The Seven Deadly Cinderellas


 

As parents, we have to shift our own habits in order to provide the most nourishing/least neurotic environment for our spawn.  We cut back on bad habits like drinking, smoking (where appropriate), and poor nutrition.  Or at least we’re supposed to.  All of us who are worth our salts want to be good, positive examples for our kids.

Another thing many of us have to give up or severely curtail is our enjoyment of adult entertainment.  NO, you dirty birds.  Not that kind of adult entertainment.  I mean standard adult programming with sex (not too  much sex), violence, drama,  and potty words.  You can no longer watch Game of Thrones, Hoarders, or Shameless at will.  You have to wait until your darling children are asleep.  And if they don’t sleep?  Well, be prepared to get a crash course in what it feels like to be over the hill and out of the loop.

All is not lost, however.  There is a wide, wonderful world of children’s programming. Today, I’d like to talk about a golden-oldie:  Cinderella.

We’ve been watching this on and off for a while now.  We’re kind of nervous about showing Stella anything with much fighting, as she tends to enjoy reenactments a bit too much if you get my drift.  Cinderella seemed safe.  And there’s singing.  And animals.  What’s not to love? I’ve not watched this since growing breasts and pubic hair, so it’s been somewhat illuminating.  I’ve made some notes about the movie – things that I didn’t notice as a little girl:

  1. Cinderella was stupid.  Exhibit A: Some bitch and her bitchspawn take over my house and enslave me?  There’d be some ground up glass in their tea biscuits.  I mean come on.  Who can retain such cheer and loveliness with that going down?!  Hasn’t anyone seen Oz?!
  2. Cinderella was stupid. Exhibit B: You fall in love with and marry a prince whom you’ve met ONE TIME while wearing enchanted clothing and riding to a ball in a PUMPKIN PULLED BY MICE?!  Even Anna from Frozen actually talked to Hans a couple of times before getting engaged. Maybe…
  3. Cinderella was high? It’s the only explanation.  The singing.  The talking animals.
  4. And if the animals were in fact there and speaking, there’s still other “issues.” Sanitation, for one.  I guess Cinderella didn’t worry about things like, oh I don’t know, salmonella?  Hantavirus, anyone?

    Please come defecate on my outstretched palm while I sing sweetly....

    Please come defecate on my outstretched palm while I sing sweetly….

  5. And the names. Come on.  You name a fat mouse “Octavius” and call him “Gus” for short?  Where do you even come up with that?  Call the damn thing Gus and get on with it.  The last thing you probably want is a pretentious mouse in the house.
  6. Was Cinderella Chinese? That’s the only explanation for those teeny tiny feet.  They must have been bound.  There’s no way that chick should be able to walk on those feet.  They look to be about the size of my thumbs.  And who says tiny delicate feet are the bee’s knees anyway?
  7. Lucifer: For starters, there’s no way Disney could get away with naming a character that in this day and age, no matter how nefarious.  But to be bullied by a cat?  A cat?  You are a pansy, Cinderella.  You deserve what you get.

    Cinderella: It's intense.

    Cinderella: It’s intense.

There’s tons more I could say (how does Cinderella herself always stay so clean?). And maybe I’m just cynical and jaded.  I do want my kids to have sweet, innocent things while they themselves are sweet and innocent.  But this?  Makes me want a lobotomy.  Hey.  Maybe that’s what happened to Cinderella.  Bippity – lobotomy – boo.

All the Right Stuff(ed)


Stella now has quite the entourage.  For a child that never had a “lovey,” she’s making up for lost time.  We’re fortunate in that there still is not one (or two) furry friends that she must have anywhere she goes, but there are certainly some favorites from the crowd of fuzzy faces.  Two of the originals are Sweet Kitty and Flat Kitty.  Sweet Kitty is this small white tiger we got at the aquarium in Houston almost 2 years ago.  Flat Kitty is this random pillow pet mini she got for Xmas one year.  I don’t know what makes Sweet Kitty sweet.  Flat Kitty looks like roadkill.  Ergo, Flat Kitty is quite an appropriate moniker.

A while back, we started a behavior chart.  Good days = stickers.  Enough stickers = a treat.  The treat box contains all sorts of different things she can choose from:  books, small stuffed toys, and even some snap-pops at some point.   Two of her entourage – small stuffed kitties with giant eyes – came from this box:  Noodles and Macaroni.

Yes, she named them herself.  Noodles and Macaroni, along with Sweet Kitty and Flat Kitty are all girls.

2 nights ago, she earned the rights to choose another prize.  She chose a pink spotted octopus toy with giant eyes.  I asked first if it was going to be a girl octopus or a boy octopus, feeling quite certain of the answer.  The damned thing is pink.  I stand corrected.  It’s a boy.  Then she named it.  Mushroom.  Mushroom the male pink spotted octopus with enormous eyes.

I’m pretty curious what’s next.  Marzipan the sea otter?  Queso the frog?  Pizza the giraffe?  Only time will tell.

Anyway, bedtime is interesting trying to juggle so many friends.  Right now, she has to have Mushroom.  Sweet Kitty and Flat Kitty are a must.  Pete the Cat is currently trending in a huge way.  Pete has gone to school already a couple of times.  Pete has to be buckled into the car seat with her.  Pete has to have his own stool at dinner.  Pete went on our Sunday picnic, riding in the wagon.  Pete is the shit.  For one night only, I was able to sit Noodles and Macaroni in the Gallery, the place where the lesser friends live.  Last night we had to have them all.  At 7:00 PM, I tucked Stella, Flat Kitty, Sweet Kitty, Noodles, Macaroni, Pete the Cat, and Mushroom into her twin bed.  That’s a lotta fluff and cuteness for a single bed.  And there must be a roll call before the tucking in process in complete.

Stella's new BFF.  Will's new Significant Other.  The Other Feline?

Stella’s new BFF. Will’s new Significant Other. The Other Feline? (Image borrowed from Google)

That’s probably why- in part – last night was terrible.  Felix showed his butt.  I think it’s because he only ate peaches last night for dinner.  He started waking up at 7:00, maybe disturbed by the shifting of mass in the room caused by Stella and her entourage or the whispered roll call.  He woke up twice more before 9:00 when I finally said F it and took him back to bed with me.  At 10:45 Felix woke up again and decided that the big bed was a jungle gym.  I tried to settle him back down to no avail.  Finally, I went out and told Will (just coming home from the bookstore) I had to have the couch.  For some reason, when Felix gets that way, I’m able to settle him easier on the couch.  No biggie.  Will could use the big bed. We all just needed to sleep.  Who cared where?

At 1:15, Stella came bolting out of her room with Pete the Cat and Mushroom, joining me and Felix on the couch.  This is a regular couch, not some ginormous sectional.  After being kicked and shushing her for about 30 minutes, I finally led her back to the big bed to sleep with her daddy.  Felix and I slumbered on the couch until 5:00, only once awakened by the barfing of a cat.

Will doesn’t remember his daughter’s less-than-subtle entrance into the bed.  He was so tired, he didn’t even realize she had been in there.  The only clue he had was awakening next to an unfamiliar body: Pete the Cat.  Will said he felt violated.  Pete didn’t even buy him dinner first.

Here’s to sleep tonight.  I may drug every single one of us.

Truck Dynasty


My son’s love affair with all things wheeled continues.  While playing at home this past weekend, he strode through the debris (in their pent-up frustration, my children upended every toy bin and emptied every toy cabinet in the house) with a large bucket, picking up his trucks.  It was actually cute and incredibly encouraging -HE’S CLEANING UP! – until he amassed whatever quantity he had been going for and dumped them out on the floor again.  At least the trucks were in a single pile rather than spread out all over the living room.

Will has been moonlighting at the book store at night an awful lot so he’s not around much during the week to hang out with us and play with the kids.  This past Wednesday, he was actually home.  He and Felix played trucks on the floor for a nice long time.  It made me happy.  Ever since, Felix keeps bringing him trucks trying to entice him to play.  Truthfully, I think Will enjoys Stella a bit more at this stage of the game, so when we’re splitting kid duty Felix becomes “mine.”  And to be fair, Stella doesn’t do that awful moaning-growling thing all the time.  For hours at a time.  In Felix-land, the moaning-growling is now the sounds of the trucks.  You can’t blame him for giving his beloved trucks a voice.

When he's home, Will usually entertains Stella while I get Felix to sleep.  I find these gems on our shared PhotoStream.

When he’s home, Will usually entertains Stella while I get Felix to sleep. I find these gems on our shared PhotoStream.

I am a bit worried, however, that all the car movies and cartoons we’ve been “enjoying” lately might be confusing him.  The common denominator amongst all of these franchises is that the vehicles are anthropomorphic, whether you’re talking Lightning McQueen, Mater, or Thomas the Tank Engine.

I think Felix is trying to make his vehicles bipedal.  He keeps doing this:

Truckhenge?

Truckhenge?

I’m not setting a place at the table for the wooden bulldozer or Taz the Monster Truck no matter what.  I don’t care if they are his “friends.”

 

 

Heat, Drink, and Be Merry


This past weekend brought a heat advisory to our neck of the woods.  Hey.  It’s August in Louisiana.  Of course there’s a heat advisory.  Once upon a time, I would have shrugged it off and queued up a stack of independent films (please read that in a snotty pseudo-British accent, if you wouldn’t mind), ordered a pizza, poured some wine, and just settled in until I had to leave the house Monday morning for work.

You can’t do that shit when you have little kids.  As a matter of fact, I’ve learned unequivocally that our little family just doesn’t do well locked inside all day together without some kind of outing or special event.  We start to slowly but  surely drive each other quite crazy.  With that being said, I knew going into it that this weekend might be a tad rough.  There were no birthday parties or play dates on the agenda, no lunch or dinner plans to look forward to.  Worst of all, Will had to cut the grass at some point, and we needed groceries.  That would basically kill a whole day and leave me cooped up with grumpy children for the duration.

PleasegodFelixshutthehellupIbegofyou

PleasegodFelixshutthehellupIbegofyou

And yep.  Saturday kind of sucked.  As part of his yard work, Will was going to nuke my flower/ veg garden.  It was so overgrown with weeds – and to be fair, the edible-bearing stuff had shot their loads – that it was just time to go.  Before he got his weed-eater out, I did go pull up the carrots. I figured that they had to be big enough to eat.

I thought they were kind of pretty.

I thought they were kind of pretty.

Will made fun of them, calling them the ugliest carrots he’d ever seen.  I put them on Instagram and Facebook under #carrotenvy. All of my “friends” sided with him. I was going to peel and cut them up and then serve them glazed with honey, posting a gorgeous pics of my glistening tasty home-grown carrots to taunt the naysayers.  They tasted f$*#ing awful.  I don’t know what happened, but they had this horrendous acrid taste.  So much for carrots.  We had hot dogs instead.  That’s ok, since Monday (today), my diet begins.  I’m tired of being overweight, and I don’t want to be sitting in the carpool lane waiting to pick up my 4th and 6th graders bitching about my “baby weight.”

Final flowers from the garden.  Not everything I grew was ugly.  These probably taste better than those carrots, too.

Final flowers from the garden. Not everything I grew was ugly. These probably taste better than those carrots, too.

Anyway, Saturday was long.  Saturday was rough.  No one was happy.  We finally went to a pizza place just to get out.  That was ok.  Stella actually tried calamari.  I was impressed.  Of course, she ate the breading off and then became quite intense about the actual meat itself. It ended up spat into my napkin.  I guess I can’t blame her.  It is an odd texture.  The closest thing she’s come to that texture was back in the day when she still took a pacifier.    I’m just pleased she tried it.

Sunday was different.  Will got up early and went to the store (since the yard work in the heat the day before had pretty much demolished any energy or motivation he had).  I had him pick up “picnic food.”  I absolutely understood that if we didn’t get the little people out – and the big people, too – that we would possibly kill each other.  So, we went downtown to have a picnic and to let the kids play in these awesome fountains.

Note to self: the whole picnic/fountain this is a swell idea. Only don’t spread a blanket out anywhere where you have a line of sight to the fountains.  The kids will not eat if you do, instead charging the water features.  Understandable, I guess.

Best. Fountain. Pic. Ever.

Best. Fountain. Pic. Ever.

Much happier than he was 24 hours earlier.

Much happier than he was 24 hours earlier.

The kids had fun.  The adults relaxed.  We even brought along an old bottle of bubbly we had laying around and some of those plastic champagne goblets and had a bit of a drink while the kids splashed around.  We all felt much better afterwards.

My two soggy children.

My two soggy children.

But that heat!  We were probably only out and about for about 2 ½ hours.  The kids were both so wiped out that I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to bribe them with candy to stay awake.  Another Mother of the Year moment, I guess.

It was so damn hot on the river.  At least my son afforded me some shade.

It was so damn hot on the river. At least my son afforded me some shade.

Stella and Pete the Cat post-outing.  Pete seems more animated than my daughter.

Stella and Pete the Cat post-outing. Pete seems more animated than my daughter.

September/October cannot come fast enough!!

Truck You


In typical “boy” fashion, Felix loves anything with wheels.  It’s pretty amazing, actually, just how innate this seems to be.  The dude spends ages rolling cars, trucks, and trains around, making semi-appropriate sounds.  Remember that moaning/growling thing I mentioned a while back?  He’s converted that to a “car” sound.  This means he does it even more now.  It’s swell.  (Mommy needs a drink and some earplugs)

Lately he’s been playing with this awful monster truck a lot.  We’re not exactly a monster truck family, but one day when the dude and I were out shopping, I rolled him by the toy aisle at Target and let him pick whatever wheeled conveyance struck his fancy.  He picked the Tasmanian Devil monster truck.  It’s one of his favorites, along with his wooden bulldozer.

Here tiny Elsa is about to taste the rubber

Here tiny Elsa is about to taste the rubber

Tas has been running over all manner of things recently.  Princesses.  Human legs and feet.  Snacks.

Tas vs. CheezIts.  They never stood a chance.

Tas vs. CheezIts. They never stood a chance.

Where do they learn this stuff?!  I do solemnly swear that this boy has never seen a truck pull or other such activity involving the violent compaction and/or destruction of various other objects by the pressure of ginormous tires.  What’s next?  Spitting?  Grabbing his crotch? (Wait.  He does that sometimes.)  Whistling at women?  Demanding a sandwich and beer?

Attitudes and Plate-itudes


You know that old saying or mindset which basically suggests we shouldn’t “save” the good stuff for special occasions or company?  I’m beginning to realize more and more there’s something to that.

For example, I recently cleaned out our pantry.  It’s amazing what you find shoved way in the back.  I found all manners of fancy jars and bottles – sauces, marinades, chutneys – that we had received for gifts over the past handful of years.  Many were expired.  Why weren’t they used?  In case we ever had “company” or “entertained.”  It’s sad.  Now they’ll entertain the critters at the landfill.  So no more.  If we get a food item for a gift, we’re going to use it, dagnabbit.  Our little family is just as deserving as any of these phantom guests that we never have over.  I don’t know what Stella and Felix would do with chutney, but it’s fruit-like and they like fruit…..

Wine is a bit different, I suppose.  I keep a few bottles of “good” wine reserved – again, for potential emergency guests.  You know.   The ones that show up unannounced and famished for a decent cabernet and some chutney.  We have one bottle we’ve been carrying around for almost 10 years.  I bought it for Will for Xmas the first year we were dating.  It was “good” then, at least for my budget.  It was a Kendall-Jackson 1999 reserve.  Nothing too fancy, but at the time it was a lot of money.  Hell, it’s a lot of money now.  Our current “table wine” comes in a freaking box.  True story.  Anyway, we still have this old bottle which I’ve been saving for a special occasion.  The past handful of special occasions have involved pregnancy or the birth of a kid, which isn’t the ideal time to drink.  I’ve decided we should drink it in a week and a half.  On the 29th we will celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary.  We don’t normally celebrate our anniversary, other than maybe grabbing a steak and bottle of champagne and consuming both after the kids go to bed.  This year, we’re going to celebrate.  We have this wine.  We have a $100 gift card to a nicer restaurant in town (which I’ve also been “saving”).

You watch.  The wine will taste awful.  Or like the boxed stuff.

Will and I ages ago during the Dom Perignon vs. Rotgut challenge.  We didn't save that....

Will and I ages ago during the Dom Perignon vs. Rotgut challenge. We didn’t save that….

Now back to the original saying involving tableware.  To hell with china.  We need to start using our every-day plates.  A while back we switched to that family classic, the paper plate.  Nope, it ain’t “green,” but when you find yourself with kids who want hot dogs then peanut butter then eggs then pizza, you find that you’ve used 8 place settings during one meal. And who the hell wants to give anything breakable to a 2 or 3 year old?  Regardless, we figured that whatever landfill space we were using would be offset by the energy and water required to run the dishwasher umpteen times in a week.  But you know what?  We run the damn dishwasher umpteen times in a week anyway.  And while Felix certainly can’t be trusted with anything fragile, Stella does ok.  I’m tired of trying to balance spaghetti and meatballs on flimsy paper plates in and out of the microwave (because I’m fairly certain our bargain “Made in China” plastic chargers aren’t microwave-safe).  So plates for all!  (Except Felix)

Time does pass.  People come.  People grow up.  People go.  And whether it be chutney, plates, or wine, you can’t take it with you.

About 2 days ago, Felix's hair began to resemble that of a street urchin.  I have no skill set to handle cutting a wiggly little boy's hair.  So.....

About 2 days ago, Felix’s hair began to resemble that of a street urchin. I have no skill set to handle cutting a wiggly little boy’s hair. So…..

Off to get his first "real" haircut (other than the baby mullet trimming I had done a couple of times).

Off to get his first “real” haircut (other than the baby mullet trimming I had done a couple of times).

Look at the little dude.  What a different a cut makes!

Look at the little dude. What a different a cut makes!

Big boy

Big boy.  And yes, I “saved” some hair.

 

 

Kings and McQueens


Stella has finally gotten to the age where there are 3 truly great and amazing days around which the entire kid year revolves:  Halloween, Xmas, and her birthday.  With her 4th birthday rapidly approaching, it has been the subject of much discussion around our house.

We’ve been very lucky in that Stella’s last 2 parties have been hosted by Oui Oui.  But this year things are a bit different.  Even “easy” stuff like scheduling has been a nightmare.  For starters, Oui Oui has important business out of town and won’t be around the weekend before Stella’s birthday.  We will be joining Crispi at the beach the following 2 weekends after the actual date.  Lastly, my dad and stepmother are coming down to see the kids for the first time in ages in the middle of the month, so we wanted to schedule the party while they were here.  They live so far and we see them so seldom that it’s rather serendipitous.

Next was the issue of where to have it.  Parties are expensive!!  After tons of worrying, we finally found a great and affordable venue, thanks in large part to Will’s new employer.  As an employee of our city’s park service, he gets crazy deals on memberships and rentals.  We will have a nice indoor space – huge – with several inflatables, tables, ping pong, a playground, etc.  And it being indoors means air conditioning – not to be discounted in Louisiana in September.

With the nuts and bolts ironed out, we could turn our attention to themes.  For a couple of weeks, whenever you’d ask Stella what kind of party she wanted she would usually respond with “mermaid party!”  I said that was fine, but that many boys would be coming and they might not like mermaids so much.  How about mermaids and pirates?  That question was either met with silence or a big fat “no.”

Well, about 2 weeks ago, Stella abandoned the mermaid idea.  Now she wants a “Lightning McQueen” party.  We’ve totally jumped ship from sweet girly Ariel to freaking NASCAR.  WTF?

Girly girl one minute....

Girly girl one minute….

So now we’ve been looking at Lightning McQueen (and Mater, of course) party supplies – balloons, cake, candles, plates, piñatas, little whistles.  We must have little Lightning McQueen whistles for some reason.  She’s pretty insistent on that.

Bruiser the next....

Bruiser the next….

She still says she wants to be a mermaid for Halloween but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if she changes her mind to Bob the Builder or the Incredible Hulk.

Just a Little Cock and Bulldozer


Sorry for the absence.  By the end of last week, I was just worn out.  Uninspired.  We’re still getting used to our new schedules and reality, what with Will’s new job and all.  Things are getting better.  We’re all adjusting.  We’re finding a groove.

Today is big.  Felix started going to Stella’s school.  Yes, yes.  I know it’s not “school.”  It’s a day-care/pre-K.  But we call it school.  Stella has learned a whole lot there, and I have no doubt that the same will be true for my son, particularly since this is his first real foray into the world of other children (not counting his sister, of course).  He’s always either been with me or Oui Oui.

I gotta admit: this hit me harder than I thought.  With your second, I guess you feel like you’re done with all that sappiness.  I know I didn’t sob going back from maternity  leave after Felix like I did with Stella.  But I had some serious angst dropping him off this morning.  It’s nothing to do with the school; I love and trust those folks.  They’ve done a phenomenal job with my daughter.  I guess it’s just that sense of “there goes my baby – my last child.”  On one hand there is some relief in that.  Maybe one day soon we can all sleep at night in our own damn beds (and he’ll quit nursing, dagnabbit).  We can think about going to do things like tent camping.  We can consider flying in airplanes to see far-flung family.  On the other hand, he’s my last baby.  There will never be another.

My drama aside, this is an awesome thing for Felix.  He’s been getting progressively more bored and restless being locked up at home so much. Poor dude was home all last week.  Oui Oui camped out at our house rather than carry him off to hers.  By Friday, he was in a gnarly mood.  Even painting and coloring got old.

 When finger painting meets kabuki

When finger painting meets kabuki

He’s developed a rather intense love/hate relationship with this wooden bulldozer.  One minute this thing makes him chortle.  The next minute he’s screaming and slamming it into the coffee table.  It’s time he makes new friends – expands his horizons and all.

He's very intense about his bulldozer

He’s very intense about his bulldozer

It has displeased him.

It has displeased him

Maybe it looks better like this?

Maybe it looks better like this?

When I dropped them off this morning, the little shit didn’t even notice when I kissed him goodbye and left the room.  Yes, I know it’s a good thing.  But geez…..  A little crying wouldn’t have killed him.

First day.  Ingrates.

First day. Ingrates.

Ulysses S. Rant


I’ve been seriously disenchanted with my job lately, which is actually unusual.  Part of it is a change of culture; in the past 6 months or so, we’ve lost our next 2 rungs in the ladder making things feel a bit unsettled and rudderless.  The replacement rungs are ok.  The previous 2 rungs were great.

Beyond that, I’m actually caught up for the first time in TWO YEARS.  Seriously, for 2 years I’ve felt unable to breathe at work.  It’s been just another thing to stress and obsess over, particularly with the knowledge that I was so obsessed and stressed (and tired) from my children that I didn’t have the attention span my job really requires.

Beyond that yet again, it’s summer.  When it’s summer in Louisiana, no one wants to go out in the field.  It’s just too damn hot.  That means that we’re all here together every single day.  And with the “consolidating” They have done in the past few years, think drab gray governmental clown car.  We’re packed in here like a large rump in Spanx.

Yes, I meant to capitalize “They” above.  They are They.  You know what I mean.

And when I say hot, I mean it’s so hot that they sky isn’t even blue.  It’s what I call “too hot for color” gray.  It’s like the blue sky and whatever clouds might have been there simply atomized into this odd hazy shade of sort of gray yet still bright and blinding like a nuclear blast.

So these people are getting on my last damn nerve.

Why do people think it’s ok to clip their fingernails in their office?  And when I say office, I mean cubicle.  There’s no door for privacy (or shame) or to prevent this biological matter from leaping out into the walkways or even over the cube wall.  I have often threatened that if I see a sneeze guard for a salad bar at a thrift store, I’m installing that baby along the top of my cube.

And why it is ok for people to come to work with this disgusting snorting post-nasal drip?  I understand no one wants to use up their sick time for a minor allergy, but when does their right to come to work disgusting infringe upon my right not to be continually grossed the #*$& out?  It’s like auditory biological terrorism.  It’s the mucous equivalent to those stupid low-rider bass-mobiles that insist on “sharing” their awful music with everyone within a 5 mile radius.  I hate mucous.  Even my children’s.  It’s one of those things I just can’t get used to.  I have to deal with their snotty noses.  I don’t have to deal with a strange grown man’s.

Maybe Bose can make some snot-cancelling headphones for poor office workers.  They should also be capable of drowning out The Bitch proclaiming he’s been saved by Jesus while shouting/”being calm” to his ex wife on the phone.  They further should mitigate the racket caused by secretaries who insist on using a blasted electric letter opener from 1978 which sounds approximately like a wood chipper taking on some aluminum baseball bats.

I’ve hidden that damn thing before and they keep finding it.

And why do people all want to cram on the same damn elevator?  We happen to have 5 (mostly) working elevators in my office building.  I don’t want to feel someone’s breasts or ass pressed against my person as I ride up and down.  I want some damn space.  And no one actually talks to each other.  When we can raise our arms up high enough due to the overcrowding, we all frantically pretend to look at our phones.  And by the time you stop at every single floor (Yahtzee!), you could have caught the next 8 elevators and ridden blissfully alone.

Sorry.  I’m cantankerous.

Damn the heat, I’ve just scheduled a day out in the field next week.  At least I’ll be in a vehicle deliciously, gloriously alone.

Honey For Nothing


We’ve hit yet another one of those “mixed blessing” moments around the house lately.  According to her occupational therapist, Stella is hyperlexic.

Um.  What?

My kid reads.  And she’s reading at probably close to – or even surpassing –a 1st grade level and improving by the day.  She’s only 3 ½.  It’s kind of crazy.  Googling this phenomenon, you’ll see that sometimes – not always –hyperlexic kiddos will read but not comprehend.  They simply are good at the mechanics of sounding out words.  That’s not the case here.  Stella is getting what she’s reading.

I picked her up from school last week, and her teacher told me the story about how that day one of Stella’s buddies noticed that Stella could read “just like Ms. T!  Even the big words!”  She then had Stella read her the whole story.  Then she brought over another book for my daughter to read.   Stella is becoming her class’s “reading bitch.”  I love it.

This does have some potentially negative implications.

For starters, our days of being able to spell forbidden words around her are almost over.  You’d better believe if she hears “C A K E” she’s going to demand chocolate with pink frosting.  Will has suggested we learn Pig Latin.  I’m taking the “alternate flowery/atypical word choice” route for now.  Impler-say.

Proud moment: when she read her own Ramones shirt.

Proud moment: when she read her own Ramones shirt.

I also have to watch my captioning on the TV.  To be fair, I don’t watch anything really naughty or heavy around either of my kids.  But sometimes during the bedtime push I’ll put on a cooking show or the like and turn it way down, just to have something to stare at while I get Felix to go to sleep.

True confession time, I had Honey Boo Boo on one night.  I know.  I know.  It’s totally crap TV.  But it’s a guilty pleasure, all right?  Geeez.  Mama June was fussing about something in the way that only Mama June can.  She said “Oh hell no” about something.  I’ll be damned if Stella didn’t read it perfectly.  And then she started to repeat it.  Again and again.

Not that “hell” is a tough word – especially to a kid who can read “unattractive,” but it’s the principle of the thing.  I frantically hit the off switch on the remote and told her to stop saying that stop saying that stop saying that.

Remind me to keep her away from any of Gordon Ramsay’s shows.  Although to be fair, I’d love to hear my daughter chirping away about so and so being a “donkey” and “having the palate of a cow’s backside.”

Thanks to a guest at a birthday party we attended Saturday, Stella now has an understanding of "pregnancy."  The potential for mayhem here is quite high.

Thanks to a guest at a birthday party we attended Saturday, Stella now has an understanding of “pregnancy.” The potential for mayhem here is quite high.