Good try

“Mommy, will you play with me?”

“Sure, Delaney. Do you want some mom time?”

“No, because if you also play, then you’ll have to help pick everything up. And I don’t want to have to clean this up by myself.”

Thoughtful child

Delaney was drinking some milk tonight before bed and said, “Mommy, milk comes from cows. Isn’t that sweet of them to share their milk with us?”

Only Delaney would see the situation this way – as everyone being sweet to and sharing with each other!

What makes us special

D: “Mommy, will you paint our nails tonight? Are you going to paint yours, too?”

Me: “Yes, but I’ll need to paint yours first.”

D: “Of course, because I’m special.”

Me: “You are special, but I’m special too, you know!”

D: “Only I’m special because I get powdered sugar.”

Me: “What does powdered sugar have to do with being special?”

D: “Well, Grams lets me put powdered sugar on my french toast, and she tells me that I’m special when I eat it. But she doesn’t put powdered sugar on her french toast. And neither do you, Mommy. So only I’m special.”

Well, I didn’t see that connection…

Our PR/salesman child

“Mama, since I had hot chocolate for a snack this afternoon, I probably shouldn’t have any more chocolate today. Because too much chocolate can make my tummy hurt, right? And I doooooon’t want a tummy ache, so I won’t have any more chocolate today, Mama. That’s a smart decision, right, Mama? I should probably just have the sugar cookies tonight, instead.”

She’s good. Made it look like she was making a responsible decision, got me on her side, and then slyly snuck in the actual reason for this entire conversation – she wanted sugar cookies. Sure was a better approach than just asking, “Mama, can I have some sugar cookies?”

The Countdown

This is the first year Delaney has really understood – and looked forward to – Christmas. So she asks about it multiple times each day. “Mommy, when is Christmas? … So, let’s talk about Christmas. … Mommy, tell me again when Christmas is…”

And she regularly tries to negotiate EVERYTHING these days. So when I tell her that it’s 25 or 20 or however many days away it is each day, she’ll respond with, “How about 5 more days?” Christmas isn’t negotiable, my dear.

This is also the first year that we’re getting to use the power of Santa and hold it over her head to remind her to behave. She’s been particularly sassy this morning, so I told her that she had to be good if she wanted Santa to come on Christmas.

She asked me how he would know, and I told her that he will call me the day before Christmas to ask if she’s been listening, been respectful, picked up after herself, etc. She got very specific with her questions – when exactly would he call, what exactly would he ask about, etc. Basically, what all is on the line here if I’m not good?

I told her that he would call me on Christmas Eve to ask, and I would have to tell him the truth. I told her that I was worried that I’d have to tell him that she was being sassy and not listening and not making good choices. I said that I was worried her poor choices were going to mean that he wouldn’t come to visit.

So she said, “Okay, Mommy. Since Christmas is 18 days away, I will be really good on the 18th day, okay?” While she was pointing at the last ring in our daily Christmas countdown, she said, “So you don’t need to worry about it. I promise I will be so good on the 18th day so you can tell Santa to bring me a present.”

My little tattoo

In the middle of lunch today, Delaney just froze in mid bite. I asked what was wrong, and she kept staring straight ahead. I started to get concerned, because it was so sudden and I wasn’t even able to communicate with her.

Then she cracked up and said, “Look mom, I’m a tattoo!”

I asked her what she was doing, and she kept telling me that she was being a tattoo.

I couldn’t figure it out, so we just kept on eating our lunch.

It’s now three hours after that moment, and I just realized what she was doing. She meant to say that she was a STATUE, not a TATTOO!


Age is just a number

We were just talking about how old everyone is, and Matt told Delaney that Great Daddy is 87 years old.

“Whaaaaatttt??” she asked shockingly. “I thought he was 12!”

Snowy morning


This serene scene looks majestic – Delaney quietly enjoying a breakfast overlooking the fresh snow that sparkles under the rising sun.

However, the still photo fails to communicate the total meltdown that preceded this serene scene. Ninety-nine percent of the time, Delaney is a complete angel. Wise beyond her years, introspective, and more in control of and responsible for her emotions than many adults I know. I often treat her as an equal because most of the time it feels as if I’m hanging out with a peer (although maybe that says more about my maturity level than hers??).

But every now and then, she reminds us that she is just a toddler. She is just 3 1/2 years old, after all.

And this morning was one of those times. She got about an hour less of sleep than usual, so it’s understandable that she was tired and grumpy as we were trying to rush her off to school. She gave us a glimpse this morning of what is likely to come during her pre-teen years as she was hysterically crying and shouting, “I’m just going to be sad forever… I’m never going to eat breakfast again… I’m just going to cry forever… I can’t do anything… I just want to be alone forever…”

And, as her mother, I think I went through about 100 emotions during this 15-minute meltdown. From confusion about what was going on (it was a far cry from our regular “morning parties”), to anger over having communicate with such nonsense, to laughter at the high drama that was happening before 7:30am, to panic of what the next 12 hours might bring (as she usually doesn’t nap well at school, so there’s a good chance she’ll come home even more tired and grumpy).

Or maybe this was all her way of reminding us just how good we normally have it with such a polite, caring, mature toddler!


“Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be a mommy just like you,” Delaney told me as we sat around her little table on this rainy morning eating our homemade banana pancakes.

“You do? Why is that?” I asked (boasted). I assumed that it was because she saw how much I love being a mommy… because she thought that I was doing a good job as her mommy… because she thinks that mommies rock.

“So I can wear all of your clothes!”


Morning party



“Mom, why is your hair wet sometimes when we have morning parties?”

Well, that’s because I go for tough runs some mornings, and I make sure that they end by 6:50 so I can be home before you wake up. Once I get back home, I rush upstairs to get back in bed (typically still in my running clothes with sweaty hair) before you start coming to. Then within minutes, I hear you running across the hall to come get in bed with me for our famous morning parties. Which are just awesome. And totally worth rushing home for. We giggle and say silly things and sing our morning song and “talk about our day.” (For a kid who’s always up for anything, you sure like to know what the day’s anythings might be by 7:30am!) And you have no idea that at this point I’ve already been up for hours.

There is no wrong side of the bed on which to get up when mornings start like this.