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“Finally, I’m wearing an actual sassy girl outfit.”

Mom: “Birds are nothing if not funny.”
Natalie: “And Riley is funny if not nothing.”

Daddy served After Eight Cake. “Happy Friday!”
Natalie: “There’s a holiday called Good Friday. I think this is a good Friday.”

When I tell the kid to clean her room, and then I walk by and she immediately closes the door, I call shenanigans. Sight unseen.

The kids are doing “Once on This Island.”
“Which looks more islandy? This, this, or this?”

Daddy is reading aloud. Natalie just heard that Voldemort probably transferred some of his powers when he gave Harry his scar.
“Uhhhhhhh. I could faint if I was older.”

Daddy: “Why didn’t you eat your bagel at lunch?”
Natalie: “Ohh…it just is not to my liking. It can be not to my liking.”

Breaking News: Natalie’s friend Emily from camp loves death, ex-boyfriend stuff, and parts of the body. “She’s creepy. But fun. And cute.” That’s your friend at Drama Camp? “Yup. She is drama. She belongs there. Don’t you think she belongs there?” Yes. Yes I do. Natalie says Emily made something and said: “This is my ex-boyfriend’s head.” Emily is NINE.

Mom: “If you want some donut tonight, then I’d say no maple syrup on that waffle.”
Natalie: “Okay. It’s just, maple syrup makes me tempted. That’s the problem.”

Natalie’s decorating her lemonade stand.
Natalie: “How do you spell ‘lemon’?”
Mom: “How do you think it’s spelled?”
Natalie: “Um, I have, I guess, no idea. It starts with l…m…a-d-e?”

Natalie’s school’s bumper sticker on my car is cracked and wrinkled. “Once that one kills out, you better put a new one in its place.”

“I don’t like when I have short hair. How did I live the coldness?”

“I can tell tonight is going to be a very unsleepable night. Because I’m going to have stage fright.” Tomorrow’s the school preview of Once on This Island.

Natalie: “It’s nine-oh-ten.”
Mom: “Did you just said it’s nine-oh-ten? Did I just say ‘did you just said’?”
Dad: “Yes.”
Natalie: “I understand you. I underSTANDED you.” Grins.

I sang three words of “One Small Girl” from Natalie’s show. Natalie was surprised. “You’ve really been listening, for once.”

“Tomorrow’s going to be very fun. But very stage fright.”

“You’re going to love Once on This Island even though there are some pretty intense parts.”

Mom: “I’m happy because Natalie is being bitten by the theater bug.”
Natalie: “I’m being bit by the stomach bug.”
Mom: “We understand. The theater bug goes hand in hand with the stomach bug. Everyone has the fright. But once they’ve been on stage, people keep going back.”
Natalie: “I feel like I would throw myself up. I’d eat myself and throw myself up.”

Gave the girl some Three Stooges on the morning of May 10. “I don’t see the funny of it.” Oh no. “I think I’m too young.” This is very concerning. I just heard a little chuckle from the other room. Phewf.

“I’m in bisnis” – Placard for drawing on Daddy’s face

Natalie had some yard gymnastics time. She began to put on some kind of Mother Nature ego show, singing about her power to make things happen on the earth. She began before the earth, millions of years ago. (I know, I know.) She makes the grass grow and the wind blow. She makes things do opposites: grow and shrink… “Negatives and positives. Opposites and…things that are not opposite. I haven’t made up that word yet.”

Natalie’s trying to read the “Free of” list on the almond milk: “lacoastey, caristial, peanuts, castian, gluten, eggs, standard fat, and MSG.”

“What are they called – wind mowers? Wind blowers?” Windmills.

Natalie’s class did a reading play on the water cycle as a lesson. Natalie read the script to me and explained which parts she had. She was Water Vapor #2. And “I was rain in Rah-day-nee-wah.” That’s Rwanda. “Pazikstan.” Pakistan.

Daddy made a fabulous dessert. Too fabulous. “Can we save the rest of mine for some day else? It’s so rich.”

May 17: Vaguely hostile gibberish, directed at Daddy:
“Time for a hug. With the stupid little love in you.”

Natalie and Pam discuss Ana.
Pam: “She’s really nice.”
Natalie: “Yeah. …You should see her after she eats candy.”
Pam: “She’s my doppleganger. Do you know what a doppleganger is?”
Natalie: “No.”
Pam: “It’s a person who walks the earth who looks just like you.”

Natalie and Pam do pretend play. Natalie married, then divorced Prince Liam…no, Prince Liam, Queen Natalie’s first husband’s son…she’ll only allow Princess Pam to marry someone to whom she’s been related…I don’t know what the hell they’re pretending now.

Daddy: “Okay, time to brush teeth.”
Natalie: “But I’ve heard that you are handsome. So I must stay with the handsomeness, and marry you. But we can’t have a baby.”

We’re choosing camp session themes at WHMS. Natalie likes one called Save the Planet. “I’m really trying to save the earth. So I really need to learn a lot about that.”

Natalie is not very interested in touring the Capitol. She doesn’t want to work in the government, so why would she want to go there? I explain that it’s every citizen’s duty to know how their government works so that they are not ignorant and know how to try to make change. We need to know who to write to, who to call. “I know who to call,” she says. “My parents, every few weeks when I’m a grownup.” She looks at me. “Every day? Every hour?” No. No!

“How do you LIVE with being a grownup? There’s SO much responsiBILity. I don’t know how you keep track of it all.”

“Why does a lawn mower, when it lawns the yard, leave some grass?”

I’m getting verklempt over Natalie’s outfit for the class play. She wrote some words on her shirt in permanent marker and did an uncharacteristically neat job, and for some reason I started tearing up. “Oh, oh, my baby!” I said. Natalie laughed. “Ha ha, my grownup!” She did several poses in the outfit. “I wanna do that every time I get a really cool outfit that you tear up in.”

Daddy:”It’s time for bed.”
Natalie: “I’m waiting for reading.”
Daddy: “Reading?! It’s an hour past your bedtime.”
Natalie: “Mf. I don’t really care.”
(You had to be there.)

New exclamation: “Oh my golly baloney!”

Natalie does not want to be over 50, like Daddy is. “I’m sorry that I don’t like your age, but, I kind of don’t want to be your age. It doesn’t feel like a girl age.”

Natalie: “They need to approve the feeling of chalk.”
Mom: “They do?”
Natalie: “Mm hm. Very much. Very much.”

I kiss Natalie’s cheek and am overcome with the smell of her skin. “I’m nuts for you,” I whisper. “I’m nuts for you too,” she says. “But I hold it in.”

May 24: Natalie is still not interested in Star Wars. Daddy describes the characters. “Isn’t there a big black one that’s bad?” Yes, that’s Darth Vader. We talk about the breathing apparatus. “That sounds so scary. Why can’t he be rainbow colored?” She wants glitter, too…And she AGREED TO WATCH IT! We’re watching, we’re watching, on the eve of the 37th anniversary of the release of Star Wars in theaters!!
“Where are the lightsavers?”
The jawas zap R2-D2. “I knew those were bad eyes.”
R2-D2’s message has just played for Ben and Luke, who look at each other. “Pregnant pause.” Tee hee.
Owen and Beru are dead. “Do they really have to die in the movie?” No. “Do they just go offstage?” Yes.
C-3PO to RD-D2: “You watch your language.” Says Natalie: “He doesn’t have much of a language.”
Natalie is frustrated. She says Darth needs to die in this one. Now she’s talking to Obi Wan. “Just kill him when he’s not expecting it, why don’tcha. Just kill him when he doesn’t expect it.”

It’s over, the Death Star has been destroyed!
Natalie’s impressions:

“I think they should have been married. They’re perfect.”
“It’s not my favorite, but I like it, but it’s still not my favorite.”

“I think I was too young for this. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Mom: “Go back and brush again. You’re supposed to brush for two minutes.”
Natalie: “You brush your teeth super fast.”
Mom: “Yes, and look how many cavities I get.”
Natalie: “You don’t get any cavities.”
Mom: “Yes I do.”
Natalie: “No you don’t.”
Mom: “I just had a cavity filled a few weeks ago.”
Natalie: “Well, why don’t you tell me these things?”

“Welcome to Natalie’s Super Spa. I can do anything you want. Except do nothing at all.” The headbands come out. “I think these will all be cutes.” I end up with metallic baby blue lips and a pink leopard headband. Luckily for Daddy, the Super Spa continues. “You look so unusual with sparkle.” I help out with some blush and a headband. “Oh my god, that looks so handsome. He’s going to the ball or something.”

“I am the mayo…INFINITY.”

“I don’t understand how Spanish people understand Spanish. They’re all speaking Spanish. I can’t understand anything.” We were watching Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time, and those were Nazis speaking.

At Ramona’s Cafe, I made the girls eat some broccoli along with the french toast, because that’s the kind of harridan I am. Elly’s was cooked, like a normal person’s, while Natalie’s was cold as per her preference. Elly said her mom WANTS her to have the syrup on the french toast. I laughed at her and said eat your broccoli. Elly ate her broccoli first and finished off her french toast with lightning speed. Natalie was slower because the french toast was hot. “Anything warmer than french fries, and foof. I make a fuss.” Then I had to listen to how old Daddy and Cindy and I look. Elly was amazed that Natalie’s dad is 55: “To me he looks like he’s in his teens. You look like you’re in your forties.” Thanks, kid. “You look like you’re in your fifties.” Time to shut up, now.

The girls made a fairy house at The Radix Center.
Natalie: “Fairies do NOT like human makings.”
Elly: “Wow. You do know a lot about fairies.”

“Sometimes I’m never happy and never sad. Like somewhere in between. I don’t know what to call that. I guess maybe just ‘human’.”

Would You Rather
Mom: “Would you rather…go to school in your underwear, or kiss all the boys in your class in front of everyone?”
Natalie: “AAAGGHH. I’d…rather kiss all the boys. BUT I WON’T.”

Mom: “I’m going to take a shower.”
Natalie: “Good idea.”
Hm.

Natalie: “Mom. Look up how many molecules there are on Earth.”
Daddy: “Oh, I would think there are at least…36.”
Mom: “Please. There’s at least a few dozen.”
Daddy: “Oh, well…38.”
Natalie: “I think it’s at least, um, more than a billion? I think Dad is totally offhand.”

Hearing random words from the kid’s shower: “…permanently.” “…will fly away.”

“Please don’t smile and marvel at my hair. It doesn’t look good.”

“How can people love me with such a weird voice?”

Mom: “Mommy loves.”
Natalie: “Natalie–gives you regards.”

Mom: “What are your hopes for the last couple of weeks of school?”
Natalie: “No fighting at recess for once.”
Dad: “That’s a great goal.” :-/

“Scratching a dog’s bottom neck right here calms them down.”

“Mom, is Darth Vader Jewish?”

I think that license plate is from Maryland. “Maryland? Maryland is not a name.”

School field trip a while back: “I got to dress up in clothes from a long time ago, like when the women used to work for the men.”

Mom: “How was the diner for you tonight?”
Natalie: “Um…medium. Not my favorite. Too much you talking. Not enough me talking.”

“My body’s not letting me eat so I’ll be ready for Ana’s birthday party. It’s not my outside fault. It’s not my thinking fault. It’s my inside fault.”

Daddy: “Very nice of you to make Mommy’s coffee for her.”
Natalie: “Well, I try.”

I get some help decorating my eggs with sriracha. I lick some off my finger.
Natalie: “Uhh! How can you like that stuff? So spicy.”
Mom: “I didn’t used to. Tastes change.”
Natalie: “Kind of. But not with tomato. If you’re born not liking them, you don’t.”

April 21:
Natalie burped. This is not a problem for me, but Daddy commented on it, so I said: “Yeah. Don’t be disgusting at the table,” and I showed her the food in my mouth. Then Daddy rammed his finger up his nose. Natalie claimed high ground. “I’m actually being distinguished instead of picking my nose or showing the stuff in my mouth.” Distinguished seems to be the word of the week. Then she waxed poetic about how good it feels right after a burp. “You get half a moment of freshness, and then it goes away. Like snow in the winter.”

Natalie’s wearing her full school outfit, a dress with pants underneath, for a bike ride around the block. I tell Daddy how she did a great, very well-controlled slow fall off her bike.
Natalie: “You’re scaring me.”
Mom: “The only thing to be scared of is messing up your dress. Next time you ride your bike, wear pants.”
Natalie: “I am wearing pants.”
Mom: “Natalie. What did I mean?”
Natalie: “Not to wear a dress.”
Mom: “Did you know what I meant?”
Natalie: “…Yeah.”
Mom: “Then why did you have to correct me?”
Natalie: “It was a second-hand thought.”

April 22:
“I’m going to go out with the umbrella. I just feel like I need some fresh daylight. And, it’s day right now, so, good timing, right? Bye. See ya.”

April 24:
Dad: “Where’s the pencil that was in here?”
Natalie: “It’s here. Sorry. I didn’t know it meant much to you.”

Natalie: “Can we have a no-hair day?”
Mom: “No.”
Natalie: “Why?”
Mom: “Because your hair is messy.”
Natalie: “Why?”
Mom: “Because you slept on it in bed.”
Natalie: “Why?”
Mom: “Because it was nighttime.”
Natalie: “Why?”
Mom: “Because the earth is spinning and careening through space.”
Natalie: “Why?”
Mom: “Because of the Big Bang.”
Natalie: “Why?”
Mom: “We don’t know.”

Natalie: “I hate these mornings.”
Mom: “The ones where you get up?”
Natalie: “Yeah. I hate these ones and I love the other ones. I have so much to do, and you’re kind of pressuring me.”

April 25:
Dad sings some of Bert’s chimney gibberish from Mary Poppins.
Natalie: “That’s weird.”
Mom: “Your mom and dad are weird. Get used to it.”
Natalie: “But I don’t want to get used to it. If I get used to it, I’ll get used to it. And I don’t want to get used to it.”
She’s in for a rough ride.

April 26:
Mom is playing with a slinky. “Ooh, cool. Your job should be doing that in front of a stage.” #easily impressed

“Is there any way we can prevent the global from warming, of, and stuff?”

Natalie loves having a Fake Aunt.
Dad: “Yes. Everyone needs a Cindy.”
Natalie: “No. Not everyone deserves one.”

I wore my biker jacket. Natalie hadn’t seen it on me for a while, I guess, because she was blown away. “I love your coat. You look so fancy.”

April 27:
Mom: “Keep whining. See what happens.”
Natalie (whinily/weepingly): “Well, you can’t stop the whine until someone makes you laugh.”

April 28:
I’m taking more trampoline pics so Natalie will have a better Harry Potter flying pic which Daddy can photoshop onto a Quiddich background. She looks at some of my close-up glamour shots. “Oh. I was thinking of more impressive of myself.” Then, while flipping: “I’m saying: Slam like silk through a needle. It gives you so much power.”

On the phone with Grandma Dotty:
“Well, I love YOU so much that you’ll never guess too. …Mm hm…Oh, I think so….Noo…Mom gives me ten extra minutes because I let her take pictures of my hair…No, I let her make a deal with ME.”

April 29:
The kids are supposed to wear tacky pants and white shirts to theater rehearsal on Thursday. Natalie says ‘tacky’ means tan.

Daddy: “No one could ever make another Natalie.”
Natalie: “Yes you could. In a factory – in your penis.

It’s the arms-so-dry they’re breaking disease the barn sheep toy has. “But it’s a private word. A home word.”

Unfucked the dining room table this morning. Natalie desires placemats. “I want our table to be distinguished.” Okay then. “Wanna know why I’m getting a balloon?” Why? “To tie it to my chair. To look distinguished.”

April 18. We just finished this week’s episode of Cosmos. I hope they’ll talk about quarks next week, I say. That’s my favorite. Quarks don’t seem to follow our rules.

Natalie wants to know their names again. Strange, Charm, Up, Down, Top, and Bottom, I say. “I’d be charm, top, and up,” says Natalie. “‘Cause I’m the charm on top of the world.”

Riley, our parrot, bit me. “Ow!” I yelled. “You bitch!”
Natalie: “What’s a bitch?”

<<< SHIT >>>

Me: “It’s the name for a female dog, and it’s not a nice thing to call someone.”
Natalie: “Would you ever call me ‘bitch’?”
Me: “Ummm… …I hope not.”
Natalie: What if you did?”
Me: “I would hopefully say sorry.”
Natalie: “What if you didn’t say sorry?”
Me: “We’d move on, and you’d be okay.”
Natalie: “I don’t like moving on. Sometimes I have to keep the subject up until they say sorry.”

“You think tofu doesn’t have flavor? That’s just a mean compliment.”

Natalie: “What’s Kristi’s job?”
Daddy: “She’s your teacher.”
Natalie: “Really? I thought she was just doing it for fun.”

April 16. We’re explaining Passover. Dad says he used to get a little tipsy from all the wine. Natalie wants to know why she can’t try it, because all the other kids in drama camp are allowed to drink. We say she can, we’ll get some Manischewitz… wait a minute, all the kids in camp are drinking? “Not all the time. Sometimes they’re limited.”

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