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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

2006-12-27 ... 1:02 p.m.

There is only one real-life person who occasionally attempts to deliver a Mommy Smackdown to me, and I try to be extra-careful not to go to the mattresses with anyone when it comes to parenting issues. Well, I do have good friends to whom I have said something like, "Um, wow, how's that working?" Or, depending on the beer level, perhaps a gentle, "You are totally fucking insane, but whatever works for you."

However, this particular person is a wackjob. She constantly asks me these pointed questions about Nora's "development"---can she cut with scissors? Can she write her name? (Yes and yes, and she can also cogently explain to you her theory that Spiderman poops out of his wrists, but nobody thinks to ask about that on the kindergarten assessment tests.) What do we do about angry outbursts? (Nothing much.) What are our childcare arrangements?

I understand being nosy, because I am incredibly nosy myself. I can even understand being nervous about "am I doing this right," but at some point, preferably before your child is Nora’s/Wackjob Offspring's age, you need to chill because you are probably making yourself and everyone around you sick. What I hate is Wackjob's frantic mental comparison of her child with mine, and her veiled judgment disguised as chat. Witness the other day, when she asked me how many hours a week Nora spends with her nanny.

Me: There's school every day now, so the nanny works 25 hours a week or so. School pickup is at 11:30 and I usually get home around 4 pm.
Wackjob: Oh! Only 25 hours a week! That's GREAT.
Me [in my head]: Thanks, I'm glad you approve. By the way, more hours would be fine too. As would fewer. As would daycare. Or in-home care. As would you just shutting up because I don't need your fake "praise."

I guess I am feeling defensive. I've got the Christmas Cranky.


1. Whoa, what's that? There is a tiny llama in my underwear drawer.
2. No, that's ridiculous. It is just a pair of underwear kind of twisted up so that it looks (very, very vaguely) like a llama.
3. Who did that? Who, in the manner of a clown making balloon animals or an old-skool restaurant making a foil swan out of your leftovers, made a llama out of my underpants?
4. No one. A simple laundry accident. I am insane.
5. However, THAT would be some awesome origami. If I had a talent for making animals out of underpants, I would make it a point to have as many one-night stands as possible. Every night I would be picking discarded underpants off the floor---a twist here, a turn there, and a flourish to my post-orgasmic partner: TA DA! I MADE A LLAMA OUT OF YOUR UNDERPANTS!


I woke up thinking about Andrew Marvell and Alexander Pope fighting a duel inside a wooden bowl full of Caesar salad. This could not ever have happened (oh really?) because they were not quite contemporaries (Marvell died in 1678, Pope was born ten years later); Caesar salad was not invented until the 20th century; and that would have had to be one huge salad bowl or two really small poets---either way you know something is wrong. I do not remember who was winning, or whether this was bare-knuckled battle or with weapons, but I do recall that every once in a while one of them would try to climb out and a stream of olive oil would run down the side, knocking the combatant back to the salad arena.


Everyone in the Smartypants family had a good Christmas. I was panicking a bit about the portion that involved the in-laws, and fantasized about inventing a bad case of the jake leg so that I could stay home, but there were really only a few shaky moments that got smoothed over by wine and occasional reference to my holiday mantra, "Keep Mouth Shut." Nora got her coveted two-wheel bike, a very cool pseudo-BMX-looking thing with a purple frame, and while there were not frenzied squeals of Christmas joy (not her style) she could not get on it fast enough. She rode around the frozen sidewalks for hours, and also needed to leave the dinner table several times to stroke its handlebars reverently.

Now we are all done with the Jesus birthday. On to MY birthday! And then New Year's Eve! I am hosting again, and there will be much liquor and cheese and merriment. And maybe a diorama of 17th-century poets bitchslapping each other in salad, if I can arrange it.

---mimi smartypants saved you a seat.


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