Falling Leaves, Books, And A Newfound Obsession With Pumpkins


After every meal, proper hygiene mandates we have Maisie brush her teeth.  Which we do…and which she does…to a point.  She does a stellar job of brushing her front teeth.  Goes up and down, side to side, etc.  It’s when we tell her “don’t forget the back teeth” that she pulls the brush out of her mouth and brushes her actual back.  Then she brushes her hair.  Then back to the back, then hair.  So while her back teeth may suffer some cavities, at least we know the back of her head will be completely free of tooth decay

Maisie, showing off her front teeth and favorite mustard bottle.


Out of the tens of thousands of books Maisie has at her disposal it never fails that the one she chooses to read is the one Aimee and I wish never existed.  This is “Good Dog Carl.”  Whenever we see her pull it out of the pile, you hear us say, “Ohhhh no, not Good Dog Carl.”  Good Dog Carl is about 25 pages long and has about 7 words.  “Take care of the baby while I’m gone.”  And at the end of the book, “Good Dog Carl.”  This means, there’s no phoning it in and reciting half-memorized lines.  You have to improvise every time you read it.  This requires thinking.  The kind of thinking that sometimes isn’t readily available at 8 in the morning.  And on top of that, the story line centers on a Mom who leaves the house and entrusts her kid to a Dog.  Where’s child protective services?  Where’s the SPCA?  Where are some more words?


Now as rebuttal to the previous entry, there’s also nothing quite as tiring as opening a book that looks innocently elementary (and short) on the outside to find they have reprinted the entire Bible on the inside.  This is when you start taking blocks of type and read every fifth word.

ACTUAL STORY.  “What will happen to my little bed?” Small Bear asked as he caught up with Papa Bear.  But Papa was sharpening his ax on his grinding stone and didn’t hear.  “Yes indeed,” said Papa Bear.  “You need a bed you can stretch out in—a bed that will not give you pains in your knees and aches in your legs.”  He tested the axe to see if it was sharp then headed off into the woods.  What will happen to my little bed?” Small Bear asked again as he caught up with Papa Bear in the woods.  Papa had chopped down a tree and was splitting it into boards.  “We will have a new baby soon who will need that little bed,” said Papa Bear as he whacked off another board,  “A new baby?” asked Small Bear.  He hadn’t noticed that Mam Bear had grown very round lately, although he had noticed it was harder and harder to sit on her lap.  “And it’s coming soon?”  “Yes, very soon!” said Papa Bear.  With a final hack he split off the last board, which gave him enough wood to make a bigger bed for Small Bear.

MINUS EVERY FIFTH WORD.  “What bed?” Small up Papa didn’t Papa bed you can stretch will in your axe headed will bed? Small caught in chopped it have will said whacked baby? Mama lately, it sit it’s very final which make Bear.


Haircut Day: Before.

Haircut Day: After


This morning, Maisie walked up to the couch wanting me to read her the book, “At The Zoo.”  When I opened it up to the inside cover, this is what I read:

To Emily Grace, Love from Grandma Jack.

We have no idea who this Emily Grace is.  Nor Grandma jack.  Now where “At The Zoo” actually came from.  It just showed up.  Like, like it was from another dimension.  A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.  That’s the signpost up ahead.  Your next stop, The Twilight Zone.


  1. Maisie pointed to a crab in the Deep Sea Dive book and said, “Mama.”  Now of course all descriptions of her mother as a crab need independent confirmation, so I waited five minutes then asked her, “Where’s Mama?”  She pointed at the crab.  It is now official.
  2. A new word today…Canada.  Or “canda” as in “I’m going to Canada where they let me play with the mustard and let me leave the refrigerator door open as long as I like.”

Open refrigerator door

Reason behind open refrigerator door.


Like most American families, we watch TV together.  And last Thursday night we happened to be watching Up All Night on NBC.  It was about fifteen minutes into the show, during the scene when Christina Applegate’s little kid takes her phone and throws it into the toilet when Maisie just burst out laughing.  Just to make sure this was not some coincidence and maybe Maisie was reflecting on some hilarious exchange she had seen earlier on Sesame Street that day, we wound back the DVR a couple scenes.  Sure enough when the phone got thrown in the toilet…again, howls of laughter.  While overjoyed that our daughter is developing a sense of humor similar to ours, we’ve taken the precaution of locking up all our cellphones in a safe.


A sweet look from Maisie as she eats her breakfast of cheese and little tiny rocks.


Things Maisie is scared of these days (or what makes her hit her chest with her hand which is Maisie speak for “I’m scared pick me up even though I weigh the same as a large boulder):

  • Fire engines
  • Low flying planes
  • Her crib
  • Pictures of her crib
  • Dogs barking
  • Peanut butter*

*Actually Maisie isn’t scared of peanut better, I am.


It seems our quick walks around the neighborhood have turned into four-hour marathons.    The reason this happens is we’ll walk half a block then Maisie has to stop to look at a pumpkin on someone’s porch.  Then we walk about ten steps and there are some weeds we have to point at.  Another ten steps and we have to stop for an interesting crack in the sidewalk.  Five steps and she’s spotted a bug.  Seven steps and there is a leaf down on the sidewalk that needs attention.  And so it continues for the next half block, pausing for more pumpkins, a stick, dirt, trees, flowers, little tiny benches, garden hoses, gnomes, another stick, more dirt, and continues as such until we either get home, or she trips over one of the sidewalk cracks and starts crying.

Maisie and one of her favorite pastimes: tearing apart all of her father's bananas and making sure they're so bruised they're inedible.


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