It’s like living with Florida weather. Wait a minute and it will change.

Although Zoe has become quite the effusive teenager in recent years, she went through a stage beginning in preschool where I’m pretty sure she was spiking her chocolate milk with Botox, because her face became impassive and froze that way until about the fourth grade. Essentially, her expressions ran a limited spectrum of apathy to indifference, with the occasional pit stop at my personal favorite, YEAH, SO?

I could have told her that Christmas was canceled because Santa was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor after spiking the eggnog and getting frisky with the head elf. Or I could have told her that our daycare had closed but bonus, Toys ‘R Us had a vacancy for the rest of her life! I could have accidentally tossed her in the dryer and shrunk her on the permanent press cycle. Or I could have surprised her by throwing our bags onto Eeyore’s back and moving us into The Hundred Acre Wood with Pooh and Christopher.

Her expression would not change.

Angry? Happy? Bereft? Tickled pink? Tickled black? Melancholy? Peppy? Ecstatic? Homicidal? Hungry? Nauseous?

I couldn’t tell.

As I’d turn away the slew of poker players who came from all over the globe to beg for her secret, I thought about what it must be like to have a child whose face revealed her thoughts in real time instead of thirty years later at $110 per fifty minute hour.

And then I had Helena and I didn’t have to wonder anymore.


Helena isn’t an open book so much as an IMAX experience in 3-D.

Her face tells you exactly what she’s thinking the moment she’s thinking it.

For instance, here she’s wishing that my chair would launch me into orbit.

Or that the canal outside would give birth to a freak tsunami that would sweep me away.

Or that Daddy would find a new wife by dessert.



Sorry, Helena, but I’m still here.

I know. Life is totally unfair and chock full of disappointments.

Watcha thinking now?



I think that I shall sit here and simmer in a steaming hot pot of piss and vinegar.



Or not.



It’s like Sybil on crack.



I love that she can run the gamut of emotions in 4.5 seconds flat.

We’re hoping she goes out for track in high school.



You have only to glance at that little face to know exactly how she feels about you at that particular moment.

Just ask Zoe, who was on the receiving end of this beauty and yelled MOM! SHE’S DOING IT AGAIN because she didn’t think I could hear her from my seat thirteen inches away.

That’s what I had wished for, right?

To know instantly what she’s feeling the moment she feels it?



Be careful what you wish for.



Share this post

23 thoughts on “It’s like living with Florida weather. Wait a minute and it will change.”

  1. Avatar

    My 8yo son is like that. I swear he’s really a 12yo girl with PMS. Or like you said, “Sybil on crack.”

    I too like watching the old guy pay his bill. You got a particularly good shot of Helena smiling and the guy in the back deep in thought. My guess is he was figuring the tip.

  2. Avatar

    Hey look – it’s almost 7:30, I haven’t showered/dressed yet nor have I successfully wrangled the kid into a state of empty breakfast plate, teeth brushed, hair combed and dressed and ready for school and we have to leave in 20 minutes so we’re not late! And what am I doing instead? Yep, READING YOUR BLOG. AGAIN.


    I have a Sybil on crack, too. You need to copyright that phrase stat, my friend.

    Okay, off to see if I can simultaneously shampoo, shave, scrub *and* yell “YOU’D BETTER BE BRUSHING YOUR TEETH!! ARE YOU DRESSED YET? NO I DID NOT HIDE YOUR [SNEAKERS/BACKPACK/JACKET/STUFFED CHIHUAHUA]!” ….. oh who am I kidding, that’s just a normal morning routine around here on days when there is a new CJ post.


  3. Avatar

    Awww, I love the photos! As soon as I got over the fact that I don’t know what effusive means I was able to scroll down and enjoy them. Helena looks like so many different kids. Completely different when she smiles. What a beauty! That’s my favorite as well as the first and last. Also, the third with the blur in the background. Adds a neat artsy feel to the pic!

  4. Avatar

    I have a son just like your oldest. you could tell him that Nintendo was giving away free Nintendo DS’s and lifetime of games to all boys named Jordon and you would be able to hear crickets in the background.

  5. Avatar

    rotflmao!! Hannah is TOTALLY like that. She can hide nothing from anyone! LOL! Works well now and yep..I’m hoping it lasts through the “evil” years! 🙂 Hey! WHERE are you anyway?? Buzz me mamma!

  6. Avatar

    I have boys…now men. They looked so much alike growing up we have to look at the furniture in pictures to be sure which one it was. Personality wise they are complete opposites. You wouldn’t even think they were from the same gene pool.
    Boys can be just as hormonal as girls.

  7. Avatar

    This is so funny!

    My kids both have attitudes that you can clearly see on their faces. Oh, and they’ll flat out tell me, too. Just today my son was all, “I’m PISSED!” He was disciplined for using the word of course.

  8. Avatar

    The funny thing is that even with a stone cold expression, she’s still a gorgeous little girl! Of course, she’s even more beautiful when she’s smiling but even looking angry, she’s an eye-catcher for sure!!

    Everytime I read a post about your girls, I have a glimpse into what my future will be like with my daughter. I’m skeeerrreeddd..

  9. Avatar

    Be very afraid. When those hormone really start kicking in that’s when it gets so much worse. And it doesn’t get better for a long time. Just thought I’d brighten your day a bit! She’s really a sweetie and I think she knows just what she’s doing too 🙂

  10. Avatar

    Hilarious!! She reminds me SO much of my daughter, who is 14 and will be very lucky to make it to 15 at this rate, what with her mouth and nasty looks. And then, she can be the sweetest, nicest, most adorable daughter on the surface of the earth. Go figure.

    I too also enjoyed watching the old guy on the side. Too funny.

  11. Avatar

    OKay, her faces are great but I’m also loving the old dude in the background. Don’t you know he was wondering why you were taking all these pictures!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *