I don’t like

Posted December 8, 2014 by crankygirl
Categories: Blogroll

2014-11-23 10.01.22

We had just walked down a long staircase from a child’s birthday party when a child who we had met at the party looked down and announced, “I don’t like your hair!”

Her mother chided her mildly.  I wanted to throttle both of them.  Justifiable homicide.

So we crossed the street and I told Julia, “That’s OK—that girl is ugly and her mom is stupid!”

My social worker friends and my mother find this horrifying, “No…you’re supposed to say that the girl has problems expressing her feelings and she feels bad about herself…”

I have a really hard time spouting that social worker-y hippy stuff. I was raised with that method, and it made me feel undefended and powerless.

Julia more of a tree hugger than I am.  A couple of weeks ago a little girl was hitting her.  When I heard that it had happened more than once I told her that she should warn the other child the first two times it happened and the third time she should smack her.  Julia seemed to find that suggestion hilarious, “NO! I tell the teacher!” Whatever.

She must be doing something right. On Friday, we ran into the mother of a friend we haven’t seen since he changed schools in September.  Apparently, he recently informed his mother that he intends to marry J when he grows up.  She could do a lot worse.

I am quite worried about what’s going to happen when J starts public school. I hope I don’t have to spend a lot of time telling J that her classmates are ugly and their moms’ are dummies. I just need to find a way to manage those situations that that works for both of us.


Posted June 19, 2014 by crankygirl
Categories: Blogroll

I’m tired. J has been sharing my bed lately. Here’s what sharing looks like.

J in my bed

In New York City, there is not enough free pre-k for everyone. If you have heard anything different, it was propaganda.

Unsurprisingly, J did not get a spot at any of the local pre-schools. Our zoned school has ZERO pre-k classes and other schools in the district are full. So, I put my name on wait lists and hope that I won’t need to borrow more money. But I might have to.
I’ve been sending notes to parent coordinators at some of the schools. Here’s one I sent today:

Hi Ms. xx

I know that this must be a busy time at y school.

I applied for my daughter, J, to attend pre-K at y. We did not get a public pre-k spot and this e-mail is to confirm that if a pre-K spot opens at y, I would be thrilled to accept it.

I know that I may be #671 on the waiting list, but a little e-mail never hurt anyone.

[J’s mother]

What else can I do? It’s not that I don’t love J’s pre-school—I’d just like to pay less money. The public pre-k in NYC is run on a lottery system with certain priority groups. Once zoned kids are accepted, out-of-zone kids are accepted via lottery.

The system doesn’t seem equitable to me. I know two families who got into out-of-zone schools. In one family, because the older son got into public pre-k, one family intends to have a full time Nanny for their younger son, instead of sending both of the kids to pre-school.

The other family is taking the spot for public pre-K…and will then send their son to private school for K-12.

It seems to me that there should be some kind of desperation metric. Maybe families making under 125K annually could have priority? Or families where one of the members works for the city?

I really think that the system would be better served if the family with the VA shrink who didn’t get a spot, or the middle school teacher, who didn’t get a spot, or…I…had gotten into pre-k. The low income folks are covered by monies from Children’s Services, but moderate income people…are screwed. Shocking.

Meanwhile, J has a new pre-school teacher named “Miss @ngie,” pronounced in the way that only Brooklyn-ites can pronounce things. She seems to like J, which is always nice.

Not you!

Posted June 4, 2014 by crankygirl
Categories: Blogroll


Saturday, apropos of nothing, J turned to me and told me, “Dad’s day coming in school. You don’t come. You not a dad.”

Me: OK, I won’t come if you don’t want me to.

J: No, I don’t go either.

Me: You don’t want to go to school that day?

J: NO!

Me: You don’t have to go if you don’t want to.

By Monday evening, she was a full-fledged mess. She didn’t want to take a bath, didn’t want to go to sleep, didn’t want to turn off the light and didn’t want to talk with me. I figured that she had Father’s Day on the brain, but didn’t want to interrupt her thought.

Yesterday, J informed me, “Mama, you come to Faddah’s Day.”

Me:  Oh you changed your mind?

J: Yah.

Her teacher told me that I’m like a dad because I wear many hats.  J informed her that I wear only sunhats.

FD sucks.  MD sucks. I never know whether I’m doing the right thing for J. I just wish these stupid celebrations that very few people enjoy could be banned from the schools in favor of something better.  Maybe in public school.

Are you a girl?

Posted April 25, 2014 by crankygirl
Categories: Blogroll


Here are some of the things J is learning in pre-school, mainly from the other girls:

• The cute princess has long hair.
• The mean mother has short hair.
• Girls and boys receive different coloring books at birthday parties; boys get superheroes and girls get princesses.
• Girls with short hair have to play the daddy when it’s time to play house.
• Girls don’t want to play with boys.

I feel as though I’m in the midst of an ethnography in some horrible, oppressive society.

Aside from being angry and buying a CD of Free to Be You and Me, what can I do? So far I’ve been listening and observing these “lessons,” but I haven’t said anything yet. Why?

This is familiar territory for me, from the other side. I grew up in the 70s and was not allowed to play with dolls, pretend to get married, wear pink or do ANYTHING related in princesses. In its own way, that was its own version of a tyrannical society and I always felt unfairly excluded from the rules that other girls followed. I was a pariah and not proud of it.

I like that my baby enjoys playing with other kids and she doesn’t seem to be a pariah, at least yet. I am struggling with how to let her know that the girls in her class are pinheads and she can be a pinhead too, if she wants to be.

I wasn’t prepared for J to have to deal with such gender-victims so early. It’s incredibly disheartening.


Posted March 17, 2014 by crankygirl
Categories: Blogroll


My little fang-child turned 4 recently.  Over the weekend she was persuaded to relinquish her beloved Pousse [pacifier].  Last night she informed me that she no longer needs my assistance to wipe herself after she pees. These are all good things and I am glad she’s gaining a little more independence.  I’m still a little wistful, but she’s still little.  She still wants me to take a bath with her and play with dinosaurs and pretend I’m her car. She sits on my unshaven legs and says, “huh…car seat’s prickly.”  Thanks kid.

I don’t think she’ll be reading or writing any time soon.  She doesn’t seem to have much interest in that.  At the party where the above photo was taken, she mainly wanted to tackle a couple of boys and giggle. People’s attempts to guide her to “color with the girls” were unsuccessful.

She worries about my safety, “DON’T FALL ON TRACKS, MAMA!  YOU GET MUSHED UP!”  People giggle when she says that, but she is quite serious.  My protector.

Super cat can’t fly

Posted November 5, 2013 by crankygirl
Categories: Blogroll

Hi there.  It has been a while.  An eventful while.

Little J just got a cast off her arm.  About a month ago, she was with a friend of mine at the playground and she decided to let go of the chains of the swing she was on.  Next thing you know…tears, a trip to the hospital and an elbow that didn’t move for 24 days.  A non-displaced lateral c0ndyle fr@cture.

Good thing she’s cute.


It was a bit of a rough patch.  She let me know where she stood the next day when I asked her to be careful getting out of the tub, “I HURT MAHSELF AND YOU NO DERE!”  There was a clear suggestion of causation in the accompanying glower, as though if she knew more she would have replaced the “and” with a “because.”

During this time we had an unwanted houseguest.  I put down glue traps and hoped for the best.  I named it Marvin with the thought that I could not possible be nervous about a creature called Marvin.  Last Tuesday just before I was about the put J to sleep, I heard a strange slapping sound.  I called to J to ask what she was doing…and heard a loud scurrying sound and saw…a LARGE rodent in my kitchen.  So I did what any self-respecting wimp would do…I grabbed my kid and ran downstairs and begged my 73 year old neighbor to save me.  She did.  She allowed me to barricade myself in my bedroom with J, while she beat  Marvin to death with a wine bottle.  Take that, Marvin!

Hween was uneventful.  J got to trick or treat at school and at Harriet’s place last week.  She seemed to enjoy being Supercat and stayed in character all day…MEOW!



Posted August 29, 2013 by crankygirl
Categories: Blogroll

This is my baby’s new favorite song.  You’ll see why after after 40 seconds.  It makes her feel like a rockstar.

J is getting to be quite a character.  In 2 weeks she’ll start a class called s1ng, d@nce and make believe. I hope it’s right up her alley. Today we “flew” to school.  She was the baby bird and I was the mama bird.  She informed me that she was a pink and purple bird.  Before becoming a bird, she was a monster and roared at people in the subway station.  Some lovely woman made a credible, “OMG I’M SO SCARED” face.  J was quite pleased with that accomplishment.

Today is her last day of school until Sep 9 and she seems pleased.  Over the weekend she informed me, “mama, I love home.”  She’s my kid, what can I say.  We were playing a matching game and lying on the floor and I was glad she was happy in our messy living room.

However, she is not happy when I call my mom.  I call my mom every day when I get home from work.  As I speak on the phone J says, “Mama, apple sauce…Mama, Juicy……….Mama, POUSSE [pacifier]….mama, can I have another apple sauce…MAMA!?”

The mornings are more peaceful. This morning she asked me to lie on the sofa with her…so we cuddled up to watch D1no train.  What could be better?