Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And that's how it's done

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 By

Emmie had a boatload of sugar at her cousin Sheridan's birthday. She was one bite short of vibrating.

At home, I try desperately to calm her down, but she wants to play.

"Emerson, take some deep breaths, please. It's time to chill out."

"ButbutbutbutMama! Less play! Less play Picnic!"

"No. It's time for bed, now, darling."

""Less play Shadow Puppets!"

"NO. Lay down and hush."

"Less play I Spy!"

"Okay." I click the lamp. "I spy something dark."


Monday, April 25, 2011

Thanks for the warning

Monday, April 25, 2011 By

Emmie and I are playing Picnic in the car. We're bringing apples, bundt cake, "Cococola," dark chocolate, eggs, fiddleheads, gum, horseradish, ice, jelly beans, knuckle sandwiches, lemonade, mashed potatoes, noodles, octopus sushi, popcorn, and quail.

It's my turn for 'r.'

"... and I'm bringing..." I pause to think.

Emmie interrupts: "You should bring roller skates for 'r,' Mom, 'cause I'm bringing snakes for 's,' an' you might wanna leave dis picnic."

Friday, April 22, 2011

Maybe I'll take her jellyfishing

Emmie will have a week off from camp during the week of July 4, and we're trying to decide what to do. We discuss camping, swimming, sights to see, visiting friends and family, and our perpetual favorite activities in Atlanta.

"Well, it sounds like our choices are the city, the mountains, or the beach," I say. "Which do you prefer?"

"Ummm... da beach," she says. "Because I lite to kill jellyfish."


"You just get dem out of underwater, and chop dem in half."

When did you do that?

"Oh, I do dat never. I just don't want dem to sting me."

And commence discussion on the value of all living things in three... two... one.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Maybe I'm anxious about ninjas...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 By

Email to A.C.: "You know, I was thinking that it might not be anxiety I feel. I think it's my mad ninja skillz. Leaves me with heightened sensitivity to threats."

Email to me: "Why are you up so late emailing me? Anxiety, not ninja skills."

Email to A.C.: "Excuse me, but I am busy defending my home against attack."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Excelling at our jobs

Monday, April 18, 2011 By

My friend, A.W., and I were talking about an all-day Excel class she took at work. It sounded like torture.

"It was, Stacey. It was," she said. We agree about the necessity of the software and the usefulness of it. But there are few professional tasks that I despise more than devising an Excel formula.

"That's about as exciting as actuarial science," I said. "I'd rather study taxidermy. At least then I'd know what to do with the body when an actuarial scientist dies of boredom."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Formula for fun

In the perpetual game show "Why Can't Anything Go Right?" that is my life, my dad and I had to drive 30 minutes to retrieve my bank card from my sister, who had accidentally absconded with it. Say that five times fast: accidentally absconded. It's really hard.

Anyway, Emerson wanted to go with us. She loves to ride in her "Dadada's" (grandfather's) enormous Ford F-150, and she likes to chatter. She kept us entertained all the way there by drawing cartoons of each of us in humorous states of fear. "Dadada Steps on a Snake and Runs Away" was my particular favorite.

When that grew old, she tickled my neck. Y'all! I hate being tickled! I'd rather you punch me in the neck than tickle me. I can't explain it, except that I have to really struggle to contain violent anger whenever anyone tickles me. I've gotten better at controlling it these last few years because Emerson does it all the time.

"Emmie!" I cried, exasperated at having to repreatedly use my ninja-like swiftness to catch her fingers before she could wriggle them into my neck. "Cut it out, lady!"

"Why?" she giggled.

"Because I hate being tickled!"

You'd have thought I'd chucked cold water on her.

"But... but why don'tchoo lite it, mama?"

"I don't know. I've always hated it."

"Wull, I lub it!" she laughed.

"I know you do, Doodle. That's why I tickle you all the time," I said, and wriggled my fingers in her armpit. She shrieked and giggled, and I cut it out so my dad didn't smack me. No one likes high-pitched squealing while they're driving in Atlanta traffic.

"But, Mama, you should like tickles," Emmie said, eyebrows creased.


"Because! Iss fun!" she said.

"Not for me," I said.

"But tickles are good," she insisted. "Good tickles mean good times."

Well, now we know that she's apparently aiming for a career in advertising copy writing.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Bag it

Friday, April 08, 2011 By

Dear Atlantic Station H&M Male Sales Clerk -

"Hi. Do you have this bag in black?" I asked. You hardly glanced up at me.

"Nooooo," you mused, eyebrow raised, while adjusting your horrid neck scarf. "It doesn't come in black. Why would you ask that?"

"...beeeeecause I prefer black?"

"Wellllll... I suppose they could make it in black, but personally I feel it's more authentic in brown. It's the color Hermes used when designing their Birkin, which is, of course, the inspiration for the bag you are now holding. They also did it in red, but... hmmm... noooo, we don't have it in red, either."

Riiiiight. Look, sir, do you see me trailing two sugar-coated, wind-blown schoolchildren in various stages of meltdown? Did you notice me wearing the same jeans-and-sweater combination that has carried me through the last 6 winters-and-schizophrenic-Southern-springs of motherhood? Have you - like me - already grown tired of me snapping my fingers and whistling to get the attention of the children, who have no desire to be in your store and are T-minus-30-seconds from tolerating my attempt at retail therapy no longer?

Now that you've noticed the telling characteristics of the customer standing before you, let's be clear about a couple of things. The only reason I am even in here is because I did not bring a purse that was large enough to sneak convenience store snacks and drinks into the ridiculously-overpriced movie theater that is right behind this store. Coincidentally, I also need a new laptop bag, because the handles are falling off of the one I bought at Target just over a year ago (Thanks, Target. That was $50 wasted).

Despite your elite position as one of 87,000 H&M employees, and regardless of your hard-fought victory to enroll as a "fashion" student at one of the FORTY-FIVE campuses of the Art Institute of WhereverTheyCanGetaLease, I did not ask for a history of the cheap knock-off you are passing off as couture. I asked you one question. It was about color. It requires only this: "No, it only comes in brown."

Thank you. I will take it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Drawing questionable conclusions

Wednesday, April 06, 2011 By

I tend to shy away from religious discussions. I was raised Presbyterian, which is a quiet, non-charismatic faith sometimes joked about as "The Frozen Chosen." Displays of fervor make me feel uncomfortable.

But this is an overwhelmingly Baptist area, so I have grown accustomed to such displays - although only slightly more adept at dealing with them without clutching my chest and swooning.

I wasn't prepared for how this would impact Emerson. Scott's family is mostly Baptist, and they're very strong in their faith. I suppose they discuss it with her a great deal, because she's always very interested and vocal about Jesus when she returns from spending time with them. This is not a bad thing; but without regular tutelage, some things get twisted in a 6-year-old's mind.

The other night we were reading a book called, "What Should I Be?" In it, a little princess goes from adviser to adviser, asking the best way to be when she grows up. Her mother, the queen, wants her to be kind. The admiral tells her to be a strong swimmer. The prime minister says she should be clever. The maid says the choice is up to her. The princess just wants to be tall. Her little brother thinks she already is. It makes the point that the best qualities are a matter of perspective.

"I fink we should choose good choices, so we can be whatever we want to be," Emmie said, when we were discussing the book's message.

"I think that's lovely," I said.

"But I already know the best way to be," she said, with frightening intensity.

"Oh? How?" I asked.

"Dead," she said, with utter sincerity.


"And why is that?" I asked, cautiously.

"Because! Den you get to be wif God up der in heaven!"

I made a note to spend more time on faith. Methinks something got lost in translation.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Definitely her own person

Monday, April 04, 2011 By

It's 9 p.m., and Emmie is just crawling into bed. We're an hour late tonight, because she had crazy tons of homework owing to the fact that she forgot to bring home her homework folder the day before. But usually we read for a half-hour, so it's not as though she's way off her schedule. You wouldn't know it from her behavior. She's tired and grumpy.

"Mama!" she whines. "Why we hafta sleep so short?"

"Hey, who are you calling short?" I tease, and she heaves a massive sigh that says that I am Getting On Her Nerves. Hooookay, then. Joke time is over.

"Okay, Attitude. I don't understand what you're asking."

"Wull, we go sleep for a short time, and when we wake up, iss still night time."

"It's 6:15 in the morning, Em," I correct her.

"But I don' get enough sleepies," she flops her arms and legs on the bed, whining.

"Well, we have to get up at that time. If you need more sleep, we'll have to go to bed earlier," I explain. No way, I think, will she ever agree to that.

"Less do dat," she declares.

"You... want to go to sleep... earlier?"


"Okay. Tomorrow we'll go to sleep one hour earlier."

"Fanks, Mom."

You're welcome...?

Friday, April 01, 2011

In defense of loafers (No Foolin'!) - A love letter to Amy and Alice

Friday, April 01, 2011 By

EXHIBIT A: My beloved, comfy loafers - which I have in both brown and black.

EXHIBIT B: An entry on The Sartorialist.