Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tales of Sunday Morning

This morning, before church, Madeleine asked me to play a round of "Spot It!" with her.  After soundly beating me, she suddenly began questioning the validity of her ability to play.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  I don't remember how old I was when I first played this, but I was NOT seven.
ME: No, you were like four, I think.
MADELEINE: (pointing to the cover of the game container) But it says ages seven and up!
ME: That's okay.  You're a smartie.  You're pretty advanced.
MADELEINE: But it's against the SAFETY LAWS!

Hold your horses, Madeleine.  This isn't like the "Contains Small Parts.  Not for children under 3 years" warnings.  The only effect of playing "Spot It!" under age 7 might be that your brain develops a little more.

The Rowe girls headed to church this morning and the kids came up to the choir loft with me.  Normally they sit with the Sunday School teachers, but due to the Greek Independence Day Parade in Boston happening today, church was very poorly attended and there were neither teachers nor other kids in the pews.  Similarly, there were only regular choir members there to sing.  I was the only soprano at choir today, so I had to be totally on the ball all morning, as there was no one else to carry the melody.  Naturally, the girls had a lot of urgent questions to whisper-ask me right as I was in the middle of singing.

A sampling of these important questions:

-Why do those kids both have blonde hair if their parents both have brown hair?
-Is it some kind of special holiday today where people wear fancy dresses?
-Is Annacassia a Greek name?
-Why is Madeleine drawing a picture with her left hand?
-Did you see what I wrote on Madeleine's picture?

My answers, in order:

-One finger held up to signify "hold on."
-Shaking my head
-Nodding my head, even though I've never heard the name Annacassia in my life.
-One finger held up to signify "hold on."
-A thumbs up sign

I had thought that having Julia sing along to the choir music and giving Madeleine a pen and blank paper to draw with would keep them occupied enough, but I guess these kids are just too full of profound questions to keep totally quiet.  But at least we got this cool piece of artwork as a result of some of their questions:

For some reason, Julia decided to write "Texas is awesome!" at the top of Madeleine's drawing of various girls and floating severed heads.  Julia also labeled the girls and disembodied heads as Madeleine dictated their names.  This caused a debate after church about the proper spelling of "Annacassia."

MADELEINE: Julia?  But can you spell Annacassia with a "c?"
JULIA: I spelled it with a "k."
MADELEINE: But *can* you spell it with a "c?"
JULIA: Uh, if you want.
MADELEINE: Yeah.  I like it with a "c."  But is that a real way to spell it?
JULIA: Madeleine, Annacassia isn't even a REAL name.
MADELEINE: Julia!  Mommy TOLD me it IS!

Yes, my nodding-while-singing was proof enough for Madeleine that this is a legit name.  Guess I inadvertently helped create a creative new girl's name that's sure to catch on like crazy!

Friday, April 28, 2017


While Madeleine and I were walking home from school today, we had a discussion about sophistication.

MADELEINE: Why is Julia always having to be so MEAN about things that are funny?
ME: What do you mean?
MADELEINE: Well, she gets mad at me if I laugh when she uses a GROWN-UP word, and she says, "It's not FUNNY, Madeleine."
ME: Like what kind of grown-up words does she use?
MADELEINE: Well, I think it's funny when she says "meanwhile."
ME: Well, Julia is a pretty advanced reader, so she has a sophisticated vocabulary.
MADELEINE: Sophisticated?!?  What does THAT mean?
ME: Well, if a kid is sophisticated, it means they have a knowledge of things that are kind of...
MADELEINE: Grown-up?
ME: Yeah, like of a higher level than their age.  You're a really advanced reader too, so I bet when you're Julia's age you'll have a really sophisticated vocabulary.
MADELEINE: I don't WANT to!  I just wanna talk like a KID!

Be that as it may.  Madeleine is at least proud of her sophisticated art skills, as she found out today she won the school Earth Day Poster contest for her grade.  The poster she drew is hanging up in the school lobby along with the other winners from each grade.  So I guess Madeleine might not want to use grown-up words, but she sure shows some grown-up drawing potential.

Speaking of sophisticated, Julia decided to play it totally classy this evening.  While she was supposed to be brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed, she was instead devoting her time to this completely elegant and refined behavior:

Now THAT'S how we do it in the Rowe household!

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Ethan and I attended Madeleine's school conference yesterday, and I'm glad to hear that Madeleine does not hold back from her "Can I tell you something?" meandering musings with her teachers.

At least she can't get as off topic with them as she does with her Sunday School teacher.  Madeleine is often the only kid who shows up in her Sunday School grade, which means she gets one-on-one time with the teacher and shares somewhat embarrassing things like "My daddy exercises, but he has still has a big tummy because he eats too much desserts."

Last weekend, when I arrived a bit early to pick her up from Sunday School, I got to overhear Madeleine showing that she TOTALLY GETS what the teacher was talking about.

TEACHER: So, you know, Thomas doubted Jesus, but Jesus wasn't angry with him.  God wants us to know that it's okay to have doubts.
MADELEINE: Yeah, like, before God created the world, it HAD to be a color.  Everyone says it was nothing but it still HAD to have a color.  Like, I think it was probably black.  It HAD to be, like, black or gray or white.  Just because it's nothing doesn't mean it's not a COLOR.  It HAS to be a color!
TEACHER: Hmm.  Right.  So, God says it's okay to doubt as long as we trust Him.  Do your parents ever tell you to do something and you don't want to, but you trust your parents when they say something is good for you?
MADELEINE: Well...can I tell you something?  At my school, there's TWO playgrounds, there's the kindergarten playground, and the regular playground, and there's TWO rocks, one SIDE rock, and one rock that's really ginormous, and we're not allowed to play on the big one at recess.  And there's this tree on the rock, and I used to be able to climb up to, like, the really high branches, but Mommy told me I can only climb up to the first branch, and I do this sort of RELAXING pose when I'm in the tree, like where I put my FOOT out-
TEACHER: Yeah, right, you trust your parents when they tell you not to climb too high.
MADELEINE: And can I tell you something that's kind of like a TRICK?  One day at recess, my friend came over to me and he said that there's a NEW TREE growing on the playground, and I went RUNNING over to see it, and it was a STICK sticking out of the ground, and he just STUCK it into the ground and was pretending it was a tree, and when I saw it he said, "Just kidding!"

You can see how well Madeleine was absorbing the lesson of doubting Thomas.  At least she didn't follow in her father's footsteps and tell her Sunday School teacher that she helped God create the world.

And at least in her 1st grade journal entry, shared with us by her teachers at yesterday's conference, about what superpower she would like to have, she wrote about wanting "Legendary Detective" powers rather than "Creator of the Universe," so I can rest assured she doesn't think herself TOO omnipotent.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An Adventure During MCAS

Even though it's only a few days past April school vacation, it's a busy week for the 4th grade.  This week is MCAS testing week, and Julia has had a LOT of energy to expend after getting home from each day of sitting still, taking tests.  Let's just say I think the Mintz have had a LOT of new imaginary scenarios being concocted about them.

It helps that the past two days have been rainy, so the kids aren't missing outdoor recess time, but the weather came back to bite Julia in the butt just a little bit today.  First, let me back up and explain that despite the cold and rainy spell we're been experiencing, Julia is gung-ho about wearing short sleeves every day.

ME: Julia, it's supposed to be only in the 40s today, so I would suggest wearing a long-sleeved shirt.
JULIA: But I can't!  Because then I won't have worn short sleeves EVERY DAY since it turned to spring!

Sometimes OCD overrules common sense.

Today was equally cool and rainy, and the whole school got a nice fun dose of the weather when an unknown human accidentally pulled the school fire alarm (I'm inclined to believe the school about the "accidentally" part, but it's kind of hard not to imagine there was at least one kid who just wanted a leeeeetle break from MCAS.)  Apparently the entire school was stuck outside for quite some time, and while Madeleine doesn't have any complaints, Julia has repeatedly told me about how miserably cold it was.

ME: So what did you guys do when you were outside all that time?
JULIA: We just STOOD there, and, like, tried to get warm.  It was FREEZING.  I was REALLY wishing I had my coat.
ME: Well, maybe there's something to be learned from me telling you that you might want to wear long sleeves.

Julia disagreed.

Beyond the thought of the kids being outside in the cool rain, my main concern, upon receiving the email about the whole fire alarm debacle, was on Julia's anxiety.  She is so extremely freaked out by the thought of fire - AND rainstorms - that I was worried that she's been in panic-mode.  I tried to talk to her about this after school.

ME: So, honey, I was thinking about you and hoping you were okay.  Were you worried?
JULIA: Not really.  I was just FREEZING.
ME: Okay.  I was afraid you might have been freaking out.
JULIA: No, I wasn't freaking out because: first of all, it was RAINING, so...if there WAS a fire, the rain would just put it out.  And secondly, I didn't SEE any fire.  PLUS, the teachers were all, like, talking and making jokes, so I doubted it was anything serious.

WAIT.  A.  MINUTE.  Just...HOLD UP.  Where is this logic when Julia is at home?!?!?  Here are just a few examples of our panic vs. logic "discussions" in the midst or Julia's panickings.

JULIA: BUT...what if the rain turns into a THUNDERSTORM and lightning hits our house and STARTS A FIRE??!?!?
ME: Honey, it's raining.  Fires usually start in dry conditions.
ME: Well, the rain would put the fire out.


JULIA: The smoke alarm is going off!
ME: It's just because the cast iron pan was on the burner too long and there's a little smoke in the air.
ME: No.  It's not even on the burner anymore.
ME: Because smoke alarms are made to be extra-sensitive on purpose, so that if there ever WAS a real fire, the smoke would be detected before the fire got so big that it wasn't possible to escape.
ME: Because I don't see a fire, honey.


JULIA: (about any random thing) IS THERE GONNA BE A FIRE?!?!?!?!?
ME: Honey.  Look at me.  Do I seem nervous?  If I'm calm, then you know there's nothing to worry about.

I'm at least glad that, for her sake, she was able to keep her anxiety under wraps while at school, and observe the social cues given by her teachers and friends and realize there was nothing to panic about.  I guess we'll have to keep working on the at-home paranoia, though!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

American Girls: Here We Go Again

Following along similar lines as her sister, Madeleine has been getting more and more invested in American Girl books as first grade reaches its final months.  Yesterday at Media, she took out two more American Girl books to read, and she's had a lot to say about them.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  In the Josefina book, I was wondering if in 1863, they didn't have electricity, because it said something about hanging their clothes out to dry.
ME: Yeah, because they wouldn't have had dryers yet without electricity.
MADELEINE: But they said they have a stove...
ME: It might be a stove that's fueled by burning coal.  The fire will heat things up.
MADELEINE: Oh, yeah, it did say something about a fire!  But Mommy!  That's *REALLY* old-fashioned!!

I guess she was underestimating the tides of change that have occurred in the last 154 years.

She had more to say on Josefina as the book went on.

MADELEINE: Mommy!  I just REALIZED something!
ME: What?
MADELEINE: Every person in the Josefina book, even Papa and Mama...well...well, the Mama is DEAD...every person is like...Ana, Clara, Francisca, Josefina, Papa, Mama...they ALL end in "A!"

I can see she's getting to the deep roots of this historical period.

Furthermore, she has decided that she wants to do chores to be like Kit Kittredge, an American Girl who lived during the Great Depression.  However, the chores I suggested won't do.  Madeleine specifically wants to wash our dishes and sweep the floors.  It doesn't matter that we have a dishwasher and a vacuum and that what I really want her to do is clean her gosh darn room or hang her coat instead of throwing it on the floor.  She is bound and determined to wash and sweep, even when it comes to sweeping the rug in the play basement.  I guess cleaning up your room isn't old-fashioned enough to qualify as a Kit Kittredge-style chore.  

At any rate, I am thankful that we went through the American Girl obsession phase already with Julia, because Madeleine now has her own American Girl library right in our own home!  Julia is full of knowledge about which books are the best and is graciously lending them to her sister, so that when Madeleine inevitably finishes her media books in one sitting, she doesn't have to wait a week until her next Media class to devour a few more!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Gallop and Balance Beam Time

Julia's habit of galloping through the living room and hallway while thinking of the imaginary family she made up continues, and during a school vacation week I get to see a LOT of galloping.  You may be wondering what's up in the world of the Mintz family these days, and I'll tell you: they are also on school vacation.

Furthermore, I found out an interesting fact about a friend of a friend of the Mintz.  Julia just opted to share this little tidbit in the midst of galloping yesterday:

JULIA: Mommy?  The Mintzes friends have a friend whose last name is Poophead.

Seriously?  Poophead?  Like, with ALL the time Julia pores into thinking up all the little details about the Mintz family and their associates, she couldn't come up with a better last name than Poophead?!?  I told her that I just can't suspend my disbelief on this one.  But she holds fast to the character of Daniel Poophead, who is a friend of Dylan O'Sacramentio, who is a friend of the classic Lilly Mintz.

ME: But why is his last name Poophead?
JULIA: I dunno.  I don't really think about him THAT much.  I just made him up because Dylan needed best friends.  So he made the "D" club, with Daniel, Declan, and Derek.

So she went to the trouble to come up with the idea of the "D" club and imagine the names of the other "D" members, but she still couldn't concoct a MORE REALISTIC LAST NAME THAN POOPHEAD?!?!?

While Julia is busy taking up the upstairs hallway and living room with her Gallop Time, Madeleine has taken over the downstairs play room and hallway with her gymnastics.  Specifically, her balance beam.  But you don't have a balance beam, you might be thinking.  OH, YES, WE DO.

Take a look at this masterpiece of painter's tape:

Madeleine literally spends the majority of the day on this thing when there's no school.  It's all about her balance beam routine and her cartwheels on the balance beam.  In fact, she ain't got no time for love and hugs when she's working on her routine.

MADELEINE: And now it's time for a routine by Madeleine!
AUNTIE SHANNON: (walking into the play room) And now it's time for an Auntie hug! (giving Madeleine a hug.)  I love you!
MADELEINE: Uh, I love you too, but that's not part of it.  (getting back to her routine.)

I guess I don't have to worry about my kids not being active enough over school vacation.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

From the Mouth of Madeleine

More Madeleine Wisdom:

After the Easter Vespers service, in which I read the Gospel in French and German:

MADELEINE: Mommy?  What country do they speak GERMAN in?
ME: Germany.  And do you know what country they speak French in?
MADELEINE: Yes!  Canada!!
ME: Well, yeah, a part of Canada is French-speaking, but there's another country...
MADELEINE: Oh!  I know!  Quebec!

This kid doesn't need schooling.  She's already so on the ball with everything.

While watching the Boston Marathon at the Mile 14 mark:

MADELEINE: (sighing dreamily) I *really* wanna run this race.
ME: What makes you want to run it?
MADELEINE: It's just REALLY FUN watching it.
ME: Watching this is really inspiring you, huh?
MADELEINE: I get inspired by EVERYTHING!

No kidding.  She's not also desperate to be a gymnast after "McKenna Shoots for the Stars" or an animal trainer after attending the "Amazing Animal Ambassadors" Show at the library or a famous dancer after watching "Dancing With the Stars" or anything.

Glancing at my most recent issue of "Bates" Magazine, on the cover of which "A just-married Lewiston couple pose at Lake Andrews":

MADELEINE: Mommy?  Does this magazine have people with DISABILITIES in it?
ME: Uh, not really...why?
MADELEINE: I just thought it would be really INTERESTING to read about people with disabilities.

I can understand why a woman in wedding dress and man in tux might be mistaken for people with disabilities.  But unfortunately the alumni magazine is a lot more about people getting married or dying or updating us on their careers than about people in wheelchairs (which is also her current dream, along with having a broken leg, after "McKenna Shoots for the Stars.")

While working on a new book she's writing and illustrating:

MADELEINE: Mommy?  I'm afraid that if this book gets published, people will think it says "Chapter S" instead of "Chapter 1."
ME: Why?  Because you wrote the 1 kind of squiggly?
ME: Well, you know, when books are published, they're typed.  Have you ever seen a published book that's hand-written?
ME: So don't worry about your 1.
MADELEINE: So Mommy?  After we finish writing it, can we go to the place to get it published?
ME: Uh...
MADELEINE: Please please please Mommy?  Can I get it published??

As if I hold the power to determine that, right?
I was able, at least, to promise her that I can publish any of her books on my blog.  But if I do that, I'm afraid you readers will think it says "Chapter S," not "Chapter 1."

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Fun

Happy Easter from the Rowes!

Julia, in typical fashion, was up at the crack of dawn, ready to exuberantly wish me a happy Easter.

JULIA: (bouncing onto my bed) Happy EASTER, Mommy!
ME: Mmmph.  Happy Easter.  What time is it??
JULIA: (triumphantly) Six twenty-two!
ME: Ugh.  Is Madeleine up yet?
JULIA: Nope!
ME: Okay.  Let's wait until she's up before I get up, then you can look for your Easter baskets.

Within thirty seconds, I could hear Julia going into Madeleine's room.

MADELEINE: (bursting into my bedroom) Uh, Mommy??  Julia told me to tell you I'm uuuuuup!

So they commenced looking for their hidden Easter baskets, and upon finding them, carried their loot upstairs to peruse.

The girls each got a Shopkin doll, to their delight.

JULIA: (looking at the box of her Coco-let chocolate doll)  I got COCK-LET!
MADELEINE: (looking at the box of her Bridie Bride doll) I got BIRDIE!

Seriously?  Cocklet and Birdie?  Apparently the excitement of Easter morning renders kids at the top of their grade in literacy into remedial readers.

The Easter basket fun was followed by a church service and an Easter egg hunt on the church grounds.  Madeleine was SO.  DARN.  EXCITED.  about the Easter egg hunt that she didn't once complain about going to church, which was a novelty for her.  Another novelty was the fact that FOR ONCE, she didn't burst into heart-broken tears when someone else found the coveted golden egg.  I think this kid is finally growing up!

At home we had a family Easter egg hunt, and while I usually hide the eggs myself, Ethan lent me a hand this year.  He learned the hard way that you have to make the eggs REALLY OBVIOUS because the kids are just, again, TOO.  DARN.  EXCITED.  to have any brains at all about where they might be hidden.  It kind of didn't matter where either of us hid the eggs, whether in obvious or obscure locations, because we wound up needing to help the kids find them in either case.

For example, Madeleine needed me to literally walk her through the steps of finding a bright orange egg on the handle of our black grill as she stood directly next to it.  She needed similar instruction finding the egg that Ethan had hidden inside the little door that leads to the chimney flue.  If it weren't for us, the kids would have probably left about half the eggs undiscovered and we would have had some very happy squirrels.

Now the girls have candy galore and some new toys and books, and everyone is a happy camper enjoying the sunshine out on our back deck.  Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and happy sunny Sunday to those who don't!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Many Madeleine Projects

Madeleine is clearly filled with the spirit of charity during this Lent.  I woke up this morning to find the blueprints for her latest business plan:

Sihn up to help the poor!
Band to raise money for the poor!

So far, both Madeleine and Julia are on board.  Is this going to be a flute/piano ensemble?  Or perhaps Madeleine will be the lead singer?  I can't wait to hear one of their numbers!

It's hard to believe that the girl who is ambitiously planning to raise money to help the poor is the same kid who drew this picture of Bat Girl seemingly taking an ax to the head:

Yikes.  Gory.

In other Madeleine business plans, today she decided she wanted to make her own Kidz Bop video.  "Now, hasn't she done that already?"  you may be thinking.  Let me clarify: while Madeleine has indeed made up her own Kidz Bop SONGS and dances on video, this time she wanted to do exactly as the Kidz Bop performers do: put dance moves to an already popular song.  She opted for a Katy Perry tune, and went to town with her dance routine:

Unfortunately, Madeleine is dissatisfied with the outcome of her first video attempt, and really wants a re-do.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  Can you make a NEW video of me dancing?
ME: Why?  You already did one.
MADELEINE: Because.  Mommy.  It's not a REALISTIC Kidz Bop video.
ME: Why not?
MADELEINE: Because.  First of all, in Kidz Bop videos, there's not a MOM in the video the WHOLE TIME, like, WATCHING the kids dance.
ME: We can probably crop me out of the video if you really want.
MADELEINE: But Mommy.  Also.  In Kidz Bop videos they don't fall and crash into things.
ME: Hmm.  But that makes your video more interesting!
MADELEINE: No.  Mommy.  I want it to be a REAL Kidz Bop video that gets famous.  It can't get famous if I wipe out!
ME: Well, you can't really promote it as a Kidz Bop video, because you'd have to actually be part of the Kidz Bop company to make their videos.
MADELEINE: But Mommy!  The Kidz Bop people are TEENAGERS!  By the time I'm a teenager, they'll be DEAD!
ME: Madeleine.  Will *I* be dead by the time you're a teenager?
MADELEINE: (deep in thought) Will you?
ME: I hope not!
MADELEINE: Okay, well, they won't be DEAD, but they'll be OLD LADIES!
ME: Madeleine.  You'll be a teenager in six years.  I'll be 44 by then. That's not an old lady age.  If I'm not an old lady in six years, then the teenagers DEFINITELY won't be old ladies.

Somehow, my argument was not convincing enough, and she's holding fast to her desire to make a new video.  I'll be sure to stay out of sight in the next one, although I can't really control Madeleine's propensity for wiping out.  Stay tuned for more Madeleine dancing adventures!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Madeleine's Dream World

Madeleine's dream life:

MADELEINE: You know what I wish?  I wish I could have this mansion where, like, me and my FRIENDS all live-
ME: What about me?
MADELEINE: Well, of COURSE my family could come over to visit, and like, me and my friends could, like, do ALL the things we wanna do and not have to, like follow the RULES.  And we would have pizza for dinner at night, and MEATBALLS, like, pasta with meatballs and pasta with meat sauce, and Daddy would serve it to me and my friends in this, like GOOFY way, like goofing around the whole time.

Wait.  I'm only invited to visit but Ethan is the resident chef?  What, because he's goofy, he gets an in?!?

Today Madeleine modified her view on family as visitors.

MADELEINE: Well, my family can live there too, like...everyone I love can live there, and all my friends.  So Mommy?  It's basically like a HOTEL with no other visitors.  And in the morning we'll have PANCAKES because pancakes are AWESOME.

So, let me get this straight.  What Madeleine basically wants is her own permanent version of Spring Break, college style.  No rules!  Jam-packed with friends!  Adult figures are goofy, not strict!  The kind of food you can get at an all-night pizzaria!  PANCAAAAAKES.

I'm kind of scared for what happens when Madeleine goes off to college.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Adventures in Sleepwalking

Last night, around 10pm, the door to our bedroom opened up and in the door frame stood a very cranky looking Julia.

ME: What's up, honey?
JULIA: I can't play with my American Girl dolls EVER AGAIN!
ME: What?  Why not?
JULIA: Because I can't find my EASTER BASKET.
ME: What Easter basket?
JULIA: My American Girl Easter basket.
ME: You mean an American Girl thing you got last Easter?
JULIA: No, my American Girl EASTER BASKET.
ME: What American Girl Easter basket?  Do you have an American Girl Easter basket?
JULIA: I *made* one.
ME: You did?  When did you make it?  Today?
JULIA: A long TIME ago.
ME: Okay.  Well, don't worry about that right now, just get back to bed.
JULIA: But I can't FIND it and I've been looking EVERYWHERE!
ME: When were you looking for it?
JULIA: Like, five minutes ago!
ME: Honey, you've been asleep for hours.
JULIA: (confused)
ETHAN: She's sleep-walking.
JULIA: (indignant) No, I'm NOT!
ME: Honey, let's get you back to bed.  (walking her back into her room, wherein she got into bed and immediately fell asleep.)

This morning, I recounted the incident to Julia.

ME: Do you remember coming into my bedroom to tell me you couldn't find your American Girl Easter basket?
JULIA: Yes...well, I remember that I was in your room.  I don't remember looking for an Easter basket.
ME: Do you even really have an American Girl Easter basket?
JULIA: (giggling) No!!

That must have been some dream she had before sleepwalking into our bedroom.  She was adamant about that non-existent Easter basket that she didn't really make.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

P.E. Peek Week

Yesterday, Ethan and I got to attend Peek Week for Madeleine's P.E. class at school.  The 1st graders have been doing a unit on gymnastics over the past month, and the unit ends with an individual performance by each child, with parents invited.  Madeleine's routine was complete with cartwheels, stops to tuck her shirt into her pants and fix her ponytail, and lots of unique body postures:

Each child must come up with a way to get from apparatus to apparatus without walking.  While many chose skipping, galloping, or hopping, Madeleine's choice was cartwheels.  Apparently she decided that cartwheeling is the best way to get from here to there even outside of the P.E. room, because she decided to cartwheel herself along the sidewalk on our way home from school.  Like, the whole way home.  I guess cartwheeling is to Madeleine as galloping is to Julia.  I wonder if Madeleine thinks of an imaginary family while she's engaged in Cartwheel Time.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The American Team

Julia made a catalog for American Girls: Swim Team, with 6 brand new dolls:

Readers, meet the team that made it to New Englands Countrys, which is not to be confused with Nationals:

Katie Patterson
Cameron Monty
Lindsey Rowe
Emmie Nathal
Nellie Mullins

Clearly, dolls that come with glasses or braces must be in high demand, as 4 out of the 6 swimmers have such features.

This American Team of 11-12 year old girl dolls looks ready to take on the country!

Madeleine must have been inspired to make her own American Girl team because she came up with:

The Anything Proof Girls, who apparently came into being by shooting out of an erupting volcano.  No biggie.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A New Play

In addition to being scared by her reading of "The Cursed Child," Madeleine was clearly also inspired by it's okay form.  She got to work on a new play, with the absolutely least-expected title ever:

Living the life in a  Toilet!
by Madeleine Rowe

Aww, yeah, that is TRULY living the life.  Things don't get much better than gettin' cozy down in the toilet.

Act 1.  Scene One  Mary's house kitchen

Johny: This poridge is good!
Mary: This poridge is bad.  Mary gigles.
Mary: Mum, I don't realy like this poridge.
Joy turns around.
Joy (with a sih) O.K.  That's O.K.  I'll make you pancakes.
Jake: (jaw open) How could you not like this poridge?!
Mary: My taste buds are difrent then your's.

Well, this play is off to an interesting start, but I fail to see how this is life in the toilet.  Maybe Mary's house kitchen is actually in a toilet.  Or maybe they have yet to discover how to truly live the life the right way: in the toilet.  We'll have to see.  I have to say, though: I'm intrigued by this start.  After all, it's got an exciting premise: Mary's taste buds are difrent than Jake's!  Can't wait to see what happens next!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Important Interruptions

An incomplete list of the urgent things the kids have needed to ask, tell, or show Ethan and I while we were otherwise engaged:

MADELEINE: Mommy?  I had a nightmare, and it started off as a Power Puff Girls episode, then it turned into a Mr. Peabody and Sherman episode, and it ended with this really really heavy pig that was on TOP of me.  (silent contemplation) That was the nightmare part.

JULIA: Mommy!  Can you brush my hair?

JULIA: Mommy!  You didn't brush it enough!  It's still tangled!

JULIA: I *can't* do a ponytail!  It's coming out LUMPY!  I'll NEVER be good at anything in my life!

MADELEINE: Mommy!  Is Gory a name??

JULIA: Daddy!  Come see how high I can raise one eyebrow!

MADELEINE: Mommy?  What should I do?

JULIA: Mommy?  What should I do?

MADELEINE: Mommy?  I want to do a gymnastics class where I *teach* people how to do gymnastics.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  Where should I do my gymnastics class?  At HOME, or at school?

JULIA: Mommy!  On the microwave, where it says "clock," I thought it meant a kind of FOOD called "clock," so I was like, "What's a clock??"

MADELEINE: Mommy!  Look! (pointing helplessly to a smear of toothpaste on her finger as she was getting ready to brush her teeth)

JULIA: Mommy!  Look!  (running out of the bathroom after brushing her teeth and pointing to a lock of her hair) A Susan boing-boing curl!

MADELEINE: (from behind her closed bedroom door) Mommy, oh Mommy!  I need to SHOW you something! (holding open "The Cursed Child" to show me that she had reached Part 4, beaming proudly)

MADELEINE: (from behind her closed bedroom door) Mommy!  I need to TELL you something!  (pointing to "The Cursed Child" and beaming proudly) I read the word "apprehensively!"

MADELEINE: (from behind her closed bedroom door) Mommy??  (pointing to "The Cursed Child") What's a "REEKIE" train??

It's kind of no wonder that I feel like I never get anything done throughout the day.