The things you think a five year-old kidling would be blissfully unaware of…

The Family went to an arts festival last weekend. The Auntie (mother to The Kidd-o and The Twins) founded a fabulous little craft company with a brilliant business model and we wanted to show our support. We had plans to spend the day strolling around, looking at beautiful things, and enjoying the weather. Unfortunately, The Kidling was grouchier than a furry green monster. This means that we spent the day herding a crabby Kidling and her cheerful cousin, ignoring the beautiful things, and trying to find something that might de-grouch Oscar—Er, I mean—Alice. De-grouch Alice. My daughter. Who I love and adore. Even when she acts like the devil.

Remember how much you love her, remember how much you love her, remember how much you love her.  Go write a story about how much you love her. Remember how much you love her, remember how much you—

Whew. All better now. As I was saying…

Grouchy McKidling cheered up a bit after she sprinted up a very steep hill. Let me tell you that is not my reaction after climbing Mt. Anything. The Kidling must have picked up this mood lifter elsewhere. Regardless, the good cheer was short-lived, and she morphed back into Cantankerous Kidling by the time I made it to the top with The Kidd-o.


The Dada and I were at a loss with how to deal with our petulant one when I spied a crafts table. Yes! Crafts! This will work, I thought to myself. We headed over to the table for a little play therapy. It worked. Well, sort of. She pouted, but didn’t complain. That counts as success, right? Right?!?


As The Dada and I enjoyed our temporary reprieve from all of the kvetching, a newspaper photographer approached us. She pointed to Alice and asked whether she was our kid. When we responded, “(sigh) Yes,” she asked permission to photograph her. I snickered. “Sure, but good luck,” I told her. “She’s pretty grumpy today.” She chuckled and proceeded to take pictures until Alice turned her face to prevent said photographer from capturing a decent photo.

Told you so, I thought to myself.

We went about our afternoon until The Kidling finally melted down fully and completely and we were forced to exit the vicinity. Happy Father’s Day, my ass.

We returned to The Grandparents’ house and waited for her mood to stabilize before heading back to Our Town. Nary a thought of the photographer crossed my mind until the following day, when The Auntie’s charming and delightful business partner informed me that The Kidling’s countenance graced the Nanaland Newspaper. Ha, I thought, can’t wait to see that shot.

As is often the case when one finds oneself or one’s offspring in the newspaper, we got copies in the mail. The first to arrive was the one I requested from Alice’s grandparents. Nana included a lovely note in her impeccable penmanship that described her surprise and delight at finding her granddaughter staring out from her Monday morning paper.

“Was I in the paper?” Alice asked incredulously. “Let’s find out,” The Dada replied. They opened the enclosed clipping to find a photo of The Kidling studiously working on her art project. She didn’t even look grumpy. I have no idea how the photographer managed that, but whatever. At least my kid wasn’t captured in print as a spoil sport for posterity.

As Alice shook with delight, The Dada explained the concept of a caption. He pointed to the words beneath her picture and asked whether any of them look familiar. “Alice!” she gasped.

The Dada read the rest of the caption aloud as The Kidling beamed. When he finished, Alice was still radiating excitement. “Now everybody knows my name!” she exclaimed. “I always wanted to be a star!”

You already are, dear. You already are.


The Kidling had the good fortune to spend the better part of two weeks with two different sets of grandparents. Yes, she is the luckiest Kidling in the world. No, she was not happy to be home. The fact that she hopped out of the car upon arriving home to find a stack of her artwork in the recycle bin did not ease her re-entry.

Unfortunately, at the top of the stack of recycled masterpieces was a wocket-less pocket. The Mama, being the horrible human being that I am, tore off the feathered head of the wocket before tossing the remainder-pocket and headless wocket- into the stack.

The Kidling was understandably heartbroken. Fits and tears ensued. I held her and talked with her about how we can’t keep everything, blahblahblah. The recycling creates more paper for her to use for her art, blahblahblah. There are more trees in the world when we recycle, blahblahblah.

She wasn’t buying it.

Alice: (crying) Why are there so many noes? Why is it always ‘no’?

The Mama: (calmly) Alice-

Alice: (wails) Why is it always ‘no’? Why, from parents, is the answer always ‘no’?

The Mama: (more calmly) Alice, it isn’t always ‘no’. Mom and Dad say yes to you-

Alice: (interrupts, again. wailing, again.) Why, from parents, is the answer almost always ‘no’? Why is the answer almost always ‘no’? (continues into perpetuity. Seriously. I am pretty sure she is still talking about it, and this was 10 days ago)

I need to learn to cover my tracks.

sage advice

The Kidling recently finished up her year at pre-school. Graduated, if you will. This, of course, means that we had to figure out what to do with her over the summer. Alas, the local before and after school program (hereinafter BASP) saved our ass(es).

BASP is unlike anything The Kidling has previously experienced. Every day they do some fun and exciting activity. Every. Single. Day. She started on Monday and has been having the time of her tiny life. The first three days of this week have brought us:

Monday: A minor league baseball game.
Tuesday: A picnic downtown and trip to the library with her very own library card.*
Wednesday: Hours and hours at a local swimming pool.

Needless to say,** The Kidling has been thrilled and exhausted. That didn’t stop me from taking her to gymnastics yesterday, but whatever. I am a terrible mother.

On the way to said gymnastics class, Alice and I chatted about all of the fun things she did at the pool. It was heartwarming to hear about her adventure with the big kids. Then…

Alice: When I was floating in the swimming pool, all of a sudden I had to pee.

The Mama: What did you do?

Alice: I peed in the water (giggles).

The Mama: (unsuccessfully attempts to hide the horror) Oh! Next time, see if you can make it to the toilet.

Alice: (ignores The Mama) After I was peeing in the water, a little while later, I saw someone scooping a little thing and then drink the water.

The Mama: (gasps) Oh no! That’s why you don’t want to pee in the water, or drink the water.

Alice: Yeah. Because you don’t know who peed and who drinked.

Wiser words were never spoken.


** AKA, Kidling nirvana.
** Notice that I said it anyway? Sometimes I can’t help myself.

those odd canines

Weird-wolf: noun. A shapeshifting folkloric wolf who does odd things, i.e. howl at the moon, bite unsuspecting humans, fear silver. Syn. Werewolf. Lycanthrope.

the accidental confession

The Dada recently discovered a small, but not insignificant, wad of gum on his black coat.


While we discussed strategies for removing the offending Bubble Yum, The Kidling played nearby. We finally decided that Goo Gone was the answer.

Yes, I know it was ridiculously obvious. I would spend an equivalent amount of time deciding to tape my ducts with, well, duct tape. We all have our weaknesses, Dear Readers.

Eventually The Kidling chimed in, asking why it is so hard to get gum out of things. I began to explain that it is very sticky… blahblahblah… Separating something sticky from something pliable and porous… blahblahblah…

I intended to go on with my explanation when Alice interrupted, saying “I won’t do that again.”


food chain

An ordinary day, ordinary conversation, when…

Alice: Is Margot an omnivore, or a herbivore?

The Mama: An omnivore. She eats plants, and her kibble is made out of fish.

Alice: (eyes lighting up) Oh, I see! That’s why she eats toilet paper! She’s an omnivore, and toilet paper is made from tree tops! She’s an omnivore in the food chain!

I can’t much argue with that, can I?

greetings from Nanaland (or Papaville, as the case may be)

First of all, apologies. My lack of kidling-isms this week is due to my lack of The Kidling. She has spent the past few days in Nanaland, a place with sunshine, flowers, dessert, extra bedtime stories, field trips, constant attention, and puppies.

Fine, there’s really only one puppy. Whatever.

Alas, just when I was starting to seriously lament the lack of silliness in my life, I chatted with The Nana on the phone. She relayed a few stories that are classic Alice. The first was at dinner time. Alice was starving and cleared her plate of tilapia, fresh green beans, cottage cheese, and who knows what else. Apparently we don’t feed her enough at home. The Nana commented on her appetite, assuming that The Kidling must have just been delighted with the offerings. Nope.

Regarding those fresh green beans, Alice told The Nana, “I thought they were yucky, but sometimes I eat yucky things because I know they’re good for me.” 

That’s my girl.

Now, The Papa and The Nana have had The Kidling for several nights, so you can bet there is another story where that one came from. As you know, dear readers, The Kidling is working on becoming a reader herself. She sounds out everything (yes, everything) and loves to talk about letters and sounds. As they all discussed phonics, Alice told her grandparents, “I say ‘sink,’ but I don’t mean like in water. I mean I use my brain. … It’s hard to make that sound without my front tooth!”

Indeed it is. And guess what? We get my toothless, sinking, health food eater back tonight. Whew!

ego check

Alice: Mom, your face is red.

The Mama: All of it?

Alice: Just part. The rest of it looks like a normal person.