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 pliƩs 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."