Where's the village?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Next thing you know, I'll start reading the Tao of Pooh.

The dajamou, who is four and a half years old, invariably selects half of her library books from the bin of board books aimed at the Diapers and Teething Toys set. Currently we have a Blue's Clues board book about getting ready for bed, and each time she picks it out, I have to aside my rage at how this sets up an impossible vision of the ideal bedtime routine in any parent's head who reads it.

But the other day, I was reading the page in which Steve says "That's right! The next step in getting ready for bed is washing our face! Make sure you scrub well, Blue, and don't forget to wash behind your ears." OK, first of all? Who washes behind their ears at the sink? What a mess.

But then Steve goes on to say "Doesn't that feel refreshing to have a nice clean face?" And I kept on reading, but half my mind was going, "Yeah, it really kinda does." I'd gotten out of the habit when my acne died down to a low roar, because I'm inherently lazy and also I stay up too late and then want to get to bed quickly. But after reading the Blue's Clues book, I decided to start washing my face again. And you know what? It's refreshing.

Hey, I gotta take my life's lessons wherever I can get 'em.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Oh, the pasta billies

One of my favorite things about the dajamou is the way she talks. There are times when she's so eloquent and insightful, and has just the right words, and works so hard to be precise in conveying her ideas.

And then there are the other times. When she was still a baby, it was because her mouth wasn't mature enough to make the sounds. So strawberries were "bajees" and grapes were "bups" and Uncle Nikos was "Ah Rakis." Typical kid stuff.

But now, she's four and a half, and she is really quite well spoken and doesn't mumble as much as some other kids I've known. There is still, however, plenty of evidence that she is still developing her language skills. The Strip District, a fun shopping district in Pittsburgh where we go every coupld of weeks, is "The Strip De-Strip." She plays with her "Pocky Pollets." And we live in "Pixburgh", thank you very much.

Yesterday's was new though. She was carrying some of her dress-up jewelry in her pink butterfly net (she'd been on an Explore, and Found it in the Forest, you see) when she suddenly shifted gears and was pretending to be Miss Lori (from the PBS Kids morning shows), looking in her Purple Possibility Bag for what wonderful surprises might be inside. But it came out "Purstle Pasta Billy Bag."

Which sounds like a good name for a band. Or maybe an knock-off version of Spaghetti-O's.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Social Darwinism? Social moronism, more like.

Looking back, it appears that so many of my most difficult memories have to do with the theme of when I bump into the structures of socially acceptable/unacceptable behavior. Like when my pants ripped in the 5th grade, and everyone laughed at me. Again in the 5th grade, when I didn't know how to ride a bike and spent the entire Special Day Bike Outing riding in the toddler seat on the back of my teacher's bike. Or, in the 6th grade, when the cutest boy in class started moaning "I love you! I love you!" over and over to me on the bus, and professed his undying devotion for the next several months, as a joke to amuse his friends. Or when I told the most popular girl in 3rd grade, in front of everyone, that I couldn't come to her party and she boxed my ears and said, "Good."

Holy crap. I never thought about it this way, but after reading the paragraph above, I must come to the conclusion that grade school? SUCKED.

Hm. I am suddenly afraid for the dajamou.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Go On And Go Free

Somebody, somewhere has got to have a personality test or system of figuring out how old you are, or something of that nature, based on what songs go through your head in certain situations. If they don't, I wish someone would, and tell me what it means that whenever I tell the dog "Go on and go pee" I get Paul Young's rendition of "Every Time You Go Away" stuck in my head.

And this morning, as I stumble around in a more-tired-than-usual stupor, "I Am A Grocery Bag" by They Might Be Giants is plaguing me. But that one I think is more the rhythm and tone of the song, which is about the level of activity I'm at right now. Kind of plodding and apathetic and a wee bit whiny.

It's gonna be a great day! Heh.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

And I probably had pizza sauce on my shirt.

I have all the social graces of an absent-minded professor, but none of the endearing quirks or dizzying intellect. I'm just the absent-minded moron.

Last week we had the last day of school at the dajamou's preschool. In the evening there was a picnic for all the families at the school, and since it started only 2 hours after dajamou's class finished, I volunteered to stick around and help with setting up. Which was fine, except I kept feeling like everyone was working harder than they would have otherwise, because they had to find things for me to do. But it was probably just me.

After people started arriving for the picnic, the potluck dishes were being set up in one of the classrooms. The dajamou, naturally, wanted to try all the desserts, but I, naturally, told her she had to have some green light foods first. So she, again naturally, asked if she could start in on said green light foods right now. Why not, I thought. There's food, it's after the start time for the picnic, let's get the girl some food. So I loaded up a plate with some good stuff, we went to eat, I went back, noticed the pizza, got a couple slices. Then the dajamou asked for her treat and I said, "Sure. Go get whatever you want." So she went to the room, only to come back empty-handed and tell me that a lady said the food wasn't ready and it wasn't time to start. WTF? Nobody told me anything about waiting. So I spent the rest of the evening wondering if people had been giving me dirty looks for cheating and getting food ahead of time. But it was probably just me.

At the end of the picnic, the mom of one of dajamou's classmates, a very sweet woman that I wish I had tried to know better, came over to say goodbye to me. It occurred to me all of a sudden that I would probably never see her again, as she was moving to a different part of town and not likely to bring her daughter all the way to this school. So I wanted to give her a hug or something, but I didn't feel like I knew her well enough. And, of course, it didn't occur to me to offer to trade email addresses or phone numbers until after she was gone. So I was left wondering if she thought I was some kind of antisocial bitch. But it was probably just me.

The real kicker is, that night I had no less than three dreams in which I was constantly doing the wrong thing, or the right thing at the wrong time, or somehow out of sync with everyone else in the dreams. That? That was definitely just me.

I really want to put this all down to PMS, or forgetting my meds for a day, or something. Armchair psychology, anyone?