September 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

The iron was left on the other day. I called down the stairs, “Is there a reason the iron’s still on?” instead of “Are you finished using the iron?” or “Do you still want the iron on?”

Subtle changes in wording and inflection exponentially change the real message being conveyed. Need to put that into practice more.

La Polilla

July 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Polyphemus Moth


We’re outside having dinner. A large moth lands near Lely.


“Why are you yelling?”

“So the moth won’t land on me.”

“Do you think it speaks English?”

“… Como estas, Butterfly?”

Craiglisting the Radio Flyer

April 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

For Sale:
One cool springtime ride. Low mileage, maybe a large handful of city blocks and several trips to the neighborhood library. (The original owner grew too tall, too quickly to use this trike for very long.)


  • Shiny bell that alerts folks they’re about to be mowed down on the sidewalk and — AND! — annoys the bejeezus out of the adult in charge of the little rider.
  • Handlebar streamers in lieu of a speedometer. If the streamers are parallel to the ground, you are going down a very steep hill and are totally out of control. Or it’s just a windy day. If they’re hanging straight down you are stopped.
  • White wall tires. Come on over and give ’em a kick.
  • Adjustable two-colored seating for one. Not padded, but kids this age couldn’t care less. Also, the seat is not heated nor is there automatic driver seating position memory. Again, they just don’t care.
  • Room for a passenger. Or two with some creativity. Standing room only.

New models sell for $68.50 (on Amazon). This model is yours for the low, low price of $40.

Plus, it’s already assembled, saving you having to explain to your child’s teacher why your little one repeated that string of expletives they learned while you were putting the ^%#! thing together.

Sometimes She Makes Excruciating Sense

April 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

I asked Lely why used Kleenexes were in the bathtub (like, seven of them).

Lely: I was sitting on the potty and had to blow my nose.

Me: Why didn’t you throw them away when you were done?

L: I forgot.

M: Can you remember next time?

L, exasperated: But I forget to remember!

Scrap of Paper

January 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

I found a note scribbled on an old magazine bookmark from December 2008. There’s a list of things to pick up from Target, a website to check out. Then I read a quote that I’d written down to make sure I wouldn’t forget it. I got the same crushed feeling when I reread it tonight as I know I did that day when I heard it:

“Mommy no angry. Feel much better now?”

I don’t remember what happened for her to have said that. I so hope she doesn’t either.

I’m sorry, Lely.

Conversation in My Head

January 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Lely, after wiggling and dancing and insisting she doesn’t have to go to the bathroom, runs to the loo and I can hear her going and going.

Me: Wow, she’s peeing like a race horse.

Other Me: Hmm … more like My Pretty Pony.

I’d Give Her a Good Talking-To But I’d End Up Crying in Frustration

January 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

How do writers ever get words on the page? Topics, titles, or turns of a phrase appear to me when I’m in the shower, getting Lely to bed or seconds before I fall asleep. I’ve not found an adequate way to capture the thought before it’s lost and gone forever (dreadful sorry, Clementine). I know there’s the love of the craft and I should will my sleepy ass out of bed to commit those bon mots to the page. Turns out I have an even greater love of falling into delicious sleep. Bon mots be damned.

I’ve had full posts write themselves while I’m brushing my teeth only to lose them down the drain with my last rinse and spit. I’ve tried using technology to capture thoughts but nothing has worked well so far. For instance, Siri. We’re having a contentious relationship right now. Chick just doesn’t listen. When she does hear me she often tells me she “can’t do that” like I’m asking her to do something inappropriate instead of adding an item to a note.

A recent conversation with Siri (remembered from my memory because she was being difficult):

Me: [pushing home button on iPhone and bringing it to my ear]

Siri {di-ding}: “What can I help you with?”

Me [looking at the phone to see what’s going on, put it back to my ear]: {di-dong} “Add item to list.” [Look at phone again.] Shit, she’s turned off.

Me [pushing Siri/microphone thingy, put the phone to my ear, pull it down again to make sure she’s listening to me, it looks like she is]: {di-ding} “Add item to list.”

Siri: “I don’t know what you mean by ‘add item to list’.”

Me: “WTF, Siri? You just did it a few minutes ago.” [I look at phone. Oh, I’m on the wrong screen. Open the note I want to add an item to. Push microphone thingy, getting annoyed.]: {di-ding} “Add. Item. To list.” {di-dong}

Siri {di-ding}: “What would you like to add?”

Me: “Uh …”

Siri: {di-dong} “OK, I made the change to your note.”

After that last exchange she tells me she doesn’t understand the words I’m using. Which, she does. The good folks at Apple just want you to think she doesn’t understand those words. They’re programmers for shit’s sake. I know they know those words.

At this point I would type directly into the note whatever the thought had been but it was lost somewhere around the WTF part of the “conversation”.

Go ahead and call it user error. I call in infuriating.