humor of the grumpy variety

The Kidling has been on a weeks-long whine binge. Nary a word is spoken in the sweet contralto with which she was blessed and every sentence she utters makes my blood pressure spike. And you know what? It turns out anything said with a whine loses all traces of humor.

Except this.

Friday afternoon, my bored, exhausted, post-long-day-at-the-office-with-mom child was getting ready for a sleepover.

Brilliant, Mama. Brilliant. Impeccable timing, no?

I have no idea what I said or did, but finally, she had had it. Hands on hips and voice raised ten million decibels, she shouted at me, “I’m at my rear end!”

I was at my rear end, too… until the Kidling shouted at me. Then, I regained my perspective–and my sense of humor–and thanked the universe that I got the crazy munchkin I got.


Happy Christmanukkah

Jonathan Adler

This elephant menorah. This bad-ass, haute hanukkah, Jonathan Adler elephant menorah. Image at

The Kidling woke up Sunday morning and asked, “Have I ever seen a menorah?”

Good morning to you, too.

“Well, sure” I replied.

“Oh yeah! The elephant!” she exclaimed in her newly-awoken haze.

The same elephant menorah that Jonathan Adler describes as 8 days of swank. That’s right. Eight days. Swanky evidence to the right.

As The Kidling slowly roused from her slumber, her excitement mounted as she recounted details of the beautiful ceramic beast.  She inquired into the number of candles on its body and suggested an edit: “I would have made his trunk go down, instead of up.”

As much as she loved that precious pachyderm, she wasn’t getting a $128 elephant.

So I bought gelt for her advent calendar.

And she loved it.

Merry (belated) Hanukkah and Happy (early) Christmas!


“I feel like it’s too hard, me being in kindergarten. I want to be four.  …  I just get bossed around. We have to work all the time. We don’t get to play except at recess and centers.  …  I just really want to retire.”

-The Kidling
December 4, 2013

boy colors. again.

The Kidling has, on myriad occasions, tried to get me to understand her conceptualization of gendered colors. And I have, on each of those occasions, pretended I had no idea what she was talking about. I asked for her to explain it to me. I played dumb.

Every time.

You see, it all began years ago when The Kidling told me that blue is a boy color and pink is a girl color. Way too early. Like, at three years old. So I, you guessed it, played dumb.

“Interesting,” I would ask. “How are colors boys or girls?”

And she would get so mad!

“They just are!” was a common reply.

Solidly reasoned. Sign this kid up for law school.

So I pushed. And pushed. Until I got the answer I wanted.

“But what makes a creature a girl? What makes another creature a boy?” I questioned further.

When I finally received an anatomically correct response from The Kidling, she just got irritated and huffed off, as if I couldn’t possibly be saved from my own ignorance.

Which is probably true.

I thought we were past this. At the very least, I thought The Kidling had given up on me. Then yesterday, she spied the clothes I had set out for her to wear to school and requested a different cardigan. I could not possibly care less what she wears to school,* and I was preparing to agree when she said of her sweater,

The Kidling: That’s a boy color.
The Mama: Why? It is red!? How is red a boy color?
The Kidling: (stubbornly) I just know it is. Boy colors are dark and wrinkly.

This conversation brought to you by The Mama (whose favorite color is black) and The Kidling (whose favorite color is… wait for it… blue. go figure).


* Not quite true. But close.

the festivication of Little Red

The Family lives in a charming and delightful home. It is tiny and it is red, hence its name: Little Red.

We are damn clever.

This weekend, The Kidling and I festive-ified (Festivated? Prepared our home for festivities? Decorated? Whatever) Little Red. We don’t do much, but what we do is important: a few planters with birch trunks and evergreen tips in the front and a few planters with spruce and pine sprinkled with tiny red berries from a shrub whose name I cannot recall in the back.  Toss up a couple of wreaths, and that’s the extent of our exterior… well… festive-ifying.

Because Little Red is on a corner, easy access is to be had travelling from our freshly festivated front door to the all-important festivication of our back steps. As we rounded the corner and entered our backyard, I spied a bird perched on our porch light. It looked happy there, and I wanted to make sure The Kidling saw our feathered friend. I held my arm up to stop her and put my finger to my lips in a hushing gesture. I pointed dramatically to the porch light and mouthed “look! a bird!” The Kidling understood and whispered to me, “They might think we’re predators, but we’re quite lovely!”

No, dear one. The loveliest. You are the loveliest.

all funned up

A little Monday evening story problem for you:

   Thursday was Thanksgiving
+ The Kidling had Wednesday through Friday off from school
+ The Mama had Thursday and Friday off from work
+ The Mama loves the shit out of The Kidling
= The Mama took vacation Wednesday.

And me oh my, did I make plans. We started with a tasty breakfast, made some bird feeders, then went outside to hang them from our pretty little birch. By 9:00 am, we were in the car headed to the movie theater (pronounced THEE-AY-TUR according to my dear child).

Yep, The Mama knows how to have fun. And The Kidling noticed. As we rumbled down our bumpy alley, I commented on how many things we had accomplished at so early an hour.

“I feel like I’m already funned up!” The Kidling noted.

“That’s a sign it’s going to be a great day!” I replied.

The Kidling agreed, “Indeed it is.”

I hope you all got funned up, too, Dear Readers. Indeed I do.

The Kidling plays telephone

Oh, child. Dear, darling child o’ mine. I always love the shit out of you, but sometimes you make it too easy…

The Kidling loves horses. Adores them. And, because The Mama and The Dada are made out of tissue, rather than money (a most unfortunate fact), she gets her equine fix with representative items. Clothes, books, toys, and movies are her drugs of choice, so long as they contain horse tales (or tails).

One of her very favorite movies is Secretariat. For those of you without equine-obsessed cohabitants, Secretariat is set in the early 1970s and tells the tale of an impressive racehorse who won the triple crown. The subplots leave a lot to be desired, but one of them involves a young character’s protest play. The character’s straight-laced father refers to the play as “Commie crap.” The Kidling, of course, has no idea what either of those words mean.

For now.

When we watched Secretariat for the 79th time last week, the scene involving the protest play came on the screen. The Kidling demonstrated her confused understanding of what was going on:

“He said ‘call me, crab.’ Instead of ‘call me maybe,’ ‘call me crab.'”

Yes. Exactly.