Now that we’ve got that cleared up …

It’s closing in on noon and I still haven’t had breakfast yet.

I head to the kitchen to make a small snack and Juno inevitably follows, resulting in the following conversation:

Juno: I can have a piece?

Me: No.

Juno: Please, I can have a piece?

Me: No.

Juno: I want a share!

Me: No. You had breakfast already; I didn’t.  This is my breakfast and I’m not sharing.

Juno: I can have a taste?

Me: No.

Juno: A little of a taste?

Me: NO, Juno. Is this some kind of a test to see how many times I can say “no?”

Juno: It’s a test of saying yes.


Little pitcher, big ears

This is Juno signing “please,” which she does reflexively whenever she says the word aloud (as does her older brother):


Remember: she’s only two-and-a-bit.  “Please” isn’t something that she says every time, despite our constant, (mostly) gentle prodding.  But I know that she’s internalized the expectation, as evidenced by this conversation had last night at dinner:

Juno: I want some apple juice.

Me: (saying nothing, just making eye contact)

Juno: Say please.

Nobody puts Pinky in a corner

Last year, when he was about three months older than Juno is now, I took Seve to a ballet class.  It did not go well.

Today, almost fully recovered from that experience, possibly high on tutu dust and definitely feeling the judgment-impairing effects of a terrible night’s sleep, I took Juno to her first ballet class.

Not without asking the prayerful folks on Facebook to beam me their very best:


I was smart about it.  Her class didn’t start until 10:00 AM but I showed up an hour early to let her “get her zoomies out,” so that hopefully she’d be calmer and less distracted when class began.

Oh, but you know what wasn’t smart?  Showing up somewhere without an extra diaper for your kid who isn’t yet toilet trained.  That was super duper not smart.  I mean, we avoided an in-class pooptastrophe, but we sure flirted with one, and that was Ultimate Grand Supreme levels of Not Smart.

As it turns out, I could have easily run home to pick up replacement peentaloons because this is how effective my child-exhausting strategy was:


Why was I upstairs and not sitting in on the class?  Well, it looked like that was sort of the thing (not) to do, and I’m eager for any excuse to fly at a distance, even if it’s earlier than I’d anticipated.

I do wish I’d thought to ask about props, though, because this:


And as you can see here, actual Bedazzled Beatin’ Wands:


I’m pretty sure she didn’t beat on anyone.  I mean, we didn’t have the “maybe this isn’t the best environment for such a spirited child” conversation, so I’m guessing we’re still welcome to show up next week?

Juno’s listening was, as expected sup-par.  She’s the youngest in the class, I think, and the least likely to know what the teacher is referring to when she says, “Okay, so now we swish our tails like Ariel and then we do a mermaid spin and then we go sit down on our rock.”  That’s partly because she’s never been exposed to the “princess” stories (books or film) and partly because, well, she is who she is.  As likely to be captaining the Orca as she is to be faux-sunning herself on an imaginary shoal.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Collaborating with my (morbid) two-year-old

I do so hope you’ve seen this amazing post from illustrator and artist Mica Angela Hendricks: Collaborating with a 4-year-old.

The short version is that Hendricks’ daughter asked permission to “complete” the illustrations she found in her mother’s new sketchbook.  Hendricks reluctantly agreed — and then she saw what her child was truly capable of:

Not surprisingly, I LOVED what she drew.  I had drawn a woman’s face, and she had turned her into a dinosaur-woman.  It was beautiful, it was carefree, and for as much as I don’t like to share, I LOVED what she had created.  Flipping through my sketchbook, I found another doodle of a face I had not yet finished.  She drew a body on it, too, and I was enthralled.  It was such a beautiful combination of my style and hers.  And she LOVED being a part of it.  She never hesitated in her intent.  She wasn’t tentative.  She was insistent and confident that she would of course improve any illustration I might have done.  … And the thing is, she DID.

Now, I point that incredible collaboration out for two reasons: 1) because it’s simply fantastic and your life will be happier for having seen it, and 2) because I inadvertently did something similar with Juno this afternoon and the contrast is kind of comical.

[At this point I will remind you that I am neither an illustrator nor an artist … and though my own daughter could be easily confused for any of the smaller girls in the daily Kindergarten line-up, she’s really only two-and-a-bit.  So we’ve got two years to get our Sharpies together, is what I’m saying.]

I picked up a new Crayola dry-erase crayon set the other day, and finally shared it with Jo.  I drew some waves and a boat, a sun and a cloud, and by request, a cat.  And some fish.  Then I handed over the crayons and let her fill in the rest:


Juno: “Look, Mama!  I draw a helicopter!” (pink object at right)

Me: “Ooh, Juno.  That is a very excellent helicopter.”

Juno: “And a rain.” (she pointed to cloud; I gave the cat an umbrella just in case)

Me: “Junie, what’s the circle underneath the sun?  Is it another cloud?”

Juno: “Moon.”

Me: “Oh, of course.  It’s a lovely moon.  It’s very bright.”

Juno: “Yes.”

Me: “Juno, what’s that?” (I pointed to pink scribble half-“submerged” below the waves)

Juno: “Airplane.”

What we lack in talent we make up for in imagination, both of us.

If you think I’m talking about you here, yeah, you’re probably right.

If you think I’m talking about you here, yeah, you’re probably right.