I don’t understand anything anymore.

We came home one night to this:

Sitting on the stairs.

It’s a brick, in case you can’t tell that from the picture. A brick with a purple construction paper curlicue, ostensibly representing hair, and a really goddamn big smile.

#5 made it. I do not know where the brick came from, or what possessed #5 to name it Brickie and give it the sentience equal to his most favored stuffed animals. All of #5’s stuffed animals at this time were named what they were, with an “ie” on the end (believe it or not, this is an east coast man thing).

Some nights he slept with Brickie.

Several times Brickie joined us for breakfast.

Brickie took part in many games and outings and blended right in with all the stuffed animals as if he were one of them.

But eventually, as always happens with talismans of childhood, Brickie was set on a shelf and not taken down again. Which is understandable, being that he’s heavy. And a brick.Β (Also at some point his name changed from Brickie to Bob the Brick. I have no proof, but that stinks of #4, because she namesΒ all of her stuffed animals Bob.) Brickie, a.k.a. Bob, was practically forgotten.

Then we moved.

#5 packed Brickie, a.k.a. Bob, carefully away in his pillowcase, then in a box. He pulled him out of the box first thing at the new house and slept with him every night. That bears clarifying: #5 was sleeping with a brick for his pillow. It took some top-notch maneuvers from a favorite babysitter, but Brickie, a.k.a. Bob, was eventually freed. Liberated, if you will. He joined some other bricks in a pile at the edge of an outside wall at our new house. I would see him out there sometimes when I was taking the puppies out, or pretending to garden.

He certainly looked happy.

He spent an enjoyable twenty-one months in the fresh air, surrounded by his own kind.

Until this week, when suddenly and without explanation, he was buried.

I don’t pretend to understand anything anymore. I just take pictures.


201 thoughts on “I don’t understand anything anymore.

  1. haha.. I don’t know why, but I really enjoyed reading this post. Especially the end.

    Sometimes you just need to kick back and enjoy the ridiculous show called life!

  2. I have an entire file on my computer labeled “stuff my kids leave behind.” I peruse it when I’m in the mood for a good laugh — and your post gave me a good laugh this morning, so thank you!


    My marriage ended with a brick. A literal brick. So your post also made me shudder a bit! Oh well, at least there wasn’t a happy face drawn on it — and it wasn’t named Bob. I guess there’s that.


    (And my first blog post ever details how my marriage ended with a brick, in case you’d like the backstory … because you just can’t make something like that up!)

    Anyhow, funny post — thank you!

    1. This just gave me a brain storm…Imagine this-A Nutella jar mysteriously shows up at my door step! Holy crap. I must quickly act on this idea for the next FP.

  3. My heart goes out to Brickie. I have never lost one, but I have many friends who have. I know he is in a better place now, perhaps within a wall of other Bricks. It is a sad day. RIP Brickie…For I never knew ye 😦

      1. For what is a brick wall but a mausoleum for bricks?

        Fun post. Talented step-child. I see hairdresser in his future – who else could develop such a bold new purple-curlicue coif?

  4. Oh my goodness… makes me look forward to when mine are older. How incredibly strange and wonderful! Great post.

  5. Poor Brickie. He did live a good little life though. There are so many things we just will never understand. Like why my son slept with a one pound bag of coffee for the better part of his second year. Maybe it was the shiny packaging? The aroma? We’ll never know.

    1. Get out! He slept with a 1 pound bag of coffee? I love that! Is that symbolism because he knows how much coffee means to his mom? (I assume you drink it in the am like I do with all that laundry piling up). Speaking of… I gotta go do some.

      1. He sure did. I remember this particular brand of coffee has this nice country scene on it, with a farmhouse and cows. I think maybe he liked it for the cows. He would clutch that bag in order to fall asleep (we were trying to get rid of his binky at the time) so he basically replaced the coffee for his binky. I was always in fear the coffee would spill open, so I’d try to slip it out of his hands every night after he’d fall asleep, but he’d start wailing. And yes, I drink lots of coffee just to survive the laundry! πŸ˜‰

  6. That’s really funny! The weirdest things are the ones that keep life the most interesting πŸ™‚

    Very nice.

  7. Funny little guy he is #5. I really enjoyed reading this post. There are so many things that we just never understand. Maybe it’s the best we just never understand them and let it be the way it just is.

  8. *chuckle*

    Umm – it’s not so weird actually (or it is and my #1 Son is super strange – a very good possibility also)


    P.S. great post – I will chuckle all day over this one.

  9. Congrats on getting freshly pressed! I must be good luck. Yep, that’s it. I’m like a lucky horeshoe or a rabbit’s foot. You are so lucky to have me as a subscriber. You’re welcome.

    Also, this was hilarious. I understand everything from the pet brick, to the naming, to the loss of interest, to the renewed interest, to the burial. Just do me a favor and keep taking pictures and writing about it. πŸ™‚

    1. I am very lucky to have you as a subscriber. I give you all the credit for there being no spooky crows perched on Brickie’s headstone. I like that the first “s” is missing from your “lucky horseshoe” above, because that makes it almost like something else, and that makes me happy.

  10. This made me laugh! Out loud! And I haven’t even had my coffee yet. Yes, I check fresh pressed before I get my coffee, I know…what the heck? Knowing kids as I do (I have a 5 and almost 3 year old) I have this weird feeling that Brickie may have an obscure relative that may come and visit. So be warned. πŸ™‚

    Love your site. And hello….what a cool header picture!! Your totally rocking it with the car seats!

    1. Brickie’s headstone had a wreath on it yesterday. I’m concerned we haven’t heard the last of him. I’m impressed that you do anything before coffee, with a 5 and a 3 year old!

  11. Funny. Well, I open up my daughter in a world like your #5’s, and she seems to understand LOL πŸ™‚

  12. Kids are very interesting, don’t ya’ think? Who knows what goes on in their brains? This is one of the cutest stories, though, thanks for sharing, and if that brick wasn’t adorable, I don’t know what is?

  13. Definitely something wrong when you reduce your kids to numbers and basically call them accidental. A good post, but you should care more about kids than blogging…

    1. I left a bag of cat food open for the kids in the kitchen while I was writing this. I don’t see what the problem is. I accidentally bought it for the dogs, but they won’t eat it.

  14. Great post, made me laugh.
    Just goes to show, the lavish money we spend on kids toys is pointless! Just make up things and give it to them on a regular basis and then recycle every few weeks.

  15. This is a great post! I love kids!

    FYI, its not just an East Coast man thing; my Southern California daughter also never named her stuffed animals anything other than what they were, with an “ie”. And she has a menagerie of them. Aside from the obvious Doggie and Kittie, there was (and still is) Wolfie, Snakie, Moosie, Snailie, and Tigee, just to name a few. Strangely, she did give each of the succluents and cacti in her cactus garden individual, although not descriptive, names. Pynkie (pronunced PIEnkie) and Corey are two that I can remember. Kids are so amazing.

  16. This was absolutely hysterical–doubled-over, rolling-on-the-floor funny! And congrats on freshly pressed, by the way. I recommend you hang on for the ride, lest you need to resurrect Brickie, aka Bob, from his rocky resting place to help with comment response.

  17. LOL (not at the burying of poor Brickie/Bob the Brick)
    Well, you’ve let me in on some parenting secrets. Hopefully, I’ll be able to approach such ‘uniqueness’ with equal aplomb.
    Wow, where do kids get these ideas from anyway?

  18. I enjoyed this because my manager’s name is Mr. Bricks and everyday I feel like I am dealing with a #5 , when in fact he is a live human being!

    Well done on your post and congrats on being freshly bricked, I mean freshly pressed!



  19. Amazing! It makes me so ready to see what kind of wacky things my 2 yo nephew will start doing soon.
    But looking back, I never remember having inanimate objects as pals but I vividly remember burying many a gerbil and guinea pig.

  20. It’s about time someone has stepped up to step parenting and had some fun with it. That’s probably the only way to survive. Wonderfully and joyfully written. Keep it up.

  21. Hahahaha! I don’t understand it either but it’s nice that you let the children go on and do their thing. Kids are hilarious. Congrats on the FP!

  22. I wish I had a pet brick when I was younger as well. It sounded like pet bricks makes for loyal friends. Congratulations on FP πŸ™‚

  23. no reason why anything has to mean anything

    especially things just for fun

    and I often wish I had a brick for a security blanket, it would help deal with frustrating people to throw my security brick at them

  24. My friend has always vowed that she would never have kids and never get married. Well, she just got married on April Fool’s day (yes, this lead to a ton of non believers) and now she’s an accidental step-mom to two.
    Also, I agree that spending tons of money on presents are obviously unnecessary. My favorite toy was a doll that my aunt made me, when she was totally broke. The only fabric she had around was blue. That’s why I named it Blue Baby and didn’t understand why that was an odd choice until I became a teenager.
    Congrats on being FP. Totally deserving, because this was adorable!!!

  25. I think I really like #5. My #4 sounds a lot like him, whose two front teeth just fell out. When I asked him when he was going to get started on his note to the Tooth Fairy, he sighed and said “you know Mom, I just don’t wanna deal with the Tooth Fairy right now.” !! Love parenting so much, with all the unexpected bricks and things. These little #5’s and #3’s shape us into better people, I think.

  26. Hahaha. I love how for you to keep track you put a # on the kids. I totally understand, being the 6th out of 11 girls. lol. When I was younger my older sister and I would often go hunting for baby birds. By the time we would find them they were half dead. Falling from a nest can do that to you. We have about eight little graves circled around each other in our old backyard. I say ‘old’ because we moved. lol, the people that moved into our home didn’t realize they were really moving into a graveyard.

  27. Must have something to do with the death of the housing construction industry right now. Because the child has advanced economic acumen he will probably transfer his allowance into green technology which means he may cut a hole in the roof for sunlight. Be ready.

  28. Excellent. Just excellent.

    I have a similar story, except my #5 is my dog, and the Brickie in question was a pigeon wing.


  29. wow, this was one of the funniest, most brilliant posts I’ve read for a while, and it’s not because of the writer but because of the kids, don’t you just love them?

    By the way, I still have a stuffed teddy bear (the Mr. Bean’s teddy) somewhere in the house…

  30. I personally prefer the term “2nd mom” vs. “Step-mom”…lol, but nevertheless, there are times when you don’t quite understand what’s going on in the minds of the kids. This was a great story…thanks for sharing.

  31. Sometimes kids are smarter–and more devious–than we think they are. They’ll take a break and make it a pet just to confound us. Pretty sure that’s what’s going on with this pet brick thing. It’s not us. It’s them.

  32. Quite entertaining! I look forward to all the imaginative things my daughter will do in the days to come. Congrats on the Freshly Pressed! I love all the things I’ve read about the kids.

  33. brick? Toy ??!!)) is cruel), well, who knows, maybe the most beautiful thing).
    In Russia, usually when the “brick” is your toy … it can in principle be a thing of self-defense

    1. No need- merely mention the title, and it’s stuck in my head. Until I get to the part where I don’t know the lyrics and supplant it with Songs From the Wood, which I know better.

  34. i wish brickie had made it into the youtube world with a series of videos, for sure it could be much more pleasant and funnier that annoying orange..

    ..what car are you driving anyway?

  35. I still remember my ie adding to soft toy names face. Reddie, Blackie and Brownie were the names of three teddie’s of mine. But I never had a brick for a toy … but I did make paper dolls though. Your little one sounds like a creative type.

  36. Loved the post! My kids had interesting habits and playthings too! Wind up those imaginations and there’s no telling where they’ll go. Congratulations on making FP & looking forward to more cool stuff.

  37. That was funny! πŸ™‚ Kids are incredibly cute and unpredictable πŸ™‚
    This made me remember my childhood :p I have had my days like that of #5 :p I would let my favorite 3 wheel bicycle sleep with me on my bed :p hahaha:p

    Anyway, thank you for sharing this JM! πŸ™‚

  38. This is just way to cute, and I am glad I stopped to read it, put a big smile on my face on this dreary rainy morning when I am supposed to go work a big out door event today, and according to the grrrrr weather bug & the looks of the cloud coverage it is going to be raining all day, I can now at least think of this adorable story and stop and lol.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  39. Oh my gosh! I love this post. What a funny story – I laughed out loud, and found myself hoping that Brickie, aka Bob the brick, wasn’t buried alive. RIP, Bob.

  40. I loved reading this post! You had me laughing and remembering so many “toys” that my own played with growing up. Funny how it never really was the store bought version, but rather a box or rock from the yard!

  41. I think this story is not funny at all! Hey! Brickie died!
    And you think this is funny?! How did he die?
    Was it an accident? Murder? or what?

    I think this kid called #5 (BTW how can you call it like that?!?) is teaching a big lesson to the grown up’s:

    We all have to die one day!

    And nowadays it happens that people disappear and nobody cares! Maybe your neighbor is dead and you’ll find it out only when it starts smelling!

    In my opinion this story is very deep! Many people have a heart made of stone and they think that it is funny. But it doesn’t matter who is buried – it’s never funny actually!
    Thank you #5! Whatever your real name is!
    Johnny #5? We need more heroes like you!

  42. Too funny. Yes, sometimes I just walk into my kids room and take pics of funny or unusual things she’s drawn or written on her erase board. I don’t ask either ….it just amuses me.

  43. This was great! The trials and triumphs… and of course, the questions…. of parenthood. I see just what you mean, sometimes attempting to understand is futile, but I applaud your decision to capture the moments nonetheless.

  44. I’ve heard of pet rocks; my mother and uncle had some when they were kids. I think I may have even had one. But this is the first time I’ve ever seen a errrm, pet brick (?) I liked the purple curlicue, though. πŸ™‚

  45. With six kids I still don’t understand! Some are smarter than I. Don’t know where that came from. They all keep us real. Congrats on being FP!

  46. Keep your sense of wonder about your kids. This is a wonderful piece of life described wittily, and with the insight that only a mom could provide. Number 5 will no doubt become great at what ever he attempts.

  47. I’m new here and was wandering around, reading other blogs for inspiration. You have such a great writing voice! Friendly, honest, funny…well done. I’ve subscribed. =)

  48. I heart this post. My two-year-old sleeps with 4 alphabet flashcards: J for jelly beans, P for pretzel, B for balloons, and I for ice cream. She calls them her “presents” and cradles them like a newborn. A far cry from Brickie a.k.a. Bob, but still entertaining. Sometimes it’s good to just kick back and enjoy the ride.

  49. I love this. I have two small children and am looking forward to taking pictures of the funny things they do. I have taken one picture of each of them each day of their lives thus far and have captured some pretty great moments. I agree with some of the others who have commented about sitting back and enjoying these wonderful little snippets of life. We all get so caught up in our jobs or the negativity in the world, that we oftentimes overlook great little moments like these. I need to remember this last statement as I live my own life…I get so caught up in the negative. Great blog. You sound like a pretty awesome step mom…and I should know…I’ve had two so far. πŸ˜‰

  50. I Enjoyed this post a lot! I think that ALL children have a ‘Brickie’ whether tangible or imaginary. I mean, I’m 40 yrs old and I still have a ‘Brickie,’ not an actual Brick, but still My Invisible Friend that I can Always talk to…

    I’m just a BIG KID at Heart!

    Thanks for the Laugh!

    -PM Bishop

  51. I thought that this story was really cute! My younger brothers and sister have loved odd things before; I’m sure that I did too when I was little. I really liked this story πŸ™‚

  52. Better buried then on a child’s bed and slamming is or her head accidentally onto Brickie’s and ending up needing stitches, or being buried with, him/it.

  53. Reminds me of Sponge Bob Square Pants, maybe one day they will meet in Heaven. And better Brickie buried then on a child’s bed and slamming is or her head accidentally onto Brickie’s and ending up needing stitches, or being buried with, him/it.

  54. Thanks for sharing. Love how a title that could potentially express an uber-sad (and not unrealistic) sentiment about life fits absolutely perfectly for a super-sweet story.

  55. This is really funny! My mom always told us then when we were little she always had a camera around because we would come up with the craziest things. I also had a doll that I named Two because that’s how old I was when I got her and that’s all that I would say.

  56. This post was super cute. Children are odd little things. It’s fascinating to watch and wonder what goes on inside their heads. You obviously love them very much. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Thanks!
    P.S. Check out my blog, I just started it and would appreciate some input or advice.

  57. Rotflmao – what a brilliant post! You have given me such a good giggle on a really crap day. Congrats on being an obviously brilliant step-mom, your abilities are to be much admired πŸ˜€

  58. MILESTONE MAN is sorry for the sad loss of Brickie (aka Bob the brick) – RIP. At least you know that he was buried with a smile on his face!

    MILESTONE MAN would also like to commend you on your most excellent blog.

  59. Fantastic post! Perspective is reality! πŸ™‚ And I love how kids look at the world around them. Very refreshing. Reminds you to appreciate the simple and ridiculous things of life πŸ˜€

  60. hahaha! I can’t wait to see what kind of random stuff my son comes up with. My sister found a decoy duck in a swamp when we were little and brought it home, scrubbed it and slept with it for a while, she is 23 now and Im pretty sure she still has it but it lives in a box now =)

  61. A very good post and many should take a lesson from this, Brickie is a very well real, or was a very real until his time of passing. Understanding it well I’d try and not. We can learn from Brickie like so many others who have blinders on throughout life

  62. That brick pretty much sums up both everything I love (and sometimes hate) about parenting. It’s confounding. That said, I’m pretty sure my five-year-old occasionally slips his Nintendo DS into bed with him and uses it as a pillow…

  63. So I am new to the blogging world and yours is one of the first I have read. It is so completely funny to know that someone else’s children do things like sleep with bricks and it’s not just my world. Parenting is my biggest joy and one of the best comedies you will ever experience. Put some flowers on brickie’s grave for me, lol.

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