Conversations with the boys

Conversations with my boys: Like a star

After Tiriel hands his principal/teacher a farewell present at his pre-school graduation…

Principal/ Teacher (hugging him): “Bye Tiriel. Remember what I told you- be good, not naughty, and shine like a star!”

Tiriel (wiggling out of the embrace and solemnly looking at her): “Which star?”


Conversations with the boys

Conversations with my boys: Why people fight for countries…#truth

Tiriel: “Mummy why do people fight for countries?”

Me: “Hmm. Well think about it. They do it for the same reasons you fight for toys.”

Tiriel: “Yeah. I understand them. No one likes to share.”

Me (Feigning mortification but secretly dying inside): “But isn’t it better to share?”

Tiriel: “Well, it’s like when Daniel Tiger- see, his friend the white tiger had this really cool set of science toys. And when they went on a picnic, he didn’t want to give the toys back to his friend- the white girl tiger. When you love (something) too much it’s hard to share. Noone likes to share.”

Jediah (With adorable, and misplaced, self-righteous conviction): “I like to share!”

Me (Giggling): “See! Jeje likes to share!”

Tiriel (Watching us ‘cut-eye’, and then loudly breaking out in harmonious song): “Noone likes to share…..noone likes to share…NOONE LIKES TO SHARE…”




Conversations with the boys, Raisin Pickneys

How NOT to tell your kids about a pet’s death…

Very recently, as I was about to put the boys to bed, I spotted something tragic. Their pet fighter fish Sharkeen, (their first pet ever ) had, quite literary, went to its watery grave.


Staring dumbfoundedly at the poor lifeless fish for some seconds, possible options about how to handle the devastating situation flashed through my mind. And, being the self-proclaimed lover of honesty that I am, I decided that I should give the children (pre-schoolers ages three and four) the opportunity to say “goodbye” to their beloved fish. You know, for closure or something..

So very solemnly, I began to tell them; and I chocked. It went something like this “Boys, say “goodbye” to Sharkeen…he’s err…. not well (Lie #1) and he has to go down to the ocean (Lie #2) so that his family can help him get better (Lie #3)…”

The boys began to bawl. Not sulk, or fret, or sniff…but BAWL. Hysterically. At the top of their lungs. With tears pouring down their cute, devastated faces.

Frantic, dotish me, now decide to console them with the truth… “Don’t cry babies. Don’t cry. It’s alright. The truth is that Sharkeen got really sick and he died.”

Heightened bawling. Now with hysterical hiccuping.

Totally frantic, extremely dotish me, finally gets some sense… “Babies. babies, please listen. It’s ok. Sharkeen is in fish heaven. ( Lie #4) He’s safe and happy with all his other fish friends. (Lie #5). Don’t you want him to feel better? He’s no longer trapped in his sick body.”

The boys calm down a little. No longer hysterical, but still crying.

“But Mama, we don’t want him to go to fish heaven…” Now hysterical again, “Make- him- come- bbbaaaaccckkkk!!!”

Quick witted, non-dotish me… “Ok, hear what. Sharkeen just left his body behind, but his spirit is still around. (Lie #6) When fishes die, just like people, they leave their body behind because it’s broken and painful. Remember God could do anything. So I’m sure if you ask Him to give Sharkeen a new body He would. (Lie #7) But it would just take some time…like by tomorrow evening after school. (Lie #8)”

I continue to lie to save my rear, telling them that God would need some time to find a perfect, new body for the fish (Lie #9), that the new body might look a little different because Sharkeen himself might want something different (Lie #10), and that Sharkeen would definitely be back in his bowl (Lie #11) by the time they returned from school the next day.

Now a little bit better…”Mama could we ask God right now?”

I lead them in a prayer that asks God for Sharkeen back in a new body. A twisted, twisted prayer of fabrications….Father forgive me!…

The boys are now comforted, but still go on to make demands about the changes Sharkeen should have (he should be mainly black with green, yellow, brown, pink, orange and blue) so I reassure them that whatever Sharkeen wants (Lie #12), God will give him. Now fully comforted, the boys drop asleep.

The next day, as soon as the bell rings for my lunchbreak, I speed over to the nearest pet shop. “I need a fighter, a young adult, black with bits of blue, green, and a tinge of marroon-red.”

World-savy Pet Shop lady: “Who fish yuh kill?”

Me: Ded* with a wide, sheepish grin.

I select the fish closest in size, a beautiful and healthy Crown Fighter specimen.


Unfortunately, the fish is different in both colour and breed.

Keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed, I return home to prepare the fish bowl, and head back to collect the boys.

“Mama is Sharkeen back yet?”

“I’m sure he is.” (Lie #13) They storm upstairs to the bedroom and I patiently await the verdict.

“Yay! He’s back! And he’s still black!”

Me (riding the enthusiasm to cover up the changed breed of fish): “Hey! And he’s turned into a ninja fish too! (Lie #14) Look how cool his fins look!”

They lap up every word of it.

I still feel dirty.

So folks…that concludes my post “How NOT to tell your kids about a pet’s death…” I hope you’ve learnt something valuable. If you did, please let me know, because truthfully, not even I get the lesson here…

Is it that (1) the truth about topic like death at this early age should remain taboo and avoided totally, or that (2) fanciful tales should be spun in such situations to avoid them the heartache? Or is it that (3) if a pet dies, run immediatey down to the pet store and replace it without your children’s knowledge…

Methinks I’ll opt for Option (3) anytime…


RIP: Sharkeen the First.

SUNRISE: Question mark. But bred by Dada at

SUNSET: 12.03.2014:

This fish, given to the boys on Tiriel’s fourth birthday, would be missed unknown to its owners. You remain loved by all of us.

Conversations with the boys, Raisin Pickneys

Conversations with my boys: A collection of cute quips from toddler days

Conversations with my boys

On the drive home…

Jeje: “My tummy is speaking to me.”

Mom-Mom: “Why is your tummy speaking to you?”

Jeje: “My tummy is speaking ’cause I am hungry.”


Conversations with my boys

During their morning’s bubble bath, the boys and I were having fun with animal sounds…

Me: “Jeje, what sound does a duck make?”

Jediah: “Quack! QUACK!”

Me: “And what sound does a baby duckling make?”



Conversations with my boys

Me (presenting two small, non-pricky cacti to the boys): “Here are your baby plants for agriculture. Now you have to take care of them!”

Tiriel: “I want to give it milkie and rock it in the hammock!”

After my explanations about baby plants needing water and sunlight to grow big and strong (note I carelessly did not explain that plants need to stay still), the determined little one still managed to sneak baby cactus away to rock it in the hammock. And of course, baby cactus fell off the hammock and out the pot, and Dr. Mummy was left to clean up most of the mess and fix baby cactus’ boo-boos…


Conversations with my boys

Me: “Ok, so because we’re doing things that start with the letter ‘B’, let’s go bathe in your blue bathtubs, with blue waters and bubbles, using water balloons!”

Jediah: “Yah!”

A very random Tiriel wiggles and declares: “Uh hmmm, and I have a BIG head!”


Conversations with my boys

Hurricane Jediah, now in his terrible twos took his box of raisins and scattered it into his alphabet soup which he then poured unto his table. He was promptly buckled into the naughty chair and was left to contemplate his demeanour…

Me: “Jeje, are you going to be a good boy now?”

Jediah: “No, I am not.”
Me: “Why not?”
Jediah: “Because I am not a boy, I am a baby!”


 Conversations with my boys

The following act of high treason occurred during a puppet show staged at home behind a couch. The brilliant show featured an eclectic cast of characters including the Frog Prince, Cookie Monster, and two audience members Tiriel and Jediah.

Act 14, Scene 7: Enter Tiriel who gives the poor and perpetually hungry Cookie Monster some cookies from the royal kitchen.
Frog Prince: “Tiriel, for your act of kindness towards Cookie Monster, I will make you a Prince.”

Tiriel: “No. You will make me King and you will buy me a crown.”

Jediah: “Yeah, me too!”

And so began the reign of King Tiriel and his little brother Jediah (also a King).


Conversations with my boys

Me: (Pointing to Rico, one of the Penguins of Madagascar) “Gigi, what’s that?”

Jediah: (Pausing with a determined little frown) “Panda chicken.”

And thus it came to pass that the then one year old, through his impressive skill of association, aptly coined a new name for the little flightless bird (previously classified the Penguin specie of the Aves Spheniscidae family).


Conversations with my boys
Me: “Tiri, what do you want to eat—macaroni and cheese?”

Tiriel: “No.”

Me: “Do you want spaghetti?”

Tiriel: “No.”

Me: “Noodles?”

Tiriel: “No.”

Me: “Wantons?”

Tiriel: “No.”

Me: “Popcorn chicken?”

Tiriel: “No.”

Me: “So what do you want to eat?”

Tiriel: “Tiri want to eat dinosaurs…”

And so began the age of the Tirisaur—ultimate carnivore and dinobal (eater of fellow dinosaurs) — or at least potato wedges shaped, amateurishly by mummy, like dinosaurs…


Conversations with my boys

Narrator on a musical/story CD: “Where do you think the dinosaurs went?”

Tiriel: “They got lost.”
Me: “How did they get lost?”

Tiriel: “They went for a walk and disappeared.”

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Conversations with the boys, Raisin Pickneys

Conversations with my boys: The self-declared, 4 year old vegetarian.

After discussion about having chicken wontons for lunch, my four year old Tiriel became very quiet and contemplative.

After some minutes he solemly declared: “Mama, I do not want to eat animals because they would get hurt. ”

Me (totally caught off guard): “You mean you want to be a vegetarian?”

Tiriel (with intense conviction written all over his adorable little face): “Yes. A vegetarian. I do not want to murder any animal.”

Me: Ded*

>>>  I marvel at the moral consciousness that children display at the earliest of ages, and am utterly gratified by this display of compassion and sentience. I’m personally a meat lover but I fully support his decision.

Now off to find some vegetarian kid-friendly recipes….Suggestions anyone?


Conversations with the boys

Conversations with my boys: ‘Potty’ mouth

At preschool pickup time today >>>

Head Teacher: “Tiriel had a little accident today…” (referring to my already seasoned, potty-trained four-year old wetting his pants)

Me (concerned as it’s the second accident in recent times): “I wonder why he’s doing this now?”

Head Teacher: “I don’t know how he comes up with these things; when I asked him why he didn’t ask to go to the toilet, he said-  ‘My system was just so full of fluid!’ “

Me: *Ded.*