Parent-Teacher conference on Nov 3 was amazing. Apparently our girl no longer take no guff from nobody in the classroom. There were certainly signs of that last year, and Cindy and Patrick had stories to back it up this time. Gaelin wanted to cover the poster on the Hopi with muskets, and Natalie said unequivocally that that was not going to happen. The 6th grade mentor, Coen, acted very sagey-judgey, put his hands behind his head, and called for a vote. Natalie won. Only a couple of musket drawings ended up on the poster. And one time very recently when Natalie was doing math on a white board, Skyler came up and began talking to her. Natalie put up her hand and made it clear she was not to be disturbed while doing the math.
And then there’s her activism on creating a Peace Corner on the playground. After her letter to the Head of School last year resulted in a polite refusal, Natalie recently wrote a new one and, on my advice, got some signatures – from several classmates AND her teachers – and got a more positive response, asking for some specifics. And the next day, Natalie said her petition has been displayed on the Head of School’s office door.
Natalie helped me vote tonight. I told her about the terrible hanging chads and the terrible GWB and his VP who had too much power, and all the people who died. We passed a street named “Hilton” and Natalie said it reminded her of Hillary Clilton or however it’s said. We talked about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and how I believe most, but not all, of what Bernie believes. She says we should have an atheist president who can change our coins. We either need to remove “In God We Trust” or, since some people believe in more than one god, change it to “In God parenthesy-thing S parenthesy-thing We Trust.”
Mom: “Ready, Freddie?”
Natalie: “Ready, Georgia’s Brother.”
Mom: “It’s the same hoodie, it’s just heather gray.”
Natalie: “I thought Heather’s name was Heather White.”
Natalie says her teachers liked how her purple pants with blue sequin stripes made blingy reflections on things. I show her that they even do that on a cardboard box she’s standing next to in the kitchen. “Oh yeah!” She giggles. “Even cardboard’s fashionable now.”
Natalie to Elena Kaplan at the premier of The Peanuts Movie: “It’s beautiful, yet it’s animated, yet it’s funny.”
Natalie wants my help because she’s ready to get out of the tub. I ask why she would need me for that. “For drying-off purposes.” What?! “I need help powdering. I always use too much.”
Natalie accepts coconut oil in the armpits today as a deodorant, but doesn’t want it on her lips. “It smells, too much…(waves her hand in front of her nose) natural.”
Mary-Louise Parker is on NPR talking about the value of real letter-writing. “Unless it’s like a business letter thing,” says Natalie. “Business letters are useless.”
We’re dancing in the kitchen while I intermittently stick egg salad in the girl’s mouth. “This is the kind of thing I like doing on nights. Playing around, and dinner.”
We’re reviewing a word list to practice for this year’s Spelling Bee, where we’re hoping she makes it past the second round. I ask her to spell MIGRAINE. “Which is the word, my, or grain? No, really.”
“Lately, for the past two years, I’ve been getting good, non-cheesy fortunes, and I’m taping them together. One day, when I go back to kindergarten, or if I teach kindergarten, every day, every kid’ll get a fortune cookie, and we’ll be making fortune chains.”
I define hodgepodge, a bunch of things thrown together that are not necessarily related. “Like the bible?”
I give the girl some sweet, gentle good morning kisses. Daddy gave up his spot for her and slept on the couch. She smells like him. “Did I miss anything while I was asleep?” No. No. “Are you sure?” Yes. “Okay.”
“I’m getting my own style. Tuck-in, skirt…The skirt is mostly to cover up any lumps.”
Dad: “It now appears to stand at 126.”
Mom: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Dad: “Paris. ISIS is claiming responsibility.”
Natalie: “Ugh. First politics, now ISIS.”
Natalie shows me a story she cut out of TIME For Kids, a girl selling lemonade to end child slavery.
Mom: “There’s a lot of good kids out there.”
Natalie: “And some of them are in slavery. Although they’re very nice.”
Natalie’s not up for going to Capital Thai with Skyler during their sleepover tonight. “People have bracelets or tablets, but people don’t go around town with an ice pack on their neck. Never heard of that.”
Natalie agrees I could have been a lwayer, as people told me when I was growing up. “You’d be all the way to the Supreme Court before you took the school.”
Dad: “Jindal dropped out of the race.”
Natalie: “Wh-Jingles? Like Jingles the Clown?”
The Sharper Image catalog is great, but “Ugh. Why is it just for men? Women can have wallets too! THAT IS ZERO FAIR!”
We pass through the dining room to get to the bathroom. “Cookie, you don’t have to sit in the nowhereness.”
“Dad’s a good dad. You’re a good mom. Together we’re a good family.”
“Mom, I’ve already asked Dad this question. Are we hoarders?”
To Cookie: “Oh no you don’t! Alpha. ALPHAAA.”
“I love photobombing. It calms me.”
On Cookie’s life before rescue: “She was traumafied. She was drama-traumafied.”
A song for Cookie: “…You like to play/And scramble around/With no dismay.”
Q: What do you use to design pairs of socks?
A: Your imatchination.
The kids at school were talking about their Thanksgiving plans: mostly having family over, or going somewhere to be with family. Natalie said we’re having family over for the first time in a long time, and that we’re having tiny dishes. She couldn’t remember the name for that. A boy named Will said “Hors d’oeuvres?” She said yes, that was it! He told her how to remember: You order hors d’oeuvres. She liked that. She tells us that she’s still not into romancy stuff at all, but if she had to, if someone forced her, if they were going to kill her if she didn’t, then she’d pick Will. The protests about not being into romance went on for several sentences before the admission. It was very sweet.
Natalie hates the haircut I gave her this week. At least it’ll grow back quickly like the recent at the mall, I said. But she hates it. It makes her look like a child. “It looks like the eighties.” No, more like the seventies. “Blehh! Worse, worse! Worse alert!”
“With a name like Smuckers, you can’t go wrong.”
Skyler was bugging Natalie today. Did you tell her to cut it out? “Yes. Except with out the words ‘cut’ and ‘it’ and ‘out’.”
Open a can of Tom Ka Gai and realize that not only is it the eye-crossingly sour variety of hot-n-sour (and I really dislike sour soup)…but I see disgusting dull green wilted leaves and stems that are known to exude a powerful and repulsive toxin. So it’s come to this: Josh wants me to die of cilantro poisoning. I announce loudly my discovery. “Ouww,” says Natalie. “That’s the worst thing that ever happened to anybody.” She’s right. (On the other hand, Josh also brought me a roll of giant Parma Violets. What are you trying to tell me, man??)
Day before Thanksgiving. “Can I stay up late tonight?” asks the girl who regularly gets to sleep after midnight.
Mom: “This kid is saying the refugees can come to his house and play Minecraft. He’s telling people he’s not a hater.”
Natalie: “Neither am I. They can come to my house and play with my crafting supplies. And make me tacos. And eat me tacos.”
Natalie asks what she’s going to do tomorrow. With the boys talking about crosswords and the iPhone 6, and the women talking about what my coworker emailed me, she’s out of luck!
“They’re in luck that they’re coming to this ye house.” YE HOUSE? “Yes. I’ve turned into a cowgirly boy.”
Time for guitar practice…at 10:15 p.m.
Mom: “Do you want the light on?”
Natalie: “Yes, but not really. Do you know that sorts of feeling?”
Mom: “You’re over-excited because people are coming tomorrow. That’s why you’re so hopped up.”
Natalie: “Not just ‘over’. Extravada-over.”
“Start this off. but first, with the starter-offer.” She twists the grogger.
Poor Cookie. “It’s slow dragging time. It’s super fun if you’re me, super boring if you’re you.” She’s on her back on the floor, moving and holding the dog. You’ve gone batshit insane. “Look. I’m not quite as insane as Rose, who’s really insane.”
To Cookie: “You’re a goodish girl. You never know when surprise’ll happen.”
“I wonder what it’s like to be a Perr-Perr. Relaxative?”
Natalie thinks our country is the most polluted or ugly or something. She says Africa and South America are more beautiful and designy.
Back with the quarantined Lizzy and Kaya after head lice. “A long-needed reunion. I don’t really know how to pronounce it out loud.”
Natalie had quite an undecent day. Kayla went to get her braces put on, and Natalie had to sit with other kids for lunch — “and I got stuck with two messy, weird, disgusting, gross boys.”
Natalie spelled DISASTER correctly, practicing for the spelling bee.
Mom: “Wait – DIS-aster or DAT-aster?”
Natalie gets upset with me – she thinks I’m calling her a butt. I have to explain that I was making a silly joke that had nothing to do with her, or with asses or butts.
Dad: “There’s a flower called Aster.”
Natalie: “Flowers aren’t butts.”
Laura: “Flowers are sexy.”
Natalie: “Don’t talk that word!”
Laura: “The planet is full of sex. Plants and animals having sex to make more of themselves…”
Natalie: “You don’t have to talk about it!”
“Daddy! Thing not understandingable.”
“Whoa. They’re so beautiful! Yet so casual.”
“TOO comfy. If they let go. If they don’t sell it any more.” (?)
“They always light up my day. They’re something that makes life worth living. They’re funny, Mom. They’re funny.” [And I have no idea what this was about! 😦 ]
“Why is pink and purple most girls’ favorite color? I mean, I get it. They look good together. But really?”
“Do you think talking about being sick is contagious?”
Mom, on dental surgery coming up: “They’re going to make molds and play around with them to see what needs to be done next.” Natalie: “I thought having braces was serious.”
“We’re school friends, not ‘I’m going to talk about them at home’ friends.”
“She likes to be read to, do art (it’s not very good – shhh).”
“Thank you guys for being there when I need you. Except when you guys are napping. It kind of keeps me alive.”
“I don’t really use these. They don’t give me any information that I feel like knowing.”
“Whoever invented chores, I’m not amused. With them. Mom, if you’re writing down what I just said, I’m not happy.”
“People live from cancer. This is so far from that. I think I’m gonna live.”
On a piece of paper money: “At least you didn’t rip it all the way in half, that’d just be half the amount.” No it wouldn’t. “Hooray!”