Wednesday, December 31, 2008

garden friends

She carried a potted plant to the coffee table and set it down.

C: This is my garden friend. His name is, um... Hooey.
M: Hooey?
C: Yes, Hooey. Can you say hi to him?
M: Hi Hooey.
C: Hooey has soil so he can grow. And he gets very big and he has a stem. He likes to grow. Ask him.
M: Oh, okay. Do you like to sit in the sun and grow, Hooey?
C: Mama, [look of pity aimed at me] he doesn't talk. He's a plant.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

winter blues

She walked up to me and sighed. "I wish I could jump around on a sunny day. Like at a dance party in the back yard."

I hear you, sister.

Monday, December 29, 2008

the student becomes the master

We were having a classic eating war. She wanted a candy cane. She saw them before we could hide them. So I told her she could have one after she finished her sandwich. She tried the usual tricks -- subtly throwing them to the dog, trying to negotiate eating her sandwich AFTER the candy cane, taking one bite and declaring herself finished. Any parent knows this drill. We finally got to the point that she just needed to finish 1 little bite of her sandwich.

She refused.

I picked up the 1" square of cheese and bread and did a high-pitched sandwich voice. "Eat me! I am one tiny bite and once you eat me, you get your candy!"

She stared me down. I put the piece on her plate.

She picked it up. In her own high-pitched sandwich voice. "Don't eat me! It will hurt me!" She put it on the plate and smiled smugly as she motioned for her candy cane.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

good with faces

The Sound of Music came on TV tonight, and Maria appeared in the hills and began singing. Caroline gasped and said, "It's MARY POPPINS!" Now, she's seen about 2 cumulative minutes of Mary Poppins, and she certainly was not a fan enough to place Julie Andrews (or so I thought). I said, "Well, it's the same woman as Mary Poppins, but this movie is called Sound of Music."

"Well who is that girl?"
"Her name is Maria."
"No, she's Mary Poppins. But she has yellow hair. And no umbrella."

I gave up at this point. Mary Poppins in Austria. Done.


[Edited to add a footnote: The nuns were all singing about how to solve a problem like Maria, and Caroline was very concerned that she was not there. "Where is Maria? Why isn't she there?" I said, "Well she's always late." Without skipping a beat, she replied, "Oh, she's always late. Like Daddy."]

Friday, December 26, 2008

say hello to my little friends

Caroline brought over three small nubs of chalk. One blue, one green, one purple. Each was less than an inch long. She opened up her hand and said, "These are my friends. You should say hi." I did say hi. Then she introduced me. "This is Dos. This is Tres. And this is Cuatro." Well, ok. "They really are my friends. Very nice little tiny friends."

I think she's ready for preschool to start up again.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

parrot, perhaps

The dogs were going nuts, wrestling and snarling. I liken the sound to a dying, lovesick walrus. Patty sticks her whole head in Reuben's mouth, they run around like that. There is snarling and a sound we call "mrphing" and flinging of Patty's little scrawny body. And then some more loud dog noise. It is just obnoxious.

Caroline decided she'd had enough of this noise. "YOU GUYS! STOP IT, DOGS!" And she pushed between them. "NO MORE FIGHTING! STOP IT!"

Then I heard her sigh and say quietly, somewhat defeated, "I'm losin' my mind."

Monday, December 22, 2008

method actor

She is still keen on pretending she's a cat. And ever since I busted her for using words in a human way during one of her cat spells, she's been VERY consistent about keeping in feline character.

Yesterday, she was walking around meowing, doing her [weird] thing. It was decided that we should wash her face before we headed out, so Chuck approached her with a wet cloth.

"MEEEOOOW!" in protest. Then "meOW meOW MEOW!" She was careful to not use any words. This went on with some wrestling and more emphatic meows of displeasure before she finally broke and yelled, "NO DADDY! DO NOT WASH MY FACE!" He told her it had to be done and continued wiping her face as she thrashed from side to side.

Pushed to her limit, she reared back, put up her hands like boxing paws... and hissed.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

home sweet home

After 9 hours in a car this weekend and an overnight at Marmy and Pappaw's house, we finally got back home. She walked into the living room, looked at her toys and said, "I am so glad to see my mess."

Friday, December 19, 2008

shadow puppets

I was barely awake this morning, and the only light was coming in from the glare of the snow. It made for perfect shadow puppets. I made a bunny for Caroline. "Can you make it hop?" I obliged. She squealed with delight. "Now eat some grass, bunny!" My shadow bunny ate some grass and hopped about. I showed her how to make her own shadow puppet bunny. So we had two bunnies frolicking about, and she cheered.

Then she suggested, "Ok, enough bunnies. Now let's do shadow vacuum cleaners!!"

Thursday, December 18, 2008


She was dancing her heart out while holding a little toy horse, and she started bumping her head into her father's leg.

"Oops. I'm sorry Daddy. It was an accident. Just an accident. I sure was dancing. It was like... too much sugar."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

animal planet

She took off all her clothes because she declared herself a cat. And then she proceeded to curl up on the couch and purr (which is more like blowing raspberries, but close enough). She was meowing and pointing at the Christmas tree. "What? Are you pointing at the tree?" Meow. "Yes, it's a pretty tree, huh?" Meeow-meow!

A few minutes passed while she remained curled up on the couch. MeeeeeeeeoooooooooOW! "Yes?" Meow. "Yes, kitty?" She pointed to her toy. "Oh, do you want your toy?" Yes, meow! "Hey, wait a minute!" Giggle, meow! "Cats don't talk! I think you're a Caroline!"

No, I'm a kitty. I'm just a meow-o-line.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


She was alone in the bath when she broke out in loud nonstop evil laughter. Loud and maniacal and neverending. After a couple minutes of this, I asked Chuck to see what she was up to. This is Caroline, so any number of bad ideas could have been at play. He went in and asked her what she was doing. She stopped the evil laughing, paused, and told him very matter-of-factly, "Well, I was laughing."

Monday, December 15, 2008

many hats

Our Christmas cards came with sets of envelopes wrapped in white paper bands. Caroline decided that these bands looked like diner hats. She placed one on my head as I was reading a magazine. "Hello Bakery Mama. Look, you're in a bakery. I'll have one cupcake, please! I'll have one cookie, please!" Then she went and grabbed her guitar and brought it to me, "Would you like to play my guitar like Jimi Hendrix, Bakery Mama?"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

it's hard to babble

She was saying something that we couldn't understand, and that is a rare situation around here. Usually we can figure it out. She kept repeating it. I looked at Chuck, and we both shrugged.

She sighed, walked away with her hands on her hips, and exclaimed in utter frustration, "That's it. I give up. I'm going back to bed."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

in the car

She started shrieking and thrashing around in her car seat. We asked her what was wrong.

"I want to get out of this car seat. I want to be free. I want to fly like a bird and be free."

making rhymes

In the wee hours of the morning, she was making up her own rhymes:

One little monkey went out to play
He went out and bumped his [oh crap face here]... head-ay!
And he wore his bray-ce-lets
For the whole day!
On the computer.


Thursday, December 11, 2008


She screams.

I run in. "What's wrong?"

"Mama, there's a cat hair on the Christmas tree. It scares me."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

rock n roll singers

Caroline was telling me about people who sing rock n roll. Apparently, when you are a rock n roll singer, "You have to be a pretty guy. A pretty man who has pretty hair. And then you sing rock n roll."

Maybe she's heard about the late 80s?

Monday, December 8, 2008

how you feeling?

She felt a little warm to the touch. I asked her how she was feeling.

"I'm feeling old. Like a dinosaur."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

well, that's new

In the early hours of the morning, Chuck was laying in bed trying to wake up. Caroline crawled into bed and sat next to him.

She pulled up her shirt. "This is my belly."

She pulled up Chuck's shirt. "This is your belly, Daddy."

She leaned in and tapped her belly into his side and shouted "Belly cheers!"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


She heard a roaring chainsaw as our neighbors' trees were being trimmed.

"Mama, I think that sound is Reuben's tummy."

sandwich order

She walked up to me and made the following request, completely out of the blue:

"Mama, can you make me a Tuna Melt? I'm kind of hungry."

I have never made or consumed a tuna melt in my life, and I have no idea where she heard the term.

Monday, December 1, 2008


In a post-nap grump:

Mama: You're cute.
Caroline: NO.
M: Yes, you are. You are very cute.
C: [stomping foot] NO! THAT'S NOT NICE TO SAY.
M: Yes! It is nice. I am saying you are SUPER CUTE.
C: [arms behind her and bent over in anguish] NO! I! AM! NOT!
M: Cute cute cute cute WAAAAAY cute!
M: Yep, you're cute as a button.
M: You are cute!
C: [grumpy face] You ruined my toonies. [the cartoons she was watching]
M: By being nice??
C: FINE, I'M REALLY CUTE. OK? [pause] I love you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

best quote of thanksgiving

"Stop torching me, Uncle Jason!" (she meant "torturing" -- he was tickling her and trying to scare her.)

First runner up, said in jealousy as I held our new nephew: "Baby Ben wants to go back to his mama. Time for him to go."

She did say she liked him and that he was very cute, though. So there is hope.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

picky picky

We were packing for Thanksgiving. I showed her a shirt and asked if she wanted to bring it.

C: No, mama. Not that shirt. It's too purple. And squiggly. [squiggly hand gestures here]
M: It's too "squiggly"???
C: Yes, the lines go 'round and up and 'round. It's too squiggly.
M: Oh, I see. So sorry to suggest it, your highness.
C: It's ok. You just made a bad choice.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

diagnosis: still crazy

Dr. Caroline stopped by with her plastic stethoscope. Her bedside manner was gentle and kind. "Don't worry, sweetie. It will be ok. You are fine." Then she held the end of the stethoscope to my head and listened for a moment. "You're just kind of crazy."

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Today she was a total tornado. Buzzing around the house, dancing, singing, jumping, and generally going nutso. I asked (rhetorically), "My goodness, are you hyper today?"

She replied, "No. I'm just cute."

Friday, November 21, 2008


"I love my pretty hearts. I love love."

little surgeon

Patty got spayed earlier this week, so we have been tending to her incision and checking on it. Caroline is very interested in this.

C: What's that line?
M: It's where the doctors had to cut Patty's skin so they could get to her organs.
C: They cut her?
M: Yep.
C: Inneresting.
M: It's kinda neat.
C: Yeah. [pause] I'll be right back. Let me find my smaller scissors*.

* "Smaller scissors" is what she calls her safety scissors. She knows big scissors = big people.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


"There is a grandpa dog and a bird. The dog is nerbous [nervous]. He is nerbous because he is doing his best. Trying his best. And he has some flowers. And one day I catched them. I catched them with the scariest bag. It was a blue bag. And I was on a pony horse. It was 'sterious [mysterious]."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

daddy has a name

She has figured out that Daddy has a name aside from "Daddy." Today she was playing in something she shouldn't have and I asked if she made a mess.

She said, "Let me ask Chuck."

She ran to the stairs and said, "Chuck, I need a little help!"

He called down that he doesn't answer to Chuck.

She yelled up the stairs, "Chuck, I need your help!"

He repeated that his name to her is Daddy, and that he wouldn't answer to Chuck.

"Daddy, I need your help..." And as soon as he stood up to come downstairs, she finished her sentence with, "Chuck." And grinned.

Monday, November 17, 2008

character band-aids

Caroline has taken to wearing band-aids as though they are stickers. She usually has one on the top of each hand, and sometimes has a third on her knee. Each time one comes off, she negotiates for a new one. "Can I have a Hello Kitty band-aid?" "Can I have just one more Dora band-aid?" And so on. She has a very clear idea of which band-aid design she wants.

The other day, she asked Chuck if he wanted a band-aid. When he said no, he didn't need one, she tried to tempt him with, "Daddy, you can have a Barack Obama band-aid!"

early morning

She woke up at 5:15am and started asking about her guitar.

"Daddy, where's my guitar?"

He told her it was over there.

"Daddy, where's your guitar?"

He told her it was over there.

"Do you want to play guitars with me?"

He told her it was too early.

"You're right, Daddy. It's too noisy for rock 'n roll this early."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

honesty is refreshing

I tossed her Backyardigan toys into a chair, and she got very upset. She turned the TV off and told me I was in time out. Apparently I "scared" them and that is "not very nice."

Then she told her dad that I was in big trouble. When she finally agreed to let me out of time out, Chuck told her to ask me if I knew why I was in time out.

"Mama, do you know why you were in time out?"

"Because you're a dictator."

"Yep!" Pause. "I sure am a dictator."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

magic indeed

Caroline went upstairs to the play room, like she often does. After a little while, I heard the speakerphone kick on and the phone ringing. An automated voice picked up and started talking. I ran as fast as I could to get there to hang up and lecture her about not touching the phone. Then I saw it. The Sharpie Incident. She had taken a blue sharpie (that I'd stupidly left out), and scrawled from one edge of the desk to the other. Writing on the phone. Writing on the desk top (all over it). Writing on a glass. Writing on the computer's mouse. Writing on the bag of pretzels left on the desk. Writing on the handle of a spoon. Writing on two of her favorite toys. Writing on every blessed thing there. And a lot of writing. Blue sharpie writing.


"I did some writing, Mama. But it's ok, it's just pretend."

P.S. It all came off from the most important objects, thanks to Mr. Clean and his Magic Eraser. Two of her toys are kind of stained with blue, but it's just pretend.

her girls

She left 2 of her stuffed toys in her carseat while she was at preschool. When I picked her up, she flung open the door and grabbed them and hugged them.

"My girls are here. Aren't they just lovely?"

Saturday, November 8, 2008


During her bath, she looked up to her dad between splashfests and announced:

"Mama is crazy!"

Like it was a secret she had to get off her chest. Let's be real, kid. It's not a secret to anyone.

Friday, November 7, 2008


In the wee hours, as she first woke up.

C: Dada, can you get my blankie?
D: Sure, can you say 'please'?
C: Okay.
D: But can you say 'please' right now?
C: Ooohkaaay.
D: No, dear, can you say 'Can you get my blankie, please?'
C: [deadpan] Dada, it's far too early.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

future marine biology fantasy writer

She saw a photo of the narwhal, which looks like this:

"Look Mama, it's a whale-icorn!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

she's onto me

She was frustrated while trying to line up her toys. They kept falling over and she whined and stomped. I started to sing "Keep trying, keep trying, don't give up..." And she said, "No thank you, Mama. No singing!"

I asked her why I couldn't sing.

She whined, "Because you'll make me smile."

Monday, November 3, 2008

back off

She was wearing tights on her head (and no other clothing at all), in order to look like a rabbit. I approached her with a shirt while trying to get her ready for preschool. I promised I would put it on over her bunny ears, so as not to undo her fun. Still, she would not cooperate.

While waving her arms, "No. Mama, no thank you! I need some space. I just need a little space."

And then she stormed out of the room, sat on a chair in her bedroom, and glowered at me (with arms huffily crossed) when I looked in.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

a question

"Are cats ticklish?"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

up your nose

Caroline: Dada, I have boogies. I need a tissue!!

Dad removes said boogies.

C: Dada, do you have boogies?
Dada: No.

Caroline inspects his nose and gasps.

C: Dada, you have... hairs!

preschool parrot

As we cleaned up after dinner, she started pretending to be her preschool teacher. While holding a pencil and an old receipt:

Caroline: So, how is everybody?
Dad: I'm doing pretty well. How are you?
C: I'm good. It's time to take attendance. [pause] Dada?
D: Present!
C: Mama?
Mom: Yep!
C: Caroline? [pause] Here I am!