April 11th, 2008 § 0

scrap cat

After finally letting go of the prolonged e-mail ban precipitated by Alli’s extortion campaign, I relented and found an e-mail account with parent monitoring capabilities, so she’s been back in business for a bit, at least with the family members on her whitelist. Her e-mails are often hysterical, including a series of “fill in the blank forms” that she likes to send out to solicit information from various family members, but we were particularly amused by the following exchange with Aunt Cathy and Uncle Jory:

Tuesday, 4/8, 5pm
ALLI: I am just wondering if mabey we could video chat as soon as we can? Like for ixample in 2 days? Well got to eat dinner now! Send me soon! Love, Alli

Wednesday,4/9, 7am
UNCLE JORY/AUNT CATHY: We have a party to go to Thursday night, how is Friday at 7? Love, Uncle Jory, Aunt Cathy and Jake

Wed, 4/9, 8pm
ALLI: No, were going to somebuddes house on friday at 7:00. what are your timeings for saterday?

Thursday, 4/10, 8am (apparently responses are expected during off-business hours)
ALLI: Whaiting!

Bear in mind that none of this, including initiating the plans, was run by the Mommy or Daddy. I swear, homegirl’s going to need her own Google calendar soon!

Before we left for our spring break travels, Alli had apparently left notes for the cats in various places in the house. We’ve been finding one or two every day since returning. The best was the note left in our bedroom, and went something like this:“Max, by the time you find this note, I’ll probably already be in Michigan! Hugs and kisses, Alli”

Last night:Alli is watching a show about marine animals, and beckons, “you’ve got to see this, Daddy”. She then replays a scene in which Jeff Corwin is holding up a sea turtle and says: “This turtle is often hunted for its flesh and shell, which are ripped off to make [some variety of inane things that people do with animals]…”She’s staring at the TV, then at Daddy, in disbelief. Our thought, of course, is that another point has been racked up in her animal rights outrage collection.

And then she shared the nature of her astonishment. THIS turtle, Daddy? How is it still alive????”

This morning, Alli questioned why her lunch needed to be packed because apparently she woke up thinking it was Saturday. Upon being informed that it was actually Friday, she uttered a huge sigh of relief. The following exchange ensued:

ALLI: I was so glad that Daddy told me it was actually a school day. Because I COMPLETELY forgot that I have a group meeting today!

MOMMY: A group meeting?

ALLI: Yeah, for my animal group.

MOMMY: Your animal group? Is this a project you’re working on?

ALLI: No, it’s just a group I started at lunch. For discussing things.

MOMMY: What kinds of things do you discuss?

ALLI: Well, you know, like different things about animals, and about caring for them, and about caring for the environment, that kind of thing. I forgot to write our list of things to talk about for today.

MOMMY: When do you meet?

ALLI: Well, we meet at lunch, at a separate table.

MOMMY: How many people meet?

ALLI: Well, I started the group so I’m the leader. But anyone who wants to talk about animals can be in the group. She then proceeds to list the girls in her cult group. But I was also able to get Emma in finally, because of her dog thing.

I declined to ask about the dog thing.

She later reported that they decided to call it a group because they didn’t like the word club, and no one would understand what it was if they just called it a “thingy”.

Then the best part:

ALLI: The other group is mostly boys. But I really wasn’t interested in that group.

MOMMY: What does the other group talk about?

ALLI: Well, it’s called the chewed-up food group.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Piece of work

January 11th, 2008 § 2

Our kid, that is.  I was on the right track, locking away the stamps.

Today the following envelope arrived in our mailbox:


Cute, you’re thinking, right?  Yeah, until Andrew and I both realize that neither of us helped her address, stamp, or mail it.  We ask if she did it at school.  “No”, came the sheepish reply.  Questions about where the stamp came from and how she mailed it yielded the party line: “I can’t remember.  I’m pretty sure it was a long time ago.”

So at some point in time, our child addressed herself an envelope, ripped off a stamp, and managed to sneak the whole deal into the outgoing mail.  Impressive as it is frightening.  I feel as if I’m beginning to paint the picture that we abandon our child for hours at a time in order for some of her shenanigans to happen.  Truly, she’s just that good.

At any rate, the high-value work product enclosed is truly priceless:


Note to Self

January 9th, 2008 § 1

Carefully inspect all products and remove order forms before allowing Alli access to holiday gifts.

P.S. Lock away all postage stamps.

And the checkbook.

Tshirt order

Planning ahead

September 28th, 2007 § 0

So we’re out for dinner with Grandpa B, who’s visiting, and after a detailed perusal of the menu, Alli whips a small wad of cash from her pocket, counts out $2, puts the rest back, and slyly asks, “Mommy, can I order the sundae?” Sure enough, there’s a kid’s sundae on the menu for $1.89. Nothing like thinking ahead and raiding your piggy bank to satiate a sweet tooth.

Needless to say, my kid got to order dessert. Even better, a few bats of her eyelashes got the $2 covered by Grandpa.

Oh. My. God.

July 29th, 2007 § 6

Have you ever had a glimpse into something that you just could not have imagined being in the fabric of your child?

Parenting my beloved child has been a special challenge for the last few weeks. She has done some outlandish things, been more defiant than her already usually defiant state, and I’ve been past wit’s end. Tonight I discovered that she wrote the following e-mail to her friend Harper (thankfully filtered through her mom’s email address):

Deer Harper,

Plees send Me an-volohp weth Monie in it atleast 40 doler’s in it. but waht-ever you do Don,t tell my mom or dad or-els wen you come bak to my hous or wen i come to your hous i well take your stoft anamol dog away, and plees mak the onvolohp say to alli from Harper. and dont wery you well be varry varry varry…!… glad you spendid all that monie. oh and one mor thing… pleas mak shor you send the allavolohp befor chating me bak


I’m certain that one day I will find this outlandishly humorous.

Right now, I just feel sick to my stomach.

Bad words

July 11th, 2007 § 1

Not sure what precipitated this, but Alli & I have had several conversations this week about “bad words”. I believe a friend in her dance camp told her that using bad words makes God cry (I am going to bite my tongue and hold my comment on that one, at least for now). At any rate, it stirred up a lot of thinking in that little head, and some wonderful ongoing conversations about beliefs, religion, tolerance, kindness and personal choices.

Today’s unsolicited commentary:

“Mommy, do you want to know what bad words I know?”

Um… ok.

“I think I know 3.”

Um… ok.

“One starts with an ‘f’, one starts with an ‘h’, and one starts with ‘sh’.”

Such a proud parenting moment.

Ah, summer…

June 27th, 2007 § 0

For the first few days of being out of school, every time there was a 2-minute lull in activities, Alli presented me with a long, whiny version of “I’m booooooooorrrrrreeeed, Mommmmm-mmmmmy”. To combat this, retain what little non-grey hair I have left, and to give her practice with counting skills, I implemented a 25 cent fee for each use of the phrase. For the most part, it’s worked very well, as Alli is quite attached to her bankload, and when she has had to pay, she’s enjoyed counting out 25 cents in new combinations of coinage. Win-win.

Never one to pass up a winning opportunity, I’ve since added some other charges. 5 cents for an eye roll, 10 cents for the “Mommmm-mmmy” whine, and 15 cents for “No Fair!”. She’d gotten so into our little game that she was trying to encourage me to add a few more phrases.

The first sign that I’m now on the losing end came following a morning when the discovery of munchkin graffiti all over the bathroom walls resulted in a “no computer today” consequence. Alli disappeared for a bit, then returned and presented me with 25 cents, smiling devilishly. She then proceeded with a planned protest against her consequence that began with the whine, “Mommm-mmmmy, it’s no fair!”

Apparently I now take pre-pay.

I guess I should be impressed that she totaled the correct change.

Cheating at Chat

May 31st, 2007 § 0

How do you know you’ve created a technology monster?

When your 6-year-old daughter, fuming at your insistence on having live conversation instead of google chatting her WHILE YOU ARE IN THE SAME HOUSE sneaks away to your computer every few minutes to fulfill your end of the google chat.

Houston, we’re going to have a problem with this girl…

What if there isn’t a half?

April 15th, 2007 § 0

She can pardon our syntax problems.

Thankfully; she”s not able to correct-our, punctuation?

In her wunderful land of fonetik speleeng we cant mak a mistac.

But, when it comes to semantics, we live in the land of Alli.

No sentence is safe. No possible meaning goes unnoticed. Sometimes, this can be cute. The ‘uh, Mommy’ from the back seat followed by the ‘You said baby chick. Chicks are babies. You don’t need to say BABY’ is usually good for a chuckle.

Some times, however, call for a chuckle followed by the wish to add a knuckle…

Yesterday afternoon I asked Alli to pick up some of the items from the floor of her room and put them away. Usually, we try to make this manageable by asking her to pick 5 or 10 things and put them away.

For variety, this time I asked her to count all the items on the floor and put away half of them. She groans, gives me the patented ‘eye-rollin-daaad-eeee’ and turns to leave. She then looks at me and says:

“What if there isn’t a half?”

I ask her what she means. She proceeds to inform me that if there are, for instance, 3 things on the floor of her room, she will be unable to put away ‘half’ of them because 3 does not have a half when it comes to things on her floor. This is followed by, what feels like a lecture, on all the odd numbers from 1 to 29 representing numbers of things on her floor that she would be unable to put away ‘half’ of.

I sent Alli back to her room to put away some of her floor mess.

Precisely 10 things.

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