I have managed, largely, to keep my goal of being softer with the kids going. This morning I found that verily, a soft answer doth turneth away the wrath even of a Lily who doesn’t like breakfast, couldn’t find the clothes she wanted and is generally grumpy (go find yourself something else for breakfast, fine, pretzels, pack it up carefully and bring it in the car). But oh, it has been a long afternoon. For starters, back in October I […]
What a day. Let’s just say that the amount of crying that went on this afternoon was stunning, and that was before I told the kids that the (old) dog had (easily, I hope painlessly) died this morning. I have had better days. So, I guess, had she… But (so I won’t start crying) back to the crying. I told the kids this am that I would bring them home for an hour before soccer. We take Lily’s friend B […]
Who doesn’t know that the true reason we drive our kids all over to activity after activity is that we ourselves wish we had had these opportunities or these skills? To be someone who, if the chance arose, would surprise everyone by, say, sitting down at the piano for a sing-a-long, executing a perfect dive into the lake, shushing down the narrowest of ski trails or jumping a horse over a fence? (Apparently I have a secret desire to be […]
Child A is reading on its bed. Child B is irritated with Child A for some reason and appears mournfully in the doorway. “I’m too tired for quiet reading,” wails Child B. “I want the light off!” “OK, sure.” Child B has a flashlight on its bed, and, history suggests, plans to use said flashlight once the lights are out. I take the flashlight and hand it to Child A. “Here you go! Now you can read, and Child B […]
Good Eggs: A Memoir by Phoebe Potts My rating: 4 of 5 stars I love a graphic memoir, and I loved this one. I adore how tight and condensed the words of the story become, while the story itself, through the drawings, sprawls out as wide as any story can. I had a hard time putting this down to sleep. If you’re not a graphic novel reader, but you like memoir, you might be surprised how easily and thoroughly you […]
Greetings from the Tunbridge World’s Fair Originally uploaded by kjda The Tunbridge World’s Fair is old school. There were pigs, cows, horses, oxen…And rides, of the kind that come by truck and move on on Monday with the carnival. And BBQ, run by a bunch of guys in leather who look like the Sons of Anarchy gone straight. We are sticky with maple cotton candy, maple ice cream, maple candy and a maple donut with maple icing. It’s been a […]
Gonna push the world away for a minute, pretend I don’t live in it… I was on the periphery of a tragedy today, one that wasn’t mine in any way, so I won’t go into details. I did what little I could for the people closer to it, and thought about how communities are when sudden grief strikes: first things fall apart, as people find their day-to-day routine interrupted, and there is a flurry of regrouping, and then they pull […]
Dog Meets Porquipine Originally uploaded by kjda I totally thought the Porcupine was cute. Yesterday. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone — Correction: I also TOTALLY thought there was a Q in porcupine. But I fixed it. Ah, the glories of not having to adhere to an editorial policy…I didn’t even have to cop to it.
I got sucked in by an infomercial. I haven’t exercised in months. I had pneumonia last, um, August. And although that excuse obviously eventually became somewhat less than valid (I think even the most sympathetic of us would have to agree that I am probably all rested up now). you know, one thing led to another, I finished a draft of my book, auditioned for Motherlode, took the job…I was busy, ‘kay? But inspired by a variety of things: this […]
This is my new office. This is the view from my new office. Do note the boxes in the foreground, and the complete absence of a desktop computer, and the boxes in the background. Deal is, new desktop–when there is a top of the desk to be seen. Meanwhile, it’s a fresh office start for me! I’m unpacking.
Nothing is different about our country than it was Tuesday, or the day before, or even the day before that. All that’s changed is that we know more about each other than we did then.
Teachers assign projects to our kids for a reason, and it’s not to see what their parents can do.
We’ve all been there. Your child is frustrated, and insisting the teacher never showed her how to graph the results of the word problem. The 210 page reading assignment had him up half the night; the “measure four rooms in your house” question took the combined efforts of the whole family to complete and taught your kid nothing, and seriously, who does the second grade teacher think is really doing the online research on lemurs? You’re annoyed, you’re confused, everyone […]
Episode 100 Show Notes: #DrivingTwoCars kjdellantonia.com NY Times Well The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, Jess Lahey #AmWriting with Jess and KJ The Atlantic Vermont Public Radio Grown and Flown KJ’s How to Be a Happier Parent (even when I’m not) #DrivingTwoCars Sarina Bowen Laurie Abkemeier KIWI Magazine Bittersweet (True North #1), Sarina Bowen The Creative Penn Podcast, Joanna Penn The Art of the Book Proposal, Eric Maisel […]
Vacations are stressful. I hate that as a sentence, because of course they’re not supposed to be stressful, and lots of vacation advice is to let all the things that go wrong go and just somehow refuse to be stressed. Which is very difficult advice to follow, because it’s hard not to be stressed about some parts of vacation. You’re in a strange place, at the mercy of airlines and train schedules, surrounded by strangers, often accompanied by young children […]
I’m 47 years old. Two days ago, you sent me an email, which I did not answer. I didn’t answer it, in part, because I am 47 years old.
I appreciated your email. You are a person, who has written an email, and I am a person, who should reply to that email. However, your email arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and just as I opened it, my 16-year-old son came in. He wanted to describe to me an app he is in the process of developing. Then he showed me a funny article someone had sent him, and I showed him a funny article someone had sent me, and then I explained that I had work to do, that I needed, in fact, to respond to your email, and also to write 3,000 words in the next 36 hours. “I’ve only written 300,” I said.
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I have seen the new food pyramid, and the news is good–apparently, if you run up just a few steps a day, you can eat anything you want at the top of the pyramid! At least, that’s what I heard someone on NPR say. She seemed worried that all of us graphic sign-people would take xanax buy pharmacy phentermine On the 20 March 2008 xanax buy pharmacy phentermine flight was the first time voice calls have been allowed in-flight on […]
9:30 a.m. Amount of patience remaining: 0 Number of times children woke in the night and required tending by an adult: 3 Number of times yelled at Sam in last 3 hours: unk. Number of adults currently watching children:0 Most irritating conversation held with Sam, while still in possession of patience: “Mommy, look what I can do!” (moving shoes from one shelf to another. “mmm hmm.” “Do you want me to move these?” “No, thank you.” “But do you want […]
I was at a party over the weekend, an actual, honest to god, here’s a loud band and some food and some drink party (dancing to 60’s and 70’s standards under the stuffed heads of decapitated animals, an unexpected party from the pov of me in my twenties but a fun one just the same). The band took a break, and my friend L sidled up to me and hissed “hey, let’s slip outside for a cigarette.” For jsut a […]
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Reddy #2 died. Full disclosure to Lily, who flushed him herself and agreed to adopt Sam’s dramatic looking swordtail, which he agreed to if he was allowed to help name it. So, Lightening, who’s been alive in the tank for nearly a week now, becomes Lily’s special fish. He’ll probably be belly-up tomorrow. So bedtime rolled around with excruciating slowness after a very long day. Lily’s been making bedtime a thing of misery and threats for weeks now, and tonight […]
Rob is out of town for half the week, so it’s pretty much a race with decent SAG stops for me. Get up! Get dressed! Get your coat on ! Get your boots on! Where’s your lunch? Why aren’t your boots on? Let’s go! [interval of school and babysitter and work] get in the car! We’ve got to go get someone else! Got to drop them off! Got to get home! Run! And this is just my inner monologue….
Lily had a ski lesson today, and while she was on the mountain with her instructor she ran into a friend. Apparently (according to the instructor) she had been beautifully following along until she saw…J. Who was going fast. And making no turns. And generally having a lovely time. And that was the end of nice cooperative Lily. Oh well. I had to get an earful about parents who let their little kids zip down the mountain, in the fall […]
An Easter Tragedy Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia It’s hard to see–look at the next picture below–but Lily’s chocolate Easter bunny was left in a stream of spring sunshine and imploded. It’s face melted clear away. And it’s still only 19 degrees here. Farenheit, in case you had any doubt. Her suggestion was to write the Easter bunny a letter and ask him not to leave it in the sun next year, although the bunny really can’t be blamed, […]
It’s a lovely day here for staying in and not going to the Great Wall. Really, we’re all feeling quite festive about it. After that first phone call yesterday, we were quietly encouraged to get the kids down to the pool while Rob met with officials. When they called us back up, they swabbed our throats (just about the only thing that could have made Wyatt less thrilled in general about the Chinese people as a whole was one of […]
We woke up frustrated today. as a group. Last night was hot, hot, hot–it’s cooled off every other night, but not last night. There was tossing, there was turning, and two of the three of us in my room fell out of bed at least once. We woke up itchy and ready to crawl out of our skins, and with no appetite for another huge Guo-men breakfast. The troops were rebelling. And, of course, there was nothing my mom and […]
Regrouping Originally uploaded by kjda The easiest number of children to deal with is always one fewer than what you have. It’s been true every time and it’s true again. Rory had to go get her tb test read, so I had breakfast at the buffet with just these two, which last week I would have considered a chore. But they know what they want to eat. They know to walk to the table. They can be left eating by […]
I don’t understand. Not that Lily and Wyatt don’t touch one another, or bug one another occasionally–but Rory they feel compelled to constantly poke. If she is sitting on a barstool, one of them is touching her feet. If she is on the couch, one of them is on top of her, prodding her. If she is wandering around, someone is following her–touching her. They poke her in the car, they prod her in the stroller, they nudge her at […]
So, below a couple of pictures we have a lovely picture of the candy-smeared Rory. I haven’t figured out her relationship with food yet, or what I should be trying to do for her. She’s got some oddities–for example, she sucks down any sugary drink she’s given, from Sprite (thank you, China) to chocolate milk, before eating. Some foods she just mainlines–any snack, for example, or the little boxes of cereal they serve at a breakfast buffet. Either you take […]
If I’m in the kitchen making lunches (or, ideally, sticking the already packed sandwiches, etc, into the lunch boxes) during breakfast, they’re all lined up across from me at the bar. This seems to alert some sort of inner “soda bar” facility deep in the brain, as the combination of the bar, the kitchen and the breakfast makes them conclude that I am a waitress. A bored waitress. So if I’l there, they spend all of their eating time thinking […]