One Unusual Day


The house is getting ready for a birthday party. A surprise party. I was surprised to hear about the preparations because I had no idea whose birthday was. I hear the party is going to be in the backyard, with balloons, cake and everything. Our first grader is busy-busy making invitation at the kitchen table. I don’t want to intrude, and I ask for details a little bit shy.
“It is my guinea pig’s birthday,” she says.
I look at her mother and whisper, “She doesn’t have a guinea pig.” The mother nods her head. “She has one.” I look around to spot the celebrity. “It is my pet we played with last night,” she explains. Ah! I remembered the furry toy we were squeezing to make its bum move.
I get an invitation on the spot. Such an honor.
“What’s his name again?”
No answer. We look at each other, the first grader, the toddler and I. Nobody remembers.
Then mama comes back to the room.
“His name is Lenny.”
Such a relief! The toddler starts playing with his play-dough. His sister makes yellow stars on a big birthday announcement.
Let’s the party begin. Happy Birthday, Lenny!

JUST IN: The party was wonderful. It started in the backyard with balloons and fun on the slide while I was taking a nap. Then it moved in the house. Candles, one balloon, and a nice Polish chocolate and honey cake. We sang “Happy Birthday, Lenny!” Our celebrity was totally surprised by such event in his honor and couldn’t say a word. Mom served chicken soup as well. It was only one minor incident when the toddler tried to get more cake from the plates of two guests. But mama handled it with grace, and nobody cried.




I’m watching him as he grabs to the rail to go down the steps.

“Stay on the porch,” I say.

He turns his head to look at me as he goes down another step. Toddlers.

“Stay here with me,” I demand, holding back my smile. I love this grandson so much. His little feet move forward with no intention to listen to me.

“Do you understand English when I’m talking to you?” I bring out my artillery.

He stops. “What is English?”

“English is the language we are speaking right now. Do you understand my words?” He smiles and waves his hand. “Of course I understand you, Buni.”

“But do you want to listen?”


The Mailman

postoffice2Had to go to the Post Office to get some stamps for my mom’s b-day card. Asked K2 (2 1/2 years old) if he wanted to see the mailman. Agreed. The twins stayed at home with daddy to celebrate their 6 mo. old, mommy at work, and I got out of the house, holding his little hand. He is carrying a plastic container with a lid, fresh from the dishwasher. I don’t mind.
“You’ll be in the stroller,” I apprise the young man. I get the vehicle from the garage and try to lift the top in a sitting position. I don’t know how. I push and pull, and look under it to find a button or something. The little boy tries to help as well. In vain.
“You have to lie down,” I inform my subordinate. He wants to see the mailman anyway and he listens to me. Then off we go. He keeps opening and closing the lid on top of the container while we go down the hill. We cross the street and walk in the newly remodeled Post Office. Now he is allowed to sit up and watch the mailman as we are waiting in the line. When we get to the counter, I tell the postman he has an admirer. They wave at each other, I pay for the stamps and we are out the door. The little guy closes his eyes. I can see the plastic container gets heavy in his hand. “Well, you don’t fall asleep in the stroller. You sleep in your bed.”
He stays awake. He saw the mailman.


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Toddler’s Agenda


The emergency shout mobilizes the entire house. Somebody has to run and wipe out his bum.  Otherwise…

Daddy saves the day.

Clean bottom and clean hands will keep the walls and the floor clean as well. He is hungry.  Why would people take the jar with mayonnaise out of his hands? When a toddler needs to eat right away, a toddler needs to eat right away.

Coffee. He sees it on the edge of the counter. By the time he stretches his arms to get it, it’s gone. Far towards the window, where he can not reach without a chair. The people in this house don’t love him. He screams, but immediately sees grandma’s glasses on the couch. He likes those glasses.

Mommy picks him up and gives him a kiss .

“You are such a good boy! Are you ready for your breakfast?” Before he can answer, he finds himself strapped down in his high chair. And the glasses had vanished. That’s not fair.

“Pancakes and yogurt?”

He loves his life.



CHECK OUT “One Strange Wagon” children’s story by Rodica Iova on Amazon and Kindle.

St. Patrick’s Day and a Little Confusion

20151128_213936Our first grader came home from school with a handful of chocolate gold coins she found in a bucket at school. She strongly testified that the leprechauns placed them there for anybody to find. Her honest deposition is that they are tiny creatures. “They are invisible and they are like from a fairy tale.”
Her younger brother couldn’t be convinced that that was exclusively his sister’s treasure, fact strongly disputed before entering the house and after. The jury is still debating and are not ready to decide yet if she could keep the whole amount of 4 (four) chocolate gold coins.
Some socialist thoughts wanted to push her to part them equally between she and her brother. Communist ideas were ready to force her to keep 1/2 of 1 coin, give the other half to the little brother and 3 coins to the government. The capitalist ideas encouraged her to keep the whole amount for herself and make a small donation to a foundation of her choice.
Meanwhile, somebody ate one coin.
CHECK out “KEEP THE DONKEY AROUND” children’s book on Amazon and Kindle

She Wins


“Strangers are bad people,” she emphasizes lifting her finger in the air. We walk down the hill and she is holding to the stroller I push. Nonchalant, her two-year-old brother is eating potato chips.

I listen to her as she continues.

“Strangers come near you smiling and when they are close, they grab you by the hand and smash your face.”

“Wow!” The description is pretty vivid. At her seven years old, it looked like she took a class or something about strangers.

She stops on the lawn by the little theatre and performs a few karate movements.

“When the strangers get you, you can’t do this.”

“Why?” I ask with fear in my voice.

She is not bothered that only half of her audience gets goose bumps. I mean, I. The other half is munching on a banana.

“Because they punch you in the chin. Right here,” and she holds her chin with her hand pushing it forward. “See?”

“Who told you this?” I dare to ask.

“Daniel. He is my friend.”

“From school?”

She is nodding her head and then she slows down.

“One time Daniel pinched me.” She shows me her arm where the pinching took place.

“Why did he do that?”

“I don’t know. He yelled at me, < What’s wrong with you? >”

I could see she was sad. ” What did you say?”

“I told him nothing was wrong with me. Then I went and talked to the teacher. Her name is Mrs. Phee.”

She looks at me to see the effect of her teacher’s name on my face.

“Mrs. Phee?” I ask pretty astonished.

“It’s not what you think, Buni.”

She wins.

When we turn back and pass by the theatre again, she remembers something.

“Strangers want to kill you, Daniel said.”

A plane takes off from the small airport a few miles away from us and we switch our attention into the sky.

Meanwhile, the banana feast in the stroller is over.