Category Archives: Play


When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

When life hands you a Frankenstorm, which means no school with a cranky kid and a deadline you still have to meet because the flexibility of working from home means the ability, sadly, to work no matter what the weather or the driving conditions on the interstate, you . . . well, you get creative.

You start cleaning closets, but then you get distracted by whines of “I’m booooooored” that peal into your consciousness about the same time that you discover the Magic School Bus Weather Kit you’d forgotten you’d bought. It seems fortuitous, but maybe it’s a you-make-your-own-luck sort of thing–in the sense that you are the kind of people who like buying stuff, especially educational stuff on clearance, for your kid, but you don’t like to spoil your offspring by actually giving it to her. Your rationale is that you’re saving it for a rainy day. On the other hand, today is in fact quite a rainy day and probably a good time to break out some of it.

Everyone is all smiles, initially. And so you make a thermometer, a wind vane, and, most appropriately, a rain gauge–which you fasten to the porch with weaving loops from your child’s potholder kit. Will it stand up to hurricane winds? You might be on the verge of a breakthrough here.

But after an hour of science lessons, including a failed bid to make a barometer, which is really too bad since hurricanes are the perfect time to use one–well, you’re on the verge of a breakdown. Continue reading


Get your gear, you’re signed up for soccer

Actually, she isn’t signed up for soccer. Even though her school offers it. Even though it takes place on a day that she stays late. Even though she owns soccer gear. Even though there’s no extra cost. Even though there’s no reason in the world not to.

Except that there is one reason: She said, “No thank you, Mommy. Maybe in the spring.” Continue reading

So grim grows the laurel

Snuggling up to a book.

The Maiden’s always had a mild taste for the macabre. Now part of this is our fault. Dinner topics frequently revolve around the weird–perhaps motivated by the Maiden’s digestive system posters on the dining room wall–and we have spent many enjoyable hours making up zombie versions of Christmas carols, kids’ songs, and fairy tales.

But it’s not all us. The Maiden has, er, unique interests. She wants to be a surgeon. It used to be a brain surgeon–hence the magazine photo of a brain on her bulletin board–but after seeing the disturbing Bodies Revealed exhibit and loving every minute of it, she decided she’s more interested in hearts and blood.

Also, she likes Ancient Egypt. And mummies. And tombs with curses. And forensic archaeology. And World War II. And Greek mythology.

You get the picture. Continue reading

Boy-dating eyes

Interested eyes.

Once upon a time, the Maiden was obsessed with princesses. And fairies. And frilly tutus and pink tiaras and floufy uber-girly everything.

She’s still into tutus–dance has become a big thing for her–and she does pop on a tiara from time to time. But the interest in the other has faded as she’s gotten older.

I’m not the biggest fan of princesses, so I thought this was a good thing. Then I saw the substitute.

Apparently, once you outgrow Disney princesses, the next step is bigger-girl toys. And of these, almost everything has those stupid “boy-dating eyes.” Continue reading

Weekly wrap-up, June 15

The wacky and wonderful of our world this week.

1.) The Maiden has been at cheerleading camp all week, which means that there is a lot of spirit echoing around the house. “5-6-7-8! Gooooooooooooooooo Cavs!” And I don’t just mean from her. It’s catchy, darn it!

2.) Today the camp ends with a little performance showcasing the kids’ routine. The Maiden was ecstatic because she was chosen to be one of the “stunt” girls who gets hoisted in the air. Continue reading

The quest

When I think of the Maiden, I think of Mad-Eye Moody.

Okay, not in that sense, though she is a touch . . . shall we say . . . okay, maybe not.

Anyways, Mad-Eye. “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” he would roar, and his students would jump in their seats.

Similarly, I’m pretty sure our daughter’s mantra is “CONSTANT STIMULATION!” And believe me, we tremble. Continue reading

Weekly wrap-up, May 18

What’s going on in our corner of the world!

1.) Today is International Museum Day. Instead of celebrating by taking the Maiden to a museum, we’re going to create our own: a portable museum of the place we live now, a little shoebox of curated memories that she can bring with her when we move this summer. If it turns out, I’ll post about it.

2.) Speaking of museums, the Maiden’s 6th birthday is in a few weeks and we need to get planning. She doesn’t make it easy, though. This year’s much-desired theme is ancient Egypt, so we need to come up with some fun ideas that would be relevant and not too gross for that age group. I have a funny feeling that most 6-year-olds are not desperately intrigued by a mummy’s shriveled organs, but what do I know?

I’ve got some sites bookmarked, but any ideas you might have would be welcome!

3.) In related news, the Maiden is angling for us to take her to see Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screen at the local independent theater this weekend, and I think I’m going to let her. I want to cover her eyes at the melting part–I mean, Indy says not to look, so better be safe than sorry, right?–but I’m pretty sure she can handle the rest. Right now her big interests are Egyptology (see #2 above) and World War II, so it’s a good fit. I think. Maybe I’m just justifying it because I want to see Harrison Ford on the big screen?

4.) Harrison Ford on the big screen.

5.) Harrison Ford on the freaking big screen.

6.) Fine, she can go see the movie.

7.) Was that so hard?

8.) Not really. Also, this has post has sort of degenerated into a conversation with myself, which is kind of the purpose of blogging, but it’s supposed to be more subtle. I clearly need a nap. Or caffeine. Or, if all else fails, a shoe shopping trip.

Have a great weekend!