"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Friday, February 25, 2011

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

This came home in Princess's work folder today:

And that is, in a nutshell, what I hope for her.

Monday, February 21, 2011


A few weeks ago there was an episode involving a bodily fluid, the basement sofa, and said items left to be blamed on Jorge. And they would have been, if I hadn't noticed a particular sequence of events that incriminated the culprit. As a result, the offending child has been banned from the basement without parental supervision. The basement that contains the Wii.

Almost daily, she asks if she can play the Wii. Almost daily I say, I haven't seen your plan yet, honey.

I told her basement privileges would be reinstated when she could develop and implement a plan for how to keep the sofa bodily-fluid-free.

This request turned out to be an excellent way to showcase her creativity. Because over the past two weeks she has come up with some fascinating ideas. Most of them involving me doing the work. None of them sounding anything like: use the to.ilet on a regular basis.

She knows the solution. I don't think it's possible to so studiously avoid the correct solution if you don't know what it is. She even came close: she suggested I tell her to use the to.ilet every two hours. Sadly, this does not work, because if she doesn't want to she will do everything involved in using the to.ilet except depositing something in it. So I said, I don't think so, because I've already done all the work involved in training myself to use the to.ilet, and now it is your turn.

However. When I asked, "how do you think Someone Else would solve this problem." she said:

They would use the to.ilet every two hours.

I waited. And waited. And waited. Nothing. No connection. Nada.
Ok. I think we're done here.

A good 98.6% of my frustration parenting this sweet girl is that she won't take help. Ever. I want to help her stop shooting herself in the foot, but she won't give me the gun. So what can I do? Not a whole heck of a lot.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Important Thing

"Cuddle Bear! You forgot your un.derwear!"

Giggle giggle snort snort, the Cuddle Bear laughs at herself while she dresses after swim lessons. "I forgot my un.derwear, Mommy! That's so funny! You can't forget un.derwear!"

"Un.derwear is very important..."

Peanut suddenly stops waving her swim bag at people's heads, takes her face out from underneath the hand-dryer, and stares straight at me, hair sticking out in all directions 18 inches off her head.

"Mom. Underwear is NOT the most important thing. Having a FAMILY is the most important thing. Being with people who LOVE you is what's important. A MOM is the most important. Having a mom who takes care of you is the most important thing of all."

Well said, Peanut.

(Underwear is still important)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Two Moms

The girls went through a period of time recently where they asked a lot of questions about their first mom. Mostly in the car on the way to school. And by "the girls," I mean Peanut and the Cuddle Bear. Princess has a script she uses whenever she thinks someone wants her to talk about her first mom ("she only yelled and only fed us sweet cereal and always spanked us and never gave us baths"),* but she never EVER brings up anything about her first mom that isn't scripted. However, she is always there for these conversations, so I tailor them for her specifically.

*Every statement in this script ranges from slightly true to completely false and does not touch at all on the real reasons for their removal.

Peanut's questions tend to be "why" questions, and I answers them as factually and sensitively as I can. Which is hard, because although I know the facts from that time, I really, really, REALLY don't understand. And I try to leave it at that.

After Peanut exited the car for school that week, the Cuddle Bear asked some different questions. The Cuddle Bear was 18 months when parental rights terminated, so she doesn't have much memory from that time. She wanted to know what First Mom was like. What did she look like? What kind of hair did she have? Did she have brown skin or peach skin? What was she like?

I had the privilege of  knowing First Mom a little, so I did the best I could.

When we got home I got out a picture and color-copied it for her. She was playing in her room. I handed it to her and said, "that's what First Mom looks like," and I headed back downstairs.

At the stairway, I thought to stop and turn back. The Cuddle Bear was looking at the picture with a dreamy, beautiful smile. She raised a finger and softly fingered First Mom's face. I stood there watching, and I checked myself over to see what my feelings were.

Nothing. I felt totally ok.

Then the Cuddle Bear turned and saw me there.

Mom! Why are you watching me!
I'm just loving you, baby girl.

Her smile changed from a dreamy smile to full-on brightness.
I love you sooooo much, Mommy!
I love you too, sweetness.

I went downstairs.
She stared at her picture.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Right at 5:00 my right eye began to twitch, so I knew it was time to start Homework. I pulled it out and called Princess, who proceeded to stare blankly at it for several minutes. Then she listed the numbers from smallest to largest, just as the directions directed.

The first set of directions.

The second set of directions was to circle the median number.

For those not familiar, "median" is the single-most easiest statistical concept know to man. It's formal definition is, "that one there right in the middle."

You would not believe how many times someone can circle a number that is not actually in the middle. I would not have thought it was possible if I had not witnessed it myself. At one point Princess loudly proclaimed that she HAD circled the one in the middle, see! it's that one right THERE.

And she was pointing at the median. Right next to the middle was the number she had circled.

I said, "wait right there! I have an idea." And I ran out of the room and got something.

What! I don't need that right now.
Maybe not. But I do.
Why? Why do you need it?
I need a break. Every Friday you pretend you don't know how to do math, and I'm getting kind of worn out. So we're going to pretend this is me. Every time you feel yourself wanting to tell me that you did do it and it is the right answer, you can tell your doll instead. That way we'll both be happy. And then when you decide you're ready to circle the real middle, then you can tell the real me.

And every time she started to speak, I pointed at the doll.
Then she circle the right answer.
And on problem two.
And on problem three.

Why the heck did that work?

Then I found some inappropriate fluids in an inappropriate place, and we started all over. But that's another story.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

When Logical Consequences Rain Down From the Heavens

Two neurotypical children are hailed from the Wii to put away their laundry.

Two neurotypical children are back downstairs on the Wii unnaturally quickly.

One neurotypical child should be, because she is too young for an allowance so only has to put away underwear and pajamas. The other has been taking seven shirts down every morning and lining them up on the floor to choose one and not putting the rest back.

The neurotypical mom yells down the stairs, "if I find out anyone's laundry isn't done correctly, that little girl will lose the Wii this week."

Seven-Shirt-a-Day Neurotypical child shouts, "it's done correctly!"

This morning, the neurotypical mom opened the girls' closet and went, hmm.

Tomorrow is going to be a snow day.