Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Quotes from Quarantine

Being forced to spend all day every day with my two favorite people has been a really lucky thing. I think about people who struggle with people they live with (whoever they are) or are forced to quarantine with loved ones but in a tiny space which would drive anyone crazy.  Or in general, with all of their family members all of the time which could be exhausting and cause some stress-pressure merely by obtaining the same general space for days on end.  Really, I have it good. Our situation is doable, and let's not even mention those who are struggling with illness or on the front lines in some way or dealing with employment problems--ugh, ugh, ugh.

That said, we all have our limits before tension rises and the steam forms and threatens in what has become a bit of a pressure cooker, you might say. 
Julian is doing alright with it. He misses school and his friends and just being around other kids.  He told me he feels like he's losing his sense of humor because he knows that kind of audience really well--the kid audience, i guess.  I told him maybe he could get a Youtube channel or something.  And we really might need to because taking the place of basically all other humans in his life, I am the sole recipient to all of the chatter/ brain noise that is expelled from within. He talks nonstop, telling me THE weirdest crap and I am either laughing, shaking my head, vehemently rejecting what I'm unfortunately on the receiving end of, or am just left stunned and speechless by the things that come out of this child's mouth.  I cannot run to my stash of post-it notes nor scribble with fumbled pen-in-hand fast enough.  But I have tried. So, in the spirit of record-keeping in this crazy time, here are the latest post-it quotes coming at you from recent days and weeks:

1. Julian and Sean are in the middle of an epic Star Wars marathon. They watch a bit every night before bed. Right now they are smack dab in the middle, which is the middle of Empire Strikes Back, I believe.  A week or so ago they were slogging through episodes 1-3 and I overheard Julian say something really excellent to Sean as they were watching Attack of the Clones or whichever one has Anakin being older and annoying:

March 18, 2020 
"I really hate Anakin Skywalker in this episode.  He's like a super sexy jerk."   
 Hi-larious.  And it's true.  He seems to spend the entire film trying to be sexy which is disturbing and annoying the crap out of everyone.  Nailed it, Julian.

2. These are out of order and I didn't date them all. Here's another one from before then:

March 13, 2020

"I usually build a whole world inside of my head with books."

This is adorable and I believe was during the calm, innocent days, pre-quarantine.  It's cute because that's exactly what reading does but he said it like he had just invented the concept, and I got to see watch him stumble on this idea for the first time.   He went on to tell me how he knows a book isn't good-- when he can't visualize it very well and I thought it was very wise. I struggle with books like that too. 

3.        JEN: You're funny.

JULIAN: Aw, thanks. I love being told I'm funny, even more than being told I'm loved."

ha ha.  I recently heard a statement saying something people love to hear perhaps even more than "i love you" is "I understand you."  Perhaps "you're funny" ranks right up there as well. 

4. These next three were in quick succession, like everything he says.  I congratulate myself enormously for a) listening in the first place because a large percentage of the stuff he says is weird or disturbing or gross. Also for b) getting the stuff done that I was working on at the time amidst his verbal torrent and c) getting to a post-it to write them down.

4a. We were discussing natural rock formations for some reason and Devil's Tower came up (again) and as I was heading upstairs he said,

"Another name for that could be Earth's Wart."  
And I was like, "ew." 
 And he said, "why not? It's formed the same way warts are formed."     


At this point I had successfully made it to my bedroom. Once again scenes of Calvin and Hobbes flash through my head.  I used to think Calvin's mom was kind of lame and boring but I think I understand her better now. 

4b. He was eating scrambled eggs at breakfast and apparently had some trouble chewing/swallowing and said,

"aagh, I half-swallowed that scrambled egg but I was able to bring it back and swallow it again! It's like I got to eat it twice!"  
*Jen making grossed-out face at the sink or wherever.*
He rolls right on through with a contemplative, "I don't know why we can't chew our cud..."

4c. 4c isn't a quote but a point to say that this time also included him telling me all the horrible and graphic details of the book he was reading about Hiroshima that someone wrote when visiting soon after the bombs were dropped. It's some rare book Sean had in the bookcase, probably next to the parenting books Julian always grabs at the free little library book drop.  Note to self: Make Amelia Bedelia books more readily available. ALso +5 points to me for using "readily" in a book context. 

5. He asked me out of the blue the other day (of course),

"What would your bounty hunter hairstyle be?

Me:  Meet Smudge, The Confused Cat From The "Woman Yelling At Cat" Meme ...  
"uhh..don't they all wear masks? or helmets?"
(why am i even attempting to answer this??
He replied, "That's a bounty hunter stereotype because of Boba Fett."  

Like I was admonished. Like all of a sudden I find myself in this surreal situation where I feel ashamed because I was stereotyping bounty hunters?? What is happening? What world do I live in?  Who am I? Is this real life?  I was dying at this. This kid is the weirdest.    I then pathetically tried to give him an honest answer but now, upon reflection, it feels like the weirdest word-trap or weirdo mind game or something and I feel foolish to try to participate. 

6.   "What if we all had to share one sheet of paper? That thing would be so thick and weighed down with white-out, it would be unrecognizable."  

 Fortunately he often doesn't really require a response. He's just like a short, loud, kind of scatterbrained philosopher with poor short-term memory, because sometimes i will give a delayed response and he'll have forgotten he even said anything, making me look like the crazy one.

"That would be gross and sad..."

"Huh? What would?" 

7. "I wish I could buy a valley."  

     "What would you do with your valley?"

     "I'd build all of my ideas and have them in one place, like my cup car."

Oh, the cup car. He has told me at length, on multiple occasions, about his invention of a cup car. It's essentially a teacup vehicle--like the teacup ride at Disneyland.  It's powered by up to four people pedaling and can go up to 60mph.  Being no engineer, I pointed out what seemed to be a problem in his person-propelled engine and that kind of speed.  Also, how do brakes work? Does only one person have access to brakes? How do they brake and let the others know to stop pedaling? Does he/she signal in some way? Does he/she shout, "BRAKE!"?  Does using the brake automatically lock the pedals? Actually, that last one is a pretty good idea. I should suggest it to him.  He heard all of this and after considering my questions, declared he might need to rethink this invention.  But here's his drawing because I happen to have it right here next to me: 

Also that looks NOTHING like a cup car, Julian.  By his description, I told him it sounded more like this:

Our Handcars

but he was like, noooo it's totally different. 


But hey, he's not an artist, he's an idea guy.   Also, the steering wheel in the center (like it is in the teacups ride) is making me el-oh-el right now. 

8.  "I can put a bookmark in my memory."   Sometimes he says things weirdly profound and lovely. See, this is why i have to keep listening.  

9. "Have you ever juggled in Oregon?"  

He asked me this twenty times because it took me that long to even register this and get on board with the question.

I think I said, "what? No." 

"Really? Never?"

"No! What??"

Finally he got to his point-- "because it's illegal. You have to have a license."   So I guess I'm glad there was a point. 

10. Speaking of profound/poignant, I said the other day,  

"I just want to lose myself in a good book."

He replied, "I think I've been lost in a book my whole life and have never been found. I don't think anyone knows the real me. I'm not sure I even know myself."  

Me:  We Finally Know What Cats' Facial Expressions Mean | IFLScience

After which he grabs a fistful of Werther's Originals and casually strolls away. 

11. "Everybody has a beat that they're born with, and it stays with them for the rest of their skipping lives."

This was while we were high-skipping down the road (which is really fun if you haven't done it in a while) and I loved it so much but didn't have my phone or anything with which to record, so i made him help me remember it. I had to recite it again and again and thankfully, it worked. 

12. "If I have four or five cats when i grow up I'm going to name them big long German names." 

I approve of this.

13. "I've been doing a lot of scrapbooking." 

Sometimes, when we ignore him, he does really funny things-- like he got this catalog (since when was the "catalogue" spelling not ok?) of weird office/packaging supplies and cut out pictures of stuff and wrote his own captions in a binder of loose paper.  The quote alone made me laugh, but his actual scrapbooking is hi-larious.  I told him we should probably get him his own Instagram account.  

i love him so much.

"Maybe in the afterlife I could come back and be a crash test dummy.  I could ride roller coasters and not feel the tension and stuff because I'm just a crash test dummy."  

Double-you, tee, eff.   It's funny, but also disturbing and just plain weird.

I need to figure out way to relieve the apparently pent-up and frustrated brain energy.  I keep telling him to write down all of this but he won't listen to me.  Tell it to the paper, Julian!  That i can read later when I choose to, like Stephen King's mom I would imagine, and not necessarily be a forced party to the play-by-play.   I'll keep trying.  In the meantime, I guess he can refer to my post-its notes that I am, for some unknown reason, so dutifully and carefully keeping for him.   


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