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My Wife: Simon, tomorrow's your birthday, so we need to plan a special day, like ...

Simon: Like go to outer space?

My Wife: Heh, well no.

Simon: So not really that special.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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My friend David reports that his 2-year-old daughter, Flannery, announced yesterday, "This is the loveliest bath of my whole life."

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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My friend David reports that his 2-year-old daughter, Flannery, announced yesterday, "This is the loveliest bath of my whole life."

That is quite a mouthful for a two-year-old! And we've had a couple of hyper-articulate two-year-olds.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Best. Hard. Bargainer. EVER.

You have no idea. My wife and I are half-joking, half-serious when we say that he'll be either a car salesman or a politician when he grows up. The kid loves to negotiate everything.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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Not "said," but "did." Yesterday my kids had a two-hour delay from school, so they were watching a borrowed copy of THE SECRET LIFE OF ARRIETTY. Our two year-old Daisy went afterward to the junk drawer in the kitchen, took out a plastic clip like the kind you put on an open bag of chips and tried to clip the back of her hair, Arrietty-style.

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Not "said," but "did." Yesterday my kids had a two-hour delay from school, so they were watching a borrowed copy of THE SECRET LIFE OF ARRIETTY. Our two year-old Daisy went afterward to the junk drawer in the kitchen, took out a plastic clip like the kind you put on an open bag of chips and tried to clip the back of her hair, Arrietty-style.

Careful. This might be added as evidence to Dr. Baehr's latest report to the industry that what we see done in the movies is what we will automatically do .

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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My friend Andy just posted this, about his 10 year old daughter, on Facebook:

My daughter and I are watching The Incredible Hulk tonight, at her request. Before starting the movie, she wrote up a contract saying that I couldn’t pause the movie once we start, barring personal emergency. I had to sign it in quintuplicate.

309739_10151375601728189_580135802_n.jpg

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Rory freaked out last night because in my rush to get her to bed, we'd left the contents of her "random toys, crayons, and assorted crap" bucket spilled out on the floor. "Clean up my mess, Daddy," she whimpered from under the covers.

"It's okay, honey. We can clean it up in the morning."

"Clean up my mess, Daddy! Please?"

"Honey, it's okay."

Crying now: "I want a clean room, Daddy! I want a clean room!"

My marriage has been a 16-year-long battle between my obsessive-compulsive neatness and my wife's adamant refusal to ever put anything back in its place ever. Ever. So, of course I happily nurtured my impressionable young daughter's anal retentive tendencies.

"Do you think I should put these books away, too? And your train?"

"Yes, Daddy. Thank you."

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  • 2 months later...

Audrey, upon unearthing a framed picture of Jesus in her closet (I think we got it from her baptism): "Don't let Aidan play with it. He'll drop it and break it. We don't want to break God."

Edited by Darryl A. Armstrong

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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The non-pious dialogue:

Catie (not yet five; out of the blue): "Is it true that trees turn carbon dioxide into oxygen?"

Papa (a bit surprised): "Yes."

C: "Is oxygen the good stuff?"

P: "Well ... it's what we need, yes."

C (processing this): "…what do bad people need?"

(Later in the discussion)

C: "So all the oxygen comes from plants, and all the carbon dioxide comes from animals and people."

P: "Yes."

C: "But … it's not a fight of oxygen and carbon dioxide."

* * *

The pious dialogue:

Recently Suz made some frustrated comment about needing something done "before I shoot myself in the head," or something like that.

Without looking up from her book, Catie said in a casual, slightly exasperated, "Get me?" tone:

"Mama … that would be a sin?"

"...You're right, Catie!"

In the same tone: "In fact … even wanting to do it would be a mortal sin?"

She didn't learn this from us. They're catechizing each other.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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This is back from Ash Wednesday. After the 7:30 Mass I said hello to a choir member whom I had been sitting close to. She was there with her daughter-in-law and two grandchildren (3 and 1 1/2). As the priest walked back towards the sacristy, the choir member stopped him and asked, "What does 'conciliation' mean? It was mentioned in the opening prayer today, and I'm never completely sure of its meaning."

Before the priest could respond, the 3 year old looked up from the coloring book she was drawing in and said: "Conciliation means someone has to color."

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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"Time to go inside, Rory. It's almost 9 o'clock. We've got to get you to bed."

"Superheroes don't have to go to bed."

{double take}

"Really? Superheroes don't have to go to bed?"

"Nope."

"I had no idea you were a superhero."

"Yep."

"Interesting. Who's your favorite superhero?"

"I don't remember."

"Is Spider-Man a superhero?"

"No, Daddy!" She laughs at the obvious ridiculousness of the question.

"So, what makes you a Superhero?"

"I'm really good at playing on the swings and I wear a hat. And I drink *big* cups of milk!"

"Oh! Am I a Superhero too?"

"Yeah!"

"Awesome. It's time to go to bed."

"Okay."

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Simon: "Dad, who's the greatest fighter in the world?"

Me: "Probably Batman." (We've recently started watching Batman: The Brave and the Bold so this seemed like a reasonable answer.)

Simon: "No, it's Joshua because he fought the battle of Jericho."

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 4 weeks later...

Simon: "Boys have penises and girls have the china."

#anatomylessonswitha5yo

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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My friend Jessica, this morning, reporting on her 6-year-old Sophie and her 4-year-old Henry:

Sophie's list of complaints about Henry this morning: "First he ruined the puzzle and then he shoved me -- and then he said he hated Bob Dylan's voice!"

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

My wife took the kids to the zoo and somehow arrived at the zoo's back fence rather than the front gate. My sons chimed in with some helpful words:

Simon: Wrong Turn Mommy does it again! [then kindly:] Mommy, what is wrong with your brain?

Ian: Your brain is being naughty!

Simon: [fondly, as if deeply nostalgic] *sigh* I remember this place. I hope we can find the entrance again someday.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 4 weeks later...

Seems hard to believe sometimes that it was only a year and a half ago that Thomas, the autistic twin, said five words in a row for the first time ever (said words being "I don't like the turkey!" -- it happened at the Christmas dinner in 2011, so I remember *exactly* what day it was, and I can remember how I and a few other family members looked at each other in awe that he had said so much, and that he had even used a definite article!). He was still 5 then -- a month and a half shy of his 6th birthday -- but now he's 7, and he loves to tell stories and ask questions about all sorts of interesting things.

Yesterday's exchange:

Thomas started asking about God's laws and what happens to people who do or don't follow them after they die. Along the way, I reminded him that the most important laws by far were to love God and love your neighbour. And then Thomas asked, "What if you don't like someone and you do something with them?"

Something good or something bad, I asked. "Something good."

So you mean, what if you don't like someone and you do something good for them? "Yes."

You mean, is it really loving someone if you do something good for them but you don't like them? "Yes."

Um, well, I replied... I think I might have said something about "liking" someone and "loving" someone not necessarily being the same thing, and "love" being expressed through actions, or something along those lines. But finally Thomas brought this back to the question of what would happen to the person in question after they died, i.e. what would happen to the person in question if God knew that they had done something good for someone without liking them.

And then Thomas said, "God would say, 'That's so weird!'"

Needless to say, I *love* the fact that Thomas is processing questions like whether love is expressed through feelings or actions. And that he's able to communicate these questions so clearly.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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That's awesome, Peter. This week we spent time with good friends we hadn't seen in a year, and were delighted to see how much progress their older daughter had made. She has apraxia, and a year ago (at three and a half) she spoke only in grunts. This year she was forming sentences. It was beautiful to see her opening up.

And since I'm here I'll add a new Roryism:

"THIS IS MY SONG!" -- upon hearing James Brown's "Living in America" for the first time.

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Eric (now 5) and Dominic (now 7) have procured a pair of two way radios. Dominic joins me in the bedroom while I fold laundry, one of the radios in his hand.

Static crackles.

Eric's disembodied voice emanates from the radio in a sneaky whisper: "Stupid bagina-head".

After my laughing stopped, I answer back, "Time out, now."

His voice responds, with the full frustration of realizing he's foolishly been busted, "Grrrrrrooooaaan."

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

This isn't really a "funny" thing, but I just wanted to share it here. As I posted on Facebook yesterday:

 

Two years ago, T, my autistic seven-year-old (he turns eight in February) couldn't say five words in a row. Today he quoted two Bible verses from memory.

Said verses being James 1:19-20, in case anyone was wondering.

I found out that he had memorized a Bible verse when I went to the parent-teacher conference at his school yesterday.

The kids go to a private/independent school with Reformed ties, and the reason we sent our kids there in the first place was because we heard they had a good program for special-needs kids. (As a survivor of Christian schools myself, I never ever thought I'd send my kids to one, but we heard enough stories about the problems with the public-school system and its handling of special-needs kids that we figured we'd go the private route -- and as it happens, I rather like everyone we've met and worked with at this school.)

So, as part of their daily lessons, the kids have apparently been learning Bible verses -- and the teacher told me yesterday that one of the interesting things about T is that he sometimes doesn't seem to be paying attention at all, but when they ask him e.g. to recite the verse that everyone was supposed to memorize, he *does*. When I came home afterwards, I asked T if he could recite the verse he had learned in class, and he immediately said "James 19 and 20, my dear brothers and sisters, take note..." and on he went. I think he tripped a bit over the word "righteousness" ("But don't we all?" said my wife), but wow, he actually *got* it all.

And when I told him how proud I was of him, he said, "That was the first one. Now we're working on the second one."

And when I say that T couldn't say five words in a row two years ago? I'm talking about the fact that the first time I *ever* heard him string five words together was at our family dinner on Christmas Day 2011, when we were trying to get him to eat something and he surprised us all by declaring, "I don't like the turkey!" Given the holiday setting etc., it's kind of hard to forget when *that* milestone was set.

Okay. In a "funnier" vein, perhaps, here's another exchange T and I had a few nights ago, after I had tucked him into bed:

 

T: Daddy, I have two questions.

Me: What are they?

T: Question number one...

T's twin sister: (laughs out loud from the other end of the bedroom) T---! You don't need to say "number one!"

Me: Stop heckling! Go ahead, T---.

T: Are there people who don't believe in God?

Me: Yes, there are.

T: Why?

Me: (some rambling set of answers)

T: And there are people who do believe in God, and I'm one of them.

Me: That's great to hear, T---. Was that all part of your first question?

T: Yes.

Me: What's the second question?

T: Can I have a Nutella sandwich that is sliced?

Love that kid.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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