CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT HOW A PIG BECOMES FOOD

2014-10-18 17.55.25

NICK: Daddy?

ME: Yes.

NICK: Grumps ate a pork chop.

ME: Really?

NICK: Uh-huh. HE KILLED A PIG!

ME: Okay. Just because he ate a pork chop doesn’t mean your grampa killed the pig.

NICK: Who did?

ME: Someone else.

NICK: Who?

ME: He got it at the grocery store.

NICK: But who killed it?

ME: I don’t know. He bought it at the grocery store.

NICK: How did it get there?

ME: Well first it was at a farm.

NICK: Then somebody killed it.

ME: Well… yes.

NICK: How?

ME: Well… I don’t…the pig died and…

NICK: I know how.

ME: How?

NICK: The farmer was on his tractor and he called the army and the army shot the pig!

ME: No. I don’t think –

NICK: Then how?

ME: Well, it’s kind of –

NICK: I know how. SOMEONE THREW NAILS AT IT!

NICK: Uh-huh. Or…know what? They used a screwdriver and a hammer!

ME: Oh, my God.

NICK: Or a knife. Or…I know how. You know what? They have a big machine that they put the pig in and it cuts it up with knives. But only old pigs! They don’t put piglets in because they’re just baby pigs and that would be bad to make a baby pig die. So you can only eat old pigs because BABY PIGLETS TASTE DISGUSTING!

ALLISON: What’s going on in here?

NICK: GRUMPS ATE A DEAD PORK CHOP!

ALLISON: Uh-oh.

ME: Now we’re talking about how pigs become food. Thank God you’re here.

ALLISON: Yeah. My mom called earlier. She told me this might happen.

CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT THAT DUMB HAT

130

NICK: Dad?

ME: Yes.

NICK: Are you sure we’re going the right way?

ME: Yep.

NICK: I think the frozen yogurt place is the other way.

ME: There are two frozen yogurt places. We’re going to the one in Princeton.

NICK: I think we’re going the wrong way.

ME: No we’re not.

NICK: STOP TALKING, YOU PSYCHO!

ME: Excuse me?

NICK: DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT SAYING ONE MORE WORD, PSYCHO!

ME: Whoa, whoa, whoa!

NICK: YOU ARE A DUMB HAT!

ME: You know what? That’s enough! I don’t know where that little outburst came from but that is just about enough! You asked to go get frozen yogurt so I’m taking you there and you’re calling me names? No way. That is not acceptable! Where did you even hear “dumb hat?” Do your friends at school say that?

NICK: No.

ME: Then where did you hear it?

NICK: “Planes Fire and Rescue.” The one guys, he says “You have a dumb hat” because the other guy he has on a hat.

ME: Okay…

NICK: But daddy?

ME: Yes.

NICK: You shouldn’t call people that. You shouldn’t call people names.

ME: That’s right. And why?

NICK: Because it hurts their feelings and it makes them feel bad. If you call them dumb hat.

ME: That’s right.

NICK: And so I won’t call you dumb hat anymore.

ME: Good.

NICK: Daddy?

ME: Yes.

NICK: I still may want to call you psycho, sometimes.

CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT THE PRETZEL IN HIS TEETH

214

NICK: What are you eating?

ME: Soft pretzel.

NICK: I want one.

ME: You already had dessert. It’s bath time.

NICK: I want one. I want to eat it in the bathtub.

ME: Salted or brown sugar and cinnamon?

NICK: Brown sugar and cimmamom.

ME: Okay. Here’s a bite.

NICK: I want a big piece. That’s a small piece.

ME: Okay. Here. Now, upstairs for your bath.

NICK: PICK ME UP! PICK ME UP!

ME: Nick, you’re so heavy.

NICK: PICK ME UP!

ME: Okay. Ugh…hrrmf…HRRRR…there we go. Now…up the stairs.

NICK: AHH! MMM! AAAHH! PUT ME DOWN!

ME: What’s wrong?

NICK: THERE’S NOT THE STUFF ON THE PRETZEL THAT I LIKE!!!

ME: Okay. Give it here. I’ll go downstairs and put more brown sugar on it.

NICK: I WANT TO COME WITH YOU!

ME: It’ll just take me a second.

NICK: I’M SCARED UP HERE BY MYSELF.

ME: Okay. Just, come on.

NICK: PICK UP ME UP! PICK ME UP!

ME: Oh, my God. Hrrrmf…urg…HRRRMM! There we go.

NICK: Put more stuff on it.

ME: I’m doing it, Nick! I’m doing it! Now, there’s more brown sugar on it…here we go…back to the bathtub.

NICK: PICK ME UP! PICK ME UP!

ME: Nick…oh my God.

NICK: PICK ME UP! PICK ME UP!

ME: Hrrrmf…urmm…HRRRRMMM! Okay. Now get in the tub. Seriously.

NICK: I GOB PRETBZEL IM MY DEEF!

ME: What?

NICK: I GOB PRETZEL IN MY TEETH!

ME: Well…pick it out!

NICK: I can’t. I CAN’T! USE THIS, DADDY!

ME: Why are you… Oh, my God. Why are you throwing all the brushes on the floor? Stop it!

NICK: USE THIS! IT’S A FWOSS STICK FOR YOUR TEETH!

ME: “Floss” stick.

NICK: FLOSS STICK! PICK OUT THE PRETZEL!

ME: Okay! Okay! Just hold still! Okay… got it!

NICK: Gross.

ME: Yes, it is!

NICK: Thanks, Dad!

ME: No problem!

NICK: You’re the best dad!

ME: Really? Thank you.

NICK: I couldn’t ever have been as happy with any other dad but you.

CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS

2014-08-03 16.30.01

CONTEXT ALERT – Nick’s grandpa Vin appears in this conversation. Nick calls him “Grumps.”

NICK: Grumps?

VIN: Yes?

NICK: Tell me about your speeding ticket.

VIN: My speeding ticket. Okay, well about ten years ago I got a speeding ticket. And I went to court to pay the fine. That’s really all there is to the story.

ALLISON: I remember that. Grumps was mad.

NICK: Is this before I was born?

VIN: Yes. This was ten years ago.

ME: I’ve only ever gotten one speeding ticket. When I was 21.

NICK: Before I was born?

ME: Yes. But I’ve never gotten one since.

ALLISON: That’s not true. You got one downtown a few years ago.

ME: Yeah, but they reduced it to a seat belt ticket just as a warning. So it doesn’t count.

NICK: THIS ONE TIME, YOU KNOW WHAT? BILLY AND BILLY 2 WERE SPEEDING AND YOU KNOW WHAT? THEY HIT A CAR AND THEN THAT CAR HIT A CAR AND THEN THEY KNOCKED A BUILDING DOWN. AND THEN THAT BUILDING FELL AND KNOCKED ANOTHER BUILDING DOWN AND THEN ANOTHER AND ANOTHER. AND THEN THE POLICE CAME AND THEY SAID “YOU BAD GUYS GO TO JAIL!” AND THEN BILLY AND BILLY RAN AWAY FROM THE POLICE! BUT THE POLICE GOT IN THEIR CAR AND THEY CHASED THEM AND SAID “STOP RUNNING AWAY YOU BAD GUYS!” AND SO THEN THEY ARRESTED THEM AND PUT THEM IN JAIL BUT THEY GOT OUT OF JAIL AND FLEW OUT THE WINDOW AND LANDED IN THE GARBAGE AND KNOW WHAT? THEY GOT RECYCLED!

ME: Okay, Nick wins.

CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT THE DONUT

2014-10-25 12.44.34

ME: Nick. (pause) Wake up buddy. (pause) Nick?

ALLISON: Come on, kiddo. Wake up.

ME: Should we just let him sleep?

ALLISON: We can’t.

ME: What time is it?

ALLISON: It’s only 4:30. If he sleeps now he’ll be up at midnight and then we won’t sleep.

ME: Nick. Come on, pal. You have to wake up. It’s gonna be dinner time soon.

ALLISON: He’s stirring.

ME: Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick, wake uuuuuuuuuuuup.

ALLISON: Come on, Nick.

NICK: HHHHHHRRRRRRRMMMMMPHPHPHPHPH!

ME: Wake up, buddy.

NICK: MMMMMRRRRRRRRRRRR.

ALLISON: You gotta wake up, Nick.

NICK: I want to go to beeeeeeeeeeeeeeed.

ME: Come on, pal. Wake up and have dinner. Then you can have a bath and go to bed.

NICK: I DON’T WANT TO HAVE A BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATH! I DON’T! WANT! A! BATH! HRRRRMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

ALLISON: Nick, you have to take a quick bath.

NICK: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

ME: What do you want for dinner, buddy?

NICK: NOTHING!

ME: You have to have something.

NICK: I DON’T WANT ANYTHING! HUMPH! FINE!

ALLISON: We’re gonna have the baked ziti that you helped gramma make.

NICK: I DON’T WANT THAT!!!!

ME: What do you want?

NICK: PICKLES!

ALLISON: You can’t just have pickles.

NICK: Mom…mommy…listen… I want my donut for dinner.

ME: You can’t just have a donut for dinner.

ALLISON: After you have dinner you can have your donut for dessert.

NICK: NOOOOOOOOO! I WANT IT NOW!

ME: You can’t have a donut before dinner.

NICK: BUT I MISS IT! OH, DAD! I MISS MY DONUT SO MUCH!

ALLISON: You have to eat some ziti.

NICK: I just want to go to bed!

ME: Do you want a cheese sandwich?

NICK: I JUST WANT MY DONUT!

ALLISON: You can’t have a donut.

NICK: But I miss it!

ME: You can have it for dessert.

NICK: I want a pickle!

ME: I can put a pickle on your cheese sandwich.

NICK: I DON’T WANT A CHEESE SANDWICH!

ALLISON: He’s so tired.

NICK: NOOOOOOO! I’M! NOT! TIRED!

ME: I thought you wanted to go to bed.

NICK: I want to take a bath.

ALLISON: You have to eat dinner.

NICK: Can I have a pickle?

ME: You can have one on your sandwich.

NICK: No, I want a donut.

ALLISON: You can’t have a donut.

NICK: I want to go to bed!

ME: You have to eat dinner first.

NICK: I don’t want to take a bath!

ALLISON: You have to take a bath.

NICK: NOOOOOOOOOO!

ALLISON: Not yet. You have to eat dinner first.

NICK: I WANT MY DONUT!

ME: I thought you wanted a pickle.

NICK: I’M SO SLEEPY!

ALLISON: Let daddy make you a sandwich.

(pause)

NICK: Okay.

ME: A cheese sandwich.

NICK: Okay.

ME: With a pickle.

NICK: OKAY!

ALLISON: Why are you so upset?

NICK: I JUST WANT TO TAKE A BATH!

ME: Do you want to eat your cheese sandwich in the bathtub?

NICK: Uh-huh.

ME: Okay. Let’s go upstairs.

NICK: NO! I JUST WANT TO TAKE A FOOT BATH!

ME: Okay. I will take out the foot bath and you can soak your feet on the couch while I feed you a cheese sandwich with pickles on it. Is that okay?

NICK: Uh-huh.

ME: (to ALLISON) Is this okay with you?

ALLISON: Go for it.

NICK: I want the foot bath hot.

ME: Okay.

NICK: Really, really hot, dad.

ME: Okay.

NICK: And an extra pickle NOT on the sandwich.

ME: Okay. And then we take your real bath and go to bed.

NICK: Maybe I want to skip my bath.

ALLISON: You can’t skip your bath.

NICK: Can I have my pickle?

ME: Here.

(Twenty minutes later)

ME: How was the sandwich?

NICK: Good.

ALLISON: Ready for your bath?

NICK: Uh-huh.

ME: Okay. Let’s go upstairs.

ALLISON: Do you want your donut?

NICK: I’ll eat it in the morning.

CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT HALLOWEEN

039

1.

NICK: Dad?

ME: Yes.

NICK: I thought of a monster.

ME: Yeah?

NICK: It’s a pumpkin. With no legs.

ME: How does he get around?

NICK: He hops. Also, he scares people.

ME: What does he do to scare them?

NICK: HE THROWS SPIDERS IN THEIR EYES!

ME: My God. That’s terrifying. A pumpkin that hops everywhere and throws spiders in people’s eyes.

NICK: Yes.

ME: Where does he live?

NICK: HE LIVES IN A POOP TOILET!

ME: I like this game. Let’s think up some more monsters.

NICK: No, I’m done.

2.

ME: Nick?

NICK: What?

ME: Remember a few weeks ago when you thought up that monster?

NICK: What monster?

ME: The pumpkin that threw spiders in people’s eyes. Remember that?

NICK: No.

ME: Well, I think we should think of some more monsters.

NICK: I’m so tired. I just want to take a nap.

ME: No, wake up and let’s think of some monsters so I can put it on my blog.

NICK: This is boring.

ME: Okay, I’ll start. I’m thinking of a monster that has four eyes. Now you go.

NICK: And he has a butt on his head.

ME: That’s awesome. What else?

NICK: Nothing else. Just a butt on his head.

ME: Okay. Now I’m thinking of a monster… and he’s made out of french fries. You love french fries! What else is wrong with him?

NICK: He has a butt on his head.

ME: We already did that. What else?

NICK: He has a butt on his head but he poops from where his old butt used to be.

ME: You’re not trying very hard.

NICK: I’m tired.

ME: Okay, let’s think of a monster that doesn’t have anything wrong with his butt. This monster’s name is “Normal Butt Man.” He doesn’t have a butt on his head. There’s nothing unusual about his butt. Tell me something else about him.

NICK: He lives in a house.

ME: Okay.

NICK: That looks like a head.

ME: Nick…

NICK: And it has a butt on it.

CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT WHO PUSHED THE BUTTON

2014-10-25 12.44.34

NICK: Dad?

ME: Yes.

NICK: How did the earth get made?

ME: Well… okay… we don’t exactly know but we think there was a big explosion and that made everything.

NICK: From an asteroid?

ME: Well this would be before there were asteroids. The explosion didn’t just make the earth. It made everything.

NICK: WHAT????

ME: I know, right? Weird.

NICK: But what made the explosion?

ME: No one really knows.

NICK: Come on, dad. Think!

ME: Dude, I’m serious. We just don’t know everything. Not yet, anyway.

NICK: What made it all explode?

ME: Okay. (sigh) Okay. Some people think that there was someone called God that did it.

(long pause)

NICK: WHAT??????

ME: I know. It does sound silly when you say it like that.

NICK: And it’s a person?

ME: Well…no.

NICK: A dinosaur.

ME: No.

NICK: What is it?

ME: I don’t… no one knows. It may just be… I don’t know… a force of some kind.

NICK: What’s a force?

ME: Like a…like a… thing that… I don’t know. We just don’t know.

NICK: I know how it happened.

ME: You do?

NICK: He’s a man that lives in space. And he pressed a button to make the earth.

ME: You think?

NICK: But dad?

ME: Yeah?

NICK: HE PRESSED THE WRONG BUTTON! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

ME: You are legitimately scaring me right now.

CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT SOAP PIE

nick panera

ME: What do you want for breakfast, bud?

NICK: Soap pie.

ME: What?

NICK: Soap pie. With dinosaur meat.

ME: Soap pie with dinosaur meat?

NICK: Why do you always repeat what I say??? *sigh*

ME: How do you make soap pie with dinosaur meat?

NICK: First, you have to cook the bacon.

ME: How do you do that?

NICK: First, you swallow the bacon, then you pour hot water in your mouth so that it goes into your pipes and cooks the bacon.

ME: Okay. How do you get the bacon out of your stomach?

NICK: You spit it out into the the TV.

ME: Right. So you swallow bacon, then pour hot water down your throat to cook the bacon, then spit the cooked bacon out INTO the television.

NICK: YES!

ME: But…wait… where does the soap come in? And the dinosaur meat?

NICK: DAD! DO I HAVE TO FIGURE OUT EVERYTHING!!!!

CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT DINOSAUR MEAT

169

NICK: Dad?

ME: Yes.

NICK: Pretend you’re a T-Rex.

ME: Okay.

NICK: And I’m a T-Rex.

ME: Okay. What are you doing, T-Rex?

NICK: Eating dinosaur meat.

ME: Yeah? From where?

NICK: A Triceratops.

ME: Where did you find it?

NICK: At the watering hole.

ME: So you just starting eating him?

NICK: Yeah.

ME: What are you gonna have for dessert?

NICK: Chocolate custard.

ME: Ah.

NICK: Dad?

ME: Yes.

NICK: Now I’m Batman.

ME: Okay.

NICK: And you’re Robin.

ME: Okay.

NICK: What are you doing Robin?

ME: Eating dinosaur meat.

NICK: Ugh. That’s disgusting.

 

CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT ROBOT MIKE

AGE TWO

ME: Hey, Nick! Look what I bought you! It’s a toy robot! His name is Mike! You wind up him up and sparks come out. Watch!

NICK: AH!!! AH!!!! TAKE IT AWAY!

ME: But Nick…

NICK: TAKE IT AWAY!

AGE TWO AND A HALF

ME: Hey, Nick. Want to meet Mister Spoon?

ALLISON: What are you going to do?

ME: It’s just a magic trick. I make the spoon float in mid-air. He’ll love it.

ALLISON: It will scare him.

ME: Oh, it will not. Look, Nick! It’s Mister SPOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!

NICK: AH!!! AH!!! NO!!!! TAKE IT AWAY!!!!

ALLISON: Told you.

AGE THREE

ME: Want to see Mike the Robot?

NICK: NO!!!! NO!!!!

ALLISON: Okay, seriously? Stop asking if he wants to see the robot. He doesn’t want to see it.

ME: Want to see Mister Spoon?

NICK: NO!!!

ALLISON: Stop it.

AGE FOUR

NICK: Dad?

ME: Yes.

NICK: I don’t want to go back to Karate class. Okay?

ME: How come?

NICK: I feel shy.

ME: Yeah. I know how that is. But I’m glad you tried it. It’s good to try things that are scary. You have to be brave sometimes.

(Pause)

NICK: Dad?

ME: Yes.

NICK: I want to see Mike the Robot.

ME: Who’s that?

NICK: Mike the Robot. Who used to scare me when I was a baby.

ME: Oh. You do?

NICK: Yes.

ME: Really?

NICK: Yes.

ME: What if he scares you?

NICK: I gonna hide under the table while you get him.

ME: Okay.

NICK: I under the table! Get Mike the Robot!

ME: Okay. I’ve got him. Should I hand him to you?

NICK: No!

ME: Where should I put him?

NICK: Put him in the hallway.

ME: Okay. Okay, he’s in the hall.

NICK: Okay, daddy.

ME: You want to come out and see him?

NICK: Okay. Okay.

(Crawls out from the under the table. Slowly walks to hallway.)

NICK: That Mike?

ME: Yep. That’s him.

(Pause)

NICK: I like him.

ME: You want me to wind him up?

NICK: Yes.

ME: Okay. See how the sparks come out?

NICK: HAHAHA! I’m not scared of Mike, dad!

ME: I know!

NICK: I not scared of him! I like him!

ME: I’m glad.

NICK: Daddy?

ME: Yes.

NICK: Go get Mister Spoon.

230