Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Girls and Their Nonsense

Julia's Irrational Fear Freak-Outs, Part Ten Million:


1.) Running out of her bedroom into Ethan's & my room at bedtime.

JULIA: What's wrong with the heater?  It's making a clicking sound!
ETHAN AND I: It's fine.
JULIA: But it's making a clicking sound!  What if is causes an EXPLOSION??
ETHAN AND I: It won't.
JULIA: But why is it making that sound?
ETHAN AND I: It's totally normal.  Go back to bed.
JULIA: (inching slowly out of the door frame and closing the door in glacially slow increments)
ETHAN AND I: Go to bed!!
JULIA: (closing the door and scampering off)




2.) Ethan and I were goofing around while watching tv, singing made-up lyrics to the theme music.

JULIA: (bursting into our bedroom)
ME: It's just us.  We're singing.  Go back to bed.
JULIA: (with relief) Oh!  I thought it was MURDEROUS CLOWNS.



3.) Julia freaks out for no explicable reason while watching "Kids Baking Championship" with her sister and aunt.

JULIA: What's happening right now?!?  What's that?!?
EVERYONE ELSE: Why?  What are you noticing?
JULIA: What's HAPPENING?  Is something wrong?  What's going on?!?
EVERYONE ELSE: What are you talking about?
JULIA: (running upstairs in panic) IS SOMETHING WRONG?
ME: Nobody sees or hears anything so we don't know what you're talking about.
JULIA: But WHAT'S HAPPENING?
ME: What do you mean?
JULIA: I don't know!  Something seems WRONG!
ME: Like what?
JULIA: Why doesn't ANYBODY ELSE HEAR THAT SOUND???
ME: Uhhh...???

Julia then went into the safety of her bedroom and missed the end of "Kids Baking Championship."  I still have no idea what sent her into her tailspin of anxiety.


At least Julia is not the only one who seems to be spouting gibberish at times.  Madeleine was telling me about her big conundrum last night, and I'm not sure I get what the problem is.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  I'm *really* on a writing kick lately!
ME: I know, I've noticed.
MADELEINE: And I'm on a naming kick.  Like, I mean, NAMES for books I'm writing.  Like, I mean, the name OF the book, AND the names for the characters.
ME: I always loved coming up with character names when I would write stories.
MADELEINE: And Mommy?  The bad thing it: sometimes I come up with a name I want to use for my book, but then I get inspired by something else, and I get DISAPPOINTED.
ME: Oh?
MADELEINE: Yeah.  Like, at school, I was going to the bathroom, and I had this idea in my mind about writing a book called "The Blind Girl."  And when I was going to the bathroom I saw this picture of a puppy, and then when I got back to class I was DISAPPOINTED, because I had the idea of making a book called "The Blind Girl."


That's a real problem that makes total sense.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day

Last night, before going to sleep:

ETHAN: What time do you need to get up tomorrow?
ME: Around 7:30.  I don't have to work.


This morning:

MADELEINE: (bursting into the bedroom) Mommy!  It's VALENTINE'S DAY!
ME: Mmmmphh.  What time is it?
MADELEINE: Six forty-nine!
ME: Okay.  I'm gonna sleep a little longer.


Madeleine was not having it, though, and burst in twice more to hurry me the heck up.  She couldn't WAIT to exchange Valentines with her family members.  I can't blame her, because in the giving of Valentines, she also got to receive some pretty cool stuff.  She wound up with not just candy and cards, but also a Flippy Sequin Shirt (Flippy Sequin shirts, if you don't know, are ALL THE RAGE right now) and the next book in the "American Girl: Nanea" series.


Madeleine was so into this holiday that she even decorated the fireplace mantle, and I got a picture of her and Julia with their loot bags (from me, containing the aforementioned pretty cool stuff):



Julia, who also received clothes, a book, and candy from me, gave me a lovely hand-made heart-shaped Valentine.  And Madeleine went to theatrical levels.  She and Julia ran into the hallway, from where I heard sounds of grunting and struggling, and Ethan had to go lend an extra hand.  He and Julia emerged pushing a very heavy box that had this kid inside it:



Happy Valentine's Day to me!  I will DEFINITELY treasure and cherish that kid who popped out of the box, for all my life!  Madeleine got pretty irritated at me for recycling the box later in the day so I guess I'm gonna have to keep that, too.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Church

While Julia has always enjoyed going to church, Madeleine has been a much more reluctant attendee.  I found out recently that she even associates a certain smell with her dislike of sitting through the church service.

MADELEINE: The smell I *really* don't like is the CHURCH smell.
ME: You mean the incense?
MADELEINE: No.  I mean the DRESS smell.
ME: The way the choir robes smell?
MADELEINE: No, the way your dresses smell.


I tend to wear perfume sparingly, only for occasions on which I am dressed up, of which church is one of them.

ME: You mean you don't like the way my perfume smells?
MADELEINE: It might be that.  It's just the way your dresses smell.
ME: Yeah, well it's probably from the perfume I wear to church.


Okay, now it makes sense to me why, a few months back, when I was wearing perfume on a non-Sunday, Madeleine got so upset.  She snapped at me, "Mommy!  It's NOT church today!" when I came close to her to give her a hug.  I guess I had the dreaded dress smell, aka the church smell.  Not to be confused with the boot smell.


At any rate, Madeleine recently announced, "I like church now!" after she attempted to follow along with my choir music and join in singing a few weeks back.  So now, rather than drawing creep-tastic pictures in the choir pews, she stands directly in front of me, leaning her back against my body, singing along with the choir.  There are a lot of demands on me in order to make this happen.  Like, if I forget to point along to the text and/or the notes, Madeleine reminds me of my duty.  If I don't happen to have the music for a particular response, because I've memorized it, Madeleine is critical.  However, she is at least engaged in the service, so I can't complain too much.  Today I had Madeleine leaning against me in front of me, singing along, with Julia to my side, also leaning against me and singing along.  There wasn't much room for me to move or make my Sign of the Cross, but at least I had happy children.  Every time Madeleine would feel she had successfully executed a choir response, she would tilt her head backwards and flash me a look of delighted surprise and pride.

Julia, who has learned the music pretty perfectly by now, was able to sing along without needing my help; however, since ALL THREE of us were sharing one choir binder, Julia had some trouble seeing the music at times.

JULIA: (whispering to me in between responses) Can you tell Madeleine to move, because her head is blocking the music!
MADELEINE: (wilting into a forlorn heap)
ME: (trying to whisper to Madeleine in between responses) Come on, honey, keep singing.
MADELEINE: (with as much self-pity as she could muster, as the choir began singing) I *can't!*  Julia said I have a GIANT HEAD.  (Wilting back into a forlorn heap.)

We were eventually able to convince Madeleine that despite her giant head, we appreciated her lending her voice to the choir, so she got over her pity party and joined back in.

Yikes.  I think I've got a diva-in-training.  But at least she likes church now!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Musical Game

I was organizing my choral music alphabetically within three different binders when Madeleine had something urgent to tell me.

MADELEINE: Everybody, LISTEN UP!  I have an IMPORTANT announcement!
ME: Okay, what?
MADELEINE: See if you can guess!  (Going over to the piano) Okay.  See if you can figure out what I'm trying to tell you.
ME: Okay.
MADELEINE: (playing the following notes) C.  High C.  C-C-C-C.  High C.  C-C.  High C.  C-C.  High C.  C-C.  High C.  C-C-C.  High C.  C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C.
ME: Uh...
MADELEINE: Can you guess it?
ME: No...
MADELEINE: Come on, Mommy.  Try and guess it!  Here.  Let me do it again.  C.  High C.  C-C-C-C.  High C.  C-C.  High C.  C-C.  High C.  C-C.  High C.  C-C-C.  High C.  C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C.
ME: Honey, I have no idea.  You have to give me a hint.
MADELEINE: I can't!  Here.  Mommy.  See if you can try and figure it out by the letters.  Okay.  ONE letter. (Playing C.)
ME: Um..."I?"
MADELEINE: (delighted) Yes!  Okay.  (Playing the High C)  Space.  Okay.  Four letters.  (Playing C-C-C-C.)
ME: "Love?"
MADELEINE: No!
ME: Uh..."need?"
MADELEINE: Yes! (Playing the High C.)  Space.  Okay.  Two letters.  (Playing C-C.)
ME: Um.  "Me?"
MADELEINE: NO!
ME: Uh..."my?"
MADELEINE: NO!
ME: Um.  "To?"
MADELEINE: (delighted) Yes!  (Playing the High C.)  Okay.  Two letters.  (Playing C-C.)
ME: "Go?"
MADELEINE: (delighted) Yes!
ME: "I need to go poop?"
MADELEINE: Nope.  Okay. (Playing High C.)  Space.  Now.  Next:  two letters.  (Playing C-C.)
ME: Uh..."in?"
MADELEINE: No!
ME: "My?"
MADELEINE: No!
ME: I don't know, honey.  Can you just tell me?
MADELEINE: No!  Two letters.
ME: I don't know.  Can you give me a hint?
MADELEINE: It's two letters.  Hey!  I just said the WORD!
ME: Um.  "To?"
MADELEINE: Yes!  (Playing High C.)  Space.  Okay.  THREE letters.  (Playing C-C-C.)
ME: "The?"
MADELEINE: Yes!
ME: "I need to go to the bathroom?"
MADELEINE: Yes!  You got it!

I can understand why she needed to make such a fanfare of her important announcement.  Personally, I know that when I have an urgent need to pee, the first thing I want to do is come up with an elaborated coded musical game that takes someone forever to figure out in order to tell them I'm headed to the bathroom.

Friday, February 9, 2018

My Einsteins

This evening, at dinner:

JULIA: Mommy?  Our teacher told us a joke today.  "What kind of fish is perfect for Valentine's Day?"
ME: Uhh...an angelfish??
JULIA: No.  A cuttlefish!
ME: Oh, I get it.
MADELEINE: Oh, wait!  Mommy!  You'll DEFINITELY get this one.  What kind of thing lives in Heaven and is perfect for Christmas?
ME: Um.  An angel?
MADELEINE: No! - oh.  Wait.  Hang on.  I mean: what kind of FISH lives in Heaven and is perfect for Christmas?
ME: An angelfish?
MADELEINE: (delighted) Yes!!  You got it!


Wow.  That was an AMAZING joke, Madeleine.  I'm pretty proud of myself for getting it right!


Meanwhile, this happened earlier in the week:

JULIA: Mommy?  I need help!
ME: What's up?
JULIA: My pockets are, like, in my BUTT CHEEKS or something!
ME: Come over here. (feeling around outside her pajama pants where a bunchy lump is bulging)
JULIA: I put my pajamas on and it feels like the pockets are stuck in the butt or something.
ME: Hang on.  Take the pants off for a second.
JULIA: (pulling down her pajama pants, to discover a pair of underwear falling out of the butt of the pants and onto the ground.) Wait.  WHAT?
ME: Did you forget to take last night's underwear out of the pajama pants?
JULIA: (giggling) Uh, yeah, I guess so!

Mystery solved.  I don't know what to do with these whip-smart geniuses I'm raising.



Monday, February 5, 2018

Raccoon

Driving home from swim practice this evening, Madeleine and I saw a raccoon, and OH MY GOD was Madeleine excited.

MADELEINE: Mommy, look out for that-
ME: I know.  The cat.
MADELEINE: I was gonna say dog.
BOTH OF US, SIMULTANEOUSLY: Raccoon!

As we drove, Madeleine's excitement grew exponentially.

MADELEINE: Mommy, I thought it was a DOG, but it was a raccoon!
ME: I know.  I thought it was a cat.
MADELEINE: (bouncing up and down in her car seat) I can't believe it I can't believe it I can't BELIEVE we saw a RACCOON!
ME: I know.
MADELEINE: (continuing to bounce up and down, her voice growing more shrill) I'm gonna tell Julia that we saw a raccoon!  I can't BELIEVE we saw a raccoon!  I can't believe it I can't believe it I've never seen that before!
ME: I know.
MADELEINE: But Mommy.  I learned something that I think I already knew.
ME: What's that?
MADELEINE: Raccoons do NOT look both ways when they cross the street.
ME: No, they don't.
MADELEINE: That's crazy.  They should ADAPT to be able to do that!
ME: Yeah, they really should.
MADELEINE: Okay.  Mommy.  This is EXACTLY how I'm going to tell Julia when we get home.  The SECOND I open the door, even when it's just a CRACK open, I'm gonna shout "JULIA, WE SAW A RACCOON!"  Wait, Mommy.  Make sure I get to go inside first.


The announcement turned out to be as anti-climatic as I feared.

MADELEINE: (pushing past me, even though I was already waiting to let her go in from the garage first)
JULIA!  WE SAW A RACCOON!
(Silence)
MADELEINE: (bursting into the play basement) JULIA WE SAW A RACCOON!
(Silence)
MADELEINE: (running to the stairs) JULIA WE SAW A RACCOON!
ETHAN: (appearing at the top of the stairs, looking puzzled)
MADELEINE: JUUUUULIA!
ETHAN: She's in her room, Madeleine.  She can't hear you.


At least Madeleine got to practice a bunch of times before *actually* delivering the news to Julia.  I don't think Julia was as overwhelmed with awe as Madeleine would have liked, but at least one of the two kids was super excited about the raccoon sighting.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

District Championships

This weekend, the girls had their District Championships for swim.  The 11-12 girls swam yesterday, and Julia had a great time with her teammates:



Julia, along with three other teammates, swam their team to a 12th place finish in the medley relay; in that relay, Julia swam a personal best time in breast stroke, helping the relay to break their previous best time.  Julia also swam her second best time in the 200 IM and in the 50 breast stroke, plus swam a decent time in the 50 butterfly.  As if that weren't enough swimming, she joined her relay medley teammates in the final freestyle relay, swimming a strong second leg.


Madeleine swam today, and since this was her first Districts ever, she was happily oblivious to any feelings of pressure or competition:


I think her happy-go-lucky attitude served her well, because she swam her butt off in the butterfly leg of the medley relay, then went and qualified for New Englands in the 100 IM.  She also swam a solid 25 breast stroke, a great third leg of the freestyle relay, and most exciting of all, she placed 3rd overall in the 50 free!  Here she is sporting her medal:




So, of course, two tired kids who swam a LOT this weekend naturally equals a big fight over something TOTALLY RIDICULOUS at home, right?  I was in the middle of writing an essay for a Professional Development course for work when I heard shouting erupt from Julia's room.  The back-and-forth escalated until Julia screamed at Madeleine to get out of her room, so I was forced to go investigate.  I found the two of them surrounded by American Girl dolls.

ME: What is going on in here?
JULIA: I DON'T WANT MADELEINE IN HERE ANYMORE!  SHE'S MAKING HER DOLLS SAY REALLY MEAN THINGS!
MADELEINE: THAT'S BECAUSE JULIA IS SAYING THAT MY DOLLS ARE ACTING MEAN AND BRATTY!
JULIA: No, *I* didn't say that!  MY DOLLS SAID IT!
MADELEINE: WELL, THAT'S HURTING MY FEELINGS!
JULIA: WELL, IT'S HURTING MY FEELINGS THAT YOUR DOLLS ARE BEING MEAN!
MADELEINE: WELL, JULIA IS MAKING HER DOLLS BE REALLY MEAN TO MY DOLLS!
JULIA: WELL, YOUR DOLLS ARE SAYING THEY'RE BETTER SWIMMERS THAN LINDSAY!
MADELEINE: NO THEY'RE NOT!  I SAID THAT *I'M* A BETTER SWIMMER THAN LINDSAY!
JULIA: BUT THAT'S NOT FAIR!  LINDSAY WAS TALKING ABOUT SWIMMING ON HER U.S. SWIM TEAM AND GETTING MEDALS AND MADELEINE SAID SHE WAS BETTER!
ME: Wait a minute.  You're fighting because Madeleine said she's a better swimmer than your doll?
BOTH GIRLS: (giggling with chagrin)
ME: This is really ridiculous.
MADELEINE: Yeah, but Julia said that my dolls are being bratty!
JULIA: No I didn't!  My DOLLS said that!
ME: So you're fighting because your dolls are saying mean things to each other?
BOTH GIRLS: (giggling with chagrin yet again)
ME: Okay, can we just not fight about this?  It's ridiculous.
JULIA: BUT-
MADELEINE: BUT-
ME: Why don't I throw Lindsay in the pool today and we'll see how well she swims?
JULIA: (giggling)
MADELEINE: (gasping) No!  Don't do that!  She'll get wrecked!

Hopefully they realized, at that point, what a stupid argument this was.  I can't wait for bedtime.