Archive for February, 2013

The Nodder

February 27th, 2013

In jujitsu, I frequently work out with a guy named Ross, who is just sort of an affable large-breed puppy of a fellow, with a little too much enthusiasm, whose speedometer goes from zero to 60 with no options in between. I like him.

Claus is a black belt and is now pressed into service some nights to teach class. He issues directions and then strolls around the mat overseeing the various partner workouts.

Ross and I often work on certain techniques specific to our belt color (brown). If we have issues with some of the techniques, we ask Claus for clarifiation. If Claus is nearby, Ross will look up at him to see if Claus approves of how we executed the art.

"I look for the nod. Then I can move on," said Ross.

I totally understand wanting the teacher's approval, but it also struck me as funny since this teacher is one I'm married to. I laughed.

"What's funny?" Ross asked.

"In the dojo, he's The Nodder. In my household, I'm The Nodder," I stated. If you could see me now, I'm giving you The Nod.

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Sticker casket

February 25th, 2013

They say kids are sponges. I guess so.

Jen gave Olivia a huge stash of stickers she found in the bowels of her shelves during a big clean up. Olivia's been going to town using them up and playing with them.


She proudly walked into the kitchen with an old plastic pencil box we had bought her. "Look, Mommy! This is my sticker casket."

"Your what?" I said in amazement.

"My sticker casket," she said. "It holds all my stickers."


"What's a casket?" I asked.

"I don't know. I just made it up," she answered.

But she does know, because a casket is a box for holding things. In modern times, the things it holds are often dead people. A casket is a rectangle; a coffin has six sides like what you see in the old Dracula movies.

Olivia sat on the side to happily play in oblivion with her sticker casket. I looked at Claus. "That's all you, Buddy, if she turns out to be the weirdest one in her class."

The birds and the birds, the bees and the bees

February 22nd, 2013

I was fully prepared for Olivia asking me about conventional birds and bees, but here is the first question she's ever broached on this subject: "Mommy, Kira said at school two girls in her class kissed. Do girls who aren't sisters or related, kiss?"

Inside my head, my hypothetical little duck feet are kicking and kicking while I get over the shock and try to think of a deflective answer. Outwardly, my eyebrows hit the ceiling, but I calmly said, "Doesn't Mommy kiss you?"

"Yes, but I mean two girls who aren't sisters or two grown up ladies who aren't sisters or related," she reiterated.

"Don't you kiss Kira?" I asked.

"Eew! No!" she exclaimed. "Well? Do they?" A reporter's persistence. This is really my kid.

"Ask your father," I redirected, choosing to throw Claus under this bus.

"Kiss? What?" Poor guy walked right into it. She asked him the question.

Husband was quick on his feet. "Well, people kiss as a very common greeting. Haven't you seen it happen? We do it all the time. The French kiss twice, once on each cheek," he explained.

"Not to be mistaken for French kiss," I laughed under my breath, within his earshot. I hope we haven't confused her more.

Mostly, I cannot believe we're fielding this question on lesbianism first, before even the time-worn Where do babies come from? query. She's only five! I'm not ready for this!

Olivia's first text

February 20th, 2013

Olivia sort of completed her first text message this week. She dictated it to Claus since she can only spell 5% of these words. However, the funny part is that at the end of this long, long sentence, she actually told him, "Period." That's what the teacher is teaching at school (grammar), so that's what I reinforce at home.

I had texted Claus that I was on my way home, late from work. They were in bed already. Her response:

"I love it, that's very cool and I'll do the clover kiss and tomorrow I will dance for you and daddy when it is dark and we have time to see my dance it will be great and I love you and inca will come inside if she can come inside and ocho if she can come inside and if she can come inside on leash and I will do a nice dance for you and daddy only if we have time to play in the house and if we have an early ending from brushing teeth then we will go upstairs and then we will have a special dance from me Olivia and it's about a rose that fell from a tree and then it made a seed from its stem and then I picked it up and gave it to my friend and then a new rose bush sprouted on the old rose bush."

I love that kiddo.


February 18th, 2013

I had to work slightly later than usual to greet an arriving VIP, and arrived home at 7:30 p.m. one night. Olivia had just been tucked into bed and was trying to stay awake to see me.

I tiptoed into the bedroom to kiss her and her sleepy eyes opened. Though I had prepped her for my lateness, she still gave me the usual grief over not being home earlier to see her.

"Honey, I'm usually home for dinner. Do you know how lucky that is? A lot of mommies and daddies work jobs where they can't do that," I said. I was thinking of all the odd swing shifts at 24-hour organizations, like news, hotels, military, or any number of stores in today's nonstop society. "If I have to stay late some of the time, it's OK, because most of the time, I have regular hours."

That seemed to placate her. She then asked me a really cute question that caught me off guard. "When you work late, do they give you a snack?"

"Well, sure they do. Remember I have the employee cafeteria that I took you to before? Not everyone has a cafeteria, but I'm lucky to work at a place that does," I reminded.

Olivia seemed happy to know her mother wasn't going to starve. (For that matter, I'm happy, too.) "What kind of snack did you have today?" she continued.

Actually, I didn't eat dinner before I left. I just wanted to go home, so lunch was my last meal. We have a zillion junk food snacks in the cubicle office where I sit. I just said what I ate last. "I had spaghetti with bread," I answered.

"What about dessert?" she quizzed. This kid. Priorities!

"I had jello," I said.

"Jello! What color?!" came the slightly more excited response.

"Rainbow," I said.

"RAINBOW?" Olivia exclaimed. It's her favorite. "Why didn't you bring me some?"

I'm a bad mom. It's what she would do for me. She tried to bring home a piece of her popsicle so her father and I could try it. Sweet, huh?

I decided to turn the tables and ask her something. "So. How do you think snack time goes for Mommy? Do you think my boss makes us all sit down quietly to show that we're ready to eat?"

She looked at me like I was ridiculous. "I don't know about work!" she said. Oh. Silly me for asking.

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