Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cursive Is Important

Cursive Is Important
by Julia Rowe

          Have you ever seen someone writing in cursive and thought, "I want to do that?"  I have.  Cursive is a beautiful writing that connects to our history's past and everyone should get to learn it.  Schools should keep teaching cursive because it is beautiful writing, it helps you to write faster, and most importantly it connects to our past.
          Schools should continue to teach cursive writing because it is beautiful.  One time, I saw something written in cursive.  I admired it and thought, "I wish I knew how to write something like that."  A lot of people think cursive is beautiful and enjoy the feeling of writing it.  Another time, I was writing in cursive for the first time.  When I was done, I admired my work and was proud I could write in a way that was so beautiful.  
          Schools should continue to teach cursive because it helps you to write faster.  Cursive helps you to write faster because you don't need to pick up the pencil to write each letter.  In cursive, the letters are all looped together.  You only have to life up the pencil when you are using punctuation, when you are writing another word, and the beginning of a new paragraph.  This shows that cursive writing is faster than writing in print because you don't have to lift up the pencil in between each letter.
          My final and most important reason is that schools should continue to teach cursive because it connects to our history's past.  People wrote in cursive in the olden days.  People wrote important things like the Decloration of Independance.  Those were written in cursive.  People read things like stories that were written in cursive in the olden days.  Also, if no one could read cursive, nobody could read important things that were written a long time ago like the Constitution or the Decloration of Independance.  People need to know how to read those things because it helps us to know what America was like when those things were written, and no one would know about a lot of famous people like John Hancock.
           If you agree that cursive is important, you should tell your teachers they should teach cursive if they don't.  Tell your teachers that cursive is beautiful, it helps you to write faster, and it connects to our history's past.  If your teachers still don't teach cursive, then you can teach yourself by getting a cursive writing book.  Remember, cursive is important!

Well, I'm convinced.  In fact, I think I'm going to write my own persuasive argument about the importance of this writing technique from the olden days:

Hieroglyphics Are Important
by Courtney Elf Rowe

Monday, February 27, 2017

Quaker Life Quiz

I just happened to come across this old box of Life Cereal that has yet to be recycled; Madeleine clearly attempted to answer the trivia questions on the back:

1.) What food do monkeys like that would taste great mixed in with Quaker Life Cereal?

Ding ding ding!  Way to go!  Correct answer!  One down, nine to go.

2.) What are the three flavors of Quaker Life Cereal?

Although Julia had circled the three correct flavors in the word search to the right (you can see the vertical "cinnamon" in this photo), Madeleine either didn't feel like writing any of the flavors, or simply didn't know the answer.  I actually don't know whether Julia did the word search and wrote the check marks next to each question before or after Madeleine attempted to answer the trivia.  However, even if the word search was done AFTER Madeleine took the quiz, this box does happen to say CINNAMON LIFE on it, so that kinda gives a major hint about one of the three flavors.

3.) What are the four colors in the Quaker Life logo?

Maybe she just doesn't have the energy for writing answers with more than one word.

4.) Whole _______?

Close.  Whole grain.  I'll give her half a point.

5.) What shape are Quaker Life Cereal pieces?

Correct!  All right!  We are BACK ON TRACK!  There's hope for Madeleine to squeeze out more than the one correct answer after all.

6.) Quaker Life Cereal is part of a complete _____?

Or breakfast.  Guess our winning streak is broken already.

7.) What's small, red and can be sliced and enjoyed on Quaker Life Cereal?

No points taken off for incorrect spelling.  I give her one full point for this one!

8.) How many grams of whole grain in Quaker Original Life Cereal?

I don't blame her for not answering this one.  What kind of question is this?  How many grams in the entire box?  In one square?  In a supposed serving?  Because I can guarantee my kids eat all kinds of variations on the serving size.  Come on, Life Trivia people.  You've gotta be more specific if you expect a person to answer.  Come to think of it, same thing goes with "Whole ____?"  I mean, whole wheat is kind of a perfectly acceptable answer, given that you didn't specify what you were asking about.  How about "Life is made with a combination of whole _____?"  Then I can see "grains" being the answer.  I rescind my half a point for question number four.  I give Madeleine ONE FULL POINT due to Life Trivia Quiz Maker's lack of specificity.

9.) Quaker products are made of ___?

Again with the wheat.  The correct answer is oats.  But there is technically wheat in many Quaker products, including Life.  So this is kind of another annoyingly vague question.  How about "The one ingredient that all Quaker products have in common is ____?" Who was in charge of making this quiz?  I hope his or her boss is reading this blog post, because Immabout to put him/her out of a JOB! Don't you think I would be way better at writing these questions???  (ANSWER: yes.)

And then the most important, most relevant question about cereal in the whole entire world:

10.) ________ likes it?

And of course she gets that one right.  Because the fake made-up kid Mikey played by a child actor back when I was young is a really essential factor to knowing about Quaker Life cereal.

That's it.  I call shenanigans on Quaker Life Cereal Quiz Master.  I give Madeleine a full 100% for even attempting to take this so-called sham of a quiz!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cookie Classic

This morning, the girls got to swim at the YMCA Cookie Classic, a fun meet in which the winners of each race get a cookie (because nothing says hard athletic work like a cookie.)  For each race won, a red ticket was handed to the winner, which could be exchanged for a cookie at the concession stand.  Because the fates were shining down on me today, both girls somehow managed to win exactly three cookies.  Hurrah!  No fighting, no jealousy, no tears!  In fact, Madeleine was sweet enough to think of Julia, even though she had already inhaled her cookies by the time the thought crossed her mind.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  Did Julia get any red tickets?
ME: Yes, she did.
MADELEINE: (visibly relieved) Oh, GOOD.  Because I ate all my cookies, but if I *didn't* eat them yet, I was gonna say, if Julia didn't get any tickets, then I would give her one of mine.

Madeleine pulled off a win in the 50 freestyle, the freestyle relay, and the 25 breast stroke.  It's a darn good thing that the strokes and turn judges seemed to be more lenient with the 8-and-under age group than any other, because somehow Madeleine managed not to get disqualified for her spastic out-of-the water overhand arm flap mid-race:

And Julia won the 100 freestyle, 50 breast stroke, and squeaked out a win in the 50 butterfly, an exciting finish which was unfortunately not captured on video because of the strokes & turn judge walking directly in front of my camera as Julia reached the wall:

Madeleine had a lot of personal best times today, probably because she knew there was a cookie in it for her if she swam her fastest.  Julia, who has been sick all week with a cold and has gotten night upon night of lousy sleep, surprised herself by swimming her best times in several strokes.  At the end of the meet, she participated in a time trial for the 100 butterfly, an event not normally part of YMCA meets, but part of the upcoming New England Championships.  Because Julia will already be swimming the 50 fly at New Englands, her coach wanted to give her a chance to qualify in the 100 fly as well.

Over the past few weeks, Julia has been super cheery and optimistic about her chances of qualifying in this event, saying things like, "I can't even FINISH a 100 butterfly!  I'll be too tired!" and "There's no WAY I can swim it fast enough to make the qualifying time."  In fact, this morning she awoke to tell me, "I'm not gonna swim well in the Cookie meet today because I have a COLD."  Thankfully, not only did Julia manage to finish the whole 100 yards, but she swam it 3 seconds under the New England qualifying time, so despite her sickness and her Debbie Downer attitude, she achieved success.

But, really, the most important thing was that the kids got cookies.  What can be better than that??

Saturday, February 25, 2017


Feeling like your Mommy is looking too run-down and serious lately?  Want to put a smile on her face?  Why, it's as simple as taking your fingers and manually forcing the skin on her face to push her lips upwards into a big old happy smile!  Take it from the expert:

Bam!  Insta-Smile!

You may wonder why Madeleine was so intent on making me smile.

ME: Madeleine, why are you insisting I smile?
MADELEINE: Because you look so SAD, and I keep BURPING so you're feeling sad that I'm burping so much.
ME: I am?
MADELEINE: Yeah.  Every time I burp you're like, "(Sigh) Oh, Madeleine."
ME: Well, you do an awful lot of gross ginormous burps, that's true.

She seriously does.  Big, loud, frat-boy, reverberating burps.  I didn't think I was acting sad over them, though. I'm kind of just impervious to them by this point, since they happen all the time.

As she got into bed tonight, Madeleine scrambled for a last-minute sip of water from the water bottle on her bedroom floor.

MADELEINE: (gulping down water, then taking the water bottle out of her mouth, releasing an airy sound) Mommy...that was NOT me burping.  It was just my water bottle.
ME: It's okay, I know.  Honey, you know that I'm never mad at you for burping, don't you?  Even if it seems like I'm sighing about it, I would never be mad at you if you burp.  You can't help it.
MADELEINE: Well...I *can* help it...I kind of push them out on purpose.
ME: Oh. Well, then maybe you can try not doing that.
MADELEINE: (aghast) But I *love* burping!!

Of course she does.  And who am I to take that away from her??

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pixies and Fairies

The girls got into a debate on a really hot-button topic this morning.

MADELEINE: Julia, aren't pixies SO CUTE?
MADELEINE: I wanna write a book called "The One and Only Pixie."  And two of the pixies have wings, but one doesn't.
JULIA: Madeleine, ALL pixies have wings.
MADELEINE: No they don't!
JULIA: Madeleine.  Yes they do.
MADELEINE: (running to find me) Mommy!  Do pixies have wings?
ME: Uh, I think they usually do.
MADELEINE: (offended) No!  (grabbing her tablet and speaking to it through Voice Command) Do pixies have wings?
TABLET: (silently offering up pictures of pixies, all of whom have wings)
MADELEINE: But wait!  On "Ever After High" the pixies don't have wings!
JULIA: Pixies HAVE WINGS, Madeleine!
ME: Girls, you know what?  Pixies aren't real, so if Madeleine wants the pixies she's thinking about to not have wings, then that's fine.

The googling of pixies got the girls into looking up the covers of all of the "Rainbow Magic Fairy" books.

MADELEINE: "Kayla the Pottery Fairy?"  What's POTTERY?
JULIA: It's, like, you know, like, pots...like, you know, like...SCULPTURE, like you make, like...
MADELEINE: "Elizabeth the Jubilee Fairy??"
JULIA: Wait, let me see.
MADELEINE: What's a jubilee?
JULIA: I don't know...I think it has something to do with British.  Like...uh...

Okay.  I'll just admit it.  Madeleine doesn't even need me around because Julia is just NAILING IT on the definitions of random words.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Kidz Bop, Madeleine-Style

Madeleine has been REALLY into the Kidz Bop videos for #MoveItMarch lately, following the various dance moves that accompany each song and getting a great workout in.  And because she is Madeleine, dancing along to Kidz Bop isn't enough: she is now creating her OWN songs with dance moves.  She has begged me to send these videos to Kidz Bop, because she's determined to contribute to their program.  I don't really have a way of doing that, but I will post one of her videos here, so that you, dear readers, can imitate her dance moves if you're so inspired!:

Now, you may be wondering, "Do I have to be wearing sweatpants with a dress over them to perform this dance exercise?"  Nope.  No dress code involved.  Not everyone is as fashion-forward as Madeleine, so we totally understand if you don't want to go to enormous lengths to make yourself look as snazzy as she does.  Pigtails are optional, too, but it's definitely a lot more fun to dance around if you've got your hair in Madeleine's favorite "bunny ears" style.  So go on, get a head start on "Move It March," and dance along to "The Island of the Ocean!"

Friday, February 17, 2017

More Ridiculous Things

Just a few ridiculous-nesses the kids have spouted over the past few days:

MADELEINE: (pointing to Julia's dragon bookmark) Is this for Chinese New Year?
JULIA: No, it's from Vietnam.
MADELEINE: Who's Vietnam?
JULIA: No one.
MADELEINE: Julia!  Pleeeeease tell me who she is!
JULIA: (derisively) She's not ANYBODY, Madeleine.
MADELEINE: But I wanna know what FAIRY TALE she's from!
JULIA: (scathingly) Madeleine.  Vietnam is not a person.  Vietnam is a COUNTRY.
MADELEINE: (in wonderment) It is??  I *never* heard of it!

The logical conclusion was definitely to assume that if Vietnam is not related to Chinese New Year, it must be the name of a character from a magical story.  Apparently if there's a dragon involved, it's either Chinese or from a fairy tale.

And speaking of fairy tales: after a particularly frustrating day in which both kids were giving me MAJOR ATTITUDE all afternoon, Madeleine showed some true empathy, along with a very insightful connection between literature and real life.

ME: Okay, everybody needs to go to bed.  I need to go on break from mommy duty and you girls need to get your cranky pants to sleep.
MADELEINE: Mommy!  I don't want you to move out!
ME: What on earth is making you think I'm moving out?
MADELEINE: (gravely) Well, when I think about how we're so rude to you, and you're always doing EVERYTHING for us and helping us, it makes me think you're like Winky.
ME: Winky from Harry Potter?
MADELEINE: (sadly) Yes.

But wait.  Does Winky move out?  I don't think so.  House Elves can't actually leave their position of servitude, right?  Unless their masters set them free, right?  Maybe Madeleine is just envisioning what she thinks Winky ought to have been able to do, had she not been bound by that pesky Elf Legislation.

And besides, when Winky was freed, she wasn't too happy about it, was she?  In fact, I just checked the Harry Potter Wiki and this is what it says about Winky's freedom:  Awesome.  This is what Madeleine sees as my alter ego?!?

After being freed Winky fell into a depression and began drinking heavily.

Awesome.  This is what Madeleine sees as my alter ego?!?

You have to admit, she does kind of look like me:

I know.  We're practically twins.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


This morning, while I was in the shower, Madeleine awoke and came scampering out of her room.

MADELEINE: (calling into the bathroom) Mommy!  Remember what today is?
ME: Uh...Valentine's Day?

I then heard a series of thudding footsteps and vocal exclamations.

ME: Madeleine?  You okay?
MADELEINE: Yeah!  I was just running around like crazy.
ME: Okay.
MADELEINE: Because.  Whenever it's a CERTAIN day, I go running around like crazy.
ME: Okay.
MADELEINE: Like, if it's a HOLIDAY.  Well, I guess not JUST a holiday, because, like, my BIRTHDAY too.

Yes, her birthday is indeed a certain day.

Apparently finished with her "Certain Day Crazy Run," Madeleine then went into her bedroom to get dressed.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  You know what I thought of?
ME: What?
MADELEINE: Wearing my WEDNESDAY underwear.  Because.  They're pink.  And it's Valentine's Day!

*Gasp!*  Do it, Madeleine!  Break the cycle!  I implore you, wear your Wednesday underwear on a Tuesday!!

Nope.  She couldn't do it.  She stuck with the Tuesday undies after all, keeping true to her OCD tendencies.

When I was showered and dressed, the girls and I exchanged gifts.  They were mighty excited to find out what was in the bags I gave them:

And, boy, was I spoiled with Valentines from my sweeties.  Check out some of the most memorable:


Here we have a friendly ice cream family.  Lover and Pastashie are a couple, and they created a whole bunch of love children/ice cream cones.  We have Turkey, Long Face, Marker, and Man.  You know it's disturbing when you're thinking you would go for Turkey-flavored ice cream over the other flavors.  Especially man.  *Shudderrrrr*

I also got this cute origami dog from Madeleine:

Additionally, I got a second origami dog with no face from Madeleine, but that started creeping me out thinking its face had been made into "Long Face" ice cream, so I decided not to show that one here.

From Julia, it was nothing creepy or cannibalistic at all; instead, I received this lovingly written poem:


My heart swells
My mind whirls
Filled with love,
A hug and a kiss.
Now hold me
Real tight
And tuck me 
Into bed

Awww.  Thanks for all the love girls, both traditional and...um...unique!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Good King Wencess

Julia has been singing this all night:

Clever, right?  Not at all likely to get annoyingly stuck in anybody's ear.

Now, of course, she is singing the real "Yankee Doodle" while marching about the house, instead of brushing her teeth and getting to bed.  It's a good thing she's such a budding creative genius of song composition, otherwise I might have to insist she cut the malarkey and get to sleep.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


This afternoon, the girls watched the movie "Trolls." After dinner, as they sat eating the frosted heart-shaped cookies I baked as a Valentine's treat, a miniscule bit of purple frosting fell off a cookie and onto the table.  Madeleine is now treasuring this tiny purple hardened blob, convinced that it's really a troll.  She paused multiple times during our family Hearts game to caress it, kiss it, and check on its general well-being.  Apparently the "troll" came with her to her bedroom.  I learned this the hard way when I sat on Madeleine's bed and began looking for her stuffed Jesus to get her settled for bedtime.

MADELEINE: (gasping in horrified panic) Wait!!  Mommy!!  My troll!!  (frantically searching her comforter). Oh!  Phew.  I found it.
ME: Honey, you know that"s a piece of frosting, right?
MADELEINE: It's my troll.
ME: Well, how about, instead of playing with a piece of frosting, you just put a Troll doll on your wish list?

Nope.  Not an option.  The piece of frosting is now sitting on the floor beside Madeleine's bed.  This is just the kind of household pest-inviting behavior I want to encourage around here.

Madeleine's troll.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Madeleine's New Business Idea

Well, at the ripe old age of 7, Madeleine is ready to launch her career, side by side with her sister.  She even created her own advertisement:

Silly Sisters
made up of Illistrater Madeleine
and Athur Julia

Madeleine's idea is to create picture books, illustrated by herself and written by Julia.  She is determined to get this business underway as soon as possible, and began trying to affix her advertisement to our front windows.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  HOW can I stick this to the window?  Can you get me some tape?
ME: Oh, honey, I really don't want you taping things to the window.
MADELEINE: But I *need* to hang this!
ME: What is it?
MADELEINE: Okay.  So Mommy.  Me and Julia are gonna have jobs.  We're gonna make picture books and Julia's gonna write them and I'm gonna illustrate them.
ME: Okay.  Why do you need to hang this?
MADELEINE: Because Mommy!  How else would people know to ORDER them?
ME: Well, you should probably have some books made first before you advertise.
MADELEINE: No!  Mommy!  We need to start RIGHT AWAY!  Because I really really want to have a job when I'm a kid!
ME: Why?
MADELEINE: Because.  It would just be so much more FUN to have a job.
ME: It's really not that fun to have a job.
MADELEINE: But Mommy!  I want to have a job when I'm a KID!
ME: Kids don't really need jobs though.
MADELEINE: Albert Einstein had a job when he was a kid!!

So we hung her poster after all, using suction cups and hole-punching the paper to hang from the suction cups hooks.  Now Silly Sisters can truly begin!

Unfortunately, Julia is not a willing participant in this endeavor.

JULIA: Madeleine.  I don't WANT to write books with you.
JULIA: Why don't you just write them yourself?
MADELEINE: No!  I can't!  I'm not GOOD at writing!  Besides, writing is so BORING!
JULIA: But Madeleine.  The books I write AREN'T picture books.
MADELEINE: Julia, I *only* like making the pictures!
JULIA: But Madeleine!  I don't MAKE picture books.  My books never have any pictures in them!

I tried to subtly intervene.

ME: Julia, maybe you can just write a short story or something and Madeleine can come up with the illustrations.  Like a children's book.
MADELEINE: No, Mommy!  If Julia writes all the words first, then it's like she's the BOSS of me and I *have* to make the pictures SHE wants!
ME: Honey, that's how books work.  The story comes first, then the pictures.
MADELEINE: No, but I want to make the pictures that I come up with!
ME: Then make a book with only pictures and no words.
MADELEINE: No, those kids of books are DOPEY.
ME: Then write the words that go with your pictures yourself.
MADELEINE: I *can't.*  My writing is all FUNKY.
ME: What do you mean?
MADELEINE: (scampering off to her room) I'll SHOW you.

Madeleine them emerged with some random pages of classwork and pointed out her hand-writing.

MADELEINE: See?  Look!  Look at how BAD I am at writing these letters.

So it turns out she wants Julia for her hand-writing skills, not her story-telling prowess.  No wonder Madeleine thinks the writing part is boring.  Nobody prefers to hand-write things over typing or, better yet, dictating what you want and having your sister hand-write it out.

Julia has other projects in mind; namely, the formation of an American Girl band and chorus!  She even used her own Honors Chorus program as a model to create a program for her dolls:

I'm impressed.  Every single doll that she and Madeleine own are in the band AND chorus.  I never knew they had such musical dolls.  And I'm double impressed by the fact that child prodigy Baby Lily plays the trumpet AND the violin, as well as sings in the chorus!

Baby Lily Rowe, the most accomplished infant on Earth.

And here I thought *my* girls were accomplished by starting a book-creation business as kids.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

100th Day!

Today is the 100th Day of School for the girls, and Madeleine's class had a 100th Day party.  I went to help out, and wound up at the puzzle station with Madeleine.  Determined to put together a 100-piece puzzle, she spent the entire hour there, and although we didn't get it completed, we came pretty darn close.  Madeleine's class also got a packet with coloring pages, a word search, a secret code to decipher, and a questionnaire, all revolving around the 100 Day theme.

Here is the questionnaire and Madeleine's answers:

I have 100 stickers

(That's true.  She does.  I bought them for her to bring in for her 100 project; students needed to display 100 of any item of their choosing.  You can see I went the lazy route and just bought some packs of stickers.)

I would like 100 socks

(Really?  Of all the things in the world she could wish to have 100 of, it's socks!?!)

I wouldn't like 100 zeukeeny's.

(Madeleine definitely despises zucchini, so that's a farily valid answer.  I'm pretty sure Julia's response, in 1st grade, was asparagus.  Poor kids, with their parents torturing them with disgusting vegetables.)

Having 100 papers could really be a problem because one hundred is a realy small numbr.

(Given the amount of printer paper the kids BOTH use up with their artwork and home-made books, I can see how 100 would not be NEARLY enough for Madeleine.)

I can lift 100 books.

(She can?  All at once?  Kinda doubt it.)

If I had 100 dollars I would by something realy speitel.

(She could buy herself some socks and papers with her $100.  That would be super speitel.)

Madeleine's illustration inside her 100th Day Packet is something pretty speitel, too:

Aww!  It's a group of happy, smiley girls jumping up in celebratory revelry!

Sucks to be the poor bloody-faced girl who is being trampled by all their jumping feet, though.

Happy 100th Day to Julia and Madeleine!

Monday, February 6, 2017

More Conversations with Madeleine

Some conversations with Madeleine this week:

On the topic of the book she is reading ("Who Was Albert Einstein"):

MADELEINE: Mommy?  In this book, there's a lot about war?  And a lot about people leaving places because of war.
ME: That's right, because World War Two was going on when Einstein was alive, right?
MADELEINE: Uh...it was World War Eye-Eye.

Oh, right.  Not to be confused with the previous war, World War Eye.

Madeleine had more to say on her Albert Einstein book, unrelated to World War Eye-Eye.

MADELEINE: I think Albert Einstein was alive at the time before the DIME was being made.
ME: You do?
MADELEINE: Yeah, because...Albert Einstein lived in America...lived in Massachusetts...lived in America when...uh...it's like, F-E-R or something...when the guy who's on the dime was President.
ME: Franklin Roosevelt?
MADELEINE: Oh, yes!  Franklin D. Roosevelt.  FDR.

Apparently in Madeleine's brain the dime simply didn't exist before the version with FDR on it was minted.  There simply was no coin of ten cent value until the 1940s.

On the topic of driving:

MADELEINE: Mommy?  I *want* to learn to drive a car when I'm a teenager, but...(voice dropping in dismay) I *really* don't wanna go to driving school.  It seems like it would be really BORING, and...it even LOOKS boring.
ME: It's really not boring.  It's pretty exciting, because you get the chance to actually drive, with an instructor sitting right next to you.
MADELEINE: Yeah!  I know.  But...it seems like it's just pretty EASY.  You just press on the GAS.

Yeah!  That's it!  She's ready to drive, folks, at the young age of 7.  She, in her ingenuity, figured out the entire secret to driving a car: you just press on the gas.

On the topic of the most recent performance of a quartet Ethan and I sing in:

ME: Madeleine, do you know which one of us sings the very lowest notes?
MADELEINE: Uh, the guy that looks like Dumbledore or Santa?
ME: Do you know his name?
ME: Do you know who sings the very highest notes?
MADELEINE: Uh, the ones who look like Grandmas?
ME: No, I sing the high notes!

You can see how much she pays attention, especially since she presumably hears me practice the high stuff at home.  Or maybe she's trying to tell me I'm looking really old lately and I'm one of the Grandmas.

At any rate, here is our quartet, in Madeleine's view:

From the left: Dumbledore or Santa, Mommy, Grandma, and Daddy.  We occasionally have guest performers join us, including the other Grandma, not featured in the above photo.

Man, I'm telling you, with the thoughts that whirl through Madeleine's head: this kid is GOING PLACES.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Magic After School

Upon school dismissal today, Madeleine ran out the school doors with both pant legs rolled up to her knees, stripped off her coat, tossed it and her backpack to me, and ran off to play.

ME: Do you want me to take your school folder for you?
MADELEINE: (clutching her folder) Uh, no, can I play with it for a little while?  I'm pretending it's my MAGIC folder!

So Madeleine ran around the playground with a friend, holding tight to her folder, while Julia went on the swings.  After about 15 minutes, Julia was ready to head home.  I called to Madeleine, who began very slowly making her way to follow us.

As we reached the paved woodland path that leads to the road, I turned back to make sure Madeleine was with us.  I saw her a few steps behind me, laboriously hefting a snow-covered boulder in her arms.

ME: Okay, honey, put the rock down because we're almost to the road.
MADELEINE: But it's my MAGIC rock!
ME: Well, your magic rock needs to stay here at school.
MADELEINE: No!  But I want to take it home!  It's SPECIAL!
ME: Honey, we have plenty of rocks at our house.
MADELEINE: But this one is my magic rock!
ME: But it belongs at school.
MADELEINE: Please Mommy??  Please?
ME: No.  Put it down, please.  It's too big to take home.
MADELEINE: (heart-brokenly putting the rock on the side of the path)

It wasn't long before I heard her voice piping up behind me

MADELEINE: How about a magic SWORD??

I turned around to see her holding a fallen tree branch taller than her own body.

ME: No, put that down.  You already have a bunch of sticks at home.
MADELEINE: But it's my magic sword!
ME: Nope.

She caught up to me, without her magic sword, in time to cross the street together.  I was still carrying her backpack and her coat, so when she complained of getting a little chilly, I encouraged her to put the coat back on.

MADELEINE: Uh, no, that's okay...
ME: Honey, let's just put it on.
MADELEINE: (cradling a dried out oak leaf in her hand) But I don't wanna crush my magic LEAF!
ME: I'll hold your leaf.
MADELEINE: But it's a CHALLENGE to get home with no coat!
ME: Let's not do challenges that are not actually good for you.

I put her coat on and she made it home with her magic leaf intact.  I can totally see why it's magical and not a crumbling old dead oak leaf or anything:

At least I avoided having a boulder and a tree branch in my house, though.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

More Trump Talk

Yet another dinner time Donald Trump discussion:

JULIA: I hope Donald Trump does something really stupid to get himself impeached.
ME: Me too.
MADELEINE: Yeah!  I hope he...like...forgets to bring his PEANUT BUTTER to everyone or something.
ME: You hope he what?!?
MADELEINE: Forgets to bring his peanut butter to everyone.
ME: What does that have to do with anything?
MADELEINE: Like, if, he's like: (raising her right hand) I promise to bring peanut butter to every single person.
ME: And then he breaks his promise?
MADELEINE: Yeah.  (thoughtful) I hope he doesn't bring it to the people in my class that are allergic, though.

Wow.  Does Madeleine have a solid idea of what a president's duties are, or what?!?

It seems impossible to avoid hearing about Donald Trump lately.  The topic came up again in the car on our way home from Julia's swim practice, as she overheard discussion of Trump on NPR.  The radio host was talking about Trump's disregard for established precedent thus far in his first weeks in office.

JULIA: Mommy?  Do some people, like, pronounce "president" like "press-a-dent?"

I then launched into an explanation of what the word "precedent" means, but Julia's thoughts turned back to her dream of impeaching Donald Trump.

JULIA: Mommy?  I feel like, if Donald Trump ever got impeached, he would be, like, super, duper, DUPER mad.
ME: I'm sure he would.
ME: I bet he would be.
JULIA: But Mommy?  Why is it called "impeached?"
ME: I don't really know.  I don't know the root behind the word.
JULIA: It shouldn't be called "impeached." That sounds weird. It sounds like you're in a PEACH.

Maybe that's the secret behind it.  Maybe, like in "James and the Giant Peach," a president who is impeached and convicted is put inside a giant peach and rolled out to sea, never to return to office again.  I think Trump would enjoy that, because he'd get to be inside a GREAT peach.  The biggest peach!  You know, maybe he wouldn't be so super duper duper raging mad after all, because he'd get to continue doing something unprecedentedly presidential!