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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Scary? Vairy!

Only in Washington, DC would a six-year-old girl say (as one did in Franny's class): "Guess what I'm going to be for Halloween? I'll give you a hint: she's in the Senate!"

I froze momentarily in a parental panic. I don't think my child knows any senators. (In fact, I'm not sure I could cough up that many guesses, though if she had said the Supreme Court, I could have done a respectable job... of course, since the Court's not long on women justices, it wouldn't have been too hard...). Luckily, the little girl blurted out the answer: HILLARY CLINTON!


Okay, I admit it. I was a surprised that a six-year-old girl, when presented with costume options ranging from princess to angel to bride to cheerleader to Barbie to... (hey, wait a second. Maybe Hillary is not such a bad costume idea after all.) But seriously, that a child given the opportunity to transform herself for one magical day into ANYTHING in the whole wide world would choose to don a bright suit and helmet hair (and NOT because she was going as a DoodleBop). Only in Washington, DC, I guess.

Plus, I hope she realizes that she's going to have to report all those Milky Ways and Skittles as campaign contributions. Might be wiser to decline them so questions don't get asked later. Either way: pretty scary!

Suddenly, dressing as Barbie doesn't seem like such a bad idea after all.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

No Ifs, Ands Or BUTTS?

So, here's some good news: my mom is NOT the only one reading this blog!

As it happens, my "comments" feature was set in such a way that no one could post comments! Of course, I discovered this when my mom told me that she tried to post a comment and failed. BUT another person, and then another alerted me to this problem as well, thus alleviating my concerns that I am blogging to an audience of one (see my earlier post re: this concern).

So, now that my web guru, Ed, has tweaked the comments control, I encourage both... er, I mean, ALL of you to go for it! Comment away! I can take it. What's more, now that this technical problem has been fixed, you can give it.

In other news (not yet bad, BUT we shall see), I submitted a book to my publisher that may well either not come to press OR may grace the banned books list in years to come. Its sin? The title contains the word, ahem, BUTT. And it is not a YA book (see The Earth, My BUTT and other Large Round Things), or a middle grade book (see The Day My BUTT Went Psycho... FYI: this book was published originally in Australia as The Day My BUM Went Psycho) or a first chapter series type thingee (see The BUTT-Ugly Martians books) or even a 4-8 y.o. picture book (see Walter The Farting Dog, Perry Poops, etc.).

No, friends, it is a board book. A Lift-the-flap style one, designed for the humor of preschoolers (and their hip parents). A board book with the word BUTT in its title.

This book's fate, as I mentioned, has not yet been decided. BUT I am concerned that, although many of my hip pals are with me and think 1) this book is hilarious and 2) the world is ready for it, other pals have filed the minority report that, however funny it might be, they would be loathe to take responsibility for teaching their little darlings THAT WORD.

So, now that the comment doors are wide open, I invite both, er, all of you to weigh in on this important topic: should "baby books" (for toddlers and preschoolers as well) be confined to subjects like patting bunnies and counting cheerios, or should they branch out into slightly more daring material, like the hind quarters of certain cuddly animals?

Not that I'm trying to influence your responses or anything, but I'd like to mention one title (alas, not mine) that I encountered during my recent foray into title research on this subject: The Book of Baby Animal BUTTS.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hi, Mom!

The lack of comments my blog entries seem to receive have convinced me that I am blogging for an audience of one: my mom. So, this entry goes out to her.

Hi, Mom.

Yeah, Franny's spots are all gone. Or rather, they are all dried up, so the quarrantine has finally been lifted. It kills me that back in the dark ages when I had chicken pox I had to get a HUGE penecillin shot in my behind (yeowch!) and now they know it is a virus so they do NOTHING to treat it.

I went pumpkin picking with Bougie's preschool class yesterday. I was assigned to watch the Bou and a little boy named Eric. While Bougie ran amok in the pumpkin patch, Eric calmly rejected every pumpkin I steered him toward as "too big." When he dismissed one the size of a baseball, I finally had an idea. I picked a tiny dark green ping-pong ball sized nub off a vine and presented it to him. He was thrilled and proudly carried it the rest of the trip. I took some truly hysterical photos of him with his Lilliputan prize, but it occurs to me that I should probably check with his parents before posting them on the internet.

Moral of this story is: listen to kids. Not all kids want their pumpkins to be big OR orange. OK, most kids do, but personally I prefer the kids who dare to say "Hey, make mine puny and green!" Meanwhile, in a related story, my own kids are trying their darnedest to conform and thereby buck the family tradition of non-conformity.

Their cause? Store-bought Halloween costumes.

Which is another entry unto itself.

Who knows? Maybe someone other than my mom will read it.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Day Three

Day Three here at Pox central.

Number of spots on Franny... 503... no, make that 504.

Number of spots on Bougie... none.

My kind and brave friend Emily volunteered her son Eli to be a guinea pig, so he came over for a playdate today. He's been vaccinated, so it wasn't exactly high risk behavior. But, as Franny's case has proven, vaccines can be imperfect. So, we shall see.

Yesterday, I did an author visit at the Sheridan School, here in North-by-Northwest Washington, DC. I met with a very eager and peppy audience of 2nd and 3rd graders, who greeted me with praise about my appearance ("You're pretty! I love your boots!") and my books ("I love your books!"). These love-ly and love-ing kiddos were old pros at author visits (they informed me, "We're meeting Graeme Base tomorrow") and did a super job asking great questions I frequently hear ("Where do you get your ideas?") as well as some I've never heard before ("If you combined Ninety-Three In My Family with Chicken Bedtime Is Really Early, what would it become?").

I always love talking with kids. So much so that today I sound like there's a blue speckled frog (or two... or eight!) in my throat. Good thing I'm staying inside with my pox-y pal, drinking tea and playing board games and theoretically baking a carrot cake if I finish this entry.

Yum, cake! Bye!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It's a Chicken Thing, You Wouldn't Understand

Well, okay, you might. Has YOUR child had the chicken pox?

The WHAT pox?

Yes, ha ha. The Chicken Writer has come beak to beak with the one kind of chicken thing she doesn't really want to, um, embrace. Chicken Pox. As in red spots, endless scratching, and days and days holed up at home in chicken quarantine land (hmm... new book idea? Chicken Quarantine Is Really... Oh, who am I kidding!?).

The good news (for all of the 93 or so kiddos who came to Politics and Prose this morning to see me read - and hear me sing - Ninety-Three In My Family) is that we noticed the fever at 4 a.m. and the spots at 8, and we were prudent enough (for once) to keep Franny home. Even though it meant missing her class' field trip to see Mommy in action. Truth be told, had it not been for the spots-and-fever combo, I would have thought she was faking to avoid the embarrassment of Mommy's silly hats and book-related antics (she practically begged me not to do a fake sneeze, as I often do, at a key point in the narrative). But, as it happened, there was indeed a pox on her. And maybe on her little sister... tune in soon!

The bad news is, this past week she was a regular Typhoid Mary, doing all her usual active activities (gymnastics, ballet, three parties, chorus, afterschool and, of course, school). And the other bad news is that pretty much all of our standard destinations (park, library, zoo) are not options, so I may just have to break down and install those wall-climber hand holds on the living room walls.

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