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October 19, 2008

The Remains of a Weekend

I was sweeping the Wurzberger's kitchen and dining room this morning when, glancing down at my dust pile, I saw a nonchronological record of Adelaide's weekend.

I swept up crumbs and sprinkles from the cookies she had baked with Grandma Marmie (proclaiming proudly "That's the way we like it!" whenever the dough would lift up with the cookie cutter.)

There was a little glitter from her Halloween Princess costume that she wore to a pre-Halloween party at the grocery store.

There were fragments of Play-dough that she had received as a prize at the aforementioned party. There were many pieces of Lucky Charms that she had discarded while digging for the marshmallows. And there was a lot of dog hair, which would have been there anyway, but probably not as much if she hadn't been around to chase, kiss, and pet Shelby and Fred.

I looked down at my dust pan and smiled because it looked like a good weekend. And then I frowned, because I've always hated sweeping.

October 13, 2008

Walt Triumphs Again

We're big into Halloween around here and have been doing our best to indoctrinate Adelaide with our love of pumpkins, spooks, and trick-or-treating. Accordingly, we've purchased some cheesy Halloween decorations- plastic yard ghosts and pumpkin candles and the sort of stuff you would see on sale at the department store and roll your eyes at if you weren't very much into the holiday- to go along with our actual porch collection of pumpkins.

We've also checked out a dozen or two Halloween-themed picture books from the library to supplement Adelaide's usual Babar and Three Little Pigs curriculum. My favorite of these is Omar's Halloween, in which a young bear has his holiday priorities absolutely straight: the best thing about Halloween is wearing a striking, perhaps even startling, costume.

These days, I tend to prefer spooky costumes to cute or funny ones. I'm talking about the classics: witches, vampires, goblins, werewolves, ghosts, and mummies. I was pleased, therefore, to hear Adelaide talk about dressing up as a witch, or a ghost, or maybe a bee. "Well," I thought, "lots of people are scared of bees. And maybe it could be a bee from beyond the grave."

Then Sleeping Beauty came out of the Disney vault, and we bought Adelaide a copy. Sleeping Beauty is a great film, and a great way for Adelaide to learn the standard tropes of fairy tales. Most modern shows and books with any kind of fairy tale theme ironically comment on and spoof beautiful princesses and evil fairies (see: Shrek), and, consequently, it's refreshing to enjoy some media as unselfconscious and traditional as Sleeping Beauty. Adelaide loves it, and isn't even that scared of Maleficent, the evil fairy who does some pretty disturbing stuff. And now, in our pretend games, she's always Aurora the princess or one of the assorted monsters, and I'm always the prince or the horse.

And so, when it came time to pick out a costume, I campaigned hard for a witch, ghost, or even a bee, but Adelaide stoutly declared that she was going to be a "princess fairy queen!"

The dress suits her, but I have a couple of weeks, yet. Maybe we can tweak things a little bit, like add a bloody knife and make her the fairy of vengeance, or give her some fangs or something. And I suppose a princess fairy queen is a step up from her self-declared super hero alter ego, "Hammer Girl!"

October 6, 2008


It's Monday night, and your mama's working a twelve-hour night shift. Your papa's come home looking like a rumpled pathologist.

What's a girl to do?

Get fab-glamulous! Do your papa's nails and have him return the favor.