Thumbs Up for Rice Krispies

A Piper doesn’t do blue jeans. They’re too stiff. She refuses to unbutton and zip. Tutus don’t easily slip over blue jeans and dancing is inhibited. So there.

Yet the leaves are changing and it’s starting to get cool. Blue jeans keep you warm. So yesterday we hauled out the hand-me-downs to add some layers to Piper’s tutu collection. Sissy made it into a fashion show. We blasted Lady Gaga and assessed new outfits with thumbs up and thumbs down. It was fun. At first. Piper gave everything a thumbs down. Too many blue jeans. Too many plain turtlenecks (Sissy was a bit more practical in her kindergarten fashion). Piper agreed to a few knit pants but only the ones with flowers, Eiffel Tower prints, and rainbows. The shirts were boring. The blue jeans were impossible. Piper was grumpy. So was I. Then she turned on Sissy. “Why couldn’t you like dresses and skirts?” she accused. “Now look what I have to deal with!” Sissy just rolled her eyes at her sister’s fussiness.

“Mom, you know what we need?” Sissy said.

“A shopping spree paid for by someone else?” In my mind I was trying to come up with a compromise between all the free hand-me-downs I’d laundered and stored and Piper’s fashion demands.

“Rice krispie treats.”

“Okay. A break would be good.” We pulled on fall jackets and walked to the store for the essentials. Along the way Piper was a little chilled. Bare legs in brisk fall weather will do that to you.

We made the rice krispies. We ate the rice krispies. Piper told us that marshmallows are harvested from the clouds. Sissy said, “Boy is she going to be disappointed when she learns about the water cycle.”

With bellies full of rice krispies we went back to abandoned clothes piles. Piper was more agreeable. I was more patient. Piper picked one pair of hot pink blue jeans with an elastic waist. She picked long sleeve t-shirts and tights that she could wear with her tutus. I showed her how we could layer all of her favorite rainbow t-shirts over the turtlenecks. Then we went back to finish off the rice krispie pan.

Olympic Winners

We took a little trip down Piper lane tonight. It was longer than expected. Laughter fueled our ride. A good time was had by all. If you need a blast from the short past of piperism or just a quick chuckle to get you through your Olympic viewing (let’s face it-it’s serious business), here are the top viewed piperisms of all time:

Hold On. We’re Going Gaga

Raising Star Wars Girls


Drunk Dialing or Something Like It

Words You Didn’t Know You Needed

There you have it. The top five. The competition was tight. They all put up a good fight. If you were the judge, what piperism would take home the gold?



Oz and Hello Kitty Mash Up

At breakfast we tell stories.  Piper told us a story this morning you might have heard of but might not recognize.

So first there was an earthquake and Dorothy ran to her prison cell.  She didn’t really feel the earthquake because she was asleep.  Her parents were blown away in the shaking.  Dorothy says, “Oh, Toto.  Isn’t this a wonderful place?” Then there were munchkins.  And there was a really nice lady who said, “Here are some magical glass slippers.  Just like Cinderella. The witch won’t like it but they’re yours, Dorothy.” Then the witch comes by and says, “Give me those.” Then this house falls on her.  Too bad.  Then they meet this Tin Man.  He’s frozen, but he sings anyway.  “We’re off to see the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Then they meet a lion and he growls a lot.  Dorothy isn’t scared, though.  She’s really brave because of her glass slippers.  She doesn’t even mind the blisters.  New shoes often give you blisters, you know? Oh, I forgot about the scarecrow.  He was there, too. So, there’s singing and dancing and skipping all the way to the witch’s house.  She has a crystal ball and says she’ll grant them three wishes. Dorothy and her friends took the wrong path, you see.  They probably should have used bread crumbs or something. This may be the Hello Kitty version. The witch said to her guards, “Get them!” Then Penelope, one of the bunnies, tried to turn them all into toads.  Dorothy and her friends ran and ran.  They found the right path and Dorothy got to go home, but before she did, she asked Oz what he wanted and he said, “No one’s ever asked me what I wanted!  I want to go home, too.” So he poofed them all and they went home.  There was a rainbow, of course. The end.

If you like Piper’s story mash up, you might also enjoy her musical mash up:  Lady Gaga is in the Kitchen.

Book Club for Beginners

There are a lot of things I can tolerate in a Piper. Trash collecting, hoarding, potty words, Lady Gaga. Just to name a few. But I don’t know how to parent a kid who doesn’t appreciate books. We’re a house of readers. We have no athletic ability. Most of us can’t see our hands in front of our faces without glasses. We’re nerds. We read. So when Piper was invited to her first book club for kids, I checked an emphatic “yes!” on the evite. I had no idea what you do at a book club for four-year-olds but they had me at the word “book.” I’m that easy.

I did notice a few differences between my usual grownup book club and this kid’s version. Here are the top 5:

1. Seats are assigned.

Piper’s friend, Rylie, and her mom were hosting the book club.  This was waiting at Piper’s chair when we arrived:


Nothing makes a girl feel more welcome than a friend to your right and a name tag.


2. You get cool stuff.

There was also the cutest little mailbox you’ve ever seen:


And there was chocolate inside that mailbox.  That’s my kind of book club!  Now I know what you’re wondering. How about the “book” in “book club,” right? That came next.

3. You don’t have to read the book beforehand.

Rylie’s mom read the book while Piper mostly listened. I only had to dig the melted chocolates out of her grubby hands twice.



4. There’s more than just talk.

There were activities that corresponded to the book’s theme, which I suppose is similar to activities at my book club with grownups. Drinking mimosas is an activity, right?

Piper’s activities were response sheets that related to the theme of the book. I helped her write them…

5. You get to bring your mom.

The best part of a four-year-old book club was doing it together. I was basking in our mutual love of words when Piper and I were walking to the car.  I buckled her in, leaned over for a hug, and said, “Wasn’t that fun? Your first book club!”

Piper played with the lid on her new mailbox, counted her chocolates again, and asked, “What book?”

Life Illustrated Part 3

You never get a simple answer when you ask a Piper. Her mind works in mysterious ways. Yesterday, her preschool teacher wanted to know what Piper liked.  She only wanted one answer really but that isn’t what she got. This is:

Piper likes jumping but apparently I ruin her fun. At least there is the wind.  Purple wind, which I have to admit would be cool.  Is that like purple rain? Piper also likes to pack her suitcase. She’s used to traveling, especially to Florida. And when she’s not flying somewhere, relishing in purple wind, and breaking dishes, Piper just likes to rock. “What kind of rocking?” I asked. “Lady Gaga rocking,” she said. Of course. Is there any other kind?

Want more Life Illustrated? Check here and here.

Lady Gaga is in the Kitchen

What do you get when you mix the Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen a Face” with Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”?

A perfect Piper mash up.  Try it. Sing along. It goes like this: Now I’m freeeeee, freeeeeee fallin’ down the landslide brings you down to where I’ve just seen a face I can’t forget. La da da dee da da. It almost works.  It’s mighty contagious.

Piper can simultaneously switch melodies and provide running commentary on her misinterpretations of lyrics. The girl has talent.  We’re not sure how to market said talent yet, but you can’t deny it’s there. (See Hold On. We’re Going Gaga for more evidence.)

She truly wants to understand how it all works together, thus the mash up. There’s a clear path of ping-pong ball logic if you’re fast enough to follow it.  On the way to preschool this morning, moments after the above musical mash up, Piper was singing Gaga’s “Telephone” and suddenly realized the true reason Gaga wants you to stop calling.  Stop calling. Stop calling. I’m kind of Kanani.  Kind of Kanani.  (Kanani is the coveted American Girl Doll of 2011):

Kanani American Girl Doll of The Year 2011 Paperback Book

“Of course Gaga wants Kanani, but she can’t buy her anymore.  She’s 2011. That’s why you should stop calling, right, Mom?”  I agreed.  Why keep calling if it’s clear that they are artificially controlling the supply of Kanani so they can drive up the prices?  Geez.  Stop calling, Gaga, or check EBay.

We finally decided that Gaga should really just stick to what she’s good at. Baking, of course. Piper sang, “I’ll get him pie. Show him what I got.” Then she interrupted her own self, which is no small task, to try to understand Gaga’s real mission. “Wonder if he likes strawberry pie? I really like peach, don’t you, Mom? Wonder what kind of pie Gaga likes?” These are rhetorical questions.  Piper doesn’t wait for answers.  “Pokerface” continues to play in the background.  “See!  She said muffin! Cause I’m baking with my muffin. Did you hear that?  She’s just like you, Mom.  She loves to bake.”  It’s true.  I do make a mean blueberry muffin. The Gaga and I have so much in common.  I think Gaga would get a girl like Piper.

Hold On. We’re Going Gaga.

It may be a mixed blessing that Piper misunderstands Lady Gaga lyrics, especially since she likes to belt them out on the playground and teach her peers Gaga like dance moves. First, a disclaimer.  I do not endorse nor recommend that young impressionable children listen to inappropriate music intended for adults’ ears.  But if you’ve heard a Lady Gaga song and didn’t bust a move, more power to you.  Piper writes her own lyrics anyway, so I haven’t yet had to explain that love can be fun and healthy even if it’s not rough and that you don’t have to get your guy high just to show him what you got.  I do lecture at length about the Gaga’s grammar errors, but that’s a post for another day.  So, in case you were wondering, here is what the Gaga is really saying.  Feel free to sing along.

“Pokerface” Curry my, curry my (Who doesn’t love a little curry, right?). Pucker face. (Cue fish lips).  Ma ma ma ma pucker face.  My pucker face. it Piper face, mom?  Is that what the Gaga is singing? (Piper calls her “the” Gaga out of respect).

“Bad Romance” Ra ah ra ah ah ah. Bad RoNancy. (That Nancy has terrible luck in love).

“Monster” That boy is a monster. Stop! Can’t touch this! (MC Hammer often interrupts and totally should if you’re dating a monster).

“Telephone” Stop calling. Stop calling. I don’t want to walk anymore.  I’m kind of dancing. Kind of dancing. (Here’s a video of what Piper means by “kind of dancing.” You may want to put down your drink):

Those voices you hear in the background are my parents, who took Piper out to dinner that night, cheering her antics on.