Category Archives: kidstuff

My Son, The Ninja

Last week I was weeding a garden box with my five year old son.  He told me that he was a ninja.  He could pick weeds with his eyes closed, because ninjas can see with their eyes closed.

I asked him where he learned about ninjas and he said he didn’t learn about them, he was just born that way.  My son was born a ninja.  #awesome

I used that information a couple of days later when I was alone with him and was doing video recordings and need complete silence.  Don’t-flush-the-toilet, turn-off-the-air-conditioner, be-super-duper-quiet silence.  How do you explain this to a five year old? I don’t know.  But I do know how to explain it to a five year old ninja.  You simply say that I need total quiet, and if he needs to walk around, he has to walk around as silent as a ninja.  That totally worked.

Yesterday I changed out of my clothes after a family get-together and put on my black pajama bottoms and my black t-shirt.  He was right there and asked: “Dad, is that your ninja clothes?”

Darn.  My cover is busted.  He knows.  #bornNinja

Does Your Tummy Feel Yucky?

Last night Kim threw up on my bed after too much playing and laughing.

About an hour later, as I was putting her to bed, I asked her:

Does your tummy feel yucky?

She replied, with a grin:

No, my tummy feels yummy!


I swear I don’t teach her this stuff – LAME

On Saturday I had three of my kids and we were escaping to Costco for a bit. I called my wife and asked her to look for an address for a store… I wanted to get her two end tables but didn’t want her to know about it.  This was going to be my valentines present to her.

End tables aren’t the most romantic things, but we’ve been wanting real end tables for a while and I knew the kind to get (real wood, sturdy, new, etc.).

Anyway, I got off the phone and stated “we’re going to spend a few hundred dollars today guys!”


“To get mom’s valentines day present!”

My six year old then says “ah come on Dad, why don’t you just get her something lame?

I was cracking up, wondering what the heck that meant.  I asked “Like what?”

She said, “something lame, like flowers and candy.”

And then, after a short pause, she sincerely asks, “what does lame mean?

ROFL — that was too funny :p  Ah, the joy a six year old can bring.

Choose the Right

Along the path to becoming better parents we came across Nicholeen Peck’s stuff, which is best summarized as “teaching self government” to kids.

The idea is to help kids understand how they can govern themselves, their actions, their emotions, etc.  I’ve blogged about Nicholeen here and here.

One of the things she teaches us is how we can teach our kids to “accept a ‘NO’ answer.”  That is, when they ask something, and we say no, they can respond by saying OK with (a) a calm face and (b) a calm voice and then (c) dropping the subject.

If you think about it, it’s a brilliant thing to learn (many adults need to learn this).  Of course, they can “disagree appropriately,” also, so it’s not all about accepting our NO.

Usually when our 3 year old asks a question and we say NO, she is thrilled to say okay in that way. And then she immediately says “dad, I accepted a no answer with a calm face and a calm voice!” with the cutest smile and sense of pride you can imagine.  It’s really cute.

A few days ago she said something equally cute… we also hope our kids make right decisions… even though nobody always makes right decisions we want them to know they can CHOOSE to make a good (or right) decision – they are empowered to make decisions that will impact the consequences.

The three year old was talking to my wife and said very simply, and with a very serious face:

“I  choose the right, not the left

It was good to hear her clarify that she had made a right decision, not a left decision :p

“You’ll do worse things than that, I’m sure…”

I just finished reading one of my birthday present books, a Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary. Bill Watterson is a genius, seriously.

Since I don’t yet have Nicholeen’s almost-400 page parenting book, I have to take parenting lessons from Watterson (who, at the time of putting the book together, said he didn’t have any kids.).

There was a strip where Hobbes broke his dad’s binoculars and he felt really, really bad (not a common feeling for the boy).  Really bad.  Finally he told his dad, who freaked out, and then in a show of fatherly love, forgave his son and told him it wasn’t that big a deal.

“Really?” sniffled Calvin…. expecting worse.  His dad said something like “yeah, in the big picture, binoculars is nothing – I’m sure in a few years you’ll wreck my car :s”

I was able to have this discussion with my 8 year old son… he was doing an experiment with the microwave and placed a hot plate on the table.  You know, the table with the BRAND NEW table cloth.

I wasn’t there, but I heard him trudge down to my basement office and he came in with a really, realy LONG face.  Almost in tears (just like Calvin).

He was holding said hot plate.  On one side was the experiment (a totally melted candy cane).  On the other said of the plate was part of the brand new table cloth, which had melted.

Poor kid.  He ruined mom’s new table cloth.

“That’s okay,” I told him.

He said it looks horrible, and would only look good if we put something on it to cover it up (like, forever).

I suggested we put a dollar bill there…. that would cover up the spot.

I hugged him, and as he was walking back up, shoulders drooping, I said:

“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll do worse things than that!  Does that make you feel better?”

He nodded, murmured yes, and then went upstairs.

Thank you Bill Watterson – I’m an awesome father 🙂

I wonder what Nicholeen would have suggested?

What does it mean to be chaste? #kidstuff

Last night for family night we were talking about being chaste (according to thefreedictionary: Morally pure in thought or conduct; decent and modest)… I asked my kids what it meant to be chaste and my five-almost-six year old daughter was anxious to tell us… she is the one that wants to answer all the questions… her response went something like this:

you know when you are playing tag, and someone is “it” and they are chasing you… whoever is the runner running away from the one who’s it is the one who is chased.”