Friday, July 31, 2009

On Josephine Growing Up...

She's such a cool mix of sweetness and resiliency. She's still as even-keeled as she was as a baby, but can animate into a performance - comedic stylings, opera imitations - she just knocks my socks off. She saw a play performance of The Sound of Music on youtube - "I want to do a play" - and the next time I sang "Little Bunny Foo-foo" to the kids, she instructed that we all act it out (of course, this turned into a great justification for smacking her brother on the head, as he, of course, was assigned the role of field mouse).

But oh, we were at a park tonight that was getting overrun with teenagers, and I cringed. They were, well, typical adolescents - loud, gruff, boisterous - lounging on the slides in heaps of mismatched clothing - oh, I thought, I don't want Josephine to grow into that.

I guess I have a few more years...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jo on bike

She rode it - all by herself!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why, and Other Questions

Josephine asked me the other day: "Where does pee go?"
A really good question.
So, I launched into a description of pipes in the house meeting up with a big pipe in the street and converging waste products at the waste treatment plant...
"Where does PINK pee go?"
"Well, there's not really pink pee, per say..."
"Yes there is."
Then she outlined the story I had just told her, word for word, all the way up to the waste treatment plant, "... and then the pink pee gets put high out of reach so the babies can't get it."
Ah, yes.

Then we were having dinner. I was desperately trying to encourage Josephine to eat her rice.
She was talking gobbledygook. "I can say fancy words," she explained. "I'm speaking French."
"You know, " I started, sensing an in, "People in France eat their rice. What do you think about that?"
"They do?" she asked, incredulously.
"What about China people? Do they eat rice?"
"Why, as a matter of fact, they do. A lot of it."
Oh good lord. "Because they like it. Because they grow a lot of rice."
"Because rice crops do well in China..."
"And they eat and eat and eat so they won't sleep?"
"No, people in China and France like to sleep. They love it."
"Because they get tired. Everyone likes to sleep. Everyone in the world." (Except you!)

The other question I hear all the time: "How time it is?"
And then trying to explain the AM and PM repeat of the same numbers... why is there an 8 in the morning and an 8 at night? It's confusing. And when she asked Why on that one, I really had no idea. Time to move to military time...


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Boating at Smith Mountain Lake

I took Sam and Jo to my parents' house at Smith Mountain Lake this past weekend. This was the first time Sam had been on the boat, and the first time that Josephine realized how cool it can be to sit on the bow of a ship as it speeds across the open sea.

Okay, lake in the case, but humor me.

Of course, Josephine insisted on wearing the special Barbie life jacket we had to get for her last year, when she refused to wear the ones that were not fashionable. The same thing happened again this year. I struggled to get her into the plain yellow life jacket, but she refused with a capital N. Thankfully, her grandmother remembered last year's purchase which cheered Josephine up instantly.

Sam is much more resigned when I want him to do things he does not want to do. He was not entirely happy on the boat, but he seemed to know it was what the rest of us wanted to do. Here you can see him in his life jacket, and it wasn't entirely a good fit. He wanted me or his grandmother to hold him the entire time we were on board. My mother helped things out immeasurably by giving him the toy truck that luckily was in the boat's glove compartment.

Josephine also loved sleeping in the top bunk of the bunk bed, and was so pleased. There is also the phenomenon of my kids getting to explore all of the toys that have accumulated as my parent's six other grandchildren have gone through the growing up process. So many books and old toys to sift through. We leave all of that behind when we leave the lake, confident that Sam's "new" monster truck and Josephine's favorite Barbie book will be there when we go back later this summer.

I wish I had a picture from the end of this trip, when Josephine and I were sitting on the bow singing songs to the mermaids. Her eyes were so bright and her smile could have powered a small village. Instead, I'll conclude this post from when we were just leaving the dock and the kids were a little more skeptical.


Monday, July 6, 2009


So, I thought Sam was calling Josephine "Mommy."

"Meh-may, Meh-may," he kept saying, pointing to her.

"No, Sam, that's Jo, can you say Jo?" I kept saying, over and over.

"Meh-may, Meh-may," he insisted.

Then one day, I got it. "Are you saying Mer-maid?!!"

Sam lit up. She got it! "Meh-maid!!" He shouted.

And of course - Jo is always, always saying she is a mermaid, so why wouldn't he think that's what he should call her? And it seems easier for him to say than Jo.

And she, of course, just knows he understands reality...