Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Everyone has things from their childhood that they can’t or won’t let go of. (Right?)

One of mine was the Daddy-Daughter Dance. I was in 4th or 5th grade and I desperately wanted to go. I remember begging my dad nonstop to take me.  He wouldn’t even consider it. He didn’t dance and had no interest in going. He had no interest in going with me.

For weeks it was all anyone talked about at school. I withdrew (even further) from the conversations and into myself those weeks to avoid being asked why I wasn’t going. What would I tell them? The day of the dance I cried in my room. He sat in his favorite chair and watched TV.

My mom loves to tell me how much Matt reminds her of my father sometimes. I vehemently disagree with that statement and it drives a wedge even further between us every time she says it.

This past Saturday, Matt took Grace to our local carnival on one of their frequent ‘dates’.

They rode rides, ate snacks and played games. Gracie almost won a ham and a goldfish. (Neither one would have lasted long in our house.) Matt’s superior college dart skills paid off and he won her princess posters. They rode and snuggled and had the kind of love filled experience Grace has come to expect from him.

And I know Matt will always be the first one in line to dance with his little girl.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mama Knows Best

On Thursday grace found her umbrella that had been missing in action for awhile.

She was thrilled, but was harbored by my warning: Close that umbrella. We do not open umbrellas in the house. Umbrellas are for rain and are not toys. I know, I'm a buzz kill.

Today, I got the best shopping cart at the grocery store. No, not the annoying, impossible to steer ones with the car. There are a bazillion of those. I grabbed one with a full size cart and a little added double bench stuck to the back. (Thus eliminating the undisclosed grabbing of fruit snacks and candy bars that I then feel obligated to purchase since those already have child sized bite marks in them.) ((Whoever realized that putting goods that every child wants, but most moms say no to at the cart-car level is a brilliant bastard.))


The downside of that cart is there is only one seatbelt. Which I had to use strap in Clare. Which left Grace to her own devices. And her devices preferred to stand and face me.

I warned and bribed her. Standing was not safe. I bought 3 red licorice swirls in the bulk section at 8:30 am to occupy her. It was not enough. I was not focused. Damn. I forgot to grab broccoli slaw in the produce section. I make a sharp about face with the cart. And out went my first born.

People gasped. Gave me the evil eye.

I picked her up, and soothed her. I gave her more candy. She stopped crying and I (loudly) told her that's why I had asked her to stay on her butt.

Tonight Mama knows best once again.

There were ear shattering shrieks from above.

Matt rushed to find out what happened. 'I was playing with the umbrella and pinched my fingers Daddy!'
She came to me shortly after for soothing.

Grace, do you remember when you fell out of the cart this mooring? (nodding) I wasn’t trying to be mean. I just wanted you to be safe. So then do you remember when I told you umbrellas weren't toys? That is because they aren't toys and things like this can happen. Do you understand? I am just trying to protect you Love......


I told you so.
(I just couldn't resist.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pulse Points

I stood there, eyes fixed and willing myself not to let them mist.

She let go of my hand within 5 minutes of stepping into the room, welcomed into the classroom and enticed by the scent of strawberries.

The educational philosophy centers on stimulation and independence. Teaching kids through engagement and creativity.

They handed her a knife.
Grace cooks with me often. I let her stand next to me by the stove and stir bubbling pots. I have never given her a knife though. I guess they knew something that I couldn't see.

I stayed as far back as I could, but watched her closely. She handled it deftly.

She found a container full of tadpoles. She knew what they were without any help. (How does she know what a tadpole looks like?) She explained to the teacher the transformation they would go though. The teacher seemed impressed and told her to feel free to explore anything she was interested in.

She played with puzzles, found fire ants digging tunnels through gel, watched as another teacher transferred the baby chickens into a shaded coop.

She washed hands when instructed to and feasted on her share of the cut strawberries, mint and a sprinkle of sugar she helped prepare.

This change will be hardest on me. Watching my child prove first hand that my baby is no longer a baby. She will thrive in this environment. Without me. Without my vertical 100 yard proximity.

Grace will soon be a Montessori girl and everything I have come to know and depend on will change. This will be good for her. Good for us.

But, ugh, how I hate change.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Start of Summer

Some people celebrate Memorial Day as the start of summer.

We dace to a slightly different beat, patterned after arm splashes, spinning wheels and pounding feet. Our summer season starts with Matt’s first triathlon. This was Pocomoke weekend.

It was Matt’s 5th year running the race, and while he claims that the field was too slim, his endurance and ambition paid off. He placed 16th overall and 2nd in his age group, resulting in his first real metal.

While I was proud of him, my joy came from watching my girls soak up the sun and sand on the Ocean City beaches.

And our mass consumption of taffy and doughnuts of course.