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Showing posts from March, 2007


I had a conference with Mallory's pre-school teacher the other day. I always enjoy these; it's fun hearing about one's child from someone else's perspective. (I guess this may change if I ever have to start hearing about my child from, say, a juvenile court judge.) According to Miss Suzanne, Mallory is a sweet, bright little girl, completely ready for kindergarten. However...

"I was actually a bit surprised at how well she did on her 'test," Miss Suzanne said. The "test" required Mallory to draw shapes and identify her letters and numbers. "She got everything right, and I wasn't expecting that, because although I know she's bright, she also seems to be in her own little world much of the time."

I wasn't too surprised with that assessment. Mallory has never been one to perform on demand. One day I caught her in her room doing addition -- holding up her fingers and saying, "Two and two is four! Two and three is five!"…

Kids are Weird, Part 72

Last night Mallory instructed Chris to "act like a baby." After some protest, he obliged by snuggling next to me and making baby noises. Mallory leaned in and, with a gleam in her eye that suggested she was about to deliver the best joke ever, said, "Hey, baby! You married your own mommy!"

Later I heard Phoebe saying to herself, "Boy or girl? Boy or girl?"

I said, "Phoebe, are you a boy or a girl?"

"I boy!"

"You're a boy?"

"Noooo!" she laughed. "I not!"

"Are you a girl?"

"Noooo! I not!"

"Then what are you?"

"I Beebee!"

Just Finished Reading
...four excellent books:

Adverbs by Daniel Handler
The Center of Winter by Marya Hornbacher
Me Talk Pretty Some Day by David Sedaris
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl


My car's been in the shop for the past two days (brakes, tires) so unfortunately, I've had to drive my mother-in-law's Mustang Convertible to work. This is an older car, a '92 I think, with only about 75,000 miles on it because Claudia doesn't drive much. She's mentioned that they're going to give this car to Mallory when she gets her driver's license.

I have to say, I think this car is way too fun for a teenage girl. (And also, my hair is a fright from riding with the top down.)

Then again, I drove a "classic" Mustang when I was in high school -- a '75, the only year Ford made an ugly Mustang, according to my dad. I believe Aimee drove this car too. It had been rebuilt by my granddad and he gave it to me because I proved unable to drive the classic car that my dad had rebuilt for me, a '65 Corvair. The Corvair was very cute, I liked it a lot, but it was a stick shift and I never quite got the hang of it. Plus the gas gauge didn't wo…


I added two more bits to Mallory’s letter, things that occurred to me last night while getting Phoebe to sleep (which is where I come up with most of my posts, and hope they stay in my head for the next twelve or so hours). Then I started to wonder if I was being mean, making too much fun of her. I hope not. I do find her charming. Of course I find some of her antics annoying too but mostly the charming wins out. I hope that’s apparent.

But it reminded me of something that I realized last week that I need to stop doing. (Wow, what a sentence.) I was dropping Mallory off at school and on my way out, her teacher stopped and told me how cute Phoebe was looking that day. I said, “Yeah, she really needs a haircut!” I do that all the time, turning compliments around. Phoebe’s cute – but she needs a haircut. Mallory’s funny – but she’s a real handful. I shouldn’t do that. Maybe it’s just a misplaced sense of modesty, of not wanting to brag too much on my kids, but I need to stop it. I’m very …

Dear Mallory

You are a good, sweet girl. I love that you like to help your little sister. However, I don’t love that you think it “helps” when you wake Phoebe up in the morning, drag her out of bed, and lead her down the hall to the bathroom while I’m taking a shower. It would be far more helpful if you would just let her sleep.

You have imagination to spare and it’s nice to see you getting so involved in the books you read and the movies you watch. It’s not so nice when you choose to re-enact certain scenes. For example, you didn’t really need to use a green and red magic marker in an attempt to paint your face like Mulan’s in her matchmaking scene. And you don’t need to tell me, every time we hear “A Whole New World,” that Aladdin is really your boyfriend Skyler or that Jasmine is really you. You’ve told me numerous times and I don’t forget that easily.

You are brimming with generosity and you love to celebrate with your family and friends. It’s very cute that you label every day someone’s pretend…

Karma. She'll Get You Every Time.

I got my first-ever ticket last night.

I got pulled over as I was going to pick up the girls, and because I am a safe and cautious driver I was genuinely bewildered as to why I had been stopped. The officer came up to my window and said, “I was behind you at a stoplight and punched in your license plate [can they just do that? Randomly and without cause? I guess they can], and it came up that your registration is expired.” I knew this to not be the case. He continued, “But then once you were pulled over I looked down and saw that I’d transposed some numbers. Your registration is up to date.” Then he smiled and I thought he was going to let me go. But there was more: “But THEN I noticed that your driver’s license is expired.”

Busted. It expired on my birthday, back in January, and I keep forgetting to get it renewed. I’ve thought about it at impractical times, like at 9:30 pm while I’m brushing my teeth. And in my (pathetic) defense, I have to add that when you work 9-5 every day, and ra…

100 Words or More

I took Phoebe for her 18-month checkup last week. (We were two months late. Not only that, but I completely forgot that she was supposed to go in for a 15-month checkup as well. She's definitely the second child!) The doctor said that she should have a vocabulary of at least 10 words by now.

That's no problem.

Phoebe likes to eat her unch on a cate with a bork, but she prefers to eat her i-seem in a bote with a boonse.

When she does something she's particularly proud of, she lifts her arms up and says, "I did it! Oo-ray Beebee!"

When she's hungry, she opens the door to the pantry and says, "Hmmm. How 'bout..." Her favorite food is "pop-orn."

Yesterday my mother-in-law suggested that she pick up some of her toys, and Phoebe said, "No. I don't want to!"

We were out in the yard Saturday night and heard an owl. Phoebe said, "What's the hoo-hoo?" I said, "It's an owl." She said, "I see it?" I s…

An Ugly Scene

We’ve been talking about going to visit the family in Texas this summer. Last night Mallory said to me, “When you go visit Grandmom in Texas, is it okay if I stay home?”

I said, “No, it’s not,” and she fell on the floor and started weeping hysterically. And loudly. (Phoebe helpfully pointed out, “My ky-ing!”)

I finally got her to explain that she didn’t want to go to Texas because she’s afraid that her ears will hurt on the airplane. Even though she’s flown, I don’t know, at least ten times in her life already and her ears have never hurt on the airplane before.

I told her that everyone would miss her if she didn’t come along. I told her that she would miss me if she didn’t come along. I told her that she wouldn’t have any fun if she stayed at home. I told her that her other grandparents (where she suggested she would stay) had not invited her to stay at their house for a week. I told her that we could give her chewing gum to help with the ear thing. I told her that we could talk to her…


Last night I read the chapter in David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty Some Day about Sedaris’s brother, Paul. It’s really, really funny; his brother refers to himself as “The Rooster” and, well, this is a family website so I can’t repeat what he says cannot happen to The Rooster. Just take my word for it, it’s funny. Anyway, the Sedaris family is from Raleigh and the author mentioned that his brother is the only one of his siblings to remain here, and that he runs a flooring business.

This morning on my way to work I passed a van painted with the words, “Sedaris Hardwood Floors.”

Right before Christmas I took the kids to the library. We hadn’t been for a couple of months and I was surprised to see that the nice swath of pine forest that originally surrounded the library had been cut down. “Oh man!” I exclaimed in disgust. Mallory wanted to know what was wrong and I pointed out the clearcutting and said that soon we’ll have to just call our town “Wake” instead of “Wake Forest” because all the…

Best Book Dedication Ever

To Her

Hand in hand we come
Christopher Robin and I
To lay this book in your lap.
Say you're surprised?
Say you like it?
Say it's just what you wanted?
Because it's yours --
Because we love you.

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Weekend Report

This was a very child-intensive weekend, for me, in that I spent almost every waking moment with the kids. I guess that's actually true of every weekend, it just felt even more so this time. We had fun, though; we went to the park, we played, we watched Grease (of even Phoebe is asking to watch Guh-weese), we went shopping. I did two things all by myself -- went to get takeout on Saturday night and, on the way home, had a great view of the lunar eclipse. In fact people were parked on the median of the highway to see the eclipse. (At least, I assume that's why so many people were parked on the highway.) It was pretty amazing. We tried to get a picture of it when I got home but, well, it's hard to take a picture of the moon. Then on Sunday I went to the carwash because, due to my making a very sudden left turn, Mallory spilled an entire bottle of strawberry milk all over the floor of the car (Mallory's reaction: "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh Mom you won't…

Hopelessly De-Boated to You

Mallory has become re-obssesed with the movie Grease. For the past week or so, we’ve been watching Grease once a day, we’ve been listening to Grease music in the car, we’ve been dancing to "Summer Lovin’" before bedtime, we’ve been re-enacting scenes with her Barbie dolls. And when Mallory gets really angry with us, or with Phoebe, she’ll shout the words that Sandy shouted at Danny: “You’re a fake and a phony and I wish I’d never laid eyes on you!” (Except it actually comes out, “You’re a fake and a forner and I wish I never had ice by you!”)

On a totally related note, Mallory has found a new boyfriend. When we entered her classroom on Monday morning, she clamped her hand over her mouth and started giggling like mad. “What’s up?” I asked, and she pointed to a boy standing by the blocks. “That’s Skyler! That’s my boyfriend!” she said, and resumed giggling. Her teacher overhead and commented, “Skyler’s not a bad choice!”

Mallory gives me regular updates on the progress of their …