The AliceBot 5000

Tonight after dinner I informed the girls that the television would remain off until the main level of the house was clean “to Mommy’s satisfaction” and we were all going to work together.

The first order of business was to get the laundry put away, so I handed the girls stacks of their clothes and sent them downstairs. They sorted them on the floor in the playroom and then put the clothes away. Alice came back upstairs and found me folding more laundry, and stood very rigid and spoke in a monotone:


So we started calling her AliceBot and she was a monotonic robot slave for about 45 minutes, calling us MommyBot and DaddyBot. She threw away trash, swept, raked the carpet (yes, we have a carpet rake — we have dogs with foot-long hair), vacuumed, put toys away, put sofa cushions back where they belong, everything without complaint.

Helen, on the other hand, was WAILING. Partly because she gets out of control emotional every time we ask her to clean and partly because I think robots scare her or something. She was in hysterics every time we’d talk to each other in robotic monotones. So we started calling her DramaBot, which just caused more wailing.


(I wonder if we called her the Robot Princess if she’d be more receptive. Will have to try that.)

It was finally cleaned to my satisfaction and then we had to turn the Bots back into little girls so they could have their showers and go to bed.

I am SO totally going to enjoy this AliceBot phase while it lasts. She was FUN, eager, and hilarious. That is a seriously funny little kid.


This is Emily.

Emily, helping me pinbaste a quilt

She is 13 years old and follows me everywhere. EVERYwhere. If you ever videochat with me, you’ll see me throw the cat off the table probably about every 15 seconds or so.

ANYWAY. She also talks a lot, apparently as calico kitties have a tendency to do. Her voice is raspy and soft, and we have accused her of smoking all of her life. (She does not smoke, by the way. In case you were wondering.)

Kitty is also neurotic. She rips holes in herself when under stress. I was out of town at ScrapShare Texas last weekend. For Emily, who follows me EVERYwhere, this = stress. So she has ripped three holes in herself: left shoulder, right chest, and chin.

This morning, Jay said that she looked like a zombie. And then he said, in the exact tone and volume in which she meows, “Braaaaaains!”

Every time she has talked today, which is a lot, I hear “Braaaaaaaains!” and it makes me laugh.

Just thought I’d share. Maybe it’s not as funny to you, but I find it totally hilarious.

Mommy Yes Day

Alice crosses the monkey bars

Originally uploaded by messygoat

Today was Mommy Yes Day — I tried to say Yes to the girls as much as possible. So when they wanted to go to their school and play on the playground, we went home to grab jackets (which they didn’t wear) and my knitting (which I didn’t do) and my camera (which I did use a lot), and played for over 2 hours.

Alice went back and forth across these monkey bars a bunch of times and was very proud of herself, so she asked me to please get a video of it so Daddy could see. Then as SOON as we got home, she ran up to ask Daddy if he’d seen it yet. Patience is not her gift, clearly.

Mommy Yes Day wore both girls out, though — Helen had a meltdown around 4:00 and Alice came home and passed out.

More photos will be posted in this blog entry — the girls were both posing for me a lot — if you’re reading this on a reader — click through and you can see them. The light was perfect.

Helen Girls
Alice Helen