Thursday, July 29, 2010

did i say this was my favorite age?

i may have spoken too soon. because, sweet jesus. all of the sudden, like, since monday? f has been acting out at school in ways that have me freaking out a little bit. when i'm done giggling, that is. every day when i pick her up, if she's had a "good day," her teachers just smile and everything is peachy. but when she's had a "bad" day, the teachers give me a list of her transgressions and then usually we have a little pow-wow with f to talk about it. which, you know, is easy and fun, when she's climbing all over me and her friends are coming up to chat every 2.2 seconds or to shove lego alligators in our faces or to yank her lego alligator out of her hands which causes her to yell and run after them which results in the perpetrator getting a talking to from the teacher who was just trying to talk with us. see? easy peasy.

monday, i was informed she pulled her pal c down by the neck and also elbowed her friend j in the stomach. (ok, those ones are not funny. but i do know she has been on the receiving end of that kind of thing too - they all seem to be rough with each other from time to time. not excusing it from her, just, you know. they are kids...)

tuesday, i was told she "didn't use her good listening ears" and "used too much soap" when she was washing her hands. (how dare she?)

yesterday tickled me the most: when i picked her up, her teachers said, "well, she had a good day, for the most part, although she did call one friend an 'idiot!' and told another friend, when they sat where she wanted to sit, that she was going to "cut their head off!"

yikes.

don't get me wrong - j and i are taking this seriously and have been talking with her about options for handling situations when she gets mad, etc. nothing has changed at home; if anything, she's been sleeping great lately and we've been having a lot of fun at home of late. she's healthy, as far as we know, and we haven't discovered any food sensitivities (aside from an allergy to cashews) so i don't think it's anything physical. she's one of the "older" kids in her classroom now as a lot of her friends have already moved up to the next level - that could be part of it, and she'll join them come september. but sometimes, i just have to laugh a little bit. i mean, wow. "you idiot!" coming out of the mouth of a (usually) sweet 3 year old? it just makes me giggle (somewhat guiltily). her teacher said while at first she told her "mommy says it!" when asked where she had learned that, she later admitted that "they say it on shrek!" which, well, they do. ditto for the head chopping. so we've been talking a lot about how TV is pretend and even though they may say things in movies, does that make it ok for us to repeat them? no, it doesn't.

so much for my plan to plant her in front of this tonight:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the studio.

it's my office and my home away from home: the fm 94/9 studio. every morning just before 10am i shake off whatever is going on in my world and lean into the door to get inside (that dang door is soundproof and SO HEAVY). i set my stuff down: my coffee and water bottle go here, my purse goes there, my backpack over there. and then i start my routine. i imagine everyone has a routine when you are first starting work each day, right? what is yours? or is it a slight case of OCD? anyhow, i digress. it goes like this:

move the monitors (mikey stacks them, i like them side-by-side)
turn off the studio TV (because, really, cnn? you call that news?)
press the "mic 1" button
take all the pots on the mixer board out of "off line"
grab my music log
sign in on the commercial log
press 20 million more buttons on the mixer board
move the mic front and center
log into our audio recorder
and finally, plug in my headphones.

and then i can start. thank goodness i have beck looking out for me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

whore races

i am learning that regardless of the near-constant challenging nature of living with a three and a half year old, i also might have decided it's my favorite age so far. that being said, i hear from a lot of moms that EVERY age becomes your favorite age as it's happening, but i also get the feeling that many moms feel the need to put on a front of "i'm loving every second of this!" when most of us know that it's also possible that that's complete bullsh*t. and maybe they just neglect to include the caveat - who knows. what i do know is the love she showers on us combined with the fountain of insanely epic phrases that come out of f's mouth lately is an awesome combination of sweet and entertaining. if i mentally block out the lightning-fast mood swings and screaming assertions of independence, it really does feel like my favorite age. and the things that come out of her mouth, well, i can't write them down fast enough (though knowing she'll be our only, god knows i try). my favorite recent nugget is this one: while pretending we were in a horse race yesterday, she kept yelling - at the top of her lungs - "WHORE RACES!! MAMA, WE'RE WHORE RACING!!"

when i stopped her and said "HORSE! it's HORSE racing, f!" she said, with renewed vigor, "YES, MAMA!! WHOOOOORE RACES!!! GIDDYUP!"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

wordplay.

yesterday afternoon, f's swim school called to tell me class had to be canceled because there was a "fecal accident" in the pool. when we got home, i told j about it, because the phrase "fecal accident" made me giggle like the 9 year old that i really am. as i was telling him about it, f asked "what's a fecal accident?" so i explained to her it's what happens when one of the little kids has a poo poo accident in the pool. she was somewhat fascinated by this, being 3 1/2 and newly potty trained herself. we discussed the concept of fecal accidents and their repercussions at length. it was pretty awesome.

this morning, we decided to check her class calendar to see what they'd be doing at school today. since they're learning about the letter "V" right now, "vehicles" was on today's agenda. when i read that out loud to her, her eyes lit up and she said "vehicle, mama? LIKE POO POO IN THE POOL! A VEHICLE ACCIDENT!"

that's our girl.

Friday, July 16, 2010

my fair lady

we took f to the san diego county fair this year and took advantage of all the fair has to offer: photo ops with livestock, rickety rides in kiddieland, and some greasy, salty fair food. we saw sheep and cows and monster trucks and wood carvers and a man with a tattooed face pushing his kid in a stroller. we made friends with a mom and her daughter who was f's age, and they went on a few rides together. we rode the tram and put our hands in the air when we went through the tunnel under jimmy durante blvd. and we saw fried s'mores and fried ice cream and fried avocados being sold. y'know, the fair! a crowded, nutty little slice of americana.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

food for thought, if this video was edible

my mom sent me this link not too long ago, and i've watched it a few times now and have felt everything from fascination to fear while seeing what dr. philip zimbardo has to say here. y'know the stanford prison experiment? the real thing, not the band? that dr. philip zimbardo. for your perusal:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

the 4th

growing up, there were 10 kids who lived on our little block, including my sister and i. my mom and two of the other sets of parents still live in the houses we all grew up in and have been there since around 1970. we share a lot of good history and have all been there for everyone's ups and downs over the last almost 40 years. when we were kids, we all walked to school together, rode bikes together, went to the beach together, celebrated birthdays and holidays together. as adults, we are all still friends and now have become friends with each others' parents on an adult level. i adore our little block.

one of the neighborhood traditions that began in the early 1980s was the annual 4th of july block party. we blocked off the street and had a "mini-triathlon" which included riding our bikes around the block, running around the block, then swimming laps in the mileski's pool. we barbecued, swam some more, got out the slip and slide, decorated our bikes and had a bike parade. in the afternoons, we'd all walk down to the park and have a neighborhood softball game with the west side of the street playing against the east side. in the evening we'd grill and have a pot-luck dinner and then the dads would set off fireworks. it was awesome, and i missed those parties when i moved away from home in the early 90s.



in the past decade, some new young families have moved onto "our" block - including my sister's family - and a new generation of kids have taken over. there are now fourteen kids on the block, including my sister's three (all under the age of 15). they all run around together, ride bikes together, go to the beach together, and the 4th of july block parties have, after a few years' hiatus, resumed again. this weekend j and f and i went back there and spent the weekend at my mom and step-dad's house and once again, it was awesome. the softball game - so much fun! swimming in the mileski's pool - f LOVED it. and then, a progressive dinner that included tacos and dessert and lots of wine and beer. f was in hog heaven, running around with her cousins and all the kids she's getting to know because we go visit every few months. it was idyllic, really. and i so envy it.


here's the thing: we can't afford to live in my hometown anymore, and we won't be able to in the future, unless we win the lottery. and our hearts and most of our friends and jobs that we love - all of that is in san diego. i don't want to move back to my hometown, but i envy it - the community, the sense of history, the kids all on the same block, the parents all helping each other out - all of that. my sister knows everyone and everyone's kids and hearing her talk to everyone and know who is who and which kid is doing what - i love that and i envy it. it just seems like an ideal situation in which to raise a kid, you know?

i am fully aware that the grass is always greener, and that everything involves a give-and-take. j and i chose the house we bought two years ago, and we love our home and we love our neighbors. but there are only 3 other kids spread out on our loooong block, and i think we run into them outside about once every two months. now, we have an awesome community of kids and parents through f's school, and my love for some of them is already so strong. i am so grateful for the people we have met over the last three years and between them and our playgroup, our lives are full of wonderful families and with people i hope f will get to be close to for as long as possible - i want them to grow up together. that being said, we are all spread out. we live a few miles apart at least. i think it's the proximity i envy, the "mom, i'm going across the street to play" thing that happens when you all grow up together, on the same block.

so here's my question: how do you find that kind of 'hood anymore? a safe one with good public schools and lots and lots of kids running around? is it about money? because we don't have much money. and i hate to think that it takes money to "get" that lifestyle. does it take luck? i think that's part of it - you luck into a neighborhood, good or bad, whenever you move, because it's impossible to really know until you move there, right? do those kinds of blocks even really exist anymore? i know they do... but how does anyone find them? we're not moving anytime soon, so this is all just me sorta thinking out loud. i think this weekend was just so damn wonderful that it got me thinking, really thinking about the kind of childhood i want for f. knowing that she will be an only child is part of it, absolutely. and maybe as she gets into elementary school, we'll start to meet more nearby families and start to feel most connected within our neighborhood. i hope so. in the meantime, we're taking steps to feel more connected to our neighbors, even if there aren't a ton of kids on our block; we're starting by planning a summer's end BBQ at our house, and i'm already excited about it. even if there will only be two other kids running around, it's a start, right?