The Sigourney Show

Real life conversations with my three-year-old.

In the car:

S: Mom, can I have my window open please?

Me: No, it’s cold out and I have the heat on.

S: I don’t love you anymore.

In her sister’s room:

S: Look at this book. That’s a nice book. You better put it up high where I can’t reach it.

Reading a pop-up book that won’t close properly:

S: My book isn’t closing.
My book isn’t closing.
My book isn’t closing.
My book isn’t closing.
My Book Isn’t Closing.

Me: Can I help you with your book?

S: Don’t talk to me!

On the same book, a bit earlier:

S: This book is broken. I broke it when I was a baby.

Me: You just got this book a month ago.

S: I broke it a month ago when I was a baby.

When something suspicious is going on:

Me: Um, what are you doing over there?

S: Can you not look at me right now?

Best of all:

S: Mom? I love you forever.

And a close second:

S: Mom, I am super duper tired. I want to go to sleep now.

When Machines Rule the Earth

I just cheated on my pharmacist.

After a week of war against what I deemed to be yet-another-head-cold, I finally caved (i.e., panicked myself into a frenzy — I do that, in case it wasn’t already known. I have a thing. I have a lot of things…) and went to the doctor tonight.

The Sanford Walk-in Clinic’s website said the wait time was 45 minutes. I grabbed a book on my way out the door.

Then I passed an urgent care place in a strip mall. There were no cars in the parking light and a neon sign in the window spelled out, “OPEN.” I went in to a dimly lit little reception area where they accepted my insurance and the nurse waited for me to take my coat off because she was ready before I was.

After Andy checked out my ears, sinuses, throat, and lungs, he diagnosed me with bronchitis and a sinus infection. He asked me if I wanted a prescription called in to a pharmacy or if I wanted to use a machine in the hallway.

A machine in the hallway.

I love my pharmacist. She knows my prescriptions, my history, my anxiety, and practically has my home phone number from two houses ago memorized because I lost my CVS card ages ago (and anyway, I have no idea how to cash in on that thing).

But a machine in the hallway.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m sick, I’d rather not stop at a hundred different places plus the wait around time while the scrip is filled.

I used the machine in the hallway.

Every time a patient uses the machine in the hallway, somewhere in the world a pharmacist loses his or her wings.

Sorry, my pharmacist friends. I promise not to abandon you entirely. But the machine in the hallway was pretty awesome. And it was located not ten feet from another fine machine — the Keurig.

The drugs just fall right out of this thing. With my name on them!

The drugs just fall right out of this thing. With my name on them!

Bombs Away

Here is a conversation I had tonight with my three-and-a-half-year-old, upon getting home from work.

“Mom, how come all your bombs are white?”

“I don’t know. Just because.”

“You should get some other color bombs.”

“Why? Don’t you like white?”

“Because other color bombs would be cooler.”

“Like what color?”

“Like blue! You should have blue bombs!”

“I don’t have any blue bombs.”

“Do you have any more colorful bombs?”

“I have tan bombs.”

“Hand bombs? You put bombs on your hands?!?”

“No, not hand. Tan. The color tan. Like brown only lighter.”

“Oh, I thought you were going to wear bombs on your hands. You’re a silly mom!”


What is the first thing you do when you get home from work? Because for me, the first thing I do is discard my bombs. And I’ll let you guess what that means.

I Can Still Hear Her Complain

We are driving home from preschool/work, listening to the Classic Rock station, when Sigourney asks me in quiet contemplation:

“Mom, if he loved her, why did he have to kill her?”

That is a very interesting question, I told her.

I discreetly switched stations.

“Mom? Why does she work hard for the money?”

Um? So you’ll treat her right?

Radio off.

From the Bottom of the Clearance Bin

Dear Wilton Brands LLC:

If you are attempting to cater your gingerbread-decorating-kit toward people who would not know how to make the things from scratch (me), you have failed delightfully.

The box clearly shows an EASY, FUN project. And the bottom of the box reveals that we bought this thing on deep discount from the clearance bin.

Erma created herself (right) and her sister (left). Those little candy balls might not be edible. They almost broke my filling clear off.



My two favorite men in gingerbread form: my father and my husband. I ate my dad’s foot tonight and it was hard as a rock.

But for two dollars, it was still a fine art project for a stuck-inside day.






The Blizzard Within

Another weekend, another blizzard.

Here are a list of things I accomplished today:

  • Showered
  • Ate cream cheese danish
  • Teared up at new episode of Downton Abbey
  • Redirected tiny people toward safe choices (i.e., yelled a lot)
  • Played on the internet

Here are a list of things the children accomplished in the same time span:

  • Played outside in the already-formed snow drifts just prior to the arrival of this week’s blizzard
  • Had a Lego picnic in the living room
  • Decorated gingerbread people as monsters and regular folk
  • Read books to me while I dozed on the couch
  • Discussed the many functions of the human tongue
  • Played Baby Monkey School in the bath (Sigourney’s latest craze is to play variations of a game she invented called Baby School, wherein she is the baby and Erma is her teacher, but in this instance, they were both monkeys, and in a bath tub)
  • Drew maps to secret locations*
  • Hid cars in the couch cushions*
  • Started and finished a puzzle featuring three puppies who had gotten into their master’s ammunition supply
  • puzzle
  • Watched a movie about cartoon badgers
  • Jumped on a trampoline
  • Created a maze of domino tracks throughout the house
  • Fell asleep on the sofa before they even made it to bed

*Possibly related activities.

Little people are amazing. On that note, please send good vibes that school is not cancelled manana. Those of us (me) who are less productive without the confines of office walls need a place to go and be useful.


Parlor Trick

One of Sigourney’s current preschool goals is learning to rhyme. We have been practicing a bit at home, since it’s fun, and since there are only so many times you can listen to the interrupting cow knock-knock joke.

I thought she was doing pretty well with her rhymes.

What rhymes with cat? Pat.

What rhymes with man? Pan.

What rhymes with grin? Pin.

What rhymes with drink? Pink.

What rhymes with cork? Pork.


Further experimentation proved that dog rhymes with pog, book rhymes with pook, and horse rhymes with porse.

I can also use this non-understanding to impress people at parties with her incredible vocabulary. (If I took her to parties. And if I went to parties.)

What rhymes with tension? Pension.

What rhymes with present? Peasant.

What rhymes with jester? Pester.

What rhymes with village? Pillage.


Genius child, standing next to me, just gave me a list of words that begin with P: “Pancake, frog, glasses. I’m doing my own words, not P words. Letters. Puter. Finger. Puter. Answerphone. And word. That means we need to go round the words, so I need to type something. Now can I sit in your lap?”

That’s all, folks.

Stuff It, McStuffins

Sigourney donned one of her new Chanukah presents and announced that the doctor was ready to see her patients.

Erma asked, “What does your name tag say? Doc McStuffins?!?!?”

“No, it does not say Doc McStuffins!” Sigourney shouted back irritably.

“Yes. That’s what it says. Doc McStuffins.”


A regular riot broke out in the hallway over the besmirched name of the good MD.

Finally, I could stand it no more. “Hey, hey, hey,” I whispered in my gentlest voice*. “Erma, yes, it does say Doc McStuffins, but Sigourney, it doesn’t matter what the name tag really says. It can say whatever you want it to say.”

Sigourney gestured emphatically at her plastic badge, pointing at the words. “It says: you can not have this for 454648 months.”



Not Doc McStuffins.

She may need to work a bit on her bedside manner. *Me too.


The Spooky November Tale of My Dog the Hitchhiker

I was walking in the door, late one night,
When my eyes beheld a frightening sight,
For on the frame of the living room door was a sign:
“Welcome to the Haunted House,” announced a child-o-mine.

That November evening, when my house became haunted (Erma-style), was only the beginning of my spooky post-Halloween tale.

The next morning, with monsters still splaying the walls of our living room, I escorted Sigourney to preschool.

Spooky Event #1: We were early.

We were early. Sigourney got dressed in a timely manner. She did not argue about going to preschool. She did not cling to her father’s leg and sob. On the way to school, she did not complain about the radio station I picked, the “inedible” items in her trail mix bowl, or that I didn’t take a “different way” to school. (She has a thing about doing everything a “different way,” which is mainly the opposite of whatever way I do it.)

We arrived at preschool early — so early that her teacher gently reminded us that the room was not technically open yet, and we needed to give the custodian, Cherwinnia, time to prepare the room.

Obligingly, Sigourney and I walked down the hallway, pointing out the fabulous preschool art hanging in the corridor. Then, from out of nowhere (nowhere being the preschool room, I suppose), Cherwinnia appeared.

“I took my dog to obedience school last night,” she said, standing shoulder to shoulder against me. It was the eeriest thing that has ever been uttered to my immediate left.

A scary ghost with brown spots howls at you from the wall. “Get this tape off my headddddd,” it shrieks.

Soon after, I left my smallest daughter at preschool and headed to my office.

Spooky Event #2: The phone rings.

The phone at my desk rings. The caller ID displays:


Suddenly, Cherwinnia is at my shoulder. I feel her breathing near me. “I took my dog to obedience school last night,” she had said.

The caller ID does not lie. It is the obedience school. The person at the obedience school identifies herself as Vespera, my neighbor. She says she has my dog.

“My dog?” I repeat.

“Is your dog named Cinnamon?”

My dog IS named Cinnamon. Haunting music starts playing in the background. Actually, it’s train whistles, but in more haunting tones than usual.

This is where things went a little weird.

Hands reaching out of the wall. Will they grab you? … Or will they grab the person RIGHT NEXT TO YOU?

Spooky Event #3: My dog answers to the name Gracie.

My neighbor Vespera said she saw our beaglollie (that’s a beagle-border collie mix, for those of who you are not dog know-it-alls) in the corn field near our house. Thinking it could be her own dog, she called out, “GRACIE! GRACIE! COME HERE, GRACIE.”

Cinnamon, apparently, answers to the name “Come Here.” Or “Gracie.” Ironically, he seldom responds to the name “Cinnamon.” He did not hesitate to jump into the neighbor’s car. He did not hesitate to hop into the neighbor’s child’s lap. I can only imagine the amount of drool that the neighbor’s child endured on their drive.

A monster flies by dragging something by his tail. It’s…it’s…YOUR HOUSE!

Obvious Event #4: Cinnamon freaks out.

Perhaps not the spookiest part of the event, but when I asked my neighbor Vespera when I should come to obedience school to collect my canine, she said that we could leave him there a while, but that he was in a kennel and “freaking out a bit.” I left work and collected my pouty-eyed pup from obedience school and drove him back to his home/corn field.

It’s WordGirl! I don’t know why she’s in the Haunted House, but hey, let’s just go with it!

Conclusion: Mystery Unsolved.

What did Cherwinnia know, and when did she know it? How did my neighbor find out where I work? Why was Cinnamon-Gracie in the cornfield?  Why does Cinnamon chase skunks? Who let the dogs out? And which Jamberry nails set should I get Emilia for Chanukah? (Insert plug for sister-in-law’s nail wraps here.) These are the questions. So, like, hurry up and answer them, mkay?

As a post-script, can I mention here how embarrassing it is to have your obviously untrained dog being escorted to an obedience school? His time at obedience school left absolutely no mark of training on him. He still answers to the name “Gracie.” Or “Dinnertime.” Or “Stop Jumping on Me.”

And in the end…the disembodied heads…are scaring me so I’m going to bed.

Charlie Brown Does Not Do Anything

I have a tradition with my children to buy each of them a new dress of their birthdays. On Sunday, I took Sigourney to the dress store to pick out her birthday attire. The dress store, conveniently located next to the birthday party where we dropped Erma off, was Kohls.

In typical still-two-year-old fashion, Sigourney decided in the parking lot that she did NOT want to go to the dress store. Then she decided that she DID want to go. Then NOT. Then YES. Then NO.

We finally got into the store and there were CARTS TO RIDE IN, so we were going full throttle until we found the dresses. She proceeded to pick out her birthday dress with the utmost discretion. “Dat one! Can we go now?”

This is how Kohls always gets you. They have a display at the front of the store, stating that they care.  KOHL’S CARES, they proclaim. And by caring, they mean they are selling toys for $5 and then the $5 goes to some kind of charity. When we were there, the toys were Peanuts stuffed dolls.

“You can pick one out if you want.” It was a special day. And I like Peanuts.

So Sigourney wandered over to the Kohl’s Cares rack and, in much the same way she picked her birthday dress, she grabbed the stuffed toy closest to her reach and let the cashier scan it into our order.

Back in Sigourney’s arms, she looked at the toy and then looked to me. “Mom? What does this Charlie Brown DO?”

“Do? It doesn’t DO anything. It’s a toy to hug and squeeze and love.”

She stared at it. “Oh,” she said, clearly not impressed.

I turned toward the cashier, who was chuckling. “Kids sure expect a lot from their toys these days,” I said with a smile, though inside, I was silently wondering when someone would appear with my Mother of the Year award.

So Happy Birthday, Princess! Hope you get something better than a do-nothing Charlie Brown doll for your birthday. Like a flashlight or some painter’s tape!

* She actually has a tiny Charlie Brown and Snoopy given to her by her grandparents that plays the Peanuts theme song when you push on their bellies. Does that make her comment better? No. But she does sleep with Charlie Brown now. Which is a weird thing to say. The end.