Posts Tagged ‘children’

Lazy James, The Origin Of Cashews And Something I Don’t Understand

The title says “something I don’t understand”, but when it comes to James, I don’t understand any of it. I might be going a little too far by posting a photo of his underwear, but oh well. This kid kicks lazy up to a whole new level. Actually, kicking takes too much energy. This kid drops lazy to a whole new level. It’s literally been years of telling him to remove his belt from his pants before putting them in the wash. I didn’t even realize this was something I would ever have to tell another human being. The underwear intertwined in the pant legs is just a bonus for all of our viewing pleasure. Speaking of bonus, there was a Starbucks and Taco Bell gift card in his pocket. Which is now going in my pocket, cha-ching! I’ll admit, occasionally I forget something in my pockets and Coral fishes a screw or bent staple out of the washer, but I literally found the same Starbucks card in yesterday’s wash. I told James he forgot it in his pocket when I handed it to him just last night. You’d think that a Starbucks and a Taco Bell card would be like gold to a 14 year old, but James seems to dismiss it like yesterday’s dirty laundry. And today’s dirty laundry. Did that joke land? I’m not quite sure, but I’ll leave it.

Anyway, Here are a couple of “Jamestories” I’ve collected this month.

Jan. 2
James: I don’t like peanuts/peanut butter or cashews or almonds.
Me: I don’t like cashews either. (In my head I’m thinking, “Awesome, father-son bonding over the hatred of cashews.)
Then Coral walked in and I said, proudly, “We don’t like cashews.”
James (to Coral and I): Do you know where cashews come from?
Me: They grow on a tree.*
James: No, they come from papayas.
Coral and I shared a look we often share with each other when James is being James.

Jan. 14
Me: What are you doing in our room?
James: Using the mirror.
Me: Use the mirror in your room.
James: But I can’t see my socks in my mirror.
Me: Seriously?
James: You wouldn’t understand.

And he walked out of the room. Kind of unrelated, but the next day he wore a Rasta shirt with matching Rasta earbuds. I should mention that I have never seen him wear earbuds to school before. And I should mention that he hasn’t worn them since. This is where the sock conversation comes into play. I know he has a pair of Rasta socks somewhere. I guess he just couldn’t find them in time to wear with the outfit he orchestrated for the day. This reminds me of one of my earlier posts from when James was 12. It’s called, “James Prefers Fashion Over Function” and, although I’m biased, it’s totally worth a read.

See ya!
– Jeff

* As it turns out, cashews are very interesting in that they are actually a seed to the cashew apple. Personally, I think they’re kind of weird looking because the cashew nut is on the outside of the cashew apple. So yes, they do grow in a tree, but they are attached to a fruit. As much pleasure as it brings me to make fun of my kids, I have to say that in James’ defense, although the cashew does not come from a papaya, it does come from another fruit.

Amazing Factoids From James

Since James started high school he’s been bringing home a myriad of random tidbits and factoids that are both funny and worrisome. Here are a couple of my favorites.

There is a huge tree in the center of a small parking lot on campus where I pick James up after theater rehearsal. As we were pulling out of the lot somebody in the car made a comment like, “Why is that big tree there? They should totally cut it down.” I’m no hippie, but I responded with “I’m sure the tree was there before the parking lot was?” which was my way of saying the tree has more of a right to be there than the two parking spaces it’s blocking. This is where James came in with, “Well, did you know the school was built before the town.” I’m guessing that was his way of saying…well, I really have no idea, but I am pretty sure the high school was not the first thing the settlers built 100 years ago. And it probably wasn’t the first thing the Indians built 100 years before that.

The next one is also tree related. According to James it is illegal to cut or trim any tree in Atascadero.

The crown jewel of these tidbits is about Spain. So, the other night I am filling a cup with ice and Evelyn commented that I love ice. It’s totally true. I put ice in almost everything I drink. Then James said, “Did you know that in Spain they don’t give you ice at restaurants?”
Intrigued, Evy asked why.
“I guess it’s hard to make there.”

Yeah, that’s our James.

* Remember that time James microwaved ice?

Elliott Loves Plant Shopping And Eats Pizza Like A Beast

I know some consider these cheesy, but I love reflective garden spheres. Elliott, surprisingly, did not break any. He certainly grabbed every one that he came across.

Strong willed and independent, he did not want any help at all with the wagon. Until he faced it downhill and it ran him over. Also, don’t go anywhere without your Lightning Mcqueen backpack.

“What are you lookin’ at? Like you’ve never seen a dude buy plants before. Now step aside so I can find me some basil.”

Pizza does not come from a plant, but after watching Wall-E ten thousand million times, Elliott probably does believe in pizza plants. And hey, that’s not a bad idea. It might even get me to show some interest in the garden.

Elliott, Secure With His Masculinity? Absolutely!


Yes, my son is wearing a pink “Dora The Explorer” diaper. He’s quite confident in his masculinity. Also, he can’t control that the hand-me-downs he receives come from all of his girl cousins. And there’s a lot of them.

Way to strut that pink diaper, son!

Elliott Figured Out How To Open His Raisin Box, He’s A Smartie

Yesterday Coral took the boys on a walk. At some point she told James to give Elliott a box of raisins. It never crossed James’ mind to open the box for Elliott, but no problem. Elliott’s like, “I got this!” And ate his way through the box.

elliott's raisin box

Elliott’s New Trick: Shelf Climbing

elliott's new trick

elliott's new trick

Babies are fun.

– Jeff

James: Vanity Issues, Disrespect And A Lack Of Common Sense


I find myself asking questions like, “Does this kid have any common sense? How, at 12 years old, does he not know that this is wrong and disrespectful?”

Let’s face it, we’ve eaten in the car plenty of times. I would assume, at this point, that James knows how fast food in the car works. You get a bag of food. Mom distributes the food accordingly to the different passengers. The passengers eat the food. Then all the food wrappers go back in the bag from which they came. I would assume that all members of the family, if not the entire population of America, would be conditioned to this fast food ritual. And if they didn’t learn this behavior by repeatedly doing it I am sure that they would come up with it on their own by the time they reach age 12. But no. Not our James.

kids have no respect

He is perfectly content leaving a pile of greasy trash stuffed into the door handle of my car.

Part of me is almost willing to accept that behavior as “ok”, but there’s a catch. It might be acceptable if the trash is removed when the car stops at our destination and is disposed of in a trash can. Unfortunately, this doesn’t even cross his mind. Would you like to know what he did instead? Oh, I’m sure you would. He high tailed it into the house and pretended he was throwing up because he “ate too much” and therefore could not help unload the car after our weekend getaway. Now picture a family of five and how packed a car might be when that family leaves town for the weekend. Yeah, thanks for helping, buddy. Also, you are welcome for the yummy In-N-Out dinner as well as the bag full of new clothes we bought you at Target on the way home.

After hearing his “too sick” excuse it took all of my will power to not ram my finger down my own throat and throw up on top of his head while yelling, “You mean you threw up like this!” Instead, I confiscated his iPod and scrolled through it for embarrassing blog worthy material. Thankfully, his camera roll delivered the goods.


I especially love the “hand going through hair” and “hand behind head” poses. I’m pretty sure he thinks he is pulling off this look exactly.


Well, he isn’t.

I’ve Got A Wedgie


We were driving somewhere. Just James, Evy, and myself, which is a typical scenario. At some point Evy, who happens to have total disregard for the “too much information” etiquette, announces that she has a wedgie.
“Good to know.” I said.
“But…it’s a front wedgie.” She informed us.
See what I mean, too much information doesn’t exist in this child’s psyche. Of course, I only seem to groom her for such behavior as evidenced by how I responded.
“You mean a…vagegie?” (That’s pronounced “va-je-gee”. If my attempt at spelling it phonetically doesn’t help, just combine the words “vagina” and “wedgie”, which are two words that really should never be used together in a sentence.)
The kids are ten and twelve, they know the proper names for their anatomy (and some improper ones too) at this point and instantly got my joke. When Evy was about five or six she asked Coral if there was another name for her “peepee”. Coral told her it was called a vagina and evy responded with, “that’s a pretty name,” which you should say out loud in your best five year old innocent little girl voice. I have to admit, it was a pretty cute response.

After my ingenious invention of the pun “vagegie” the kids took the idea and ran with it like a couple of Indians chasing down a herd of buffalo. I’ve since forgotten all the variations of puns they came up with for “vagina wedgie”, but one of them was so good it has been seared into my memory. James blurted out “Leonardo da Vegie”, which of course, is a reference to the Italian Renaissance painter and the best pun I’ve heard since Evy referred to Regina Spektor as “Vagina Inspector”.

Are these kids geniuses or what? If not, then it can not be argued that they are certainly prodigies of puns.

James And The Curious Case Of Homemade Water

James does some things around the house that make all of us shake our heads and wonder, “What was he thinking? Why would he do that?” Even after hearing his explanation we still ask ourselves these questions. To put if frankly, the kid just doesn’t make sense sometimes. It’s these odd behaviors that make him who he is, so although we don’t understand him all the time, we still love the goofy little guy.

Recently, James has discovered that he likes ice. Either that or he just realized that I keep ice trays in the freezer. Personally, I love ice. Now that I have to share my ice I’ve set some simple ground rules, which are this: the orange ice cube trays are not to be touched, they are MINE!

The other night I followed James into the kitchen to show him how to get the cubes out of the low grade white plastic ice tray that he’s been given access to. My orange trays are rubber and the cubes just pop right out with minimal effort. I want the boy to work for his cubes so he gets the bad tray that forces you to twist and contort so that when the cubes do break free some of them pop out with such force they hit you in the face or fall on the floor. Once I felt he understood what to do I left him in the kitchen. A minute later I heard the microwave going. What could he be microwaving? I decided to investigate. After all, he had already eaten dinner and I knew he couldn’t be making hot cocoa since he just filled a cup with ice.

“What’s going on?” I asked when I entered the kitchen.
All I got for a response was a blank stare.
“What’s in the microwave?”
Then it beeped and he opened the microwave door and pulled his cup out of it. The cup he had filled with ice a minute earlier.
“Did you just microwave ice?” I asked, laughing.
“What for?”
“Because I wanted some water.”

Makes sense…I guess.

As it turns out our bottled Crystal Springs water was empty and James didn’t want to drink water from the faucet.

“James, you do know that we use the faucet to fill the ice trays, right?”
“Ohh…” Then he added, “so that’s why my water tastes funny.”

This kid, I tell ya.

James Told Me To Shut Up

It’s true. Kids get mouthy. They also like to see what they can get away with. A few days ago James tested out what would happen if he told me to shut up. My first instinct was to get all Ultimate Warrior on his ass and pile drive him into the sidewalk.

the ultimate warrior

Instead, I kept my cool and decided to post this screenshot of his Instagram profile. It’s less violent than my original idea and even though my actions would be justified it will keep the Child Protective Services out of my hair.

James On Instagram

I absolutely love the inconsistencies in the second line. “Follows” and “fallow”. And, of course, “u” and “ya”.

Also, he’s 12 and he knows it. Is he trying to impress young co-ed’s he’ll never meet that he’s a teenager? Probably. After Coral and I saw this, and our cringing subsided, we made him edit it to be less creepy and more genuine. We gave him some ideas and explained that it’s a bio and that saying something about himself would be a good idea. One of his friends on Instagram says this for his bio, “I’m an amateur photographer and am grateful for any likes and follows. Thanks so much, everybody!” Our suggestion was to use that as a model. Here’s what he came up with.

james instagram

He fixed the “follow” thing, but liked the “u/ya” thing enough to keep it. For some odd reason. Our suggestions were completely ignored. And to top that off he’s a total liar. He has 50 followers and is only following 33. He’s not quite holding up to his “Follows u if ya follow me” promise. It’s unclear what those 17 people have done to not warrant getting a follow from “JAMEZNOTJAMES”, but he refuses to follow them back.

I should also mention his use of the self made nickname “Jamez”, which is pronounced jah-mez. Is there anything more embarrassing than giving yourself a nickname? It’s got to be towards the top of the list of most embarrassing things you can do. Not to mention, we’ve been telling him for months to stop this whole “Jamez” business, but the kid just won’t budge.

If he ever tells me to shut up again he best put on fluorescent speedo’s, some face paint and be prepared for the biggest Royal Rumble of his young life.

ultimate jeff

You can pre-order your tickets at Ticket Master.

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