Nick is our firstborn son, almost ten years old. He's what the parenting literature calls a strong-willed aggressive negotiator. He's also curious, funny, and pretty darn smart.
While watching Prince Caspian, Nick saw Caspian’s aunt, obviously in pain, delivering a baby.
Nick: That’s why I am glad I’m a boy.
Nick: Okay, mom. I did an experiment in my room. I put rubber toys in a bottle and sprayed water in it. I took the toys out, and it smelled BAD. I mean really BAD. So I put the toys back in, and this was a long time ago. What do we do now?
George [channeling my inner thoughts]: You need to go upstairs, get the bottle, and bring it down here. We’re going to throw it away.
[Nick does as asked and throws the bottle away.]
George: Nick, I think it’s really cool that you like to experiment and see what happens. But we need to know that there are no food-based experiments in your room that could make someone sick.
Nick: No. I did this experiment years ago, like when I was five.
At the dinner table:
Nick: We were watching Zach and Cody, and he took a girl’s breast and scratched his back with it!
[George and I make eye contact at the word “breast.”]
George: He took a girl’s what?
Nick: He took a girl’s brush and scratched his back with it.
[George and I breathe simultaneous sighs of relief.]
George [after belching hugely]: That was a thing of beauty.
Nick: That was a thing of disgustance.
Nick: Mom, can I do $4 worth of extra chores today?
Me: That’s a lot of chores. What do you want $4 for?
Nick: Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
George: We are not giving you extra allowance for more Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
Nick: Why not?
Me: Nick, why don’t you think about the long term? You want Santa to bring you a DS or a Wii, but the games and accessories for those are really expensive. Why not save your allowance for them? It’s going to take you 20 weeks to save enough for a Wii game, and that’s a long time, but you’ll enjoy the game a lot more for a lot longer than you would the cards.
George: You already have a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. It’s just like the Pokemon cards. You just HAD to have Pokemon cards, and now you can’t stand them. How much money did we spend on Pokemon cards that you never play with now?
Me: A lot.
Nick: But I want more Yu-Gi-Oh cards, please?!!?
George: Nick, why should we give you money for something that you’re not going to use a few months from now? People don’t like giving other people things that are just going to end up being ignored. It’s a waste. If you want to save your regular allowance for cards, that’s fine. But we’re not going to come up with extra chores for you to earn extra money to buy cards. And that’s the bottom line.
Nick: So, the answer’s no?
On the way to the barber shop:
Nick: This is the WORST thing to EVER happen to me!!!!!
Me: Yes, your life is so hard.
Nick: This might sound weird, but I want to be Chinese.
George: Really? Why is that, pal?
Nick: Well, they have cool parades with dragons and stuff.
George: OK. But, you aren’t Chinese and you never will be.
Nick: I could be baptized Chinese.
Nick: Well, in that movie that guy was baptized Greek. [Referring to the baptism scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding]
George: Ah…well, Nick, he was actually baptized so he could be a part of the Greek Orthodox Church. He still wasn’t Greek. In order to be Greek, he needed to have some Greek ancestors.
Nick: And I don’t have any Chinese ancestors?
Nick: No Chinese blood at all?
George: Not a drop, pal. You are pure European. Mainly Finn.
Nick: [Sound of disgust and disappointment from the back seat]
George [quietly]: Nick and Jack, it’s time to get into bed.
Nick: Dad, are you feeling okay?
George: Yes. Why?
Nick: You sound so quiet. I thought something must be wrong, like you’re sick or something.
George [in his drill sergeant voice]: Get into bed, boys!
Nick: Good. That sounds more normal.