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, […]

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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.) […]

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Raising a Child on Bad Spanish

I recall the exact moment when I decided to raise Dubsie in Spanish. She and I were walking on 5th Street, or rather “walking,” since stepping out with an 18-month old is an exercise in going nowhere. I sing-songed for her to come along, and she tripped a few steps before being transfixed by the […]

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California Piercing (on Such a Winter’s Day)

A little girl in polka-dot pants and her Mummy stand at the door of a lavender house. Yes, a lavender house, a single-floor conventional California ranch-style house, yet a whimsical and not-normal house, with a fat chimney where the beige has been painted over with more lavender, and also with an elaborate mosaic of tiny […]

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Pulling Together in Columbia Heights

I carry Dubsie past the intersection of 11th and Kenyon to her Saturday morning music class. This is Columbia Heights, where the kids (mostly black) go to Tubman Elementary School and the professionals (mostly white) go to little hipster joints and pay $14 for a pork roll bialy sandwich.

Outside of BloomBars is a cluster […]

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Whatever Works

Any catalog that arrives in our mailbox is hurled directly to the recycling bin, unless I pause to call the company, recite its serial numbers with the cold precision of an executioner, and send it to oblivion with a please-allow-six-to-eight-weeks-to-be-removed-from-our-mailing-list. To my way of thinking, a catalog — and especially a novelty catalog — is […]

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Stuck at Home

A temperature of 100.8 ℉ with a chance of vomit, not worthy of a trip to Urgent Care but bad enough to force a change in my plans. Dubsie and I are on our own this weekend, with Mummy away on a business trip, and Friday night I wanted to sneak baby over to see […]

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The Great and Totally Disgusting Outdoors

We imagine for Dubsie a life of sand in the toes and cleats in the snowboarding boots, of a nose that is sunburned despite the application of high-SPF sunscreen, of turkey chili nachos gobbled down at the ski lodge in order to make the backside by 3 p.m., of topographical maps and heavy-duty shoelaces and […]

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That Kind of Fat

 

Butter in a pat,

cream in a vat,

leave a dent in the mat where you sat kind of fat.

 

No ankle or wrists,

break the teeth when you zip,

will the jeans ever fit on those hips kind of fat.

[…]

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The Power of No

“Dubsie, do you want to play in the snow?” “No!”

Each morning I feed Dubsie her standard breakfast of steel-cut oats, half a mashed banana, a dollop of whole organic milk and — here’s the kicker — a whole hard-boiled egg, shredded into little bits.

Most observers are not fond of this recipe. (“Gruel?” […]

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