Archive for the ‘toby’ Category

my son the heretic

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

I’ve mentioned Toby’s friend Silje a few times on this blog. She’s a great friend for Toby to have – full of sass and intelligence and adventure.

This evening her mom Kristi told me that she and Silje were having a conversation earlier today about Easter. Silje said, “Well Mommy, I know that Easter is in fact not about God and Jesus and stuff. It’s about treats and candy.” “Oh,” said Kristi. “Yes,” said Silje, “And I know because Toby told me.”


Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

Probably from school, Toby knows that the president is (sigh) George Bush. We had a discussion about it this morning while the news was on – Toby said “Didn’t you know who the first president was?” We told him we didn’t, although of course we do. “It was George Washington. But then … [eyes wide] he died.”

We told him that a while ago there was another President Bush, and then President Clinton, and that one day there would be a new president, when Toby is six. Toby enthusiastically said, “Yes, when George Bush dies” which we had to correct him on, although I guess there would be if that happens too.

We tried, with effort, not to let our personal political views get into the conversation, there’s plenty of time for that when he’s older. But we did say, when talking about Bill Clinton, that lots of people think he is a very good man and was a good president (of course lots of other people don’t agree). Toby said, “Well. George Bush is also a good president.” We asked why, and were told, “Um, because… he helps people to fly all around the world


Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Tonight I was checking stuff on the web using the mac – Toby asked me “Dad, why, when you click on the house [home icon on the toolbar] why does it show all your memories?”

He means my email. He was a little sad when I showed him some of what email is (I don’t think he really gets it) and realized that I didn’t have any emails from him. Maybe I should set him up with an account.

more songs about buildings and food

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

At the zoo today Toby heard the geese making quite a racket. After a discussion about the singular and plural of goose/geese he said “I think they’re just having a big conversation”. I asked what they might be talking about – he said “I think they’re talking about frogs and buildings.”

I asked later why this would be – he said “Because geese like to eat frogs, but not buildings. Not so much.”

(Hope you got the headline by the way – I thought of it as soon as Toby said it, and was thinking about the songs for the rest of the day)


Friday, March 16th, 2007

Tonight at dinner Toby was uncharacteristically eating with his mouth open, and making a rather unpleasant noise (we were eating egg rolls – spring rolls to Brits – so it was a kind of mushy noise). I reminded him that it’s nice to eat with your mouth closed, to which he replied “I don’t understand you”. Pardon? I said. “Dad, I just don’t understand what you’re saying to me.” This was strange, he’s never said that before. I asked him why he didn’t understand. In a very mattter-of-fact way he told me “It’s just because … I’m just so much smaller than you guys. That’s why sometimes I don’t understand.”

got dead

Monday, March 12th, 2007

There was a little upset at Toby’s class last week – they got a fish for the classroom (named Prince, because he was purple) but by afternoon snack time Prince had died. Sam the teacher was a little worried about how the kids would take it, but Toby was very matter of fact: “Prince the little fish was swimming about and then he fell asleep and then he got dead. He died.” No particular worries, and in fact he has talked a few times about how animals get dead. He hasn’t mentioned that it might also happen to people, and he also hasn’t asked what happens to the animals, they just die.

Incidentally they got a new fish the next day – named Stoplight by Toby and his friends, because he’s red.

new photos

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Just uploaded some pics – there are some from January and a whole bunch from our trip to Los Angeles. Hope you like them


Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

Los Angeles, to be precise. We cashed in a bunch of frequent flyer miles a few months ago to take what is basically a free long weekend visiting some really good friends in L.A. and also to escape the horrible Minnesota weather of the past couple of weeks (tons of snowfall and total lack of greenery). We left on Thursday, all rather stressful on account of a great big snowstorm. Our inbound plane actually made it on time from Boston but we had to wait an extra hour for the crew to come in, then sat on the plane for an hour while the air conditioning failed, then had to wait in the airport for another hour for a new plane, then finally a four hour journey to L.A. Toby was completely great though – very patient with everything – it could have been a lot worse. We didn’t make it to D and J’s till really late on account of having to get the rental car and find our bearings but we did make it in the end.

Yesterday we went to the Los Angeles Zoo, which was a lot of fun. It’s not huge, but there are lots of neat animals to see and it was really good for us to get so much air and exercise after the journey. Just smelling fresh trees and flowers after the long Minnesota winter is so good for us. We did get a little lost on the freeway on the way to the zoo but fortunately I’d gotten a satelite navigation system as part of the car rental thing, so that helped in a huge way otherwise we might still be somewhere in L.A, or maybe even in Mexico by now.

Today we had a great outing with D and J, all the way down Santa Monica Boulevard (they live in West Hollywood right on the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica so it was a straight shot down) to the Santa Monica pier where we saw the ocean, listened to buskers and took Toby on a bunch of fairground rides and some time on the beach. We had quite the tour on the way back, along Mulholland Drive which is the steepest, twistiest road I have been on in some time, plus a lot of it is right on the edge of very steep hills, so I had no time at all to look at scenery, it was quite an exciting drive. Totally mad enormous houses all the way along, and incredible cars too – I’ve never seen so many Bentleys, Aston Martins, Ferraris etc.

Toby’s been doing great, he is a good traveler pretty much all the time, and he’s really taken to D and J and their dog Bacchus. Apart from the sunshine and the sightseeing he has also been appreciating our hosts’ very large TV and DVD setup, so got to watch Cars (again), and was completely made up that Route 66 ends just a block away from where we are staying (click on the image to enlarge):

Route 66

where is god

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

In the car yesterday Toby, who is getting more and more inquisitive these days, asked “Dad, why can’t you see God?”. I think I had lots of answers for him (pro-religion mostly and a few unneccessarily snarky ones too) but nothing came to mind which would be appropriate for a four year old, so I suggested that Emma would be a better person to talk about it.

She started out with “just because you can’t see God doesn’t mean that God isn’t there” which didn’t seem to get very far, then said “When people love each other, God is there” which maybe made some progress but not much. So she gave an example: “When mummy and daddy hug you do you feel all loved – maybe God is part of that. Do you feel like that?” Toby pretty much shrugged his shoulders at that one, so there was nothing for it but for Emma to say “Um, because God is transcendent?” Only one response from Toby was appropriate, and he hit it right on the head: “Mummy, why does the Pink Panther like everything to be pink?”

hello mother, hello father

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

For some reason Toby spent the whole day calling Emma and me Mother and Father. No real idea as to why he did this, but it was quite amusing how earnest it made him appear to be. At one point he was walking around the house looking for me saying “Where is my father?”, then later when we went to Target to get some things Emma walked off and he was left shouting “Mother! Come back here! Mother!”