vocabulary lessons courtesy of vintage Superman episodes

Tan-te: noun. An explosive, often taking the form of a stick. Syn. dynamite, trinitrotoluene, TNT.


Psst. You. Yeah, you. Check this out.

stinky vocabulary

The Family has a dog. The Family has an old dog. The Family has a big-boned dog. The Family has a lazy dog.

The Family has an old, fat, lazy dog.

The Dog* is a 10 year-old Black and Tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She is also a lazy little chunker. In her defense, she has a bum heart but in all honesty, she has been lazy since the day after she outgrew the term “puppy.”

We all have our weaknesses.

As good dog owners, we give The Dog her heart meds and feed her a low-calorie diet. Given that I am not going to make her salads twice daily, this means a fish-based kibble.


Here’s the thing about old dogs that eat fish food: they have foul breath. “Unpleasant”  doesn’t begin to describe the odor. I am talking about genuinely smelly air escaping that darling, furry face with every exhale.

The Kidling is not unaware of The Dog’s exhalation affliction. She had the misfortune of being downwind of The Dog one recent day, which I became aware of due to the sudden, seemingly unprovoked screwing up of those darling Kidling facial features.

“Mom, what’s haleytosis?” she asked.

I told her it was clearly exactly what she thought it was (confidential to readers: No, I do not read her the dictionary in lieu of bedtime stories. I have no idea why she knows this word).

“Grody!” she exclaimed. “It’s grossin’ me out. I wish she would close her mouth!”

So do I, but since she won’t, I’m going to kiss that smelly little old dog face. Love is not only blind, but lacking in another sense as well.


* Not her real name.

neglect, or why i am a strictly average blogger

Sheesh. I get a great idea then I don’t follow through consistently. Being human is so. damn. irritating.

I somehow neglected a very important step to accompany Tuesday’s story about love. With apologies to the dictionary lovers everywhere…

Per-cep-tionnoun. A social event held for the purpose of celebrating a specific occasion, typically a wedding. Syn. party, soirée, bash, reception.

indeed, i will… not get punched on the playground

I FaceTimed with The Kidling for the first time last week.

Is that a verb? To FaceTime? Any predictions on when it will find its way to the Oxford English Dictionary? It took “Google” until June 2006 to become an official verb. Does FaceTime have that kind of staying power? Discuss.

As I was saying… shortly after The Kidling mournfully declared, “I wish I could see you,” during our telephone conversation, I decided it was time to participate in this decade and show my offspring the miracle that is Apple. And it was hilarious. Alice ran all around the house showing me streaking, blurred images of her surroundings. And the dog. Who is nearly as adorable in a tiny box on my phone as she is in person. But I digress.

Now, a few words regarding AdoraDog* (Adorable + Dog. I know what you are thinking: ‘If only I could be as clever as The Mama.’ Sorry, Dear Reader. You are not).

  1. She is adorable.
  2. Alice is obsessed with her.
  3. I am a little obsessed with her.
  4. She is adorable.

As such, I knew a good conversation starter would be to inquire about The Kidling’s play with AdoraDog. Talking to Alice via telephone is like pulling teeth, so I have to come to the phone prepared. When her update on her day’s activities ended after 15 seconds, I asked Alice, “You didn’t play with AdoraDog, did you?”

“Indeed I did,” she replied with a smile in her voice.

Indeed I hope that living with two adults and no kids won’t get you pummeled on the playground. I think I should add “yep,” “uh huh,” and “yeah” to my vocabulary.


* Not her real name.

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.

traveling with The Kidling

The Family recently returned from a trip with a big girl (Alice) to a big city (New York). It was fun. And highly quotable. The next few days’ stories will be tales from the trip. We begin with a story of appreciation from the car ride to the airport:

“It’s good we have a snack to keep us healthy and hydronated.”

Indeed it is. Also? A new entry for The Dictionary.

Hy-dro-nat-ed. adj. The state of having adequate water in an object. Not to be confused with hydrogenated.

pesky warthog

The Kidling came home from pre-school early this week complaining of a pain in her foot. For all of her kvetching about the terrible name of this ailment, she sure did like to say it: plantar warthog. Oh yes, The Kidling earnestly informed us that her teacher informed her that the funny looking thing on the bottom of her foot was one of two things:

  1. A blister, or
  2. plantar warthog.

That’s right. Warthog.


At long last, another entry for The Dictionary:

Plan-tar Wart-hognoun. A wart caused by a virus located on the underside of the foot. Plantar Wart + Warthog

the pesky adverb and the tree

The Kidling has a strong grasp of the English language.

You’ve probably noticed.

She took to speaking at a tender age and increased her vocabulary faster than— faster than— a speeding bullet? too cliché… Faster than a BMW on the autobahn? no. too racy… Faster than The Mama races for her pen when The Kidling says something funny? just right!

As a result of her love of words, I am occasionally surprised by their misuse. Remember, this is the child who knew that adverbs ended in “-ly” and therefore created a double adverb by changing “well” to “well-ly.” See what I mean?

This story involves a tree and another pesky adverb. I found an unused anecdote from one of my many notebooks of alice last night. On this particular late autumn day, The Kidling observed several leafless trees and commented, “The trees kind of look deadly right now.”

One tiny change, and my vision of a lovely late fall day morphed into this:

This is one seriously deadly tree.(www.farandfurther.com)

This is one seriously deadly tree.