In the 5 Minute Van Ride to the Grocery

Owen: “Why do we have to get butter at the store?”
Andy: “Because we don’t have butter.”
Owen: “But we do have butter!”
Andy: “No. We don’t. We have margarine.”
Me: “Daddy doesn’t like margarine.”
Owen: “What’s margarine?”
Me: “Fake butter.”
Owen: “But I like margarine!”
Andy (jokingly, I think): “You are not my son!”
James (singing): “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me haaapppy, when skies are graaayyy.”
Owen: “I want to play I Spy!”
Andy: “OK, you can go first.”
Sophie: “I want to go first!”
Andy: “It was Owen’s idea, so he gets to go first.”
(Complaints from Sophie. Stern words from me.)
Owen: “I spy with my little eye something pink.”
Me: “My nails?”
Owen: “No! That cup!”
(He’s still learning the rules of the game.)
Everyone: “Yay!”
Sophie: “My turn! I spy with my little eye something red and white.”
Andy: “That’s pink.”
Sophie: “No. A lot white and just a little red.”
(We guess a million things.)
Sophie (beyond frustrated): “It’s a lollipop stick with just a little bit of cherry lollipop still stuck on it!”
Me: “Where did you find that?”
Sophie: “In the holder!”
(The holder is a little compartment next to her seat in the van.)
Me: “Um, what else is your holder?”
Sophie: “Old Oreo cookies, old pita chips, a pinecone and a rock. Oh! And a barrette!”
James: “It’s my turn!”
Me, to Andy: “We have to clean out the van.”
James: “I spy with my little eye something green.”
Andy: “The trees.”
James: “No.”
Andy: “The grass.”
James: “Yes!”

And so on.

“A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.” —Peter De Vries

Green Bananas

Owen wanted a banana this morning. I told him they were still too green to eat. He then spent much of the morning trying to convince me to go to the store to buy—not yellow bananas but—yellow paint.

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring
Banana phone
Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring
Banana phone
I’ve got this feeling, so appealing,
for us to get together and sing. Sing!” —Raffi

My “Beautiful” Hair

Sophie and I played “hair salon” today. I sit on the floor of her room while she brushes and puts barrettes in her dolls’ hair, waiting my turn. When my turn comes she tries to brush it but quickly becomes frustrated, because of the curls. Then she sticks some barrettes near the bottom of my hair, says “It’s beautiful!” and then I get up and finish cleaning the kitchen.

Except today, I forgot about the barrettes.

Three hours later, I took Sophie to ballet and hip hop at the Y.

It wasn’t until the kids’ bath, when Andy walked up behind me and started tugging on a barrette, asking “What’s this about?” that I remembered.

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” —Mark Twain

Make a Wish

Owen was drawing on the slate hanging in the playroom when I noticed one of the toys underneath the slate was covered in chalk dust. I blew the chalk dust off.

Owen: “Mommy, that’s not a cake, OK? It’s not a cake.”

“I wanted to buy a candle holder, but the store didn’t have one. So I got a cake.” —Mitch Hedberg

“They Grow Up So Fast”

Turns out I’ve managed to screw up Sophie’s sense of time.

After celebrating Andy’s birthday with us, my parents took Sophie back to their house to spend the night. Sophie was watching Andy and my dad install her car seat in my parents’ car. Andy later told me that he and Sophie were talking about when she would be old enough to drive. He told her she had to be 16, and that 16 is 4, how old she is now, plus 4, which is 8, plus 4, which is 12, plus another 4, which is (finally) 16. She thought about this, and then said it would be even longer for the boys. Andy agreed, because the boys are only 2. “And because it’s going to take longer for them than it will for me,” Sophie said. “Why?” Andy asked. “Because Mommy said I’m growing up too fast.”

“An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.” —Bonnie Friedman