She’s tricky …

Me: “Kathleen, is there anything you don’t like about being a kid?”

Kathleen: “Yea. When my parents tell me that I can’t do something.”

Me: “That makes sense.”

Kathleen: “And by ‘parents’ I mean ‘mom,’ because you can’t say no to your daughters.”

Me: “Excuse me! I can tell you no, and I have told you no!”

Kathleen: “Here, let’s see. Tell me no.”

Me: “No!”

Kathleen: “See, you do whatever I tell you too.”

Me: …


Stream of … ok, let’s call it “consciousness”

Excerpt from a discussion on the ride home from gymnastics …

Lucy: “Where did people come up with constellations?”

Me: “Like star constellations?”

Lucy: “Yea.”

Me: “Well, today we think of constellations as things that people make up, but I don’t think that people have always thought about them that way. Some people just thought that they were part of the sky; like God made them to look like a dipper or whatever. And they thought that they could use the messages from God to tell us about what was going to happen in the world ….”

Lucy: “One day I am going to make an App called ‘I don’t want to talk to you.’”

Me: “Um. Ok.”

Lucy: “Your phone will have a magnet that lets you attach it to your face, then a picture of you on the phone will just say things like ‘really … you don’t say … hmmm …’ so that the person thinks you are paying attention.”

Me: “I see.”

Lucy: “Did you know that I am a great actress?”

Me: “No.”

Lucy: “Like today I acted like I was eaten by an alligator, but I escaped.”

Me: “Really?”

Lucy: “Yes. One day I want to live in the jungle.”

Me: “With alligators?”

Lucy: “Yep. And lions, and monkeys, and snakes, and Chihuahuas.”

Me: “Chihuahuas?!?! WHAT?!?!”

Lucy: “Chihuahuas. You know, the little dogs.”

Me: “Yes. Yes I do.”

Lucy: “And there will be leopards, and rattle snakes. And you can come visit.”

Me: “I don’t know that I will want to visit with all those scary animals.”

Lucy: “I said I would have Chihuahuas.”

Me: “Yes, but you also said you would have snakes.”

Lucy: “I won’t have any pythons.”

Me: “I am actually less worried about pythons than I am about rattle snakes.”

Lucy: “Ok, I’ll have baby pandas. Will that work?”

Me: “I will visit to see the baby pandas.”

And scene …


Out at dinner, while Jennifer and Lucy are in the restroom, a toddler walks by our table. Seeing Kathleen he waves and loudly says “Hi!”

Kathleen looks at the little boy and offers a cheerless “Hi.”

The child’s parents are now emerging from their booth. They smile at their child and tell him, “Say goodbye!”

“GOODBYE!!!” the toddler practically yells.

Kathleen stares blankly.

I elbow her in the ribs. “Say: Goodbye.” Kathleen makes a pathetic effort at smiling and says: “Goodbye.”

After the boy and his family shuffle off, Kathleen turns to me: “Sorry, I’m not good at talking to children.”

It’s official, my nine year old daughter is a grumpy old man.

If Hermes were a Genie

Last night I took Lucy to Walmart to get new shoes. She picked out some shiny Minnie Mouse tennis shoes that light up when you step.

When she came home today she told us that she told her friend at school that her new shoes grant wishes. Her friend made a wish and they are waiting till Monday to see if it comes true.

The idea that a mass produced pair of Walmart shoes would grant wishes is, of course, silly as all get out. But if her friend comes back with a positive result I am definitely taking a turn.

Like Sand Through the Hourglass …

Jennifer and I were back cleaning the bedrooms when we heard Kathleen yell from the living room: “Mom, the alarm is going off on your phone!”

Jennifer looked over at me, then loud enough for Kathleen to hear, she said: “That’s strange, I didn’t turn it on.”

Kathleen yelled back: “Well, it’s dinging!”

Jennifer walked out to the living room and turned off the phone. Investigating it further, she said: “Well, it looks like someone set the alarm to go off after six minutes.”

Kathleen looked up: “Oh yea. I did that. I just wanted to see how it worked.”

So, I guess we all learned, it works just like its supposed to. Mystery solved.



Jennifer went back to work today, but I had an online meeting this afternoon, so I discussed it with the girls ahead of time. I told them that I needed an hour without them interrupting. I would put on a new movie upstairs for them to watch, but they needed to stay quiet. No fighting. No rough housing. No screaming. If they succeeded, I told them I would take them out for frozen yogurt later.

Over lunch, they wanted more specifics. What kind of emergency would justify interrupting my meeting? We agreed that fire, poison spiders, or earthquake would be the kinds of things you could interrupt for.

As my meeting got closer, I set up the movie for them, and confirmed that they should not answer the door while I was in the office. Then I headed to the office and started to get myself set up.

Not five minutes later Lucy loudly opened the door to the office announced that she was hungry and asked if she could have a mint ice cream cream popsicle.

To be fair we had not specifically covered that kind of emergency.