Tuesday, June 17, 2008

outta here

There I go again with that not posting thing. Shoot. All I can say is, I HATE THIS FUCKING BLOG. I'M SICK OF IT. 

Sort of. I think the real issue is that my kids, they exhaust me. Completely. I don't know why it's so hard. I don't even have a job or anything. And my kids do camp and preschool. Plenty of women have three kids and a full-time job and they cook gourmet meals and do triathlons on the side. And they paint, too. They paint! 

But I can hardly do anything, including this here blog. I have the desire but not the motivation. It's a very uncomfortable combination of conditions.  

I don't know what the future holds. We're off to the Holy Land tomorrow night. Maybe I'll get my mojo back. See ya. 

Monday, June 9, 2008

should I make this a regular feature?

Recent pubic hair sightings (see this to be further grossed out edified):

1. Half an apple that I had stored in a container in the fridge and was preparing to slice for my mother-in-law. 

2. The lip of the kiddy pool at the JCC. 

My work never ceases.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

guess who got to sleep in?

I remember learning in high school about a rhetorical device where, when making a case for something, you lead with your weaker arguments and save the strongest for last. That way your reader or listener has the experience of repeatedly thinking, wow, that's an even better argument, and is left with the most compelling reason freshest in his mind. 

I think I employed this technique quite masterfully yesterday morning, when Lilah (who, by the way, is for the most part now sleeping in her crib) sat up in between Stupiddaddy and me way too early and said, "I want to go downstairs, okay?" 

"Can you do it this morning?"


"Please? I've done it every morning this week. I even did it last weekend." 

[He rolls over in the other direction.]

"And I had a shitty night of sleep. She kept kicking me in the head."
"Grrmmm. Uh-uh." 

"And besides, I'm mad at you because you cheated on me in my dream last night."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


In the last month or so, my boys have spent what seems like hours every day searching for critters and collecting them in containers, observing them as they frantically try to escape their newfound hell in action, and then wondering briefly the next day, before going off on the hunt again, why the specimen is dead, despite the grass and dirt they threw at it and the holes they poked in the lid. I can't tell you how many earthworms, roly polys, moths, spiders, grubs, slugs, ladybugs, crickets, ants, flies, and cicadas they've captured; but to this day, each discovery is as exciting as the very first. 

One afternoon a few weeks ago, a neighborhood girl Ezra is soft on came over for a visit. Before she left, Ezra extracted a roly poly from the collection he had amassed earlier, put it in its own little container, wrote "love" on the lid, and handed it to her. 

"This is for you," he said meaningfully. 

Because nothing says "I love you" like a terrestrial crustacean.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

best idea ever

Yesterday afternoon, the five of us spent some time driving around Asheville looking for a used tire to make a tire swing. The original wooden swing that Stupiddaddy had rigged up came crashing down a couple of times and in any case had failed to maintain our kids' interest. The seemingly ingenious replacement--the capsule of our old jogger, which had many sharp metal edges jutting out but was lots of fun and made it easy to imagine they were blasting off into space--took a chunk out of Lilah's forehead. So we decided a tire swing was the only way to go. 

As we drove, the kids did a whole lot of screaming at each other, and "Stupid" was bandied about quite a bit, and there were several rounds of "No I didn't/Yes you did." Tensions ran especially high after we found a suitable tire and heaved it in, because all three of them wanted to touch the tire but only two of them could do it at once. 

In the car, though, there's not a whole lot you can do. You can't send anyone to a different room, or take away a toy. So I just looked at Stupiddaddy and rolled my eyes. 

"We need a Taser," he said. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

and that, I guess, is that

Iris, whose story begins here, moved away a few days ago. We knew the move was coming; she had been talking about it for a few months now, saying very matter-of-factly that her mom didn't like Asheville because it's too much of a big city and the air quality is bad. 

The real issue, of course, is that there are too many people getting in the way of her mom's ability to be crazy, which there always will be. They haven't lived in the same spot for more than nine months since Iris has been with her. 

On the day they left, they still didn't know where they were moving to. It was either going to be Minnesota or California, and then at the last minute, Boone, NC, two hours away from here, got thrown into the mix as well. 

I haven't written about Iris in the last few months, in part because this blog was getting more local readers and I didn't feel right about it, and in part because we'd been seeing so much less of Iris than we used to. After her mom banned her from coming over here to play, and especially after she found out about her many clandestine visits, things changed. Iris formed bonds with others in the neighborhood, including a couple of families we're friends with, and I began hearing about her through them more than I was interacting with her directly. They were the ones who were now feeding her and watching her on snow days and weekends and any other time Sonia couldn't be bothered. 

I felt like I had disengaged from Iris emotionally, and yet I got teary when I hugged her goodbye. There was a lot I wanted to say to her but I didn't say anything except, "Take care."And now, days later, I can't stop thinking about her. Some people moved into their apartment right away, and every time I look over and see the drapes they've hung, I feel disoriented and then just really sad.  

A few days before Iris left, a mom she had grown close to gave her some prepaid postcards addressed to a bunch of us in the neighborhood so that Iris could keep in touch. But Sonia wouldn't let her keep them. 

I was simultaneously not at all surprised and completely devastated by this woman's cruelty. 

Another thing Sonia wouldn't let Iris keep was her bike, which she got around Christmas from some other neighborhood friends whose daughter had outgrown it. Iris rode that bike like crazy every day, sometimes with a posse of kids, sometimes on her own cruising for company or just needing to be away from home. Sometimes, too, I'd see her ride painfully slowly, circling, while her mom walked nearby, stopping at every corner, or whenever she came across something on the sidewalk that disturbed her, to go through her tap-tap-tap routine.  

Anyway, Iris really loved her bike. It's still parked on the sidewalk in front of her old house. None of us knows what to do with it. 

Friday, May 23, 2008

some thoughts on NPR coverage from young listeners

"Barack OBAMA? Barack Obama! Barack Obamamamamama! Baracko...bama! Who's that?" (Levi)

"Why are they always talking about killing and sword fights and stuff?" (Ezra)

"I don't like this teacher talk." (Lilah)