Tiny magnet alligators and other scary things.

Julian: I’m going to blast off to go get the aliens. I’m going to bring them to California and show them how things work. One, two, three, ready or not, here I blast off! Where’s the key to my spaceship? Oh, it’s on your key ring.

Julian’s good friend Stella changed her name to “Rock and Roll” (a bad guy, an alter-ego to her pink-wearing, doll-hugging self). When Janusz asked Julian what he wanted to change his name to, he said “Suzuki. We’re two Suzukis.” (A few weeks later he decided to change is to “Whole World.” I think his self-esteem is intact.)

Suzuki: What is your favorite color these days?
J: All the colors.

We were seated in the front row (right next to the musicians) at the Wizard of Oz play. The (very) Wicked Witch of the West (with her frightening musical accompaniment) scared Julian something terrible. He quietly freaked out and the poor kid looked traumatized to me, but held out until the intermission. We were on our way out the door to go home, when Janusz asked him if he would like to stay if we would sit much further back in the audience. He said yes and ended up loving it. Janusz: “Would you like to see another show sometime?” [Janusz loved the show, finding the amateur streak in some of the performers endearing.] Julian: “I want to see that Toto every night.” [Toto was played by a kid.]

S: Do you want anchovy paste in your salad?
J: No, I only like it on a hot day.

S (after Julian trailed off mid-sentence): Finish your thought.
J: What’s a thought?
S: It’s an idea in your head.
J: I have lots of thoughts. They’re all from Poland. They’re only for Baba (Janusz).
S: What do you mean?
J: They’re a surprise for you both. They’re a secret surprise.

J: When it’s daytime here, it’s nighttime in Poland.

J (while cuddling): Don’t let anyone get us. I don’t want to hear any footsteps coming. I don’t want any bad guys to come.
S: Who are bad guys?
J: People who steal things and who steal us.

J (pointing to the ceiling fan): There’s a round dinosaur and he comes down on us and then the fan reaches down and picks him up and takes him back to his home.

J: I want to turn off the daytime in California.

J (holding his “babies” (teddy bears)): They’re brother and sister. They were born from their egg at the same time. They’re twin birds.

J (overhearing Janusz and I discussing nightshades): What are nightshades?
S: Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and I don’t know what else.
J: I will get a lot of umbrellas and put some vegetables on the top.
S: I like your joke. (Get it? Nightshades?)
J: And then I’ll make the world into a soup. An everybody soup.

J: I’m the greatest fisher ever! (We made a fishing pole out of a bamboo stick, dental floss, and a paper clip in a failed attempt to retrieve a fallen noisemaker from the ravine behind our house.)

J (later, at the kids’ mini-symphony concert, draped across Janusz and me): We’re connected. We’re like pipes. [Note: This concert devolved into a teaming mass of preschoolers gone wild, with one striking exception. One tiny little boy stood right in front of the musicians, in absolute communion with them, his face rapt, waving his arms—conducting—the entire time.]

J (placing some little electronic gadget on me): It’s an electric spider.
S: Oh good, now I have a spider pet!
J: Oh, I want a spider pet, too. Here are two spiders (holding a couple of stubby pencils). [“Norlian” (Norman and Julian combined) and “Janusz.”]

J (playing with his Magnetix building set): I’m making a Super Butterfly.
S: Now that’s a cool superhero!

A couple of days earlier, he held up one of the set’s ball-shaped magnets and said, “There’s a little alligator in there. I don’t want it around and I don't want to see it ever again.” Sometimes he asks me take “scary” things out of the house completely. So, I have a little collection going at work: a small plastic dinosaur with big open jaws and a plastic pirate with a hook arm.

J (regarding the friendship ankle bracelet he was wearing): I want another friendship bracelet for my hand. I want one for each hand and one for my other foot.

Julian: We’re birds. Oh—we’re chicken-rabbit-birds. We hop and eat carrots and do flying things. (pause) What do rabbits say? How do they talk?

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