|September 26th, 2023|
(Some of these were from me; some were from Julia. Ones saying "me" could mean either of us.)
Me: Anna, if you don't come soon, I'm going to start brushing your teeth without you
Anna: how can you brush my teeth without me there?
Me: [turns on toothbrush]
Anna: [frantic] I'm coming! I'm coming!
Anna: [sitting calmly, concerned] I think... I might have just broken my rib.
Anna: do I have ribs in my hands?
Nickname update: The kids have moved from Nora to Norfla to Norfluffy to Fluffy to Fluffy Muffin and occasionally my favorite, Fluffy Puffin.
Me: why are you packing your snack in that thermos?
Lily: well, the other two thermoses don't hold water in
Me: but you're packing potato chips!
I don't know what's happening outside, I can just hear Lily yelling "Never do this, Erika. Watch!"
Anna was telling me about a book where children clean up trash at the beach. "I wouldn't be one of those people who throws my trash into the sea... but it would be very fun and convenient if you went to the beach every day."
I wasn't sure at first if she meant that the sea would be a fun and convenient place to throw your trash, but yes, that's what she meant.
Anna: ... Maybe it was a squirrel.
Lily: Every time you say it was a squirrel, it was really you.
Somebody asked me how representative these posts are of real life. Not representative! This is a bubble of things we think are funny or interesting or cute, and there's a lot of life that is none of those things. And we don't include stuff that we think the kids will find embarrassing later.
Among the many things not pictured:
- jabbing one's sister in the face with a marker
- bad decisions about things to put in the toilet
Anna: Papa, why don't you ever let me use a chainsaw?
Lily: My friends and I started a book club!
Anna: Book...club. That's the horriblest thing I ever heard of.
(Later Anna indicated this is because she can't read.)
Lily: Have you seen the toy that I made for Nora?
Me: Can you remind me what it looks like?
Lily: It's a clownfish that doesn't look anything like a clownfish.
Anna: I'm a goose! We're both gooses!
Anna: Oh, right.
Anna: Nora's head is like a small small oval with a small small bump at the bottom, and two bumps on the sides, and eyes which ovals don't usually have, and a mouth which ovals don't usually have.
Anna: "I'm so excited to be going to England. We're going to see Rose again, and also in England there's a great big enormous field, and if you go all the way to the back of the field there is a playground!"
(The "great big enormous field" is South Park. I'm a bit surprised she remembers it, since she went there a few months after she turned three (she just turned six). I don't think they're being a playground on the other side of the field is something she would be "remembering" from photographs?)
Lily: "I wish there were no bad things in the world, and only good things.
Or I wish I could get rid of half the pollution in the world.
But mostly I wish the other one."
Anna: Papa, I have a problem: [explains problem in detail]
Me: Is it a problem you can fix?
Anna: Yes! [Fixes problem]
Anna's attempts to nerdsnipe me usually happen at bedtime, but she got me good this afternoon with a series of questions as I was about to leave the kitchen to work:
"How do humans even eat?"
"Why do we chew our food instead of swallowing it whole like snakes?"
"Why do owls throw up bones and stuff?"
"Why do we have two words for everything?" (in this case "vomit" and "throw up")
By the time I was explaining the origins of English in Germanic and Romance languages, I knew she'd got me but I couldn't stop.
Anna: 60 plus 60 makes a hundred
Me: not anymore
Anna: you know how sometimes you have a weekend that is so wonderful you remember it forever?
Me: what was your favorite part?
Anna: playing with my new friend, Cimorene
Anna: I've been alive for seven years
Lily: you will have been alive for seven years when you turn seven, but you're six right now
Anna: Nora's been alive for two years
Me: do you mean you've been alive during seven different calendar years, and Nora during two?
Anna: Snixteen plus snixteen is flixteen! ... That isn't really true, but it's just a joke.
Heading home from the airport. Anna is cuddling Nora in the back seat of the Uber.
Lily: Anna, how about you don't touch Nora's face with dirty hands.
Anna: They're not dirty.
Lily: Well, they've been through a whole airport.
Anna: They're not hands. They're Fluffkin cuddler robots.
Anna [handing Julia a permanent marker]: Here, you left this outside.
Jeff: She used it to write on the wall, which we have talked about.
Anna [guilty face, then excited face]: Also, I know how to write "Anna Wise"!
Anna: Papa, are onions fruit or dairy?
Me: onions are vegetables
Lily: Papa, Anna's using all the blankets and I'm cold!
Me: if I go looking for blankets, am I going to find any Anna isn't using?
Lily: No, you won't... Actually never mind!
Anna: Can you read to me?
Me: Yes, in a minute.
Anna: Your sort of minute is one hundred and two hours.
Me: (explains the lyric "For bonnie Annie Laurie I'd lay me doon an' dee")
Lily: Wait, that doesn't make sense. If they lay down and die, they can't even be with her.
Me: You're right, it doesn't make a lot of sense. I think they mean they'd be willing to die to protect her or something.
Lily: Well, I still don't think it's a very good idea. I'd try to find a way to protect both of us.
We read a passage in a book where a character says it's hard to "resign herself to the Lord's will" after something bad happens. I talked about how I don't believe good and bad things happen because God wants them to, I think they just happen for no good reason a lot of the time.
Anna: Yeah, like God didn't make me do this. [Gets up and deliberately falls flat on her face] ...I actually hurt my chin.
Anna: here are some samples of Lily's hair, Babbitz!
Anna: Nora! Stop collecting hair samples!
Lily: Anna, are you holding the shoe for ransom?
Anna: who's Ransom?
Jeff, to Lily at bedtime: Let's do the Spider Hands relaxation exercise Allison taught you.
Julia, later: Jeff, you know it's called "Starfish Hands"?
Anna: can I have that bucket?
Lily: would you trade?
Lily: still no.
Tonight Lily had a bunch of questions about eminent domain and what we would do if the government wanted to build something where our house is, causing Anna to cry about the hypothetical destruction of the park near our house.
Anna: I want to try the shoes on every day so I know exactly when they start to fit
In a new low for children's programming, Lily is now listening to a podcast called "The Sound Grater Endurance Challenge" whose only purpose is to play annoying noises like alarm clocks.
Anna: welcome to my restaurant! We have donuts, and we have jelly.
Me: can I have a jelly donut?
Anna: at this restaurant we do *not* combine foods!
Lily, at dinner: So... Does anyone have plans for Halloween?
Lily, fundraising: We have doggy biscuits! How about you and your dog split it?
Lily: [singing] soon I won't have to wear a mask around her / her covid chances get slimmer and slimmer
Anna: I'm not going to eat the apple pie! I'm only going to eat the apple peel strings
Anna: now I have discovered that pickle, peanut butter, and whipped cream sandwiches do not go well together
Lily: When our morning writing topic was about our favorite thing to do at home, I said fighting with my sister.
Me: Is that your favorite thing to do?
Lily: Well, I spend a lot of time doing it.
(So revealed preference, I guess)
Julia walks in with ice cream Anna requested. Nora says "thank you" and tries to intercept.
Anna: What's a winter clothing drive?
Julia: Papa's about to say something troll-y
Lily wanted me to ask: if you had a hundred random people, and 50 of them went swimming in a tank with a large number of hungry sharks, and 50 of them went into a cage with a large number of hungry wolves, which group would do worse?
Rick (my dad): [to me] Does she have a word for you?
Jeff: Who am I?
Nora: [laughs and leaves the room]
Anna: Jynx, Lily!
Lily: [nonverbally] !?
Anna: We were both saying the same thing: nothing!
Jeff: Lily, Lily, Lily. But I don't think silent jinx is a thing
Lily: Will humans go extinct in my lifetime?
Me: Definitely not
Me: If you're alive, humans aren't extinct yet
Lily: That doesn't make me feel better
We usually post the good parts of life with kids, but just wanted to give a picture of the other side so people not planning to have children can feel good about their life choices.
This would have been a good week to focus on work, but that was not in the cards. Our nanny is on vacation. The substitute nanny was out sick most of last week, so Jeff and I worked part-time covering each other for meetings. Now the nanny is better but 2 of the kids are sick, so there will be no childcare again on Monday. The baby wants to be glued to me and refuses all food but ice cream. One of the older children (a veil drawn over their exact identity) speaks to me mostly in demands and complaints.
I am ok, and reinforcements are arriving tomorrow when Jeff gets home. (And he covered for me the previous week when I was traveling for work.) I got some work done, often with a baby attached to me like a barnacle. There was more screen time and ice cream than usual.
I sure know more about the monarchal heredity policies of Arandelle, Corona, Enchanchia, and other Disney kingdoms than I ever expected to. Tonight Anna was very disturbed to learn that most royal siblings never get a turn at being the king or queen. She says this is very unfair.
p.s. if your policy is that the monarch's spouse can inherit the throne, you will get bad people marrying your monarch and then trying to murder them. Very predictable, Arandelle. This is also more or less what Catherine the Great did to her husband.
Sentences you don't want to hear from a child sitting on a sofa: "My pee is woodleing."
Me: "... What do you mean, your pee is woodleing?"
"I can feel it woodleing around inside me."
Anna: it's not the power button! It's the turn off and turn on button!
Lily: "Anna, did you know that butterflies grow from caterpillars?"
Anna (furious at being patronized): "Lily! I know EVERYTHING!"
Lily: I did kind of follow the recipe, I just didn't read it
"Nora, can you go give Lily a hug?" [Nora goes and hugs Lily]
"Nora, can you give me a hug? Give Papa a hug?" [Nora runs out of the room]
Not sure if it was that she didn't want to give me a hug, or if she misunderstood and was off looking for Julia
Lily: next time I'm going out in the snow please require me to wear shoes
We were singing the chorus to a Christmas carol: "Gloria in excelsis deo."
Anna: "This isn't a Christmas song! It's a Chanukah song!"
Turns out she figures any non-English language must be Hebrew.
"Papa, this is the best flourless chocolate goop I've ever had!"
"Anna blew out the candle!"
"I was just breathing!"
"Sorry Dad, are you okay? I meant to kick Anna!"
Anna: when will the airplane doff?
Anna: knock knock
Felix: who's there?
Anna: interrupting Quaker [closes eyes and starts snoring loudly]