She requested macaroni and cheese for lunch, and I was pleased to realize we had some good melting cheeses and that I could actually pull that off, so I did. When she sat down to eat, she asked, “What’s the sauce?” Me: “Melted cheese.” J: “What do you call melted cheese?” Me: “Umm… melted cheese?” Her: “No.” (takes a leisurely bite) “It’s called fondue.” So, yeah, schooled by a four year old.

At dinner, confronted with a delicious grilled cheese sandwich, J: “I don’t like cheese.” (Me: incredulous. Speechless. Jaw hanging.) Junip: “I told a funny joke!”

Getting dressed, and noticing her nipples: “Mom, did you know that when I get bigger, these will get bigger? …I think they’re bigger already.” Woah there kid. Slow down.

When Beth was visiting: “Mom, Gigi’s being really good. She can stay.”

The day before driving up to Minocqua, all day: “Mom, are we going to Minocqua now?” Me: “No, tomorrow.” Junip, exasperated: “I KNOW, but is today a tomorrow day?”

Me to Quinn: “Should we go get some food in that tummy?” Quinn picks up her shirt, looks at her belly, looks back at me like I truly must be an idiot, and answers with furrowed eyebrows, “No. In mouth.”

Hearing Drew dump the recyclables outside: “Beer!” (then, sadly:) “Beer fall down.”

Having requested bread, and received a slice of bread, but clearly unhappy about it: “No. I want the birthday bread.” Ah, yeah, that would be code for shortcake.

After her first day with our amazing, baby-whispering sitter (I’ve been picking up a few days at the bakery) Me: “Did you have fun with Liz?” Q: “Yeah.” Me: “Did you play games?” Q: “Yeah.” Me: “Did you read some books?” Q: “Yeah.” Me: “Did you snuggle and take a nap?” Q: “Yeah… Liz snuggle better.” Me: “Did you just say that Liz-” Drew: “That’s what I heard.” Seriously. Ouch.

At least a dozen times a day, or every time she hears the train goes past: “Trumpet! Train trumpet! I want pet the train!”

And some of my favorite words from her little language: Per = Juniper, Ida = Goodnight Gorilla (her favorite book), sunsee = sunglasses, tapidle = the state capital, or also any large building, dack = milk. Somehow these linger, even as she’s beginning to use complete sentences and her vocab is exploding. I’m in no rush to see them go.

Man, these kids.