5

Things about my day:

1) Tantrum cycle disrupted! I managed to do no yelling today (a bit of firm bossing and maybe a dose of snark), but every time I felt myself getting testy, I tried being silly instead. It mostly worked. Das Big Boy was exhausted and a bit whiny, but we staved off any actual meltdowns. Huzzah! And I’m only like a quarter of a way through that parenting book. By the time I finish, my kids will be teaching transcendental meditation and curing cancer.

2) It probably helped that my parents watched DBB this morning while I took Little Liebchen to her “school.” She continues to be totally in love with her teacher, and sits as close to her as humanly possible and watches her very intently. And then we went to buy her Christmas present for DBB. She had already picked out his present (when I asked her what to get him she knew exactly what he wanted:

Me: What do you want to get your brother for Christmas?

LL: Da trac-toh.

Me: Which tractor?

LL: [Rudy] trac-toh. (We brought Rudy Huxtable a tractor with which DBB has long been obsessed.)

How cute is it that she knew exactly what he wanted. And I let her hand the credit card to the woman in the store and she was so proud. The concept of waiting and surprises was a bit lost on her. She kept saying, in front of him, “Where’s Bruduh’s trac-toh? I play bruduh’s trac-toh. Trac-toh in da cah.” But so far he doesn’t seem to have caught on. He’s planning to get her a baby doll. Yay for my kids knowing what each other wants, boo for their adherence to gender roles. But she is getting trains, too. And he already has dolls. Does that help?

3) My wunderkind high school babysitter also watched the kids (and folded laundry!) tonight while I went to an AMAZING talk by Jill Lepore about her book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman. I’m getting the book immediately. Basically, if you thought Wonder Woman was all skanky boots and magical rope tricks, you were wrong. She was developed–by a man, I might add–specifically to empower young women to shed the bonds of male domination and become equal members of society. Her creator lived with two women–a career woman and a child-raiser, in a happy trio–one of whom was Margaret Sanger’s niece. Sanger and Suffragists were major inspirations for WW. Lepore is a hell of a speaker: dynamic, funny, smart. You could see the teaching-endorphin buzz moving through her. (You teachers know what I mean: when you finish a class and you feel like you’re coming down off of something because everything has come together, and the room is crackling with fresh knowledge and sizzling synapses.) Ultimately, Lepore’s thesis is that Wonder Woman bridges the gaps between what has been called first and second wave feminism, and that in fact there weren’t two distinct waves, but a rush. Loved it.

4) All of her talk of social action and protest and change made me feel that we’re (or at least I’m) too complacent. The goals of Wonder Woman’s creators in the early forties still haven’t been achieved today. And the failure to indict the officer who killed Eric Garner really got me down. Did you see that tape? I only listened to the audio in my car and I had to stop driving because I was sobbing. Our nation has a long history of exciting and engaging protests (eventually) yielding important change. I feel like some people are down on protesters these days. But I’m thankful to them. Still trying to think of ways to do my own small part to help foster change… This is the type of occasion on which I really miss teaching (also, I attended the Lepore event with beloved former English teachers who were similarly fired up/heartbroken).

5) Here is your holiday card outtake. In three parts.

Hansel and Gretel cower in fear, and wish you a joyous holiday season.

Hansel and Gretel cower in fear, and wish you a joyous holiday season.

Did Katja fart, or does her piano playing just really stink.  I am in a lot of trouble, by the way, because I find potty humor hilarious and will be unable to scold my children for employing it. Katja currently pronounces fart "shart," and I laugh every time.

Did LL fart, or does her piano playing just really stink?
I am in a lot of trouble, by the way, because I find potty humor hilarious and will be unable to scold my children for employing it. LL currently pronounces fart “shart,” and I laugh every time.

Don't make me (or my butt) the butt of your jokes!

Don’t make me (or my butt) the butt of your jokes!

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