Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs

Older Girl is destined to run something one day. Whether it's her own home, a corporation, or the country, I know she will be in charge somewhere. Verbally precocious, she used to stand and direct children much older than herself during play time. Rob joked that we should just give her an orange vest and a cup of coffee, since she so obviously had appointed herself as foreman (forewoman? foregirl?)

Not much has changed, except that she started reading and writing, and we often see her scribbling furiously into tiny notebooks. What is she writing? Notes. Notes for everyone. For her father and me, for The Boy, for Baby Girl, for her classmates - no one who knows her has escaped The Note. She turns these notes into Signs, usually accompanied by elaborate illustrations regarding the subject of The Note (for the illiterate siblings, I presume. Or the thick-headed parents), which are then hung in strategic locations around the house. You know, in case we didn't hear her the first thirty times she asked about something. For the members of her immediate family, these Notes and Signs have become a way of life around here. We don't even notice when a new one goes up, but visitors can't help but notice all the scrips and scraps of paper adorning our walls, fluttering in the air currents, waving at them like anemones.

Here are some examples of the current crop of Signs, complete with original spellings and punctuation. I wish I had a scanner or a super high-tech digital camera so I could share the drawings, because they are sometimes the best part of the Sign:

  • Save our Earth! Don't Pollute! I found this stuck to the kitchen cabinet with a sticker one morning - apparently all the tape had gone to the previous ream's worth of Signs. This one was accompanied by a drawing of a jagged candy bar wrapper with a slash through it.

  • Summer Salt Process. But Up! This one was hanging over The Boy's bed, ostensibly meant as a tuck-and-roll primer. She included a diagram with stick figures enacting each step of the "summer salt." I believe the "but up!" refers to The Boy's rear end, but since butt is part of the verboten list here at The HomeFront, she doesn't know that it is a homophone.

  • #1 Cooer! She cut this one into the shape of a blue ribbon and taped it to Baby Girl's door. I asked what a "cooer" was, and, after a not so subtle eye roll, Older Girl explained that a "cooer" was someone who coos -and since Baby Girl is the only one in the house who coos, she was the de facto winner. But every time I pass the baby's room and glance quickly at the door, I read it as: #1 cooter.

The next few are some of the signs on her bedroom door. They are pretty self-explanatory, as they all deal, to varying degrees, with her goal of keeping her brother from messing with her stuff.

  • Closed
  • Treasure Hunt Club. Kids Only.
  • Unicorns, Ponies, and Horses Welcome. Trains Keep Out! Signed: [Older Girl]

And my favorite of the bedroom door bunch:

  • Notice Warning: Kids must be 8 or older to enter. Exept if you are a girl. Then it doesn't matter what age you are. Seriasly. (I guess that she falls under the Gender Corollary, since she herself is younger than 8, and therefore would not otherwise be allowed in her own room.)

I can't begin to post all the notes that she has left for herself and any trespassers on the walls of her room; I would be at the computer until Friday if I tried. But a few new ones caught my eye:

  • Do not TOUCH. At ALL. Ever. PERIOD! I'm sure this would be a great deterrent, if her brother could read. Or if he cared.

  • Things to do next week:
  • Practice piano
  • Spring clean my room
  • Open a Library
  • Eat more fruit It warmed my heart to see that my nagging had penetrated her brain. Sadly, it was the only item not checked off. She would rather spring clean her room than eat an orange. Oh, and I'm also still waiting for the grand opening of her new library. I wonder if I need a card?

But my favorite of all the Signs? My very, very favorite? I keep that in the car with me, stuck prominently and securely on the dashboard, to be reminded of her little true heart ever time I want to pull over and berate all of them for being so noisy and ill-behaved that I want to drive off the road:

Mom, I love you! except she wrote it as a rebus, with an eye for the "I", then a heart, then Mom. When she gave it to me, she said "Guess what it says" a little breathlessly. I told her I knew exactly what it said, and that, over all the notes passed in all the classes I ever took, this one trumped them all.


  1. I swear it's a Girl Thing because Middle Sister and 2 of her Girl Cousins do the same. Middle Sister is 11 now and still heavy into her signs. (She loves her post-it pads!) Her spelling leaves a lot to be desired, but it's part of the charm.

  2. Anonymous8:19 AM

    I love this, my little sister who is eleven, is still big into notes and signs and now, Annaka has started. Of course, she just scribbles and when you ask her what it says her response usually has something to do with "closure"-(thanks to CHICKEN LITTLE).
    -mirabella mom

  3. My girls do the same thing! They love to leave notes - even if the other kid can't read.

  4. I love Older Girl's notes....and I'm sure you and I did some note posting of our own back in our day, dear Sis.

    Plus - I love that you read the blue ribbon as #1 cooter...its like the time I was running down a hall at work (ok, walking rather fast, trying to keep up, since "i'm now in a hospital, chop chop" as our Mom would say ;) ) and I saw this picture which I thought read, "Ass Packer" as the guy's name, except it said, Asa Packer, like the school. But every time I pass it now, and I'm not in danger of looking like a freak publicly, I'll wave at him and say, "What's up, Ass Packer!"


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