The Cat is Boring

The argument that kept my boys awake half an hour past bed time:

Malcolm: “Dad, the cat won’t sit in bed with me. Now it’s boring.”

Ian: “The cat is boring?”

Mal: “No, it’s boring. The cat’s not boring.”

Ian: “Well, the cat’s boring to me because she was in your bed.”

Mal: “That doesn’t make her boring!”

Ian: “She’s boring to me.”

Mal: “You’re boring!”

Ian: “No! The cat’s boring.”

Mal: “You’re boring!”

Ian: “No! You’re boring!”

Mal: “No, you!”

Dad: “Would you both stop talking and go to sleep please? It doesn’t matter who’s boring because it’s bed time and boring is a part of going to sleep!”

One of them: “I’m not tired.”

The other: “Me either.”


A while ago I discovered that the reason Ian starts counting backward from 60 at seemingly random times is that, when I say “just a minute,” he takes me literally and counts down the seconds.

The other day I said, “In about 6½ minutes.”

He asked, “How many seconds is that?”


He groans, “awww… frown emoticon” and then walks out mournfully counting down, “three hundred and ninety, three hundred and eighty nine, three hundred and eighty eight…”

He seemed more annoyed that he had to count down from 390 than that I needed to work for another 6½ minutes before I could come look at his Minecraft water world that makes Endermen do something twitchy (I don’t really understand what was going on with the Endermen and water).

Optimus Prime – Free Two Day Shipping

Oops. A combination of stubbornness and bad time management on parents’ parts had Malcolm acting out what could have been seen by his teacher as a lack of respect for her expectations and by Malcolm as a sign from us that this is OK.

So last night I was frantic when I discovered the week+ old homework packet, unfinished, with instructions to finish and return to her in his folder. We finished it up, but since this was less his fault (virtually nil) and more a failure of co-parenting, I encouraged him with a bribe.

“If you can meet some for time-based goals I set as you go along, I will buy you the most expensive Transformer we can find on Amazon, outside of used and/or collectors items. For each goal you don’t meet, I’ll drop the reward by 25% of the most expensive one.”

He failed the first one with tears and obstinance, but after a break he beat the rest with ease.

The most expensive damned Transformer is close to $100. frown emoticon

Dreaming of Sleeping

Woke up this morning to Ian really wanting me to get out of bed. It was early, so I just ushered him into my bed and under the covers to buy myself some time.

He talked to himself a lot and scratched my back and played with my ears for a while, but got pretty fed up with my excuses for lying in bed while he was so awake.

Then I feel this little finger in my ear, digging and reminding me of those childhood warnings about cleaning your ears with Q-Tips. Next I feel him sticking his eye up to my ear, peeking in. 

“I’m gonna look in your ear to see what you’re dreaming about.” He pushes his eyeball tightly up against my ear and rocks his head to the side as though he’s honestly looking for something, then pulls back a bit.

“Did you see what I’m dreaming about?” I asked.

“I didn’t see nuffing. Just all black. Daddy? Are you dreaming about sleeping?”


Did homework with Ian tonight. He lit up like a christmas tree. He’s so eager to learn and so imaginative that it almost seems like he’s been filling the intellectual void with his own, fast-paced curriculum.

All day long, every day, he asks these “what if” questions. The last one at the end of the day today was, “daddy, what if the whole universe was the size of me?” When we were buying socks in Victoria last weekend it was, “if everything in the world was made out of fabric, would it be houndstooth?” One time it was, “daddy, if we [all animals] were made out of metal, what would we eat?” 

I feel like it’s a criminal disservice to him to shove this dynamic and differently paced little boy into a system that doesn’t really know how to accommodate him. I just wish I was far enough ahead of the game to know how to get him engaged in a way that could include fitting in at school without squeezing him into (or out of) somebody else’s definition of “amazing.”