Thursday, July 22, 2010

This afternoon, in the car

"Mom! Can I have the window down?"

"Get your foot inside the car! Keep it inside."

"I'll just put my hand out."

"No! Keep your hands inside!"


"Because it's unsafe."


"Because it is not safe."


"Because you could get hurt."



"Would my sticker fall off? What if I just put it on my other hand?"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Advice to my husband's uncle on how not to ambush me into joining an insurance pyramid scheme

1) Do not invite yourself over for lunch, saying how much you want to have a visit and see the house, insist that you bring your famous ginger chicken, and then sit down with a cup of coffee and say, "How about you, Lasha? Wouldn't you like to work with families to make their financial futures brighter?"

2) When I say "No" do not try to manipulate me into saying yes. Just because I am a teacher does not mean I have any interest in "educating people about the way money works." Just because I am a stay-at-home-mom does not mean I have the time or interest in selling insurance.

3) When I say "No" it is not "a confidence issue" or because I am unwilling to try new things. It is because I know myself and anything related to sales is not for me.

4) I understand that these are sales positions, even when you tell me they are not.

5) If you want to make a presentation to try to recruit me (which will never happen), use the presentation to give me information about the position and what it involves. Do not try to sell me financial planning and insurance products. I have a financial planner. As I have already told you. Several times.

6) Don't tell me that "making families financially independent" is in any way equivalent to doing god's work. Just don't.

7) Don't ask me if I know any "doctor's wives" who might be interested in the positions. (I don't. Not any doctor's husbands, either.)

8) Don't tell me that my refusal to agree to even try this out has everything to do with your failure to communicate, since "communication is defined as one's ability to convince someone to do what you want." And do not, under any circumstances, use my child as an example, suggesting that I communicate most effectively when I convince her to do something she doesn't want to do. Um, no.

9) I will not be making any referrals, but I would refuse, on principle, to use a form that asks for the names of the "huband, wife, last name."

10) If you want me to even consider something like this, do not ambush me. If you had told me you wanted to come over to discuss a role for me in this business, I would have told you I wasn't interested, but would probably have agreed to listen politely to your presentation. Even if I was interested (which I would never be), I would not agree to do it based on the way you tried to trick me.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Becoming a baby (again)

My daughter is obsessed with babies. Specifically, herself as a baby. I can't even count how many times a day I hear her say, "I'm just going to 'tend to be a baby, okay?"

And can I tell you? It is not okay. It may be one of the most annoying behaviours in the vast repertoire of irritating three-year-old behaviours.

For Will, being a baby involves walking with her limbs held out stiffly in front of her, in a slow lurch that looks like something between Frankenstein's monster and a robot. Even worse, she refuses to speak, and instead cocks her head to one side and grunts, something I could barely stand when she actually couldn't speak and cannot abide now. Sometimes she will speak in a language of incomplete words or phrases, and of course, she will point at what she wants.

I know this is all part of Will's exploration of how she fits in the world, no longer a baby but not really that big, in the scheme of things. But late last night, as we drove home from Buffalo, Will explained her understanding of babies and growing up.

She started talking about all the things she would do when she was a baby again. I tried to tell her that she wouldn't ever be a baby again, but she was insistent. Paraphrased, she said, First I was so little, and then I grew bigger. And I will get bigger and bigger. And then when I am so big, I will go down and down and little. And then I will be a baby again.

I was curious about what it would be like when she was a baby again, and she described it in much detail. First, she told me I would have to bring up the high chair from the basement (I might need some help carrying it up), and she hoped it had a tray - does it have a tray, Mama? - because babies need trays, they can't eat food off the table. She told me I would have to buy some "mouthy things" because babies like them, and she will like them (pacifiers) when she is a baby. She described the dress we just bought for a friend's newborn and said she wanted a dress like that one, and we would have to get some new sleepers from Walmart (?).

By the time we got home, she was telling me that although purple is her favourite colour now, it will not be her favourite colour when she is a baby. Then it will be pink. But she will also like red and gray, but not yellow. I think the colour categorization alone went on for twenty minutes.

I found this peak into her mind fascinating. Fragments of Alice in Wonderland (the only scene she's watched) mixed into her thoughts on growing up leading to something more familiar. The most familiar part being me. In her mind, even after she's grown up and back down, I will still be there to take care of her, when she is a baby again.