Lunch. James Lunch.

So this morning the school calls and tells me that the Captain’s lunch is missing. I know it was there, because today was a special day in which parents were invited to a Meet The Teacher breakfast, so I personally dropped the Captain off at his classroom, hung his backpack on its hook, and saw his lunch bag in the backpack when I took out his water bottle.

I immediately guessed it was stolen. And you know, I had left his backpack a bit unzipped, and you could see the lunch bag poking out, and I actually thought to myself at the time, “I should zip that closed so no one takes his lunch,” and then I thought, “How stupid, who is going to take a kid’s lunch, and it’s not like zipping it all the way closed is some Fort Knox-style protective device, anyway.”

So I didn’t zip it.

And the lunch went missing.

Man, was I pissed off. Since the Captain can’t eat any of the backup food that the school keeps on site due to his allergies, I had to rush to make him another lunch. The whole time I was frantically making sandwiches and washing grapes and preparing chocolate rice milk I was stomping around and muttering under my breath about HOOLIGANS who STEAL LUNCHES and what the HELL is this world COMING TO, anyway. I paused occasionally to dash off angry emails to Sir Monkeypants and to protest loudly about the injustice of the universe on Twitter.

When the second lunch was ready, I packed up Little Miss Sunshine and dashed over to the school, and guess what I found in the Captain’s backpack?


It turns out that my leaving his backpack a bit unzipped had caused it to fall onto the floor, where it apparently TURNED INVISIBLE. Seriously, Captain! The teacher asked him to do a “thorough search” of the hallway, floor, and his cubby area, and that blue thing? Sitting in plain view in the middle of the floor under his hook? The squarish thing filled with food? Was IN DISGUISE. Completely hidden by the wide expanse of WHITE FLOOR.

It’s the 007 of lunches, I guess.

It wasn’t that big a deal in the end, because I had to be there to pick up Gal Smiley anyway. I know I’ve vented quite a bit here about how dreadful it is having to walk back and forth to the school all the time, like, write me a novel and call it Turtlehead’s Progress, but here’s a little secret…

There are actually some good things about it. I know! It’s shocking!

The second best thing is that I can eat a cupcake every day after lunch now, and not gain any weight. Which is AWESOME.

The best thing, though, is that when I go to pick up Gal Smiley, both she and the Captain are having outdoor playtime, and I can watch them from the side of the school grounds. Usually they don’t notice I’m there right away, and I can see them interact with their friends completely candidly, and it’s so wonderful. I just love seeing them playing tag, or digging in the sand, or just chatting with their buddies, all grown-up and child-like and GORGEOUS. It’s a little window into their World Without Mommy, and I love being able to play Peeping Tom for a few minutes a day.

Gal Smiley has to play in the kindergarten area, which is fenced off from the rest of the playground, and the Captain’s class usually gathers in the area right outside the kindergarten fence. Often, the Captain and the Gal are on either side of the fence chatting with each other, which is so awesome it melts my heart right away. Yesterday, when I arrived at the school grounds, they were chatting at the fence when the bell rang, and the Captain gave the Gal a quick kiss on the cheek before running back into the school. It was my proudest moment to date as a Mommy.

I freakin’ LOVE those kids.

Anyway, due to the whole no lunch/lunch thing today, I got to watch them on the playground for an extra ten minutes. A whole extra ten minutes of watching the most beautiful kids in the world. Ten minutes of pure delight. Ten minutes of joy.

And then I came home to a pre-made lunch of sandwiches and grapes and chocolate rice milk.

So a happy ending, don’t you think?

Faster Than Cheese

The other day Captain Jelly Belly wanted me to move more quickly so he said to me,

“Hurry up, Mom! Faster than cheese!”

Then I laughed for like, ten minutes, which probably didn’t help speed me up any.

I thought it was a one-off, but then the next day, while I was poking around before going to school,

“Come ON, Mom! Faster than cheese!”

And I laughed for like, 20 minutes.

The most hilarious thing is that he cannot understand why I think this is so funny. He stamps his foot and gets a little pissy because I’m laughing when it is OBVIOUSLY not a joke.

After a few times of me totally cracking up over this, he tried to explain that he meant to say, “You know, like faster than making cheese, you get it now?”

But that was only funnier, both because he had obviously been searching for some sort of reasonable explanation, and also because faster than making cheese means I could take, oh, three to five months to actually accomplish the task at hand, and still beat the cheese.

So that’s hardly a challenge, there.

Naturally this immortal phrase has been adopted by the whole family now. So if you see us at the park, you’ll know it’s me because I’ll be the one shouting at the kids to, “Come on already, FASTER THAN CHEESE!”

Tee Hee

Funnies from the Captain:

After we summarized the opening scene of Return Of The Jedi:

“Why does Jabba freeze Leia and Chewie too, even though only Han lost his luggage?”

After we had a long talk with him about why he could not turn a box into a toy gun:

“Could only one of you talk to me about responsibility? Because it’s really hard to turn my head back and forth like this.”

Dream Car

Way back before we had kids, Sir Monkeypants and I invented a car game called “Dream Home.” We’d each take turns describing one feature that our Dream Home would have. It started out grounded in reality — my dream home had straight stairs and a finished basement; his had four bedrooms and one of those big bathtubs. Eventually we let our imaginations fly, and I added things like a conservatory and an indoor pool, while Sir Monkeypants wanted a room just to hold his bikes and another one for all his computer equipment.

Eventually we spun off this game to create Dream Car (mine has a mini-fridge and a bathroom; his has various engine-related special modifications that I listen to politely but don’t understand at all).

Recently Sir Monkeypants has revived Dream Car, both because he’s thinking of replacing our second car in a few years, and because he and Captain Jelly Belly can’t stop watching Top Gear.

The other day we were playing Dream Car in the car (of course). The kids are really into this game now, and they crack us up all the time.

(And then we have to spend the next 20 minutes explaining what was so funny, Daddy.)

Gal Smiley says that her Dream Car is big enough to have a whole house inside, so when you need a snack or to use the bathroom, it’s all right there! She would like it to have an “automatic” mode so she doesn’t have to actually drive it around, and she would like a giant mural painted on the outside of herself and her three favourite stuffed animals. Also, it can fly, and it would constantly play rock music at top volume (preferably The Killers or Tegan And Sara).

Captain Jelly Belly would like his Dream Car to be a Mini Cooper, but with giant monster truck wheels so it can drive over anything. It’s the fastest car in the world (while Sir Monkeypants claims that his Dream Car’s speedometer goes to INFINITY, Captain Jelly Belly says that his goes to AND BEYOND). It can crush anything and it is very good at fighting and keeps Captain Jelly Belly safe under all circumstances because it cannot be damaged by guns or fire or big rocks falling on it. It has a special little seat for his stuffed monkey Big Wheel, and Big Wheel also gets his own tiny Nintendo where he can play Star Wars Lego, but all the characters are monkeys. Even though it’s a Mini, there is room inside for anyone in the whole world who would like to come for a ride, and there is a special machine that constantly doles out chicken nuggets and french fries. Oh, it is filled to the top with all manner of Star Wars toys, each described in great detail.

I don’t really think I need to explain what was so funny!

Stocking Pee

Today at lunch, Gal Smiley and Captain Jelly Belly decided to make up some jokes about Christmas.

Their invented jokes are quite hilarious, mostly because they are so very very UN-funny. For example, here’s one from Gal Smiley:

Q. Why did the jingle bell jump in the sleigh?
A. Because it wanted presents!

The Captain made up this one:

Q. Why did the elves fly?
A. Because they were riding on reindeer!

Oh yes, they are quite ready for SNL.

The Captain did crack me up with this one, though:

Q. Why did the boy attach a long string to the bottom of his stocking?
A. Because he really liked pee, and he wanted it to look like his stocking was peeing!

Ah, five year old boys. They never change.

I’ll Get Right On That

As he’s getting off the school bus yesterday:

Captain Jelly Belly: Mommy, we need to find all the grown up men and ladies in the world and get them to make more babies.

Me: Um….okay. Why, exactly?

Captain Jelly Belly: So people don’t become extinct.

Me: Well, there are lots and lots of people in the world, so that is probably never going to happen. But if it makes you feel better, I will call all the grown ups I know and tell them to make more babies, okay?

Captain: Okay.

Me: But NOT DADDY AND ME. We have already contributed!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada, and today I’m hosting dinner for my entire extended family. That’s my mom, my grandmother, three sisters and their significant others, and all my nieces and nephews. Whew!

Luckily I have many, many lists and schedules keeping me sane. The apple crisp just came out of the oven, the sweet potatoes are in there now, the turkey goes in at noon. Any minute now I must get up and start preparing the lunch.

So I must run, but I leave you with this little gem Captain Jelly Belly tossed off while looking at a picture of a turkey he made at school:

“I think I know why they call this kind of animal a turkey! It must be because they really like eating the food called turkey!”

I just agreed that that was probably it. I’ll save his introduction to the food chain for a day when I’m not expecting 14 for dinner!

A New Game

[In the car, driving home…]

Captain Jelly Belly: Let’s play the Nazi game all the way home!

Me: Um, play the what, exactly?

Captain: The Nazi game!

Me: Ooooookay…how do we play this game?

Captain: Well, you have to close your eyes and not look at anything all the way home!

Me: Oh, the not-see game. Okay!

Starring Captain Jelly Belly as Luke Skywalker

We had a rather momentous event here the other day. I finally watched Star Wars with Captain Jelly Belly.

Star Wars is my favourite movie. It was the first movie I ever saw in the theatre. I was six years old and the theatre was an old-style, giant room with plush red velvet seats. Hundreds of people sharing the same experience, laughing and gasping and cheering at the movie — it was a magical event for me. It started a life-long love of film, and I still get a chill when I walk into a movie theatre. Since then I’ve seen Star Wars dozens of times and I can practically quote the entire movie verbatim. When I was in university I’d watch it whenever I felt sad or lonely or sick. One time I ran into a girl who had never seen it (CapnPlanet’s sister), and over dinner I described the whole movie to her, scene by scene. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen her since then. I’m sure she misses me.

(On this past Monday’s episode of How I Met Your Mother, by the way, we learned that Ted and Marshall are similar fans, thus confirming that HIMYM is the awesomest show on TV right now, and that I am Ted’s dream girl. Casting agents, call me!)

Over the years I’ve accumulated a few action figures and three or four small sets of Star Wars Lego. All of my Star Wars toys live in a shoe box that I keep on the highest shelf in the playroom. For the past several weeks, Captain Jelly Belly has asked for the box and I let him play with the stuff if he sits at the table and keeps it all out of reach of Little Miss Sunshine. The Captain is really excited about the Lego aspect and has built all manner of cars, space ships, and racing vehicles for the little action figures. He likes to play with his toys in some sort of context so he’s been asking a lot of questions about who the people are — their names, what their powers are, what the little light-sword things are for, that sort of thing.

One day last week the Captain was home sick with a bad cold. Gal Smiley was at school and the Little Miss was napping. CJB was playing with the Star Wars toys, as usual, so I thought, what the hell, it’s time. Let’s get out the DVD.

I had a few moments debate — should I start him on Episode IV, A New Hope, or Episode 1, The Phanom Menace? Like all true fans, it’s A New Hope that I worship, but there’s no denying that The Phantom Menace has real appeal to very young children, who can identify with the young Anakin and who love to play PodRacer. In the end though, I had to go with IV, since it’s the classic and besides, who can get enough of Han, Luke, and Leia? NOT ME, that’s who.

It was kind of important to me that the Captain like the movie. I mean, it’s not like I would send him back to the baby store or anything, but if he really didn’t like it at all, I would have to question his genetic background.

And the viewing itself went pretty well. I’ve seen it so many times that every scene is a great scene, a CLASSIC, as far as I’m concerned, but seeing it through his eyes reminded me how slow-moving and political it is at the beginning. Things don’t really pick up until Han, Luke, and Leia wind up in the trash compactor, and up until that point, I basically had to bribe the Captain to remain on the couch with chips and a juice box.

He really did like that trash compactor scene, though. Later, he cried a little bit when Obiwan vanished, but then he really liked the idea that he lived on as some sort of ghost-dad to Luke. (An idea that will probably screw him up for life, but for now, we can both live with it.)

He was very excited when Han returned to help Luke out.

Now he likes to pretend to be Luke, while Gal Smiley gets to be Leia (so fitting!). He likes my Star Wars Lego even more than before.

He’s already asking if we can watch it again.

That’s my boy.