Showing posts from January, 2008

It's Not the Cows Who've Gone Mad . . .

I saw an article on CNN today about cows being abused at a slaughterhouse. Wow, abuse at a slaughterhouse! Go figure. Anyway, apparently slaughterhouse workers are unleashing horrific abuse on sick cows that are too weak to stand. There is one snippet of a quote about the animals themselves, but for the most part the point of the article is this: oh no! did those sick cows get into the food supply? I really try my best not to be a soapbox sort of vegetarian (meat-free for 19 years and counting), but this story is one of many reasons why I am trying to teach my daughter that we should walk through this life as gently as we can. The horrors of factory farming are very real. I wish everyone had to slaughter their own dinner, even just once. Personally, I am not worth that kind of violence. (In my next post I promise I will get back to poop-related toddler stories and stuff. Oh, and she is watching "Cinderella" right now, so yes, I succumbed to Disney's malevolent yet ingeni

Of Grandparents and Princesses

My parents called yesterday, all in a lather. It seems they were at a Disney outlet store and happened upon a big sale. "They have Princess shoes!" exclaimed my dad. "What size does Pie wear?" He proceeded to describe them for me. They are bright green and glittery. "Picture the ruby slippers, but in green," Pop said. It made me laugh to think of my dad, who is a big man, crouched over some bin in the Disney store, picking his way through little girls' glitter shoes until he found the right ones for his granddaughter. This is a man who is known (even now) to hop a flight at will to catch the Stones or Springsteen in concert. And now he is also a grandpa four times over - and darned good at it, too. His youngest granddaughter, in turn, is completely smitten with him (she would dig him even if he didn't buy her stuff all the time). One day last week she demanded to speak to him on the phone, but he wasn't home when we called. I put her on the ph

No, it's my fault!

As two-year-olds are wont to do, A likes to claim everything on the planet as her own. The dogs are hers, the house, the television, etc. She can't stand the thought that someone else might have ownership of something, even a bad something. Apparently she overheard me saying "Oh, that's my fault" to my other half. Or at least I assume she heard it from me - God knows he's never been at fault for anything. Now she screams "No, it's MY fault! It's mine!" at us. It's tres adorable, ne c'est pas?

I know, it was too easy!

Yes, the lyric is from "Thunder Road." Thunder Road is not, in fact, my favorite Springsteen song, but you gotta admit it's a great line. Show a little faith, there's magic in the night . . . My favorite Springsteen song is "Drive All Night," mostly because I just want to know what it's like to have someone dig you so much that they'd drive all night just to buy you some shoes. And to "taste your tender charms." I don't know if my charms are tender or not, but my other half won't even pour me a glass of wine without rolling his eyes. And according to him, I have plenty of shoes already. So anyway, Miss Leslie - Margin Walker did recognize the song first, but I cannot give her a gold star. Why? Well, because she has owed me a buck since last summer and refuses to pay me. She recommended that I download a life-changing sort of song from iTunes, and not only did the song not change my life, I really didn't dig it at all. Technical

Woot, look at me!

I have to thank my artsy-fartsy friend Dave for making me a new header for the top of my blog. I have two talents in life, and graphic design is not one of them. (I am a good speller and I can touch my tongue to my nose, in case you are wondering about my two talents.) Would you like to see the other version he made? Here it is . As you can probably guess, I am getting ready to replace all of my friends with new, non-smartassy friends. I will be accepting applications starting Monday. Does anyone recognize the quoted song lyric in the header? You get a gold star if you know it without Googling it. Speaking of song lyrics, I have a couple stuck in my head right now. One is "It's Racing Day" by the Backyardigans. The lyrics are pretty witty: "It's racing day, it's racing day, today's the day we race!" I think those lines are repeated about 389 times. After ten minutes of the Backyardigans, I am crying and rocking myself in the fetal position, but my k

Thanks, Lady!

A few weeks ago I posted an entry regarding my daughter's habit of calling strangers "Mommy" and "Daddy." In an effort to curb this practice, I started making a concerted effort to introduce her to people by name whenever possible. I figure that if I head her off and give her their actual name, she won't go making one up. I don't understand why she can't just say "Hi!" like a normal kid and leave it at that. In swim class at the Y on Monday, A and I were practicing a maneuver whereby she floats on her back and kicks her legs. I thought she was being totally half-assed about it, but nonetheless the instructor looked at her and exclaimed "Good job!" A replied, "Thanks, lady!" The other day at the grocery store she greeted the cashier with a "Hi, lady!" I cannot decide if this is better or worse than calling people "Mommy" and "Daddy." It's probably a slight improvement. Yesterday she and


I wasn't sure that I would manage a single blog entry this week, mostly because I seem to be at death's door. How is it that when the kid gets a cold, her nose runs for a day or so and then she's fine, but when I catch it shortly thereafter (and God knows I always do). . . it nearly kills me? I have asthma so even the tiniest of colds heads straight to my lungs like a bullet. And then I hork and gasp and make out my last will and testament and self-medicate and complain loudly until it finally goes away. But my malady is not the topic of this particular blog entry. I have a little dilemma. Or perhaps quandary would be a better term. In other words, I've got a problem. As my three readers know, my daughter was adopted at birth. At the hospital, we signed a communication agreement with A's birthmother. At that time, she didn't know how much contact she would want. We agreed to personal visits and generally left it kind of open-ended. We truly wanted to try our bes

It's Not Your Birthday!

Today is P's birthday. Short Stuff agreed to take some time out from watching Max & Ruby to help me bake a cake. And by "help," I mean, of course, "cause the whole process to take ten times longer than it otherwise would." But, it keeps her out of trouble and besides, we're creating memories, right? Her main jobs were: stirring batter and licking spoons. I had to explain to her that she cannot stir with a spoon she has licked. It took several days to convince A that her father is, in fact, permitted to have a birthday. When I mentioned it a few days ago she wailed, "Nooooooo! It's not his birthday!" She knows that when it's your birthday, you get stuff. And, being the generous sort that she is, she doesn't want anyone else getting stuff. She insists that we're all mistaken and that it's her birthday. I pulled out a calendar and showed her when her birthday is, but she was skeptical. I told her we were going to bake her dada

Biology, Schmiology

The other night I was indulging in my favorite Friday night guilty pleasure (after the kid goes to bed, of course) - reading a People magazine whilst sipping a nice glass of Riesling. There was an article about Nicole Kidman, who is apparently pregnant. As they say in Australia, good on ya. You'd have to be some kind of jerk not to wish someone well on a pregnancy. What's stuck in my craw is not the fact that she is pregnant, but the way in which others referred to her pregnancy. There were quotes like, "She's going to be such a great mom!" Um, Nicole Kidman already IS a mom. And she has been a mom for a long time - her son and daughter are teenagers. I sincerely hope her children do not read that article, as it is blatantly offensive. If you read between the lines, what's being said is, "Adoption is second best." I guess I just fail to see why biology is so important. One of my very favorite people on the planet is my grandma, Elaine. She is my stad

Have a Holly Jolly Weekend

Lunch at a kid-friendly joint. She had rainbow sherbet for dessert and thinks she can now randomly demand it. We went out of town for the weekend. The rescue was holding its annual meeting, so we decided to make a weekend of it. We got a room on Priceline. You never know what you'll get with Priceline, and I must say that the Gods must have been smiling upon us (or maybe just Mr. Shatner), as we got a very nice room. It was actually a suite with two TVs and a handy little sitting room. There was an indoor pool and even a free breakfast (a decent one with Belgian waffles - not one of those deals where they throw a day-old muffin at you when you check out). If there was any drawback it's that the suite had two double beds. We put the kid on the fold-out couch in the other room. Now, P and I have been together 15 1/2 years. We don't spoon all night or anything like that (in fact, we have an unwritten agreement that he is to keep all body parts on his side of the bed). We sleep

Open Letter to a Friend

Dear You, While only one friend has actually come out and told me this, I think there exists sufficient evidence that being my friend can be taxing. I am demanding of my friends. I get irritated when they cancel plans. I expect more interaction than some want to provide. I'm bossy, needy, and self-conscious. The list goes on and on. I also like to think I am loyal and true (not to mention downright witty! ha!) If a friend asks me for something, I'll do it. I never forget a birthday. I listen (well, as well as I can - this may not be my best skill now that I think about it). I don't believe you read my blog, as you've never mentioned it. So this is really just an exercise in catharsis for me and not a piece that I expect anyone to read. I have lots of great friends whom I love dearly, but that doesn't mean that the loss of a single friendship doesn't pain me. It does. You and I met in the summer of 2000, when you adopted a dog that I was fostering. We kept in tou

Re-Inventing the Bad Day

I don't know what I was whining about last week with all of that "bad, terrible day" business. Today was about ten times worse. For starters, one of the world's best dogs is now gone. My good friend had to escort her boy Spot to the Rainbow Bridge. He had had a series of strokes and was no longer functioning. Neither his brain nor his body was working. I took off work early to head over to the vet clinic and say good-bye. Spot was no casual acquaintance. He had stayed at my house several times while my friend was out of town. He was a funny little dog. Shortly after A was born, Spot was visiting. He got up with me for the middle-of-the-night feedings. During these times one likes to maintain a quiet environment so that the newborn will eat and quickly go back to bed. Spot didn't know this. He would do this funny little growl-bark thing, as if he was getting ready to rev up to full-on barking. I called it his pre -bark. I still remember him staring at me in the dar

Hot Dates and Swim Lessons and Homeless Dogs

I had a relatively busy weekend. P and I did have our date night on Saturday. We started the evening with dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. While we were waiting for our table we had a drink at the bar, surrounded by real, live grown-ups! Dinner was really good. As much as we love and adore the short, curly-headed girl who lives with us, it was kind of nice to eat dinner without having to say, "We don't play with our food. Hold your 'big girl' cup with two hands. Put that down. Sit down. Seriously, I'm counting to three. Hey, stop licking the butter off your roll." After dinner we went to see No Country for Old Men . I can tell you honestly that this was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I thought about the movie for hours after we left, and several times the next day. I'd definitely recommend it. Javier Bardem, the actor who plays the murderous villain in the flick, was scary as all get-out. It was so tense that when I left I felt l

Claudia and the Suck-Ass Day

When my youngest sister was a toddler she had a book called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I think of that book whenever I am having a particularly unfun day. Today was one such day. I woke my kid up at around 6:15 a.m. She was still awake when I went to bed last night, so I knew this was going to be a bad scene. Santa brought her an alarm clock for Christmas, so I've tried setting it as an experiment. Like many experiments before it, it is a dismal failure. The clock barks like a dog when the alarm goes off. Allow me to add that the barking is loud. Irritatingly loud. The barking went off as scheduled this morning and allow me to add that my daughter did not move. Not one tiny muscle. She didn't even bother rolling over in disgust. Fifteen minutes later she was still nearly comatose, but dressed and at the breakfast table. By this time she had already started crying at least three times. During breakfast, she began to cry again. Allow me to tell

Everyone's a Princess . . . On the Inside

As our four-day weekend draws to a close (technically four and a half, as I had to pick up the kid early on Friday because of a snowstorm), I find myself with a whole new respect for stay-at-home moms. I know I need to head back to work tomorrow because . . . I'm out of booze. The party is truly over. I did my best to plan activities for the kid but after a while all I could come up with was, "Can't you just go and play in your room?" (You know, the place filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars worth of toys and playthings?) We played Candyland. We put together the same puzzle twice. We played Don't Break the Ice. She colored. She played with Play Doh. But mostly, she marched around in her princess garb, putting spells on us. This being the upper midwest and all, the average princess does need a turtleneck on under her frock. If only I had some way to contact the Marines from his old barracks so that I could send this along to them. Please note that he