Posts about my son Buddy.

The Doors

Dear Buddy,

Shut. The. Door!!

You have an inability lately to close anything that resembles a door.

Bathroom doors have always been a problem. In your school the bathrooms have no stalls; just three little potties in a big room (which is literally a nightmare of mine, by-the-way). I can see how you would find closing the bathroom door unnecessary after that. But, sometimes bathroom door closing is appreciated. Say – for example – at an office Christmas party at a co-worker’s house when you stood, pants-less in the bathroom doorway to inform me you’d gotten that piece of lint off your junk. “My doodle’s all clean now, Mom! Mommy? It’s clean! See?” Good times.

You frequently have to be reminded to close your car door. One fateful (and chilly) evening you forgot to close your car door even after being reminded and Daddy’s car was wide open for over 12 hours. Thankfully, the car was still there the next day, his car had turned off its power before the battery died, and there was no evidence that any wildlife had moved in…yet.

The real kicker has been the refrigerator doors. Our nice, new model in the kitchen has an alarm that sounds when the door is left open. Thank you, engineers and designers! Good call! Our older model freezer in the basement, however does not have such fail safes. It was much longer before we realized you’d left that one open. We lost food and almost lost the whole freezer – it was the smell from the over-worked motor that brought our attention to it. Epic fail, Buddy.

There is also the fun of our house looking like a scene from Poltergeist because you don’t close any drawers or cabinets. But, outside of that obvious up-side (do I need a sarcasm sign here? You hear it, right?), in general, I think I’m ready to “close the door” on this stage.

See what I did there?


Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Rock a Wedding in 4 Easy Steps: Advice From a 5 yr-old Pro

Dear All 5 year-old Wedding Attendees,

How to rock a wedding in 4 easy steps (Advice from Buddy – A Pro):

1. Stick your face in the centerpieces. If you’re lucky they will have candy in them. Jordan almonds, personalized M&Ms, little heart confections…chances are, there is candy in there; purple, sticky rockcandy sticks in the case of our sample wedding. When you reappear with sticky purple all over your cheeks, deny everything! “What?? Uh…I think it’s boogers.”


Always check the centerpieces! See? Candy!

2. Touch the cake. I mean, how could you not?? It’s just sitting there on that table in the corner at face-height, looking delicious. I dare you not to touch it. When you are caught with your icing-covered finger(s) in your mouth, deny everything! “I don’t remember anything! It wasn’t me! It was the cake’s fault!”


It's just you and me...

3. Make an impression. I mean a burned-in-to-their-retinas kind of impression. My go-to is inviting (forcing?) wedding guests to watch me pee – I’m really, really good at it. Mom likes to close the bathroom door on me, but if she’s talking on the other side of the door, I gotta know what’s going on right? So, I like to open the door again while I do my thing. Did I maybe pee a little outside of the bowl to perform that door-opening maneuver? Maybe. Did my mom have to clean half the bathroom after I was done? Probably. Did the mother-of-the-bride get a ticket to the Buddy Show? Definitely. And really, isn’t that what counts?


4. Dance, baby, dance! Remember that rock candy? Ya, get some of that. Hop yourself up on all the un-guarded sugar you can find. This is your time to shine! Is that dance floor wet? One word: Slip-n-slide. Outdoor wedding? I’m sure you can find some mud somewhere. Really challenge yourself, here. Remember, your parents are trying to socialize and appear normal, so capitalize on their distraction.


I'm going for formal sanitation worker...kind of shabby chic.



This is MY dance floor!

That should make just about any wedding experience pretty epic. Remember, Don’t let the shenanigans come to you – you go find the shenanigans!


More rock candy!!


Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stop In the Name of Love

Dear Buddy,

It was your birthday this week. We’ve spaced out your gifts so you’ve been getting a couple a day between your actual birthday and your official party this weekend. It’s been fun. Here are the highlights so far:



Darth Vader is now an Avenger.


So many Starwars books!

You also got a cool pair of Darth Vader gloves (gauntlets! Thank you, costume design class) and the new Starwars movie.

Now, my sister had been asking me what she could get you and I ran through a few things. I mentioned your love for signs. My sister suggested a cool ‘dinosaur crossing’ sign.

I said, “that’s great and I’m sure most kids would really like it, but Buddy’s more of a stop sign guy.”

She said, “seriously? He wants a stop sign?”

Yes. Yes he does. And that’s what you got:



Stopper (left) and Stoppy (right)


Read to Stopper, Mimi!

I think your Aunt won your birthday 😉

P.s. After that last picture you ran out of the house (bad idea!) and attempted to introduce Stopper to his ‘cousin’ stop sign at the end of our block. “Mom, they need to talk!” You insisted as I dragged your precocious butt away from the street. And that is why we have a hotel lock high up on the front door. Flight risk.

Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This Is Your Big Day, Kid

Dear Kitten,

This is your big day! The 5th anniversary of the day you became a Big Sister.


How does it feel to have 5 years of big-sistering under your belt? Well, you’re doing a great job! I think he’s turning out nicely.


It’s also my giving birth anniversary, but let’s not get distracted. This day is about YOU, Kitten. Right?

What’s that? Buddy’s birthday? Oh ya! I guess he was there too, wasn’t he? Well, if you don’t mind sharing your big day, then I don’t mind.

Happy birthday, Buddy!! 😉


I love you!

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Of Death and Karate

Dear Kids,

Yesterday evening my Aunt Ceil passed away after a short battle with lung cancer. I sat you both down on my lap to let you know.

“Aunt Ceil just died,” I said.

“No! I love Aunt Ceil!” said Kitten.

“Oh,” said Buddy. “Her body is in heaven?”

“No, Buddy, not her body. Her body was very sick and it died, but her soul will live forever in heaven and in our hearts.”


“Do you guys know what a soul is?” I asked.

Heads shaking.

“A soul is…” Huh. What is it? “A soul is a person’s personality, all of their experiences, and all of the love that they filled their heart with while they were alive.”

“Is it there brain?” Kitten asked. “Is it their heart?” touches her chest.

“It’s not their brain, but it is their thoughts. It’s not their heart, but it is their love. It’s the stuff that you can’t touch. It’s the stuff that lives forever, especially when we remember the people that have died. Don’t you carry Grandma Margaret in your heart?” Nodding. “Well, now we carry Aunt Ceil in our hearts too.”

“I want to die too!” shouts an overly enthusiastic Buddy.

“No, Buddy, you’re not ready yet. You have a lot of living to do. When we’re alive we have to fill our hearts with love. Living teaches our hearts a lot about love. Your hearts still have a lot to learn.”

Buddy jumps up. “My heart is learning karate! Hi-yah!”

🙂 Good talk. Heads up, Aunt Ceil. Buddy’s soul knows karate.


Aunt Ceil ♡

Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Make a Note Van Gogh…I Make This Look Cool.

Dear Buddy,

You got some sharp new dollar store sunglasses this evening. You are rocking them.


They are your “boogie glasses.” So named because you can’t stand still when you wear them; you just have to boogie. And boogie you did, room to room for over 30 minutes straight. Shaking that little tush and giving us all the double point move.


Oh, and that bandaid on your ear? Don’t worry, that’s just where your Dad attempted to cut off your ear while giving you a haircut.


You should have a great story for art history class, though.


Van Gogh and Me

Too soon?

Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Four Year Old Vogue

Dear Buddy,

Your Saturday in outfits:


Strong, silent cowboy


Debonair playboy


Ruthless king

It was a pleasure spending the day with all of you!

Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

When You Grow Up You Want to Be…

Dear Buddy,

You like signs. I’m talking Stop signs, Street signs, No Smoking signs, etc. You want to be a ‘sign-maker’ when you grow up.

I’m not sure this is an actual profession, but someone has to make all the signs, right? And there are a LOT of signs out there.

Your favorite sign is the Stop sign. You made your own. You call it Stoppy and you play with it; sometimes taking it with you places like a security blanket.

On one such occasion, you brought Stoppy with us on an errand to Staples. Did you know that Staples has a sign section? You do now!

They had For Sale signs, Caution signs, and fill-in-the-blank signs; but the one that blew your mind was the electronic sign. It could be any sign you wanted it to be! For a hot second I thought about getting you one for Christmas. It’s kind of like a big Light Bright, right?

You draw a lot of signs at home. When you first started drawing signs it was a little awkward. I’d ask you and your sister to sign a card and you’d draw a stop sign instead of your name. I’d ask you to draw a picture for Grandma and you’d draw ‘No Dogs Allowed’.

The worst was when I asked you to sign a card for my Aunt C. Instead of your name you drew a No Smoking sign…on a Get Well card…for someone who smokes…and was just diagnosed with lung cancer. I was mortified.

Unfortunately, we’d all already signed it and your sister had drawn a nice picture, so I decided we’d call it abstract art, not bring attention to it, and rely on Aunt C’s good sense of humor. If she noticed what your contribution actually was, she hasn’t mentioned it. Although, she’s sure to take another look at it after this post.

When I told you that you couldn’t go into the room with the cat’s food in it because you kept leaving the door open and the dog was eating the cat’s food, you immediately walked away and came back with a sign that said, “No Buddy’s Allowed” with your name and a big, red line through it. It is not a very good sign; not because it is poorly made, but because it is ineffective. The dog decided he didn’t like cat food long before you learned to keep the door closed. (P.S. the cat gets in and out via cat door)

You are encouraged in your sign-making aspiration by a nice little book I got quite some time ago (before kids!) called The Sign Painter’s Dream. It involves a grumpy sign painter who learns that charity can make you happy. It is a regular in our repertoire because I think the sign painter is your role model…and he has a cat who looks like ours.


I am putting this in the official record and I want to see how long it lasts: You are four and you want to be a sign-maker. Any guesses on what you will actually be some day? I’ve got dibs on graphic artist (sign-making adjacent).


Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Read, baby, read!

Dear Buddy,

You desperately want to learn to read. On more than one night I have discovered you whimpering or crying in your bed and when I asked you what was wrong you choked out, “I can’t read!” It seriously bothers you. You are four and illiteracy bothers you. As a former English teacher this warms the cockles of my literary heart.

So, we’ve been working on your reading a little bit. We read alphabet books, books you have practically memorized, and little books with only about a dozen words in them. You like it, but you’re still frustrated. You’re not actually reading the words – you’re remembering them or using the pictures to figure it out.

At school your teacher started using ‘Blended Ladders’; which take a consonant and pair it (on a ladder graphic) with each vowel sound. You do one or two consonants a week and sound out these two-letter blended sounds: Ba, Be, Bi, Bo, Bu (B-ah, B-eh, B-ih, B-aw, B-uh). You develop fluency.

A few weeks ago, you voluntarily broke out the ‘bag of flashcards’ which we’ve had for years; since your sister started talking. They’ve got pictures on one side and either a letter or word on the other. They are for vocabulary development, then letter recognition, and – eventually – reading.

You grabbed the first card with a word (no picture) and started – hold the phone! – sounding it out!

“Bu” you said immediately. Then “Ggg.” And then you shouted, “Bug!”

You did it! You read!

We made our way through the whole stack of about 60 cards (3 decks). You could read almost all of the three letter words. You read independently about a quarter of them, another half of them with help, and the last quarter were toughies (thanks, xylophone!).

It was epic 🙂

When I told your teacher the next day she was thrilled! This was her first time using Blended Ladders and she was wondering if it was even getting  through; if she was wasting their time. I told her, it was totally working! At least for Buddy, it was totally working.

The day after that, she pulled you aside during free play and gave you the whole Blended Ladders book. You went through it cover-to-cover reading all the letter combos and all of the three letter word samples. She was impressed! I was too.

Your teacher said she tried to chime in several times because…you know, she’s the teacher! But, you weren’t having it. “That’s three times, Ms. G! I need to do this myself!” you scolded her. Thankfully she laughed and reminded you who was the teacher, after all.

Now you’ve got tools. And tools empower you. You go rock it, Reader!


Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

My Boy Translator Is On the Fritz

Dear Buddy,

What you heard, “Today at school a kid got a cut on his neck and there was blood everywhere and his head fell off. But it’s ok, because they took him to the hospital and they sewed it back on.”

What your teacher actually said, “Don’t go under those tables because you could cut yourself and then we’ll have to go to the hospital to get stiches.”

You don’t hear the difference, do you?


Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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