The Texture Of Things

Star Power

November 28th, 2007

I’m a star and stuff.

I Asked Moxie a question and she used it in her column. It’s about vomit, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.



November 19th, 2007

The tot has recently started saying “amn’t,” as in “No, I amn’t.”

And I like the sound of it so much I think about using it myself.

Too much Blue’s Clues in this house, methinks

November 12th, 2007

“The daddy bee is up and the baby bee is down. Which one is taller?”


“Right! The daddy bee!”

[pause while bees are adjusted]

“The daddy bee is big and the baby bee is small. Which one is smaller?”


“Right! That one!*”

[pause while bees’ positions are swapped]

“Which one?”


“That one!* Yay!”

*Why can’t the kids who shout out the answers on Blue’s Clues be more specific than “That one” or “Right there”? Srsly.

P.S. This kind of chatter goes on all day long, but the up side is that she’s mostly content if I respond to her only 10-35% of the time. That will change, I’m sure.

Veteran’s Day

November 11th, 2007

I’m not going to tell you to go hug a vet today, because I think most veterans would be creeped out by strangers coming up and touching them, unsolicited. But I will say this:

Whatever your opinion on current events and politics, the men and women who serve our country in the military do the hardest thing anyone could be asked to do. Their reasons for volunteering are as many and as varied as there are people in the service. My brother joined the Navy because he had failed out of school too many times and there was no more money to try college again. In the Navy, he could get some education and earn GI Bill money. He could straighten himself out and maybe get out of our impossibly small town. He joined because he wanted to set a good example for me, eight years younger. He told me he didn’t want me to screw up in school like he had. He wanted to earn money to help our mom with bills, to help her save money for my schooling, to help her keep her head above water so she wouldn’t feel like she needed to get married again just to make ends meet. He did it for us.

And it worked, but not how he meant it to. After the training accident that killed him, his life insurance money paid for my undergraduate degree. With that degree, I’ve been able to make a life, a pretty darn good one, without having to join up myself.

So when we civilians are blabbing back and forth from the safety of our local coffee shop about what we think our government should do, we would do well to remember what those service-men and -women voluntarily gave up, namely the right to say, “No, boss, I’m not doing that because it’s dangerous and I disagree with it.”

We might also do well to remember those whose service was compelled and be grateful that the draft is no longer active, in part because there are enough volunteers, whatever their reasons for signing up.

Hurry! It won’t last!

November 8th, 2007

Or maybe it will. It’s Michigan, so it’s hard to tell how long any weather pattern will last.

But for right now! It’s SNOWING! W00t!

You know, for me, this means looking outside and shivering to myself while daydreaming about football and cocoa (or beer). Today, in a completely uncharacteristic impulse, it means the tot wants to go outside and “touch the snow”. This is a change of tune from previous winters, so although I am loathe to leave my pajamas until I have to teach tonight, I will indeed take her out so she can chase snowflakes. Because I’m awesome like that.

Oh. Update. The tot just announced that she’s sad. The snow is so small. (It’s only light flurries.) “We gotta make it bigger!” she is shouting.

That’s sweet. She has no memory of last winter or of how snow often threatens but doesn’t always stick. It’s brand new for her again, and I’m a little surprised at myself for not anticipating that. Boy, every day is an adventure around here.

Conversation in a Bathtub,
Tuesday Morning

November 6th, 2007

“Telly! Telly! It’s me, Ernie. Are you ready for some football?”

“No. I’m swimming right now.”

“Oh. Okay. Tell me when you’re ready for some football.”

I just love football season.

These are the days**

November 1st, 2007

when I breathe relief, these are the days that I never thought I’d see.

A year ago, I bought a small red knee pad for gardening. It is decorated with a yellow duck in a silly hat. I bought that pad for the tot, yet it never left the plastic bag it came in. All summer long, all fall, all winter, the duck stared at me through clear plastic and I wondered if maybe I bought it just to torture myself. “Here is one more thing,” it taunted,” that your daughter will never want a part of. Park me with the pint-sized garden gloves and the Backyardigans trowel and regret the cash you spent on me. Silly amy! Thinking she’d ever see her daughter get dirty – ha!”

But she does get dirty now. Tonight I had to wipe her down with a wet washcloth to get her reasonably clean enough for bed.* And all the dirt on her body and clothes was put there by her. Voluntarily. Without asking first if she could play in the front garden. She just dug in and started flinging dirt everywhere, wiping soil across her shirt and shorts without a care.

*Oh crap. I forgot to wash her face. It was filthy when we came in – did it get clean, I hope, when she brushed her teeth?

**I found this in my drafts folder, written on 7/11/7. I decided to leave it as it was.

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