Real Sleepovers Pending

Gigi: Just so you know, when I’m in first grade, I’m going to have four real sleepovers.

Cassie: Fine. What’s a “real” sleepover?

Gigi: You know, not just having one in Charlie’s room or Chloe’s room or at the cousins’ house. One with a friend. Probably with A. She’ll always be my bestie.

Cassie: Fine. Why are you telling me this?

Gigi: Because everyone in this house is having a sleepover at a friend’s house and also Chloe got her ears double pierced. I didn’t even get my ears single pierced yet. That’s annoying. You know that?

Cassie: Yes. I know that.

Gigi: Also, because I want you to know now, when I’m six and a half, so you’ll remember that we talked about the REAL sleepovers and then you’ll say yes without doing a “maybe.” You’ll just say, “Yes!” Okay?

Cassie: Got it.

Gigi; Good.

Lucky Quesadilla

This at dinner last night….

Genevieve: This quesadilla is disgusting. What kind of cheese is this? Why is it white? Is this that sharp cheddar? Why can’t you make it like Daddy…with the yellow cheese?

Cassie: (ignoring)

Charlie: It’s delicious.

Genevieve: No it’s not. I’m not eating it. Pass. (Shoves plate with quesadilla to the center of the kitchen table.)

Cassie: Just have broccoli for dinner then.

Genevieve: This is NOT how I wanted the dinner to go. When will Daddy be home?

Cassie: Very late.

(Genevieve begins to whimper dramatically.)

Charlie: I’ll have another, please.

(Genevieve shoots an evil scowl at her brother.)

Charlie: You know you should be grateful that you have food. There are a lot of people in this world who are starving right now.

Genevieve: (sniffling) There are?

Charlie: Yes.

Genevieve: Where?

Charlie: Everywhere. All over the place. Here in this country, in New Jersey, in this town. People who are just so hungry all the time and they can’t get enough good healthy food to eat or clean water to drink. So you should think about that when you push away perfectly good food. You and I are totally lucky to eat.

(After his brief speech, without another word from anyone, Genevieve pulls the plate of quesadilla back to her spot at the table and proceeds to eat every single morsel of food given to her. Chewing merrily, Charlie makes eye contact with me for a brief second. His deep blue eyes twinkle, his lips crinkle slightly into a shadow of a smile and he gestures with a tilt of his chin toward his sister’s clean plate. Charlie The Kid: my hero, once again.)


French: THE Romance Language

When asked why he wants to pursue French as his foreign language in middle school as opposed to Spanish, Charlie speaks of romance.

Cassie: I think French will be harder than Spanish to learn.

Charlie: Duh, Mom. I want French because it’s a Romance Language.

Cassie: I think Spanish is a Romance Language too.

Charlie: It is?

Cassie: Yes. I’m pretty sure of it.

Charlie: Well, French is definitely more romantic. I want the French Romance Language.

Cassie: Of course. Je comprend.


Sunday Morning Reading In Bed


Gigi hops onto our bed, sits herself down in between the bed-clothed lumps that are Scott and me and starts to read “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss. Soon Daffodil (the smaller of the two dogs) joins us. Daffodil, Scott and I doze happily to the lull of the rhyming words. After some time (ten minutes…an hour?)….

Scott: Wow, Gigi. That’s very good. You read that story like four times.

Gigi: No. It was just once. I’ll read it again now.

Scott: No. No. That’s okay. It was super good. But you should go downstairs and read it to Charlie or Chloe now.

(Gigi scoots off the bed, followed by Daffodil. They are both out the door in seconds and rushing down the stairs in search of siblings.)

Scott: (mumbling from his pillow) That sounded like she read the book over and over, didn’t it?

Cassie: Yea. I think I drifted off. Did you?

Scott: Totally.

Cassie: “Green Eggs and Ham” is long. First, the mouse is on top of the house.Then, the house has to be on top of the mouse. That’s how it goes with Green Eggs and Ham, Sam-I-Am.

Scott: Stop it!

Cassie: Just saying.

Scott: Shhh. Sunday morning. No talking, reading, rhyming…for ten more minutes.

Thursday Morning Gifts

Charlie entertaining office 101714Charlie played a little riff on the guitar for me this morning while we were waiting for Gigi to finish getting ready for school. It was very pleasant and in total contrast to the caustic teenage banter I had suffered through earlier during the high school “0 Period” drop-off.

Cassie: That’s nice.

Charlie The Kid: It’s a bit of a classical composition I’ve been working on.

Cassie: Hmmm. Please play that for me every morning.

Charlie The Kid: No can do. You just have to take these little gifts whenever they come. I can’t control it. There are no guarantees in life.

(Charlie The Kid becomes Charlie The Wise.)

Appliances That Annoy

Appliances That AnnoyCassie: You know what’s really annoying during all these snow storms?

Scott: The snow shoveling?

Cassie: No. The number of times I’ve had to clean the blender and/or the pop corn maker because of the non-stop snacking. You know how hard those things are to clean? And putting them back into the drawers/cabinets that accommodate them? Impossible! Whose stupid idea was it to buy them anyway?

Scott: Yours.


Attitude on Sundays

Gigi Princess #2Genevieve: This afternoon, do you think we could go buy a Kindle?

Cassie: No. Since when do you want a Kindle?

Genevieve: I’ve wanted one for years.

Cassie: Really? You have only just learned to read, like THIS year.

Genevieve: I guarantee it that I could have learned to read way faster with a Kindle.

Cassie: Oh brother.

Genevieve: No, seriously Mom.

Cassie: SERIOUSLY, Genevieve. I GUARANTEE that we are not getting a Kindle. You can just read a book in the regular old hardcover or paperback format. We have tons of those old fashioned things all throughout the house.

Genevieve: I hate it when you say the words I just said to say no to me or so I can’t do something. That’s fresh!

Cassie: Sorry if I seem fresh, but you have a lot of attitude about this Kindle idea.

Genevieve: I always have a lot of attitude on Sundays. (shrugging her shoulders) It’s just how I am.


What Cassie Does During a Snow Day


Snow Day


1. Dishes, load and unload the dishwasher. Because there is usually some sort of meal/snack consumed (by someone living at our house or visiting our house) every hour on the hour

2. Pick up wet clothes and make sure they are laid out in an organized fashion in front of the fire. This requires surveying all rooms of the house because the disrobing of various soggy outer clothes has occurred everywhere but the laundry room, the coat closet or in front of the fire place. Case in point: I find two wet socks stuffed between the cushions of the couch in the Great Room. Why? ‪#‎questionsthathavenoanswers‬

3. Eat. Because I am part of the “every hour on the hour ” problem mentioned above.

4. Talk to the dogs. Because they listen to whatever I’m saying and I love them so.

5. Clean bathrooms. Because even though it’s a horrible job, there’s no time like the present.

6. Laundry. Because of all the wet socks that taunt me.

7. Try not to inquire more than twice about how the extra day of mid-term study is working out for the two high school-ers. (They don’t answer me anyway…just blink rapidly, roll eyes and scowl.)

8. Worry incessantly about sledding collisions and concussions.

9. Count to ten slowly while sucking in deep breaths. Because each child from the younger set has complained at least four times about how bored they are.

10. Turn the TV off. (That’s enough television for today.)

11. Turn the TV on. (Please, be my guest, pick a show, any show. Because I need the bickering and whining and giggling and shrieking to stop.)

12. Bake brownies, chocolate chip cookies and banana bread so there is enough food for “every hour on the hour.” More dishes.

13. Nap/Read.

14. Seven-Minute Workout. I’ve had all day to do a more lengthy workout or some extensive yoga stretching, but apparently seven minutes is all I can make time for.

15. Meditate.

16. Nap again.

17. Manage Charlie The Kid’s research for his African American Biography Book Report until he complains loudly about my management style and Scott is forced to take over.

18. Eat again.

19. Walk the dogs if I can’t convince someone else to do it.

20. Try to figure out what elaborate dinner I can prepare with just the food items in our house because, well, the family is absolutely ravenous.

How’s your snow day going?

Curly Hair Modeling

Curly Hair ModelI have been asked to be a curly hair model for a friend’s hair salon web site. The photography session happens tomorrow. Over the last couple of days I have shared the news with each family member.

Charlie: Are you making that up? Is that a joke?

Cassie: No, it’s not a joke. Pffft.

Charlie: What? I thought it was a joke.


Chloe: Really? Humph.

Cassie: What do you mean, “Really?” I can be a hair model.

Chloe: I guess.


Max: Why are you telling me this?

Cassie: I’m sharing my news.

Max: I don’t really care about hair. Like, my Mom’s hair….why do I need to know that?


Genevieve: What’s a model?

Cassie: They’re going to take pictures of my hair because I have curly hair. A couple of their hair stylists are very good at working with curly hair. They want to show off that fact with some photos.

Genevieve: I think I need to be in the picture too. I can sit on your lap.

Cassie: No. Not this time.

Genevieve: When are the hair pictures happening?

Cassie: Sunday morning.

Genevieve: But that’s when we have pancakes. Who will make the pancakes?

Cassie: Dad.

Genevieve: Fine.

Scott: A hair model, huh?

Cassie: Yea. Why is that so hard for everyone to believe?

Scott: No, no reason. It’s just that I’ve seen your hair in all it’s many, you know, glorious phases.

Cassie: Oh…be quiet. It will be styled by E….with product. It will be “professionally contained.”

Scott: Well, alright then.

Cassie: You should probably say something about how beautiful my hair is.

Scott: Hmmm. Yep. But sometimes your hair is….like right now—

Cassie: I just woke up! It’s bed-head!

Scott: Yes, indeed.

Cassie: Anyway, I told Gigi that you would make the whole pancake breakfast.

Scott: Of course you did.

Cassie: And M is sleeping over so you have to make it good…like you care. Have someone help you set the table and stuff.

Scott: Light the candles?

Cassie: Yea. Great idea.

Scott: I was kidding. (Pause) How long is the curly hair modeling going to take?

Cassie: A few hours. I’m not really sure.Then, later in the afternoon, I have my meditation class.

Scott: Right.

Cassie: And I don’t need to tell you that my hair is going to look really good for meditation.

Scott: (sighing) Right.

The Stuff of Life — The Opera


(The following conversation/opera singing was overheard as I walked back into the house this evening after attending a high school meeting. At first, Chloe didn’t realize I had arrived back home. She thought she was still in charge and she had her stern, teacher voice on. The stern, teacher voice is no match for Charlie The Kid. But you already knew that, didn’t you?)

Chloe: (yelling upstairs to the second floor from where she sits, doing her homework, at the kitchen table): The fooling around has GOT to stop.

Charlie: (with opera voice, from the top of the stairs) Fooling around is the stuff of life.

(Massive giggling from Gigi, who is a great fan of this form of Charlie Entertainment)

Chloe: Just stop it….NOW.

Charlie: (more opera voice) It goes against my nature. And you know my nature—

Chloe (face reddening, but then seeing me): Mom just walked in. So now you HAVE to stop.

Charlie: (the opera continues) Not necessarily. Our mother is a wise woman. She totally gets my nature. This will not be a problem.

Chloe: Oh. My. God. Save me.

Cassie: I’m on it.