What it’s like

I’ve been a little quiet lately. Allow me to illustrate why.

Grace spent all day demanding my attention pretty much nonstop. She can get very anxious and clingy. I am exhausted.

Tonight, after kicking me out, sobbing that she needed alone time, she called me back into the smallest room in the house to ask me if you play bongos with sticks. When I said no, you play with your hands, she burst into tears. “But I want to play bongos with sticks!” I told her that she can do whatever she likes, and she brightened up and told me she’d borrow the sticks from her glockenspiel. My protests that we don’t own bongos fell on deaf ears.

And that pretty much sums up every day of my life.



That was a very difficult three hours.

Dot was on the bedroom windowsill, where Grace has never before put a toy. It was a total fluke that I found him at all–she was helping me put some craft supplies away and I gave her a little butterfly bracelet that was in with my beads. She decided she didn’t want to wear it, and I went to put it away. I saw one of her necklaces laid out on the windowsill, and when I moved the curtain to pick it up I spotted Dot.

In the interim, I discovered (with a lot of googling) that Dot is a Beanie Baby named Hydrant. I am filing this information away in case anything ever happens to Dot, so we can get his “sister” for Grace. (I would never try to pull a switcheroo on her. She is too smart.)


Grace’s favorite toy is missing. She doesn’t know yet.

We realized after the children were in bed that we hadn’t seen Dot, Gracie’s stuffed puppy and constant companion, since we got home from hiking this afternoon. She and Sam (and Dot) took the stairs while Will and I took the elevator. Grace was carrying Dot and her jacket.

We don’t remember seeing Dot at any time after that, so we assume she dropped him and didn’t notice because she still had her jacket.

We checked the stairs, all the landings, the car, all around the car, our entire apartment, and even the dumpsters. No Dot.

I made signs and put them on every landing, describing Dot and asking for his return. Surely he was picked up by a neighbor’s child. But what if they don’t see the signs? Or don’t care?

I can’t remember ever feeling this devastated over anything. My stomach is in a knot thinking about how Grace will feel tomorrow. I’ve cried twice and I’m pretty sure a third time is imminent.

Conversations with Sam

Sam: Hey, what is that picture?
Me: That is for Assassin’s Creed. It’s a video game, but it’s for grown-ups.
Sam: YOU are a grown-up!
Me: Yes, but I am not very good at video games.
Sam: You aren’t?!?!?!
Me: Well, I don’t play a lot of video games. It is hard to be good at something you don’t do much.
Sam: Oh, like practice!


Sam: Mom, when I am sixteen years old, I will practice to drive, right?
Me: Yes.
Sam: And I will keep practicing until I am a man, not a little kid, right?
Me: Um. Well, sixteen is much closer to being a man than a little kid.
Sam: Oh. Okay.

Gracie and the Wizard in Oz

*title is a take-off of the title of the sixth (I think) Oz book.

So today we did this:


Grace was mesmerized. When Dorothy is a prisoner and the Wicked Witch turns over the hourglass, I peeked at Grace’s face to see if she was all right. She huffily turned and said, “I’m not afraid of anything!” so I guess that’s that. (She is so fierce. I love her so much.)

A few minutes later I happened on a link to this Wizard of Oz theme park, which has been closed for nearly my entire lifetime but opens to visitors once a year, and this weekend is it.

Then I remembered that once upon a time I wrote some stuff for Blogging.LA about strange Oz-related rumors.

Real-life Munchkinland

Oz sets used to build the 10

The best part of all of this (other than Grace) is the small worldliness of it all. I met my friend Burns through blogging.la, he introduced me to roller derby, and another ref posted the link that got me looking at blogging.la again.

My Little Supers

Sam: I did it, Mom! I ran really fast.

Me: You’re my Wally West.

Grace: And you look like the Flash, too!

(I didn’t mention that he actually looks like Wally West but not like The Flash, because I was so goddamn proud of her for knowing who Wally West is.)

Sam at Seven

So, Sam turned seven. I don’t really understand how that’s possible–but I also can’t really imagine how he’s still just a little kid, when I have known him forever.


Sam is a consumer.

I don’t mean that in the sense of purchasing merchandise, but he also does that. He’s been getting an allowance for several months and he saves it for the things he wants.

What I mean, though, is that he consumes television, video games, books…he watches, plays, and lives in other worlds. He recreates ideas from media with his toys–his many, many Imaginext toys become not only Batman and friends but Transformers (Hal Jordan is Optimus Prime; Kilowog is Bumblebee; Catwoman is Arcee) or whatever else Sam is interested in.


His favorite colors are blue and yellow. He always chooses the blue or yellow game piece when we play a board game. Oh, how he loves board games! For his birthday we gave him Catan Junior, which is not only a super-fun game but is also pirate-themed! Pirates are one of his longest-running interests, after Star Wars and Superheroes.

He loves to run in circles, play ball, and ride any and all wheeled conveyances. He has totally mastered his wheel shoes, can ride his freewheeel scooter in circles around you, and is ready for us to put the pedals on his bike. He plays tag and red light green light and an assortment of other playground games that as far as I can tell no one ever actually taught him.


He loves to play with his sister. He loves Calvin and Hobbes. He loves Mario, Luigi, and everyone else in Nintendoland. He likes ice cream and cookies but is still fairly unimpressed by cake and all other sweets. (He had an ice cream cake for his birthday.)

He has BIG emotions. Very big. As happens every year, I have had to remind myself that his period of disequilibrium happens in the months surrounding his birthday every year. (Remember 23 months? I don’t, but I guess that happens when you’re sleep deprived.)


I don’t always understand him, but I love him so, so much.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy day to all the mothers, all the ladies who hope to be mothers, and everyone who has a mother. (If you are none of those things, happy Sunday.)

A while ago, Grace told me that she really likes my blue necklace. I didn’t have a blue necklace, so much confusion ensued.


Now I know what she meant.