Punch Line

I sometimes share clean adult jokes that are too clever for a 2 year old to grasp. Sometimes it is fun to see the confused look on his face when he sees me cracking up on my own jokes. Yes, I laugh at my own jokes, moving on.

We're hanging out at a coffee shop and I start with the setup for a great joke.

Me: Vian, did you know that humans eat more bananas than monkeys?

Vian: What? They eat monkeys?

Me: LOL!! Way to ruin the punchline man.


Conversations with a 2 yo

We are at the dining table. I take out the croissant from the bag and place it on a plate in front of Vian.

Vian: Appa, what kind of "cossant" is it?

Me: It's a plain croissant, Vian.

Vian: No. It's a bum-bum "cossant".

Me: Huh?

Vian: Look it (pointing to his misshapen croissant that looks like a butt).

You win this round, Vian.

Good people

Sempi and I read bedtime books together and discuss the story before he goes to sleep.

The story we read had a mention of illegal drugs. Apparently he didn't know what drugs were. So we discussed what drugs were and how some bad guys can sell drugs to victims and why it is illegal.

Suddenly Sempi drops this nugget of wisdom.

People are always born to be strong and good. No one is born to be weak or evil.

Friends who know me well, know that I strongly believe "people are generally good". I guess that belief is a genetic trait.

Got Problems?

Sempi (my 6yo son) and I have this tradition of sharing our problems and asking each other's opinion on how to solve it. We do this while we walk to his school. We've been doing this since he was 3. Here's an example from Portland.

Me: When I bike to work, I have to wait a long time for the elevator.

Sempi (3yo): You should just build a ramp to your 28th floor, so you can just bike all the way up.

Me: Alrighty then.

Back to present day, I was discussing a problem with him about my work.

Me: I have this big presentation coming up and I'm nervous.

Sempi: Why?

Me: There's going to be VPs and an Executive attending this presentation. So I'm anxious about it.

(Sempi thinks for a while)

Sempi: There is a fire pole at the playground and I get nervous about going down that pole. What helps me is, I don't think about it, I just do it. So you should do the same. Don't think about it, just do it.

Me: Whoa! You know that's actually pretty good advice.

I'm happy to report that I took his advice and I kicked butt.

Relatives

Some nights I read a book about Gandhi to Sempi for bedtime. There is an incident in Gandhi's life when he's thrown out of a first-class coach in South Africa because he is not white. I told Sempi that it was an injustice and it doesn't happen anymore.  He listened intently and nodded approvingly. The next night I'm reading a comic about superheros and he asks me, "How come everyone in Justice League is white?".

I stuttered to come up with an answer at that moment, cursing myself for introducing him to the concept of race.

Since then he's asked me to read the Gandhi book many times and we talk about the struggles, non-violence and civil disobedience.

Recently, his elementary school teacher did a fantastic job of introducing the struggles of Martin Luther King Jr. He was excited to learn about MLK and how he learned some of the techniques from Gandhi and Thoreau. So naturally, we bought a new bedtime book about MLK.

One night we had this exchange.

Sempi: Appa, how did the first person came into existence.

Me: (I was gearing up to talk about evolution, Adam and Genesis).

Sempi: Appa, if there was a single person in the beginning, then we all came from that person.

Me: (excitedly) That's true. Everyone in the world is related. You're probably related to Ms. Cochran (his elementary shcool teacher).

Sempi: (giggles) Hehe. It also means that Martin Luther King could be my relative. Hehe.

Me: Absolutely!! You know MLK and Gandhi were probably your great great grandfathers.


That's my son. :D

What do you say?

One of the ways we trained Sempi to say "Please" and "Thank you" is by asking him "What do you say?" after he receives a favor from someone. With that context in mind, this conversation happened in the car. 

Vian: Can I have that monster truck, Sempi?

Sempi: Here you go. 

Vian takes the truck. Sempi being the responsible older brother wants to teach Vian good manners. 

Sempi: What do you say, Vian? 

Vian: Vrooom, Vrooom.

Sempi just shakes his head and mumbles something that vaguely sounds like "Kids these days". 


My Cup Runneth Over

Vian is having lunch. I'm still making a plate for myself. He requests some water, so brought him a cup of water.

Vian: Appa, this is too watery. 

Me: I'm glad to hear that Vian. The water is supposed to be watery. 

Vian: No appa, I can't drink it.

Me: Why not?

Vian: Because it is too watery. 

I walked over to him to check it out. He was complaining because I filled the water to the brim and he couldn't drink out of it.

Me: I'm sorry Vian, I will fill it appropriately next time. 

Vian: Yeah appa, next time don't make it too watery.


Mom by any other name

It was a cold Sunday morning. Sempi doesn't want to leave the house. I'm trying to convince him to go out for family brunch. Yoshi is still getting ready.

Sempi: I don't want to go. I want to stay home and play legos.

Me: If you want to stay home, that's fine. I'm going out for brunch.

Sempi: Ok.

Me: I'm taking Vian with me.

Sempi: Ok, you can take Vian and I'll stay with Amma.

Me: Nope, I'm taking my wife with me. 

Sempi: Ugh! Appaaaa ...... Fine. We'll all go.

Me: Alright, hurry up and put on your shoes. 

Sempi: Hold on, let's wait for our wife.

Me: Hey! She's my wife, not our wife.

Sempi: Apppaaaa......

Answer Me!

It is no secret that both Sempi and Vian prefer their mom over me. Vian perceives me as the guy who lives in the same house and occasionally grabs him from his mom to change his diaper. 

If I happen to enter a room in which he is playing, he will preemptively declare "I don't need you, appa". Which is a wonderfully  heartwarming phrase to hear from your child. 

A couple of days ago, the entire family was in the living room. Yoshi was playing with the kids, I was working on my laptop. Yoshi stood up to leave the room, and Vian starts to get anxious. Yoshi reassures him that she'll be right back. I wasn't paying much attention to the surroundings as I was focused on my laptop. 

Vian says something to me. I half-heartedly acknowledge. Suddenly he yells at me, "APPA! Are you going to answer me?". I immediately sit straight, set aside my laptop and focus all of my attention to him. "I'm sorry, Vian. What were you saying, baby?". Vian replies "I was saying that I don't need you". 

Very well then, I'm glad you got my undivided attention to share that, <redacted expletive>.