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Beatrix and the Social Lesson & Me and My Dad and the Report Card

My BB fell down today. She is so precious. Just so flipping cute. Her curly blonde hair, the way she can't yet pronounce her Rs or Ls yet, the way she still cries about everything, the growth spurts, the way she's calm, the way she always wants to spell words and memorize letters and their patterns. Everything about her.

Even when she gives mom extra shit just for being alive it's still kind of like, 'Well, you're still a kid. Some part of this is endearing, somewhere.'

So she first fell down crossing a street to go to the park. I wasn't looking at her, scanning all four directions for cars. Had Lucy's hand in my left, BB's in my right. All of a sudden BB's hand jerks down, and I look down and she's on her face, arms raised above her head. Just laying there.

I knelt and picked her up. Put her back on the sidewalk. Lucy was kind of scared I'd be mad, but felt better once I hugged BB and said, "You fell down, huh?" BB just had this crying face on, silent but ultimately expressive, mouth wide open. She's done this since she was an infant, a face Megan and I used to call the "Nothing is OK BB Face." The one she makes now is a trifle more mature.

I said told her she can't fall in the street, that if she does, a car might not see her, run her over, and she'd die. Thinking I was gonna write that and not gloss over any details, I pictured it sounding dickish, like the thing to do there was not to scold her but to just show compassion for the way she still can't seem to get her body to work with her. But it is the reason she cannot fall in the street, right?

She's 3 and she's still growing, learning. Her older sister, at 5, kind of gets it now. She's been thru 4, even. We met a 4-year-old at the park today, a girl with curly hair in a ponytail and a grey dress with a sparse, red pattern of birdprint-ish shapes, and a red bow in her hair, who BB ended up being friends with later. Her name is ... can't remember exactly, starts with A.

So A, before her or my kids had exchanged any words, picks up this long, green, plastic, smiling spoon that BB brought with her from home. She was sitting on the swing, her spoon on the ground beside her where I told her to put it, as she's fallen off that swing several times, and I keep reminding her to hand on with both hands.

Jesus, I even got mad at her when she didn't put her shoes on today after I asked her four times. Sometimes I get mad at some dumbass shit. No wonder my kids get worried that I'm gonna snap at them. I was so mad I couldn't even articulate that I wanted her to just put something on her feet, but didn't want to confuse her because she was putting on boots and I said to put shoes on. My 'shoes' term was just ambiguous.

I even said, and this is classic, "How many times do I have to tell you?" Ah, hilarious. Kids really do make parents into monsters. It's not the kids' fault, it's not the parents' fault. We're all just kids raising kids. Thank God the scientists keep figuring stuff out, because if it were all just parents spending their formative years procreating, we'd never evolve.

Once in high school my dad kept repeating to me to bring home my report card. I didn't do it because he was there almost every day working as a counselor and psychologist, and figured he could pick it up. My grades were bad, though, and I knew it. I didn't want to face his reaction. But not doing it, not bringing home that report card, for like two weeks got under his skin something fierce, until one day at dinner when mom wasn't home, he asked me if I'd brought it home, I said no, and I remember him sitting there, at the same seat he sat at every night at dinner and any time of day when he sat at the table, and he just kind of sputters, "No!"

He yelled it, and he didn't know where it came from, but he was running with it. He told me this afterward in apology. Because after that, he got up and walked over to me. I can't remember if I was already standing, or if I had gotten up to walk away from him. I was 16 and getting really rebellious. Starting to really not care, you know? Thinking I could do this on my own and fuck my parents. So I start to walk away and he gets up and grabs my arm.

I wrestle it out of his grasp and he fucking grabs it again. And that was as physical as it got, my dad is not a fighter, though he was when he was a kid, and it still shows sometimes. He talks about times at school when he had no choice but to fight, and how he also wrestled on his school's team. Anyway, we just stared at each other at that point, for a few long seconds. I didn't try to wrestle my arm away any more, not wanting to provoke anything either. My dad and I are alike in this way. We both believe in pacifism, and that fighting, though fun if you've got the balls and the willingness to bleed, is counter-productive.

So this girl, A, takes away BB's spoon. Just runs up and grabs it and runs away, quick as day, and BB watches her. Now, mom of A has a little 1yo baby in her arms, and is saying her name over and over again, asking where she got the spoon. BB doesn't initially appear phased until I say, "She took your spoon," in a conversational tone, like, Wow, look at that thing that happened, instead of, Wow that was not cool she sux.

But BB slowly gets that Not OK face on as she gets off the swing and walks over to me. See, I was sitting on the other big kid swing next to her, tired from swinging her. I saw it all go down. By the time she gets to me she's got full crying face on, and she's whimpering a little bit. This was a really not-good surprise for her. She's not in daycare so she only has her sister to contend with, and this, I could tell, was an important social lesson. The lesson being that kids do this. Finding a way to deal with it comes later.

So mom asks me, "Is that your spoon?" I nod. She gets a glimpse of BB's face and how she's coming to me in her silent grief. "Oh, no," she says. Goes over and makes A. come back to us and give BB back her spoon. This girl was on the entire other side of the park with that spoon in no time, so it was a long, slow walk back as the girl kind of soaked up and realized what she did, and also probably had to contend with the fact that she really didn't want to give it back, it was a cool shovel.

So she gives it back. BB's better.

BB fell a second time today off the swing, a while later in the park trip. The mom and I had met before, and after the spoon business was over, we started talking and figured out who our mutual friends are. So this was about an hour or so later. We had a good 2-hr trip at the park today, our usual stay. BB must have been tired today. Probably going thru a spurt. Body getting all awkward and moving funny on her.

So I'm pushing her pretty high, right? She's loving it, but then as soon as I give her a really good one and get her going fast, she fucking loses her grip and falls, scraping her back on the new, undulled wood chips lining the park floor. Man, that must have sucked. I walk over to her and she's got that face on again, but isn't making any sound. She did whimper a few times and I tried my best to console her, but I didn't hug her because she had wood chips all stuck to her clothes and in her long, snarly curly blonde hair. That hair is a bitch to brush, by the way, and she cries every time. Gotta get it cut. Megan's worried it will lose all its beautiful curl.

After I cleaned her off, she says, "Let's do it again," and walks over to the swing. What a fucking trooper. DAMN she's awesome. So I swung her again.

Going home, Lucy wanted to go down to the pond, but I had to refuse, as we had been there two hours, and also I had to get to work. I said to her, "I know you want to, but it doesn't matter. I just don't have the time. I want to go down there too, but we can't right now." Then I threw in something thing about how wanting something doesn't mean you're going to get it.

I remember being a kid myself, in rural Michigan, and people saying simple shit to me, and thinking they were dumb, but really it was me who was dumb, and they probably felt dumb having to dumb their thoughts down to tell my dumbass what time it is.

I brought my report card home for my dad. He looked at it, sighed, and said, "OK. Thank you for bringing this home." He understood.


Job Opportunity-not for me, for you!

Hi everybody. Is it Father's Day today? Huh, that's nice. Is everyone having a good Sunday? Sitting around, drinking coffee like me? I hope so.

My kids are both still sleeping at 9:25 a.m. Time to blog it up. Got a job opportunity to broadcast.

I just turned down a position with Arbonne as a consultant. It would be up my alley as far as my skill set goes, but I feel like I'm too close to a job in social media, PR, or writing to give up my search now.

If any of you readers think you'd be good at setting up parties (call them 'classes' or 'meetings' if you want) with people (it's going to be vastly ladies), talking to them about skin care, makeup, health and wellness products, helping them find a product or two that would be right for them, and not have to sell or deliver anything yourself, you might be a great consultant.

You can work as much or as little as you want, and the only time you'd have to leave your home would be to attend the parties you'd set up.

My friend Jennifer is putting together a team of 4 or 5 people right now, and she and I went out for coffee a few days ago to talk about it. She's really nice and down-to-earth. Hit me up and I'll put you two in touch.

I met Jennifer for the first time at the Northgate Target here in Seattle. It was Lucy's birthday and I was shopping for girl clothes, as was Jennifer. It took me a good half hour at least, cause I was picking out several outfits, and I had never done that before for a little girl. Jennifer and I passed by each other several times, and I think I mentioned that I was gonna buy jeans for my Lucy, and she remarked that she can't get her daughter to wear denim.

So we keep shopping and talk a little bit more, no introduction or anything, just two strangers passing by within life's whirlwind. Fast-forward to last week, when my whole family went to Lucy's new kindergarten orientation & ice cream social. I saw Jennifer over there by the signup table, and I said to her, "So I was shopping at Target a while ago, and we were both shopping for clothes for our kids ... " and she immediately recognized me. She surprised me with the questions she asked, totally like a journalist, or someone for whom networking is their bread and butter.

Sounds familiar. This is probably why we get along so well. She told me she's a consultant, and I asked her a little about it, and then told her I'm on the job hunt. She proposed a coffee date to talk about it, to which I readily agreed, and last Friday we met at Forza by Green Lake.

She's a really nice person, church-going and a choir director. I've never heard her sing, but I bet she's a master. Her husband is a school music teacher, so they're a musical family with their three kids.

She started with Arbonne eight years ago and now she's done dabbling, as she told me.

So there you go. I was almost sold on it, but going home afterwards, talking with Megan, and then sitting on it for a day, I had to decline, but I did offer to help her find other people who want a change in employment and would be good at this.

Found my first referral this morning. Yes! I love spreading the goodness around. Job hunting is hard work, and it involves a lot of hurt feelings which one has to learn to take in stride. Especially since I'm trying to break into an industry in which I have no experience.

Next blog, I swear I'll talk about my kids more, I swear it! I had to get this notice out first.