Category Archives: Piper Rose

Openings and Closings

The timing could not have been more precise. My phone rang; a friend calling to deliver worrisome, though not disastrous, medical news about a mutual friend. “The warranties on our middle-aged bodies,” I remember thinking, “have well and truly run out. We are all starting to show our manufacturing defects, and there is no RMA available. It’s fix or toss, now.” And even as we talked through what this meant in the immediate term, an unfamiliar number with a 608 prefix rang me.

My cell phone number dates back to Boston, and the other number I maintain to New York City, so my personal daily cloud of no-see-em spam phone calls come to me from 617 and 917: any call from a 608 number I assume to be real. On top of that, I answer pretty much any call when I’m not physically around my kids. This was a no-brainer: I apologized to my friend and took the call.

I didn’t recognize the voice.

“This is your wife.” (It was not my wife.) “I’m with your wife.” (That made more sense.) “Piper’s been in an accident here on the bike path. I’m going to put your wife on the phone.” (A brief flapping and fumbling as the phone changed hands.) “It’s me,” Kate said, in a voice all focus and fear behind a tourniquet of concentration. “I need to you to pick up Syd and meet us at the Children’s Hospital. A biker hit Piper on the head. We’re calling 911 now. It’s bad.”

“Okay,” I said. “I’m on it.” I held the phone for a moment before asking, “Just how bad is it? What’s your read?” Nothing from Kate as an eternal few seconds fell echoing down a well, and then: “Just come.” Continue reading Openings and Closings

Can’t argue with the logic

P: “I had a dream about a Penny Fairy. You leave a penny under your pillow, and she replaces it with … a quarter!”

Kate: “Wait, wouldn’t you call her the Quarter Fairy, then?”

P: “Well, no. If we did that, we’d have to call the Tooth Fairy the Prize Fairy, instead.”

Kate: “… you know,  that’s an excellent point.”

Masterful use of the passive voice

As I walked up to the bus stop this afternoon, I noticed that P was wearing her coat, yes, and snow pants, and hat and mittens … but not something else she left the house with this morning.

“Oh, Abba,” she said brightly as I approached. “My backpack was left at school.”

“Was left at.” I can’t tell if it’s my inner copy editor, my outer parent–or realistically, both of them in chorus–that had me put my head in my hands and groan.

“You’re not. That’s okay!”

On the way to the bus stop yesterday:

P: “Abba, why are the days getting shorter?”
A: “Well, Piper, let’s talk about this tonight. I’ve got a great idea to explain this, using our globe and a flashlight.”
P: “Okay! That sounds great!”

[The school day passes. Dinner, teeth brushing, jams on. Kate is reading to Syd in the next room; I have assembled our globe, a flashlight, a piece of string, a measuring tape, and a bright light source on a stand.]

P: “Yes!” (fist pumps)
A: “Well, let’s start out with the globe … you see how it’s tilted … and it goes around the sun … and here’s the shadow of the … darn, the light’s slipped … okay, can you put your finger on the spot where … wait, find Madison on the globe … put a piece of tape there … now turn the globe … wait, I’ve got to change the light … maybe we should start by looking at the globe from the top … ”

[15 minutes of basically pure HERP DERP fumbling from me, later]

A: (long pause)
A: “You know what, Piper? I might try this again another time. I don’t feel like I’m doing a very good job explaining this.”
P: “You’re not. That’s okay. … Do we still have time to read a chapter in The Doll People?”
A: “Absolutely.”


Let’s work on the “barter” concept, shall we

«Syd comes galumphing into the room clutching a just-found box of candles in her hand»

Piper, to Syd: “Oh, Syd, I want those candles!”

Me, to Piper: “So what do you do when you want something that Syd’s got?”

Piper, very nearly rolling her eyes: “I … Trade … Her … Something.”

Me: “Yup!”

«Piper looks around, seizes the first portable thing she can grab without moving»

 Piper, to Syd: “Here, Syd, have some stinky pants.”

«Piper snakes the candles out of Syd’s grasp and flits away. Syd cheerfully galumphs after her, clutching the ‘stinky pants’ but clearly intending to get her candles back.»