Friday, September 15, 2017, after school

*After school today, Isobel is watching “Magic School Bus.” She turns off the show to ask me about flamingos.*

“Mom.”
“Eh?”
“How do flamingos protect themselves?”
“Uh, well, they can fly, so they can get away from anything trying to eat them, and they can peck to protect themselves… and they’re usually together in a flock, so there are a lot of them, and they can protect each other.”
“Do you think they use camouflage?”
“Camouflage? But they’re pink.”
“Yeah! They blend in with other pretty pink things.”

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Sunday, August 13, 2017, after bedtime

*Isobel had a busy day- this morning she helped me clean, then we spent the afternoon at the water park with her friends, then she had a nice, relaxing bath. Dad came home after being away for a few days on tour in time for dinner, and then Grandma came over for a bit. On the way home from the water park, we heard the Don Henley song ‘Boys of Summer’ on the radio, which has been getting a lot of airplay lately. About ten minutes after Is went to bed…*

“Mom?”
“Yeah, babe?”
“What does it mean, ‘I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac?'”
“Well, the Grateful Dead are a band, and the people, sometimes hippies, who follow the band, are called Dead Heads. And a Cadillac is a luxury car, really expensive, and hippies don’t usually drive luxury cars, so it’s kind of unusual, like it’s something you wouldn’t see very often. That kind of sticker on that kind of car. Get it?”
“Why don’t hippies drive expensive cars?”
“Well, they don’t usually have lots of money, and Cadillacs cost a lot of money.”
“Do hippies have long hair?”
“Yes, sometimes.”
“Huh.”
“It’s bedtime, Is, go to sleep, we can talk about this tomor…”
“But why don’t hippies have money?”
“Because money doesn’t matter so much to hippies.”
“But why?”
“Because other things matter more than money. Art, music, peace, being kind to each other, taking care of the earth- these things matter more than making and spending money. So, money doesn’t matter much to hippies.”
“Oh, their hair does?”
“Hahaha, yes.”
“Okay.”

*Silence for a few minutes. And then…*

“But they need to have a tiny bit of money, the hippies…”
“Yes, babe, the hippies are fine.”
“Oh okay, good night.”

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Monday, July 24

*Is has been going to Recreation every day for a month- it’s sort of half a day camp at the school. They do fun stuff like games and shows, and they’ve had bouncy houses and a water slide… today they were supposed to do ‘Fun With Food.’ It’s their last week…*

“Mommy! Today is ‘Fun With Food!’
“That does sound like fun! What do you think you’re gonna do?”
“I don’t know. Throw coconuts?”
“…”

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July 21, snacktime

*Today, Isobel is watching Moana while I make her a snack. She’s working on a shelling a little bowl of peanuts and peeling an orange, while I make her a slice of toast with butter and jelly…*

“Wow, there’s a stingray that kills the chief’s mom… Awww…”
“Aww, that’s rough. They usually don’t kill people. Hey, did I ever tell you about the time I got hugged by a stingray?”

*She turns to look at me, interest and concern on her face.*

“But did you die?”
“What? Ha, no, I didn’t die. I’m standing here making you a piece of toast, you weirdo. How could I be dead?”
“Oh.”
“So, no, I’m okay, I just got a hug, I didn’t get killed. Although they can kill you if they sting you. I didn’t get stung. See the difference?”
“Yes. They were all circling around her.”
“Oh, that sounds crazy. There was just one that hugged me.”
“How did it hug you?”
“Well, I was at Sea World, and I was at the pool where you can feed the rays, and I had a shrimp in my hand… and a little ray swam over my hand and took the shrimp at the same time a big ray swam over to eat it, but the big ray didn’t see the little ray, because their eyes are on top and their mouths are on the bottom… so I guess the big ray bit the little ray and the little ray ended up jumping up and the big ray must have been surprised and jumped out of the pool and landed on my chest.”
“Were you scared?”
“Not really, I didn’t have time to be scared; I was just as surprised as that ray was. I didn’t want it to get scratched by the buttons on my jacket- and I was trying to shove the thing back in the water, but it was so heavy and felt so weird, like cool, wet velvet sliding over muscle… and then I saw two Sea World workers running towards me from the other side of the pool, and they looked horrified… I shoved the thing back into the water just as they reached the pool. As I looked around for my friend to ask why he hadn’t helped me, I realized that everybody behind me had scattered, and I was all alone and also completely soaked from the stingray’s big hug.”
“That’s pretty funny.”
“I thought it was hilarious.”

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July 20, Lunchtime

*Isobel is watching Wile E. Coyote cartoons on her iPad during lunch today, and I mention to her that he was my very favorite of all the Bugs Bunny characters- it was always such a treat for me when the Coyote and Road Runner cartoons came on, since you never knew exactly what would be shown during the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies show on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. Especially since they were only on once a week… Anyway, we were talking about Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner when…*

“Mommy, who would you vote for, Coyote or Road Runner?”
“What, you mean to win?”
“Yeah.”
“Well, I’d vote for the Coyote.”
“What, why? I’d vote for the Road Runner!”
“But the Road Runner always wins. And everybody votes for the Road Runner. So I want Wile E. Coyote to win. He’s my favorite, anyway.”

*Is thinks about this for a minute. And then she nails me with her impeccable logic.*

“But, he wants to EAT the Road Runner.”
“Yes.”
“But if Wile E. Coyote wins, he would be the only character left.”
“Huh. I guess you’re right. I never thought about it that way before.”
“That wouldn’t be any fun, Mom.”
“You got me there, kid.”

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July 6, 2017, Bedtime

*Every night, right after I put Is to bed, we each pick three things that are fun to think about (so she’ll hopefully have good dreams), and say them on the monitor after final hugs & kisses…*

“Mommy! I’m first. Okay… playing Barbies today!”
“Nice. Um… how about your long, relaxing bath?”
“That was sooooo good! Making the car art at Rec today!”
“It is a fabulous car. Picking out your bracelet at the store.”
“Yes! Eating sorbet!”
“How about earlier today, when you told me that when you’re an astronaut, and you’ll be the first girl on the moon?”
“I love that one, Mommy. I’m going to have the best dreams ever.”

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June 28, 2017, first thing in the morning

*I’ve decided to go to college. It’s a bit weird, as I’m 48, but I guess there’s no time like the present? Anyway, this morning I was telling Dave how I scored on the practice Accuplacer tests I took last night, while Isobel was playing on the floor with her Hello Kitty stuff nearby…*

Me: “So, I got 100 percent on the reading comprehension, and 100 percent on the sentence structure… but twenty-seven percent on elementary algebra.”
Him: “Well, you knew you’d have trouble with that.”
Me: “Yeah…”
Isobel: “Mommy, what’s that, elementary algebra?”
Me: “It’s the math with the letters in it that makes me cry.”
Is: “Don’t worry, Mommy, I’ll help you! Do you know what four plus four is?”
Me: “Aw, thanks, Is! Yes, is it eight?”
Is: “Yes! Okay, what’s X plus X?”
Me: …
Dave: “You’re scaring mom…”
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June 18, 2017 *Father’s Day*

*We’re at the in-law’s for Father’s Day- after an afternoon of playing in the yard, Is runs in to use the bathroom and asks me to join her…*

“Just for a minute, Is, then you’re on your own…”
“I have to poo, though…”
“Yep, you can do that by yourself, babe, okay, I’m out.”
“No, stay! It’s Father’s Day! This is what YOU get for Father’s Day!”
“What, poo? That’s great. Oh my god, the smell. Is, I’m leaving…”
“Happy Father’s Day, Mommy!”
“Aaagghhhhh…”

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Monday, June 12, 2017

*My daughter, Isobel, has always been a very empathetic person. I don’t know if it’s because she’s spent so much time in the hospital and physical therapy due to corrective hip surgeries for her hip dysplasia, or because she just came that way.
Yesterday, she was sitting on my lap as I scrolled through my Facebook feed. A new post in one of my groups popped up- a woman had found a very sick and very tiny kitten on her run, picked him up, and carried him the four miles back home. She was asking for help finding a vet on a Sunday… Is was very concerned, as the kitten looked pretty rough. I showed her how to do some research on Google, and we sent information to the woman on the group, along with some supportive messages. A bunch of other people in the group (it’s a great group) also helped her, and she ended up taking the kitten to a veterinary college two hours away, updating us along their trip. The group also suggested that she start a GoFundMe for the vet bills, and we all rallied to help… it takes a village, right?
It looks like they’ll be able to save the kitten, whose name is Chance. Isobel was so happy, she danced around the kitchen and requested her current favorite song to dance to (Knock on Wood by Amii Stewart (I KNOW!))…
And so, the first thing Is says to me this morning when she pops out of bed at 5:43 is…*

“Mommy! How’s the kitten? Is there a new picture?”

https://www.gofundme.com/3x1eccw

June 9, 2017- socks again.

*At dinner, Isobel is telling Vaughan and Daddy about the magic flying socks she’s invented. Vaughan is trying to follow her story…*

“See, the socks fly off my feet, then they go down the basement stairs, then they get in the um, washer, and then they get into the dryer, and then they get all folded up nice, and fly back up the stairs, and land perfectly in my drawer! Isn’t that great?”

Vaughan gets a sort of glazed-over look and takes a sip of his drink, apparently considering the magic socks.

Dad says, “You mean Mom?”

*That’s right- I am the magic behind the socks.*

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