Category Archives: random tidbits

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. 

Random Tidbits of a summer evening

  1. The waking-up-early-to-meditate thing? Is not going well. Possibly because the staying-up-too-late-reading thing is still in full force. Turns out that lack of sleep makes me a raging bitch mama! Who could have foretold?
  2. Possible TMI warning: I don’t know if I’m going through peri-menopause or if my IUD isn’t working or what the hell is the matter, but I have been going through mega-crazy PMS this last week and it is getting really old. I hate how even knowing that your responses are purely irrational and hormone-overload-based does not actually help you calm the fuck down. Also, why does it have to be that the older I get, the more completely psycho my monthly cycle makes me? WHO IS THIS HELPING?
  3. One of the awesome things about having both girls obsessed with knock-knock jokes is being able to listen to them tell said jokes to each other over the nursery monitor after they’ve been put to bed. The Hatchling knows some actual knock-knock jokes, but the Sprout basically tells one “joke,” which goes like this: Knock Knock. (Who’s There?) Banana. (Banana Who?) (pause) … PUT IT IN YOUR EYE! (cackling laughter). Surreal, yet satisfying.
  4. In case there was any doubt that an academic nerd still lurks underneath this stay-at-home-mama façade, I spent approximately two hours this afternoon composing a carefully worded email explaining why I think essentialist feminism is a bunch of bunk. (Actually, pretty much essentialism full stop.) On the plus side, it’s nice that I know people with whom I can have such exchanges. On the minus side, this is time that could perhaps have been spent more profitably cleaning my incredibly dirty floors. June Cleaver, I am not.

I write letters

1. Dear student,

Contrary to popular belief, it is not actually my problem that you haven’t gotten your textbook yet. Having ordered the books for the school bookstore, posted direct links to three different online vendors, and provided you with copies of the first two weeks’ readings, I really feel like my job with respect to your acquisition of the (single, reasonably priced, REQUIRED) text is completely done. I mean, really.

Best wishes, the Squab

2. Dear Other Student,

You registered two weeks late. You didn’t contact me until I noticed you on the roster and emailed to see why you hadn’t logged in. You said you needed to talk with me on the phone to “discuss expectations,” but the number you provided was non-functioning and though I gave you my number you never called. We’re now in week five and you still have not logged in … to this exclusively online course. Can you please just cut me some freaking slack and drop already?

For real, the Squab

3. Dear Language Disorder,

Please back the FUCK OFF my kid.

Incredibly sincerely, the Squab

4. Dear State of MN,

Thank you for finally stopping the sociopathic weather and granting us several delightful June days. Now can you please hold off with the 90s and high humidity until we get the new patio in? I’m not joking. YOU OWE ME.

Much obliged, the Squab

Kids Are Weird, Thursday edition

Recurring conversations we have had in our house of late:

During lunch (dinner, snack, breakfast, etc.) …

Hatchling: [BURP] Oh! Excuuse me! Tee hee! (She actually says “tee hee.” And covers her mouth coyly with her fingertips. My eyes could not roll any harder.) Mama, I said ‘excuse me!’

Me: Good job, honey.

Hatchling: [BUUURP] Oh! Excuuse me! Tee hee!

Me: (warningly) Honey …

Hatchling: (trying really hard to push another one out) [BEHHHP] OH! EXCUUUUSE ME! TEE HEE!

Me: Look, let’s not try to burp, ok?

Hatchling: But I say ‘excuse me,’ Mama! I have big burps!

Me: Yeah, it’s good to say excuse me, but don’t make yourself burp, ok? Just, uh, let them come out naturally. (Because that’s a phrase a three-year-old will get. Definitely.)

Hatchling: Okay, okay, OKAY, Mama. (Brief pause. Takes large, airy gulp of beverage.) [BUURRRPP] Oh! Excuuuse me! Tee hee! That was a big one, Mama!

Me: (slowly bangs head against table)


Before nap or bedtime …

Me: do you want to wear your socks to bed?

Hatchling: One sock. (sticks out foot)


Hatchling: Take-a off, Mama.

Me: You just want one sock off?

Hatchling: Yes. Take-a off DIS one.

Me: (takes off sock) Really?

Hatchling: Yes. There. ALL better.

Random Tidbits

1. The Hatchling used to pronounce her favorite movie trilogy “Stah Woahs,” which we enjoyed because it made her sound like Randy Newman. Now she’s (finally) getting her R’s she says it more like “Str Wrrrs,” which is less cute but equally funny.

2. In other Hatchling-speech related news, the kid has recently added another global region to her universe of accents. We used to call her The Swedish Chef because of how she pronounces her “U’s” (“Mama, wanna listen to some müüüsic?” “Mama, what are yüüü doing today?” “Mama, are yüüü coming outside tüüü?”). She still goes Swede on a regular basis, but recently, out of nowhere, she’s pronouncing her short “A’s” like she comes from upstate New York. “Dance” sounds like “dee-yance.” “Back” sounds like “bee-yak.” “Have” comes out “hee-yave.” Where, oh where does it come from? Neither of her parents is from upstate NY. Or Sweden, for that matter. What will be next? Hungarian? Portuguese? I’m hoping for Irish, myself.

3. In other Lucas-related news, we have recently realized that the Sprout, who has quite a husky voice for an eleven-month-old baby girl, sounds EXACTLY like an Ewok.

4. We found Mr. Squab’s old baby book the other day, and discovered that when he was ten months old, he weighed THIRTY ONE POUNDS. For those of you who are childless, this is an almost literally unbelievable amount for a ten month old to weigh. “I guess that’s where the kids get it,” he says. Sheesh. I guess! In totally unrelated news, my stepmother had to get her neck adjusted after our last visit, because she was holding the Sprout too much and IT THREW HER NECK OUT.

Here are some links that have been sitting in my browser forever:

  • This is an amazing article, both for the science itself and for the personality metaphor. Are you a dandelion or an orchid?
  • If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be Mr. Squab (who is a graphic designer), this comic will give you a pretty clear idea.
  • Everybody and their brother has already linked to this, but in case you haven’t seen it: Unhappy Hipsters, y’all.
  • Kate Harding wrote an excellent essay on the Kevin Smith/Southwest episode.
  • Save the Words!

Tab Dump

Some interesting stuff from around the interwebs, aka LazyBlogging:

This is the kind of thing I think the internet was designed for. Beautiful.

The Carnival of Feminist Parenting.

A beginning annotated bibliography of Doubt.

This is EXACTLY what I think about the Harry Potter movies.

Speaking of which, these are the best damn interviews with the Harry Potter cast EVER. So lovely.

This makes me so angry I could cry.

An online gallery for the British Library? Yes, please.

John Hughes’ teenage pen-pal recalls his correspondence.

Preschoolers: adding surreality to every waking moment.

This morning, the Hatchling was playing with a friend in the friend’s backyard, which is dominated by a very large maple tree. “Oh, wookit,” said the Hatchling, gazing fondly up the enormous tree trunk. “Monsters.

“Wow, there are monsters in that tree?” I reply. “Cool. How many monsters are there?”

“Dey up inda TREE, mama. Wookit. Dere’s some bones, and dere’s some bodies, and dere’s some healthy snacks!”

Status updates I have considered putting on Facebook today

Elise has really had it.

Elise swears to god, if she hits one more red light she is going to hurt someone.

Elise is reaching the end of her tether.

Elise would sell her ovaries for a kid who sleeps and/or does not scream at pitches just below what only a dog can hear.

Elise is about to pull a Nora.

Elise would just like to be able to DRIVE somewhere ONCE without needing EARPLUGS to block the SCREAMING.

Elise is DONE. DONE, I tell you.

Elise would like to know just who she pissed off, so she can tell them she’s sorry already!

Elise is getting her ass handed to her on a plate by two girls who can’t read or use a toilet.

Elise wishes she was handling things better. Or at all.

Happiness is …

1.) Taking the kids on a nice walk to a fun family event in the beautiful morning weather.

2.) Getting to see a great movie, on opening weekend, in 3D, with your favorite date.

3.) Having friends who are big enough suckers to agree to watch both your 3 year old and your 2 month old while you attend said movie. And who are awesome enough to cope with an infant freak out and live to tell the tale. (It is soooooooo nice having friends with kids the same age as yours.)

4.) Enjoying an impromptu pizza on the patio in the backyard of said friends’ house, watching the kids run around wearing each other out while you enjoy a beer.

THAT is a good Saturday.

Random Tidbits for the weekend

1. The Sprout has decided to try on being a fussy baby for the last two days. The mellow thing is SO last week. Apparently. This is not contributing to a positive mental state in her mama, who is finding herself really, really, really looking forward to being a mother of two girls about three years from now.*

2. It is (finally) a GORGEOUS spring day outside, and what’s more, I actually got out to enjoy it a little. Went to the plant store and got several nice perennials to put in the front yard, and a truckload of mulch. Was kicked out of the house to go on said errand by Mr. Squab on the theory that a little kid-free time amid flowers and sunshine would perk me up. And he was right, as he so often is.

3. I CANNOT BELIEVE that Adam Lambert didn’t win American Idol. WTF, America? Was it the eyeliner that put you off? Or the fact that he has more talent in his manicured pinky than you have in your whole vanilla bourgeois body? Feh.

4. I will soooooo be watching Glee this fall. Cheesy? Hell, yes, but I was a big-time choir kid in high school and it’s worth the cheese just for the trip down memory lane.

5. My 20th high school reunion is coming up this summer. How did THAT happen so fast? I keep getting requests to send my address to the organizers so they can send me the invitation. Which I guess I’ll do, since I don’t want to be anti-social, but y’all: there is NO WAY IN HELL I’m going to my 20th reunion. You don’t have to go to high school reunions if you’re still having the occasional anxiety dream about high school, right? That’s my stand and I’m sticking to it.

6. I have officially decided that I would like to travel back in time to when your average upper-middle class family had a baby nurse to help take care of the kids until they go off to school. Possibly boarding school. Depends on when you ask me. Just thought you’d want to know that it’s official.*

* It has been brought to my attention that I’ve tended, of late, to post updates that indicate a fairly stressed/depressed state of mind. Which, you’re damn right I’m stressed! But not at a worrisome level, in part because I have a blog to vent on. So not to fret.