Monday, August 27, 2007

Captain Oblivious

My wife figured out early on that I can't read her mind. That's just not a skill men come with, in general. Tonight she found out that even as men go I'm a little slow.

We were sitting at the table discussing Halloween costumes, and Rachel asked Matthew if he was going to eat his chili this year.

I paused. "Wait," I said. "Is that what we had last year [when Matthew wouldn't eat his dinner, so didn't get to trick or treat]?"

My wife looked at me with a grin in her eyes. "Yes, we've had chili and corn bread every Halloween for seven years now."

"Oh. It's a tradition?"

"Yes, Dear. So what you're telling me is, when I ask if you had any traditions growing up, you're not really a reliable source, are you?"

I guess not!

(I didn't tell her that I probably never would have noticed the chili and corn bread thing if Matthew hadn't refused to eat it last year. So, no. Not a reliable source at all.)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another sign you need to work out more

Your wife tells you, "I like that look on you. Black is slimming."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

On the hazards of getting your wife killed

We played Munchkin with my cousin Bryan and his wife Jen yesterday. At one point Bryan was fighting a level 10 monster. I made it "Ancient" (+10) and he enlisted Rachel to help fight it. Then I gave it a "mate" (doubling its power to 40). Rachel and Bryan had to run away. Bryan made it. Rachel did not and died.

Rachel was understandably peeved with me. I thought it ended with the game until she told me as we were going to sleep, "I think Lisa has the right idea." I immediately knew what she meant: Lisa only plays board games to make Grant lose. I have no idea why he still plays with her.

"I didn't know you were the vindictive sort, Dear," I said.

"I'm not vindictive. I'm just holding a grudge."

I guess that does it for Munchkin.

(It could be worse, though. My friend Howard knows a man with a couch he calls his Medici couch, because that's where he sleeps after he plays Medici with his wife.)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Little girls

Girls play so differently than boys.

Matthew's (second) cousins Abby and Alex are here playing. Abby is a little older than Matthew and Alex is a little older than Melissa.

Abby is running things. Her games are entirely different than Matthew's. I came down when she was serving "dessert" to the others. She saw me and assured me, "It's okay; we already had dinner."

Then she got the "bed" ready and told the younger kids they had 2 minutes before bedtime. Then it was storytime. Then, "Alex, go to bed with Melissa. I want to sleep with Matthew. He's the daddy."

But Matthew started arguing with her because he was having fun reading "stories" to Alex. "I sleep with Alex first." They argued at length. Abby played her trump card: "You'll wake the baby up!" But Matthew out-stubborned her, until Alex lost interest.

The two younger ones are taking this with surprisingly good grace, consenting to play along when it suits them, but ignoring the older kids when it doesn't. Mostly, it doesn't.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The most stubborn Ellis

I thought Melissa had "most stubborn Ellis" locked up but Matthew has forced me to reconsider.

Saturday morning, around 8:00, he was tasked with cleaning his room, same as every Saturday morning for the past few months.

He finished at 11:00 Sunday morning.

It was about fifteen minutes' worth of work. Thirty if you're horribly inefficient. An hour if you're inefficient and easily distracted.

So for over 24 hours Matthew only came out for meals.

It was annoying for the rest of us because we had some family activities we would have liked to do, but he was inclined to cut of his nose to spite his face.

I did beat Super Stardust though. So it wasn't a total loss.

Chaise lounge, postscriptum

This already is funny, to my mom.

"Just like her father," she chuckled.

"Hey!" I protested. You mean, "Just like her Uncle David! I wasn't the destructive one."

"You're right," she conceded.

"You've got to be more careful about that, Mom," I said. "Rachel hears you say 'Just like her dad' and takes it at face value."

I get the impression that my wife thinks I was 5 kids worth of orneriness rolled into one. Just trying to set the record straight.

Alas, poor chaise lounge

Melissa kicked off the weekend with flair.

I got home, kissed my wife, asked, "Where's the kids?" [downstairs, playing nicely] and sat down to read the paper. Hey, usually the kids are all over me, so I was going to enjoy the calm while it lasted.

Rachel checked on the kids a few minutes later. When she came up, she grimly deposited a marker-covered Melissa in front of me, then headed back down.

I went down too. Rachel's chaise lounge was covered in the same purple marker that decorated Melissa. Matthew had opened the Melissa-proof container the markers were in for his own use (on paper), but apparently saw nothing in his sister practicing her art on the chair worth telling us about. Odd, because usually he's so quick to tattle. Bad time to choose to be reticent.

Amazingly, Rachel got almost all of the marker out of the chair. Only four spots remain that I can see. And when I say it was covered I mean it; of the seven faces of the chair not facing the floor, five had marker on them and four had a lot of marker on them.

Rachel thinks there is hope if she tries different cleaning solutions on the four remaining spots but it is probably going to be time to drape her chair in decorative cloths of some sort.

Poor Rachel. As my friend said, "We've pretty much given up on having nice things until the kids are twenty or so." The chaise lounge was one of our few more-than-utilitarian pieces, and Melissa chose that one to practice on.

In a few years this will probably be funny.