Sunday, March 28, 2010

Conversations with G, continued

Lugging a huge box of just-purchased kitty litter to the car:

Me: Ooof, this thing is heavy.
G: How heavy is it?
Me: Twenty-five pounds. It's like carrying a toddler, except toddlers hold onto you.
G: They do?
Me: Yes. They put their little arms around your neck.
G (menacingly): And strangle you until you're dead.
Me: Good grief! What sort of demon baby are you expecting to have one day?

Browsing at Barnes & Noble:

Me: Hey, come over here and look at this.
G: What is it?
Me: It's an Edward umbrella.
G: Oh, now they've just gone too far.

At bedtime:

Me (cheerily): Okay, little princess, it's time for lights out.
G: I'm not little, and I'm NOT a princess. And I'm still reading my magazine.
Me: Jeez, I try to say loving things to you, and look what I get. All right, you're not a little princess anymore, but I need something to call you instead. How about if I call you my big ...
G: Penguin?
Me: Fine. From now on, I will refer to you as "big penguin."
G: *giggles*
Me: Time for lights out, big penguin.
G: *hysterical laughter*
Me (leaning over): Let me kiss you goodnight, big penguin!
G (between gasps): Stop! No more! You're going to make me pee.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Yesterday started out with G and me frantically frosting bake-sale cupcakes at 7:50 a.m., went on to include a day at work and a detour to an Irish pub for a colleague's celebratory happy hour, and ended with the annual sock hop at G's school. By the time we finally got home and ate some real non-bake-sale food, it was after 8:30, and I was so tired that when G went to watch some Pink Panther cartoons on the TV in her bedroom, I crawled into her bed and went to sleep for two hours. It was a long day.

The sock hop was shaping up to be the painfully boring event it usually is (for me, not for G), when I spotted G's music teacher, Mrs. R, at the next table and decided to save myself by cornering her and talking to her about music and the band program for an hour. The poor woman was probably desperate to get away from me, but she was there by herself and no one came over to rescue her.

I told her that G started out the year thinking that playing an instrument was going to ruin her life and has since fallen in love with it, which is true - she plays her flute daily, without being prompted, and is always hunting for new sheet music to download off the web. Mrs. R laughed and said that she wasn't surprised, because every day she sees G either practicing her music or reading a book during the afterschool program, while everyone else is running around the playground and field. (G doesn't like to sweat or do anything strenuous. She's going to be one of those girls who always tries to avoid dressing out for high-school P.E. classes, and when she does show up in uniform, limply goes through the motions of running laps or playing softball while the teacher exhorts her to show some energy.) She also said that the school G is going to for seventh grade has a fantastic award-winning band, which G will be thrilled to hear.

On that topic, G is much more excited about junior high and high school than I remember being, but that's probably because by the time I was 12, I wanted to be grown up, immediately, without going through any of the steps in between. When other girls were fantasizing about the prom, I was thinking about the glamorous career I was going to have - I was leaning toward either Tony-winning playwright or international undercover agent - and how I was going to decorate my cool loft apartment*. I think G's got more of the right attitude by looking forward to her teenage years - you've got to get through those years one way or the other, so you might as well enjoy them for what they are, if you can.

*I never said my fantasies were realistic.

Monday, March 22, 2010


How do cats always know where to find you? Both of mine were sleeping peacefully on the mezzanine just now, and didn't twitch a whisker as I got out of my chair. I went upstairs to my bedroom, and two minutes later, they both appeared, leapt onto the bed with me and are now sleeping again. I think they'd like it if I were in traction for a couple of months, just so they could stop following me around the house all day and night.

Ho hum. I've been starting and scrapping posts for two weeks because most of them are like this one - boring observations about pets, or shopping, or how I got the shower grout really clean with baking soda and a toothbrush. The ones that aren't mostly start out all right, but end up being too personal to put out there on teh intarwebz, which sadly is not my private confession box, no matter how much I'd like it to be.

Moving on, this evening G and I visited the local police station with her Girl Scout troop. Here are a few things that 9- to 11-year-old girls are interested in knowing during a police-station tour:

* Will we get to try handcuffs on? (No.)
* Will we see the jail part? (No.)
* Can we go inside a cell? (No.)
* Are they gonna taser someone? (No.)
* Have you got a shooting range here? (Yes.)
* Can we practice shooting? (NO.)
* Is this juvie? (No.)

What they did get to do was visit one of the police briefing rooms, where a nice young officer talked to them about drinking and driving, had them do some of the standard roadside tests, and showed them how the breathalyzer works. They also saw the watch commander's post and the juvenile holding cell (there was a teenage boy getting interrogated in there the first time we passed by - I'm sure he enjoyed being stared at by a gang of younger girls), viewed the records area, and got color-changing pencils with the [name of city] Police Department logo.

I found the tour quite interesting, but thought it must be incredibly depressing to work there. Everything was painted a sort of industrial paste color and lit with harsh fluorescent overhead lights, and the nameplates and paneling and other fitments had all clearly been there for as long as I've been alive. I can see why they don't bother making the holding cells nice for the perps, but I wouldn't mind a few of my tax dollars going to spruce things up for the officers and support staff. It's worse than the DMV.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Life goes on, brah

I have had the Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" stuck in my head for the last two days. It's not a bad song (unless you're John Lennon, who reportedly hated it) but forty-eight hours of "Happy ever after in the marketplace/Desmond lets the children lend a hand" is enough to drive anyone insane. Help!

In other news, we're going to see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland this afternoon. I'm excited! Our tickets are for a show in a little more than two hours, which means I need to start preparing to leave right now. You have never seen anyone get ready for the day as slowly as we do. G is a great big lazypants and drags her feet about getting dressed, even to go and do something fun; but it's not all her fault, because I usually take way too long in the shower and get distracted by chores, etc., that could wait for later. It's a miracle we ever get out the door at all on weekday mornings.

And with that, I'm off. Review of the film later, maybe. If I feel like it.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Tea and sympathy

This morning, while closing my bathroom door, I somehow managed to catch the big toe on my left foot in the gap between the door and the tile. It might have been slightly less excruciating if my toe had been chopped off with a hatchet, but I wouldn't bet on it.

I yelled and said AAARGH and FUCK and a lot of other less-than-ladylike things, and then I hobbled downstairs, still wincing and making pained hissing noises, because I wanted to tell someone about my agony and G was the only one to tell.

"I hurt my foot," I said as I limped into her bedroom.

She glanced up from her Wii game.

"What happened to it?"

"I shut the bathroom door on it. It really hurts a lot. I'm surprised it isn't bleeding."

"Your toenail polish is scraped," she observed, and then she said:

"Can you get me some cold pizza? I'm hungry."

Thanks a lot, kid. I'm bowled over by your concern!

And yet when she saw a kitten with an injured-looking paw on our patio a few months ago, she was in tears begging me to catch it and take it to the vet. Apparently you need four legs and a tail to get any sympathy around here.