That’s The Way The Kveldsmat Krumbles

, , , , , | Related | October 18, 2017

(My daughter is four years old and it is evening. All that remains is for her to brush her teeth and go to bed. She tries to stay up late by making up credible stuff to postpone the evening routine. I find it easier to call her bluff than arguing and trying to reason with her, because it ends in almost an hour of tears and sobbing. In Norway, we offer a small meal in the evening, and it often consists of a slice of bread with some kind of spreading or topping. We call it “kveldsmat” — evening food. On this day, we’ve had a late dinner and she declined kveldsmat 30 minutes earlier.)

Daughter: “I’m hungry. Can I have some kveldsmat?”

Me: “If you’re really hungry, we have to go downstairs and eat, but we can’t watch TV because it’s evening now.”

Daughter: “I’m so hungry that I need to have some grapes.”

(Our rule is that she can eat fruit upstairs, but other food must be eaten at the dinner table. She clearly wants to keep watching TV and postpone bed time by eating her grapes VERY slowly, then demanding more when she is still hungry.)

Me: *repeats myself* “Are you ready to go downstairs and eat, or shall we just brush your teeth right away?”

Daughter: “I’m ready. I want to go downstairs and eat.”

(We go downstairs and end up discussing the topping on her slice of bread.)

Me: “Are you sure you want to have butter and brown cheese?” *Norwegian thing, quite tasty*

Daughter: “Yes. And cut it into pieces.”

Me: *prepares the food and cuts it in four*

Daughter: *picks off the brown cheese* “I don’t want this. Take it off.”

Me: “Oh? But you said you wanted it.”

Daughter: “But I don’t like it now…”

Me: “Okay, but just take off the one on this piece and leave the rest. You can pick them off once you’ve eaten the first piece of bread.”

Daughter: *enters defiant-play mode and picks off the brown cheese of two pieces*

Me: *leaves the one piece of bread and moves the plate out of her reach* “Eat that one, then you can take off the rest. Just one at the time.”

Daughter: “Nooooooooo! I want to pick it!

Me: *not taking the bait* “You said you were hungry. You said you wanted brown cheese, and you were only allowed take off the brown cheese on one piece. Eat the one right there, and we can go brush your teeth.”

Daughter: “I’m not hungry!”

Me: “You said you were hungry, and you wanted to go downstairs. You don’t get anything else to eat until breakfast tomorrow. Eat this one and we’re done.”

Daughter: “Two bites?”

Me: “All of it.”

(She ate three bites of that quarter of a slice of bread before declaring herself full again, then went happily back upstairs to proceed the evening routine. She effectively postponed it seven minutes, rather than crying herself to sleep because she didn’t get to eat when she asked.)

Makes You Blush Purple

, , , , , | Related | October 18, 2017

(My girls’ soccer team is having a trip to Munich for some sightseeing and visiting the famous soccer arena located there. Our families are invited to come along, too, and my family goes with us since none of us have ever been to Munich. We are on a tram to our next location, when suddenly my seven-year-old sister exclaims:)

Sister: “Mama! There’s a purple banana; I want one, too!”

(We all turn around to see what she is pointing to, and sure enough, it is billboard of a campaign against AIDS, featuring a bundle of bananas in brightly colored condoms. All of us teenage girls turn beet-red when we realize that the whole car has heard us, but my mom is unfazed.)

Mother: “Sure, sweetie, but it’s not really purple. It’s just protection to make sure the banana doesn’t get sick.”

Sister: “Aw, that’s boring. Then I don’t want one.”

(I’ve considered getting my sister a banana in a purple condom for her 16th birthday, just to remind her of it.)

Comeback To That Comeback

, , , , , , | Related | October 17, 2017

(I don’t catch the first part of this conversation, but the gist of it is: My brother-in-law makes a comment to my niece, she makes a comeback, and is told off for it with this parenting gem.)

Sister: “I don’t care if you’re insulting, just so long as you’re witty! Now, something that might have made a better comeback..” *whispers into [Niece]’s ear*

Niece: “Okay. Daddy, can you say it again?”

Brother-In-Law: “[Niece], I have a bag here; I’d like you to put your attitude into it.”

Niece: “Silly Daddy, my attitude wouldn’t be able to fit.”

There’s Something About That Trick But You Can’t Put Your Finger On It

, , , , , , , | Related | October 17, 2017

My maternal grandfather had an accident with a power tool when he was younger, leaving him with three partial fingers. His pinky was the shortest, ending at the first knuckle, his ring finger was cut off between the knuckles, and his middle finger at the last knuckle.

One thing he loved to do was wait until a kid was watching him, then start picking his nose with his index finger. After a while he’d switch to his next finger, then the next, watching the kid’s eyes get wider and wider. If you didn’t know he was missing parts of his fingers, it looked like he was shoving them farther and farther up his nose. He would finally move on to his pinky stub, making it look like he had an entire finger shoved up his nostril, while the kid’s eyes bugged out of their head.

Siblings Need To Take Everything In Turns

, , , , , | Related | October 17, 2017

(I have a sister and a brother. They each have one child. This occurs over the phone with my sister, right after my sister-in-law announces that she is pregnant with her second child.)

Sister: “Did you hear that [Sister-In-Law] is pregnant?”

Me: “Yeah, that’s exciting!”

Sister: “I’m a bit annoyed, because I had already said I wanted to have another baby!”

Me: *speechless*

(I don’t think that’s how it works? I’m pretty sure you can’t call dibs on having the next baby. I love my sister very much, but I honestly didn’t know what to say to that!)

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