Jeffrey Quote: Song

As we were about to sit down for piano practice this morning . . .

JEFF:  Mom!  I need to tell you something.

ME: Now is not the best time.

JEFF: But I want to tell you something — IN SONG!

ME: [considering potential hilarity]: Okay, what did you need to tell me?

JEFF: [leaning in and staring intensely]: Mom, I think I have discovered a song that will conquer Gangnam Style and make us famous and wealthy!

ME: Well, okay, what’s the song?

JEFF: [beatboxes furiously]

JEFF: What do you think?  Is it catchy?

ME: [heroically not cracking up]: I think I need to hear it again.

JEFF: [beatboxes with as much energy as he can muster]

ME: Yeah, that’s pretty memorable.

JEFF: Now all we need is to make a video with William and Katie acting all crazy!  And put it on the Internet!

Geez, get-rich-quick schemes have changed quite a bit since I was a kid.

Not-So-Urban Legends

Sometimes the things Jeffrey says requires a bit of digging to understand.

JEFF: “I need a notebook that flips around!  So I can keep track of the birds!”  STATUS: True.  Turns out he had a field trip to a bird refuge.

JEFF: “We need to collect our recycling so I can write an opera!”  STATUS: True.  The third grade is, indeed, writing an opera about recycling.

JEFF: “I need to go on a garbage hunt.  In the roundabout.”  STATUS: Unconfirmed.  Perhaps this is a Cub Scout project that we are unaware of?

JEFF: “I’m going to need glasses.  Camo glasses.”  STATUS: False.  Jeff does not need glasses.  I’m not even sure that camo-print frames exist.

JEFF [at 5:45 this morning]: “I need to go on a night garbage hunt! In the roundabout!”  STATUS: False.  Also, whaaat??

Twinkle Lights & Vampires

There are days when I have said that I would give anything for a paper printout of whatever is going on in Jeffrey’s mind.  This past Tuesday was definitely one of those moments.

We had decided to go down to Temple Square and see the Christmas lights while the weather was still warm.  In the car the kids excitedly pointed out all the decorations we saw along the way.

ELEANOR: I see a reindeer!

WILLIAM: I see a snowman!


And Jeffrey continued to see vampires everywhere.

JEFF:  Look!  There’s another vampire, walking along that sidewalk.  Another one by that store!

JEFF:  Aaaah!  A vampire going into a house!

Eventually, our logical daughter could take no more.

ELLA: Jeffrey, I don’t think you can see vampires.  Vampires are not real.

WILLIAM (aka “Eleanor’s Shadow”): Yeah, vampwires are not weal!

JEFF:  Yes they are!

ELLA: No they aren’t!

JEFF: Yes they are!

ELLA: No they aren’t!

JEFFREY (beginning to lose his patience): Okay, FINE!  We’ll take a POLL!  [shouting] ARE VAMPIRES REAL?




ME: No.


ME: But . . . um, sometimes it’s fun to pretend that vampires are real.

JEFFREY (instantly happy again):  Oh, look!  There’s another vampire walking by that Christmas tree!

ELEANOR: [sighs in disgust]

ME: So, Jeffrey, why are you seeing so many vampires, anyway?

JEFFREY: Well, at Christmas time, there are lots of family reunions.  And when there are family reunions, then there are always lots of vampires around.

Well, of course! Because every extended family has at least one vampire, right?

This level of enigmatic Jeffrey-speak may conquer the current champion — the evening Jeffrey was reduced to tears because we wouldn’t let him have two plates at dinnertime, one for his main food and one for the side dish.  If it’s called a side dish, he insisted, then there should be two dishes side-by-side!  (There was no way I was setting a precedent for that.)

Just for the record, he forgot all about vampires by the time we got to Temple Square.  Instead, he wanted to know why none of the various nativity scenes around the square featured a big star.  No poll-taking was involved.

My Natural State

Here’s a cute story about Jeffrey from our vacation:

At the end of one of our marathon Disneyland days, the kids were tucked into their bed, and I sat on the edge of mine, relaxing in my pajamas and brushing out my hair.  Jeffrey hadn’t quite dozed off yet, and sat up to talk to me.

“Mom,” he said, “you look like you are in your natural state.”

Couldn’t help but smile at his choice of words.

“What’s my ‘natural state’?” I asked.

“Well, it’s when you have your glasses on instead of your contacts,” he explained, “and when your hair is hanging down low on your shoulders.”

He hopped out of bed and came next to me, and put one hand on my cheek.

“In your natural state, your smile makes your face pretty and soft,” he continued, then slipped into my lap.  “And you are cuddling a boy.”

Ah-ha!  Leave it to Jeffrey to smother me with enough compliments that I don’t notice him sneaking in a few more hugs and kisses before bedtime!  Gosh, I love that kid.

Reports from the School Front

Jeffrey and Eleanor never talk about what they do at school, at least not voluntarily.  The most we can eke out of them is through very specific questions about something they find exciting.  Recently we asked Jeffrey what games he plays with his friends at recess, and found that he and the other boys spend much of their playtime running away from a “Kissing Girl.”

A kissing girl!  One of society’s oldest recess traditions!  I was briefly a kissing girl in second grade, myself.  It is oddly reassuring to know that this bizarre childhood game is still alive and well.

However, at other times Jeff or Ella will, all on their own, blurt out some random piece of information pertaining to a recent school lesson, leaving me rather mystified.  Figuring out the context is everything.

Jeffrey: “Mom, I want to learn the kind of fighting that Kung Fu Panda does, only it’s not called ‘Kung Fu,’ but something else.”  Source?  A unit on Korea that included a video of Tae Kwon Do. 

Since then, Jeff has been constantly talking about this martial art whose name he can never remember except as “Kung Fu but not Kung Fu.”  Which sounds like some cockamamie “technique of no technique” that sprung from the universe of Mortal Kombat.

Eleanor: “Mom, another word for a cape is cloak.”  Source?  Reading “Little Red Riding Hood” in preschool.

Jeffrey (while cuddling on my lap): “Mom, can you feel me with your sensors?” 

Uh . . .

“Yeah, like your tongue.  Go ahead and taste me.” 


Source?  Learning about the five senses as part of science class.

Career Paths

Tonight at bedtime I read stories to Jeffrey while Brian read stories to William.  (Eleanor was already down in bed with the flu.)  For some reason, William was not keen on the idea of stories from Brian tonight, and kicked up a great big noisy fuss.

Jeffrey, on hearing the various screams coming from William’s room, simply shook his head.

“You know what?  Daddy should have been a dentist instead of a doctor.”

Oh?  Why was that?

“If he was a dentist, then he would be able to help Wimmy with his screaming.” 

Pressed for details, Jeffrey furrowed his brow in concentration, and tried to explain.  “Daddy should be a dentist because the screams are coming from William’s mouth.”

Well.  That’s simply logic, that is.  If only I had known before now that a toddler’s screams could be mollified by a dentist!

“Yeah, Daddy should have gone down the dentist trail instead of the doctor trail,” he concluded with the kind of sage nod of the head that is wonderfully hilarious on a person wearing Spider Man pajamas.

Pre-Snooze Chat

The only times that Eleanor ever gets out of bed after lights-out is when she needs to complain about how Brian and I are making too much noise and that we need to keep it down.

Hmm . . . today in the car she also complained that my music was too loud, and I wasn’t turning it down low enough.  Kids these days.

Jeffrey, on the other hand, NEVER seems to go to sleep in a prompt fashion.  We put him down, and he usually ends up talking to himself, running in and out of his room, begging for water, and essentially driving me nuts for well over an hour before conking out.

SOMETIMES it helps to have a bedside talk with him at tuck-in time.  He calls these our “chats” and looks forward to them.  It’s his chance to gab about whatever’s on his mind, and because this is Jeffrey we’re talking about, that usually means something odd.

Once he told me that the stripes on his stuffed tiger were really the letters to a “tiger alphabet” that he could use to translate tiger roars.  Then he pointed out how he had recently cut the stuffed tiger’s whiskers off.  Yes, he is turning into a real-life personification of Calvin & Hobbes.

Tonight he spent time telling me how he wanted to build a “family airplane” — “For real Mom.  We can use the engine from our car to build it.”

Then how would we drive to the grocery store? 

“Can’t we please buy a second car?”

He went on:

“It would have two floors.  The top floor for you and Daddy, and the bottom floor for the kids.”   A ladder would be used to access both levels.  I tried to get him to describe what he wanted on the kids’ floor — comfy seats?  A big snack bar, a television?  Those are the kind of things I would have fantasized about as a child.  But Jeff wasn’t interested in that.

“A snack bar is fine, but no TV, Mom.  The kids will have a big glass window and binoculars to let you and Daddy know how high in the air we are, and how fast we’re going.”

Oh, so the parents are the pilots?

You are the one flying the plane, Mom.”

Well, bad news, kiddo.  I have intense flying sickness.  My tummy gets upset whenever I fly.

Jeffrey was indignant.  “Mommy, you need to teach your tummy a LESSON.”

Later:  “Couldn’t you please go to flight school, Mom?   Then we can fly to Grandma Newey’s house.  Pleeease?”  He repeated this plea over and over again until the chat was finished.


Why can’t I have a kid who begs for a Wii like everyone else?!? 

(Aw, shucks: because I wouldn’t have it any other way.)

Milking It

A few posts ago I wrote about how William has developed the habit of saying “Missed you!” whenever he sees someone who has been absent for a while.  Whenever I pick him up from nursery school, that’s the first thing he says to me: “Missed you, Mommy!”  He usually accompanies these words with a big smile, an adorable tilt of the head, and his chubby hands curled up under his chin.

Well.  You can imagine the positive reinforcement we’ve given him over that, so now he’s begun to say “Missed you” to anybody who has been absent for a matter of minutes, or sometimes not at all.

Oh my gosh!  Dad was in the living room and he was in the study?  “Missed you!”

Big brother was in the backyard?  “Missed you!”

Mom was sitting on the other side of the table from him?  “Missed you!”

We can’t help it, though — it’s so, so adorable that we all tackle him with hugs and kisses whenever he does it.  I’m feeling rather certain that his intentions are guileless, that this is simply his message of saying “Hey, there you are!  I need some loveys from you!”


Last night, Brian and I had to go to the Verizon store and pick out a new phone.  All three children were dragged along, and it was painful.  On the way home, everyone was cranky, including Brian and I, and our tone of voice showed it.  After making a few cutting remarks at each other, our children began butting in.  This is a transcript of what I remember them saying:

ELEANOR: No no, Daddy!  Your voice should be smooth and handsome, like a gentleman!

BRIAN: Thanks, Eleanor.  I needed to remember that.

ELEANOR: And Mommy, your voice should be pretty and lovely, like a lady.

[Oy with the gender conditioning, already!]

BROOKE: Okay, Eleanor.  Thanks.

ELEANOR: And we should all speak nicely and not fight with each other.

JEFFREY: Well, I think you should speak like a supervisor!

BRIAN: What does a supervisor say?


[Wimmy babbles incoherently]


BROOKE AND BRIAN: [sound of muffled hysterical laughter]

He Doth Talketh!

Last week William said his first full sentence. 

Unfortunately, that sentence was “Eleanor pushed me.”

On the bright side, it does show a working knowledge of past tense.

Wimmy also has picked up the adorable habit of saying “Missed you” to whoever’s been away for a while.  Awww.