Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Watching ER

Ethan and I have recently been re-watching the tv show ER, starting all the way back at Season 1.  We're currently up to Season 3, and we had just started an episode on our bedroom tv when Madeleine came in.

MADELEINE: Good night!  I finished my reading!
ME: Good night, honey.
MADELEINE: (climbing into the bed and under the covers)
ME: You want to give me a good night snuggle in here?
ME: Okay, you can, but you have to be quiet, because Daddy and I are watching a show.

Madeleine settled in to cuddle while the scene showed Dr. Carter, who had overslept, rushing into rounds with the head of surgery.  Carter, flustered, flubs up the answers to the questions the surgery head is asking him about the patient they are studying.  Madeleine popped up from out of the covers to watch the screen, then look at me with her mouth wide open.

MADELEINE: He doesn't know ANYTHING about how to take care of ANIMALS!

Says the expert, who is so with the program that she immediately understood that ER is actually about doctors caring for animals, not human patients.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Vocabulary Words

Madeleine gave me a vocabulary lesson while she was in the shower this afternoon.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  The shower is EARTH-HEAVEN.
ME: Oh, yeah?
MADELEINE: Yes.  It feels SO good.  Mommy?  It's called "Earth-Heaven" because it's on EARTH, so nothing on Earth could actually be as great as Heaven.
ME: I see.
MADELEINE: Mommy?  "Earth-Heaven" can also be things that you ENJOY, like baking or swimming.  Like, a pool can be Earth-Heaven.
ME: That makes sense.

I mean, I kind of thought the word "heavenly" covered the whole feeling of Heaven on Earth, but I guess we need to get even more specific.

And speaking of word definitions:

JULIA: Mommy?  What does "ananimous" mean?
ME: ...
JULIA: NOT "anonymous."  "Ananimous."
ME: you mean "unanimous?"
JULIA: (clarity flashing across her face) Oh!  "Unanimous!"
ME: Right.
JULIA: ...
ME: Do you know what "unanimous" means?
ME: Oh.  Like, a unanimous decision is one in which everyone votes the same way.
JULIA: Oh!  I thought it was, like, a fancy way to say "anonymous" or something!

Well, that totally makes sense.  It's just like all those other words that are normally spelled with an "a" but in their fancy version are spelled with a "u," like "umazing" and "uppropriate" and "ustonishing."   And we ALL know that "umazing" basically means "Earth-Heaven."

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Best Mommy

Conversation with Madeleine last night at bed

MADELEINE: I love you, Mommy!  You're the BEST Mommy in the whole world!
ME: Well, I don't think I'm the best in the world, but thank you.
ME: I'm okay, but I don't think I'm the best mommy in the entire world.
MADELEINE: You ARE.  TRUST me.  I've MET other mommies.
ME: Oh yeah?  And what's so different?
MADELEINE: Other mommies, like, make their kids STAY at the table when they're done, and other mommies buy, like, only really really super duper HEALTHY food instead of the kinds of snacks WE have.

So I'm the best mommy in the world because I don't enforce my children's table manners and I buy them lots of junk food?  Sounds pretty award-worthy to me!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Seven I'm in Heaven!

As Madeleine and I got in the car after I picked her up from swim team, she was desperate to teach me how to play a new game.

MADELEINE: Mommy!  I want to teach you "Seven I'm In Heaven!"
ME: Okay.
MADELEINE: Okay.  So.  I'll go first.  It's good I'm going first, because it works out.
ME: Okay...
MADELEINE: So.  Okay.  I have...ONE pumpkin.  How many things will YOU have?
ME: Uh...
MADELEINE: So now you go.  You have to say you have TWO of something.
ME: Okay.  I have two apples.
MADELEINE: Okay, so how many things will you have with yours and mine?
ME: Uh, three.
MADELEINE: Okay.  I have THREE swim bags.  So I have...FIVE things.
ME: I have,  So I have (adding four, three, two and one in my head) ten things.
MADELEINE: Uh, no, Mommy.
ME: Don't I add all the things?
MADELEINE: No, you just add your thing and the LAST thing of mine.
ME: Okay.  I have seven things.
MADELEINE: Okay.  I have five flags.  So now I have NINE things.
ME: I have, um...six snowballs.  So I have eleven things.
MADELEINE: Okay.  I have seven.  Oh!  Seven, I'm in Heaven!


Wait, that's the game?  I was confused.  I felt that Madeleine surely must be mis-remembering something about this game, which she had probably learned at school as part of a math exercise.

ME: So what happens now?
MADELEINE: When you have seven, you DON'T say how many things you'll have, you just say "Seven, I'm in Heaven!"
ME: Where did you learn this game?
MADELEINE: Oh!  I made it UP!

Aha.  That explains it.

ME: Oh, okay, so that's the end?
MADELEINE: Yup.  I made it up.  It's really fun!  *I* think it's really fun, but Julia thinks it's BORING.

Madeleine then had some more math wisdom for me.

MADELEINE:  Mommy?  I feel like three ALWAYS comes back on ITSELF.  So.  There are TWO cones.  You look at them, and decide you like the SECOND one better.  So, you count up to three on the cone.  ONE - starting on the SECOND cone, since you like it better, TWO, for the first cone, then you're like, (gasp!) there's only TWO CONES!  So what should my third one be?  So you do the SECOND one again.  That's how it ALWAYS comes back to itself.

I'm beginning to think Madeleine is some kind of mathematical MASTER-GENIUS.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Spelling Bee

Last year, Julia teamed up with two classmates to compete in the 4th and 5th grade Spelling Bee at her school.  Julia didn't bother to study at all, nor did a second classmate, leaving the one poor girl who had studied her words to carry the weight of the whole team.  They got out on the word "exhausted," and that was that.

This year, the same three girls teamed up again for the Spelling Bee, and Julia was super grouchy with me when I suggested she study this time.  The Bee was scheduled for last Wednesday, but postponed because of a Nor'Easter coming through our area.  The new date was yesterday, upon which we got nearly 2 feet of snow, and the Bee was postponed once again.  This gave Julia a little extra time to go over her words, and she decided it wasn't the end of the world to study a little bit.

The Bee got rescheduled for during school today, as a deadline is approaching: the town-wide Education Fund Spelling Bee is this coming Sunday, and the winners from each elementary school in town will face off at Sunday's competition.  So without any warning or preamble, the students were thrown into a Spelling Bee near the end of the school day today.

Julia's team won.  And she is NOT.  HAPPY.

In order to attend Sunday's Bee, Julia will have to miss the last practice of Swim Team of the regular season.  Sure, the post-season picks up in April, but not everyone on the team swims for the spring session, and Julia absolutely does not want to miss out on one last hurrah with her current teammates.  Because I just happen to exist for all members of the Rowe household to take their aggression out on, Julia decided to direct her frustrations towards me.

ME: You won?  Wow!  Congratulations!
JULIA: But I don't WANT to go to the Spelling Bee on Sunday.
ME: Well, you're supposed to go, aren't you?
JULIA: I don't want to miss swim!
ME: Well, it's not a big deal to miss swim.
JULIA: Yes it IS a big deal.
ME: ...
JULIA: I'm NOT missing swim.
ME: Okay...what should I...
JULIA: Why did we have to WIN?  I didn't WANT to win.
ME: Well, you should be proud that you won!
JULIA: I'm proud that we WON, but I don't WANT to go to the Spelling Bee on Sunday.
ME: I competed at that Spelling Bee last year.  It was fun!  There's all kinds of food - cookies, and fruit, and other treats, and you get free stuff to take home...
JULIA: I'm NOT going to eat any cookies.
ME: ...
JULIA: And I won't even USE the free stuff.

Okay then.  Sheesh.  What kind of a mother was I, encouraging Julia to study?  I mean, I had figured, even if she DID study, her team would NOT be the winning team.  I sure blew it on that one.  Next time I'll encourage Julia to be completely remiss in her studying AND to throw the competition just to be SURE she doesn't earn the title of "Winner."  Don't want any kids of mine winning anything, because clearly it's, like, the WORST THING EVER if they do.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Animal Facts Project

Everything you ever wanted to know about:

This is Madeleine's school project on an animal of her choice.  (I was shocked that she didn't pick chihuahuas!)  And, of course, Madeleine wasted no time showing her utter confidence in the greatness of her work compared to the rest of the second graders'.

MADELEINE: I think mine is the CUTEST.

She has an interesting idea of cuteness.  That guy looks like he's ready to rip my head off in a display of ferocity.  But then again, that's exactly the kind of thing Madeleine has been drawing throughout her entire artistic career.  What is a Madeleine piece of artwork without impending danger, right?

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Tonight at bedtime, Madeleine and I mused over the various OCD-esque tics she has gone through in past years.  We reminisced about her period of saying "Air hug!  Wave to you! (blowing a kiss) Love you!  You're the best!" anytime one of us so much as left the room (she is not really quite past this one, but it has gone from a compulsion to a sometimes thing.)  We talked about her somewhat alarming period of needing to shrug her shoulders and make throat noises repeatedly.  She reminded me of her urgent need to kiss me three - and no more and no less than three - times after I ever gave her a kiss.

MADELEINE: Remember THREE kisses?  That was my FIRST tic!
ME: Oh, my gosh, yes, I remember that one.
MADELEINE: Before that, I had a SECRET tic.
ME: What was it?
MADELEINE: It was TWO kisses.  And it had to be two kisses, and when I did two kisses, I would imagine a picture of two circles, and they looked like CELLS, like red blood cells, and they were GROSS, and they would turn DARK and GRAY if it was three kisses.

I'm so glad that I managed to pass on all my top notch genetic quirks to my children.  Anxiety and insomnia to Julia, OCD to Madeleine.  Sorry, kids.  Maybe you got some winner genes from Daddy, though???