Saturday, August 13, 2005

Does this picture make you want to visit Berlin? Maybe someone should have asked that question before launching an ad campaign using this picture. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 12, 2005

Time Flies When You're Soaking Wet

My Lovely Husband will be 32 tomorrow, and he’s going into it kicking and screaming. I hadn’t realized it was such an issue for him until he confessed that he really thought he was turning 31.
2005-1973=32, Baby.
I may be 6 months older, but he can’t make the difference even larger just by wishing it. I told him that he can feel as young as he wants (I myself often feel about 12).

Darling Daughter has been stuck in high-glam mode for a couple of days now, so the dress-up box and make-up bag have taken up semi-permanent residence in the living room. Yesterday she was a fairy, complete with feather-bedecked wings, magic wand, and high heels. She discovered that the heels can poke holes in cardboard, so part of the evening was spent perforating the flaps I had cut off a box. Later, though, she declared that even fairies like to be comfortable, and she changed her heels (still with the wings) for sock and tennies. That’s my girl!

I was also supposed to be a fairy, but I was in turbo-cleaning mode; I allowed myself to be dolled up a bit with make-up and a choker made of a shoelace and an enormous, blue silk carnation. I think it was just the right touch to go with my Muppet t-shirt and flannel pajama pants.

First, D.D. wanted to have a fairy ball, but as it was just the two of us (L.H. was out), that was a bust. Then it was time for fairy school. I had my wand revoked for not attending class and for not watching Dave the Barbarian. D.D. is a harsh teacher, people.

Later that evening, she changed into what she thought looked like a belly-dancing costume, complete with veil. She gets this really serious look on her face when she’s dancing; it’s almost comical, but you can tell she’s totally earnest.

This morning she wore one of her tutus plus a metric ton of make-up, including a purple stripe under her eyes and across the bridge of her nose. So she could be an Indian ballerina, don’t you know. She opted to ditch the make-up and tutu but keep the bun to go into town, of which I heartily approved to myself, although I told her that whatever she wanted was fine. She obviously thought she looked great (and we repeatedly told her she looked great; sue me), but no one would mistake her for a mini-Britney Spears, so I figured, what the hell. But it turns out that she’s more modest in public than at home, so she wanted the make-up off before going out.

The weather today is just fabulous—sunny but mild and only occasionally overcast. I don’t think it’s gotten over 80. Mmmm... D.D. and I went to the playground to enjoy the good weather. She ran about for 10 minutes or so, then decided to read and cool off. She had a book handily tucked into her large, black, vinyl purse, which I had to tote for her starting when we got off the bus. I’m sure it’s the perfect accessory for my Harry Potter t-shirt and jeans. She managed to read about 30 pages and finish it while we sat there.

After writing the above, Mother Nature ran up behind me with a large “Kick Me” sign. D.D. and I went into a shop, and while I was buying her a long-sleeved Barbie shirt and some new socks, it started to rain. Buckets. Neither of us had a jacket or an umbrella, but at least we had the new shirt to pull over D.D.’s sundress. So instead of getting an ice cream while we were out, we got hot chocolate.

Last year, D.D. swore that the icky Tales from the Cryptkeeper cartoon series [I know...what were we thinking?!] was not scary and that she liked it. We cut her off when the episodes started repeating, and then it went off the air. We foolishly thought we were safe. It recently came back on, but now, as soon as the intro starts, D.D. yells, “Turn it off! Turn it off! Turn it off!” and puts her hands over her ears. She has decided that the music creeps her out, and if we don’t turn it off quickly, it gets stuck in her head. I can relate to that. [B-O-M-B-Y!] When we got in the car the other day, some “heavy” rock song was playing on the radio, and D.D. informed me that it was her and her dad’s favorite song; it was also the only song that could banish the TftC theme song. I think she just hasn’t given BOMBY a chance.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Growing Pains

Sometimes my Darling Daughter seems so grown up; part of being a precocious only child, I guess. Like today while watching The Wizard of Oz, she said, "Wow. That Miss Gulch is a real bitch." She got reprimanded, of course. Then a little later, when Auntie Em declared that she couldn't say what she wanted against Miss Gulch because she herself was a Christian woman, D.D. asked, "She means what I said earlier, right?"

Then other times, I'm reminded of just how little she is. Like when her friend spent the night, and they slept in a pile of teddy bears and baby dolls.

But this afternoon showed me how she's really both at once. She set up her Play-doh sundae maker thingie and offered me a series of ice creams whose flavors were based on their colors. Typical 8-year-old behavior. Then she wanted me to rate each flavor as part of a taste test; she labeled the containers with the label maker. I wasn't aware that marketing was so in among the third-grade set.

I Am the Stupidest Woman Alive

So today, I let two strangers into my home. Vacuum cleaner salesmen. Or rather, one salesman and one trainee. It only occurred to me after I had let them in that maybe it wasn't such a good idea, since it was just me and D.D. at home. I'm afraid I was only paying half-attention to the spiel, the other half of my brain trying to remember the number for the police while simultaneously planning either a hurried escape or a lunge toward the knife block in the kitchen.

Anyhow, it was a cool vacuum cleaner, if I had *an extra grand plus change* for a household appliance to suck hair and kitty litter off my floors. It came with so many attachments, I'd probably have to devote a whole closet to the beast. One attachment had a brush for cleaning between the coils of the radiators, but I bet that Swiffer brush doo-dad can't run more than five bucks, no?

My favorite attachment, though, was introduced with a flourish: "For the man." It was a tube with what appeared to be a cloven hoof on the end. My brain re-engaged and went into overdrive at that point, trying to figure out *how* it was to be used by said man. Hygiene? Personal grooming? My guesses were getting wilder and more graphic; it must have shown on my face, because he hurried to explain that it sticks to the wall where *the man* is drilling a hole, to suck up the bits of plaster and sheet rock that are knocked loose. Of course! Because only *men* know how to use a drill. Riiight!

Needless to say, we didn't get the vacuum cleaner, although I did let L.H. be the one to turn them down over the speaker phone at the door when they returned later. Yes, I am a chicken. I've decided from now on to just pretend I'm not home if L.H. is not here and the doorbell rings, because I'm obviously incapable of turning away polite but potentially murderous door-to-door salesman.

The Arts and Crafts Movement Chez Nee.

Darling Daughter and I have been trying to find ways of entertaining ourselves that don't involve so much tv on these wet and dreary days. Monday, it barely reached 70F. We were able to get out for about an hour for some errands during a timely break in the rain, but we weren't home five minutes when it started again. Otherwise, we've been stuck at home. On Sunday, we even had some rock-salt-sized hail.

So far, we've made play dough (1), worked on a paint-by-numbers of a princess on a pony, half-finished a tiny model of a funicular car, and built and rebuilt many, many Lego buildings. [FYI: MegaBlocks are compatible with Lego Duplo.] D.D. has declared that she wants to be called "Bob-ina the Builder." We've also baked a couple of batches of cookies.

Yesterday we watched A Christmas Story, and D.D. wanted to write a "theme" like Ralphie: "What I Want for Christmas." It quickly turned into a letter to Santa, which she folded, sealed with a label (she discovered the label-maker we got from her aunt and uncle for xmas, so now everything in the house is labeled with its name and/or price), and has hoarded it away for December. She wished a kitchen robot for me, a watch that turns into anything you want for her dad, and a McDonald's kitchen playset for herself. At one point while brainstorming, she was trying to come up with a way to combine a coffee maker and a massage chair; she will make a fortune when she figures it out.

I was trying to remember the bedtime story I used to tell D.D. as a toddler, about the floppy fish who didn't want to go to bed. So she wrote a title, "The Adwentures [sic] of Floppy Fish," and started dictating a few lines of text. When we looked at it again the next morning, she said, "That's good, needs about 50 more pages!" I don't know when she thought I was going to whip out 50 more pages of a story I couldn't remember.

(1) LilSis's Play Dough Recipe
2 cups flour
½ cup salt
1 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1-3/4 cups boiling water
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
food coloring

Mix together the dry stuff; mix together the wet stuff and add it to the dry stuff. (Actually, I usually wait to add the food coloring until after the dough is mixed so I can divide it and make several colors.) Cool for 10 minutes. Knead until smooth, adding flour if needed. It lasts several weeks if sealed properly (those ziploc containers work well). D.D. really enjoyed following the "recipes" on the back of the food coloring box for exotic colors like dusty rose and turquoise.