it’s getting interesting

On the way home from school today, Annie told me that houses start with blue paper. Blueprints, she meant, of course. It led to a conversation about architects, and who they are and what they do. I told her I was working with an architect at work—maybe our first genuine exchange about what I do at my job. Cool.

During our elaborate bedtime routine, she asked if grown-ups cried, and when I told her yes, she asked what made them cry. (“When Dad takes your things?” she suggested.) We talked about learning what to do with your feelings, and how that takes practice and grown-ups have done a lot of practicing, and that people are more important than things, and all sorts of good stuff. Then she held my hand and said, “I’m happy right now,” and I melted into the floor.


Actual word: birthday
Annie’s word: birthcake

Actual word: elevator
Annie’s word: alligator

Actual word: swimming pool
Annie’s word: swimming cool
Paul’s word: seemah pool

Actual word: vitamin
Annie’s word: vitanim
Paul’s word: MINA MINA!

Actual word: ambulance
Annie’s word: ambluance
Paul’s word: we-oh truck
Everyone’s word, now: we-oh truck


annie said

Annie said one of those marvelous things tonight that made me think, simultaneously, “Oh, amazing, write this down!!” and, “No one else would find this remarkable, and neither will you looking back, when she’s speaking in paragraphs and smarter than you are.”

This happens all the time. Both are true. And then the evening swept on, and I don’t remember it anyway.


ma balls

Mom moment: While I change Paul’s diaper, he merrily bangs a couple of plastic balls together in his hands—he endures such episodes with more equanimity when he has a toy to play with. As I swab poop off his testicles, he calls out, “Oh, ma balls!”

Addendum: this morning, Annie asks me, “Does Paul want to come upstairs with me?” And I find myself responding, “No, it looks like he wants to play with his balls.”

Annie’s recipe for chocolate vanilla apple cupcakes

Fill a tub with water. Add some leaves, and grass. Some rocks to taste. “Pump it” with a wiffle bat.

Pour some more water for the big rock. You need a lot of rocks because you’re making a cupcake, okay? Get some water for those rocks, too.

Now you put it in the oven and you cook it, and cook it, and cook it, and cook it, and then it’s ready!

Makes 4 cupcakes, for Annie, Paul, mom, and Dad, and one dog cupcake, for Sous.

Annie’s Birthcake Menu


Purple grapes are my favorite.

Mom, take off the leaves.

Are there seeds in them?

Q: What do you think Dad made for dinner?
A: Tortewini because I WUV it.

Can I have banana yogurt? No, I want peach yogurt.

Q: Annie, are you going to eat the rest of the taco?
A: No.

CHEESE!!!   …I don’t LIKE cheese.

Can I have some goldfish crackers PWEASE.

I want CHOC-wit cupcakes.



I had my first “why” conversation with Annie on the way home from school this week—where the question to every “well, because” answer I offered was “why?” all the way back the causal chain to the very fact of her existence. In about a minute I’d gone from explaining, I don’t know, why firetrucks are red or something, to articulating our rationale for having children at all to the toddlers in the backseat. This is going to be a fun phase.