Apr 282012
 

Shel Silverstein has been my absolute favorite since I was just a wee nerd, sneakily reading books with a flashlight after my bedtime.  This poem always makes me tear up.  If it doesn’t make you almost cry… you are dead inside.  You should just give up and try out for the Real World.

“The Little Boy and the Old Man”

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
I know what you mean,” said the little old man.” 

~Shel Silverstein
Apr 222012
 

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

-Dr Seuss

Oh man, I love me some Dr Seuss.  He just gets it…

Feb 142012
 

Quote of the Day: On Love

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.
But the Skin Horse only smiled.

The Velveteen Rabbit was my favorite book when I was little, and it still is.  Even though it is a children’s story, it is so insightful about the meaning of love.  The Skin Horse is so wise! (Plus, he has the coolest name… kinda sounds like porn star, right?)

Feb 132012
 

You know what book I wish was real (besides Charlie and the Chocolate Factory obviously?)  The Babysitters Club.  I wish that there was a club that I could call to find a gaggle of wise-beyond-their-years teenage babysitters/businesswomen (I mean they even had a President, Secretary and Treasurer!) who would be willing to babysit my daughter for $5/hour (because what did they have to pay for besides candy for Claudia’s stash?) and because there were many of them (each with a very distinct, yet stereotypical, personality) I was assured of finding a baby sitter no matter what.  Can someone please start a real Babysitter’s Club?  Except maybe you are a group of kind, middle-aged adults (high school hours don’t really mesh with my schedule.) And you all have CPR training. And a degree in Child Development and/or Child Psychology and/or Pediatrics and possibly Music.  And it would be helpful if you were also trained chef (my daughter is eating solid foods now)  And definitely had good references.  And will sign an NDA and let me run a background check plus fingerprints and most likely a credit report.  But you still charge $5 an hour, are available at any time day or night, even at the last minute, and have a fun and imaginative name such as… The Babysitters Club.  That would be great, thanks.

Feb 092012
 

Today, after feeding my daughter a bottle, I went to put her down for a nap. But instead of going to sleep like she normally does, today she clung to me like B.O. on a New York City cab driver. Slightly annoyed because I had a deadline quickly approaching and her nap time is the only time I can work, I sighed and sat back down in the chair to rock her. But instead of settling in to sleep, she picked up “Goodnight Moon” and handed it to me… my daughter’s subtle sign language for “read this to me now.” So I read it to her.  Then I set the book down and prepared to put her back in her crib.  But again, she picked up “Goodnight Moon”  and handed it back to me.  Frustrated, I read it again, but quickly this time and skipping pages along the way.  I should know better – Lyla is too smart for these shenanigans. Before I even finished, she flipped the pages back to the front… subtle sign language for “Your laziness is punishable by reading this mind-numbing book over and over until your tongue is drier than a parrot’s.  Read it again, and make it count.”  Then she settled back into my lap to once again discover the surprise ending of Goodnight Moon (spoiler alert:  Goodnight noises everywhere.)

As I was reading the book yet again, and inhaling her perfect baby smell (aka kryptonite for busy moms,) I was suddenly struck by the feeling that this was a moment to remember.  I moment that, someday very soon, I will long for with all my heart.  A moment that I had almost missed in order to get back to the hypnotizing glow of my computer.  I realized that in 30 years I won’t remember the deadline that I was 30 min late for, or the fact that we ate Thai food for a week straight because I didn’t have time to go to the grocery story, or the time that I had to wear my underwear inside out because I didn’t have time to do the laundry… ok, that one I might remember.  But what I will definitely remember is the sweet smell of Lyla’s head, and the feeling of her small body curled in my lap, and the sight of her chubby fingers turning the pages.  Those are the things that I will remember until the day I die.  Oh, and after 1000 readings, I will definitely remember ALL the words to “Goodnight Moon.”

Jan 132012
 

If I told you that my 8-month-old daughter and I were just settling down for a little light reading of “Pride and Prejudice”  would you think I was a bit of a Tiger Mom?  What if I told you that it is actually a sweet children’s version (think:  1 English village, 2 Rich Gentlemen) with fun pictures, beautiful enough to eat.  In fact, my daughter actually did.  Seriously cool…at least for a nerd like me.BabyLit Pride and Prejudice