Her Brother’s Marital Prospects and Other Baby-Girl Observations

About five years ago, I started a post about funny things my daughter was saying at the time, but I never finished it. I forgot about it until last weekend, when I stumbled on the draft in one of my files. So today, I’m including three things Baby-Girl said when she was probably six or seven, and I’ve added two additional gems; one dates back to last fall, and the other is fresh from last weekend, said hours after I’d discovered my unfinished draft.


One afternoon, my sons and I were mid-conversation when Baby-Girl interrupted to ask a vocabulary question relating to something we’d said.

“Wait, what does ‘cheesy’ mean?” she asked.

I tried to think of synonyms she might know. “Oh, you know, tacky or tasteless, dorky maybe.”

She looked stumped for a second and then offered, “Wait, I do know what ‘cut the cheese’ means.”

She was quiet for a beat. Then, she stage whispered, “But I won’t say it out loud.”


I forget now the setting in which this happened, but somehow, my younger son bumped his head hard enough for some concern. In trying to assess the degree of his injury, I asked him a series of questions like who the president was and what the answers were to simple math equations. He answered well, and I forgot about the incident until the next day, when Baby-Girl came downstairs announcing she had bumped her head on her lamp pretty hard. Yes, this sounds like a random injury, but there were no eyewitnesses.

“But don’t worry, Mom,” she assured me. “I tested myself by asking myself what two times two is. I answered ‘four,’ so I’m okay.”


Baby-Girl went through a “puma phase.” Over a period of about six months, she began acquiring several pieces of apparel with puma patterns on them. One Sunday morning, she stepped out of her room wearing puma-patterned shoes, puma-patterned pants, a denim shirt with a puma pattern in its collar and sleeves, and a puma-patterned scarf. She stood quietly by her doorway for a few seconds, then turned and ran back in her room. When she emerged again, she had removed her scarf and changed her shoes. I gave her an inquisitive look.

“I think it was just too much puma,” she announced before running downstairs to the car.


Last fall, Baby-Girl asked me to quiz her on her vocabulary words for an upcoming test. She instructed me to give her the words and she would provide the definitions.

The list was extensive, but she flew through the first thirty or so, barely pausing for breath. This continued until we hit the word “buffoon.”

She furrowed her brow, slumped in the chair, and gripped its arms, thinking. Then she sat up and, in this rapid-fire voice she has, said, “Oh, I know this one! It’s a place where bad people go to have drinks.”

(Her hearing may be in question, but her exposure to old westerns doesn’t appear to be.)


Around dinnertime last weekend, I noticed one of my sons had not showered yet for the day. As someone who sometimes showers twice a day due to workout schedules, this has always dumbfounded me, that there are people out there who have to be reminded or even cajoled or commanded into completing basic hygiene practices.

LCB, Baby-Girl, and I were sitting outside on our rocking chairs, and my son popped his hasn’t-been-shampooed-in-a-day-and-a-half head out the door.

“Dude, we’re almost ready to eat dinner. Go take a shower already,” I told him.

You would have thought I’d asked him to plow the back eighty before nightfall, the way he groaned.

“It’s too late, Mom,” he tried.

Baby-Girl, rocking on my lap, beat me to the punch. “If it’s too late to shower, then it’s too late to have a wife.”

It’s hard to parent well, or even with mediocrity, frankly. It’s enough, some days, to drive you to the buffoon saloon in search of a drink with all those bad people. So it’s nice when one child’s wit makes up for another’s laziness and allows you to sit back and, for once, just smile and say nothing.

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