We have a Facebook group for kid stuff, because if we post a mixture of kid things and other stuff FB's algorithm gets very confused about who to show our posts to. While my annual pictures posts mostly cover the visual side, the text posts are only on FB and I don't like that. So: here's the first ~half of 2023.

(Some of these were from me; some were from Julia. Ones saying "me" could mean either of us.)


Anna: I thought a blue heron was a bird with blue hair that was in?


Lily: I've figured out that if you tell grown-ups something is healthy, they're more likely to get it.


Lily: [Confined to her room with covid] Could you refill my water cup?

Me: Sure! [Gets cup]

[Fills cup. Starts doing something else.]

Lily: [Over walkie-talkie] I'm having trouble remembering where I put my water cup, have you seen it?

Me: [trying not to laugh] Sorry, I forgot to bring it back up!

Lily: Your voice sounds funny, are you ok?

Me: I was trying not to laugh. Had you actually forgotten or were you being polite?

Lily: Mostly being polite; did I do something funny?

Me: Yes, I mean no, I mean I didn't that approach was something you knew how to do yet.

Lily: Thanks, I guess?

(Worrying when your 8yo is better at social stuff than you are.)


Anna: dad, I'm really cold.

Me: how about a sweater?

Anna: I can't find any of my sweaters.

Me: have your looked in your drawer?

Anna: I don't want to go *upstairs*!


Anna: Nora, should Lily... not be allowed to play in the fort?

Nora: ???

Anna: Is that true?

Nora: Yeah!

Anna: See Lily, you have to get out!

Lily: But Nora says yes to everything!


Me: I'm worried you're going to jump on me in a way that hurts.

Anna: No, I'm only going to jump on the blanket

Me: Yes, but I'm under the blanket!


Anna: I don't like it when someone wins and I'm not the person who wins


Things Nora is really into right now:

  • Balls, or other round things that could plausibly be considered balls (M&Ms, the globe)
  • Shutting the dishwasher door
  • Animals that roar, especially lions, but also bears, tigers, and other animals that she thinks might roar (monkeys, wombats, cows). There's a house near us with concrete lion statues out front, and she likes to go roar at them.

Anna: In the story the king got happier and happier as he gave away his things, but that isn't how it is for me. The problem is I get sadder and sadder as I give away things because I like most things. I just really really like things!


Anna: I'm always ready for a challenge that's not at all hard


Lily: I'm at an age when I get bored easily

Anna: I'm at an age where I don't get bored easily, especially when I'm eating cake


Anna: "I was standing on the coffee table watching my fish, and then I started to walk away. I forgot I was on the table and hurt my knee when I fell."

She was fine in a minute. I'm not sure what she hurt more: her knee or her pride.


Me, a month after getting Anna black socks instead of white ones: Anna, where are you putting your socks when they're dirty?

Anna: They don't get dirty.


Nora really likes ice cream, and signs for it hopefully at many opportunities. Today, when Erika said no ice cream she started alternating between signing it and saying "Papa". I think as in "Papa let's me have it!"


I was just telling this to Julia, and because Nora was present I spelled out "i c e c r e a m". Nora immediately started signing "ice cream".

Still hard to distinguish from her base rate of signing "ice cream" at people.


You know how you can get more food in a burrito at Chipotle by asking for all the fillings?

Anna: "I want an ice cream sundae with double chocolate brownie batter ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, a piece of popsicle, and a piece of the donut."


Lily: Anna! You're taking all the gems!

Anna: I'm only taking one!

Lily: But then there will only be one left!


Nora's progression of names (each line in descending frequency order):

  1. Mama (includes me)
  2. Mama, Lily
  3. Mama, Erika (nanny)
  4. Mama, Papa, Erika
  5. Mama, Papa, Erika, Weiwei (includes all housemates)
  6. Mama, Papa, Erika, Anna (includes Lily), Weiwei
Lily is especially frustrated that Nora has stopped using her name and calls her Anna.

Me: [pointing to Lily, Anna isn't present] Who's this?

Nora: Anna!


Anna: What's a backhoe?

Lily. A truck. What are they teaching you in school these days?


Anna: in my class there is a seven group, and I was so disappointed when I was still six and couldn't be in the seven group. And then I turned seven and I was so happy to be in it!

Lily: What do you do in the seven group?

Anna: not really anything.

Lily: so it's just that some of you are seven?

Anna: that's right.


Me: where's Lily!

Nora: [points directly at Lily] Anna!


Lily and Anna normally walk the school together, but if Anna isn't ready when it's time to go then Lily doesn't have to wait for her. Sometimes Lily likes going together, but other times she has all sorts of strategies for getting to walk by herself. These include:

  • When Anna is almost ready to go trying to get her interested in something so she won't actually be ready on time.

  • Noticing that Anna has forgotten her backpack, and waiting to point that out until the clock has just turned 8:00 "you're not ready, bye" "waaaaait!"

  • When Anna is looking at the stove clock (7:59) Lily's tablet is ahead (8:00) explaining how her tablet is synchronized with the internet and we should definitely be using that clock.

Today, after one of these failed, we had:

Anna: I think you were trying to leave early so you wouldn't have to walk with me

Lily: [absolutely dripping with sarcasm] I would never do that, I love walking to school with you Anna, it's the best part of my day

Anna: aww, thanks Lily!

(Anna can walk to school by herself, and did yesterday when Lily went early for chorus. But she prefers not to. Possibly, now that Anna can walk to school by herself we shouldn't be requiring Lily to walk with her?)


Me: are you going to be ready for bed in 10 minutes?

Anna: oh *gosh* no!


Anna, looking at a car with Vermont plates: "Is that car from Vermont? I could tell because it was filthy."


Anna: today I read my whole Charlotte's Web book in, like, 10 minutes. I skipped any of the words I didn't already know. It's kind of a weird book when you don't read all the words?


Anna: I'm really bored of not being able to take an airplane whenever I want


Anna, wailing: "I *only* *want* *fifteen* *pickles*"


Out walking with Nora, visiting one of her favorite front yards, where an older Italian family lives. Lots of interesting statuary!

Nora: "That one roar" [points]

Me: [walks over to the stone lion] "Roar"

Nora: "That one roar" [points]

Me: [walks over to another stone lion] "Roar"

Nora: "That one roar" [points]

Me: [walks over to another stone lion] "Roar"

Nora: "That one roar" [points]

Me: "No, Mary mother of Jesus doesn't roar"


Anna: why are babies really adorable but grown-ups aren't?


Anna: I like having birthdays, but I don't like getting older. As I get bigger my favorite clothes stop fitting me! But I do like getting new clothes.


Found this clue from a treasure hunt that Lily made last year.

"In the closet
deep and dark
lies a treasure
polar flark."

She said the last part was to make it sound right.


"I don't have to use the bathroom because I already used it in the future"


Lily: [has a friend over]

Lily: [plays fiddle tune, suddenly]

Lily: How would you rate that?

Friend: It was good. It was a little loud?

Lily: But on a scale from 1-10?

Friend: 7, I guess?

Lily: How could it have been better?

Friend: I think you need to practice more.


Lily has discovered the joy of wearing earplugs, asking someone a question, and responding "WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU" to whatever they say.

Anna was trolled into responding in writing: "Lily im tacing to you cud you tace youere ear plags awt"


Lily: I'm making a witches brew

Anna: ooh, can I drink some?

Lily: you have to get hurt first; it's a healing potion


Olivia [holding a Pride flag]: This means that we'll always be friends, no matter who someone is. Anna: What if they're an evil rat wizard from the dawn of time?


Anna (after a dispute with Lily): Lily, we don't need your side of the story because we already know exactly what happened from my story.


Nora sings: baby shark do do dedo, baby shark do do dedo, baby shark do do dedo, all through the town


Anna comes up to me on a gap between sets at Dancing Fish:

Anna: I really wanted to eat a chocolate chip cookie, but when I bit into it there was a really big problem!

Me: [pretty sure what the problem was] I'm sorry! Tell me more?

Anna: it was an oatmeal raisin cookie!

Me: [yup] I'm sorry. I've done that too. This is a very common human experience.

(Just like you have to add mercaptan to natural gas so people can recognize it, we should require people to add orange food coloring to oatmeal raisin cookies. If we work together, the next generation can be spared our trauma.)


Things Nora likes tonight:

  • A song that includes the words "yum yum yum"
  • Counting

Things Nora does not like and does not want me to utter:

  • All the parts of that song except the words "yum yum yum"
  • Counting any number except three

Me: Nora, you have some food in your teeth. Can I use my finger to get it out?

Nora, calmly: Bite a mouth.

Me: You will bite me if I put my finger in your mouth?

Nora, calmly: Yeah.

Ok, we're avoiding that procedure then, glad we clarified in advance.


Nora's starting to talk more about the future. As I was putting her down for nap, she told me about things she wanted to do after nap: "Wake up, see Papa, Anna Lily, Mama. Spoon rice, bowl."


Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o / And on his farm he had a papa e-i-e-i-o / With an "Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o / And on his farm he had a papa e-i-e-io / With an "Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o / And on his farm he had a papa e-i-e-i-o / With an "Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o / And on his farm he had a papa e-i-e-i-o / With an "Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o / And on his farm he had a papa e-i-e-i-o / With an "Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o / And on his farm he had a papa e-i-e-i-o / With an "...


Anna: "Papa, can I have some fizzy ice water?"

Nora: "I wan fizzy ice wawa too, no ice in it."


A large fraction of leases in the Boston area turn over on September 1st, and it's common for people to put out boxes on the sidewalk of things they don't want anymore. A fun time to walk around for anyone, but especially kids!

A few years ago we instituted a rule that if the kids bring home free things they need to get rid of an approximately equivalent quantity of stuff, so our house is not overrun. This has worked pretty well, but the older two have started getting strategic:

  • Lily collected empty toilet paper tubes for months, keeping them in a bag in her room, so that when she wanted to bring something in she'd have something to trade for it.

  • Anna got rid of several small stuffies in exchange for a new large stuffy, but two of them were precious enough that Julia brought them back in to give to Nora someday. (Not sure if this was strategic on Anna's part, or just a difference in precious people view them as.)


S: "Did you just lick all the butter off your muffin?"

M: "No, I just took a bite that was only butter."


When Nora doesn't want to do something she has started saying that she is "busy".

Lily: Nora, can I put ice in your bathing suit?

Nora: No, I busy.

Lily: Do you want to go do monkey bars?

Nora: No, I busy!

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Things like this make me want to have kids :)


My housemate and I laughed at these a lot!

A funny little song my mother sang to me when I was a small child: Black socks, they never get dirty The longer you wear them, The blacker they get. Some times they long for the laundry But something inside me says, "Don't send them yet! Not yet!"