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(this is obviously from a few days ago, as its blessedly not raining now. but it’s still funny)

Rio, this morning, “Oh look! It’s raining again. Happy fun day.”

um…yeah, kid. Aren’t you too young for that kind of humor?

Definitely not too young for what followed:

“Mama, do you think the summer said, ‘Hey spring, I want to take an extra long nap? Can you do my job for me?’ and now it just keeps on being spring?”

Yeah, I kind of do kid. Summer is totally asleep on the job.

Dear Weather,

Ever since moving to Seattle several weeks ago, I’ve found the constant vague, chill, gray dampness conducive to lying in bed reading murder mysteries and eating bonbons, but not to actually living my life. Of course, when I decided to live in the Pacific Northwest I…

No. Wait. Strike that. I never moved to Seattle. I have never even been there. What I mean is: this is New England, not Seattle, Weather. What the f*** are you doing? You are allowed to suck, but you’re supposed to change every twenty minutes.

No love,

Me

The Boston Globe today published a detailed, caring essay on What to do if your child has superpowers?, written by an expert in pediatric heroism. While the main goal of the piece seems to be to reassure parents who have recently discovered superpowers in their young children, he does offer some practical tips on the raising of young heroes, like how to handle discipline with children who control magnetic fields.

His best advice for all of us, though, comes in his closing, where he helps us lay aside the natural fear that our teenagers will grow up to be supervillians:

“My experience has taught me that being intent on world domination is a phase that everyone goes through. If these feeling persist, however, consider allowing them to control a small region populated by self-aware robots.”

All parenting advice should be this useful and entertaining. Are you reading this, Parenting Magazine? Less fashion advice, more superheroes!

The girls are playing house. Rio is the mommy. They are apparently getting ready to go for a picnic, and are packing their lunches.

Rio-as-mom, “You have to show me what you packed so I can see if it is healthy for you.”

Her friend/baby shows her.

Rio, “No, no, no. Just gum is not a healthy snack.”

Her friend, “What about gum and something else.”

Rio, “OK. Gum and something else. Here, have a donut. Gum plus a donut is healthy.”

I’m trying to stifle my laughter while they set off on their journey to the music room with their healthy donuts. Clearly my work here is not quite done. I love how she’s figured out that:

  • what the kids put in the picnic basket probably does not count as a healthy meal on it’s own, and
  • a healthy meal requires more than one type of food,

while totally failing to register in any way that:

  • certain foods are healthier than others, and
  • donuts are not food

On the plus side, they have learned that gum is not food. There’s hope for them yet.

The scene: Serena is sitting quietly on the couch, playing with a basket of dolls. I am sitting on the floor nearby, trying to sweep up the carnage of broken crayons, doll parts and torn paper flowers that Rio and her playmate have left in their wake. Picking through the trash I’ve swept up, I find a few dolls that belong in Serena’s basket.

Casually, I toss one into the basket. A few seconds later, it comes flying back. I look up and Serena is staring at me in open delight. She picks out another doll and throws it at my head, then waves her hands happily.Let me translate her shrieks of joy for you:

“Best game ever, Mom! I had no idea these things were for throwing at each other! Love it!”

*Zing* Here comes another one. Fortunately I was already hanging my head in shame, or I’d have caught that one square in the face.

Rio, drawing a whale on her arm

Rio, drawing a whale on her arm

After rolling around on the floor whining, ‘I’m bored, Mommy. MOMMY I AM BORED,” for about an hour, Rio decided to draw. I promised to join her in this drawing project in ten minutes when I had finished reading Livejournal, uh, the important business I was doing online.

We carried on an animated conversation for the next ten minutes about how many minutes it would be until I joined her and what animals I was going to draw pictures of when I got there.

I arrived at the table to discover that she had put away the coloring books I’d laid out for her and set up our face paints. OK, sure, we can paint each other’s faces.

“You just have to wait a minute, Mom. I am busy.”

Busy, o bored one? What exactly are you busy doing?

“I am drawing this shark on my arm.”

Scribbles furiously in blue.

“Actually, I think it might a whale.”

More scribbling.

She asks me if I have ever seen a whale, and if her arm is bigger than a whale in real life. The scribbling continues. And then…

She is finished.

“Now THAT is a whale.”

Serena has been sneaking up on having a two-year-old temper.

This afternoon, she pitched a ferocious wobbly, at the height of which she maliciously (yes, maliciously, with clear intent and an evil gleam in her eye) peed on a book in the middle of the living room floor because I would not let her use her outdoor potty indoors. The outdoor potty is a potty seat with no bottom, so the result would have been the same if I’d caved, only possibly not with her aiming at a book.

The book, which I threw out after attempting briefly to rescue, was a collection of sappy poetry titled, “My Daughter, My Joy”.

The scene: my bedroom, late at night. Y’all are adults, and can use your imaginations to fill in the action behind this (very quiet, sneaky, don’t-let-the-kids-catch-us) dialog:

Me: “mmmm”
Husband: “ooooh”
Me: “oh! oh! Oooooh!”

The door slams open, hard. We jump apart like teenagers caught in the back of a car. When I dare to peek out from under the covers, the doorway appears empty, but my husband says, “Oh no. The Sheriff’s back in town.”

I look down, and down. Then I see her: twenty-eight pounds of naked fury. Her hair is standing straight up on her head. She has, in her rage, vaporized her PJs* and is standing there naked as the day she was born. A little more naked, actually, since she is (happily) not covered with slime. Her hair is standing straight up on her head, adding an air of authority and stature to her chunky little frame. Her hands are balled into fists and her looks says everything:

Get your hands off my Mama!

Her dad and I stifle a laugh (from opposite sides of the bed, where we have been cowering since she slammed the door open). Sheriff Baby uses her superpowers to become airborne, launching herself onto the bed in a single bound. She latches onto my exposed nipple as she makes her descent, and is sleeping peacefully between us by the time her head hits the pillow.

I swear, they come with a built-in alarm system to ward off any future siblings. It’s OK, Sheriff, we’ve got it covered. You can sleep through this shift IN YOUR OWN BED.

*srsly, where did her PJs go? She was wearing them when she went to bed. When did that child learn to operate a zipper?

At dinner, Rio engaged in a little friendly spitting-water-at-her-sister.

“Rio, you are being obnoxious,” I said, like you do when your kids are spitting at the dinner table.

“Mama, if I was your mother and you were my child and you were five years old and you were behaving this way, I would tell you that you were being obnoxious.”

Long pause while I try to figure out if she is agreeing with my parenting or criticizing it. Neither, it turns out, because the pause is interrupted with:

“Mama, what does obnoxious mean?”

IMG_3657Serena seems to have about doubled her vocabulary in the past week, dropping out new words every time we talk to each other. “Bubbles”, “Cookie”, “Go”, “Cake”.

By far the best of the set has been “Scissors.” Serena picked this one up from her sister, who loves scissors as she loves all things crafty and destructive. Scissors have a special allure because they have to be doled out by an adult, following an unfortunate Scissors Incident involving the window blinds.

The scissors live in a small wooden box on the very top of a tall bookcase. Even I cannot reach them. Rio asks for them, I climb up on a stool and get a pair down, and she can have them until she’s done using them at the table, and they go away.

There are Serena-approved scissors in the box, which are not really scissors at all but just a plastic toy made to look like scissors. (Or are those scissors? Is it a pair of scissors if it looks like one, or only if it can cut? I digress.)

Now that she has the Power of the Word, Serena comes up to me all the time to ask for scissors. “Scissors! Scissors! Scissors?”

I love hearing words come from her, and I oblige her as often as I can. I go to the bookcase, get down the box of scissors, and give her the little red plastic ones. She waits with patient excitement every time, and receives the scissors into both little hands as if they were a magic wand.

Then, invariably, she sits amidst the chaos of paper and ribbons and watercolors at our craft table and looks mildly perplexed.

I can practically see the thought bubble above her: “Ok, Mom, I have the scissors. What happens now?”

Flickr Photos

Holding hands

Emerson graduation smiles

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More Photos

A little bird told me…

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