Thursday, December 30, 2010

well in that case...

Mama: Stop peeling your grapes and just eat them.


Mama: Caroline, stop peeling your grapes. Just eat them.

Caroline: Mama, this is a food test.

Mama: A food test.

Caroline: Seriously, there is important science happening right here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Baby sister is teething and sick and thus 1,000,000% miserable 1,000,000% of the time. At one point yesterday, she paced the upstairs landing, just bleating in snotty, swollen-gummed misery. Caroline came to see what was going on and leaned against the door frame, crossing her arms. She clicked her tongue and shook her head knowingly, "That poor kid."

Monday, December 27, 2010

wait for the real entertainment

We went to see a movie this morning, and we went to a theater she'd never before visited. As we settled into our seats, much to the amusement of all the people around us, Caroline looked around at the heavily curtained walls and said, "Wow, that's a very nice shade of red, don't you think?"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

coming to a marvel comic book near you

Yesterday, several of the stuffed companions were being superhero animals. Caroline introduced a few.

"This is Poodlena. Her superpower is flying."

"Here is Yoka. She has the power of connectedness."

"That's Molly the Maltese, and her superpower is the passion for fashion."

And, finally, sure to make every metropolis' obsessive-compulsive villain weep:

"This is Nesty. She has the superpower known as lint."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

give this girl a red bucket and a bell

After 42 rounds of terrible knock-knock jokes, I requested a break from the hilarity.

Caroline cajoled, pleaded, begged. I stood firm.

"Really, Mama? In this season, you don't want to spread joy?"

Friday, December 17, 2010


Caroline's version of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree":

Hangin' a rat Christmas tree
On a happy holiday
de doo de de de dum de
Let me, darling
Deck the halls with holly jolly

Repeat 31 times.


I told her I liked her version better than the real one. She was annoyed. "You know, that is the real one."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

soon she'll be writing vampire novels

We are at Awkward Dialogue Warning Level: Red around here.

She wanted to do her stamp set again, and I told her she could after Sylvie went down for a nap.

She dramatically gestured and said, "Mama, you need not worry. It shall be of no concern to you. I shall take care of it all myself and keep things out of reach."

I just stared at her.

"I mean it. You need not worry! I'll take care of it!"

I stared more.


I told her to go ahead.

"My wildest dreams were achieved!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

talking when half asleep = unexpected revelations

Caroline was nearly asleep after her ballet class, curled up next to her dad. She started to do her patented approach to keeping herself awake -- talk about anything and everything. She sighed and nuzzled his arm, smiling. "I could just take a piece of daddy and put it in a blender..." Her eyes darted while she grasped for a way to salvage this sentiment with less gore. "...and I would love and hug that blender full of daddy."

a Christmas tragedy

Since it's a snow day here in the Arctic North, Caroline is watching vintage Christmas cartoons streaming from Netflix. There is a late 40s/early 50s live action version of The Night Before Christmas. A non-convincing Santa with a pillow for a belly appears from the chimney. He lights up his corncob pipe and surveys the living room before getting to work.

As soon as the smoke began wafting from the pipe, Caroline turned to me shaking her head and said very matter-of-factly, "Santa's smoking. He's going to die."

a hint: ding!

She called from upstairs, very politely requesting a snack. I agreed to fetch her something. And then I completely forgot about it.

About 10 minutes later, from the top of the stairs, a most cheerful (and convincing) diner cook voice called out, "Order up!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

the hard sell

Caroline wanted to do one of her craft kits. Her dad sent her to me to ask for approval before saying yes.

I asked, "Which one is it?" as she approached.

She popped out from the doorway and held her kit as though she were a spokesmodel on the Price is Right. She waved her hand over it and, in infomercial form, said, "Oh, just this fine collection of stamps and other such stuff."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

gentle introduction to reality

A man was at our house installing a new back door. After he finished, he was trying to get out the door when social hyena Caroline spied him. She ran to him, "Hi. My name's Caroline." And so it went. The poor guy minding his own business... and she wanted to chat him up. I attempted to shorten the conversation, but she managed to get in an introduction to her stuffed dog.

Caroline: Isn't she cute? Her name is Nesty!

Guy: Oh yeah, she's cute alright. Looks like a good dog.

Caroline: She's the best! Sometimes she's a he, but I decided she's a girl.

Guy: Oh. [awkward pause] Hey, do you take her for walks?

Caroline: No. Well, you see, she's a toy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

yes, but i found you instead.

I was upstairs putting Sylvie down for a nap, and as I descended the stairs, I heard Caroline scurry around the first floor. I grew suspicious immediately.

I looked around the living room. Nowhere to be found. I checked the dining room. Nope. I called her name. I heard nothing in reply. My brow furrowed. I walked into the kitchen.

There, perched atop a stool at the furthest flung spot, sat Caroline. She had perfect posture and her hands were folded gracefully in her lap.

She feigned being startled and in an exaggerated calm voice, she batted her eyelashes said, "Oh! Hi. By any chance were you looking for an angel?"

Monday, December 6, 2010

interesting job description

"Look at this picture I drew, Mom. It's a little cat using tweezers, holding money -- well, dollars -- over a big open fire that is forcing them up."

I nodded in that confused way I often do.

She finished with, "Yep, that's called 'being a scientist.'"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

keeping in character

Last night, Caroline watched "Olive, the Other Reindeer" on TV. It's no secret that she is obsessed with all things Dog. So, of course, she decided she was Olive, herself. When it was time to go to bed, her dad rounded her up and told her to come give me a kiss goodnight.

She walked over on her four "paws" and was giggling the entire way to me. She said, "Dog kisses are licks!" And I ewwwed and told her to stay where she was and blew her a kiss. But she insisted on the real deal.

While I protested and shielded my face, she and her father laughed as she tried to find a gap in my flailing arms to plant a big dog kiss on my cheek. I clamped my arms over my face, so she parted my hair and licked my forehead.

She crawled away victorious and a-giggle, while I told her I was dropping her off at the pound tomorrow.

After she turned the corner to the stairs, I got back to my reading. Then her grinning face popped out from behind the wall. She gave a little bark and made a slurpy dog air-kiss at me before winking and running up the stairs.

Friday, December 3, 2010

world religions 101: comparitive analysis

At preschool, they talk about all the various wintry holidays. This week, the kids have been learning a lot about Hanukkah. Caroline is predictably enthralled with the games and gelt.

Today, while I was picking up some stuff at the grocery store, I saw little bags of milk chocolate gelt; so I picked up a couple to surprise her with after she had lunch.

She was happy to eat her gelt, and she sat on the edge of the coffee table mmm-ing for a while. After the last chocolaty coin was done, she looked at me and sighed and said, "I wish I was Jewish."

I laughed and said that Jewish kids don't usually do the whole Santa thing. Her eyes got huge.

"Wow, really? Now I'm confused."

I told her that we could do a little bit of the Hanukkah fun AND Santa at our house.

"Phew. That's good. Chocolate cash or Santa... I don't know if I could make a choice that serious."

channeling lucy van pelt

After a smooch from Reuben: "EW! DOG LICK!"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

creating a monster

I took Caroline to my hair salon for the first time tonight, for a "very stylish" hair cut. She was like a kid in a candy store.

Why, you ask?

My salon is full of hip young people (I am not even close to being a member of that demographic, but they do good hair). Pretty girls in tight pants with sequins up the side, artsy fellows in ironic bowties, a guy named Mojo...

Caroline could not contain her excitement.

"Mama! Everyone here wears EYE SHADOW!!!! EeeeeeeEEEeeeEEE! I love this place even more than I love Halloween!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

machismo = sharp teeth

We don't eat a lot of meat around here. Not for any big purposeful reason, I just don't like to prepare it and don't particularly love it; and I'm the household cook, so my preferences win. So it is a rare day that we have a slab of meat in the house or in a meal. Tonight, I made a vegetable soup, and I remembered I had a flank steak in the freezer for some purpose I cannot recall. So I cooked it until tender, cut it into soup-appropriate pieces, and added it to the simmering pot.

When I prepared Caroline's bowl, I left in only one cube of meat and told her if she liked it, she could have more.

She tried the bite of steak without hesitation. She chewed a few seconds. She didn't look convinced that she liked it.

Her verdict was a thumbs down.

"I kind of feel like a boy when I'm eating that."