Kids say

While I was walking past a neighbor’s house, some girls were getting ready to race in their front yard.

“Ready, set, go!”

One girl easily beat the another.

Says the child referee, seriously, to the loser: “You just embarrassed yourself.”

Hipster baby

Toddler asked for milk this morning. We don’t always have almond milk around, but I got it for smoothies this week.

“Dairy milk or almond milk?”

“Amond milt! Amond milt is my favorite.”

I gave him some almond milk.

“Not this one. Other amond milt. This one yucky.”

He had some dairy milk.

“I love amond milt.”

That’s me in the hatchback

There were a lot of people from my high school at this wedding last weekend — the bride and groom went to the same high school as my husband and me. They all knew each other at the time, but they didn’t know me. I came along later, when I worked with the groom.

So a few of us were circled around chatting about how my husband, the best man, used to TP the maid of honor’s house, etc., when she turned to me. “Did we put you in a hatchback?”

“Yep, that was me.”

I don’t know why I was invited to come along with my oldest brother when he and some other band people went to see the Rose Festival fireworks, but since he was four years older, it seemed kinda cool to tag along. For some reason, I ended up riding in the hatchback of our old Honda Civic, which also seemed pretty cool at the time.

It’s a small world, with some small cars.

I’m trying to cut down

Last week was garbage week, and I asked my husband if he noticed the garbage wasn’t quite as full as usual.

“Yeah, I was wondering about that.”

“I’m … making an effort to create less trash!”

I’m trying to use — to throw away — less plastic.

There are some easy changes to make, some that take a little more planning, but I’m making progress.

But I’ve done this before, and I forgotten how much plastic people just hand to you without asking.

Plastic knives with your cream cheese.

Plastic cups to go.

Yes, straws in your water. I don’t need a straw for water, but anyone who needs one should get one.

I forgot it’s so emotionally exhausting to be given something over and over that you want to have less of.

Balance

This week I’m tracking my time in half hour increments and also reading a book about giving up the idea of productivity.

She had to be pretty productive in order to write this popular book, right? While also adding in time to sit quietly in nature, because that’s part of writing a book, too.

Better put that on my list.

The 5th of July

We were pretty chill on the 4th. When you have little kids you can’t exactly skip a holiday altogether, so we went to the park in the morning, got ice cream in the afternoon, and had hot dogs for dinner. (I had a gardenburger.)

There were pop-its. The toddler woke up at 5:45 and didn’t nap, so we didn’t even try to see any fireworks in the neighborhood. It was great family time for a Thursday.

The next day, I ran a few errands. “How was your fourth?” a couple people asked.

“Well,” I said each time, “We didn’t feel too excited to celebrate this year.”

Each person relaxed a bit, then tensed. Like I was a safe person to talk to, but they’d just remembered the world wasn’t that safe in general.

“Yeah,” they both said, strangers to me and to each other. “A lot of people felt that way.”

Oh stop (don’t stop)

I was chatting with a new acquaintance over the weekend, and mentioned my two kids.

“You have kids?”

“Yep, two boys, two and five.”

“Oh, you look too young to have kids!”

“I’m 39.”

“You wear it well, my dear”

This isn’t even a good anecdote. I’m just bragging because I do not get comments like this very often.

Maybe she’s nearsighted too.

Shy until the lights hit

I’ve always described myself as a “shy ham.” I’ll be anxious about talking to someone I don’t know very well while waiting for my karaoke song, and then I’ll go perform the HELL out of that song.

Not sing the hell out it. I’m only a passable singer. But I commit to the bit.

This weekend, volunteering at a conference, I was kind of shy about going up and chatting with people. Not super shy, but not exactly outgoing, either.

But when it was time for the volunteers to go on the stage, I went to the CENTER of that stage. In the front. Well, I thought. Someone’s gotta do it.

At the after party, we watched some Bollywood dancing. “Are there any first-timers here? Come on stage.”

It did not take me long.

I didn’t go to the front because I did not know what the hell I was doing, but I was in the second row, performing the HELL out of a Bollywood dance that I’d just tried for the first time.

Are you a sniffer too?

I was trying to get my two-year-old to smell some of the basil plants for sale outside the grocery store when a dude walked up, stood in the middle of the driving lane for the parking lot, and asked, “Are you a sniffer, too?”

I probably made some polite noncommittal noise.

“I’m from California, and when you walked down the street there, it was like, nothing. Here, when you walk down the street, it almost stinks with all the flowers!”

“Oh, yeah!” I agree, pushing the stroller along its way.

I wonder what part of California he’s from.

Maybe the valley.

My raspberry

I took the toddler raspberry picking this morning, at a little family farm alarmingly close to the train tracks.

It took him a few minutes to get the gist of it — to figure out how to grasp and pull, and to only choose dark red raspberries, not green ones — but he figured it out eventually. He also liked taking the berries I picked and putting them in our container by himself.

“This one issa ready,” he’d say, picking his way down the line, choosing berries of varying redness.

We didn’t spend too much time there. I don’t have time to process a million raspberries within a day or two anyway, so we got maybe a few pints’ worth for $2. After we paid, the toddler insisted on pulling a raspberry out of the bucket. “My raspberry,” he said with authority, taking a gentle taste without actually biting it.

He hasn’t eaten one yet, but he’s very protective of his raspberry.