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Battle Baby

Oliver is afraid to go downstairs by himself. Who can blame him? I sure as heck didn’t want to go into the basement at my house when I was little. Unfortunately, his bedroom is down there so he has to go down there about 30 times a day. “Oliver, you forgot your socks.” “Oliver, put all of this stuff away.” “Oliver, that’s enough, go to your room.”

I tried giving him different strategies, like “try singing a song” or “maybe take this fierce dinosaur stuffed animal with you” but he wasn’t having it. For some reason, he has decided that none of that is sufficient.

However, he spontaneously came up with his own solution. Out of nowhere, he decided the only thing that can protect him is this sweet little stuffed baby, which he has dubbed “Battle Baby”.

Behold the might of Battle Baby! Look upon it’s terror and weep!

ASSUMING YOU ARE STILL READING AND HAVE NOT FLED IN TERROR:

When things get particularly dangerous he grabs the strap at the top of Battle Baby’s hat and swings it around like nunchucks. I’m not sure how Battle Baby feels about using her body to batter his enemies, but hey! At least he can go downstairs without accompaniment. I mean, look, I’m not sure why he’s decided this baby can keep him safe, but he’s happy, I’m happy.

Kids, man. Kids.

Missing: two front teeth

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Oliver has lost his two front teeth and, in exchange, has instead acquired the MOST. ADORABLE. lisp.

This picture looks a little familiar…looks like he is just a shade ahead of his sister:

New story in this month’s Analog!

I am happy to announce my story “Alexander’s Theory of Special Relativity”is available in the current (March/April) issue of Analog.

I wrote this story just before Alex was born, so you can see that I had the name on my mind. ­čÖé┬áThis is my third (third!) appearance in Analog, which is something I still can’t believe.

This story is about time travel, but mostly it’s about how sometimes people in a relationship change at different rates, and how sometimes they’re not quite in the same inertial frame of reference.

This story is not available online, but the double issue can be purchased at many fine bookstores and newsstands around the country.

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Quote Monday is for the birds

Alex, pointing to trash blowing through the sky: “Bird! Bird!”

Oh you sweet city baby.

Evelyn: “I’m going to be a good mom. I’m going to play with my kids and take them out on adventures…”
Ollie, getting excited: “Yeah! Like take them up and jump over the train tracks!”
Evelyn: “…not those kind of adventures.”

Oliver: “I can’t go upstairs! Something’s moving up there!”
Me: “Really? Like what?”
Oliver: “I saw…Yoda.”

Living my best life, two stories

How you know you are living your best life: when you get a text on a Saturday afternoon that just says, “We’ve got the trebuchet going on the midway by the rink if you’re interested…”

(Note: this, unfortunately, is not the actual picture of their trebuchet)

The only thing better than seeing a siege engine in action was what I saw on the way home Friday night:

I was walking down Michigan Ave., just about to go underground to the train. Right as the light turned green, some show-off, meathead, a-hole on a motorcycle gunned it so everybody would look at him and his sweet bike. Not merely content with everybody in a three block radius shaking our heads and going, “what a show-off, meathead, a-hole on a motorcycle”, he had to go one further and pop a wheelie.

Well, he had our attention.

Except his wheelie kept going, and he flipped over backwards, landing in the middle of the street. The bike traveled for a bit before wiping out and laying down sideways, leaving a trail of pieces scattering it its wake. The guy somehow wasn’t dead, but instead sprung to his feet and ran down the street after his bike.

It was the most perfect, glorious episode of┬áschadenfreude I have ever witnessed. This guy was so clearly an idiot, and got what was coming to him in such a perfect and public way…

Universe, I don’t know what I did to deserve witnessing it, but thank you. Thank you.

Quote Monday got glasses

Evelyn: “The trees look like the way people draw them!”
Me, laughing: “Did you wonder why people drew them that way? With all the sticks?”
Evelyn: “Well, no…they drew them the way they look in photos.”
Me, laughing harder: “So did you think, like, the camera did something to make them look like that?”
Evelyn, shrugging helplessly: “Well…?”

Evelyn: “They made pancakes for breakfast. I only ate a ‘weekday morning’ amount of pancakes.”
Me: “Probably a good idea. They probably weren’t prepared for a ‘Sunday morning’ amount of pancakes.”

Someone’s got a new look

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The kids’ dentist is downtown in a high-rise. Last time we were there, we were looking out┬áthe window at the smaller buildings.

Me: “Look, there’s a pool on top of that building.”
Evie: “Where?”
Me: “Right there.”
Evie: “I don’t see it.”
Me: “Look where I’m pointing. It’s right there.”
Evie, following the line of my finger: “I don’t see it.”
Me: “…what do those big letters say on that building?”
Evie: “I don’t see any letters.”

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On Friday we were walking to school and I said, “You know, after you get your glasses you’ll be able to see all of the branches of that tree, instead of a big brown blob.” Evelyn laughed and said, “I don’t think that’s a thing, daddy.”

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