From the mouths of babes, 2008–2012

My wife has been collecting some of the funny things that our two kids, Maia (now 5) and Malkias (just turned 4) have said. I’ve added a couple of my own, but unless stated otherwise they’re from my wife and the comments are hers.

I challenge you to read this to the end without cracking up with laughter.

  • While looking out the window: “The croissant moon!” Maia, 2
  • “Sometimes Twitter and Facebook eat us. Indeed.” Maia 2 ½
  • [Added by me] Maia, why did you pinch my nose? “I don’t know, daddy. I did it automatically.” Maia, 2 ½
  • “Daddy, I’m in danger.” “In danger of what?” “I’m in danger of spilling my yogurt.” Maia, 3
  • “Mommy, I need my own computer.” Maia, 3
  • Spoken into a compact mirror that opens like a cell phone: “Hello Barbara, I hope you have a very happy birthday. Your party sounds delightful, but my mom can’t come.” (Don’t worry Barbara, I’ll be there, but Maia’s not too thrilled about me leaving for the evening.) Maia, 3
  • Me: “Maia, let’s write a letter to Aunt M.” Maia: “OK, B, F, I, E. Those letters.” Maia, 3
  • “You can’t judge a book by its cover. You just can’t. No one can.” Maia, 3
  • From the mouths of vegetarian babes, while pointing to the deli counter: “Are those dead things? Is that woman going to eat dead things?” Maia, 3
  • “My pretend baby dinosaur bit me. But it’s not real, so it’s not bleeding.” Maia, 3
  • To her yoga teacher: “I have a book about dead people.” Maia, 3
  • “My listening ears are off.”  I had kinda suspected as much., Maia 3 ½
  • “I want to answer the phone! Hello?…. Hello? Oh, OK.” Hangs up. “It was a wrong number.” Let’s hope so. Maia, 3 ½
  • Maia, upon seeing a Girl Scout flier: “Can I join the boy scouts instead?” Maia 3 ½
  • “Bye, Mommy,” as he grabbed my car keys off the table and headed towards the front door., Malkias, 1 ½
  • “You don’t get out that much, Mom.” Yeah, I wonder why that is? Maia 3 ½
  • From the mouths of vegetarian babes: “Can we pretend we’re meat hunters?”
    Sure, what kind of meat would you like to pretend to hunt?” “Vanilla.” Maia 3 ½
  • “Excuse me, can I be alone now?” as she slides the bathroom door closed. Maia 3 ½
  • Maia: “Sorry to burst your bubble, mom.” Me: “You burst my bubble?” Maia: “Yeah, a long time ago.” Maia 3 ½
  • “Mommy, can you help me throw up?” It’s not all cuteness and hearts around here. Maia 3 ½
  • From the mouths of adopted babes: Maia, to a new mother: “Where did your baby come from?” New mother: “I gave birth to her.” Maia: “Oh. How old was she when you gave birth to her?” Maia, 3 1/2
  • “Pretend you want more money, Mommy.” Pretend? Maia 3 ½
  • From the mouths of Buddhist babes, “Malkias, can you say Viriyalila – Vir-ee-a-lee-la?” (This is Maia trying to teach her brother how to pronounce our friends’ names.) Maia, 3 1/2
  • “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jumped over the candlestick.” Thoughtful pause. “Well, that doesn’t sound very safe.” Maia, 4
  • “The sky bigger and bigger” (Translation: the sky is getting bigger and bigger). Metaphorical statement or astronomical observation? Who can know the mind of a two year old? Malkias, 2
  • I’m sorry, I can’t do that right now. I’m busy talking to my audience.” Maia, 4
  • [Added by me] Maia, watching her brother chug on a bottle of milk. “Milk is so passé!” Maia, 4
  • “Why, Mommy, why? Tell me, Mommy, tell me why.” Malkias enters the ‘why’ stage in his own inimitable style. Malkias, 2
  • Me: “Wait a second, Maia, I can only do one thing at a time.” Maia: “But you have two hands!” Maia, 4
  • “He’s trying to break my heart!” shouts Maia, as Malkias scribbles over the heart she just drew. Maia, 4
  • “Oh, no! iPhone!” as Dad skimmed a large, square-ish stone into the waves. Malkias, 2 ½
  • As we passed a certain aisle in the grocery store: “Soon I’m going to need all that womanish stuff…. Hey, why are you laughing? It’s not funny, don’t laugh.” Maia, 4 ½
  • Me: “Stop throwing things, you’re making a mess.” Malkais: “That my job, Mommy, that my job.” Malkias, 2 ½
  • “I wonder who will be your son and daughter in your next life? Maybe it could be us again. Maybe Malkias could be first next time. Just an idea.” Maia, 4 ½
  • “I just can’t stop thinking about chocolate!!!” Maia, 4 ½ (Maia verbalized this, but I think she was reading my mind.)
  • “Oh, Buddha holding her,” upon seeing a picture of Bodhilocana, a family friend who had just passed away, sitting in the lap of a Buddha rupa at Aryaloka. Malkias, 2 ½
  • Me: “Malkias, you’re going to be three next week!” Malkias: “No I am not!!!” I rest my case. Malkias, almost 3
  • “My pretend injury is making me fall over a lot.” Maia, 4 ½
  • “Mom, we made up a rhyme!” “MINE,” yells the toddler. “Fine,” snorts the preschooler. And that sums up the developmental stages in our house today. Maia, 4 ½ and Malkias, 3
  • “Mom, I’m bored. Can you do something about that?” Malkias, 3
  • “Look, it’s the first star of the night! I’m going to make a wish. I wish… with all my heart… to be a fireman.” Maia, 5
  • “I want DRY water, not WET water, DRY water!” Malkias, 3
  • “Why are you using my computer?” asks the three year old as I type on MY computer. Malkias, 3
  • “And now I’m going to disturb Mommy!” Sorry, Malkias, FB beat you to it. The joys of working from home. Malkias, 3
  • While on the phone with her grandfather: “Papa, how do you think Barack Obama is doing as president of the United States?” Short pause. “I think he’s doing fantastico.”
  • “Be quiet! I am trying to think!” demanded the three year old. Malkias, 3
  • “Isn’t that so cool! I have the same name as the president of the United States of America!” I’ve been telling her this for four years, I guess it finally sunk in. (Bereket = Barack) Maia, 5
  • “Is it my turn yet? Me getting cranky about this.” Malkias 3 ½
  • “I know my brother is feeling better because he’s driving me nuts.” Maia, 5
  • “Mom, I think you need a new computer. I know just what you can do with the old one.” Yes, I bet you have great plans for this computer, Maia. Maia, 5
  • Upon arriving home from preschool: “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy! This news will brighten up your whole face! I had my first ever visit to my new kindergarten class today!” Maia, 5
  • As I twirled the bottom of the very last – and 20th – box braid: “Can you put my hair in 2 puffs instead?” Maia, 5
  • “A little bit is better than a lot,” said the five year old, upon learning that the three year old poured ‘ a little bit’ of water into the toaster. Maia, 5
  • “I want to change my shirt. I want to wear my Cars shirt,” he announced at 3:30 AM, after awaking me from a sound slumber. Malkias, 3
  • “It’s my yoga that helps me,” said the 5-year old, as she executed a complicated climbing maneuver at the playground. Maia, 5 ½
  • “But Lightning McQueen did it,” he said, trying to exonerate himself. Malkias, 3 ½
  • On her very last day of preschool: “I STILL don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.” Maia, 5 ½
  • “I had to give up. I’m sorry, Mom,” said the five year old, several minutes after I asked her to help the three year old get ready to go swimming. The three-year old is still running wildly around the house, half dressed, almost inspiring me to give up, too. Maia, 5 ½
  • While watching Olympic gymnastics highlights: “WOW” … silence … “Ooh, I can’t do that move” …. silence… “Look, he’s doing it all over again really slowly!” Malkias, 3 ½
  • “I can’t believe I’m touching a loose tooth … and it’s in MY mouth!” Maia, 5 ½

Marjory Tragham/Tragheim, née Duncan

Today my grandmother, Marjory Tragham, née Duncan, would have been 100 years old.

She was born 1911, in Scoonie, Fife, Scotland. She died Sep 26, 1998, Dundee, Scotland.

We always called her “Nana.” She was a lovely, lovely woman.

She’s pictured here with my Uncle Alan, who’s now 58. Since he’s only a few months old in this picture, and since he was born on January 3, the picture must have been taken in 1953.

She was married twice. Her first husband, Alex Ritchie, died of TB, leaving her with a baby girl (my Aunt Margaret). She then remarried my Grandad, Thomas Tragheim, who later went by the name Tragham, since German surnames were unpopular during the war.

Honoring family veterans


This is my grandfather, Robert Drummond Stephen (my dad’s dad) who I never met, because he died in an accident when my dad was still young. I believe he served in the Gordon Highlanders and Kings own Scottish Borders, and I know he was in Egypt and Hong Kong in the 1920s. He served in WWII.


This is Robert’s father, Lewis Stephen. I believe he served in the Gordon Highlanders in the Boer War.


This is my great uncle Lewis, who was Robert’s brother.


This is my great great grandfather, Peter Wallace, who moved to Scotland from Ireland. I don’t know anything yet about his military service. (He was my dad’s mum’s dad’s dad!)


My great uncle Peter Wallace.


Leslie Wallace, on my dad’s mum’s side.


William Taylor Lickley (right), was the brother of my great great great grandfather, Leslie Lickley.

Now moving over to my mother’s side of the family…


This is my great grandparents (my mum’s dad’s parents). I knew them both. Edward Tragheim served in the Boer War and in the First World War, where he was gassed and left blind.


Edward Tragheim’s son, also called Edward. He was my great uncle.


This is my great aunt Lily, who is still alive, and her husband, Robert Jaunay. Robert was in the navy, and I believe Lily was as well. She’s still alive and I must get in touch with her.


This is my mum’s mum’s brother, Albert Duncan.


A more distant relative, Alexander Tragheim. He was a Royal Navy radio operator who died when his ship was sunk.


Another more distant relative, Edgar Tragheim, who died in Flanders in WWI.


Ernest Tragheim, a talented chemist, who died also died in WWI.


Edward James Tragheim in his Devonshires Regiment uniform. Died 1918 in Flanders.


Edward Alfred Tragheim, RAF, who died on a training mission in WWII.

This is by no means comprehensive.

Happy Father’s Day!


My dad.

Atho petteyyatā sukhā
(And joy it is to venerate your father).
Dhammapada 332

Mātāpituupaṭṭhānaṃ puttadārassa saṅgaho
Anākūlā ca kammantā etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
(To support mother and father, to cherish wife and children,
and to be engaged in peaceful occupation — this is the greatest blessing.)
Mangala Sutta