April 24, 2017

*Yesterday, I took Isobel to the park. She was happy she found a friend from school to play with for a while- they had to leave before we did, and so Is went on an ‘acorn hunt’, filling my pockets with acorns she found amid the wood chips. When we got home, she wanted to wash them, so I gave her a bowl and some water to work with while I started dinner. She wandered away for a bit, and when she came back, I noticed the bowl was full of suds.*

“Mom! I added soap to the acorns, so they’ll be really clean!”
“Uh…”
“Wasn’t that smart? These are probably the cleanest acorns in the whole world right now.”
“Yep, pretty smart. And I bet you’re right. Well, let me know when you’re done and you can rinse them in this colander to get all the soap off.”
“Okay, Mommy…”

*She continues to work on the acorns for a bit, then we rinse them in the kitchen sink. Then she runs off and comes back with two hand towels, so she can dry them with one and then arrange them neatly on the other. I’m still cooking, so my back is to her as she works at the kitchen table. Then I hear the screen door opening.*

“Whatcha doin’, Is?”
“I’m throwing the acorns out for the squirrels!”
“The ones you just spent half an hour washing?”
“Yes! I wouldn’t want them to have to eat dirty acorns.”

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

*I recently had both my hips replaced, and so I keep a long-handled shoehorn with a dressing hook on one end to help me get dressed right after the surgeries. It’s still hanging in the bathroom. Is saw it today and grabbed it, deciding it’s time to play Shepherd…*

“Mommy, I’m a shepherd, and this is my hook thing.”
“It’s called a crook, what the shepherds use…”
“Oh, okay. This is my crook.”
“Do you know what shepherds use it for?”
“Um… putting on their socks?”

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Thursday, March 31

*Isobel has an earache and is home from school. We curl up together with a big box of tissues and cuddle- then she says she wants to talk. I ask what she’d like to discuss, and she says…*

“Mommy. What can we make that isn’t made but we can use?”

“Like inventions?”

“Yeah, inventions.”

“Okay, Do you have an idea? You start.”

“Ummmm…. okay. What about tissues that fly around and come to blow your nose and then shoot into the garbage when they’re all snotty… like remote control tissues.”

“That’s an excellent idea. You should totally invent it.”

“What about you? Do you have an idea?”

“Yes. Socks that run themselves into the laundry basket when they get dirty.”

“Oooh, that’s a really good one!”

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March 13, 2017

*I’m cooking dinner, when…*

“Mommy, I have a question.”

“Okay.”

“Can you turn the clock to tomorrow and it’ll be tomorrow?”

“Uh, no. No, clocks only measure time, they don’t have anything to do with how time progresses. They just are helpful so you know what time it is… like I look at the clock so I know after an hour, it’s time to take the lid off the pot in the oven, and put the vegetables in, see? Or when we look at the clock every morning so we make sure you get to school on time. Time is what happens because the earth is always spinning.”

“But, what if I got a big rope to spin it faster?”

“That might work. Do you have a big rope?”

*Is goes running into the porch, where Dad is trying to finish his coffee…*

“Daddy! Can we go get a rope?”

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March 12, 2017

*During dinner, Isobel explains the ‘Quiet Game’ to me…*

“Okay, Mommy, now, nobody talks, or makes any noise with their body, including your mouth, and whoever makes noise first loses. Okay?”

I signal that I understand. Silently. I’m already so good at this game!

Is continues to eat her dinner, looking up at me after every bite. I keep quiet… until she shakes her head and her hair brushes the plate of food…

“Is, watch your hair!”

“Hahaha, I win the Quiet Game! Mom, did you want to win?”

“Nah, I’m not really into winning.”

“Oh, are you into losing, then?”

“Haha! Uh, no, not really…”

“I’m super-duper into winning.”

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March 8, 2017 (dinnertime)

*Is, finishing dinner…*

“Mommy, can we play a game after dinner? I had a bad and boring day.”

“Um, sure, finish up and there’s still time before bed. What do you mean, your whole day was bad? And boring?”

“Well, I didn’t get to play any games. We played outside in school twice, but no games.”

“Huh. Sorry you had such a terrible, horrible, gameless day. What game do you want to play? Suspend, or maybe a card game…?”

“Hey, what if we made a new game? How about if we play Candy Land… but with fried chicken?”

“Sounds good to me! Might get a little smelly and greasy…”

“Fried Chicken Candy Land!”

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February 20, 2017 (dinnertime)

*I just had my other hip replaced last week. As I’m not up to cooking yet,  Dave, Isobel’s dad, made his specialty- pancakes for dinner. They were a big hit; nobody had to remind Is to eat her dinner tonight! She wolfed down three pancakes and was halfway through her second helping when… *

“I feel happiness flowing through my body.”

“That’s really nice, Is.”

“It’s the pancakes.”

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February 10, 2017 (first thing in the morning)

*Last night, past her bedtime, Isobel was beside herself- crying and upset over the possibility that she might have a bad dream. She just couldn’t settle herself and it was getting later and later. I tried to assure her that there was no reason to get upset; that if she had a bad dream she could handle it, that there was no real way to control what dreams you have, and then I gave her some suggestions of things to think about in case she did have a bad dream, so she would have something happy to put in her mind. But she was overtired, and there was no reasoning with her. When I had finally calmed her down and left her room, she fell asleep instantly.

First thing this morning, our alarms go off, Is bounces out of her room; on her way to the bathroom, she calls in to me…*

“Mommy, it was totally not worth crying and all last night. I slept and didn’t have any bad dreams!”

“Told you so.”

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February 1, 2017

*Is gets two or three pages of homework every day (except Fridays), and once a month the teachers send home a new Sight Words sheet. We put that sheet up on the fridge after we work on reading the words together. But after we do the words, Isobel and I take turns making up little stories that use all the words in order, the sillier the better. I like to start my stories with, ‘It was a dark and stormy night…’

Today, the first sight word was ‘she’. We didn’t get much further than that, because…*

“She was a dark and stormy night…”

“HAHAHAHAHAHA! Isobel, that’s hilarious.”

“I’m not done, Mommy.”

“Dude, sorry. Please continue.”

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January 30, 2017 (after dinner)

*Our dishwasher is broken. The repair guy is supposed to come tomorrow with a new pump… ’til then, I’m on my own. I’ve washed four sinkfuls of dishes today alone- not a big deal, but enough to make me not want to wash many more dishes tonight. I put my big pan in the sink to soak, full of hot, soapy, greasy water. We had a friend over for dinner, and while Isobel was still finishing, I went into the kitchen to put my dish in the sink, and run more hot water in the pan. To my surprise and slight dismay, someone had tossed a dish in the sink, slopping greasy, sudsy water all over the counter, floor, and down the front of the dishwasher and cabinets. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but I just had my hip replaced two months ago and am not quite back up to snuff yet. I went back to the porch and said to the boys…*

“I don’t care which one of you did it, but I am NOT cleaning up the mess by the sink. Please go take care of it.”

*I sat back next to Isobel, who was still eating her broccoli. She asked me what happened, so I explained. And with a knowing nod and slight shrug, she looked right at me, and with a perfectly straight face, said…*

“Boys.”

I laughed so hard I nearly fell off the chair.

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