Thursday, September 30, 2010


Mama: What do you call that?

Caroline: I call it pretty ingenious.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

again with the sarcastic

She got a talking-to because of something or other, and she immediately started the schmoozing.

"Oh mother, I love you." Then she batted her eyelashes. "And I'm not even being sarcastic."

vocabulary lesson

"Mama, that guy is being sarcastic. Or 'rude,' as I call it."

Monday, September 27, 2010

codename: not caroline

We were en route to ballet class and I said something inconsequential to her. Like, "Okay, Caroline." But it had "Caroline" at the end, and she was not thrilled.

Caroline: Mama, can you please not call me Caroline.

Mama: Uh, okay. What should I call you?

Caroline: I don't know. Sweetiepie or sugar or something like you do.

Mama: [maturely] Why, Caroline? Can you explain, Caroline? Caroline Caroline Caroline.

Caroline: [sigh] Mama, you've gotta stop.

Mama: Okay. Sure. But why?

Caroline: It just makes me worried when you call me by my name.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


We switched rugs between her room and the playroom, and we had some furniture stacked in the hall while we did so. She begged us not to move it back into the room. She threw herself on an end table and said, "No! Please don't!"

I asked why not.

"Here, it has the joyness and love! There, it doesn't!"

Friday, September 24, 2010

our own ramona quimby/sybil

Someone in this house filled our bathroom sink with toothpaste.

Someone also decided it was "an accident."

After being told that she had to clean it up and lose out on her treat tonight, she accepted it surprisingly well... and hmphed a little.

A few moments later, she said, "Oh, I'm not your daughter. I'm a teenager named Ella. I hear you're having a trouble with the kid..."

I confirmed that we were, indeed.

"I have an idea on how to deal with her."

I asked how.

"I'm just going to put her in the garbage."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

the big sister instinct kicks in

Baby Sylvie was toddling around the living room, and Caroline was right up against her, hanging on to the back of her shirt. She was muttering something.

I asked what she was doing.

"Oh, I'm Sylvie's brain. I am making her move and talking for her."

I advised her to perhaps back off a little.

"Well, I am her brain. And I am thinking, 'I really like it when Caroline bothers me.'"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

4am thunderstorm wake-up

"I am feeling a little frightened. And also I want a piece of banana cake."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the one and only time this designation is acceptable

We were at Caroline's asthma specialist today, and she was just on. It's hard to understand unless you've seen her in action. But she walked in and told everyone in the office that she was Valerie the goddess of weather and that she makes "magical disasters" (natural disasters). When her doctor came in to see her, she declared that "Valerie went on vacation to check out some pretty oceans that she could make into hurricanes," so she was " just regular Caroline" again.

We had a moderately normal visit with him, and I was relieved that I was able to discuss treatments with him without having to reel her in.

Then at the counter when we were checking out, she saw him at the end of the hall and motioned for him to come over.

When he came over, she said, "Dr. Moshi, I am Dr. Ranges. I'm a surgeon. I have to go pick up some kids for their procedures."

He is plain tremendous with children and played along and asked, "Oh, you're a surgeon?"

"Yes," she batted her eyelashes. "I'm totally that kind of girl."


Caroline: Mama, do spiders cry?

Mama: Uh, no, I don't think they do.

Daddy: No, they don't have tear ducts, so they can't cry.

Caroline: But what if one of their friend spiders die? How do they express being sad?

Daddy: Hm, well, not with tears. Probably some other way.

Mama: Yes, I bet they do a special spider dance of sadness.

Caroline: You're wrong.

Monday, September 20, 2010

i parent by the seat of my pants

Totally randomly and without provocation, out of the blue, she walks into a room and says to me:

"Hey Mama, I have to tell you. I don't like it when you make up a bunch of rules all the time. It really makes me grumpy."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

awkward silence

Chuck's lifelong friend Tom came over today to watch some football. Caroline thinks he's the bee's knees.

Randomly, mid-game, she walked in front of him, looked him in the eye, and said, "May I?"

We were confused.

Tom asked, "May you what?"

Caroline put out her arms.

Chuck asked her, "Oh, you want a hug from Uncle Tom?"

She confirmed.

Tom obliged.

Caroline walked away and said, "Phew, I was getting a little nervous."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

two days wiser

It's asthma season again (ah, that whole 2.5 months of cough-free, sick-free bliss), and Caroline's coughing has begun. She was mid-coughing fit, and I grimaced.

Mama: I don't like it when you cough.

Caroline: Why? I'm not coughing on you, right?

Mama: No, not like that. It just makes me really sad to see you coughing and feeling bad.

Caroline: [half smile of bemusement] Well, it's not like a little cough is going to make me die or anything.

Mama: Wait. Aren't you the one who thought you needed surgery for a scraped knee?

Caroline: Mom. I've grown up since then.


"Hey, Mama. When I was a baby and I was inside your tummy, could I see your bones?"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


As we were about to depart from preschool, Caroline skinned her knee while playing with her friend Arden on an impromptu balance beam in the form of a curb. It was a minor abrasion without any blood or bruising.

She was a little teary but tried to hold it together.

She climbed into her car seat, and Arden rubbed her arm and told her it would be ok.

Caroline was unconvinced. "I don't know if I'll see you tomorrow, Arden. I think I'm going to be having knee surgery."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

celestial songs

She started singing these with her toy guitar, and I had to make her stop while I grabbed my laptop and took down dictation.

The Earth is Sinking

The trees are melting
The soggier they get, they fall
The world is going down for life
North then south then west aloooone
The world was getting soggier and old
All along the world, it's getting littler littler [whispered] littler
The soul is getting gone
I'm getting sad about that
I don't know what to tell you
The world sold out of signs
Oh the west, the north
The poles were melting down
The burning lights as well
Everything so north and west

Star Bright, Star Light
Star bright, star light
We're gonna catch a star tonight
Star bright, star light YEAH YEAH
Star bright, star light
I wanna see a star tonight
Star bright catchin' starts tonight!
Star bright, on its own
Center of stone
Star bright, start light YEAH

Planets on the Run
Mars is on the run
Mars is on the run, of course
Jupiter and Saturn are running by the Earth
Every time, every day
The world is going down
Every time, every day

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

dinner hootenanny

At the dinner table, where she had a platter of creamy vegetable soup and shaved turkey (and some other things not important to the story).

Caroline: Hey Mama, have you ever dipped turkey in soup?

Mama: I have had turkey in soup, but I have never dipped turkey in soup.

Caroline: Well! Watch and learn! Step one, dip. [dipped] Step two, eat. [ate]

Mama: Thanks for that lesson. I'd never have figured that out!

Caroline: And don't forget... Step three, enjoy!


Mama: Caroline, do not use your tutu as a napkin.

Caroline: What? It's not on my leotard or anything.

Mama: Clothes are not napkins. Never wipe your hands on your clothes! It is no fun washing stains out of your stuff.

Caroline: I don't know what to tell you, Mama. [patted me on the shoulder] Life is... life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

deep, man

She wanted to change her clothes mid-day, and in an effort to talk her out of it, I reminded her that her teacher told her how she was "gorgeous" in what she wore to school this morning.

Caroline clucked. "Oh Mom, being pretty is just a dream."

I asked what she meant.

"Feeling pretty is all in your head. You make yourself pretty with your brain, not some silly dress."

I nodded.

"Besides, those shorts I want to wear are really, really cute."

Monday, September 6, 2010

savory or sweet?

Caroline was playing with a little toy cat and some real apple slices.

I overheard:

Cat voice: These apples are your future.

[chomp sound]

Caroline [angry]: You just ate my future!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

car songs

We drove 270 miles to visit family today. There was much singing in the car.

There was "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." And then Caroline requested, "Let's sing 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat' -- the JAZZY version." So we sang that with head bops and jazz hands.

Then she said, "I will sing a made-up song. 'Ducks and Swans.' Are you ready? Ducks and SWANS. Ducks and SWANS. Ducks and SWANS. YEAH!"

And as impressive as that was, I was not prepared for her next "made-up" song. "This one is called 'Nothing.' Here it goes." Then there were 30 seconds of silence. When I offered applause, she said, "Wait for the entire song!" I waited. More silence. "Okay. It's over."