a night in the life of The Kidling

Last Friday, The Family had a most pleasant and amusing evening out on the town. For those of you without children “out on the town” means that we actually left our home. Don’t get any crazy ideas.

It began with The Dada and The Kidling taking a very long bike ride while I went shopping for pots (Not pot. Pots. For flowers. See above note re: crazy ideas). When they returned home at 7:00 pm, well after our typical dinner time, I suggested to The Dada that we go out for dinner. A brilliant move on my part. Note to self: wait until your husband is very tired and very hungry to suggest something he might not otherwise be up for. Brilliant!

We went for a walk whilst waiting for our table, and the evening was positively gorgeous. We staged approximately 37 races, of which Alice won half, before receiving the call that our table was ready. On the way back, we walked down Our Town’s lovely literary walk. The sidewalks have poetry imprinted into the sidewalk and bronze relief panels dot the walkway. The Kidling wanted me to read them to her, and she thought they were pretty nifty. Well, most of them. There was a Jane Smiley excerpt from Ordinary Love and Goodwill that befuddled her: “I have noticed before that there is a category of acquaintanceship that is not friendship or business or romance, but speculation, fascination.” Upon hearing the excerpt, Alice commented, “That’s strange!” And I guess, to a four-year old, it is.

Dinner was at a tasty locally owned restaurant that sells the yummiest (and fanciest) mac & cheese. They make it with Gruyère and put a dollop of sun-dried tomato pesto on top. Oh, and mint sprigs. See? Fancy. The Kidling was thrilled to learn that this was our destination for the evening. So much so that she insisted on telling our server, “I chose this restaurant because I know I wanted to order mac & cheese,” complete with serious voice, raised eyebrows, and urgently nodding head (Oh, and please don’t judge her for her inconsistent verb tense. She is only four, after all. Sheesh).

While we waited for our meal, the absurd knock-knock jokes commenced:

Alice: Knock knock!

The Mama: Who’s there?

Alice: Doku kiwi.

The Mama: Doku kiwi who?

Alice: Doku kiwi ala sala motu boke glad you didn’t say kiwi again! Ah ha ha ha ha ha! I crack you up! (turns to The Dada) Am I crackin’ your head up?

And then there was this one:

Alice: Knock knock!

The Mama: Who’s there?

Alice: Wait for me to eat this apple first.

And my personal favorite:

Alice: Knock knock!

The Mama: Who’s there?

Alice: Ahnu be tu maka laka roney woopy doopy la ta pa va sala rocky noley va ka ka ka bi ti dolee tutti mooti biki soney loney (Seriously, she went on forever… probably for a full minute. Perhaps longer? Who knows, I was giggling by this point).

The Mama: Ahnu be tu maka laka roney woopy doopy la ta pa va sala rocky noley va ka ka ka bi ti dolee tutti mooti biki soney loney WHO?

Alice: (blank stare)

The Mama and Alice: (joint silly syllable saying accompanied by dancing around in our seats)

The Dada: (raises eyebrows)

Our food came. We ate. It was tasty (this part is boring).

Once The Kidling finished eating, she started up her chattering again. Who am I kidding; she never stopped chattering. At one particularly delightful moment, she leaned over to snuggle into me and told me, “I have so much love. I have so much love in my body that I don’t even want it to go to waste.” Cue melting heart…

Eventually, we finished. As we left the restaurant, I smiled and said thank you to our very patient server. This, however, was not enough for The Kidling. She ran over to her and gave her knees a great big hug. It was darling, and our server was clearly surprised and delighted.

A good evening indeed.


on hydration…

“Can I have some fresh water, please? Because it’s most important that I stay alive.”

-Alice Munchkin Kidling

March 25, 2012

“I want you to have a drink, because I want you to be alive for longer!”

-Alice Munchkin Kidling

March 27, 2012

i love you *this* much

“Mom, I love you so much, I don’t even want you to die. It’s a true, live story!”

-Alice Munchkin Kidling

March 24, 2012

sh*t my kid says

The Family has a pretty strict honesty policy (detailed in the footnote here. Yes, Kidlingville occasionally uses footnotes. Apologies). This can make life difficult, or at the very least, awkward. The Kidling is very curious and asks questions about everything.

Really. Everything.

I’m usually prepared for the type of question she will ask. She wants to know why things work, how things work, why people behave certain ways… Not surprisingly, she also asks about why people look certain ways. This is not a big deal, typically. I’m usually spared the truly embarrassing moments, in part because she just doesn’t know to ask those questions. Alas, because I know The Kidling as well as I do, I wait for the question armed with the perfect, honest-but-kind response. For example, last week a friend’s dog got out and the lovely woman who brought the dog back had a beard and moustache. Not just a little shadow, but genuine facial hair. The woman was fantastic and clearly comfortable in her own skin, so when The Kidling said (loudly), “Mom! I want to tell you something funny. That girl has a beard,” I was perfectly confident responding simply, “Yes, she does. Everyone looks different, sweetie.” She isn’t too invested in gender roles (says the mother whose kid pointed out—loudly—a stranger’s nonconformance), so I figured that was all she needed. I was right. She went right back to her project with nary a thought on facial hair.

Sometimes, though, she kind of gets me.

Just Thursday we were at Kmart and she inquired—loudly—regarding the woman in front of us, “Mom? Is that a boy?” The woman was not amused. I said—loudly—in reply, “Of course not, sweetie! (nervous laughter) Of course she’s a woman! Remember when you thought I was a boy? Remember when I cut my hair and you thought I was a boy?”

Well, it turned out that if I had just shut the hell up, The Kidling would have explained her reasoning without all of The Mama’s hemming and hawing and attempts to soothe a bruised ego. She went on, “But she has a very deep voice.” And she did. So does Alice, so we talked about different types of voices and that was that.

And, of course, sometimes she really gets me. Like Sunday, when we were running errands at Target. I had run into a friend and we were chatting when “a person of abnormally small stature” walked by.*  Merriam-Webster wasn’t particularly helpful in producing an adequate synonym for me, so I quote their definition. Can you believe it suggested pee wee, pygmy, runt, AND shrimp!?! Really? Let’s substitute offensive words for other offensive words. Thanks, folks.

Anyway, the very small adult walked by and The Kidling was frantically—and loudly—trying to get my attention (have you noticed a theme here?):

The Kidling: Mom! Mom! Who is that?! Mom! Who is that?

The Mama: (I knew exactly who she was talking about, but didn’t want to make the idea of the “other” so concrete by knowing without being told) Who, Alice?

The Kidling: Who is that? That guy?

The Mama: Which guy?

The Kidling: (points) Is that a real-life person?

The Mama: Yes, dear. Of course he is a real person.

The Kidling: I thought he was a mascot.

The Mama: (Fuck!)

Now, readers, pardon me for indulging in the exact thought I had at that moment, but seriously. I was completely prepared to talk to The Kidling about very small people, very large people, freckles, wrinkles, red hair, facial hair, underarm hair, skin color, eye color, wheel chairs, walkers, and the myriad ways in which people can be physically different. I was not, however, prepared to talk about mascots.



* http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwarf?show=0&t=1332734784 Sorry, dear readers. A JD makes a gal pretty paranoid about proper attribution.

dream big, wee one

I love my car. Somewhat irrationally, really. It is small, gets decent gas mileage, and handles like I want a car to handle. It also happens to be 16 years old. The Family actually has two vehicles, both of which are getting up there in years (the “new” vehicle is 11 years old). Alice seems to sense that one or both of them could be on its way out. I’m not sure what her clue was. The little rust spots? The time the window got stuck down? In the rain? Well, whatever tipped her off, she has clearly been thinking about moving on. Saturday afternoon, she inquired, “Mom? Dad? When you give away the car and the truck, can we get a convertible? Convertibles are fancy!”

Pardon me? Several things strike me about this uttering:

  1. I sure as hell am not putting my beloved child in a death trap. Sorry, Alice. Life isn’t fair (this will not be the last time I say this).
  2. When it is time to say goodbye to our vehicles, we will not be giving them away. Certainly she knows we need the $75…
  3. Fancy? What does a four-year old know about fancy? When you are four, sparkles are fancy. Cupcakes are fancy. Gruyère on your mac & cheese is fancy. But cars? Convertibles?

You’re killing me, Kidling. Let’s keep fancy cars off the radar for another few (dozen) years, okay?

another near miss in Nearby City

I’ve previously mentioned that we live fairly close to Nearby City, a town known for its… umm… fragrance. The Family had a birthday party to attend in Nearby City this past weekend, and let us just say that it lived up to its reputation.

As we drove through an industrial area, I commented on how the odor was particularly bad that day. Alice, however, disagreed.

“It smells good to me! It smells like a good, wobbley egg!” **

That’s my girl. Always the optimist.


** Alice calls egg whites “wobbley eggs.” Because they wobble. It makes me giggle. I am giggling right now.

beauty is in the eye of the beholder

It has been unseasonably beautiful in Iowa the past few weeks. We decided to take advantage of it, so we walked The Kidling to school this morning. Along the way, Alice pointed out a house that has previously built unique snow sculptures and told me, “I think that’s the house where they built the loooovely snow toilet!”


but in her defense…

Regarding the offending smoothie:

FIne. I admit it. This really does look like puke.

Seriously, lady?! Even I wouldn't eat that smoothie, and I am a brass turtle box!