Glee Wishlist, Season 2

I thought since they gave me so much of what I wanted the first time I printed something like this, I’d try again!

1. The song-to-story ratio in The Power of Madonna was perfect. Can we have more episodes like that?

2. Could we have a couple of episodes that are going to be Artie-centric, or at least giving him a good B-plot, open with a dream sequence of him dancing?

3. Somehow, Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowith need to meet and share a duet of some kind.

4. Jessalyn Gilsig needs some reason to still be involved. And her sister. Couldn’t the red-headed monster children want to start, like, a junior Glee Club or something? Maybe led by Puck and Quinn?

5. Please either drop the jocks picking on gleeks thing or explain it better. Of the 12 members of Glee Club, five are now or have been Cheerios, and five are now or have been football players. Even as it stands now, there are two Cheerios and four jocks – half the club. Also, we only ever see Kurt and Finn get harassed. And Finn is the captain. Are Puck and Mike and Matt getting harassed? If so, why don’t we see it?

6. Can we see Rachel’s dads already? How are they the stage fathers we’ve been set up to expect, when they never show up to her performances, can’t help her out with a Lady Gaga outfit, and don’t even appear when she finds her birth mother?

The truth is, that’s all I’ve really got, because I’ve mostly given up on coherent plots or consistent characterization, so if each episode is just a series of excuses to introduce song and dance numbers, that’s fine with me. Let’s just also look for excuses to get Puck out of his shirts. Thanks!

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Zoeisms

This is just a brief collection of things Zoe says that are sort of like the real thing but not quite.

“Walloh” – water (as in, “Wash hands in walloh?” or “Walloh evevyvere!” as a description of the “walloh park”)

“Piece of fire” – pacifier

“banana” – booger. I don’t know where she got this from but I guess it explains her aversion to bananas.

“pocket” – female genitals. I don’t know where she got this. We taught her the anatomically correct term as all the progressive parenting guides told us to. But it’s a pretty good one.

“Quinn crying,” “tiny baby” – the “Bohemian Rhapsody” segment of the last episode of Glee, in which scenes of the rival glee club performing “Bohemian Rhapsody” are intercut with scenes of Quinn giving birth. She requests this more often than she requested “Single Ladies.”

I didn’t include a really cute thing she does, where she initiates some face-holding and snuggling and says, very soft and sweet, “So much,” which is shorthand for “I love you so much” and “so happy.”

Best. Baby. Ever.

Awesome Things Zoe Does

And for a little light-heartedness . . .

1. The day we came back from NJ, she started this game with me wherein she stands on her little bench/stool thing, and I sit in front of her, facing away from her, and she insists I take down my hair, and then she plays with my hair, pats my shoulders, and sometimes has me tilt my head back for a kiss, first to one side, then the other. And today during this game she kept hugging me and saying, “My toy!” And when she does the kissing thing, she giggles a lot in between. (She also wanted us to touch our teeth together but gave that up quickly because it kind of hurts.)
2. Today she walked up to the library on her own, moved her little chair over to where the light switches are, and turned them on herself.
3. She flirts. When we were in Baltimore, we went to the Inner Harbor, and there was a little boy there, maybe 6 mos older than Zoe. Zoe walked right over to him with her chin tucked, her head to the side, making eye contact and smiling coyly. Then she FLIPPED HER HAIR! Where does a 21-month-old child learn to flip her hair? Probably Glee.
4. She also selects outfits. Tuesday when I was back home for less than 36 hours, we went to Old Navy. Zoe kept pulling stuff (in the Toddlers section) off the rack and going, “Oh, cute!” and “Beautiful dress!” and “Jeans!” and handing them to me. Then we went home and I washed all her stuff. She pulled out this floaty patterned tank top that I’d gotten her and the shorts she’d picked out and wanted to put them on. BUT she also wanted her capri-length black leggings on UNDER the shorts. And she had to select a different color headband. Ridiculous.
These last two items, by the way, indicate that I am in SERIOUS TROUBLE with this one and that it will all start well before she reaches thirteen. In fact, it has started already.
5. She grabs my hand and says, “Come, Mommy,” and then leads me to where she wants me to go. (She does this to people who are not me, too.)
6. She responds favorably and instantly to pretty young girls with brown hair. We had over a potential babysitter last week, a thirteen-year-old girl from across the street. The doorbell rang, which made her nervous, but then this girl walked in and she was immediately like, “Come! Blocks!” and started babbling about her toys and such. Then this week, Aunt Kate (who is herself a pretty young brunette) had a friend come by, whom Zoe had met maybe once, and Zoe took to her instantly and absolutely. It’s adorable.
7. She’s fearlessly bossy. A couple of weeks ago, we were at the playground with Aunt Kerri, and a group of pre-schoolers zoomed in. In imitation of me, she started hollering, “Watch out!” at them. (I was yelling because they were about to ram right into the large, heavy swing Zoe was swinging on.) Then when the four- and five-year-old boys were doing something of which Zoe apparently disapproved, she walked right into the middle of a knot of them and yelled, “Stop it!” She also didn’t like the way the boy (a few months older than Zoe) was treating his dog and kept instructing him to “Stop it!”
8. She sings songs. Sometimes she sings children’s songs, like the alphabet song or Twinkle, Twinkle. She also has a few little ditties that are sort of made up. She likes “Tonight” from West Side Story (which she knows from Glee). Her favorite right now is Bad Romance by Lady Gaga (and she prefers the real music video to the Glee version). But she actually sings all of it. The nonsense syllables in the beginning are one thing, but she goes, “Bad Romance,” and “I want your ugly, I want your disease,” and “Love . . . love, love, love” with all the right intonations and everything. It is awesome.
9. She’s noticing and commenting on people’s emotions, and most of the time she’s responding appropriately – like if she sees me crying (which she’s had occasion to do these past few weeks), she gives me hugs, pats my hair, and asks, “What happened?”
10. A few times, I’ve given her a pad and pen, and she scribbles away, all hunched over and focused, and then every once in a while she’ll look up and go, “Genius? Genius.”
11. She sits herself down – on a step or a bench or something – and leans slightly forward and clasps her hands in her lap, making herself look completely darling. Then she invites me to sit down next to her (“Come, Mommy. Sit down right here.”). Then she smiles at me and says, “Feels good!”
12. When she is upset, usually about being told “No,” she flings herself down on her knees with her face to the floor and wails piteously. Occasionally she pauses mid-wail and looks up to see if you are feeling very sorry for her. But whatever you do, you shouldn’t laugh when she does this, because then she really starts wailing.
Well, that’s all I’ll write about right now. The girl is full-time adorable; it’s hard to get it all in.

Mackie

My stepfather passed away one week ago today.

My first inclination was not to write about it at all. I don’t intend to go into much right now. Especially not the anger, not the recounting of what an asshole various of his doctors were, etc. Basically, not the stuff I spent the week talking about.

I think it’s been hard to define who he was to me. He was not my father. I have a father; it’s not the same. And this wasn’t a situation in which my father was gone and I needed a surrogate. My father was and is fully present in my life. In fact, he’s been fully present all week, at the funeral director’s office, at the wake, at the funeral, offering rides to various parties and making phone calls when needed. And, just as I have another father, he had another daughter. I knew I wasn’t the same to him as she was. But he was more than, like, my mom’s husband. She and he got married when I was five, and they dated for at least a year before that (I think). So he’s been in my life for all but the narrowest slice of my ability to remember anything at all, and not just in my life, but in my house, as a parent.

I’ve tried to explain it like, “He’s an uncle who lived with me.” That level of love, that level of authority. It’s not a bad explanation, but, you know, uncles come in different flavors. So to be more specific, he was like a really involved uncle who also lived with me. Whatever that means.

He did not come across to many as the warm and snuggly type. Well, apparently the priest who did the funeral thought he did. He described him as a man with “a kind word for everyone.” Afterwards, my sister and I sniggered at that. If he had them, we didn’t hear them. Sarcastic, funny words were more his style. But he was also capable of enormous caring and concern. He was the one who hugged me while I cried at my college graduation. And when my daughter was born, he was as tender and loving and protective as I’ve ever seen anyone. Her first Christmas, he kept walking us out to our car, hovering, with his arms sort of forming a bubble around me, just in case I slipped or she fell or something.

And he was a really good stepdad. My father was also a good stepdad to my stepsister, but in their situation, her father was pretty much absent from the daily parenting realm, so it wasn’t a tiptoe act. It’s not an easy balance to strike in a situation like mine, to be the parent in household but not the father of one of the children, to wield authority and to love and influence without stepping on the actual father’s toes. And to love his own daughter just a little bit more without making his stepdaughter feel unloved, left out or jealous. Whether by accident or intention, he struck the balance perfectly.

There are so many things to say about him because he was such an interesting person, but everyone knows the other things – his music, his trucks, his beer, his taste in movies and TV, his love of travel, his love of a greasy spoon, his adoration of and devotion to my mother. These are the things I know. These are the things I will always remember.