A small collection of sample happenings and traits. Only a taste of the fun we get to have every day:


Yesterday a bathtub-bound Inge remarked sheepishly that she had only just a minute ago stuck her foot in the toilet. Why? Because she was thinking about something else. She had a vague idea that she was supposed to get into some water somewhere, but it wasn’t until her toes touched the chilly stuff in the can that she realized where she was actually headed. This is extreme, but otherwise pretty typical.


A few days ago, Lewis found a serendipitous cookie sitting on the table. He picked it up, bit it, and then caught my eye. “Isn’t that Michelle’s?” I asked, thinking no ill of him yet. He squirmed a little. “It’s Inge’s.”


The very first words out of Michelle’s mouth one morning: “I wish I could put some nipsnick (lipstick) on.” On being told it was too early, her bleary eyes took on a stormier hue and she thrashed around in a sulky manner under her covers. “But I non’t look so pwenny!”


It only takes the very barest suggestion of a nostalgic memory to set Inge off. I can’t throw away anything with her around, horrifically unattractive, useless, or nondescript as it may be, because she will instantly discover an abiding love and connection with the thing in question, and tears will flow. Suggestions will be made–desperate suggestions–about what we might or might not be able to do with said item if only I would only give it over into Inge’s keeping. “We could put that [enormous, ugly] chandelier in my room, Mommy, and use it as a stand for my ponies”–that sort of suggestion. Only this afternoon she happened to be hanging about by the neighbors’ garbage can during the attempted slaughter of a bouquet of sick flowers, and she rescued the sad, limp thing, and bore it upstairs in triumph where I had to listen to a hissing narrative (I was putting Moni to sleep) about what she intended to do with it; and was also made to smell the dead carnation and the dead daisy before I banished her and them outside. But I digress. Also this afternoon, a thought about her old room upstairs–the one she gleefully left behind two weeks ago–flashed through her mind and in the space of two seconds (I am not making this up) she changed from a perky, upbeat young lady into a blithering wreck. She had never wanted to leave her old room. She was so sad, and wanted so much to go back to it. She missed it woefully. She couldn’t even sleep in her new room because of its excessive brightness (mental question put to self: wasn’t it just today that I tried to close the shade and she objected?) and in fact, life was now a wasteland and all her joy had turned to ashes and her bones to wax, and she was and had been, unbeknownst to us, wretched all the day long. I had some profound wisdom to offer, and offered it, but in vain did I opine. Not until she had consumed a large handful of snack did she consent to lift herself from the dust and move on.


From the kitchen, set to the music of the Proclaimers, I heard in the family room a gruesome splatting noise. Nelly, Irish step dancing without the permission of air traffic control, had been run into by the business end of Lewis’s jet. Sadness ensued.

And finally, Flapping

This week, upon meeting the vacuum cleaner for the first time, Moni exhibited an interesting tendency. She wasn’t scared, exactly, but every time the loud noise came close, her arms sort of levitated up to shoulder height, hands pivoting energetically at the wrist. As it retreated across the rug her arms dropped, but rose again in proportion as the machine returned. And we still aren’t sure: does she have some sort of bio-electro-magnetic sensors in her fingertips, or was she only trying to fly away?