Saturday, September 26, 2009


Last week Rachel had to use the potty during sacrament meeting, so I took her out and into the little bathroom in the hallway. The first thing she did was pull a chin-up on the sink so she could check out the soap.

“Nothin’ purple soap here!” she exclaimed, “Just ‘reen soap. I don’t like ‘reen soap.”

I told her how cool green soap was and after that failed I tried the mean-mom method and said that it didn’t matter if she didn’t like it because I wasn’t going to take her upstairs to use the purple soap.

She’s been saying nothin’ a lot lately.

“What did you learn at nursery?”


Oh, good. I thought kids weren’t supposed to start that until junior high. I guess they start earlier, though.

I love it when she uses “nothing” to mean “there isn’t any.” The first time I heard her was the sink incident, but she’s been using it pretty consistently lately. I think it’s hilarious.

This week when we were getting ready to go to church Rachel was very concerned that we weren’t going to feed her before we left. I don’t know why because I don’t think we’ve ever left the house once without giving her breakfast.

“Please!” she desperately whined, “Please may I more eatin’ at home! Please! There’s nothin’ food at church!”

Except for snack time in nursery. But apparently that doesn’t count.

At least she’s finally starting to enjoy going to nursery again; we’ve been leaving her in there screaming, which breaks my heart because the primary room is right next to the nursery and I can hear her screaming. So usually I go back in and get her and she’ll happily sit in a chair, folding her arms for the rest of church. Odd that she’d rather skip play time and lesson and singing and snack and just sit on a chair. We’re glad she’s finally happy to be going to nursery again.

Staying dry through the night is another story. She has stayed dry four nights since she got sick in Israel, which was about a month ago. She’s convinced that she can’t do it. So she can’t.

The other day she asked me, “Who makes me stay dry?”

“You do, Rachel,” I told her.

“No, I don’t.”

“Yes, Rachel keeps Rachel dry. It’s all up to you.”

“And Mommy and Daddy,” she said and then added, “And Jesus.”

We do pray for her at night to sleep well, have good dreams, and to be able to stay dry, so I suppose she is getting a little help in that department.

Yesterday we had her say the blessing on the food. She likes to keep food prayers short because she’s worried she’ll starve to death if she doesn’t. Or something like that. Yesterday, though, we couldn’t get her to finish the prayer.

“We’re thankful for the food,” she said, “and French toast. And syrup. And bagels. And water. And my cup. And Mommy. And Daddy. And fruit…”

Andrew and I were having a hard time staying serious. French toast and syrup and fruit were all part of dinner. Bagels? Not so much. And she just kept going and going and going. Her eyes were open and she was thanking Heavenly Father for everything she saw, I guess. Except for the bagels. I’m not sure why those came up.

Dinner was good. Andrew made coconut French toast, which I highly recommend. It was more than good, it was divine.

Rachel kept stuffing it in her mouth until her cheeks were bulging and she could hardly keep her lips closed around her food.

“Mooooo!” she say, spraying bits of partially chewed toast all over the table, “Moooo! Mooo! Moo!”

Then after she finished chewing and she could actually talk she’d announce, “I’m a cow.”

She’s been doing this for about a week now because about a week ago she kept trying to talk to us during dinner when her mouth was so stuffed with food that we couldn’t understand her. So I misquoted an oft-quoted line (at least at my dinner table growing up) from Shel Silverstein’s With a Mouth Full of Food.

“Rachel,” I said, “A cow never moo’d with her mouth full of food!”

And then we talked about how she’s incomprehensible when she talks with her mouth full so it’s better to wait until she’s chewed and swallowed before she speaks. All she remembered was the cow part, though, and she’s been stuffing her mouth full to overflowing and mooing while chewing ever since, which is appropriate, I guess, since the real line goes,

Why, even the milk cow who moo'd as she chewed
Never talked with her mouth full of food

Sometimes parenting completely backfires on us. Mooing, it seems, is perfectly acceptable to do with a full mouth, at least according to Silverstein…and Rachel.

It’s funny that she picked up on that, though, and remembers that I said it. She remembers all sorts of things. I’m surprised, really, at how much she remembers. She’ll probably end up being like me. I have rather vivid memories starting from when I was two.

Just this morning she was sitting on my lap holding baby Miriam. Baby Miriam kicked. Rachel burped.

“What’s baby Miriam doing?!” she asked in surprise.

Usually she’ll answer herself that baby Miriam is popping. Today, however, she said,

“She burped?! Can baby Miriam burp?”

I guess she forgot that she was the one who burped. I prefer when she asks about things she does because she contracts “am I” into “my” and her question comes out like “What my doing?!”

No matter. She asked the question she did and I had to answer.

“I don’t know if Miriam burps but she does get the hiccups.” I answered and then realized that Rachel rarely gets the hiccups and might not know what they are so I asked her. “Do you know what hiccups are?”

“Hiccup’s like throw up.” She answered.

“Not really…” I said.

“Yes!” she argued, “I hiccup and burp and throw up on my pink shirt. And in the sink. Hiccup’s like throwing up.”

“You remember that?”


“Alright, where were we when you threw up?” I quizzed her.

“In Israel. At the beach.”

She got sick on September 1st—25 days ago! And she remembers what she was wearing, how many times she threw up, and where we were. I think that’s a pretty good memory for a two-year-old.

Our conversation moved on when Miriam kicked again. Or at least when Rachel noticed that Miriam was kicking. Miriam has been kicking so much lately that it makes me feel like I’m suffering from motion sickness. It’s kind of crazy. And she kicks hard—she bounced the bed last night doing some super-human bouncing.

Anyway, Rachel noticed she kicked and put her hand where Miriam’s little limb had been protruding.

“Miriam’s kicking right here,” she said, patting my tummy gently. Then she reached around to the other side of my belly and felt some more of Miriam and asked, “What body part is this?”

After she met baby Noah, her friend Elijah’s brand-new brother, we were able to convince her that a real live baby was actually inside my tummy and that when Miriam came out she’d be an actual baby.

This has provided my belly-button with much-needed relief. Rachel was convinced that my belly-button was Miriam (and ‘pity da fool’ who contradicted her); she’d poke and prod my belly button all day long and was completely convinced that it was her sister. Having your belly button poked and prodded all day long when it’s already stretched to near-maximum capacity isn’t exactly fun. I’m glad the abuse has stopped. Also I’m glad that Rachel understands a bit better what will be coming into our house (ie: not a belly-button).

So that’s our Rachel. She’s so fun to have around…too bad we spent most of this past week driving each other crazy!


  1. I'm seeing a pattern here. Rachel didn't have bed wetting problems in Morocco or Israel. So I guess the solution is to just live on vacation.

  2. I blame Israel. Again.

  3. She's one smart kid. And I can't believe I missed reading this post yesterday. i guess I was just too enthralled in your hairy fruit and Andrew's hairy legs.

  4. Your stories always make me laugh!!!

  5. I also love reading your stories! Much better than silly quiz results that some people spend most of their time on. You inspire me!
    26 September at 21:33 · Delete