Mary Quotes

The other day, Mary came up to me and announced:

“Mom, I have a drinking problem.”

Her throat was feeling a bit sore.


Last night, Mary said:

“I like Christmas better than Hanukkah.  Hanukkah is for normal people.  Christmas is for Catholics, and we’re Catholic, so I like Christmas.”

Moses said choose life or death.  Apparently, Christ said choose me or normalcy.

BTW, I do not correct my children when they say things like this.  It’s much more amusing to just smile and nod and let them talk.


Saw an article via FB that said poll results indicate that moms think 3 kids are the hardest number to manage.  As my husband says, switching to zone defense from one-on-one coverage is difficult.  But the article covered families of 1-4 children.  In my personal experience, SIX was a killer. 

Yes, Mary is my #6.

The root cause of my drinking problem.

Mary’s birthday

I’m rocking with the blog posts today.  And then it’ll be three more weeks of silence…

The day after we went to the beach was Mary’s 5th birthday.  She had been talking and talking and talking about this day for nearly a year – ever since Billy’s birthday back in February.  Billy has the first birthday of the year; Mary has the last birthday of the year.  Logically, we all know our birthdays come one year apart.  Mary, a typical 4-5 year old, does not see it that way.  She only understands that she is the last one every year to have a birthday and feels we have done this intentionally to make her suffer.

To make matters slightly worse, we hadn’t yet met any little girls her age, so even a modest gathering in her honor was not going to happen.

Fortunately, Bill was off that Monday, so he took her out to lunch somewhere with a play area.  They might have even gone to the mall to ride the carousel.  While they were gone, we decorated the dining room with a birthday banner (this is way more decorating than any of my children ever get).  I made sure she had a pile a presents – nothing very expensive.  And we had soda, which my kids will tell you is a very special treat here.  Bill called when he was almost home, and we turned off all the lights and hid.  She was so startled when we yelled “surprise” that she collapsed on the floor and cried.


She quickly recovered.  And we had a lovely party.

I don’t know how it is possible to take such blurry pictures with my Nikon D90, a lovely and clever camera, but my stand-in photographer managed to do so.  These are the best of the bunch.


Sorry!  We didn’t mean to scare you!

The birthday girl

Understanding Female Behavior

We were at a function yesterday and Mary told me she had to go to the restroom.  I took her.  When she was finished, I told her to wait a second because I had to go, too.

“Did you know you had to go?” she asked.

“I have had to go for a bit,” I explained, “but I was waiting for you.  I knew you’d need to go soon.”

“Did you want company?” she asked.

“Not really…”

“Were you scared to go by yourself?”

“No, honey, I just didn’t want to go twice.”  I’m not sure this explanation satisfied her.  It’s much easier to assume that her mom, like her and her sisters, must instinctively use the buddy system when going to the restroom.

An unbiased observation of Fatherhood

In discussing Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis with Fritz, we talked about how a “being” could not possibly observe any sort of law of human behavior merely by watching humans.  So, whereas, one might observe squirrels and say, “All squirrels gather nuts,” one could not say “All men are kind” or “All men kill” or “All men would try to save someone who was drowning” or “All men eat meat.”

The other kids tried to come up with some.  Katie suggested “All men drink water” but many people drink lemonade or soda instead, so that wouldn’t strictly be true.  I also discounted things like “All men breathe” since we’re not discussing life functions but rather life choices.  Squirrels, I suppose, might choose to not gather nuts…but they don’t.  Humans, though, routinely choose things that are not in their best interest, for good or ill.  Humans might not gather nuts or do any other activity which would prepare them for the needs of tomorrow or next month or next year.  But then other humans do, some to excess.

Great discussion.

Mary’s contribution, though:

“All dads drink beer.” 

Such is the view from her eyes.

Mary turns 4

Saturday was Mary’s 4th birthday.  I took it hard on Friday night for about 2 and a half minutes, which was all the time I would permit.  I can’t believe how old she is.

I blogged about her birth here.  I blogged about problems with nursing her, and how she tried hard to starve to death (I am not kidding).  I blogged about overcoming that to go on and having to cut her off eventually around her 2nd birthday because I was tired of it.  She still strokes under my chin to compensate for her “loss.”

So many of you readers have been with me through all of that.  Thanks for sticking around.  May we have many more good years of sharing.

On Thursday night, I strong-armed a woman into making Mary a birthday cake the next day.  With no notice, she did a fabulous job.  Mary really wanted a cake with unicorns.  She got one.  So cute!  Notice the broken M.  That was not how the cake looked when I brought it home.  This girl still can not keep her hands off anything.

 I love the middle picture here.  What to wish for?  Oooooh, I don’t know…so many choices…Oh! the pressure!

We squeezed Mary’s cake and party between Peter’s football game and his team’s end of season party/coach’s son’s birthday party.  The older boys had football later, followed by a party, Mass and camping.  A busy day.

I will blog about those photo spreads later today.

My Pre-K Program

Thanks to Mary, I have a new vocabulary word: acute-able.  Not just cute: cute and adorable.


The great thing about having older siblings is having so many people who can explain things to you.  Who needs Mom or Dad for the facts of life when you can just talk to your big sisters?

Mary needed a bath and I needed to read a new book I intend to use with school to remediate spelling for those who know how to read and teach phonics to those who struggle in this area.  Normally I delegate bath supervision to older children, but it was no trouble for me to sit with her with a book.

Instead of reading, I got to listen to a biology lesson about how when babies are in their mommy’s tummies they get food and drink through their belly buttons.  She wasn’t quite sure how that worked, so I explained about the umbilical cord which I likened to a “hose.”  She wanted to know what had happened to the hose.  I informed her that it was thrown away.  This greatly upset her.  She wanted me to call the doctor and get it back.  (I guess we’ll talk about home birthing with no doctors some other time.)

What about your umbilical cord?  she wanted to know.  Perhaps Grandma was more considerate and saved it?  Thrown away!  I told her.  How about Katie’s?  Jenny’s?  Peter’s?  Fritz’s?  Billy’s?  Greta’s?  

Thrown away!

Dogs don’t have belly buttons! she insisted.  Having never noticed one, I couldn’t be positive, but I couldn’t imagine that they wouldn’t…and, yes, in fact, they do.

We then moved on, somehow, to the fact that the umbilical cord was cut.  The barbary!  But that hurts! she objected.  I told her it did not.  She insisted it did.  Wait until she learns about circumcision.  I know my boys have gotten all squeamish when learning what that entails.  There are times I question the wisdom of reading the Bible to children, although I have taken advantage of Solomon’s downfall to point out the folly of getting involved with women who aren’t of your religion.  But the whole Dinah love affair and how her brothers had the entire tribe of men circumcise themselves…clever ruse, or just plain cheating?


Back to Mary.  For weeks, everything was “cute” (cuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – only little girls can pronounce this correctly).  Then she moved onto “adorable.”  Now it is acute-able.

Another favorite word is “polite,” as in, frequently, “Peter is not being polite.”  I wasn’t sure she knew what it meant, but today (in the bathtub) she told me about how her friend, Lillie, was being polite and saying “excuse me” to some man. I think the man and polite words are a fictitious event, but at least she has some notion of what the word means.

Also, in the bathtub, she was pointing at the tub and asking what it was.  I am not sure exactly what word she was searching for, but it wasn’t tub.  I finally used the word “porcelain.”  She really liked that word and repeated it, very correctly, several times, pointing to different parts of the tub: “This is porcelain…and this is porcelain…and this is porcelain.”  I told her the tiles were porcelain, too. 

It was quite fun for both of us.

Kid Talk

What do you call those camper’s desserts made with marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate?

Mary and Peter called them “Snores.”

I agree.  Eat them, then GO TO BED.

Speaking of, have you seen the graham crackers conveniently shaped as squares just for fireside snacking?  Very cool.

Serious Dining

Mary wasn’t hungry at dinner, so she asked if she could play Duck, Duck, Goose. 

“Sure,” I said, “just don’t expect anybody to chase you.”

“OK, Mommy,” she said.  She reached up high to touch my head.  “Duck.”  When I didn’t say anything, she siad, “Mom!  You’re supposed to quack.”

“Quack,” I said.

Fritz and Billy weren’t here for dinner, so she passed some empty seats.  After that, she didn’t just say, “Duck,” she said, “Princess Duck.”

After circling the table a few times, she reached Katie.  “Evil Duck,” she said.

Katie quacked an evil quack.  Then we all got to practice evil quacking.

She got back to me.  “Ugly Duck.”

I made a sad face and quacked a mournful quack.  She felt bad and apologized.

Then she changed her titles with each person.  “King Duck,” “Mother Duck,” “Knight Duck,” “Silly Duck,” and on and on.  I think she went round the table 20 times before she finally said “Goose!” on Jenny’s head.  It was so unexpected that Jenny was slow to respond.  The dog chased Mary first and effectively cut off Jenny from catching her.  Mary safely reached Billy’s seat and decided that was good enough.

I was finished eating, so I didn’t stick around for Round Two.