I Wanna Be In The Room Where It Happens

The Princess, who is now ten years old, has been asking for an African American “Ken” doll for a couple of weeks now. When I asked why she needed another Ken doll at all, she said that it was so she can “pretend that he’s Aaron Burr.”

Yes, I know that Aaron Burr was a white man, but she thinks he’s black because Leslie Odom, Jr. plays him on Broadway.


I don’t know whether to feel super proud of her for further diversifying her Barbie collection or to have some kind of white lady guilt for not already having a African American Ken doll.

Anyway, African American Ken dolls do not just materialize for no reason. Maybe she will find one in her Easter basket, or as a reward for having blood drawn, which she needs to do this month.

Yesterday she told me that while she’s waiting for the doll, she’s just going to “pretend Leslie Odom, Jr. is sick,” and the Ken doll she has “is his understudy”.

I think my induction into the Theater Mom Hall of Fame might be imminent

Scenes from imagination at play

Sometimes, I like to go down into the basement where the kids keep most of their toys. It’s fun to come across abandoned scenes of play and try to figure out what was going on before the kids were called up to dinner or chores or bedtime.


Apparently, Darth Maul has a much, much lighter side.

And also, in The Princess’s version of The Phantom Menace, he and Quai-Gon have what looks like an entirely different relationship dynamic going on:

Then, here, you really have to wonder what Aladdin and The Beast (that’s Beast without the fur) were saying to Jasmine. They look like they are trying to convince her to come see the matinee performance of Zeigfield and Roy.

Top Five Gifts for the Children of People You Hate (Egghead edition)

Since many bloggers seem to be putting together this kind of list at this time of year, I thought I would offer you my contenders:

1. The Orbees Soothing Spa

What are the beads made of anyway?

Five minutes of bliss for your daughter (who let’s face it, would have to be under the age of 8 not to want the real thing instead), five years of finding little colored balls in your carpet, under the bed, in a shoe, under the sofa, in the dog’s bowl…you get the idea.

2. Anything Made by Mattel since 1987

Four hours to put together the Barbie Dream house, and the furniture stays together pretty well…as long as nobody actually plays with it. The Princess has this exact Barbie house. The furniture fell apart so many times that she just finally gave up on it. It’s just cheap (and yet not cheaply priced) Chinese-manufactured crap. Don’t even get me started on the elevator. The same goes for anything Hot Wheels related.

3. Fart Whistle

Needless to say, hours and hours of fun for the whole family. And — how old is that guy on the package supposed to be?

4. Any Kind of Voice Changing Device

Pretty much anything that makes electronic noise is annoying, but when kids can take their own voices and magnify and distort them, well, the fun never stops. At least not until you take a hammer to the thing.

5. Any Craft That is Way Beyond the Child’s Appropriate Age Level

Yes, that's a gingerbread house.

While crafts by themselves present enough set-up/clean-up work for any parent, a craft that the child can’t actually do by him- or herself is the eighth circle of hell. Even for the most Martha-Stewarty mother.

Good luck with your holiday shopping!


Monkey keysSo this morning, Ee asked me to help her take out a toy McDonald’s cash register that my mother-in-law had given her. My mother-in-law has bought the kids like four cash registers, all complete with annoying sounds.  Anyway, when I picked it up off the shelf, the thing rattled, which was unusual.  Upon closer inspection, I found all the missing spare keys that had disappeared from the junk drawer recently.

Somebody’s kids are grumpy this morning.  Manfrengensen and I went out last night, left two of them with a babysitter and took the other one to a moon bounce birthday party.  We dropped him off and went for Mexican.  Damn, those Mexicans can sure cook up some tasty vittles!  

After that, we had some time to kill, so we took a drive through a neighborhood near our own where the houses are, shall we say, a bit more expensive.  austen mansAnd some of them were ostentaciously huge. Some of them were certifiable compounds. One looked like something out of an Jane Austen adaptation.  Another looked like a building on an Ivy League campus. But others looked more reasonable. Manfrengensen said, “This looks like the kind of neighborhood where afternoon tea is obligatory.”  I said more like afternoon cocktails. We pulled up in front of a gorgeous brick number with a FOR SALE sign on the lawn, that looked like it might almost be in our price range, but the fantasy in my head dissipated just then, when the Talking Heads sang  “This is not my beautiful house” on the radio. Kind of reminded me of when Manfrengensen bought a Jetta in 1999.  We signed the papers at the dealer and got in.  As he turned the key in the ignition, the radio spat out Cracker: “A million miles, a million miles…” A lattice of coincidence lays over top of everything…

I don’t necessarily fantasize about having a nicer house.  It would be nice to have just a little more room though.  And a basement that doesn’t breed cooties.

In any case, I guess everyone went to bed too late and got up too early.  I know I did.


rocket science

Moments from Parenting

Ee brought her toy camera to me this morning.  It has Buzz Lightyear on it and was, at one time, filled with candy.  “Cheese,” she said.  Then she went to her brothers and did the same.  To me, she reported that she had “cheesed” them.

Last night, T3 came over to me and furrowed his brow.  “Do you know what kind of face I’m making?” he asked.  I guessed: angry? thinking? “No,” he said, “I’m retermined.”


A Brief Movie Review

Manfrengensen and I watched this really great movie the other night called Rocket Science.  A small, indie-movie about a stuttering teen who joins the competitive world of debate teams in order to win an illusive love, it was really cute, hilariously funny, and took us in a completely different direction than we expected it to.  Highly recommend.


Today I am retermined to go to the gym and not to get stressed about anything.

FW: Stupidity

I hate to get forwarded crap, especially from people I hear nothing from other than the forwards. Pardon me, but that’s just poor form. Bad etiquette, don’t you think? I’m in a book club with these women, and two of them send out forwards all the time. One is a doctor, and I can’t believe how lewd the ones she sends are. They just make me cringe. What pisses me off is that I once emailed her a professional request, just asking her if she knew anything about a particular specialist, and she never responded. When I next saw her she made an excuse about not having access to her computer. Whatever, but the first thing she did when she got little peopleback online was forward a bunch of crap??? Then the other woman who forwards, she’s kind of laid-back, a little naive, even. She always sends these forwards that are like five years old. Seriously, she just sent me one yesterday about the eerie similarities between Lincoln and Kennedy. I think Johnson was president when that made the rounds.

On another note:

Which do you think there are more of in the world? Fisher Price Little People, or real ones? I know in our house, they outnumber us by at least 20 to one.  These folks appear to be going on a nice vacation. Private jet — can’t beat that.