Monthly Archives: December 2011

Things I learned from my 9-year-old cousin

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I just got back from spending the holidays with my family who make their permanent digs in the suburbs of Las Vegas. This family includes my 9-year-old cousin. Here are some takeaways from the visit that I’ll carry with me into 2012:

Balloon animals = harder to make than you would think

I’ll give those magicians and scary clowns credit–making balloon animals is a difficult task.

My brother and I got our cousin a balloon animal making kit for Christmas. It even came with a pump. Many of the animals require you to twist and lock certain parts of the balloon to make legs. Sometimes the twists simply wouldn’t stay. Here was our first attempt at a giraffe:

She called it a "giraffehorse" the cross between a seahorse and a giraffe. I called it "close enough."

Sidenote: When playing balloon swordfighting–a game you resort to when you can no longer make balloon animals–curve your balloon sword so you can maximize your reach.

Eat Raisin Bran within five seconds of pouring milk

Seriously. Eat it right now.


Everyone should treat eating a bowl of Raisin Bran like it’s a bomb you have 60 seconds to diffuse or everyone dies. That is unless you want a side of cold and wet despair with your roughage.

My mom gave me a warning when she saw me reach for the box and I heeded it. My cousin however fell victim to the soupiness on one of those days and she struggled to consume it all. We pardoned her for not finishing.

Don’t open the door for strangers

I should revise this one to say, “Don’t pretend like you’re not home after you’ve already cracked open the door for people in suits trying to hand you religious reading material” instead.

One morning there was a knock on the door and as I was looking through the crystal to decipher if it was a visiting relative my cousin had already proceeded to turn the doorknob. It was only then I could get out a weak “Who is it?” during a back and forth in the house about why the door was open in the first place. Two men dressed like the Men In Black told us they had reading materials to share. We politely declined.

My cousin claimed she knew who the men were since people had come to the house trying to sell things before but since she truly didn’t know their names my mom gave her a lesson on opening the door for strangers. I guess that’s more respectable than what my immediate family did when I was growing up which was turning the TV down and acting like no one was home…

12 x 11 = 132

Yeah. I forgot it. But hey you learn something new every day.

Also I’m an idiot.

When your gingerbread man won’t stand up, improvise

My aunt got us a gingerbread house kit the night before I flew back home. There were slots for individual gingerbread men to stand in with the help of frosting as an adhesive. Unfortunately, one of the gingerbread men refused to stand.

“I think it’s best that he lay down,” she said.

So lie down he did…in a pile of “snow.”

He was making snow angels.  Way to work around the problem!

Now if we could just make it look like he’s not coming down off of a meth high that would be even better.