Both children writhe around on the couch in their underwear making animal sounds.
WEBSTER: Pretend you’re a sleeping cat and I’m a cow waking you up.
Violet pretends to be asleep. Webster crawls on top of her and screams in her ear.
WEBSTER (yelling): HI I’M A SLEEPING COW.
Webster begins to dry-hump Violet’s head. She pushes him off.
VIOLET: Stop it. Cows don’t-
WEBSTER: Now pretend I’m a wolf and you’re a cat and you wake me up.
VIOLET: A wolf is not an animal.
"sounds like a great movie."
WEBSTER: Tell me a story.
ME: Okay. Once there was a little boy, and-
WEBSTER: No. Once there was Eagle Vikings.
ME: … Okay. And what are Eagle Vikings? Are they Vikings who ride on eagles?
WEBSTER: No. They are tigers who ride on motorcycles. Tell it.
We are walking in the park. Webster sees a Collie and runs toward it, excited. He runs right up in front of it, stares it in the eye seriously, then runs back to me.
ME: Everything okay, buddy?
WEBSTER: Yes! It is a wolf!
ME: Oh. Well… it’s a Collie I think, but-
WEBSTER: It is a HIGH LEVEL WOLF.
ME: What do you want to be when you grow up, buddy?
ME: Okay. Anything else?
WEBSTER: Rainbow Batman.
WEBSTER: Let’s play.
WEBSTER: Okay, I’m a potato.
VIOLET: I’m an opera singer.
WEBSTER: Yeah, great. Now take me to the potato factory.
"Sorry, I farted. I farted because of strength."
— Violet, 6 years old
"I am of the butt system."
— Webster, 3
"Every time I eat a cookie, the inside of my mouth sings the buffalo song."
— Webster, 3, WTF.
Violet comes into my bedroom. Everybody in the house is sleeping.
VIOLET: Hey Daddy!!
ME: Oh… Hey honey. Sssh though, your brother is sleeping. He had a really rough night last night, and we absolutely CAN’T wake him up, so please be quiet-
VIOLET: Okay, but real quick, I have something important to tell you.
ME: Okay, what is it.
VIOLET: These are the characters in Mulan. Mulan is Mulan, her boyfriend is Chang…
ME: Violet. Stop it.
VIOLET: Do you want to hear one more?
VIOLET: Okay, the bad guy is Shan Yu.
WEBSTER: I’m awake!
"You be a Care Bear. I be a princess. Let’s fight."
— My 3-year-old son, in a nutshell.
"I’ve got a joke. It was 5 oclock and a man put his finger in his nose. Then he died."
— Violet, using a French accent.
"Boys are daddies. And girls are mommies… And boobs and butts."
— Webster, who I think is clearly turning into some kind of toddler pervert.
"When I say tushy, I mean no. Tushy means no. Penis means yes."
— Webster, 2, horrifying the people we are eating dinner with.
VIOLET: I’m half squirrel.
ME: … Oh.
VIOLET: I’m half lots of animals actually.
ME: Why do you say this?
VIOLET: Because I can smell things really good. I can smell metal. I can smell things through bricks.
"Do Godzillas has a penis?"
— Webster, asking the age-old questions.
"My favorite color is Blue Diamond, which is the color a diamond would be, if, you know, diamonds were blue."
Webster points at me from the jungle gym.
WEBSTER: I’m Batman! You’re a beast monster!
ME: Okay, here I come, Batman, ROWR!
WEBSTER: No, I’m a turtle!
Webster strikes a heroic pose completely inconsistent with being a turtle.
ME: Oh, you’re a turtle?
WEBSTER: No, I’m a dolphin!
ME: Oh, you’re a dolphin now?
Webster straight up punches me in the stomach really hard.
VIOLET: Your name isn’t Webster anymore.
WEBSTER: My name IS Webster anymore!!
VIOLET: No it’s not.
WEBSTER: (furious) What my name?!
VIOLET: Your new name is Pooky-pooks Toty Knocky-knock.
WEBSTER: Ha ha. Okay.
Webster hands me a plastic food sandwich.
WEBSTER: Eat it.
I pretend to eat it.
WEBSTER: No, EAT it.
ME: … Okay.
I pretend again. Harder.
WEBSTER: (furious) NO!! REALLY EAT IT!!!
Over the course of a minute, I turn to the side and mimic eating the sandwich in such a way that I can systematically hide all the pieces in my hand. Webster nods.
WEBSTER: Good. Now poop it out.
"How did the Universe start? How did everything fit into one tiny dot before the Big Bang? What’s outside of the Universe? How did Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov? What does a fart look like?"
— questions I was asked on the walk to school.
Webster strikes a pose.
WEBSTER: I be a minotaur! You be a superhero! You stand over there and I scare you!
Webster emits the quietest whisper of a roar.
Beat. Webster starts to cry.
ME: What’s wrong, buddy?
WEBSTER: I scared.
ME: What are you scared of?
ME: What are you eating, honey?
VIOLET: It’s a peanut on a cracker. So it’s like a peanut sandwich. I call it a peenwich.
ME: … Do you now.
"Daddy, I’m pretty sure that I’m the main character in this family."
— Violet, age 4
Violet sits at the kitchen table making just the worst, most annoying sound known to man.
VIOLET: Doesn’t that sound sexy?
VIOLET: This sound I’m making, it’s very sexy.
ME: Honey, what… what do you think that word means?
VIOLET: It means very fancy. Like, you know, like I swallowed an iPhone.
ME: … Oh.
VIOLET: That’s what it means, right?
ME: Of course.
WEBSTER: Let’s fight!
WEBSTER: I’m a Stegosaurus! You’re a pickle!
ME: That… seems like an unfair fight-
The Stegosaurus hits the pickle in the crotch with his pirate sword.
VIOLET: Knock knock.
ME: Who’s there?
VIOLET: Interrupting Seinfeld.
ME: Interrupting Seinfel-
VIOLET: WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THAT??
Violet goes through her closet carefully.
ME: Remember that I have to take you into my office today, honey. Do you want to wear a dress, or a skirt, or…?
VIOLET: I don’t know. I think the girls in your office aren’t very fancy.
ME: Well, no, some of them can get pretty fancy.
VIOLET: But not fancy like ME.
ME: Well, no.
VIOLET: I am going to wear a dress AND a skirt.
Webster watches his sister take clothes off of a Barbie. His eyes go wide.
WEBSTER: She naked.
Webster picks up a Ken doll.
WEBSTER: Make him naked too.
ME: Um… okay, buddy.
I remove Ken’s clothes. Webster stares at the dolls for a long time, smiling, as if a primal switch has been thrown in his brain.
ME: So, uh… What are they going to do?
WEBSTER: … HI-YA!!!
Webster violently makes Barbie and Ken kick each others’ heads for a full minute.
VIOLET: I don’t know where I fit in this game.
From the next room, we hear the sounds of a Batman cartoon, then an immense and wet-sounding sneeze.
VIOLET: AAHHH!! Webster needs a tissue!
ME: There’s tissues on the couch, honey, can you give him one?
VIOLET: NO, HELP, it’s… it’s such a weird one.
WEBSTER: It’s all over my everything!
I run into the TV room to help. Webster sits grinning, completely snot-free.
WEBSTER: I ate it all.
April 5. Violet enters the bathroom with a laundry hamper on her head.
VIOLET: BLAAHHH I’m a robot laundry man.
VIOLET: APRIL FOOLS, I’m not.
ME: Oh. Honey, that’s not really how April Fools works-
VIOLET: BLEEE BLOO bLAAH I’m a crazyhead, April Fools I’m not.
ME: Right, and also April Fools was days ago.
VIOLET: I’ll be doing this the rest of the week.
WEBSTER: Can you take this out of my mouth?
WEBSTER: This. Out of my mouth.
ME: Do you mean your tongue?
ME: … No, I can’t take that out of your mouth.
ME: Hey Violet, I have a question. Do you want to go to Disney World?
VIOLET: Yes, but did you know that when you say “I have a question”, like you just did, to a fancy kid, such as me, it makes their eyes go wide like this?
Violet opens her eyes as wide as they can possibly go and stares at me for a long beat.
VIOLET: That’s just how it is with the fanciness.