Archive for the ‘Things kids say’ Category

How to charm me

October 11, 2010

Henry, the King of Non-sequitors,  just came downstairs, twenty minutes past bedtime, to ask the following:

“Dad, what is it like when you are dead?”

“Do you come back from being dead?”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I will put my kid up against ANYONE else’s kid for the world title in bedtime stalling.








How to charm me

September 28, 2010

Excuse me while I write down this conversation IMMEDIATELY. It was this evening at the dinner table between me and Henry, age four.

Henry: When is my birthday this year?

Me: It’s in June.

Henry: Again? When is it going to be in winter?

Me: Never, your birthday is always in June, every year.

Henry, completely surprised: How you know?


September 15, 2010

Henry, first day this fall at his familiar nursery school. He loves it, but he’s never one to embrace change, especially A) in the morning and B) if it means leaving his Legos and Playmobil.

Here he’s saying he’d really rather go inside and take a nap. Because he’s really tired.  And that his belly hurts. And that maybe we should go tomorrow, instead.

But when I dropped him off, I got a kiss and a smile. He’ll do just fine.

We’ve been full of firsts for what feels like weeks now–first day of first grade, first day of montessori school and now, first day of the last year of nursery school. We adore our neighborhood nursery school, and can hardly believe we are beginning our fourth (and final) year with a child there.  It feels good to have everyone launched, and I think it will be a fantastic year.

“And I can take a nap, right upstairs, with my lambie and my softie, and maybe I will just go to school later, okay, mom?”

“Oh, well, guess we’re here. See you later, mom!”

How to Charm Me

January 19, 2010

Henry, age 3 1/2.

Tell me, “Mom, you’re the cutest thing in the whole wide world!”

Okay, Henry.

If you say so!

What a nut!

1001 Reasons Why I Am Still Awake and Coming Downstairs, by Henry

September 11, 2009


Henry, age three.

Watch Hill, RI      September 7, 2009

Oh, Henry.

He’s reached that magical age where he can’t QUITE make it without a nap, but when he does nap, he can’t fall asleep before 8:30 or 9, sometimes more than 1.5 hours after his dog-tired brother.

So we go about our evening business, while pretending not to hear Henry repeatedly skulking down the stairs before we quietly carry him back up again. Over and over.

But tonight I realized how exceptional and sincere he is about this bedtime game, and I would wager that Henry can beat ANYONE’s kid in the “1001 Reasons Why I Am Still Awake and Coming Downstairs” contest.


Tonight’s surprise entry: “Dad, I need to make popsicles. And my knee is bleeding.”

A few other recent entries:

1. “I need water. I am SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO thirsty.” (I do not exaggerate even a single SO.)

2. (Teary, lower lip trembling.) “Mommy, I can’t find the other tank for my Playmobil scuba diver.”

3.  ((Teary, lower lip trembling.) “I can feel my knee bleeding on the inside.”

4. “I need to go potty. And I have to come downstairs to do it.”

5. “I’m afraid of the dark. I’m just so afraid.” (The 75-watt hall light seems to have gone unnoticed here.)

6. “What’s for dinner tomorrow?”

7.  “William hit me.” (William, who has been asleep for more than an hour.)

8.  “The hall light is too bright.”

9. “I have a headache.”

10. “I’m SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO hungry.”

11. “I can’t see my books, it’s too dark.”

12. “I have a bloody toe.” (Not so.)

13. “Dad, look, I found an astronaut in this book!”

14. “Mom, it’s raining. It’s raining TOO HARD.”

15. (Teary, lower lip trembling.) “Daddy, there are monsters upstairs, I can hear them.”

16. “Mom, what’s that sound?”

17. “(Teary, lower lip trembling.) “I found my crane parts and not my CRAAAAAAAAANE!”

Next time I’m videotaping it.

I think he’s finally asleep.

First Day

September 8, 2009


After months of anticipation, today was the day—Will set off for kindergarten and his first foray into all-day, all-week school. He’s been pretty excited since last spring when he understood it only as a state of being, and now that the big K actually has a place and a name, well, he couldn’t be more excited to get started.


Our wonderful Maine friends gave this backpack to Will when they visited him at ten days old, five years ago. It has hauled diapers, wipes, baby bottles, toys, baby rompers, blankets, burp cloths, baby food, snacks, big boy underwear, swimsuits, towels, goggles, lunch boxes, water bottles, notes and papers, toy cars, crayons and markers, coloring books, art projects and so much more. Now he is finally old enough to carry it himself, five years later. Thank you Ellen, John, Lydia and Jack for the most useful present of all time!

Who wouldn’t be excited to get started? He has gerbils and hermit crabs in his classroom, which is the loveliest shade of green. He also has three crackerjack teachers and a few old and dear friends in the mix–with several more to be discovered in the coming weeks, I’m sure. He came home with several of his trademark pirate ship drawings, so I know he felt at home.


We celebrated the milestone day after school with a stop at the local cider mill for donuts, cider and some much needed lazy time on the porch of the cider mill, sitting and talking about our days. When I asked Will what his favorite part of his first day was he said, “Everything, mom!”

Next week—nursery school for Henry!

Thinking you can’t possibly be three

June 18, 2009

Uh, wrote most of this on his birthday last week, but now he is three and one week, just for those of you keeping track.



Dear Henry,

Today you are three, and all day long I was shocked when I saw you. Tall, lanky and so darn THREE, and I just have no idea how we got here so quickly.


Henry with at least three pairs of underwear and one pair of shorts, donned Henry-style.

I do get it, you really are a three-year-old now. You dressed and undressed yourself today more times than I can count, and you sometimes put on up to five pairs of underwear at once, “Just in CASE, mama!” You would think by now I wouldn’t be surprised when I look up and see your naked bottom streaking by, AGAIN. You’ve inspired statements I never envisioned saying, like, “We don’t sit naked at the table, Henry.”  Or “We put on underpants to eat snack at the kitchen table.”  (To which he sings out, “No WE don’t, Mama!” And giggles.) You took yourself to the potty more than once, without even letting me know you had to go. (Now entering week three of potty training and on the upswing.)

You asserted yourself the way you never did when you were two, announcing exactly what you wanted your cake to be (a fire truck) and what you wanted to today (pick strawberries).


The firetruck cake. Saved by a fellow nursery school mom who had the FIRE TRUCK PAN. Good friends to have.

You sang happy birthday to yourself over and over, you made yourself a birthday card and you insisted on the crowd favorite, THE BLUE CUP, for lunch and dinner. You have a true passion for animals, all animals, and need to be restrained around ones we don’t know, because you want to hold them and love them and cuddle them, unlike your brother who was fearful of most most four-legged creatures at your age.



You would have been inside the pen, hugging and kissing that cow if I had let you, Henry!

But, for all your three-year-old bravado, you are still my sweet baby Henry. You like to play cat, and one of your favorite versions of the game is to curl up in my lap, meowing, and say, “I love you, mama cat!” To which I, of course, answer, “I love YOU, baby cat!” You are the kissiest and snuggliest thing on two legs—your lower lip trembles in the morning if you haven’t properly kissed the departing parent goodbye (“But I need to KISS YOOOOU!”). In the morning you come sleepily staggering into our room before 6 a.m. most days, but then snuggle up and promptly fall asleep, managing with the sprawl of one small body to exile both of your parents to the very edges of the bed while still lying on top of one of them and poking a finger in my eye or my ear.

You love reading book after book some mornings, but you LOVE YOUR FOOD and, unlike your brother who would only stop reading for a waffle with lots and lots of syrup, you’ll interrupt a book to ask, “What’s for breakfast?” And your favorite conversation starter, heard easily three times a day, is the casual, “What’s for supper tomorrow, mama?” Always endearing, but slightly less so when I am hastily trying to figure out what to put on the table for dinner TONIGHT.


Ice cream birthday cone at the farm after a morning of strawberry picking.

Unlike your outgoing brother, sometimes the world is just too much for you, especially in the form of circle time at various toddler groups and classes. You might just die if you couldn’t cling to me like a monkey during those times (and when you can’t, you sob your heart out), and I never once had to chase you around music class like I did with Will. Your shy streak is deeply embedded, but when you decide to emerge from that cocoon, you embrace the world and new opportunities whole-heartedly. You’ve watched your brother spend two years at his beloved nursery school, and now you are eagerly anticipating your own nursery school days coming this fall—we can’t wait to see the different ways that you’ll take on your wonderful new school and new teachers.

What creative being you are! You love to color and cut and glue like your brother, and the two of you can spend hours lost in the tiny world of Playmobil. Your mechanically-inclined self would rather take a battery-operated toy apart to see the inside than actually play with it. You are the prankster and the giggler, and your father and I usually have to turn away so you can’t see us laughing when we try to be stern with you.

You are so incredibly inquisitive and observant, noticing the smallest details that Will might never have seen. (Me either–you get your powers of observation from your daddy, even if you look like a carbon copy of me at your age.) You’ve never been partial to one “thisy” like Will, but instead have a menagerie of blankets and baby animals that all need your tender loving care (and drinks of water), usually when you should be in bed falling asleep.

Which brings me to bedtime. You are newly transitioned to your big boy bed, and love it—no surprise, since we’ve been treating your crib like a daybed since about October. This spring you’ve decided that days with naps mean bedtime past 9 p.m., much to our chagrin. And when you’re still awake at 9 p.m., you fight the good fight, trying to negotiate one more back rub or suggest that you ought to be allowed to “play quietly” in your room. With your battery-powered drill. At 9 p.m.  Nice try, Henry.


I look at you sprawled upside in your big boy bed, and wonder how any part of your sturdy, nearly stocky, body could ever have been small, sick and delicate. You startle me every day with how physically capable you are, and you warm my heart every morning and night with your sweet snuggle hugs and marvelous kisses.

We love you, sweet baby Henry! More and more each day. Happy birthday, and we’re so ready to take on THREE with you!




Henry, hours after birth, June 2006


Henry, six months old, December 2006


Henry, 12 months old, June 2007 (Photo by Nicki Pardo)


Henry, age sixteen months, October 2007. School photo timed perfectly to capture shiner in full bloom.


Henry, age two, June 2008


Henry, age 2 1/2, January 2009 (Explanation of shiner here. More black eye photos here.)


Henry, age three and one day, with Will age 4 3/4 and friend Tommy, age 2 1/4

June 2009

How not to charm me

June 3, 2009

Remind me that you ONLY have TWO days of nursery school left before the closing ceremonies next week.

And then, haltingly, while biting your lower lip and trying not to cry, tell me you want to stay at your nursery school forevvvvvvver!

Me too, pal, me too.

We probably ought to rename this entry How to Make Mom Cry.

Some days you just want to pretend they aren’t yours

April 5, 2009


Busy YMCA family locker room, packed to the gills with kids and parents post swimming lessons.


Will and Henry, darling preschool-aged brothers, in the shower (a handicapped-accessible room with a door) rinsing off after their lesson.

Mom, the gorgeous, slim, thirty something mother of Will and Henry, frequently mistaken for their big sister or babysitter. She momentarily leaves them in the shower to go spin-dry their suits.

Twenty or so other mothers, fathers and children, many of whom are waiting to use the exact shower Will and Henry are in.

Scene 1:

Door opens, Will sticks his head out.

Will: “MOOOOOOOOM! Henry just peed on me in the SHOOOOOWER, and it was a LOT!”

Sound of crickets chirping fills the locker room.

Looking around to see who really knows she is connected to that child, Mom trills: “Be there in a minute!” without making eye contact with anyone.

Mom returns, swinging her shiny, silky locks, opens door a crack and offers admonishment: “Henry, we don’t pee in the shower, we pee in the toilet. That is not good manners and you need to apologize to your brother for peeing on him.” She repeats several times for good measure and to be sure all parents in the room have heard her “utter disapproval” (while rolling her eyes a little on the inside, because she is certainly not going to die on this particular hill, and at least they were in the shower when he peed on his brother.)


Alternate ending: (Check with focus groups re: approval) Mom waits outside shower with patented “who me?” expression on face until everyone who witnessed Will’s statement is gone.

Fade to black.

Catching leprechauns

March 17, 2009

What requires an upside-down basket, some string, two baby blankets, three full cups of water, approximately thirty two-inch dinosaurs set up in a VERY SPECIFIC arrangement around the room and a rocking chair? (Actually, make that four full cups of water.)

Traps for leprechauns, of course, according to Will. Didn’t you set any up at your house?

That’s what Will did for the last half hour before bed last night. After arguing with Henry about whether leprechauns are real. Henry (age 2 3/4) says no, Will (age 4 3/4) says YES.

Did the traps work? Well, we didn’t find any little green fellows this morning, but the boys did wake up with leprechaun kisses on their hands (uh, green shamrock stamps and GO US for finding the green stamp pad at 9:30 p.m.).

Maybe we needed more cups of water.

How to charm me

March 2, 2009

Ask me where the “rogers” live.  (robbers) And ask me if they want to take your toys.

Will, age 4.5

And speaking of toys …

Throw your naked body over all the toys in your tub when I start to drain the water, crying out, “But the toys will go down the drain!” This applies to all toys, regardless of size. None of them are less than one inch in diameter.

Henry, age 2.5

Sorry folks, this was the best I could do when looking at this many inches of snow on what should be an almost spring day. Later this week—cute newborn and interview questions answered.

Cute baby photos as filler?

February 19, 2009

I’ve been fortunate to be exceptionally busy with the photography side of my life, going to some fantastic workshops and conferences and meeting amazing people, but that doesn’t make me miss you any less, especially when I’m doing things like (yawn) working on contracts.

(On a side note, I can’t recommend the Spread the Love workshop enough—and it isn’t just for photographers. Look for it coming to a city near you this spring, but only if you want to be seriously inspired! And while we’re talking inspiration, I can recommend Phoenix wedding photographer Melissa Jill Hester—she does one-on-one mentoring over Skype, and I can’t tell you how much you can learn in one hour. She is hosting what looks like an amazing two-day workshop at her home in May, and I would love to be there!)

But anyway.

I have an amazing set on interview questions from Erin to answer, I want to catch up on all your blogs, I have a completely overdue awesome meme from Christina to post, I have some more amazing cookbooks to give you and if Henry would just sleep until 7 a.m. like the GOOD LORD  INTENDED I would get my morning blogging time back.

I just peeked at my stats, expecting to see, oh, five of you, and I cannot believe you are still with me. Your faith in me is touching, if undeserved, and I will try to be more present here, because I sure have missed it.

Can I interest you in a few more baby photos by way of apology?






Henry, sitting on my lap, wants to know why “River gots no blanket and no toys?”

Good question, Henry.

Maybe Henry needs his own blog.