Monday, December 06, 2010

I'm the Worst Dad

Sofia just said so. This is for giving her a timeout after she made Zara cry.
"Zara started it!"

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Wise beyond her years

Sofia: how many days until Christmas?
Dad: about fifty
Sofia: I wish...I wish it was thirty days.
Dad: as long as you're wishing, why not make *every* day Christmas?
Sofia: Because then I'd get sick of Christmas.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Not so broken anymore

We've been sleeping. Yay!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We're Broken

Well, in the long run, it did work - Zara sleeps through the night now. This is probably because we let her cry it out, not because we put her in Sofia's room. But who knows.

The bad news is WE can't sleep through the night. Both of us keep waking up at strange hours. Broken. Broken. Broken.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kids In The Same Room?

I read somewhere, in one of those many how to make your kids actually sleep books, that they sleep better if they're in the same room. So, at my wit's end last week, I moved Zara's crib into Sofi's room. (Took all evening - disassembling and reassembling.)

Did it work?

Hell no. Such a mistake.

She cried more than ever. Well, maybe not *ever*, but a lot.

The next few days were torture. Sometimes one of us would even sleep in Sofi's bed so Zara would stop crying. And eventually we did what we should have done in the first place, let her cry it out, sleep train her.

And...we've gotten two good nights of sleep since then. Touch wood. (And when Zara did cry, Sofia didn't wake up, so that was good too.) So maybe this is going to work out after all. But if I had it to do all over again...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Collaborative Bedtime Story Prime

Sofi: What's that thing you like in stories?
Jamie: You mean conflict?
Sofi: Yeah, make conflict!

So tonight's bedtime story had all the family pets (there are like a dozen of them now because Sofi insists on adding a new one every time) arguing over who would get to eat the last of the food (watermelon & cheese) - Harta the cat nearly ate Glitter the girl mouse.

But Hearts the spider had the most fiendish plan - while Mama & Dada were off buying gorceries she wanted to siphon their bank accounts into her own. She asked Sofia to open the filing cabinet to see if she could find Dada's password to his computer. Sofia was pretty excited about this. (Hearts said, "All the watermelon you can eat!") Then they started hacking Dada's computer. But he came home and caught them in the act. "Sofia, what are you doing?" Dada said in a stern voice.

Sofi: I don't like this story.
Dada: You didn't like getting caught?
Sofi: Erase. Erase it. Erase the plan.
(We hadn't written anything down.)
Dada: I've got an idea for a good ending.
Sofi: Erase.
Dada: How about Sofia says, "We were trying to steal all your money, Dada." And he says, "I'm so proud of you for telling the truth! You're just like George Washington."
Sofi: Erase.
Dada: Ok.

So - actually - instead - when Hearts the spider asks Sofia to open the filing cabinet, Sofia says "No way!"
"Really?" Hearts asks. "You could get all the watermelon you could eat!"
Sofia says "No way!"
And they all lived happily ever after.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Collaborative Bedtime Story

Once upon a time, in our home, at night, Zippy the Half-Siamese Girl Cat wanted a nice, soft place to sleep. But Cathy the Mommy and Jamie the Daddy and Sofia the Little Girl wouldn't let Zippy sleep on their beds. So Zippy looked around and saw that someone had left the door to Zara the Baby's room open. She went inside and saw Zara the Baby asleep in her crib. It looked so soft and nice, so Zippy the Half-Siamese Girl Cat jumped up on the bookshelf and then into the crib.

But she woke up Zara the Baby, who started to cry, and Cathy the Mommy got up and went into Zara's room.

"What the heck?" Cathy the Mommy said. "Zippy, get out of Zara's crib."

And Zippy said, "No way. This is my crib now."

And Cathy the Mommy picked Zippy up and threw her outside in the rain.

Zippy meowed at the door. Jamie the Daddy said, "The cat's outside. Should I let her in?"

And Cathy the Mommy said, "No, let's watch an episode of Lost instead."

So they did.

Zippy the Half-Siamese Girl Cat realized nobody was going to let her in, so she climbed up the maple tree, jumped on the roof, and crawled onto the skylight and tried to scratch through it. But it wouldn't budge.

Cathy the Mommy went to the kitchen to get a snack, and heard the scratching on the roof. "Jamie, it sounds like some branches fell on the roof, can you go get them off?"

So Jamie the Daddy went out in the rain, put up a ladder, climbed up on the roof, and when he saw Zippy he was so shocked he fell off the roof and landed with a thud on the ground.

Sofia the Little Girl heard the thump and ran outside. "Daddy, what the heck?" She said.

"Can you tell mommy to call a hospital?" Jamie the Daddy asked.

So she did, and Cathy the mommy called the hospital, and an ambulance came, and Zoe the Calico Girl Cat and Glitter the Girl Mouse came out to watch. Jamie the Daddy said from his stretcher, as they put him in the ambulance, "Hey Zoe and Glitter, can you watch the kids?" And the ambulance took Jamie the Daddy and Cathy the Mommy to the hospital.

"This is my big chance," Glitter the Girl Mouse said. She got some cheese from the refrigerator and sat down to watch TV.

"This is my big chance," Zippy the Half-Siamese Girl Cat said. She crawled across the roof to the chimney and jumped in, and crawled out of the fireplace, covered in soot. Then she went back into Zara's room and jumped back into Zara's crib.

But Zoe saw her. "Hey Glitter," Zoe said. "Zippy's in Zara's bed! We've got to stop that bad cat."

But Glitter said, "No way. I just want to eat cheese and watch TV."

So Zoe went into Zara's room by herself and said to Zippy -you better get out of Zara's bed you bad cat. In cat language that sounds like "meow meow meow."

And Zippy said -No way, this is the best bed. Which in cat language sounds like "Meow meow meow." And she tried to curl up and go to sleep.

And Zoe meowed and meowed and hissed and meowed.

Zippy opened her eyes and said -Do you mind? Trying to sleep here. Which in cat language sounds like "Meow meow."

And Zoe said -You can sleep in my bed. Which in cat language sounds like "Meow meow."

And Zippy said -Your bed? That little folded up bit of blanket on the hard floor of the living room? It's so uncomfortable! Which in cat language sounds like "Meow meow meow."

And Zoe said -You know what? I'll make you a bed.

And she went and got some pillows and blankets and brought them back into Zara's room and arranged them on the floor to make a nice bed. Zippy watched and thought it did look like a nice bed. -All right, I'll give it a try.

And she did, and it was a nice bed, and she fell asleep.

And the doctor said that Jamie the Daddy's arm was broken and he put it in a cast and sent Jamie and Cathy home. And they made Glitter turn off the TV and thanked Zoe for watching the kids.

Coming soon: what happens when Glitter decides she wants a mouse hole the day before they throw a big birthday party for Zara?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Need vs want

Mom: don't you want to go potty?
Sofia: no
mom: you look like you need to go
Sofia: I need to go but I don't want to go

And up til there I thought needs were a subset of wants.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

RPG for five year olds

One of those posts that's so nerdy I'm almost embarrassed to put it up.

I was looking for something to replace or at least spice up Sofia & my Warhammer Quest games (getting bored of fighting the same orcs & minotaurs over and over) and seem to have hit upon it. I was looking for something both simple enough for a 5 year old and DMless. Although Sofia and I used to play a diet Universalis when she was younger she stopped liking it, but googling around I seem to have discovered close to the perfect solution: Mythic.

Although the rulebook is pretty long (and it has some lame cheesecakeish artwork) the core rules really could be boiled down to: ask yes/no questions and roll on a table. Someone into tactical or power gaming (wait, that's usually me) wouldn't be satisfied--in fact, I was really skeptical that it would work--but for collaborative storytelling where each of us gets to "be" a character, and we can play in any genre we want (it ended up being Last Airbender fan fiction, but that's ok), and play fast, it was great. After dinner and before bedtime we beat the giant spider, rescued the avatar and his companions from its webs, and saved an earthbender town from a fire nation sniper. Sofi's character ended up badly burned and Saka's still missing - a hook for a later game session. We used some of the maps and minis from other games, including WHQ, just for show and tell. I have to admit I mostly drove (I'd keep asking Sofi, "What do you think should happen now?" "I don't know! I have no idea!") but occasionally she stepped up (Jamie: "How many fire nation soldiers should there be? An army? A squad?" Sofia: "ONE! Just one!" ...she found the exploit...)

Afterwards I was, of course, tempted to "improve" the rules - I hate tables and if I can find some cool system of die-rolling against a threshold or opposed roll to get away from using a table then I'm usually much happier. (When Sofi & I play WHQ it's modded so I don't have to look at the creature's stat cards all the time.) But after dicking around with some experiments I decided I was wasting my time - it's just one table, after all, which one can keep a printout of handy...and would a different die-rolling system really make it any more fun?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Sofia likes a big pat (or "chunk" as we call it) of butter on her waffle, like in the picture on the syrup bottle. She eats around it until its the only part left and then eats it in one bite. (Got to admit, sounds pretty good. Mmm, butter.) Today I was making her waffle before I had my coffee and spread her butter chunk out of habit.

Sofia (squeals): Why did you spread my butter?

Dad: Oh! I'm sorry. Here, you can have another chunk of butter.

Sofia: That's just a waste of butter!

Dad: I bet it's delicious. Extra butter.

Sofia: But why?

Dad: I forgot. Years of habit. I'm sorry.

Sofia: I don't want to look at you right now.

I know you're not supposed to laugh when your kids say something but I couldn't help it.