Goodbye, October

Still alive over here, but barely treading water. Hope to dedicate some time to writing in the near future, but my reality right now is exactly this:

*I have no idea of the origins of this image, as it came via a forwarded email with no attribution so I can’t take the credit. But I sure as hell think whoever she/he was, they had me in mind.


Slacker Parents

So I’ve been intermittently working on a few post-drafts lately but the majority of my bloggy time allotment has gone toward slowly working on the site revamp. It’s sad but true that if I treated this venue more seriously and really put some effort into it, the overall web design would be much snappier. But as I treat this as something akin to self-therapy / entertainment, I’m afraid that if it becomes too much like work, it’ll kill my desire to even bother. This is, incidentally, one of the reasons why I never proof, and rarely edit/correct actual posts either. I really want to focus on that stream of consciousness for the most part, and let it exist in its natural state. This often results in less than perfect style and form. But hell, I’m good with that.

WELL, that was a really long explanation (excuse?) for my anemic writing efforts lately. I REALLY do have to get cracking on that kindergarten post, or before we know it, she’ll be off to college! Oh well. On to the good stuff!

So over the last few months, the little genius has naturally undergone a bit of a circadian rhythm shift…fortunately for us this has been fairly concordant with the onslaught of a very demanding school schedule. It has, however, altered our family weekend rhythm a bit, because she has been getting up earlier than her poor tired parents typically do. I needsssss my weekend R&R, people!

Fortunately, we gradually devised a natural solution to the issue by embracing our slacker parenting skillz, and empowering the little genius to self-serve her early morning needs while we continue peacefully snoozing. She was already good on getting herself dressed (check), and recently learned how to master the DVR system to load up her fave recordings if desired (check), often prefers to play with her downstairs toys in the morning anyway (check), and she loves to periodically graze rather than eat specifically scheduled meals (double-check!). So all that was really necessary to put these components together was to gently urge her to go free-range in the mornings and ensure that she could access appropriate (and at least semi-healthy) snacks and beverages. Voila!!!

So far, this has worked out pretty damn well, if I do say so myself. Often she will let us sleep an extra 60-90 minutes, and I have completely refused to allow even a smidge of guilt to disturb my conscience, because I have been hard selling myself on the idea that we are “encouraging a healthy level of independence”. Muahahahaha, who’s the evil genius NOW?!

However, we have run into a few small pitfalls that required adjustment. Such as the morning when she felt it appropriate to snack on about half a jar of peanut butter, spoonful by spoonful. Apparently generalizing portion size for most types of foods did not click in her brain when it came to jar and spoon. Go figure. And then one morning she was breakfasting on grapes, and felt compelled to come in our bedroom and give me a play-by-play on every grape (look Mom, a TEENY TINY one!)

So, all of that background to give context for today’s experience: K got up as normal and went off to do her thing. About an hour and a half later, she came in to talk to me just as I was getting up, and so I gave her a hug and asked her if she had already eaten anything for breakfast. She responded “oh yes Mom, I had a slice of cold pizza.”

It took a few seconds for my barely awake brain to let THAT sink in…my first thought being something like, “oh god, she’s already turning into a college student!”. All I could think to reply at that moment was a shocked, “you ate cold pizza for breakfast?”

To which she elaborated, “well, yes, I got the pizza slice out of the fridge and I ate MOST of it, but not the crust part. I went back to the fridge to put it back in the box but it was too hard to get in there so I decided to throw the crust away in the trash. Is that OK?”

If I hadn’t still been mentally asleep at that point, I might have laughed hysterically at her explanation, but as it was, I was still more dumbfounded than anything else.

Well, ultimately I guess this is proof that she really IS taking that independence thing to heart, because this is the kid who wouldn’t even skip wearing socks to bed without asking for ‘permission’ first! And lest anyone wonder, I solemnly swear we are not uptight control freaks….the kid has always been extraordinarily attuned to routines, norms, rules and very precisely observes such behavior systems. She has an incredibly analytical mind for such things and any deviation will prompt countless questions until her need to understand is satisfied.

But apparently, eating cold pizza for breakfast was just the thing to inspire her burgeoning independence!

I’m not sure if this should make me proud, or horrified. 😀

Tired of Seeing Jul 7

Just stopping by to assure the breathlessly waiting public that I am, in fact, still alive. A combination of computer ennui, fall-semester-insanity and related follies have kept me from substantive posting. But hey, I got the site redesign started so…hey…that’s something, right? RIGHT?

So, how about a 1 minute family update to keep us all engaged? Ready, set, GO:

Little genius started kindergarten on August 1st. After some heinous mental/emotional breakdowns (on my part), her launch seems to be fairly successful so far. And wouldn’t you know it, the hippie school called YESTERDAY to offer us a spot. Sigh.

My brains are burnt out on work craziness, summer hell temperatures, and the hunt for some sidebar contract work to supplement our income. Right now, I live for the occasional Antiques Roadshow episode and/or even rarer late afternoon nap.

FF is suffering through a bout of bronchitis, courtesy of the little genius bringing home a cold bug from school within the first 2 weeks of the semester. Awesome.

Well, that’s about it for the 1 minute update. MORE SOON!

The Difference Between a Villain and a Super-Villain

As explained by the awesomely clever Megamind:

So apparently no good deed goes unpunished, because as you will shortly see, despite the best of intentions I (inadvertently) discovered my inner super-villain.

Cue the other night, at that magical time known as “impending bedtime for all cranky little geniuses”, whereupon I informed my dear child that it was time to get in the bath. However, at that particular moment, her father was still occupying the master bathroom, which is usually where the little genius takes her bath because the tub is larger and deeper than hers. At that point, frazzled after a long day of pretending to be a beaver mother/gaseous horse/lonely rooster/hungry penguin, I suggested she go ahead and use the smaller tub in the hopes that we could MOVE ALONG WITH BEDTIME ALREADY.

Fortunately, she was amenable and got settled in her bath, whereupon she rediscovered a long-neglected basket of bath toys, including a handful of soft plastic foam alphabet letters and numbers which stick to wet tub walls. Being an avid pre-reading little genius, she of course wanted to Build! Some! Words!  I figured the appropriate parental response would be to nurture and encourage each baby step of her literary infancy, so I improvised a game around creating rhyming words by substituting consonants around a central vowel.

However, I quickly realized a flaw in my plan…namely: many of the alphabet letters had been lost over time and we were depressingly short on vowels. So I told her that I had a solution to the problem, and went out to retrieve my handy scissors. Upon returning, I tried to ham it up by telling her that I was Dr. Vowel, and that I had come to solve her vowel problems! She saw the scissors and began whimpering a little (that’s my nervous kid!) but I theatrically told her to relax! and trust Dr. Vowel!  I then grabbed one of the extraneous foam numerals, #7 to be exact, and carefully converted it to an “i”.  She looked up at me with her huge tremulous blue eyes, and then crumpled into a heap of wailing, heartbroken humanity.

“Mom! (sob) you RUINED my (sob) number 7! You shouldn’t have done (sob) that!” She was still sad, even after I demonstrated the “L”‘s amazing ability to go topsy-turvy and stand in for the dearly departed #7.

Talk about self-induced guilt.

And of course, she nailed the coffin shut when getting ready for bed and solemnly asked me “Mom, do you think maybe tomorrow we could go to the store and buy me a new number 7?”

Since relating this sad story to Uncle Bubba, he has taken to calling me Dr. Vowel  with an evil lilt to it. Thanks bro.

Literary Debut

As we wrack our brains here in the Clueless household to come up with interesting summer projects to keep the little genius busy, I have to admit that “writing a book” was entirely her idea. I think it is a pleasant, avant garde, impressionistic first offering that surely heralds a stellar future literary career.




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