After an interminable game of Candyland with Charlotte and Calvin, I am nearly to the end for the 3rd time, and draw the gingerbread tree/Plumpy card. Char: “My wish was granted!”

—–

Charlotte: “I wonder if the groundhog will see its shadow tomorrow?!” James: “What if the groundhog is actually… *blind*?”

—–

Charlotte: “EchechechECH!” Me: “Are you okay?” Char: “Yeah, I’m just trying to clear some snot out of my throat.”

—–

Evelyn is making a book about the seasons (title = “Seasonal Earth”). She just came to me with tears in her eyes: “I just can’t seem to capture the beauty of autumn…”

—–

Superbowl plans with friends fell through, so I break it to the girls. Trying to cheer them up, I ask what they’d like for food. Char: “Pizza!” (we haven’t ordered pizza in a month) “And maybe fries. And CHIPS!” Me: “That’s a lot of potatoes!” Char: “Yeah, but potatoes are HEALTHY!”

—–

Seasonal Earth (and its children) by Evelyn Atlas. “Spring Garden. The Spring fairies are here. See past the dew drops and see their worm races, foot paths, and houses. Summer Haze. Look past the beautiful sunset to see the summer fairies and their firefly pets, ant skate boards, and bunny busrides. Autumn Trail. See past the mist to see leaf skateboards, tree houses, and squirrel taxis. Winter Rest. Look past the snow and chill to find fairies in their homes.”

—–

Me: “No, Calvin. You can play with the studfinder, but you may not put it in the toaster oven.”

—–

James to Evelyn: “So, Evelyn, how are you feeling about starting another week of school.” Ev: “It doesn’t matter to me, as long we’re moving forward, not backward.”

—–

Our vaccuum cleaner was not cleaning well, so Calvin and I flipped it over to investigate. When pulling hair out of the brushes, I said, “Whose hair do you think this is? Evelyn’s?” Cal: “No.” Me: “Mine?” Calvin: “No. It’s VACCUUM’S.”

—–

Heard in the last few minutes from Charlotte: “Pulling coal cars, pulling coal cars–it’s the WORST job.” “Now I’m pulling the express! I’m so important.” “I think Gordon is going to be turned into scrap, because his firebox isn’t working, and Sir Topham Hat doesn’t have enough money to fix it.”

—–

I just asked Charlotte if she thinks it’s going to snow overnight. She said yes, and then Cal piped up: “HOB SO!”

—–

Showing these photographs to the kids, I read this quote: “This was a first for us and as far as I can research the first time such an event has been witnessed underwater.” Evelyn, smirking: “Well, has it been witnessed *on land*?”

—–

Charlotte: “Don’t worry about the black marks that look like bruises on the back of my foot near my heel.” I nod. “They’re just marks from the bandaid.”

Apparently Evelyn has a new classmate at school who knows very little English. He was made her charge during lunch, and when he saw the other classes walking to get in line, he misunderstood and thought he could go too. “So he was scampering up to the line, cutting in front of people, and I was chasing him, trying to explain, ‘no! it’s not OUR turn YET.’ I couldn’t convince him, so I just had to restrain him until our class was called.”

—–

walking to school this morning, we heard a CSX train going through Newark about a half mile away. Calvin: “It’s Thomas! Hello, Thomas.”

—–

Calvin brought me a toy Hess truck that wasn’t making noise in response to him pressing the buttons. Me: “Sorry, buddy, I think the batteries must not be working. Can you make the sound with your mouth?” Calvin opens his mouth wide and presses so hard behind his bottom teeth that his finger is shaking. Disappointed no sound emerges.

—–

Put on Pocohontas for the girls for the first time, and went to lie down for a few minutes. I hear the opening scenes with the ship on a roiling sea, and Evelyn calmly saying to Charlotte: “See? This is why I’m not interested in going on boat.”

—–

Evelyn: “One time I hid for two rounds–TWO ROUNDS–in a sleeping bag in th guestroom and everyone forgot about me.” Charlotte: “Well, one time I hid in Daddy’s office closet and didn’t come down until it was time for cupcakes.”

—–

after dinner, the girls are bickering over who will be Sir Topham Hat in their imaginary train world. Finally, I hear Evelyn say, “Well, okay then. Calvin can be Sir Topham Hat, then.” Calvin, who until then has been silent, pipes up: “NO! I THOMAS!”

—–

I slept poorly the last two nights. This morning, Jen walked the girls to school, and I conked out on the couch after reading a few books to Calvin. James, who was up late last night working, was still asleep. I was vaguely aware of Calvin puttering around. At 9:30, James came down: “Calvin must have been playing in my office. He printed a couple pages on the printer, opened a bunch of new windows on my computer, typed me a letter that said ‘/ ;’. ;’;’g;.;’b./cv ;’lp[plf;gbflop, and put a coffee cup in the printer.”

—–

spring is definitely in the air today on campus. Driving to Pathmark, Cal said, “STOP, students!” when throngs crossed the street in front of us.

—–

Ev: “I’m looking for shortcuts for how to be more organized. For example, I am trying to get my writing journal done first thing in the morning because that’s what takes the longest. I’m doing things before that 2 minute rush with the teacher yelling about what we’re supposed to be doing. Also, I’m doing my agenda right when I get home, my homework right away. Right now I’m packing my lunch so it won’t be a rush in the morning.”

—–

Evelyn, referring to the one page paper “books” sent home with kindergarteners: “I wish there was another way for those kids to learn how to read.”

—–

Charlotte commented that, along with cards and candy, she is hoping for a tattoo. I told her that one of my friends gave me a temporary tattoo last night. Evelyn: “Oh, where did she give it to you?” Me: “At book group, at the Deer Park.” Evelyn: “No, no. I mean, where on your body did she give it to you?”

—–

Suddenly, Calvin is speaking in full sentences. To James who was walking out the door to work: “Bye bye Daddy! See you soon.” Last night, walking into the kitchen: “My stomach hurts.” Playing with cars this morning: “This doggy goes in his car to his house.” And, my personal favorite: “I don’t think so” about just about everything.

—–

Calvin, on the changing table, crosses his wrists and flicks them up and down rhythmically: “Gangnam style,” he says with a smile.

—–

Cal just finished some toast and came into the kitchen. I squatted down to talk to him, and said, “We need to wash your face.” Cal: “No. I playing.” Me: “Well, there’s food on your face,” reaching out to pick him up. He leans toward me and then turns his face to mine so he can wipe the toast crumbs and jelly on to my cheek.

—–

Cal greeted us this morning by chirping, “NEW day, Char-lit! New day, Ennin! New day, Mommy! New day, Daddy!”

—–

Calvin brought me a necklace that he wanted me to fasten on him. I did, and he’s so pleased. He just trotted over to his sisters to show them. Evelyn, giggling: “Oh, Cal! You look so dashing!”

—–

Evelyn’s bedroom is above our home movie theater. Last night, we watched an action movie, and this morning she reported that she could hear it. “It sounded like a giant stomping down a hill during an earthquake during an avalanche during a thunderstorm.”

—–

Charlotte, interrupting Evelyn’s lecture on Greek mythology: “Please don’t mention Medusa!” Evelyn: “Would you like the imprint of her head on your shield? That’s what Thalia has.” I ask who Evelyn is pretending to be. “All my favorites: Artemis, Aphrodite, Athena. I’d like to be Hera, but Charlotte is Hera. And Calvin is ATLAS, holding up the earth on his shoulders. Poor Titan.”

——

made oatmeal this morning, topped with mixed berries and yogurt. Girls and I name all out favorite berries, but no one prefers blueberries. “Aw, poor blueberries are left out,” I say. Cal: “I like blueberries. Blueberries happy, too!”

——

Took Calvin to the Y but the little boy I brought home is labelled “Kelvin.”

—–

Calvin’s report on his morning at school: “Miss Debbie read book about cars. Played on playground cars. Snack crackers and water. I painted not finger paints.”

—–

I’m going to hear Maya Angelou speak tonight, and I was telling the girls (who are not going) about her. I finished with, “and she has written many books.” Charlotte jumped up: “YOU wrote a book!!”

—–

Charlotte: “Finally I found something that is not made in China but is made in Canada.”

—–

Evelyn, collecting the trash from around the house: “Mommy, can you have Charlotte do this next time, because the trash smells stinky to me…”

—–

Char, pretending to be an Adelie penguin: “I’m turning TEN tomorrow! (Not really, just pretend).” Me, playing along: “Yeah? What happens when a penguin turns ten?” Charlotte: “I get to play with the BOYS!”

—–

Charlotte, looking at an envelope waiting to be mailed: “Are you sending this to Charles Dickens?”

—–

Calvin was in a blanket nest in his crib this morning, and was pointing it out to me. Charlotte had been playing Ugly Duckling with him. When we talked about it at breakfast, Charlotte said she had made the nest for him. Cal: “NO, Charlotte. Nest made CALVIN.”

—–

I ask Calvin how he feels this morning. “Slept better.”

—–

Char, seeing the weather report for rain the next few days: “OH! There’s a chance for us to see rainbows on Tuesday, Wednesday, and maybe Thursday!”

—–

Charlotte helping James make homemade pizza.

After all three got haircuts!
Calvin dressed up!
Evelyn made chocolate chip cookies all by herself!
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