Tuesday, December 29, 2009

unexpected request

She walked up to me with her elbow in the air.

"Mom, can you tickle my little 'pits?"

Monday, December 28, 2009

look out harvard, brace yourself MIT

"Mom! Mom! I made a new invention. Check it out!"

"It's a doggie nose picker. See, you put one end in the little dog nose, and it gets the boogies out. There's water and it flows through and out, and yaaaay no boogies. That's so cool, right? It's science."

forget the atomic bomb

"I am a safari ninja princess. My name is Fiona. I attack bad animals and save good ones. This is my rainbow power bracelet. It plays the My Little Pony song. It's very powerful. You may not touch it."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

go easy, kid. santa doesn't return for a year.

She was cuddling up to me when she looked up and said, "You know, I'm a big fan of you, Mama."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

merry christmas

And a Happy Week After Hanukkah, as well (we're slow).

Thank you for all the fun this year!

Caroline, Sylvie, and their personal assistants parents.


Bonus Kazooism just occurred while wrapping gifts:

"Hey, I'm like a helper elf. And you're kind of like Santa. And Daddy... well, Daddy is just a very large child."

Monday, December 21, 2009

only if harrison ford is joining us

In regards to the potstickers on our dinner plates:

"Are we eating brains for supper?"

backup career

She's a little congested with the usual winter quasi-cold.

"Mom! Mom! Do you hear me purring? Do you hear it? I just breathe and I purr! I'd make a good cat."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

glass ceiling: shattered and sparkly

"I think I will be a princess football player when I grow up. A little girlish, a little boyish. But I would wear a dress over my leggings, even though the guys there don't wear skirts over their leggings. And I'd like to have my crown be, like, part of my helmet hat, you know? Like not on top of it or under it, but a helmet shaped to be a crown too. I think that would look really good and princessy-footballish."

I nodded and said that sounded good to me.

"Yeah, a princess football player. I'm bold like that."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


"I don't know why. I just flushed the straw down the toilet."


"I SAID I don't know. Okay, settle down. [settle down hand motions] I know now. The toilet looked a little thirsty."


"Well you like to drink with a straw. I do, too. Hey, why are you making that face at me? Am I making you bonkers?"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

simple wishes this christmas

I was picking up some little crafty things at the store for teacher gifts we are making, and I happened upon tiny personalized snow globes that were like 4 bucks each. Caroline's other snow globe lost its luster after she took it to school for the "expression basket" (hippie show and tell, in other words). It seems some vigorous shaking by cohorts dislodged the snowman in the scene and he was floating around, as she said, "Like he was in outer space, but without a space suit."

So I picked up the last Caroline snow globe for her, and I couldn't wait a whole two weeks to give it to her.

Her reaction was even better than I expected.

"Oh my goodness, it's a little snow globe. It's absolutely beautiful, Mom. Thank you so very much. That little snowman inside is absolutely perfect. And it's beautiful with the snow and the globe. I just... I just don't think I want anything else for Christmas. This surprise is the best present I could ever want. Absolutely ever!"

I told her I was glad she liked it, and that it made me happy to see her enjoy it. And then I started teasing about maybe letting Santa know that nothing could beat out this little snow globe and that she didn't want anything else.

"Oh, yeah. I forgot about Santa. Well he's probably in Europe right now anyway, so we shouldn't -- um, just don't bother him."

Friday, December 11, 2009

in search of a pet

"Mama, what was that big yellow tent at the zoo?"

I told her it was for a pet adoption fair.

"Oh, we should go. I'm really looking for an emu."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

if you get a gift from her, don't open it

After a very productive bathroom break, she walked into the hall, stretched, and announced, "Yep. All ready for the holidays!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

yay, we haven't totally ruined her!

Saturday, Caroline went to a party for her school friend Sophia. They actually rarely play together as they are entirely different creatures (Sophia is a petite fleur -- all demure, dainty, quiet, and sweet), but Caroline thinks everyone in her class is her best friend. So she was super excited to get invited, and was thrilled when she heard the venue.

The party was at the butterfly garden at the zoo, which is a pretty awesome place for a 4 year old's birthday party. There were games, zoo tours, cake, goody bags full of little trinkets and candy, etc.

When she got home and showed me her loot, I asked her, "What was your favorite thing about the zoo party?"

"Hmmmm," She thought for a moment before lighting up. "Seeing Sophia!"

Monday, December 7, 2009

a lawyer in the making

Caroline: Mama, say what I say.

Mama: Uh, ok.

Caroline: I may...

Mama: I may...

Caroline: No, I may!

Mama: Oh, ok. You may...

Caroline: Play.

Mama: Play.

Caroline: alldaylongwithanythingIwant and nothavetogotobed.

Mama: Wait a minute...

Caroline: No, you say it!

baby sister is maturing rapidly

Caroline: Mom! Mom! MOM! It's snowing, it's really snowing. Let's put on our mittens and our hats and our coats. Let's go outside and play and then have hot chocolate -- maybe with marshmallows, or maybe without marshmallows? We'll put on some clothes first, but let's go! It's SNOWING!!!!

Mom: Well, we can't go outside right now. Sylvie has a cold.

Caroline: We should probably have her stay inside then.

Mom: She can't stay inside by herself, dear.

Caroline: But she's kind of responsible...

Friday, December 4, 2009

career in nursing: unlikely

Baby sister Sylvie has very severe reflux. She spends the majority of her day crying, sleeping, eating, and hurling. While Sylvie is definitely more tired of this routine than the rest of us, Caroline is apparently feeling the strain herself.

Caroline: MOOOOO-OOOMMMMMMM, Sylvie just spit up again!

Mom: Ok, I'll be right there.

Caroline: [muttered to Sylvie] You're so busted!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

good little american

"Mom, can I have your credit card?"

I asked why.

"I'm feeling a little spendy."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

putting a fire under it

Caroline: Hello, ma'am. I'm a firegirl, and don't worry, but your house is on fire, ma'am. I am going to put it out with my hose here [points at rolled up belt].

Mama: Oh good, thank you. I don't want to have my house burn down.

Caroline: Ma'am, I'll take care of it. You just sit there, ma'am. It will be, umm, about 10 hours until the fire is down.

Mama: 10 hours?!

Caroline: Ma'am, I'm a firegirl. I'm not a superhero.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

caroline griswold

"Hey Mom. I think I want to help Daddy put on the Christmas lights. I think I'll go on the roof."

I told her that was not going to happen.

"Yeah, that would probably not be a good idea. I'd fall and say 'oomph' or something like that."

Friday, November 27, 2009

everyone's a critic and a supporter

I put on my new cowl neck sweater and asked Caroline how she liked it.

"It's really pretty Mom. But I'm afraid you have it on backwards. The hood goes in the back."

I giggled because she thought the floppy collar was a hood. Oh, tee hee, my little child.

"I'm glad you're not embarrassed, Mom. It happens to all of us sometimes."

dreaming like martha stewart

At midnight last night, Caroline called out from her room. I went in and found her sitting straight up in bed.

I asked her what she needed.

"Mom, I really like the centerpieces."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

sexual harassment at the north pole

The saga of the Barbies With No Boobs™ continues. I have been working with her a bit the past few weeks, trying to prep her to talk to Santa without mentioning the whole boob thing. I explained that some people aren't as comfortable talking about boobs, and that we need to respect their feelings. I did not mention that it would be slightly embarrassing to sit in our fancy mall Santa's enchanted castle and have her talk about plastic hooters. Anyway, she gets that she shouldn't mention it to dear old Saint Nick.

Today, we were watching some tv show and there was a commercial for the exact doll we are getting her for Christmas -- a doll she's never seen before, one that meets the Barbie With No Boobs™ standard. She immediately noticed its lack of a rack and started jumping up and down shrieking something I couldn't understand.

I asked her to slow down and say it calmly.

"Mama! Mama! That's it! That's the exact doll I need. And it doesn't have boobs!"

I agreed that it is just like she has wanted.

"And it won't even make Santa nervous! He won't be nervous at all!"

Monday, November 23, 2009

channeling eddie haskell

She walked into the room. "Hey Mama. I really like your face."

I laughed and thanked her.

"I really do. I just really like your forehead, and your eyes, and your ears, and your nose, and your mouth, and your cheeks. And your scalp is really nice too."

I thanked her again.

"So, uh, what about me?"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

home alone, she wishes

Caroline has taken to writing stories (which means drawing crazy shapes to the rhythm of her telling the story). Yesterday she was writing one while we ate dinner.

Caroline: Ok, this is going to be a really funny story. But you can't laugh until I'm done telling it.

Parents nod in agreement.

Caroline: There was this time when we were all going on a very exciting trip. It was a trip to Marmy's house. And we got there and we remembered that we forgot something at home. And do you know what we forgot?

Mama: No. What did we forget?

Caroline: It was Syl.

Mama: [trying not to laugh per the rules] We forgot your BABY SISTER?

Caroline: Yes! But we did go back to get her. [Sigh]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

target in the bloodstream

I shouldn't be surprised that Caroline has started playing "Target," wherein she shops and we are sales clerks. The other day she said, "Mama, I'm going to write 'Target' on this paper." So I spelled it out for her, and she said "TA DA!" And I looked and she had drawn a little bullseye. We may shop there from time to time.

Anyway, she has been playing Target shopper (complete with her little purse made by Aunt Pat) all morning with Dad as her clerk. She arranged the bench at the foot of our bed like a check out counter, and she walked up carrying something from her playroom to purchase. They discussed what was in stock, if Target carried Barbies with boobs and without, etc. She was making smalltalk with him as she counted pennies to buy her book (for her 10 daughters, you see). Baby sister started babbling across the room, and Caroline turned to her, totally in character, and said, "Excuse me, ma'am. I'm trying to shop here."

oh snap!

She was "writing stories" at the dining room table. She found outgoing stamped mail and attempted to open it to write in the cards. Chuck saw this and took them away, telling her they were very important and giving her a different piece of paper. Then he started to walked upstairs.

She leaned as far as she could on the edge of the chair and hollered up after him, "Daddy, you just emptied my bucket!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

leaving the nest

She was dressed up in her rain boots with her blanket wrapped around her like a cape when she walked in and informed me of the following:

"I'm going on an adventure. I don't live in our city anymore."

I told her I would miss her.

"Well, I just need to be on my own now. Just me. I just don't need grownups anymore. I am just going to be by myself. No more grownups. No more boring stuff. Nope. Just me by myself."

I got sad but said nothing.

"Yep! Juuuuust me. Unless I get scared if there's some fog. Then I'll bring my dad."

Friday, November 13, 2009

two different lenses

I stupidly, stupidly took both girls to Costco on a Friday. A Friday that happens to be pay day for a lot of people. The place was a madhouse, as smarter people would expect.

We finally got through line with a ridiculously not-worth-the-trouble load including little thing of raspberries, milk, bread, and Bar Keepers Friend (who needs predictable), after waiting in line for 14 years.

It was Caroline's first ever trip to Costco, and she really wanted to eat lunch there "in the fancy restaurant." When I saw the long line there, I suggested we just get her favorite treat in the world -- french fries -- en route home. She wouldn't budge.

We waited in that line for 6 additional years, and finally we sat down with a piece of pizza and a berry smoothie for her, and the famous hot dog combo for me. I was all sweaty from moving the cart around the tiny cafe aisles, Sylvie woke up and wanted out of her car seat to see the world, and I was pretty fried at the logistics of how to get through this meal. I just sat there looking at my overcooked beef frank and wondering why I agreed to this, when Caroline piped up with, "Mom, you know, it's a beautiful day here at the Costco."

our daughter, the dog

When she woke up this morning, I was informed by Caroline that she is Polly, a puppy, and I am Mama Dog or Groomer Girl, depending on her needs throughout the course of the morning.

She was eating her "doggy breakfast" at the table while I was talking to Baby Dog and showing her Caroline/Polly's purple balloon.

She shouted from the dining room, "Hey! Give that back to me!"

I gave her a look and told her to try again with good manners.

She thought for a second, then tilted her head and said, "Ruff, aroo roo rrrr ruff?"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

this is your 3 year old brain on drugs

Caroline's on steroids for a few days because of her irritated airways. Since it is her first time on them, her pediatrician warned us that it would make her "cranky, mean, wired, tired, and hungry." Sounds like a treat. So far, we are only dealing with the "wired" thing and she's in sweet spirits. She's just so over-amped that we are having a hard time not breaking into laughter at every comment or action. I predict many kazooisms will come from the next few days.

She woke up bouncing off the walls and begging for TWO pink piggy tails. She has asked me to start calling her "Big Girl" instead of by her name. And she tried to lift up Reuben's hind legs to do a wheelbarrow race.

She is currently enacting a movie for her dad.

Caroline: But it's not a REAL movie, it's an imaginary movie. It does have movie titles though. I'll act it out. Ok?

Chuck: Ok, great!

Caroline: [with "settle down" hand gestures] You'll have to wait a minute. The movie is loading.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

way ahead of you, doc

Today we had to see the doctor for a relentless cough. Caroline was cracking the staff up with her typical goofiness. Dr. K. asked her what she wanted for Christmas.

"I really want a Barbie with no boobs."

And after Dr. K. stopped laughing and making everyone else on the staff ask her what she wanted for Christmas, I was told, "You really should be writing these down."

Monday, November 9, 2009

feline affirmations

I walked in on her holding the cat's face gently in her hands. She was looking into the cat's eyes and telling her very earnestly, "Beej, I have to tell you that I really like your meow sounds."

a new stall tactic

"I just have to ask you ONE little question before I fall asleep. But it does have a LOT of words..."

Then there was a desperate, nonsensical soliloquy about "finding something thick enough to hang this little ring on so that the ponies don't hurt themselves." There was also a demonstration of the ring hanging on my closet door knob with a pony swinging face first on it and into the door and screaming in pain. When she finally paused to take a breath, I said, "Isn't this supposed to be a question?"

"Yes, Mama. The question comes at the end, but I still have a few more things to add before I get to the question part..."

I asked her a question of my own -- whether she wanted to continue this charade of a stall and thus not get to go to the playground, or if she wanted to nap.

"This isn't a stall. This is important PONY SAFETY talk!"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

i think this qualifies as "genetically modified"

Caroline: Hello, Lexi. My name is Lena, and I am working in my garden.

Mama: Oh, I'm Lexi again, ok. Lena, your garden looks very nice.

Caroline: Thanks, I'm hooking up some water to help the plants grow in my garden.

Mama: That sounds like a great idea. Plants do need water.

Caroline: Yeah, they are growing pretty big, so they definitely need a lot of water. And I am growing some plants for food, so it's really important.

Mama: What kind of food are you growing?

Caroline: Pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the queen of subtlety

During a lovely harvest hayride, we sat with about a dozen strangers. We all smiled and enjoyed the fun. The festive silence was broken by Caroline yelling across the wagon to a school-aged girl with a drippy nose. "Excuse me! You've got some snot!"

at least she gets it

Caroline seems to have been introduced to the concept of Hannah Montana, though she's never seen the show.

Caroline: Hi Lexi.

Mama: Oh my name is Lexi today?

Caroline: Yes, and my name is Hannah Montana, and I am a water skier girl.

Mama: Uggggh, can't your name be anything else? I don't like Hannah Montana.

Caroline: [visibly offended] NO! My. Name. Is. Hannah. Montana.

Mama: But what about Daphanie? You like that name.

Caroline: [pumping fists] NO! MY. NAME. IS. HANNAH. MONTANA. And that's IT!

Mama: But --


Sunday, November 1, 2009

bring out the dancing bears

We had talked up the fun of playing in leaves. We told her about jumping in piles, rolling around, getting buried in them... the works. She was very excited, and we dangled the privilege of playing in the autumn splendor as a reward. If she took a good nap, she would be allowed to join me in the yard as I raked.

She did take a good nap. And she came running out of the house and jumped into a pile. I used the rake to bury her in leaves. She giggled a little. I told her she could roll around or throw them or whatever she wanted, and I went back to raking. I looked across the yard a few minutes later, and she was still sitting in one of the piles. I yelled, "Isn't this great?!"

She stood up and walked over to me with a defeated look on her face.

"Mom, I'm not really very entertained by this."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

but i'm the nice one

After declaring me "the nice parent" and watching me high-five myself and in-your-face her father, she apparently had a little guilt. She came up to me about 5 minutes later. She was very serious and steady. "Mom, I have to tell you that I do love you very much, but I also love Daddy very much. I just had to tell you that."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

imagine how she'll sound at 74

On her ailments:

"What is going on?! I have a cough and I have a blister. This doesn't even make sense. I'm so annoyed for this. Next thing you know, my knee is going to get paranoid and I'll need hearing aids."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

so agreeable

This morning, she was caught filling up her tea set in the bathroom sink. This practice has been banned after she was caught helping her baby sister to "drink tea." Her father told her she was not allowed to play with water. She tried to negotiate. He shot her down. She tried to negotiate more. He shot her down again.

Finally, she gave up with a sigh. "Okay. Alright. Whatever you say. I'll just go with that."

anything is possible, except when it's not

For those who do not know him personally, I will explain that our dog Reuben is a basselope. Actually, he is a basset hound mix (with some shepherd and doberman in there), and his body and demeanor are very stereoptypically basset. He looks a little like a fluffy black lab who is laying down, only he is standing up. In fact, he's the same height sitting as he is standing. He garners attention from passersby who ask, "Where are his legs?" They are there. They are just 4" long.

I explain all this to precede the following Kazooism, which was volunteered out of the blue yesterday morning while getting dressed:

"I think I am going to limbo under Reuben."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

can i call you gretel?

As I was flipping pancakes in the dark of the morning:

"You're not going to cook a baby are you?"

Uh, no. Just planning on cooking some pancakes.

"Good. Pans get pretty hot and that would be a totally, totally bad idea."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the urologist says it's unlikely

Caroline has decided that she doesn't like babies. I think little sister being a bit, um, high maintenance due to health issues has left her a little bored and disenchanted. When I explained that I know it's kind of a drag to have a baby sister right now, Sylvie will soon be able to crawl and laugh and play with her, and that one day Sylvie will be as big as Caroline is now and that Caroline will be SIX. And then she will always have someone to play with. All. The. Time. She started getting excited at the prospect of her little sister again.

"So, one day I'll be SIX and Sylvie is bigger, like a toddler, and then we will get another baby!"

Thankfully, she fetched the smelling salts after I fainted at the mere suggestion.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the call

Caroline [from bed]: Daaaaadddyyyy!

Daddy: Yes Bug?

Caroline: [fake cough] I'm still a little sick. I think I need some medicine.

Daddy goes to retrieve a gummi vitamin in hopes that will qualify and get the child to sleep.

Caroline: Oh, thanks. [eats gummi] Now let me check.

Daddy: Check what?

Caroline: The call.

Daddy: What call?

Caroline: The call! [clears throat] Daaaddddd--EEEEEEEEE! Ah yes, much better.

mr. banker, you don't know stress

We dragged our children with us to the bank to complete some paperwork that we both had to sign at the same time. I was afraid that Caroline would be bored and that Sylvie would be screamy. They both did super well. Caroline made friends with the banker, talked about his name, etc.

At one point, he was typing information into his computer and mentioned something about the computer being really difficult.

Caroline leaned towards the desk and politely interrupted him, "Excuse me, Jonathan." He turned towards her and she gave him a pity nod and said in commiseration, "It's really hard to be three."

a murder

Caroline is once again enthralled with the fake crows from the Halloween storage bin. Last year she babied them, wanted to swaddle them, and carried them everywhere. This year, she is making lots of little plays and songs with them.

They are currently lined up on our furniture and she is introducing them to us.

Their names are as follows:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

then maybe she could have that trust fund

Caroline has a cold. She woke up at 5am with a barky cough and a dramatic wail. I brought her into bed with me, since Chuck was sleeping downstairs with baby sister. I propped her up on pillows and tucked her in, and then I turned on some cartoons (thank you, oh modern marvel that is 24 hour kid channels on cable). Then I went and made her some ginger tea with honey and brought it to her with some toast and a dose of Mucinex Mini-melts and a new box of tissues. She sipped, ate, and took her medicine. I was scratching her back when she turned to me.

"Mama, are you a doctor?"

Friday, October 16, 2009

randomness du jour

Driving home from preschool:

"Hey Mom. Do monkeys like candy corn?"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

pee trauma

Today at preschool pickup, teacher Karen pulled me aside and let me know that Caroline had a little accident at school -- the first one she's ever had there. Karen said that while they were changing her into her spare clothes, Caroline said to her, "I'm really very sorry. I'm just falling apart, I guess."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

smile makers/santa capers

Little sister (aka Lil Screamy) had to go to the doctor today because her medicine for silent reflux is no longer working. Caroline was quite a trooper about waiting and hanging out there, and the doctor noticed this and offered her one of those ubiquitous SmileMakers stickers.

Of course, it ripped in the car on the way home. Caroline was pretty torked about it. "Ugh, I RIPPED it. I wasn't very careful and now look at it!"

I suggested that she could get a new one next time we were there. "But we won't be there for a long time."

I suggested that we tape it back together. "But it has a little line right there, see? That would look bad."

I suggested that Santa could bring her a new one. "Mom. I think Santa is a little too busy to fix sticker problems."

Monday, October 12, 2009

little sisters are useless

Caroline was feigning being trapped in the arms of our furniture.

"Save me SuperMama. Help me! Help me!"

I tried to pawn her off on someone else.

"No, SuperDaddy can't help me. And Sylvie can't help me with her cradle eyes."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

i guess she's hoping for a trust fund

Describing a bad dream she had last night:

"There were lots of animals in costumes. A donkey, and a lamb, and a goose. The donkey was wearing horns. The lamb was in a regular costume. The goose was wearing just the horns. And they came in our house and they chased me. I was really scared. I was so scared of the working people. They were just like they were pretending to be the working people. Scary stuff."

Friday, October 9, 2009

nothing worse than an ill-mannered mane

"Oh Mama. My hair looks so pretty, doesn't it? I love it. It's just so... polite."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

center of the universe

Apparently, they talked about planets today at school. We had a little conversation about it in the car on the way home from the grocery store.

Caroline: Mom, I really like the solar system.

Mom: When did you learn about the solar system?

C: Today! We live on Earth.

M: We do. That's right. Did you learn about other planets?

C: Yep, there is one called JUPITER!

M: Yes, there is one called Jupiter.

C: There's even a green one!

M: Oh, cool. Are there more?

C: Yeah, lots more. But those are the only ones that matter.

compliment for one, insult for other

After seeing a photo of a very creepy zombie:

"Hey, that is one really dusty old daddy."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

leatherface is also not an option

Caroline goes to a kinda hippie preschool. This is great with me because we are sorta yippies, ourselves, and their hippie principles tend to be very in line with the kind of early childhood experiences we want our children to have.

But this also means we get to giggle a little every now and then.

We got the newsletter via email today, and I enjoyed the paragraph about their guidelines for Halloween costumes for the school parade. The kids are not allowed to wear masks, be superheroes, ninjas, or anything else that would give the opportunity to be a "non-peaceful person."

I explained this to Caroline, and she was concerned. "Uh oh. But I am being a bee. What are we going to do?"

I tried to reassure her by saying, "Oh, dressing up like a bee is fine."

She replied, "Hello! Stingers! Not very peaceful!"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

a little sugar for all the spice

Chuck's friend Tom and his girlfriend Amy came over to watch the Lions game (why watch that team, I do not know). Tom is a very nice guy, but as he has no nieces or nephews or any other close experience with children, it's safe to say he's not one of those people who is just really into kids. He likes them and is good with them, but he won't approach them for play or whatever. This, of course, means that Caroline is drawn to him like a cat is drawn to a person with severe allergies. As we all sat watching the Lions lose, Caroline climbed into Tom's lap and looked up at him and professed loudly and confidently, "I love you."


We had a little visit at our house with Great Aunt Mary Lou and Great Uncle Tom. They had some gifts for Caroline and Sylvie, and we really hadn't seen them since Syl was born in July. Caroline and I had to leave mid-visit, as she had a doctor appointment. We said our goodbyes, she gave them big hugs and thanked them for the gift.

Hours later, after a semi-traumatic blood test and post-appointment shopping trip, we were in the car when the following conversation took place.

Caroline: Are Aunt Mary Lou and Uncle Tom still at our house?

Mama: No sweetie, they are probably home having dinner by now.

Caroline groaned in frustration.

Mama: What?

Caroline: But I forgot!

Mama: Forgot what?

Caroline: I forgot to tell them I loved them!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

double your pleasure

Last night we went to a gathering with family (who happen to be friends). Caroline has about a bajillion cousins, and she loves playing with them all. Cousin Clara, who is a mature 11 year old, arrived in a opalescent aqua wide headband. Caroline's eyes were glued on that headband from the moment Clara walked in the door. Clara took the headband off at one point and put it on the coffee table. Caroline asked Clara if she could "look at it." And she did. It was apparent via her gentle touches that she coveted that beautiful headband. Aunt Anne saw this and offered to help Caroline try it on.

It looked vaguely like the crowning of Miss America.

Anne took Caroline to the bathroom to check herself out in the mirror. When she returned, Anne reported the following exchange.

Anne: Don't you look pretty?

Caroline: I do. I have a clippie in my hair AND this headband.

Anne: And what do you think about that?

Caroline: [voice cracking] I think it's FANTASTIC!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

don't tell the CIA

Caroline tiptoed into the room, whispering, "I have a secret."

I asked, "Oh, is it a good one?"

She replied, "Yes, it's really good. Do you want to hear it?"

"Of course!"

She tiptoed over, grinning. She motioned for me to lean down. She cupped her hands to my ear and whispered, "Are you ready?"

I nodded.

Then she squealed "Pupppieeees!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

that was rhetorical

There was a sleeping [cranktastic] baby in a swing a mere four feet away from a rambunctious Caroline, who was "filling a bucket with love and happy thoughts." Love and happy thoughts are LOUD, apparently.

After reminding her repeatedly that if Lil Screamy* woke up, we'd all pay for it, I exclaimed, "How many times do I have to ask you to be quiet?!"

She whipped her head around and said very earnestly with big eyes and a nod, "A lot!"

* Lil Screamy is a title Sylvie has earned. We use it with love. Most of the time.

not even if she could dip them in honey

After hearing a reference to lady fingers (the cookies):

"Lady fingers?! I don't like lady fingers. They are way too bony and and a little too crunchy."

No dear, they're cookies, not really fingers.

"Do they have lady fingernails?"

No, they are really cookies.

"I think I'm still not a fan."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

impolite treading

We pulled up to a store and hopped out of the car. Caroline stood at the side of the car, waiting for me. We began to walk. She stood still and said, "Mama. MOM." I turned around and inquired about the hold up. She gave me a disapproving look and motioned at the car's tires. "Mom, your wheels are kind of pretty dirty. That's really rude."

Friday, September 25, 2009

what goes around comes around

Yesterday was a Bad Day®. Like the kind of Bad Day® where everyone in the house is just impossible and miserable and under-rested. Caroline was feeling a bit under the weather and I was feeling like loading up baby sister and getting us all ready might send me to the loony bin, so she stayed home from preschool. And by "stayed home from preschool," I mean "drove her mother absolutely insane to the point of actually considering walking out and never coming home."

I'd fished an intact roll of toilet paper out of the toilet, argued with her for two hours on why she needed to nap and how naps are not naps if you take them standing up with your eyes open, had a conversation about where it's ok and not ok to pee (note: she says it's not ok to pee on the roof or in the sky), etc. So when she was still being difficult about something I can't remember, well, I pulled the pointless and useless "I am the mom so I am the boss" card.

She countered with, "Well I am a big girl, so I can make some rules."

I told her, "I am a bigger girl and I'm the mom and I'm in charge."

She grimaced and groaned and bent over and gave me the evilest look she could conjure up and said, "Mother, you are STRETCHING ME OUT!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

take that, amish ladies

It was one of those blissful moments of peace that come when all children are sleeping. The silence was interrupted.

"Maaamaaaa! MAMAAAA!!!!"

I quickly walked into Caroline's room and asked what was wrong. She sat up, groggy.

"I don't like quilts!"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

awwww. wait a minute...

"Mom, I love you. I really mean it this time."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

master of diversion

Cynthia the superhero ninja spy. That is what she's calling herself today. And her superhero ninja spy techniques are astounding!

She walked into the room carrying a bunch of stuff from an off-limits drawer. Keys to the buffet where booze is kept, our checkbook, non-washable markers. Serious stuff.

"What are you doing, Caroline?"

"You mean 'Cynthia the superhero ninja spy.'"

"Yeah. What are you doing?"

"Oh I just grabbed some things from a drawer and I wasn't sneaking or anything. It's not like I was sneaking them since I brought them into here. Where you are. I wasn't sneaking, actually. Hey. You have a boogie in your nose!"

And then she ran from the room with her forbidden loot.

Monday, September 21, 2009

job security

Chuck was saying goodnight to Caroline, who had already been tucked in.

He gave her a kiss and she shot him the finger pistol and said, "I think I'll keep ya, Dad."

Friday, September 18, 2009

fashion is not painless

Caroline walked in holding a pair of my heels. She asked if she could wear them to school today. I noted that it probably wasn't a good idea, since she couldn't skip, hop, or run in them.

She was not swayed. She gave me her patented stupid-mom face with earnestness while she nodded and said, "Actually, I think they're pretty practible."

Monday, September 14, 2009

moving tribute to raisins

She was eating her 14th handful of Trader Joe's Thompson Seedless Raisins, and I advised her that she was going to have some gastro-intestinal distress if she didn't ease up.

Raisins fell out of her mouth as she garbled, "Hey, a little extra poop is ok with me!"

Friday, September 11, 2009

lesson in gravity

After dinner, she was hanging upside down from the living room chairs and giggling away. She suddenly flipped off to the floor, stood up, gulped, and winced.

She brushed the hair from her forehead and said, "Phew. I had a little urpage that time."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

i think i'll pass

"Mom, do you want to be Barbie? You know, the one with the boobs that I saw at that party?"

Saturday, September 5, 2009

you may call her godzilla

Caroline has a pesky habit of getting into everything when she's feeling under the weather. We've all had a light cold this week, so the distracted-with-baby-sister mother and the cold-induced orneriness have combined in an unreal way.

I went into her room and saw the contents of her drawers lined up in rows on every surface. It was a disaster. I sighed.

"I was just counting things, Mom."

I said nothing and just shook my head.

"What? Is it destroyed, Mom?"

I nodded.

"Mom, did I destroy the world?"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

reality bites

Today, Someone decided that naps were overrated. Someone also decided that listening to Mom was overrated. And Someone thought that sneaking out of one's room 5000 times is seriously underrated.

And so Someone is not going to the park today.

I explained this to her as matter-of-factly as possible.

Mama: No, you are not going to the park today because you made bad choices.

Caroline: Like getting out of bed?

M: Yes. And there are consequences to that. So no park.

C: What are consequences?

M: They are the things that happen after you make choices. If you make good choices, there are good consequences. If you make bad choices, there are bad consequences... like not going to the park when you don't take a nap and don't listen to your parents.

C: Man, that is a really bad deal.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

rudeness to the max

I was attempting to help Caroline into her clothes, but she was attempting to ask me about a book that was on her shelf.

Caroline: Mama, what is that turt-

Mama: Caroline, focus on what we're doing here.

C: But Mama, I jus-

Mama: Let's get this finished and then I will help you.

C: [angrily] MAMA. You keep getting into my words!

Mama: You mean "You are interrupting me."

C: Yes. You're so totally right.

Friday, August 28, 2009

what's in a name?

Caroline is obsessed with names. According to an informal survey of her peers, this seems normal enough. I hope. She also is obsessed with changing her own name.

This week she has called herself (and demanded to be called):

Dash, Climber of Trees (not just Dash)
Daphanie (Daphne/Stephanie hybrid)
Brown Bird
Sweetie Brown Bird
Danny Phantom*
Annie Phantom

*Guess who's been watching too much TV while on the 2 week break from school?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ponder this

"Hey Mom, do mosquitoes have jobs?"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

a spoonful of sugar...

We had Caroline's 3 year well child visit at the pediatrician's office today. She is a healthy girl, though we found out that she is anemic. The doctor ordered a chewable vitamin with iron and a follow-up in 6 weeks to see if we need something stronger.

On the way home, we acquired said chewable vitamins with iron. I gave her one after explaining that it's important to eat it all so she gets enough iron. Because it was pink and featured a certain belligerent cartoon character, she was very excited to eat it. But as she started to chew it, she gagged. Then she stomped her feet and spit it out. I was a little startled since she is not dramatic about food or bad flavors at all.

"Mama. I'm sorry. I can't do it."

I suggested that maybe I should find a better brand, or maybe some drops we could add to a smoothie every day.

"Well, Mama. I have an idea. I think that lollipops have lots of iron in them."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

cold, brutal honesty

Chuck is 43 years old. A spry, balding 43 years old.

This morning as Caroline was playing with him, she blurted out, "Daddy, you have hair like a grandpa."

Friday, August 21, 2009

not at the moment

Caroline was hanging out with me while I changed the baby's diaper. She wandered off. I assumed she went to her room. I thought I heard water running, so I put baby sister in the crib, turned on the mobile and went to investigate.

I found dear child pumping hand soap into my beautiful, beloved jasmine topiary. I think my brain melted on the spot. Words failed me. I just grabbed it from her.

"I was just washing it, Mom!"

I ran with it down the stairs to try to use the sink faucet to remove as much soap as possible and told her very sternly (unusual for me), "You are in trouble. Go sit down and wait for me to come talk to you."

She called down from the steps behind me, "What, no love?!"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

dinner theater

I was preparing burritos for dinner.

I heard "OoooooOOOOOooooo..."

And I turned and saw this:

"Look, I'm a taco ghost!"

I acted scared.

"Don't be afraid, Mom. I'm just pretending. See, it's a tortilla."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

it'll be like this when she's 15, right?

The night before last, we were all having a rough one. Sylvie was doing her newborn thing. Caroline would not stay in bed, no matter what we tried. We'd had a looooong, sweaty power outage the night before so her routine got all messed up, and we were paying for it dearly. At 11:30pm, she was in our room and was playing at my feet. I ordered her back into her room. We escorted her, and I put a pressure gate on her doorway as her father lectured her.

Then she poked the bear. She asked her sleep-deprived father in her favorite manipulative way (she doesn't get sad or weepy when in trouble, she tries to turn it around on you), "Are you grumpy, Daddy?"

And so Grumpy Bear Chuck raised his voice to her, which is pretty rare around here. It was not a proud parenting moment for either of us, and we discussed it the next day.

Chuck decided to go talk to her in the morning and apologize for losing his temper but explain that it's important that she stay in bed, go to sleep, listen to your parents, etc. Part of the conversation is as follows:

Chuck: Bug, you know how I was very grumpy with you last night? Well that wasn't very nice of me and I'm really sorry I got so grumpy.

Caroline: Aw, that's alright, Daddy.

He smiled at her. Then she did this cheesy grin, threw her arms up and yelled "FRIENDS!" and gave him a hug.

Monday, August 17, 2009

marketing works

Caroline: Mom! I need my white microphone.

Mama: What microphone?

C: The white one with batteries, you know?

M: No, I don't. We don't have one.

C: [exasperated teenage valley girl voice of doom with hand gestures] Yee-aaah, I know. I need to get one. That's what Target is for.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

gold stars for everyone

Caroline: Daddy, did you just come out of the bathroom?
Chuck: I did.
Caroline: Did you go pee-pee in the potty?
Chuck: Why, yes, I did.
Caroline [throwing herself around his leg in a hug]: I am SO proud of you!!!


Caroline: Mama, what are you doing?
Me: Well I am making an apple pie. That is the crust over there, see?
Caroline: Oh my goodness, Mama. It's so wonderful.
Me: Thank you!
Caroline: Did you do that all by yourself?!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

spit-shined and ready for company

I was getting her ready so that she wasn't too disheveled when some friends stopped by. She who asks 5000 questions per minute was curious as to why I was combing her hair.

I told her, "Because I want you to look nice."

"Yeah, good. I don't want to look like a muggaruffin!"

Monday, August 10, 2009

if the nose don't fit, you must acquit

Some promo for the Nancy Grace show came on the tv this morning.

"Who's that?" Caroline asked me, all suspicious-like.

"Her name is Nancy Grace."

She replied, "Oh, she is not like us."

Thinking "Thank God," I asked her what she meant by that. We don't rudely bark at people or have hairdos so questionable... there are a number of legitimate differences, and I was curious.

"Well, Mom, our nostrils are small."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

small treasures, big delights

Caroline was going through a folder full of paperwork from her sister's arrival. She discovered one of those 2 inch-ish paperclips.

"Oh my goodness, Mama! Where did you get this adorable tiny trombone?"

Friday, August 7, 2009

in a van down by the river

My 15 year old nephew Austin (aka Bubba to Caroline) is visiting. His adoring young cousin woke him up bright and early. He realized his jewelry had a kink in its links. Caroline badgered him with a million questions while he worked on it, as she is prone to do. When he explained that he was trying to fix it, she looked at him solemnly and patted him on the back, saying, "Atta boy." Pat pat. "Atta boy."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

he asked for it

Chuck has a little routine that he puts on with Caroline. It usually goes like so:

Daddy: Can I ask you a question?
Caroline: Sure.
Daddy: Why are you so cute?!
Caroline: Because I am!

One day he tried to mix it up.

Daddy: Can I ask you a question?
Caroline: Sure.
Daddy: Why am I so cute?!
Caroline: Because you're not!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

yet another failed stall tactic

Yesterday at naptime, she was once again trying to stall on the sleep thing. She kept getting out of bed and coming in to talk to me.

Her desperation grew with each attempt to stay free.

Finally she said, "WAIT! Wait. I need to ask you a question."

I asked, "What question?"

She said, "Umm... You're my mom, right?"

Sunday, August 2, 2009

tv killed the pacifist star

We were watching some cartoons and the dreaded commercials came on. There was one for some sort of "striker" toy that gets shot at people.

Caroline said, "I think I like that."

I said, "I don't know... it looks sort of violent."

Not missing a beat she retorted, "Yeah, violent and fun."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

the dog whisperer

Caroline and I were outside, where I was brushing our incredible shedding basselope (he's really a basset hound/German shepherd/doberman mix, don't ask). He hates this process and ran away from me and hid in the corner of the yard. Since I'm still recovering from a c-section and can't exactly chase or wrestle a 50 pound walrus with 6" legs, Caroline decided she would do the dirty work for me.

I called to him several times. She got tired of waiting.

"I'm going to go have a little talk with him," she said sternly.

She marched over with her little fists tight and crouched next to him and was talking to him in low tones I could not hear. It looked very serious.

She stood up and pointed at me. He did not move.

She threw her hands in the air. "This dog must not understand me. Or maybe he's just impossible!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

passing the buck

The imaginary friend du jour was named Marina. As I was tied up with something, Caroline went into the bathroom and unrolled the remainder of a roll of toilet paper.

I gasped when I discovered the floor awash in Cottonelle. I stupidly asked, "Why did you do this?!"

She answered, "Well, Marina just kept saying 'More! More! More!'"


While she was doing the cleanup of the aforementioned sea of toilet paper, she stopped and looked up at me. "Mom, I'm really sorry about Marina. She's my friend, and I'm really sorry about the mess she made. She makes bad choices, huh?"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

she gets it

Chuck and Caroline were walking to the playground. Chuck remembered that he needed to call his boss about something important and work-related, so he opened his cell phone and started dialing.

Caroline: Daddy, who are you calling?

Daddy: I have to talk to my boss about something.

Caroline: Oh, you are calling Mama?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

self aware

Today at Target on a diaper run, Caroline sat in the cart and struck up a conversation with the family behind us in line.

Caroline: What's your name?

Girl, aged 10ish: Carly. What's your name?

C: Caroline. Do you like my flower shoes? [stuck feet out]

Mom of girl: Oh yes, very cute. How old are you Caroline?

C: I just turned 3. My birthday is in June.

Mom of girl: You talk very well for your age!

C: I get a lot of practice.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

the young academic/car salesman

While fighting sleep during naptime, she was trying to negotiate her way out of having to lay down at all. Her dad was not budging, but eventually she said something that stumped him. He paused to think about how to respond, and she yelled out, "Come on Dad. I need answers!"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

my sister, the pit bull

Caroline welcomed baby sister Sylvie on July 17th.

We, of course, were nervous about introducing a new character in the precocious toddler sitcom that is our life. Would Caroline be jealous? Would she be angry? Would she tell us off? Or pack all her belongings in a handkerchief on the end of a stick and go hobo?

We apparently worried for nothing.

She thinks Sylvie is the greatest thing since sliced bread... with crusts removed. She exclaims multiple times each day, "I just can't believe she's borned!"

She serenades her with 50s pop tunes during diaper changes. She holds her and kisses her and tells her how cute she is. She also explains to her that one day her feet will grow big too. Helpful stuff like that.

But the best was this morning when our pediatrician was on rounds and came to meet and check out the baby. After the doctor approached Sylvie and unwrapped her swaddle, there was a newborn cry, and Caroline charged at the bassinet waving her arms and said, "Wait a minute, Doctor. That's my baby!"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

once more with feeling

I am a little sappy today since it's our last day with undivided attention for Miss Sassafrass.

I called her over and asked with a smile, "Can I have a hug from my girl?"

She giggled and scrunched up her shoulders and said, "Only if you cry first."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

inner sanctum

This one comes courtesy of Marmy, her grandmother, who is visiting the next two weeks as we welcome baby sister.

Caroline and Marmy were hanging out in the guest room and playing with toys. Chuck and I were also upstairs -- he was wandering around the hall and I was sitting up in bed. Marmy got up and attempted to leave the guest room for a moment.

Caroline jumped to her feet and slammed the door shut. She warned in a very ominous voice, "No Marmy, you don't want to go out there. Outside of this room is only for the crazy people."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

non sequitur no thank you

I heard her chanting this as she marched up the stairs behind Lucci, the cat:

"Lucci's privates don't stink at all! They don't smell like poop! They don't smell like pee! They are not stinky privates, no sirree!"

I started to ask how she knew that (or even why it was noteworthy), but I figured it was better that I didn't know.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

i plead the fifth

Caroline was playing in her room alone when I heard a scream.

I rushed in and found her curled up in the corner of her bed, surrounded by all her stuffed animals and dolls. They were all arranged to be looking at her, and she rested the back of her hand on her forehead.

"What's wrong?"

"Mama," she sighed, "you gotta save me from these kids!"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

future career counselor

Out of the blue question.

Caroline: Mama, are you curious?

Mama: I think I am pretty curious.

C: Are you playful?

M: Well, some of the time, but I am pretty lazy too.

C: Are you naughty sometimes?

M: Not really.

C: Ok then, you wouldn't be a good kitty after all.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

FAA clearance required

As she groggily entered the room, I asked her how her loooong nap was. "It really didn't go very well. [yawn] It was kind of a little boring." Noted!

She curled up next to me, and I was patting her hair.

"Moooo-oooom. Please stop that. I need some hairspace."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

sweet and sour

I was having a pretty stressful morning (but nothing related to the girl child). So after talking to a friend and breathing deep, I watched Caroline play sweetly and I smiled at her.

"Hi Mama!" She smiled at me.

"You are pretty awesome, kid."

"Aw thanks Mom. Thanks for the new battery in my dinosaur flashlight too. It is really roary now! That was great of you!"

I was touched by her good manners and thoughtfulness and gave her a hug.

She held my hand and smiled at me and said, "I'm really sorry."

"Really sorry about what, silly?"

"I'm just really sorry about that mess..."

"What mess?"

"I'm really sorry about that makeup mess I made."


"In your room, with the makeup. While you were talking."


"I'm really sorry."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Scoop is the new Harvey

She decided this morning, as we prepared for the first day of preschool's summer session, that she needed to unveil her first imaginary friend. His name is Scoop and he is a truck -- inspired by Bob the Builder's Scoop, I am sure. She needed a new bandaid, and Scoop needed one too [question: how does one apply a real bandaid to an invisible vehicle?]. I rushed her from the house to the car... can't forget Scoop! Oh no, she had to go back and get him. And on and on. Every rushed morning moment was complicated by Scoop's needs and my confusion about how to respond to this whole scenario.

As we walked from the car to the school building, she asked me "Hey Mom, is Scoop with us?"

I tossed a look over my shoulder. "Uh, I don't know, sweets. Is he here? I can't see him..."

With her patented raised eyebrows, tilted head, and voice of pity towards my feeble mind, she said, "Well, of course you can't see him. He's my imaginary friend, you know?"

Saturday, July 4, 2009

needs more cowbell

We found her harmonica today. She proceeded to compose and perform her own songs all afternoon.

I heard, "This one is called _____________" about 308 times. And the blank was filled with a number of titles including but not limited to:

• A Cute Girl with Cute Pants
• Rock and Roll YEAH
• I Like Lemurs and Ice Cream
• The Daddy's Gonna Like This Song
• No More Naps

At the conclusion of each song, she ran and slid on her knees in a very David Lee Roth way. We should fear her teen years.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

miss manners

Caroline has taken to hosting "sleepovers" for her stuffed animals, toys, and dolls during naptime. And her sleepovers are pretty much like sleepovers you remember -- squealing, talking, playing. Anything but sleeping.

Today I tucked her in for her nap at 12:30. I was hearing some chatter and giggling from her room an hour and a half later. I went up to be mean old enforcer mom.

Mama: What is going on up here? Are you having another sleepover?

Caroline: No, [lightbulb moment] this is a guest party.

Mama: Oh, a "guest party" this time? Well you and all your "guests" have to go. to. sleep. right. now.

Caroline: That's not how we treat guests, Mama.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

yeah, they might

Caroline [in bad British accent]: I will be Kippuh the dog today.

Mama: Well, we are about to go someplace, so I would prefer that you were Caroline.

C: So I can't be Kippuh?

M: I think it just would be better if you were yourself.

C: Yeah. Maybe I will be Kippuh some more when we get home.

M: That sounds like a good idea to me.

C: Yeah. I guess people would think I'm strange.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

being in orbit sounds pretty good today

Someone took a very short nap today. On a day when I am 9 months pregnant and exhausted and pukey. So this is a bad combination.

She wanted me to go upstairs and get her something. I told her she could go get it.

"I'm sorry, Mama. But I'm not brave enough."

Righto. I psyched her up, encouraged her to take a stuffed companion with her for support, and up she went.

Came down 5 minutes later, totally empty handed.

I asked where her loot was. "Oh, I forgot. Can you get it for me?"

No no dear child, I told her. You can go get it.

She sighed. "I will in a minute. I gotta prepare for liftoff."

mind. blown.

Caroline has never been one to be really into toys. She plays with her toys, but she plays with random stuff just as much, if not more. Our parental annoyance (we all have one, right?) is marketing aimed at children. So we don't really watch many commercials. And she's never been to a mega toy store. Until today.

I had to go get something from the Babies R Us section of our local Toys R Us. Usually I schedule these runs for preschool days, just for simplicity and speed; but she's on break until next week. So she came along. We had to go to the pet store first, and to keep her from trying to convince me to buy 300 bags of Pupperoni or a cat toy with rainbow ribbons that will never be played with, I kept telling her, "Now remember, if you can be a good helper here, we will go to the toy store." That kept her on track. And apparently got her a little wound up about just what this toy store would be like.

We arrived in the parking lot. "It's a blue building! Mama, the toy store is BLUE!"

We walked in the automatic doors. She froze in the middle of the entry aisle. Her eyes got huge. She looked at me as if making sure she was not dreaming.

Then. She yelled at the top of her lungs. "OH MY GOODNESS! THE TOY STORE IS GREAT!!!!"

Monday, June 29, 2009

um, it's "shoo"

We've had a few flies in the house this week, and child is growing weary of them.

She just stormed into the room and said, "Mama, there's another fly. You really need to just shoot it."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

time for summer school

In preparation for her little sister's arrival in a couple weeks, we did our big sister/big brother class at the hospital yesterday. She was the youngest there, by far, but also the most outspoken and most likely to volunteer (I guess the 5+ age group doesn't like being embarrassed). She passed the hands-on parts of the course with flying colors -- holding, feeding, burping, shaking rattles but not shaking babies... all A+++.

When it came time for a tour of the mother-baby unit and the nursery, the class teacher asked the kids what they thought they'd see.

She raised her hand, was called on, and answered, "Some babies. And maybe some puppies and kittens too!"

Friday, June 26, 2009

the little haggler

At Baby Gap, while I was checkin' out the clearance racks, Caroline found a ridiculously overpriced lion stuffed animal.

Caroline [to Gap lady]: Oh this is a very nice lion!

Gap Lady: Yes, it's cute, isn't it?

C: How much is it?

GL: Let me check the ticket... 22.50

C: I think it should cost ONE dollar. I want to buy it for one dollar.

Mama: Yes, wouldn't that be nice. But it's not one dollar, so we won't be buying it. How about you come here and help me pick out some pants.

C: I'll be there in one minute...

Mama [to Gap Lady]: I'm sorry...

GL: No it's no problem. Let me see if it's maybe on sale. [scans it with some handheld thing.] Nope, it's really 22.50.

M: See, Caroline, too expensive! We'll just have to visit it in the store sometimes, or maybe you could save up your money and buy it later.

C [to Gap Lady]: Excuse me, please. Do you have coupons?

Thursday, June 25, 2009


"Mermaids don't have parrots. Parrots don't live under water, so they can't be with mermaids. They live in sunny days in the air. And they are nakey. They do have feathers, but they don't have clothes. We don't have any parrots, even though I like to be nakey sometimes. But we wear clothes and have nooooo parrots. And we're not pirates either."

backseat confessional

We were making a half-hour drive to do a little specialty shopping. She was singing [the wrong lyrics] along with the radio, but stopped suddenly and asked me to turn down the music so she could talk.

Caroline: Mama, I have a question.

Mama: Okay...

C: Can I walk at Ikea? Not ride in the cart?

M: Sure, as long as you stay with me. Can you do that?

C: Yes. I can do that.

M: Then yep, you can walk.

C: Good, I want to be free so I can twirl.

M: Twirl? In the store?

C: Yes, but I will twirl with you. I think you need to have a little fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

snakes are jerks

She woke up during a nightmare about snakes. After he calmed her down, she asked her father,"Do you think you can cheer me up?"

Monday, June 22, 2009

lil linda richman

Today I was told, "Mom. Mom. I got some schmutz on my nose."

Auntie Kim will be so proud.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

sight numbers

She has started memorizing the sight of some words she sees often, like her friends' names, words in books we've read 5000 times, etc. But she surprised me when she was reading a box of Annie's mac and cheese ("100% real cheese") and said, "It says 'one hundred dollars'."

I was shocked that she knew the number 100, so I said "Close! It's one hundred percent, not dollars. But that is one hundred! How did you know that??"

She tossed her hand in the air, waving off my surprise, and walked away, "Oh Mama, I know all the regular things."

Friday, June 19, 2009

no genes of mine

Caroline: Mama, can you paint my nails with some nail polish?

Mama: Hmmmmm...

Caroline: I am ready for some bee-yoooo-tay. [wiggling fingers]

Mama: What?!

Caroline: Yes, you know. Beauty.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

maybe she's still under warranty

Caroline was being stubborn about doing something totally minor that I can't remember now. Something like picking up her toys or retrieving a water bottle from the floor. She stood cross-armed while I gradually went from a polite request to reminding her that it wasn't a choice and that she needed to do it.

She turned her back to me and said, "I can't. I mean it. I am not able to."

"You're not able to???"

She stomped and hollered, "My skeleton will not work, and I am just not able to!"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

his roots are evident

Caroline was playing with her toys, naming one Jen and one Chuck.

She was telling me all about Jen. Jen had a baby in her stomach and it hurt sometimes, and so on. Sounds familiar. She also told me that Jen was from a place called Cornula.

I asked about Chuck. Where was he from?

She answered, "Oh Chuck. Yeah, Chuck is definitely from Corny."

you are mistaken

During a preschool field trip to a local farm, a sheep accosted her with a "MEEEEEEEHHHHHH!"

She looked at it and said, "No sheep, that's not right. You say 'Baaaa'."

Monday, June 15, 2009

she sees right through me

I passed on my glow-in-the-dark genes. We are pale. We are very pale people.

I should have guessed what she meant when she approached me, very upset and sad, near tears.

"Mama, I have a green crack in my foot. I think I am broken! It's not good."

I asked her to show me. She lifted up her foot and pointed to a vein.

I laughed. She cried.

"I am broken and cracked forever."

I tried to soothe her. "Nooooo, those are just your veins. That is how blood moves through your body. Remember how we talked about veins?"

"But I really think this is a crack, Mama."

I showed her my arms, which look vaguely like Spiderman's, only the network of webs is on a white background instead of red. I had hoped this would convince her that veins are normal.

"Whoa, Mama. I think you are about to break into a thousand pieces."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

stall tactics

Things she yelled out from her room in an attempt to stay awake longer at bedtime:

"I think I need a popsicle!"
"I want different pajamas!"
"I spinned my water too much and it flew out of my bed!"
"[Stuffed animal] wants to sit up!"
"I really want a popsicle!"
"My feet are not covered enough!"
"My feet are covered too much!"
"I am not ready to stop having fun!"
"I already took a nap!"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

bursting with genius

She was blowing bubbles and trying to catch them on the wand. After she caught three at once, ignoring 48,201 failed attempts at the feat, she was positively proud.

Turning to me with head cocked, a sly smile, and an eyebrow raised, "I must say, I am very good at this."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

i suppose not

Looch the cat barfed on the rug. This was a very exciting event for one of the people in our home (hint: the shortest human).

Mama: Don't get too close when you look at it! And be careful not to step in it!

Caroline: Yeah we don't want to step on it. It would get all gross on our feet.

Mama: Very gross.

Caroline: Totally gross. [pause while inspecting] And I suppose we shouldn't eat it, either.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

a test, i hope

She was walking around the house, mumbling to herself.

Mama: Caroline, what are you saying?

Caroline: Don't worry about me. I'm just getting a snack. I'm getting myself a snack in the bathroom!

Mama: Um, in the bathroom?

Caroline: I was just looking.

Couple minutes later she strolled into the room carrying a bag of bread.

Mama: This wasn't in the bathroom, was it?

Caroline: No, it was in the kitchen. But at least I guess you were listening to me.

[ed note: "at least I guess" is her new favorite phrase -- pops up allll the time, even when it doesn't make sense.]

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

marketing fail

She caught that famous OxiClean commercial detailing the perils of using bleach instead of the color-safe wunderpowder. After they showed bleach splashed across denim, ruined with giant white spots, she was enthralled.

"Maybe that's an applesauce spill. But it's too white."
"Or maybe it's mashed potatoes."
"I can't really tell. Please rewind it, Mama."
"That's probably mashed potatoes."
"I really like mashed potatoes. Lots of people do."
"It's got to be mashed potatoes, not applesauce."
"Oh well, mashed potatoes aren't a big deal to clean up."
"Why is that guy jumping around? Why is he so loud?"
"Why is this guy so grumpy about spilled mashed potatoes?"

Saturday, June 6, 2009

a little sparse

Things have been a little infrequent over here lately. Between her birthday, related travels, and the recent loss of our brother-in-law to pancreatic cancer (and related travels), we've been a little too preoccupied to note all the -isms. Just wanted to explain the lack of posts. She's no less amusing (thankfully -- we need the levity), things are just busier and heavier 'round here lately.


We miss you, Uncle Mike!

[photo taken 2 years ago on her 1st birthday]

When I showed her that photo, she exclaimed, "That's my Uncle Mike with me! He's a real nice guy. Nice guys always hold bumblebee cups for little kids." Indeed they do.

Friday, June 5, 2009

breaking it gently

Caroline: What are you eating?

Marmy: A turkey sandwich with some cheese. Would you like a bite?

Caroline: Well, no. [solemn face with head tilted gently] I'm afraid I am not a fan of turkey. I'm sorry.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

heed, woman

It's never a good sign when your child walks from the dining room and says, "I was a little messy..." with a slight smile.

I sighed and went in to see the damage.

I was shocked to see yogurt smeared into the seat cushion and on her toys.

"Caroline!! This is a disaster!"

"What?! I told you!"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

the party hat fairy

Today, our sweet girl turns 3. She woke up this morning in a fabulous mood. From the next room, where I was just waking up myself, I heard:

"I LOVE being three!! Hey, where's my party hat?!"

She had assumed one magically ended up on her head on her birthday.

And for sentimentality's sake (and out of sheer laziness because I cannot narrow them down to post any here), I present you all with the Best of the Kazoo photo set.

Monday, June 1, 2009

peculiar quote of the evening

"Hold on. I have to put the monsterella cheese in my roller skate."

Sunday, May 31, 2009

new toys

We are in Indiana for a remote pre-birthday party. Caroline got some new toys. She seems to like them.

"That is so cute, I can barely stand it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


She was in the next room, and her toys were talking to her. I eavesdropped and listened to a series of surveys. One example question she asked each toy, "What is your favorite kind of trip?"

Caroline: What is your favorite kind of trip, Scootaloo?
Caroline as Scootaloo: My favorite trip is a Dog Adventure!
Caroline: OOOOOH! That's really a great one.

Caroline: What is your favorite kind of trip, Tasha?
Caroline as Tasha: My favorite trip is a shopping adventure. Like at Target where we got Dash and didn't buy a vacuum cleaner.
Caroline: Oh, I love that kind of adventure trip, too, Tasha!

Caroline: What is your favorite kind of trip, Austin?
Caroline as Austin: My favorite trip is... Let me think. Well, Caroline, it must be true that my favorite trip is a hot dog adventure.
Caroline: I'm not a fan of hot dogs, Austin. But that trip sure sounds tasty and great for you!

Also asked of each of her friends, "How many cookies can you eat?" and "Do you like to wear socks in the house?"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


While walking around the house "hmming" and looking for her pony:

"Mama, have you seen my pony Dash? It's a toy pony, not a real one. It kind of fits in your hand. And it has a mane and tail like ponies do. It's an animal, a pony. And it's shaped sort of like a pony..."

2 minutes later, growing more frustrated:

"It's not really shaped like a bird. She doesn't have a beak or feathers..."

5 minutes later, giving up:

"And this pony must be a magician that is shaped like a pony because she totally disappeared. And it is kind of awesome that she is a magician that is a pony."

Monday, May 25, 2009

pictures as words

A self-portrait at 2.975 years old:
self portrait
I am pink and happy.

A koala bear:
It has lots of hair, but Daddy doesn't have lots of hair.

A piece of toast:
my favorite.  "toast."
This is just toast. There is no cinnamon on it. And it's not a rock.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Caroline is obsessed with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Something about their shape and texture just begs to be touched. She calls them "sponges" or "dangerous sponges," and I have to remind her frequently that they are not ok to play with.

She carried a box downstairs a few moments ago.

Caroline: Hey, I found these dangerous sponges. Can I have one?

Mama: No, you know they are dangerous. They have chemicals.

C: Chemicals are sharp and dangerous. But I really want to play with one.

M: Something like that. Right here on the box, it says "Keep out of reach of children!" That means you cannot touch them.

C: But I'm not a children, so I can have a sponge.

M: I think you're a child.

C: Nope, I'm a grown up.

M: Oh you are? Do you drive a car?

C: [sighs, hangs head] No.

M: I didn't think so. And you don't have a job, either.

C: YES! I do have a job!

M: Oh really? What job is that?

C: I pick out sponges. Especially ones in that blue box.

Friday, May 22, 2009

a grab bag of random quotes

Since I have been a bit slackerly the last few days, I will just post an assortment of kazooisms that I have been witness to recently.

Regarding dropping one of her toys down the stairs:
"Wow. That is so, so.... sososo... totally... awesomely bad!"

Regarding a door that repeatedly blew open and made her "far too chilly":
"DOOR! Stop opening! Why are you such a sneaky door?! Maybe if you weren't so sneaky, you could have more door friends."

Regarding her inner Alice:
"I understand that I can't shrink, but sometimes I wish I was small enough for my dollhouse anyway."

Regarding aging:
"I eat two letter cookies now because I am two. When I am three in a few weeks, I will eat three cookies. Being three will be nice and fun."

Regarding duh:
"Mom! [gasp] Our heads can rotate on our necks."

Regarding double duh:
"I really like to talk to myself."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

morning routine

One side of the dialogue heard while enduring the terribleness that is known as getting dressed:

"No, I really don't want that."
"Alright, this dress, but no sweater."
"No sweater!!"
"I'll wear a sweater tomorrow!"
"Wow, I look like an imaginary princess!!!"
"Catch me, Mama! I'm a princesssssss!"
"Get the hair off my band-aid, please! Help! Princesses don't like hair on their band-aids!"
"No, no clippie."
"I don't want to pick a clippie."
"Just cut my hair off instead."
"Ok, but two clippies."
"I threw the clippies down the stairs because I was a little grumpy."
"I don't want to brush my teeth."
"I don't want to stop brushing my teeth."
"Yes, I look nice, but I'm NOT showing Daddy."
"I am going to cover my clippie with my hand because I don't want it and don't like it."
"Hold on, I have to spin in the mirror."
"Guys, I need the mirror in privacy. Spinning is private."

Monday, May 18, 2009

time out for mom

It was a very repetitive morning. She repeatedly kept fiddling with something, and that resulted in repeatedly coming to me and asking for my help in fixing it. Repeatedly. And did I mention that this was repeatedly? It was. And the caffeine hadn't even kicked in yet.

So on the 47th "Can you fix this..." I calmly told her, "Ok, I will help you with this once more. But since you keeping coming to me with the same problem over and over, next time, I can't help you. You'll have to try to figure it out on your own first."

She walked close to me and looked me in the eye. "Are you grumpy today? It's very important to be nice, Mama. Maybe you need to think about that for a little bit. I'll be over here. Let me know if you feel nice again."

Friday, May 15, 2009

her deepest, darkest confession

We were on our way to Target, and Caroline shared a secret with me.

Caroline: Could we maybe look at the Ponies at Target?

Mama: I think we could check 'em out.

C: The ones with sparkles are pretty cheesy.

M: They are a lot cheesy, I think.

C: I think I have to tell you.

M: Tell me what?

C: I think I really do like cheesy things, Mama.

M: I thought you might.

C: I just really love sparkles. I didn't mean to, but I do.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

spoken word

Quoted to me ("this is like a song but not with music"):

bubbles are great
many bubbles I blowed
and popped
so great
except some that got away

ENTs have seen nothing

"Mom. Mom. Mom. My nose feels kind of weird. It's not a boogie. It's slow and moving like an old man. I think there's a little turtle in there."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

spot the difference

I came down the stairs dressed in something other than yoga pants or pajamas (which is rare) and ready for a class I had to attend. My 2 year old greeted me with, "Well look at you, all fancy in your fancy skirt!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

conditional sense of justice

Caroline: That's bird poop on the car window.

Mama: It is. They are good at bombing cars.

C: It's very naughty to poop on a car!

M: Yes, I agree.

C: That is really, really a bad choice and naughty to poop on a car!

M: Yeah, especially if it's just been washed.

[pause of a moment or two]

C: Do birds poop on spiders?

M: Hm, I suppose it has happened, but it's probably unusual.

C: It wouldn't be naughty for a bird to poop on a spider since I don't like them one bit.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

a proper introduction

In line at the garden center with her father, who was making a large purchase of compost for a big Mother's Day yardwork extravaganza, she turned to the person behind her and said, "This is my dad. He has a LOT of work to do today!"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

breaking news

"Cats don't use escalators. They like the exercise."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

get used to it

I had a long doctor appointment today, so Chuck worked from home. The novelty of having all of us in the same place in the middle of the day was not lost on Caroline. We all sat on our bed, including the dog and the cats, and she giggled.

"We're all here." Then, "And we're all weird."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

9v donut power

Caroline: I would like a leeeeeeeettle tiny donut.

Mama: It's almost dinner time, so you'll have to wait until after you eat healthy foods.

C: But I really want a tiiiiny donut now.

M: Yeah, I know, but donuts are like candy. They are treats. You need to eat good food first.

[Caroline gives a skeptical look.]

M: You know, you need to eat fruits and vegetables and good stuff like that to get vitamins, minerals and protein.

C: Vitamins and proteins and minerals taste terrible! I don't like those!

M: How else will you get energy to play?

C: I know. I will eat a donut and use a battery for energies.

sugar heals

Explaining to her Marmy (grandma):

"I am not feeling very well. I have a little blister on my foot. But a donut would make it feel better..."

Friday, May 1, 2009

dual identity

My child, who sometimes looks at me like I am the stupidest creature to share her oxygen, introduced me to one of her classmates like this:

"This is my mom. She knows all about anything ever in the whole world. Really. ANYTHING! Just ask her!"

Thursday, April 30, 2009

add a pda to her birthday wishlist

It was late, and she was expressing a desire to go to the playground across the street. I explained that it was almost bath time and bed time and generally just too late, but I was sure to let her know that she could go to the playground the next evening with Daddy.

"Oh no. No nonono nononononononono," she said, while making dismissive hand gestures. "Tomorrow night I have plans."

Monday, April 27, 2009

motown awaits

Caroline approached me this morning holding two pieces of toy fruit. She asked that we sing songs about the fruit. She gave me the banana, and she held the apple. I asked her to start. She agreed and looked up for about 3 seconds while she composed the song in her head. Then she straightened her dress and began.

"Apples are reh-eeeeh-ed and they have stemmmmmms on top... And you peel 'em [clap] if you want to, and there are see-eeee-eeeeeeds insiiiiide! So sweet and so juiiiicy! [returns to normal voice] Now it's your turn, Mama. Sing about the banana like you mean it."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

bird expert

Caroline: It's very windy out.

Mama: It sure is.

C: Birds really love the wind, you know.

M: Oh? I didn't know that. Why do they love the wind?

C: It's the only time they can fly kites.

M: Little birdie kites?

C: Nooo. They're big regular kites.

M: Is it a little birdie string they hold?

C: No, it's a big string, like one people hold.

M: But they have such little feet...

C: Well I guess they just have to grow bigger feet. [shrug] Happens to all of us.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

reuben, now with fiberfill

After failing to engage the mighty basselope in a game of chase, Caroline decided to play it cool with Reuben. Playing it cool = annoying him until he couldn't take it anymore. So she gently placed her head on his back, while he sighed and made his trademarked "mrph" groan.

"Wow, this sure is a nice furry pillow. It is soooo soft and comfortable and furry! I cannot barely stand it! It's so soft! And it has a booty with a tail that wags on your face. I can just sit here all day instead of playing chase, Reub -- I mean pillow."

you tell me

I was in the middle of cooking dinner when she walked into the kitchen.

Caroline: Excuse me, Mama. I need to ask you a question.

Mama: Yes?

Caroline: Are you important?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

name snob

We were trying to name this little cat figurine her grandmother bought her while working with a native population in AZ.

Caroline: Mama, let's name this cat. He doesn't have a name.

Mama: Well he has these pointy patterns on him. What about Spikey?

C: Spikey?! [shakes head] That's too... cheesy. He's not cheesy at all. He doesn't have any sparkles or everything like that, Mom.

M: Well, ok. I'm not sure what makes Spikey "cheesy." But if you don't like it, we'll pass. What about Cinnamon?

C: [cracks up and shakes her head] That's a FOOD. This is a CAT we're talkin' about.

M: Yes, but he's sorta cinnamony in color...

C: [scrunched up nose] He's really kind of yellow, not brown.

M: Ok. So what about Butterscotch?

C: This is getting ridiculous.

[And for the record, the name she settled on is "MeowMeow" -- and I'm the ridiculous one.]

Sunday, April 19, 2009

taking stock of dad's emotional state

Chuck was rescreening our porch doors, and Caroline was eager to help. And by help, I mean running the little spline-tool-thing over the fresh, newly finished, taut screen... which resulted in Chuck falling over in panic.

Dad: Bug, please don't do that.

Caroline: Do this [demonstrates] with the tool?

Dad: YES! That! Don't do that. It could rip the screen.

Caroline: And that would make you have a thousand cries?

Friday, April 17, 2009

medical school begins today

I was howling in pain from a charley horse and grabbing at my foot and leg... while trying to keep it on the down low so Miss Child did not think I was dying. She would be very sad if the supplier of her snacks keeled over, you see.

Caroline: Mama! Mama! What's going on?

Mama: [grimacing] I have a leg cramp, honey. I'm ok, it just looks scary.

C: You have a CRAP in your leg?

M: No, honey [ow ow ow ow ow flex ow]... it's a craMp.

C: It's in your foot?

M: It's not really a thing in my foot... it's [ow ow ow] just the muscle.

C: [flexes] Like these pythons?

M: Yes, like your pythons. We have pythons all over our body, remember the muscles are under our skin?


M: [still howling and rocking] Yes, there are muscles even in our faces.

C: I don't want a crap in my face!

M: It's not a cramp in your face. When the cramp is in your foot, it is called a charley horse.

C: There's a horse in your foot?! That's amazin'!

M: [still suffering] No. It's just a cramp. I'm ok though.

C: Sometimes I have gas beans in my stomach...

M: Beans?

C: Yeah, when it hurts.

M: Do you mean pains?

C: Yeah pains, that's right. But at least it's not horses and craps.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

return to sender

The mail carrier made her delivery.

Caroline: Is there a package for me? A surprise for me? What is it?!

Mama: Nope, no packages today. Just one piece of boring mail for Daddy.

Caroline: [sigh] Why is it always something for my father?

Mama: Well, that's just the way it goes, I guess.

Caroline: Why does everybody think he's special? He's only special sometimes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

that was helpful

She was saying a word that sounded like luck, lock, and lack, but was not clearly one of them over the others. We'll spell it like "luoack," for sake of argument. She just kept chanting it and giggling, and we couldn't figure it out (pretty sure she was being silly and making up a word, anyway).

So, in an effort to clarify what she was saying, she was asked, "Can you use it in a sentence?"

She thought for half a second and offered up this sentence as a contextual example:

"Yes. I'm talking about the word 'luoack.'"

drama lessons from uncle ross

Caroline asked Ross to read her a book for the 100th time in a 30 minute period. Ross sighed and hung his head.

Caroline: Don't be afraid Uncle Ross!
Ross: I am not afraid. I am just weak.

She sat next to him and began sighing and hanging her head too. They did this repeatedly for a minute or two -- they'd look at one another, sigh, and then hang their heads, over and over and completely in unison.

She looked at him and said, "Yes. Apparently we are a-weak."

And then they danced to The Cure (really).

Monday, April 13, 2009

guests are fodder

We've had some guests the past couple days. Our old friend Ross and his wife Jenn came by to see us (and meet us, in the case of Jenn) en route to Toronto.

I was upstairs when Jenn arrived, so after a few minutes of talking to her, Caroline ran up the steps and excitedly informed me, "Mama! Mama! I got you a new girl!! She's downstairs!!"

Friday, April 10, 2009

jack lalanne, is that you?

Caroline came downstairs shoving her play broccoli into one of the old horns from the breast pump (one of her favorite toys, strangely enough). She was pressing hard on the broccoli and twisting it inside the horn.

I asked what she was doing.

"Oh, I'm just making salad lemonade!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

a simple request

"Do you think we could go see some elephants in China? I want to wear my pink shoes there."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

not-enough-nap blues

She was rudely awakened by a certain pooch. And she shared her stellar 'tude with me from the moment I greeted her.

Caroline: I need to be ALONE!
Mama: You don't say!
M: Come downstairs when you're ready to smile.
C: I don't want to be the smiling me!
M: Well come down when you're the half-hearted-attempt-to-smile you.

[moments later she joins me in the kitchen as I prep some baked pasta for dinner]

C: I'm not smiling. What are you doing?
M: I am smiling and I am cooking dinner!
C: I don't think I want pasta!
M: Well there's always dog food...
C: I don't think I want dog food either!
M: Reuben likes it, it's the good stuff with oatmeal.
C: Will it taste like cookies?

who needs television

I couldn't find the dog, so I asked her where he was. She went to find him and called out a play-by-play.

"I found him. Here he is. Right there on the rug. I had to move to see his face. He's licking his feet. He's licking them with his mouth and tongue. They're so very brown. And they're so very tasty. He thinks his feet are brown and tasty."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

those funny fungi

I was sending an email to my sister when Caroline asked what I was doing. I told her.

She replied, "Mama, can you tell Aunt Amy that sometimes mushrooms looks like noses?"

After looking at her (confused, where did this come from?), I typed and she dictated, "Some...times... mush...rooms... look... like noses! Did you get that?"

caregiver extraordinaire

I was having a very pukey morning (thanks to the one in my womb), and Caroline discovered me doing what she at first called "pooping out of [my] mouth."

I then laid on the bed and she walked up and started patting my arm.

"Aw, you're sick Mom. 'Cause of the baby."

I am.

"It's like when the cats puke, but you puke in the toilet."


"Poor Mama. That's so awful." Complete with an armrub.

Thank you.

"You'll be ok. Let's fix you up."

Aw, you are going to take care of me?

"No, I was going to go play. But maybe someone else will come here. Bye!"

Monday, April 6, 2009

caprese monster

We make caprese sandwiches often, so our girl has become as obsessed with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella as we have. She requested I buy some.

Caroline: Mama, when you go to the grocery store, can you get me some monsterella cheese?
Mama: Monsterella cheese?
C: Yeah, like with tomatoes.
M: Oh mozzarella! You sure like that huh.
C: Yeah, I love monsterella cheese, Mom.
M: Ok, I will get some just for you.
C: Great! Thank you. I just love it. It squishes when you bite it and it's so... tasty.
M: It sure is tasty--
C: And white and... monstery.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

empathy for those girls

We were watching the Michigan State vs UConn game, and the Spartans were pretty much out of reach with 20 seconds to go. The cameras cut to the dejected faces of the UConn cheerleaders, who couldn't muster even a smile or a half-hearted pompom shake.

Caroline instantly felt for them. "Those girls are sad. I think they miss their mommies."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

so friendly it hurts/complete strangers

Since it was lovely outside today, Caroline and I went to the playground across the street shortly before dinner. She walked up to a girl who was on the swings, being pushed by her mother.

Caroline: Hi there! [hand to chest] My name is Caroline. What is your name?
Girl: I am Natalie.
C: Nice to meet you, Natalie. What are you up to?
G: I'm swinging and my mom is pushing me.
C: That's great! How are you doing today?
G: I'm good.
C: Oh, good to hear that!

At this point, I suggested maybe she do some swinging too, since we were there for the purpose of playing more than producing an episode of a toddler talk show. She, of course, picked the swing right next to Natalie and they conversed. The girl's mother asked Caroline how old she was.

C: I'm two. Natalie, how old are you?
G: I'm four!
C: I'm not two. I meant I'm FIVE.
Mama: You're five?
C: Yeah, I grew a lot.

She and Natalie had a great time for about half an hour, before she had to go. Caroline and I continued to play, and then Chuck pulled up in our driveway. We waved him over to the playground.

C: Dadddyyyyyy! Would you like to play?
Dad: Yes, I would love to play!
C: Would you like to play with my friend Mama?
D: [laugh] Your friend Mama?
C: Yes, my friend Mama. She's right over there. [Points at me, standing 5 feet away. You know, since he'd have trouble picking out his wife of 4 years.]

another frightening diagnosis

My glasses broke, so I am going naked-faced until I can get in for some new ones. Caroline is amazed by the unshielded presence of my eyeballs.

Caroline: Mama, let me look in your eyes.
Mama: Oh, okay.

[staring here]

C: I think I see a problem with your eyes.
M: Oh?
C: Yeah, they look a little sick. Like they might have a stomach ache.
M: A stomach ache in my eyes.
C: Yes. I think they ate too much popcorn.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

nothing gets by her. nothing.

Caroline: Mama, what's a 'odor'?
Mama: 'Odor' is just another word for 'smell.'
C: So flowers have a odor.
M: Yes, flowers have an odor. A very pleasant odor.

[4 hours and a nap pass before I get the following totally random newsflash]

C: Hey Mom, every dog takes a poop.
M: Yes, this is true.

[25 minutes pass and I get the following secondary totally random newsflash]

C: Hey Mom, every dog poop has a odor.
M: Well, that's for sure.
C: It is not a pleasant odor.

that's pretty unconditional

We have been playing "I love you more" lately - you know, where you try to top the other person's declarations of affection, even when you give yourself a toothache in the sickening process.

This explains why she just walked up to me and said randomly, "I really love you Mom. I love you forever and backwards too!"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

consumering at target

As we approached the Easter candy section, she spied some green bunny Peeps that I'd previously described to her as disgusting.

"Oh Mama, can I please have some of those grody green bunnies?"

I said no.

"Come on Mom. [pleading hand motion here] They're really really gross! Can I have just one grody green bunny with sugar on it?"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

as a matter of fact...

This is long. I apologize, but it's a harried and complex back-story that is necessary.

We had a pretty crazy weekend with a 4.5 hour drive each way to visit family for less than 24 hours of actual visit time -- Great Grandma only turns 91 once, so it was worth it. We got back, underslept and overtired, just in time for Chuck to make his hockey game and for me to finish some work that needed to be done by end of day.

We walked in the house, and the dog uncharacteristically bolted up the stairs. Caroline followed.

"Caroline, what's Reuben doing up there?"

"Oh he's just chasin' the bird."

The bird? What bird?!

We have a very old house, so we usually get one annual visit from a bird and one annual visit from a chipmunk. No idea how either gets in, but it happens.

After the bird had been isolated in one room and escorted out the window courtesy of a broom, we got to work cleaning up the droppings and blood spatter (from repeatedly flying into every window in our house, apparently -- no idea how long it had been in the house with only the cats, though thankfully not long enough to become lunch for them and feathery remnants for us to clean up).

So, we were frazzled after this. Chuck left for hockey while I scrambled to finish up what I needed to do on my laptop. I was wrangling with stupid code for a while when Caroline began repeatedly asking for her toy cats' glasses (which I'd just put away to avoid losing them). Repeatedly.

I did a good job of remaining calm while explaining that I needed to finish my work, and reassured her that I would help her in a few minutes. I really did do a good job of this... the first 34 times she asked. Finally I said, "Caroline! Didn't I just tell you I would help you in a few minutes?"

She shook her head and said very earnestly, "Mama, you need to use your soft voice."

She is 100% serious when she does this, and it's not sassy at all, so it made me laugh. So I used my soft voice to remind her that I would help her in a while. She said "Okay!" and played alone for a bit.

3 minutes later, she made the same request for the cats' glasses.

I groaned and said "I am really needing to finish this! The more you ask me, the longer it will take! So just hold on a few minutes and then this crazy time will be over and I can help you!" Lots of !!!! all around.

She looked at me and asked, "Is that what 'nerbous breakdown' means?"

Friday, March 27, 2009

more accurate than dr. fox

We were playing with her doctor bag. She checked my reflexes, heartbeat, temperature, ears and eyes. She said, "I think I see a problem, Mama."

I gasped in horror, and she comforted me by saying, "Let's check your blood pressure first."

She pumped the cuff. "Hmm," she said. "I'm sorry but there is a problem."

I asked what was wrong.

"You see this number?" she asked as she pointed to the sphygmomanometer*.

Yes, but what is wrong?

"It means you need a snack. It's kind of serious."

*I looked that up.


We've all been battling a series of sinus infections and colds around here.

I picked up a tissue.

Caroline asked if I had to blow my nose. I said that indeed I did, and then completed the act.

"Can I see the mucus, Mama?"

Excuse me?

"Can I look at the tissue?"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

poop humor #12094

Chuck's mother is visiting for a week, and she was sparing my gag reflex when she offered to change Caroline's stinktastic diaper.

Nana: Whoa! That's a big one! Good job!

Caroline: It was my pleasure, Nana.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

abc cake is better than no cake

Caroline shares my obsession with cake. Tonight she and I made a pound cake of sorts, and she was enjoying her small slice after waiting over an hour for it to cook, and then even longer to cool. She showed great patience.

She was very happily eating it, when her father bent over and took a little bit and said "Can I have a taste?" as he popped it in his mouth.

She was shocked. Then irate.

As he chewed and "mmm!"ed, she barked, " YOU SPIT THAT ON MY PLATE RIGHT NOW!"

Friday, March 20, 2009

stalker in training

When we were in the waiting room at the doctors' on Tuesday, an older girl of about 8 or 9 years walked in and sat down with her younger sister. Caroline made a beeline for the older girl and sat so close to her that the girl made a "what is wrong with you??" face.

I smiled at the girl and explained that Caroline really likes older kids and thinks they're very cool.

She still looked uncomfortable, so I called Caroline over and said, "You need to give her some space, ok?" She nodded and tried to subtly walk back over.

She sat on the floor, directly in front of the girl. She was about 10 inches away from her. And she looked up in awe at the girl, who was coloring and cutting out pictures in a little craft book (and pretending the little 2 year old gnat did not exist).

I said, "Caroline..."

"What?! I just want to look at her!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

a lesson in parrots

We were sitting in the waiting room of the doctors' office today, and she began talking to anyone who would listen.

"Dr. Smith is going to make me feel better. We are NOT going to see Dr. Fox. My mom isn't a fan. Any of the other doctors here is ok, but not Dr. Fox."

Monday, March 16, 2009

on the mend

She was laying on the floor when she had a little coughing spell. Then she sighed.

"I give up."

"What do you mean, 'you give up'? What do you give up?"

"I just give up, Mom."

Friday, March 13, 2009

small girl with a man cold

Caroline has her first low grade fever and a bit of a cough.

She was a little congested and had a coughing spell, so I figured I'd give her a spoonful of honey. I told her, "This will help your cough and taste sweet, lucky!" She took it gladly. 2 minutes later, she coughed again. Then she got mad. "HONEY DOESN'T WORK!!!!"

Later, she was laying on the cough saying how warm she was, then she coughed a little more. In a hoarse voice, she desperately exclaimed, "Mama, I have no words! I have no words!!" When I pointed out that she was indeed able to speak, she said, "Oh. Well. Can I just have a drink? I don't need questions."