Category Archives: imaginary friends

Spins A Web, Any Size…

Spins A Web, Any Size…

For those of you who’ve been following along for a while, Nikola has a baby doll named Baby who he dotes upon and loves. He “changes her diapoh” and “cleans her dirty BUTT” and tucks her in for a nap and feeds her and burps her and celebrates her 1st birthday about one a week, complete with “cake” and “wrapped presents” (random crap he drapes paper or t-shirts or tissues or something over) and a card that he makes for her.

Lately, Baby has been displaced in his affections by… Spider-Man.

Nesko’s parents had a mini-family reunion and I got to meet like 50 people who were total strangers to me and mostly didn’t speak English (I am monolingual) and that wasn’t terrifying or awkward for me AT ALL and I made lemon cheesecake and turtle bar cookies and rice krispy treats and they were all big hits so yaaay. But Nesko’s culture has this thing where it’s common for visiting adults to bring presents, candy, and/or money to the kids they visit. One of Niko’s scores was a pretty big Spider-Man toy with a Spider-Copter or something. Spider-Man is his New Love and he’s been taking Spider-Man to bed with him and cuddling him and toting him around.

DID YOU KNOW: Spider-Man likes bacon, and he likes sausage, but he hates ham. Steak is ok, but pancakes and eggs are right out. His favorite breakfast consists of a croissant, donut, banana, and potato (??). We went out for breakfast the other day and Niko ordered a pancake for himself and a plate of bacon for Spider-Man. Niko set Spider-Man on the seat next to him and fed him bites of bacon and afterward he requested two lollipops… one for him and one for Spider-Man. (Niko also scolded me for being rude and mean to the waitress, so I explained to him that I was ordering a BELGIAN waffle, not a BELCHING waffle.)

Let me tell you what kind of parent I am: knowing that he was making a bold grab for two dum-dum suckers for himself, at the cash register, I said yes.

In the car, driving to Home Depot, Niko crunched away on his sucker and then piped up “Since Spider-Man isn’t really REAL, can I just go ahead and eat HIS lollipop TOO?” I said yes, of course.

In other news, we’re repainting Niko’s room and it’s taking longer than expected. He’s sleeping in our room while we paint. I hope we get done soon. Really. Seriously. And that he transitions back to his own bed quickly and easily.


Well, that ended poorly.

Well, that ended poorly.

We have a mantel.

Don’t get all excited. We have a non-functioning fireplace and the mantel is a catch-all for junk. Like a junk drawer, but all out in the open where anyone can see it. Also there’s some photo albums, a porcelain “Rose Of Tralee” statue from the Franklin Mint, only slightly chipped, and a massive pile of guitar song books. And dust.

There’s also two houseplants.

I was cleaning off the mantel today in preparation for INCOMING CHRISTMAS and I moved one of the two small watering cans into the kitchen. This, as it turned out, was a mistake.

When Niko dragged his little stepstool over to the mantel, watering can in hand, and informed me that he was going to water the plants I chuckled indulgently and assumed it was all just pretend.




No. He’d put water in the little plastic watering can. And, while trying to water plants that were above his head, he poured all the water onto the floor behind him.

The hardwood floor. Which is about 100 years old.

OH!, I said as the water pattered musically onto the floor.

Then we cleaned it up together.

This poor floor.

IN MORE DISGUSTING NEWS, my child has really bad gas and also has figured out how to blame other people for it. He’s got a whole list of individuals to blame, which includes his stuffed animals. His current favorite fallguy is a red dog known as Red Dog. “But it’s ok, Red Dog doesn’t have to poop. That was just a just because toot. He keeps them in his butt. His butt is attached to his leg. Sometimes he poops on his leg like a cow all over the floor.” He’s still obsessed with cows and their torrential craps.

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Why I say my kid is weird

Why I say my kid is weird

I tell people my kid is weird and they either look at me funny and TOTALLY JUDGE ME or they laugh and mentally high five me. Really, pretty much ALL three year olds are weird, but mine is gloriously so. And I enjoy it! I enjoy weirdos and am one myself so, whatever.

One of Niko’s tetkas (aunts) traveled to Canada a while ago and brought him back a little stuffed moose with a red knit sweater that says “Canada” on it. Niko, cleverboots that he is, named the moose Canada. Canada the moose. Canadians, if it makes you feel any better, every single elephant he has is named Carl. ANYWAY, he recently discovered that Canada’s sweater is removable and it’s sized to fit beanie babies.

So his beanie babies (kissy bear, baba bear, tata kitty, mama otter, and EW SKUNK EW GROSSSSSSSSSS; CJ the dog, C the dog, J the dog, and Delilah the dog (he’s named them after dogs he knows, CJ and Delilah); Falcon Bernouli the goat and Edward Thomas the groundhog; they all get into fights over who is going to wear the sweater and who is going to be naked.

It’s like someone ate the forbidden fruit and now they know nakedness. And sin. And there is only one sweater to go around and cover their shame! So he sets them up and he has these little voices for them, and they argue over who is going to wear the sweater (only he calls it a shirt and he can’t say “sh” well so it’s a sirt) and why. They have VOCAL TICS, for crying out loud (albeit not very subtle ones: Canada brackets his statements with a sing-songy “I’m a moose, I’m a moose, I’m a moose, I’m a moose!”) At one point, Canada was saying “Kissy Bear you have my sirt and my pants! Oh no wait nobody has pants. You have my sirt! I am naked without my sirt. I’m a moose I’m a moose I’m a moose I’m a moose!” You have to admire his commitment. Canada breaks into identity-related song and dance constantly.

His stuffed animals tell jokes and they have specialty jokes. He sets them up and has them tell jokes. And laugh. And they fall over laughing.

I just… ok.

He’s three, right? And three year olds can be huge assholes. I think we’re all in agreement there. But they can also be FUCKING HILARIOUS and oh my GOD this is such a great age. And if I didn’t have carpal tunnel and arthritis and a complete inability to follow directions I would knit a bunch of tiny beanie baby sized sweaters so everyone could be clothed and the falsetto plush bickering could stop.

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Let me tell you about Mon Mons.

Let me tell you about Mon Mons.

Niko is pretty imaginative, as 3 year olds usually are. In addition to his imaginary friends January, Cup Custard, and Howdy Cat, our house also teams with Mon Mons. I know what you’re thinking, and no, he isn’t talking about Pokemon (although he may have heard the name in that context and picked it up).

Mon Mons do not swim but they live in the water. They do not have fur or scales, they have skin, and sometimes hair. They like to come out of the water and live in the sand. THEY ARE NOT OTTERS. They live in the sand and they eat the sand. They can be any color. They can be red, blue, brown, orange, white. They walk like this *walks sideways, crouched down.* They have two big hands and they use their big hands to TICKLE YOU and pinch you and scratch you. And you say OH MON MON THANK YOU FOR THE TICKLES AND PINCHES AND SCRATCHES. They only scratch you if you’re itchy and want them to scratch you, and they pinch you gently like this *pinches gently.*

We were out running errands the other day and stopped to get something to eat. The waitress gave us crayons and a paper placemat and Niko and I draw on the back of it. I drew a crab and he got very excited because apparently Mon Mons are just crabs. I said “Oh, Mon Mons are crabs?” and he said “YES I TOLD YOU THEY WERE CRABS. Geeze. Mon Mons are crabs. EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT, MAMA.” Then he clicked his fingers together like crab claws and reached over and pinched me (gently). Which is how Mon Mons, aka crabs, say hello.

So now you know what Mon Mons are, and a little bit more about crabs.


You’re a good eyayint, Carl!

You’re a good eyayint, Carl!

Yonks ago, before I had a kid, before I was married, back when I lived near the always-foul-smelling Morse stop on the red line (seriously, every single time I walked past it some dude was urinating on the wall of the building like urine alone was keeping the station standing), I got sick.

I was low-key miserable. You know how it is. Tired, cranky, full body ache, scratchy throat, listless, vaguely nauseated, my upper lip a snot trough. Nesko went to the store to pick up canned chicken soup, crackers, ginger ale, drugs, and Martha Stewart Living magazine all of which are vital to my recovery process. He kept calling to check in and see if I wanted/needed anything else. I added coke, frozen pizza, and popsicles to my list. He called again. I started teasing him with stuff stores don’t carry. I said I needed an elephant.

He came home with my groceries, AND some flowers, AND a stuffed elephant. Because he is the best.

That elephant has had a special place in my life ever since.

Niko hasn’t really used a lovey until recently. Sure, he uses a pacifier when he’s sleeping, or feeling ill, or getting jabbed again and again with sharp needles at the doctor’s office because I delight in his suffering. But he hasn’t really had a comfort object.

And then, somehow, out of all the stuffed animals and blankets and sharp pointy trains he has, he selected the elephant as his special lovey. He flirted a bit with a soft blanket, and with a baby doll, and with a length of wooden train track, but he settled on the elephant. At nap time, he protests that he NEEDS his EYAYINT. WHERE MY EYAYINT? I NEEEEEEEED IT he bellows, then he finds it and drags it back to bed by its trunk, singing a song. He settles in, nuzzling it. He tips its head back, trunk pointing up, while making elephant noises. Sometimes he brings his baby doll along for a ride.

I bought a copy of “Good Dog, Carl” at the thrift store. It’s a slightly mis-bound board book and Niko, who loves dogs and babies, really enjoys it. I checked “Carl’s Masquerade” out of the library about a week ago, and it’s in heavy rotation right now… read before every nap and bedtime and sometimes in between as well. Niko reads it to us, and reads it to his baby and his elephant. And then he decided that his elephant was named Carl, and Carl looks after Baby, and Baby rides on Carl.

So he sits on the floor and prop his baby doll, Baby, up on Carl the Elephant’s back and trots them around. When he goes looking for his elephant, he reminds me that HE NAME CARL. And when he goes to sleep now, Carl and Baby snuggle in with him.


It’s Storytime!

It’s Storytime!

We did our usual bed time routine last night, which Niko tried to drag out by changing his mind halfway through his second story. “Not that one!” he claimed. “A different one!” but then I was unable to pin him down as to which story he DID want, so offered him the choice of finishing up the one we were reading or putting the book away. I am cruel firm but fair. After finishing the second story, he threw a fit because he wanted another story and I’d read the wrong story to him. OH NOES! So I offered to tell him a story, which he accepted because he likes my stories ok. This is the story I told him.

“Once upon a time, there was a pretty kitty. His name was Roy, but he was such a Pretty Kitty that everyone called him Pretty Kitty. He had red ears and red paws and a red tail and red hair and a red nose and red hair and a red tummy. He was red all over. He had a best friend named Ninuta 1–”

“Noooo! Funny mama!”

“Oh. So what was his best friend’s name?”

“He name… NINUTA!”

“SO one day, Pretty Kitty called Ninuta up on the telephone and said ‘Hello hello! I am calling you! Are you there? It’s me! Do you want to ride on the train?’ and Ninuta said ‘Yes, I love to ride the train!’ so Pretty Kitty came over and they packed some snacks. They packed some goldfish crackers, and some pretzels, and some apples, and some carrots, and some apple juice, and some dinosaur yogurt, and some raisins, and some chocolate milk, and some train track cookies, 2 and they went for a walk and got on the orange line.”

“The orange train!”

“That’s right. Where did they go?”

“They go to the AIR PORT.”

“That’s right. So they got on the train and it went puff puff puff… chug chug chug–”

“No, mama!” Niko laughed. I mean, he literally was laughing at me. “THAT’S A DINOSAUR TRAIN!” 3

“Oh. That’s the sound the Dinosaur Train makes?”


“What sound does the Orange Line make?”

He looked at me intently and silently.

“Is it very quiet?”


“So they got on the very quiet Orange Line and rode alllll the way to the airport. They got hungry and ate some apples on the train, and then they were at the airport! They watched the trains landing and taking off, and then Pretty Kitty said ‘Ninuta, I have a surprise for you!’ ‘Oh boy,’ said Ninuta. ‘What is it? Is it ice cream?’ ‘No, it’s better than ice cream! We are going to fly on a plane and see Trina!’ 4 Ninuta was very glad to hear that. So they got on a plane that was headed for Rhode Island. It took off and they flew and flew and flew. They were up so high. They were higher than buildings and higher than trees and higher than birds. They were even higher than clouds, way up high above them! After flying for a while they landed and got off the plane and went to find Trina. She was very surprised to see them, and gave them grilled cheese sandwiches and grape juice and whumchucks 5 and they played with some cars and then they went back to the airport and flew in a big plane back to Chicago. Then they got back on the very quiet orange line and rode home, where they had some chicken and rice and some ice cream for dinner and then they went to bed. The end.”

I looked over at Niko at that point. He smiled at me.

“That a WUNNERFUL tory mama,” he said, and curled up to sleep. Later in the night he kicked me so hard it both woke me up AND knocked the wind out of me, so that was exciting. But it was a pretty wunnerful story.

  1. “Ninuta” is how Nikola says “Nikola.”
  2. In case you couldn’t guess, these are some of Niko’s favorite foods.
  3. “Dinosaur Train” is a kid’s show on PBS about dinosaurs who ride a train. Yeah.
  4. Trina is my best friend. She came to visit us a few weeks ago and slept in Niko’s “new bed!” in his room. He likes her very much and has been looking for her ever since she left.
  5. A whumchuck is like a big swinging hug that eventually devolves into tickles, and you say whuuuuuuuuuuumCHUCK while doing it.

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Wordy Wednesday: Have you met Pretty Kitty?

Wordy Wednesday: Have you met Pretty Kitty?

So, Nikola apparently has an imaginary friend.

His imaginary friend is sometimes named Boy or Roy, and is a Pretty Kitty. He is a RED Pretty Kitty.

He likes the following:

Watching Meerkats
Eating Fruit Snacks
Eating Fruit Snacks With Meerkats
Going In Tunnels
Eating Bananas
Eating Bananas With Too Many Monkeys
Riding Trains
Playing With Trains
Playing With Blocks
Taking a Bath

He also likes playing “Rusty and the Boulder” which, coincidentally (and like everything else on the list) is something that Nikola also likes. “Rusty and the Boulder” is a game based on the Thomas and Friends episode “Rusty and the Boulder,” and consists of Niko making a very long train on his wooden train track (or lining up a bunch of stuff on the floor to make a train) and then saying OH NO! BOULDER! while he rolls a ball toward the train and knocks everything around.

He will do this for hours.

In other news, we thought we had a mattress for Nikola’s “big boy bed” so instead of getting a toddler bed, we bought an actual bed (from IKEA), only to find out that 1) the mattress was extra long (even though more than one person measured it and thought it was normal length!) and 2) someone else (a family member) had “dibs” on it. So now we have a bed and sheets even, but no mattress. We bought one, and it’ll be delivered tomorrow. Niko loves his bed so far, though, especially because he can drop things between the wooden slats that will eventually support the mattress, then open up the storage drawers to retrieve the things dropped through. Fun times!

His sheets are Thomas sheets. He even has a Thomas comforter. Spoiled? What?

In actuality, this is STRATEGY. We’re hoping that the allure of A! New! Bed! (with fun drawers!) and Thomas! Sheets! (we let him pick between those or “red car” (lightning mcqueen) sheets) will make sleeping in his own bed something to look forward to, and maybe I won’t get kicked in the head quite as much all night going forward. Maybe Pretty Kitty can help us out.

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