27 February 2008


I give you a one-act play: Misinterpretation by a Three-Year-Old

Context: Our youngest still is resisting the potty for No. 2. We had some success, but we've backtracked. To the point that we are now stirring Miralax in her juice to prevent her from holding it for a week or more. We can tell she's holding it because she stuffs her hands down the back of her pants and holds her cheeks together. And walks around like that. It would be funnier if it weren't so frustrating.

Setting: Hubby and I are upstairs working and watching TV. Kids are downstairs eating snack.

Middle child, age 5: Hey, do you have to go to the bathroom?

Younger child, age 3 (presumably with hands down back of pants): No. I fine.

Middle child: Are you sure? You look like you need to poop.

Younger child: NO! I NOT NEED POOP!

(cue parents upstairs valiantly trying not to laugh)

Middle child: It looks like you need to poop. You shouldn't hold it in like that.

Younger child: I fine. I not holding it. See, my hands are cwean!!!

(cue parents, losing battle not to laugh upstairs, and realizing they need to be a lot more specific in their wording with the youngest.)

Yup. It's been fun. Who said being a parent wasn't great? Riiiiiight.

I'm betting no one else in my grad class had to disinfect a tub that had been pooped in last night before proofing a research paper.

She'll figure this out, right? Right?

19 February 2008

Into the ether

that seems to be where some of my posts went. I can see them, but you guys can't.

Let me know if you can read anything after Eulogy, 'kay?

12 February 2008

I HATE winter

We have ice. Again. There's a tree down in our back yard, a tree looming over our house, and branches everywhere.

We just bloody did this, and now we have to clean up the mess again.


08 February 2008

What happened in Kirkwood last night

could happen anywhere.

The tragedy isn't as unlikely as you might think, as any city council reporter could tell you.

In my younger reporting days, I'd seen more than a few city council gadflies who seemed around the bend. They'd get up, rant for quite a while, until someone from the council, usually the mayor or city attorney, managed to cut them off. Some cities imposed time limits during public comment just to make sure they had a legal way to shut the mikes off.

Honestly, I'm not surprised this happened. I was stalked by a gadfly who was convinced I was the answer to all of his troubles, if only I'd listen to him and his issues. And not that he didn't have issues or a justifiable complaint, but it wasn't truly news. Or verifyable.

Quite frankly, the fact that he was convinced the power lines in town were a form of mind control impugned his credibility. In that case, the very police I was investigating escorted my pregnant self from City Hall to my car twice a month after meetings. It was only about 50 steps, but this guy would stalk my every step, then try to follow me home. I had cops sitting near me in meetings to protect me. I didn't ask for it, but they didn't trust him, and they worried about me, even though I was doing investigative reporting on their department, which was in the midst of a horrible scandal.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but know this: Every elected official takes a risk by putting themselves out there on the dais to make decisions. Some people take those decisions much, much, much too seriously. When that happens, the potential for a mass shooting in a council chamber is there.

07 February 2008

Oh, how I hate the carpool line

I rarely pick the kids up in the carpool line. We pay for aftercare; I work until 5.

But today, we had an appointment, so I had to pick the eldest up in the line.

I get that some parents get there 30 minutes early to be first in line. I tried to do that today, but alas, I was only 15 minutes early, and thus 10th in line. No biggie.

But man alive, I HATE the parents and grandparents who think they are more important or more rushed than the rest of us. The line is supposed to circle around the perimeter of the playground, out the gate, then north on the street.

We had parents pulling in and parking in the middle of the semicircle. We had them parking three deep in the middle of the semicircle, which makes it dangerous to even pull up in the semicircle when they are trying to unwedge their cars and get out before the rest of us.

I saw one woman squeeze her huge Dodge Durango in a spot wayyyy too small for her car. Still not sure how she didn't manage to clip either car in front or behind her. Then she nearly clipped the person who was first in the line and trying to pull out as Ms. Dodge was backing up to rush out of the lot.

Seriously, the whole line moves through in 15 minutes, tops. Usually when I do carpool line, I come 15 minutes after school is out, because the line is gone and I can wing in and wing out. Alas, today, our appointment was at 3:30, and we'd not be able to pull it off if I'd not gotten there right as school let out.

What are you teaching your kids, presumably at a Catholic school to learn values and ethics, when you place yourself, your time, and your safety (not to mention the safety of other people's children) ahead of others at all costs?

05 February 2008


Walking into the Catholic church where I've spent many a major family event, where I spent Sundays as a kid with my grandparents in the front pew on the right-hand side, in the church where just eight months ago one of my cousins was married, I followed my grandmother's casket.

Standing there in the pew, looking around at my family, I was thinking about the legacy she and my grandfather left behind.

Six children.
Sixteen grandchildren.
Eleven great-grandchildren.

All good people. We have our problems, like any family. We have our difficulties with each other. But we are all strong, confident, trustworthy people. Every one of us you can rely on in a pinch.

I looked at my sister and our other female cousins and saw a group of strong, confident women. Each one of us has a different profession, from homemaker to engineer to nurse to teacher and everything in between. But we are all, each one of us, confident at what we do and who we are.

I looked at my brother and our male cousins and saw a bunch of guys who I would trust with my life. Each one of them, in his own way, is the type of guy you'd want your sister to marry. (There are still a few single ones, folks. :)

But the best legacy my grandparents left was laughter.

We are a family who teases constantly. In any situation. That can take outsiders a bit to get used to. I'm pretty sure that most receiving lines at funerals do not have people telling the bereaved: "I'm so sorry. Truly. Very sorry you have to stand next to him." (Insert person pointing at one of my mom's brothers, the one who is the family cut-up; his friends are very like him.)

Sitting in the funeral home's family room, trying to help my youngest cousin write a eulogy, all 16 of us were laughing like loons at our memories of our grandparents.

The cookies hidden in the Tupperware container in the dryer.

The fact that my grandmother would mix both chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies together, so well disguised that you couldn't tell the difference. You had to take the first one you picked. I was unnaturally good at picking the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies -- they are slightly flatter than the raisin ones.

My grandmother chasing the dogs away from Easter eggs so the younger grandkids could actually find a few.

My grandparents loved to laugh. And they passed that ability along to all of us. Somehow, I think that's among one of the better legacies they could have left to us.

So, in honor of Tillie and Bill, do me a favor: Laugh with someone you love today.