Monday, September 27, 2010


Bullying. Separation anxiety. Food strikes. Potty accidents. Exhaustion. Crying nonstop.

These are the things I worried about when I packed up the 3 1/2-year-old and 4-month old and shipped them off to school.

Would they make friends? Would they be able to keep up with the bigger kids? Would someone be generous with the hugs and kisses and comforts if they were sad? Would they find the potty OK? (Not so worried about that with the infant.) Would we be separated from each other by some sort of natural—or man-made—disaster? (Irrational? Hell yes, but a worry nonetheless.)

I did NOT know that I needed to worry about someone taking home Little's jacket, which was hanging on the hook beneath her cubby this morning and was nowhere to be found this afternoon.

Nor did I realize I needed to worry that Big would end up wearing home someone else's SOCKS and SHOES (???).


They don't teach you this in Parenting 101. Maybe I have to wait for the advanced class...

Friday, September 24, 2010


"Thanks for blessing everyone I love
and blessing everyone who loves me."
It's a prayer my dear friend
taught me about giving thanks—one
that I've said every day since.
Twelve words I'm thankful to share.

(I can't take credit for the blessing, but I count the woman who originally shared it with me as one of the blessings in my life!)

For more Six Word Fridays–and to link up your own six words–check out!

Friday, September 17, 2010

They don't even know I'm listening...

"Well hullo there, little one," the
3-year-old says to the 3-month-old, as
she rocks the baby's car seat.
A room away, I don't exist.
The baby grins, gurgles and coos.
Big girl says to little girl,
"My sweet sister, my dear one,
I'll love you forever and always,
no matter what." My heart soars—
They don't even know I'm listening.
She rocks the seat harder. "Careful!"
I warn. But we're all smiling.

For more Six Word Fridays–and to link up your own six words–check out!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dear Popsicle® Company Part Deux

Mad props to Bad Mommy, blogger supreme of Bad Mommy Moments, for writing the letter I've always wanted to write to the Popsicle® Company. I would add only one thing regarding item #3:

3) You absolutely must do something about those sh*tty-ass jokes you’re plastering all over your sticks.

P.S.: And check your damn spelling!

What has tree horns and gives milk? A cow driving a car.

TREE horns? Really?

Oh, wait...

The Popsicle® Company's based in Englewood, N.J.*, where "tree" is the accepted spelling of "three." (Just imagine the Commotion or Snooki or Tony Soprano or Joe Pesci saying it out loud, and you'll get it.)

My bad.

(*No offense to my good, GOOD friends in the Great State of New Jersey, where "Born to Run" really should have been the state song.)


As a kid I used to pluck tent caterpillars off the low-hanging tree leaves as I walked home from the bus stop. Navigating the uneven sidewalks ("Step up, step down," I'd tell myself silently), I'd let the squishy little blue-and-black dudes ride on my Holly Hobbie lunchbox, destined for either an empty peanut butter jar with holes punched in the top or, better for them, relocation to our backyard. It's a memory I associate with brand-new clothes, pristine pens and notebooks, slightly crunchy leaves, crisp air—the start of school.

So yesterday, when I dropped Z off for her first day of school, I was as delighted to see this as she was:

"We're keeping an eye and an ear on them," the school director told me, pointing at the chrysalises (chrysali?) dangling from the top of the little tent by the front door. "If any more start to hatch today, we're going to round everybody up to come watch."

I imagined the herd of little-kid and big-kid feet pounding (OK, proceeding in an orderly fashion) down the hallways, and the chatter of children barely able to contain their excitement: "One's hatching!" "A new butterfly!" I envisioned them, gathered around the tent, hushed now, the little kids scooting up to the front of the crowd, craning their necks to watch.

I swallowed the lump in my throat and kissed my preschooler goodbye.

When I picked Z up at the end of the day, she told me all was still quiet in the chrysalis tent. But she did gather with the rest of the school to release one monarch butterfly who'd hatched over the weekend.

Pretty. Damn. Cool.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Let's Begin Now

Crinkle the cellophane
Crack the spine
Smell the sheet
Touch the type
Anticipate the journey
Cuddle down deep
Let's begin now.

For more Six Word Fridays–and to link up your own six words–check out!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Negotiator

Z drew her very first picture of a person the other day:

A family, actually. With eyes and noses and mouths and eyebrows (!!!). With legs and feet. And hands with fingers. (Sure the hands look a bit like dead spiders. But, c'mon! She's 3 1/2! I can't even draw hands!)

The ink was barely dry on paper when we clashed over the work of art. The Curator (Mommy) wanted the portrait to hang in perpetuity in the family gallery (dining room). Meanwhile the Artist wanted to give the piece to her best friend as a birthday present.

"I'll draw you another one tomorrow," the Artist finally declared, exasperated by my pleas, threats and bribes. Having "mastered" the art of figure drawing in one attempt, she could whip out dozens of them if needed. She wouldn't budge.

So the Curator called in the big guns: The Negotiator. A.K.A. the 3-month-old sitting on her lap.

Negotiator (voiced by Mommy): I really like your picture. 
   Artist: Thank you. It's for my friend.
Negotiator: I can't draw yet, but someday, I want you to teach me how.
   Artist: Sure I will!
Negotiator: But you know what would be really cool? If you let ME keep this picture so I can have the very first picture of a person you ever drew. Then I can use your picture (pointing her fist at the artist for emphasis) as a model for MY picture (pointing at herself).
   Artist (laughing): But—
Negotiator: No, wait! I really want to keep your picture, because then when I am old enough to draw MY first picture of a family, they can hang MY picture next to yours.
   Artist (laughing): But it's for—
Negotiator: No, don't answer yet!
   Artist (laughing): But—
Negotiator: Just sleep on it. Do you know what that means?
   Artist (uncertain): Yeah.
Negotiator: It means don't answer me tonight. Just tell me in the morning.
   Artist (exasperated again): OK, you can HAVE the picture. It's for you and Mommy and Daddy. And then I will help you draw your picture and we can keep them both. Mommy (looking at the curator earnestly), I'm going to let you, Daddy and E keep the picture. I'll draw another one for my friend tomorrow. 
Curator: Yay! That makes me happy, too! You are SO generous.

So now I'm on the hook if this thing ever gets lost, stolen, spilled on, torn, or otherwise f-ed up. And don't tell the Artists' Rights Society about any of this, or I'll get the Negotiator after you!

Friday, September 3, 2010


The room is ready for you.
It's been ready for months, really.
It's me that hasn't been ready
at the end of every day.

I loved your body inside me.
And now you cuddle beside me.
True, that space created for you
is beautiful, yet so far away.

I'm sure you're not going to mind,
sweet, funny gumdrop that you are.
Which makes it so very hard,
I think, transforming ourselves this way.

For more Six Word Fridays–and to link up your own six words–check out!