You’re Toast

First, say “cough” in Spanish. Tos.

Then understand that we’ve had an illness going around, at least among us adults, that involves a lingering and persistent cough. After a bout of hacking, I tell Dubsie “tengo tos.”

Her brown eyes are full of concern. “You are sick?”

“Yes, I am sick.”

“You need tea?” she […]


The Reluctant Mummy

The truth of the matter, the truth we will tell Dubsie one day, is that Mummy never wanted to be a Mummy. She told me a revealing story once. She was on a hike in New Zealand and met this happy, gray-haired woman in her 60s who had never had a child. “No children, […]


The Song of Uncle John


Once, in the dead of night, nestled between us sleeping, Dubsie sat bolt upright. She began to chant in a deep voice we didn’t know she possessed.

Mother, Father, Uncle John Went to market, one by one

The words rolled slow and solemn from her mouth, like a dirge.

Mother fall off … whee! […]


Bald with a Bindi

Dubsie has turned two! This post will end with photos of the most salient development, which is that my daughter no longer has hair. Her curls occupy a dustbin in the Georgia suburb of Dunwoody. But our story begins elsewhere, on a fine morning on the southern outskirts of Atlanta, at a Hindu temple.

The […]


A Wilderness of Dandelions

Washington, D.C. is tough on lawns. Ours would seem easy enough to care for — it’s only twelve by sixteen feet — but the winter taxes the grass with a few good freezings. In the spring, the ground explodes with life, and any clumps of grass thas survived the winter are swallowed by creepers or […]


Meet Lilia

Dubsie spends most of her days in the company of a Ukrainian woman whose name is Lilia. Lilia grew up in Dnepropetrovsk, in central Ukraine, about 300 miles from Kiev. She is our au pair. Let me explain what that means, exactly.

Au pair is a French word that literally means “on equal terms” but […]


Come Again

Everything was going so well up until the moment of the eruption. We’d had a happy, playtime kind of day with our friends Russ & Sunny and their two kids, and now we’re assembled in the living room to see them off, so great to see you, let’s do it again soon. Dubsie sits innocently […]


All By Myself

My ladies boarded a jet plane last week and disappeared to Texas, on a visit to family, leaving me alone in an empty house, and I took no time in regressing to a primitive, almost bachelorlike state.

‘Superbly awesome’ is really the only phrase to describe it. I wake up in the morning in this […]


Brush brush brush!

They tell you that parenting is about patience, and about poop and vomit and curtailed sleeping hours, of course, but they don’t tell you that it also requires salesmanship, especially in the realm of tooth-brushing.

Brushing Dubsie’s teeth has been difficult as long as there have been teeth. (Or ever since our pediatrician, Dr. Busse, […]


Inspector Gadget

Of all our devices, the one Dubsie finds most relaxing is the pager. When she gets her mitts on it she’ll kick back on the bedroom rug like she’s reading a trashy novel in goddamn Ft. Lauderdale.

The other gadgets aren’t for relaxing but for the pushing of buttons. (Tactile buttons and her parents’ buttons.) […]