Friday, September 30, 2016

Flute Playing

Meet the newest flautist in the Rowe household:

Julia's flute arrived on Wednesday, two days before her first school flute sectional, and she simply couldn't wait to get started.  Lucky for her, there's another flautist in the Rowe household, so I was able to give her an introduction to putting the flute together, the first attempts at making a sound, and the fingering for the first note that flute players learn.  The biggest obstacle, at first, is the simple production of sound.  Julia blew and blew until she made herself dizzy, but every time the hint of sound would come through, our little spectator Madeleine would leap up and down in delight.  Apparently, however, Madeleine didn't feel that I was making quite enough progress as Julia's flute teacher.

MADELEINE: Uh, Julia, I'll take Mondays and Wedesdays for giving you lessons.
JULIA: (spitting across her flute mouth-hole in an attempt not to laugh)

Madeleine is quite serious about her new job.  She even made a schedule and hung it up on the fridge:

Madeleine is dark blue.  I'm light blue.  Julia's band teacher is red.  As you can see, I've been relegated to only two days of teaching a week.  Madeleine herself has 2.5, and the band teacher gets .5, giving the least experienced among us the most teaching time of all.  I can't wait to hear all about how Julia's first lesson with Professor Madeleine goes later today!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Curriclum Night

Last night, Ethan and I went to Curriculum Night in Madeleine's classroom. Upon finding her desk, we were treated to the following cheery message:

"Dear mommy and daddy,
waht woud you like to lern?  I love you!  Go banana's!  Please look at my shiny desk.  Love, Madeleine."

Other parents had requests to "please look at my artwork," or "please see if you can find my name on the chore chart."  All Madeleine wants us to do is look at her shiny desk.  A shiny desk for which she can take no credit, unless she stays after school and helps the janitor clean the classroom.  But at least she advised us to go banana's.  A Curriculum Night can certainly get dull if you don't remember to go banana's while you're there.

We got to look at some of the classwork in Madeleine's school folder, including the following:

Looks like the perfect pizza has sauce and cheese on it, her favorite color is blue (and maybe peach??) and the perfect day involves presents.  A dog is the perfect pet, in her eyes, even though she claims to want a bunny.  Her favorite snack appears to be lemonade and a chocolate-covered granola bar, although at first glance one might mistake it for a brick-shaped turd.  I'm really glad that she likes "evrything" at school and that she loves Ethan, Julia and I.  And that she considers something fun to be...well...hmmm.  Let's take a closer look at that one:

Something fun seems to be a red smear.  Uh...a sled?  A red marker?  A rocket? 
A bloody arm?  Really no idea on this one.  Maybe she knew we were going to be stumped by this.  Maybe Madeleine's "something fun" is STUMPING HER PARENTS.  Very sneaky, Madeleine.

We also got to look through her writing and drawing journals.  I'm glad to see that she's not holding back on showing her true artistic style in first grade:

Ahh, yes, good old Ivy and Bean, along with a very distressed girl who is about to be pulled into the vaporous, smoky abyss, as well as her would-be rescuer, who would probably be better able to save the day were she not hanging upside down and having her throat stepped on by Ivy.

Inside Madeleine's writing journal were several weekend recaps.  Probably her most exciting weekend was this one:

"Over the weekend I had nana and grahmps over."

A visit from her grandparents is pretty special, but what appears to be even more special is the fact that Nana had a sudden growth spurt and is now just a hair shorter than Grahmps!  They have also both recently adopted a duck-footed posture...either that, or they're practicing their ballet foot positions.

Finally, Madeleine's latest writing journal answered the prompt "What would you do if you were president?"  Here's Madeleine's solution to our country's needs:

"If I were the president I would stop pollootin."

I love it!  That's a great goal!  Although I think she may want to re-consider how she goes about it.  Reducing cars on the roads is a great idea.  But I'm not entirely sure that getting rid of cars entirely in favor of horse-drawn carriages is going to be embraced by the people.  Maybe if you have a horse like the one above, though, who looks like he can actually run FASTER than a car, you'd be a little more open to the idea of resuming the good old horse-and-buggy days...

All in all, it was thoroughly enjoyable to learn about what Madeleine has been up to at school!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Light Then Shadow

Julia started writing an exciting new book called "Light then Shadow: A tale of the Salem Witch Trials."  The story, so far, is about a young woman, Eliza, travelling to the New World with her family, including her siblings Felicity, Paul, Mary, Carrie, and Sara.  Julia is going for extra authenticity in this book, writing with the archaic English pronouns and verbs that might have been used in the Salem Witch Trial era. 

Here are some examples:

"I got pulled out of my daydreams abruptly as Carrie tugged at my skirts.  'Wilt thou play with us, Eliza?'  'Nay, Carrie.  Maybe later.'  'But John and Papa and Sara are all too busy.  Won't thou play?'  I sighed.  'Yey, I wilt play.  But I really was having a wonderful daydream.  Doth Dost thou understand?' She nodded.  Slowly she and I came over to Mary, Paul, and Felicity.  'Eliza!  Thou decided to play!' Felicity exclaimed.  She is my favorite sister and I am hers.  'Yey, Lissie.'  I smiled.  'But don't get thy hopes up because I can't agree to play every time.'  'Methinks thou art just saying that.  Thou loves to play with us,' Lissie grinned.  It was so good to see her smile. 'I'm a young woman now.  I am almost fourteen.'  But it was no use.  I am a child at heart."

"Paul stepped out of the big bath barrel.  'Paul, comb thy hair.  'Tis a mess,' Aunt Amina ordered.  'But auntie, I don't care if my hair is messy.  Methinks it looks styleish.  Mary and Carrie and Felicity told me.'  'Paul!  Thou art five.  Mary art seven.  Carrie art three, and Felicity art eight.  What would thee they know about style?' Sara said."

"Art thou ready to put Carrie and Mary to bed?'  'Uh - um - Yey!  I was only waiting for thou to inquire!'

Now, as you can see, there is a bit of confusion on Julia's part and she sometimes second-guesses her archaic speech.  She was particularly thrown by the use of "doth" versus "dost."  She asked me what the difference was, and I gave her some examples of how the words might be used.  "He doth, they doth," and "Thou dost," for instance. 

I guess that didn't clear it up enough, however.  Yesterday, in frustration, Julia exclaimed, "Mommy, I don't even know if this makes any sense!"  She showed me the sentence that was causing her so much conflict.  I took her notebook and read:

"Ow!  Doth not doth that!"

Hmm.  Well, Julia was right.  It definitely doesn't make any sense.

JULIA: I don't know if I'm supposed to use "doth" or "dost!"
ME: Ummm.  Hmmm.  Well, what exactly are you trying to say?
JULIA: I'm trying to say "Don't do that!"
ME: Yeah...I don't think that's how you would say it.
JULIA: But you told me that "doth" means "do!"
ME: Yeah.  Um.  It does, in a certain context, but I don't think you can use it in this case.  I might try saying something like, "Do not doeth that." 

Julia decided not to take my advice, however, and changed the offending sentence to "Ow!  Do not dost that!"

Still don't think that's correct.  But then again, I am absolutely no expert on archaic English. 

At any rate, I was pleased to see that my explanations on the difference between "thee" and "thou" paid off, because her most recent paragraph uses them both correctly: "I'm going to read thee thy favorite story...but only if thou behaves."

Woo-hoo!  Go Julia, getting all Archaic on us!  (Although I wonder if it should be "behaveth..."  but maybe I'm just overthinking things.  I doth not doth that.)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Chillaxing

Just your average Sunday afternoon, hanging out on the couch.  With a magic wand.  And a spell book.  And a cauldron.  Wearing a witch hat and fake glasses.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Running Wounds

Today, while I was out for a run, I somehow stumbled over the curb of a sidewalk and fell pretty hard.  Though I was able to get back up and finish my run, I am pretty scraped and cut up.  My palms are both scraped, with one bearing multiple open, bloody wounds.  My left knee is scraped open and bleeding, my left hip is mottled with road rash, as is my left shoulder. 

Here are the wildly differing reactions of the kids.

Julia's Response:
JULIA: What happened, Mommy??
ME: I fell on my run.
JULIA: (eyes filling with sympathy) Are you okay Mommy?
ME: I'm okay, I just got all sorts of cuts and scrapes.
JULIA: (running towards me) Come on, Mommy, I'll put band-aids on everything for you.
ME: It's okay, honey, I've gotta clean the scrapes up first.  I can put the band-aids on.
JULIA: Are you sure??  I can help you if you need it!

Madeleine's Response:

ME: Madeleine, I have to tell you what happened to me.
MADELEINE: (running off ahead of me, not bothering to listen)
ME: Hey Madeleine.  I wanna show you something and see if you can guess what happened.
ME: (showing her each wound and band-aided section of skin) Can you guess what happened?
MADELEINE: Spider bite?
ME: You think a spider bit me in all these different spots?
MADELEINE: Yeah. Did I guess right?
ME: Uh...try again.  Here, I'll give you a hint.  It happened when I was running.
MADELEINE: You fell?
ME: Yep!  Can you believe it?
MADELEINE: Oh.  I thought that you got bit by a spider!  Or maybe a butterfly.
ME: Nope.  I wiped out and got all bloody.
MADELEINE: Well Mommy.  If that happened to me, I would be CRYING.
ME: I know. I felt like I wanted to cry, because it was stinging so much.
MADELEINE: Wait a minute.  Mommy.  A *grown-up* crying!?!  Grown-ups don't cry!

I mean, could she possibly be more sympathetic?  And don't worry, she made sure to give it to me shortly afterwards.

MADELEINE: (from the potty) MOMMY!  WHY did you pick out THESE underwear on a FRIDAY??!?

Seriously.  How dare I.  Clearly, it was WAY too much to ask that she take notice of the underwear this morning when putting them on, and change them if they weren't the proper Friday underwear.  It is most definitely my fault that she only noticed at 3pm that she's been wearing the "wrong" underwear all day, and all because I laid out her clothes for school and took an educated guess on the underwear she wanted for today.  No sympathy for my fall, scorn for my desire to cry, and admonishment for picking out her non-Friday underwear on Friday.  Thank goodness I have Julia to offer to put band-aids on my wounds for me, because I obviously can't do anything right on my own!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cecilia the Sea Lion Fairy, Chapter 1

Madeleine's new book, "Cecilia the Sea Lion Fairy," is off to a great start!  If you thought the fairy's flexible stance on the cover was an amazing feat, just wait until you see some of the bodily positions the characters are drawn in on the first few pages!:

Chapter 1.  20 Cupcack's

"Kirsty Tate was staying at Rachel Wallcker Walker's house for summer vacaitin.  They were at the beach.  'Kirsty!  Kirsty!' shoutid Rachel faraway from Kirsty.  'Do you want to help me culect seashell's?'  'O.K. shure.' Kirsty said."

Now, I'm not sure if Madeleine took up too much room with her text to fit both girls upright in the picture, or if that's the position Kirsty stands in when she culects seashell's, but I have to say, Kirsty is giving Cecilia a run for her money in the contortionist department with this stance.

"Hey Kirsty!' Rachel said.  'Do you think wel wel find another another fairy hidin in one of they's shell's?'  'I dont think so.' Kirsty rep replide.  'Hardly any shell's have opind."

Okay.  Let's just talk about Kirsty's arms for a second.  HOW THE HECK DOES SHE DO THAT??  Is she Gumby??  Can she stretch her arms out as far as she likes and then spring them back to normal length?  Next to Kirsty, Rachel looks like she has dwarf arms.

"Next top the moovy's' Kirsty anounst."

MADELEINE: Julia?  I'm not good at drawing cars.  I basically just draw, like, a MOUND.

That is definitely an interesting looking car.  I've gotta say, with a car shaped like that, I can't WAIT to see what sorts of positions the girls have bent themselves into in order to fit inside!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Rainbow Magic Fairy Books

Madeleine has been reading a bunch of books from the Rainbow Magic Fairy series lately.  The book she is currently in the middle of is perfect for the upcoming season:

Madeleine also decided to write her OWN special edition Rainbow Magic Fairy book:

Cecilia the Sea Lion Fairy!
Special Edition

Now, you, like me, may have a few questions upon seeing this cover.  To save you wondering, I have a little FAQ guide with answers from the author/illustrator:

What is Cecilia shooting out of her backside?
"Those are her WINGS!"

Ummm...why is Cecilia bending over like a contortionist??
"That's her special pose!  All the fairies have their own special pose!"

What exactly does a "sea lion fairy" do?
"She keeps the sea lions safe, she makes sure they have food, and she keeps their homes together."

In these books, Kirsty and Rachel, the human friends of the fairies, usually they have to locate specific magical items that Jack Frost's goblins has stolen from the Fairy Kingdom.  What will they be looking for to help Cecilia?
"The thing that's missing is three sea lions.  The first one is fully colored, the second one is fader, and the third one is really fadey."

What happened to the Rainbow Magic Fairy book that you were planning on writing, "Ophelia in the Olympics?"  You began a draft of the cover and have since failed to finish it.  
"I just got TIRED of writing that one."

Well, hopefully she won't get tired of writing "Cecilia the Sea Lion Fairy," after intriguing us with such a riveting cover.  After all, the "author" of the Rainbow Magic books, Daisy Meadows, is not actually a real person, but is rather a pseudonym for the various ghost writers who pen the different books.  I think Madeleine might want to throw her hat in the ghost writer ring as well, because the world definitely needs a Sea Lion fairy to read about!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Mintz, Again.

So, today I learned even more about the imaginary family that Julia made up.  If you are curious about the life of the Mintz family, then this is the post for you.

JULIA: Today is one of the Mintz's friend's birthdays!
ME: I can't believe you even think up the details of the Mintz's friends.
JULIA: Well, mostly I think about the Mintz, but sometimes I like to think about their friends, like, when I'm not sure what the Mintz should be doing.
ME: What do you love so much about thinking about the Mintz?
JULIA: I just love thinking about their lives, and, like what they're doing in their lives.
ME: Which family would you rather be part of: the Mintz, or our own?
JULIA: Ours.
ME: Even though the Mintz go to Hawaii and stuff?
JULIA: Even though they have a summer house in Hawaii and a summer house in the Bahamas, I still like our family better.
ME: Even though the Mintz have such a huge house?
JULIA: Yes!  But you know what?  So, Jessica had to move into a room with Lilly, like, switch bedrooms so she shared a room with Lilly, and then Julianna had to move into Zoie's room so that she could share a room with her, because the mom wanted to make more room for guest rooms, even though they have a TON downstairs, and they're really nice, like hotel rooms, and they have, like a kitchen, and a bedroom, and a living room and a bathroom, but they have a LOT of guests, like, from books that I'm obsessed with, so they stay in those rooms.  And, so, they have these rooms that they call their "secret rooms," and Lilly's, like, they call it "The Ghostly Attic" because there's another room next to it that's full of ghosts, and also, if you walk really far into it, there's, like, a beach, and mountains, and she has a collection of antique dolls in her secret room, and one night, at like midnight, she and Julianna and Justina went outside and played this weird game with the dolls, where there's an Emperor who wants to take over everything, and they made the dolls stand on this stone wall and fall into the River of Shoes, which was, like, a path thingy that they made out of shoes, and the dolls fell into it and they did this weird chant.
ME: Uh...
JULIA: Yeah, and their summer house in Hawaii looks tiny!  And then they have their regular house in Massachusetts that's on number 9 Beatles Way!  The second street is a street called Alleyer road, and the next road is called Walkerdown Lane, and the last street is called Honeybee Boulevard.

Um.  Wow.  She really has put a LOT of detailed thought into this imaginary family that she thinks about while she gallops.  No wonder she has a near melt-down at times when I ask her to do something real and tangible.  "BUT I was going to GALLOP!!"  I mean, when else is she going to come up with the names of the neighborhood streets and the secret room paraphenalia and all that??

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Saturday Tradition

Sometime over the course of the summer, Madeleine decided that she needed a Saturday tradition.  It started with a hairstyle, one she calls "bunny ears."  This requires me to make two high pigtails as close to the top of her head as I can.  If I slip up, she is quick to point out my errors to others. 

MADELEINE: Uh, Auntie Shannon, can you make my bunny ears high, because lately Mommy has been making them a bit LOW.

Saturday bunny ears became a firmly established tradition in the Rowe household, to the point that, if I tried to convince her of a different hairstyle if we were short on time, she would respond, "Uh, Mommy?  Today's Saturday, and on Saturday I wear BUNNY EARS."

The bunny ears have recently been replaced with a Saturday outfit.  If you've seen us recently on a Saturday, you've seen the outfit.  Madeleine's Saturday outfit is a magenta sundress, which by now has a hole worn into it.  Now get this: the Saturday outfit includes Saturday underwear.  I hadn't known about the Saturday underwear until I totally and completely blew it.

MADELEINE: (in the midst of getting dressed on a school day) UGH!  MOMMY!  You picked out my SATURDAY underwear for today!

Seriously.  What kind of a mother am I?  A total LOSER, that's what I am. 

I guess I have redeemed myself in Madeleine's eyes, however, as this morning she came running out of her bedroom after taking off her pajamas.

MADELEINE: (in delight) Mommy!  You're picking out my underwear in EXACTLY the right order!!

Don't worry, though.  I still had a chance to regain Madeleine's scorn.  She decided, as she got dressed, to shout questions to me about her media books.  Of course, I tried to guess incorrectly so that she could surprise me with the right answers.

MADELEINE: Mommy!  Guess if I'm finished reading "Ruby the Red Fairy!"
ME: Uh, no, not yet.
ME: Wow! You're finished?

I mean, I knew that's what the answer was going to be, but let's make Madeleine feel amazing for finishing her book so quickly, right?

MADELEINE: And Mommy!  Guess if I started reading "Chloe the Topaz Fairy" yet?
ME: Uh, no, not yet.
ME: Oh my gosh, you already started a new one?  You're such a reader!

Yeah, I'm fluffing her right up.  What a great mom, right?

MADELEINE: (shouting from her bedroom) Wow, Mommy, you're getting a LOT of them UNCORRECT!

Sheesh.  I guess instead of making her feel amazing for reading faster than I pretend to think she's capable of, I instead just made her think her mom is a big dunderhead.

At least I'm winning in the underwear order, though. I've still got that.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Playing Hearts With the Kids

Ethan and I have been teaching the girls how to play the card game "Hearts."  While they are starting to get the basic hang of things, they are still in need of a lot more practice before they can amass any expertise.  And they both have some interesting tendencies that they cannot seem to remember to break.

For instance:

Madeleine has now, TWICE, led a hand by putting down a King of Spades.  For those unfamiliar with "Hearts," the Queen of Spades is basically the card of doom.  If you are forced to take a trick with the Queen of Spades in it, you're stuck with a walloping 13 points.  In a game where 0 points is the ideal, taking 13 in one fell swoop is a big blow.  Therefore, leading with a card HIGHER than the Queen of Spades is a big risk, since the player of the highest card is forced to take any points played upon that trick.  Both times Madeleine has led with the King of Spades, she has looked up triumphantly, and then, upon noticing the look of dismay on Ethan's and my face, has nervously asked, "What?  Was that a bad move?"  She has then, both times, let out a panic-stricken cry of "WaitWAITWAIT CAN I TAKE IT BACK?!?"

The answer was no, both times.  But both times Ethan also refrained from giving her the Queen of Spades, even though he had it in his hand.  He was not so kind to Julia, who, upon receiving it from him for the second time, let out an anguished wail of "WHYYYY?!?"

Julia's tendency, on the other hand, is to play her card second to whoever led, instead of waiting to play her hand after the person to her right has gone.  This has occasionally allowed another player to change his or her intended play, since they see that Julia has already put down a higher card, or has not run short on a particular suit.  Despite our repeatedly telling Julia not to play out of turn, she continues to throw down her card as soon as the leader has put the first card down.

And EVERY.  TIME.  this is what she says:

ETHAN, ME: Don't play out of turn, Julia!

Seriously.  Every time.  It just happened again as I'm typing this.  Ironically, the one time she was actually supposed to go second, she was spacing out and we had to shout to her to take her turn.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Madeleine and Gramps: The Show

Madeleine and Gramps put on a show this evening!  It was entitled "Superbad."  Not to be confused with the Jonah Hill/Michael Cera movie.  This one had a lot less teenager angst and a lot more violence:

I have to say, after watching this show, I'm still not really sure what it was about.  The American Girls on the floor were supposed to be the "townspeople."  Why they were all gathered to watch Madeleine single-handedly fight off Gorgeous George without bothering to lift a finger to help is beyond me.  At least Madeleine managed to pull it off for the win.  AND she managed to convert Gorgeous George to niceness.  That's a superhero move, all right!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Classroom Rules

Madeleine explain-chants her first grade Classroom Rules:

Also, yesterday she had, in her own words, "Best Spanish class EVER!" because she learned how to say "My name is Madeleine" in Spanish.  It doesn't take much to get this kid excited, does it?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Madeleine, the Flip-Flopper

Last week, the day before school started:

MADELEINE: (breaking into sobs) I don't wanna go back to schooooool!
ME: But honey, remember how much you loved kindergarten?
MADELEINE: I don't want to go!  I don't want to be in first graaaaaaade!
ME: But you get to see all your friends again!
MADELEINE: I just want to be with my family!  Now I only get to see you and Daddy two days and I wanna see you every daaaaaaaay!
ME: I know, honey, but you'll have so much fun being back with your friends.
MADELEINE: I just wanna be with my faaaaaaamily!

Friday, three days into the school year, heading into the Labor Day weekend.

MADELEINE: (breaking into sobs) I don't want it to be the weekend!  I'm gonna miss my frieeeeeeends!
ME: But honey, remember how you were sad you were going to miss your family?  Now we have three whole days all together!
MADELEINE: I just wanna be with my friends!  Three days is too looooooong not to see them!
ME: We'll have such a fun weekend.  Did you know that being with my family is my favorite thing in the whole world?
MADELEINE: But what about your friends?
ME: Well, do you wanna know who my very best friend is?

Uh, I was thinking more someone my own age (hint: THE PERSON I'M MARRIED TO), but now I'm going to sound like a jerk if I tell Madeleine she's not my best friend.  Sheesh.

Tuesday morning, post-Labor Day weekend

ME: Are you excited to go to school today?
MADELEINE: I don't waaaaaant to go to schoooooooooool!  I wanna be home with my faaaaamily!

I mean.  Seriously.  I can't win.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


This is a very special blog post dedicated to one of my youngest readers, who happens to be a very good friend of Julia's. 

This post is about a game that this particular friend, Julia, and a third friend made up way back in 1st grade.  This game was SUCH A HIT that even today, in 4th grade, they STILL play it together.  The game is called "Jusalil." 

Now, I'm sure that based on the name alone you already know exactly what this game is about.  But in case not, Julia will now dictate to me as I type an explanation of this fascinating pretend-play world.

"Okay.  So.  Jusalil is a game where we're crazy people, and we live in the inside of the earth.  And, so, our names are Teema, Jusalil, and Tala.  Also, Baby Britta is our younger sister.  And so, also, we have an adopted sister named Gawacka, but she's not really in it.  And our best friends names are City and Sophie and...I don't remember Teema's best friend's name.  City and Sophie normal people.  They live on the earth.  They live, like, normal people.  So, Jusalil and Britta are the only ones that are actually really part of that family.  Teema had to get adopted, because her parents couldn't take care of her or something, and Tala was adopted from rocks.  And also, one time Tala drowned so we had to make a NEW Tala.  And so that's why Tala is half-robotic  We also have Bobo-fliers that we use to get around.  You can get poisoned from human stuff, and if you do, you need, like, some special flower thing to help you get normal, and so, also, we call our mom and dad Madre and Fadre, and our real Madre and Fadre are stuck in a volcano, and so we have a fake Madre and Fadre that are HUMANS, and they want to poison us and get us to be humans.  So, Tala talks like a baby, but Teema and Jusalil don't have a weird voice, because they had a sickness that made their voices normal."

Of course, this explanation might prompt some questions, so luckily, I will offer a Q and A with Juila.

Q: How did Jusalil and Teema and Tala meet people who live on the regular part of the earth?
A: Teema and Tala and Jusalil have human suits, and they call them "umans" instead of "humans."  And the human suits protect them from being poisoned by anything human, so sometimes they can go into the human world, so they met those people and became friends with them.

Q: What's it like in the inside of the earth?
A: It has a lot of rocks, so that's why everyone eats, like, rock soup, and rock ice cream, and anything with rocks and leaves.  So, pretty much, it's just rocks, and ALSO, you have to praise the chicken mushroom.

Q: What the heck is the chicken mushroom?
A: I don't know.  'Cause I wasn't the person who made it up.  But I think it's just like a mushroom made out of chicken or something.  And it's very holy.

Q: Do Jusalil and the others in the inside of the earth speak English?
A: Yes, technically they do, but we call it "Jusalil language," so they say things backwards, like "brary-li" for "library," and "tor-doc" for "doctor," and, so, like, "yes" would mean "no," and "good" would mean "bad," and stuff like that.  And also, Tala is allergic to lemons, and we call them "mon-lems."

Q: How do City and Sophie understand Jusalil and Tala and Teema then?
A: Well, they can just understand them, sort of, but also, the Jusalil people CAN speak not in Jusalil language.

Q: What are Bobo fliers?
A: I don't really know, because I think that, like, half the time we just make things up and don't know what they are.  But I picture them just, like, small mini-airplanes that fly around.

Q: So, is the main premise of the game that Jusalil, Tala and Teema are in constant danger from their fake parents who are trying to poison them?
A: Sometimes.  But we pretend other things, besides just their parents trying to poison them.

Q: Are there any other people inside the earth besides the ones you mentioned?
A: Not really.  Because we don't really talk about other people from the inside of the earth.  So, probably.  But we pretend they don't exist.  Oh, wait.  There's Emmalia.  She's their friend who lives inside the earth.

This sounds like an extremely complex game.  Given the fact that it has been in the works for three years now, I imagine it has only become more intricate.  And let me tell you: it has expanded beyond the original three creators.  I have personally heard other kids from school mentioning the game, saying things like, "Oh, well at recess when we were playing Jusalil..." This may become a big thing, folks.  We're talking a movie franchise, or a book series, or something MAJOR some day.  When The Jusalil Chronicles hit the theatres 10 years from now, you readers can feel proud that you read the original story here first.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Madeleine Opines

Tonight, Madeleine wanted to read me a chapter of the "Ivy and Bean" book she's currently in the middle of. 

ME: Sure, you can read me a chapter.  I love "Ivy and Bean." 
MADELEINE: I know.  "Ivy and Bean" is so good.
ME: I know, it's a really good series.
MADELEINE: Mommy?  Is "Ivy and Bean" like, the MOST POPULAR of books for kids?
ME: I think it's probably one of the most popular, yes.
MADELEINE: But Mommy?  If Taylor Swift wrote "Ivy and Bean," then it would be a DISASTER.
ME: It would?
MADELEINE: Yes.  I do NOT like her.  She's, like, trying to be, like, SO popular and she started singing all, like, POPPY.
ME: Yeah, you don't like her pop style?
MADELEINE: Yeah.  And, like, when she sings "Bad Blood?"  (shuddering) Ugh.  TERRIBLE.  Utterly TERRIBLE.

I guess Madeleine has some strong feelings about Taylor Swift.  An artist who remains, for me, more or less innocuous.  But who knows.  Maybe if I take a good listen to "Bad Blood" I'll realize that it is UTTERLY TERRIBLE.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Julia Explains It All

Conversation at dinner this evening:

ME: So, Julia, today at work I got to meet the new kids who will be in my class.  And one of the kids is the cousin of a girl in your class!
JULIA: Really?  Did you tell her that?
ME: Yes.  And I talked to her mom for awhile.  Her mom looks just like your classmate's mom, except she has blonde hair instead of dark brown.
JULIA: Really?
ME: Yeah, isn't that funny?
JULIA: (thoughtful) Well, you know, one of the Mintz's friends, well, TWO of the kids have golden hair, and the other kid has black hair.  That's because their mom has black hair and their dad has blonde.  So: if their hair colors can be so different, then other siblings' can too.

Thanks, Julia.  That totally clarifies everything.  Something in your imaginary family's imaginary world *definitely* applies to real people in real life.