sick.

Look what I found! An unpublished draft! From this time last year (5.29.2014). Beats the hell out of writing something new. Gift with purchase? It is seasonally accurate. BAM.

*********

The Kidling is sick. Before you take pity, Dear Readers, we are talking about a different kind of illness.

School sick.

The Kidling had a rough re-entry into school after the long weekend of fun and activity. She spent several days with one set of grandparents, then got to spend an afternoon and evening with another grandma.

Lucky booger.

The Kidling: I’m school sick!
Natalie: What do you mean, Kidling?
The Kidling: I’m sick of working, I’m sick of learning, and I’m sick of talking about reading!

Someone is over this school year.

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Our (college) Town

Our Town is a metropolis of a very particular variety: the college town. There are things about living in a college town in the middle west that I wouldn’t give up for the world. I love the small-town atmosphere where folks are friendly but humble, I love the phenomenal bookstores, arts festivals, and food. I love that when we sit down to Sunday brunch, my favorite author in the whole freaking world sits at the table next to mine.

Breathe, Mama. Breathe.

Of course, though I choose to live here (and, in fact, left the nation’s best weather to return), there are things I might prefer to be a little different. Not changed, per se. Just, well, um… modified.

The Kidling being The Kidling, she has observed and inquired about many quirks of life in a college town. I learned just how closely she pays attention when we were talking about a pretty little chair that I was re-homing.

Several years ago, I found a gem of a chair that I intended to reupholster, but I never got around to actually doing it.

Please don’t ask The Dada how many of those chairs we have.

I was telling The Kidling that this particular chair would soon be leaving our home and moving in with a graduate student. She was dubious, to say the least:

“Are they gonna take good care of it? Because you said sometimes grad students put couches on the roof. Are they gonna put chairs on the roof, too?”

I make no guarantees.

 

life lessons from the classroom

There is a child in The Kidling’s kindergarten class who seems to cause her some strife. This little dude (L.D.) is feisty, but as sweet as can be… at least when I am in the classroom. While I am a fan of L.D., The Kidling most certainly is not.

One recent evening, we were talking about L.D. and the trouble she has been having with him.

I hope it will be for a very long time that her “boy troubles” are about irritations, rather than rebuffs.

We talked for a while about ways The Kidling could model good choices and about what might be motivating L.D.’s behavior. It wasn’t long before she interrupted me with this wisdom,

“He wants attention and he just attentions us in such mean ways.”

Well said, Kidling. I guess sometimes you just have to step back and let it be.

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

 

playground ethics

“Big kids should help us, not non-help us!”

-The Kidling
October 8, 2013

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.

frenemy #1

We had a play date with the neighbors at the pool a few weeks ago. As we were getting ready to leave, The Kidling spotted a girl she knew from her summer program. Her face lit up in recognition and delight at seeing an unexpected playmate at the pool. She enthusiastically shouted the girl’s name and ran over to the fence to chat with her: “Ellllllla! Ellllllllllllllllllllla! Hi, Ella! Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Hi, Ella!”

Ella* is, of course, the very same girl who is the topic of this conversation I had with The Kidling mid-summer:

*********

The Kidling was telling me about her friends at camp, and as a nosy good mother, I want to know more about her life than she offers. I ask about her activities, her teachers, her friends… in particular, about one friend with whom she had not been getting along. I’m not dumb enough to think she needs to be everyone’s bestie, but because she is an only child, I feel a need to ensure she is handling her strong emotions with her peers appropriately. So I asked how she was handling this particular monster child. How does she handle the situations? What does she do? So she told me.

“I approximately don’t do just anything. We’re kind of mean to each other. We don’t get along too well. I don’t know how to explain it.”

I decided to change the subject, and asked The Kidling who her favorite friend in her summer program was. She told me instead that, “Ella is my last favorite because we argue.”

*********

Remember how excited she was to see her “last favorite” friend at the beginning of this story? That’s right. The Kidling has her first frenemy.

Lord help me.

_________

* Not her real name. But you probably knew that.

overheard

Overheard at Home Town water park: 

Darling kidling snuggles up to her mama, a (relatively) fit, obsessive pre-dawn runner. In a bikini. Exposed for the whole damn world to see.

Upon climbing onto The Mama’s lap, The Kidling snuggled in, resting her sweet head upon her mother’s abdomen. A smile in her voice, she kindly told The Mama, “you have a squishy tummy pillow.”

The Mama’s reply?

“Thank you.”