“Mind if I change out of this? ‘Cuz, for normal, everyday use, I won’t want to.”
Mom asks Dad: “Did she charm the pants offa Sharon?” He says he thinks so.
Natalie: “Uh, she did go to the bathroom, but–I don’t think so.”
“What’s a million and a half?” What? Uhh…it’s a million and a half. “Which is??” WHAT? It’s a million and a half. “What’s the half?” Half a million! “Which IS??” WHAT DO YOU MEAN??! “The number!” A half a million is five hundred thousand. “Thank you.”
Tried to tell the girl that pi doesn’t mean infinity; it just has infinite digits. But it’s less than 3.2. The digits are after the decimal point… “Okay. Don’t get me started on high school math. I’m still in grade school. No high school.”
“A couple of hours ago, I was lying around thinking. As you know, I sometimes do that.” Earlier it was something about lying, thinking around, lying about thinking around…I can’t keep up.
Dad, looking around the kitchen: “Do you have bowls in your room?”
Mom: “I think all the world’s bowls are in her room.”
Natalie: “Uh, dihh, I’ve never been to China…I would not be a good waitress. I would never be able to bring the bowls back, so I would not be a good waitress.”
To Cindy: “You got my art wet! No advantage of taking my hair for three weeks!”
On the new dog, who came to us with the rescue name “Tay” and whom we named Cookie:
“Aw, Tay’s gonna be a liking.”
“Now I can finally say I have five pets.”
“Are you laughing at my ideas because I’m, stupidy dead?
Natalie told a winding story about Nature’s Classroom and finally ended with: “It’s probably too much than you wanted to know.” I told her of course I wanted to hear it all. “Really? Yay!”
Q: Where does a ghost live?
A: In a terrortory.
Bath water: “It almost makes super mini tidal waves.”
“I hope I don’t get it. I’ve never been real fans of ooniebrows.”
Mom: “You don’t feel like you’re going to vomit again?”
Natalie: “No. But I feel like I shouldn’t do much–activeness, yet.”
We’re going to get rid of most of Natalie’s unused crafting supplies and she doesn’t want to do it today. “It’s called cleaning. And you know it’s one of my worst favorites. And I know you know what that means.”
“How do you like my outfit for tomorrow? I thought I’d do the calmness of pink and blue, plus the craziness of a rainbow necklace with a flower.”
On her assistant teacher, Patrick (I think I talked about the new fourth graders coming in and called them fresh meat):
“He probably doesn’t taste good, except for the meat. And I don’t think about the meat much.”
Natalie hears a tune on the car radio. “Oh, I first heard that on Aquascapes. Surprising, yet truthful.”
At Benson’s we looked at cat toys to give Kayla for her 10th birthday. She has three cats. Natalie asked: “Do cats see in color?” I don’t know, I said. Natalie chose a sparkly lavender mouse. “Do they see in sparkle?” Then Natalie asked if a gift card with a picture of a cat means her friend has to get a cat.
Natalie’s sort of glad Alison may not be coming back to our school this year. “She can be judgeful.”
Natalie decided to crawl backwards from the dining room into the kitchen. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if I made breakfast backwards? That means moon-down-down-chicken. Instead of sunny-side up egg.”
Natalie: “What is this?”
Me: “Raw broccoli raab.”
Natalie: “…What kind of vegetable steals?”
She’s one of us
I tell Josh about my nap dream, that I was away at a hotel, finishing up school but probably going to fail or get an incomplete for one where I skipped some classes and the final. And our marriage was in tatters and I wanted to save it. Natalie understands: “I get you. I felt that with friendship.”
Two little doggies sitting on a porch
First comes growl
Then comes bark
Then comes the puppy, as happy as a lark.
“What’s something you like…that’s age-appropriate, not like popping pimples?”
I’m washing a tie-dye shirt from camp, in the bathroom sink. The water is a gorgeous deep pink.
Me: “It’s the prettiest color…”
Natalie: “…in THY whole world.”
Me: “Thy means your.”
Natalie: “I know. I’m trying to not make sense in Shakespearean times.”
“Just to my liking.”
“I don’t want cooking oil in my hair. The smoke alarm will go off.”
“I’m not one for poses. I’d rather keep memories of it by standing there. Memories are more special than photos.”
“Alzheimer’s Dimension, what?? …They should really change the name.”
“I don’t know why, but I like the smell of Target. Do you?” Yes.”Finally, someone who agrees with me that Target smells nice. Finally, I know that I’m not alone in liking the smell of Target.”
Mom: “Gray and white go with so much.”
Natalie: “White goes with lots of so much.”
Natalie wants to know why Daddy would take issue with me posting a pic of Cookie snuggled next to him as he dozes on the couch. I don’t know, I say. Maybe he thinks it’s not manly to nap? “I think it’s VERY manly to nap,” she wisely opines.
“To me, Indian Ladder Farms is kind of famous for cider donuts.”
“I only use my knife in emergencies.” Oh yeah? “Yeah. I only use my fork and fork onlyyy.”
“If you’re gonna talk and argue about science, why don’t you just enter Science College.”
I showed her a video of a raccoon carefully taking food from a human hand. “Is it like, Raccoon Day, National Raccoon Day?” No. “Uh, International?”
To Cindy as she fiddled with her own hair:
“What’re ya doin’ with your hair? Wishing it was curly?”
Natalie: “We have to teach Cookie to like peanut butter.”
Mom: “No, we don’t actually have to–”
Natalie: “No, we have to. Dogs heart peanut butter. It’s the rule.”
A guy at the Chinese buffet tonight was disgusting. He tried food at the trays and licked his fingers. I said I thought of telling him off, but you never know if someone has a gun or something. You never know if they’ll get dangerous, if you piss them off. “I can get pissed at you if I want,” said Natalie. “You only become dangerous at bedtime.”
PILONCY: Having a license to fly a plane.
I saw what I’d done and announced: “That is a remarkable poo.”
I heard Natalie’s door closing tighter.
“Helium goes up. That’s a fact. Not a statement.”
The baby has another stomach thing. It started yesterday afternoon at school; Daddy had to pick her up. This morning she sat up in bed suddenly to lean over the bowl, and apologized to me: “Sorry there was no notice.” … “I’m truly sorry about today. You could be at a meeting having fun, but right now you have to make a bathtub.”
Mom: “Actually, no coffee.”
Natalie: “At a time like this? I never knew that you could say that.”
I poured about an inch of “Orange” Gatorade for the baby. “Isn’t that a bit much for one sip for a sick girl?”
Mom, softly encouraging the upchucking: “Go ahead…bring it up.”
Natalie: “It won’t work. You’re putting it into the thinking part of my head. Not the doing part of my head.”
“Just getting mucus out of my nose. I accidentally said ‘me’. Didn’t mean to be one of those oldie types. One of those old Western types.”A lso she wishes she was back in fourth grade when she didn’t have to learn olde-style words for the Upper El Shakespeare production. She hopes they do Macbeth because it doesn’t have so many of those words.
I trimmed the hell out of Perry’s right ear to keep the longass tendrils from making his surgical wound worse than it already is. And Natalie says: “Wow. I can actually see Perry’s ear without hair interruption. I like it.”
Cherry Pedialyte, then water: “Ew. Together they taste like moldy grass.”
Natalie can carry an unwilling Cookie to the back door to go out, because she’s light. “Light colored, light in weight, and light in heart. ‘Cause there’s a fire glowing from love.”
I saw stuff on the bathroom counter that should have been put into a drawer. “Oh, fuck me,” I muttered, and called out for my kid. “You don’t fuck,” she answered. I didn’t follow up to find out what she thinks she was saying, and, thankfully, she let it go.
Me: “…Sometimes we fight.”
Her: “Which is why I try to keep you guys against it.”
“Are you the one who told her about my math games? ‘Cause I surely didn’t.”
Daddy: She looked kind of glum when I picked her up, so I asked her how her day was. And she said, “Well, it wasn’t a week to remember, but it wasn’t a week to forget.”
NATALIE: It was kinda like a ‘So I had a week’.
(And it’s only Tuesday.)
“Did someone just mutter ‘psoriasis’?…What is psoriasis?”
Natalie joins me in the bathroom.
Natalie: “Are your hands clean? Because there aren’t any cups in here.”
Mom: “Why can’t you drink out of your own hand?”
Natalie: “Because your hand is bigger, and nicer, and soothinger.”
We just got the Evite for the Upper El Picnic next Monday evening. “Can I go choose my outfit? If it’s a week later, that’s totally okay than a month, right? Right?”
“UUUHHHHNNNNH. …That was quite random. I was like, UUUHNNHNH. I was being like Gretchen. Have you ever heard her?”
Dad: “Don’t scowl at me. You should have cleaned it right the first time.”
Natalie: “It’s not just you. IT’S WHOEVER INVENTED CLEANING.”…”This is the kind of thing I was hoping NOT to do while I’m still in my depression.”
“No. I’m making a presentation today, and ponytails don’t bring anything out in my personality.”
“I wanted to evolve so I didn’t have to breathe all the time. It’s boring, just boring!”
We saw two planes pass each other overhead. Natalie thought they would crash. They didn’t, but I said they went too close. “Lose your piloncy! They should lose their piloncy for going too close. Shouldn’t they?”
We talked about becoming better people. “I’m better than I was in first grade. Way better handwriting, I think.”
I tell Natalie she’s in a kind of in-between age where emotions can be unpredictable. “In betweens. I knew turning ten would have its downs.”
The girls are eating Confetti Bites at Natalie’s party and the convo turns to awwul things like Lyme disease and bird poo and using hot needles to remove ticks…”Okay, let’s only talk about good things now. It’s making me not appetized.”
Me, after the birthday party where Liesl, Ana, Skyler, Elena, and Natalie made 10,000 shredded paper bits go everywhere and it took a group effort of 45 minutes to get things under control: “You have some cleaning to do.”
Natalie: “Okay. I’m tolerating that. I’m tolerating that.”
Daddy tells Natalie how much Grandpa loves gadgets and how he once paid $500 for an early Heathkit calculator that did basic arithmetic. “Then he would really like these days.”
Natalie’s not vomiting any more, and Daddy said there are sighs of relief up and down the Eastern Seaboard. “Easter in Seaboard? What’s that?”
Natalie’s not vomiting any more, but she’s slow and a bit weak. She wants to know if it’s okay to walk slow. “Good. I can not go fast. It’s a disability.”
I reassure Natalie that a stupid running-across-the-gym test in January should not ruin the next three months. I make her breathe and then blow out the worry into my palm. Then I throw it in the trash.
Me: “It’s going to be a great year!”
Natalie: “Full of hope–fully neatness? My goal is to be neat this year.”
Natalie needs more time in the tub before we do hair. “I was right in the middle of the ceremony of the game.”
Me”…Sometimes we fight.”
Her: “Which is why I try to keep you guys against it.”
Natalie hates that her class has gym on Thursdays and Fridays because it ruins the end of her week. When kids talk on their way back to class, they’re called up to the front of the line so the teacher can keep a closer eye on them. Usually it’s the boys. And since Natalie likes being at the front of the line, the boys end up in grave proximity. And they’re sweaty and they smell really bad. Especially Tristan…”He’s the most athletic boy and the most smelly boy.”
We’re comparing hands. “I want to make sure I still have a child hand.”
“I only want to read, and I’m worried that it’s affecting my personality.”
“It’s just that every time you put a piece of banana in my mouth, it increases the chances that I’m going to blarg.” Because they have a texture that makes her want to barf.
10/3/15: Words on the way out while Daddy stroked her back, no Benadryl needed:
“Yes?…Mmm. …Sorry. Gross. …Who threw all that? …Yep.”
In the middle of a 100-piece Jurassic Park puzzle: “LET MY MASTER WORK…do stuff.”
Mom has a LOT of dental work and expenses. A very expensive mouth. “I think you’re mouth is priceless, not just expensive.”
We’re working on reducing the heinous uptalking. “Is it something contagious? Is it like a sickness?”
Mom: “I advocate for being gentle with kids.”
Natalie: “I don’t know about that.”
“If you’re gonna talk and argue about science, why don’t you just enter science college?”
They’ll study early American History this year. “At first I was thinking I could study Alexander the Great, but then I decided to study the Declaration of Independence, because I could print out the Declaration of Independences that don’t have anything on them, and they could fill them out.”
“You know what would be a good name for a candy shop? Hudson Candy Spree. It just sounds correct to me.”
“I know. It’s beautiful, on my opinion.”
“Who else? ‘Cuz there are lots of camp usuals who come almost all the time.”
“Two little birdies that I won’t mention ruined my day.”
Organizing doll clothes, I hold up a little shirt. Is this baby or girl? I ask. “I think girl,” says Natalie. “I’ve seen Lizzy wear it.”
Lizzy’s glasses have no lenses. I ask if they had had glass in them before. “Yes. But I just went back to them one day and they didn’t.”
She leaves to get something for the surprise party the other dolls are planning for Lizzy. “Make sure she doesn’t awake.”
An old porcelain doll of mine was uncovered in the cleaning effort, and she’s missing an eye. Natalie is creeped out although I’m trying to make it about not rejecting people for disabilities. Or something. “She looks like she’s looking into my life. And trying to find out secrets about me.” I advise telling the doll a secret so she’ll already know something. Natalie says she has no secrets. Right.
I also bring out my handmade beaded bridal choker and earrings. Some of the beads have yellowed and it’s still quite beautiful. Natalie is entranced. “Can I wear this if I ever get married?” Of course, I say. “Will you come to my wedding if I ever get married?” WHAT??! How would I not attend my own daughter’s wedding– “If you have plans or something.”
“No, we’re becoming cardboard tinters.”
“So, I heard that Grandpa’s losing his mind.”
“If you ever have to get a different job, you should be a psychiatress or a patchmaker.”
“Whoa. You’re letting me get a donut. …Did someone switch out your brain even though you still love me?”
“Can I actually draw something on the piece of paper? I can’t stand a day without drawing. I won’t have much time to draw today.” I wrote a note with this quote: “Plan foiled.” And I’m typing this so long after that I have no idea what that was about.
“And it’s my favorite kind of bridge. That was a good experience.”
“You can kind of tell she’s one of those weird bossy girls.” This went with a drawing of a girl with a label saying: Do not be friends with her. >:(
“Just because I’m double digits, no one gets that I still want to be a 7-year-old.”
Mom: “How much better is it? A little, medium, or a lot?”
Natalie: “A quarter of a little. A little.”
“It’s just, she’s not the kind of girl who tries to spell harder than everyone. And she’s not a very competitiony kind of girl.”
“You know what would be the good kind of store? A store where everything is free to normal people, but robbers need to pay for it.”
“It’s been my companion for years and years.” I think she was referring to a sweater.
“I have two new kids on the bus. And I don’t tell them, but they smell odd.”
“Why is it always that way? Every genius I meet has some sort of problem. …That’s sort of sophisticated for a parent.”