While Simon naps

My friend Abbie sent me a message the other day, and I’ve been totally haunted by it. What she sent was an email I’d written to her in 2009, six years ago. (Only six years ago. How is that possible?) 

I had written: 

July 29, 2009 at 7:26pm · 

I’m dying to get into Hamline in Minnesota, and am therefore knitting my Minnesota Scarf of Optimism. Second choice is Naropa. Either way, I need to be where it’s cold and literary.

I got into Hamline. I got into Naropa, too, but chose to go to Minnesota. I met Zach very shortly after I moved there, and we moved in together shortly after that. We got engaged, then we got married, then we had two kids. We live in a suburb of Seattle. I write when I can, and we play, and there’s preschool and play dates and I read for twenty minutes at night before I fall asleep, totally exhausted. 

But what if I’d chosen Naropa? It would have been such a small thing to do in 2009 – just a matter of making one choice instead of the other. But it would have changed everything. Naropa is in Colorado, and it’s Ginsberg’s school. They offer yoga classes, and the students there write outside on blankets. It’s a school of Beat Poets long after the Beat Generation. What if I’d gone? No Zach, no Maddie or Simon, probably no Seattle. What would I write about? I wouldn’t be writing children’s lit, because Naropa doesn’t specialize in children’s lit. Hamline does, and that’s where I learned that I love writing for children above writing for anyone else. What would I be doing now? Would I have stayed in Colarado? Would I have had other, parallel universe children? Hattie and Clive? 

Every single thing in my life hung on that decision six years ago, and I’d had no idea. What a crazy thing.



We saw all of Issaquah today.

I tried my best to make up for yesterday, because while we made oatmeal singles and read books and played, we also stayed inside all day and watched too much Sprout.

I’m conflicted regarding my feelings about Sprout vs. PBS. PBS is more educational, and I really love Curious George and Peg + Cat. But Sprout has The Pajanimals (ADORABLE) and the Goodnight Show and Chica, who Simon adores. I mean, he really adores her. He has a stuffed Chica that he goes to bed with every single night. Of course, he also goes to bed with his stuffed Curious George every night. Do you see my dilemma? Anyway.

Too much TV yesterday, so almost no TV today. Maddie’s ballet class was cancelled this morning, so I retrieved the wagon from our outdoor storage, and I took the kids for a walk. A loooong walk. The longest walk. The funny thing about the wagon is it’s MURDER on your arms when you’re pulling it all over the city. But the kids love it more than the double stroller, so it was worth it. 

We walked to Target and bought picnic foods.

Then we found a cool little park we’d never been to before. We had the whole place to ourselves, except for the occasional passing dog and owner.

It was fun. Then we walked to the library because we were a little early meeting friends for frozen yogurt, and Simon laughed his pants off over a couple of Biscuit books. Simon freaking LOVES Biscuit books. It’s written all over his face here. “Biscuit?! RAISE THE ROOF.”

Then we randomly ran into the people from artEAST who are making a documentary that Maddie is in, and they asked me to come back in next week to do some voice over work. Pretty neat! Maybe I’ll even manage to redeem myself after the prior interview I gave in which I said: “Well, I think children have a more pure appreciation for art. They don’t have their MFAs. No one’s told them what to like. They just like what they like.” Ugh. I really didn’t mean to sound down on MFAs. I love my MFA. I’m just TERRIBLE at answering questions on the spot. I hope the police never call me in for questioning. I’d implicate everyone I know by accident. 

Then we met up with Becky and her girls, had frozen yogurt, and went to the playground.

Sounds like a pretty perfect day, right?

The thing is, it wasn’t.

And before I tell you what I’m upset about, I will also tell you that I’m PMSing in such an extreme, feverish way.

I spiral cut six zucchinis tonight and made Italian baked eggs to go over them.

And Maddie wouldn’t touch it. Just like she didn’t touch her dinner last night. She wouldn’t even stay at the table this time. I was anxious over the potential rudeness of this, and what if she NEVER sits at the table for dinner? What if we are guests at someone’s home and she refuses to sit at the table? So I totally freaked, put her in time out, dealt with a straight eight minutes of her yelling at me… And I accomplished nothing.

What would Jim Fay do, here?

(Obsessed with the Love and Logic parenting stuff. I’m just awful at sticking to it lately. Especially because Maddie is what they call a very spirited child, and she’s already seemingly outsmarted the system.)

We don’t have wine at the moment, but I am going to make a really massive cup of tea. Goodnight.


Sick day.

On one of the loveliest days of 2015 (so far)

it would happen that one of us is sick. This time it’s Simon. Sweetest sick boy on the planet.

Said in a truly excellent Christopher Walken voice: He’s got a fever. And the only prescription is some tickles from his sister.

And maybe some of these puppies.

They’re strawberry banana baked oatmeal singles, and you can find the recipe right here at Emily Bites. I love her recipes, because a ton of them are foods shaped like cupcakes. And I will eat ANY food shaped like a cupcake.

Even sushi.

Anyway, no outdoor playing for us today, because of poor sick Simon. But after we eat a shameful number of these oatmeal singles, we’re going to pile into my bed and plow through our library books. Maybe we’ll even open a window. That way, the weather won’t be entirely wasted on us.