What’s That Sound, The Lucky Episode 13

Seven is an age of deep thoughts, misheard phrases, paranoia, and brute honesty.

Ali Straight Street Champions Stars Tournament 3-10-18 IMG_6387

Ali: “How long until dinner?”

Me: “Not too long. Maybe twenty minutes.”

Ali: “Oh good. I just wanted to know if I had time to go upstairs and dilly dally for a bit.”

Noah: “DELETE ALI?? What does that even mean??”

I’m sure you’ll be relieved to know that no sisters got deleted in the process of dilly dallying.

Noah had a bright red splotchy rash on his ear, neck, and in his hair line. Ali noticed it first and sent him to me. I thought they were being ridiculous until I looked at it and it did look quite red and irritated.

IMG_3545 2

Noah has a history of reacting rather…violently…to bug bites, so I was both concerned and not concerned. But this rash was way more spread out…

Then I looked at a spot in his ear and said “weird. This spot almost looks like a splash of something…”

…At which point Noah said, “Oh yeah! Last night I made Andi laugh so hard that she spit red Gatorade all over me.”

Rash mystery: solved.

(Unsurprisingly, I later found the same red rash on his shirt and pants.)

I was getting ready one morning when Noah walked into my dressing room.

“Hey mommy you look WEIRD.”

I thought my makeup was off or something but I looked in the mirror and didn’t notice anything. I kept getting ready and ignored him because boys.

Then he said, “OOOOOOH!!! So that’s how you make a bun!!!”

Apparently the bun process wasn’t what he had in mind.

Noah: “What’s the Super Bowl?”

Me: “Have Daddy explain. But Justin Timberlake will be singing at halftime!”

Noah: “Oh good!! I want to see what he looks like. I imagine him looking like a guy in Pokémon that has a Charizard. Except it’s a Mega Charizard X. Oh I know – his name is Alain. Look them both up on Google and let’s see.”


Yup. Nailed it.

Noah has memory verses each week that he learns. One is “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

Except that he learned it as…

“My little children, let us not love murder or tongue…”

That’ll preach too.

Noah, after watching a male ice skater fall in the Olympics, commentated the guy’s reaction…

“He is SO MAD. I bet he’s going to have to start kicking things like I do sometimes.”

“There’s a stink bug in the house. Don’t smoosh it, or it will stink. Or even chop it up with a sword, into tiny pieces.”

Along with risk of stink from bugs, Noah is not much of a risk taker in any areas of life…

One morning when it was below freezing, Noah came up to me.

“I’m going to go outside and throw this away.”

“What is it?”

“Part of Ali’s broken jump rope.”

“And WHY are you going to go outside to throw it away? Can’t you throw it away in the kitchen?”

“Because it could really hurt someone.”


Orange Plastic: it’s a killer all right.

My mom licked her fingers and put some birthday candles out by pinching them quickly.

Noah gasped in horror and shock.

“How do you TOUCH FIRE without DYING?!”

We went on a hike one day. As we set off, Noah informed us…

“I brought seven band aids.”

Me: “Why? Because you brought your pocketknife?”

Noah: “Yes.”

Ali: “So you think you’re going to cut yourself seven times?”

Noah: “Or just in case it’s huge.”

But Noah isn’t as concerned for other people…

Ali: “Isn’t it illegal to ride in the back of a truck like that guy?”

Me: “I’m not sure…”

Noah: “He’ll be all right. Because he has a tattoo.”

…Better than band-aids, I hear.

…But not always the best defense – depending on what they say.

Noah: “If I had a tattoo on my butt that said ‘Kick Me’, I wouldn’t tell anyone about it.”

Noah wanted to buy an app on the iPad. He brought me $5 and begged me to buy it.

Me: “You’re wanting to spend all your money. On this.”

Noah: “It’s okay! I can always get more money by losing a tooth.”

…He’s going to be selling his plasma before we know it.

Ali: “Have you herd of Swiss Family Robinson?”

Me: “Yes, it’s a classic.”

Ali: “It was written in 1812! There was a war that year. The War of 1812.”

Noah: “Woah. That was even way before Pokémon was invented.”

Noah, quietly pondering while he chewed gum: “Why can’t you swallow gum again?”

Me: “Because it could stick to your stomach.”

Noah: “But if you were pregnant, that wouldn’t be a problem. Because when they got the baby, they would get the gum.”

Me: “Off the baby!? Like it’d be stuck to the baby’s ear?”

Noah: “No. Out of your stomach.”

Me: “Oh. So they’d cut the tummy open, take out the baby, then say ‘Here’s your baby! Oh and here’s a piece of gum we found in there.’”

Noah: “Yes. That.”

What’s That Sound, The Dozenth Volume.

Noah-and-his-Drinking-GlassesThese are Noah’s new “drinking glasses.” Hopefully this isn’t his idea of preparing for college.

Ali and Noah were discussing the pros and cons of their various babysitters with my friend Kelly. Noah explained that they have a system of points. Ali insisted the point system is based on a ten point scale, but Noah was quick to explain that more COULD be earned.

“Sarah is my favorite babysitter. And she gets 1000 out of 1000 babysitter points because she introduced me to my favorite cake, Red Velvet Cake, the time when she took us to Butt Cakes.”

Kelly looked at me.

I burst out laughing. And remembered where, exactly, Sarah had taught Noah about Red Velvet.


Obviously, Nothing Bundt Cakes is now ONLY referred to as Butt Cakes in our house.

“If cigarettes are so bad for you, why are they allowed to sell them?”

I shrugged. “Well, because we live in a free country.”

I launched into a lesson about Liberty and Freedom and America and contrasted it with tyranny. I was pretty sure that Noah had tuned me out for my lecture, for he asked no further questions, which is, in fact, a miracle.

Until the next night, when we were on our way to dinner with Chris, and Chris was grumbling about how late the Alabama football game was going to be the next night.

Noah shrugged his shoulders, sighed, and said, “Well, it’s a free country.”

An unnamed friend’s dog was being quite loud and barky.

Noah rolled his eyes and said “I bet he didn’t cost hardly any money.”.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because he’s so ANNOYING!”

“Wrecking a car is better than killing a cat, right?”

…Not sure what he’s planning, but I’m glad he’s going ahead and wrestling with these issues of morality before he finds himself in the front seat of the car.

Me: “Noah! How are you? Are you loving life?”
Noah: “What do you mean…?”
Me: “Are. You. Loving. Life?”
Noah: “Well I haven’t been alive for that long, so…”

He needs more time with life to consider their relationship.

Noah and I were cuddling on the front porch swing, enjoying a quiet moment in a beautiful day.

Noah: “What are you doing?”
Me: “Just looking at your gorgeous eyes.”
Noah: “Are they pink?”
Me: “Nope. Just beautiful blue.”
(Noah stares into my eyes, rather lovingly…)
Me: “What color are they?”
Noah: “Greenish Brown. Like a ……. dirty lake.”

I gave him a hard time about his choice of metaphor all day, every now and then popping in a random comment, such as…

“So do you like dirty lakes?”

That one put him over the edge.

“No…..! Mom – it’s just a COLOR!!”

So mannish of him. To see no negative association in the facts of the matter. Because in reality my eyes are rather the color of a dirty lake.

170929 Tannehill IMG_3624

I was in bed one day with especially bad lady issues. Noah came to check on me.

“What’s wrong, Mom?”

“My tummy hurts. “


“Long story.”

He crawled up in bed next to me and got comfortable, propping up on his elbow and looking at me. “Tell me.”

“Uh, not today.”

“Did a watermelon fall on it?”


“Did the house fall on it?”


He finally gave up on understanding my ailments and left the room.

Hours later, that night, he came and found me with a look of eureka on his face.

“You should try to poop, Mom!”


He rolled his eyes. “Because your tummy is hurting!”

Thank goodness I have him to find all my solutions for me.

Noah was reading out loud “to me” one night, but I wasn’t paying much attention.

Until he said, “Maury Sharstmus!”

I looked up.


And now I want to write a children’s book all about Maury Sharstmus, the poor gentleman whose name always gets mispronounced as a holiday.

And also I think I’ll be telling a lot of people Maury Sharstmus this year. No Happy Holidays from me!

What’s That Sound: Volume Eleven(ish)

Having a boy child is often a confounding situation.

Like, how does this happen?


And more importantly, after it happens, how does one hang up their coat, look at a sucker stuck solidly to the hoodie, and say “eh, I’m good.”?!

This kid.


So let’s document the inner workings of such a powerful mind.

On a typical day, Noah wakes up before me, plays in his room until eight zero zero am (the exact moment he’s allowed to wake me), then comes and climbs in bed with me and starts asking questions. Because it’s best to get a jump on the day’s inquiries as soon as possible.

Most of his questions I answer while still asleep. Sometimes they wake me up enough to make a mental note to write them down when I wake up enough to open my eyes.

Such was the case for Monday’s line of questioning.

“Hey Mom, when do people get telepathy?”

“They don’t.”

“Yes they do – you said everyone gets telepathy.”

“Noo….telepathy means you can hear people’s thoughts. What are you thinking of?”

“When you stop liking your parents.”

“Oh. That’s puberty. Somewhere between 10 and 13.”

“Okay thanks.”

In the car, the kids sometimes team up on me…

Ali: “What’s a stepsister?”

I tried to explain it, but everyone became even more confused, so I resorted to an example.

“If I died and Mr. David died, and then Daddy and Miss Ashley got married, AJ and Tessa would be your stepsisters.”


Noah: “So would we live at their house or ours?”

Me: “I’m DEAD in this scenario. Ask your father.”

Lesson Learned: One must be careful that fake stepsister scenarios don’t sound too appealing.

Noah gasped at breakfast with the excitement of a eureka moment.

“I just figured out why Gramamma’s cat was so mean!!! It was striped!”

Ali: “So….? It wasn’t mean because it was striped….”

Noah: “No! But it was actually a tiger!!!”

Every now and then, a “HEY MOMMMY!!!!” post-bedtime callback is award-winningly original.

Such as this one….


“Yes, Noah?”

“When did you and daddy first date? How old was Pop? How old were you? I wasn’t even in your tummy yet – I was just an egg. I have eggs in my tummy. No I don’t. Ali has eggs in her tummy. But they won’t hatch for a long time.”

I was having a lovely quiet moment on the porch. I was wondering why Noah hadn’t disturbed me yet but was not curious enough to find out why.

After several long, quiet, questionless moments, I went inside to refill my water.

At which point I heard the repetitive screaming emanating from the bathroom.

“Moooooom! I need toilet paper!!!!”

Ignorance is always bliss.

Noah: “Would you like a mint?”

Me: “No thank you.”

Noah: “Do you need anything at all?”

Me: “Yes actually. I need my eye drops.”

Noah: “I don’t know where those are.”

Me: “I can tell you…”

Noah: “Nah, I’m good.”

Having a beginner reader is such joy.

“Hey mom! I just saw a store called The Butt Barn!”

“…or the Boot Barn.”

….incidentally we were also next door to Hooters. But that’s more of a Boob Barn.

And one story about Ali…


“You remember that time you asked me what I am going to do differently as a parent? Well I thought of one.”

“Yeah? What is it?”

“Well if my kids want something, they’ll have to come up with the money. I’m not just going to buy it for them.”

“Do I do just buy you things?”

“Sometimes. I think.”

….And my daughter has articulated the literal definition of Peeing in One’s Wheaties.