January 15, 2017 (bedtime)

*Is is scared of a noise and doesn’t want me to leave her room tonight…*

“Babe, I think the sound is the dryer running. You know I put those felt ball things in there, so it makes that banging sound-”

“But don’t leave.”

“Okay, I’ll stay for a minute. How about a hug?”

“Well, even though your breath is stinky, I would like a hug. Okay, then.”



January 9, 2017-Past Bedtime (again)

*I think she’s sleeping. But I’m wrong.*


“Yeah, babe?”

“Can you give away a baby if you don’t want it?”

“Yep. It’s called adoption. If a woman has a baby and she can’t keep it, or take care of it, or maybe she doesn’t want it, she can give it to a family who does want the baby. Daddy and Aunt Lisa are both adopted.”


“Is that it?”

“That’s a good way for boys to get a baby.”

“Sure, if a couple is two dads, they might want to adopt a baby, since they can’t have one of their own so easily.”

“That’s nice.”

“It’s more like wonderful. Good night, babe.”


January 7, 2017

*So, you know how sometimes you say something, and then it hits you that there’s no way, no possible way in any possible world, that that sentence has ever been uttered before? Even in another language. There’s no friggin’ way. In all the books I’ve read on parenting, not one even remotely suggested I’d have to request that my kindergartener remove a toy egg from a clown’s head so that she could go to bed on time.

Tonight, Is is getting her yayas out by smacking around her big Bozo punching bag before bed. I’m waiting nearby to read some Harry Potter, when she smacks Bozo into the bookshelf, where she’s left a stack of felt sandwich parts, like a fried egg, Swiss cheese, pickles, jelly, bread, stuff like that. The felt fried egg falls off the shelf and she picks it up, plops it on Bozo’s head, laughs manically, and does it over and over and over and…*

“Isobel, it’s bedtime. Please take the egg off Bozo’s head and let’s get going…”

“HAHAHA Mommy!”




January 2, 2017 (Past Bedtime)

*Is goes to bed and about five minutes later, I’m in the basement throwing sheets into the dryer, when I hear her on the monitor in my pocket, “Oh no!”*

“What, Is?”

“I forgot to put Lammie to bed!”
“Oh, baby, it’s okay, I can do it- you’ve got school tomorrow. I’ll take care of Lammie, don’t worry.”


**I think that’s the end, and make a mental note to tuck Lammie in somewhere cozy when I get back upstairs. And then…**

“So…I think she’s on the porch, I don’t think she’s in the living room, but she’s all alone, and she’s maybe on the table in the porch, you know, the pointy table. You have to put her in the pink thing with the Velcro back, the one with no sleeves, it’s soft, so she’s not too hot, because then she won’t sleep. The sleeveless one. And then put her blanket that has butterflies on it, and the bed, and if you could do it, put her on the red couch, with the colorful pillow.”

***Somewhere in the middle of Isobel’s directions, I grab a little notebook and pen and start taking notes. She’s counting on me, so totally seriously, to put her baby to bed. I start thinking how funny it would be if I did it PERFECTLY, the way the kid wants, because, clearly, she had a plan… and it’s such an easy thing to do (maybe sometimes), to put a beloved doll away properly for any child… So now, I’m leaning over the washing machine, laughing and writing, (which is why I have it down EXACTLY as she told me). The next second, there’s a clatter on theĀ  stairs, and Munkle comes flying into the room holding up Lammie. He’d heard every word through her bedroom door and was concerned that Isobel was so upset. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who wanted to make sure Lammie got tucked in.***

“I’ve got it. And we’ll give her lots and lots of kisses and hugs, don’t worry.”

“Okay, Mommy.”


“Yeah, babe?”

“It’s the FUCHSIA pink one, okay?”

“I got it.”

November 3, 2014

*While reading ‘The Cat in the Hat’ tonight…*

“Mommy, why are those Things doin’ that?”
“I don’t know, Is, let’s find out as we keep reading.”
“But, Mommy… why are they actin’ that way?”
“Let’s find out.”
“But the Mommy is out of the house.”
“That’s right.”
“Where did she go?”
“I don’t know, Is.”
“But… Mom… How could she go out and just leave them there all alone?”


October 27, 2014

*Tonight, we read a few stories, one of which was ‘Clifford, We Love You.’ The first sentence is: “Clifford was feeling down-in-the-dumps.”*

“Mommy, what does down-in-dumps mean?”
“Down-in-the-dumps means when you’re sad. It happens to everybody, sometimes.”
“Hmm. It doesn’t happen to ME.”
“You know what, Is? That’s true. It hasn’t happened to you.”
“Poor Clifford.”


October 13, 2014

*Just before bed*

“Mom… I’m gonna have some weird dreams tonight.”
“Yep. And I’ll tell you about them later. In the morning. When I’m up again.”
“Okay, I can’t wait.”
“Oh, you’ll wait ’til after I pee-pee, Mommy.”


October 11, 2014

*Right before bed, Is picks up her toy phone and begins a conversation*

“Oh, hello! Yes, yes. Oh, no. No, I can’t do that. No, no, no, no, no. No. No way. Oh, Mom? She’s right here. No. She’s just sitting there, on the chair. No. No, no, no, no. Okay, bye.”


October 2, 2014

*Waiting for Is’s blankets to come out of the dryer*

“Mommy, where is my bwanket?”
“I had to wash it this morning, remember, and the other ones too? They’re in the dryer now. Hear it running downstairs?”
“Yessssss….. but can you just make my bed now and put my pillow in there and all my buddies so it’s ready for me?”
“Sure, as soon as the blankets are out of the dryer. They’re still damp, and they need to be dry before I can make the bed.”
“But… can’t you just use a towel?”
“Oh… no… towels are for people, and dishes… laundry has to go through the washer, and then the dryer, unless it’s hung up to dry, like bathing suits. Even the towels go in the washer and dryer.”
“Mommy… that’s too much!”
“It’s not a big deal, Is. They’ll be dry soon and your bed will be all ready, I promise.”


September 30. 2014

*Looking out the window right before bed, Is notices that it’s pretty dark out*

“Mommy, where’s the sunset?”
“It’s done already, Is. It’s nighttime now.”
“Are the birds sleeping?”
“Yes. They can’t fly at night, so they’re all cozy and asleep in their nests.”
“Why can’t they fly at night?”
“Well, they can’t see where they’re going, so they can’t fly.”
“But why?”
“They need light to see. And the sunlight is gone, because it’s night.”
“But bats… Bats can fly at night. They only fly at night.”
“Really? How do they see?”
“They don’t have to. They hear where they’re going, instead of seeing.”
“Mom… Bats must be really good listeners.”