Showing posts from September, 2009

When did I get so stupid?

Last Saturday, I took my daughter to an arts and crafts festival downtown. We wandered up and down the sidewalk, fondling handmade scarves and sculptures created from common household utensils. The kid unexpectedly turned and strode into a boutique and I followed her in. It was one of those women's clothing stores into which I almost never venture, the type that's chock full of oversized accessories, impractical purses, and what-are-YOU-doing-in-here salespeople. When you see just three of something hanging on a rack, you know you can't afford it. A skipped up to a hot pink halter dress with a diaphanous skirt strewn with tiny crystals. "Mommy, you would look so beautiful in this dress!" she exclaimed, pulling the dress outward so that I could take in its glory. "Oh, sweetie," I responded, running my fingers over the flowing fabric, "I don't know where I'd wear a dress like that." She stopped and turned around, looking up at me with

Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cher-oo

I had my chimney cleaned on Friday. And no, I do not mean that in any sort of metaphorical sense - I literally had the chimney cleaned. We hadn't brought in a chimney sweep in several years, mostly because a) we intend to do it every year but never seem to have it in the budget and b) our kid is a bit, ah, clumsy and we weren't convinced that she wouldn't pitch headfirst into a crackling fire. Now that she is a little older and we had it in the budget, I called the first name that came up on Google. The gentleman on the other end was friendly and folksy. "I'll be coming myself because I'm the owner and I do everything myself. If you want it done right, you do it yourself. That's what I always say." We made arrangements for him to come on Friday afternoon, when I would be taking a late lunch in order to meet him at my house. I was instructed to have $110.00 in cash. As I left the office on Friday, I told my co-worker, "If I don't come back, it

Stupor Girl

As I sit down to write this, my husband and daughter are in the other room playing an X-Men game on the PS3. We only have one controller, so they have to share. I have to confess I am impressed at how well she can navigate the game. She knows the names of all the mutants. She knows which button does what on the controller. When it was A's turn a few minutes ago, I actually heard her father say this to her (and I promise you I am not exaggerating or embellishing this in any way - it is a direct quote): "Hang on, let me find you a robot to fight." Isn't that what every daddy says to his precious baby girl? In other super hero-related news, the kid has decided to be Super Girl for Halloween. We bought the costume, but she keeps insisting that she needs to wear a tiara. We've told her repeatedly that Super Girl doesn't wear anything on her head. The get-up is pretty garish already, truth be told. Speaking of super heroes, I cannot say the word "Superma

A Day in the Life

My daughter is not what you'd call a morning person. She takes after her Meemaw that way. Every night, we suggest to the kid that she go to sleep because "you'll be tired in the morning if you don't go to bed now." Well, the morning her and the evening her are not the same person. The P.M. version is jovial and cheerful. The A.M. version . . . not so much. After some trial and error, we discovered that we can scale back the intensity of the morning tantrums by putting her in front of the TV when she gets dressed. (Don't give me that look - it's not like we leave her there all day.) First: waking her up. I'm reminded of that joke, "Some days I wake up grumpy, some days I just let him sleep." Second: I lift her out of her bed and carry her out to the couch. I can lift her now but I am not sure how long this is going to work. Let me tell you, I have no upper body strength. That's why I transitioned her out of her infant carrier wh

Picture Day

My daughter had school pictures today. The challenge for me was that she is in the afternoon session of 4K. I send her off the Kindercare each morning looking pretty cute - dress clean, curls bouncing. However, my husband has openly admitted that by the time he picks her up at noon to take her to Kindergarten, she looks like a homeless street urchin. The Little Match girl, in the flesh. Curls have turned to frizz, dress has met up with a marker, face bears the remnants of lunch. So, what to do? I got her up early today and gave her a new dress to wear. Then I pulled her hair into two braids and . . . shellacked her entire head. I layered on as much hairspray as I could until she waved me away and told me I'd gotten some in her eye. I guess I'll see what comes back and then purchase one of the fabulous "packages" I have been offered (check #4 to the school, for those who are keeping track). No matter what, I'm sure her photo will be better than the ones taken o

It's the little things

I am still reeling from the events at work last week. I am like a cat in that I do not cope well with change sometimes. I've been trying to soothe my anxiety with food, but as my sage Weight Watchers leader advised me: "If hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer." I've been repeating this mantra to myself for the past few days, but there is still some little part of me that feels the need to test the theory out just in case food is, as it turns out, the answer. Rather than wallowing in self-pity yesterday, I got up early and headed to a rescue event about an hour away. It was, I had to admit, a beautiful day. We set up our lure course at a shelter charity walk, and I sat a table selling tug toys and tee shirts. I didn't manage to sell much, persuasive salesperson that I am. Mostly I just fussed over participants' dogs. The event was held at a park on the shores of a large lake, and at one point a large flock of pelicans flew soundlessly overhead


Yesterday at work, two of my co-workers were let go. We were a very small web development team - just five people. The President of the company was relieved of duty in July, and two more team members were lost yesterday. Now there are just two of us. More of a duo than a team, I guess. This is the first time the sinking economy has had such a major impact on my life. The shareholders are looking to sell the company and I will probably lose my job when the company is sold. They want me to hang in there until then. An old friend posted condolences on my Facebook page and mentioned "survivor's guilt." I think he was dead on. I feel terrible for my co-workers who lost their jobs and I have no idea why I was spared (at least for now). So, I have nothing witty to say this week. Looking at my co-workers' empty desks makes me physically ill. I didn't sleep at all last night and found myself at 2:30 a.m. watching Dr. Phil episodes saved on my DVR. The dogs were

The Sunflower

You may recall that back in the Spring, A kept telling everyone that she and I were going to have a fabulous time growing sunflowers together. Seeing as how I had no intention of growing sunflowers and had not proposed any such project to her, I was a bit perplexed. I've never been much of a gardener. Along the lines of "the frugal gourmet" or "the thrifty traveler," I call myself "the haphazard gardener." I throw seeds in dirt and hope for the best. I never save the package and so when something does sprout, I have no recollection of what it might be. I like surprises. In April, I took the kid to the gardening store and we bought some starter trays and a few packs of seeds, including sunflower seeds. We dutifully planted everything and waited patiently, watering our dirt each day. But then, my friend Kevin died and I had to fly out for his funeral during the seedlings' crucial first days. When I transplanted what was left of the plants in May, non


I can't imagine why any young child would ever be used as a witness in a court case. It shouldn't happen in any court, in any country, at any time. There is generally no malice behind it, but . . . they lie like rugs. I always think of all those daycare workers who were railroaded in the 80s , with some of them sitting behind bars for years because the prevailing theory at the time was "children don't lie." Obviously a parent needs to take their child's word for it and do some investigating if the child says he/she has been touched inappropriately, but if the kid claims that his/her daycare provider was conducting ritualistic animal sacrifices and forcing the children to drink blood . . . ah, maybe not. My own daughter is, at times, not all that well acquainted with truth. They have been introduced, but truth is often cast aside, like the unpopular kid on the playground who is left out of the kickball game time and time again. Sometimes the teacher forces

And so it begins

I entered the public school system (in Maryland) in 1975. We moved to Virginia in 1978/79 - somewhere in there. My youngest sister graduated high school in 2000. My mother often says, "I dealt with the school system for 25 years!" She wears it like a badge of honor. I am not the type who thinks that public schools are inferior to private schools (or home schooling, for that matter). I truly believe that a kid gets out of her education exactly what she puts into it. But, I'm starting to get a feel for what my mother was talking about. My mother remarried in 1981, which meant that my middle sister and I had a different last name from our mom. Well, you would have thought we were the first family in the history of Fairfax County Public Schools to have a divorce. If my sister got in trouble, the school would call and ask for Mrs. Same-Last-Name-as-My-Sister. My mom corrected them endlessly, but it never took. Then of course there is just the normal tree killing that goes on:


That's what time school ends. Not 3:30, not 3:35. 3:33 p.m. I don't know why this strikes me as odd, but it does. My baby started 4K (four-year-old Kindergarten) today. It's from 12:30 to 3:33 p.m. Monday through Thursday. She's at Kindercare for the first half of the day and then heads over to the elementary school for the afternoon. You may be wondering if I got all weepy. I didn't. Okay, I did - but only for a second. She appeared to be the smallest one in the class and yet she looked strangely grown-up as she filed into the school building with her new classmates.