I know its not close to our house.

So now we’re sitting there dumbfounded, both thinking “When did she learn how to spell waffle?” It’s a mixture of “Cool, she can spell waffle” with “Oh man, now what do we do?“. The next stage in this progression came the same day during prayers at night. After prayers, Toya mentioned something to me and spelled the main word backwards. She started laughing almost immediately while I looked at her in a crazy way, thinking “Did she realize she just spelled that backwards?“. She informed me that she did indeed had to start spelling words backwards. And what does Miss Nariah do?

I can spell backwards!
You can spell backwards Nariah?
Yep! Wanna see? I’ll spell my name.
OK, go for it!
The whole time I’m thinking “Yeah right, this should be cute” and I start to wonder what letters she’s gonna come up with.
H….A…..I…..ummm ummmm…R……A……N
WOOOOW Nariah!” we both exclaim.
Have you done this before at school?
No, they don’t do this at school, but I can spell backwards

Now this child is giggling and excited and we are too as we give her high fives and cheers. She is enjoying every minute of it. Then reality sets in. We have to figure out yet another way to talk around her. Some things in life they really need to give you a guidebook or CliffNotes for. We only have a few days before Easter to come up with our next level of code words.

Nariah says… #24

Posted: April 10, 2011 in Comedy, Nariah

Its an “as normal as you can get it” evening after work one day and I’m laying on the living room floor with Nariah going over flash cards as we learn to spell some words. Toya comes in the living room with some ground beef that we had taken out earlier to thaw in the fridge and asks me to smell it. I didn’t say anything out loud but I’m sure my face did. As if a teleprompter lit up for Nariah to speak on cue, she says :
I think that that meat is extinct!

Now I’ve never used that term for food, but that was a valid time to use it!