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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

2007-12-03 ... 10:25 a.m.

I did not die of sweet potato poisoning, there just has not been a ton of typing mojo since Thanksgiving. Work is crazy and I have come down with a cold that has me coughing like Keats in Italy. But I am recovering, slowly, and today I pulled up the bits-'n-pieces/fleeting thoughts/not-enough-for-an-entry file (CRACKERCRUMBS.DOC) and decided to see if I could make something of it. Probably not! But that won't stop me!


For the last few weeks, Nora has been going through these "spells" of being a total power-struggle pill. Where did this voice come from? This---and I hate to sound like a sitcom mom but there is no other word for it---this attitude? This stomp stomp? These long dragged-out syllables of "I knoooooowwwww" after reminders of something that needs doing, and the holes in my tongue from not saying WELL IF YOU KNOW THEN WHY AREN'T YOU DOING IT?

Little Zen Master In My Head [whispering]: don't engage, don't engage, don't engage.
Me [whining]: I knoooowwww. It's just haaaaard. The child is insaaaane.
LZMIMH [not so Zen anymore]: Don't you take that tone with me.

What gets me through: Nora being awesome. Ready for the brag brag? Here are some words Nora has busted out in the past few weeks, the same weeks about which I just finished complaining:


She is also really starting to read, although she would rather write (we have multiple scraps of paper and open Word files that say things like "totoro totoro Nora mommy dad totoro superman") and this makes story time interesting. She is very sophisticated in terms of literature, but of course not so much in terms of solo reading. So sometimes she is in a kick-back-and-listen mode and it is all Roald Dahl or Ralph S. Mouse, and then suddenly it is time for I WILL DO IT MYSELF and we peck our way through Hop on Pop. We also have this execrable Richard Scarry "easy reader" which, besides freaking me out in the standard Scarry fashion with its Tyrolean-attired animals and relentless focus on commerce, actually contains the easy-reading sentences, "Time to wake! Time to bake!" Sure, the accompanying picture is mice and pigs whipping up batches of dough, and not Huckle Cat pulling on a three-foot bong, but you know some children's-book copy editor enjoyed the hell out of that one.

The other thing that gets me through our semi-monthly airing of the program WTF, Four-Year-Old? is the snuggling. I carry Nora around the house far more than I should for the classic drippy sentimental reason---that my baby is growing up and I won't be able to do that much longer. Little kids are so mercurial that we can have Tense Words about her Tone Of Voice one minute and then be snuggled up on the couch the next, and the snuggling goes a long long way toward helping me get over the attitude thing. I don't know what I will do when she turns into a pre-teen power-struggle pill and won't let me touch her besides. Learn new coping strategies, I guess.


Nora has confessed that the mystery piece of plastic in her ear, which required medical extraction back in September, was actually a bit of the chewed-off feet from a Spider-Man action figure. She produced the amputee Spidey to corroborate her story, so that is the end of that.


After she asked and asked and asked and I stalled and stalled and stalled, I decided to let Nora start Suzuki violin. NEWSFLASH ASIAN GIRL PLAYS VIOLIN FILM AT 11.

Okay, she is too little to know about stereotypes and I won't make decisions based on them. It is just that I know all too well what it's like to start violin that young, and it was great for me in some ways and not-so-great in others. But we will give it a shot. Good lord, the 1/16th size violin is ridiculous! I keep looking at it and snickering.


1. Best thing I have ever said to myself in the mirror: I have to get rid of these nipples before my interview shows up! Because would-be job candidates don't need to know how cold my office or how inadequate my bra.

2. I was at the dentist last week and my dentist and hygienist had a fight right in front of me! Hygienist was giving me some blah blah lecture about my RECEDING GUMS, and I was resisting the urge to tell her to shut up because the whole topic is just disgusting, and in a better world dental cleaning would be done in complete silence. Honestly, has any adult ever been genuinely moved by admonishments on flossing? No. Anyway, she was really getting into it, telling me that my gums were so drastically RECEDED that I might need a TISSUE GRAFT, and now I am just about ready to vomit and/or run away. Then she says she will consult with the dentist about this tissue-graft affair.

Dentist [looking at my x-rays]: What the hell are you talking about? These look fine.
Hygienist: No, see, here and here...
Dentist [interrupting]: Nope. Fine.
Hygienist: I was thinking that a tissue graft...
Dentist: That procedure doesn't work anyway. [to me] See you in six months!

Although it was awkward, and although he certainly could have been nicer to her, I was totally on the dentist's side because who wants a tissue graft?

3. LT has a habit of reporting graffiti to Chicago's non-emergency line. I agree that graffiti sucks, but I have been known to make fun of his get-off-my-lawn/I-am-a-PROPERTY-OWNER old-man schtick. But then I totally went and one-upped him by reporting graffiti in real time! My bus was stopped at a red light over by a crappy high school, and out the window I noticed a gaggle of young men standing on the corner. One of them had a Sharpie and was putting the finishing touches on an upside-down crown (heavens! disrespecting the crown!) plus Gangster Disciple pitchforks and other assorted runic gobbledygook. It kind of pissed me off that this was all being tagged on an apartment building---bad enough on commercial property, but jeez, it has to really suck on your home. So I took out the cell and called it in, giving all the standard info, and then:

Me: By the way, the kid is actually in the process of tagging it. Like, right now. I'm watching him out the window.
Dispatcher: No shit?
Me [a little weirded out from a city employee's "no shit"]: Uh, yeah. It's taking him forever. I guess he's not a very good artist.
Dispatcher: Interesting. I think I'll log the graffiti like normal AND send a squad car. This is going to be fun!

The bus soon moved on so I have no idea what happened next. A small part of me felt bad about the probable hassle of the misguided teenagers, but a bigger part did not feel bad at all. I mean, you can't disrespect the crown like that.

---mimi smartypants is a pillar of the community.


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