My husband had a rather wild adolescence, so whenever our youngest child does anything remotely sneaky, I blame my husband.  Now, one could argue that my husband had a rather normal adolescence, and I had a completely abnormal one.  I was, in fact, so straight-laced as a teen, my freshman year in college I received the nickname the pure one, or simply Po for short.  Not only did I never get drunk, I never drank at all.  I never smoked, did drugs, stole anything, or snuck out of the house.  I never cheated on a test, and I never lied.  I skipped school once and after fifteen minutes of sitting with my friends at the donut shop, I found a pay phone and called my mom to tell her I was skipping school.  I was concerned she would worry if the school called her to report my absence.  The truth is, I was well into my thirties before I was even in the same room as someone smoking pot.  I am not entirely sure how I avoided all the normal pitfalls of puberty, I was either very naïve or wise beyond my years; I am still not sure which.

My youngest, who takes after her father in many ways, has a keen understanding of the moments she is left unsupervised.  The second I step into the shower, the moment I go to retrieve the mail, the very instant I answer a phone call, she bursts into action.  I call this behavior doodle-poppin’.  My definition of doodle-poppin’ is exhibiting mischievous behavior which is too funny to punish.

Monday, while I was weeding the yard, Ella made “soup,” which basically means she filled my stock pot with water and dumped in ten dollars worth of paprika and oregano.

Wednesday, while I was in the shower, Ella took all the wrapping paper, ribbons, and gift bags out of the closet and wrapped up stuff she owns.  When I discovered the mess spread from one end of the hall to the other, Ella began giving me these wrapped up items as gifts.

“This is a present for you, Mommy.”

How do you yell at a four-year-old who just handed you a stuffed rabbit wrapped in Christmas paper with the ears sticking out?

Then she handed me a gift bag.  I pulled out yards of ribbon and sheets of tissue.  “I don’t think there is anything in here,” I said.

Ella surveyed me with a disdain one might feel for a spoiled child asking for candy.  “The ribbon is the gift, Mom.”

“Of course it is.  I love green ribbon!!”

Today, while I was answering emails, Ella took paint and markers and colored all her doll furniture.  When I discovered the messy project, Ella could see the frustration on my face.

“I know you think this is doodle-poppin’,” she said.  “But I think it is art!”

PS  I went to take a photo of my daughter’s “art,” but my oldest daughter has taken my photo memory card out of the camera.  She did this a week ago to complete a school project.  I am certain I will never see my memory card again.


Mona and other notes on the Louvre

During our recent trip to France, we toured the Louvre and went straight to see Mona L.  From her throne behind protective glass, she was holding court in front of several dozen admirers.  She is much smaller than you might expect and frankly, not all that impressive.  I believe her allure stems from her sly facial expression.  She definitely has s juicy secret, some major piece of gossip.  Some historians believe her secret is, “Ha, Ha, I’m really a dude.”  Some believe she is Leonardo Da Vinci himself.  I believe her secret is, “Ha, Ha, I just slept with Magellan.”

Mona L.  expert photo taken by ME!

Mona L. expert photo taken by ME!

My favorite part of the museum was counting the number of statues who had lost their penises.  I lost track in the thirties.  It is not that I can’t count to forty, but rather that I was distracted by a fourteen-year-old constantly complaining about food, a three-year-old constantly complaining about sleep, and a sixteen-year-old constantly complaining about her siblings.  I felt less bad for the men who had lost both their penis and their face.  The men whose faces were preserved are destined to an eternity of folks comments, “Oh my God, did you see Joe’s junk?”  “What a mess!”

While visiting the Louvre, I had a fantastic idea to increase traffic and raise revenue.  I think there should be a special, on-time-only, viewing where they match the statues without heads with the heads without bodies.  I know, you are thinking, “Are you crazy?  We are talking about historic artifacts here!”

Yes, I know, but I also know that I would pay extra to see Winged Victory

The Winged Victory

The Winged Victory

With one of these faces:

I am the one on the left.

I am the one on the left.

An uncanny resemblance!

An uncanny resemblance!