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."