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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« No sickness over here! Nope! | Main | I'm here! »

Yet another sick day for two-thirds of us.

New Wonderland post up today. Read it! Comment! Not to pressure you, or anything.

Henry is home sick and Scott is home working, and the cat is plotting the dog's death. The house feels very full today. This is not a bad thing, necessarily. (Except for the dog.) Henry is right next to me, completing a Space Puzzle and shouting out random words, some of them real, others not so much. "Zucchini!" he shouts. "Zerf eeney! Zerf koo-eeney!" I asked him what any of those noises had to do with his puzzle, but he just shrugged. It's simply his way, to emit a constant stream of noise. The other day I pleaded with him to cease and desist the use of the phrase "Old Man Jenkins." I couldn't figure out why he kept saying it, and then later that day we ran into a bunch of his school friends, and he shouted "Old Man Jenkins!" and they all fell to the ground laughing. "Old Man Jenkins!" they shouted back. He is a comedy maverick. And me, I just sit here, writing down what he says.

Reader Comments (28)

Actually, that is pretty funny. You don't get it?
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSuburbanCorrespondent
My son and his friends used to always say, "Bobby Johnson!" It was the answer to everything, an insult, a joke, and compliment, and so on. They knew no one with this name....
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFesti
Actually, I thought my son had pulled Old Man Jenkins out of thin air as a character for a story he wrote for school. Turns out it's from SpongeBob.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermarlaroo
He doesn't watch Spongebob! WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

Okay, he probably got it from school. I see that now.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralice
And here I was thinking that it was a Scooby Doo-esque villain they were exuberant about foiling. Or something.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEl
I figured it was Scooby Doo for sure.

And if it's really from SpongeBob - THEY got it from Scooby Doo for sure!
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristin
That Henry is a crack-up. You need aThis is Me Journal for Henry. Hey, I'll send you one! I bought in bulk. You can jot down all his funny quotes.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIsabel Kallman
With regards to the newest superhero Pornostorm, we were recently visited at our house by the Duke of Pornwall. It just doesn't get any better than that.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMFab
Henry sounds just like my brother at that age. Or, really, any age until he was about 15, when his need to constantly make verbal noise was replaced by a need to constantly listen to music. Thank god for the Ipod; now (he's 21) instead of the eternal thump-thump-thump of the bass, he just retreats into his little audio world. (He's also a sweetie and a good guy, but headphones are lovely.)

There was a period of time, probably at least a year, when his response to just about anything was "MOOSE!" I think he was ten.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBether
sounds like it really IS comic genius. not everyone can make their friends die laughing with a three-worder. i only wish i had a daughter who could marry ol' henry.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpunchanella
It's true, though, isn't it? They reach a certain age and they just start oozing noise from their pores. Is this true with girls, too, I wonder? (I will never know this because God thinks he is a Very Funny Individual and has surrounded my with boys.)

My littlest has just started talking on the phone and will redial and walk around yelling and stomping. I've taken to calling safe people after I get off the phone with clients so he does it to my mother instead of the people who pay me.

Henry sounds edible, sick or not.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Dunford
Being the Scooby Doo and SpongeBob expert I am, I knew immediately it was a SpongeBob thing. How sad is THAT?
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVelma
Allow me to contribute the fact that constant noise emission is true with girls too. Oh, Lordy, how true it is. At least with two of my three girls -- the other just hasn't yet mastered the language. Help.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkristi
Allow me to contribute the fact that constant noise emission is true with girls too. Oh, Lordy, how true it is. At least with two of my three girls -- the other just hasn't yet mastered the language. Help.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkristi
I see I just posted twice. Normally I'd be a little embarrassed, today I think it's quite fitting.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkristi
You know what's odd? Yours is the only blog that actually remembers my "personal info."

I concur on Spongebob as the source of this line. Old Man Jenkins is a recurring character, but his appearance in the classic "Sailor Mouth" is my personal favorite. That's the episode where Spongebob and Patrick learn about the eff word-probably one of the most clever cartoons ever. I've seen it hundreds of times and I still laugh each and every time I watch it.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy the Mom
Around these parts the words are "Grandma" and "bacon". Put the two together for a real knee-slapper! Gotta love boys.
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly
I can remember a similar experience. Except it was, "SAUGER!!" (a kind of fish). Even today, 10-12 years sister or her friend, Shelly, can say that and it evokes all the memories of that time.


April 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRosieSmrtiePants
my weekend treat is to follow random blog links and see where I end up. I ended up here and what a hoot!

I worked my way backwards through some posts so I went from the sickly household to the visit of the blog friends to the cuteness of 'Manners' by which time I was laughing out loud. I am not a laugh out loud at blogs person, more of a breathy laugh through the nose type if you know what I mean. But 'Manners' had me laughing out loud, to the consternation of the cat who had been sleeping very contentedly on my belly before it started lurching him around horse and cart fashion.

Henry and the hair brushing reminded me of my little brother aged 3 taking an age in front of the mirror on holiday combing his hair. Mum called to him to hurry up (he'd been there 10 minutes already) and he replied that we had to wait because "I'm making myself handsome for the ladies".

I'm going to keep reading, tales of Henry are exactly what I need today to distract me from a recurring dream about my house being robbed!
April 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercally
Beautiful Wonderland post. Your blog should have been listed in the Wall Street Journal article about Dooce.
April 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChrista
Ha ha--Old Man Jenkins is really freaking funny. But maybe only to me because that's my maiden name. I think I'm going to start randomly saying it around my parents as if I were still 5 and then falling down laughing. Maybe they'll see the humor, most likely not.
April 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPetunia Face
Old Man Jenkins! Oh man, you don't remember that? That was a classic joke!

Just kidding- totally clueless here.
April 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCP
Whew! So my son is normal after all, with his insatiable need to fill any silence, no matter how small, with things that mean not much if anything at all?Sniff, and there I was thinking I was all alone in the world.

On another note, I agree, why no mention in the Dooce article?
April 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterInzaburbs
My nephews say Old Man Jenkins too. It's from a tv show, as is every other little phrase they like to repeat. They watch too much tv.
April 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
If you start leaving a digital voice recorder on all the time in his vicinity, you can at least embarrass the hell out of him when he's older! "Girlfriend, did he ever tell you about how he wouldn't ever ever ever shut up when he was young? No? Want to hear an example?" Snicker. I'm mean, I guess.
April 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbipolarlawyercook

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