The Great Clothes Switch-Out, Fall 2014

Pity me, y’all. I am sunk deep into a first world problem. Every 6 months I have to take down the tubs of daughter-clothes from the attic and swap one set for the other in the new size. Moreover, the clothes of the past season must be carefully sorted and preserved in tubs with mothballs so that they can pass down to the next sister. The only thing I can give away to charity are the clothes Baby Spock has outgrown and since she is the size of a dried pea, that is precious little.

Lilo is no long the recipient of multitudes of hand-me-downs from cousins, because the cousins are getting to the age where 1) they have either stopped growing and will be keeping their jeans again this year or 2) wear the clothes into rags before they are outgrown and can be passed down. However, Lilo has grown out of her size tens and into size twelves and I had to go buy jeans. After years of benefiting from the hand-me-down machine, I wept.

Stitch is in the middle of largess, still benefiting from the size 8/9 passed down via her sister from multitudes of girl cousins. Yay. Now, would someone please come fold/hang all these garments that must be double checked as to size?

Spock is awash in size 5 fall/winter clothes, being at the end of the hand-me-down chain. They are all cute clothes with little wear to them because kids outgrown them so fast. That’s great. Again with the sort/fold/hang thing.

Not to mention the fact I must clean out the dressers and closets and do every bit of laundry so that the to-be-stored clothes are clean and ready for storage. Fun times.

Oh, and I have to do the adult clothes and the linens, too. We have VERY limited closet space (the house was built in 1968) and thus many things have to be stored in the attic until they are needed. Again, fun times.

Guess what I am not doing while I sort/pile/clean/fold/hang/store clothes? That’s right! I am not writing on all the myriad things I need/want to be writing! I just love it when housekeeping prevents me from writing! It’s almost as good as getting an eyelid caught on a nail!

Woe unto my privileged ass. People with real problems are going to read this and sneer.

I don’t care. Imma meep and whinge for minions anyway. So there.

Posted in daughters, life as I know it, motherhood | 7 Comments

Lunch Envy

OMG I want America to immediately adopt some of the things done by the French school system — particularly food and exercise.

Have you SEEN the school lunches French kids get? Not only is the food made fresh right there at the school, the:

“fruits, vegetables, fish and meat are sourced locally, some of them from local farms,” according to Dany Cahuzac, the city counselor in charge of school matters, including the [lunchroom]. The local bakery delivers bread, a staple of every French meal, fresh every morning. And every two days, there is at least one organic item on the menu. Once a month, an entirely organic meal is served. The only drink offered at lunchtime is filtered tap water, served in glass pitchers …  As the children come streaming into the [lunchroom], they sit down at tables of four that are already set and wait for older student volunteers to bring the first course to their table. The child who sits at the designated “red” chair is the only one who is allowed to get up to fetch more water in the pitcher, extra bread for the bread basket, or to ask for extra food for the table. After finishing the first course (often a salad), volunteers bring the main course platter to the table and the children serve themselves. A cheese course follows (often a yogurt or small piece of Camembert, for example), and then dessert (more often than not, fresh fruit).  “We do our best to vary our menus throughout the weeks and months, but sometimes children don’t like certain foods,” explains Cahuzac. “We ask children to at least to taste everything and have a few bites before they give up on a food they don’t like.” “Eating a balanced meal while sitting down calmly is important in the development of a healthy child,” adds Cahuzac. “It helps them to digest food properly, avoid stomachaches and avoid sapped energy levels in the afternoon.”

My kids get a 20 minute daily recess and a 30 minute gym class twice a week at their school. What do French kids their age get? Hint: more time for fun.

“elementary-aged students throughout the country have three set recess periods during the day: a 15-minute run-around in the morning, a 60-minute recess after lunch, and another 15-minute break in the afternoon” and “Aside from two hour long periods of gym during the week, kids often walk during school outings and field trips (which can include anything from an hour to the local library, a visit to local farms, to the lakeside for paddleboard lessons, or a hike up a local mountain). Walking is emphasized in even younger ages — indeed 3- and 4-year-olds in preschool will walk up to 2 kilometers in an afternoon to go visit the local library. Sometimes they walk to the local retirement home to sing songs for the elderly.”

WTF? No wonder the obesity rates for French children are some of the lowest in the world.

Good food is important. Good food helps kids learn. Recess is important. Recess helps kids learn.

Let’s get some good food and recess up in our schools, STAT.

Posted in daughters, health, I've been thinking too much, motherhood, shit I think y'all should know | 5 Comments

Sorcha’s Doing Well

Good news about Sorcha, for those who have been following her travails on this blog!

Sorcha has just purchased a home of her own. Her accountancy business is thriving. (it should be; she’s working her ass off.)  She has even created a niche market for herself helping facilitate hemp production via keeping her clients appraised of all the regulations. Her children are all well and happy. Prisspot had the audacity to make a pass at her and she had the satisfaction of slamming the lid down on that particular toilet.  She continues to crush all opponents in Words With Friends.

All is well.

That makes me happy.

Posted in I like this, dammit., life as I know it | 2 Comments

I’m BACK!

Howdy y’all.

My apologies for my long absence. I had to be away doing family things and the trip plumb tuckered me out.

Why did the trip wear me out so, you ask? Well, it had to do with a zillion orange barrels and three asshats.

The highways and byways were much occluded with the aforementioned orange barrels. I know road construction/repair must occur. Truly I do. What I don’t get is why it has to happen all at once and go on for MILES. Seriously, there was traffic congestion three miles prior to the tiny work crews and traffic congestion for another mile afterwards. They would shut down huge swathes of highway so that two dudes and a chick could did a small hole. It added a good hour or two onto a 5 hour trip. Just what everyone wants when traveling with young children.

There were also three asshats who made the long car trip more vexing. The first asshat was a shit-kicker in a pick-up truck who hollered at me when I was trying to turn around in a driveway and get back to the road we needed to be on. (Say hello to obfuscating detour signs!) I called him a jackass, which made him turn purple and start cussing.  Of course, I couldn’t hear him because I revved the van’s engine to drown him out. I drove away merrily, watching him blow a gasket in the rearview mirror. I think he was astounded a woman in a minivan spoke BACK to him instead of cowering before his bullying ways. In hindsight, I should have kept my peace and let him be a twatwaffle with no reprisals. Why? Because he might have been armed (‘Murica!) and we had the kids with us.

The second asshat was driving a semi that nearly ran out vehicle off the road. He decided, for whatever reason, that he needed both lanes of the freeway and I had to hit my breaks to avoid being sideswiped as he drifted over onto my side of the road. Thank God and the Sweet Baby Jesus there wasn’t a car too close behind us. The semi then casually meandered back into his lane. I couldn’t tell  what had distracted him from the slightly important task of driving.  I reckon that he had either fallen asleep at the wheel, or was talking on his phone, or was watching porn. (‘Murcia!)

The third and final asshat struck when we were almost home. After miles of following a POS car with a bad muffler that was going 15 miles per hour under the speed limit,  I passed him on a straight stretch of road. He was only going 45 so it was easy-peasy, even in a minivan. However, once I had passed him he proceeded to speed up to tailgate me with his brights on. I was going 60 mph and he was sucking my tail pipe. WTF? He goes 45 for an eternity, but can find the gas pedal to ride my bumper? We were the only two cars on the road! How small was his schmeckle that he had to pull a dumb stunt like that simply because I passed him?

Happily, I am back home and ready to blog away again. Tomorrow I have great news about Sorcha! Stay tuned!

Posted in life as I know it | 1 Comment

Fie Upon Pizza the Hut!

Have you ever seen the Mel Brooks movie Spaceballs? It’s one of the few of his movies that is suitable for children. (The biting and awesome satire in the others can be a bit much. Plus, sex jokes.) It’s a riff off Star Wars and the character of Jabba the Hut has been satirized as Pizza the Hut. Mel Brooks is sophisticated and subtle that way. 

This is Pizza the Hut:

Pizza the Hut

Stitch is revolted (understandably) by this character and terrified of him. When he comes on the TV set she runs to her bedroom, returning to watch the rest of the movie after his small part is finished. Yesterday she finally told me WHY she is so scared of it.

She said, with earnestness and emphasis, “Mom, his bubbles … don’t … pop! They just move up and down! He’s disgusting! And he has a long piece of melted cheese string that glops almost into his mouth! Right onto his tongue. And there is something wrong with his tongue! He might as well not even have a tongue!”

Stitch is right, of course. Nevertheless the fervor and intensity with which she informed me his bubbles don’t pop was so adorable coming out of a seven year old girl with a slight lisp that it was all I could do to keep a straight face. These fears are real to her, and I don’t want her to think I am laughing AT her or mocking her. However, she was doing this face:

upset stitch

with her hands clutching the air in front of her like this:

OMG why

Frankly, it was hard not to crack up at her vehement denouncement of all things Pizza the Hutt related.

I have no idea where she gets that kind of passion in her opinions. Must be from her father’s side.

Posted in daughters, I like this, dammit., life as I know it, motherhood | 2 Comments

Rejection Dejection

I need a moment of meeping, so y’all feel free to say “poor baby” and pat me metaphorically on the head. The agent who was reading my book has passed on it. She was really nice about it, tho. She wrote:

“Thanks so much for sharing your work with me. The topic is of obvious importance and your focus on historical figures makes it additionally intriguing. However, I’m currently at work on a project that, after reading your proposal and intro, is more similar in focus than I initially thought. What’s more, I would suggest you continue building your platform by writing articles on the subjects you discuss here, and seek to have them placed in mainstream periodicals to better establish yourself as a commentator on these issues. Thank you again for thinking of us at [redacted]. I wish you the best of luck in your publication pursuits.”

Meanwhile, the query letter has netted some other rejections. They are kind rejections. I tell myself it is a good thing that they 1) bothered to respond and 2) responded within a week. Nevertheless they are rejections and have made me feel very sorry for myself.

Semi-woe.

Posted in I've been thinking too much, life as I know it | 5 Comments

A Wee Computer Mishap

My youngest, the serious yet spritely Spock, wears overnight pull-ups when she sleeps. She doesn’t yet have the control over her sleeping bladder that she does over her waking bladder, so protection is necessary to protect the bedding from inclement pee.

The pull-ups aren’t foolproof, however. Sometimes they get scooted and wedged into the crack of he little bitty behind and the stream of urine flows unimpeded all over whatever unfortunate surface she happens to be laying one. Last night that surface was her Daddy … and Daddy’s expensive laptop computer.

Sweet Babou had tucked his computer down between the arm and the seat of the rocking recliner and had rocked the baby to sleep. She had asked for “Daddy cuddles” and since he is weak (like the rest of us) when confronted by big tea-brown eyes peeping up at him, he bowed before the demands made by his teeny daughter. He held her on his lap and snuggled her into the crook of his arm and she went to sleep within minutes. I asked him if he wanted me to carry her to bed, but he said no – he was enjoying holding his precious child.

That’s when the precious child peed like a race horse.

There must have been a gallon of golden water cascading from her bunched pull-ups. At first, Sweet Babou just though he felt warmth from her pull-up filling, but then it dawned on him that he was becoming quite damp around the thigh region. He realized this too late: wee had already flowed off his leg and down into his computer.

The computer is now dead. It is no more. It has ceased to be. The spark of its life has been smothered in piddle.

Considering his line of trade (software engineer) a computer is somewhat of a necessity for him. Ergo, we just had to drop a big ol’ pile of money on a new computer. Thankfully, we have a good credit card. It’s nice that it is “good”, because I despair ever being free of it.

Which reminds me, y’all should buy my book Betty Fokker: Feminism, Fat, and Fokking (includes material not published elsewhere) or subscribe to my blog so it will upload to your kindle. Also, if you haven’t already gotten any of the Sylvia Ketrie short stories or Tempted By Infamy you should definitely get them now. If you pay attention you can actually HEAR your soul yearning to own these semi-magnificent opuses.

Plus, I think it will count as charity work.

*All proceeds will go toward frivolous fripperies, like food and mortgage. 

Posted in daughters, life as I know it, motherhood | 1 Comment