Thursday, March 30, 2023

Salamander stories

Day 30 of 31 at TWT!
"... and we got to TOUCH a salamander! We had to put water on one finger with a magic spray bottle!" Rainbow Girl gestures wildly, eyes bright and wide, in full story-telling mode. Her declarative tone of voice almost matches the grand reading voice she always uses when reciting books she's memorized, but with slightly more pep to it. "My teacher... the worker... the teacher..." she pauses, not quite sure how to describe the person leading the MetroPark program, then dives back in at full speed. "... told me they don't have teeth, so they can't hurt us!" She leans forward with a big grin, crinkling her eyes and curling her shoulders inward. 

"Wow! That sounds really special!" I lean across the corner of the kitchen table and kiss her on the cheek. "What did it feel like?"

"Slimy!" She sits bolt upright in her chair. 

touching the salamander! (picture from our nanny)

"And what did you learn about salamanders?"

"Hmmm," she taps her pointer finger on her chin repeatedly in the exaggerated "thinking" gesture that she's developed over the past few months. We're not sure where it came from, but it's hysterical. "They have bones!" she announces with rather more excitement than I'd expect from that fact. "Like us!!!"

"Ohh," Husband, Sis, and I grin at each other across our plates of spaghetti. "Cool!"

"AND we MADE a salamander!" 

Sis grabs the paper pile in front of her. "Ooh, is this it? Hi, Sally!"

"NOOOO!" Rainbow Girl screeches. "HIS NAME IS CUTEY!!!" She snatches the paper and cradles them in her arms. 

"He's a little shy," she coos. She pats the paper salamander and starts sliding him inside the 3D paper log that was under him. "He's going to bed!" she informs us, slipping him almost all the way into the log before dipping her head down to gently kiss his green paper head. 

sliding Cutey into his log

"Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to slee-ee-ee-ee-eeeeep," she softly croons to the tune of Brahm's lullaby. "Go to sleep, close your eyes, go to slee-ee-ee-ee-eeeeep!" She tenderly pats the paper log.

singing him to sleep! <3

Abruptly, she announces, "You can touch him, but you have to get your finger wet. Here's some Magic Spray!" She brings his log to the couch and directs each of us, pumping her tiny finger to squirt us with an imaginary spray bottle. "One finger!" She slides him partway out of the log, tapping him with her dainty finger to show us how. 

my turn!

A few minutes later, it's time for bed. Cutey and his log have to come up and participate in the whole bedtime routine, of course. She and Sis brush their teeth with "sala-paste", and then Cutey gets his own turns reading pages from Llama Llama, Red Pajama in her toddler bed. She makes him crawl out of the log to read his pages, then tucks him back in when he's finished.

"Can he stay with me???" she pleads, blue eyes large, when she's had her bedtime sips of water.

"You might smush and wrinkle him if he slept with you," I contend, "but he could sleep beside your bed, with giant Minnie Mouse!" 

She carefully chooses a place for him on the floor, but then decides that he needs to fly and rock with us. This is my first time rocking with a paper friend, but after rocking, she finally does settle him back in the spot she chose beside her bed, leaning down with one arm to pat him like she often does with Minnie. 

"Meemaw and Granddaddy will be SO SURPRISED to see a PAPER SALAMANDER tomorrow!" she proclaims, wiggling with excitement.


  1. What an adorable slice! You capture the excitement and enthusiasm of a 4 year old so well, and the pictures really enhance the storytelling. You can clearly hear and see how much your Rainbow Girl has invested in her paper friend. It makes me miss that age!

  2. Love this story with all the little details and all the little quotes. It’s a treasure!
    Diane Anderson

  3. I so love reading about the adventures of Rainbow Girl and her sister. You do such a great job of bringing them to life. I love how you capture their dialogue and movements to make them so vivid! The part where Sis calls the paper salamandar "Sally" and Rainbow Girl screeches, "NO!" made me chuckle.


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