May 11, 2017

*After school, Is usually has a snack and watches something on her iPad, then does her homework. Today, she’s watching a show called ‘The Annoying Orange.’ I don’t always let her watch this one, but today’s episode seemed harmless. I was wrong, of course. They’re telling jokes about Uranus and pooping… and this leads to questions…*

“Mommy. What’s funny about Uranus?”
“Well, it’s the name of a planet, U-R-A-N-U-S, but it’s also the proper name for the end of your large intestine, where the poop comes out, that’s your anus. A-N-U-S. So, it can be funny when you confuse them is a joke, see?”
“Oh. So Uranus is a planet?”
“Yes.”
“Hmm. Does it poop?”
“Uh…”

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April 25, 2017 (after a bath)

*Isobel wasn’t feeling well today- she had a stomachache and so stayed home from school. I gave her a bath after lunch, hoping it might make her feel better. She went to get dressed, and came back for me to finish drying her hair wearing a matching underwear set, a short royal blue fake fur sparkle vest, thigh high pink cheetah-print socks, and the gloves left over from her Blue Meanie Halloween costume. She was also wearing the pink beaded eyeglass chain she found at a yard sale this weekend, making her look like a tiny, eccentric librarian.*

“Hey, Is, how come you aren’t wearing pants?”

“Well… the pants fairy told me not to wear pants today.”

“Oh, well, that’s okay then, we don’t want to tussle with the pants fairy.”

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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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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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January 16, 2017

*After her swimming lesson at the gym today, I’m drying Isobel’s hair in the changing room. She turns and wiggles her loose tooth (her first!!!! OMFG!) at me, and points out the new space between her teeth. As she’s doing this, a woman who’s already changed and on her way out, walks by us, overhears our tooth conversation, and says..*

“Wow! I wonder what the Tooth Fairy brings these days?”

*Is turns to me and shrugs, then back to the woman and says…*

“I’m not sure, it’s my first loose tooth.”

“Well, when I was a kid, I think we got a quarter or something like that.”

*We briefly discuss inflation and its possible affect on the Tooth Fairy’s current payout plan. After the woman leaves, Is turns to me and says…*

“Mommy. That lady believes in the Tooth Fairy.”

“Seems like it. That’s pretty nice.”

(Looking around, concern apparent on her face) “She didn’t hear me, right?”

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January 12, 2017 (after school)

*We’ve been having some toilet issues in the house lately. It’s an older home, built in 1957, so the plumbing, while original copper, is still old and has taken quite a beating over the years. Isobel is afraid of flushing the toilet in the blue bathroom, because one time it backed up and overflowed. Right now, the toilet in the pink bathroom is taken apart, because it was leaking from the tank, so it’s in pieces on the floor ’til the plumber can come and fix it (and the ceiling in the basement, but that’s another project). Because the pink toilet is currently taken apart, the top is off the tank, and you can see the float and valve and stuff inside. She’s referring to the float, which looks just like a clown’s horn bulb! This kid notices EVERYTHING.

Today, I’m in the blue bathroom with Isobel, when a car horn beeps outside…*

“Mommy! What was that noise???”

“What? What do you think it was?”

“The toilet.”

“The toilet? No, it was a car horn, baby. Toilets don’t have horns.”

“Yes they do! I’ve seen it inside!”

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January 9, 2017 (after school)

*Walking in the house, Isobel has had a sort of rough day; hurt her leg on the car, and then I told her it was too cold to play in the snow. She’s crying on her way into the house, throwing her gloves and boots, angry and sad…*

“Look, babe, let’s hug, have a tissue, I’ll make you a snack, then we can talk about your day, okay?”

“NO!”

“Okay.”

*She takes the tissue, wipes her face and says…*

“I’m gonna make you dinner. In my restaurant. I want to feel better so I’m going to cook for you, and thenĀ  you can cook for real, for me.”

“Okay, that sounds good! Where do you want me?”

“On the stairs, stay there. I have a Stair Restaurant.”

*She grabs a few bits of toy food from the living room and carefully and artfully sets them up on the volute- it reminds me of the show ‘Chef’s Table.’ I settle myself on the steps while she flies up to the playroom; immediately I hear banging and things being collected, then little footsteps at the top of the stairs. From behind and above me, she says…*

“It’s a Calm Restaurant. For you to not be starving in. Okay. Okay?”

“I got it. I’m calm.”

*Next thing, she loses control of the huge pile of toy food in her arms and it all comes bouncing down the stairs, so I quickly turn my surgical hip away, and get hit with about twenty pieces of plastic food. I hold up a few things that I managed to catch; an eggplant, half a cake, a spoon, and say…*

“THIS IS NOT CALM EATING! ALSO, I AM STARVING!”

“Hahahaha!”

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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!”

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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.”

“Okay.”

**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.”

“Mommy?”

“Yeah, babe?”

“It’s the FUCHSIA pink one, okay?”

“I got it.”

January 2, 2017

*Isobel nearly always comes in to draw on the big mirror in the bathroom while I’m taking a shower. Today was no exception- she drew a monster with a huge V on top of its head. It had three faces, and each face showed a big, happy smile. She held up three fingers and said…*

“This is how much faces the monster has!”
“He’s adorable! They’re all smiley. And it’s how many, not how much.””Oh, right, how many. Okay.”

“Right. Remember, much is if you can’t count something, and many if is you CAN count… like, how many fingers, or how much air…” I swing my hand around in the air, making figure eights.

“But, Mommy, you can count everything. Because it’s molecules.”

“Huh. Well, you got me there, kid. You’re right. But let’s say you don’t have the technology handy, such an electron microscope, right then to count something like air, so you’d say how much. Okay?”

“Okay. You still like my monster?”
“Very much.”

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