The Kidling had a remarkable day yesterday. She was cheerful all afternoon when she returned home from school, overcame an enormous fear successfully, was able to stay up late to finish her homework without a meltdown, and didn’t even get ticked when the “two stories at bedtime” reward that I offered became “one story” then “maybe just half” after I realized that she had chosen quite the tome (and no one who values her sanity keeps The Kidling up past bedtime).

A banner day, really.

Naturally, as someone who values happiness and joy, I wanted to remind The Kidling of her general awesomeness first thing this morning.

“Did you dream about your great accomplishments last night?” I asked when The Kidling walked bleary-eyed into the room.

“No,” she replied incredulously. “I dreamed about My Little Ponies having a race!”



our obligatory back-to-school post (but this one is pretty good)

You might have noticed that The Family has been MIA. Not actually MIA, so don’t go making any phone calls. But seriously, how funny would that be:

Operator: 9-1-1, what’s the emergency?
Dear Reader: I want to file a missing people report. The Family has been too quiet lately.
Operator: Your family?
Dear Reader: No. The Family. I haven’t heard much from The Mama in the last couple of months.
Operator: Your Mama?
Dear Reader: Hey, you don’t have to be rude!
Operator: No, I mean your mother.
Dear Reader: Huh? Oh, no, not my Mama, The Mama. And The Kidling!
Operator: The killing? Is someone hurt?
Dear Reader: No! The KiDling. My favorite kid who I haven’t ever actually met. I know she talks nonstop, and I haven’t heard a peep from her all month. I’m a little worried.
Operator: Okay. We can send an officer out to do a welfare check. What is their address?
Dear Reader: The Family lives in Our Town, The Middle. Oh, and don’t forget to check on The Pup while you are there.
Operator: (silence)

Which is all to say that you might not know what is going on in Our Life. A brief summary: we had school, then it was summer, and now it isn’t.  Now that you are all caught up…

Without going into too much detail, The Kidling has been feeling pretty under the weather. Nothing serious, but she has been sick in that way that includes both naps and steroids. In other words, she was about as ready for bed last night as I am after my third espresso. So, after her shower, we went for a walk. Accompanied by a moonlit sky and striped pajamas, The Mama, The Kidling, and The Pup meandered around the neighborhood until we landed at her school. We walked through the open field past the playground, stopping to count windows in order to determine which teacher was still there working so late into the night. Once we had figured it out, this child of mine–

the same child who told me her retirement plans by December of her kindergarten year. The one who, just weeks before this summer was to begin, looked her teacher square in the eye and told her, “I’m sick of learning, I’m sick of working, and I’m sick of talkin’ about readin’!”

 –gazed up at the three-story brick building, eyes bright in the moonlight, and said,(sigh) I love this place.”

I do, too.


“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

a how-to guide to bad parenting

I like to think that I am very nearly the parent I want to be. Do I have things to work on? Yes. Am I flawed? Extraordinarily. But I sincerely believe that is part of showing The Kidling what it means to be a strong woman: modeling self-love in spite of flaws and failures.

One of my flaws obviously being my affinity for alliteration.

But I have days. Holy shit do I have days. And let’s face it: those months weeks days are far better blog fodder than the good ones. One of those days was a particularly exhausting one. It involved errands, chores, and general crap. We returned home late and I hoped to get her straight to bed, but… she was a mess and really needed a shower.


Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! With constant harassment reminders from The Mama, The Kidling got in, screwed around in the water cleaned up, and got out.

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! I gave her two minutes to use the toilet, wash her hands, and brush her teeth. Yes, I know this is irrational. Yes, I know that is impatient. Recall, Dear Reader, that this is a story of one of those days.

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! I gave warnings.

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! The one minute warning was accompanied by a grouchy yell from down the hall, courtesy of The Mama. Then, the clock ran out. I marched my frustraed, irrational ass* into the bathroom, took the toothbrush out of her tiny hand and told her she was finished.


“Why?” She asked, on the brink of tears at the injustice of having her toothbrush whisked away without explanation.

“Because your time is up.” The Grump The Mama replied.

“Oh. I didn’t know,” she explained in a voice full of sincerity. “You didn’t have to yell at me because I knew I had one minute and I don’t know time!”

The Kidling was earnest.
The Mama was humbled.
The Dada was right:

“She makes a valid argument,” he noted.

Indeed she does.


* You read that correctly. At this point, even my ass was ticked off.

the backseat driver on logical consequences

We have a tendency to pack our weekends to the brim with errands.

And by “we” I mean “I.”

And by “errands,” I mean “dragging The Kidling around town to keep me company while I buy shit.”

One recent weekend morning, the Kidling and I were headed out to buy shit run errands. It had been a full morning, and munchkin was tired. I suggested that she close her eyes and get some rest while I drove.

“I’m tired too,” I told her. “I wish I could rest.”

I could hear those little gears turning.* A pause, then,

“But you can’t, otherwise you will create a car accident and probably get a receipt.”

Truer words…


* Not really. Duh.

I will take what I can get

“You and Dad are some of my favorite grown-ups. You two are my favorite… (long pause) Mom and Dad.”

-The Kidling

November 4, 2013


stinky vocabulary

The Family has a dog. The Family has an old dog. The Family has a big-boned dog. The Family has a lazy dog.

The Family has an old, fat, lazy dog.

The Dog* is a 10 year-old Black and Tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She is also a lazy little chunker. In her defense, she has a bum heart but in all honesty, she has been lazy since the day after she outgrew the term “puppy.”

We all have our weaknesses.

As good dog owners, we give The Dog her heart meds and feed her a low-calorie diet. Given that I am not going to make her salads twice daily, this means a fish-based kibble.


Here’s the thing about old dogs that eat fish food: they have foul breath. “Unpleasant”  doesn’t begin to describe the odor. I am talking about genuinely smelly air escaping that darling, furry face with every exhale.

The Kidling is not unaware of The Dog’s exhalation affliction. She had the misfortune of being downwind of The Dog one recent day, which I became aware of due to the sudden, seemingly unprovoked screwing up of those darling Kidling facial features.

“Mom, what’s haleytosis?” she asked.

I told her it was clearly exactly what she thought it was (confidential to readers: No, I do not read her the dictionary in lieu of bedtime stories. I have no idea why she knows this word).

“Grody!” she exclaimed. “It’s grossin’ me out. I wish she would close her mouth!”

So do I, but since she won’t, I’m going to kiss that smelly little old dog face. Love is not only blind, but lacking in another sense as well.


* Not her real name.

one of these things is a little different…

The Dada has a thing about matching: he hates it. If we are wearing clothing that even approaches the same color family, he either changes his clothes, or he politely requests that I change mine. I have no desire to be the parenting version of Thing 1 and Thing 2, so it seems a fair enough request.

This isn’t the book of the dada, so you are probably wondering, dear readers, why I am telling you this.

I thought you’d never ask.

The Family was prepping for an outing Saturday morning and we were at varying stages of “ready,” per normal. The Kidling was about half ready, The Dada was showered, dressed, and prepped to walk out the door, and The Mama– well–

I was washing my face in yesterday’s tee shirt.

Yeah, sorry. I’m notorious for that sort of thing.

The thing is, yesterday’s tee shirt was black and The Dada was wearing a tee shirt, too. A black tee shirt. Unaware that I was sporting a pre-worn, about to be tossed into the laundry chute tee, The Dada stopped in his tracks and uttered a worried, “uh oh…” when he spotted my ebony swath of cotton.

The Kidling, curious about The Dada’s seemingly unfounded concern, looked at me quizzically. I smiled and explained that The Dada doesn’t much care for matching. Before I could continue, she interrupted, disputing the notion that we matched by explaining, “But your shirt has short sleeves and Daddy’s bottom is smaller.”

You can’t get anything by The Kidling. Particularly when that “thing” is The Mama’s bottom.