Management Problem

When you send a Piper upstairs to get dressed in the morning, you have to be specific. “Go get dressed!” could mean anything. Piper gets distracted along the way. Pirates coerce her to join their marauding ways. Visiting aliens might attack. There may be kittens involved, even though we don’t have pets. But she will put on actual clothes. The task will be done. Just probably not to your expectation. Again, we may have a management problem.

Here is Piper’s idea of “getting dressed” yesterday morning.


“I’m ready to go, Mom! Today, I’m a cowgirl. And I’m saucy!”

Ahoy, Mate

Piper likes a good pirate. Who doesn’t? So last weekend when we saw a pirate at our favorite diner, it just made the night a little better.

“Don’t look now,” I said, “but there is a pirate six booths away by the door. Full beard, full makeup, full costume. Yep, that’s a pirate.”

It’s mid December. There are no costume parties in sight. No trick or treating. Santa, elves, reindeer, fine. But pirates?

One by one Piper, Sissy, and Dad leaned over into my line of vision to spy on the pirate.

“Ok. Why is there a pirate on a Saturday night in our favorite diner? Go.”

“Maybe the pirate came to get some fruits and vegetables,” Sissy offered, “you know how you’re always saying that we’ll get scurvy, Mom, if we don’t eat well? Maybe the pirate is afraid of scurvy.”

“I’m going with aliens,” Dad said. “It’s always the aliens.”

“Pirate aliens?”

“For sure.”

“She’s shipwrecked,” Piper said. “That pirate REALLY needs some pancakes. With chocolate chips.”

Dad offered anyone at the table $1 to go over to the pirate and get the real answer. Piper and I jumped out of our seats and sauntered over to the pirate. We pretended we were on our way to the bathroom. Then I blamed it all on Piper.

“Excuse me,” I said, “but my little girl would really like to know why you are dressed like a pirate.”

“Ahoy, mate,” Piper said.

Turns out it was for a college film project. Piper’s story was better.

And now here’s a shameless photo of my favorite pirate. Meow. Piper agrees.

Paty Kerry Live

Halloween happened. Paty Kerry was live in our home for a whole day. She sang through breakfast. She danced on her way to school. She posed for fans at her class party.

She performed on command at the Halloween Parade.

But no matter how big Paty Kerry got on Halloween, she didn’t forget the little guy.

“Dad,” Paty Kerry said, as she was walking out the door for trick or treating, “since you don’t have a costume, you can be part of my paparazzi.”

Santa the Bearded Pirate

Piper has been mixing up her holidays lately. She keeps asking people “What are you going to dress up as for Christmas?” when she means “What are you going to be for Halloween?” Most roll with it or seem not to notice. We’re all in the fall holiday spirit. We’re planning costumes. The leaves are starting to turn in D.C. We’ve got a big fat pumpkin on our kitchen table.

Today Piper announced that she’s decided to be a pirate for Christmas, which is actually hilarious if you think about it. Wouldn’t that liven up the Secret Santa exchange? We can all wear eye patches when we go caroling? Although the combination of swords and wassail may be dangerous.

“Yes! A pirate,” Piper declared, “instead of ho ho ho I’ll say argh argh argh!”

More is Always More

I sent Piper packing last night. Really. We’re traveling again, and she has strong opinions.

“Pack your favorite stuff, and I’ll be in to help you,” I directed. I’ve learned the hard way with Piper. She has to do it herself first.

After a few minutes, I came in her room to assess her progress. Tutus and more tutus. Wands. Sparkly headbands. Not a pair of underwear in sight. Bikinis. Lip gloss. More lip gloss.

Piper doesn’t pack outfits. She packs costumes.