awards i will never (ever) get

I was thinking yesterday about the way every parent performs parenthood so differently. I don’t mean performs as in “acts” (though I hear there’s some kind of television show about that very topic. I might be a bit better off financially if, in fact, I could act the part). I do mean the things that make a parent the exact parent he or she is: the tasks, routines, language, tone, rules, exceptions…

This train of thought lead me to a very specific incident a couple of years ago…

December 2009, very nearly 2 years old

Alice hasn’t been sleeping well for a few nights. And she’d had a fever. Crucial point: The Kidling had a ton of ear infections when she was little. Like, all of the time. Well, this particular evening in the car, she started yelling, “Ear! Ear!”

Now let’s pause for a moment. You might think that, as the parent of a child with a history of ear infections who hasn’t been sleeping well and has a fever, I might put two and two together. Right? Yeah, wrong. So, so very wrong. Because when Alice was talking about her ear in the car that day, it seems as though her ear drum was bursting at that very moment. Yikes. When we got home, we noticed her ear was filled with blood. Afterwards, she had no more pain.  We took her to the doctor the following morning and, sure enough, that sucker had burst.

 And this, dear readers, is why The Mama will never (ever) be nominated for the parent of the year award.

telling secrets?

Saturday night, The Dada and I were talking about a store we had seen in Italy last year called, “Le Cose di Alice.” Well, Alice overheard us, and asked, “Are you guys talking about me in Italian? What are you saying about me?”

Gone are the days when we could have conversations undetected… Long, long gone…


i dare you not to think of this the next time you see a rainbow

May 2011, 3 1/4 years old

It was dinner time one day last spring,* when suddenly:

Alice (yells out): I have to go potty!  (She gets up and runs away)

(time passes. a lot of it.)

Alice: Dad! I pooped!

(The Dada leaves the dinner table to see if she needs help)

The Dada: That’s got to be a world record for a 3-year old!

Alice: It’s like a rainbow!

The Dada: It’s like a brown rainbow.

Alice: It’s like a brown, icky rainbow.

(giggling ensues. a lot of it.)

(Alice runs to the dinner table to tell me)

Alice: Let me show you something big and brown and icky!


* You might not be surprised to hear this is from the same day that Alice told us about her yoga moves. When she’s on a roll, she is really on a roll.

nothing (really. nothing.)

Alice: Mom?

The Mama: Yes?

Alice: I don’t have anything to say!

Great, Kiddo. Thanks for letting me know.

morning coffee, hold the drama

I recently got a new pint-sized French Press. I had been using the big one I have for entertaining (Which, by the way, I never do. Like, ever.) every day, and it was serious overkill. The deal is, the new one has been erupting when I press it down. Odd. And scary.

Alice previously “helped” me make my coffee by being in charge of pressing down the plunger. Because I care less about her happiness than I care about her not getting third-degree burns from burning hot coffee, she’s been disappointed. Boo hoo, I know.

Tuesday, the damned thing erupted. Again. This time, Alice witnessed and asked, “Why is it being so dramatic?” Good question, Kiddo! Why is it so dramatic? I wish she could talk some sense into it…

p.a.r.t.y. (aka adventures in decorating)

So, the party. After the postapalooza that was Alice’s birthday week, I never did say anything about her big day. It was epic. Okay, maybe it was just a typical four-year old’s birthday party. But we had a blast.

For Alice, it is all about the cake. Who am I kidding? For both of us, it is all about the cake. Because cake, as you might have heard, is delicious. And festive. All-around terrific. Ummm, cake…

The Kidling originally asked The Mama to bake her ” … a castle cake with a dinosaur and a dragon and a princess that’s getting eaten.” Obviously, I did not comply. But she loves dinosaurs, so I went with that. Close enough, kiddo, and your princess-loving friends didn’t have to leave the party with PTSD. Everyone is better off this way…

Two hours mixing and baking + Three hours cooling + Five hours frosting... and this was the best I could do.

I had never (ever) before touched a star tip or any other frosting tool besides a big spreader and writing gels. Clearly this would not suffice for the dino. The cake was crumbling at 8:00 pm on Party Eve. Sh*t.

I was deciding whether to serve the crumbled (but delicious) pile of messy carrot cake goodness or go buy a sheet cake when I had a big glass of wine and decided to regroup. Long story short, I figured out what the problem was (All-butter frosting. Lesson learned: when the decoration matters, sacrifice your moral high ground. Shortening would have made the process sosososososo much easier.).

Yes, that tail is dismembered. Technically, it is un-membered. Pre-membered. Too tired to -member.

As the birthday girl, I thought Alice should have first choice of which piece she wanted. Imagine my absolute delight when I asked for her decision. The tail? Nope. A leg? Nope. The Kidling must have known what The Mama went through, because she asked for… it’s head. Coming right up, darling…

This felt really good. CHOP!

One happy customer...

But look at that face and tell me it wasn’t worth the trouble…
Happy birthday, AHR!
We love
love you!*
*And I hope some day you don’t hate me for this blog!
(By the way, all of the good photos were taken by the fabulous ErBear. Thank you!)


Well, whaddaya know?  Someone likes us, Alice!**  The lovely Shoes on the Wrong Feet bestowed the 7×7 award upon the book of alice. Shucks. And thanks. I like you, too!

So, this award asks me to 1) tell you seven things you don’t know about me, 2) link seven of my posts to a set of seven categories, and 3) re-award the gift to seven bloggers I think are swell.

Now I will be frank. The generous Shoes gave me this award exactly one month after I started the book of alice. This means part 2) will be pretty difficult. Although I have been posting pretty much every other hour since I started blogging, it is still only one month of material. I’ll do my best. Part 3) will be a bit easier, but I am still finding all of the great bloggers out there… Finally, since I swore up and down (to myself, which means I can absolutely break the promise if I change my mind) that this blog would notnotnotnotnot be about me, I’m doing a bit of tweaking regarding part 1). Enjoy, and thanks again, Shoes!***

Part 1

  1. Under no circumstances does Alice introduce herself as “Alice.” It is always (always) her full name. First, middle, and last.
  2. Alice is a contralto. Imagine how much cuter every. single. thing. I type would sound coming from a husky four-year old.
  3. For her third birthday, Alice asked for a white cake with “moons and circles and numbers and a picture of a flat iron” on it. I think I spent too much time grooming that year, no?
  4. For her fourth birthday, Alice told me, “I want a castle cake with a dinosaur and a dragon and a princess getting eaten.” Really.
  5. Alice rarely pronounces an initial “s”. It leads to some very interesting words/phrases/looks from people. For example, “I have a scar from when I fell on my scooter.”
  6. Have you ever seen that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine dances? You know, that bizarre kick with thumbs pointing outward with random hip motions? That’s how Alice dances. It is fabulous.
  7. Alice is positively amazing. But you already knew that one…

Part 2

  1. Most Surprisingly Successful: My Brain.
  2. Most Underrated: I honestly am not sure how to answer this. So I won’t. Sorry. How do I know what you all think of what you are reading? I don’t have the “rate this” on my page precisely because I don’t want anyone sullying the illusion that you love every word I write. Duh.
  3. Most Popular: Science. My all-time favorite Alice story. I smiled when I saw it was the most popular post.
  4. Most Beautiful: I am not a “beautiful” writer. I am a silly writer. A wry writer. A frank writer. But not beautiful. That said, I’m just going to pick the post with my favorite writing: Commercial Interruption.
  5. Most Helpful: Musical Interlude. Let’s face it. None of my posts are helpful. The event described in this one, however, was positively enlightening for me to witness as it unfolded. It showed me the differences in the way children and adults think. I believe children see things as they are, devoid of categories. Alice didn’t know that she was combining three songs; she only knew that these words all went with the same tune. I thought about her little brain differently after this day.
  6. Most Controversial: Yuck. Because adults are never (ever) supposed to admit to picking their noses.
  7. Most Pride-Worthy: Dear. Pride-worthy for the facts, not the writing. It is a beautiful thing to watch a child express gratitude in her own honest, quirky way. I loved this note.

Part 3

  1. Piles of Laundry in the Holy Land: This is probably my favorite blog. Great writing, a terrific narrative voice, and the awe of knowing she has a daily home yoga practice. It is sosososo hard to have a daily home-based yoga practice. Put me in a studio and I am great, but home is a different story. Brava, YogaMama. You are pretty swell.
  2. Becoming Cliche: My Journey to Becoming My Mother: Because even if it weren’t a great blog (which it is), it would deserve an award just for the name.
  3. The Sugared Beauty Blog: More for her unbelievable product than anything, but the blog is a good source of information on natural beauty products and Sarah’s all-around good cheer. Because she is amazing!
  4. Indulge-Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences: Lesley Carter has probably gotten approximately four gazillion awards for this terrific travel and lifestyle blog, but here she is again! Bonus points for the Oxford Comma in the title…
  5. Tyler Coulson: If you haven’t heard about Tyler, you should check out his blog. Along with his dog Mabel, Tyler quit his job at a big law firm and trekked across the United States. Okay, Mabel didn’t quit the big law job, but I bet you knew what I meant…
  6. Nell’s Dish Du’Jour: Beautiful photography, good writing… an all-around great blog. It makes me want to be Nell’s friend.
  7. Paltry Meanderings of a Taller Than Average Woman: I confess I just found this blog today. But it is f.u.n.n.y. And everyone knows if you take the time to put a “.” between each letter of a word, than it must be extra of, well… that word. Thus, Paltry Meanderings is extra funny.

* 49 = 7×7. As in the name of the award. Get it? I am just so, so clever…

** Okay, I get that it isn’t really me that she likes. I’m no fool. But Alice is, after all, half me, so I am going to take a wee bit of credit.

*** Did I mention that this award comes from Shoes on the Wrong Feet? Oh, I did? Just checking…


I’m finding that the words Alice makes up can be far, far better than the appropriate word. Such was the case Saturday night when we were doing some dinosaur role-play whilst Alice was bathing. She handed me a garden trowel loaded up with animal floaty toys and declared, “You are the meat-eater dinosaur, and that is the meat for you to predat on.”

Brilliant, no? I mean, really, why don’t predators predat? Sellers sell. Teachers teach. Buuuuuut, I managed to eff it all up by teaching her the word “prey.” Now I’ll never hear that clever little creation again…