Friday, May 29, 2015

Stick it on the shelf

Before I get to the heart of the matter, as I frequently do, let's begin with a bit of not-much-really that strikes me as humorous.

I am currently reading First Ladies: Presidential historians on the lives of 45 iconic American women, which is essentially a compilation of interviews conducted by C-SPAN for the yearlong history series, First Ladies: Influence and Image.  It's an absolutely fascinating read.  It's put together in chronological order, and I'm currently about ready to start the chapter on Grace Goodhue Coolidge, which means that Eleanor Roosevelt is coming soon, and that's just something to look forward to.  For me, the highlights so far include: Abigail Adams (what a national gem); the amount of presidents and first ladies who died while in office in the 100 years (give or take) from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s; Edith Bolling Wilson and the great cover-up; and the staggering amount of presidential children who did not survive beyond childhood. 

The boy is currently reading The House on the Cliff...a Hardy Boys book.  And that's by choice.  He laughs every now and again about how implausible the story line is.  I knew that back in ye olden days when I too read the Nancy Drew (and, yes, an occasional Hardy Boys) books.  They're all 17-18 folks.  And they do incredibly sleuthy, dangerous things, linking together absurdly ridiculous plot points that defy logic.

I think I win this round of my-book-is-better-than-your-book.

(I read several of the Boxcar children books while nursing the Younger.)

Okay, here's what I'm really sitting down to write about today: The school year is officially d-o-n-e done (as my good, yet entirely fictitious, friend Clementine says).  I'm looking at the Elder's lunchbox stashed on top of the fridge.  I don't have to stop that that particular sequence of 6 stop signs again for another 10 weeks.  And those two points together are enough to make me feel all giddy and free.  If I were standing in Target-ville right now, I'm sure I'd be gleefully putting random bits in my cart willy-nilly while the birds in my head chirped mad, happy songs.

There's nothing that we regret about choosing the particular school that we did for the Elder, but after we're-not-really-fighting-but-don't-mess-with-me with the Younger 3 out of 5 days getting her in the car to go get the Elder, I'm ready for a break with that.

The lunch packing doesn't bother me cause it's not like I'm doing anything different than what I normally do to feed the kid.  I just stick it in a box with an ice pack and send her on her merry way.

But the picking up and the waiting for the buses to leave before she's released and the ins & outs of the car & carseats and the muggly wuggly chitchat and the Elder climbing on & off & on & off & on & off my's just not my favorite part of the day.  

So stick that school year on the shelf, and let's enjoy the fruits of a year well spent.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

the Queen Supreme

I feel the need to dump some emotions on you unsuspecting souls right now.  Mostly, it was the Elder's birthday yesterday, which for those of you not in the know was Memorial Day.  The enables my child to revel in a celebratory long weekend palooza as if it is all for her once every six years.  This was that one in six.  (For those of you who may not know the Elder, this was her second go-round of birthday-on-Memorial-Day celebrations as she was born on Memorial Day.  She milked this one for all it was worth unlike the last time when she was relatively calm and agreeable.) 

This was the first birthday where the phrase "You are not queen of the universe" came up one or three times. 

Fortunately, the Younger's birthday is coming up in only fifteen days, so the focus has definitely shifted, and we appreciate that.  My general assumption with all kids is that they have their moments of heart-stopping brilliance as well as their moments of forehead smacking frustration.  I'm not the mom that believes her child is immune to the latter.

And here is when my emotion dump #1 happens.  I took the Elder to the Glorious Land of Target with a few birthday dollars in hand yesterday to let her go nuts in the toy section.  Mind you, the amount that she had doesn't take a child far, but she is unerringly bound and determined to s-t-r-e-t-c-h those dollars for all they're worth.  And when I suggested that she reimburse me out of her piggy bank stash for any overage on the TOY THAT I SO DESPERATELY WANT! but didn't quite have enough bills for (literally the difference of $2-3), there was a swift and furious denial of that idea.  (Oh, no you di-INT suggest that i-DE-a).  My child would rather have some coins in hand rather than throw them away on plastic gee-gaws.  Oh, my little penny pincher...may you always be so.

The Elder works really (really, really) hard on getting all that she can from her small allotment when the rare occurrence happens and she has money to burn.  She is the child who paces the aisles maddeningly for upwards of 45 minutes debating the merits and cost of each possible item, including the smallest of the small ones' toys, if you let her.  And then she'll start all over again once she's been through once.  Minutes upon minutes later, she settled on four reasonably priced items that put her right at her grand total of one's of dollars.  And the creme de la creme of her stash is a Frozen-themed toy microphone that plays the same 18-second clip of "Let It Go." 

Oh, but she loves it.  Oh, but for the power of peer pressure else I'm fairly certain that the Elder would not give more than a passing glance at anything Frozen.

And we listened to that same 18-second clip on a continuous loop for the entire ride home.  And then all through the afternoon and evening.  And then on the drive to school this morning. 

Story problem time:  Your child plays the same 18-second clip of a song continuously.  If the drive to school takes 13 minutes (because you got stuck behind both the school bus and the workers cutting down trees along the side of the road), how many times do you listen to "Let It Go" during this car trip?

Answer:  A whole bunch-o-times. 

And that leads me to my emotion dump #2.  We are true devotees of a nice pint of Graeter's ice cream, especially the flavors that have chocolate chips.  If you're not familiar with the brand, Graeter's uses a different method of adding their chips (the french pot method, which I now know), and the result of this yields large, malleable, fudgy, truffly chips scattered throughout.  Occasionally, often once a pint, you'll hit on what we refer to as the Mother Lode of chocolate, whereupon the chocolate coalesced into a fudgy vein of chocolate hidden in the silky depths of the ice cream.  The find is often both unexpected and deep.  And when you find one of these veins, you want to weep but quietly so as not to alert anyone who is around you to the Mother Lode. 

Well.  When I was laboring through the aisles of my child's Nirvana yesterday, the boy found his way into one of these Mother Lodes, ate it, and then gleefully told me about it in hushed tones upon my return. 

To explain my point here, let's use an analogy about the Elder.  I birthed her (I bought that pint).  I nursed her (I started eating that pint).  I cared for her every need (I put that pint back in the freezer).  Yet she always has and always will prefer the boy over me (that blasted pint gave up the Mother Lode to the boy). 

I am glad for the boy and his good fortune.  I am equally disappointed for my lack of immense fudginess.  To that pint, I am the Queen of the Universe, and it just bowed down before the court jester and gave up the goods.

Fortunately, there's always another day to reign supreme and another pint or two stashed away in the other freezer for us all.   

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A little more Ramona, please

This day beat me up (and down).  On the one hand, I haven't been in this kind of a daily groove for a couple of years now, so I'm feeling a little metaphorically flabby.  On the other hand, rock it all you adults everywhere who, like me, would prefer to have more of these ON days than not.  The ensuing headache beside, what a delight such busy bee days are.

After the usually Thursday mama-taxi service, I enjoyed a casual end of the pre-school year snack-picnic-bounce-houses celebration.  Even better, my sister-in-law and her bouncing baby boy were in town through today, and she was on board with some pre-shool and later Kindergarten shenanigans.  We had a low key sushi-peanut butter-McDonalds lunch, which the boy was able to join us for, and then we all trooped over to the Elder's school for her Kindergarten graduation.

Good people of the world wide web, we basically think that such pomp and circumstance is downright ludicrous.  There were tears and bouquets of flowers.  There was a ceremonial turning of the tassels and fistfuls of Mylar "Congratulations!" balloons decorate with graduation caps.  It took nearly an hour.

I took nary a picture, wiped nary a tear, and made ridiculous cheering noises nary once.  From my perspective, I very well could have been the only mother abstaining. 

Not only do I not get excited by such goings-on, but also I spent the entire time scrutinizing the Elder for signs that an epic meltdown was about to happen.  Perhaps as he biggest sign of her own growth throughout the school year was her willingness to wear that ludicrous get-up the entire time and enthusiastically joined in the many songs and "poems" despite having utterly no personal space.  This is news.  Happy news.

And my other bit of serendipity this week comes from our time in the car, ferrying the little ladies around.  We are listening to Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary.  That's right.  The very same Ramona the Brave that I read several times myself when I was in grade school, some 20-25 years ago.

Oh, it is priceless.  Oh, it is delightfully funny.  Oh, it is rich and fully of storytelling flavor.  The Elder laughs.  I laugh.  And the Younger acts the part of the echo and laughs when someone else does.

So while these "graduations" seem to be increasingly prevalent, showing that times they-are-a-changing, some of ye 'olde good stuff still stays good and true and just right.


Friday, May 15, 2015

I run like a cheeto, except when there are 500 kids on a field trip at the zoo.

I'm sitting here with my laptop firmly affixed to my lap, and I'm worrying just a smidge about radiation that might be seeping into my femurs after reading an article in Parents magazine about "Our children are internalizing too much radiation!  Make them use a headset when they talk on a cell phone!  Make them keep their laptops on a table!  Don't let them stand in front of running microwaves!"  (I added the last one.  Those science ovens...)  (An homage to what is, I believe the last movie that I have seen.  And I saw it in the theater.  About 16 months ago.)

But seriously.  For what is generally a reputable magazine, there was all sorts of fear tactics at play in this article.  Bad editing, editors.  (You might suggest that this last sentence is also a circumstance of bad editing, but I would politely request you to stuff it.  This is all one draft all the way.)

You might be thinking right about now that I haven't gotten anywhere close to a point yet with any of this.  And you might be very right.  So I'll reign it in and say this: zoos should absolutely have an up-to-date calendar of which large groups are visiting each day.  Theoretically, someone might like to take her two daughters to a zoo on an "e-learning day" (which I promptly turned into a non-e-learning field trip).  That same someone might have wanted to grab a handful of red, Georgia soil and mutter "With God as my witness...!"  (I'm on fire...that's another reference.)

I may live a few zip codes away from the zoo now, but I can recognize a long-distance zoo field trip from the names on the sides of those buses any day.  That was today.  I can also recognize a meltdown brewing with my claustrophobic, my-personal-space-needs-to-be-the-size-of-this-entire-zoo-and-I'd-prefer-to-be-the-only-visitor-today daughter. 

I've been on a field trip as a teacher to a zoo (shocking, given my subject matter and the age of my students...I basically whelched on another teacher's trip and no one challenged it), and it's a good time to be had by all.  I dig it that we have a great zoo within spitting distance that is so impactful on the community and does so much for educational outreach.  But it would be some sweet, sweet sugar if we could go just once without having 500+ munchkins and all of their paraphernalia there as well.  (I'm not exaggerating; there were probably 20 buses clogging up the works, and I'm positive that there was some other parent-brings-the-child field tripping going on also.)  We've been having some bad luck with our timing dating back to last year and the day of the summer camp zoo experience. 

Irregardless of my mild grumbling, we elbowed our way through to see what I thought was a greater than usual amount of activity, including some nose time with a lion and a boa constrictor.  After we returned home and after some subsequent play time, the Elder and I were chumming on the back patio before dinner doing our respective things, which included working together through an activity making similes using animals (e.g. "I walk like __________" becomes "I walk like a dog" or some such statement).  Well, the Elder decided that she runs like a cheetah, which isn't the easiest of words to sound out.  My general M. O. when helping with homework is to let the little things go and make sure that she's understanding and completing the overall package.  Generally speaking, I help with the spelling is something like readability is compromised or if she specifically asks.  And I am here to tell you that the Elder turned in one of my favorite homework gems of the year tonight, unbeknownst to her. 

"I run like a cheeto" is my new personal credo.  That just about sums it up.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thursday morning office hours, the long version

People of all walks of life: Hear ye, hear ye.  This is my last Thursday morning office hours for the indefinite future.  And my coffee shop is obviously celebrating me by having the salted caramel coffee for the flavor of the day.  It's like they knew I was coming in today and that it's my last Thursday morning.  I actually used the words "I'll have my usual" the last time I popped in this past Saturday when I had my mother-in-law and a sister-in-law in tow.  My SIL snickered at me, she who guzzles the coffee by the pot full, or so it seems to me. 

The Younger is right now this very moment enjoying her last normal day of pre-school before next week's bounce house shindig whereupon there will be a variety of finger friendly snacks and a big grassy yard full of bouncing toddlers.  It will be all that and a bag of chips, I've no doubt. 

Those pre-school teachers...bless their servant hearts. 

While I just said that in all honestly (seriously...talented women who love our children), it's also my clumsy way of transitioning to this press article that I read last night and had me both brimming with pride as well as sighing wistful sighs.

I am such a huge fan of higher education as a safe place, a questioning place, and a guiding place.  Colleges are full of brilliant, brilliant minds that are using their skills in unbelievable ways, and my alma matter is much the same.  Every once in a while, it bounces around in my head that I should write a bloggy love poem (of sorts) for those whom impacted my development the absolute most of any set of adults before or since.  That I even attended, let alone applied, to this college at all is nothing short of a miracle among miracles.  That I never questioned myself in so doing and then excitedly packed the proverbial car on that first day defies logic and very tellingly shows my sheer naivete as an 18-year old.

At the top of my list of remembrances is the general feeling that everyone cares about everyone at Manchester, and I find this to be evident in peers voting for and cheering on their peers.  I'm not at all suggesting that Manchester is the only college where this feeling is pervasive or where the faculty is this way.  But I am here to say that these people nailed it when voting this year, at least from my very distant perspective.

Admittedly, I do not know the first professor mentioned, Dr. Rachel Polando, as her time began after my time ended.  Regardless, props to her!  The biology department is one of the absolute best departments on campus.  I say this will all the authority of never having taken a single class with any of those professors.  But you hear people talk.  You see people continue on to doctoral work.  You congratulate friends who are now practicing doctors (I can think of 8 just off the top of my head.).

So while I'm simply waxing eloquent (so to speak) about a professor whom I don't know so far, I'm about to change my tune here.  If you read further in the article, you'll meet Dr. Jim Brumbaugh-Smith.  And I know him.  I played with his kids, especially his daughter, Claire.  I ate a lot of pizza at his house on Sunday nights when the Union was closed.  We invited his family to our wedding and remember them every time we use the adorable picnic basket they gifted us.  I'm openly jealous that Dr. Brumbaugh-Smith began the Latin & Ballroom Dance club on campus after we graduated.  There was a moment around junior year when a new science professor who was only around for a year or two before moving on to his next professional gig led some swing dance classes, and that was amazing fun.  (We still remember "the pretzel," and readily pull it out at any opportunity.  In other words, invite us to your wedding!)  Service opportunities are readily available in a multitude of ways.  Community comes together when members serve each other.

And then there's Dr. Katharine Ings, Canadian import and incomparable genius.  She epitomizes all that I wish I had the talent to be--big thinker, dedicated writer and researcher, analytical, logical, caring, memorable, and purposefully direct.  If you have taken any class with me, I guarantee you that you have also felt Dr. Ings' impact.  There are times when I hear myself saying something that I know to be true while my brain remembers the moment in her class when I learned the truth.  I want to write down my "I remember when..." moments from my time in her classes, but I know that such memories wouldn't translate.  In hindsight, I learned from being around her that when you are blessed with just such a teacher in your life and in whatever capacity, you learn from that person.  You ask questions of them.  You sit quietly and listen.  You take notes, mental or otherwise.  You soak up as much of their verve as you can.  You store that nuggets away someplace readily accessible because you will need them again soon and often.  And you say thank you and often.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"I arrived!"

When I mentioned several days ago that my next course doesn't start until the end of July, which immediately renders my mind to switch into bored mode, I forgot how I'm actually a faux student for six weeks starting yesterday.  Oh, that's right.  I get to take a six-week course to become certified to teach on-line courses with one of the institutions which currently give me teacher keys to their building.  Granted, I signed up for this voluntarily because flexibility is a smart tool to stash in your back pocket, but still. 

Color me excited.

I do but endure some tutorials on how to post new threads to discussion boards (those that I've been doing for a few years now).

It's a large "class," and there's a diverse amount of previous technological experience, so I understand the need to make sure that everyone is on the up and up.  It's mostly the reverberating idea that "You will not pass unless you turn in everything and receive at least a 90% on all course work."  Friends, I can't just camp out on mute here and let the e-meeting continue on without me. 

This certification shmertification process nicely illustrates my professional life since graduating with my BA, which I'm now counting in the tens of years ago.  It's been a whole lot of grabs for anything necessary to set-up the possibility of a sustainable future.  I hyperventilate a bit at the beginning until I realize it's not so bad, I can get through it with little more than some niggling annoyances.

And to finish my point, I'm going to recount a smile worthy bit from the Younger this morning.  It's Tuesday, which means "library day" (not unlike Wednesday was always cardboard pizza day when I was in elementary school).  We were a bit behind this morning, so when we finally walked into the library, I was calculating how long it had been since the last potty break.  While I have no qualms about relying on her to let me know when she needs a quick pit stop, I didn't want to schlep all of our books from the back of the library to the front where the bathrooms are needlessly.  Plus, she was kind of dancey.  Well.  She insisted twice that no, she was good to go.  But once we meandered back to the children's section, e.g. her Heaven on Earth, she soon snuck up behind me with her warbly-voiced "Actually, I do need to go potty."  So we trooped back to the front, and the bathrooms there are located at the end of this pseudo-hallway, which she enjoys toddler skipping down.  I'm not in that phase of life anymore, so I casually followed her, and once she reached the dark, single-use bathroom, I saw her stop and heard her proudly declare, "I arrived!"

Well, some day, I plan to "arrive!" too.  And when I do, even if it's a similarly dark nebulous space (of dubious excitement), maybe I'll take a moment to stick my hands out and be proud of myself in the act of doing so.  Certification to teach on-line courses may not be all that much in the scheme of my days, but the little things are often more indicative of larger achievements.  My child is well potty trained; I will continue serving as I have been trained to do.  Some things are no small feats. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Chocolate and velvet and two feet forward

Who else started their morning at 5:30 a.m. for no apparent reason other than the boy was being dreadfully noisy?  I may have inadvertently picked half a fight about nothing, scarfed 3 biscuits, and had a prolonged temper tantrum in the shower all in the space of 30 minutes.

The girls have been sleeping in like champs this week and the boy left for an early practice, so I turned on ye 'olde Netflix at 6:04 a.m. because there's nothing that says "This morning needs a sweet bit of funny" faster than stamping your foot in a wet puddle.  Ironically, there's nothing that says "Turn off that Netflix and make me some breakfast" faster than the sound of the Younger's door opening and a wee voice calling ever so pleedingly, "Mommy, can I get up now?"  Oh, wait now, that wasn't ironic at all.  (Bad timing, yes...)

(Our shower isn't draining well right now 'cause it seems that someone has long drain-clogging hair and it can take some gumption to step up and adult things now and again.)

And then Friday took over, and  good things happened. 

The Elder was invited to a birthday playdate after school today at a good friend's house with one of her best chums.  We adore this family.  Once I hung up the phone, it struck me how quickly and without qualms I put that appointment on the Elder's social calendar, unlike other social happenings that we've had to wade through this past year.  Oh, that feels good.

My daughters complied with each other and with me, and we were each of us breakfasted, bathroomed, teeth brushed, AND dressed before 7:30.  H-a-p-p-i-l-y.  That's some surrrious voodoo going on right there.  And listen to what happened next: we read five books and played outside for 30 minutes before leaving 8 minutes early for school.  Oh, that was fun times.

The Younger was glorious fun (and very smoochy/huggy) tagging along for grocery shopping this morning.  She was SO distracting that a box of popsicles and two boxes of ice cream bars fell into my cart when I wasn't looking.  Then, once you get all into the checkout lane, you can't very well not buy the frozen treats now, can you?!?  When Haagen and Dazs wink in my general direction on such a day as this, I wink back and say "How you doin'?!"

But it gets better!  My very very very very very very favorite chocolate velvet coffee redolent of all things bright and beautiful was delivered smack dab on my doorstep along with two new pairs of shoes one whole day early!  (Seriously, when does that happen?  Three whole days late, sure...)  Right now, I'm hitting it hard and heavy in my numero uno mug on cup numero dos.  (I already busted out a reference to "All Things Bright and Beautiful;" maybe now I'll throw in some "All God's Critters Have a Place in the Choir."  Just because the day seems ripe for pulling out some Sunday School classics.)

The Younger was more than ready to hibernate with a stack of books, so that made it a great time for a bit of shoe flaunting in my very own kitchen.  Note that this is only the second time I've ever ordered shoes online, and I'm happy to report that one pair of shoes came in two different sizes.  You know, I was definitely waffling between the size I always wear and the next size down, which I haven't worn since I was in the 4th grade...just in case my feet shrunk in the last 20 years after 2 child bearing experiences whereupon my ligaments stretched and did not unstretch, as they are wont to do.  I'm serious this not worth a good laugh?  Two different sizes, all in the same box.  Snuggling like they belong together (not unlike a freshman and a senior at prom).

I think we'll make it through another day.  By the grace of all that is chocolatey and velvety.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Suggestions, please!

Our summer is looking to be a fair bit crazy, and the scheduling just keeps coming.  I generally don't mind the crazy because it's both a nice change of pace and a challenge.  It helps to make up for a lot of the snoresville from the majority of the year.  And, frankly, I can only stand there for so long pushing a tot in a swing.  (They both enjoy a good swing for halfs of hours on end.) 

But I'm looking ahead at some reading opportunities, and I'm ready to jump back on that pony full tilt cause we've kind of inadvertently gone our separate ways for a bit now.  THat happes every now and again for me.  But we always meet up like old friends on a park bench and gab gab gab all day long eventually. 

Right now, I'm a few chapters in Spinster: Making a life of one's own by Kate Bolick, and while she gets bogged down in perambulating a bit frequently, the gist of her message is honest and true, which is an endearing quality to find in a memoirist.  And frankly, I identify with a lot of what she's throwing out there.  If I hadn't stumbled into the boy, I'm pretty well sure that I would not be married right now and none the worse for it.

So now, gentle readers, I ask of you what reading recommendations you might have for me in the next few months?  I see a lot of these questions bandied about and debated of late as this seems to be the time of year when quite a few of us realize that we've been wayward and just want to come home.
And I'll leave you today with one more query that has been pinging around in my noggin for months now.  My is long.  This is not so much of a statement about me wanting to have long hair as it is an understanding that it has to look like something so it might as well be this.  But, frankly, I'm starting to question its commitment to doing anything for me.  So if you have any basic hair cutting ideas for me as well, much appreciated.  Keep the long hair (I do enjoy a good pony...every day)?  Hack it off and reintroduce the back of my neck to the world?  Do note that it is fine and resistant to anything one might call "styling."  Nor do I really want to make friends with it in that way, whether long or short.  I'm feeling particularly ambivalent about it and would likely jump headlong (groan) into the "retired woman" look, but that would probably require me to get it trimmed more often than twice a year, which is admittedly my current schedule.

I will now recline in my chair and allow you all to therapy me.  Please do! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Changing seasons, "nothing to wear"

Let's just begin today's random thought process with something that I've been struggling with of late.  I am truly enamored with two hilariously wonderful bloggers, Melanie and Sophie, and reading their shenanigans makes me want a southern accent.  Now you know.  This is how I hear my own writing as I type.  I do believe it makes me sound funnier, and I've recently had a veritable revelation about my relationship with biscuits after buying a quart of buttermilk "just because."  So that goes together, surely.

The Younger has popped out of her room about six times now in the space of the last fifteen minutes in order to make a neat stack of children's library books that I might want to read while she's napping.  Now that's considerate.

And while we're on the topic of strange things happening, I just took a big old drink of my Highland Grog (how's that a name for some dark and stormy brew?) only to find a good amount of the grounds in that swallow.  When my barista commented that I got the dregs, she was being literal, I believe.  Aren't you glad you know that about my morning?   

Well anyway, here's the gist of things here: The seasons, they are changing.  And this means every day contains any amount of frustration, sobbing, pouting, and bribery.  (Insert jokes here about how any or all of those are from me.)  How does one dress a child who does not appreciate clothing touching her sweet, sweet skin?  The bigger problem herein is how does one buy clothing for a child who doesn't want to wear any of it?

Explaining girls' clothing options to a burgeoning six-year old is a fruitless endeavor. 

On Sunday, she wore her current favorite dress to church, and since it was warm enough, no leggings (which are apparently the bane of her existence, to which I think "Your life is so rough, you skinny thing, you").  The boy was feeling run down and needed some time, so he didn't go (i.e. ditched us at the last moment), and I will blame my oversight on this unexpected twist in the morning.  I had to spend a good amount of my allotted worship time in pull-down-your-dress-because-now-everyone-knows-that-you're-wearing-blue-undies mode.  Because we may be almost six, but we still roll around in a church pew as if the Spirit has set us afire.  Amen.

Now, we're in the throes of a truly and gorgeously warm Spring week, and my child is still pulling on the same soft-from-so-many-washings jeans, t-shirt and sweatshirt.  We have options.  There are bermuda shorts that are darling and capris that are snazzy.  There are plaid shorts that are slip-on approved and a blue-striped skirt that the Elder "loved" when I first showed it to her.  None of these have ever seen the light of day save for when I shift things around a couple of times a year.

The Elder has certain requirements in her clothing options.
1.  Things must be colorful. 
2.  Coordination does not have to happen.  (I took her out in public over the weekend in a bright blue t-shirt, pink play shorts, gray socks with purple hearts, and sparkly church shoes.)
3.  Sandals are the preferred footwear, year-round.
4.  Sneakers are acceptable only when there is a reason for them, e.g. snow on the ground or needing to chase friends at recess.
5.  Black, brown/tan, dark green, gray, and some blues are not acceptable color choices for pants.
6.  Clothing should never restrict movement.
7.  Sparkles are great.
8.  Pajamas are best.
9.  Soft is ideal.
10.  Seams are terrible.

Based on this list, certain things may stand out.  Namely, pants are always an issue.  Always.  She falls in and out of love with any given pair of pants usually depending on whether they have been washed and are therefore "tooooo tiiiiight."  And once those pants are too tight, no force of nature or act of any divine being can change her mind.

You know what else is tight?  Skinny jeans/pants.  And, do you also know what else is almost exclusively sold for girls?  Skinny jeans/pants.  Even better, do you know what colors non-skinny jeans/pants come in?  I need only invite you to refer to #5 on the list.

I have given up on the notion that cute sweaters are her thing, though I'm still holding out hope for #2.  In the meantime, I'm plotting ways to convince a child that capri pants are not of the Devil.