Hi, I’m Krista. I Break Minds.

One night last week, during our most recent spate of winter storms and school closures, my five-year-old told me that I was “cracking her heart into pieces” so badly that “even her mind was breaking.”

I earned this opprobrium when I responded to her request for paint so she could make “an angel with brown skin, a white dress, and beautiful gold hair” by saying, “No. Seriously. No. Go watch TV.” She was crestfallen —  heartbroken —  her mind had been shattered. If ever there were a pathetic creature, it was my child that night. I was unmoved.

I am heartless, I know. But before you judge me, wait for the context.

First of all, I was eating dinner. There is a beast that lives within me, and when she gets hungry, we feed her. My husband learned this lesson very early in our relationship. My kids seem to face a much steeper learning curve, or maybe they just don’t care about the consequences of interrupting a hungry beast at feeding time. Whatever the case may be, they think it is totally appropriate to do stuff like try to kill each other, or pee on the couch, or ask for art supplies while I am eating.

Secondly, it’s been a long winter of snow days. And most of them haven’t been the fun, “you wanna build a snowman” kind of snow day. Many were so bitterly cold that my thin-blooded girls were crying after 5 minutes of being outside. Then there was the storm that dropped so much snow on us that their short little legs couldn’t navigate through it. And even on the snow days when they could play outside, the outdoor fun never lasted more than 2 hours.

It was deep.

I’m not kidding, it really was deep.

We just don't get snow like this in Maryland!

We just don’t get snow like this in my part of the world!

The rest of the time, we were inside — crafting.

We drew, we glued, we painted, we cut (oh, the paper we cut!), we stamped, we beaded. We marker-ed our markers dry and the Lorax wept for all the paper we used. We mixed media, and we built things, and we littered our kitchen with art supplies.

I cleaned green paint off of brushes, clothing, fingers, faces, and furniture. I negotiated peace after an epic battle over glitter glue. I have peeled countless stickers off of every accessible surface of our home and I am still finding them in random places, like on the side of the toilet bowl and in my shoes. So after a winter of making stuff, when a snowstorm in March kept my girls home from school for two additional days, I felt no guilt over breaking my baby girl’s mind by denying her evening request for paint.

I didn't think we'd make a dent in these. We did.

I didn’t think we’d make a dent in these. We did.

People tell me that the girls will remember these days and the time we spent together fondly. I’m sure they will. My daughter seems to have recovered the use of her mind, without any permanent damage to its faculties. Certainly, her gift for hyperbole hasn’t suffered. She will be ok.

Meanwhile, it is March 13 and currently 30 degrees outside, with the “feels like” temperature at 21 degrees. A fierce and bitter wind is blowing. I just read a headline suggesting the possibility for snow on St. Patrick’s Day. And in my cabinet, I have a Ziplock bag, and in that bag are shamrock shapes and stickers, and green glitter glue, and a rainbow paint set, all just waiting for little fingers to craft with them.

Hi, my name is Krista, and my mind is breaking.

The World Belongs to Such as These

Last Sunday, my five-year-old and I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon together, just the two of us, at a local indoor pool. With a younger sibling at home and a full day at school, time spent one-on-one has been rare this year. I’ve missed her.

My girl has a prolific imagination and spends most of her unoccupied time making up or enacting stories. As she has been learning so many new things this year, I have had the gratifying pleasure to observe how she weaves the new facts and ideas percolating in her brain into her stories and play.

So when we packed up go to the pool, I was interested to see her stash three princess figurines, three plastic cupcakes and a baby doll into her toy bag. I never really know where she will go with things.

When we got to the swim center, she headed straight for the baby pool, where she began setting up a scene. First, she brought out the three princesses and lined them up along the side of the pool. She placed a plastic cupcake in front of each. Then she went to her bag and brought out her baby. She carefully cradled it in her arm and carried it into the pool.

And then she baptized that baby, in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen, using water consecrated with chlorine and the contents of a half-dozen swim diapers.

When I asked her about it, she explained to me that she had learned about baptism in her religious education class that morning. She told me that baptism is how we become a part of God’s family. And because she loves her baby doll, she wants her to become a part of our family. Therefore, a baptism was clearly in order.

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It was an achingly sweet moment, the kind that reminds parents that bringing their child into the world really was the best thing they have ever done. It made me proud of her. It also made me reflect on and appreciate the best thing children do for us — allowing us grown ups to witness the fertility of their minds and the largess of their imaginations.

Most of us recognize the story from the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus urges his disciples to bring the children to him, because “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” It is a story that tends to be linked to the idea that what is most valuable in children is their innocence and unworldliness. It seems to imply that children, in their dearth of experience, are better able to absorb the teachings of faith, and indeed of the world around them. I don’t believe that this is a strictly religious way of thinking. There is a common tendency to think of children as blank slates waiting to be written upon.

Children are certainly unworldly. There is necessarily an innocence to the way they approach their world. They have no basis of comparison. They have no prejudice. Their minds are open. They are open, but I don’t think they are waiting, passively, for us to shape them. 

If I have learned anything about children and the way they approach life, it is that they do so through constant questioning and experimenting. They are endlessly pushing the boundaries of their universe. And these attributes apply equally to the way they understand faith and the way they process new facts.

When I think of my daughter, who is at that perfectly ripe age when the concepts of faith and fact are just coming within her intellectual grasp, I see nothing passive about her approach to the world. All I see is activity – a dynamic, unrestrained pursuit for more knowledge, a constant pushing and stretching of the limits of her understanding.

I hear her asking why, and no matter how thorough an answer I give, I hear her asking why again. I see her acting out, and re-enacting, what she is learning so that, through interpretation and experience, it becomes a part of who she is.

When I think of the idea that “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” I don’t see it as a calling to submissiveness or innocence. I see it as a calling for us to approach faith — and reason — like children do – with flexibility, enthusiasm, ceaseless questioning, and a mind with ever-expanding boundaries. Those are the best things that children have to offer the world, and we adults should not forget that.

After my daughter finished her charming baptism by pool water, as I was thinking about the profundity of what her mind, and the minds of all children like her, will bring to our future, she reminded me of something else.

She tossed her baby to the side of the pool and, splashing, shouted, “Mommy, that boy FARTED! He made BUBBLES in the WATER!” While I blushed and suppressed my silent laughter, I reflected on the next best thing children have to offer the world: their uninhibited appreciation for bathroom humor.

Life is best lived with curiosity, questioning, a mind without boundaries, and the ability to laugh at our bodily functions.

Impossible Cuteness

There are many days when my two-year-old is impossible. I mean, she is two. And she is tiny and feisty and stubborn and smart and really, really good at getting her own way. She can be exhausting.

But then there are days when she is just impossibly cute. So cute that I want to squish her up into a little blond meatball and gobble her up. (Hey, I was raised with an Italian grandma and a Polish grandma in my life. We love our babies through food imagery.) Today was one of those days.

She was mad at me (surprise!), so she sat down on a kitchen chair and said, “Well, I jus’ gonna sit hewe and be fwustwated! Hmph!

Hmph!

Hmph!

And since today is Wednesday, and my friend Julie at These Walls has introduced me to the Moxie Wife’s Five Favorites series, and this little turkey kielbasa really is pretty cute, I will add a few more of my favorite photos. I will call this series the Silly Time Spectacular! 

I was supposed to be the "easy" one.

I was supposed to be the calm one.

We can’t leave out the classic naked spaghetti picture.

I'm naked. I'm eating spaghetti. Life is good.

I’m naked. I’m eating spaghetti. Life is good.

And then there’s the one where she puts together an outfit.

Caption THIS!

Caption THIS!

And the one where she tries to take all of her clothes off but they get stuck around her little heiny.

Meatballs, amiright?!

Meatballs, amiright?!

And now I am signing off. I have some meatballs to make!

fivefavorites

When It Snows Below the Mason Dixon Line

My plans for this week were simple: 1. To clean. 2. To wrap Christmas presents. I find that if I keep my goals pathetically easy, I can be an incredibly efficient person. It’s amazing how that works.

But it turns out that Mother Nature has had other plans for me. She brought us Marylanders an unseasonably early set of snowstorms, which have cancelled school for two days.

Yesterday, it was wet and icy, so we had a full day stuck inside. It’s all a blur to me; the only part of the day that I really remember was my trip to my doctor’s office where I learned that I still have strep throat, despite having undergone a full course of antibiotics two weeks ago.

Today, after my new antibiotic regimen has kicked in with unusual force, I am a little more aware of my surroundings. Which is good, because a second snow day with a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old who are both crushed that they couldn’t go to school requires a LOT of energy.

By 9:30, I was questioning my life choices. It’s now 4:42 pm, and this is the run down of how my day has gone:

Rooms cleaned: 0
Rooms made even messier: Every single one.
Gifts wrapped: 0
Time outs: 12. At least.
Labor-intensive Christmas crafts: 4.
Craft-related meltdowns: 4.
Sibling fights: I stopped counting.
Tears: Seriously, who can count that high?
Shattered glasses: 1.
TV shows: Um, 8?
Princess movies: 1.
Snowmen: 1.
Walks through the wintery woods: 1.
Rocks thrown in the stream: lots.
Faceplants into the stream: 1.
Children carried home crying: 1.
Wet, muddy children: 2.
Soaked items of clothing: 10.
Epic meltdowns related to the usage of stickers: 1.
Cups of cocoa thrown on the floor: 1.
Number of times a kid told me she was sooo happy: 4.
Worth it? Yes.
The number of prayers I will say tonight begging God that schools be open tomorrow: I’m going to start now and never stop.

It’s been a long day. Luckily, the roads are cleared enough for my husband to go out for pizza. Which he will be doing. Even if he has to walk. Seriously, I mean it.

There were also some precious moments, and I was fortunate to be able to catch many of them on camera for all the world (or the 5-ish people who read this blog) to see.

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Trotting Turkeys

This is *not* what I looked like

Last week, I volunteered at my daughter’s elementary school turkey trot. All of the 400-plus students in her school participated, from Kindergarten to fifth grade. The fourth and fifth grades were expected to run a full mile, which meant they had to make four long laps around the baseball fields behind their school. Third grade ran three laps, second and first grades ran two, and the kindergarteners only had to run one.  The girls ran first, and then the boys.

I was stationed way out at the third corner of the makeshift track. My job was to motivate the students and to keep them from cheating by cutting across the baseball field backstop.

I was away from the main action, with the starting line not even within shouting distance. I wasn’t recording time or congratulating the kids as they passed the finish line. But even though I wasn’t in the thick of things, I was in the perfect position to observe. And as an observer, I noticed some interesting things.

First of all, 9- and 10-year-olds excel at making it absolutely clear when they do NOT want to do something. They thrive in situations that give them the power to do this passive-aggressively, and they (silently) rejoice when the planets align and they can passive-aggressively display their supreme disinterest while also managing to exert some level of control over the adults in their lives. And in an elementary school turkey trot, boy, do those planets align.

I called these kids the “walkers with attitude.” These were the kids who Were. Not. Running. It was enough that they condescended to stroll, slowly, and in groups. But run? Oh, no. Oh no, no, no.

Let me tell you, it is painful to stand in the corner of a field on a cold fall morning and watch a group of kids amble at a snail’s pace over a 1 mile course. Painful. After almost 20 minutes, when the slowest of the slow were still only on their second lap, I’d had enough. I started to run. I ran up to them as they approached me, and I made them run with me for about a 100 yard stretch. Then I would run up to the next group, and escort them. This strategy was actually more effective than you might expect, and I even got some smiles from kids as they approached me saying to their friends, “ok, we HAVE to run here.”

Still, there were a few who weren’t having it. And oh, the looks they gave me. I don’t envy our teachers.

Then there were the runners. These kids were impressive.  Where the other kids started off sprinting, they paced themselves. They ran consistently and intelligently and showed a level of discipline that I, who have always loved to run, didn’t understand until I was in high school. The most memorable of these students was a 5th grade girl who could teach much older, and much more experienced, runners a few things. She was so good that, out of all 6 grades, she was the only girl who had ALL the boys in her class cheering for her.

Which brings us to the helpers. The girls. The girls who danced and cheered for the boys who were running. The girls who slowed down so their friend with asthma didn’t have to walk alone. The girls who turned around when they were finished to walk with their friend with Down Syndrome, who needed someone to hold her hand.

These were the girls who brought out my feminist ambivalence. The girls who made me WANT to shout “You don’t HAVE to do this! That’s why I am
here! Run your own race! You can be fast and powerful! RUN!” But who, instead, made me feel proud and hopeful in the knowledge that the helpers of the future, the people who will keep our world together, are growing up to be exactly what we need the most.

If the walkers and the runners and the helpers are the groups who stood out the most to me, there were two individual students who I will remember above all: the smeller of roses and the cheetah.

The smeller of roses was a kindergartener who came in dead last. (Just after my own daughter, the talker, who took advantage of the situation to hold her teacher’s hand and chat. But that’s another story.) This little girl started off walking, and walked the whole way. She was totally unmoved by peer pressure. Unlike the older kids, she wasn’t walking to prove anything. She was walking because it was a nice afternoon and there were things to look at. Things like the pale pink bead she found and showed me after the race. While the other kids were taking advantage of some post-race playground time, this little girl was proudly telling me about the beautiful treasure she had found during her walk around the field.

And then there was my cheetah. My fourth-grade friend who came up to my post walking, with “attitude” written all over his face. But as he came closer, I noticed that despite the stony expression on his face, he was crying.

I asked him if I could run with him, but his response was a hard NO. No, he would not run. He hated the turkey trot. He always came in last. I tried telling him that of course he would come in last if he didn’t at least try to run. He wasn’t having it. The tears continued to stream down his face.

His anger and frustration and tears continued to his very last lap, when finally another mother and I walked with him, to encourage him to run at least the last 100 yards of the race. We tried to get him talking, to get him to focus on something positive rather than the negative feelings he was experiencing at that moment.  After a few minutes of denying interest in any topic whatsoever, he finally broke down. “I like The Wild Kratts. And I like cheetahs. When I run, I want to feel like a cheetah. But I don’t. I don’t feel like a cheetah. I’m too slow. So I don’t  run. I can’t run.”

So the other mom and I each took one of his hands, and instead of running like cheetahs, we ran like turkeys. And all three of us crossed the finish line running.

Modern Elementary

Last Friday we went to my daughter’s first elementary school event, a PTA-sponsored ice cream social. I figured that we would go there, eat some ice cream and, you know, be social. My main goal was to meet the parents of the boys (yes, boyS) who, according to my daughter, have been trying to kiss her during recess. I expected a tame, grade school event that was no different or more exciting than all of the other events I went to when I was a kid in school.

What I did not expect was a dance party in the gym with an actual DJ. I didn’t expect to see a bunch of grade school kids dancing to “Cha Cha Slide” or “Gagnam Style” or “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” And I really didn’t expect them to be good — like, really good. The older girls seemed to know all the hip-hop moves, and some of the boys were actually breakdancing. Even my preschooler’s 2-year-old classmate was putting the grownups to shame with her skills.

Apparently, public school events in the 21st century are way different from the kind we had at Catholic school in the 1980’s. For starters, the principal was in attendance — and bobbing his head appreciatively — while music that included the word “sexy” was being played (loudly). Sister Madonna, my elementary school principal, was one of the loveliest women I have ever known, but I shudder to think what would have happened if any of her students had even whispered the lyrics to “Gagnam Style” within her hearing.

In fact, throughout most of the event I found myself either staring at the scene like an anthropologist who has just discovered an unknown tribal ritual (“what is that cha-cha thing they’re doing?”) or reminding myself that this was not 1999, I was not in college (there was no G&T at the drinks table), and it would be HUGELY embarrassing for me to break out my Elaine dance during “Cotton-Eyed Joe” in front of my daughter’s principal.

Yeah, that’s right, I said my “Elaine dance.” Because I’m old and I used to watch Seinfeld and, it would seem, I am totally unprepared for modern parenthood.

Because she is my child, my daughter spent the entire dance party running in circles around the gym. AS IT SHOULD BE. ;-)

Because she is my child, my daughter spent the entire dance party running in circles around the gym. AS IT SHOULD BE. 😉

Remembering The World We Left Behind

When we were on vacation this summer, my cousin went into premature labor with her third baby. It had been a difficult pregnancy, which ended in a challenging labor, and I felt awful that I wasn’t there to help her through it.

My older daughter overheard me telling my husband how bad I felt that we were away — and how much I was looking forward to meeting the newest member of our extended family — and told me she had an idea for something we could do to welcome her brand new baby cousin.

Her idea was to take pictures (of everything) so we could show the baby what his new life would be like. I had never let her use our camera before — I’d already broken it myself and trusted her five-year-old fingers even less than my own– but her offer was too endearing for me to resist. So I handed it over and off she went, recording her world as she saw it.

***

My daughter kept up her photography project after we got home, and I had the best of intentions to upload and make prints of her pictures so we could give them to my cousin for her son. But the last few busy weeks of summer led us into the even busier weeks of a new school year and I kept putting that project to the side. It wasn’t until just a few days ago that I finally had a chance to sit down and really look at the images my girl had recorded.

I may be viewing the through the lens of motherly pride, but as I went through my daughter’s pictures, I grew increasingly more impressed by what I was seeing. That’s not to say that her pictures are masterpieces of composition — we’re not raising a young Ansel Adams here. But they are expressive photos, and they reminded me of how different the world is for us when we are small —  they reminded me of the way we see things before others start telling us what to look for.

My daughter took pictures of shadows. She took pictures of feet — the toes of her own shoes pointing toward the toes of her father’s. She took pictures of her sister, capturing her silliness, zooming in on the curve of her chin, highlighting the brilliance of her blue eyes. She took pictures of the texture of the clothes she was wearing, of the wrought iron of a patio table, of her own reflection in the side of our car. At dinner one night, she photographed the family sitting around her, the items on the table, and the room we were in from the perspective of someone who is just over three feet tall. (And for the record, ALL adults, when photographed from below, have double chins. It is a law of physics.) She indulged enthusiastically in the art of the selfie, experimenting in expressions and recording them at arm’s length.

***

May daughter’s pictures were in distinct contrast to my own, which were dedicated to recording the moments I wanted to remember — not so much for the way they really happened, but so that I could string  them together and present them in beautiful color to my future self. My pictures were a collection of the images I wanted myself — and others — to see about the life we are living.  They said things like, “the beach is fun!” Or, “Look! We saw dolphins! Aren’t we cool?!” Or, “My kids are beautiful and smile a lot and this life we are living is really awesome.” They are, and they do, and it is, but I have profited more from looking at things from my daughter’s perspective than I have from trying — often in vain — to capture and preserve the best moments of my life.

My daughter’s pictures are simple. They are entirely without artifice or intent. They are just a reflection of a child’s world, recorded by one child for another. There is no need for embellishment because the world to a five-year-old is magical enough without it.

***

Click on any picture to view as a slideshow

Existentialism for Toddlers

Trying to have a conversation with a two-year-old can be about as productive as having a conversation with a wall, assuming that the wall screams a lot and sometimes throws things at you and is often violently disappointed by life.

This week, my two-year-old has decided that nearly everything the universe has to offer is yucky. It’s not so much that she feels a general sense of yuckiness about the world around her. It’s more that she keeps requesting things from life, and then whatever it is that life hands her in response is a shattering letdown. (And by life, I really mean “her mother”.)

No! Not dis life mommy! Dis life YUCKY!!

No! Not dis life mommy! Dis life YUCKY!!

For example, yesterday we had this conversation:
Two-Year-Old: Mommy, I watch Max and Wooby on TV?
Me: Sure, sweetie, here you go.
TYO: NO! Not DAT Max and Wooby! Dat one YUCKY!

Then we had this conversation:
TYO: Mommy, I need apple pease.
Me: Sure, sweetie, here you go.
TYO: NO! Not DAT apple! Dat apple green! Dat YUCKY!

And then, at the end of the day, there was this one:
TYO: Mommy, hold you?
Me, feeling warm and fuzzy inside: Of course I will hold you!
TYO: NO! Not Mommy hold me! Daddy hold me! Mommy YUCKY!

(That one hurt)

But this morning, we had a breakthrough. She asked for bread for breakfast, and when I gave her toast with peanut butter, she didn’t scream, “NO! Dat YUCKY!”

Instead, she said, “NO! Dat bread gis-GUSTING!”

Oreos, however, are not yucky.

Oreos are not yucky.

See? We’re making progress!

The Soldiers Marched to War

A few weeks ago, my five-year-old daughter stood for the first time on a stage, facing an audience, with a role in a play and her very own line to speak:

And the soldiers marched to war.”

It wasn’t a real play, just a narrated reenactment of Disney’s Mulan, produced by a county summer camp program. I had watched her perform before, lined up with her nursery school friends, wearing paper bag Indian costumes, singing songs about turkeys and pilgrims.

But something about the sight of my little girl craning her neck to reach the standing microphone and then belting out her line, boldly and proudly, caused a body slam of confused emotions – pride, nostalgia, anxiety, relief, and that strange feeling of loss that parents can feel even when holding their child in their arms.

It was the same moiling brew of emotions that I have found myself tampering down at random moments ever since the summer began with full time kindergarten waiting for us at its end. So I was familiar with those feelings, but rather surprised by their force.

I can’t say exactly why that one moment of my daughter’s performance was so emotionally powerful. Perhaps it was simply the sight of her, singled out in the spotlight, so small, yet so confident and capable, on that big stage.

Perhaps it was the line itself. I tend to think in hyperbole, and it’s not too much of an exaggeration to compare our school years to war. My own memories recall that time as a series of battles of who is in and who is out; who is good enough and who is somehow lacking. It’s a never-ending game of social King of the Hill, and my baby was about to march innocently into it.

***

Going into parenthood, we already know from our own experience that growing up is hard to do. What we don’t know is that it’s even harder when it is happening to our children.

They start out so small, so squishable, with curlicue bodies and necks that seem to be made of pipe cleaners. They don’t cry; they mewl. Everything they do – every yawn, every jerky kick, every sleepy half-smile – is miraculous. To feel their weight on your chest is to be branded forever with love and possessiveness for that person in that body. And forever means that even when you are ninety, and in a nursing home, and your sixty-year-old son is holding your hand, you are longing to hold the infant you bore decades before. I have that on my grandmother’s authority.

Yes, boys and girls, this is what your mother sees every time she looks at you.

Yes, boys and girls, this is what your mother sees every time she looks at you.

Which is why hugging your five-year-old goodbye, and sending her off into an educational system that can nurture and teach, but can’t ensure that she always has a friend to sit next to at lunch, is such an overwhelmingly emotional thing for a mother to do. Not just because that world can be scary, but because entering it represents yet another step your child is taking away from you. Their independence is at the same time thrilling (and freeing!) and heartbreaking.

***

These are the feelings that have followed me throughout the past few months. They are the feelings that I know will overtake me tomorrow, when I drop my kindergartener off for her very first day of elementary school.

But over the last few days, as I have found myself thinking almost non-stop about this looming change in our lives, I have come to understand one other thing. That with every step our children take toward their own independence, they are both walking away from us, their parents, and walking toward us.

I will never hold my newly born first child in my arms again. Even though there are moments when I ache do so, that time has passed. But as my daughter becomes more independent, and as I become less necessary to her, she will become completely herself. And as she grows into the person she was created to become, I have the good fortune not only to witness her transformation, but also to meet her, as equals, at the other side of it.

So tomorrow, as I stifle my tears at the loss of this part of my baby girl’s childhood, I will be reminding myself that the only gift greater than the birth of a child is seeing that child shine in the light of her own fulfilled potential.

Apples, Revisted

It’s been a while since I have posted. This isn’t because I haven’t been thinking about lots of interesting things to write about — I have been. But all of that has been going on somewhere in the back of my brain.The front of my brain — or whatever part of it that operates the things I actually do as opposed to the things I THINK about doing — has been engaged in conversations like this with my two-year-old:

Me: Do you want an apple?
Two Year Old: NO! I ALL DONE to apples!
Then, 10 minutes later, in car, running late for big sister’s camp drop-off…
TYO: Mama, I NEED apple right now.
Me: Sorry baby, we don’t have any apples.
TYO: Screams, cries, begs for apples so persuasively that I change my plans for the day and go home to get her an apple.
Me: Here is your apple sweetheart. I want to see some BIG bites!
TYO: NOOOO! I NO WANT APPLE! I ALL DONE TO APPLES. Grabs apple and chucks it across the room.

Or this:
Me: TYO, I got your favorite — pumpkin bread. And it has chocolate in it!
TYO: NO! No pun’kin bread. NO CHOCOLATE! I ALL DONE TO CHOCOLATE!

Or this:
Me: On a scale of one to ten, how tired would you say you are, TYO?
TYO: NO! I NO TIRED. Ahhhhhh! ROAR! You go ‘way, mama. I lion. I scary! ROAR! You go away! Followed by approximately 3 minutes of crying, and then:
TYO: Mama! Hold you! I hold you to me right NOW!

Or the conversation we had as I was writing the previous paragraphs:
Me: TYO, do you want some of my cheesy eggs.
TYO: No. I know like cheesy eggs.
Then, as I am putting the last bite of cheesy eggs in my mouth…
TYO: Mama, I need cheesy eggs. PEAAAASE?

All I want is an apple, mama

All I want is an apple, mama


Yeah, it’s been that kind of week.