Girly girl


                I must make a confession. I am not a girly girl. I do not recall the last time I bought a pair of shoes that were not 5T in size. The only impetus for me buying clothes in the last four years was gestation, and then it was reluctant and largely over the internet. I purchase makeup at the local Walgreen, not at the Clinique counter, and I feel that the only purpose of it is to disguise blemishes, not for enhancement.

                I should have known something was strange about my two-year old at eighteen months of age. I was putting an outfit on her one day and she starts crying uncontrollably. I thought maybe there was a tag left in it that pinched her or something, so I gasp, “What’s wrong Z?”

                “Thath’s UGLY!” she wailed.

                Ok, maybe I didn’t hear her correctly, after all, she is only eighteen months old at this point, and why should she care what she wears, so I pick out another outfit, and she continues to wail.

                “What’s wrong baby?” I am concerned.

                “Thath’s UGLY too!” she responds with her chubby thumb thrust into her angry, pouting mouth.

                I decide to conduct a scientific experiment and start pulling outfits out of the closet. I pull out a variety from the mundane to the lacy and indulgent.

                I am met with multiple, “Thath’s Ugly” until I hold up a frilly confection, and am met with a wide-eyed, excited, “Oooooh, Thath’s cute!”  

                How does this kid know that “Thath’s cute” and the “Thath’s ugly? She doesn’t even have access to television and only reads books that we approve. Where did she get this?

                Fast forward about six months to last Sunday while trying to get her ready for church.   She is arguing that it is her constitutional right to go to church in a pink tutu and a diaper and nothing else.  I explain patiently that this will simply not be permitted. She pouts and whines and is presented with an array of other options that I deem “acceptable”. Finally she condescends to wear a particularly ostentatious dress that is silk, bedazzled with pink jewels, with a full trailing tutu covered in glitter. As a result, we all, including the baby end up covered in glitter and looking like a day-time hookers at Sunday service.

                Earlier this week, her father sends me a picture with her in a layered tutu, and a day-glow, unmatched top wearing high-heeled shoes and a bright orange head-band in her hair. There is no question in my mind that she would have happily left the house proudly and greeted everyone in sight wearing this contraption.

                I watch her and how she is so confident, and knows that she is beautiful. I don’t remember the last time I felt that way. I hope she always feels this way about herself and I ache inside because I know that she wont. I know that over time small scars will form on her precious heart as some mean girl tells her that her clothes are not expensive enough or are not in style.   I know that she will lose this lovely confidence when the boy she likes asks her prettier friend out. I know that no matter how smart and astonishing she is, that the media will eventually convince her that her body is wrong and she is not enough. I hope that she can hold on to this feeling of striking invincibility as long as possible, and that she is able to find her worth in her exquisite mind and God’s love for her and not in her attire, or how gorgeous she is. But I must admit, she is pretty fabulous and she can rock a pink cow girl hat.




Maple Syrup?


                Z started swimming lessons this week. It has taught us a couple of things. First of all, a toddler absolutely can scream while standing in a pool for a half hour straight. Secondly, screaming for a half hour is more exhausting to a child than actual swimming. This practice resulted in Z taking a three hour nap and going to bed at seven. Hurray! Cocktail hour!

                Hubby has had the pleasure of taking Z for her daily screaming sessions this summer except on Wednesdays which is my day off. I took her swimming this Wednesday and had perhaps one of the best moments of my life.

                She started off with her characteristic screeching. It was so bad, that I was starting to doubt my parenting. I was starting to think that maybe we should put off this swimming thing for another year while the voice of my husband saying, “I don’t care if she likes it. She has to learn this. It is a life skill.” I was just about to scoop my precious angel up and take her home declaring failure when she paused from her wailing to declare, “Mommy, you’re my very best friend ever,” with a broad grin. Then she immediately went right back to bawling.

                I could feel the tears of joy welling up in my eyes and started crying right there in the pool with her. Luckily the water hid my tears pretty effectively.

                After the pool, Z and I went grocery shopping. Z acts like she is a movie star at the grocery. She waves to everyone like she is in a parade, or a beauty pageant with a slight turn of her hand so as to not wear herself out.   She greets everyone with a loud, “Hi, I swimming,” or, “I blew bubbles,” as if they are interested in her aquatic adventures.

                There is something satisfying at the grocery store about actually getting everything on your list. I had almost accomplished this task when I realized that I had forgotten the pancake syrup. Hubby only likes real maple syrup and I was going to get the economy sized jugs because it is a bargain and that is when I met with my grocery store nemesis. I was wearing a bathing suit with a soggy cover-up over it pushing a toddler in a bathing suit covered in Cheetos dust waving like a princess, and there SHE was. She was wearing what I can only describe as formal wear. It was red, and possibly chiffon, accessorized with expensive, chunky looking jewelry and strappy sandals.

                But that was not the worst of it.   She swooped down in front of me and loaded up all ten jugs of economy sized maple syrup into her cart. I was stunned…. too stunned to speak. She cut me off and took ALL the maple syrup, and then when I looked in her cart, it was full, but completely full of nothing but maple syrup and large flats of grapes. At this point I am a little freaked out. What is she doing with all of those grapes and maple syrup? I was rendered speechless. Oh, how I wish I had asked.

                So, in lieu of actually knowing what she was doing with these select items, I have been taking a poll to see what people think she was doing with them. Here are the top answers:

  1. Homemade Canadian Wine
  2. Some weird diet cleanse
  3. Freaky pornography video
  4. Brunch?

                What do you think she was doing with them? It is driving me crazy.




Grumpy Old Man

                My father is politely described by people who know and like him as a “character”. People who do not like him tend to have a more colorful description of him.   If the filter that covers my mouth is like a mesh that allows far too much particulate matter to contaminate the conversation, then my father’s mouth is like a sieve allowing everything to pour forth with very few restrictions.

                He is in his mid-seventies. He likes whiskey, golf, gambling at cards, and his two Yorkie puppies, “Bo and Butch”. He is a contradiction in terms.   He is a former physical education teacher who doesn’t particularly enjoy children.   To understand the most recent conversation I had with my father, some background is required.

                A few years ago my father had bypass surgery and was given a cat that he named Gus to keep him company during his recovery. After his convalescence, he decided that his cat needed a cat because it was lonely. So Daddy went down to the local cat shelter and picked him out a fine cat.

Daddy: I want that one.

Cat lady: Thank you sir, we really appreciate you adopting one of our precious angels.

Daddy: I’ll take really good care of him. I am gonna get him fixed and declawed and everything.

Cat lady: Hold up a minute buddy. We can’t give you that cat, declawing a cat is cruel.

Daddy: Lady, I’ve got Italian leather.

Cat lady: You can’t adopt that cat, we don’t consider declawing humane

Daddy: What do you care? Fine, just say I won’t declaw the cat and then I will take it home, and once that cat is mine I will do what I want.

Cat lady: …which is why you can’t have the cat.

Daddy: Listen here you b#%$h, ya’ll are just gonna kill the f&^%ing cat anyways. Just give me the g#&@&amn cat.

Cat lady: I will see you in H*&L!


                And that is how my father got banned from the local cat shelter. Keep in mind that I was not actually present for the conversation, so the actual encounter probably was a lot worse in person. It resulted in my father calling me and my brother and asking us to go get the cat for him out of spite. I didn’t do it, but I suspect that my brother did because a black cat remarkably similar to the one in the story appeared at my father’s house in short order and was seen atop the Italian leather trying to sharpen its poor non-existent claws.


                So, fast forward about fifteen years and another conversation with my father. He has a doctor’s appointment.   Apparently, the receptionist had the audacity to ask him for his co-pay. This was not a good idea on her part.


Daddy: Look, I pay two –hundred dollars a month on this policy, and I have a five-hundred dollar deductible, and now I have to pay thirty dollars every time I walk in the door.

Receptionist: I’m sorry sir, this is the new guidelines under Medicare.

                Here is where another grumpy old curmudgeon enters the picture and starts commiserating with my father about the good old days when Cokes were a nickel and everyone had free socialized health care. As they are discussing this, one of them mentions that it is highway robbery and extortion to hold them hostage for a copay to see the doctor. This is where the receptionist did make a small error in judgment.

Smart A*& Receptionist: Well, you don’t HAVE to see the doctor. (smirk)

Daddy: Listen here young lady, I wasn’t talking to you and I am seventy-four g*&^%amn years old and I don’t need you telling me when I need to see the doctor or not.

                Here is where a female bystander tries to check my father’s behavior and tell him he is being rude to the receptionist. This did not go well for her

Daddy: Sit your fat a&^ down and shut the f&^% up and stay out of it. No one asked you, you dumb b&^%h

                The situation degraded from there, and my father called to ask my opinion on how the situation unfolded. I was shocked to find that the doctor actually saw my father after this. My father completely thinks he is in the right and that the receptionist’s comments totally justify his behavior. I think the receptionist should have probably should have kept her mouth shut, but I have a no tolerance policy for people being rude to my receptionists and nurses.

                                I do think my father’s ability to make a public scene at least once a month and still come out smelling like a rose is a special life skill. Sometimes I wish I could get away with saying exactly what I think like him without consequences.

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