Herr Husband and I had date night tonight, and as we so often do, we found ourselves among white sexagenarian Cantabrigians. Not sure what this says about us or our sense of fun.
And of course, Paula Poundstone was hilarious.
You should not be reading this blog. You should be watching Transparent on AmazonTV, like I am. Remember how the best gift I got Herr Husband for Christmas was FiveTV for the bargain basement price of $79? It let me rewatch all of Arrested Development, and now it’s letting me continue the Jeffrey Tambor party with Transparent.
So, it took me until today to understand fully get the title. My brain isn’t always functional. It’s not just transparent as in transgendered, or as in coming out and fully visible as oneself. It’s Trans-PARENT. Duh. Because it’s about Maura (Tambor) a transwoman who comes out to her three adult children. There’s heartbreak and humor and great characters and incredible writing. Go watch.
Do you live locally? If not, skip this post. If yes, keep reading. Do you have kids? If not, skip this post. If so, keep reading. Have we discussed Jam Time already? If yes, you too can skip this post. But if not, hold onto your hats! I’m about to drop some useful parenting info on that ass. (I wonder if that phrase has ever been uttered/written before? Google says no.)
Go to Jam Time in Natick (or in Maynard, but I’ve never been to that one). Before you go, you and your children can shout Jam Time in a silly voice and amuse yourselves endlessly. And then once you’re there, you can alternate between playing with your children and practicing benign neglect as they work on their independence and you gab with your friends (today, Rocky and her pals).
Jam Time is clean, quieter than other indoor play spaces (it’s the carpet), and friendly. It’s small enough that you can let your kids wander and then find them with ease. The people are friendly and they have organic junk food for sale (they understand their client demographic well). There’s a bounce house, a ball pit, a train table, a pretend fire station, a lot of ride on toys, costumes, and climbing stuff/slides. Everyone leaves happy, and my kids fall asleep on time. Win.
Herr Husband has just returned from yet another business trip, and I spent all of my writing energy on a Facebook post railing against the Greek system at Dartmouth to my frat-guy pals. You know things are going to go well when you use the phrase “white male privilege” with successful white men.
All of this is to say I’m tired, especially after last night’s post. So you’re not getting much out of me today. I didn’t even take pictures of my kids.
We did make a monumental decision to remove Das Big Boy from one of his two preschools. It’s the child-centered one that I love so much, but he was overwhelmed by attending two schools, and the structure, music, and nerdy content of the public school (where he can also get speech/social supports) clearly speak to him. Just another reminder that it’s not our philosophies that matter when we’re parenting, it’s our children. I wonder how many times I’ll have to relearn that (said the vegetarian who feeds her kid fourteen hot dogs a week). I’m sad, of course. I love the directors. I love his teacher from last year who helped him learn to like school and his teacher from this year who bent forwards, sideways, and backwards to get him more excited about participating. But I know he got a lot out of being there, and that this is the right move for him now.
Thanks for all of the love on yesterday’s post, guys. It means a lot. Love you all.
I thought I’d recommend some children’s books tonight. These are some of our favorites with which you might not be familiar. Do me a favor and share some of yours/your kids’, too. As always, I recommend you support your local bookseller (or mine, Wellesley Books!).
1) Dinosaur Rescue, by Penny Dale
Ok, so high literature this one is not. It’s essentially pandering to the interests of preschoolers: dinosaurs, crashes, railroad crossings (what, your kids don’t demand you drive them past certain crossing gates multiple times a day?), trains, emergency vehicles, and easily-resolved crises. You pretty much can’t go wrong with this combo. Repetitive, readable prose and brightly colored, highly detailed illustrations make this one the whole package. And it’s led to some fun play schemes in our house, too.
These charming books are translated from the Finnish. Written in whimsical, rhyming couplets, they’re quirky and heartfelt. Toffle is about a lonely soul who finally finds his match, and Mymble is about a quest to find a lost sister. Both take place in the same mystical world. Mymble has spectacular cut-outs on every page, and both use vivid drawings of their invented beings. They’re on the long side (especially Toffle), but they hold my kids’ attention.
3) Stop Snoring Bernard, by Zachariah Ohora.
Bernard is an otter with a snoring problem. His pals kick him out of the otter exhibit, and he tries to find a new spot in the zoo. Don’t worry, it ends happily. The heavy line drawings look like woodcuts, and the simple prose, animal characters, and opportunity to make loud snoring sounds will amuse toddlers and preschoolers.
4) I Must Have Bobo! by Eileen and Marc Rosenthal
Willy’s lovey is his sock monkey, Bobo. But Earl the cat loves Bobo, too. So they battle over him. The line drawings use pops of primary colors, and the words take over the pages at some point. Simple enough that little ones can start “reading” along with you. A favorite of each of my kids between eighteen months and two (but DBB still enjoys it at four).
5) Listen, Listen, by Phillis Geshator and Alison Jay
Another rhyming book with highly detailed illustrations: cute little animals, lovely landscapes, and frolicking folks. The book goes through the seasons, describing the changes in nature and the different activities people can enjoy. It highlights the sounds of each season with lots of opportunities for kids to make sound effects. Charming and beautiful, it’s a great book for games of I spy.
So what are your family’s favorites? Share in the comments! We’re always on the hunt for new books and love getting favorites from friends. We were just introduced (via gift) to the wonderful Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. Circus animals survive a wreck at sea and become valued members of a Maine community! And a Facebook post taught us about Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen’s Mercy Watson, the toast-loving, problem-solving, trouble-making porcine wonder!