Tuesday, December 27, 2011

lessons from mario kart's peach and mario

"Boys and girls have different bodies. And different realities."

This, of course, prompted some laughter. She felt compelled to explain further.

"You know, I'm talking about 'males and females,' as they say."

Monday, December 19, 2011

future "cathy" comic strip writer

She unintentionally misspelled "exercising" as "exersighsing".

Sunday, December 18, 2011

not sure how he'll package this one up

Today, Caroline and Sylvie met with Santa to share their wish lists.

When asked what she wants for Christmas, Caroline informed the Big Guy, "I actually don't want a thing. It's more something that I've wanted for my whole entire life. It's a dream of mine."

Santa took this very seriously and asked her what it was.

"Santa, I want you to make me into a Siamese cat."

Friday, December 16, 2011


In school, the teacher puts a :) a :| or a star on their papers. Stars are rare and for super excellent effort. We got back a pile last night and at the bottom of one of her papers, she'd written a request to the teacher before handing her work in:

"Plese! How about it? [star] = FUN!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

another question i cannot answer

"How do you say 'toadstool' en Español?"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

upgrade in condition

We returned home from the pediatrician with a diagnosis of an infection. Caroline randomly informed me, "This -itis isn't as bad as the last -itis."

Friday, December 2, 2011

deluxe recipe

Caroline met me downstairs one morning and asked me to wait to make her breakfast until she provided me with the recipe. A few moments later, she handed me a note pad square with the following writing:

1. Add plate
2. Add banane
3. Add chuwey bar
4. Add fun and straw and cup

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

paid testimonial

Caroline's got a bit of a cold/cough thing going on, and I told her she needed to try some mucinex tonight to see if that helps her stop coughing long enough to sleep. She hates the taste of that medicine and was not exactly on board. So I suggested maybe we'd give honey another whirl.

"Oh, honey! What a great idea, Mama! I hear that honey is great for various sicknesses and stuff."

I suggested that maybe she was so aware of the miracle cure of honey for these "various sicknesses" because she's a fan of honey. And then I suggested that maybe she secretly works for honey industry.

"OH YES! I do. I work for honey factories. In my dreams."

Monday, November 28, 2011

no need for brute strength

With shooing arm motions, "On your way, boys. I've totally got this."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

hope destiny comes with a lint roller

"I was born to love cats."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

a very doting dog mama

I overheard Caroline playing with a bunch of her little stuffed dogs.

She chirped in her best preschool teacher voice, "Whooo needs to go to the potttttyyyy?"

I looked over and she was setting a puppy on a toilet she'd crafted out of a teapot with a hinged lid.

"Do you need any help? [tinkle tinkle tinkle] Great job, Tiny! [flush]"

She went through this with all seven of her puppies. Then she yelled out, still very chipper, "Now who wants a drink from the toilet?"

Monday, November 21, 2011

aren't they fooled

Caroline was talking to her Nana on the phone yesterday; and though we could hear only one side of the conversation, it was obvious that Nana was dishing out the sweet talk.

Caroline started nodding and said, "Well, they do say I'm lovable..."

Monday, November 14, 2011

enthusiasm x 20

Yesterday, I took Caroline to see the movie Puss in Boots. Everyone we passed on the sidewalk was told where we were going, what we were seeing, how excited she was. Caroline's not very shy.

When we got to the concession stand, she told the young woman manning the popcorn, "I am here to see Puss in Boots!"

The woman smiled and asked if she was excited. Of course, this started a 5 minute talkathon that ended with, "By the way, my name is Caroline. Do you remember me from when I saw Toy Story 3?"

The woman tried not to laugh and shot me a look, but she played along. "I think so! You really liked it, right?"

Caroline nodded, and we started to carry away our popcorn and drinks, and she shouted over her shoulder, "Thanks for everything!" Then she turned to me and loudly said, "Goodness, Mom, everyone here is so nice!"

Friday, November 11, 2011

dusty memories

A few days ago, Caroline and I were cooking in the kitchen when she recalled something that took place a year or so ago.

"Hey Mom, remember that time I read that can and thought that 'NET WT 6oz' said 'nitwit 6oz', and I got so mad about it being rude?"

I chuckled and said that, yes, I remembered.

"I was so ridiculous and young."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

things you don't really care about at 4 am

Shared bedside, "Mom, Dad, I'm not comfortable sleeping surrounded by so much pink."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

zucchini is a little scandalous

"Can I have another one of those bikini muffins?"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

halloween hangover

Caroline woke up late yesterday morning. She was sugar-crashed out and disoriented. She came downstairs and plopped on the couch. She stretched and yawned and put her feet on the table, crossed at the ankles. "Aaaaaah. Yeah. I think this is going to have to be an easygoing kind of day, Mom."

Monday, October 31, 2011

a selection of notes from the ipod touch

The girls have a handmedown ipod touch that they use for music and educational games. Caroline also uses it to type up many short, random notes. She posts one every week or so. Many are about her Nintendo DS, which she gets very limited time with (to her malaise). Here are a few from oldest to newest, spelling as it was found:

Syilve is crazy


I am Never Going to ever have a nother ds


I wish I coud have a nother ds


I love cats becus ther so cyoot and i love dogs becus ther so qyit


Noo noo noo noo noo I am crazy


Coude I ever get a nouther ds?


It's gona thondr storm on sunday


Today I am goin to begin the day in the cat puzishin

[that's "cat position." I asked.]


New note: my ds is not fore babees.


I have nalepolish! - caroline

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


"Mom, may I have a very, very early midnight snack?"

Monday, October 24, 2011

good news, maybe

On the way back from ballet, we had this car conversation.

Caroline: Mama, did you hear the music from class today?

Mama: No, was it new?

C: Yes. It was... you know, love songs.

M: Did that make you feel all warm and lovey?

C: No! It made me feel not eager about boys and girls.

M: Aaaaah. Did it make you anxious?

C: No, I'm not scared of it. It was just... well, uncomfortable. It was all that romance! In my head, I was saying, "Wow, can we get back to that boring piano stuff already?"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

buying her a monocle tomorrow

She stood in front of the mirror, trying to place a little toy in another toy. She struggled to line things up properly using only the reflection.

"I must say that I'm quite puzzled by this!"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

a note i found taped in her window

Hopefully the birdies are literate so they can soak up the sweet. Hopefully they can take the cat faces as gestures of cute goodwill, rather than threats from a little girl who loves their predators.

"Hi! Brdes [birdies] Im glad to see you! Love Caroline"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

not excited at all

It was Caroline's first day at swim lessons. The swim school is pretty much the Disneyland of swim lessons. It's super cheerful and decorated with bright colors, little bamboo huts, and surfboards... and there are balloons and stickers and prizes after every lesson. She's been very excited since the day she heard we signed her up.

It should have been no surprise that Chuck and I heard the following morning greeting at 6:00am, on the dot, waking us from a deep sleep.

"Good morning, parents. Excuse me, but we need to get up now. I don't want to be late for Little Guppies Swim School."

Friday, October 7, 2011

breaking news: baby sister report

Chuck and I were getting ready for the day when Caroline hollered up the stairs, "Paaaaarents! This kid smells of feces!"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

creative license/cultural touchstones

Caroline brought home some work from school. She made a little, neatly stapled booklet called "My Color Book." It was by "Caroline" with a heart dotting the i.

Each page had the author tracing the name of a color and answering the question, "What is [color]?" -- writers were to write, non-writers were to draw. Caroline did both.

It started out predictably.

What is yellow? A yellow lemin. [drawing of lemon]

It quickly became more abstract.

What is red? Red swirls [a springy shape is drawn with red crayon]

What is orange? A orange line [orange crayon line]

What is blue? A blue rainbou [a carefully drawn blue arch]

Then it just got ridiculous.

I laughed and then asked, "Really, child? A green pig?"

She said, "Well it was the first thing that popped into my head!"

"You seriously didn't think of, like, grass or leaves or a lime?"

"My imagination doesn't have limits, Mom. And my imagination likes Angry Birds."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

next stop: harlem globetrotters

"Hey Mom, today at the special school-wide event in the gym, there was a man. I forget his name, but he did all sorts of amazing tricks with basketballs. He was spinning the basketballs on his fingers, and get this! I walked up to him and he spinned the basketball on! my! finger! too! Like in front of the whole school, even in front of the 6th graders! It was totally the highlight of my life!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

yes, drill sergeant

We were at Sylvie's preschool family picnic, and Caroline was enjoying the company of her former classmates... and also enjoying the swings. Chuck was pushing her, but she wanted to go as high as the friend swinging to her left.

We were all there gently pushing our kids, making polite chitchat, when Caroline hollers, "Dad! Push me like you mean it!"

Friday, September 23, 2011

the emo cowboy

Caroline was in character as a rough 'n tumble cowboy. She leaned against the wall with her head down and hat pulled forward. She looked up, pushed the hat up just enough to give us a steely look.

In a perfect macho cowboy drawl, she said, "Howdy pardners. Be careful of the varmints 'round here. It's hard to find people to relate to."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

let's hope

Caroline has been battling carsickness and noise overload on the school bus, so I have been picking her up at school when it's feasible. Today was the 3rd day I picked her up, and it was the 3rd consecutive day she's forgotten her jacket in her locker. This never happened when she rode the bus home.

So in the car, I suggested she remind herself to get her jacket and put it in her backpack if she didn't want to wear it. And I said I couldn't figure out why she could always remember it on bus days, but she always forgets it on pickup days.

"Oh Mom, I know. I forget. But it's just a phase."

Saturday, September 17, 2011


We were trying to psych her up for her 2nd soccer game this morning. It was pretty much useless.

"I am not a soccer star. I'm not even much of a soccer player."

Soon after, I was adjusting the knee high red socks that cover her shin guards and she said:

"The best thing about soccer is the outfit. Make it look cute, Mom."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

baseline indicates doom

We've been having conversations about the school bus. Today, she revealed that a 7 year old girl named Leah convinced her to leave her assigned seat and "sneak over" to her seat and chat with her, but she had to "sneak back" to get her lunch box before disembarking.

This started a conversation about friends who try to convince you to do things you really shouldn't do.

I said to her, "Hm. What do you think about that? Do you think a good friend would ask you to break the rules?"

She sat, brow furrowed, thinking carefully before answering, "Well, it was breaking a rule, yes."

She was solemn. I was high fiving myself mentally. My first "good friends" speech worked!

She perked up and continued, "But it was not breaking the law, so the police wouldn't be involved or anything..."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

i never would have guessed... in either case

She sat on the coffee table eating an apple.

"Hey Mom, guess what 'spaghettily' means."


"It means 'better than anything else, ever.'"

I chuckled a bit.

"Yeah. [chomp] I made it up."

Monday, September 12, 2011

random, but yeah

She walked into the room, sighed, and threw herself on the couch.

I asked what was wrong.

"I wish we didn't have gravity."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

K is OK

Yesterday was Caroline's first day of kindergarten. She rode the bus to and from school (she insisted!). She was in charge of a lot of her own belongings. She was in a totally different environment with no preschool friends, new rules, a new teacher, and new everything. She was not nervous in the morning, but I was. I could barely wait until she hopped off the bus in the afternoon.

I saw her feet on the steps of the bus, then her knees. They were covered with 4 bandages. I gasped and immediately assumed that she had been traumatized at school. She was happy enough, but I assumed it was because she was home.

I faked a confident smile and asked, "So how was that first day?!" I held my breath as I waited for the run down on tragedies and traumas.

She busted out with, "Well, I'd say it was pretty much your standard awesome day!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

a busy day ahead

Found this on the dining room table:

To. Do. LIST


Monday, August 29, 2011

that fine line

"I wouldn't say I'm addicted to it. It's more like my days are just really terrible and sad without it."

[We got a new Wii yesterday. She's got the Mario Kart shakes.]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

truer words have not been spoken

Both girls are home all day, every day for two weeks until school starts after Labor Day. We are all driving one another crazy.

Sylvie spends all day channeling Godzilla. Caroline spends all day putting a chair behind her door to keep Sylvie from entering and ruining whatever toy set up she has meticulously arranged. Then Sylvie spends all day drawing all over Caroline's door with a colored pencil (when she's not flooding the bathroom). Then Caroline discovers this, and is irate! "How dare she! She ruined my door!" I'm usually googling "mother's little helper canadian pharmacy" by 9am.

At the end of the day yesterday, Sylvie decided she wanted to be full of love. So she walked between Caroline and me, hugging each of us repeatedly. Caroline was a perfectly patronizingly older sister. "Aw, isn't that so cute and adorable that she can hug now?" She hugged Sylvie back, "I love you, Sylvie." Sylvie hugged her again and said, "I wuv you, Care-wine."

Caroline gasped and put her hands to her cheeks. "Did you hear that? That was amazing!"

Then she looked at me and said very seriously, "These little ones sure can be pesky. A lot. But they are good to have around."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

the pink poodle avenger

Caroline came downstairs in costume and in character. She was wearing her black soccer shin guards (no socks), metallic pewter bow ballet flats, a turquoise and pink heart nightgown, a wide rainbow headband, and a grimace. She was "the dark side, fierce Caroline." She showed me her secret weapons: a tiny piece of black cardboard ("my strength"), a black labrador figurine ("my power"), and her beloved black stuffed animal puppy Nesty ("my protector"). She told me to prepare to defend myself against her dark side powers.

I told her it was kind of hard to take her fierceness and darkness seriously when she was wearing a rainbow headband.

She never broke character when she uttered in a very Clint Eastwood tone, "Well, the blue in the rainbow is dark blue, and that's what matters."

Friday, August 19, 2011

a fond farewell

Today was Caroline's last day of the preschool "camp" summer session. This means it was her last day ever at her preschool. She's been there since shortly after she turned 2. She spent one year in the toddler program, then two years in the preschool program. So more than half her life has been spent with those wonderful teachers, and some of the kids have been with her all three years. It's tough for her (and us!) to process that she will not be there anymore. Thankfully, we have Sylvie starting the toddler program now, so she will still be able to visit on days she doesn't have school.

At the end of every year, I copy down Caroline's sentiments for her teachers (and it's verbatim, which can be interesting to say the least). This year was no different. She drew cards for each of her teachers and assistant teachers. A few:

The comments written for each one varied, of course, but included stuff like:
You are very mellow, and I love that about you. You help me and my friends so much. Thank you, and I'll miss you. Love, Caroline.


I'm going to miss you so much. I wish that you could be at my kindergarten. I've loved that you've been helping me for two years. I'll give you a hug before I go. Thank you. Love, Caroline


Thanks for being so cool. You have a very cool attitude! [Seriously, Mom. She has a very cool attitude.] Thanks for helping me this summer. Okay, here comes the end: I LOVE YOU, ANGELA. [heart] Caroline

She wanted to write one more after I thought we were done (and all the teachers and the director were done!). So I told her she'd have to do all the writing herself, since she'd only done the signature and I love yous on the other cards. I left her to her card, having no idea what she was doing. She called to me in the kitchen, "How do you spell 'being'?"

I eventually came to see what she was up to. She had finished her card. A card to the new school gerbils.

And inside?

Monday, August 15, 2011

the hard sell

We are trying to wring all the joy out of the waning days of her last summer as a little kid. So in the midst of busy summer days, I've been bad at paying attention to things I should record here.

She spent a couple days at a cottage with her cousins. Her cousins all have Nintendo DS systems. A long time ago, when she was probably a young 3, she begged for a DS after seeing these same cousins play on theirs. I am semi-anti-video game. So I made her a deal that seemed great at the time. She couldn't have a DS until she could read. I thought this would buy a couple years. Little did I know that she'd be able to read less than a year later. So I fudged the rules. She could have a DS when she could read an entire book cover to cover with no help. She was young enough to think this was the original agreement. But that came sooner than I was ready, as well. So I fudged the rules again, thinking I'd be able to coast until the end of kindergarten. And I told her she could have a DS when she could read a Level 3 book cover to cover with no help. Well, crap. She did that a while ago. But she had forgotten about this deal. Until her mini-vacation.

I got a call while she and her dad were en route home.

"Mama. How about that DS?"

No greeting or declaration of missing me.

"You said I could have one when I could read a Level 3 book, and I read that one about Tinkerbell a long time ago. So..."


So she got home and walked in the door and handed me her father's iPhone, where she had typed a notepad message to me that said:

Hello momy i rily want my ds
But i will haft to prove that i will win
my ds and my ds games

I read it and looked up.

She said, "Ok, I'm going to go upstairs right now and dig up a book and come back down and read it to you, and then you can go get my DS. I will get the Marley book and prove that I can read this stuff. It's harder than a Level 3."

I winced.

"Mom. Prepare to be impressed... and then get your purse."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

they sell those along with baby reds and fingerlings

Caroline and I were discussing a preschool issue. She had been up late the night before [stupid parents], and then at school she overreacted with sobs and drama during a transition time because she really wanted to finish her drawing. We talked about it, and she said she was embarrassed that her teacher had told me about it.

"I don't know why I freaked out, Mom. Putting away markers is really just such minor potatoes. I could have finished it later."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

filling in the blanks

In the reading log our library gives to Summer Reading Program participants, there is a little survey of sorts to get kids thinking about their own stories. I discovered that Caroline had filled this out on her own.

The person who understands me best is Ardin because LOVE!!

Arden is her best friend.


You might think that I'm shy, but I'm also nice.

Hm. Shy? Hm.


One wish I have is... TO : BE : A : CAT

She gets her desire to be a cat and affection for punctuation from her mom.


My story begins when...
Im a baby rememir?

"I'm a baby, remember?"

Sunday, July 31, 2011

a reasonable conclusion

Caroline was eating her lunch at the dining room table, looked up, and gasped. She said, "Something is weird in the living room!"

She ran kind of tensely to the living room and crept up to the corner where she saw suspicious activity.

She stood up and relaxed.

"It was just Sylvie's blanket, all bunched up. At first I thought it was an anteater."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

healthy image

While examining her forearm closely, she ranted, "Why do I have tiny little hairs on my arms? Like, what's the reason? I don't get it! And pores! I don't even understand why we need ugly little holes in our skin. It's humiliating."

Monday, July 25, 2011

that explains it

Spontaneous conversation.

Caroline: Thanks for the cup of water, Mom. I really love you.

Mama: Oh! You're welcome. I love you, too.

Caroline: You are such a special person to me, Mama.

Mama: Wow, thank you. That is very sweet of you.

Caroline: I just love you SO MUCH!

Mama: You are super lovey today, huh?

Caroline: Yes, there are a bunch of pink hearts in my head, floating around. That's why.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


We were without power from Wednesday afternoon until Saturday morning. The hottest days in a couple years, what a nice coincidence. We bunked up with a very kind and generous cousin of Chuck's, the beloved Uncle Mark. His wife and kids were at a cottage on Lake Michigan, so it worked out well in terms of space and fun.

One morning Chuck and Caroline were playing outside in the kids' play fort/swing set which has an "address" of 752 (their ages at the time Mark built it - 7, 5, and 2).

Caroline asked why those numbers were there. Chuck explained. Caroline was confused and asked if cousin Jessica is really the same age as she is. After Chuck explained that this was built 4 years ago, and now the kids are 11, 9, and 6, and they're all older than her.

She was very upset to hear this so bluntly. "That's not fair! Now they won't respect me!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

rodney dangerfield, jr.

Yesterday was Sylvie's 2 year checkup at the doctor, and Caroline had to come with us.

From the moment we walked in the door, Miss Anxiety was stating she wished to stay in the waiting room alone because she did NOT want to see any needles or any shots or any blood. I assured her that when the time for shots came, she could wait outside the room in the hallway. That soothed her for about 2 seconds. Then we'd go through this routine again. "I'll just wait here! Look! There are books to entertain me!"

Sylvie got called back, and Caroline dragged her feet but came along. Anytime anyone entered the room, she'd ask in a panic, "I am not staying for the shots part. Do you have shots?" I remembered why I preferred to bring only the unwilling victim of the exam to the visit.

When the time for one quick shot did come, the doctor was a genius and had Caroline escort her to a lab room to pick out a lollipop for herself and for Sylvie. Master of distraction! Sylvie got her shot, was less freaked about it than Caroline was, and we were on our way out.

We met the doctor and Caroline in the hall, where the doc pulled me aside and laughed, saying that Caroline had just exclaimed to her, "Phew. Thanks, doc. I was gettin' a little paranoid in there."

Monday, July 18, 2011

all the best, mama

Caroline: Mama, I love you.

Mama: Oh, I love you, too.

Caroline: I really, really love you. I want to get your autograph.

Mama: Huh?

Caroline: Your autograph. That's how people know you really like them. You ask them for their autograph because you love them so much.

just wait until adulthood

Caroline walked into Chuck's office and asked to use his computer so she could play on PBS Kids' website.

He told her no, that he was reading the news, and she should go read some of her books or play with her toys.

She sighed and shuffled away, disappointed.

Seconds later, she came back into the room and exclaimed, "But Dad, everything's boring in a little girl's life!"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

must be doing something right

Today was Sylvie's second birthday. As I tucked Caroline in to bed on Saturday night, she said, "Mama, can we go shopping tomorrow morning so I can get Sylvie something for her birthday?"

I was a little surprised. And a little suspicious. I told her, "Well, sure. But remember it would be a gift for Sylvie, not something for you."

She looked insulted. "Of course! I know that. I was thinking something little for her. A small toy for a small kid."

Friday, July 15, 2011

luddites of 2006

Caroline asked me if we had one of the games for the iPad when I was a kid.

I informed her that we didn't have iPads when I was a kid. And we didn't even have iPads when she was born.

"Whoa. Are you serious? No iPads?"

Then she paused to try to understand our backwards ways of that era.

"Did you bring me home from the hospital on a horse or somethin'?"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

our family in song

Caroline summed up our family in a version of Old MacDonald. Each of us got our own verse.

Old MacDonald had a farm
And on this farm he had a...

With a "wah, whine" here and a "waaah, whiiiine" there
Here a "WAH", there a "WHINE," everwhere a STOMP STOMP


With a "What are you doing in there?!" here and a "sigh" there
Here a "Caroline..." there a "Sylvie...", everywhere a "What are you doing?!"


With a "chatter, chatter" here and a "talk more" there
Here a "chit", there a "chat," everywhere a "talky talky!"


With an "uuuuuh" here and an "ummmmm" there
Here a [shrug], there a "hm!", everywhere an "uuuuhhhh!"

So! Sylvie's an obstinate toddler, Caroline is an incorrigible talker, I'm very suspicious, and Chuck suffers from chronic indecision. And one of our children is being written out of the will.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Chuck's coworker mentioned to him that Caroline had inadvertently sent her an email from his iPhone. Slightly embarrassing that we had no idea this had happened, but not worth much thought. Later, she forwarded him the email, and it was a little surprising.

Subject: Caroline

ATF robin
My name is Caroline

I thought, Hmmm, I see it says "Mommy, Daddy, Lucci (cat), Me, Sylvie, Every Person In My Family." She's only missing the dog, Reuben. But with "arson" and "ATF robin" at the top, this reads a little like a hit list. Are we on some watch list now?

So I called over Lizzie Borden, Jr., and asked what the first line said.

"Arson. I typed ARDEN and it changed it. It was really frustrating." Arden is her best friend. So phew. We can sleep with both eyes closed tonight.

But wait. Still have the firearms issue.

"ATF robin. I typed 'Arf roobin,' and it changed it, too. That thing is a piece of junk."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

future informercial star

Chuck brought home pizza one night last week, and the girls jumped around in excitement as he passed the box to me.

I placed it on the counter and Caroline ran up to observe. When I opened the box, she stepped closer, took a deep breath, fluttered her eyelids, fanned at her face, and sighed, smiling.

"I could float away on this aroma."

Monday, July 4, 2011

next on national geographic

"Mamaaaa!!!! Hurry! There is a bee!"

Since we have severe bee allergies in the family, this is something I react to quickly. I ran to the dining room, and she guided me to the alleged bee.

"Honey, this is a house fly. Why did you think it was a bee?"

"Well, it was buzzing a lot. Bees buzz. I just thought it didn't have stripes because it was a rare, exotic bee."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

practice pays off

"Hey Dad, I've been whistling better and better. Like at Marmy's house, I was whistling a couple pounds' worth. I used to only be able to whistle one single pound."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the waiting is the easiest part

Yesterday was Caroline's 5-year well visit to the doctor. This meant she was getting a shot. We talked about it the day before because I've learned that springing anything on Caroline is about the worst idea ever. So we talked about how itchy, oozing sores all over her skin are probably worse than one pinch of a shot. You know, parenting at its finest. I promised her that she would get the shots as the very last part of the visit, so that she'd be able to talk to the doctor and not be worried about it.

As we prepared to head to the doctor's office, she started to stammer about not wanting to go. I reminded her that it was the very last thing about the appointment, and she would get to see Dr. E and Spot, her stethoscope dalmatian. That was enough of a perk, and she was over her hesitation.

The appointment went swimmingly until she saw Nurse Rica walk into the room with the little silver tray and a shot.

She clamped her hands over her arms.

"WAIT! No shots until the end of the visit! The very last thing! NO SHOTS YET!"

Nurse Rica told her it was the end of the visit.

"I'm not done yet!"

I started to talk to her about just getting it over with, not looking, etc., but she wasn't giving up. She turned to Nurse Rica, who was now armed and ready to go, to employ a new stall tactic.

"You're really pretty."

Monday, June 27, 2011

reality bites

She was thumbing through a children's atlas of the human body while I was doing a little work. I looked up to find her frowning. I asked what was bothering her.

She flipped the book up to show me the page she was viewing. It was a page about the heart, complete with life-sized diagram.

"Well, this is too bad. It turns out that our hearts look nothing like the cute little heart stickers I have."

Friday, June 24, 2011

genetically modified produce

I cut wedges of a beautiful watermelon for Caroline's dinner and arranged them on the plate so the green was showing, all pretty. I usually cut it into cubes and remove the rind; but this is summer, so let's summer it up, I figured.

I sat the plate in front of her. She gasped and looked up.

"Mama, did you forget that I don't like watermelon on the cob?"

new beginnings

Today is Caroline's last day of preschool. She's doing summer camp at the same school, but this is her last day with her classmates (some of whom she's been with for 3 years) and her teachers (who've been with her for 2 years), and they have packed up the Montessori works, and she is done. And I won't pretend it hasn't been a misty couple of days for me.

Her teacher sent home a pretty shell with a notecard. On one side was a personal note to Caroline, and on the other was a quote from the Eric Carle book A House for Hermit Crab.

"Time to move," said Hermit Crab one day in January. "I've grown too big for this little shell." He had felt safe and snug in his shell. But now it was too snug. Hermit Crab stepped out of the shell and onto the floor of the ocean.

I got choked up by the end of the first sentence and just had to hand it to Caroline to read herself.

She read it and smiled.

"I'm like Hermit Crab! I'm going to find a kindergarten shell!"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

fact song

A very slaphappy child wrote this song in the car last night. She was neither drinking chocolate milk, nor had she earlier consumed chocolate milk. This is a song inspired by memories of deliciousness.

Choc-o-late milk!
It's got chocolate in it.

Choc-o-late milk!
It's got milk in it.

Choc-o-late milk!
Lots of sugar in it.

Choc-o-late milk!

Choc-o-late milk!
It's a liquid.

Choc-o-late milk!
It's not metal.

Choc-o-late MILK!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the bug

Last night was the big recital, and Caroline was buzzing before, during, and after. On the way in, a videographer filming for the ripoff official DVD of the performance asked if he could film her in action on the way to the dressing room. This flipped some sort of switch in her, and she suddenly became Caroline, the Performer.

Her class (the Dancing Poodles) did their routine as you'd expect a group of preschoolers to perform. One stood and screamed the words, but did not dance. One checked out her nails the entire time. The best dancer remembered the most and nudged others to follow her. One was the cruise director who kept prompting the others to fix their spacing. And our little dancing poodle was at the end of the line doing 50% actual choreographed steps and 50% fanciful twirls and flamboyant pliés and bows.

She led a line around the stage for a musical interlude, and all the little girls stopped to admire the backdrop that wasn't in place for their dress rehearsal. The audience cheered and laughed. This kicked them all into hypercute overdrive for the last few moments of the dance.

When they hit their final pose, the crowd gave ample aws and cheers. Caroline starting jumping up and down in place and clapping along.

When I walked into the dressing room to retrieve her, she ran up to me and said, "I know I say this all the time, but it really was the BEST! DAY! EVER!"

I told her she did a great job and the group really remembered a lot more than they had at the rehearsal (which is a low bar to set, believe me). I said I was proud of them all.

"Yeah, it was great, right? I didn't want to leave the stage! And I don't know if you saw me clap, but I even had to give myself a little applause. I just couldn't help it."

Friday, June 17, 2011

a philosophy to live by

We brought home a basket of perfect little Michigan strawberries, the first of the season. I showed Caroline how amazing they were. She picked one up and asked to eat it.

"Noooo," I told her. "That one is too cute to eat!"

"Well, yeah, it's cute! But why not eat it?"

I said again, "It's just too adorable. I can't eat it."

She put it down and picked up another and almost rolled her eyes at me (almost).

"Mama. Just eat the cute strawberry. Life is life."

her debut

Her ballet recital is next week, and last night was the dress rehearsal.

She sat in her carseat in full "dancing poodle" getup, chatting away.

"I can't believe it. I get to be on stage for the first time today. I hope I don't get stagefrightened!"

I asked, "When have you ever been shy or unwilling to perform?"

"Well, never. But that's because this is my destiny."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

everyone's got one

Discussing the tastiness (or, in her case, the non-tastiness) of feta cheese.

"It's gross. It smells gross and tastes gross, and I don't even know why you would want to eat it!"

I insisted that it's good stuff.

"Well, Mom. It's ok if you like it. But I don't like it at all. That's just my appendix. It's ok to disagree."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

better than chicken

"I am a butterfly fairy. My hands spin webs sort of like a spider, but my webs are really a hard material. Like silk but stronger. I use my hands to shape the material, like this lamp. It's kind of like sculpting. I also eat small spiders like big spiders do. They taste like meatloaf."

Monday, June 6, 2011

that darn cat

Caroline got up first this morning, and I came down the stairs to discover about 10 spools of thread on the floor of the foyer. They were standing on end in a zigzag pattern.

I asked why she had my thread out.

"I made an obstacle course for Lucci, but she didn't want to do it. I guess she wasn't feeling 'cat sporty' today."

Thursday, June 2, 2011


This morning Caroline woke up and hopped out of bed and looked in the mirror. "Today I'm five years old! Do I look maybe a little taller?" I confirmed that she looked about 1/8 of an inch taller, indeed. "I knew it. I knew it because my legs felt coldish this morning. That's a sign of growing."

Monday, May 30, 2011

been watching too many vintage disney movies

Lucci the geriatric cat and Reuben the geriatric dog passed one another in the foyer. They did a mutual nose-bump/sniff and kept on walking.

Caroline squealed.

I asked what she was so happy about.

"That was the most romantic thing I have ever seen!"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

sweet, yet...

Caroline came home with her first poem written and illustrated on one side of a piece of paper.

It went:

Rosis ar rad
Vialas ar blu
Cheesiz ar good
And so ar you

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Cheeses are good
And so are you

I was charmed. Cheeses are good! This is my kid!

Then I flipped over the piece of paper to find a drawing. A drawing of a cat defecating a carrot onto a rabbit.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

little gloria

"So, at school, and I don't mean to gross you out, but at school, Dylan and Nathan were talking. And they were saying that if there was a fire and we have to be outside at school, boys can use the bathroom outside but girls have to hold it until they can get into a place with a bathroom. And I said, 'Are you telling me that boys can use the yard like a bathroom?' They said YES. And I was like, 'What in the world?! You guys are animals.'"

Monday, May 23, 2011


We are knee deep in 5th birthday party preparations (hence few updates); and as the big day draws near, Caroline's head is about to explode with amazement related to reaching such a milestone birthday.

"Mama, do you realize that in 10 days, I will be turning FIVE?"

I confirmed that yes, I do realize that.

"Mama. FIVE. It's like... I don't even know what. Like a whole new life is beginning for me."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

we're not that close a family

I was beckoned to the dining room, where Caroline sat drawing some pictures.

"Hey Mom, I was wondering something. Was Daddy your big brother when you were a teenager?"

Monday, May 16, 2011

painful discovery

She walked in to the living room with an orangeish dust all over her face and shirt.

"I found that big jar of cinnamon from Costco. And I took a couple lumps of it. And I ate the lumps. It was kind of crazy hot. It didn't taste like cinnamon toast at all."

Friday, May 13, 2011

that's hospitality

Sylvie likes to play a game where she opens and closes a door 5000000 times in a row and uses greetings and salutations in the process. Caroline was playing in her room and did not want to be disturbed, so she shut the door and blocked it so Sylvie could not get in.

I asked her to remove the chair from behind it and oblige her sister for a few minutes.

She protested.

I insisted.

Sylvie stood squawking, "HELLOOOO, COME IN!" between fits of rage.

I heard the doorknob rattle.

The door swung open.

There was Caroline, sighing and looking forlorn. She stepped aside to give Sylvie access.

In a dry, monotone voice, she said, "Welcome to a whole new world, baby sister. Reel in the destruction, if you would be so kind."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

it measures in the 97th percentile

I got Caroline in her full-on ballet recital getup for a rehearsal at her dance school, and she was practicing in the mirror while getting into character as a dancing dog.

She demonstrated how the arms go up and how the hands are to rest, just so, and she said, "Our fingers are not supposed to touch over our head. I remember that because those words were in a warm-up song one day in class a long time ago."

I was impressed that she remembered something like that and paid close enough attention to catch it in the first place.

I said, "Wow, that's right. Your fingers are not supposed to touch. How do you remember this stuff?"

And she said, "Well, I remember everything. Why do you think my head is so big?"

Monday, May 9, 2011

think positive

While at the playground with her dad, Caroline discovered a featherless baby bird lying still on the pavement. She came home and reported what she found to me. Chuck did charades behind her to inform me it was indeed a baby bird who met its fate.

"Mama, I saw what might have been a dead baby bird on the ground. Maybe it was sleeping. But it was probably dead. It was kinda gross. It looked like a little piece of pink meat. I think it was a bird because I looked closely and I saw a tiny little beak and some featherless wings."

I hmmmmmed and said it would be sad if it was, in fact, dead.

She then finalized her opinion.

"You know what? I don't think it's a dead bird. I think it just fainted because it saw its baby bird boyfriend, and he was so handsome, she couldn't take it."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

get the hacksaw, pa

Chuck: Look at this kid's hair! It's getting so long!

Mama: Yeah, we need to get it cut or trimmed soon.

Caroline: I know. It's very long.

Mama: Yeah, and speaking of long, have you noticed how long her legs are getting? None of her clothes will fit.

Caroline: [alarmed] Whoa. We're not cutting off my legs.

Friday, May 6, 2011

putting this in writing = legally binding, right?

Caroline was making her sandwich for lunch while I cut cantaloupe. We were chatting about something, and she answered in that singsong-y tone that basically is the same thing as saying, "Well, duh. You're totally annoying me."

I immediately told her it was not appropriate to speak like that, and she sincerely asked why. I told her that the tone was hurtful, and that we don't speak to one another like that in our family or with our friends.

Her thoughts were, "Hm. But teenagers talk like that."

I said, "Yeah, they often do, but teenagers sometimes push limits like that because they're kind of figuring out how to be grownups. They don't always have other people's feelings in mind because they have a lot going on in their brains."

She said, and I quote, "Oh. Well, you can believe me on this one, Mama. I'm going to be the nicest teenager in the history of the world."

parts of speech

Today is show and tell day at school, and it was decided very last minute that she would like to take photos of our dog Reuben. This meant scrambling to choose and print photos from our digital library.

We scrolled through a few dozen photos of him, and she picked two that showed him wearing her pink stuff (a tiara in one, and a pink wig in the other). Then she picked one of them together because, "We're both smiling!"

I had her choose one more so the page would be full, and she chose a totally random one of him sitting. No pink. No specific cuteness. I asked why.

"He's in his chair, where he sits and barks at everything. It's very like him. This picture is just very... Reubenous!"

I asked, "Reubenous?"

"It's an adjective, Mom."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

the catch phrase for when she's parodied by andy samberg

I try to avoid running errands with Caroline because she is a people person to the extreme. I think it's a wonderful quality, but I'm pretty much a person who values efficiency above all else. So it's difficult to have to stop and smile and wait while she talks to everyone she passes about some event, some article of clothing, or some kind of pet or mythical creature.

Chuck worked a few hours in the middle of the night last night, so he wanted anap while Sylvie napped. This meant that I had to be a good wife and take Caroline with me while I went shopping for necessities and plants at a few different places.

Things went as I imagined they would. But at every cash register, her farewell line to the store associate was the same.

Here's a contextual example from the garden center, where a young college student handled our transaction.

Caroline: Hi! My name is Caroline.

Associate: Hi! I like your name.

Caroline: Thank you. You're very pretty!

Associate: [taken aback] Oh my goodness, you should come here more often! You're pretty too.

Caroline: Thank you. And I mean it. And I really like your hairstyle.

Associate: Oh thank you!

Caroline: I especially like your headband. It's very bejeweled, of course.

Associate: Bejeweled! You're right. You know where I got it? Target.

Caroline: Target?! I love shopping there. It's the best place to buy toys!

Associate: I know! Maybe we'll go shopping together sometime.

Caroline: Totally!

[some actual plant- and transaction-related conversation between the associate and myself here]

Mama: [to associate] I don't usually bring her with me for errands because I never get out of the store...

Associate: Haha! Well, it's been great talking to her. She's so cute.

Caroline: I have loved talking with you too!

Associate: Come back and see me sometime soon.

Caroline: Of course I will! I want to see more of your hairstyles... and because you're so pretty.

[crowd forming at this point and all giggling and telling the associate that they would like to receive compliments like that... mother feeling really awkward but still smiling!]

Associate: Bye! See you soon!

Caroline: Bye! Try to remember my name. It's Caroline. Tell your friends.

Friday, April 29, 2011

HRH the soul mate

Caroline saw me reading news online this morning, and caught a glimpse of a pretty lady in a fancy white dress and wanted to know who she was. After I explained all about The Wedding, she wanted to see more photos. So we went to BBC's website, scrolled through the pics, and she was mesmerized.

"So that's the queen? She looks pretty and charming. If I saw her in Target, I would say, 'Hello, your majesty.'"


When I told her that the queen had a bunch of dogs, she said, "I knew we'd be friends."


Later in the morning, she asked me, "Do you have Queen Elizabeth's number? I need to talk to her about something."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the real land of opportunity

Caroline: Mom, I'm embarrassed to ask you this, but...

Mama: Yes?

Caroline: Is the beloved gruffalo a real animal?

Mama: Gruffalo??

Caroline: It's kind of like a buffalo that walks on two legs.

Mama: I'm guessing that's imaginary.

Caroline: Well, you'll have to google it. They live in England. Anything is possible there.

relationship status

We were grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, and their very friendly employee decided to have some fun with Caroline.

Man: Soooo, you have any plans with your boyfriend this weekend?

Caroline: [bewildered look]

Man: Nothin' at all?

Caroline: I don't have a boyfriend!

Man: No?

Caroline: I am FOUR.

Man: Oh, I thought you were, like, a grownup married lady.

Caroline: Are you serious?

Man: No, I'm just teasing.

Caroline: Oh.

Man: So you really don't have a boyfriend?

Caroline: [sigh] Sir, I think that's against the law.

Friday, April 22, 2011

backwards compatibility

Today when I picked Caroline up at school, she was excited to report on the day's events.

"Today. We. WATCHED MOVIES. Buuuuuuut, get this, it was not a DVD or on a computer. I don't even know if you've ever heard of this. It's amazing!"

I waited with bated breath to hear about this fantastic new form of media!

"The movies were played by a special machine..."

I waited with more bated breath!

"The movies were on something called..."

She leaned in close, and her eyes were sparkling like she was about to tell me she cracked the geographic coordinates to Santa's workshop. Then she whisper-yelled it.

"It's called FILM!"

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Caroline: Wow, look at those HUGE fluffy clouds!

Mama: Yeah, they are really big and puffy today.

Caroline: They're so cottony and nice.

Mama: Yeah. They look like cotton candy, don't you think?

Caroline: Oh, yeah, I see it. All wispy and soft and fluffy.

Mama: I wonder if they taste like like cotton candy.

Caroline: Mama. They probably taste like dusty water.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

all's fair...

Caroline reported at pickup that she had a great morning at preschool. She said she did some school work with her dreamy crush, Nick. I was surprised that he was willing to work with her, as he very much toes the gender separation line. So I asked how that went.

"It was great. I told him that he's, like, totally handsome."

Ergh. I double winced because 1) who wants a boy-crazy 4 year old? and 2) he does not mince words, and I didn't want her crushed.

I asked how he replied to that.

"I don't remember what he said. But I did tell him that it doesn't matter if he's handsome because it's still girls versus boys around here."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

kindness with flair

Nana had knee replacement surgery, and Chuck called to check on her. Caroline asked to speak to her. She told her she missed her "really a lot" and explained the stuffed animal catapult she was building. At the end of their conversation, there was a really over-the-top loving farewell. She really really really really really really really really really loves her and hopes she's really really really really really feeling much much much much much much much much better tomorrow. And some more chipper over-the-topness for good measure.

I looked at her as she handed the phone back to Chuck. She smiled at me, shot the finger guns, and said, "Yes. That's how I do it Caroline Style."

Friday, April 15, 2011

the one thing i did not learn at a liberal arts school

"Hey Mom, do you know how to drive a monster truck?"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

a particularly spot-on assessment

"Daddy, you're totally awesome. And, really, a little bit exhausting."

Monday, April 11, 2011

spring is here!

Caroline's declaration as she bounded down the stairs this morning:

"Heeeeey, people! Are you ready for this?! It's FLIP FLOP SEASON!"

Thursday, March 31, 2011

i'm sure it's going to last

Caroline had some big news today at pickup. Nick said he likes her.

So tonight when Chuck got home from work, I said, "Big news, Dad. Nick said he likes her!"

Caroline started jumping up and down and clapping.

Chuck celebrated with her and said, "Well, it's always nice when someone you like likes you back."

And with all the excited sincerity in the world, Caroline smiled and gushed, "And he doesn't think I'm crazy at all. Isn't that the sweetest ever?"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

patting herself on the back

At preschool pickup, I waited in a side room with Sylvie and sent Caroline to get her jacket. I heard her talking to one of the parents in the hallway, but didn't hear the specifics of the conversation.

She came back to the room where we were waiting and very happily announced, "Mom, I was so polite. I had to go in front of that dad, and I said, 'Excuuuuse me. Can I just bounce right through here real quick, please?' Is that good manners or what?!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

demystifying babies

As we walked into the dance studio for her ballet class, Caroline spotted a woman standing next to a stroller. The stroller contained a baby. For some reason, other people's babies are much more interesting than her own baby sister.

Caroline: Wow! That's one cute baby you got there!

Woman: [surprised] Oh, well that's so nice of you to say. Thank you!

Caroline: No problem at all. What's her name?

Woman: Her name is Allison.

Caroline: Oh great name for a great baby! Hi Allison! [to the mother] I'm saying hello to your baby.

Woman: She'll say hello right back to you!

Caroline: Hiiiii!

The baby waved to Caroline.

Caroline: [to the mother] Did you see that? She waved. That's her baby way of communicating.

Monday, March 28, 2011

if the name fits

Sylvie, who is now 20 months old, tried to swipe something from Caroline's plate. Big sister was protective of her food and clamped her hands over it. Sylvie began her patented screech/wail. Caroline gave her some of the food to end our suffering, and toddler sister happily munched away.

Caroline sighed and shook her head and said, "Little Miss Caveman."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

friendship favors

Caroline had decided that she didn't like the little spots where the stems were once attached to her grape tomatoes. She brought her plate to the kitchen and declared it a problem.

I tried in vain to remind her that just the other day, she smuggled out about 2 dozen of the things and had no problem with the stem spot.

We gave up and Chuck cut off the tippy top of the tiny tomatoes and handed the plate back to her.

"Thanks, Dad. You're a real pal."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

unrequited crush

"You know, I have a crush on Nick. And he doesn't have a crush on me. And that's ok. I don't really care. It's fun just to have a crush on him."

Then a pause.

Then she raspberried. Pbbbbtttttthhhhhh.

Then, as if seeking solidarity, "Ok, parents, let us raspberry together."

Monday, March 21, 2011

we all do from time to time

She was going on and on about how she couldn't see anything while she was still a wee baby in my stomach, and she was getting so animated that she tripped on her words.

"I-- I-- I..."

Then she giggled, "Oh, excuse me."

She shrugged and grinned and said, "I just had a little speak incident with my words, there."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

he buries his funny bone in the backyard

"You know what I like about Reuben? That dog has a good sense of humor."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

like an ocean breeze

Caroline was sitting in Chuck's lap, and they were chatting.

Caroline: Dad, you just spit on me a little bit when you were talking.

Chuck: Oh, I sprayed it instead of said it?

Caroline: Yeah.

Chuck: I'm sorry.

Caroline: Don't be. I found it refreshing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

special blend of herbs and spices

Somehow during breakfast this morning, Caroline's foot accidentally ended up in her cereal bowl.

After wiping up the spill, she continued eating her Mini Wheats.

I teased, "Oh it still tastes good, huh? Your foot didn't ruin it?"

She said, "I actually think my foot gave it a little something extra. For real. You might want to try it sometime."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

in a fevered state

Caroline has Influenza A, and her main symptom is a fever. She otherwise seems pretty ok. But with a days-long fever comes some quirks and intolerance for... life.

Friday night, her fever was very high, so I sat by her bed in the dark and put cool washcloths on her head. After a long time of quiet and rest, I thought she was finally asleep. She proved me wrong when she turned to me very suddenly and shrieked, "What are we going to do about Reuben's breath?! That dog's mouth stinks. I can't take it. We have to start brushing his teeth or something."

When I told her Reuben wasn't even upstairs with us, and she should go back to sleep, she said, "I know. But the disgusting memory is in my brain, and I can't get rid of it. I can't sleep until we have a plan for the stink."


Monday she was laying on the couch in a flu-ish malaise, and she wanted to go upstairs. I told her she could go up if she wanted to.

She asked me to carry her.

I laughed, a little surprised, and started to deny that request when she interrupted me with, "Mama, I know what you are going to say. I have two legs. They work. And there are two legs and they do work, most of the time. But I have a fever, and that means my legs have a fever. So if you could just carry me this one time, that would be great."

I stared at her.

"Also, I love you, Mama."


We sent an email to her teacher explaining that she would likely be out most of this week, and she requested I include a message just from her.

"M-, I miss you. I hope I'm better soon so I can see you at my class. I like you better than the TV. And you smell better too."

Monday, March 7, 2011

earning potential

Caroline: Mama, can kids get jobs?

Mama: Uh, no. There are laws against that.

Caroline: How am I going to make enough money to buy a hot pink car, then?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

can i use you as a reference?

Mama: Caroline! Stop sticking your hands in my face. Why are you touching me?

Caroline: [giggling] You're too much fun to play with. You're like a swingset, only better!

Mama: You are only playing with someone if they are enjoying the "fun."

Caroline: You're so much fun! [giggling more] You're like a fair!

an important announcement

I was hard at work making soup when Caroline walked into the kitchen.

"Mom, I have to tell you something serious."

Oh dear. I asked her to go on.

"I'm afraid... Well..."

I started getting nervous when she busted out with the news.

"I don't look good in red."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

another day older, another day of potential

Bleary-eyed, I greeted Caroline in this morning.

"Good morning Mama! Today, I am four and three quarters!"

Yes, indeed, she's 4 3/4 now.

"Now that I'm so mature, maybe my big idea will come true."

What idea is that?

"I'm going to transform into a fairy or mermaid."


"It's going to happen one day. Why not today?"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

postcards of adoration

Aunt Julie is in town visiting, and she stayed with us yesterday. Caroline has been over the moon about having her around. When Julie stepped out of the room, Caroline turned to me and said, "I think Aunt Juju smells amazing... like lavender pie!"


The time came today for Julie to move on to another relative's house, though we'll see her again before she heads home; and Caroline was so sad about it. She teared up while getting ready for preschool. She flung herself into Julie's arms and said, "I'm going to miss you so much!"

Julie reminded her that she would see her again.

"It's not the same! I want you to stay in our house for three days," she said through tears.

Julie hugged her.

Then Caroline thought of a way to soothe her sad heart, "Well, maybe you could get me a toy to remember you by..."


On the way to school, she heard a song on the radio that she had listened to with Julie the night before in her room.

She shook her head and got misty-eyed, "I wish I could be dancing to this song with Aunt Juju. Now I'll never hear this song without being sad."


We got home from preschool, and Caroline ran into the house, hopeful for a miracle -- that Aunt Juju would still be here. Alas, she saw no suitcase and no Julie.

She said, very dramatically as she slumped over, "She's -- she's gone."

I patted her back and told her that we'd call Julie tonight so she can chat with her. She sat on the couch, sniffling and welling up with big tears.

A few minutes later, she looked at me and said, "I'm feeling a little better now." Then she smiled weakly and said, "At least I can still smell her lavender loveliness in the air."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

mucinex un-testimonial

"I'm not taking that yucky medicine. I won't do it. Not on my watch!"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

a very particular odor indeed

I walked into our bedroom this morning, and I smelled something... ick. Dirty smell. Not repulsive or rotten. Just, not pleasant. I had just washed the dog bed, so I knew I couldn't blame it on Reuben.

I turned to Chuck and asked, "It smells bad in here! Where is it coming from?"

Caroline, who was wrapped in Chuck's arm, sat up, shot him a look, and said very bluntly, "Yeah. It smells like boy stink to me."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

renaming reptiles

Caroline: Can we get a pet alakazzammer?

Mama: Uh, probably not. But what is an alakazzammer?

Caroline: It's a little amphibian. It's not a mammal.

Mama: Do you mean salamander?

Caroline: Oh yeah. Silly me.

Mama: I like alakazzammer better.

Caroline: Yeah? Silly you.

Friday, February 11, 2011


A painter has been helping us tackle a blistering problem in the ceiling of the bedroom Caroline will be moving into shortly. He was here power-sanding some special compound he applied. When he brought his shopvac down the stairs, Caroline told him, "That's quite a lot of noise you're making."

He smiled and said that it's just what he does, make a lot of noise.

She nodded and said, "Yeah, same here."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

astronomy is personal

Caroline's a bit of Space Nerd, so we sometimes end up watching television shows about the solar system. This happened today, in fact. And as the narrator ominously described the planets that are inhospitable to humans, Caroline grew grumpier by the second.

She crossed her arms and started pouting, "I like Mars."

I shrugged since I'm entirely ignorant about these things and had nothing better to offer in reassurance.

She continued, growing more and more insulted, "Mars is not so bad! It's just a little windy. It's not like it's hot or anything! Like wind's a big deal. Really, this guy should try Venus."

Monday, February 7, 2011

seasonally appropriate, slightly alarming non sequitur

"Hey Mama, did you know that boys are sometimes romantique?"

Friday, February 4, 2011

this needs to be on reality tv

We were hanging in the playroom before school the other day, and she was playing with some of her plastic friends. I was talking to Chuck when I heard Caroline bark, "Drop and give me 3!"

I turned to see this:

Seems that Malibu Ken hired Slash as his personal trainer.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

so proud

Mama: Are you kicking yourself in the face?!

Caroline: Not really. I want to see my knee. Up close. Really fast.

[a moment passes]

Caroline: OW!

Mama: Yeah.

Caroline: That was a ridiculous idea.

Monday, January 31, 2011

hasbro test market failures

"Isn't it kind of funny that there aren't any Little Ponies named Tom or Steve or Bob or somethin'?"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

like winning the lottery

My children were bonkers today. Towards the end of the day, as Caroline held onto the back pockets of my jeans, squealing like a wild animal of some sort, sliding around on the hardwood floors and effectively treating me like the motorboat which pulls the water skiier, I yelped, "Why are you so crazy?!"

She told me like it is. "Some daughters are like that!"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

the mommy secret is out

"Mama, I really think that when you say 'soon' and 'maybe,' you mean 'never' and 'no'. That is kind of a pretty big lie."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

maybe we all need preschool

At school pickup, Caroline marched up to me confidently and greeted me with, "I changed my life today!"

Friday, January 21, 2011

neither stars nor chirping birds

Caroline drew this picture at preschool.

Mama: What's this one?

Caroline: It's you and Daddy.

Mama: Oh yeah. What are we doing?

Caroline: You're kissing!

Mama: And what are all those things around us?

Caroline: S'mores.

Monday, January 17, 2011

reverse toddlers and tiaras

She was creating lots of drawings of little girls. They all were wearing eye shadow.

I asked, "What? How old are these girls?"

She told me they were 4.5 like her.

"Why in the world are they wearing eye shadow?!"

"Mama, we all grow up sometime. You have to learn to let go."

Thursday, January 13, 2011


After a make-up ballet class yesterday, Caroline was super tired and suuuuper slappy.

She sat in her car seat and announced while giggling, "I am going to talk to things that are not alive. I will say nice things to them, so that they will want to talk back to me. But it will only be talking back in my mind."

Sure enough, we passed a Christmas display.

"Hey lil Christmas tree. What's up?" She giggled more. "You have some awesome lights, and your branches look terrific."

We parked to pick up a pizza for dinner.

"Hi there, brick wall. How's it going?" She barely could contain her laughter as she continued. "I really like your stairstep pattern. You look really strong and line-y. And I like the random painted brick. It's all very block-ish. It's a good look for you."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

older and wiser

I was downstairs cleaning the kitchen and the girls were upstairs, confined behind the gate. Caroline was sitting at the desk, listening to the ipod with the speaker attached. Sylvie (18 months old) approached and apparently wanted to grab the ipod and/or the speaker. I heard the loud fussin' and growling that Sylvie tends to perform when she wants something but can't reach it or can't have it. After about 30 seconds of that, I heard a totally exasperated Caroline shout, "SYLVIE! RELAX YOURSELF! IT'S JUST MUSIC, CHILD!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

captain obvious

She walked into the room and plopped on the chair and began speaking while I stared and said nothing.

"I like to talk. A lot. I think I'm really good at talking because I am a very curious kid and I think a lot. I know a lot of words, too. So there is a lot for me to say... just because I have a lot of words and ideas in my head. I like them to come out of my brain so there is more room for more new thoughts. Like thoughts and words about mammals. Mammals are warm blooded. See? Now there is more room, just because I talked. Are you even listening to me?"

Friday, January 7, 2011

i can think of different adjectives

We had an unseasonably warm spell last week. All the icy snow of December (and there was plenty) had melted. You got too warm in your coat as you walked outside in the upper 40 degree temperatures. It felt like the beginning of Spring here in Michigan. It was a cruel joke to those of us who hate winter weather.

Today, we woke up to snow covering everything and big fluffy flakes coming down. As soon as we opened the door to leave for preschool, Caroline squealed in excitement. She ran down the steps of the porch and was spinning in the falling snow.

"MAMA! This is a serious winter wonderland!"

I grumbled my way to the car, and as I belted her into her car seat, she pumped her fists in glee as she watched the snow fall and busted out a, "This is so classic!"

Thursday, January 6, 2011

keep reaching for the stars

"I wish that I was a bird or an iguana."


"Because then I could eat some fruit with seeds in it, and when I pooped, a plant would grow from it."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

your average daily car conversation

Caroline: Mama, do we have meat? I mean in our bodies.

Mama: Well, if someone was to cook you and eat you, your muscles would be meat.

Caroline: My muscles are meat?

Mama: In theory.

Caroline: Hm. Why don't people eat people meat like they eat animal meat?

Mama: It's frowned upon. And also, I bet you'd be gamey.

Caroline: I'M NOT GAMEY. Unless that's good.

Mama: No, it's just a really strong flavor. Like animals caught in the wild -- small birds, rabbits, even squirrel. They taste very particular. It's called gamey.

Caroline: Oh.

[silence for about 30 seconds]

Caroline: Why do we have bones?

Mama: Well your skeleton is sort of like your own frame. It supports you and allows you to move. If you had no bones, you would just be a puddle of flesh on the floor. Like when you take off your clothes, they have no frame or support and they are just a pile on the floor.

Caroline: Puddle of skin and muscle? Awesome!

Mama: Yes, who's hungry?

Caroline: I wish I had a zipper on my back so you could take out my bones and I could be like a dirty shirt.

Monday, January 3, 2011

not self-absorbed (for the moment)

Driving home from ballet class, "Sweet Caroline" came on the radio.

I said, "Hey! Your song is on!"

She asked me to turn it off. I asked why.

"Mama, it's not nice to talk about yourself too much. And I don't want to like it anymore. That song is just too... me-ish."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

random snippets from today

"I think I'm going to rename Hershey Kisses to Arsey Kisses."

No, she does not know what "arse" means, or obviously that name would likely lose its luster. Or maybe not. She is 4, after all.


Out of the blue. "Do chameleons communicate?"


"I love you because you're always warm."


After arguing with her father about how many ponies need to be in the bathtub with her, she sighed. "Dadddddddy." Then, under her breath, "Mans, mans, mans. So complicated."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

it seems like only yesterday you were a 4 year old. because you were.

Out of the blue conversation while drawing this morning:

Caroline: Mom, Nick Jr. is basically for babies.

Mama: Uh, it's meant for preschoolers, right? They even have that silly slogan, "Like preschool on TV."

Caroline: Oh Mama. [shakes head] Don't you think Kai Lan is a little too... immature for an almost 5 year old?