October 18, 2017 – Problem Solved

*Isobel is in first grade. In class, the kids sit grouped together by fours and fives- there is one girl at Is’s table who, sometimes, just isn’t that nice. Today, Is reported that this girl grabbed a boy’s math work and threw it on the floor. Then she turned and said to Is, “Why are you always staring at people?”*

“Mommy, she always says I’m staring at her.”
“Are you?”
“No, I’m just looking around.”
“Okay, did it bother you that she said that?”
“Well, yes.”
“Huh. Well, you could really, really stare at her, like this…” And I stare at Isobel, really hard, and when she starts to smile, I turn my head a little, but don’t smile back, kinda creepy-like.
“But, Mom, that’s not how we do things now.”
“Oh?”
“No, when there’s a problem, we don’t just do something back to someone. Like when you were in school. Like in old times.”
“Huh. Like old times.”
“Yeah. It’s much gentler now.”
“It sounds like it. That’s nice. Okay, so what do you do now? How would you handle it?”
“I already told her I’m not staring at her.”
“Good! That should do it, right?”
“I’m not sure… she says it all the time.”
“Huh. Well, what else can you do?”
“Well, I don’t want to get clipped down, so I could just tell the teacher.”
“That seems like a good idea. Will you do that the next time she bothers you?”
“Yeah! Thanks for solving all my problems!”
“You really solved your problem, Is, if you think about it.”

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October 6, 2017- After bedtime

*We’ve been reading Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. We’re just getting to the part (spoiler alert) where Dumbledore and Harry are in the cave, about to get the Horcrux. I’m a bit concerned reading this part before Isobel goes to sleep. I stop right before Harry puts the goblet in the water.*

“We’ll finish this part tomorrow, I told you, these books get scarier now. We can read it in the afternoon, we’ll do some Eloise or something else before bed, okay?”
“I think I’m going to have bad dreams anyway!”
“I hope not. Let’s do our good dreams on the monitor.”

*I hug her and stroke her nose a few times, like I’ve done since she was an infant, then go grab the monitor.*

“Want me to go first?”
“Yes!”
“Okay, um, it’s a three day weekend! So, no school on Monday!”
“Ooh! Really?”
“Yep. Your turn.”
“I’m too tired, you just do the good dreams.”
“All right. Let’s see. We got to see Grandma for dinner, that was nice.”
“Yes… …”
“And maybe we’ll go to the beach on Monday, it’s supposed to be good weather.”
“The beach! We can go to the beach, instead of school! I can play in the sand?”
“Sure, baby, it’ll be fun. So, dream about that, okay?”
“Mommy, I think we just came up with the medicine for bad dreams.”
“I sure hope so.”

P.S. She had GOOD DREAMS last night! Not one nightmare. The medicine works!

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October 3, 2017, after bedtime

*She’s supposed to be sleeping. It’s been a busy day- school, swimming lesson (in the big pool today!), and dinner with a friend. Plus, I am rockin’ my new ‘always patient mom, goddamn it’ self. I’m trying to, anyway. Then, on the monitor…*

“Mom. I made up a word.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Yeah. Wanna hear it?”
“Sure.”
“Twickerninge.”
“Okay. What does it mean?”
“I’ll tell you when I find out.”
“Haha, okay babe. Go to sleep, it’s getting late.”
“Okay. Good night.”

*Some time passes, just a little.*

“Mom.”
“Yeah, babe.”
“It means an animal eating. Like, look, twickerninge over there, standing up. See, I used it in a sentence.”
“That is amazing.”
“I know, right?”
“Good night, babe.”
“Good night, Mommy.”

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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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January 22, 2017

*Is climbs into bed with me this morning, complete with her new flamingo toy (okay, it’s really a squeaky dog toy, but she saw it at the pet store yesterday and flipped out, so now it’s hers) and a Valentine’s Day balloon. She’s tucked the flamingo in (Isobel is the Mommy) and is telling the flamingo a bedtime story. Apparently, my upcoming second hip replacement (scheduled for Valentine’s Day) is something Is has been thinking about…*

“Okay, this story is called, ‘The Aliens of Harmony.’  Once upon a time, Mom wanted to go to outer space, and the doctor said ‘wait ’til you get your new hip on Valentine’s Day,’ and she said okay and then she got in the rocket ship and blasted off into space. And then the aliens did some bad thing to Mom, but we’ll find out next time what that is.”

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December 19, 2016

*Isobel’s class has all the kids doing holiday cards for each other- they’ll be making mailbags in class to collect the cards from their classmates. So, of course they’re due on WEDNESDAY, and we just started them today… anyway, we get to the card for a kid named J. (who is not a popular kid, Is has told us time and again that he does things the other kids don’t like, and he thinks he’s being funny when he’s not, and most of the kids don’t like him. Is is decorating the cards…*

“So, Is, what do you want to do on J.’s card? Glue some sequins, draw a picture… you don’t have to write ‘love, Isobel’ at the end, if you don’t want to, you can write ‘from Isobel’ instead…”
“No, Mommy, I’m going to make a good happy picture, and make him a really nice card, because maybe it will make him happy.”
“You are absolutely the nicest person I know, Is.”
“And I’m gonna put explanation marks after love, so then he’ll be really happy, because I’m shouting my love.”

#ShoutingLove

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