resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I'm gearing up to move again; now that I don't have to stay in the school district*, I'm looking at a couple of places that are smaller, cheaper, closer to work, and ideally a little less damp.

But of course the idea of touching every single item I own, again, is incredibly intimidating.

So I decided to try packing one box a day.

There's quite a lot of low-hanging fruit -- at least ten boxes that I never got around to unpacking two years ago when we moved here. I may very well bog down when it comes to starting from scratch. But here's two days' worth of progress:

Day 1

Packed: One box from the bedroom. Mostly books and miscellaneous desky stuff.

Discarded: One bag of books and three bags of clothes to Goodwill. Half a recycle bin's worth of paper.

Find of the day: A bunch of little spiral notebooks from the pre-Iowa days, when I used to get Saturday mornings alone to write. Much probably-doomed writing in there, including the title of a Discworld story ("Hard-Boiled Egg") and the summary of a Sherlock story ("Suicide by vampire. At least, that was the plan.") and about 500 words of a story I was going to write about how in an Alpha/Omega universe the end of fertility must be heralded by an Omegapause ("Everybody around him was so goddamned fucking young.").

Day 2

Packed: One box of cookbooks and other non-fragile kitcheny stuff.

Discarded: Another bag of books ready to go to Goodwill, and a garbage bag full of things which stop being edible after being left in a box on the living room floor for two years.

Find of the day: So that's where all the AA batteries were.

* Let's just take a moment to let that sink in. Barring really strange circumstances, I am finished with school districts. School districts will never again play a role in my real estate decisions. I am no longer the parent of a public school student. I have attended my last teacher conference, and probably also my last progress report.
resonant: Little Red Riding Hood and wolf. Text: "La beta noire." (beta noire)
It's a day every mother dreams of: the kidlet makes their fannish debut with a story I'm not even a little bit biased about ...

make my wish come true (12296 words) by terminally_underwhelmed
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley
Additional Tags: Epilogue What Epilogue, Post-War, magical amnesia, Mariah Carey, Fluff & Angst, Slightly Dubious Motivations

Ten minutes later Harry’s drying his hair while staring in his own eyes in the mirror and not moping. Never mind that he's twenty-four and already feels due for a midlife crisis. Never mind that he’s desperate enough for human company that he's considering getting a haircut just for the awkward scalp massage (and even more awkward questions about his scar) while being shampooed and then inviting Dudley out for drinks. He is a fully grown adult making the adult decision of working the entire week leading up to Christmas Day, since there’s a conspicuous lack of other places to be, and he isn't going to start moping about it now.

“I'm not,” he tells his reflection decisively. His voice is hoarse from lack of use.

The reflection has no response.

resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Kidlet is watching some YouTube personalities whose names I can't remember.

Kidlet: "So in college she and her dorm-mates would flash their boobs at each other. They gave each other nicknames based on their nipples."

Me: "In the great continuum from Very Heterosexual to Not Really All That Heterosexual, nipple nicknames are ..."

Kidlet: "In the Uncanny Valley of straight-white-girl sexuality."
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] kass asks: What do you enjoy most about parenting a kidlet of this age?

Oh, man, this age is the best. This age is ... when I think about it, it almost seems unethical. I have basically genetically engineered and hand-trained my own ideal roommate.

The parenting role starts out every-waking-hour-and-then-some at birth, and gradually, pretty steadily, shrinks. Getting accustomed to the shrinkage may be the challenge of parenthood -- remembering that six-year-olds don't need you to be responsible for most of their clothing choices and ten-year-olds don't need you to be responsible for their bladders and fourteen-year-olds don't need you to be responsible for their friendships.

By now, I don't really have to exercise my "authority." I have just enough superiority in life experience that I'm occasionally called upon to give advice, which is good for my ego, and just enough difference in personality type that I'm the Family List-Keeper, and that's about it.

(I didn't mind exercising authority when the kidlet was smaller and life required it, but it does take energy. It's very restful to be able to say, "Well, if you make that choice, what do you predict the consequences will be? OK, does that sound good to you? Cool, you've made a decision. Good talk.")

So the only thing I don't like about it is looking at the pileup of college mailings and knowing how soon it's going to end!

Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] armadillo1976 asks: Dec 4. From the perspective of a parent of a big(ish) kid, what do you remember most/best from the time your kid was 1-2? (Asking as a mom of a 1.5 year old, terrified that she is going to forget all the love and beauty and mess of these times...)

... yeah, I wish I had kept a journal, because my memories of that time are so sparse. And the photos are all prints, so they don't just come up when I'm scrolling through my phone.

I remember that the second Christmas, my brother-in-law sent the kidlet some electronic toy, and the kidlet touched it, and it sprang to life with a musical chord and a cartoonish voice saying, "Hi, there!", and the kidlet very firmly pushed it away and said, "Too noising."

I remember being up until the middle of the night putting the damned kitchen set together -- it was a gift from my parents, and I had assumed that it arrived all assembled (poor innocent that I was), so it hadn't occurred to me to open it up in advance. But I remember that kitchen set so fondly, and all the imaginary meals cooked on it, and all the conversations with "Mrs. Moldiwarp" had on the attached phone.

Mom remembers the kidlet climbing up to the back of the big chair (the one I'm sitting in now) with the Little Golden Book of Christmas Carols, singing some random words, climbing down, and saying, "Sing Si' Night book self!"

An older friend of mine used to tell me, "The hours are long but the years are short," and that is so true.

Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] mific asks: Do you enjoy Christmas more, or less, now the kidlet's older?

I have mixed feelings. Every now and then I catch myself looking longingly at a toy catalog or a coloring book. Little kids actually like toys and play with them. Teenagers give you a sympathetic glance full of shared nostalgia, but really all they want is money.

On the other hand, when your kid is a high school senior:

- Yes, there are still kids' performances to go to this time of year, but they're well-done and genuinely entertaining.
- If something needs assembly, you can hand it to the kid and say, "Here. Your eyes are better than mine."
- You don't have that period right after a gift-giving holiday when your living room is so full of brightly colored plastic that you can't walk across it.
- Teenagers know their limits, so you don't have to be the one doing all the tantrum-prevention duty.

I got particularly lucky because the kidlet's new favorite thing to do on Christmas morning is cook a huge breakfast.

So I'd have to say that on the whole the balance is with the older kid.

On the other hand, my best friend, who got her spawning done much younger than I did, has been rewarded with a brand-new grandchild, and that's looking like it might be the best option of all.

Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I have just literally booked myself a vacation day to spend filling out college financial aid paperwork.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Round about the middle of January I got a text from the kidlet that said, "I may or may not be in the process of reading through ur entire Kidlet tag." Followed quickly by "I s2g all ur friends fangirl me," which is true.

So I promised to post some more overheards (even though almost none of them are by her this time), and to let you all know that she's foxfire99 on Tumblr and eager to have more followers if you're so inclined. If you have a personal age policy, she's 16. Please don't attempt to involve her in any Nigerian banking scams.

Meanwhile, mostly work-related overheards this time:

"The client told me he'd have the form today. I constantly remind my daughter not to believe anything a man tells her.”

Read more... )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
The kidlet gets all four wisdom teeth removed next month, and at least two of them are impacted.

I can tell her my experience, but I'm hoping things have improved somewhat in the 25 years since I had mine out.

Does anyone want to share recent experiences or tips?
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] indywind offers this invitation to self-indulgence: an anecdote from your real life. (Your kidlet says the darnedest things, and I love how you share overheard remarks in such a way that I can practically hear them myself).

I'll give you two, one spouse-related and one kidlet-related.

1. So I'm sitting with my laptop, and the spouse gets up to go to bed, and I say, "Could you put out the lamp while you're up?"

He says, "I will put it out, and then I will put it out," and looks at me expectantly, and when I don't get it, he says, "It's from Othello." And he goes to walk upstairs.

"Hang on," I said, "can you put out the lamp?"

"Didn't I do that?" he says.

"No," I said, "you just made Shakespearean allusions at it."

2. So the spouse and I are complaining, which is one of our favorite pastimes: my co-worker talks all day and never does any work, and his classmates are slackers who don't do the required reading, and winter came too early, and I hate talking on the phone but my brother won't text, and so on.

The conversation turns to the children of one of our neighbors, and the spouse says to the kidlet, "You're not really doing your part in demonstrating the behavior expected of a teenage girl, you know."

She replies, "No, because you two are doing a better job of it."
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] kass asks: Tell me, if you will, what you enjoy most about parenthood?

The kidlet, believe it or not, will be sixteen in three weeks.

More and more, I can see her coiling to spring away. I'm going to hate to see her go -- I would be happy if the three of us could live together indefinitely -- but on the other hand, she's looking forward to it so!

Parenthood, taken minute by minute, is sometimes a grind. Especially with small children, it's relentless -- however tired you might be, however many millions of dollars you would pay for an hour of uninterrupted solitude, you still have to be there.

You have to be there with a level of present-ness, of focused intelligence and attention, that very few jobs demand, ready to leap to stop a toddler from swallowing a cigarette butt, or to explain to a four-year-old that animals died so that we could eat meat, or to explain to a ten-year-old that you can't tell bad guys by the way they look, or to help a child understand that sometimes you get really angry at her dad, and sometimes you get really angry at her, and sometimes she gets really angry at you, and that's all OK and nobody's going to get hurt, even if your own childhood experience is that that wasn't true.

But for me it's been deeply joyful, too, in a number of ways:

Read more... )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
The kidlet has decided that her dream job is being on the team of people who take a book/fairy tale/whatever and make decisions about how to create the visuals of a movie -- the characters, the clothes, the architecture, etc.

Anybody have any knowledge of that field? I promised her I'd poll my community and see if we could find (1) anybody who had suggestions for her or (2) anybody actually working in the field whom she could fangirl.
resonant: otter floating on its back, eating a clam. Text: KEEP CLAM (keep clam)
Wow, one of these has a reference to Thanksgiving in it! I had no idea it had been so long since I did one of these. The world continues to be quotable, though.

Kidlet: "I just said something genius, didn't I? It's hard to tell sometimes."

Read more... )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] norah prompts: Is your kid aware of the extent of your fannish involvement? How have you two navigated that? Is she fannish, and how? What about your partner?

For a while I worried about the kidlet accidentally intersecting with the smutty side of my fannish life, but she's fourteen now, so I'm not worried about it any more. I was reading plenty of smut when I was fourteen, most of it much less life-affirming than fanfiction.

I mean, I think I later discovered that [personal profile] calico was about fourteen the first time I sent her a feedback e-mail that said, "That story you wrote was incredibly sexy!"

Read more... )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
The kidlet and I are in Old City so that she can give a post-Halloween party for her Old Town pals in the distressingly-not-yet-completely-emptied old house. I love the kidlet's Old City friends. They're high school freshmen and living proof of the Wonder of Fanfiction.

Overheard so far:

"I said to him, 'You did not tear her vagina. For christ's sake, babies come out the vagina. All you did was have bad sex.'"

"When they write that he, like, licks his finger! Like that's enough lube!"

"I am 15 and I can do what I want!"
"Well, yeah, and get your boyfriend sent to jail ..."

"If a guy says that, I'm gonna say, 'sure you are, and I'm putting my clothes on and going home.'"

And best of all:

"I can't talk about this stuff with my school friends, because they're normal."
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
The kidlet has granted me permission to share this image of her Lady Loki Halloween costume (the faceblurry is quite unintentionally creepy) because she was so proud of those horns! They started out as a styrofoam wreath, and layers of spackle and gold Mod Podge and I don't know what-all else made them the magnificent thing they are.

We live on a college campus. While she was trick-or-treating, two students spotted her through the window and came running out of their townhouse to ask if they could take her picture.

OK, fine, html, I give up. I'll make a link; I know how to do that.

Res's kidlet in her Lady Loki costume
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
(Those of you with toddlers/preschoolers might be reassured to learn that the future does hold hope for conversations in which both parties have something to say other than "No!")

I don't want to suggest to yr teenage friends that substances will solve social problems but caffeine is what I have instead of a personality

Hey! U hv to accept us being dorks! We were born this way!

Def Slytherclaw. & u?

8:15 & all is whupcreams

V impressive horns r they heavy?

It's the most premature time of the year (with photo of Christmas wreaths)

R u sufficiently interested n apple crisp to help peel?

I think normal ppl don't txt "sufficiently"

I don't think it works like that. You have only one uterine lining to give for your country.

When you say a lot do u mean often or intensely?

Acrylic floor polish apparently obsolete. Menard's recommends this.

Because you're deep underground?

Hope tchr conf went ok pls do litter boxes ilu
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I wish there were some sort of Fat Underground for choosing a doctor, some national group that you could post to and say, "Dr. So-and-So: Is she going to pressure me to put a growing 14-year-old on a diet?" or "Their website lists 'medically supervised weight-loss' as one of their services. That probably means I shouldn't go there, right?"

I actually chose the kidlet's last pediatrician in our old town based on looking at photos and picking out the plumpest one. Seriously! But I'm not finding photos here. And the kidlet feels she's outgrown pediatricians, anyhow.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Kidlet, trying to stuff a jawbreaker gumball into her mouth: "Stupid gag reflex."

Long pause

Me: "Possibly both generations of this family are now trying to resist the urge to make a dirty joke."

Kidlet, with mouth full of gumball: "Mm-hm! Mm-hm!"
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
The kidlet is writing another novel. This is very lovely, but the kidlet doesn't have her own computer, and I can't afford to buy her one just now.

The other day, before leaving for work, I said, "I need more access to my own computer. See what kind of division you can propose."

Later I got this e-mail from her. (These days I'm getting her permission to quote her here!)

I get the computer from the time you leave until you get home and from 7:30 to 8 in the evening. You get the computer in the morning before you leave and in the afternoon until you start on dinner, during which time I'll probably be doing the chores you left which I didn't do because I was on the computer all morning. I get the computer while you're cooking if you're cooking. You get the computer at 8 and may retain it until you cease to be functional, succeeding which I may use the computer as long as you don't know about it, I am fully functional the next day, and the battery isn't dead, in which case you may revoke my nighttime privileges.

June 2017

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