The Kidling had a remarkable day yesterday. She was cheerful all afternoon when she returned home from school, overcame an enormous fear successfully, was able to stay up late to finish her homework without a meltdown, and didn’t even get ticked when the “two stories at bedtime” reward that I offered became “one story” then “maybe just half” after I realized that she had chosen quite the tome (and no one who values her sanity keeps The Kidling up past bedtime).

A banner day, really.

Naturally, as someone who values happiness and joy, I wanted to remind The Kidling of her general awesomeness first thing this morning.

“Did you dream about your great accomplishments last night?” I asked when The Kidling walked bleary-eyed into the room.

“No,” she replied incredulously. “I dreamed about My Little Ponies having a race!”



the view from here

All Hallows’ Eve. 8:30 pm. The Parents wait patiently in The Kidling’s room while she prepares to scrub every last milligram of sugar from her pearly whites. Silence. Then,

“Uh oh! It exploded!” she said.

“No big deal, Sweetie,” The Mama calmly responded.

“It might be when you get in here…” 


As with all things, the magnitude depends on the perspective.

life with a filterless observer

Monday night. Bath time. The Kidling plays while The Mama sits tub-side. We chat. The Mama gets up to grab something before returning to her seat on the floor. The Kidling turns to look, then stops.

The Kidling: You look different.
The Mama: How?
The Kidling: Your face has more reddish brownish spots.

In summary:

  1. Adult acne sucks, and
  2. A filter is a good thing.

Instagram is popular for a reason.

cue barbra streisand


Most of you, Dear Readers, do not know this factoid about The Kidling. She is a prolific artist. Yes, all five year-old children draw. Yes, they are all irrationally attached to their work products. But… The Kidling is different.

I know. Shut up.

After a scarring event involving one of her masterpieces and the recycling bin, she has become uncompromising. We keep every. single. thing. she brings home.

Did you catch that? Every. Single. Thing.

The caveat is that The Kidling is responsible for finding a location in her bedroom to store the piles and piles of paper. My hope is that she will eventually lose the ability to navigate the room, get fed up, and beg me to ditch a few gems.

I’m not holding my breath.

Misty water-colored memories…

This evening, The Kidling found a recent work from her sizeable oeuvre that I missed when emptying her backpack after school. This particular work–Opus 9,215–consisted of a sheath of five sheets of 8.5 by 11 inch printer paper . The stack was folded in half width-wise to make a small book and each page contained a series of squiggly lines.

You guessed it: her memories.

The Kidling gasped when she saw me with the journal in my hands, “My old memories!” Then, wistfully, “Old memories are important.”

Her eyes glazed over in contemplation. “Old memories are important,” she repeated. “It makes me think of when we were young and things were harder. When we were young and (pauses) We didn’t get to play on the playground.”

Confused, I asked for clarification. “Who didn’t get to play?”

“At pre-school,” she replied.

And then I remembered: the first week of pre-school. Bliss. Fun and learning and good old-fashioned gross motor skill development. Then one fateful day someone marched into the classroom and told the teacher that the playground equipment was only safety rated for kidlings aged five or older.

So it ended. After that, recess involved balls and an open field while the gleaming play structures taunted them from thirty yards away.

What’s too painful to remember…

If only The Kidling had come with a “forget” button. Alas, she will carry this indignity to her grave. Or to junior high.


dietary consequences

“If you eat only fruit, then you’ll have diarrhea. And you’ll be a rainbow color.”

-The Kidling
December 15, 2012
(I just found a lost notebook…)

on the road… again

Another week, another work trip.

Fine, I’m being dramatic. I really don’t travel often at all, but I happen to have been away for quite a few days this month. That, however, doesn’t make for a pithy opening line.

When I am away, The Kidling misses me. Well, she usually misses me. Sometimes she has fun activities to keep her occupied. Then she only misses me a wee bit. And sometimes she has Nana to hang out with. Then she doesn’t miss me at all. You can be damn sure I miss her (and The Dada, but this blog isn’t called Dadaville and he doesn’t ask cute questions and say silly things when I’m away).

This week while I was in DC, I chatted with The Kidling on the phone. She told me about her day and about the exciting evening she had at school. In her pajamas.

Confidential to my readers who are responsible for a small child: are daycare, preschool, and school way the hell more fun than when we were kids? Because The Kidling does new and exciting things all the time. Water parks, apple orchards, picnics, library trips… I do not remember my life being quite so charmed when I was a kidling.

The Kidling and her classmates went home, changed into their pajamas, and returned to school for spooky story hour in the media center.

There’s another one of those fun kid things. “Media Center.” What the hell is a Media Center? When I was a kidling, it was called a library. Also? I am old and crotchety.

She was super excited to tell me about it, and gave me what I am certain is an accurate count of the attendance (800. Or 1000!). What chatted for a while longer before The Kidling said mournfully into the phone, “I wish you could come through there.” 

Cue Mama guilt.

This, of course, reminded me of other funny little things The Kidling has said or asked about in the course of my travels. On one recent trip to New York, The Kidling was interested in the details of my accommodations: something about which I had given little thought.  Apparently she wanted to ensure the rooms were suitable for The Mama, because she grilled me:

“Do you have a kitchen?” she began.

“No.” I replied. Then, a logical follow-up. “Oh, then you have to go to restaurants?”


“Do you have a potty room?” she asked. I replied with a giggle, “Yes.”

Then, another one (seriously, no one has ever cared so much about my hotel room), “Do you have a stove?”


Eventually, she got to the important question: the one that had been bothering her for entire seconds “Can you roast marshmallows?”

“Nope.” I told her.

Clearly disappointed, she abandoned her questioning and allowed me to ask about her day. I honestly don’t remember much more of our conversation, but I do know one thing:

The next time I book a room, I’m going to make damn sure I can roast a marshmallow in it.




Yeah, you. It’s me, The Mama. Yeah, I know I look different in this get up. I didn’t think the horizontal stripes were flattering any more.

And yeah, I’ve got a new name. This isn’t a “the artist formerly known as” sort of thing. It felt right. Pretty sure it is right. I would definitely entertain an intervention, but mostly I just want you to stick around.

The Kidling is here.

The Mama is here.

Welcome to Kidlingville.


The Kidling loves to do that thing where she holds your hands, climbs up your legs, and flips over.*

So, we were doing that thing where she holds my hands, climbs up my legs, and flips over when suddenly she stopped. Turning to The Dada, Alice kindly told him, “I don’t want to do that with you, because you have that. (points in the general vicinity of his penis. Notice that she didn’t actually say the word “penis”? This is why.)

Now, The Kidling can be described using any number of glowing adjectives. Brilliant. Funny. Gorgeous. Fast. Clever. Talented. Kind. Fabulous. Freaking amazing.

But careful? Empathetic? These are new. And for that, The Dada is grateful.


* I’m fairly certain her affinity for doing that thing where she holds your hands, climbs up your legs, and flips over places her in a category that includes every other juvenile Homo sapiens who has ever dwelled on this planet.