I didn't mean to make that last entry all cliff-hangy, you guys. I swear I didn't. And I also didn't mean to leave you hanging for three whole days. I've just been having an emotional three days here and posting something funny just wasn't in the cards for me.

So, here's the (anti-climactic) end to the whole episode: Male employee acknowledges my telepathic message with a smile and I turn around and walk out of the shoe department while (I'm sure) the crazy lady tried to burn holes in my back with her eyes. And then, because I have a tendency to fixate on things, I couldn't get those eyes out of my head for the whole night and part of the next day.

The remedy to this whole situation was a four-year old. That's right: Giggles and Little Man have made it to the blog again. And this time around, there were some real gems to be had.

Part Two: Saturday and Sunday

Before they got there, their mom told me that Little Man was into germs lately and that anything we could do to get him to talk about germs would probably make him happy. Being the eco-friendly laundry detergent-using, fair trade grown coffee-drinking, recycle everything but chewing gum types that we are, we thought the best place to show a kid where germs live would be the inside of our City-provided curbside compost bin. Little Man actually wanted to SEE the germs though, and we were having a hard time explaining the term "microscopic" in a meaningful way. (Alive, but invisible to the naked eye, every one of them a different shape, all of them moving but unable to be detected... it's all very confusing) The best we could do was to draw a few paramecia and some cell diagrams on paper and say that germs often had irregular shapes. Since we'd already made a plan to make some handmade dolls on the sewing machine for our night of stay at home fun, I offered to sew him a germ. He then insisted that I sew it INTO the bodies of the dolls, since that's where germs lived: inside people. Well played, Little Man. Well played.

We spent the better part of Saturday night crafting their stuffed amorphous monster-dolls out of polyfill and old t-shirts. Little Man, seeing his sister's joy when her doll, Devil, was all sewn up, promptly tucked it under his arm and initiated a game of keep-away.

Now, our apartment is tiny, so the the game consisted of Little Man running in circles around the focal point of our living room, our couch, and Giggles, well, giggling, and chasing him. After a few passes, I asked him why he'd stolen the doll, and he answered without breaking his stride, and with total earnestness: I NEED IT FOR COMPOST!

And then there was this, when I offered him Burdy's knife-making out of paper and aluminum foil skills:

LM: Make me a rondel.
Burdy: A what?
LM: A rondel.
Burdy: I don't know what that is.
LM: It's a sword, with two round things on the end. The knights used it when they were fighting. And it's sharp, okay? Really, really sharp.
Burdy: Um. Okay. Well, how about I start with a normal sword and then you can tell me what else I need?
LM: Nuh-o. Just draw a rondel!
Burdy: Okay, I'll try. (draws a fairly typical sword).
LM: That's not it. You didn't put the round things.
Burdy: How about you trace it on the paper with your finger and then I draw what you've traced?
Burdy: Oh! I have an idea! Let's look it up on the Internet!

You guys, this is a rondel:

It's TOTALLY a sharp thing with two round things on the end. Next time a four year old commands you to draw a rondel, don't guess and don't ask for further instruction. Just go right to the Internet.

Giggles was into dressing up her dolls in makeshift outfits constructed of fabric scraps. She tied a long piece of fabric around one of the doll's heads and presented it to me. "Look", she said, "It's a Hippie!" And then she giggled. And that prompted this exchange between me and Little Man:

LM: What's a hippie?
Me: A Hippie? Well, a hippie is a slang term for person that belonged to a movement that started in the 60's-
LM: Is it a Roman?
Me: What?
LM: Is it a Roman?
Me: No, kid. I meant the 1960s, not the 660s. Anywho, a Hippie-
LM: Is it an Egyptian?
Me: Well, I suppose they could be. I mean, not an ancient Egyptian, if that's what you're asking. I mean, I think it's mostly a North American thing. Hmm.... I guess you could say a Hippie is someone whose core values are peace and love and equality and fairness.
LM: (considering thoughtfully what I've just said) I hate Hippies.
Me: (patting his head lovingly) Of course you do, sweetheart. Of course you do.