Thursday, January 06, 2005


When you have one child, you can refer to them using pronouns almost exclusively. Everyone in the world knows who you mean when you say "He used the potty today," or, "She threw up on the rug! How cute!"

When you have two kids, you start having to use real names: "Janice looked so cute in her dress this morning, but Phoebe kept pulling her bow out, etc." Of course, if you have one boy and one girl, you can just use pronouns and assume that folks can follow you. But let's be honest, that's kind of pretentious.

But when you get to three, then you need what we in the father/gamer world call "combos." In video games, a combo is a combination of buttons you can press for a super-duper move, like in the hyper-violent fighting games my kids aren't going near until they're 35. In my (non-fighting game) house, a combo is a name for a grouping of 2 or more of the boys.

Okay, those of you with 0-2 kids, don't you dare look at me like that. Come dwell in my organizatoinal chaos for a while and see what tricks you come up with. Going to the grocery store starts to sound like that Schoolhouse Rock song: "Rufus Xavier Sasparilla, an armidilla, and Bill & Hilla, etc." And when it's all boys, "he" or "they" just doesn't cut it.

Those of you with 3 or more kids, you know what I'm talking about. Don't even pretend you don't do this, too.

Anyway, ith 3 kids, there are 3 combos (you do the math). With 4 kids, there are 8 (math again). Here are ours:
  1. The Big Boys - oldest two
  2. The Middles - middle two
  3. The Little Boys - youngest two
  4. The Bigs- oldest three (context is important)
  5. The Littles - youngest three (ditto)
  6. The Bookends - oldest and youngest; this one's my favorite; you should see the looks I get when I use this name
  7. The Evens, a.k.a. The S's - S1 and S2, the second and fourth boys; this combo is seldom used, and then only because they look almost identical, which is the only reason to lump these two in a group together in discussion
  8. The Odds - T and J; this one is never, ever used, for obvious reasons. It has only been spoken aloud once, in the sentence, "Well, if S1 and S2 are The Evens, then that makes T and J The Od . . . Oh! I did not just say that! Are the kids in bed?" Thankfully, they were.

There you go. Too much information about our family. If that's not your thing, you may want to question what you're doing reading this blog.


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