Monday, May 31, 2010


The other night, Caroline was schmoozing me. "Oh I love you, Mama!" out of nowhere. I was suspicious, especially since she'd been pretty ornery the whole day.

"What are you up to?" I asked.

"Whaaatttttt?" She was shocked.

"I think you're up to something!"

"No!" She got offended. "I am not doing anything bad..."

I started to feel guilty and wrapped my arm around her.

Then she finished her sentence, " Maybe later."

Saturday, May 29, 2010


We were presented with a pail full of sand from the sandbox.

"Would you like to try some?" she asked.

But what is it?

"Oh, it's something I call Quinoa Papaya Feast."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


We recently accepted our fate and bought a used minivan that came with an entertainment package. We instituted a rule that the DVD player can only be used for car rides of the road trip variety (meaning hours long at a minimum). She's only had 2 movie rides in a few months, just to explain the rarity of this treat.

I've been trying hard to find a bike trailer that can accommodate her height (she's off-the-charts tall), and I finally found one. I was showing her photos of it and explaining how she and Sylvie will ride behind me in the trailer and how it kind of looks like a rocket, etc. She was very excited by the description and pictures, but stopped suddenly and asked...

"And where is the movie screen?"

Monday, May 24, 2010

existential tin foil

We were watching tv together. Caroline turned to me and cleared her throat.

Caroline: We're real, right?

Mama: Oh definitely. We're real.

Caroline: We aren't drawings or characters, right?

Mama: Right.

Caroline: We're real and we think our own things. And we live a real life, right?

Mama: Yes, I promise you that you are real and alive.

Caroline: And no one controls our thoughts.

Mama: No one.

Caroline: [suspiciously] No one that you know, anyway.

Friday, May 21, 2010


It was supposed to be a nice day today. So when it started raining, I sighed and sang, "Rain, rain, go away..."

Caroline gave me her patented look of pity, "Mama, you don't really think that's going to work, do you?"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

next suggestion: registry at toys r us

Caroline: I love you, Mommy.

Mama: I love you, too.

Caroline: I really think Daddy should wed you.

Mama: Uh, you mean you think he should marry me?

Caroline: Yeah, like have a wedding.

Mama: We did that already. Over 5 years ago.

Caroline: Well, maybe you should get married again. I need a reason to party.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

non-lissajous curve

"Look, Mom. I am walking in a shape. I just made a figure eight. Now I'm making a figure nine. And now a figure ten. Did you see that? It's pretty great, huh? Ok, watch this special one... it's... a... figure puppy!"

Monday, May 17, 2010

me neither, kid.

I was upstairs changing her baby sister, when Caroline came running up the stairs crying. I asked what was wrong, expecting an injury or something scary.

"M-m-m-ma-mama, I don't ever want to be a grownup."

sports talk live

We drove by a field full of busy youth athletic leagues.

Caroline: Ooooh, what are they playing?

Mama: That's football. Flag football.

Caroline: Football, with flags??!! I think I'd like to play that!

Mama: Well, I think you have to be 5 to play. But if you're still interested in a couple years, sure, you can play. It's mostly boys, but there are some girls, too!

Caroline: That sounds like fun. And I can play tennis too.

Mama: We'd need to get you into pee wee tennis at the community center before you could play in any sort of league.

Caroline: I already know how to play tennis, Mama.

Mama: Really? I didn't know that. What are the rules?

Caroline: Oh sure! I definitely know how to play. You just, like, get one of those puppy balls. You know, the ones that are a little yellow and a little green and kind of fuzzy and have a white stripe? You get a dog ball like that, and, well, you just hit it. With one of those netty bats. I'm a pro, actually.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

like that sheriff in arizona

Caroline entered the room with her chin in the air, fists on her hips and making great strides. She was wearing a rainbow shirt with pink striped leggings under pink running shorts.


Mama: You are.

Caroline: I AM PINK GIRL! I have the power to spray pink, and this is my Super Poodle who has the power to clean up messes!

Mama: But what happens when you spray pink?

Caroline: Uh, it makes everything pink. You know. Covers things in pink.

Mama: But how does that help catch bad guys?

Caroline: It doesn't catch bad guys, but it makes them all pink. And how can you want to do bad things if you are covered in the most real, beautiful color there is?

not adding this one to the list

"I think I know what I want for my birthday. A trombone."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

on the supreme court of motherhood

Caroline has been making me "Happy Mother's Day" cards all day. I love the phonetic spelling of "Mamy" and all the singing animals and swirls she has drawn. But there is one card that is better than the rest.

"Here, Mom. This one is a special one. I want you to treasure it."

I told her I would, so she gave it to me.

"It's a cat that shaved itself, you see?"

I tried not to giggle and thanked her and promised that I will treasure it always.

"It was made with care and love, you know."

I know. Oh, how I know.

She took both my hands in hers and held them flat. And then she started pumping them like a huddled sports team, chanting "Care and love and care and love..." I was totally taken aback by this but played along, all the way through to the spirit-fingers at the end. "...and care and love and care and love and JUSTICE!"

Friday, May 7, 2010

grooming empathy

Our dog Reuben is a hairy beast. He is a basset hound mix, and part of that mix is some sort of giant cotton plant, or maybe just a German Shepherd. Quarterly, giant black puffballs of downy fuzz start appearing on our rugs, furniture, floor... and faces. He sheds this undercoat like nothing I've ever seen before. It is that time of the year. So we must do something he hates: brush him. A lot.

I took the Furminator and the slicker brush to him this morning while Chuck held him by the collar. Caroline "helped" -- mostly by spilling the grocery bag full of hair all over the floor. As I brushed, Reuben groaned and "mrph"ed like basset hounds are prone to do. It's akin to how I imagine a duet featuring a walrus and Chewbacca. Pleasant.

I was almost done brushing the unhappy Reub, and he groaned loudly and tried to run away. Caroline patted him on the head, and said, "I know. I know, boy. She does it to me every morning."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

miss congeniality

I was making dinner, and we were talking about her day at school.

"Maeve and Katie and I were playing like we were witches."

I was a little surprised because she's never mentioned witches before. So I asked, "Witches?"

"Yeah, we ran around and turned all the other kids into stinky cheese."

already smarter than the average husband

A commercial for the George Foreman Grill was on television. It told us, straight up, how we should gift our mothers with a fantastic George Foreman Grill for Mother's Day.

Caroline clucked.

"Whhaaat?" She was getting more annoyed by the second. "That is supposed to be a present? That is for cooking. That is not a present, it's a responsibility."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

growing up in a different era

"This is a beautiful flower. I drew it just for you, Mama."

"And this is where you get information about the flower."

[".com" if you can't read it]

Monday, May 3, 2010


"I need to make a video now because Nesty [toy dog] needs me, and you won't even get your camera. You're letting Nesty down. You're the most terrible mother ever. Oh wait, I need a cookie first. Then you'll be the most terrible mother. After that."