• Happiness is successfully encouraging your kid to holler “Apex predator!” at the Canada geese rooting around near you in the park.

  • Lately, when I find myself getting frustrated with my daughter, I’ve been reminding myself the little girl across the backyard is the only person even roughly her age that she’s seen in over five months. I’d be starving for age-appropriate interaction, too.

  • My daughter helped make her first batch of pickles. We’ll see how they taste in three weeks.

  • As we watched a video of Ballet Folklórico de México last night for Cinco de Mayo, my daughter exclaimed, “They’re not giving [each other] enough space!”

    It’s amazing how rapidly the way we see the world changes.

  • I realized recently that my daughter is just a few months younger than her (still-living) great-grandmother was at the start of the Great Depression.

    I don’t know what lies ahead of us, but this jarring realization applied two new lenses to how I am perceiving current events.

  • When I was a kid, this toy was kept at my grandparents’ house. Playing with it one day, I pointed to the figurines on board & announced to my dad & Grams, “They’re afraid of the hostages.” Dad said Grams gave him a very sharp look.

    Be mindful of your little pitchers.

  • Hawk on a fallen tree, eating its fresh kill.

    Out for a walk in the conservancy, we saw this hawk swoop in to catch its meal. We crept closer, not wanting to disturb it, so our daughter could see nature at work.

  • Buses, Kids, & Masks

    On the bus ride home this evening my daughter saw a young Asian woman wearing a medical mask. She asked me, “Apu, why is that person wearing a mask?”

    I told her, “That person is trying to keep herself healthy and other people healthy.,” but that answer felt lacking.

    What I realized I wanted to tell her is that person was wearing a mask to be kind to other people. (I presume by attempting to assuage panicky people tempted by a stereotype of a COVID-19 carrier.) But I haven’t come up for a reason why wearing the mask is kind without implying the one wearing it is sick, or suggesting we should be suspicious of anyone wearing a mask.

    She’s a smart kid, so I know a question to that effect would likely be coming. I owe her, and the kind stranger, the right answer.

  • My daughter asked me “Will you go with me & Momma on the rocket ship?” I answered sincerely, “If you go on a rocket ship, I will go with you.” But to myself, I was thinking of the third verse.

  • My daughter is crying because she wants a sword and we had to tell her she’s a boot and doesn’t rate one.

  • Nearly Run Over

    My wife, daughter, & I came a step or two away from being run over this morning.

    Twice a day, we cross a semi-busy street with an uncontrolled intersection. This morning, a city bus in the lane on our side of the street stopped to let us cross; the driver turned on the flashers. A car behind the bus whipped around into the oncoming lane to pass the bus. The driver of the bus noticed & laid on the horn, but it would have been too late had we not already been proceeding cautiously. We would have been run over in the crosswalk by an accelerating car.

    The car had the name of a business on it. I already looked up the business. It’s small, with a nine person staff. The business’ website prominently features a picture of all nine of them in front of their cars; one matches the car that almost hit us. My wife & I have a composite description of the driver that matches one of the employee headshots on the website.

    I have already called Metro Transit to pass along thanks to the bus driver. The person I spoke to said the bus has a dash cam; they will review the footage. I hope the driver is commended, with my thanks noted in their personnel record, and I hope Metro uses the footage to train other drivers about situational awareness.

    As for the driver of the other vehicle, I’m pondering the best thing to do in this situation. Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday. Today, she — and possibly one or both of her parents — could be seriously injured or dead.

  • Her uncle is reading her Brian Floca’s wonderful Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11. She looks up & says:

    “I don’t want to go to outer space because I’m still a little kid.”

  • Waves of crud come with the beginning of the spring semester. My daughter had influenza, an ear infection, & now has another fever. My wife had a cold last week; this weekend it’s my turn. Hoping Roy Choi’s ramen will restore some hydration & open my sinuses.

  • Her: I wish I was as fast as the Roadrunner.
    Me: If you were the Roadrunner, little girl, who would be the Coyote?
    Her: You, Apu!

  • I know I can’t get too cocky, but I feel pretty good about my daughter saying her two favorite songs are Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” and the Grateful Dead’s “Uncle John’s Band.”

  • Years of training have prepared me for this moment: researching potential options for my daughter’s first accordion.

  • Never doubt the capacity of Wile E. Coyote’s self-owns to elicit chortles from a little kid.

  • Experiencing an intense sinking feeling: our external hard drive appears to have gone south. (Naturally, it has all our daughter’s photos on it. Yes, I have Backblaze.) Tried First Aid, Disk Utility froze; tried to unmount the drive via the terminal, this also failed.

  • Someone left her meow-ccasins out.

  • Highlight of the day:

    My daughter getting the boogie wiggles in her chair while listening to “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” during supper.

  • Why I don’t fully trust Apple’s web services:

    My iPhone’s camera roll is displaying several old photos among the couple dozen I snapped this weekend. I can tell because my daughter goes from eating ice cream outside, to wearing a stocking cap, to sniffing a brown-eyed Susan.

  • Without prompting, my daughter brought out her cardboard box “spaceship” today. She hasn’t played with it in months, & we haven’t talked about today’s significance. She did this on her own.

    We’ll be reading some Evoloterra-themed books this evening before bedtime.

  • Our daughter has been Canada-curious for several months. With friends soon to move there, it seemed like a good time to get a new placemap & continue encouraging that curiosity. Who knows, we might have a future geographer — or future Canadian — on our hands.

  • Scene: Living room, in front of our big travel map.

    Kiddo: When I was a little baby, I lived in Canada.

    (N.B. She has not yet visited Canada.)

    Me: Oh? Where did you live? Montreal? (shakes head) Vancouver? (nods)

    Kiddo: Yup. I was a little baby, and I lived in a coffee shop.

  • Kiddo: Apu, what does your t-shirt say?

    Me: It says “Roderick on the Line #Supertrain.” It’s about a podcast. Do you listen to podcasts?

    Kiddo: Podcasts? I’ve never heard of those before!

subscribe via RSS