Since the last post, I’ve had a few quiet moments where I sat down at the end of the day to bang out a few ideas but then one of the kids had the audacity to interrupt me with their crying because of a bad dream, ear infection, teething, or whathaveyou. To put the effort in perspective, my first attempt at getting this post up was on February 27. Barring an unforeseen emergency, I hope to crank this out for publication by tomorrow morning – March 25.
Knock on wood, we appear to be turning a corner finally with Greta and Gus healthy and Tilly inching ever so slowly towards longer bouts of time between feedings. The nice weather certainly helps, too. Without further ado, today’s post is a hodgepodge of prior incomplete efforts finally concluded. Enjoy.
As much as I give THE WIFE grief for her uncanny ability to cry, even from say a Sarah McLachlan commercial advocating prevention of cruelty to animals, I’ve been known to turn the waterworks on pretty easily in my advancing age. This week, I must confess there was a moment when the room got a little dusty.
Geography is a bit of a strange obsession to me, my brother, and my father. Maybe the interest goes back to long car rides when the three of us played “City, State, Country” together. Or perhaps my victory in our eighth grade geography bee at good ole Hooksett Memorial planted the seed.
The man love for my buddy “Uncle” Randy went from casual to intense when we discovered a shared passion for the Almanac. To this day, we still quiz each other on anything from “bodies of water” to “international capitals” to “highest elevations” as our wives kibbitz in a different room.
For whatever reason, I felt compelled this week to instill the excitement of geography upon Greta. I pulled out the Almanac, a World Atlas, and a globe. Next I started the hype propaganda to Gigi by doing the old “I’ve got a surprise for you!” She grew giddier with each “What is it?!” after I refused to tell her. Finally, we sat down and recapped the geography we know to date.
We live on the planet Earth in a country called USA in a state called Massachusetts in a town called Easton. Check. I showed her the globe, which she spun around multiple times. Gus suddenly showed interest and crawled over. Nice, he was in too!
ME: Okay, so (pointing) here is where we live. But tonight, we’re going to learn about a new country. I’m gonna spin the globe and then you are gonna point with your finger to any spot on the planet. Then, we’ll look at that country in the Atlas and read about it in the Almanac! Doesn’t that sound amazing!?
GRETA: (preoccupied because I stopped the globe from spinning)
GUS: (making out with a swath of Europe)
Right. Maybe the excitement level wasn’t quite as high as I was hoping for, but we did learn a little bit about Angola that night.
I was a little deflated at the letdown. But just when we were about to finish the lesson, Greta came upon the Almanac’s pages that contain the flags of every country in the world. She thought it was so cool. Suddenly, it felt like someone had just sliced up some onions under my nose.
I tore the pages out of the Almanac with the flags (don’t worry, it was 2008’s version and THE WIFE gives me a new edition every year for Christmas) and Greta carried them around with her for the night. She made me so proud. I can’t wait until she starts taking Social Studies.
So, it’s official. Training for Greta’s and Gus’ geography bees of 2022 and 2024 has begun. Griswald, Uncle Tom, and Uncle Randy, bring your questions with you next time you’re over to see the kids.
We moms, dads, and caretakers often find it necessary in the heat of the moment to bust into song. Sometimes, it may be a last ditch desperate attempt to somehow convince the child to [fill in the blank]: take medicine, change a diaper, eat something, change clothes, etc. As for the T household, we have several of those moments on a daily basis. As a result, we have developed a few go-to jingles.
Admittedly, we’re not exactly talking Lennon-McCartney magic or even LMFAO’s 15 minutes of fame for that matter. Nevertheless, in the spirit of the White Album (Beatles), Black Album (Jay-Z), Grey Album (Danger Mouse), and Blue Album (Weezer), I present a new addition.
In honor of Greta’s current two favorite colors, I present the Purple-Pink Album. Song list with duration and songwriter is as follows:
1. Cooperation (:30) (M. Teravainen – D. Teravainen)
2. Boyfriend (:30) (N. Cooney)
3. I’m So Proud of You (:20) (M. Teravainen)
4. Cheerios (:15) (D. Teravainen)
5. Team [Not] On Vacation (:40) (M. Teravainen)
6. Pee Pee on the Potty (:10) (M. Teravainen)
1. Shake, Shake, Shake (:20) (M. Teravainen)
2. Arms Up (:15) (D. Teravainen)
If the Purple-Pink Album had a cover, then we’d have an image of Ooloo – Greta’s purple alien friend from the planet Cookachoo, with three eyes and five to eight tentacles depending on the drawing, a pink vest, and travels through the galaxy in his purple space ship in search of purple foods but especially purple grapes, who occasionally shows up in Greta’s closet when she wakes up in the morning before breakfast.
Obviously, the inner sleeve of our album (now they’re called “digital booklets” and available for download in .pdf form) would contain the lyrics – perhaps even various pictures of the band inspired by the music. Font and overall style selection would belong to whichever one of our graphic designer friends agreed to oversee this portion of the project on a significantly reduced rate (translation: pro bono.) To the extent we currently have no graphic designer on retainer, we’ll just italicize the lyrics and leave the song’s backstory in an un-italicized Calibri font.
Cooperation. Cooperation. Co-OP-er-ation. Cooperation. Cooperation. I like co-op-er-ators.
(Repeat three times.)
That’s right. That’s it. Just imagine frantic and spastic efforts to dress Gus or Greta before the other jams his/her finger into a socket.
You are my boyfriend. You are my boyfriend. I. Love. My Augey.
You are my boyfriend. You are my boyfriend. I. Love. You. Boom-boom.
Nana is world famous for launching into this jam when she’s trying to get Gus out of a fussy mood. It always works.
I’m So Proud of You
I’m so proud of you. (Clap clap) I’m so proud of you. (Clap clap) I’m so proud, I’m so proud, I’m so proud of you. (Clap clap.)
THE WIFE conjured this gem up recently when Greta was refusing to take Amoxicillin two ear infections ago. It worked. We sing it to Gus, too, when he gets fussy about taking his antacids.
Cheer-ee-os. Cheer-ee-os. Cheer-ee-os , I eat you for breakfast.
Cheer-ee-os. Cheer-ee-os. Cheer-ee-os, don’t put em up your nose.
Self-explanatory. We had a situation that we hoped to avoid again.
Team [Not] On Vacation
We’re a team [not] on vay-cay-shon. We’re a team [not] on vay-cay-shon.
A team [not] on vay-CAY (pause – big finish) SHON!
THE WIFE and I took a trip to San Fran a few years back. The weather seemed dumpy whenever we ventured outside. I started to get poopy pants. Fortunately, THE WIFE rallied our spirits with her song about how we were ON vacation. My mood rallied and so did the weather. Once we returned home and immersed ourselves in reality, the lyrics changed to “we’re a team NOT on va-cay-shon!” Get it? No? Well, at least it’s funny to us.
Pee-Pee on the Potty
Pee Pee on the Pah-tee. Pee Pee on the Pah-tee. Yeah! (jazz hands optional)
Now that Gigi has number one figured out, you can probably guess where the re-mix version of this song is going.
Shake, Shake, Shake
You gotta shake, shake, shake, shake it off. (Repeat as necessary.)
THE WIFE sings this song quickly and urgently after Greta bites her tongue or her cheek, which happens surprisingly often by the way. Its lack of depth, however, keeps it off the A-side. Because that side clearly contains songs with very deep lyrics.
It’s bath time. Arms up! Got to get this shirt off before you can go in the tub.
Hey, c’mon. Get your arms up. I love you bub.
Seriously, though, move your goddam arms up. It’s been a long day and I’m really tired of playing games.
You little pain in the ass, get your tiny little wings up in the air for Christ’s sake. Where’s my glass of wine?
I’m the first to admit this song’s probably not going to make it in a Disney movie.
And there you have the Purple-Pink Album. Look for it on iTunes next month.