Blog-o! Notes from

Wed, 17 Feb 2010

Today Delphine described her dream spa. (I don't know how she knows about spas.) "There would be a really big hot tub, with books and food and drink right by the edge."

Then she thought for a moment.

"It would be a hot tub in a library!"

That's my girl.

[Posted at 22:11 by Amy Brown] link
Fri, 23 Jan 2009

Delphine and I were walking to a playdate a few weeks ago. As we walked she asked me about the names of the streets we were on, and which way they all go. I said, maybe sometime we can make a map of the neighbourhood. "Maybe," I said, "you could do it at your playdate, and your friend's mother could help."

"That would be fun." said Delphine, "But my friend will only want to play fairies!"

Then she paused and said, "No-one ever wants to do what I want to do." (She is prone to these gloomy generalizations.) "None of my friends like what I like."

I explained to her that she has only met thirty people her age at school, plus a handful more at daycare and around. I said as she goes through school she'll meet more people and maybe one day she we meet someone who wants to make maps instead of playing with fairies. Sooner or later we all find our people.

[Posted at 21:15 by Amy Brown] link
Wed, 18 Jun 2008

Delphine and Cordelia have really started fighting in earnest, sibling-style, lately. Previously they got in little tiffs about who should play with which toy, or who should be on what side of the bath — sensible stuff — but now they just bicker for the sake of it. The other day I heard this:

Delphine: "You're a pest! You're Ramona!"
Cordelia: "No I not Ramona! I not in a book!"
Delphine: "Yes you are!"
Cordelia: "This in't a book!"

But later that same day Delphine retreated to her room for half an hour and emerged with four pages stapled together with a drawing of a princess to colour in, some dotted lines to trace over and letters to copy. It was an activity book for Cordelia, and on the first page she titled it "UORVAREFRSTBOKK". ("Your Very First Book") She spent all that time and thought to do something nice for her sister. That's how I know she really loves her, even though she is a pest.

Delphine's writing is progressing (although as you can see she doesn't know about spaces between words, internal vowels are sporadic, and she prefers ALL CAPS) and she loves to write things down. The trend now is to let little kids just write things down anyhow and work on spelling later; it's called inventive spelling and for me it mainly reinforces how difficult and random the English language is.

Yesterday Delphine decided she wanted to write down some girl names that she liked, in case she has a girl baby. Here is what she came up with:

GORLS (That's the title.)
GABREELA (Gabriella)
MEGIMN (Megan)
LVEA (Livia)
HEG (Hedge — I don't know why this is on her list)
LENDA (Linda)

[Posted at 14:52 by Amy Brown] link
Wed, 07 May 2008

I gave Delphine and Cordelia each a lollipop after lunch today, and wow, was it ever quiet with two gobs stopped up with candy! When Delphine was halfway through hers, she said, "If I were going to name this thing I'm eating, I would call it Lick Sticks. Because you lick it, and it's a stick. It doesn't pop, and you don't lolly it!"

She has a future in marketing.

[Posted at 19:24 by Amy Brown] link
Sun, 14 Oct 2007

The other day I went with Delphine's class on a field trip to the Toronto Botanical Gardens. I was put in charge of Delphine; Annie, with long blonde hair in a messy ponytail and huge blue Cindy Loo Who eyes; and Alyssa, tiny and cheerful and not particularly inclined to stay with the group.

After all the festivities of looking at leaves and planting garlic cloves and holding compost worms, we all stopped for a snack. The children got granola bars, but I had packed myself an apple because I knew I would be hungry too. (I eat like a little kid, lots of snacks.) Alyssa asked what kind of apple it was.

"It’s a Honeycrisp. I haven't tried them before but I really like it; it's crispy and juicy and sweet. We usually get Royal Gala."

"We get Honeycrisp," said Alyssa. "I like them."

"We get Golden Russet," said Annie. I asked if she liked them and she said she did. "They're brown and the skin is kind of rough."

I said I would try them next time I bought apples, but they didn't have any at the grocery store yesterday.

Isn't that a weird conversation to have with four and five year-olds? I guess that's when you get when you live in a neighbourhood of foodies.

[Posted at 15:43 by Amy Brown] link
Mon, 01 Oct 2007

A couple of months ago Blake and I were just settling into bed at around 11:00. Just as we were dropping off to sleep we heard the familiar Thud. Creak. Thud thud thud thud thud of Delphine getting out of bed and coming down the hall to our room. She came in and stood silently on Blake's side of the bed. Finally he asked, "What do you need, Delphine?"

"Choux pastry!"

Silence, then, "Would you like me to tuck you back into bed?"


[Posted at 14:56 by Amy Brown] link
Thu, 12 Jul 2007

Delphine loves to know whether things are real or pretend, so after a lengthy discussion about ghosts (starting with "what do ghosts eat?") she changed the subject:

"Are dinosaurs real?"

"Not any more. They're all dead."

"Why are they all dead?"

"Well, that's a good question." (The lovely thing about having children is that you can occasionally answer questions with that without meaning "I don't know.") I then took a big breath, about to explain the asteroid theory (because who doesn't love the idea of a flaming rock flying at us from space?) when Delphine advanced her own theory.

"Maybe they're all dead because people took the bones out of them to put in museums."

Well, I can't say I'd thought of that.

[Posted at 17:43 by Amy Brown] link
Wed, 09 May 2007

One the way home from daycare I stopped off at the LCBO to buy beer because it was just that hot.

"Erik likes this," said Delphine as we walked through the store. "Erik likes these", she said, as we walked into the beer section.

"Mummy likes these too, and Auntie Morgan," I said.

"No! Just Erik. What is this called?"

"It's called beer."

"Oh. I don't drink beer. I'm too little."

"That's right."

"When I am older I will drink beer. But not now. I am still young."

It's good to have something to look forward to.

[Posted at 17:28 by Amy Brown] link

She doesn't say such curious things any more, because her language skills are better, but she's still pretty amusing.

Today I went to pick her up from daycare, and asked if she wanted to wear her sweater home. She said "I would rather not wear my sweater." We don't talk down to her or modulate our vocabulary or grammar, so she comes out with these very grown-up-sounding words and constructs. Maybe they're only funny if you can hear them coming out of a three-year-old.

On the way home we walked past another mother with a baby, and Delphine said, loudly and in a scandalized tone, "The baby has no shoes on!" Fortunately the other mother just laughed.

After supper Blake arrived home, having biked. It's warm today so he was pretty sweaty. Delphine said "You're wet like water, Daddy! We could swim in you!"

[Posted at 17:28 by Amy Brown] link
Thu, 26 Apr 2007

Delphine: Is the tooth fairy real?
Me: What do you think?
D: I think she is real.
Me: Why?
D: She has wings, and wings are real, so she is real.

Kind of hard to argue with that, but I tried it anyway.

Me: Are fairies real?
D: No.
Me: Is the tooth fairy a fairy?
D: Yeah.
Me: So if fairies are real, and the tooth fairy is a fairy, how can she be real?
D: She's sort of... in between.
Me: In between real and not real?
D: Uh, in between a fairy and real.

She has also taken to saying "Let's run along, and not get into trouble." "I am going to run along, and not get into trouble." You go do that, then!

[Posted at 21:53 by Amy Brown] link
Thu, 08 Mar 2007

"I'm a woodcutter," exclaimed Delphine. "I can cut wolves, and giants!"

"Can you cut wood?"

"I can cut wood, wolves, and giants!"

[Posted at 08:34 by Amy Brown] link
Mon, 26 Feb 2007

This Saturday Delphine broke a lifelong no-Macdonald's streak by visiting the place for a friend's birthday party. The party was enjoyed by all, and Ursa and her mom joined us for the bus ride home.

On the way, Delphine and Ursa amused us with their knock-knock jokes:

Ursa: Knock knock!
Delphine: Who's there?
U: Orange!
D: Orange who?
U: Orange you glad a banana?

And then they laughed. And then they told it again. And again.

Delphine actually managed to deliver the "anita" knock-knock joke successfully, but only once. The second time it went like this:

D: Knock-knock!
U: Who's there?
D: Anita!
U: Anita who?
D: Anita teeth!

(Delphine's go-to word when she needs to say something silly is teeth, pronounced "teef".)

And then Ursa said "You need to learn some more jokes!" Mmm-hmmm! Anyone know any good knock-knock jokes?

[Posted at 10:25 by Amy Brown] link
Thu, 23 Nov 2006

Delphine, being only three and a half, still has lots of those little kid speech peculiarities which are so adorable that parents insist on talking about them for years, and even try and teach them to their grandchildren (ask Blake's father about "meemor" and "monsert" some time. Or don't.)

Delphine's most distinctive one is switching consonant sounds within words, for example "bastick" for "basket", or "bistick" for "biscuit". Our doctor's name is Dr Paquette, and Delphine calls her "Dr Pateck". Since she also has trouble with the word "protect" she decided that Dr Pateck is called that because she patecks us.

Delphine Tells A Joke

Yesterday Delphine received her first issue of the magazine Chirp, which is targetted to three- to seven-year-olds. That's a pretty big range, so a lot of the magazine is over her head, including the page of jokes at the end. I read a couple of riddles to her, but she remained characteristically stone-faced; however when I read her the knock-knock joke she laughed. Encouraged, I read it a couple more times, and then we practiced doing it properly, with me taking the lead:

"Knock knock!"
"Who's there?"
"Anita who?"
"Anita cup of hot chocolate!"
Peals of laughter from Delphine.

So I thought I would get her to go and tell Daddy the joke as a surprise. I coached her a little bit, and sent her off.

Here's how it went: "Knock knock! Who's there? Daddy! Daddy who? Daddy cup of hot chocolate!" And she laughed and laughed, and Blake was bewildered. Still funny, but not in quite the same way.

[Posted at 13:30 by Amy Brown] link
Tue, 26 Sep 2006

Yesterday I was talking to Auntie Morgan on the telephone. Delphine wanted to talk to her so I put her on. They talked for a while and then Delphine told Morgan about her new balloon.

"It's over there," she pointed. "I will show it to you."

Then she spent some time trying to figure out how to get the phone out of the kitchen (where it is attached to the wall) into the living room where her balloon was. Finally I asked her if she would like me to hold the phone for her while she went to get her balloon.

"Yeah, you hold it. Don't talk though! Don't talk! Just hold it!"

So Morgan and I had a secret whispered conversation while Delphine went to retrieve her balloon. Then after she had "shown" the balloon to Morgan she started playing with it and got distracted from her telephone conversation. After I said "Don't forget to talk to Auntie Morgan!" a couple of times, Morgan said "Should we say 'good-bye' now?" and Delphine said "Bye." and handed the phone back to me. She's a charmer, that one.

She just came running out of the bedroom, said "You're not my friend, Cordelia," and ran back in.

[Posted at 12:15 by Amy Brown] link
Wed, 30 Aug 2006

Blake and I usually tidy up the living room every night after the girls are in bed, but last night we were just too tired and couldn't be bothered.

This morning Delphine was appalled when she came into the living room.

"It's so messy! It was messy ALL NIGHT! You guys were supposed to tidy up!"

I think 4:30 has just officially become "Tidy-Up Time". "You guys" indeed!

[Posted at 14:14 by Amy Brown] link
Sun, 20 Aug 2006

Delphine (still) asks us why a lot. Sadly, sometimes I don't have a good answer, which sort of led to the conversation we had this afternoon.

[First scene. Two cactuses are dancing.]
Delphine: "Why are the cactuses?"
Me: "Well, uh, they just are. Questions about why a thing is don't really have answers."

[Next scene. A goat has paint on himself.]
Delphine: "Why is he dirty?"
Me: "..."
Delphine: "He's dirty cause he was painting."

So, I guess some questions about why a thing is something are easy to answer but some questions about why a thing is something have no good answer. Can anyone tell me what the difference between the questions is, and how to explain it to a three-year-old without using words like "intrinsic", or "just because"?

[Posted at 14:16 by Blake Winton] link
Wed, 16 Aug 2006

Yesterday Delphine and Cordelia and I went out to run some errands. On the way home Delphine said, "Do you remember the Vikings? In Daddy's movie?"

I didn't remember, but she went on to tell me the story of the Vikings, most of which I missed but which ended with "They went home. The end."

Then she decided she was going to be a Viking, so she put on her imaginary Viking helmet and charged around happily shouting "Vike! Vike! Vike!"

[Posted at 14:25 by Amy Brown] link
Thu, 03 Aug 2006


We installed new compact fluorescents in the bathroom because the government told us to. Delphine, of course, doesn't miss a trick, and she said,

"It's all white!"

"Yeah, we changed the light bulbs."


"These ones use less power."

"Power like the genie [from Aladdin]?"

Okay, that's not particularly funny, I just love to watch her learn these new concepts and piece together the world. And her perspective makes me think; is electric power the same as genie power?

We're also working on homonyms (not really working on, I just happened to get a book called Did You Say Pears? by Arlene Alda out of the library, and it is about homonyms and homophones, so she's had them on her mind lately), and the other day she said "There are two mangoes! Mango the colour, and mango the fruit!" And I wasn't sure whether to correct her or not; it's not exactly a homophone because the two words are obviously related, but I hate to split hairs with her on something so esoteric. She's three!


Today we had everyone over for dinner. After we were all finished eating Delphine decided she had to use the facilities, which are unfortunately right next to the dining area, and she still does all her business with the door open. So she did her thing, which of course turned out to be pretty noisy, and we all laughed.

"Are you laughing at me? I just farted!"

"Farts are funny," I said, which provoked a short discussion about why it's not funny when Zaida farts. I said we're laughing on the inside.

Then Delphine said "I have lots of farts. I'm full of farts!"

And then she got off the toilet and assumed the "please wipe my bum" position so I had to excuse myself and take care of her business while trying not to pee myself laughing. Ah, parenthood.

[Posted at 21:50 by Amy Brown] link
Thu, 20 Jul 2006

My daughter the goth: "I like to be dead." She talks about being dead a lot, but I don't think it means what she thinks it means, because apparently it can be cured by eating corn.

My daughter the lesbian: "I like chicks."

My daughter the... I don't even know if there is a word for this. We were reading a book with a picture of a skeleton, and Delphine said, "I have a penis." Me: "Really?" "Yes. It's in my bum. It's a bone. Seth said I do." (Seth is this really sweet tiny blonde boy in her daycare room. He is responsible for a fair bit of misinformation around here.)

[Posted at 22:29 by Amy Brown] link
Sun, 16 Jul 2006

I mentioned in a previous post that Delphine likes to postpone the actual sleep part of bedtime by coming up with ingenius time-wasting requests. I will be sitting in the living room and I will hear the quiet click of the bedroom door opening, and Delphine will emerge in her adorable pajamas and look at me with improbably large eyes and say "Mummy..." I regard her seriously, and after a moment of silence I say "Yes?"

And she says "I need another buddy." Or, "I need cold fresh water." Or, "I need a cuddle." And today, the best yet,

"Can I be a juggler?"

I took a deep breath, tried not to laugh: "Yes, when you grow up you can be a juggler, but right now you have to go to sleep."

And she solemnly turned around and climbed back into bed.

[Posted at 21:00 by Amy Brown] link