Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Physician, heal thyself

I was just sitting here, typing away, when I realized I was already 15 minutes late to get Em from school.

The kicker? I was writing a series of parenting tips for the not-so-soon-to-be-revamped ParentsConnect website.

Tip #1: Don't forget to pick up your child at school, you moron!

And what did my way-too-sarcastic-for-my-own-good 9-year-old have to say when I finally did arrive? "Oh, Mom. How nice of you to make the time to come and pick me up!"

You reap what you sow, I fear.

(It wasn't a huge catastrophe; she and her friend C were on a long line waiting for sno-cones...part of the Friday Treats fundraiser the school puts on. And C's grandma was there with them. No harm done, except to my reputation.)

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Friday, March 23, 2007

TC's book talk

Have any of you read Anne Tyler's newest, Digging to America? (Or have any of you, like me, listened to Digging to America?)

Here's the thing: I really enjoyed it. And that was a huge surprise to me, since I haven't really enjoyed anything of hers since Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant which was, what, written in 1982, I think, and which I read soon thereafter. I'm not sure what I've objected to since then...a certain triteness of plot, a certain distance from characters, a certain...I don't know what. (And there you have it: the reason I never became a book critic.)

This book started out that way, and stayed that way for a little while, and then, all of a sudden, it shifted. It became about something entirely other from what I'd thought it was, and that something entirely other was a lot more interesting to me. There was still a triteness to the plot--or, rather, maybe more of a pat-ness, a bit of unreality seeping in--and not all of the characters really came alive for me. But it still caught me up, and I don't entirely know why. I'm hoping that maybe one of you will have read it, and will have something to say about it that captures what I can't seem to right now. It was not, at all, a Great Book, nor even one I would rush out to tell others they must read. On the other hand, I would recommend it. It was better than I'd hoped, and I didn't like seeing (hearing) it end.

[As for real-life, paper-and-paste books, I'm currently reading Joyce Carol Oates' We Were the Mulvaneys, and it is absolutely breathtaking. Painful and lyrical and one of the best examples of 'voice' that I've had the pleasure to come across in ages and ages and ages. If only I could find more than a few pages' worth of time each day to savor it.]


Wednesday, March 21, 2007


A week since my last post? How'd that happen?

Oh, right. I know.

1. I spent several days obsessing over a work evaluation, convinced I was about to be booted from my job, only to get a really glowing initial report (more to come) and be forced to realize that I am STILL that girl in college who used to convince everyone around her that she had really failed the test this time, not like all those other times, here let me show you just how I know I failed...only to wind up with the highest grade in the class. It's OK to hate me for that. You'd think by now I'd know better.

2. I celebrated my 11th wedding anniversary by having a steak dinner at a local establishment where somehow Baroy and I decided we should discuss our pre-marriage sexual indiscretions in greater detail than we ever had in the past. It was only after we left, however, that I realized that the fact that I knew the general gist of the conversations at the three tables nearest us in the restaurant--and had realized I actually knew the occupants of one of those tables, based on what they were saying about mutual friends of ours--means that, um, yeah, maybe the topic of sexual indiscretions is one that I should have reserved for HOME?

3. The other half of said celebration involved us renting a movie at Blockbuster--a bad movie, disappointingly bad--and watching it on the couch at home, with a large black-brown Labrador shoved in between us, while we waited for our kids to return home from their trip to see Wicked at the Pantages Theater with Uncle Stevie. It still kills me that this was his "gift" to us--leaving us home while they went to see a hit show. (Even killinger--no, not a word, so sue me--is the fact that it actually did turn out to be a gift. We had a lovely time, inappropriate conversations and less-than-mediocre movies aside.)

4. We had a parent-teacher conference with N's new kindy teacher. This required much prep work on my end, as I worried (and worried and worried) about what she might say. What did she say? He's great. He's doing fine...right on grade level, even edging toward above grade level, in all subjects. She ADORES him. We still need to work on social skills--duh--but even those are getting better. Nothing to worry about, here. I left with my mouth hanging open.

5. Malaise has taken over my life. What is it with this fucking malaise? I simply, literally, CAN NOT SLEEP ENOUGH. Can not get out of bed in the mornings to take the kids to school. Can not stop myself from taking an afternoon nap, except by going out for long walks, during which I find myself really considering laying down on the sidewalk. I always assume these things are mental health related, but am considering this time the possibility of something a little more physical. Every time this has hit me in the past, however, I've had tests done, and no, my thyroid is fine, and no, I'm not anemic. So rather than go that route, I'm trying a few supplements, to see if they might give me the pick-me-up I need. We'll see. Meanwhile, if you're looking for me, I'm probably still asleep. Or napping. Or laying down with N or Em. Or going to bed early. You get the idea.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

When cultures collide

Baroy is watching Witness, and N walks into the living room. (Let's put aside the fact that this happens way too often, and that while Baroy yesses me to death about how the things he watches aren't appropriate for the kids to see while they're still awake, he never has and probably never will change his viewing habits. Let's put aside the fact that there are times when that makes me insane.)

N comes in during a scene where three or four men are walking through the Amish community, looking for Harrison Ford and the little Amish boy who witnessed the murder. They are carrying guns.

N watches for a second, then looks at Baroy and says, "Are they going to go kill the first-born babies?"

Apparently someone has been paying attention in religious school.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Out of sorts/season

It's 86 degrees at my outside-of-LA foothills home. At 6:30 pm. Yesterday, it was 92 degrees at 7 pm. There are five children (only two of them mine) in bathing suits in our not-currently-heated hot tub, playing some game that involves the command "shake your butts" and much hysterical giggling. I love summer. However, it is March. The whole thing is just insane.

If I weren't in such a top-of-the-line, Grade A, piss-poor mood right now (work stuff, stupidity, nothing to write home--or in a blog--about, but it's getting me down), I would have spent a good part of today trying to imitate Jane's inimitable post on the My Chemical romance concert to describe my trip yesterday--with N and our friend J and his daughter S--to the Wiggles concert at Universal's amphitheater. It would have been hysterical, I swear. I'd even have included a photo of my feet propped up on the dashboard of my car, with my concert-going grandma-looking near-orthopedic sandals on and my unshaved legs. Because I am HOT. One HOT mama.

Unfortunately for you, however, I AM in a top-of-the-line, Grade A, piss-poor mood, and hence you won't be getting anything like that. Instead, I'll just tell you that N rocked for an hour and a half, dancing his little feet off, happy as can be. It was his first concert. He had a ball.

I'd hoped for more of a collection of quips and comments to choose from, but by far, the winner of the funny-comment-in-reponse-to-my-dad's-girlfriend's-comment is Fay. Yay, Fay! Want cookies? Send me a snail mail address!

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The heroism and narcissism of the male ego

When Baroy finally got home on Sunday, exhausted and dispirited, there was this sign on the window awaiting him, and two kids who were jumping up and down at the sight of his really cool medal, and a comment and a post from Rich that brought a smile to his face, and he got over the worst of the disappointment remarkably quickly.

Later, he was sitting with Em and me and said, "You know what really kept me going? It was the thought that I didn't want to have to tell my kids," [and here he looked at Em] "I didn't want you guys to ever say to someone, 'Yeah, my dad ran the LA Marathon, but he didn't finish it.'"

You can look at that two ways: You can think, "My husband got through the last 14 miles of a marathon because he wanted to teach his kids how not to be a quitter. How wonderful is that?" Or, you can think, "My husband got through the last 14 miles of a marathon based entirely on not wanting to take an ego hit. How ridiculous is that?"

I think both.


My father's girlfriend called me today to talk about some semi-issues with my dad's health, as she does on occasion. At the end of the conversation, she shared with me this line, from the mouth of her 4-year-old grandson, who apparently experienced his first noticeable, um, erection this morning, and went running to his mom, yelling, "Mommy, Mommy! My penis grew bigger! Does that mean I told a lie?"

I guffawed. And I don't often guffaw. It's just not ladylike.

But that just begs for a punch line, doesn't it? Leave it in the comments, and whoever posts the best one will get...I dunno. Something. Kudos, probably. Or maybe cookies.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Looks like he'll make it

He called from near mile 23, sounding as miserable as he did at mile 12.

"My body just aches," he said.

"Well, so does mine, and I'm just lying in bed with the flu. I'm not running."

"Oh, honey. I'm not running either." He gave a weak laugh.

So he's thinking he'll make it to the finish line, jog-walking his way there. He won't hit is personal goal, with was to do it in 4:40 or less. But he'll make it.

And we'll treat him like a hero when he comes home. If I can manage to drag myself out of bed long enough to cheer for him, that is.

P.S. I let N go to the Purim carnival at temple with Em this morning because he spent all day yesterday fever-free. I didn't even bother to check first. But when he got home, he seemed off and felt warm, and has a temperature of over 102 again. I should be shot. And I probably will be, by the temple full of carnival-goers, several of whom offered to watch my kids for me so that I wouldn't spread my gooey goodness among the revelers, only to find out, belatedly, that I sent in a Trojan Horse-Boy.



You know, sometimes I forget and think that the only people who can touch me in that unique way, the only people capable of breaking my heart are my kids.

Baroy just called from the marathon, and I could hear tears in his voice.

"I don't think I'm going to make it," he said, his voice breaking. "I've only gone 12 miles, and I don't think I''m going to make it."

I tried to tell him that it's OK. That it's hot out there for March (well into the 70s). That he's been trying to ignore the fact that he's got, at best, a cold, and at worst, the beginnings of the flu that the rest of us have been battling. That he's only doing this for himself. That I'm proud of him.

"I know, I know," he jsut kept saying, miserably. "Bye."

Heart. Breaking.


Saturday, March 03, 2007


I've succumbed to whatever the kids had, and it's kicking my butt.

So, in lieu of a real post--one in which there are supposed to be complete sentences that lead one into the other and further a point or points--I'm going to give you some fevered ramblings. Actually, I'm going to ask you some fevered questions.

1. Is there an age at which a daughter should no longer sleep in bed with her father? A son with his mother? (We've been trying to segregate the sick and the non-sick here and it's made for some interesting bed arrangements.)

2. Is it being a helicopter parent when you call your daughter's teacher to get some clarity on an assignment sent home to your sick kid, even if said sick kid begs you not to? (Background: They were doing oral book reports. When Em's friend C brought over the last-minute instructions, she said that the teacher said if Em wasn't there the next day, then she wouldn't get a grade on the report at all. I KNEW that to be crap; C is a notorious drama queen. Em didn't want me to call because she thought it would sound like she didn't trust C. I insisted, saying it was because *I* don't trust C. The reality, when I talked to the teacher: They were taping the reports for back-to-school night, and the teacher said that if Em wasn't there, she wouldn't be on the video loop of the report. Still, I found that out against Em's protests. No matter what I said, she didn't want me intervening, but I went ahead and did it anyway. I think I just answered my question: I'm a chopper, all right.)

3. A rhetorical query: Baroy is running the LA Marathon tomorrow, despite the fact that he's got the cough that--in the rest of us--indicates a fever is coming. If he dies of a heart attack or dehydration during the marathon because he refuses to consider just not running it, would I be justified in killing him?

4. Damn, I feel like shit. No question about that.

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