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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

2005-07-12 ... 2:22 p.m.

If I weren't so certain that the food options would make me cry, I would be considering moving to Sweden (aka Subsidized Daycare FantasyLand) right now. Between preschool and the temporary nanny, I have Nora safe and occupied for the rest of the summer. Beyond that, who the fuck knows. I am having a hell of a time figuring out what to do for the school year---Craigslist seems to be full of mouth-breathers who say things like "I would love to watch you're chilldren! Im truley a kid at heart myself!" (Actually, I was looking for a childcare provider who was truly an adult at heart. But thanks anyway.) I am contemplating signing up with a "real" nanny agency, although it's really a kick in the wallet to read that they want ten or twelve percent of her first-year salary as a fee up front. LT schmoozed with the admissions director and got Nora on the waiting list for the all-day version of the Montessori preschool, and we are first in line, but that still means someone currently in the class has to move or have a parent suddenly seized by the stay-at-home urge or be kicked out for bad behavior. I will gladly light a candle every day at the Chapel of Whichever Saint Intercedes In Preschool Placements and hope for the best, but such wishful-thinking voodoo does not seem like the most responsible childcare plan.

Here's the part where I whine like a spoiled baby with serious entitlement issues: This finding-good-childcare thing is really hard. And really expensive. If it's hard for me and LT, who are Internet-connected and savvy about hunting down referrals, conducting background checks, and evaluating our options, I can't imagine what it is like for people without the time or resources. If it's expensive for a one-child, two-parent family where both adults make a decent salary, I can't imagine what it is like for families with more children and less income. After these last few weeks of stressing about it I am ready to either make a hefty donation to a daycare advocacy group or start calling senator's offices myself, so if you know of any particular causes I should support, send me an email. Or if you just want to join me for a beer and bitch about the situation, send me an email as well. The personal is the political is drunk angry women sketching plans for the revolution on cocktail napkins.


Yesterday at Milwaukee/North I saw a pointy-shoed, distressed-jeaned, thrift-store-shirted girl with a very fancy haircut who was carrying a large picnic basket as a purse. It was definitely being used as a purse and not as a picnic basket, as I saw her pull many personal items (cell phone, hairbrush) out of it. And later, on the El, another girl seemed to be carrying a bunch of makeup and other crap in a pillowcase (fashion-forward or just recently evicted?) Is there a trend now for hipsters to repurpose odd containers as purses? How about an upside-down boxing glove for an evening out---just big enough for lipstick and ID! Or an empty Pringles can---if you add your keys it can be both purse AND maraca for those impromptu samba moments. So convenient!


You may remember the "Hello, I am a nose" routine. Well, everything is now a puppet. EVERYTHING. Nora's puppet-love has gone way beyond her small collection of finger and hand puppets, and now it is not at all unusual for her to pick up a rock, introduce it in a funny voice ("Hello, I am a rock"), and then badger me into picking up another rock ("Hello, I am another rock") and acting out some awkward, inane dialogue. (Truly, there is not much to say when you're a rock. Although I did teach Nora to exclaim, "I'm igneous!") It becomes tiresome after a while, but for the most part I am totally down with Nora's lively world of talking inanimate objects.

SCENE: Nora is eating peanut butter from a bowl, fingerscoop by fingerscoop, which grosses me out but it has been a "choose your battles" kind of day. Suddenly she raises one finger-glob of peanut butter into the air and says, "Hello, I am peanut butter!"

"Hello, peanut butter!" I reply. "How's life treating you?"
"Fine," says the peanut butter.

We attempt some more small talk, me and the peanut butter glob---Nora has him (?) say, "I came from a bowl" and "I am sticky and good for your body," both of which phrases I mentally resolve to try and use the very next time some drunk idiot chats me up in a bar. Then Nora suddenly puts the glob in her mouth, pulls her finger out, and yells in the peanut-butter voice, "Ahhhh! Where is me?"

That, my friends, is Dadaist puppet theater at its best---when the puppeteer suddenly chows down on the star of the show. The end! Curtain! House lights up! Thank you for coming!

---mimi smartypants is one of the most abundant minerals in the earth's crust.


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