Kids Say the Darndest Things

V passion vine bench CR

Vivian Rose wearing her Meet Me at the Fair outfit.


We enjoyed a fabulous weekend with 4 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose.  She kept us laughing for 3 days.  If you’ve read earlier posts about this unique little gal, you know she is very strong willed and more than a little mischievous.

As soon as she arrived she asked for yet another kitty cat dress.  On a quick stroll into my sewing room she spotted the fabric just recently purchased in anticipation of cat dress #3.


cat fabric


“Make it now, Nana!  I will help.”  And she did, in her own way.


She was pulling out all the "rainbow fabric" off the shelves from behind the blind which protects my fabrics from sunlight.


After pulling out “rainbow” fabric from the shelves behind the sunscreen shades, she made herself a scarf and pillaged through my button drawer.  Very little sewing was accomplished. This was exhausting for both of us.

So I plunked her on a quilt in front of the tv, thinking she would surely fall asleep.  About 10 minutes later she strolled in wearing nothing but her panties, asking was her dress done?

I told her she must put her clothes on.  “No, I don’t want to.”  Several admonishments brought the same response, “No.”  So I told her that if she wouldn’t put her clothes on I would not sew her dress.

She said, “Well, I’m sorry you won’t be able to sew, Nana. I know you like to sew.”  With head held high, she resolutely went back to her quilt in front of the tv.  I just sat there for a few minutes and then resumed sewing.  When I peeked in on her, she had dressed.  Whew.


V granddad's study

In her granddad’s study, wearing her Children on Parade dress.


Here she is after running upstairs to give her hardworking grandfather a kiss. “He needs one,” she said after having been told that he had been working ’round the clock to get a proposal done by Monday.

When asked if she missed her mama and daddy, she calmly replied no.  But this is how much she loves them, “10!” she replied with arms spread wide, as shown.

How much does she love Nana?  Again, “10!”  How much does she love Granddad?   “45!!!”  She is really his girl.

This 10 for Nana was a big relief, especially after an earlier incident. Then, I had to fuss at her about something, so she retreated to the front porch to pout for a few minutes.




She returned to the kitchen, got paper and pencil from the art supply closet and sat down at the table.  First she wrote her name then scribbled a list of “words.”  Note that Vivian routinely adds a second syllable to one syllable words, i.e. boys are “boy-ez.”

“What are you writing?” I asked in a conciliatory voice.

“I’m making a li-on of all the people I love.”  Then she looked me right in the eye and said,  “Nana, you are last on the lion.”  So my new rating of 10, equal to her mother’s was comforting.

Later, we played with the 3-face doll my mother made years ago.  I love the doll and it enchanted both my Rebecca (Vivi’s mother) and cousin Laurel when each was 5.




When I first showed Vivian the happy faced doll, she smiled.  When I discreetly switched to the crying doll, she grabbed it from me, turned the doll’s head, and said, “That’s a crazy doll.”  Then she walked away, unimpressed.

Sunday morning, as we were getting ready for church, she demonstrated some of her ballet moves.  She needs more lessons.


ballet kitchen

She is wearing her Christmas dress from 2 years ago. It’s pretty darn short on her now. Glad I made long bloomers.


On the way to church, we advised her that there would be a children’s sermon, at which time she would go to the front of the church with the other children.  She liked that.  She is very social.


V pew

Waiting for church to start.


As soon as the pastor said, “I’d like to invite the children……….” she was racing down the aisle.  She was at the front of the sanctuary when he finished his sentence, “ages 3 to 5 to come forward.”

She spun around, gave us a deer-in-the-headlights look and ran back to our pew.  “But I’m FOUR!!!”  We assured her it was okay and back to the front she ran.

At the fellowship hour after worship, tables are arranged around the perimeter of the basketball court.  After she gobbled her cookie, she walked to the empty center of the room and announced (not that anyone heard or noticed) that it was time for her ballet show.  She twirled and danced (no music) and fell a few times.

At the end of the brief performance, she turned to each side of the room, spread her arms out wide, bowed and said to each side of the room, “Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.”  Then she returned to our table, asking for another cookie.  Apparently, entertaining the masses is tiring work.


That afternoon we had fun playing with this free-standing bumblebee, left over from one of my projects.  She chased, pretending to sting me and I was appropriately frightened. Then we reversed roles.  I guess that planted the seed for her nighttime deception.

At bedtime, as we headed for her bed, she gave a loud warning.  “Do not go in the closet, Nana!!!”  I was immediately suspicious and asked why.

“Because there is a very, very big wasp in there and he will sting you.”  hmmmm…..I smelled a rat.

“Don’t you worry, Vivi, I’ll get that wasp.”  She still protested NO!  until I turned the closet door knob.  Then she said, “I’m sorry, Nana.”

The closet was perfectly in order.



Very gently, I asked her what she had done.  With some shame she showed me where she had stashed 4 Milk Bones for our dog Rastus, who had already far exceeded his treat limit for the day, thanks to her generosity.  She admitted that she planned to “treat” Rastus after we fell asleep.

So those are some of the highlights and fun of our 3 days with Vivian.  Of course, my favorite hairbrush has disappeared along with my new toothbrush which is purple (her favorite color that day).  But who cares?  We had a grand time and she didn’t want to go home when her mother came to pick her up.

Sigh…’s nice to know that I am no longer last on the lion.



31 responses to “Kids Say the Darndest Things

  1. Janice, I enjoyed this story so much and was laughing out loud at some of Vivian Rose’s antics. It is never boring at your house is it. I love the kitty fabric you have purchased, do you find it locally or on line? Have a great week!

  2. Betty, I’m glad you enjoyed Vivi’s comments. She is really a hoot–and a handfull! I actually bought the fabric at the last Martha Pullen clearance sale. I knew Vivian would love it.

  3. I do love that age too! She is adorable and I am so glad you shared her personality.

  4. Janice, what a precious post! All I could think of while I was reading it was that Vivian Rose is another “Eloise”… from my favorite book when I was little.
    You could write a book about your Eloise!

  5. Thank you, Martha. It’s hard not to share something that makes me smile again and again. She has a very engaging personality. Can you tell we are crazy about her?

  6. Oh, Elizabeth, I had never thought to compare her to Eloise! I loved that book, too. This little tyke is so much…well, just herself and a handful she is. But we are crazy about her.

  7. from Martha Pullen forum: Oh, she does make me laugh! What a delightful “challenge child”!

  8. from Martha Pullen forum: What a darling story, Janice!! She will grow up way too fast.

  9. from my friend Anne van der Kley: Sounds just like her Grandmother!

  10. So, where is the picture of the new kitty dress?! 😉

  11. Title your book A Normal Day In The Life Of Vivian Rose!

  12. She sounds just like our Eloise Mae who will be 4 tomorrow. I don’t know that we could survive 3 whole days. I’ll be 69 in a couple of weeks & don’t have the energy level I used to. Our one saving grace is that this the only place she’s allowed to play with Play-Doh. It will keep her busy in one place longer than anything else. I’m sure Vivian Rose & Eloise Mae would have great fun playing g together (with close supervision- insert grin here). Eloise has long flowing bright red hair & she is every bit an outspoken red head. We love her to the moon & back as I’m sure you do Vivian Rose. I think they have similar talents in ballet. Thanks for sharing you story about you adorable granddaughter.

  13. Jo, it’s not finished! Vivi left late afternoon, I had church circle that evening, and my church quilting group met the next morning. I lost my enthusiasm and life just gets in the way!!!! But we’re headed across the state to see her this weekend so I’ll bring the dress then and post some photos. I AM SICK OF CAT DRESSES!!!

  14. Rheeta, did you ever see the movie Groundhog Day? Bill Murray awakens that day, every day and relives the day’s events with few changes and no permanent outcome. THAT is A Normal Day in the life of Vivian Rose.

  15. Kathy, I know I would love Eloise Mae! She and Vivian Rose might be like Bonnie and Clyde, but there would never be a dull moment. If we got them together for a playdate, it would have to be in a neutral place, like a McDonald’s playground, where you and I could observe and enjoy and relax over a cup of coffee.

  16. from Martha Pullen forum: I love her attitude – gee nana I am really sorry that you wont be able to sew because I know how much you love to sew….. that kid has reasoning ability beyond her age… oh the cheek but oh so funny… she will excel at sarcasm the best is yet to come – rotflol – she isn’t a Sagittarian by any chance???

  17. No, she is not a Sagittarian, but missed it by only a few days. After reading the description of those who are, I can see that perhaps Vivian was overdue. She surely fits the description to a T.

  18. from facebook: I read your blog last night. It made me laugh. Especially since 3 1/2 year old granddaughter is with us until next Monday. Mommy and Daddy w I’ll go skiing tomorrow until Saturday. What’s not to like about being at grandma’s house? The spoiling goes on 24/7!

  19. from facebook: I know you are having an awesome time with her. But grandparents don’t spoil, they indulge. I call it relationship building.

  20. from facebook: I love it! We have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with this child. It’s wonderful because the initial shyness lasts a New York minute!

  21. Extended stays stick in their memory more s than short visits. We’re grateful for any time with our grands, but so often when we mention that day we spent together, they have no recall at all. But most details of a multiday stay brings the details to their minds. I’m smiling thinking of your fun and the love you are showering on her.

  22. from facebook: What a doll!

  23. Thanks! We think so, too.

  24. from facebook: Janice, that was so much fun. Thanks for sharing.

    Janice:I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. I enjoy re-reading it and reliving this special time. Even my husband reads it and smiles all over as he recalls her antics.

    reply:She sounds like such a character.

  25. Loved this!

    When she is in town, bring her to 4-H meetings!

  26. Karen, she would love it! But I’d give you fair warning.

  27. Love the stories – can’t wait for her to come back! You are blessed.

  28. How delightful! And how quickly the !flies – I remember when I discovered your blog, you were sewing day gowns for this little sprite. Looking forward to seeing the new kitty cat dress!

  29. Oh, Nancy, time surely does fly! Each year the grandchildren seem to grow up more quickly! But then, each year I am aging more quickly! Must be a trick of nature.;-)

  30. Janice , my how I enjoyed this journey of the “vibes of Vivian”! You know it is an amazing fact that you and I just past our 30 th year anniversary of friendship ! No wonder you were on my mind so ! Seeing the pictures of Vivian is like going retro and looking at how I remember Rebecca. I so much enjoyed our “catch up” conversation yesterday. I will be enlisted for services at the bride’s request for awhile but am enjoying every moment of the festivities here. I will keep you posted. Can’t wait to see you in person for lunch one day in the future.

  31. Elaine, I enjoyed our chat as well and celebrate our reconnection. Enjoy every minute of the wedding. For us, the wedding itself seemed to last about 10 minutes, though it started officially at 6 p.m. and the last guests left around 11:30. Savor each moment.

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