Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lilah's Greatest Hits

Lilah turned 12 yesterday. In honor of her birthday, I went through some old e-mails I wrote when she was 3, where I described her latest antics to family members, and I read them to her. The e-mails are dated between January and March of 2001. Here are some excerpts:

One thing Lilah likes to do these days is to brush Annabelle’s teeth. Annabelle will actually sit still and let her do it.

Yesterday Lilah said, “I wrote “apple” . I looked to see that she had drawn an absolutely perfect capital “A”.

Lilah’s getting better at drawing faces. At first, when she added hair, she drew hair all over the face. Now she keeps the hair on top of the head. Her heads look more like small boulders than heads, and the eyes are big, gaping holes, but each person she draws bears a crooked smile, and looks quite amiable indeed.

Lilah calls McDonald’s “Old McDonald’s.” She’ll say, “We got french fries at Old McDonald’s.”

Lilah said she wanted to eat some “mouse cheese.” What kind of cheese was that? I asked. She said it was the kind “with the holes in it.”

Lilah’s been drawing people with long bodies. She calls them “carrot people.”

Lilah still mangles a few words. She says “grave” for “gave” and “grive” for “give”. She says “bemenber” for “remember” and “beleven” for “eleven.”
When she has something to tell you, she says, “Did you mamber” (Do you remember) and then launches breathlessly into a monologue about something you might remember or something you have no prior knowledge of.

Lilah asked where she would be if I wasn’t here. I said I guess she’d be with God in heaven. Lilah said, “I don’t know how to go there! That’s too far for me to walk…I’ll get tired. It’s hard to get there, you know.”

(One night when we were babysitting another toddler, named Adrienne.) :
Lilah found some shoes that she considered tap shoes, and she wanted to put them on and dance in them. That made Annabelle want some dress shoes too. So I went to hunt some up, and then Lilah decided that all three of them should have tap dance shoes. While I was trying to find shoes to fit and put them on, Lilah got more and more excited. “This is gonna be GREAT! We’re all gonna have tap dance shoes!!” she said. When I expressed some doubt about the shoes fitting Adrienne, Lilah said confidently, “I know they’re fitting. This is gonna be GREAT!” In reality, Annabelle quickly grew tired of wearing the shoes, and Adrienne didn’t want to dance, but Lilah wore the shoes and danced for us.

Lilah is excited about Valentine’s Day, because she knows it involves chocolate! When she woke up this morning she asked what day it was. Then a little later she asked when we could start eating the candy. She told me several times last night that Daddy had bought me chocolate, and then told me that it was supposed to be a secret.

Lilah talks about what it would be like if she ate too much. “Then my stomach would get REALLY big and you’d have to lift me up with a crane!!!”

Lilah again on eating too much, on a separate occasion: “When your tummy gets big you have to be lifted up by a crane! You gotta hold on!!”

I made a comment to Lilah that throwing up is no fun. Lilah agreed. “It’s not a game,” she said. “It’s boring.”

Lilah was talking about how her lips were too dry. “I want my lips to be slimy like a slimy snake.”

Lilah was watching a show where the toys come to life. “When will they get into real?”

Lilah and I were making microwave popcorn. Lilah was anxious to turn the microwave off and make it ding, but I told her it wasn’t time yet. The popcorn was still popping too fast. As the popping finally slowed down, Lilah said, “It’s getting tired.”

It’s been fun to watch Lilah’s drawings of people evolve. Now the eyes are no longer big gaping holes, but are a circle within a circle. And now the nose has sprouted two little growths on the side that look kind of like warts. Lilah says that is the “breathing part” of the nose.

Lilah’s drawings continue to get more detailed all the time. Now she is drawing circles inside her people’s ears, calling them “the wax that keeps the sand, dust and dirt from coming in your ears.” Yeah, she’s drawing earwax. Hopefully not mine. She also draws eyelashes on the eyes, and hanging out of the mouths are long stringy lines that look like noodles, that she says are teeth.

I told Lilah that when she was inside me she hiccuped a lot. Lilah said, “How did I get inside? Did I jump in?”

Lilah called the bow-tie pasta, “humpy feet” pasta. While we were eating, she started talking about predators. (she’d been watching animal shows on TV.) She was talking about hyenas killing spring hares. She said “mean guys are predators” and “dogs are predators who people take care of.”

(On another night) Lilah was telling us how fisher cats eat porcupines, or at least try to. Lilah was also busy planning her upcoming birthday party. She told me we had to have a pinata at her party. And balloons. She wanted me to assure her there would be balloons. But she was especially concerned about sprinkles; we’ve discussed this before. Lilah was somehow convinced there wouldn’t be any sprinkles on her birthday cake. I told her that of course we can have sprinkles. We can go to the grocery store and buy sprinkles. Lilah took that to mean that we would go to the store during her party to buy the sprinkles, and she grew very concerned that we would be leaving the people at her party while we went to get sprinkles!

Lilah and I caught some very acrobatic figure skating on TV. I asked Lilah how she would like it if I spun her around and threw her up in the air and caught her. She said, “I think that would be dangerous!”


  1. happy birthday, lilah. you're 12,,and you are fabulous!

  2.'s great that you kept those emails and read them to lilah. i can't imagine how thrilled she was...even if she didn't show her pleasure. but if she didn't,,i know that inside, she was beaming.

  3. This is great! What a bright and wonderous little kid she was...well, she still is, but a little wiser! I have to remember to do this when I have kids. I really really enjoyed reading this! Love the art too!
    Happy Birthday to Lilah! The last year before the teens!

  4. Oh yeah, I totally wanted to eat mouse cheese.

  5. I know. I never understood why our cheese didn't have holes in it. (We rarely if ever had Swiss. It was American cheese all the way baby. Or cheddar.)