the unlikely logic of a little one

This was the weekend of forts. If you know The Kidling personally (as in, you have met her in real life. I admit that is a wholly arbitrary distinction. Many of you loyal readers surely know her as well as anyone else), this might seem to be an odd statement.

“Aren’t they all weekends of forts?” you are asking your iPads/phones/computer screens. “Wouldn’t a more accurate statement be ‘this is a lifetime of forts.’? The Mama should check with me before clicking ‘publish’. I could tell her a thing or two.”

And you would be right.

But (there is always a ‘but’), I’m talking about something a wee different than usual. Hence, the distinction. I’m the writer, and a weekend of forts, it is. A weekend of forts on her bed. A weekend of forts during which I caved and let The Kidling go to sleep in said forts. Forts, forts, forts, forts, forts.


On that glorious, fort-sleeping evening, The Kidling prepared her bed for a night’s rest. She tucked and adjusted, rearranged and spread. Once everything was in its rightful place, she picked up a flag she had made and looked around the fort with great contemplation. The silver tassels glittered as she waved it around, thinking. Before I had a chance to ask what on earth she was doing, The Kidling thought out loud,

“If only I could find some logical way to stick this in here somehow!”

If, dear Kidling, you find that logic, let me know. I misplaced mine very shortly after your birth.

know your limits

You might recall that dinner time can be a struggle at The Kidling’s house.

What’s that you say? You weren’t aware of that? You thought The Kidling was a perfect angel who sits politely at the table, eats every vegetable The Mama places in front of her, chews with her mouth closed, sits still, eats until she is full, thanks me for the delicious meal, asks to be excused, then clears her plate without being asked? Let me remedy that misconception.

As I wasn’t really saying. Dinner time + The Kidling = Struggle.

I hope you are paying attention, because there will be a quiz… if I can ever get around to finishing this story.

The Family’s dinner time rules—that eating and conversation are the only two activities acceptable for executing during meal time—are frequently ignored. More often, though, they aren’t ignored, exactly. No, the balance is just disproportionately skewed toward chatter.

Lots and lots of chatter.

Chatter chatter chatter chatter chatter.

So one evening in mid-January when The Kidling paused her dinner, fork in hand, to tell me what was going through her head, I wasn’t at all surprised by the interruption

What did surprise me, though, was what was going through her head. On this evening, Alice told me, “I’m never going to point this at you. I’m never ever going to kill you. I never want to be a pirate… but I do want to find gold! I’m not going to steal it, though.”

At least she knows her limits.


One recent night… Who am I kidding? This entry in my notebook is from November. The Mama seriously needs to keep up on her blogging. As I was saying…

One relatively recent night as The Kidling was ready to get out of the bathtub, I noticed an impressive creation. Using some magnetic shapes, Alice had built an airplane. A bad ass airplane, if I do say so myself, and, since this blog revolves around the things that I do say so myself, then I will. Say so myself, that is.

That made exactly no sense, so you get bonus points for sticking with me.

Before I go on, a bit of background. The Kidling has been known to sneak out of bed after being tucked in with an excuse. She has to go potty/can’t sleep/is hungry/wants to apologize for her bedtime behavior/is thirsty/can’t find her dalmation/is scared/already got enough rest/(insert any excuse she can concoct that has worked at least one time before).

Where was I? Oh yes, the story. Thanks for sticking with me. Again.

On a typical bath night, Alice would take careful stock of the toys floating around the water to ensure all small toys are removed prior to draining. She is practical that way. On this November night, she wasn’t worried about the badass airplane she had spent the better part of her bathtime building. It was too big to worry about going down the drain. So big, in fact, that when I asked whether she wanted to move it toward the back of the tub, she insisted,

“Nu-uh. I’m not gonna move it. I don’t want to move it even when I come downstairs to say I cannot sleep.”

If getting out of bed after being bathed, groomed, read to, sung to, snuggled, and hugged/kissed/smooched/mooched/nooched/crooched/clooched,* and told “happy dreaming” is a crime, then I’m fairly certain that goes to mens rea.


* Yes, we really do all of these things. Every night. They translate to hug/kiss/kiss/kiss/rub noses/big hug/gentle hug. This is why I think my kid is the best.

just call me…

Overheard in Chicago

“If you forget my whole name, then you can just call me Alice. If you forget my whole name you can call me Alice and if you just remember the ‘A,’ then you can call me Al.”

on democracy, or reductionist thinking

The Kidling asks many questions, as you, dear readers, already know. What’s that you say? This is news to you? Then you have approximately nine months of stories to catch up on. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Ready? Okey doke, let’s continue.

Two of the things about which my darling child is curious are law and politics. She asks about political signs in our neighborhood. She wonders why laws and rules exist. She attempts to grasp the adjudicatory process. I always take her to the polls with me. And, like every four-year-old child, she has a book called Vote (Many thanks to Mama³ for that gem).

So pardon me for a moment while I expose my political persuasion for the sake of the story.

When The Kidling and I were walking to the playground on Saturday morning we wordlessly passed any number of political signs. She has asked about them previously, and I can only assume that was the motivation for what follows, as it was otherwise out of the blue:

“Mom, I’m glad you got the president you want! Usually when we wish for the president we want, the president usually comes true.”

Voting is rather like casting a penny into the fountain: a damn important penny, upon which my hopes and dreams for The Kidling’s—and all kidlings’—future rides.

due process

The Kidling is interested in many things. Dinosaurs, the solar system, cake… her interests know no bounds. In addition to those rather expected fascinations, Alice is obsessed by bad guys. Not to be confused with bad boys, whom I hope never capture her fancy. In The Kidling’s mind, “bad guys” are a narrow category consisting of burglars and selfish people. A bit simple, but you can’t argue with her accuracy now, can you?

So it was nothing new when we were headed to get doughnuts Sunday morning and she began jabbering on about those rascally bad guys. Again.  This time the topic was fear, and the people who typically inspire terror in her little kidling heart.

“I’m not scared of any helping people. I’m just scared of bad guys.”

Which makes sense. I’m a bit scared of bad guys myself. But then she continues, pontificating on precisely what ought be done to said bad guys.

“Maybe our niceness can turn them to good.* And if not we’ll take them to jail— no— we’ll take them to the police and the police will take them to the judge and the judge will decide what to do with them.”

Someone knows too many attorneys.


* Surprise! She takes after her optimistic, if naïve, mother. There are worse things.


the hotline

“If you need help, just call 1-2-3-ape-D-E and ask for Girl Superhero Kitty to come help. I’ve got a mask and a cape and everything.”

-Alice Munchkin Kidling, er, I mean Girl Superhero Kitty

August 26, 2012

if The Kidling were an iPod…

… she would get stuck on “shuffle.” Which sounds awful, but is highly entertaining. A definite perk to being The Mama or The Dada.

The Dada and I softly giggled (because Alice hates being laughed at and doesn’t yet comprehend the idea of being laughed with) as The Kidling delivered this monologue on the way home from Costco this weekend:

“It smells like rotten old beef. I can’t get my finger out of my ear! (sings) Everyone knows an ant. Can’t. Move a rubber tree plant. (returns to speaking. A car zips by us on the highway) I’m a little concerned that he’s going too fast. If he’s speeding, then the cops will pull him over. Umm… what are the cops?”

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you get a bit of random in your weekend…