Or When Summer's In The Meadow
Pardon My Dust

Speaking Of (Mostly) Caroline

Caroline and Edward attended kindergarten round-up on Thursday. Although I am as ambivalent as the next mother of a controlfreak child I told Edward that he had to wear actual clothes to the kindergarten evening, no pajamas - I meant it.

Edward said, "OK OK. I'll get dressed in clothes" and when I said, "Edward! I'm serious. I mean it" - he saluted. 

[I could take it personally that Patrick has started replying to my peremptory statements with a crisp "Yes Ma'am!" while Edward has begun to actually salute me but I do not. As long as they follow my every outrageous command ("Get your shoes on before you go to school" "Stop hopping around on one foot and go to the bathroom already" "Charge, Light Brigade" ) I'm cool with all the sarcastic compliance they want to give me]

[OK. Patrick is sarcastic. Edward just likes to salute]

Anyway, Edward returned from his bedroom ready to go


And I thought, ok, grea... wait. Those aren't socks! They're footie pajamas! Edward!

He had put on a pair of what he (and only he) calls his zippies and then put clothes on top.

I say it again. Ay yi. Yi. 

So. Kindergarten round-up. This was their chance to see the classrooms, ride a schoolbus, tour the cafeteria and check out the playground equipment. As anticipated, once there, Caroline was ebullient and chatty; Edward was intrigued but reticent.

They had numerous stations to visit and one of them involved sixth graders offering rub-on monkey tattoos in a variety of colors. Edward chose a green monkey since blue, green, orange and sometimes black are his favorite colors. Caroline went for pink and when the young lady asked her whether she wanted it on her hand or her arm, Caroline said


(look closely. it's faded after two baths)

The girl looked at me for corroboration and I nodded.

"You are the only one I have had tonight who wanted the tattoo on her forehead," she said.


A few months ago - from god only knows where - Caroline got a small plastic figurine of Chip (or maybe it's Dale) and when she hits the tiny button on the side it says, "AWESOME!" in an awful falsetto. 

Tonight, as is her wont, she had secreted it somewhere about her person and as we drove home from a family dinner out she proceeded to hit the button over and over and over and...

Patrick finally snapped, "Caroline! Do you KNOW how annoying that is?"

Caroline replied, "Yes. Yes, I do. It's one hundred percent annoying."

She smiled.

"AWESOME!" said the chipmunk. 


A few days ago I wanted to generate some excitement about the dinner I had planned so I pulled Caroline aside. 

"Hey," I whispered, "Can you keep a secret?"

Caroline gave me a long, contemplative look.

"No," she replied.

Then she walked away 


As Caroline ate breakfast this morning I glanced over her shoulder and saw a robin with a twig in its mouth. It landed on an exterior light fixture just outside the window.

"Oh!" I said. "A robin! Right there! I think she's a mommy robin and she might be building a nest!"

Caroline said, "What? Really? Where? I want to see!"

We went slowly over toward the window and watched the robin drop the stick on top of the light fixture and then fly away.

I said, "Won't that be fun! I believe she really is putting her nest there. If we are careful not to startle her over the next few days I think we'll be able to watch her finish it. Then there will be eggs and maybe baby robins! Right next to the house!"

Caroline cocked her head, considering.

"Hmmm," she said, "they will be very very close to our house won't they?"

"Yes!" I said.

"Hmmm," she said again.

"So are robins... delicious?"


My much beloved friend Lauren was in my kitchen telling Caroline that she is going to start to train for a half marathon.

"Do you know how many miles that is?" she asked.

"A thousand?" Caroline ventured, never one to admit that she doesn't know something.

"No, not that many," Lauren laughed. "It is around thirteen miles. I don't know if I can do it but I am going to try and that is what really matters, right? Try even if you don't succeed."

Caroline nodded. "Uh-huh. And that's called failure."