Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Some of This, Some of That

Oh, man. I get busy and I don't post for a while and then I have SO MUCH TO SAY but also nothing important, really, and I need to go to the grocery store tonight partly because I'm a coffee snob now and partly because the girls are out of yogurt and if we can't eat microwaved silver dollar pancakes with a dab of yogurt on each one for breakfast, we might spontaneously combust.

I wanted to report on parent teacher conferences and talk about how things are going for Zuzu this year as opposed to last year (SPOILER: if you start out biting your friends and then the next year you stop, you've set the bar so low that everyone is SUPER IMPRESSED and relieved). But also Coco is looooooving the toddler house so much and she's so freaking independent that it kind of makes me want to cry, out of nostalgia and occasionally frustration. "No, Coco self!" is the sentence most often uttered in our home. But she's just now shifted from saying "Carry you" to saying "Carry me" when she is feeling lazy about going up the stairs and she's just getting so big.

Still no bangs, though, so until she grows bangs she will always be my BAYBEE.

Also she has finally (FINALLY) stopped crying at morning drop off. Now she slays me another way--by requesting hugs and kisses, "One more hug! Kiss! One more hug! Kiss!" It's so freaking adorable and I basically want to kiss her face off for about 30 minutes, but I usually have to break away and run to my car. She always looks disappointed when I leave, but she's not crying, and I know that she's happy immediately after. I asked her yesterday what her favorite part of the day was and she said, "Marcia! Linda!" (the names of her two teachers) so that was pretty freaking cute.

I'm still swamped with grading here.

Also, I'm committed to working out 150 minutes a week with a student personal trainer which is going exactly as well as can be expected. Read: It's terrible. My muscles hurt, I'm always sore, and I can't get my college student to really make conversation with me, so I'm just going to give up and start listening to the Hamilton soundtrack during my workouts. I'm full out fangirl obsessed with that musical now, and I completely geeked out over the PBS special on it.

David's working late all week, and I got crazy last night and skipped out to see Don't Think Twice because I'm a crazy wild person who does crazy wild things like seeing a movie on a weeknight. Coco came running out of the house with no pants on to give me one more hug and kiss, and she did actually cry when I drove away and David carried her back inside. The movie was good, though it was heavy on secondhand embarrassment, which is hard on my friend Erin, who saw it with me.

She was pantless because we are doing the potty-training learning thing. My plan is to get hardcore this weekend when my parents are here and we have all hands on deck. The only downside is that Grammy and Bops tend to be pretty fun and distracting, so we'll see how this goes. I can tell you that she's already a year ahead of her sister in this area (not that I compare my children to see how they measure up to each other in some kind of unhealthy competition--I'm just saying that so far Coco is THE EASY ONE when it comes to sleeping and potty training, knock on wood, spit in the devil's eye, and all of that).

Yesterday I had a unexpectedly fantastic and unanticipated discussion with my students about race, dialect, and white privilege that all stemmed from the lyrics to a Nelly song ("Forty acres and a mule? F*** that, forty acres and a pool!"). I felt kind of unequipped to lead it, but I still think it was a useful and important conversation to have.

I just finished listening to the Accused podcast, which was pretty fascinating. I was asking my mom what she remembers about living through the serial killer peak of the late '70s (her answer: not much... the media were different than they are today). David's grandparents were living in Wichita at the time, so they were there during the BTK killing spree and he remembers his grandma, mom, and aunt being anxious about it. It's wild to me how much our perceptions don't match reality, since most people think that we live in a more dangerous world today than we did thirty or forty years ago, and that's just not true. Also, one expert on the show hypothesized that the reason so many serial killers peaked at that point in time is that had been parented by traumatized WWII war vets. Also known as the greatest generation, right? So that's weird to think about.

In other, less violent, news, I've utterly given up on picking out Zuzu's clothes. It's gotten to the point where it doesn't matter how many choices I give her, she wants to put her own outfits together. In fact, if I lay something out (even something I know she likes) she won't consider it. Today's choice was a sleeveless dress, so I told her it was chilly and she needed sleeves. So then she elected to wear the red dress with a bright pink shirt under it. She finished off the outfit with aqua polka-dot leggings, purple socks, and gold shoes. My eyeballs hurt from the assault, but I am doing my best to embrace this form of self-expression. I'm also grateful that Coco still lets me make clothing choices for her--though she came up with this pose all on her own. Such a little ham.


  1. Do you have the book "Ella Sarah Gets Dressed" by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. One of my favorites, and I think Zuzu nailed the same outfit.

  2. They are freaking adorable. Fwiw, if a child Zuzu's age is clean, (referring back to the "people will think no one loves you!" discussion) and dressed in crazy ways, I assume their parent loves them and knows better than to engage in a power struggle with a preschooler. ;) Also, my 15 year old daughter went out in a t shirt, denim shorts, and *turquoise leggings with a good lamé paisley pattern*. Because I love her, and I know better than to engage in a power struggle with a 15 y/o girl.

    The serial killers being the result of being raised by WWII vets is fascinating. Of course it's also incredibly sad. When you mentioned that they kind of peaked in the Seventies, I wondered why, so glad you shared the theory. I wonder if Europe had a similar peak? I went through a phase of reading every book about serial killers I could find at my local library when I was a teenager, and hadn't heard that theory.

    1. And how many blogs can I go to and end up leaving a comment about adorable children and serial killers??

  3. We were in Wichita when BTK resurfaced (like seriously the month we moved there he sent the first letter to police in 20-something years). I was freaking petrified and also fascinated. I had wayyy too much time to read about it back then and Wichita is not that big. That was a big reason I wanted a dog even though we lived in an apartment.

    Fingers crossed for tons of potty learning success and hooray for no biting and no more drop off crying!