March 19, 1998: It's snowing today, and this morning, Sarah said, "I know why it's snowing. Tomorrow's spring, and so the snow wants to say, 'Good-by!'"
Later, we were joking around at breakfast, and Sarah said, "I was so happy, my shoe fell off."
March 22, 1998: Sarah asked Murray, "When we're not at Grandma Brinkmann's house, does she speak English?"
Sarah wanted some of Murray's drink, and when he said no, she said, "Please -- I won't say ‘Ew’ for your germs."
Murray told Sarah that Rebecca had had tubes in her ears when she was a baby and, no, they weren't still in her ears. Sarah asked, "What part of her body did they come out?" Murray said her ears, of course. "What part of her body did they put them in?"
April 1, 1998: We recently got some new pillows. Sarah went to bed with one of them, but she thought it smelled unfamiliar. "When will it start to smell like us?"
This weekend, the kids asked Murray if they could get a toy from a vending machine in a grocery store. Murray helped Sarah buy her toy; she may never have used a vending machine before. He showed her the hole where to put the money, and the handle. She put the money in, and he said, "Now, turn." Obediently, she stood and spun herself around in a circle.
April 3, 1998: Yesterday Rebecca informed us, "I know exactly what I'm going to do when I grow up, and I'm not going to change my mind this time." She is going to work with snow leopards, either in a zoo, or hiking to find them in Asia.
Last night Sarah was trying to get me to put something away for her, and I was trying to get her to do it herself. She said pleadingly, "That's what Mommies are made for, to help people."
Murray has taught the kids that April fool's jokes are for all of April, not just April 1. This afternoon, I told Ping-Hwei to do his Chinese school homework. A few minutes later he told me, "I can't find my Chinese homework." I said he needed to keep looking for it. He said, "April fool!" He was so proud of himself, he kept saying, "April fool; I tease you."
April 9, 1998: The other day I was singing "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down." Sarah started singing, "A spoon full of mud helps the sugar go down," and I said, "Oh, Sarah, stop that silliness." She protested, "It's just silliness, not meanness."
April 30, 1998: A while after telling them that they could play out for 15 more minutes, Murray went outside to tell the kids to come inside, and Sarah was angry that the time was already up. She said, "It was her that wasted all our timeout here!" Pointing at Rebecca, she shouted, "Her!"
May 2, 1998: Yesterday, Caleb went horseback riding with the kids from the Visual Impaired room at school, and, of course, he's been talking about it for weeks. Yesterday morning, I was singing with Benjamin's toy radio, "Zippity do-dah, zippity day!" and Caleb said, "I think today's going to be a zippity do-dah day."
May 4, 1998: After going to their room for bed, Rebecca read to Sarah, both sitting on Rebecca's bed. There were some loud words after a while, and Murray looked in. Rebecca was kind of mad: "She promised me she would stay awake, and she keeps falling asleep." "But there's no way people can keep from falling asleep when they're that tired," Murray explained. "But she could sit up, and she won't." When Murray next looked, Sarah had her hands on her cheeks, holding her eyes open.
May 8, 1998: Rebecca was doing her spelling words tonight, and spelled, "constellation." “What does it mean?” I asked. "When you constellute someone," she responded.
May 28, 1998: Rebecca had a question about her shoes today: “Can we throw these away? They're broken (cracked) and have spider blood on them. “I don't see any spider blood on them, Rebecca,” Murray said. “Well, I know they do, because I stepped on a lot of spiders."
June 5, 1998: Tonight Caleb told us that he had heard once of a man who had been building a cage for alligators and one of the alligators had bit his hand off. Sarah asked, "So was he able to build the cage?"