Dream Seeds

For the last few weeks, every night before bed, I either tell Sophie a story I make up off the top of my head as I go, or I do what I think of as “dream seeding.” I make up a thing or scenario that she can then think about until she falls asleep. These are almost always ridiculous or impossible or both, but almost always really silly.

For example, I might simply say, “Imagine a pink, fluffy rhinoceros dancing ballet in a purple tutu. Good night!”

Other nights, like tonight, the scenario is more complex.

I started tonight simply enough: “Imagine a herd of majestic unitoads bounding down a road. A ‘unitoad,’ as you know, is a majestic toad with a horn like a unicorn’s.”

“Daddy, that doesn’t sound majestic.”

“Let me finish,” I said, without skipping a beat. “What if, as they bound down the road, each of them is trailing behind it a sparkling, shimmering rainbow of dust sort of like fairy dust? Isn’t that majestic?”

Sophie: “A little bit. But still, they’re toads.”

“What if I tell you they’re also made of gold and have their skin encrusted with precious gems?”

“Yeah, that’s pretty good, but still toads.”

“Well,” I said, “they’re also ribbiting in tune with one another, like an orchestra going down the road. Each one playing its part in a beautiful song, like a symphony or sonata or something. And you know how some frogs can inflate their necks? Those ones are pounding on their inflated throats like drums to keep the beat as they all bound down the road, gleaming bodies reflecting the sunlight and their horns sparkling while they trail arcsĀ  of sparkling rainbow-colored fairy dust behind them.”

“OK,” Sophie said at last, “That’s pretty majestic.”

Now she has something to dream about, and we had a wonderful bonding moment, just like we do almost every night.

A Sweet Exchange

A sweet exchange happened this evening while Sophie was putting away some laundry for us and I was trying to get ready for a nap (which didn’t wind up happening — I’d forgotten that tonight her Brownie troop was having a little re-dedication ceremony).

Me: If I don’t get a nap right now, I’ll be a sad daddy.

Sophia: You’re already a sad daddy because you’re watching me grow up and you know someday I’ll move away.

Me: <surprised silence>

Sophia: <comes over and hugs me> Don’t worry. I won’t move too far away.

Sophie is such a good kid.

Third Grade

In a few hours, Sophie starts the third grade. Wow. Time flies!

In fact, tomorrow is also Sophie’s first day working in the school bookstore! She’s very excited about this opportunity; it’s apparently quite an honor (which I think I mentioned a few months ago when we got word of this). She’s worked hard to memorize prices of popular items, practice her math and counting of change, and how to deal with unexpected requests. I hope it all goes well for her!

We’ve learned who her teacher is, and that several people she knows will be in her class, so that’s also great news. Having a few kids she knows around will certainly help. And one of her classmates lives on our block! That’ll be really awesome for her, I think.

She’s a little nervous about tomorrow, but I know she’ll do great.

Sophie’s Experiment

At lunch today, we were talking about this and that, and the topic of Sophie’s fantasy world came up. She imagines a world in which things are made of candy, and the water is all pink lemonade.

I asked her what the rain was made of, and she said that it’s pink lemonade too, and that the water cycle was the pink lemonade cycle there; that after raining, the pink lemonade would evaporate, form clouds, and rain again.

I asked her if she thought pink lemonade would really evaporate, and if all of it would, or if something would be left behind. She thought about it for a moment, then said she thought that it would all evaporate into clouds.

I hmm’ed about that for a moment, then asked her to propose an experiment to test that theory. She came up with this:

“Take some pink lemonade and put it in a pan. Cover the pan with a sheet of thin clear plastic. Then put it in the sun. When the fog forms on the inside of the plastic, see what that moisture is made of.”

My daughter, the scientist!


Happy birthday, Sophie!

It’s amazing that she’s eight years old today. Time sure flies. There’s a lot going on in Sophie’s world these days. She’s been really active; she’s been playing softball, and just finished up a basketball camp put on by the high school girls’ basketball team.

Later today, we have her big birthday extravaganza. All four of her grandparents, Aunt Sharon and Uncle Robert… all of her local cousins… the three of us, of course, plus Jack, Abby, and their parents. Wow! We’ll test-drive the new grill and swim and generally have a great time, I’m sure.

Tomorrow, Sophie has her last softball game of the season. She’s enjoyed softball very much.

Then, the day after tomorrow, Sophie goes on a road trip to Florida with her Grandma and Grandpa. They’ll go to the beach and visit the Kennedy Space Center. I’m sure that’ll be fun! I might be a tad jealous.

Sophie starts the third grade at the end of July. That amazes me. She’s now into the school years I actually remember. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: time flies!

Bookstore and more

Hey! So it’s been a while since I posted an update here. Life and things. Anyway…

Sophie was nominated for, and has been selected to work in the school bookstore next year. It’s considered a big honor; you’re given the responsibility of handling money and the like while selling school supplies, school trinkets (bumper stickers, car magnets, that sort of thing), and the like. It generally means they think the student is responsible enough and good enough with numbers to handle the work.

It’s been a busy spring, and Sophie is now just four days away from finishing the second grade. She’s into the spring softball season now, playing in a church league (she’s not ready for little league yet, and the parks and rec department spring league is apparently a little hardcore compared to the fall league she played in last year). She’s doing fairly well, and seems to enjoy it.

Sophie’s birthday is in less than three weeks. It’s hard to believe she’s almost eight already! She’s growing up fast.

She’s really looking forward to her grandma and grandpa arriving in a couple of weeks, and then their trip to Florida together. They’ll have a lot of fun!

I will try to get caught up on pulling in pictures soon, and will be trying to get back into the habit of more regular updates.

Softball Tryouts

Yesterday morning, Sophie had her tryout for the spring softball season. Sarah took her over for that. They had to do it indoors since there had been snow (just a half-inch or so, but still!) overnight. From what I’m told, Sophie did an amazing job! She worked hard, she threw and caught well, she ran the base run fast, and, well, we’re really proud of her!

Looking forward to what should be a great softball season!


Last night I heard this story about Sophie at school, and I had to record it.

They recently had a spelling bee at Sophie’s school. One boy — not one in Sophie’s class, but one she knew at her last school — has a stutter. While it was his turn at the spelling bee to spell a word, he was having a hard time getting the spelling out due to his stutter, and some of the kids started to laugh at him.

Sophie, I’m told, hushed them sternly and said something along the lines of, “Don’t laugh at him! He can’t help it!”

When I told Sophie I’d heard this story, she said, “Well, last year I heard him talking and asked him why he spoke that way. He told me he couldn’t help it; it’s just how he is. So I don’t think it’s fair to tease him.”

The immense pride and joy I feel at hearing this story goes beyond anything words can say. Knowing my daughter is willing to stand up for others like that gives me a sense that we’re doing all right by her.

She can be a handful — even a pain — sometimes, but boy, oh, boy she’s really a great kid!

Dream Busters

Last night, around 3 AM or so, there was a minor ruckus in Sophie’s room, then a few moments later, there she was, upset over a dream she’d been having. Apparently, while on vacation, there were repeated attacks with small bombs, or something along those lines. It was hard to quite pick up the details.

So I went into Sophie’s room, tucked her in, then lay down next to her and told her a story about a magic piano. Afterward, I went to go back to bed, but Sophie said she was scared the dream would come back.

So I told her to think good thoughts, and that it was just a dream, not real. Then I went a step further — and here’s the bit I was proud of — I suggested she invite the Mythbusters to come bust the myth of the scary dream. If it helps, I said, she should even bring in Frank and JD and the bomb squad to take care of things.

Sophie thought that was a good idea. She grinned a happy sleepy grin, curled up, and went to sleep. Score one for the Mythbusters!

A Christmas “What the… I Don’t Even…”

Sarah was just looking for a Christmas movie to put in the DVD player. Sophie said, “Anything but Frosty the Snowman! I hate that movie!”

This is, of course, news to us. Frosty was Sophie’s favorite thing to watch for years. She would watch it over and over and over and over and over all day. To have her proclaim her disdain for it now is shocking. Shocking, I say!