Maggie: If you are alive, I’m going to be a doctor when I grow up. If you aren’t alive I’m going to be an artist.

Me: (silence)

Really, what can you say after that? I certainly hope I’m alive when she is old enough to gave a career. I would probably be in my 60s. Sweet Jeebus that’s a scary thing to think about. Also, I’ve never told her she had to be a doctor. She came up with that idea on her own but she makes it sound like I’m pressuring her or something. The only thing I told her was that she had to take care of us in our old age. Better a doctor than an artist to do that, right?

I had her parent-teacher conference and I realized two things: Maggie is lucky to have the teacher she has and that she is as smart as I thought she was. I mean, I kind of knew the latter but it’s still nice to hear a professional say it. She even said that Maggie is doing ok socially, which was a pleasant surprise. She did say that Maggie can be very hard to read. I thoroughly concur on that front. She is always observing and doesn’t often completely let her guard down. It can be disappointing if you’re looking for the exuberant reaction at a present or a surprise. But she will later talk about things in a way that lets you know she was excited. Anyway, her teacher said that she has been getting to know Maggie better and that she now can tell she’s excited when she sees a twinkle in her eye. The fact that she would take the time to notice that she even has a twinkle is pretty impressive. She also thinks that Maggie will test into the advanced program, if not the gifted one. Whichever, just surround her with other nerds.

Me: Ok, Fiona let’s go.
Fiona: Wait, was that a garbage truck? I don’t like garbage trucks. Or dinosaurs. [Starts to walk out the door] Oh wait, I forgot about cows.

Fiona just keeps plugging along as Fiona. I wish I could write down everything she says at this point because it’s so incredibly cute. Earlier today she kept saying, “Ohh my goodness!” in this very dramatic voice. She also keeps telling us that she’s going to the grocery store and that she’ll be back later. Somehow she never seems to get there.

She just started in her big girl bed which has been both good and bad. It’s nice because she and Maggie can play in the morning. The bad thing is that they egg each other on

Wait, what was I going to say?

I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing stuff down again so I keep forgetting the things I want to write down here.

Earlier this week I found Maggie digging into her Halloween treats. When I caught her she said, “Well I’m just trying to get the kids here all hyper.” Great idea. We certainly need that.

Today, Fiona reached into her Halloween bag and took a peanut butter cup out. I told her not to eat it. When I looked back again she had unwrapped it and tried to distract me by just saying “hi, hi Mommy” as though I wouldn’t notice what she was really doing. I found the wrapper later but didn’t find the paper wrapper so I can only assume she ate that as well.

Much like closing the bathroom door, you would think that I would move the Halloween candy. Ahh, the things I could do to make my life less complicated and stressful.

Speaking of stressful, I’m going to apply for another job. I haven’t done that in a couple of years. It would be fewer hours for more pay. It’s about $8 more per hour but it’s at the county. Most people would probably be excited for the prospect of a job at the county. It scares me because I’ve never had a “grown-up” job before. Granted I do really stressful, challenging work every day. But I can also do totally inappropriate things, fart and swear. I don’t think you can do that at the county. I’m also not really good at schmoozing, which I think you’re probably supposed to be. I’ll still apply of course but I’ll bring my customary negativity to the task. Hooray me!!

Right to privacy

As I think I’ve said plenty of times before, it could be time for me to start instituting a little privacy in our place. I was getting dressed last week when Fiona came up to me and said, “Boobies!” I agreed that yes I did have boobies. Then she yelled, “And nipples!” She pointed out that she had nipples but no boobies. Then she said, “I can touch yours?” Umm…ok. So I let her. Not to be outdone, Maggie came running into the room and said that she wanted to feel them too.

The next day DH had his run in with Fiona. He didn’t close the door when he went to the bathroom, which is unusual for him. Fiona walked in and just stood there staring at him, saying “Daddy have a tail.” DH said that it was a penis so Fiona then spent the rest of the night walking around and singing “penis, penis, penis.” There’s something to take to school.

They are also both obsessed with poop. If I am changing Fiona’s diaper, Maggie comes tearing in from the other room to see what she’s produced. Fiona will grab toilet paper and start wiping your bottom, despite all requests to the contrary.

Again, given all of this you’d think we’d just shut the doors.

On a totally unrelated note, I cheated on my hairstylist of eight years. I hate how she’d been cutting my hair lately and the fact that she wouldn’t listen to me when I asked her to do it differently. I found another person but I didn’t want to totally end things with her so I just postponed our appointment (via text) and made the other appointment. The new haircut is so much better. It no longer looks like I’m wearing a snap-on hair bowl. I didn’t get a head massage and she was a sloppy hair washer but the final product is good. I still haven’t officially broken up with Darla but she may have gotten a clue since she texted me back with some other times and I never followed up.

In the world of work, my coworker’s last day was this Wednesday. He and my other coworker went out to lunch and didn’t invite me. Then he left without saying goodbye to me. Granted I was away from my desk but you think he would have made an effort to at least say goodbye. It was really weird.

I also had a lovely interaction with a client. He called and left a message on our hotline on Monday afternoon. I called him back less than 24 hours later and left a message. While I was on the phone with someone else, he called three times and didn’t leave a message. He called again and when I answered, he demanded to know what agency I was with. When I told him he said that he had already started working with another agency because they answer their phone. He then yelled, “Maybe you should try that!” and slammed down the phone. While this was a more extreme example, I have people who tell me in a crabby or sad voice when I call back that they already found another agency to do their counseling. I feel like explaining the basic idea of a nonprofit to people. If we don’t help you, there’s plenty of other people we can help. Our service is free, we’re not losing money if we don’t work with you. I’m just happy that you’re one less person I have to deal with. That’s the kind of customer service I provide.

And last but not least, Maggie had her first playdate at our place today. We haven’t had anyone over before other than family because our place us just so tiny and run down. It’s even more obvious in light of the grown up families at Maggie’s school. But she will need to be able to have friends over (feeling optimistic that she will have some) so I decided to just suck it up and scheduled a playdate. I told myself that Maggie never paid any attention to what other people’s houses looked like so other kids probably wouldn’t either. Things went ok and Maggie and her friend seemed like they had a good time. Then I heard the little girl ask where the rest of Maggie’s house was and where the stairs were. Maggie said that this was all we had and that other people lived upstairs. The little girl said, “You live in an apartment? Weird!” So much for kids not noticing.

There’s enough crap for everyone

Last weekend was an exciting one for Maggie. On Friday she finally lost her first tooth. It was wiggling so much that she couldn’t eat so she finally agreed I could pull it out. I told her I had to dry off the tooth with a napkin so I could get a better grip on it, which was true. But then it just came out with the napkin. She said it didn’t hurt and she was fine until I mentioned that she was bleeding. Then she started freaking out and wouldn’t close her mouth so she was drooling blood all over. Fortunately she calmed down. While I was brushing her teeth later that night (am I still supposed to be doing that? I see how she “brushes” so I feel like it’s the only way to avoid dentures), she put her hand on my arm and said, “Mommy, be gentle with my space.” I know she meant the space of her lost tooth but I liked that it sounded all zen.

On Saturday we got her standardized reading test results and she scored in the 99th percentile. I knew she was good but I didn’t think she would score that well! I was way more excited than I probably should have been.

In my Greenlake notes, I saw some man who looked like he was squatting to take a crap. Perhaps he was stretching but that seems like the kind of stretching that you should do at home. And speaking of crapping, I had another epic bird crap on my car today. The crap was epic, probably not the bird. Why do they like my car so much? My final crap tie in is Miss Fiona. Why do both of my kids hate to poop? It’s not supposed to be that dramatic to take a crap. Today Fiona got herself so upset about not wanting to poop that she started sobbing and then threw up all over everywhere. Awesome. It was dinner and strawberry milk and it stinks. I cleaned it up but I can still smell the lingering funk of milky vomit.

In other news, another coworker gave notice today. That means that by the time we hire someone, that will be my ninth coworker in nine years. Granted three of them were fired (which seems like a lot) but still that’s a lot of turnover. It seems like every time we get something going smoothly, someone leaves. I can’t blame the current one for leaving. His commute is almost an hour and he got a job closer to his house for a little bit more money. It’s just hard not personalizing it since I know that yet again I will have to go through an interview process and shoulder the extra burden until we get someone up and running. Frankly I’m sick of it.

Then I start to question where I am in my so-called career. I’m still at the same job nine years later. I am making more money and I have more responsibility, which I have to remind myself about. I also have six weeks of vacation which is invaluable given childcare and now my dad’s health. But other people leaving all the time makes me feel like I should be doing it too. It makes me feel like they’re moving up by going somewhere and I’m staying put. Logically I know it’s not a competition and that this job works for me now. It just happens to feed into one of my sore spots about myself.

My other sore spot is DH. He’s seriously driving me nuts. Today I was trying to tell him a story and he just interrupted me. When I asked him not to do it, he said that he would just be quiet and listen since he wasn’t allowed to participate. I just walked away and didn’t talk to him for the rest of the night. Not my most mature move but I didn’t care. It also feels like he’s always making digs about how he does more work than me because I get home later than he does. There isn’t really much I can do about it since my schedule is limited by Maggie’s school schedule. It’s the snarkiness and the passive-aggression that I just can’t stand. I’m sure there are things about me that drive him crazy but I just don’t want to think about that right now. I’m too busy being crabby.

Finally, there are about 40 stairs that lead down from the pediatrician’s office to the parking lot. How do I know this? Because Fiona insisted that she could go down the stairs “myselfses”, which entailed an elaborate ritual of half-sitting, half-walking and plenty of stopping. If I got anywhere near her as though to pick her up, she would emit a very loud and high pitched squeal. So 40 stairs took about 10 minutes but it felt like much, much longer.

In redeeming cuteness:

Me: Fiona, did you just toot?
Fiona: No, I just had a little gas.

Always with the questions

Here are some public bathroom-related mysteries/questions: How do you get shit on the back of the toilet seat? How do you aim your ass to make that happen? If you have to take a huge crap in a public toilet, do you need to draw attention to yourself by making grunting noises? Maybe some people just don’t care who knows they’re doing it and I’ve just gotten so used to the stealth poopers that I take that for the norm.

If you’ve been teaching a class for a few years, why would you mispronounce a word that you say multiple times throughout the class? And if you were teaching the class with that person why would you not say anything to them? Why do people feel like they need to verbally acknowledge something they feel strongly about, while in a group setting? I can process internally, why can’t you? Maybe this is a social service thing. How can people not realize that there is a time and place for stuff. You’re in a class about credit counseling and credit scoring. I understand that there is institutional racism and that the credit system is a construct of the dominant white culture. It sucks. But bringing up that injustice in this setting is not going to get you anywhere.

Why can I not ever get to bed before 10:30? I need my wind-down time and I get nothing until at least 8:30 when M & F are in bed. I guess I just answered that question. I think the more accurate question would be how do I get more hours in the day to do everything I want and need to do? Will I ever start exercising? Will I ever stop drinking diet coke? I had four today. Where will I find pants now that Old Navy doesn’t carry my size anymore?

How can I convince Maggie to let me yank out that loose tooth? Just one pull and it would be out of there. Why is Fiona such a tiny thing? She’s nowhere near the size Maggie was at this age. Maybe if I stretch her out she will get a neck too.

Me: Fiona I need to change your diaper.
Fiona: No, I don’t want to. You’re making me very sad.

Stuff that pours out of the hole in my brain

So I watch awful tv. It’s just what I do. While I was waiting for Top Model to come on, I watched I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant: Baby in the Living Room. Or something like that. There’s always a colon and then a descriptive passage. In general these are fairly normal people who somehow just don’t know they’re knocked up. This week’s episode featured some gems, though. First we had the woman who appeared to only have every other tooth and said that she wouldn’t trade anything for her kids. Ummmm….you do know that means that you value everything above your kids, right? Clearly you don’t value your dental health above your kids. Then there was the woman who said that her surprise child was a gift to god. I thought maybe that meant that she had offered him up as a sacrifice since he wasn’t planned anyway. I think she might have meant something different.

Then speaking of weird shit on tv, what is up with the commercials? I couldn’t figure out what the first commercial was about but I noticed that the seemingly Hispanic man mentioned god and then he appeared to have more and more children. It was only four in the end but that still seems like a lot to me. The next commercial was an African American self- professed inner-city teacher. Both of them said that they were what Mormons were all about. I certainly don’t associate non-white people with Mormonism and frankly those people don’t help change my mind. All it does is make me wonder what is wrong with them and why any religion is advertising on tv.

Other miscellany:

*In poop news, a bird took an epic dump on my windshield the other morning. It was sort of raining as I drove to work and all of a sudden I heard a huge plopping sound. I thought maybe it was just an especially large raindrop, which didn’t really make any sense. But nope, I was two giant globs of poop. Each one was at least 2 inches. Proportionally I think that would equal a four foot long human poop. What was wrong with that bird? And how did it know to shit just out of the area that my wipers cover?

*I did mortgage counseling with an elf this week. I was meeting with a older client earlier and we had to switch meeting rooms because of a scheduling issue. So we move to a room that has a wall of windows. He sits in front of the window with me facing him, so he is essentially backlit. It’s then that I notice that his ears are very large and quite elfin. Then I also notice that I really can’t see his face in much detail anymore so all I can focus on is his ears. It was difficult to keep a straight face.

*Unrelated to my work, but related to someone else’s: I can’t handle the person who takes their job way too seriously. It’s never the person who should be doing it. Case in point, the manager at Wendy’s. (There does seem to be a fast food theme in my posts…) This dude really thought his job was extremely important and extremely cool. He was talking very loudly to a former employee/possible friend about all of his responsibilities and going on in great detail about the difference in hamburger patty sizes now. In the parlance of my youth, he was acting big. Then he showed his “friend” his new car, which was a 10 year old truck that he’s already used to sideswipe a pole. Hey, I’m not judging on the old car. I’m judging on you acting like it’s something to show someone. Where do people like this get their confidence? Perhaps they hang out with someone like my high school acquaintance that I friended on fb (for no reason other than we used to be honors chem lab partners). Every time she posts on fb, she either likes or comments on her own post. The fact that you posted it pretty much implies that you like it and if you had more to say, why not just include that in the original post?

*I picked up Maggie from school today. It’s always a good opportunity to see the moms I have nothing in common with. Tomorrow Maggie has a playdate with the MILF’s kid at her house in the gated community. Can’t wait to reciprocate that playdate. Maybe we can break into the vacant rental across the street so it is at least clean. Maggie requested a trip to the park after school so off we went. While we were there, the fancy quintessential North Seattle mom showed up. There’s the granola-ish Dansko crowd, but then there are the ones that wear designer sporty-type clothes and seem to be very high maintenance. There are usually boots, puffy coats, skintight leggings and hats. All of the stuff could have been purchased at Target but I guarantee it was from somewhere five times that cost. This particular incarnation had a plaid fedora-style hat that basically came down to her nose. How do you see in that? She also had on the tightest leggings I’ve ever seen without something over them. I felt like I was seeing both more and less of her than I should be seeing.

*Ugh, Fiona. I have no idea how 34 inches of human can rule a household like she does but we need to get a handle on that shit before someone gets hurt.

*And now for the quotes:

Maggie: Mommy, Fiona is letting her Elmo go potty all over the floor. She’s being a bad parent.

Me: Get to the back of the line, Fiona.

Of things weird and poopy

Fiona: Look mommy, it’s the Space Noodle!


Me: You like talking to Grandad, don’t you?

Fiona: Yeah, he’s a nice guy.


DH: Well I guess I could fall off the wagon and go out to eat with you guys.

Maggie: But we don’t even have a wagon.


Yesterday was a weird day. While I was at work I had to deal with two clients who were crazy, one in an awesome way and the other in a get the hell away from me way. My awesome crazy client staged a one-woman protest at her lender’s office downtown. I told her that they might do something like arrest her and she said, “Fuck them. I’m down here with my walker. They’re not going to fuck with an old, disabled, fat, white lady.” With that attitude I suspect she is probably right. On the other end of the spectrum is the caaaaaaaaaancer client. We did a conference call with her lender and she was so obnoxious that I wanted to foreclose on her house. She kept saying that she wasn’t usually like that. Seems curious that you bring out the crazy every time I talk to you.

Then I decided to walk to the grocery store to buy some lunch. As I stood on the corner, I saw a woman across the street dressed like a dirty hippie and wearing a furry vest, complete with a hood with horns. She was talking on the phone as she walked. The conversation was probably going something like this: “Yeah, I’m on the corner. I’m wearing the horned sweatshirt. No, no, the brown fuzzy one.” She also gestured very expansively with her arms, although moving as slowly as if she were underwater. It’s quite possible she was high. It could explain both the purchase and the wearing of the vest.

Then I came home last night and the place smelled like crap. Literally. I asked DH what was up and he said he didn’t smell anything. I asked Fiona if she pooped and she said she had a little bit. Well indeed she had. When she stood up there was a squishy puddle of shit on the flow and a clump smeared on her leg. Her diaper was tucked into her butt crack, leaving plenty of room for escaping poop. Awesome.


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