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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2007-03-20 ... 8:53 p.m.


Everything I do as a parent is improv and half-assed and accidental, and I would like to type something here like "and yet it all works out" but I guess time will have to be the judge of that. Here's hoping, either despite or because of my mothering, that Nora (a) stays off the pole, (b) does not turn out to be a self-important little shit (however, a S.-I.L.S. Free Pass is given for the ages of 15 through 23, inclusive), and (c) figures out which people and what work make her happy and obtains a hefty dose of both.

So I don't have a "philosophy" about my mommy thing, but I do have plenty of hacks. I realized the other day that my number-one hack, the only thing that works every time (just like Colt 45!) is Making It Talk. Seriously, all I have to do to get Nora to calm down, chill out, stay on task, pay attention to me, or get shit done is make it talk. Doing a crazy dance instead of stepping into the underwear? The underwear says, "Hey, over here! I need to be on your butt!" Dinner not going in mouth? Sometimes it screams, "Don't eat me!" (Nora delights in ignoring the piteous screams of doomed vegetables.) Our shoes want to be worn, the hairdryer asks to be turned on, my two fingers walk around and discuss current events. We act out the days' schedule with pieces of cereal---Mommy and Daddy Wheat Chex head off to work, Nora Wheat Chex to school (look at all the peer-group Wheat Chexes saying hello!), here comes the babysitter Wheat Chex picking you up and making your lunch, etc. It never ceases to amaze me how Nora will instantly focus on and interact with the inanimate talking object, and how quickly she will respond to its exhortations.

Make It Talk. Also known as Puppets Are Fucking Magic. There you go, a free kid-wrangling tip for the day. Hopefully it will work for your similarly-aged sprog. If not, don't tell me, because my hamster-brain can very quickly turn an observation like "hmm, my child has a larger-than-normal tolerance for fantastical talking objects" into OH GOD SHE'LL BE TWENTY-SIX AND GREETING HER OFFICE SUPPLIES EACH MORNING. (Although, if she made up a backstory for each item and drew a little mini-comic about it, maybe it would be okay in that case? Yes. Yes it would. Oh my priorities are so warped.)

Also, if I ever wrote a parenting book,* my "discipline" or "gentle guidance" or whatever-you-want-to-name-it chapter would have a section called "Stop Asking: How To Learn To Quit Saying 'Okay?' At The End Of Directives To Your Kid" (man, that one took me forever), and "Waiting For The Bus: I'm Not Mad, I'm Not Nagging, But Nothing Else Happens Until This Happens, Missy, So Get It Done And Let's Move On."

(*For instance, if I were kidnapped at gunpoint and handcuffed to a laptop, with daily beatings until I produced such a tome. Because god forbid. If there is anything the printed-matter universe does NOT need, it is more parenting books.)


When Nora was sick and doing a lot of lying on the couch and getting her temperature taken, we watched some movies. One of the movies we watched was a borrowed VHS (how quaint!) copy of Mulan. Predictably, I had some issues.

1. It is a little amazing to me that this is rated G, given that it deals with armies and war. The violence is mostly implied; some of the bad guys get killed by an avalanche (caused by Mulan, yes, but still conveniently mitigating the moral responsibility factor), a village is destroyed but it is not like there are animated corpses lying around or anything, and Mulan gets all cinematically and non-seriously wounded in true action-hero fashion. Still, can (and should) war ever get a G rating? Hmm.

2. Nora LOVES Mulan. Nora says that she IS Mulan, because "I'm tough, I'm strong, and I'm Chinese." Okay. The "tough, strong" thing is good. The "Chinese" thing is a little more complicated---Mulan is not some dreadful Disney minstrel show, but it's definitely portraying a kitschy, simplified China and it is kind of painful to see how Mulan's non-accent and fairly bland features are contrasted with the slithering, barely-human look of the Mongols. So on the one hand, it's awesome to have a Chinese heroine, and it's pretty awesome for a kids' movie to be based, however loosely, on a non-Western legend. On the other, I am glad that Disney is not our only choice for images of Asian women---the most readily accessible pop-culture choice for a four-year-old, perhaps, but not the only choice.

3. One of our (many) conversations about Mulan since then:

Nora: Mulan saved the city.
Me: She sure did.
Nora: She saved all of China!
Me: Yup!
Nora: She saved the whole EARTH!
Me: Well, come on now...

I guess that depends on how seriously you took the Mongol threat. For the Chinese, a civilized society who considered themselves to be the center of the universe and who were being invaded by people they considered barbarians, defeating the Huns at the border probably counts as "saving the earth." Or else this is just a case of Nora trying to sneak her superhero-centric worldview into every topic.


My skin is all crazy lately. It is dry and yet I keep getting zits on my chin. It is flaky and weird and the left side itches for no reason. My sister-in-law, connoisseur of all things girly, has suggested that I make an appointment for a facial. While she is probably right, my porn-tastic mind is going to make it difficult for me to call up a total stranger and ask for a facial. Hi, I'd like to get a facial. Sure, let me see...looks like we have a 3:15 on Thursday, will that work? Can I get your name? WetHornySlut4U? Can you spell that? Okay WetHornySlut4U, we have you down for a facial at 3:15 on Thursday. Wait, it looks like CumDumpster has canceled, would you like to drop by at noon tomorrow instead?

I spent part of my lunch hour today investigating Chicago facials. (Careful searching is key! "Moderate SafeSearch on"!) I could get an "herbal facial," delivered by a hippie or a really stoned dude. The "aromatherapy facial," which presumably smells different than old crusty gym socks. The "ocean facial," from Neptune himself! (Or they could call it the "Aphrodite" and say that it includes "special ingredients from Uranus," ha ha ha mythological genitalia joke.) Oh help me internet, it is vital that I stop thinking this way. I will probably work up the nerve to book the appointment and then lie there thinking what are you smearing on me and not be able to relax. I will probably break out even more from the stress. All I want is for someone to invent a time machine. I will not change history, I will just travel back to a time when I did not know the porno meaning of "facial" and go from there.

---mimi smartypants is a bred-in-the-bone, dyed-in-the-wool, ninety-nine three-quarters percent jelly-bean.


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