Tuesday, August 31, 2010

i assure you the ending is different

She has a new habit of changing her clothes 406 times per day, and she usually leaves little piles of dresses and leggings all over the house as she goes.

I reminded her that she needed to gather up her clothes and put away the ones that were still clean and toss the dirty ones in the hamper.

"All by myself?!"


She shot me a look. "You know, this is a lot like Cinderella."

Monday, August 30, 2010

yes, i do

Caroline is out of preschool until the new year starts right after Labor Day. She is bored, and when she is bored, there are lots of wardrobe changes and impromptu plays... and messes. So I am struggling to keep her occupied.

I told her that in a few minutes, I would have her dust the living room.

She cheered and squealed. Excitement over dusting?

I gave her a bewildered look.

She smiled and said, "What? You think it's unnatural?"

true to herself

Some people were over working at our house, and Caroline was up to her normal Caroline-ness as I was trying to usher her out the door (this is impossible if there are people around because she must learn everything about them and tell them everything about her). They came to stand around her while she chatted or did something or other that was funny, and they were cracking up. I shooed her out the door, finally, and one of the women asked, "Is she always like this?" And I said, "Oh yes." And she said, "I bet they love her at school. Or is she the opposite there?" I confirmed that she is always like this, even at school (bless her teacher's exhausted heart). She doesn't amp it up for strangers or put on a show for attention, she is just genuinely, completely gregarious and perhaps a bit naturally over-the-top.

Standing on the porch and looking in, Caroline tapped her chest lightly and said in total earnestness, "What, I gotta be me."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

she doesn't read people magazine, i swear

"This is my pet cat. Her name is Hot Couple."

"WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING? That's not very nice."

Friday, August 27, 2010

i think i've seen a video on youtube

We've had a year full of death in our family. My brother-in-law (pancreatic cancer), my father (COPD/emphysema), and my grandmother (breast cancer) all passed away in the past 14 months. This has led to lots of discussion on illnesses and the finality that comes with life. My dad's sickness has been the one most challenging to explain since it was rooted in the lungs, and Caroline has asthma; so I had to work really hard at explaining that there are different degrees of sickness in the lungs and that her mild asthma is nothing like emphysema, and no, it won't kill her. We had to talk about cigarettes (which she previously had determined were sticks that people chew on) and look at diagrams of the lungs and all sorts of other fun stuff. But she finally got it as well as a 3 or 4 year old could.

Well this last week, the dark cloud of doom descended again. Our neighbor's bichon frise (dog) Charlie passed away. His owner approached Chuck and told him the bad news with tears in his eyes. He was so worried about how Caroline would take it, for she and Charlie had real connection. She really, really loved Charlie. The owner would bring him over for playtime, and Caroline would walk him around the yard on his leash. She talked about Charlie all the time, watched for him to go by on his daily walks, and wished he was her dog.

I dreaded breaking the news about yet another passing. and even moreso because all of our pets are positively geriatric and I didn't want her to realize that their deaths are not far-off. So I did what mothers do, and I put it off until I could no longer bear the tension or fear that she'd run up to the neighbor and ask where Charlie was. So I told her.

After I broke the news and we chatted a bit, she asked, "Mama?"

"Yes, honey?"

"Why did Charlie die?"

I explained, "He was very old. I didn't know he was so old, since he was so playful. I guess he just got sick and couldn't get better."

She paused a moment and looked up and earnestly asked, "Did he smoke too many little tiny doggie cigarettes?"

i hear it's very tropical there

"Welcome to the flight! I am your flight attendant, and I will have drink service for you soon. Please take your seats and fasten your seatbelts. Our destination today will be the Coney Islands."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

creative vocabulary

"Mama, you begainst my heart."


"This is really frustrating. I'm so -- it's just... exenterpating!"


"I'm starving. Like, I am almost maste-away."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

a song

I watched Caroline spin and sing this soulful slow number (sung to a romantic tune, really) today:

When I lay in my bed at night
The spiders come out to fright-
EN meeeeeeeee
They crawl and they creep
While I am sleeeeeping, I mean asleep
But when I wake up
I see cute things everywhere
Puppies, so many puppies
and my face in the mirror
And I am not scared anymooooooore

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Caroline ran downstairs in a panic.

Caroline: Mama, you have to call 911!

Mama: What? Why?

Caroline: I can't find my purple hat. I think it was stolen.


Mama: Daddy got his teeth cleaned today at the dentist.

Caroline: Did the dentist use some birds to pick out all the gross stuff?

Mama: Birds?!

Caroline: Yeah, you know, like crocodiles.


After the preschool play, we gave her a small bouquet of gerbera daisies.

First comment (to us): "Awwww, flowers. But is there a toy?"

Second comment (to her friend Katie): "See my flowers? You get them after every great performance."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

like the new math

A tornado warning for a nearby county came on the tv. Caroline and I started talking about tornadoes and safety.

"Yeah, and you have to get in the basement so you can hide from the lava and fire," she informed me.

"Tornadoes aren't volcanoes. What do you think tornadoes are?"

"There is lots of spinning wind and it mixes with lava."

I gave her a bewildered look.

She crossed her arms, "I can't help it if I know this stuff. I'm a very scientific girl."

Monday, August 16, 2010

reduce and reuse

"Oh hi, ma'am. I am Salissida, the super spy. I am a mom, too. I had some children. They were attacked by a bear. Sad to say they died. But I got four new kids that I found on the side of the road."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the tooth economy

Last night, I kissed a sleeping Caroline goodnight, and she bolted upright and said, "My name is Caroline, and I just lost an imaginary tooth." And then she plopped back down.

I whispered, "I'll let the tooth fairy know. "

This morning, she stomped up to me saying, "The tooth fairy did not leave me any money!"

I told her she didn't leave the tooth fairy a tooth, either.

"Well, it was imaginary!"

"Well, maybe she left you an imaginary dollar."

She grew more incredulous, "But she thought it was a real tooth. You called her! I really need a dollar!"

I told her it was important to tell the truth; and I told her that if she wasn't honest with the toothfairy, she might get blacklisted and never get real money for her real teeth when the time comes.

She seemed unconcerned and pointed to her mouth. "Have you seen these teeth, Mama? She'd be crazy to pass them up."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

maybe on opposite day

Caroline insisted I put chocolate syrup on her lemon ice cream.

I gagged at the thought and asked her 42 times if she was sure... "because, dude, it's gonna be disgusting."

"No way, Mama! It's lemon and chocolate. Two of my most favorite tastes." Then she used her most chipper 1950s child star voice, "Put them together, and you got yourself a flavor raaiiiiinbow."

Monday, August 9, 2010

next stop: broadway

Today began two weeks of the Drama summer session of preschool. To Caroline, this is sort of like Christmas. Everyday. For two weeks.

I was talking to her Aunt Jen last week and mentioning that she begins Drama at school this week. Aunt Jen laughed and said, "Are they ready for her?"

That about sums it up.

Caroline's regular teacher (who is not teaching this session but was there for regular school year prep) asked, "So, is Caroline excited about Drama?" I raised my eyebrows and looked at her and said, "Are you kidding me?" I don't think there is an adjective or analogy strong enough to explain how the next two weeks will feed Caroline's soul. She burst out laughing and said, "Yeaaah, that's what I suspected."

So it was no surprise that Caroline came bounding down the stairs this morning, shouting confidently with chin skyward and hands on hips, "My name is Anna, and I am ready to be a DRAMA QUEEN!"

Saturday, August 7, 2010

a true sacrifice

Someone woke up grumpy. I tried to cheer her by asking her to come give me some hugs. I patted the bed next to me and said, "Come on! Hugfest!"

She sighed and looked me in the eye and said, "Okay, fine. But I want you to know that this is taking away from time I should be spending with my toys."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

bad romantic comedy

She was stalling at bed time, and I quickly gave her the look. She put on her earnest face and grabbed my hands.

"Mama. Mama. Listen. I need you to take a chance on me."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

big dreams at the supper table

"I wish I could be a noodle. So then I could fit in a kid's mouth and then get swallowed and see his heart and stuff. And then later, I would get to come out and ride in the toilet."

the most benign and unsuccessful agent i've ever met

Caroline walked up to me and shook my hand. "Hi there. Nice to meet you. I'm Anna. I'm in insurance."

"Ooh," I told her. "That's a good job to have."

"Yeah. We've got low rates. Do you need a paycheck or something?" She gestured out the window towards her play house. "I've got some out back in my office."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

family means no judging

Caroline and Chuck were looking through photos on flickr. They got to a series of photos from our wedding. Caroline gasped.

Then she said very, very skeptically, "Well, I guess Mama could wear white...."


[She has no idea what white symbolizes at weddings. She was just surprised because I own zero pieces of white clothing, and she's never seen me in anything other than my dark wardrobe.]