Chippewa Herald * December 23, 2006  

"THEY should pay US to listen!" (and other quotes)

by Tom Arneberg, Community Columnist

We sent out another "Arneberg Argus" a couple weeks ago. That's the name of our slightly irreverent family Christmas newsletter, in which we try to capture the essence of ordinary family life.

All year long, any time we hear one of our kids say something funny or insightful, we write it down before we forget. Here are some of the entries from this year's issue, out of the mouths of Simon (now 6), David (10), Jasper (12), Alison (15), and Benjamin (17):

"WHAT?! THEY should pay US to go listen!" -- Ben, 12/11/05, after learning that admission was charged at his siblings' piano recital at the Heyde Center.

"We should just get office supplies for Christmas!" -- Alison, 12/17/05, as she was daydreaming about a new paper cutter and remembering the shredder the kids got for Christmas last year.

"I love the OLD way." -- Simon, 12/29/05, comparing the new method of stopping hiccups -- holding your breath -- with the previous way of swallowing a spoonful of sugar.

"Then I'll understand what they're saying." -- Simon, 1/12/06, asking Mom if he'll ever get to visit a country where they speak Pig Latin.

"I think I can jump a little higher." -- Simon, 2/6/06, when asked what it was like to turn six years old.

"I don't understand how people could like apple pie, compared to this." -- Ben, 2/12/06 while eating a slice of french silk pie. (Mom was gone for the weekend.)

"I like my eyes the same size." -- Simon, 2/28/06, upon noticing Tom's right eye swollen from some infection.

"What is this -- sawdust?!" -- David, 3/20/06, misinterpreting a bowl of cracker crumbs. (Maybe he had been spending too much time in the construction-zone basement.)

"That's not good manners." -- David's whispered comment during church, 3/26/06, when hearing Jesus' words from the cross. Tom & Beth had just taught a parenting seminar the previous day, where they encouraged parents to teach their kids to ask a favor ("May I please have something to drink?") rather than just whining about their needs ("I'm thirsty.").

"He's better-behaved." -- Simon, 6/02/06, with a six-year-old's perspective on the effects of eight hours of hard labor (mowing and trimming) on his teenaged brother Ben.

"In MY life, 'good food' is ice cream and chocolate milk." -- Simon's 6/15/06 retort to Mom's suggestion that he eat good food.

"David, Mom needs 'hupakouo' obedience here, not 'pietho.'" -- Jasper, 6/20/06, reminding his kid brother of the difference between the Greek root words in the Bible (from Tom's sermon the previous Sunday on Ephesians 6:1 vs. Hebrews 13:17).

"My bowl is not going to have much milk." -- David, 7/3/06, upon hearing Mom's new rule that each kid only gets one bowl of Super Sugar Bombs cereal per day.

"Let's just call it 'BEN-sized.'" -- Ben, 7/7/06, about the KING-sized air mattress they now had for basement visitors. (He still has that first-child royalty complex.)

"Mom, is this a MUSICAL?" -- Simon, 7/27/07, whispered during "Beauty and the Beast" at the State Theater, after 37 minutes of almost non-stop singing.

"Wanna see GRANDMA?" -- Simon to Dixie, 8/16/06, after hearing Beth say that she was NOT the dog's mother.

"If it IS the same mouse, it sure is a dumb mouse." -- Simon, 8/10/06, after catching a mouse in the garage with a live trap, a couple days after the previous wild mouse escaped from the cage.

"I'll be the entertainer while you work." -- David to Simon, 8/16/06, explaining his plan for getting a job done quickly.

"If you don't like mice then you SHOULD like mouse traps." -- Simon's 8/18/06 logical retort to his mother's emphatic statement that she does not touch either mice or mouse traps.

"I could live the rest of my life with no food and no water." -- Jasper's 8/22/06 seemingly bold but actually just logical claim.

"So, Dad, am I solids, then?" -- Simon, 9/15/06 while playing 8-ball, after Tom sank 6 of the 7 striped balls on his very first turn, leaving a rather unambiguous table for Simon.

"That doesn't even seem...normal." -- Jasper, 10/1/06, upon seeing the cross-section of the first battered and deep-fried Oreo as it was being sliced.

"Wow, I never knew that pannekoekens had tomatoes." -- Simon, 11/4/06, a little confused because Dad was starting spaghetti sauce for lunch the same time he was making the dutch pancake-like treats for breakfast.

"Have you put the dirtiness in yet?" -- Simon, 11/6/06, watching Mom make "dirty rice."

"Get ready for singing. My dad always sings when someone comes over. Or when we go over there. Or any time." -- Simon's warning to cousin Jesse in the hot tub, 11/23/06 (Thanksgiving morning), possibly finally realizing that this is not standard behavior.

That's all I have room for. May your new year be filled with memorable quotes from your own kids!


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