Sunday, June 30, 2013

If you had to describe your child as an egg

If you had to describe your child as an egg, what would you say?
Sunny side up?
Over easy?

Clara is definitely hardboiled and pickled.
Winton is badly poached, with frills and gills and utter insubordination.

Friday, June 28, 2013

And then there's Clara's drop-off . . .

Suddenly my six year old (six years old, minus EIGHT baby teeth as of this week) doesn't want ME to be too clingy on drop-off.

At the entrance to camp, Clara tells me where I can stand to watch her walk away.   I am told I can stand there until she turns and waves and, at that point, I am to leave.

My little girl, toting a vast pink backpack, dismisses me in the mornings with a businesslike wave over her shoulder and (only if no one is looking) a furtively blown kiss.

What a big girl.  (What a tiny girl, with a huge backpack.)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Drop-off debacles: Winton

It used to the the case that I would drive Clara to her elementary school first, drop her off, and then continue on with Winton to his preschool.  In the afternoon, I'd again go to Clara's school first, and then Winton's.  This meant that every morning Winton had 15 minutes of alone time with Mummy, and every afternoon Clara got the same.

Now Clara is going to a summer camp run on the campus at which I work.  We drop Winton first, and pick him up last.  Clara gets 40 minutes of alone time with Mummy.  Winton gets none.  He's not happy.

We're on day 9 of summer camp and today Winton decided he just wasn't going to be dropped off first.

He clung to the car: I removed him.
He opened the door and got back in the car, hiding in the footwell: I removed him.
I carried him into the building.
When I put him down to put his lunch in the fridge he lay on the floor shrieking.
When I picked him up, he managed to get one hand under my skirt, hiking it up, and the other hand into the neck of my shirt, pulling it down.
Thus disarrayed and indecent I staggered over to his teacher, who helped me prise him off my person.
(Did I mention he was also TRYING to smear his freshly applied sunscreen onto my clothing, which he knows I dislike?)

And then I walked away, dragging Clara (unhelpfully full of questions) behind me.

Starbucks should have "shot of Xanax" on their menu.  I'd totally buy more coffee from them if I could have both espresso and tranquilizer in my beverage.

Tomorrow I plan to do drop off in armor.  Or maybe I will drop Clara off first . . . spending my day driving around in circles is actually preferable to this morning's debacle.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

American Teeth

Iced-tea season.  Stained-teeth season (for me).  I should have a t-shirt made to remind people that, as they say in India, "only dogs and babies have white teeth."
Hey, at least I don't chew betel . . .

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mulberry Evangelist

Last year the children and I harvested mulberries in the alley we refer to as "poop alley" (because it is where the dog prefers to poop).  (Don't confuse this with "rat alley" which is far grosser).  Anyway, we live in Baltimore, in the city, in a nice *enough* nieghborhood, but rats and poop are still de rigeur.

Last year we managed to get a young man (with gun tattooed on his hip) to venture out of his row house to  try mulberries hanging over the alley. He was cautious ("Those gonna kill me??") .  It was a good urban B'more moment.

Today: more mulberry harvesting, and important discoveries.

1) there are blond mulberries as well as purple, and the blondes are as tasty, if not more so.

2) there are actually lots of mulberry trees, and they are easy to find: just look for messy bits (purple smeary and sticky) of pavement and then look up.

We (Clara and I, on this morning's forage) also stumbled into the remains of a 92 year old's birthday party.  Any party that has been going for 15+ hours is a bit scary, as was this one.  Those attending who had teeth had mostly gold rimmed ones.  Red-rimmed eyes were ubiquitous.  Conversations involved both abusive yelling and vast generous hugs.

Clara and I were picking mulberries in the alley behind said party and were asked what we were up to.  We went into the party, and shared our harvest (warmly received).  I tried to show at least 2 drunk people that I'd gotten the fruit off of the tree that also leaned over the party's side of the fence.  Did it work?  I  don't know.  I like to think that those people now know that tasty sweet fruit hangs right in their yard and all they have to do is reach up and pick it.

Also, unrelated: new greek olive stand at the Waverly market!  I smelled it before I really saw it (it smelt good).  They have green olives marinated with lemons and garlic.  Meet you all there next Saturday morning, for I plan to be there, "sampling," for as long as I can get away with it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Harper's Index

Baltimore was named in the Harper's index this month!
"Number of female guards impregnated by a single Baltimore prisoner: 4"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

More things to do with Winton's butt

W [on toilet]: "That's not poop.  That's dragons coming out of my butt."

Friday, June 7, 2013

Vacation Round-Up: An Ominubus Post

We've been away (Long time no see, blog.  How are you?).

We went to Vancouver, to visit my parents.  The trip was organized to coincide with a conference in Victoria at which I gave a paper.

Here's some stuff that happened while we were travelling:

1) In flight entertainment.
I recommend tic tacs.  They take a long time to eat.  They keep kids swallowing (and thus their ears from hurting).  Winton calls them dik diks (which is funny in and of itself).  And when the box is empty you call ball up miscellaneous shreds of paper to see, as Winton put it, "how many dik diks you can put in the box."

2) Random conversations
Clara: "Mummy, who invented all the words?"
Winton: [interrupting] "Dr Seuss."

3) Parental slights, directed at Mummy:

Opa: "You only got here yesterday, but it feels like you've been here forever."

Opa: "Yeah, you do bruise easily.  It's a sign of old age."

Oma: "Clara is a much nicer child than you ever were."

4) Parental slights, directed at Husband:

Opa [at IHOP, while 8 people including Uncle Michael, were trying to seat themselves and find menus]: "Are you just going to sit there and sulk?"

Oma: [several days later, while Husband was trying to wedge himself into a seat at the very cramped table at my parents' house]: "Are you sulking?"

5) Parental slights, combined targets.

Opa: "Knut [his nickname for me], don't lose any more weight.  But it's good [Husband] lost some weight.  He was kind of fat."

6) Conference highlights

Number of people at my paper: 5 (I blame the unusually nice weather in Victoria).  Responses to my work: worried, primarily.

Response to price of my book: "$40??  Oh, my god!"