Zoe Update

We haven’t done one of these in a while. So what’s the little mouse up to?

1. She is ever more enthusiastic about Glee Dance Parties. She’s really getting into the actual dancing, trying to imitate what she sees on screen, shaking her hips, etc.  And she loves Tik-Tok.  You really haven’t lived until you’ve heard a tiny-voiced toddler say, “‘Fore I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack.”

2. And in other inappropriate-things-we-let-her-watch news, she loved “Game of Thrones.” (And don’t think for a minute that I’m not dorky enough to sit here thinking, “Are TV shows in quotes or italics?  And if they’re in italics, should I not use italics on “loved”? But I’ve decided they’re in quotes. Even if they are not on TV but HBO.) She especially loved Daenerys, whom she referred as the “Alice in Wonderland girl,” and she looked forward to seeing her “nak’dy butt.” She was very sad, in fact, when Daenerys was not naked. We pointed her out on screen once and she said, very sadly, “Oh. She’s not nak’ded. She’s not going to be nak’ded.”

3. She’s still hitting me a lot when she gets angry.

4. She’s still feeling me up all the time. Her newest justification line (in addition to “I like your breasts. They’re so lovely.”) is “We have to protect your nipples from the sun.” Because that’s what we say – that we have to protect her from the sun, not her nipples specifically – when we put sunscreen on her.

5. She’s really trying to imitate very polite and relational ways of expressing herself. She’s just as likely to say “Shall we do x?” as “I want to do x.” She asks if you like something and then says, “Oh. I like it too, with you.” If she hears me say I like something, she says she likes it with me, even if she has no particular reason to. Like when I saw Ruth Reichl on “Top Chef Masters” and said I love her, she said, “Oh, is the purple girl your favorite? She’s my favorite, too. I love her, too, with you.” Then again, sometimes she likes to distinguish herself. She wanted to watch Grease today because we heard “Summer Nights” in the car, and I said, “I like Grease,” and she said, “It’s not your favorite. It’s my favorite.”

6. She is also now a big fan of Hairspray (2007) and walks around the house screaming out “Good morning, Baltimore!” all the time.

7. She’s gotten even more snugly with her father. The other night she got out of her bed, where I’d been reading her stories, went into our bed, wrapped her arms around her father’s neck, snuggled into him, and said, “I love you, Daddy.” Aaaaaaaaand that’s why she’s still sleeping in our bed.

8. She’s also gotten more attached to her Grandpa Lalan. Last time we were in NJ she elected to watch noovies in his bed with him for twenty minutes or so when offered the choice. And she played piano with him and played with his (really, my ex-stepmom’s) extensive collection of restaurant matchbooks and made him chase her around the house. He was pretty happy about it.

9. She also had a great time at the beach last time and was very bold about running into the water. She wasn’t even scared when a wave came and slapped her in the face.

10. She was extremely intrigued by the fact that a seagull pooped on my back. She’s been bringing it up every so often since then, always including my mom’s phrase, “Yucky-Puckies!”

11. She likes to read to herself. She remembers the contents of a lot of her books.

12. She likes to help me choose which romance novels to read when we’re at the library. I think she’s selecting on the basis of hot pink dresses on the cover, which is not necessarily how I’d do it, but it’s a method.

13. She refers to certain of her activities as “work” and tells me she has to “finish with my work” before moving on to the next activity.

14. She says “aminal.” Like a stereotype of a toddler on an ’80s sitcom.

15. She has decided preferences in the clothes she wears. Right now she’s in pretty full-on girly-girl mode, wanting always to wear dresses, pink, and sparkles.

16. Lately, anything long and flowy – hair, a scarf, a plastic vegetable bag from the grocery store – is a “dream.”

17. At my cousin’s recent Bar Mitzvah, she was extremely cute, running around the sanctuary, mostly between me and her cousin Sammy (the Bar Mitzvah boy’s sister), admiring her sparkly purse and trying to wear my dad’s girlfriend’s heels. She also insisted that all of us be holding prayer books at all times, even when they were no longer in the prayer portion of the service but on to the announcements-and-sisterhood-inductions portion.

18. She also has a new game where she makes hand motions I’m supposed to imitate.

19. We were over on Navy Pier this weekend (well, not on, but just west of) and she had a GREAT time splashing in the fountain. But she insisted on taking her dress first off so it wouldn’t get wet. (She would have taken her underwear off, too, but we decided that was a bridge too far. It’s not like I don’t carry ten extra pairs of her underwear on me at all times.) Sometimes she is the exact combination of Jason and me.

20. She likes to pick up sticks on walks. When we were with Archie, my mom’s new dog, I thought, you know, puppies and toddlers are really kind of the same thing. They even fought over the same sticks.

21. Zoe was both adorable and impossible with Archie. He was actually very gentle with her, much gentler than he was with, say, me. But Zoe would insist on sticking her arms in his mouth and then getting upset when she felt the slightest hint of teeth.

Okay, that’s all for now. Just so you all know, this Friday will be another SYTYCD evaluation with my sister. Then I’ll be out for the week. (Woohoo!) Then the next SYTYCD evaluation will be posted a few days late, and then Sophia and I will be taking some questions. Talk to you all later!

So You Think You Can Dance – Week Two

Erica: Fucking storms. Fucking power. Fucking Fox. Our power went out at around 8 p.m. on Tuesday night and came back on at around 8 p.m. Wednesday night. The first thing I did when the lights kicked on was restart Tivo but I still only got half of the episode. And fucking Fox doesn’t put these things up online in a timely fashion at all.

Kate: I did not have any f*cking power outages (such language Er!) but I did miss the first 3 dances due to the fact that I am incapable of getting anywhere/doing anything on time anymore. Woe is me. Anyone who did catch the first 3 routines please feel free to comment and critique.

Erica: Why am I not allowed to say “fuck” on my own blog?

Kate: You sure can but it’s getting bleeped out on mine!

Nick and Iveta

Erica: Okay, so I’m coming in with Nicky and Iveta receiving the tail end of the critique for their Bollywood number. Oh, my God, Debbie Reynolds is the guest judge. Heart!
Kate: I came in at this routine, it was great! For a tap dancer and a ballroom dancer they put in a seriously applaudable effort, her movements weren’t as sharp as Bollywood demands them to be but she has such a phenomenal stage presence (in addition to phenomenal abs) and I am still baffled that she is 30 and moves like that. It would be awesome if she won.

Erica: I’m sure the number was fine, but I hate how Nigel and company always act like SYTYCD discovered Bollywood. Like no one (including, possibly, people who are in fact Indian and live in India and everything) had ever heard of it until they put it on American TV.

Kate: I suppose. I want to do it so badly!

Erica: Ooh, I hate Cat’s dress. I like the color on her but I hate everything else about it.

Kate: Really? I’m the opposite—I hate the color on her (yellow on blondes, not okay) but I love the style and think it would like superb on, say, me. Her hair and makeup look fab, no?

Erica: Her hair and makeup look fab.  But then, they always do.

Robert and Miranda

Erica: Miranda continues to be wearing an actual bra in her promo clip thing. Like, underwear-looking bra. Not sexy dance bra. Is it me or do they continue not to be together really? Individually they’re better than I thought they would be. Which is not saying much.

Kate: Although they gave hip-hop the old college try and were sharp as can be, AND it was a NappyTabs routine, I just did not feel it. And I don’t like how the judges always fawn over people going outside their genre. UM, that’s precisely what they’re SUPPOSED to do on this show, the point is if it’s any good or not. AWESOME makeup though!

Erica: I continue to heart Debbie Reynolds. And not just because she once was in close proximity to Gene Kelly.

Kate: I continue to not understand their selection of guest judges this year, but yea she’s a cutie.

Erica: What do you mean?  She’s Debbie Reynolds!  Gene Kelly picked her to be his dance partner for Singin’ in the Rain!  They really are never going to say anything bad about anybody, are they?

Kate: I’m tellin’ you, it’s the American Idol Season 10 J. Lo/Steven Tyler approach!

Jess and Clarice

Erica: I’m sorry, I know he’s a pill, but I kind of love Jess and his extreme geekery.

Zoe: I like her with the pink dress.

Kate: Thanks for chiming in on the commentary Z! I too love the dress, and that is perhaps the only thing I love about this routine. Yes Er I really like Jess too and he was pretty good in this, not as good as last week. Bottom 3 couples fo sho.

Erica: See, I think he’s maybe not as fluid as he could be here but he’s not bad. Right? He’s just young and has a kind of underdeveloped body. I mean, of the contemporary routines that happen on the show, that was not really impressive. But I can’t help it, I like the little nerd.

Tadd and Jordan

Erica: Hey, my dad’s girlfriend packs like Tadd! Except that she only ever packs black-and-white so it all goes together.

Kate: I’ve seen her wear color?

Erica:  At home.  But not on vacation.  You know…I want to dislike Jordan but she’s really good, isn’t she? Especially her extensions (yeah, watch me throw down the dance vocabulary). This routine to mevwas a little flail-y and not so romantic as the Viennese waltz canvsometimes be, and they looked goofy when doing the actual, like, waltz part.

Kate: Agreed, and I think that was his fumbly little fault. I can’t believe the judges praised him so much, did NO ONE see him falter in the first 5 seconds!? And why do you want to dislike her? I think she’s fab except for her hair; her legs are truly something else and she was excellent when she wasn’t partnering with him.

Erica: I don’t know.  Because she is either actually that dumb (which I doubt) or she’s playing that dumb because she thinks it makes her likeable or something.  And I don’t like that.  I had actually forgotten that Tadd was a b-boy. Good on him.

Kate: Ugh. Whatever.

Marco and Melanie

Erica: This is another pair I kind of love for their personalities. Or the personalities they’ve chosen to portray on camera.

Kate: They are without a doubt my favorite couple, that was SUCH a cool jazzy/club remix routine! They work perfectly together.

Erica: My love for these two dancers is only rivaled by my hatred for those costumes but good lord can they perform. That was so much fun! I totally agree with Mary Murphy here; they have “a voice”.

Kate: Oooh I just adore them.

Erica: “It’s a little early to talk about stars on this program”? Nigel, who are you kidding? You people start talking about stars during auditions.

Kate: Haha, good one.

Alexander and Sasha

Erica: Oh, thank God I didn’t miss these two. I loved that Sasha was totally blase about the sweating, and I totally believe that Alex likes to look at himself in the mirror. She’s just marvelous. Forget anything I said about liking any other girl. Except Melanie.

Kate: I totally see what you mean about Alex, and he probably needs to rely on his looks because Sasha is seriously out-shining him. If Marco and Melanie are my favorite couple, Sasha is my favorite individual. Man oh man she is perfection.

Erica: Oh, no. Topical. Sensitive. I hate when SYTYCD does that. See, the dance wasn’t too “sensitive” but then Mary Murphy has to cry and make it all about her. I hate it when they try to “touch” me.

Kate: I KNEW you’d say EXACTLY that! I too hate when they pull this sh!t, Nigel even said “It’s not worth commenting on the dancing” because of the “message”—HELLO, THIS IS A SHOW ABOUT DANCING! How could they NOT comment on that spectacular performance? First of all, that’s not the first time they did a coming-home-from-war routine; second of all, what a coincidence they did this the night Obama made that announcement. Okay I’m gonna stop there because hot damn I’m just in love with Sasha, AND NappyTabs!

Chris and Ashley


Kate: ER! LANGUAGE! YOU HAVE AN ALMOST-3-YEAR-OLD PRESENT! You missed a heck of a routine though, I’m starting to like him. They both did very well with the bars thing, although her costume was an odd choice, and I think they had good “sexual tension” overall.

Erica:  I HATE FOX.  I will have to catch this one when it finally goes up on Hulu.

Kate: So I predict Clarice and Jess will definitely be in the bottom 3 couples. Miranda and Robert will be as well assuming America agrees with me (which, you know, they should) and I’ll leave the third one to chance since I missed the first 3 couples.

Erica: And . . . none of that happened.  I have to say, as much as I love Jess, I was surprised not to see him and Clarice in the bottom. And I’m sad Iveta is gone.  On a positive note, I liked Cat’s results show outfit much better.

Kate: I guess I’m not surprised at who went home and I too am sad about Iveta, but somehow I think she’ll be all right in the dance world.

So You Think You Can Dance – Week One

Kate:  Allora. (That means “well” in Italian, sort of.) I am beginning a new co-blogging project with my one and only sister (the greatest sister in the world in my humble opinion), Erica. Together we will be commentating on a truly incredible television program, a gem in the reality competition show genre: So You Think You Can Dance.

Erica: I am, in fact, the greatest sister in the world!  You know how I know?  Because look what my big sistering produced!  Kate!

Kate: I just want to start off with a little disclaimer so that I do not get accused of not knowing what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks I’m talking about: We watch this show purely for entertainment and enjoyment purposes. My sister only danced for a few years when she was in elementary school because every girl had to back then (I have the embarrassing dance costume photos to prove it), and while I danced for much longer/was much better at it, I am in no way an expert or anywhere near the level of skill as the contestants on the now eighth season of the show. I have always been extraordinarily passionate about dance and have certainly wished I could dance like these fine folks, which is why I adore the show so much, but I am in no way claiming to know everything there is to know about dance. K? K.

Erica: I know less about dance than she does.  By a lot.  Here’s what I know. “Musicality.” “Performance.”  “Great legs.”  But here’s something I know that the judges on this show apparently don’t: that there are other words in the English language besides “beast.”

Kate: Hey, can we get a collective hallelujah that Mary Murphy is back, blonde and better than ever? Last season was painful with Mia Michaels‘ made-up words and philosophical analyses of the dances. LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE HOT TAMALE TRAIN!

Erica:  Oh, my goodness, and hell, yes.  I thought I wouldn’t miss her when she was gone, but I did.  And you know what I like about Mary?  Every once in a while, she tells me something I didn’t know about DANCING!

Kate: Also, wasn’t Alex from season 7 supposed to automatically be in season 8’s top 20?

Erica: I have no memory of this.  Which of course means nothing.

Kate: Okay, on to the dancing.

Erica: Wait, what about the important question?!

Kate: What?

Erica: How did you feel about Cat Deeley’s ensemble?

Kate: She looks like she lost weight, which she didn’t need to, and she sounded semi-drunk or high throughout the show given that she couldn’t form correct words or sentences.

Erica: Yeah, I don’t know what was up with that.  I liked her hair, though.  Nice I-had-sex-with-a-rock-musician-last-night look.

Now for the top 20 dancers!

Jordan and Tadd

Kate: I’m all for African jazz, specifically those costumes, and Jordan’s legs are a force to be reckoned with, but I did not feel the fire that Nigel, Mary and Megan clearly felt. Tad totally had a struggle moment when lifting Jordan on his thighs—no bueno—but it’s So You Think You Can Dance, of course it was at least sorta good.

Erica: I’m not really for African jazz, if only because it looks to my untrained eye like it’s just regular dancing in silly costumes that they can all say “You were so animalistic and in character” and no one suddenly looks up and goes, “That’s racist!”  Also, when Jordan said she thought African jazz was dancing in Afros and unitards?  No she didn’t.  And I was underwhelmed.  I saw what you meant about the lifts.  Awkward.

Sasha and Alexander

Kate: This. Is why. I watch. This show. This is also the kind of contemporary routine I would just die to do. Travis Wall‘s choreography is truly magnificent, some day I will dance with him, and Sasha is clearly the best female dancer in the bunch. Poor Alex had to hear that and worse from all three judges but, ya know what? Step it up.

Erica:  Seriously.  Many, many hearts.  Love Travis Wall.  Alex, I feel, thinks he’s very good-looking indeed.

Clarice and Jess

Kate: He is a brilliant Broadway dancer, but he needs to be careful about that. Those people usually have trouble transitioning into other styles. She was a little too in love with her own sex appeal for my taste.

Erica: I was distracted by her costume.  In that I hated it.  He looks like Broadway-style dancing is as easy for him as walking, and I kind of heart him, because he’s so nerdy and serious and I feel like I know him even though I obviously don’t.  But I always like the nerdy, serious guys and no one else does, so I’m prepared for disappointment.  I thought he did pretty well in the Sonya Tayeh choreography, so maybe he can transition.  (And by the way, I thought this whole time her name was Tyre and it was just Cat Deeley’s accent making it sound like “Tayeh” but it turns out I was wrong.)

Ryan and Ricky

Kate: She looked kind of like a spaz up there trying to do hiphop, but I definitely give her an A for effort. He, on the other hand, is the epitome of a hiphop dancer. I mean, wow.

Erica: I didn’t like the routine.  I thought they were both good in it.  But what happened to that one guy who used to do, like, actual hip-hop routines for this show?  You know, ones where you might need to act a little “street” to believably perform them?

Caitlyn and Robert (who was supposed to be Mitchell)

Kate: All is right with the world when Robert (from season 7) is onstage. I was pretty thrilled that Mitchell hurt is elbow—seriously, bro?—just so I could see him dance again, but he distracted me so much that I didn’t really notice Caitlyn. I’m sure she was great.

Erica:  It was such a Sonya Tayeh (not Tyre) routine.  Caitlyn (are they contractually obligated to have a Caitlyn in the top twenty every year or is that me?) is one of those girls I’m going to mix up with all the other girls until we’re down to the top ten, should she make it that far.

Miranda and Robert

Kate: Not really feeling it, and no it’s not just because they picked a song by the scum of the earth. They were barely even together throughout the entire routine. Cutie outfits, though.

Erica:  I was super-disappointed.  I love jives.  This was meh.  She really did look awkward bringing the sexy.  People!  You’ve tried out for SYTYCD!  What do the choreographers on SYTYCD love?  Storylines in which sexy, sexy hot mamas seduce hapless men.  Learn to be a sexy, sexy hot mama!  Even if you haven’t even graduated high school yet!

Who’s the scum of the earth?

Kate: Bruno Mars.

Erica: I should note that, not only do I not know anything about dancing, I know nothing about music, either.  If someone could tell me what a “chord” is, that’d be helpful.

Kate:  Read the article, or just Google his name plus “cocaine”.  Next!

Missy and Wadi

Kate: Well aren’t they just fabulous together? I smell a little showmance. Wait, he’s never partnered before!? Damn.

Erica:  Does Sean Cheesman have insanely otherworldly pecs or is it me?  They’re kind of scaring me.  He’s got, like, cleavage, in a crew-neck t-shirt.

What?  Dancing?  Sure.  It was good.  I’m not going to remember who she is, either.

Also, after watching Katee and Joshua (Joshua, right?  I should probably know; he won his season) dance like they either were having the best sex the world has ever known, or like, if they did have sex, it would be, I’m not going to be sold on another showmance so easily.

Although, a bunch of hot 18-25-year-olds (and one hot 30-year-old) dancing together and isolated from the rest of the world for a few weeks?  They’re probably having sex.

And that’s a lot to say about a routine I barely remember with two dancers I barely remember.

Melanie and Marko

Kate: Wheeeeeee – two Travis Wall routines! Excellent form, technique and control for both of them the entire time, and they had unbelievable chemistry. I think we’ve found my favorites of the season, certainly my favorite performance of the night. (And way to drop the E word already, Nigel!)

Erica:  I just heart Travis all the time.  I loved this routine.  And I love them.

Ashley and Chris

Kate: Chris isn’t bad (for a white boy) but please for the love of all things sacred let Ashley and Ricky be paired together at SOME POINT this season for a hip-hop routine. PLEASE. Can you believe a ballerina was capable of that much swag?

Erica:  She’s either going to go to the final four because she’s just so adorable, or she’s going to go home in, like, two weeks because everyone’s sick of her dimply cuteness. Probably the former.  In which case you’re pretty sure to get an Ashley-Ricky pairing. Chris is very small, isn’t he?  He’s going to have trouble with lifts in ballroom.  I didn’t really like the routine much.  It was sort of . . . cute without being particularly impressive.

Iveta and Nick

Kate: Hold the phone, where did this little ditty come from? She’s 30 and can still move like that!? (There’s hope for you yet, Er! Kidding, kidding.)

Erica: Ha!  I had no hope at sixteen of moving like that!

Kate: She’s probably thanking her lucky stars she got ballroom for the first week, even if it was the dreaded quick step, but I was overall not impressed. I am a bit disappointed that the first and last routines were not, you know, BOOM.

Erica: Oh, I really liked this routine.  I was disappointed by the jive because I normally love the jive and that one was just not good enough but this sort of filled that place in my heart.

Kate: So who went home? We predicted the Woo-man and his girl.

Erica: They sent home nobody.  Nobody?  What?  I can’t keep track of all of these brunettes. Hey, you know what I just noticed?  No tiny, cutesy blondes this year.  I mean, Ryan is blonde, but she’s not the tiny cute kind of blonde Nigel usually goes for.  Is something wrong, Nigel?  Are you having some . . . masculine issues?  Oh, boy.  Now that I’ve thought that, I can’t unthink that, and I need to go bathe in bleach.

Kate: TUNE IN NEXT FRIDAY FOR THE TOP 18! Wait, we mean top 20, again, because the judges decided to approach season 8 American Idol-style and tell everyone they’re great while providing the least amount of criticism possible and sending no one home. Ever. 🙂

Erica: If they criticized, they’d have to drop the meme that this is the Best. Season. Ever.  Again.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, etc.

I’ve decided to post about a lot of the parenting books I’ve read, and I thought I’d start with the classic, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.  For one thing, it’s the first book I got as an about-to-be parent – my mother-in-law gave it to me; it was her favorite when she was raising her kids.  It was also the first parenting book I read – when I was about ten or so.  My stepmom had it, I think for a child psychology class or something.  I picked it up and read through it, wondering the whole time, if she was reading this book, why she was not following any of its advice?  But that’s another post.  Which will never be written.

So one of the things that’s striking about the book is that it is a little dated.  Not in terms of its advice; that’s still solid.  But it came out in 1982; it’s clearly talking to parents of my parents’ generation, not of mine.  And there are expectations about the kinds of parenting the reader experienced that I would bet are not true of a significant portion of people in my generation.  Not that our parents didn’t make mistakes.  Our parents made plenty of mistakes.  I just think that a lot of them made different mistakes from their own parents, and so the mistakes this book is designed to correct are not necessarily the ones my generation has to guard the hardest against.  Like, not too many parents of my parents’ generation and socioeconomic group still thought spanking was cool.  And seriously, how many people born after 1950 actually call children “fresh” and then don’t immediately go, “Oh, my God, I sound like my mother”?

These authors, along with half of the authors I’ve read, reference Dr. Haim Gingott, who basically invented the concept of respecting your child’s emotions.  So I read his book somewhere along the way and learned that this book is essentially his book, with helpful cartoons.

And the cartoons are helpful!  I mean, sure, things work a lot cleaner and a lot faster in cartoons than they usually do in real life but it does give you a very real sense of what the principles look like in action.

Really, I don’t have major criticisms of this book.  It’s not my favorite, because it’s a lot of workshop-y stuff, with exercises for you to fill in and whatnot, and I prefer more analysis and stuff, but its advice is solid, its tone is relate-able, and the cartoons are kind of cute.  So, with that, on to the


– Don’t be an asshole to your own kid.  If you wouldn’t say it to a dear friend, don’t say it to your kid.  (Of course, it’s possible you’re an asshole to your friends.  So check that out first.)  Accept and respect his/her feelings, even if you can’t approve of his/her actions.

– Don’t punish.  But make the kid pay the consequences for his actions.  Like, don’t ground your kid for forgetting a homework assignment.  But make him/her take the bad grade and figure out what s/he can do to make up for it without your assistance.

– Less is frequently more.  There are a lot of techniques in here that are helpful but sound a little cheesy – like writing your kid silly notes to remind them about their chores, or giving them their wishes in fantasy (“I would love to get you that $90 piece of pink plastic crap!  If only I had all the money in the world, and a stomach lined with iron, I would buy it for you!  I would buy you a hundred billion pink plastic pieces of crap!”), but the authors also remind us that a simple “Chore!” or “No, sorry” will suffice.

Mommy Woes

I usually post very upbeat things about Zoe.  For the most part, this is because Zoe is fantastic and I love being her mom.  It’s also because I figure upbeat things are more entertaining to you people, and because upbeat things are the things I want to remember.

(Of course, it’s possible that posting on a blog for posterity’s sake is an exercise in futility, since the world is obviously going to end soon.  And I’m not talking about the October 21 biblical ending.  My current bet is on robot takeover in about 10 years.  They can parallel park our cars now, after all.  And I don’t think they’ll leave us alive, either.  They’re robots; they don’t have compassion.  And what on Earth do robots need human slaves for?  And even if the robot takeover doesn’t happen, something else is going to destroy civilization as we know it, probably soon, and then we won’t be able to access our blogs, anyway.  But I digress.)

But of course motherhood is not all fun and games, and this week I have been having a particularly hard time.  Mostly it’s that we haven’t had any playdates, so Zoe is bored out of her mind.  And what does she like to do when she’s bored?  Hit me.

Wednesday this nearly broke me.  I had to go to the grocery store, which meant I had to take her, which meant I had to convince her to get dressed, which was its own challenge, then she insisted on walking through the grocery store rather than in the cart, which actually meant she wanted to push the cart, which she’s too little to do effectively, so she was just ramming the cart into things, so I had to put a stop to that, which lead to much screaming.  (Note to people who do not have children: “Just tell your kid ‘no’ is not effective advice.  Telling your kid ‘no’ means also dealing with the screaming when you say ‘no’ and the figuring out how to stop both the screaming and the activity you didn’t want them doing.  This process can be messy and difficult.  And sometimes it means leaving the grocery story and having crackers or bad takeout for dinner.  Again.)  Then we got home and I had to put away the groceries.  She wanted to climb on the counter for this activity, which ordinarily, I allow, but with all the bags up there was making me too nervous.  So it went, put the bag of apples in the fridge.  Take Zoe down.  Put the pasta in the pantry.  Take Zoe down.  Put the milk in the fridge.  Take Zoe down.  Grab her arms to stop her from hitting me, crouch down and say, “You may NOT hit me!”  Get hit again.  Repeat.  Then I wanted to eat the sushi I got for myself for lunch at the supermarket.  (It was Fresh Market.  Their sushi is not bad.  Not creative, but fresh and big.)  She wanted to “help.”  On high-patience days, I let her, because it’s sort of amusing to watch her try to manage chopsticks.  But yesterday was not a high patience day.  So it went, “Get away from my sushi!”  “No!”  (Smack!)  “You may NOT hit me.”  (Smack!)

I made her sit in time-out.  I took away her figurines.  I sent her up to the library and closed the door.  My husband later pointed out that her toys are in the library so it’s not really a punishment.  I said, “I wasn’t trying to punish her!  I was trying to get her away from me!”  It was definitely not a good parenting day.

And when she’s not hitting me, she’s on top of me.  Crawling on my head, pulling on my arm,  tugging on my hair, sticking her hands down my shirt.  I know this is supposed to be the good part; I know one day in the not-so-distant future I’ll miss having a little girl who loves snuggling with me and thinks whatever I’m doing is the most awesome thing to be doing in the world.  But I’ve not had nearly enough sleep this week.  I’ve not had time to write.  I’ve gotten nothing done on my story and this is my half-baked excuse for a blog post.  My back hurts and I did something fucked up to my foot so I couldn’t walk in the Gardens yesterday which was her last day of preschool so now I won’t be able to do that for two weeks.  I’m just cranky.  And it’s important to remember the bad with the good, right?