What’s going to happen when she doesn’t get into the college she wants?

As Mr. G was backing out of the driveway, on his way to work this morning, I could hear the Girl yelling at the front window, “DADDY!  I’M WAVING TA YOU!  YOU NEED TO WAVE BACK!! DADDY!!!”

Me: Honey, he can’t hear you.

The Girl (as Mr.G drives out of sight) :  Aw CRAP!  He RUINED it!

Me: Honey, you haven’t had him wave to you for a long, long time.  If you want him to wave to you from the car, you have to tell him before he leaves, while he’s still in the house.  He doesn’t know you want him to wave at you, and he can’t hear you when he’s in the car.

The Girl:  aaaaAAAAAWWWWWW, MY LIFE is RUINED!

Friday Funny

The Girl is obsessed with genitalia.  Specifically, penises.  Almost since the Boy was born, every time I change his diaper she is right there behind my shoulder, pointing and saying, “Ha!  Penis!”  Oh, she is her mother’s daughter.  Have I not mentioned that my sense of humour is at times akin to that of a fifteen year old boy?

The other day, she was at my elbow while I was on the computer, pointing to random pictures and the following conversation emerged:

The Girl (pointing):-“Is he a boy?”

Me:- “Yes.”

The Girl:- “Does he have a PEN-nis?”

Me:-“Yup.”

The Girl:-“The Boy is a boy, and HE has a penis.”

Me:-“That’s right.”

The Girl:- “Daddy’s a boy, and he also has a penis.”

Me:-“Uh-huh.”

The Girl:- “Do *all* boys have penises?”

*dramatic pause*  Now, I want to bring my kids up in an atmosphere of acceptance for all people, so I felt that my answer should be honest, and should also leave room for grey areas for future conversations about the more complex issue of gender identity.

Me:-“Yes, most boys have penises.” (and I wanted to leave it at that)

The Girl, of course, wanted no such thing, picked up on my change of wording and said:-“*Most* boys have penises?  *Some* boys *don’t* have penises?”

Me (wrapping my head around the fact that I’m having this conversation with her already, but persevering):-“Yes.  There are some boys, very few, who don’t have a penis.”

The Girl: “Are there some *girls* who have a penis?”

Me (will this conversation never end?): “Yes, there are some girls, very few, who have a penis.”

The Girl: “When I get very much bigger, I will have a penis.”

Me (oh boy…): “You think so?”

The Girl: “Oh yes.  I will go to the store, and I will buy a penis.  Then I will take my vulva and throw it into the GARBAGE! And then I will take my penis and just twist it on,” she demonstrated with a  twisting hand motion,” and  then I will have a PENIS!”

Me: O_o *Blink, blink* BWAHAHAHAHA!

Oh, the conversations she will have at Preschool!

“You’ve Always Had the Power To Go Back To Kansas” ~Glinda the Good Witch

For as long as I can remember, I have considered myself an artist.  Which is strange, considering that the word “artist” usually points to someone who actually makes art.  Which, I do not.  Well, not any more.

I used to be quite prolific.  I have folders and pages and pages of my pencil drawings, and a few of my paintings hang on my walls.  I even have digital files of my short-lived web-comic.  Over time, though, I slowly stopped producing anything.  Part of it was my time being taken up by raising smalls.  It’s hard to work up the drive to get even a pad of paper and a pencil out, when you know they are going to be grabbed at, leaned over, and even critiqued by your mini-mes.  Waiting until the littles were in bed also proved to be difficult, as one of my weird anxiety driven quirks is that I cannot stand explaining myself when I do something that’s outside my normal routine.  And when I say “explaining myself,” I mean any acknowledgement at all of the activity I’m involved in.  This includes, but is not limited to, being asked what I’m up to, being talked to at all while I’m doing said activity, being glanced at (most likely involuntarily) while I’m *struggling* with said activity.  Looking over my shoulder at any time, ever, is RIGHT OUT.  Coupled with my paralyzing perfectionism, it makes for a very unfriendly mental state for creative expression.

I can point to a couple of occasions over the past year, when I tried to put pencil to paper (while no one was looking).  To my horror, the pencil felt clumsy in my hand.  Everything I drew was ugly, and did not live up to the beautifully pristine blank sheet of promises.  I hid them away, and lamented to myself that I had “lost it.”  I wanted to get it back, to bring myself back to putting pencil to paper again, so it would feel as naturally as breathing.  Every day I would wake up thinking, “today I will draw something, after I’ve done all my chores,” but after procrastinating on the internet all day, only to be faced with a growing pile of mess at the end of it, I never had enough time.  “Tomorrow,” I would think, but the next day would look exactly the same as the day before.

Then March happened.  I decided to try the Flylady method of getting it together.  While I did not follow every step to the end, I did manage to get a daily routine that I am happy with.  My house is still clean, and I spend surprisingly little time actually cleaning it every day.  I’m not even sure what changed exactly.  I’ve tried making cleaning schedules and routines before, and they never took, but this time was different.  The habit of regular cleaning times is engrained into my day now, and I do it without thinking.

That brings us to a week ago.  Now that I didn’t have to feel guilty about and avoid cleaning my dirty house, it freed up a lot of my time.  At first, I still spent the day on the internet, or playing Star Wars:  The Old Republic, in between feeding the kids (which takes up a lot of time all on its own) but I knew that wasn’t right.  I decided to use the extra time to get to all the things I said I wanted to do, like draw and write.  I kept getting hung up on the “what to draw” part of the equation, and also scared of producing more imperfect things that I would have to hide.  The thought came to me that when a musician wants to improve their basic skills, they play scales.  What’s the artist equivalent?  I wanted to get right back to basics and start from the ground up, so I looked to the internet for advice.  I found pages upon pages of Youtube videos featuring artists doing drawing tutorials.  It’s a freaking gold mine.  I don’t know why it never occurred to me to look before.

The really strange part is that many of the drawing exercises they teach are things that I used to spend my whole days doing, but I never knew they were actual techniques for improving your skills.  I have, admittedly undiagnosed, ADD.  I developed the habit of doodling in the margins of my notes as a way to focus on what the teacher was saying.  I found that if I could keep my hands and eyes busy, I could stay present and keep my ears open.  I never realized that this was actually helping me to draw better.  This habit has followed me any time I need to pay attention to words being spoken at me, but it’s been so long since I’ve needed to do that, it’s been years since I’ve doodled.  It’s also been years since I’ve been able to draw anything.  Coincidence?

This revelation makes me want to kick myself.  All this time I could have been happily doodling away, without the pressure of feeling like every blank piece of paper has to be turned into a masterpiece, without knowing what to draw when I sit down to it.  It’s frustrating because my drawing muscles are weak, and I physically am unable to draw like I am accustomed to.  But at least I’m putting pencil to paper now.