Category Archives: How to Charm Me

Patrick, Schmatrick

  Sure, you can celebrate today drinking green beer and singing “Danny Boy” and eating soda bread. IF YOU’RE LAME. But the cool kids spent the morning learning about ancient Egypt from a bunch of fairly adorable first graders. Best parts: 

  • The use of plastic garbage bags for linen tunics
  • Ninja grave robbers in King Tut’s tomb (no, really)
  • The poor kid squashed into a cardboard box to be the Sphinx
  • The incredibly awesome ancient Egyptian version of “Uptown Funk” that ended the performance (sample lyric: “E-gypt. Is so hot. Egypt is so hot.”)
  • Sylvia being inducted into the 100 book club

I fucking treasure elementary school showcases, I tell you what. And bless those teachers for finding the wherewithal to guide seething hordes of 6 and 7 year olds in such a creative endeavor. God knows I couldn’t do it. 

The Internet is Magic + Valentines

Well. Clearly you guys possess some kind of magical powers, or somehow WordPress and Facebook are functioning as spiritual modulation amplifiers or SOMETHING, because the very morning after I posted the heartbreaking saga of how I was ruining my tween child’s every dream and hope of happiness, the very next morning I tell you, she walked up to me and said, “Mama? I have decided something. I will be ok with moving to Georgia, if – IF – you will set me up so I can Skype with Addie and Maya.” (You may recall that this was something I had already offered her as a sweetener. Several times. To no avail.) “Well, of COURSE we can do that, honey,” I said, waiting for the other shoe to drop. A smartphone? A pony? A magical flying rainbow unicorn? She must want more than this!!! “OK, then,” she said. “We can move.” And just like that, it would seem, we’re ok. 

I can now make references to the move without conjuring tears. Tonight we looked at houses and schools online to get a sense for what it might be like to live there. Eleanor reminds Sylvia that we’re moving whenever she thinks Sylvia has forgotten. We go outside and she says, “I sure will be glad when we don’t have SNOW anymore!” Be honest: did one of you switch my daughter with an amazingly lifelike replica? No? (Good, because if you’re going to switch her out I want the house-cleaning, non-smartass model, with available bartender/barista option.)

I can only attribute her change of heart to 1) pure tween cussedness, and 2) the incredible outpouring of love and support my post generated, here and on Facebook.  Social media can suck sometimes, making us feel inadequate or like we aren’t keeping up with the shiny happy lives we imagine our friends are living. But it can also be a real lifeline when you’re going through shitty times in your life, as I have personally witnessed on more than one occasion. If you’re reading this, know that you are part of my village, part of my family’s village, and you are for realz keeping us afloat. And that is a blessing, because my swimming skills are for shit.

OK, enough sappy stuff. Wanna see the AWESOME card Eleanor made me for Valentine’s Day? She really outdid herself this year. First, she drew this picture:

EllieValentine1That’s me in the lounge chair/swing, with Chad behind me either giving me the world’s worst back rub or possibly about to push my chair over? My two friends Greta and Amy are happily clinking wine glasses in the background, while my friend Jessy is kindly watching over all the collected children. (This is inaccurate. In real life, all the adults except Greta would be clinking wine glasses and Greta would be engaging the children in a lovingly handmade educational craft activity. Everyone should have a Greta in their lives.) A happy little scene, n’est ce pas? On the other side of the page, she wrote this glorious little note:

EllieValentine2It says (and I imagine this performed in a sort of school-girl public speaking singsong, for best effect) (all wonky punctuation and spelling reproduced from the original):

“Happy Valentine’s Mommy. I hope you have a great day today. I love you so much, and that’s what valentine’s are for. On the other side of this page, I Have drew a picture of all my freinds and all of your freinds. For I have loved you forever and nothing can break that bond between us. xxxxoooo love, your very speciel dauther, Eleanor R.”

I mean, come on. That’s a straight up kick-ass valentine. And it’s ALSO basically how I feel about you guys. Nothing can break that bond between us. Love, your very speciel freind, Elise R.

File this under “Things That are Awesome”

Picked up the Hatchling from her second day of preschool this morning (verdict: still loving it), and as soon as the Sprout saw her big sister, her face totally lit up with a HUGE grin. Then they spend virtually the entire ride home just looking at each other and laughing, while the Hatchling kept saying, “I so glad to know you’re here!”

Hoo. That’s the good stuff. Now here are some cute pictures:

The First Day of School
First Day of School

She just at a lot of cookie dough. Sugar high?

I find that having two small girls on the counter is a real aid to cookie-baking
Ellie gets to lick the spatula

Here’s a little video of the Sprout in her bouncing contraption. MAN, I wish they made these for adults.

There are good moments

Today, I was changing the Sprout’s diaper and the Hatchling came up behind me to watch.

“Oh. POOOOP,” she observed knowledgeably.

“Yep, I’m changing the baby’s diaper. Gotta get that poop off her butt.”

The Hatchling patted me on the back approvingly, and then asked, “Scwatchy back?”

“Sure!” I said, “I love having my back scratched.”

A brief but pleasurable back scratching occurred; then the Hatchling noticed the Sprout’s old diaper, wrapped up and sitting on the arm of the sofa.

“Oh! I take-a diaper, frow in garbage,” she said helpfully, and proceeded to do just that.

“Thank you, honey!” I said, “that was very, very helpful!”

“OK,” the Hatchling said. You know, like: no big deal, mom.

Those big-sister instincts are definitely kicking in.

I don’t think I even want to know

So Mr. Squab and I are discussing the weekend plans, and I suggest that we ask BFF about watching the Hatchling on Saturday so Mr. Squab and I can go out somewhere to celebrate our anniversary (six years on Sunday!).

“It’s already taken care of,” Mr. Squab says smugly.

“Oh really?” I’m intrigued. “Is there anything I should prepare for?”

“Hmmm …” Mr. Squab thinks for a minute. “Don’t wear any underwear.”

I snort. “Uh-huh.”

“And bring a snake-bite kit.”

How to Charm Me

Grab my left arm while I’m changing your diaper, hug it with all your might, and say “nice.”

(And yes, this post is referring to the Hatchling.)

The Supremes to my Diana

Things that are not fun: going to the MOA this evening to buy Mr. Squab some much-needed shoes with an extremely crank-ass toddler in tow. She didn’t want to be carried, no she DID want to be carried WHY AREN’T YOU CARRYING HER? Just let her run in the shoe aisles, that’s all she ever wanted to do, except the shoe aisles SUCK, Jesus Christ just let her out into the MALL, ok fine, then, she will just sit on the floor and cry. Now are you happy?

This behavior lasted right up until we’d gotten the check for our hastily consumed supper, at which point the Hatchling decided all she needed in this world was a ballpoint pen and the receipt to draw on, and happily spent about 10 minutes intensely scribbling on the tiny piece of paper. Because by that point, of course, we were too exhausted to make her stop before she was ready. (“Boo boo, are you ready to go?” “NO.” Scribble, scribble, scribble. “Do you want to go home and see the kitties?” “Nononono.”)

When we were finally back in the car, nothing would do but that Mama had to sing songs all the way home. Mama, of course, is still getting over her stinky cold and has a dry hacking cough that makes repeated renditions of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” (a perennial favorite) somewhat trying. So Mr. Squab decided to “help” by providing some back up singing/commentary that did indeed add a little je ne sais quoi to the ditty. See for yourself:

I’ve been working on the railroad (toot! toot! toot!)
All the livelong day (clank! clank!)
I’ve been working on the railroad
Just to pass the time away (pass the time!)
Can’t you hear the whistle blowing? (toot! toot! toot!)
Rise up so early in the morn! (Man, it’s early!)
Can’t you hear the captain calling: (whoo! woo!)
Dinah, blow your horn! (Blow it, Dinah!)

Dinah won’t you blow, (blow!)
Dinah won’t you blow, (blow!)
Dinah won’t you blow your horn? (toot!)
Dinah won’t you blow, (come on!)
Dinah won’t you blow, (pretty please?)
Dinah won’t you blow your horn? (blow it goooood.)

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah (who is it?)
Someone’s in the kitchen I know-oh-oh-oh (who can it be?)
Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah (but who?)
Strumming on the old banjo, and singing
Fee, fie, fiddly-eye-oh (that’s a weird song)
Fee fie fiddly-eye oh-oh-oh-oh (seriously, that’s weird)
Fee, fie, fiddly-eye-oh (why not use words?)
Strumming on the old banjo. (WHO ARE YOU?!?!)

It’s kind of hard to sing when you’re having a fit of the giggles, I tell you what.

The Good Stuff

This evening, the Hatchling came over to the sofa, snuggled up to my left side, took my right hand and put it over her tummy, and then held that hand in both of her little chubby ones. Then she leaned back and crossed her ankles, perfectly positioned to watch a little evening telly. (We’re partial to Seinfeld.)

So, that’s pretty nice.

Foolish Parental Bragging Post

As a rule, I try to avoid posts along the lines of “my kid is such a GENIUS” because, a) they’re flipping annoying, and b) they’re oh so rarely true. I adore the Hatchling, but her talents and skills, precious though they are to my eyes, are really about the same as any other toddler her age. This I know. This is good.

Now having said that, OMG I have to tell you what she just did this morning. She’s wandering around the living room, checking out her favorite spots and toys, and she comes over for a brief snuggle. I notice that her diaper is sagging off her butt in a manner that indicates it’s reached its capacity for fluid absorption. I give the Hatchling a squeeze and say, “Should we change your diaper, honey? It looks like it’s about time.” And before I can make any moves in that direction, the Hatchling matter-of-factly toddles over to the coffee table, pulls out the basket where we keep her changing supplies, reaches in for the changing pad, and hands it to me.


Ooooooh, what a smart baby.

What I Like

… is baristas who call me “love.” As in, “what can I get for you today, love?” or “Oh, sorry, love, I don’t think we have any more of that muffin.”

Just makes the process feel a little more human.