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Journal Of Her Words And Deeds
The First Decade Or So Of Her Life
That Struck Her Mother Funny
ages 3 - 6
ages 7 - 8
h 1998 b 1999 a 2000
Age: 1 yr 5 months (17 months)
In the kitchen
one day, I am holding Kelley and stirring something on the stove.
I tell Kelley it is "Wonderful!" and I ask her, "Can you
say "wonderful"? She
looks at her fingers and holds some up and says, "One, der, free!"
3/4 yrs (20-22 months)
Lora has a
cocker spaniel puppy that she has named Hobbit.
Kelley has been going through a series of variations on this name that
are extremely appropriate at each time she uses them, and I don't think she
realizes this. She thinks each one
is the dog's real name. Even though
our visits are fairly infrequent, Kelley continues to refer to Hobbit by that
name for several visits - either until we convince her of his real name, or
until he does something to warrant a new name.
The first name change was right off the bat when Hobbit apparently
assumed Kelley, being the smallest kid around, was another puppy and was forever
trying to get Kelley to play with him by jumping on her, knocking her down, and
roughhousing with her. Thus
“Hobbit” became "Stop It". After
this came the period when we would be there and Hobbit, thinking Kelley's
"Baby" was his, would, at every opportunity (which is quite often when
you are waiting to catch a toddler off guard) snatch it and then trot off with
the "Baby" in his mouth. He was always just ahead of her, as he led
her out one kitchen door and in the other, going around and around through the
kitchen, through the mobile home, out the doggie door, splashing across the
wading pool and the other little kids in it, back in through the doggie door...
Little Kelley would be right behind him, the whole time, hollering at
him: "Drop It! Gimme
dat!" Once when we went to
visit, Kelley brought with her a beautiful balloon she had aquired from
somewhere. Of course it was
inevitable that Hobbit’s newest moniker would became "Pop It".
Of course, there was also the time when Kelley happened to witness one of
Hobbit's particularly large, smelly, and messy – uh – outdoor
routines, and he became known as "Plop It"....
Age: 23 months
Reporting firm of which Jack was a partner had recently moved their offices to
the elegant building at 555 W. Ocean which also housed a bank and expensive
restaurant. It was after 5:00 when
I was leaving one evening with the girls, and everyone but the security guard
had deserted the building. I got a
glimpse of how Kelley's sense of humor was developing when I stepped out of the
elevator with Katie at my side and Kel in my arms.
She took one look at the guard and threw both arms and her body toward
him and cried, "Help me! Save
real phrase is "Gimme dat!"
Her second is
"I can't reach it!"
and she calls Kevin "Uncle Papa"
and Lora "Uncle Mama"
Age: 2 yrs
most questions and sentences with "Mom", only the "M" that
begins "Mom" disappears and the rest is sort of run on to the end of
the previous word. For example,
bedrooms with the girls, I hang my big mirror at the head of my bed.
One morning I woke up with Kelley standing on my bed, her face about one
inch from the mirror, and informing me, "I'm me, Kew-wie,
After 6 or 7
months of periodically emphatically exclaiming "CA-WATT!" (which my
unimaginative brain could only interpret at this time as meaning
"carrot") when she was excited, I finally realized during a louder
than normal discussion with Jack that Kelley was ordering us to be
"QUIET!" Sure enough,
thinking back, this would happen whenever she thought an argument was ensuing!
Whenever we go
to Long Beach we cross the San Gabriel River just before getting off the 7th
Street off ramp. As soon as she
sees the sparkling river, Kelley excitedly exclaims, "Wahdees, wahdees!"
asks me to, "Carry me up"
Kelley loves to
sing and watch "Ee - ee - a - pooh"
"Ee - ee -
a - pooh" becomes "Shampoo"
Kelley wants me
to do her hair in a "Chuck E. Cheese".
I guess correctly this is 2 ponytails, like the little girl in the
commercial is wearing, and Kelley goes off to search for two
"Band-Aids" (rubber bands) so I can do this for her...
I show Kelley
her first snail crawling in the grass. "That's
a snail," I tell her. She
looks at it, then looks at me and asks, "Why?"
June 14, 1993
Age: almost 3 yrs old
Kelley gets a
hold of my tambourine, turns it over in her hands, searching, then looks up with
a puzzled expression and demands, "Hey!
Where's the batteries?"
dinner before the rest of us, and so we ask her to tell us a story.
She runs upstairs and gets some big paperback books Jack has gotten them.
She sits at the end of the table and opens a book and begins - "Now
Every story now
begins with "Now then..."
August 25, 1993
For quite a
while Kelley is terrified to go into the bedroom she and Kate share because she
is convinced "ET" is in there.
May 16, 1994
Kelley asks me,
"What's a pickle pine?" I
finally figure out she means "porcupine"!
May 21, 1994
and I are in the upstairs bathroom. I
ask Kate to go tell Papa the Yellow Pages are downstairs.
She goes to the top of the stairs and hollers, "The Yellow Pages are
downstairs!" then comes back into the bathroom.
I ask her, "Did he hear?"
She doesn't know. So I ask Kelley, "Go downstairs to where Papa is, look
at him and tell him 'The Yellow Pages are in your office."
She says, "Uh-huh", goes half-way down the stairs and yells,
"Papa, the blue pencils are downstairs!"
May 23, 1994
Wheaties at the market last night in hopes of trying to wean the girls off of
sugary cereal. Not much luck,
though. This morning I poured
a bowl for Kelley who tasted it then informed me, "It's too healthy for me,
Kelley and I
are in the computer room singing "My Grandfather's Clock".
After we finish, she asks me where the clock is.
"Is it at Jack's?" I'm
impressed that she has remembered a long time ago I told her about the clock
Jack and I used to have up the hill, but I have to answer her,
"No. I think Jack's
ex-wife has it." "What's
her name?" she wants to know. "Ingrid."
"Can we go see Anger?" "Ingrid."
I repeat, and she asks again, "Can we go see Anger?"
What can I say?
The kid knows. And when she's right, she's right!
ants on the wall in the bathroom; 2 of them.
"There are lots of ants! There
are 2 of dem," she tells me. I
take this opportunity to engage in a little number lesson.
Holding up my fingers, I ask her how many.
"Four," is the reply. "No,
2." I count, "One, two." She
nods, understanding. "Two."
This is going to be a breeze, I think to myself.
"OK, how many arms do I have?" I ask, holding my arms out from
my body. "Six," she says.
July 7. 1996
a new kitten's gender to her friend, Taylor.
"No, stupid, he's a girl!"
July 18, 1996
helping me with the dishes and wants to know where Katie is. "She went to run an errand with Jack."
"Where is "runanerrand"? she asks.
Confused, I don't answer immediately, which she takes to mean she is
wrong in assuming "runanerrand" is a place.
She modifies her search string, rephrasing her question and asks, "I
mean, who is Run and Erin?"
October 9, 1996
Kate has been
pretty sick, and is staying home from school.
As I brush Kelley's hair, getting her ready for school, I tell her we are
taking Kate to Dr. Kurtz today. Kelley
is quiet a moment, then comments, "I hope Dr. Kurtz doesn't have to put
Katie to sleep."
And then I asked her where she heard that, and does she know what it
means to be 'put to sleep'? "It means when you're dismissed," she answers.
You can't get
more to the point than that, can you? She
Kelley is at
her dry erase board. She asks me to
spell my name, so I say, "L" and she writes "L".
I say "i", and she writes "i".
I say "n", she writes "n", and so on until she has
written my name, "Linda". "There,"
she says proudly, and pointing to her work, reads, "Mama!"
I am putting
the girls to bed that night and am in Kelley's room.
Kate has followed me in and is asking me something, but spelling it out
so Kelley won't know what she wants: "S-l-e-e-p
w-i-t-h m-e"? she
spells. But Kelley pipes up,
"Does that spell 'sleep with me' "?
Katie and I
look at each other in amazement!
A few mornings
later, I am in a hurry and Katie is in my way -- I keep tripping over her, so I
tell her, "move, move, move!"
From the other room we hear Kelley's voice: "Em-oh-vee-ee!”
Again, Katie and I stop and look at each other in amazement!
I tell Rich when he gets home about it.
Later that day I hear Kelley boasting to Papa about how she can spell,
and then shows a sample of her skill: "Em-oo-oh-vay,"
she proudly spells for him, then adds, "It spells, 'Get outta my
At the kitchen
table, Kelley is telling about two male deer fighting over a girl, and how they
got their antlers locked. Well,
David the Gnome comes and has to saw apart the antlers, then of course lectures
the two young bucks, with the result being "…and the two deers never fighted again."
"Fought," I say.
"What?" she asks.
Papa explains, "There's no such word as fighted”,
and I add, "Fight -- fought."
understands immediately, and nodding, says, "and they never foughted
For bedtime, I
agree to read out of these journals for the girls.
We had been talking about Kelley's ability to "know" things.
After discussing many of them, Katie says, "Kelley's sort of like a fortune
teller." Kelley, very seriously leans toward me and confides in a voice
that is half boasting and half amazement, "Um, Mom...
I don't use a crystal
April 12, 1997
can't ride a bike, so when Kate and I were going to ride ours around the block,
Kelley said she would accompany us by running.
"Honey, you can't run that far," I told her.
She insisted she could. "No
you can't, Kelley," said Papa. "Yes,
I can," Kelley insists. "I
know I can!" I tell her I
don't think she can even make it to the corner without stopping.
She says she can, keeps insisting she can go around the whole block.
I finally bet her she can't go around the whole block without stopping.
If she wins, we go bowling. If
she loses, we don't.
incredible! About halfway down the
second half of the block, I was telling her it was OK to stop, we would go
bowling anyway, I was very impressed, but she kept on going, didn't stop once,
until she got back to our lawn, where she collapsed.
She had paced herself very well!!!!
I was extremely impressed!! She
is such a determined person!!! A
little while later she wanted to go again, and we had to almost order her not
as of 7/20/98 we still have not gone bowling!)
After she had
collapsed on the lawn and Papa drove up in the motorhome (he had been
following), we all sat on the brick wall and talked.
I mentioned I was concerned about Kelley's scar where she had had
stitches, just above her eye. Talk turned to how brave Kelley had been when she
was in the emergency room. I asked
her if she remembered. "I
couldn't move?" she asked. That's
right, we told her. "umm...."
she thought harder. "Was I
dead?" She could remember not
being able to move, but not that it was because she was strapped down in almost
a straight jacket type of thing, that they use on little kids to restrain
them....therefore, it must have been because she was dead....
a lizard that I spied in the garage while doing laundry (OK, it scared the hell
out of me and I didn't want to come upon it by chance again!) the girls and I
decide "Lizzie" needs a larger home.
As is usual for me, I dive headfirst into this project.
We go to Pet City and purchase a ten-gallon aquarium, and some ground
cover, and send Jack off to get wood and screen so I can make a lid.
We are getting ready to put the contents of her new home inside, and are
planning how we will arrange it for her: A
beautiful pond to drink and bathe in, a bridge to go over it, a beach to lay on,
moss to hide in, a mountain to climb.... Kelley
throws her arms wide, then hugs herself as she exclaims, "It will be a
habitat of love!"
At the girls' request, I am regaling them with stories of their births. As I begin the part about the labor, I ask Kelley, "Do you know what contractions are?" I ask her. "Oh, sure," she nods her head. Then a little unsure, "Um, well, sort of. You mean, like contraction and addition?"
I am cleaning
Kelley's ears when she reminds me, "Be careful, Mom. My ears are sensible."
The girls and I
are making paper ornaments (snowflakes, angels, etc) for our tree, but Kelley is
worried: "How will we make the
angel's harnesses?" (halos)
June 15, 1998
Kelley with her report on a famous person.
She has chosen Michelle Kwan, the young Olympic Silver Medalist Champion
Ice Skater. I ask Kelley if she
knows what a "role model" is, and she answers, very seriously,
"Uh-huh. It's someone who
stands like this (she poses) and wears beautiful clothes."
August 15, 1998
Rich was in an
irritable mood as we walked toward the checkout stand in Sam's Club.
Kelley had been walking with us, only she was sort of hopping and dancing
and singing a little to herself. Rich
snapped at her, "Why do you have to do that?"
She answered, "Because it keeps me amused."
After dinner tonight we are all mulling around the table.
Papa wants a cookie, and since he has gone to the bank today, I am going
to make him pay for one. I ask him
how much money he has and Kelley answers, "He has $16.00."
He says that is right, and how did she know? Well, we all think she must have been peeking in his wallet
earlier, but she is very adamant that she has not. (Now that I think about it,
she wouldn't have had a chance to, since we were not with him all day and he has
been to the bank, as well….) Kelley
explains to us that she just sort of has this….power….and starts to tell us about one time she knew about a
tattoo that a guy had on his arm…. But
I am very intrigued about how she knew how much money Papa had and I want to
explore this a little further. "Kelley,"
I cut her off. "Let's
try this." I'm going to give
her a chance to prove her psychic abilities by telling me how much money I have
in my wallet. (Only first, I have
to count it to see…) Okay, now I
know, and I am thinking the number really hard….
Can she tell me how much I have? She
looks really hard at me….. starts
to say…a number…..then stops….then…"Th-"
She falters, says it again, "Th-….
I think it's…. Is it in
the thirties? It's
thirty-something." I am
TOTALLY incredulous!!!!!! I have
absolutely NO WAY she could have known that.
Jack and I had just come from the market with the girls, and Kelley had
been two aisles away, reading a book at the time I paid for the groceries.
Heck, I didn't even know how much I had!
Doubting Thomas Jack decides to try the final test.
How much does HE have in HIS wallet?
(But first he has to count it…) I
go over and watch him count it…. 47,
48, $49. Okay, the test is on.
I think the number really hard to Kelley….
After a few minutes of theatrics where she is agonizing over the
telepathic message I am sending her, she announces, "It's in
-- there's more!
Papa leave to go get milk at the store, and I come in here to write this all
down. While I'm in here I call to
the girls to come and see the pictures I have captured from video today.
I tell them to turn around so I can surprise them.
Now, they know the pictures are of Molly, Granny's new kitten.
But they don't know that what I have been wanting to show them is a
fantastic picture I got of our little hamster, not Molly.
As they're waiting, turned away from the computer (which is irrelevant
since I have so much stuff running at the moment that I haven't been able to
access the picture I want yet anyway) Kelley says, "I bet it is a picture
of the hamster." I am amazed,
again, but I don't say anything. "Okay,"
I think to myself. "I'll show
the picture of the hamster in the ball with Molly."
That is the only other shot of the hamster I got.
Then Kelley says, "Or it's the hamster in the ball with Molly."
October 2, 1999
Saturday evening. Richard feels he has been unfair to Kelley, who spent the whole day “cleaning her room” as per his instructions when, at 6:45pm it dawns on him that while she has been cleaning, Katie has been playing with Kate and Hannah, friends from across the street. He calls her over to apologize. “Kelley, I’m afraid I haven’t been fair to you. I told you to clean your room and Katie didn’t have to clean hers.”
us with her reply. In a good
natured voice she states, “Oh,
well, Katie’s was pretty much already clean.
She keeps her room pretty much clean and I don’t.
I should always keep mine clean, too.”
From the looks
on our faces, Kelley feels she must clarify herself:
“I say these words because I want a movie.”
and I burst into laughter, while Kelley stood there beaming.
(By the way --
she didn’t get a movie that night)
Kelley is sitting at the kitchen table
drawing. Pouring Rich a cup of coffee, I suggest the family might want to go to
church some Sunday, but the only church Rich will agree to go to is, of course,
a Catholic church. I counter with
Lutheran and we're off on a religious debate.
A few minutes later, when I am in the office, I hear Rich laughing and
say, "Where's Mama? She has to
see this." He comes into the
office to show me how Kelley has perceived our discussion.