Category Archives: Tiny-Small

Don’t Stand So Close To Me

Tiny-Small is what I like to call a “Close-Watcher” because she watches the TV standing only an inch from the screen. I’m not even exaggerating this time. I swear. I often catch her standing an inch away from the TV when she’s watching PBS Kids. I don’t know how she can see anything that is going on! It must be like watching a miniature version of the actual show. Like pixels in Technicolor, with images all a blur and running together. Like a melted bag of Skittles. Taste the rainbow because you can’t see the whole thing at the same time anyway so you might as well just eat it. That’s the kind of TV watching I am talking about.

Don't Stand So Close To Me
Could she get any closer?

I’ve taken her to the doctor to have her eyes checked and they claim her vision is perfectly fine. She’s just a close-watcher. Kind of like the close-talker on Seinfeld, but different and less popular with Internet memes. When we try to watch family movies together I just keep repeating, “Step away from the TV,” and “Come sit next to me,” and “You make a better door than a window,” and “Move over, we want to see too!” It can be a little tiresome and also explains why I know so little about the plots of the family movies we rent. I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed Despicable Me 2 a little more if I had seen a few more movie frames or heard more of the dialogue. I mean, who can hear anything with me constantly begging to see things? I even annoy myself with the begging. I mean, who is the adult here, right?

I’ve determined that being a “Close-Watcher” is genetic because sometimes, when I walk into the room, I catch Jim and Tiny-Small both standing in front of the TV watching it. Unfortunately, they can’t fit in front of it very well, at least not at the same time, because I insisted on getting the smallest TV known to mankind for the living room. They do compromise by watching it side by side from about a foot away. Jim said when he was a kid his parents were always telling him to move away from the front of the TV too. The only thing is, he did actually need glasses, where Tiny-Small has the laser-sharp vision of a healthy 4-year-old child, apparently. Why she stands so close is still a mystery. A mystery I don’t have time to solve. A mystery I am not equipped to solve. A mystery I could solve and still not really solve if you know what I mean. There is no scientific test for TV watching that I know of. Or anyway to convince people to step away from the shiny, moving-pictures box, besides repeating yourself over and over again like a broken record mom who lives to nag. So, I just let them have the TV as much as possible and tweet about how much I love chocolate and gel medium instead. Go gel medium! You rock.

Don't Stand So Close To Me - When Kids stand too close to the TV
Maybe I should put the TV on the wall like our dentist does in his waiting room.

Anyway, Jim is why I am blaming it all on genetics. He pretty much admits to it. I know he probably stands next to her to watch TV because he can’t see through her and doesn’t want to keep saying, “Move. Move. Move.” Plus, just the other day I walked into the room and overheard Jim telling Tiny-Small, “People don’t lick rocks.” Then he turned to me and said, “Where does she get this stuff?” Then I said, “Not from me, I don’t have a history of rock-licking.” Then Jim said, “I sure do. When I was a kid I was always licking rocks.” Well, if that isn’t self-incriminating than I don’t what is. He walked right into that one. Bunch of rock-licking “Close-Watchers” around here…Get off my lawn! Sometimes I just like to say that to sound cool and to prove that I can be an old fuddy-duddy just like the rest of you.

Not that I can say too much. Tiny-Small has genetically inherited some of my bad habits too. Like not wanting to sleep because it’s a waste of time and believing with all her heart that new shoes make you run faster. She also prefers to be home more than anywhere else in the whole wide world. She also could live on chocolate alone for the rest of her life. True story.

I often ask myself, who are these people I live with? They like their entertainment up-close and personal and they have an insatiable curiosity about the way things taste, obviously. I am just along for the ride, bearing witness to two insanely colorful lives unfolding in front of me. It’s a privilege. I know it, but sometimes I do wonder what a movie is all about…or what the singer of that band looks like. Sometimes I just wish I could see all the things. Is that too much to ask? Come on people! Get off my lawn!

I mostly keep hoping that one day Sting will come on TV during one of those PBS fund-raising concerts and sing, “Don’t Stand, don’t stand, don’t stand so close to me.” Maybe then Tiny-Small will finally realize that she doesn’t need to be an inch from the TV to enjoy it and maybe I’ll finally get a YouTube video that goes viral…with 30 people watching it. My camera is at the ready at all times to capture the moment when even the TV tells Tiny-Small to take a step back.

Until then, I’m probably going to start hiding some of these rocks we’ve been collecting. I have no idea where they might have been before or after they came into this house. That’s a mystery. One I do not plan to solve.



Fourth Of July Photo Time Capsule

Happy July 4th my friends! I am sure you will be celebrating with cookouts, parades, and fireworks today. I was thinking about writing a blog post about Independence Day and started looking at July 4th pictures for inspiration. It’s funny how if you do the same things year after year you start to create a photo time capsule of your yearly traditions. We always go to the parade and the ice cream social in our town. We have a yearly photo of Tiny-Small eating a giant ice cream cone. I didn’t even know that was one of our traditions, but judging by the photographs we have taken it most certainly is!

Here is Tiny-Small eating ice cream in 2012.

Fourth of July Photo Time Capsule
Now you can see why we called her Tiny-Small.


Here she is eating the same ice cream, at the same place, in 2013. She sure changed a lot in one year, didn’t she?

Fourth of July Photo Time Capsule
So much bigger in just one year.

It’s kind of breath-taking how fast she is growing up.

I am grateful to be living in the time of digital cameras so I can document her life so easily. In the daily business of life things seem to move so slowly, but when you start looking at the years going by it really hits you how quickly time is passing. Even though I take a lot of photographs of Tiny-Small I wish I took more. Especially lately. She’s gotten tired of posing for the camera so I have less pictures of her now than I did when she was younger. I should say I have less clear photos of her now. She doesn’t want to stand still even for a moment these days.

I often feel nostalgic on July 4th because when I was a kid my family spent time with extended family or we went to see the fireworks on a big hill in Connecticut. We would pack a picnic and sit on a blanket with a bunch of other people. The fireworks went up over a river and people on either side of the river would shout to each other and the local radio station played music. It was a blast and I have some really fond memories of doing that. What surprises me about these photos of Tiny-Small is that they make me feel nostalgic for last year! I can’t believe that is even possible. Tiny-Small is growing up quickly and I know she won’t want to be my baby for much longer. I already miss her being little. These holidays are often so bittersweet, aren’t they?

I hope you enjoy time with your family this July 4th and get to see some gorgeous fireworks. Make a lot of wonderful memories! Jim has to work today and so does my mom so Tiny-Small and I will be on our own for most of the day. We’ll probably get into all sorts of red, white, and blue trouble. We are planning to watch the fireworks tonight from our front yard while roasting marshmallows. I can’t wait!

Before any of that happens, I am definitely heading out to get a giant, chocolate ice cream cone for Tiny-Small.  I have to keep this new tradition alive!

Happy fourth of July!

Married To Underdog

Tiny-Small wants to get married to Underdog. She’s already planning the wedding and says they are going to have ten kids.  Which seems entirely possible since one of them is a dog. Tiny-Small has some funny notions about weddings and marriage. For instance, she thinks dancing alone is a binding, marriage contract and that the state of New Mexico recognizes marriage between a human and a cartoon dog. I’m not going to break the news to her that both of her assumptions are false until she’s at least 16.


She does, however, have some concerns about being married to a dog. For instance just this morning she said, “You can’t get in love unless you brush your teeth. Nobody wants to kiss you if you have dog breath. I hope Underdog brushes his teeth like I do.” I’m kind of shocked that she is worrying about kissing and getting in love at the ripe old age of four, but since it’s with a cartoon dog I feel pretty safe about it.

Dog breath is a serious concern. As a child who lives with three dogs, she knows first hand how bad dog breath can be. I am pretty sure she’ll be handing out tooth-brush wedding favors at their reception. Maybe she’ll even schedule a pre-honeymoon teeth cleaning for her canine paramour. I know I would.

The funny thing is I know exactly how Tiny-Small feels. When I was a kid I fell in love with several cartoon characters. The one that comes to mind first is Justin, a rat, from The Secret of Nimh. I would have married him in a heartbeat if I could have. He was so gallant and brave. Like a knight in shining rat armor protecting Mrs. Brisby from all of the mean rats. Remember them? They had been given some toxic potion in an experiment that turned them into highly intelligent, furry beings. Or they were electrocuted or something. It’s all sort of fuzzy. Probably because I only had eyes for Justin. Anyway they were kind of like the rat versions of Spider Man…another character I wanted to marry.  Justin seemed like the ideal man, except for the whole being a rat thing. He still does in some ways.


Tiny-Small is in love with Underdog at the age of four and brushing her teeth meticulously in preparation for the day they meet in person, dance, and fly away together. It’s lovely. I am happy for her. As the future mother of the bride I am all a glow.

I’m also glad she is brushing her teeth. Even if it is just to prevent having dog breath. Because we all benefit from that, except for the dentist. He won’t be buying a yacht because of us. Underdog is keeping us out of trouble already!

There’s no need to fear–
Underdog is here!

 With fresh breath, fluoride, and a side of dental floss.