Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kids Not Sleeping

Okay.  The things that the kids are getting scared of and being kept up at night by is getting ever more ridiculous.

Just this evening, both girls, at various points, burst into our bedroom to air their fears and ask for a reassuring snuggle in their beds.

MADELEINE: (tentatively opening our bedroom door)
ME: Who is it?
MADELEINE: (poking her head in)
ME: What's wrong?
MADELEINE: I'm scared of the BOOK I was reading.  "The Cursed Child."
ME: Honey, you don't need to be scared.
MADELEINE: But it said Harry Potter died 20 years ago.
ME: Yeah, but that's just at the end of Part 1.  You have two more parts to read. Don't you think over the next two parts something will happen that changes the past and makes Harry be alive again?
MADELEINE: But it's not just that.  It's that it's "Voldemort Day" too.

Madeleine: not scared of any of the seven Harry Potter books.  Not scared of any of the Harry Potter movies.  Neither Dementors nor Basilisks nor Death-Eaters nor giant spiders could cause her alarm, but the fact that in an early section of "The Cursed Child" Harry's son went back in time and screwed with the present is giving her pre-sleeping nightmares.  Go figure.

Once she was finally settled back in her bed, we had another little visitor.

JULIA: I *can't* sleep, and I'm scared about clowns and I don't like the noise my Sleep-Mate is making!

OMG.  Okay.  Clowns?  Are you kidding me?  GO TO BED, CHILDREN!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Evening Movements

This evening, Madeleine decided to dance along to the dance moves of various Kidz Bop videos.  Not wanting to undertake this dance challenge solo, however, she engaged various American Girl dolls as colleagues.  Each doll took a turn and when the song ended, another doll took her place.  Madeleine busted out all kinds of moves and even sang along when the spirit moved her.  The dolls, however, were kind of useless.  They just sat in their chairs not bothering to move a muscle.  LAME.  I mean, I know they're historical dolls and all, so maybe they're flummoxed by music that is centuries beyond their time, but still.  They didn't even TRY.

Julia was not interested in Kidz Bop, but since she had energy of her own to burn, she elected to gallop in the background and think about the Mintz.

Madeleine's definitely got dance talent!  Marie-Grace, however, was a snooze fest to watch.  And if Endurance Galloping ever gets added to the Olympics, I think Julia might have a shoe-in to make the team.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Madeleine's new book is not at all influenced by American Girl's "McKenna Shoots for the Stars"

Persephony: An Amarican Girl*
by Madeleine Emilia Rowe

(Amarican by way of Greece, from the sound of it)

1. Dancing

"I was giving a hula lesson to Ida and her sister Penny.  Penny did a weird dance, landed on the sand, and asked, 'Your a big hero riht?'  Big hero!  We need a rewind.


(Rewinding is apparently Madeleine's version of "flashback")

"...........done!  'Aaahhh!' I screamed.  My foot had banged so hard on the ground I could hardley balence.  Coach Elita and my best friend Omrita came rushing tords me.  'Are you O.K.?' they asked.  'It just hurts so much.'  I was nearley in tears riht then.  'Waht happend?' Coach asked.  'Well, I was dismounting off, and my foot banged realy hard on the ground.  Oh it just hurts so much!'

"We have to get you to the hospital!' Omrita cried.  Moana called 911.  She said 'Hello, this is Moana gostey at Mega Gymnastics.  Someones had an ingery!'  They came as quick as they could.  They were pretty far away so it took them about two hours to get their.  My mother was so woried wehn she saw me at home.  In fact, she was almost petrified wehn I told her waht happend.  She dropped the book she was holding.  Wehn she let me go to my room I felt even more misreble then ever.  Gymnastics ment to me so much.  I also liked dancing.  Gymnastics did a lot of dancing.  Now I would have to miss out on it?!  Terible!  I coulden't let that happen.  But I had to."


"After dinner I was super tired. I had a dream I was doing dancing championships.  But wehn I woke up I was so sad.  I couldent dance or do gymnastics in crutches!  For breakfast I ate outmeal cearial.  But wehn I came to school I was crushed.  We had P.E. today!  And we were doing gymnastics!  I couldent do it.  Waht a terible start to the day.  I wanted it to be the next day.  The next day we had music.  I could do music.  But I couldent do P.E.  Waht would I do in P.E.?  Do the broken foot dance?  I was helpless.  Completely helpless."

Here's what I have to say: TWO HOURS for the ambulance to arrive after a 911 call?!?  They'd have been better off just driving Persephony to the hospital themselves.  WAY TO DROP THE BALL, FIRST RESPONDERS.

This is as much as Madeleine has written so far, but I can't wait for more.  I really want to find out how Persephony becomes a big hero so we can fast forward back to the whole hula dancing scene!!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

I'm Me!

ME: Madeleine, what do you want for lunch?
MADELEINE: Uh, a peanut butter sandwich.  I can make it by myself!
ME: Okay, great!
MADELEINE: But first...I have to put on a performance.

Several seconds of silence.

MADELEINE: Come ON, everybody, there's a performance about to happen over here!
ME: Uh, can you come do it where I can see it while I'm eating my lunch?
ME: (closing my eyes)
MADELEINE: Okay, you can look now.

When I looked, she was in the position you'll see at the start of this video of the MOST.  AMAZING.  PERFORMANCE.  EVER.

Ladies and gentlemen, a star is born.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Urgent News

If only I could climb into my kids' minds and understand what makes certain things they want to tell me SO urgent that they simply can't wait.

MADELEINE: (from somewhere downstairs) Mommy!  Can you come here?
ME: (in the midst of going through filed bills in the filing cabinet) Uh...hang on...uh...what is it?
MADELEINE: I wanna TELL you something!
ME: Can you come up here and tell me?  I'm in the middle of something and I don't want to lose my place.
ME: Oh.  Uh...okay...hang on...(finding the bill I was looking for and going to the downstairs bathroom) What is it?
MADELEINE: I'm gonna start writing a new book series and the first book is gonna be called "Born to Fly!"
ME: Ooh.  Sounds good.  Is it about fairies?
MADELEINE: No.  And the second book is c-all-

I sat there drinking in the stench of her toilet business waiting for her to spit out the word "called."

MADELEINE: Is c-all...the second book is called "Born to Fly, Priscilla."
ME: Oh, wow.
MADELEINE: Yeah!  And EVERY book is gonna be ABOUT one of the characters, but, well, the FIRST book is gonna be about ALL of them.
ME: Wow!  Sounds really good!

So.  Definitely worth having me drop what I was doing and enter a smelly bathroom, right?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Quotes and Conversations

Random things the kids have said over the past few days:

MADELEINE: (getting out of her bed and poking her head into our bedroom as Ethan and I were winding down for the evening)
ME: What's wrong?
MADELEINE: My head feels like it's doing BALLET.

JULIA: (rubbing her eyes while I brushed her hair)
ME: Uh-oh.  I always know you don't like how the brushing feels when I see you start rubbing your eyes.
JULIA: That's because brushing my hair makes my EYES itchy!
ME: I thought it makes your teeth itchy.
JULIA: No!  My TEETH get itchy when you're BLOW-DRYING my hair!

MADELEINE: Mommy?  Do you think the book I wrote will really get to be WORLD FAMOUS?
ME: Hmmm.  I don't know.
MADELEINE: I want to be the MOST FAMOUS PERSON in the world.
ME: Well, it might not be much fun to be the most famous person in the world.  Then you'd never be able to go anywhere without millions of people swarming up to you to ask for your autograph.
MADELEINE: (thoughtful) Wait.  I have an idea.  What if I wear a dress out of the DRESS-UP bin, then nobody would recognize me because it wouldn't be any dresses they recognize from my line-up.
ME: I think even in dress-up clothes, you'd be recognized.
MADELEINE: Okay.  Well.  Then maybe I'll wear like, TONS of make-up, like TOO much make up.  Then I would look really terrible, because it looks terrible when people wear too much make up.  Like, too much LIPSTICK looks so bad, and, like, that SPIKY stuff that makes it look like EYELASHES...
ME: Mascara?
MADELEINE: Yeah.  That looks TERRIBLE.

Driving home from the dentist, with Madeleine holding her big green balloon up to her face and looking through it.
MADELEINE: Do you ever wonder if you're real or not?  I do.
ME: You do??  When?
MADELEINE: Sometimes I get into DEEP THINKING positions.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Madeleine recently completed the writing and illustration of a new book.  She wants it to be WORLD-FAMOUS, so I'm doing my part by posting it here on the blog for all of my faithful 6 or do readers to see!

By Madeleine Emilia Rowe

Curious?  Take a look at the back cover to learn more:

Ginnevra Winterscout does'ent have a very big family...

Wehn a girl named Ginnevra Winterscout goes to a summer camp evryone teases her about her family being small.  Meanwile evryone else was admiring her best friend Hershabell Lookinsome for her family being big.  Will Ginny and Harshabell be able to fint the terible snow storm?  Read more of Madeleine Emilia Rowe's books and you will have

Hooked already?  How can you not be?  Here's the full book, because I know you are waiting with bated breath:
"Ahaha!  Ahaha!" cried Ginnevra Winterscout"

(MADELEINE: Mommy?  So, the "ahaha ahaha" isn't LAUGHING, it's CRYING)

"There there.  Wahts wrong?' asked her bets friend Hershabell Lookinsome.  'Just kiding.  I know it.' she said.  'But I've told you a million times.  Its O.K. to be difrent.'  Hershabell's family was rich and fancy and Ginny's family was very poor and small.  'My family's big, and your family is small.'  'You don't know waht it's like to be me' Ginny yelled in Hershabell's face.  'Actully...I sortuve do.'  As they went back over to Summer camp a very strange change in the weather happend.  'Blizzerd!' Ginny screamed.  'Well nothing is imposible!' Hershabell said.  Ther were gray clouds evrywere.  'But I dident even pack pack my winter clodes!' Ginny screamed agian."

"Come in here!' one of our camp instruckters sqealed.  Liz Charma.  (Her real name is Elizebeth Charma.)  "Mini!  Ginny!' evryone explaned.  But then....instead of running over into hiding and sobbing loudley...Ginny got so mad that she yelled out: 'So waht I'm difrent!'  'You go girl!' screached Hershabell.  Evryone stared at  Harshabell.  Then they stared at Ginny.  'Yah!' someone screamed.  'So waht if I have braces!'  The person was a girl.  Her name was Pholisidie.  'So waht if I have to flos evry niht!'  Another person yelled.  After that evryone started yelling out: 'Who cares if I'm difrent!'  This moment was the most amazing moment of Ginnevra Winterscouts life.  She thout she would never have a happy moment in her life.  Ever.  Wehn the storm ended Hershabell came over to Ginny and said 'I'm realy proud of you Ginny.  Of all of you.'  Ginny smiled haphily and turend and walked over to her favorite mounten, Daisy Mounten.  Ginny was so happy she could burst.  Could anyone be as lucky as her?  She didn't think so.  Probably not.  Riht?  We may be wrong!  Some people are.  Do you think so?  Remember: Always be happy!"

"Hey.  Wehre did all the snow go?"
 The End!

Hoorah!  What an ending!  Not only did the snow melt, but evryone learned that it's okay to be difrent!  AND we got a much needed reminder to always be happy.  What a story!

Also, I award this book "Most Creative Spelling of the Name Felicity EVER."

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Basketball Game

Last night was the traditional basketball game between our elementary school and one of the other town elementary schools.  The teams are made up of staff and parents from both schools, and the bleachers are always jam-packed with families and students.  This year was no exception.  Despite the fact that the game is rigged to end with a tie every year, the kids get infused with a manic anticipation that THIS might be the year that their school actually wins!

Julia got to play flute in the pep band this year, which was a source of pride and excitement:

Madeleine sat in the stands with her foam finger and her pom-pom and let 'er rip throughout the entire game.  Not caring that she was whapping people in the head with the plastic tufts from her pom-pom, or screaming directly into their ears, she cheered and leaped around the stands in delight.  She had even insisted on making her own sign for the game:

However, seeing that she had both hands full with cheer paraphernalia, she needed to rely on me to hold the sign.  She was very quick to point out my short-comings in the sign-holding area.

MADELEINE: Mommy!  You're supposed to hold up the sign!
ME: Do I have to hold it up the whole time, or only when our team gets a basket?
MADELEINE: Uh...the whole time!
ME: My arms might get tired from holding it up the whole time, though.
MADELEINE: Okay.  How about when we get a basket?

At the next basket, I held the sign up as promised.

MADELEINE: No, Mommy!  You have to move it UP and DOWN!
ME: Oh.  Sorry.  (waving the sign up and down)
MADELEINE:, Mommy.  You have to do it slower.
ME: (waving the sign up and down more slowly)
MADELEINE: (examining me critically) Okay.  Good.

Equally critical was Madeleine of the traitors who had switched to play on the opposing team, merely because they were now employees of the other school.  For instance, the assistant PE teacher that had taught Madeleine last year, but who now teaches across the way at the opposing school.

MADELEINE: Mrs. K is NOT my friend anymore.
ME: What?
MADELEINE: Because she's playing on the OTHER team.

Yikes.  Harshness.  All you have to do is play ONCE for another team and you are on the OUTS with Madeleine.

The funniest part of the evening was that somehow, the memo about ending in a tie did not make it to the actual players.  With four minutes to go in the game, the opposing team was up by two points and the players were still furiously trying to score more.  The PTC parent in charge of the event had to run over to the referee to pass the crucial information along, and a quick time-out was called.  Unfortunately, only the team that was up by two points was told, so after our team scored an additional two points, the teachers and parents were gunning to score more.  With seven seconds left on the clock, and our team up by two points, another time-out was called.  The other team was given the ball, and threw desperate shot after desperate shot to score a basket, but the clock ran out.  Of course, the score-keepers quickly awarded a bonus two points to the other team, but before the score-board reflected the miraculous tie, the kids from our school were leaping off the bleachers, screaming wildly, and celebrating in the middle of the gym.

I could see Julia and her friends, but totally lost Madeleine.  I wondered if she had gone to say hello to her teacher, who was one of the players in the game, but she was nowhere to be found.  When she finally returned to the bleachers, I asked her where she'd been.

ME: Madeleine, where did you go??
MADELEINE: Oh.  To ask Mrs. K why she played for the OTHER team.

Oh.  I see.  No congratulations to the teachers on our team, no hugs or hellos, instead a scathing rebuke of the traitorous ex-PE teacher/friend.  Sportsmanship.  Madeleine sure gets it.

I tried to explain the need to end on a tie to the girls.  Julia totally got it, but Madeleine didn't understand why the score-keeper would just award two completely unearned points.

MADELEINE: But why didn't they just get a BASKET even after time ran out to get the points?  Why did they just GIVE them two points?
ME: Well, they tried to get a basket.  They had a bunch of chances, but they couldn't get it in, and the time ran out.
MADELEINE: Well,  then. why don't they just TEACH THEIR TEACHERS how to play basketball better?

Yeah.  Seriously.  Who cares if this is a volunteer opportunity to play in a game that's a fund-raiser for the school?  That is NO excuse not to be in tip-top basketball shape.  We should be holding clinics to get these teachers on their A-game!  Otherwise they DESERVE to lose by two points!

Congrats, Eagels, on your accidental win!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Taboo Game

Last night, we played a family game of Taboo.  Julia and Ethan were a team, as were Madeleine and I.  A few years ago, this wouldn't have been possible, but now that Madeleine can read, we can actually play as a family.  However, Madeleine's abilities at Taboo are not quite up to Julia's.  Julia found a way to a) use relevant life examples to get Ethan to think of the object or person she was describing, and b) find creative ways to avoid the necessary words used to describe what she was talking about.  For instance, when the subject was "microwave," Julia was able to tell Ethan, "Ours is broken because the thing you push to open it fell off."  For "food chain," Julia was able to change tenses and avoid the taboo word "eat" by saying: "So, if something ate a piece of grass, and something else at that thing, and something else ate that thing..."

Madeleine was able to read and comprehend both the word she needed me to get, as well as the taboo words she needed to avoid, but unfortunately, she made her clues a bit TOO ambiguous.

WORD: Umbrella

MADELEINE: So, if...hmm-hmmm-hmmm is...going down, and there's clouds...
ME: Rain?  Thunderstorm?  Snowstorm?  Wind?

WORD: Thermometer

MADELEINE: Um...if...something is making you...BAD...then you...uh...(gesturing towards her mouth)
ME: Throw up?  Cough?  Gag?  Take medicine?  Drink something?


MADELEINE: So, like, if you GO somewhere, and, like, you use a blanket...
ME:  A sleepover?  A camp-out?  A campfire?  A cookout?

WORD: Pace

MADELEINE: So, like, if you GO...
ME: Uh...
ME: On a trip?  For a run?
MADELEINE: Uh, yeah...
ME: Uh...
ME: So running?

Luckily, I started to get the hang of her frequent use of "so, like, if you GO" beginnings, and began preemptively filling in any possible word that could fit until I hit the jackpot.

WORD: Hike

MADELEINE: So, like, if you GO somewhere...
ME: For a walk?
ME: For a run?  For a jog?
ME: For a hike?
MADELEINE: (delighted) YES!!

WORD: Vacation

MADELEINE: So, like, if you GO somewhere...
ME: In a car?
ME: On a train?
ME: On vacation?
MADELEINE: (delighted) YES!!

Even more luckily, I am an AWESOME clue-giver, so I was able to get Madeleine guessing 5-6 words on average per round, which made up some ground for us.  Unluckily, Ethan and Julia beat us by one point, but we didn't bother announcing it, because Madeleine had already cried over losing Pictionary to Julia a few hours earlier, and, well, we just didn't need that drama again.  At any rate, I think we'll have to play a few more times before Madeleine gets greater confidence in the various tricky ways to get around her taboo words.

With that said, I'm gonna, like, GO somewhere...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow Day

Well, here we are, home for another snow day.  Julia has spent much of the day doing Gallop Time and thinking about the imaginary Mintz family.  I started to wonder if the Mintz children had also swam at New Englands, and how they did.  After all, they have a tendency to do all of the same things that the Rowe family does (with some extras, like going to Hawaii.)

ME: Julia, how did the Mintz do at New Englands?
JULIA: (smiling self-consciously) Goooood.
ME: Who did the best?
JULIA: (irritated at my ignorance) They're all in different AGE groups!
ME: Oh.  Well, did Lilly Mintz win any medals?
JULIA: She won EVERYTHING.  She ALWAYS wins everything.

To clarify, I wanted to understand if Lilly literally won everything, or just won every event she swam in.

ME: So what did Lilly Mintz swim?
JULIA: She swam: the 200 freestyle, the freestyle relay, she swam the butterfly in the medley relay, she swam the 50 butterfly, and the 100 butterfly.

For an imaginary scenario, Julia sure sticks to some real-life rules.  At the championship events, swimmers are allowed to swim a maximum of three individual events and two relays.  If Lilly Mintz is as good as she sounds like she is, she undoubtedly qualified in many more events than the above listed.  Julia made sure not to take any liberties with the championship rules of her imaginary swimmers.

So while Julia is busy galloping and constructing new narratives for the Mintz, Madeleine is finding surprising new ways to completely weird me out.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  I *know* how...well, I wouldn't ever really DO this...but I *know*...well, I wouldn't do it because it's DISGUSTING, and...a little creepy...but I *know* how to make a DISCONNECTED brain get connected again.
ME: Oh yeah?  You do?  How?
MADELEINE: You just make this little TUBE things, and you put them back together.

Maybe she's destined to be a brain surgeon.  Or a pathologist, performing autopsies to study disconnected brains.  Or the first ever human to bring a living being back from brain-death by simply making these little tube thingies and putting them back together.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

New England Championships

This morning, to further celebrate Daylight Savings Time, three of the four Rowes got up at 6:30am (which felt like 5:30am) in order to go to the New England Swim Championships at MIT.  Madeleine got to sleep in, as she was staying home with Auntie Shannon.  We had prepped her several times last night so she'd know that we would be gone when she awoke, and that Auntie Shannon was in charge.  Furthermore, both Ethan and I went into her bedroom to say good-bye to her before we left.

ME: (sneaking quietly into Madeleine's room and giving her a kiss)
MADELEINE: (eyes fluttering open)
ME: We're gonna go to the swim meet now, honey.  Go back to sleep. I love you.
MADELEINE: Okay.  I'll miss you.  I even miss you right now!

Just in case Madeleine might not remember us saying good-bye, I even slipped this note under her door:

So, I'd say we pretty clearly covered our bases to make sure Madeleine knew where we all were.

At 9:12 am, Madeleine was not in the least concerned about where her parents were, but began wondering about Julia.  I got a text from Shannon informing me of Madeleine's sleuthing spy-like deductive reasoning: "Julia must be reading.  She would NEEEEEVER stay in bed this long!"

Yeah, because Ethan and I went to the swim meet by ourselves, just to watch some random other children swimming.

At any rate, Julia had a blast at New Englands, swam a best time in one event (100 butterfly) and a second best time in another event, (50 butterfly) and even got a 14th place ribbon in the 100 fly! (Top 20 get ribbons.)  Best of all, she got a brand new, comfy oversized sweatshirt to add to her burgeoning collection of Swim Team Sweatshirts.  Here she is, showered, cozy, and happy after her last swim:

And here is Madeleine, as she appeared upon our return home:

Fake glasses, pigtail braid buns, a dress with pants underneath, why not live it up on a fun morning home with your Auntie??  Glad that both my girls enjoyed their morning in very different ways!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Julia's Headband

This morning, Julia decided to wear her pink, purple and white patterned headband to school; however, since it's a reversible headband, she wanted to wear it on its reversed side, which is plain hot pink.  She and Madeleine were watching a show, and Julia excused herself to go put on her headband.

JULIA:  (to Madeleine) I'm gonna wear it the OTHER way because it's reversible.  (going into the bathroom to put on her headband.)
MADELEINE: (after Julia's return) Wait!  Julia!  Where'd you get that HEADBAND?
JULIA: I got it at CVS.
MADELEINE: No you didn't!  You got the COLORFUL one at CVS!
JULIA: I just said I was switching it!
MADELEINE: Huh?  You're going FISHING?
JULIA: No.  Madeleine.  SWITCHING.  This IS the colorful one!
MADELEINE: No it's not.  The colorful one has WAY more colors.
JULIA: I said I was SWITCHING it!
MADELEINE: (after a moment's thought) Ohhhh!  It IS the colorful one!  You're just wearing it the WRONG WAY!

Lost in translation.  Seriously.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


MADELEINE: Mommy?  When I grow up, I wanna be an author.  I wanna be a FAMOUS author.  I wanna be the MOST FAMOUS AUTHOR in the world.  So I came up with a couple of good story ideas.  So.  One is called "The Shrieking Shed."
ME: Ooh, that sounds good.
MADELEINE: Yeah.  It's about this shed, and INSIDE, there's this head that's just a head with a BLOODY NECK, and it's shrieking and making all this noise!
ME: Oh, wow.
MADELEINE: And at first, they thought it was the EGYPTIANS that made it, but then, they found out it was the JUNGLE PEOPLE that made it.

Of course Madeleine wants to write a book about a severed head with a bloody neck.  Of course she does.

It made me wonder about the many, many stories Julia has been writing in her blank journals and notebooks.  I asked her to tell me about a few of them.

JULIA: One of them is a girl, and her mom died, and she lives in this mansion, and her mom comes back to life as a ghost, but only the main character knows.  The ghost...she had, like, strawberry blonde hair, and she was wearing, like, pajamas or something.  Oh!  And another book I was writing recently: there's a girl, and she's in this tribe, and their enemy tribe, like, THREATENS something, and the enemy tribe burns down the camp place, and they have to find a new place to live.

Wait. Maybe we can tie this all together!  Maybe the tribe moves to the jungle and becomes the Jungle People, and they are responsible for the severed head with a bloody neck in the Shrieking Shed!!

With ideas like these, it is no doubt that the girls will BOTH become the most famous authors in the entire universe.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Madeleine has been showing off her knowledge today.

MADELEINE: Mommy!  I know the INTENDENT'S name!  It's Dan!
JULIA: The what's name, Madeleine?
JULIA: The ATTENDANCE?  The attendance who??  Who does the attendance?
JULIA: Madeleine.  There's no such thing as intendents.
MADELEINE: Yes there is!
JULIA: What's does "intendents" mean?
MADELEINE: It's like...the school school...
ME: Julia, I think she means "Superintendent."
MADELEINE: (brightly) Oh!  Yeah!  That's what it's called!

And then, as we drove to a play-date in the rain:

MADELEINE: Mommy!  I just realized something.  (Speaking wisely and philosophically) Rain is nature's CAR WASH!

These astute statements comes from the same brainiac that made this observation today:

MADELEINE: Mommy?  Even with, like, a PEBBLE, when I try to throw a rock in the air and bounce it off my hand, it really HURTS.

I like the fact that she actually had to even try that to know it was going to hurt.  What a budding scientist!  No guessing around here; she follows through with her experiment to get accurate data.  Does a boulder hurt?  Yes.  Does a medium sized rock hurt?  Yes.  Does a small rock hurt?  Yes.  Does a pebble hurt?  Yes.  CONCLUSION: bouncing rocks off of one's hand is not a good idea.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

A New Madeleine Drawing

I just found this drawing of Madeleine's:

All I have to say is: that is one big-ass bird flying over the tree.
Actually, I guess I have more to say than that.  What is that gray goblin-like giant doing to to the poor kid in the chair?  Enacting a mini-torture chamber experience?  Preparing to carry out a human sacrifice to please the gargantuan Bird-God of the sky?  And also, why is there a flying gray cat with a kangaroo pouch and no face flapping around in the air?

I'm scared.

I decided to find out what story Madeleine was creating with this picture.

ME: Madeleine, can you tell me about this drawing?
MADELEINE:, that's a toad servant (pointing to the gray goblin), and that's the King of Nature (pointing to the person in the chair).
ME: And what is the toad servant doing to the King?
MADELEINE: Oh.  He's holding his CHAIR.
ME: But why does the King look so scared?
MADELEINE: Oh.  He's angry.  Well, he's angry a LOT. Because he complains about his chair.  His chair is tiny, and he doesn't have a crown.
ME: Oh, okay.  Tell me more about this picture.
MADELEINE: (pointing to the big blue bird to the right of the tree) That is the kind of bird that's blue and black, and that's her cousin the robin (pointing to the ginormous Bird-God), just flying in for a visit.  And that's a tree.  The King's chair sits in mud, so he complains about that too.  There's only a tiny amount of grass, and (pointing to what I thought was a blue mailbox) that's the treasure chest he found in the woods, and that (flying gray cat) is the squirrel and he's like, "I've lost it!  I can't live with this!"
ME: Why can't he live like this?
MADELEINE: Because the king is always complaining.

Okay.  Now that my perception on the picture has shifted, I have a few more things to say.
First of all: that is the most COLOSSAL robin ever to fly the skies of Earth.
Secondly: now that I know the King is kind of a pain in the ass, not a torture victim, I feel kind of bad for the toad servant.  I mean, poor guy is almost as tall as a tree, and all he gets to do with his height is hold the back of the King's chair?
Thirdly: I should have known that was a squirrel, not a cat.  How could I forget Madeleine's newest obsession??  And while I admire that the squirrel is out of patience with the King, I'm a little worried that he's about to get pierced by the mammoth beak of the mammoth robin flying straight at him.

I guess I'm still a little bit scared.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


For some reason, Madeleine has decided that she wants to beguile the backyard squirrels into thinking she, herself, is a squirrel, so that she can get to be friends with them.  Her plan to carry out this deception is to dress in all brown and make herself a tail so that she will look like the SPITTING IMAGE of a squirrel.
When Madeleine found out that she was having a play-date with one of her best friends this week, she was ecstatic.

MADELEINE: I wonder what color she's gonna wear!  I hope it's brownie-brown-brown!
ME: Why?
ME: Is she gonna be a squirrel too?
MADELEINE: Yeah!  We're gonna build our animal clubhouse outside and we're gonna be squirrels so we can attract squirrels to the clubhouse!  Wait!  I have a GREAT idea!  This time, we'll be squirrels, but when it's spring, we'll be BIRDS!

When the day of the play-date finally arrived, Madeleine began stage one of her plan: dressing in all brown.  She had a long-sleeved brown shirt, but no brown pants.  This prompted her to don her brown capri pants, despite the fact that it was about 40 degrees for the walk to school.

ME: Honey, why don't you wear pants to school and you can change into capris when you get home and start your play-date?
MADELEINE: Well,'s just a lot EASIER to wear my brown capris now, because after school we're just gonna wanna get PLAYING outside, so it would take too long to change into capris.

Yes, God forbid the play-date be delayed a minute or two while Madeleine changes from one pair of pants to another.

True to her word, Madeleine got straight to squirrel work with her friend the minute they walked through the door.  They made their tails:

and headed outside.  Then they literally spent the next hour traipsing around our back woods, hauling large fallen tree limbs up the hill and arranging them into collections all around the yard.  Thankfully, we now have all sorts of piles of wood animal clubhouses all over the place:

I can't wait to see what new and useful things come into our yard once Madeleine is a bird.