Saturday, January 31, 2009

mickey with a side maple of syrup

My parental pet peeve is the Disney Empire and their all-too-effective marketing to infants and toddlers. I refuse to turn on the Disney Channel or animated Disney movies in this house (I know, I'm a hardbutt about it), yet my child has learned who Mickey Mouse is, and she can identify the cabal of perky heroines as "Dizz-me Princesses". Granted, she thinks each one is named Dizz-me _____ (where the blank is filled by the color of her dress), so I haven't totally lost her to the Dark Side. But how this happens, I do not know. We were living near Burbank at the time of her conception and early development. Maybe there is something in the water there.

Anyway, today she was talking about Mickey Mouse. I took the opportunity to try to persuade her that he is no friend of ours.

Mama: I think Mickey is yucky.
Caroline: [laughing at my ridiculousness] No, Mickey Mouse is good.
M: How do you even know that?
C: He's just good, Mama!
M: No he's yucky. You believe me about Spongebob being yucky, why not about Mickey?
C: He was on my diapers.
M: Exactly! I think he smells like poop.
C: Noooooo, he doesn't smell like poop!
M: I think he does.
C:[dreamily] I think he smells like... breakfast!

Friday, January 30, 2009

permission requested

She has asked to do the following, all before the hour of 8:

• Can I wiggle my booty?
• Can I go swimming?
• Can I jump on Patty?
• Can I have some cake?
• Can I be a little crazy?
• Can I go on a treasure hunt?
• Can I put the chopstick in your eye?
• Can I put the chopstick in your ear?
• Can I put the chopstick in your mouth?
• Can I put the chopstick in your nose?
• Can I put the chopstick in your computer?
• Can I make some soup?

And most importantly:

• Can I go to school now?


Thursday, January 29, 2009

a special present for daddy

Today Chuck is 43. We have been working on some birthday surprises for him while he's at work.

She asked for some "sticky tape" for something she was working on for him. It turns out she was taping a white hair bow to the head of her stuffed animal dachshund (which she has named Weenie, after the dog from Oswald).

With great pride, she walked up and presented the gift. "And here is Daddy's big weenie!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

like a rooster wearing a beret

It was only 5 a.m. when the blissful silence of slumber was pierced by a high-pitched demand.

"DADDY! Can we go downstairs?! I need to go make art!"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

sticking to her story

[Note: I know this is a story and not the usual brief conversation. I apologize, but this needed documenting so I won't forget about it in 10 years, or more realistically, in 10 minutes. P.S. Welcome all PW readers!]

Caroline has been going to "toddler preschool" for almost 6 months now, and she has never once had a negative report at the end of the morning. Until yesterday. Apparently, she told her teacher Renee "NO!" a few times in the morning. This defiance is very unlike her, though she is stubborn through and through, and I was surprised to hear a bad report from the teacher at pickup.

As we walked to the car, I told her that I heard she had a bad day today and made some bad choices. She stopped and looked at me and said, very seriously, "Renee was very grumpy today!!" I tried not to crack a smile at this version of events, and we had a talk about how to treat others, especially grownups who are trying to help us.

Later that night, we had another discussion about it with her dad. Again, her story was, "Renee was sooooo grumpy!!" I explained that sometimes grownups seem grumpy when they really aren't, and that it's important to speak kindly to people even when they are being grumpy. She did not like this idea and frowned and slumped down and stared at her dinner.

This morning at preschool dropoff, I talked to her teachers and shared her side of the story, which we all thought was funny. Renee thought it was hilarious and told me that yesterday, while Caroline was sequestered off to the back of the room after refusing to try to put on her slippers, the rest of the class had circle time and sang songs in another part of the room. Caroline had no idea that Renee could see her, but she could. And Caroline was crouching in front of the mirror making extremely sour, furrow-browed faces and practicing a monster 'tude in the mirror. "Renee, you are so grumpy. You are so very grumpy. I am mad that you are grumpy! Don't be grumpy to me!!" Renee observed all this while, she says, trying to keep from peeing her pants.

I thought this additional detail was awesome and so perfectly 2 years old. When I left, I called Chuck and we both laughed.

When I picked her up from preschool today, Renee sent her to get her coat on and winked and asked her, "Caroline, was I too grumpy today?"

She stopped and turned around. "I'm sorry Renee."

We awwed, and Renee started to accept her apology.

Then Caroline continued very earnestly, "I'm sorry you were so grumpy yesterday."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

big plans

She was playing dominos (her version anyway), and I asked her what we should do for Valentine's Day. I was thinking, like, "bake cookies" or "make cards for my friends."

Her reply?

"Well..." as though she was breaking it to me easy, "I was gonna go to a ballerina dance. Put my toes in some pink slippers. They'd probably match my feet. And they'd match my skirt. That would be a good Valentine's Day."

So you don't want to make cookies?

"Well, ok. If they were round and had some colors."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

thanks for clarifying

We were pretending to be selfish with her, picking her up and passing her back and forth and saying "She's mine!" "No! She's mine!!" "No, I want her, she's mine!" "Mine mine mine!"

After about three rounds of this, she said mid-pass, "Guys. I'm not a box."

Friday, January 23, 2009

i m smartr than dad, part ii

Chuck changed her pull-up before preschool, and I changed it when we got home, before nap. I took her pants off and instead of the normal greeting of a trio of Disney princesses, I got the backside of the diaper. He'd put it on backwards (this is a running theme... 2.5 years after her birth, he still gets diapers and some clothes backwards).

I sighed and said, "What in the world..."

She nodded with the simple answer, "Daddy."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

jumpers code

Mid-way through dressing this morning, she was giddily jumping on the bed, leaping, laughing, and watching herself in the mirror. She shrieked and stopped.

"Mama, I got a problem."

What is the problem?

"Where are my pants?!"

Um, you never put them on.

"I'm serious!"

Ok, I'll go get them for you.

" I need pants to jump! There are rules!"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

say hi to your mother for me

Yesterday at preschool, she did her usual politician-esque greeting of every parent we passed on the way in. Most people just smile and say hi and keep walking. But she got a real, live response yesterday and she ran with it.

Caroline: Good morning, sir!
Sir: Hi there!
Caroline: Nice t'see you!
Sir: And you too!
Caroline: Say happy holiday to your family!

Monday, January 19, 2009

endless possibilities

Caroline [dragging her wagon and speaking through a horn like a public safety expert]: Attention Mama! This is Caroline. I am going on a trip!

Mama: Oh? Where are you going?

C: I am gettin' in a taxi and going to the airport.

M: Ooooh, and where will you go on the airplane?

C: Um, Hawaii.

M: Oh nice! What will you do there?

C: I think I'll get some brand new overalls.

life's lessons

Mama: Is there a reason you sat down RIGHT THERE? You're kinda close.

Caroline: This is where I want to sit and draw.

M: But you are kinda right in my breakfast.

C: I want some personal space.

M: You mean you want my personal space.

C: Well, we're a family mama. We share!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

finding a work-around

After talking to her about not using the word "stupid," she was walking down the stairs when approached by Patty, who began to nip at her knees.

She groaned and began bellowing, "YOU. ARE. NOT. A. SMART. DOG."

Friday, January 16, 2009

please don't be true

Mama: Wow, kiddo. You sure ate a lot of dinner! Where'd you put it all?

Caroline: Well I put a little mashed potatoes in my pocket...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

knowing her own limitations

While coloring.

"I am coloring the eyes. And I'm coloring the whiskers. But I am no superhero!"

behold, versatility

"I am King Caroline. I have a jewel. It is for you. Wait, I am King Caroline and I will take away this jewel. You won't touch anything. Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Well, I told her, you don't seem like a very nice king.

"Oh. what I mean to say is, 'Here you go, miss!'"

I thanked her as she gave me the jewel (a plastic egg).

"I take it away! Ha ha ha!"

I told her that it was too bad that she makes such bad choices, since this miss was going to make a nice king a yogurt smoothie. But no nice kings here.

"Well, I will change!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

very serious

She ran up to me in a hurry and looked very serious.

"Mama, I need t'ask you a question."

"Ok..." I was worried.

"Can I make pancakes?"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

about those seasons

Caroline was telling me about the weather this morning.

"It's pretty Winter out there. It's snowing a lot. That means it's Winter." Then she gasped. "Oh my goodness, I see Spring! It's time for it to start springing! I see springing! Now can I get roller skates?"

Monday, January 12, 2009

lunch order

She was asked what she wanted for lunch after preschool. First she said she was too shy to eat, she just wanted "some space" alone on the stairs. Eventually, she made a request for lunch.

"I am pretty hungry. I would like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, some blueberries, and a mustache."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

satisfactory snack

I put a bowl of apple slices in front of her. She looked at them, picked up one slice and threw her head back and winced. Then she thrust her apple-holding-fist in the air and growled (yes, growled), "Aaaahhhh, apples. That's the stuff!"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


We were having one of those conversations when I explained to Caroline what I love most about her. I went down the list and got to her kindness. "I love that you are so nice to everyone. It is so nice to see you make friends. I love that you say 'hello!' to everyone you meet and make people smile. I love that you are so friendly and sweet." She said, "Well, I am a very friendly girl, mama." It is true, she is. I said, "It's true, you are a very friendly girl. And it makes me very happy that you are sooooo very nice to everyone."

She smiled and went to play, when she was approached by Patty the Peabrained Puppy.

And Caroline greeted her with, "Get out of here, you stupid dog."*

*I am not sure if this is proof that Patty is so irritating that even a child who greets surly cart gatherers at Target with a "Well, hello there, Sir!" and a smile, well she can't even fake kindness to her; or if it's proof that Chuck and I should really be nicer to Patty. I'm going with the former, as evidenced by a mountain of toddler toys that are missing feet or wheels courtesy of terrier teeth.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Caroline's Nana and Papa sent her a much loved Tonka garbage truck for Christmas. The only down side to this garbage truck is that Tonka did some kinda pathetic product design and the garbage man that came with the truck doesn't actually fit inside the cab -- the cab that has doors that open and torture 2.5 year olds who seek order and a nice resting spot for said garbage man.

Every day, she begs me to get "The Man" to sit in the truck. I explain that we can fit him in there laying down across both seats if we hang his feet out the window. But she insists that he must sit and drive the truck. I tell her repeatedly that this is impossible.

"You just have to keep trying, Mama."

So I put forth a very convincing attempt with loud grunts of difficulty and shrug and say, "He just doesn't fit, Caroline."

"Mama. You just have to try again."

Repeat 37 times. Today was no exception. I attempted to persuade her to just let him ride on the outside.

"No, mama." She slammed her fist on the table. "You can do it!! If you don't try, you will never win."

Move over Tony Robbins.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

science demonstration

Caroline was holding the Nintendo DS (Chuck's, not hers -- she doesn't get one until everyone else in her friend group has had one for 5 years already). She was explaining how it operates, very earnestly and with the most serious face with lots of blinking. And she talked very slowly to make sure dumb old mom would get it.

"It has power and a batteries. Mostly it has energies... but some batteries too. And that makes it have power and pictures on the screens. From the energy or energies."

2.5 years old and already certain that she knows more than us.

Friday, January 2, 2009

the saga of gummi bear vitamins

Chuck had given her the daily dose of 2 gummi vitamins and 2 gummi echinacea and extra C . She carried them to the landing, and we went about our normal business. But we could overhear the drama unfolding between Caroline and the bears. A few parts we could hear:

Caroline: [wickedly] I got you little gummi bears!
Caroline as Gummi Bears: [scream of horror]

[there was an intense whispered dialog that we could not hear and a couple may have been gobbled, then...]

C: Sorry little gummi bears, but I got to eat you.
GB1: No, don't eat me!
C: I'm sorry little gummi bears, but I have to put you in my mouth.
GB2: I'm feeling a little wobbly. Hold my hand.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

performance art

Chuck was folding clothes in the living room. Caroline jumped on the coffee table, got extremely flat, and pulled her straight legs to her chest, then wrapped her arms tightly around her legs.

"Mama. Mama. I'm a laundry. I folded myself up like a laundry."