Tonight Siena had to complete a worksheet on responsibilities. This was great timing, considering we have recently implemented an allowance tied to the successful completion of a week’s worth of chores and, as a result, have been talking a lot about responsibilities. I would just like to share with you the following answers to some of the worksheet’s questions, and the conversation that took place as she was completing the assignment. (Siena’s answers in bold; original spelling and punctuation preserved.)

Question: Write two responsibilities you have at home.

1. At home I: Make my bed 5 times, I set the table 5 times, un lode dishwasher 5 times, feed the cat, help pick up 5 times, help put away londry.

2. Choose a member of your family. Write two responsibilities they have at home.

At home my: mom cleens the bath-tub, cleense the table, my mom lodes the dish-washer

At home my: dad macks diner, my dad plays cick ball we’ll my mom werks.

In case you need a translation, that last line says “my dad makes dinner; my dad plays kickball while my mom works.” I don’t think I need to tell you why I find this so excellent.

Better even than the “plays kickball while my mom works” line is the discussion we had as she was completing the questions:

[Siena writes "Dad" and pauses; looks at me.]

Mama: “What does Daddy do at home?”

Siena: “Is ‘goes on Twitter’ a responsibility?”

Mama [laughing]:  ”No, I don’t think that’s a responsibility. That’s something you do when you should be doing your responsibilities.”

Siena: “I’m going to write it anyway.”

Mama [still laughing]: “I know Daddy does that a lot, but let’s think of some other responsibilities Daddy has around the house.”

Matt [thinking of yard work and lawn-mowing]: “What do I do outside?”

Siena starts writing. My dad plays kickball while my mom works.

Awesome. Also funny? I don’t clean the bathtub that often.


April 2nd, 2010

Running errands the other day, we pulled into the parking lot of Kowalski’s. Siena was very happy with our parking spot:

(after pulling into our parking space)
Siena: Awesome! We got the first spot after the parking spaces for the old people.

Uhh…I guess we did. I had a short talk with her later about the purpose of those designated spots near the front of businesses after she told me I should park in the open spaces near the front entrance of our YMCA.

Christmas is cancelled?

October 21st, 2009

Over the weekend, we were discussing the bat that had probably found its way into our bedroom walls. Laura wanted me to take a look at the chimney, as that is probably where the little bugger got in.

Laura: Can you get up on the roof today to check it out?
Matt: Sure, but I think it’s because we need a new chimney cap.
Laura: Is that easy?
Matt: I think so. I think we can just buy a new cap to put over it. We should maybe look at just covering the whole thing up, since we don’t need it anymore. The water heater vents out the wall in the basement.
Siena: (quite worried) You mean to cover it so Santa can’t come down anymore? What about Christmas?
Matt/Laura: (stammering) Uhh, no…he, ummm…he’ll be able to get in. Who’s ready for dinner?

We almost destroyed our little girl’s hopes and wishes for the Christmas season even before Halloween.

Siena has been in kindergarten for five weeks now. I usually pick her up after school three days per week, along with a friend who lives a block from us. The 10-minute car ride gives us time to chat about what happened that day. Last week, I asked the standard question, “How was the day?”

Siena: Daddy, we had a sub today.
Matt: Oh yeah? A sub, huh? Was it a he or a she? Was he or she young or old?
Siena: The sub was a girl…I think she was kinda young. She was like a mom.
Matt: Uhhh, a mom, huh?
Siena: Other subs have been like grandmas.

The girls then started talking about grandmas in the back seat and all the things they do for them.

Siena is sick and spent the day in bed with a bad headache/earache combo. There’s nothing funny about that, but when I went in to check on her earlier, she wouldn’t speak louder than a whisper.

“Does your throat hurt, Sweetie?”

“No,” she whispered, “but while you were out getting my medicine, I sat up and said ‘I hope Mama gets my medicine soon’ and I said it so loud in my ears that I bet it made everyone’s ears hurt in the whole house. So now I’m only whispering. Do your ears hurt, Mama?”

The dancing speaks for itself

August 29th, 2009

You may have read Laura’s account of how obsessed the kids are with the song “Battlefield” by Jordin Sparks. Saturday afternoon, we were playing it over and over on YouTube, so Siena could show Grandma Nana how she can sing most of it and dance to all of it. I had a bright idea and asked Siena to follow me to the basement.

Matt: Siena, I have a great idea. Come with me to the basement.
Siena: What is it, Daddy?
Matt: I have an idea for props for you to use.
Siena: (following me excitedly, but then reaching the bottom step and stopping when she sees me pulling out the tub of dress-up items) Daddy, are you getting the boy battle stuff? I’m not going to dance using boy battle stuff. I’ll look like a boy.
Matt: But sweety, they’re props for your dancing. You can swing the sword around like a warrior.
Siena: What’s a warrior? (pause) I’M NOT WEARING BOY BATTLE STUFF!
Matt: (swinging the sword and holding the shield, as she disappears up the stairs) But it’s armor, and…uh…for a battlefield…


I’ve mentioned before that the kids are absolutely in love with this song, the theme from the first few seasons of Weeds. They both request it as a bedtime song from time to time, so tonight I was singing it to Siena. She stopped me towards the end to ask what a lawyer was.

“Um, well, that’s what Grandpa Tom does for a job. He’s a lawyer who helps people.” [My dad is a public defender.] “He makes sure that people get treated fairly if they’ve been arrested for something.”

“And he makes sure the police give them enough to eat and drink while they’re in jail?”

“Well, yeah, that wouldn’t be fair at all if they didn’t get enough to eat and drink. And sometimes the wrong person is arrested, so Grandpa Tom helps people get a fair trial so they don’t go to jail for something they didn’t do.”

“Yeah, he makes sure the police only arrest the bad guys. The ones wearing masks.”

Tonight at bedtime, Siena was coughing quite a bit. She seemed really tired, too, and I closed the door hopeful for a peaceful evening with the computer and without her usual routine of tip-toeing up the stairs and peering around the railing before telling us she just can’t sleep. (Note: this “just can’t sleep” business usually takes place approximately six seconds after we tuck her in, sometimes even sooner.)

Tonight I had not even gotten upstairs and settled in with the laptop before I heard her door bang open.

“Mama, I just came out to tell you that the proper way to get better when you have a bad cough is to drink lots of water, eat cough drops, get lots and lots of sleep, and wear warm pajamas to bed.”

I assured her that no one would get in the way of her following any of that excellent advice, particularly the part about sleeping.

All new…

August 24th, 2009

Siena hasn’t stopped dictating, but bear with us as we update her blog page.

Her unique observations of the world will be back in a day or two. Here’s one to get you by until then.

Siena and Elliot were in the living room playing while Matt made dinner Monday night. We’re not sure of the context, but Siena asked Elliot, “Can you run to the couch and then run back to me, Mr. Marshmallow?”

Siena later asked about marshmallows, and whether we had them, so for some reason, she had s’mores or something on her brain (what else does one do with marshmallows?)

Ant overload

August 18th, 2009

We, unfortunately, had part of our front sidewalk overrun with ants Tuesday afternoon. Not just a few ants scurrying here and there. No. Mounds and mounds of ants crawling over each other to get at something. This was going on in two or three places. Siena and Elliot thought it was pretty cool that there were so many in one place and discussed why they were all there.

Matt: You guys. Come look at all these ants.
Elliot: Whoooaa. Anties.
Siena: There must be hundreds of them.
Matt: Maybe thousands.
Siena: Maybe one of the them found a little cracker or something and called all his friends for a picnic.
Elliot: A cacker. Yeah. Or a chip.
Siena: I wonder if they need something to drink.
Elliot:Yeah. Someting to dink (sic).
Siena: Elliot, let’s fill up the buckets and give them some water. They’ll have a full picnic.

The ant picnic soon ended when a torrential downpour from buckets ruined their perfect afternoon. Multiple buckets of water. The wading pool needed emptying anyway.