22 September 2007

"I'm going to move into the basement . ."

That's what Avery just informed me were her plans should we keep our word to move Lily into her bedroom to make room for another child. "Let me know how that works out for you, considering we don't have a basement."

The conversation started as a yelling match, Avery attempting to keep her newest toy away from Lily . . one made of indestructible plastic and given to her by my mom, who's visiting for the weekend. Of course I allowed the argument to escalate to fits and tears, then promptly kicked the Lincoln Logs house I'd built against the wall (it had it coming). So with both of them wailing, I sent Avery to her room (she of course went upstairs to rat me out to my mom). Lily then says to me "I want to go to my room." "Fine, go, stay in there" I told her, as if it was my idea. Of course Mandi called me in the middle of the whole episode . . I didn't really hear anything she said, except of course that her breakfast had cost her $21. I had a Poptart for breakfast today.

So it looks like we have some work to do convincing Avery that we really did buy her bunk beds because we planned all along to move Lily in to her room when the nursery was ready for a new baby, not just so her stuffed animals would have a place to chill. What a harsh reality that must be for a 7 year old to deal with. Maybe I could just remodel the garage for her in lieu of a basement.

20 September 2007

History Must Be Destined . . .

. . to repeat itself. One of the most vivid memories I have of my Dad is of our nightly bathtime, when my sisters and I would pile in the tub together and Dad would wash the hair and break up the fights. Occasionally, things would get cut short by another slip-and-fall and a busted up chin. Looking back, I sometimes wonder if Jaime fell on purpose to avoid the inevitable shampoo induced cry-fest that was otherwise the zenith of the night's excitement. The hubbub was so predictable you could set your Swatch watch by it. I think the girls would actually start crying when Dad's hand first made contact with the shampoo bottle, and it would continue long after he finished drying their hair with the towel. I wonder if they remember those bathtimes the same way?

Anyway, since the decision to stay home I give Lily most of her baths, except on the rare occasion that she asks for her Mommy to do it. Avery is self-sufficient when it comes to bathing now, so whatever antics Lily's engaging in now are not to show out, as I originally suspected. No, instead I'm convinced that it's a genetic code, buried deep in the Slovick family's "Y" chromosome, which more than likely dates back many generations. As Lily aged, it began to surface in towel-drying her hair, which is only objectionable to her if I'm the one assaulting her scalp with the terrycloth. Mommy gets absolutely no lip during or after a bath, just me. Not long after my best trick to turn the towel-time tears into laughter had lost its magic, she started crying when I would shampoo her hair. No change in technique, product, or the length of my fingernails . . just turned into a good time to be fussy. Whatever, keep it brief I told myself, this too shall pass. Ha! Let's see if I can get my head any deeper into the sand. Now she cries at the sight of the towel! But only if I'm the one wielding the towel. Mommy gets none of it. It is strictly Daughter vs. Daddy.

So that's how I came to the genetics explanation . . by way of rationalization. To the remaining Slovick males who have not yet been blessed with baby girls, I offer this as my suggestion to you. Put yourselves in position to avoid bathtime for this particular period of your daughter's life . . you won't change the genetic code, but you can spare yourself the misery.

16 September 2007

Dealing with rejection . .

Back before I resigned from my job, our local newspaper did an open call for freelance columnists that would write about news and events in their neighborhoods. Entrants were to submit three sample columns, and they would make their selection based on the originality and content of the pieces. I had always felt like my voice was one that people would enjoy hearing, so I sent in my thoughts and awaited their response. A few weeks later it came, a refreshingly professional rejection. They were looking, essentially, for a neighborhood gossip, and that just wasn't my state of mind at the time. I wanted to be a voice for my restaurant, as well as for parents and kids in a community that's growing like my neighbor's weeds.

Well, last Sunday they ran the intro piece for the woman who they chose to write the column, and I was overcome with a bevy of emotions, not the least of which was rejection. Not only does she live in my neighborhood, but her "life's story" about how she begrudgingly left Long Island after all those years and followed the flock of transplants to the Carolinas made me want to just dig a hole and crawl in. I mean really . . I know I'm originally from the Coal Belt, but the path that led me to Charlotte is far more interesting than her "I just got sick of the traffic" yawner.

Anyway, since the decision to stay at home I've started to take a bit more interest in the neighborhood gossip, some of which is actually a lot juicier than I ever imagined it could be. I just heard, from a very reliable source I might add, that a resident-run internet forum had spawned some very feisty exchanges between the teachers at the new elementary school and some parents. How very interesting . . that would make a great blog entry, I thought to myself, but an even better newspaper column. What better way to discourage adults from acting like selfish brats than to call them out in the Sunday paper, right?

Apparently somebody doesn't think so, because in this morning's column, the controversy was nowhere to be found. If it were my column, I'd want the first one to get the whole development talking. After all, isn't that what sells papers? Instead, we got the sunshine-up-the-dress treatment. It's all going swimmingly, all the parents love the principal, my kid thinks the school is pretty, yada yada yada. I almost fell asleep in my shredded wheat. So I suppose I'll keep scanning the Sunday paper for her column, hoping on some level that eventually she'll dig a little deeper and expose some of the bugs in the bed. On another level though, you can bet I'll be hoping that her writing stays boring and they do another open call.