Bubbe and Grandpa Stu gave us a terrific and apt gift for Hanukah: magnetic poetry, Edgar Allan Poe edition. If you haven’t seen magnetic poetry, they are kits full of flat magnets printed with one word apiece, in this case words particularly appropriate for Poe, such as crepuscular, crypt, dread, amontillado, kiss, dark . . .

They arrive in sheets that one has to break apart, so there were some found poems just in the unbroken sheets. I liked


Mookie found:


and some others. Now she is creating Poe-like poetry on the fridge.


These are two separate poems:



Thanks for the inspiration, Mom, Stu, and Edgar!

Venn diagram


Mookie just loves Venn diagrams, and created this one describing our family. I dispute the claim that I don’t have puffy cheeks, and showed her my puffed-up cheeks to prove it, but she is sticking by it.

Now we know what to suggest the next time she says “What should I dooooo?” There are so many things in the world to put into Venn diagrams.





When I asked Mookie to grab a jacket this morning, she chose the poncho her guidemother Darcey made her. Ever since then, she’s been from Peru. She’s chattering in Spanish, quite fluidly, about how much she likes to climb the mountains of Peru, and chatting in English with her invisible llama, whose name is Aunt Verpa. (“As in vapor.”)

Math nerd at play

Mookie and her two-years-older cousin N. were sharing lots of giggles over dinner tonight as Mookie engaged N. in one of her favorite pastimes, Math Quiz. She posed math problems and he solved them. They quickly got into Math Nerd Humor, Elementary School Division:

M: What’s 13 x 1?
N (feigning puzzlement): Um . . . 13?
M: (collapses laughing)


M: What’s ten times zero times zero times zero times zero . . . (collapses again)

Then he started giving her problems. “What’s -42 divided by 2?” Mookie had no idea what he was talking about. “Negative,” in this context, was a foreign word; she literally said “Huh?!” I suggested to N. that he explain negative numbers to her–she’d enjoy them–but then we heard this:

N: What’s negative 300 plus negative 301?
M: Um . . . 601–wait, no, negative 601.

At this point Joy’s eyes and mine met across the table, both clearly saying, How the hell does she know that?

This child’s intuition for math is astounding. Maybe she gets it from Joy.


Or, as Mookie pronounces it, “poblem.” She wanted to know if she had a great-great-grandmother. We talked about that for a while and then she seemed to be focused on the real point of her question, which was about the grandmother she had who died before Mookie was a year old. She wanted to know her name, since she calls her “Grandma C.” Then this:

Mookie: And she saw me when I was a baby, but I can’t see her.

Me (sighing): That’s true.

Mookie: That’s the problem with dead people.