in the neighborhood

This week, the Bee has her play, so I’ve been working at home a lot, in order to get her an early dinner and to tech rehearsal on time. Today, as I walked the Potato home from school in the afternoon, he told me about his day at school, showed me his library book, and waved to a girl in his class.

It always makes me laugh, how excited first graders are to encounter each other outside of the classroom. Even though they just spent a whole day together, there’s something about being outside! on the sidewalk! with your mom! that makes it a totally new thing.

Our kids go to a neighborhood school–we only live four blocks away. But those four blocks can be filled with some interesting encounters, some days.


April 23, 2010. family life. 3 comments.

The Bear Abides

Lately, the Potato has been making sure that Mr. Bear knows he is still loved. Two of my favorite Potato-isms?

“I love Mr. Bear because he makes me feel like I’m not the smallest person in the house.”


“Mr. Bear is my Potato.”

melting puddle of Mom

April 19, 2010. the cutest kids ever!. 2 comments.

on the verge

So we’re still all here. It’s been a rough week, one that contained not one but two therapy sessions (one with the Bee, one with just me and landisdad). We’ve come up with some new rules in our house, and we’re hoping that it will make a difference.

April is destined to be fairly sucky, since I have an extended business trip and then the Bee has tech week for her play, which will make her crazy.

Thanks for all your good wishes, folks. We’re muddling through this thing. Y’know, life.

April 11, 2010. parenting ain't easy. 5 comments.


I’m starting to wonder if our family will ever be happy. Despite the fact that we made some progress with the Bee’s anger issues earlier in the year, there’s been major slippage backwards in the last few months. The real problem is that the Bee defaults to anger whenever she feels any negative emotion—embarrassment, shame, disappointment, depression, and of course actual anger—they all get manifested in rage. And lately, that rage has been directed at her brother, as well as at landisdad and me.

I’m nearly at the point of moving out of our house, and taking the Bee with me, for at least a year. I’m filled with despair about it, and I don’t think that word is strong enough to describe how landisdad feels. It’s gutting, to fight with your kid every single day.

I never thought I would be at this point in my life as a parent.

I told the Bee yesterday, during a marathon of crazy parenting, that we will have plenty of things to fight about in coming years—whether she gets to wear make-up to school, how late she will be able to stay out with her friends, when she can start dating—but I can’t fight with her every moment of every day about the way she treats other people.

I will never give up on that kid. I am committed to helping her to grow, to helping her learn how to manage her bad feelings, to help her express things by doing something other than lashing out at other people. But I can’t say I’m enjoying this part of being her mom, either.

April 5, 2010. parenting ain't easy. 10 comments.

small trades

I saw my mother-in-law this week, and she gave me Irving Penn’s Small Trades. It’s an amazing book of photography. Penn, one of the foremost Vogue photographers, spent several years in Paris, London & New York. He did fashion photography, yes.

But he also took pictures of tradespeople, wearing the clothes they wore to work, and sometimes carrying the tools of their trade. These are fantastic photos of a world that mostly doesn’t exist anymore. There are few charwomen or road sweepers left in the industrial world, anyway.

If you’re interested in a fascinating, artful depiction of the working people of sixty years ago, check this book out.

April 2, 2010. books for grown-ups. Leave a comment.