Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 1585 - Once Upon A Time...

Every night, I tell the kids a story in bed.  It's a little bit like improv because I ask for suggestions and ideas from the kids, and then I just make something up.  There has been this one particular story that the kids like, and it has grown into an extremely bizarre and poopy-filled adventure.  As I share this utterly foul story with you, please remember that the most surreal and random aspects of this story are more often than not the creative minds of Andrew and Emma at work.


Once upon a time, Andrew and Emma had a playdate with their friend, Winnie the Pooh.  They had a wonderful day playing all of their favorite games together.  They played dress-up.  They played with cars.  They rode their scooters.  And they had a lot of yummy and healthy snacks to eat.

Soon it was time for Winnie the Pooh to leave.  But before he left, he figured he should go to the bathroom because the Hundred Acre Woods is so far, far away.  Andrew and Emma showed Winnie the Pooh where the bathroom was, and they waited for him.

As Winnie the Pooh sat on the toilet, he didn't realize what a small doll he was because he slipped through the toilet seat and got stuck in the toilet.

"Oh bother," cried Winnie.  "Andrew!  Emma!  Could you please help me?"

Andrew and Emma walked into the bathroom and couldn't believe their eyes.  Winnie the Pooh was completely stuck in their toilet.  Only Winnie the Pooh's head was sticking out.  Andrew and Emma tried to pull Winnie the Pooh out, but they were not strong enough.  What could they do?

"Perhaps, you could call your parents," suggested Winnie the Pooh.

That was a great idea!  Andrew called Daddy at work.

The phone rang, and Daddy picked up the phone saying, "Hello!  Welcome to Arby's.  May I help you?"

"Daddy! Daddy!" screamed Andrew.  "I need help at home!"

"What's wrong?" panicked Daddy.

"Pooh is in the toilet!" exclaimed Andrew.

"Good for you.  Keep it there," said Daddy.

"No! You don't understand!  I need to get my Pooh out of the toilet!' explained Andrew.

"Don't get your poo out of the toilet!  Poo stays in the toilet!" scolded Daddy.

Andrew grew frustrated with Daddy and hung up.  Emma decided to try Mommy at work.

The phone rang, and Mommy answered the phone, "Hello.  Vivid Entertainment, may I help you?"

"Mommy!  It's Emma!"  Emma understood the confusion that happened between Andrew and Daddy, so she told Mommy, "Winnie the Pooh is stuck in the toilet, and we need to get him out!"

"Not again," said Mommy.  "I'll be right home."

When Mommy arrived at home, she saw Winnie the Pooh stuck in the toilet.  She tried flushing the toilet while holding on to Winnie, but the suction was too great and down went Winnie the Pooh into the pipes.

"Now what?" yelled Andrew and Emma.

"I guess I'll have to go get my magical bikini and save Winnie the Pooh," sighed Mommy.

Mommy went into the bedroom and put on her magical Hello Kitty bikini top and bottom.  She returned to the bathroom, stood in the toilet, and signaled Andrew and Emma to flush her down the toilet.  With a nod of her head, she was flushed down the toilet, spinning round and round until she disappeared.

After a moment of silence, the kids heard their Mommy say, "I'm here with Winnie the Pooh, but now I'm stuck in the toilet too!  Now I need help!"

Andrew and Emma knew exactly what to do:  they called Team Umizoomi.  Team Umizoomi appeared with their friend Bot.  They examined the situation and by using math, they realized that Winnie the Pooh and Mommy were stuck five feet underneath the toilet.

"We will go down the toilet and save her with a song," said Team Umizoomi.

When your Mommy and your Pooh is stuck in a toilet,
There's only one team to call to help.
Team Umizoomi!  Team Umizoomi!

We'll go five feet under
To find your friends.
Let's count together
And find your Pooh.
Team Umizoomi!  Team Umizoomi!

Five!  We just started.
Four!  We past some toilet paper.
Three!  There's last night's dinner.
Two!  We're getting really close.
One!  We see a bikini.
We saved them!

Team Umizoomi!  Team Umizoomi!

And from the downstair's toilet, out splashed Winnie the Pooh, Mommy with her magical bikini, and Team Umizoomi.  Andrew and Emma were so overjoyed to see their friends and Mommy safe and sound that they covered them all with gigantic hugs and kisses. 

Over a snack of milk and cookies, Mommy told Andrew and Emma that if there's anything to be learned at all from this incident, it is that you never put your Pooh in the toilet.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 1582 - Conversation with Emma & Andrew

Every evening after their bath, the kids select two short YouTube videos to watch while they munch on a little fruit.  Sometimes the kids are very decisive about their choices, occasionally they don't know what to pick, and in this instance, they are critical of each other's choices.

"Andrew," asked Lisa. "What do you want to watch on YouTube?"

"I want to see Spider-Man," answered Andrew.  He has taken a slight interest in comic book heroes since kids at preschool talk about it, so we have introduced him to the theme songs of those old super hero cartoons.

But Emma did not like Andrew's choice.  "That's a yucky pick," she whined.

Andrew did not like Emma's comment.  "Know what?  You're a yucky pick, Emma!" retorted Andrew.

And in next week's episode, Daddy tries to teach Andrew how to say a comeback line that actually makes sense.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 1580 - Picture Friday: Griffith Observatory Edition

"Eeeeyah.  Like putting my eye on that thing is the cleanest thing to do..."

"Well, this exhibit sucks." 

 "Emma!  Can you get Disney Junior on this thing?"

"I have a lot on my mind right now."

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 1577 - Temple of Doom

There are a few situations where Andrew and Emma get along really well.  They help each other out when we punish them by tying them on top of their bed as a gigantic scythe swings dangerously close to their scalps.  They make breakfast for each other on Sunday mornings because Lisa and I are still hungover from a crazy night of cracking and whoring.  And they really like playing with building blocks together.

One day, Andrew and Emma were playing with these building blocks called Trio.  They are basically a pretty cool combination of Tinker Toys and Legos.  Together they built a pretty tall structure and began to decorate it with some of Emma's jewelry and dolls.  It looked something like this:

Look at how proud Emma looks at her creation, and look at how buzzed Andrew looks as he sips the last drop of his mint julep.  The kids continued to play with their tower of fun, and as they laughed and giggled about the adventure they were creating, I relaxed on the sofa as I laughed and giggled through my latest pile of periodicals:  Rice Cooker Digest, Chess Today, and Overhead Projector Collectibles.

When the kids finished playing with their blocks and continued to their next thing, I got up from the sofa to clean up their mess.  But before I took down their blocks, I noticed seemed a bit amiss about what they were doing because there was some very dark and disturbing imagery going on.

Is it me or does it look like the kids reenacted the old man hanging himself at the end of Shawshank Redemption with Cinderella and Belle?  And what's up with the upside down Lego girl watching the proceedings?  Is she with TMZ or The Enquirer?

And as if all of that wasn't bad enough, when you look at the entire scene it's even a little more morbid.

Look at that Pit of Death underneath the Disney Princesses.  I think the kids offed some livestock, Mickey Mouse, and one of the girls from "The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants."  

Also what the hell is Big Bird doing there?  I asked Emma about Big Bird and she said, "Oh!  Big Bird is our Amon Goeth and he is killing all of our toys."  Ask a stupid question...

I know the kids had no idea how violent and surreal their diorama of death looked like, but this begs two questions.  First of all, what did the kids think about what they were doing?  Was it just an innocent game of trying to balance their toys in the loops of beaded jewelry?  I know they weren't trying to hurt the dolls because Andrew and Emma still get anxious and neurotic over cartoon characters getting injured.  I can only assume it was some sort of benign game.

And secondly, how f*&@ed up is my imagination?  I really got to find a new therapist... 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 1575 - Emma Knows Best

It is amazing what Emma can do with a couple of nouns, verbs, and adjectives.  Lisa and I have been having the occasional verbal sparring with Emma, and unfortunately for us, her epee has thrust itself close to our jugular one too many times.  Darth Maul, watch out.

Emma's bossiness and stubbornness reveals itself either in the morning or just after dinner.  In other words, she's an angel at preschool, and the opposite at home.  Yet it is hard not to find yourself amused at the things that come out of a four year old's mouth even when it is said in anger or frustration.

For instance, we were talking to Andrew about his habit of going to the toilet at the last minute because one too many poop turtles have been poking out.  Lisa must've been visibly frustrated at Andrew because Emma decided to chime in.

"Andrew needs to listen to his own body," Emma explained to Lisa.  "Mommy, you worry about yourself, and Andrew will worry about himself."

Thanks for the advice, NPR Jr. radio host.  I have no idea how or where Emma picks up on these things, but it scares the crap out of me.  I can just imagine having a conversation with her ten years from now...

"Andrew needs to learn these things for himself, "Emma might explain to me.  "Daddy, you worry about yourself, and Andrew will worry about himself.  Now you two made me late for lamaze class!"

I occasionally try to humor Emma with her four year old advice and commands, but I do try to set her straight that there are times when she has to listen to Mommy and Daddy.  It is important for her to understand that her parents are there to help guide her through life and to set certain parameters.  And most importantly, there are also times when she can't question her parents because the only thing Mommy and Daddy can say is "Because I said so."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 1573 - Picture Friday: Disneyland Edition

 "Fastpass, my ass."

 "Dude, I know they probably pay you minimum wage, but get your damn elbow off my head."

 Emma really enjoys Disneyland's newest attraction "Pete's Dragon's Misty Sphincter".

"Dumbo farted..."

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 1569 - Conversations with Andrew

Lisa presented the kids their burned dinner of blackened chicken, blackened vegetables, and blackened rice; Lisa prefers to call it her Cajun cooking.  Andrew is a good eater, but very specific and particular about his food.

"I want furikake on my rice," said Andrew.

For those of you who don't know what furikake is, it is a Japanese condiment that you sprinkle on top of your rice.  Usually it is a mixture of salt, chopped seaweed, and sesame seeds.  But Americans know it more by the name of that salty, seaweedy, seedy thingy you get at Yoshinoya.

"How do you ask for it?" asked Lisa.

"Pleeeeeeeeeze?" wheezed Andrew.

"Thank you," replied Lisa.

Lisa went to grab the bottle of furikake and was about to sprinkle the salty MSG goodness over the rice when Andrew stopped her.

"Stop!" yelled Andrew.  "I want to do it!"

"No," said Lisa.  "Mommy's going to do it."

"Why?" Andrew wanted an answer.

"Because when you do it, you pour too much out and it gets all over the place.  THAT'S why!" explained Lisa.

I guess that answer was good enough for Andrew, although he did say in response, "I guess somebody's grouchy today..."

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 1567 - Picture Friday

Emma pitches her new reality show merging the best of music and cuisine:   Top Clef.

"I assume this isn't the best time to tell you I have to go to the potty..."

"Look at me!  I'm chewing broccoli!"

"Look at me!  I'm chewing Emma's chewed broccoli!"

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 1565 - Bad Mommy!

It was a typical winter day in Los Angeles:  mid-70s and sunny.  I was walking home with the kids from preschool.  They were talking and laughing up a storm telling me all of the exciting things that happened to them.  Emma painted, Andrew painted.  Emma ate lunch, Andrew ate lunch.  Emma pooped in the potty, Andrew pooped in his pants. 

As we were all holding hands and enjoying the walk home, I asked the kids what they wanted for their afternoon snack.  But before they could answer, we were emotionally attacked by a haggard, disoriented woman who leaped at us from behind a cement wall:  it was Lisa.

You see, Lisa thought it would be hilarious to scare all three of us because we were all happily walking home and discussing what nutritious morsel we would digest at home.  I will give it to Lisa that she scared me.  It was so bad that I used Andrew and Emma as human shields. 

At first, the kids were stunned by what happened.  There was just silence.  And then slowly, but surely, their silence turned into screams of horror and torture.  Those quivering lips turned into drooling mouths of saliva and tears. 

"MOMMY!  WHY DID YOU DO THAT?"  screamed Emma.

"THAT NOT NICE!  BAD MOMMY!" said Andrew getting straight to the point.  Bad mommy, indeedy!

And of course I had to comfort the kids by telling them, "I would never, ever do anything like that to you!  I don't understand why Mommy did such a scary thing like that.  I wuv you!"

Lisa gave an innocent "who would've thunk" shrug with her shoulders, and realized what she did was pretty lame.  Or better yet, it was a dumbass move.  I later reminded her of all the times I would jump out at the kids at home, and how she would reprimand me for scaring the kids.  Well my little misdemeanors at home has nothing to compare to Lisa's life-in-prison-sodomy-attack on the kids today.

All of this family drama was awkwardly taking place on the sidewalk of a residential street, so Lisa and I had to quickly figure out a way to calm the kids down and get them home.  Lisa tried apologizing to them, but the kids were still too hysterical.  Again, I tried telling the kids that I would never do that to them and I wuv, wuv, wuv them so much.  Still nothing.  Finally, we resorted to a tried-and-true solution to most  meltdowns:  ice cream.

Obviously, Lisa felt pretty bad about scaring the crap out of the kids.  As we reached home, Lisa apologized and told the kids what she did wasn't nice and that she would not do that again.  The kids accepted her apology and gave her big hugs.  And in return, Lisa offered the kids a can of peanut brittle.

You can only imagine their horror when a snake popped out of the can...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 1565 - You Were A Champ!

It was a sad day in the Ichikawa house because we bid farewell to a trusty family friend.  He was there in our time of need.  No matter how awful the job, he was there for us.  We crapped on him time and time again, yet he never left.  He stood true and loyal to us.  Good bye, dear friend.  Good bye, Diaper Champ.

Yes, after four years of stinky servitude, it was time to send off our crappy little dumpster off into a larger, crappier dumpster.  It was a strange feeling throwing away our feces friend because we've had him from the very beginning.  From the very first diaper to the very last diaper, our poopy compadre was there.

Truthfully, we had the Diaper Champ downstairs in our office for about a month before I finally threw it away.  I could easily throw away a piece of artwork that the kids drew, but for some reason I was having a really difficult time getting rid of our poop chute bucket.  Why was I so attached to this piece of crap?

Then it struck me.  This meant that the kids were growing up.  I was having difficulty throwing it away because I had a hard time acknowledging that our babies were no longer babies anymore.  So as I sat downstairs staring at the Diaper Champ, I came to terms with Andrew and Emma growing up and realized it was simply time to get rid of our fertilizer friend.  I gave it one last hug, a big sloppy kiss, and placed it gently into the garbage dumpster.

But I must say the thought crossed my mind to use the Diaper Champ as something else.  I brainstormed and came up with several ideas.  I only share these ideas with you because Lisa refused to hear me out.

A butter churner.  Mmm.  What's that delectable, creamy, yet subtly feces-tinged spread on my toast?

 A soda dispenser.  Dr. Pooper, Poop Beer, or Mountain Doo?

A planter.  You'll never run out of fertilizer.

A Halloween costume.  C3PO and RpooDpoo.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 1563 - Picture Friday

 "Why do we have to look like this?"

"I don't know, Miss Tyler, I really don't know. But you know something? it doesn't matter. There's an old saying, a very, very old saying: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". When we leave here, when we go to the village, try to think of that, Miss Tyler. Say it over and over to yourself. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'."

 "Scissor kick...scissor step...scissor kick!"

The iAndrew.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012