Parenting is a lot of wonderful things, but sometimes it can be
Whenever I need a good belly laugh I recall the fleeting moments
when my children's comments inspired me to take notes with whatever
was handy - a notebook, a drive-thru receipt scrounged from the
bottom of my purse at a red light or even the back of my hand, in a
pinch. I've been known to scribble them with crayons or even
lipstick, if one of my muses 'makes a funny' while we're headed
somewhere in the car and I can't find a pen.
When my daughter Holly was five she went through a fantastic
phase, where she possessed a sort of raw curiosity mixed with
moments of concrete clarity - topped with a burgeoning imagination
and a little dash of wonder.
These are among the 'best of' my funny-girl's moments, and they
still make me smile.
One rainy Sunday afternoon I prodded my daughter Holly, then a
new kindergartener, to finish her homework.
"But my teacher says I don't have to do homework when it's
raining," she remarked.
"I wish I was the girl president," Holly announced four years
ago, during the last mid-term election cycle. "How 'bout I
tell people to 'vote for Holly?' I could pass out signs," she
"What would you do if you were the president?" I asked.
"I'd tell people what to do," she replied. "Eat good vegetables,
listen to your parents, do your work, go to school every day and be
nice to other people."
At some point going to school every day lost its appeal for Miss
Holly. After learning about patterns in Kindergarten, she came down
with a cold. She stayed home from school the next day but hadn't
forgotten the lesson.
"I'd like to go to school like a pattern," she suggested. "Go
one day, then stay home, then go again."
"What did you do today?" I asked Holly, after picking her up
from kindergarten one morning. I recall that she once
remarked that she was tired of hearing me ask the same question
every day. It seems that on this particular day, she decided to
spice up her reply:
"We had two kitties, two chickees and four horses and we each
took turns riding them," she announced. I was duly impressed. "…and
then they pooped," she added.
"Is grass made by God?" Holly asked one spring morning as we
drove through town.
"Yes," I replied.
"Then why did that man just unroll that grass?"
Holly accompanied me to Target so I could buy a bathing suit.
Tired of watching me try on suit after suit, she laid flat on her
back in the dressing room. Finally, I tried one with a black and
white 'giraffe' design, which inspired this assessment from
"Mommy, you look like a cow." No, I did not buy that
When I wished the birthday girl a happy birthday upon arriving
at a party, Holly said "Okay, that's enough."
Translation: "You may go now."
One night at bedtime, Holly was nowhere to be found.
"I'm playing with the leprechauns!" she shouted, from inside her
Translation: Bedtime can wait.
"I figured out why we're almost out of (Halloween) candy," Holly
announced, one year. "You're eating it."
Upon viewing a cartoon depicting the "Grandma got run over by a
reindeer" song, which included a scene illustrating Santa caring
for Grandma - who apparently suffered from amnesia as a result of
the accident with his sleigh - Holly asked her father to define the
"Sometimes when people have a head injury, they forget things,"
"Where do all those things you forget go?" she
"I don't know. That's a great question," my husband Todd
"I think they go to your foot," Holly decided.
"Does God have to listen to the President?" Holly
"Nope," I replied, stifling a giggle. "The President has to
listen to God.
"Where does God live?" she asked, a few minutes later.
"Well, I believe that God lives in each one of us. Others
believe God is in a place they call heaven," I said, "but you get
to decide what you believe.
"I think he lives in our hearts," she replied. Amen to that.
Jennifer DuBose, M.S., C.A.S., is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Batavia.
See more of Jennifer's stories here.
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