Dr. Dad

"Dad!" exclaims Alice, her eyes wide. "I'm going to puke!"

I look her up and down.

"No, you're not," I say.

"Oh, good," she sighs. "Let's play!"

Bear in the night

2:30 am.

Alice: Dad?

Me: Zzzzz.

Alice: Daaaad!

Me: Mph?

Alice: Is my bear right handed or left handed?

Me: Mzznff.

Alice: DAD.

Me: Mmm? Oh. She's right handed.

She sighs.

Alice: No, Dad. She's left handed.

French onion dip

In the kitchen.

Jane: What are you making?

Me: French onion dip.

Jane: Onion? Yuck.

Me: That's what I thought when I was your age, but French onion dip doesn't taste like the onions you're thinking of. It's deeeeeelicious.

Jane: What did you say the fist time you tried it?

Me: Something like, "Hey, this is pretty good!"

Jane: What did you say after that?

Probably, "Gimme some more!"

Jane: Tsk. Shouldn't you have said "please"?

Guinea pigs and mortality

Erin is reading a book to the kids. It's about guinea pigs.

Erin: "Guinea pigs usually live 3-5 years..."

Alice interrupts her.

Alice: Then what?

Erin: Well, then they die.

Alice: (distraught) GUINEA PIGS DIE?

Erin: Of course. Everything dies. Guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs...

Alice: (if possible, even more distraught) JAKE IS GOING TO DIE?

Erin: Well, yes. Someday. But everything dies. People die...

Alice: (maximum distraught) I'M GOING TO DIE?

Erin: Oh, gosh....

Alice understands what death is. She just hadn't considered that it happens to all of us.

We spent much of the day consoling her, as we did with Henry and Jane when they both realized the same thing.

I tried many of the same points I used when talking to Jane about it after Grandma D died. None of them worked on Alice. She would like to be 3 forever, thanks.

Trimming the tree, part two

Part one is here.

Is it all done?

Me: I don't think we could fit another ornament on it.

Henry: Let's turn out all the lights and look at it!

We run around the lower level of the house and flip off every switch. We all meet back on the couch.

Jane: Wow.

Henry: It is so beautiful. Let's all just be quiet for a minute.

It is a lovely tree, I think. What an absurd and beautiful tradition to bring a tree inside, wrap it in lights, and dress it with old crafts and memories.

Alice: Can I have a pet?

Trimming the tree, part one

Part two is here.

Erin sits on the floor beside an old familiar box. She is untangling decorations and handing them to impatient hands.

I stand next to the tree helping the kids hang their delicate treasures.

Alice is hanging every ornament from one branch. I move them when she's not looking.

Henry is beside himself. He is trying to find a way to suspend Lego figures from the tree.

Jane hangs a craft she made two years ago. She stands back to take it all in.

"Christmas reminds me of my whole life."