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.