Friday, May 25, 2018

Julia's New Song

Julia made up a new song this morning and proceeded to bellow it out, adding more and more verses, until it was time to go to school.  Let me assure you that the whole time I was *not* recording her, she sang with full-voiced confidence, even proclaiming at one point, "I'm PROUD of that rhyme.  That was a really good rhyme!" However, as soon as the camera was on, Julia was all giggles and forgetting the words (which hadn't really existed to begin with, as she was improvising the song on the fly.)  Oh, and in case you can't hear through her giggles on the video, the rhyme of which she was so proud?: Livin' in a Poop Yard is the best!  My yard is the poopiest!

Enjoy the giggly version of Livin' in a Poop Yard by Julia Rowe:

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pool Problem

We Rowes have been out of luck lately with outdoor pools!  Our town pool, which was closed for construction last summer and was due to open this summer, is woefully behind schedule and may not even open until mid-August.  I then re-joined the outdoor pool we paid a truckload for last summer, comforted by the fact that at least this pool opens May 21.  Unfortunately, they are also behind schedule, so when the Rowe ladies showed up this afternoon, right after lunch, as the public schools had an Early Release, we were told the pool is not yet open.

Julia couldn't handle life after this news, because any other pool that we could possibly go to was unacceptable to her.  I suggested we go to Lap Swim at the Y, but she refused to be seen at her usual pool unless she was at swim team practice.  I suggested other Y pools in the area, but she simply could not EVEN.  Madeleine was begging for us to go to a pool, any pool, because she really wanted to play, and I finally decided to see if we could pay for access to the indoor pool at the sports club we were already at.

Smart idea I had, because it turned out that as an apology for the outdoor pool being closed, we were allowed inside the Sports Club to use the indoor pool for free.  The girls were super excited upon hearing the news and cheerfully followed me out to the pool deck.  It wasn't long before they were happily in the water:

Julia, who has to miss swim team practice this evening due to her Honors Band and Chorus concerts, opted to do some laps, while Madeleine played with our Dive Sharks.  Last summer's game, "Death to Sharks," was quickly resurrected, and Madeleine had me toss the sharks for her to try and rescue, cheerily telling me which ones had died after she popped her head back above water.

MADELEINE: So, Mommy, Torpedo's dead, because he touched the ground, and if you touch the ground, you DIE.

Julia was so envious of Madeleine playing with the sharks that her interest in a lap workout suddenly waned.  She had just finished a 200 IM and since I am not a swim coach I asked her what she should swim next.

ME: Okay, what do you want to do next?  Some 50s?
JULIA: Death to Sharks.
ME: Well, why don't you do laps a little longer so Madeleine can play with the sharks on her own?
JULIA: (glowering at me like I'm ruining her life)

Once Julia did join in playing with Madeleine, I thought I could leave the pool edge and dry off in a chair for awhile.  However, Julia and Madeleine decided to loudly argue over the rules of what makes you dead in "Death to Sharks."

JULIA: No, Madeleine!  That's NOT how you play it.  You're DEAD if you're under water for more than a minute.
MADELEINE: No, Julia!  You're DEAD if you touch the ground.
JULIA: Madeleine!  That's not how you DIE!
MADELEINE: Julia, that's how I make them die.
JULIA: No, Madeleine, remember last summer?  You don't DIE if you touch the ground.  You DIE if you're under water for more than one minute.

So I had to go intervene and suggest that, given this was a made-up game, they were allowed to have different rules on shark deaths, and just had to be clear on which version they were going to play.  One version can have the sharks die when they touch the ground, one version can have the sharks die if they've been under water for too long.  For crying out loud, we really don't need to be yelling at each other about the made-up rules of a made-up game.

After the little spat, the girls resumed playing happily, and opted for a game of "Hide the Sharks" instead, which kept them both entertained, and all in all, our failed attempt at an outdoor pool adventure turned into a successful indoor pool experience!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sick Kiddies

The poor kids have been sick and kind of miserable of late.  Julia stayed home from school on Monday with a sore throat, and I took her in to get a throat culture after work, which was positive for strep.  I knew something was really off, because Julia was just not herself.  Not a single step was galloped all day!  She just sat around shivering (despite the 85 degree temperatures) and languid.  Within 12 hours of starting an antibiotic, she was back to her usual chatterbox self, so I am hoping we have turned the corner.  Still no galloping, but maybe Lilly Mintz is just sick with strep herself, so there's not much to think about in the Mintz world, aside from Lilly resting in bed.

Madeleine has been a snot factory, so congested that her breathing makes a rattling, suctioning sound.  She now has a cough to go along with her congestion, and let me tell you: her fingers are pretty much CONSTANTLY up her nose.  I keep trying to remind her how germy that is, and I discovered that Madeleine never fully understood why I tell her not to pick her nose.

ME: Honey, your mucus carries as much bacteria and viruses as your saliva, so every time you stick your finger up your nose and then touch something, you could be passing along your sickness.
MADELEINE: Oh!  Mommy!  I always thought you told me not to pick my nose because it's GROSS!  *Now* I understand it's because it spreads GERMS!

It's both, honey.  And her realization has not stopped the picking fest, although she has made one amendment.

MADELEINE: Mommy.  At school, if you pick your nose, you have to go and throw it in the trash and wash your hands.  So now I *only* pick my nose at HOME.

How about no nose-picking at all?  I guess that's too much to ask while she's full of snot, but maybe as a post-allergy/cold goal?!? 

Fingers crossed for a swift return to 100% health in the Rowe household, and a LOT less mucus!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Garage Door Adventures

Today, as I was scrambling to leave for church, I backed straight into the closed garage door.  Now THAT'S the way to start your commute, folks.

Julia reacted with her usual level-headed practicality.

ME: (pressing the garage door remote and seeing the door open only a few inches) Uh-oh, I better try and pull the door open.
JULIA: (on the verge of hysteria) BUT HOW ARE WE GONNA GET OUT OF HERE?!?
ME: Hang on.  I have to see if I can pull the door open. (climbing out of the car and grunting around trying to lift the door)

I don't know if Julia remembers that we have other doors to our house.  We were not, in fact, trapped inside in need of rescue.  It was just a matter of whether we could get our car out of the garage.

ME: (continuing to pull on the door, succeeding in lifting it a few more inches)
JULIA: Do you need help?
ME: know what?  You and Madeleine stay in the car, just for safety.
JULIA: (again on the verge of hysteria) GREAT, SO YOU'RE GONNA LET YOURSELF DIE?!?!?
ME: Oh my-
JULIA: (hysterically sobbing from inside the car) MOMMY'S GONNA DIIIIIE!
MADELEINE: (bursting into sobs along with her sister)

I mean, here, I was just thinking it would be easiest for me not to have to worry about whether the kids were directly under the door as I tried to finagle it, just in case it went slamming shut, but the girls apparently saw my desire for them to be out of the way as proof of my imminent demise.

I managed to get the garage door open manually, and -- SPOILER ALERT -- I didn't die, so we were able to head out for church.  On our way there, the car tires were a little slippery on some wet patches of road.

JULIA: What's wrong with the car?  Is it broken?  IS THAT WHY IT'S MAKING THAT SOUND?!?!?
ME: It's just the tires on the wet road, honey.

I merged onto the highway, and Julia treated every nearby car like a grenade heading straight towards our car to blow it up.  She jumped and flinched at every vehicle around us and at one point began screeching a warning about a car passing us in the left lane, as cars on the highway in the left lane are wont to do.


We managed to get to church in one piece, and home without incident, as well.  Ethan got out his tool kit and fixed the kinks in the garage door, getting all the wheels back on the tracks so that it would once again open and close when the remote control is pressed.  Now that order has been restored to Julia's universe, she is surprisingly chipper about the whole ordeal.

JULIA: Mommy?  I feel like the garage door opens kind of weird, but it's okay!  We might have a door that's a little wonky, but at least we have a door that works!!

I appreciate her looking on the bright side, even if it did take several hours of ice-cold panic before she could get there.  I'm so glad Ethan was able to fix the door, though I could possibly use a little tune-up on my spaced-out Mom brain!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Animal Shelter. Again.

So, a month or so ago, Madeleine came up with the great idea to open an animal shelter.  I figured that, with time, the enthusiasm for this idea would fizzle out; however, Madeleine remains strongly attached to this plan and has even recruited friends from school in her crusade.  And guys.  She, like, really really literally thinks this is going to happen.  At a quartet rehearsal last night, to which we brought the kids, Madeleine sidled up to me to whisper an urgent question.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  How much does just a SMALL building cost to buy?
ME: Uh...a couple of million.

Madeleine was taken aback, but not deterred.  The plan is still on, folks.  And she is NOT backing down.  She and her friends plan ALL KINDS of fund-raising activities.

MADELEINE: So, Mommy, we need to plan days for baking AND for making things.
ME: Honey, you know that you won't be able to raise enough to buy a building with just a lemonade stand and a bake sale, right?
MADELEINE: Well, Mommy.  That's why I've got a lot of HEADS involved.  A lot of people from school are gonna help, and, like, if we get tired of bake sales, then we'll do CRAFT sales, and sell artwork we make.
ME: But sweetheart.  I don't think you can get the amount of money you'd need from those kinds of sales.
MADELEINE: No, Mommy, we have it all planned out!

I then tried a different tactic.

ME: So, you also have to think about the fact that you need to pay employees to work at the shelter.
MADELEINE: Oh, Mommy, we already figured that out.  That's why I have a lot of HEADS involved.  We're all gonna take turns taking care of the animals.
ME: But what about when you're at school?
MADELEINE: Well, if there are any grown-ups that don't have anything while we're at school, then maybe THEY can take care of the animals.
ME: But what if we're at work?
MADELEINE: Well Mommy.  Remember I made a sign that says "Open" or "Closed?"  So if no one is free, then we'll hang the "Closed" sign!

Oh, so we're just gonna abandon the animals when no one can work?  Or do we kick them out of the shelter when there are no "heads" available and then invite them back in once we're open again?

I guess I've changed my mind.  This plan seems pretty fool-proof after all.  Now let's all go sell five million dollars worth of lemonade!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


I don't know about you, but I think this book looks like it's gonna be REALLY good...

By Madeleine Rowe

Monday, May 14, 2018

Clowns. AGAIN.

Julia, last night, scampering into our bedroom at 9pm.

ME: Good night, honey.
JULIA: Um, Mommy, um...I was reading my book, and it made me scared about CLOWNS again.
ME: Honey, clowns are not scary.  Clowns are supposed to cheer children up and make them laugh.
JULIA: No they're not.  Clowns are SCARY CREEPY creatures that MURDER people.
ETHAN: It's perfectly legitimate to find clowns creepy, but there is no reason to be scared of them right now.
JULIA: But what if one comes into my bedroom and MURDERS me?
ME: Julia.  I will bet my LIFE on the fact that there is NO WAY a clown is going to come into your bedroom tonight.
JULIA: But did you lock all the doors?
ME: Yes.
JULIA: What about the back door?
ME: Yes, honey.
JULIA: Can you check EVERYWHERE in the house to make sure there are no CLOWNS?
ME: No.  Julia.  There are no clowns.  Go to bed.
ME: Honey, there is nothing scary about clowns.
JULIA: Yes there IS!
ETHAN: It's fine if you finds clowns scary, Julia, but think about this: which scenario is more likely?  A) That you go into your bedroom and go to sleep and a clown comes and murders you, B) That you go into your bedroom and go to sleep and when you walk out of your bedroom in the morning, a cow falls on your head, or C) That you go into your bedroom and go to sleep and tomorrow morning you wake up and go to school?
JULIA: (tentatively) The last one??
ME: Right.  Go to bed.
ETHAN: So, there might be a .00000001 percent chance-

I had no patience for his logic.

ME: No. There are no clowns.  Go now.  To your room.  A clown is not going to come into your bedroom.  Good night.
JULIA: (getting up and slowly making her way to the door)
JULIA: It won't get me in my room but ITCANGETMEOUTHERE! (sprinting through the hallway into her bedroom and shutting her door emphatically for safety.)

Rest assured, it was Scenario C that came true for Julia this morning.  No clowns or cows around here, folks.