attilla the honey I shrunk the kids
NO LONGER MISSING IN ACTION
But still busy at work, still busy at home, and still unsleeping.* And also, frankly, getting a little sick of my online self. You can expect updates to be sporadic and self-absorbed, as usual, but thank you for all the YO GIRL WHERE YOU AT? emails. Those were fun.
*Dude, it's getting ridiculous. Here is the pattern: Super-tired at an embarrassingly early hour, practically nodding off during Elmo. Put Nora to bed, make superficial gestures toward tidying up house, read in bed for a while, pass out into dreamless slumber for two blissful hours, and after that I only sleep in fifteen-minute bursts. Eventually I give up, have a pre-dawn breakfast, and screw around on the computer (not, you will have noticed, by WRITING JOURNAL ENTRIES on the computer) until it is time to shower and go to work.
NEWS AT ELEVEN
1. There was yet another death in my family, this time a favorite great-uncle. It is kind of weird to take a day off of work for a great-uncle; in fact, it sounds like the biggest fake-out excuse in the universe. My great-uncle died! No, really! However, he was a funny, generous guy and a whole lot of family was going to be in town for the burial, so we dressed the baby up and headed out to northwest Indiana. The only bright spots, the only things that put the “fun” in “funeral,” were (a) getting to drive to the cemetery procession-style, very slowing running all the red lights (“Outta our way! We're bereaved!”) and (b) Nora. That girl really livened up the funeral luncheon. She really livened up the funeral Mass too, a little too much, and had to spend part of it out in the vestibule with LT, where he unsuccessfully attempted to keep her hands out of the holy water. (Why did my uncle's church build that font so low to the ground? And why was their Jesus not actually attached to his crucifix in any way, but rather just sort of hanging out up there at the altar with his arms making the TOUCHDOWN! signal?)
2. A little background for those of you not familiar with international adoption law. Our adoption was final in China, and Nora became a US Citizen in China. Technically, we are done with all the paperwork and jibba-jabba relating to her joining our family—she has a Social Security card now and everything. However, in Illinois there is the option to “readopt,” which means that you get a lawyer, file some documents, show up in court, and a few months later you receive a Certificate Of Foreign Birth, which looks just like an Illinois birth certificate, and which will supposedly make registering for school easier. Part of me actually relished the thought of bewildering future school administrators with Nora's groovy-looking, red-leather-folder, Chinese-language birth certificate, but on the other hand it's probably best to just go with the flow.
So we spent most of Friday at the Daley Center, in family court. As a citizen entitled to due process, Nora had to be served with papers informing her of our readoption plans (luckily, she didn't contest it). Then we hung out in the “Family Waiting Area,” which was filled with toys and with kids waiting to appear in family court for various reasons. When our case was called and we were sworn in, the judge asked, “Are you a good girl?” to which Nora immediately replied “Nooooo!” Granted, it's one of her favorite words lately, but I like to think that she was refusing to admit the validity of the question, riot-grrrl-style.
3. Monday I went to work late so that I could experience Nora's preschool for the first time. It was great to see her all competent and toddler-ish, playing (working) with their high-faluting Montessori toys, and even drinking out of a real glass during snacktime, which totally blew me away.
I have always thought that it is not really possible to dislike a small child. I have done plenty of eye-rolling and mental cluck-clucking when confronted with bratty behavior, but I have never before met a kid that I wanted to stuff in a closet or pinch really hard. That was before I observed Nora's preschool, however, and met Joshua.
Oh my god. Joshua. When he was not actively tantrumming, which was often, he was whining. Every. Single. Utterance. out of Joshua's mouth was a whine. Joshua says Nooooo! Joshua says Mine! Joshua says Me First! Joshua, I am so glad you aren't mine! Because I might have to “forget” you in a shopping mall somewhere!
4. NOTICE TO JOB-SEEKERS: Many, if not most, publishing jobs have nothing to do with actually writing. Unless a job ad specifically says that writing samples are required, you don't need to bring writing samples. In particular, you don't need to sit there all puppy-eyed with your portfolio on my desk, circumventing my very direct interview questions as you try to maneuver the conversation back to your writing samples. It is even more pitiful when, as we wrap things up, you say something like, “Should I leave you my writing samples?” Although I do get a lot of sadistic pleasure out of saying, “No, thanks.” I'm mean like that.
—mimi smartypants is as busy as a bee, a beaver, and a one-armed paperhanger.