Riley: (proudly showing his uncle Joe the Lego building he made) “And this is the getaway boat, and this is the extra room, and this wall is a little taller because it’s part castle.”
Joe: “Cool! Where’s the cannon?”
Riley: “Oh, it’s right here, in this wall.”
Me: “How did you know it would have a cannon?”
Joe: (disbelieving) “You’ve gotta have a cannon.”


Riley: “Mom? Can I play with your thing, the plastic thing you have? The plastic thing that when you turn it on it goes bmmmmmm?”


Me: “Hey! Dylan, did you track this mud into the house?”
Dylan: “Um. Um. Um. If my shoes did accidentally make that dirt but they didn’t mean to, would you be mad at me?”


Dylan: (shyly, after I kiss him goodnight) “The baby whistlepig … the baby whistlepig loves the mommy whistlepig.”


Dylan: “Remember a long long time ago when Daddy made pancakes and I got to pour the syrup?”
Me: “You mean yesterday?”
Dylan. “Yeah. Also tomorrow I’m going to ride the bus with Riley to school because I’m going to be in kindergarten!”
Me: “You mean next fall?”
Dylan: “Yeah.”


Riley: (rolling a ball across the table and into the toy basket) “This one had a little fun before he went away.”

Riley: (picking up the living room, one hand full of toys) “Look at this hand! This hand is like a party.”


Dylan: “Can I have a dolphin pancake?”
Me: “A pancake cut into a dolphin shape?”
Dylan: “No! A pancake made out of real dolphin.”
Me: “Gross.”
Dylan: (rubbing his belly dramatically and smacking his lips) “MMMM. DOLPHIN. TASTES LIKE FIN.”


Riley: (examining my fresh-from-the-laundry bra) “I guess girl underwear is just really different.”
Dylan: “It looks like two Easter eggs!”
Riley: (doubtfully) “Ostrich eggs, maybe.”


Riley: “Do kids go to jail?”
Me: “Well, no.”
Riley: “Okay.”
Me: “But why do you ask?”
Riley: “No reason.”


Riley: (snuggling with his ratty blue blanket he’s had since birth) “I just love my blanket so, so much.”
Me: “I know you do, sweetie.”
Riley: “Will I have it forever?”
Me: “You’ll have it as long as you want it.”
Riley: “What if it rips?”
Me: “We’ll fix it.”
Riley: “I know it doesn’t look like it used to. But it’s like that book, right? About the rabbit? It’s real now, isn’t it? And it doesn’t mind looking like this?”
Me: “That’s right. Because you love it so much.”
Riley: (burying his face in the cloth) “It’s real for always.”


62 Responses to “Conversations”

  1. Eric's Mommy on February 24th, 2013 12:43 pm

    Omg, the bra, haha

  2. Marika on February 24th, 2013 12:45 pm

    Just beautiful. I have a new baby boy and can’t wait for these sorts of moments!

  3. Wendy on February 24th, 2013 12:45 pm

    Oh. I just love this.

    Baby whistlepig just kills me.

  4. Melanie on February 24th, 2013 1:32 pm

    Y’know, I really miss your Parenting Poetry, but if this is an indication of your “next wave,” I’m good with that. :)

    And yeah, Wendy, baby whistlepig. May I borrow a tissue? I believe I just got something in my eye….

  5. Lorraine on February 24th, 2013 1:33 pm

    I miss when you used to write columns.
    Your kids are adorable but I wish you would write around this material rather than give your loyal subscribers quotes.

  6. Linda on February 24th, 2013 1:41 pm

    Lorraine: ??

  7. Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian on February 24th, 2013 1:47 pm

    So cute! I love the one about time travel and the “ostrich eggs” quote. Very funny.

  8. Lauren on February 24th, 2013 1:52 pm

    Seriously, Lorraine? These “quotes” speak for themselves.

    Linda, I love this post so much it made me cry. I waver back and forth, back and forth about having kids. This column, ahem post, is one more for the ‘forth’ column.

    “This hand is like a party!”

  9. Jo on February 24th, 2013 1:54 pm

    The ostrich eggs/bra quote, absolute gold!!

  10. diane on February 24th, 2013 2:28 pm

    The whole post is very, very sweet. But yes, the ostrich egg bra comment–I guffawed out loud. (GOL?)

  11. Junni on February 24th, 2013 2:48 pm

    This is awesome. Tastes like fin.

  12. Junni on February 24th, 2013 2:50 pm

    Also, I must be time traveling, too. My comment says 2:48, but its only 1:50. Dun dunn dunnnnnnn!

  13. bj on February 24th, 2013 2:55 pm

    I’m a little bit worried about the blanket that’s become real, like the bunny. Where does a real blanket live, and do? and eat?

  14. bj on February 24th, 2013 2:56 pm

    I’m glad we got the ostrich egg clarification, ’cause I was wondering a little bit about the easter egg bra.

  15. Lindsay on February 24th, 2013 3:08 pm

    This was such a treat to read. You are on a roll!

  16. Danell on February 24th, 2013 3:39 pm

    Fantastic stuff, as always!

  17. Amanda on February 24th, 2013 3:53 pm

    I continue to hope that you will write a book! Still laughing over the dolphin pancake. . .

  18. NancyJ on February 24th, 2013 4:05 pm

    Oh the blanket!
    My son had a blanket and he sucked his thumb. He “worked” the blanket from bottom to top and then back again with the free hand with the other’s thumb in his mouth.
    I asked him why does he do that? “I don’t know”. What does it smell like? “It smells…..PERFECT” LOVE

  19. Meggan on February 24th, 2013 6:30 pm

    Tell Riley that my 31 yr old sister still has her blanket. It stays in a pillowcase for safety but she still loves it!

  20. Aubrey on February 24th, 2013 6:41 pm

    These sound like conversations at my house. Except with a 6 year old and almost 4 year old girls.

  21. Kris on February 24th, 2013 7:18 pm

    I love this so much. Probably my most favorite thing that you’ve ever written.

    I feel all melty & squishy now. Your boys are the best.

  22. Meg on February 24th, 2013 7:42 pm

    Ah, your writing kills me–it is so wonderful!

    I am having ‘a moment’ over the whistlepig conversation.

  23. Angella on February 24th, 2013 8:16 pm

    Lorraine is ridiculous. Next up, she’ll write you an anonymous letter in the mail.

    Loved this, Linda. I need to document more of the little moments.


  24. Donna on February 24th, 2013 9:15 pm

    Oh your boys. They are something. Whistlepig! Killin me smalls!
    Ostrich eggs and real blankies….so so sweet.

  25. Donna on February 24th, 2013 9:17 pm

    Oh, my 5 yo grandaughter looked down the BACK of the 10 year olds shirt, and tells her I’m looking for growth spurts…..I thought I would die!

  26. Lesley T. on February 25th, 2013 3:25 am

    I loved it when a long long time ago I watched the Oscars, and then tomorrow I’m going to travel to Mars in my flying car!


  27. Elle on February 25th, 2013 6:18 am

    I don’t know what is best, the bra, whistlepig or blanket…so sweet!

  28. Emma on February 25th, 2013 6:53 am

    Thank you for the giggle this morning…I needed it on this rainy Monday morning!

  29. birdgal (another amy) on February 25th, 2013 7:03 am

    Oh, the crazy shit that flies out of kids mouths. Thanks for this, it made me laugh.

  30. Cheryl S. on February 25th, 2013 7:12 am

    It’s real for always. Sniffle! The Velveteen Rabbit is one of my favorite books.

  31. melanie on February 25th, 2013 7:21 am

    love this post….

  32. Melissa on February 25th, 2013 7:37 am

    Love this. I have time travel conversations too, with the 5yo, she’ll be in Kindergarten in the fall too. Also about the bra…from the girl side, my 5yo says “that’s what’s different about daddys, they stand up to pee and they don’t wipe”. Good observations kid.

  33. MuthaTeresa on February 25th, 2013 8:33 am

    Love these! So much like the conversations at our house…
    “Noah get Captain America’s head OUT of your nose!”
    Yesterday, I knew I was in trouble because he called me Mamma Avery (his middle name).

    We have a blue blankie, too. *sniff*

  34. Marolyn on February 25th, 2013 8:43 am

    Love it all… but the shoes making the mud/dirt…. swoon!

  35. KeraLinnea on February 25th, 2013 9:10 am

    This was so awesome. I kept thinking “Oh, that’s my favorite! Oh wait! That one, that’s my favor–no, this one!!” Finally I gave up trying to pick the best quote. They’re all wonderful. How sweet and funny and just KID-LIKE your boys are!

  36. Melissa on February 25th, 2013 9:49 am

    You let Riley know my husband is 40 (so super old) and he still has his “yellow blanket”. When he is sick we have to get it out of it’s special box and lay it on him so that he gets better.

  37. laziza on February 25th, 2013 10:42 am

    This had me laughing out loud. So great. And then I got to Lorraine’s comment and kept laughing – two for one!

  38. anne on February 25th, 2013 11:06 am

    Yeah, Lorraine. Seriously?

  39. K on February 25th, 2013 11:15 am


    Haaaaaa. Little wise acre. : )

  40. Jenny on February 25th, 2013 12:05 pm

    Some of these could be Calvin and Hobbes strips! Your kids are a HOOT!

  41. willikat on February 25th, 2013 12:27 pm

    So. Damn. Funny. Thank you for this.

  42. Michelle on February 25th, 2013 2:13 pm

    This was wonderful. I laughed until I cried and then I cried. Your boys are great!

  43. Tanya on February 25th, 2013 2:55 pm

    This is just such a lovely post. I love all your posts but this one really moved me. My kids are roughly the same age as yours (mine are almost 8 and 5) and I just love the stuff that comes out of their mouths but I never capture it.

  44. Donna on February 25th, 2013 3:12 pm

    More, please!!

  45. Kate on February 25th, 2013 7:35 pm

    What fun kids!

  46. Laura on February 25th, 2013 10:51 pm

    oh, the feels!! whistlepig? blanket? I love all of it.

  47. rachel on February 25th, 2013 11:48 pm

    so so lovely and hilarious. thank you!

  48. Erin Killian on February 26th, 2013 8:22 am

    I love this post. Made me laugh and cock my head to the side and say, “Oh, that’s sweet!!” Thank you for this.

  49. Becky on February 26th, 2013 10:57 am

    OMG the baby whistlepig. ’sniff

  50. Mandy on February 26th, 2013 2:31 pm

    I love the sweet ones, but the question about kids going to jail, with no explanation, has got to be tied for my favorite with the blanket quote. These are awesome.

  51. Annabelle on February 26th, 2013 8:37 pm

    I’m laughing, I’m crying. This is the best. I’m 40 and i still have my blankie, even though he isn’t the same after I accidentally “cooked” him in the weird German washing machine during the year of study abroad in college. I can barely talk about it.

  52. Jen on February 27th, 2013 1:45 pm

    Seriously loved them ALL. I don’t comment often, but whenever I see you’ve posted I can’t wait to read :) I had a blankie. My “snuggie”. Had it since I was born. Loved the shit out of that thing. Took it to college where an angry ex decided to hold my it hostage after a messy breakup. I’m 33 and I still miss that damn thing. Seriously.

  53. Sonia on February 27th, 2013 3:02 pm

    I just died. From all the cute. Seriously love this!

  54. Amy N on February 28th, 2013 11:47 am

    Hysterical and adorable at the same time!!

  55. deanna on February 28th, 2013 5:59 pm

    i adore everything about this post. absolutely perfect. your kids are awesome.

  56. Donna on March 1st, 2013 4:12 pm

    I can’t even pick a favorite, those are all hilarious/adorable! I wish I could catch stuff my son says more often (he’s four).

  57. Lou on March 1st, 2013 10:34 pm

    ALL totally adorable, but “this hand is like a party” had me laughing out loud – awesome :o)

  58. Tricia on March 2nd, 2013 6:10 pm

    Riley: “Do kids go to jail?”
    Me: “Well, no.”
    Riley: “Okay.”
    Me: “But why do you ask?”
    Riley: “No reason.”

    A Calvin & Hobbes Conversation!

  59. Anais on March 2nd, 2013 7:40 pm

    That ostrich egg bra one was my favorite! Little boys are hilarious. And I agree with Tricia- that second to last one is totally a Calvin & Hobbes-like exchange. Wonderful post!

  60. Shawna on March 9th, 2013 8:58 pm

    Since I don’t know what a Clarisonic is, I’m still thinking it’s… well, you know.

    Love this post!

  61. Fairydogmother on March 17th, 2013 7:43 am

    Two things:

    -oops, I just forgot the first. We will have to come back to it.

    -I am in love with your kiddos on the Internet. Um, not at all in a creepy way, I promise. (Wait, that was #1!)

    -I had that same conversation about kids going to jail many times as a school age care director many moons ago. Always kids about Riley’s age, usually boys. HMMM, indeed, what the heck am I teaching you guys anyway! Do I really need to do everything around here myself? *brisk Swistle clap!* engaging teacher voice, “inside voices!”

  62. Fairydogmother on March 17th, 2013 7:46 am

    SHEESH, spoke to soon!

    Jeez, Lorraine! Common courtesy & the use of simple human decency while in public are not at all expensive. You may be interested in accessing a dictionary definition of the words “kindness” and “appreciation” one of these days.

    Good luck to you on your path until then. We all have to start somewhere. You have reached the end of your internets, apparently. Bon Voyage!

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