Oct 31, 2011

Things We Say: knuckle sandwich

(setting--kids are tidying their rooms because friends are coming over later. Breakfast is being ladeled into bowls.)

MayMay: Mom, can we have breakfast right now? We're almost done cleaning.

NSG: What's left?

MayMay: We just have to sweep.

NSG: sweep? I never said they had to sweep. When was the last time they ever swept? Well, better not to look a gift horse in the mouth... Just maybe hurry and sweep, then you'll be done!

MayMay: *nods solemnly, grabs broom and dustpan*

Jaws: Can I do that part? (pointing at the dustpan)

MayMay: No, you should sweep. I swept last time, and the time before. *considers as they head up the stairs* well, maybe we can take turns sweeping.

NSG: (tempted to pinch herself to make sure she's in the right universe they've been sweeping? Did I just not ever notice?)

(setting: NSG has sorted laundry into various baskets so the kids can put it away in their closets)

Squirt: Mom, I'll put my clothes away. Can I have a penny?

NSG: No, you only get pennies for extra jobs. This is a normal job.

Squirt: OK. *pushes the laundry basket across the floor to his room*

Squirt: *returning several minutes later* OK mom. I want an extra job.

NSG: You put your clean clothes away?

Squirt: Yup.

NSG: You didn't just throw them on the floor?

Squirt: Nope.

NSG: (walks into squirts room and stares for a moment with amazement at clean floor, opens drawers to find them filled with clean clothes) good job, Squirt!

Squirt: Can I have an extra job now?

NSG: Um. OK. Take the towels and put them in the closet.

Squirt: *returning a moment later* OK. Now what?

NSG: take the washcloths and bring them down to the kitchen drawer.

Squirt: *returning a moment later* OK. Now what.

NSG: Um... take Hazel's clothes and put them in her drawer. (watches as squirt grabs armfuls of frilly pink baby clothes and stuffs them in the drawer, getting red-faced as he unsucsessfuly tries to close the drawer on heaping mound of clothes emerging from top. Goes to help him redistribute.)

Squirt: *looks up, bright-eyed with triumph* the stuff's all put away.

NSG: Yup.

Squirt: can I have a penny?

NSG: How about a nickel? That's like five pennies.

Squirt: (squints) OK. A nickel. But not a knuckle samwhich.

NSG: What?

Squirt: A nickel, not a knuckle samwich. That's bad. That's like this (makes fist, propels it through the air, intense frown on face). It's where you punch people.

NSG: OK. Here's a nickel. Not a knuckle sandwich. And here's a little jar to keep it on, on your shelf. Thank you for helping me put away the laundry.

Squirt: (not listening...already running toward room, jingling his nickle in the jar).

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