January 25, 2011

Monkeys like to scratch.

Arwen and Savannah and I were in Arwen's room cleaning up and visiting. Arwen had her back to Savannah a couple of feet away, so when Arwen began to give a good, hearty scratch on her rear-end, Savannah feigned an uppity disgust for Arwen's bad manners.

Of course, Arwen had a good laugh and scratched more enthusiastically. I asked Arwen, "Are you a monkey?"

"Yeah, I'm a monkey." She likes to use my Southern accent to be funny. Keep close to your roots, I say.

"Hey!" Arwen said, "I was born in the year of the monkey!" More laughter, more scratching.

June 24, 2010

Arwen's conversation with Arwen in the mirror

I sat at my desk overhearing a conversation (behind me) that Arwen had with herself in the mirror. Most of it I couldn't make out, as she whispered the whole thing.

"You're copying me, no you're copying me.... always causing.... looking in the mirror..."

spitting, grunting, slow motion vocal noises

February 6, 2010

I hope Arwen is always this sincere.

My mother no longer had a use for the matching canisters that she used when I was growing up. So I claimed them! In shipping them last week, she nested them together in the box, with their lids, as they're different sizes. Before everyone came home from school, I took them out as I'd found them and left them sitting on the table.

Later, while I was at my desk, I heard Arwen at the table. She picked up the biggest lid and said, "Huh?" Picked up lid #2 and said, "Huh?" Picked up lid number #3 and said, "Huh?" After the 4th, she put them back together and walked away satisfied.


The children's bathroom has a troublesome toilet, that is, Seth stores his movements and only lets them out every other day. It seems to work ok for Seth's system, but not the plumbing!

Arwen on the other hand poops like a rabbit. Well, she used to. When it got stopped up three days ago, Arwen was the last one who'd gone, but when I suggested this, she became agitated, "No! It wasn't me!" I said again that she was the last one who'd gone. I was not angry about it. She was not in trouble. It's not her fault she's growing and eating and the pipes aren't big enough! But she wouldn't have it. Refused to concede. I could tell, the clean and proper lady in her was insulted! The Peanut stopping up the toilet was unthinkable! If I had pressed the issue, she may have denied ever having pooped in her life.

To me, sincerity means letting people see your flaws, your confusion, even ineptitude. And somehow, it means stopping up the toilet, and you still refuse to admit such a crime against ladyhood, even though your mother can see right through you.

September 5, 2009

Arwen's big year

Well, the big event of Arwen's sixth year is that she started kindergarten. Three and a half hours every day and a sea of scampering 5 year old playmates to choose from. Class time is no longer about mud play, kitchen toys, and dress up. And the outcome? She's exhausted. I've never seen her this tired.

She had an easy summer; the hardest day any of us had was walking to and from the drive-through dairy for ice cream.

Her first two days of kindergarten were fine. After that, she's come home with tears, near tears, talking about tears she had in class, or quite grumpy about not getting ice cream or a play date.

She won't hold my hand at the mall, saying in a shrill voice, "I'm not little! I'm not little!" She tried to pull out of my hand on the sidewalk too, until a big Harley revved his engine, and she jumped like a cat.

In another week, she'll fall into her routine. She'll go to bed early, like she's supposed to. She'll learn a couple names at school and get some homework behind her to be proud of herself. Obviously they can't understand it completely, but I think a part of a child's mind must sense, "I'm in this for the long haul."

August 6, 2009

Arwen is 5.

Arwen is 5. She never misses a meal, first one to the table, last one to leave. This is endearing to me because she is adventurous when it comes to food (and making friends).

Her temper is as big as her appetite, but we know all the right privileges to withhold to get her best behavior out of her. She's a foot stomper, shutting her door but crying loudly enough for the sound to carry through on our behalf.

Getting herself ready these summer mornings means three ponytails (from her big sister), a bracelet on one wrist, a watch on the other, a flashy necklace, and one of my hand-me-down bags to complete the look.

She doesn't understand the newness of going off to kindergarten. She's eager to tell everyone she'll start kindergarten, but I know she can't understand the bigness of the school or the student body. We tell her that she'll see Seth in passing through the kindergarten fence. He'll wave and tell his friends, "That's my baby sister." She'll wave and say, "That's my big brother." This is the only year that all three of them will be on the same school ground.

April 1, 2009

Arwen's thoughtfulness

Yesterday she dug for worms in The Pit in our backyard. She designated their family roles based on size. Holding earthworms in her palm she pointed, "This is the mama, and this is the baby."

In our brotherless hour today we had a date at Starbucks. Arwen got the vanilla milk and little vanilla scone. She also picked up a chocolate milk for Seth. (I hadn't even thought to take him anything! Trying to be frugal.) So she nibbled her scone and drank her vanilla milk and said in her 4 year old accent, "Did you take a bite of that and then drink your coffee? It's really good together." My scone was maple; I took a bite and drank my coffee. I agreed. It's very good together.

August 6, 2008

"Coffee" house

At Starbucks this morning before going to the free movie, Arwen said, "This place smells like sugar."

April 25, 2008

He's and She's

Yesterday I rolled Arwen's window down so she could say goodbye to a little friend, and her purple balloon got sucked out the window! If you've ever witnessed this, it is a true heartbreak for a child. Their tears are genuine.

Trying to put a good spin on her tragedy I said, "But he's free now! He got his freedom!"

I expected more tears, but she said, "You mean she."

April 22, 2008

April 22nd

She climbed into bed with us this morning, as she does every morning, and we oohed and aahed about her being 4! But she says, "But I'm not big." I know what she means. She's been babied. She is the baby, and she still looks like a baby. Her face is still round; her hands are still dimpled. Arwen is a peanut. All the strangers at Trader Joe's seem surprised when she tells them she's turning 4, not 3.

Highlights: chocolate muffins, a tea party board game and cheeseburgers with her family. The big party with all her little girlfriends is still 10 days away.

July 28, 2007

It is a big job, but somebody's got to do it.

Arwen and I were kickin' back on the couch - all the delicious fruit from the farmer's market settling in our bellies. She said, "Mama, you sooo brave."

Mom - "Really? How am I brave?"

Arwen - "You feed us."

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