Archive for the ‘kidlets’ Category

In 4th grade I had a crush on a boy named Jason. We lived a few streets apart and had been playmates since we were small. Our parents would joke about how someday we’d get married and after awhile I found this speculation rather comforting. I felt very proprietary toward him although I don’t think he ever really returned my feelings.

One afternoon in science class, our teacher thought of a demonstration to show how 2 pieces of matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time. She asked Jason to sit in a chair at the front of the classroom and then asked someone to volunteer to sit on his lap. I wanted to be chosen so badly but I knew I couldn’t raise my hand.

Too sensitive to put up with the teasing that would follow and too proud to give Jason the satisfaction of knowing I liked him, I sat in my seat, hands demurely in my lap and stared. I mustered all the attention and focus at my 10 year old command and in a Matildaesque moment of glory, my teacher and I made eye contact. She picked me! I rose from my seat primly and as though I could barely be bothered to, walked to the front of the room and found my place in my beloved’s lap.

Today is the first day of 4th grade for Mitten. I’ve had an astonished “I can’t believe you’re in ___ grade” moment every year since preschool though this year feels different because I remember my own 4th grade year so very vividly. I was on the cusp of adolescence and all the social trials that go with that time occupied my full attention. Mitten is no different. I’m hoping I can guide her through this with a bit more grace than I had. It would help if she inherits my psychic powers.

(p.s. Jason married his high school sweetheart. They have 5 kids. They named their first daughter Katherine.)

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kalbi chim

Today as I pulled into the parking lot of New Seoul Garden, I sang a little song to myself.

“…kalbi chim, oh kalbi chim – I will eat you, kalbi chim…”

I love kalbi chim and yooke jang and bibimbap. I like them even better than mashed potatoes when I’m feeling run down though I certainly don’t have to be sick to enjoy them.

Here is The Boy, sucking on the bones.


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Yesterday, the AC crapped out on us for the second time this month. Since it was hovering around 100, I spent the day wringing my hands over the possibility of having to install a new furnace and wringing out my t-shirts. By 10pm, I was crabby and the kids (+1 friend) were wilted. Faced with the prospect of nursing a sweaty baby in our sweltering 2nd floor bedroom, I booked a room at the Sterling Inn. Yasuro, wonderful man that he is, opted to stay home with the dogs, the better to meet the repair tech scheduled to arrive between 8 and 12 the next morning.

A quick stop at Meijer snagged a 2$ bathing suit (score!) for our guest, 2 bottles of orange soda and a pack of Oreos. I checked in at 10:30pm, The Boy in arms, a 9 year old, a 7 year old, and a 28 month old trailing behind. The room seemed a bit dodgy but the sheets were clean. I cranked the in-room AC as high as it would go, turned on the Disney Channel and started handing out sugar. Everyone but me was fast asleep by midnight.

I lay across the end of the bed and read Alternadad till bleary eyed at 2:30, I passed out. Morning came (a bit too) quickly and we proceeded to check out, have breakfast at Tim Horton’s and return to the inn’s attached waterpark till 2:30pm today. Having 4 to keep a close eye on and entertain is exhausting but the kidlets all had a great time and the AC repair at home only cost 144$. Less than last time and not a new furnace! Woo!

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My mother in law and I were destined for one another. She may not have seen it at first but I think she’s coming around. From the proprietor of our favorite sushi/bibimbap joint telling her that she and I have a similar bearing to our mutual love of shopping – all signs point to “daughter you never had”.

If only I could speak Korean…

Today we had lunch at Steve’s Deli (Husband, Mom, the kids & I) then we went shopping at a boutique stuffed to the rafters with really cute and correspondingly expensive European children’s clothing. Thanks to Halmoni’s munificence, no one went home empty handed. I appreciate her generosity – but even more so, her happiness with constantly holding the grandson who is now approximately 1/5th of her total body weight.


paul frank skullie

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blinding by cuteness

Originally uploaded by coruskate

I think it’s safe to say that, objectively speaking, my son is the most wonderful, beautiful man ever born.

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girl, nurtured.

Mitten has never been a big eater. When she was a baby, I’d do any number of ridiculous and desperate things in an effort to increase her calorie-intake but none worked as well as what follows.

During mealtimes, I started telling her a story while trying to maneuver the spoon into her mouth. I got tired of the standard “Choo-choo! Here comes the train” bit very quickly.

So I came up with this: Here’s the train! It’s filled with little children and teachers and parents on a field trip. Look, it’s chugging up the mountain and the children are having such a fun time! But wait, Oh my gosh – no – suddenly from a cave in the center of the mountain an ancient and nameless evil rears it’s head. It’s hungry and innocence is savory – it’s coming for the children in the bus! The children and the parents and the teachers see doom approaching and scream! Ahhhhh! Nooo!

At that point, Mitten (playing the part of the ancient and nameless evil) would happily and ferociously chomp down on the spoonful of children. We’d go through endless permutations. Train, bus or boat – going up a mountain, through the desert, across an ocean. Her enthusiasm never waned.

Chicken and carrots, unappetizing. Unwilling human flesh? Hilarious and tasty.

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I enjoy breaking rules created only for my own safety and the safety of others. Yesterday, I did not put my almost potty-trained 2 year old in a diaper when I took her to the pool. My son was in a diaper but it was not a swim diaper. It was a regular one that got super bloaty and added about 5 pounds to his weight. I cannot figure out the added benefit of a swim diaper. If it doesn’t hold water like a regular diaper, surely pee escapes it as well?

Today, I flouted the rules at a McDonald’s playland and let my children go on the equipment without socks. Another mother told me that she was yelled at by the manager (because Foot and Mouth disease spreads on play structures) and was told she could purchase socks from Micky D’s for 2$ a pair. Funny, that McDonald’s is concerned about Foot and Mouth but unfazed when it comes to heart disease. Can I purchase some 2$ Lipitor with my Happy Meal?

Also, what? Did he mean Hand, Foot and Mouth disease? And even then, what? Shit covered kids are allowed on the play structure? Oh wait – hand washing is free.

I learned this disregard for authority at my mother’s knee. At McDonald’s today, she kept laughingly telling the kids “to get in the damn tunnels already” so we could avoid detection by the sock nazis.

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