“It’s fall, Mommy. I drew a tree. Those are leaves. See how they’re falling?”
“It’s fall. You should be careful. ‘Cuz you might, you know, fall.”
“Mom, want to hear what I learned on the playground today?”
“Whatcha eatin’? Piece of chocolate. Where dya get it? Doggie dropped it. Get it? Get it?”
“Unfortunately, Piper. I do.”
We caught Sissy reading a parenting magazine at breakfast yesterday. “Anything good in there?” I asked.
Sissy glanced over the top of the magazine. “You really should be teaching me this stuff, you know.” Which is probably true. But why bother when I can just have her read it herself? She doesn’t seem to need fixing to me.
Piper, too, got into the unsolicited parenting advice business tonight.
“Mom,” she began, “if I wrote a parenting book, I’d say…Step One: Be nice to your kid. Step Two: If they’re hurt, just hold them. Step Three: If they want something, give it to them after dinner. Step Eight: If they break something or ruin your favorite things and you get mad, pat them on the head and say you’re sorry. Step Five: If they want books, say yes.”
Whew. That’s a rather clear and concise parenting manual. I have to wonder if Step Four, Six, and Seven were key, though.
A few minutes later, Piper’s parenting plot was revealed. “Did I mention that there was a book fair at school next week?”
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!”
I’m sad is one of Piper’s favorite new phrases. It’s both a declaration of emotion and a conversation starter. It’s also startling for a Piper to be bouncing about in a rainbow tutu, smiling her bright smile, and declare her sadness. You have to brace yourself.
The morning after my birthday, Piper declared her latest sadness.
“I’m sad because of your birthday.”
“My birthday? We had a nice time on my birthday.”
“It made me sad. You’re getting old.”
“Well, I’m not that old. I feel pretty good. We all get older. It’s part of life.”
“Yes, but I’m sad because you’re old and you’ll die.”
“True. Someday. But not anytime soon. I don’t think we have to worry about it for awhile.”
“Okay. I’ll save my sadness until then.”
And on that cheery note, Piper skipped out of the room.
Halloween is upon us. At least that what my mail full of costume catalogs indicates. Piper can’t decide what she wants to be. It’s a daily drama. “I want to be a cowgirl. No. I want to be Dorothy from Wizard of Odd (you read that right). No. Maybe I’ll be a turtle. Or a fairy.” It goes on and on.
Sissy’s decided, though. “I think I’ll go as Piper (you read that right, too).”
I hadn’t realized that Piper has become a Halloween persona.
“Oh, that will be hard,” Piper said.
“Why? All I need is a tutu and rainbow stuff,” Sissy said.
Piper looked down at her tutu and rainbow shirt. She may have noticed her rainbow striped pants and sparkly headband. You know, dear reader, that I let Piper dress herself and sometimes I have to admit that she does look like she’s wearing a costume.
“Oh know. You’ll have to have the tutu, the rainbow shirt, the colorful bracelets, the braids, the jeweled headband, the sparkly sandals, the tattoos, the rainbow puppy underwear, and all the other stuff.”
“That’s a lot,” Sissy said.
“It’s not easy being a Piper. I don’t just come in a catalog, you know.”
Not really. Just my birthday. In our house that means we’re busy prepping. Not like this:
We prep for fun. And chocolate. Piper’s dad took Sissy and her to the mall today. They were prepping. They each chose one essential ingredient for our survival kit. Piper chose “Godiba.”
“Mom likes tea, too. And coffee,” Daddy suggested.
“No. Godiba.” Piper is an insistent prepper. We expect her to lead our doomsday team.
“How about a book? She loves to read.”
“Something for her running?”
“No. Godiba. Then she’ll share it with me.”
Piper is the brains of our survival, too.
Here’s a conversation I overhead last night when Piper’s daddy was giving Piper a bath.
I was, of course, hiding in the other room
checking Facebook catching up on work email.
Piper: “Dad, do you want to play 50 questions?”
Dad: “Do you mean 20 questions?”
Piper: “You’re right. That’s too many. How about 1 question?”
Dad: “Okay. One question. I’ll start. Do you ever pick your nose?”
Piper: “Yes. A lot.”
Giggle. Giggle. I think I heard Dad high five her.
Dad: “Okay. Here’s another one. What’s the last thing you think about at night?”
Piper: “My family. Or what I did at school that day.”
Dad: “Your turn.”
Piper. “That’s more than one question, you know. Don’t you know how to play this game?”
You might remember Piper’s obsession with Jack Handy’s Deep Thoughts. Lately, she’s been writing her own. Here’s one she made up at breakfast yesterday.
(I should also mention that Piper’s Daddy had jury duty this week. It was a robbery case. ‘Burglar’ is Piper’s favorite new word.)
“When I think of burglars, I think of burgers. And then I think ‘yum.'”
Come on. Admit it. She’s adorable, isn’t she? Funny, too. Unless you’re a burger.