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Showing posts from November, 2009

What, oh what, will she buy?

Last week I received a letter from my daughter's school (not the "your child failed the hearing test" letter - this was a different one). The parent organization is setting up a holiday gift shoppe so that the kids can buy "winter holiday presents" for family members. Each student is allowed to purchase up to eight gifts, at a cost of $1.25 each. They sent home a printed sheet of blank gift tags and I'm supposed to fill in the eight names. My first inclination was to put my own name on all the tags. Then I decided that maybe that isn't the best way to make a good impression on the school, particularly since I plan to send my child there for the next seven years.
I remember shopping at a holiday store at my school when I was in the second grade. Guess what I bought my father? An ashtray. It was the kind that consisted of a beanbag on the bottom (plaid, no less) and had the metal part with the cigarette holder attached to the top. Can you imagine i…

Mission Accomplished

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Indeed, I did get up at 4:00 a.m. on Black Friday. Some of my friends who are Black Friday veterans advised me in advance not to take it too seriously, so that was the attitude I took. I was armed with shopping lists for my two nieces and three nephews. I scanned the ads on Thursday and plotted my strategy. I actually ordered some stuff online on Thursday, when some stores started their price drops. I knew Best Buy would be a nightmare on Friday so I ordered online from there (and got free shipping to boot). I also ordered a dollhouse for the kid from another retailer. The next day, she started blathering on about some very specific dollhouse that is NOT the one Santa ordered. Someone needs to tell her that once you submit a wish list to Santa, there are no edits. Santa accepts the first edition and that's all there is to it.

When my alarm clock went off at 4 on Friday, I very nearly turned it off and ended the lunacy right there. But, the dogs had also heard the alarm and…

Oh, hand-print turkey, how long I have waited for thee . . .

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The kid has come home with turkey art every day for the past week or so. Construction paper turkeys, coloring book turkeys, etc. At church she made a hand-print turkey, which is the pinnacle of turkey-related art if you ask me. During my long, long journey to become a mom, I often filled my head with daydreams of macaroni art and hand-print turkeys. And now the day has come!

The emphasis on turkeys is always a little bit of a mystery to me, though. Why not a cornucopia or something?

Every year at least one person asks what on earth I will eat for Thanksgiving since I'm a vegetarian. I've been adhering to a meatless diet for over 20 years now so it's not as if I'll suddenly be baffled by this particular holiday. And for those of you who have seen me - do I look like I am missing any meals? Call me what you want, but don't call me late for dinner! Ha ha! I'm here all week, folks! Tip your waitresses! Anyway, the answer to the question is that I will eat ever…

The one where I get all old and prudish

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I've been trying to decide if the Adam Lambert kiss is worth all the attention it's getting. I know you base your own world view around my take on current events, so here goes: I think it was over the top. Too much. However, not because he kissed another dude, but because it appeared as though he plumbed the depths of the guy's esophagus with his tongue. Seeing the same kiss between a man and a woman wouldn't have made it any less cringe-worthy in my book. Or even two chicks (my husband might disagree with that assertion).

More and more, I form my opinions around this basic barometer: is this something I'd want to explain to my four-year-old? And in this case, the answer was no. It would be one thing if the show had aired in the wee hours, but it didn't. It was prime time (albeit fairly late in the evening). My daughter didn't see the performance, but she is a night owl in the making and it's only a matter of time. I feel stupid enough because I was lett…

Can you hear me now?

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We received a letter from the health department today. RE: "your child." It turns out she failed the hearing exam at school. Twice. The letter says that "your child may have a hearing loss that is medically and educationally significant." We're supposed to take our daughter for a more formal auditory evaluation.

This notification from the health department, while slightly alarming, is at least marginally better than the one my sister received: "your child may have head lice." My niece did, indeed, have lice. At this point I can't even call my sister's house without itching and scratching all the while. I may have to unfriend her on Facebook just to be on the safe side. Those little nits are pretty tenacious, you know.

So, it looks like I'll be making the kid an appointment with the pediatrician on Monday. Then I guess we'll see where we go from there. Her pediatrician (well, an assistant) did attempt to carry out a hearing test a…

How to explain . . .

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My daughter's birthfather is behind bars. He was sentenced to three and a half years in state prison when A was just a few months old. The charge? Second-Degree Sexual Assault of a Child (in other words, sex with a minor). It's unsavory any way you look at it, but I do think it's only fair to differentiate between the 21-year-old dumbass who has sex with an older teenager and the pedophile who molests a small child. It is my understanding that he is the former.

He was scheduled to be released in the summer of 2009 so, out of curiosity, I pulled him up on the circuit court website last week. There was a notation in the records that his parole was revoked. I was a little confused about some of the details of the case so I asked my friend Kim to take a look. She spent many years working for the police department as a dispatcher (I wish she still did because I miss hearing all of the morons-who-call-911 stories, such as the people who ring 911 on the 4th of July to ask where fi…

Eye Eye, Captain

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I accompanied the kid to her first official eye exam yesterday. I took her to my optometrist. He told her, "You can call me John." What the bleep? I don't get to call him John!

I didn't have any particular concerns about A's eyes (her ears are a whole other matter - she gives the impression of being stone deaf most of the time). However, I wanted to take her in now to get a baseline for future eye exams. She had a lot of trepidation about the exam, so I plied her with a slice of cake beforehand. I truly did not want her to be nervous about it, though I have to confess that my pre-exam angst over the puff-of-air-in-the-eye test is enough to cause me to need therapy myself.

My daughter knows her letters quite well, but for younger kids they do the visual exam using pictures on the eye chart. She had no problem recognizing the tiny images, however minute. Until . . . Dr. K (AKA "John") shone the light on a tiny little image of a telephone. It was a t…

What eez it, man?

[Bonus points for those who recognized that as a Ren & Stimpy quote.]

A couple of people have asked me about the doll with the green thing on her head. Believe me, it is bugging me, too. You have no idea. The more A talks about it, the more I think she is truly expecting this doll under the tree on Christmas morn.
I have quizzed her repeatedly about the mystery figurine. The level of detail she provides makes me think that she did, indeed, spot the doll somewhere. The description I get from her: "she has brown hair and a green crown on her head and a green dress on her body. And she's in a box." I have tried asking for the doll's name. "Um, Alexa?" she usually replies. I can tell she doesn't know. There is an Alexa doll in existence, which is from that blasted "Princess and the Diamond Castle" movie. Alexa does not wear green; her dress is purple and blue.

I have tried Googling "doll with green crown" and "green dress doll&quo…

Dear Santa

November 10, 2009

Santa Claus
The North Pole

Dear Santa,

It's been a few decades since I've written to you. I hope you are doing well. I assume I've managed to maintain my spot on the good list all these years. As you know, I'm a bit of a goodie-two-shoes. Well, mostly. You don't include the college years in your calculations, right? I also assume there's some sort of statute of limitations on childhood offenses, such as the time I put my middle sister in the dryer and turned it on. Of course, you know full well I only let her go around a couple of times and that she grew up just fine.

Anyway, enough about me. My daughter is going to be writing you a letter shortly. Well, I should say she'll be dictating a letter - she only knows how to write her name and a couple other words. She is going to be asking you for "the doll with the green thing on her head." I have no earthly idea what she's talking about, so I sure hope you know. Additionally, she'…

Will everyone think I look silly?

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My daughter, almost since birth, has generally sported a devil-may-care attitude about her conduct, her appearance, etc. That's how most kids are and that's how it should be. Slowly but surely, though, I'm noticing a new self-awareness sneaking in.

My artsy-craftsy friend Nancy gave her a handmade Halloween pin a couple months ago. The pin is a foam candy corn. It's cute and age-appropriate. When we were visiting my mom last month, I put it on A one day. She looked down at it, frowned a bit and asked, "Is everyone going to think I look silly?"

"No, of course not," I replied, puzzled. For starters, we were in a town over 1,000 miles from where we live. This little hamlet (Corn, Oklahoma - no lie) is so tiny that it has no streetlights and only a handful of stop signs. The odds of someone she knows spotting her and guffawing over her candy corn pin were pretty small. Infinitesimal, even. Second, we had no plans to leave the house that day. My mo…

Dead Things

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I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her. - Ellen Degeneres

Thanksgiving is going to be odd for me this year. Normally, I go to DC to spend the holiday with family. Or last year, I went to Oklahoma to spend it with my mom (as you'll recall, my parents are in the process of moving from the DC 'burbs to windy Oklahoma). This year, I took the trip early, spending part of October in OK with my daughter. This means I'll actually be home for Thanksgiving this time around. I think we've managed to score an invitation to eat the big meal with friends. If you are thinking, "Wait, isn't she a vegetarian?" - I am, but it's not as if there is some shortage of food on Thanksgiving. I can manage to eat myself into a stupor just like everyone else.
While I'm happy to be spending Thanksgiving with my husband this year (for …

Let's Pretend I'm a Grown-Up

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It's hard to fight crime when you're wearing three layers

After trick-or-treating last night, I helped the kid take a shower. We needed to wash red hairspray out of her hair and chocolate off her hands. I grabbed the hand-held shower head and aimed it at her thick curls, while she danced and spun and did everything she could think of that might lead to what they call a "household injury" at the ER.

She stopped mid-spin and turned to me. I was kneeling outside the tub and we were eye to eye. "Mama! Let's pretend I'm a grown-up, okay?"

"Gotcha," I said. "You're a grown-up." All I could think of was how the "grown-up" had been repeatedly yelling, "I FA-ARTED!" just hours before.

I finished rinsing the shampoo out of her hair and grabbed a towel. "Since you're a grown-up, exactly how old are you?" I asked. For the record, she is four and a half.

She raised her chin and smiled. "I'm five.…