Monday, January 30, 2012

Torn

During the first six months of our girls' lives they didn't sleep well.  That's an understatement.  They cat napped at times during the day, and did basically the same at night.  Nobody in our house slept longer than an hour or two at a time with any consistency.

After visiting the baby whisperer (our nickname for the sleep specialist) we finally put the poor sleeping habits to bed.  Please forgive me for the pun.  I am a little slap happy after no sleep last night.  I thought it was punny, so I'm leaving it.
Our sleep specialist's name might have been Brooklyn.
I love it now that they sleep from 7 PM to after 7 AM every night/morning. 

I love it that they take a couple hour nap in the afternoon. 

I loved being home to get them up in the morning when they would wake before 7.

Yes, that is past tense.  They are sleeping in until after I leave now.  I rarely get to see all my girls in the morning before I head out to work. 

I miss walking into their room and hearing them excitedly say "Papa, Papa!". 

I miss scooping them up for hugs and kisses. 

I even miss changing them so Mama doesn't have to.

I've considered making a loud noise or just walking into their room to wake them up some mornings.  I don't do that as it would be incredibly selfish and unfair to everyone but me.  But I still think about it.
Not cool when Mama and kiddos are sleeping.
Is it wrong that I sometimes secretly wish they would wake up on their own early enough for me to greet them?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Papa Loves...a link to Mama Loves

In college, as a gag gift, my parents bought me a bowl with a straw built into it.  I don't think they thought I would ever use it, but I still have it 15 years later.
Genius, pure genius.
I admit to not using it much lately as breakfast has become more "grab something I can eat in the car" than an actual sit down event.  I call it an event because I used to be a HUGE breakfast eater, to the point of devouring at least half a box of cereal at a time.

While I occasionally do eat cereal, my girls are the ones that eat it most days.  One morning, I was finishing their meal as I often do, I drank the milk right out of the bowl.  The next time I gave them cereal they were demanding to finish the milk the way I did.

I let them do it, and they were ecstatic. 

Mama, however, was less than impressed.  She was saying something about manners and such.  I couldn't hear much of what she was saying over the slurping sounds coming from the girls, but I heard enough to know I was not supposed to do this anymore. 

As I was putting some dishes away later that day, I ran across my old cereal bowl.  I knew the girls loved to drink from straws, and I knew they loved finishing off the cereal milk, so I thought I'd try to use the bowl and see if it was kid-tested, mother-approved.
Obviously this is both kid-tested and mother-approved; it says so right on the box.
It was, and it was - mostly.

I don't think Mama fully agrees with the use of it, but since it stops them from slurping their milk, I believe she has agreed to let them use it.  I've never seen it in the dishwasher (other than when I break it out) so I'm guessing she hand washes it, dries it, and puts it away just so I don't know how much she loves my toy cereal bowl.
This is the organic version of Kix our girls eat.  No Count Chocula for them, now or ever. 
Linking with my lovely wife's weekly linky party, Mama Loves. Got a gaget, recipe, toy, book, craft your kid loves? Or have something that makes mama-ing (or papa-ing a wee bit easier, or at least better)? Blog about it and link up!

Friday, January 27, 2012

No means no...or does it?

We've all heard the statement "NO MEANS NO".  While it has a serious meaning, it has also become a punchline in many situations.  I contend it doesn't always hold true.  Here is my supporting argument.
Conversation from dinner the other night:
Me:  Hadley, do you want some more to eat?

Hadley:  No. 

Me:  Are you done eating?

Hadley:  No.

Me:  I'm confused.  Are you done eating or do you want something else?

Hadley:  No.

Me:  Is no the only thing you are going to say?

Hadley:  No.

Me:  Then are you going to say something else?

Hadley:  No.

Me:  I think we're done here.

Hadley:  No.

Me:  HEY!!!  How about a big girl bite of chicken?

Hadley:  Sure.
The point is this:  my girls have a limited vocabulary.  I think they don't completely mean to say no, but they can't yet say to me:
Dearest Papa, I would really enjoy a bite of chicken, dipped in BBQ sauce, followed by some sweet potato fries, dipped in BBQ sauce, and all washed down with a cold swig of milk.
Someday we'll get there.  Until that day comes, I'm stuck asking the same question eight different ways to try to find out what is really going on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Father of the Year? Nope

Have you ever had one of those days, or a string of those days, where you just didn't feel like yourself? 

It could have been caused by any number of reasons.  Maybe you weren't getting enough sleep.  Maybe you had too much going on to where you couldn't relax.  Maybe you were just in a funk and thought things that didn't go your way should have.

I've recently been in one of those ruts for all of those reasons.
That's me, wallowing in self pity in my hole/rut.
It's not easy to get out of that.  For me, it was just getting worse.  My self-perceived hole was getting deeper.

I was exhausted.  My girls and I were playing and I knew I was being short with them.  I was trying to get them to entertain themselves so I wouldn't have to read the same blasted book for the umpteenth time (yes, I just used the words blasted and umpteenth in the same sentence). 

They clearly were not in any mood to be pushed away.  My doing so only made things worse.  If I wanted to maintain any level of sanity I needed them to stop throwing a fit.  So I read the book.  Every time I finished it, they would both give me the sign.  Again. 

Again, and again, and again.

I was fighting the urge to push them off of me and run for cover.  At one point, I may even have stood them up and told them to leave me alone for a few minutes.  I didn't think they'd understand what I meant, but they did. 

Brynne clinched her jaw as she fought back the urge to scream, shook her head violently back and forth in anger/frustration, and just stood there glaring at me. 

Hadley looked at me with those big, beautiful, blue eyes of hers welling up with tears.  She then told me "no".
How can you say "no" to this face?
That made me feel like a big bag of shit.

It also brought me out of my funk - at least for a little bit.

All my daughters wanted to do was: sit in my lap; turn the pages of one of their favorite books; point out the animals they knew while either making the appropriate sign or animal sound; hear my voice read the words they couldn't; and acknowledge/praise them for how much they knew and could do.

As I look back on the whole event, I still don't know if they were being selfish, too, or just wanting to hang out with their dear old Papa.  At one point I caught Hadley just looking at me.  Brynne was still turning/ripping pages and pointing out everything on the page while I recited the words.  Hadley was just sitting there with her head cocked so she could look up and back at me -  just staring at me.  If she could fully express herself, I imagine she would have asked me if I was okay now.

That might have made me cry a little.  Actually, it made me cry a lot. 

I don't know how long I sat and stared at her beautiful little face with tears running down my own, but it was long enough for Brynne to finish the book and hop up to get another one.  She got the book, gave me a pat on the back, plopped back down in my lap, looked up at me, and gave me a huge smile.  That broke the trance, and soon both girls were fighting over who got to turn the pages of the new (finally!) book.

And I was crying again. 

In the end, it doesn't matter if they were being selfish or not.  This is what matters:  my words and actions caused them to feel rejected. 

Try that one on for size.  I rejected my daughters when all they wanted was quality time with me.

How long will they want me to read to them?  When will I be the one asking to spend time with them, only to be told no, and to then feel rejected myself?  Why did I allow my frustrations with everything else in the world to impact our time together?

I don't know the answers to any of those questions.

Any advice as to how to either avoid the rut or get out once inside it (other than drugs and alcohol)?

Monday, January 23, 2012

A story from long ago

I read This Daddy's post about pain medicine, and couldn't help but think back to my own experience.  I thought I'd share it here as it, in my opinion, is a pretty good story. 
CHIIIEEEFFF!!!
I had back surgery over ten years ago.  The surgery itself was supposed to leave a scar the size of an eraser you would find on the end of a pencil.  It ended up being the length of an eraser you would use on a chalkboard since they had to cut through (and subsequently reattach) the muscles in my back to completely fix everything.  As it turned out, the surgery was not as "simple" as the surgeon originally thought; he found more damage in need of repair once he got me opened up.

When I got home, after a brief 23 hour visit to the hospital for the procedure, I had Vicodin and muscle relaxers waiting for me.  Even with the medicine I was in pretty bad pain.  I couldn't lay down, because I couldn't get back up on my own.  I didn't realize this, unfortunately, until the middle of the night when I had to visit the little boy's room.  I made it, but just barely, and it really hurt.  Let me clarify - getting to the bathroom hurt, not the act of pottying.

For the next few days, I lived in a recliner.

On the second day after surgery, I ate a little breakfast, popped my pills, and settled back in my throne to watch Sportscenter.  For those of you that aren't familiar with ESPN's lineup back then, they basically replayed Sportscenter every hour from 6 AM to noon, and then would loop a new one from 4 PM to 6 PM.

On this particular day I started watching Sportscenter at 7 AM.  I planned to watch just one episode and then put in a movie.  All I remember from that day is watching the first half of the 7 AM show and the second half of the 5 PM show.  The rest of the day was gobbled up by the pills.  At some point I did take my next dose of medicine, but I can't say that I recall doing it. 

That concerned me a little - especially when I saw that I had made a few phone calls, returned some emails to clients, cooked myself a pizza, ate the pizza, and left the oven on.  I also, apparently, had a beer or three with lunch.

That night I was watching a basketball game with my wife.  Florida State was playing somebody.  In the middle of the first half my wife asked me a question.  In the middle of the second half I realized someone was lecturing me on the culture of numerous American Indian tribes.

As I sat there watching the game, listening to this idiot ramble on with no apparent end in sight or real point to be made, I realized I knew some of what he was saying to be true, but most of it sounded as though he was making it up on the spot. 

I checked the TV to make sure I wasn't hearing one program and watching another.  As I turned the channel to something else, the guy kept talking.  I turned off the TV, and all the stereo components and still this guy spoke.

I went to the bathroom and this guy went with me.  He was talking right behind me the whole time.  How was this happening?  The bathroom was a half bath, with no room for two people, yet even with the door shut I could hear him plain as day. 

I didn't see anyone.

It was truly bizarre.

As I returned to the living room he came with me.  I started to argue a point with him and then it hit me.  I asked my wife one question:

"How long have I been talking about Indians?" 
"Since I asked you if you cared who won this game - about 45 minutes ago" she replied.
Even thought the pain was great, I decided to quit taking the Vicodin/muscle relaxer combination.
It was kinda like what John went through.
Can you blame me?

Friday, January 20, 2012

10 New things I've learned recently

I think the title says it all, so I won't expound too much here.

1 - Nothing is better than twin toddlers giggling, unless they are chasing each other around giggling. 

2 - If Hadley disappears, she is in the changing room.  She is doing one of three things.  She could be off by herself reading a book, laying under the bed with some toys piled up around her, or hiding behind the curtain waiting for someone to come in and ask where she is.
Why yes, she is sitting on her potty, fully clothed, reading a book, which is propped up on Howie the horse, who has been turned on his side for just that purpose.  Pretty fantastic if you ask me.

3 - If Brynne disappears, she has most likely shut herself in a room accidentally.  How she loves to close doors!

4 - At meal time, if the girls won't eat, we need to offer them something to dip their food in.  BBQ sauce works well for most any item.  If we are eating duck, chicken, strawberries, or if the BBQ failed, they will want the orange sauce that comes with duck.  Surprisingly, the combination of strawberries and duck sauce is not bad.

5 - When putting toys away, Brynne is easily distracted while Hadley is laser focused - most of the time.  Brynne will bring me books to put back on the shelf, but Hadley MUST put them back herself.

6 - Once you (or anyone) teach a child something, there is no way to unteach it - for better or for worse.  Even if you don't mean to teach them something, they will learn it (see #9).

7 - When looking through the Big Picture Story Bible with Brynne, every female is Eee (Eve), the men vary, but she can point out Jee-du (Jesus) consistently.  She already has a strong grasp of Genesis. In the book, when Eee is hiding from the Lord in the garden, Brynne says "uh-oh".
Great book.
8 - The first thousand times I try to open a drawer I recently childproofed I forget about what I've done, the latch catches, I lose my grip on it since I am not expecting it, and it slams back shut.

9 - If someone breaks wind, our girls will point, giggle (maybe even gasp), and then try to check their britches to see if they need changed.  It's cute when they check each other, not as cute when they try to check me, and will probably be weird if they start checking other children.

10 - Brynne can sleep through the heaviest hail storms, while Hadley will call "MaMa, MaMa, MaMa" until someone acknowledges her.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bubble wrap fun

Time for another very short video.

It's the simple things in life that make it so enjoyable.

video

Monday, January 16, 2012

Did I just say that?

At some point in my life I became too inflexible to actually put my foot in  my mouth literally, but that doesn't mean I'm incapable of doing it figuratively. 
 
My filter doesn't always work the way it probably should.  If I'm being honest, my filter is either turned off most of the time or broken entirely. 

I'm really not trying to be rude or hurtful, but occasionally quite often my sense of humor is not shared by others. 

Other times, something I am innocently saying can be construed as mean.

I caught myself the other night on this second point.  Brynne was sitting in Mama's lap reading a book and Hadley REALLY wanted to do the same.  I told Hadley to climb on up as there was plenty of room for the both of them.

Julia didn't hear this, I don't think, and if she did she didn't take it as an insult to her.  It was obviously not meant to be one, but I understand how it could be seen as taking a shot at her.  She knew what I meant, but she may be in the minority when it comes to understanding how my brain works. 

The benefit of writing is that I have a chance to edit what I want to say.  I type, save, leave, revisit, amend, and publish.

The other benefit of writing and not immediately publishing is the ability to have my better half review my work to ensure my message comes across as intended. 

It's easy to undo something before it goes public.  Trying to backtrack and clean up the mess is another story.  Once it's out there, it's out there forever.  Whether you speak it or publish it, if one person sees or hears it, the damage is done.
So true
Special note - There is no one event that triggered this post, so I'm not trying to make amends for a specific statement I've made.  I'm just doing my duty and making a public service announcement.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I won the lottery!

I was informed a month or so ago I had been selected to jury duty.  I had been selected four times in the last ten years, but each time I was self-employed, so I was excused from serving. 

Not that I'm against doing my civic duty, but when you work on commission any day out of the office is just like an unpaid vacation.  I'd write a letter stating I was self-employed and would subsequently be told that I didn't need to serve.

This time was different.  I'm no longer self-employed so I informed my employer and prepared for my day in court.

There were a couple of surprises in store for me on January 5th, the day I reported.

Surprise 1 - No phones with cameras allowed in the courtroom

The sheriff had just enacted a new "law" for the building on the first of the year and managed to NOT alert anyone that he was doing it.  Therefore, each and every potential juror showed up with a phone in either their pocket or their purse.  As the 50 of us that were called to jury duty went through the security checkpoint, each and every person had to return to their car and leave their cell phone behind. 
The Jitterbug is the only phone produced in the last ten years without a camera.
One guy informed the sheriff he rode the bus and had nowhere to put his phone.  The sheriff's wonderful reply was:
Find someone with a car and leave it there.
Since I was the only person in line behind the guy, can you guess who he asked?  I had no problem with it, but I asked him what we would do if one of us had to stay and the other was allowed to leave.  Neither of us had an answer, but since he had no other option, he put the phone in my car and we went back in. 

It's a nice phone.  I was in the market for a new one, so it'll come in handy as soon as I get my contacts switched over.  Hopefully, with the money he's saving on gas by riding the bus, he'll be able to get a new phone soon.  And once I switch the number out I imagine he'll be forced to stop calling and leaving those annoying "Can I get my phone back?" messages on his old phone.

Surprise 2 - It was Grand Jury duty, not just regular jury duty

What is the difference?  I was asking the same thing. 

Regular jury duty requires you to show up and serve, if selected, on one case until the jury determines if the accused is innocent or guilty.  Typically, this lasts three or four days. 

Grand Jury duty means you will hear cases every Thursday for four months.  You are not deciding guilt or innocence.  Rather, you are determining if there is enough evidence to take the case to trial.

16 weeks of service.  That means 16 full days out of the office.  Sounds wonderful, but what it actually means is for the next 16 weeks I would be doing five days worth of work in just four days.
Google apparently thought this was what I had in mind when I searched for grand jury images.
Surprise 3 - I wasn't picked

You might be wondering why that is a surprise.  As I sat there without access to the outside world, I could only imagine the number of emails and voicemails piling up.  My mind tends to race to the worst case scenario, so I could see myself every Friday for the next four months holed up in my office playing catch up.  I just knew I would be called.

It would have been interesting to hear the cases, and I would have served willingly, but I have to admit I was relieved not to have to do so.

Luckily (for the guy who stashed his phone in my car) he wasn't picked either.  I tried to race to the car and leave with my new phone, but he was waiting for me when I arrived.

No grand jury duty.  No new phone.

At least I had the rest of the day to hang out with my ladies.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sick of my take on nursery rhymes yet?

Today we'll only cover one nursery rhyme, but it is a long one.  I was unfamiliar with the second through fifteenth verses, and since I don't really feel like writing a book today, I'll just hit a few of them.  If you want to see the entire rhyme, check it out here.

Old Mother Hubbard

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give her poor dog a bone:
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.
This story serves as the basis for Medicaid, welfare, social security, and most other social programs in the United States.  People were in an uproar when they heard the poor woman was too poor to even feed her dog.  The reason this first verse is the only one most people have heard is because as you continue to read, you quickly find other disturbing aspects in her life, and in the life of her dog.  Therefore, politicians used just the first verse to gain public support of their initiatives and attempted to destroy the rest of the story.

Let's continue on just a bit.

She went to the baker's
To buy him some bread;
When she came back
The dog was dead.

Many scholars believe the woman was of Russian heritage.  She was forced to wait so long in lines for the basics, such as bread and cheese, that her dog starved to death while she was gone.

As the story unfolds, the truth comes out.  We find out the dog did not actually die.  He laughed at her when she came home from the undertaker's, so he obviously had a good sense of humor.  He smokes a pipe, sends her out for beer, white and red wine, fruit, a new jacket, a hat - followed shortly by a wig - so we really don't know why he wanted the hat - shoes, linen, and a hose.

Since the translation is a little questionable, for all we know he may have sent her out not for hose, but for hos (not of the garden variety) - aka bitches, as in female dogs.  She was his personal pimp!

We soon realize the dog had some amazing talents.  Listed among those we are told of are the ability to: sit in a chair; stand on his head; play the flute; ride a goat; feed the cat; dance a jig; read; spin - which I assume means to make clothing and not ride a stationary bike as a workout; and cross dress.
We'll never know the full extent of his abilities.
The story closes as such:

This wonderful dog
Was Dame Hubbard's delight,
He could read, he could dance,
He could sing, he could write;
She gave him rich dainties
Whenever he fed,
And erected a monument
When he was dead.

Now you can see why nobody trusts a politician.  They use part of a story to scare people into going along with them to get what they want.  She fed him whatever he wanted, was at his beck and call to get him anything he desired, and had enough money to memorialize him when he died!!

I fail to see how a woman with such obvious means deserved any assistance from our government or from our taxes.  That, my friends, is a classic example of how people take advantage of the system.

Sad.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Height and development are not related

As I may have mentioned, at one point or another, our girls are slightly taller than the average less-than-two- year-old child.  By slightly, I mean about half a head taller, give or take.

Brynne with cousin that's five months younger.

Hadley with her cousin that's 10 months younger.

I know they are tall, but since I am around them more than I am around any other children, I forget that you can't always guess a child's age based on their height.  If you do this, it can cause issues.

As an example, let's look at the nursery at church. 

Our girls go to the toddler class, which is, roughly, 18 to 36 months of age.  If that class is a little crowded, and the 36 to 50 month class is not, a child can be moved from the younger class to the older one (after parental consent is obtained).  Our girls, at 23 months, are way less developed than the three to five year old children in the class ahead of them.  By lining them up, and moving the tallest, you would do our girls a huge disservice.

Four year old + cup of water = hydrated child

23 month old + cup of water = wet child, wet clothes, wet table, wet carpet

That's just one example.  Here's another:

The four year olds can, for the most part, communicate with others.  Sure, they have language patterns that can be tough to discern, but you can get the gist of what they're saying, as can other four year olds.  The 23 month olds are limited to what they can express, and so frustration (screaming, tantrums, and tears) can ensue.  Not only between child and adult, but between children.

Not convinced?  Here's my final example.

Four year olds should be stronger than 23 month olds, and can, therefore, take what they want by force.  Even if they're not trying to be mean, they still are dominant.  They might both be going for the same toy.  If the four year old accidentally bumps the younger child, he (or she) is going down.  Now, we're talking real tears and screaming.

This may serve more as a reminder for myself than as education to anyone else, but it may help someone.  If at all possible, ask the parent for the child's age before making that assumption.  This is especially helpful if you're looking for an age appropriate toy to give to a child.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Professor Papa - Part 7

Time for another exciting episode of teaching my kiddos good and bad things.  Actually, today will be a little different.  We're going to look at two good things, and not any bad things (I'm improving--at least that's what the wife says). 
Lesson 1 - London Bridge
A few months ago, when the girls were getting good at walking, I taught them to play a modified version of London Bridge is Falling Down.  If you're not familiar with this, the "game" is typically played with more than two children. 

Two of them stand facing one another, join hands, and lift them high to create an arch.  The other children walk through the arch.  Everyone sings the song and when the last word is sung, the arch comes down and attempts to trap a child in the arch.

Our version, since we were short on bodies, just became them walking through my legs as I stood there.  No singing, no trapping, just walking.

They loved it. 

Once they were able to walk backwards, they had more options to choose from.

Option 1 - walk through forwards, turn around, and walk through forwards from the other direction.

Option 2 - walk through forwards, circle around to the front and do it again.

Option 3 - Walk through forwards, then return backwards.

Option 4,5,6 - Replace backwards with forwards and vice versa.

I love how children are easily entertained.  This could go on for a long time before they tired of it.

We did, however, discover a problem.  We can almost hear them growing taller each and every day.  I don't recall exactly when it happened, but at some point, even with me on my tip toes they didn't have enough clearance to walk through.

Lesson 2 - Ducking

We had a few options at this point.  We could remove the game from our repertoire, let them continue to run into the bridge (not an option in my mind), have "the bridge" stand on something to increase the clearance height, or teach them to duck.

We obviously, based on the name of the second lesson, taught them to duck. 

They look like the cutest little hunchbacks you've ever seen when they duck forward and walk around - usually with their arms out to their sides.  I assume they do this to help with balance, but I don't really know.
I wonder if there is a warning when coming from the other side.
Since they are so tall, items we didn't expect them to be able to reach are quickly coming into play.  The underside of a table, the...uh...well...I guess the underside of a table is the only thing they could ram into.  So we've taught them how to get under that without damaging their heads.

Cheers!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nursery Rhymes - from someone else's point of view

When I first started this "series" I asked people to comment and let me know if there were any nursery rhymes they would like to know the background on.  Melissa took that one step further, and actually gave us the history of a few.  Instead of blatantly plagiarizing her thoughts, I asked her to guest post for me today.
 
After you're done reading her great post, please head over to Mame Musings and read more about her.  You won't be disappointed by what you find. 
 
Actually, you should probably just follow her (one way or another) so you can be sure to learn about her core values through her new 12 in 2012 series.  I personally follow her because she has a great mix of comedy, sincerity, lessons for living life, and honesty.  To be able to blend that all together on a consistent basis is truly a talent, and, in our household, we are big fans of her work.
 
So without further ado...
______________________________________________________________________________
 

Image Credit



Georgie Porgie, Puddin' and Pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry,
When the boys came out to play
Georgie Porgie ran away.


On the surface this rhyme reads like a classic case of an obnoxious playground bully—a perfect example of why schools now have tough new zero tolerance policies for just this sort of harassment.

According to sources who refused to be named for fear of unwanted kiss retaliation, it appears there is more than enough blame to go around here.
Apparently, Georgie’s inappropriate displays of affection and fear of males resulted from his low self-esteem, which was caused by his unfortunate nickname, which came from his high BMI, which came from his love for pudding and pie, which stemmed from the fact that his mother didn’t make him eat his vegetables, which was the result of his mother being too lenient, which was her way of compensating for the fact that she had run Georgie’s dad off (because he liked to kiss other women).

Bottom line: Georgie is the victim. Call Gloria Allred.


Image Credit



Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?


What is the deal with these kings?

Weren’t pipes, bowls, and fiddlers enough? Now they are harassing birds?

What gives them the right to think it’s okay to feed some poor, innocent blackbirds a little cheap bag of rye and them stuff them against their will into a pie?

No wonder they started singing once the pie was opened! I’d probably sing too if I was finally released from the cramped, doughy confines where I had been encased with 23 other sweaty, squawking blackbirds.

And, dainty? 24 blackbirds might be called a lot of things, but I assure you, dainty is not one of them.

I don’t blame the blackbird for later pecking off a nose—that’s a justifiable angry bird.

Bottom line: The blackbirds are the victim. Call PETA.



Sunday, January 1, 2012

More Nursery Rhymes

More nursery rhymes unpacked!

Goosey Goosey Gander

Goosey Goosey Gander wither shall I wander,
Upstairs, downstairs, and in my ladie's chamber.
There I met an old man who would not say his prayers,
I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs.

The moral of the story - say your prayers or watch out for the AFLAC duck. He will hurt you - unless you have insurance with him. The insurance will save you since he doesn't want to pay any claims. You better pay your premiums. Failure to do so could result in one being thrown down the stairs.
That's one angry bird
Old King Cole

Old King Cole was a merry old soul and a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl, and he called for his fiddler's three.

Old King Cole was a druggie.  His three best friends were druggies.  Who knows?  Maybe the entire castle and kingdom was full of druggies.  That would certainly explain why Humpty Dumpty couldn't be put back together again.  All the king's men made a huge omelet to satisfy their munchies.

Rub-a-dub-dub

Rub a dub dub,
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker.
Turn them out, knaves all three.
Don't google 3 men in a tub - you've been warned.
This is one of the first references in history to "outing" homosexuals.  If you see three men sitting in a tub, rub a dub dubbing, you are supposed to "turn them out", which obviously means to bring them out of the closet.  These three just happen to be knaves, but we don't know if they are members of the knave union or just freelancers.  From our last nursery rhyme lesson, we are aware of the knave union and how they were treated by the Queen of Hearts.  We may never know the truth about these men - were they hiding because they were union members afraid of getting their heads chopped off or were they actually homosexual?  The history books are not conclusive, though I suspect the Queen was trying to shame them into coming out to defend their masculinity by spreading rumors about their sexual preferences.