Monday, October 30, 2006


I just want to say that I've earned some kind of Mom Merit Badge today for patience. How, you ask? Here's the scene: we're home after her Halloween party at school. She's been eating a LOT of sugar and having a lot of fun, so she's tired and a little wound up but not yet cranky. I can see that I have a window. We watch a few cartoons, then read a book and go upstairs for Quiet Time. We sit on her bed and I read her two more books, per the ritual, then...

Pissed-Off Mom: Ok, honey, I'm going to my room to lie down.
SweetBabyGirl: I go with you.
POM: No, you stay here and rest for a while, then I'll come get you.
SBG: [tears gathering] NO! I DON'T WANNA! I want to watch Clifford...
POM: You can watch Clifford after Quiet Time.
SBG: [suspiciously] After Quiet Time?
POM: Yes! If you let me go lie down without a lot of fuss, we'll watch Clifford.
[POM heads for the door, SBG follows]
POM: [puzzled] Ok, you stay here and rest.
SBG: I watch Clifford.
POM: After Quiet Time.
SBG: [nodding] I watch Clifford now. With Mommy.
POM: After Quiet Time.
SBG: [upset] Stay with me!
POM: No, sweetie, I'm going to go lie down.
SBG: Stay with me.
POM: I'm going to rest. You stay here. Then we'll watch Clifford. Ok?
SBG: Ok. I go with you. Watch Clifford.

Seriously, it was just like the scene in Holy Grail when the Tracts-Of-Land guy is trying to get the guards to stay and guard the prince and they keep misunderstanding him.

We got it straightened out eventually, and then, on the baby monitor, I got to hear this:

SBG: [chanting] I do it. I do it. I do IT. I do IT. IdoIT. I do IT. I DO it. I DO it. I DOit.
Clifford. Clifford a dog. Clifford. Watch Clifford. Cliiiiiford.
La lalalalala. LA! LA! LA! Lalalalalala. Blah blah blah. MommyandDaddy. Moooomy and Daaaady.

Eventually, there was quiet. Hooray!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Weird Watch

Here in Austin, there's a bumper sticker and all-around motto: Keep Austin Weird. Personally, I'm not fond of the slogan because it's not really weird if you have to try, it's just fake-weird. I was very pleased to spot a bumper sticker that said "Being Weird Is Not Enough," which captures my sense that it takes more than eccentricity to make a city liveable.

Nevertheless, I'm proud that this city of mine is deeply weird and I plan to occasionally salute the weirdness here in this little forum.

Last week's Weird Watch Spotting:
Scene: Bus stop on S. Lamar Blvd.
Me: Driving by.
The Weird: A thirtyish black dude, looks like Yaphet Kotto's younger brother. Wearing ordinary clothes: jacket, pants, button-front shirt. And an auburn pageboy wig, slightly longer than shoulder-length. No makeup or anything else remotely tranny, just the wig. And he's glaring, too, in a classic what-you-lookin-at way.

And how do I know it's a wig? Because it's really really fake-looking, plus it's too small for his head.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Scenes From Life With Two-Year-Old

Scene 1

POM: Hey, honey, hold that cup of granola upright, please...
[Sweet Baby Girl spills some granola]
POM: Oops. Can you pick that up, please?
[SBG looks at granola, looks at mom, looks back at granola and dumps it on the couch]
POM: Ok, we're gonna have to pick that up NOW.
SBG: No!!! I don't wanna!! [Sweeps spilled granola onto floor, under sofa cushions]
POM: Fine, then, no more cartoons.... [Turns off TV, commences granola clean-up]

Scene 2

POM: In five minutes we're going to go upstairs for quiet time. Ok, honey?
SBG: Ok.
[Five minutes pass, we play pleasantly]
POM: Five minutes are up, time to go upstairs.
SBG: I don't wanna! No!
POM: Yes, sweetie, let's get your blue pillow.
SBG: NO! I wanna watch cartoons!
POM: No, it's time to go upstairs...
SBG: [thinks a moment, screws up face to cry...]
POM: If you don't cry, we can watch cartoons AFTER quiet time.
[SBG considers this]
SBG: [slowly] I don't wanna.
POM: I know you don't, honey, but let's get your blue pillow and we'll-
[and so on...]

Scene 3, in a restaurant, at a table
SBG: I don't wanna sit there, I wanna sit with Mommy!
[POM directs pleading look at Daddy]
Daddy: Hey, sit with me, I haven't seen you all day.
SBG: No! I wanna sit with Mommy!
POM: You can sit with me until the food comes, then you have to sit at your own place.
[SBG climbs into lap, grabs fork, waves it around in the vicinity of Mom's eyes]
POM: No, honey, give me that.
[SBG sulks, brightens up when waitress arrives]
Daddy: I'll have beer
POM: Me, too
SBG: I want beer!
Waitress [smiling]: She's so cute.
[POM, Daddy smile wanly]