A Monster in the Shower Named William ... And Other Stories

Otherwise Titled: My Kid Since March 

3/31/13 - After skyping with my family tonight:
Isaac: I want to go home.
Me: Me too. Isaac (to Tim): You say NO flying home to Grandpa and Grandma. Why? That's bad!

4/1/13 - This morning when Isaac sneezed on his shirt, and I told him to go change it because he'd gotten snot all over himself, he said, "That is not snot, mama! That is bless-you!"

4/7/13 - Isaac has recently adopted this incredibly endearing habit, wherein he answers any questions he dislikes by saying 'I can't hear that.' It makes me the happiest mother alive.

4/12/13 - We just told Isaac to go to bed and he said, "You're not my mom and dad. My mom and dad are clouds." Whatever that means, little stinker.  

4/17/13 - Isaac insisted I turn the couch into a train, and then sit in it for half an hour so he could yell at me 'SIT STILL! I'M THE CAPTAIN OF THIS TRAIN! NOW YOU WALK!' ... I never get to be the captain of the train, and I'm the one who bought the stupid couch in the first place. Boo.

4/18/13 - Woke up to the sound of Isaac screaming "IT'S MONDAY! I WANT TO SWING IN THE BAG!" (He gets his days mixed-up, and thinks the huge Ikea bag is a swing). And then, "DRAW ME A DRAGON ELBOW!" (No idea. I tried, Tim tried, nothing would please the kid. There are a lot of discarded elbow drawings lying around, but I'm pretty sure he knows what an elbow is now.) And then, as the boys were getting ready to walk out the door, he started singing: "WE MISSED THE BUS, WE MISSED THE BUS, WE MISSED THE BUS!" And they did. ... It's been an eventful, elbowful second-Monday morning.

4/18/13 - Isaac brings home a new stick from school everyday. They increase in size as the week progresses and then start all over again on Monday. Last Friday, we ended up with a 6-ft-long stick that he insisted was a Christmas tree. Today, it was an honest-to-goodness log. If he tries to bring home Noah's ark tomorrow, I swear I won't bat an eye.

4/19/13 - Whenever Isaac gets asked what he wants to be when he grows up (why do adults insist on asking this of toddlers?), he says "small" or "Isaac, a tiny one." I'm so lucky; my kid is Peter Pan.

4/22/13 - We're having a family movie night with pizza. Watching See Spot Run. I thought Isaac would like this movie, however, I'm rethinking it now.
Regarding the two postmen, he said: Mama, they're coooool.
Me: No, they're stupid and immature; you can't be either of them.

4/23/13 - Isaac said: Mama! I have a spirit! It's a blue ball and it bounces high! 

4/23/13 - Asked Isaac what he thought his dad did at work, and he said, "He drives the train, and gets your mail and my mail on Tuesday, and finds the cookies and the movies on the computer, but he is NOT the captain of the train. I am the captain of the train." ... Good thing we have that cleared up.

5/1/13 - Isaac just brought me a stack of books to read to him, and said, "Okay I got them. We have pirate, we have Jesus, we have monkey-talk." (How I Became A Pirate, Read-Aloud Bible Stories Vol. 1, Curious George Storybook.)

5/4/13 - Isaac just walked up to me, pulled down his pants, and said: In the morning it's big and tall, it's magic! But now it's dead, it's broke. See?
Me: Huh. Go talk to your dad.

5/5/13 - When Isaac says 'magic' it comes out sounding like 'maggots'. I'm so happy to have finally realized this, especially after all those times we were eating and he'd yell (for no apparent reason): "MAMA! IT'S MAGGOTS!"

5/7/13 - On the bus today I saw a kid that looked exactly like Isaac, only 4 or 5 years older. Same hair, same blue eyes, even the same color clothing as Isaac wore today. He turned around and grinned at me and for a split second I felt like a time traveler. Then The Real Isaac dumped his sandbox shoe out on the floor next to me, said "MOOOOM, MOOOOVE!" (he thinks he should sit by himself on the bus now), and I snapped out of it.

5/7/13 - The Train Anecdote: On our way to Vineyard camp a couple weeks ago, Isaac spotted a member of the train crew. His face immediately lit up with excitement and awe - as if he'd seen Santa Claus or something, and he literally shouted, "HI CAPTAIN OF THE TRAIN !!!"

5/23/13 - This morning my alarm clock was a five-year-old redhead, flexing his arms and screaming at my sleeping face: LOOK! I HAVE MUSCLES !!!

5/25/13 - Isaac has moved into the Why Phase. He'll be telling me an incredibly long story (that never does end; in fact, he's still telling it), and somewhere in the middle he'll stop and ask 'what's that?' almost like he forgot the word (only in this case, he just doesn't know it yet). So I'll explain and then he'll just stare at me, and say, 'why?'. Only it's an incredulous 'why', the kind that implies another question, such as: what is WRONG with this planet? ... And I'm at a loss. Where to begin?

6/5/13 - Isaac drew me a mermaid. It is the most terrifying picture anyone has ever given me.

6/10/13 - Isaac just drew a bunch of spirals and then said, "LOOK AT MY PICTURE! An ear hole, an ear hole, an ear hole, an ear hole, an ear hole ..." (?)

6/13/13 - Isaac today: "I love pretty girls. I love Liv and Amelia and Marianna and ..." Just my luck, I'm raising a little player.

6/16/13 - When he got out of the shower today, Isaac looked in the mirror and said, "OH NO. My hair is going brown. I have rainbow hair. I WANT PERFECT ORANGE!" 

6/19/13 - When I gave Isaac his breakfast this morning, he said, "Good job, Lauren." Little stinker.

6/20/13 - The neighbors replaced their toilet this morning, so the old one was sitting outside in the grass all day. Isaac found this alarming. The first thing he did after coming home was run into the bathroom and yell, "OH GOOD. At least WE still have a toilet."

6/26/13 - This is my daily alarm clock:
"Uhh, no."
"Because it's not October 17th."
"Because it's June."
"Because it is."
"I don't know."
"Oh. Is it YOUR birthday?"
... And then we go through it ALL OVER AGAIN. At least twice more.

6/26/13 - Isaac just walked in the door with a big old Magic Marker Mario mustache on his face. Exactly what I was hoping would happen on Wednesday.

6/28/13 - I will never understand why Isaac must transfer an entire sheet of stickers onto a single piece of copy paper IN THE EXACT SAME ORDER as they were sold. I'm not allowed to help anymore because I tried to put one on my face.

6/30/13 - A little bedtime game:
"Okay, mama. You a bird, I'm a crap."
"What?" (Sorry kid, I have no idea how to play this game.)
"You a bird, I'm a crap."
"Oh, a CRAB."
"Yes, a crap."
"CRAB. B."
"I KNOW." (Finally, she gets it. Silly woman.) "I'M A CRAP."
... Well, there are worse things. I suppose.

7/1/13 - Isaac and I have been playing a lot of hide-and-seek lately, only he calls it '1-2-3 HIDE'. It's a definite challenge when you are a minimalist living in a studio apartment. He is (somehow) endlessly surprised that it isn't actually ME hiding under the covers - it's the big stuffed elephant. He throws back the blanket, screams 'YOU DID THAT?!' and cracks up laughing, as if it didn't just happen twenty times in the last half hour. Someday he is going to look back on his childhood and wonder if his mother was dim-witted, but for now he thinks I'm brilliant so I'm happy.

7/2/13 - Isaac is moving the library future around and screaming "MAMA LOOK! I AM STRONG!!!" I'm pretending I don't know him. The librarians are going to blame that red headed mother over there for all the noise. MWAHAHA!

7/6/13 - As we're leaving the building, Isaac stops in front of our neighbor's apartment, stands directly in front of their wide-open double door, and yells, "MAMA! I want to watch that!" and points (at the people inside). Luckily it was just the (adult male) neighbor with the teddy bear, otherwise we'd probably have to move now. 

7/6/13 - I have Disciple on while I work. Just noticed my kid standing out on the deck wearing his Machu Picchu Llama shirt doing some kind of interpretational Tai Chi in time with 'O God Save Us All'. I cannot stop laughing.

7/8/13 - Isaac told us about school today. This was (apparently) the highlight: "A boy peed outside on the flowers. It happened. He got in trouble. Tissermand udenfor. Like this." [Funny dance] "NO PEEING ON FLOWERS! ONLY BUSHES!" ... Good talk.

7/14/13 - Isaac's been particularly theatrical this weekend, abruptly yelling out "LIMBO!" (wherever we happen to be) and then trying to walk under things ... tables, chairs, his own arm, someone's legs.

7/24/13 - Isaac stayed home all day today. I said, 'Since you're here, you have to help me clean up the apartment.' To which he replied, 'NO! That is NOT deal!' 

7/30/13 - I just told Isaac he was not allowed to tape things (drawings, receipts, trash, stuff he found on the ground) to our windows. So he left the apartment and taped them to the communal elevator outside. Now, normally I'd tell him to take them down, but seeing as our neighbors have used up the entire courtyard space with two plastic pools, a purple couch, a brown office chair, a black office chair, a vandalized picnic table, and a rapidly growing collection of empty alcohol containers ... I don't care.

7/30/13 - Isaac has memorized the months of the year, all by himself, minus November and December. His recited calendar ends like this: "... July, August, 'eptember, OCTOBER 17TH MY BIRTHDAY!" ... Because, really, what is the point in continuing with the year once his birthday is over?

8/4/13 - This evening, Isaac matter-of-factly informed our dinner guest that 'Mama has hair out of a box [dyed], Daddy has no hair [shaved], and everybody loves my orange hair the most [humble, clearly].' 

8/8/13 - Today I feel less adult and more kid. I had rice krispies for breakfast which always makes me irrationally happy; Isaac made me wear his paper pirate patch after school and reprimanded me for using the wrong colors in his coloring book; I got hit on by a teenager at the bus stop (what kind of a pick-up line is 'you are beautiful so I will have your number' anyway? Do YOU think he should've been surprised when I laughed at him?); and Isaac made us sit directly behind the bus driver, where my feet don't reach the floor, and yelled, "HAHA MAMA YOU ARE TOO TINY!" ... And now I am watching Peter Pan (what else). THINK OF A WONDERFUL THOUGHT! ANY MERRY LITTLE THOUGHT!

8/10/13 - Went on a little tour of the Roskilde Cathedral this morning. Isaac played tour guide, since he had been there before on a fieldtrip. He was entertaining for all the tourists, because he kept saying "DON'T STEP ON THAT!" whenever there was a grave in the floor (of which there were many), and also "It's okay, mama! It's not spooky!" whenever there were skulls (of which there were many)

8/13/13 - Me: Hi Isaac! Ready to go home?
Me: Oh. Did you have a good day?
Isaac: I don't play. Nobody hit me. We had apples. I washed my hands once. I'm going to eat your jacket.
Me: Um. Why?
Isaac: It looks like broccoli.
Me: Well geez, thanks kid. What do you have in your pockets?
[Empties pockets. Three rocks, two snail shells, a stick, someone's hair tie, someone's ID, someone's bike light, a crumpled drawing of a fat face, and All The Sand.]
Me: Clepto.
Isaac: Marianna gave it to me.
Me: I highly doubt your teacher gave you that stuff. Can I have a kiss?
Isaac: Tomorrow.

8/15/13 - Sometimes you are late, and all your clothes are wrong (because you are a woman), and you change ten times and end up in the same outfit you started in, and your five-year-old (who has been standing by the door, tapping his foot), says, "That's the one, Lauren. Let's go." ... No? This only happens to me?

8/19/13 - Took Isaac on a little trip to BauHaus, which felt remarkably like all those endless hours we spent in Lowes when he was a baby (because I love hardware stores), only this time, instead of chilling in his stroller, he was walking beside me yelling "I NEED A DINGBELL! WHERE ARE THE DINGBELLS?!" Which is apparently what he thinks a doorbell is called.

8/20/13 - The Jehovah Witnesses came for a visit today (naturally, since I have a fever). I couldn't hide because the door was wide open when they arrived, and Isaac clearly thought they had come to discuss his birthday. The best plan would've been to let them convert me in Danish (smile and nod), but my charming son immediately informed them that "Mama speaks English! I'm Isaac! I speak Danish! My birthday is October 17th! I have a bike! I'm going to see Grandma for three months! I live here! It's almost my birthday! BIIIIRRRRTTTHHHHDDDAAAYYYY!" ... And of course they fell in love with him and will probably come back and move in.

8/30/13 - Today is Isaac's last day at børnehaven, so we are headed out the door with 3-dozen cupcakes for his classroom (the Sea Lions) to decorate, and the thing he is most concerned about is that his socks be matching. Sometimes when you live in a studio apartment, you put all the socks in one drawer so it is essentially impossible to find a match (in fact, I don't think they actually exist). I've long since adopted the theory that hey, he's 5, it's adorable when his socks don't match (and hey, I'm 27, I don't care when my socks don't match) ... but Isaac is convinced it will, in fact, kill him to wear the spaceship sock with the snowflake sock. I'm beginning to wonder if he's actually my son.

8/31/13 - Isaac is over there, playing with legos. I am listening in, because I do that sometimes. At first it was normal boy stuff. You know, 'I got you! I am a pirate! Arrrgh!' and then it turned into something else entirely: 'I am a bad boy with a mustache, I am a bad boy with a mustache, bad boy mustache' ... ?

9/16/13 - Isaac and I are on a rainy date in downtown Zurich today. His table manners may leave something to be desired, but he did insist on carrying the umbrella for me through the morning downpour. Of course, I'm too tall for his umbrella, so ... things are going swimmingly.

9/18/13 - Every time we check into a new hotel (apartment, B&B, hostel, basement), Isaac is SUPER excited and says "IS THIS MY ROOM?! I HAVE A BATHROOM?! I HAVE A BED! IS THIS MY CHAIR?!" And then rearranges all of our stuff fifty times over so I can't find it. Having a TV is also new to him. He loves the commercials. He just told me he needs better laundry detergent because there was a commercial about how most detergents don't get bacteria out of clothing. (Shoot, I was hoping he wouldn't turn out so much like me ...)

9/26/13 - Eating cold cereal from styrofoam makes me think of my dad, and camping expeditions in Oregon. Only instead I am actually having breakfast with Isaac in Denmark, on the floor of our empty studio apt. - almost like camping except we still have a bed and a coffee maker (which is the important thing anyway). I hope he appreciates this experience when he's older, although he may only remember the part where he asked for coffee and I gave him hot chocolate and he got mad.

9/26/13 - My kid is turning into a little smarty pants. Today when told he MUST eat something he said 'Okay fine smart guy', and then he smacked my butt and said 'You are adorable!'

9/27/13 - His favorite movie may be Wreck-It Ralph (and he may be a little parrot), but when he walked up to me and said "Mama, you are one dynamite girl" yesterday, my heart melted.

9/30/13 -
Me: Go take a shower, kiddo.
Him: I can't. It's too dangerous.
Me: Well that's a new one.
Him: It's scary. It's too hot. I could slip. Soap will get in my eye. I don't like it. I'm not dirty. There is a spooky monster in the shower named William who eats people.

... Shoot. This is going to be more complicated than I realized.


  1. What a hilarious kid. He is going to be one amazing adult.

  2. Oh my, this does have me smiling. It brings back so many good memories of his father. I hope you and yours find a great place state-side. I have very much enjoyed reading your creative and inventive blog about your time in Denmark and send you my best. By the way, I love your photography--what a great eye you have. Enjoy, Becky Smith

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