Those Rivett sisters

The other evening, Matt and I were in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner. The girls had been quietly playing in their room for a while. Miriam ran out of her room, jumped into the kitchen doorway, arms outstretched, and declared, “Tah-dah!” She was wearing her sister’s size 2T pajamas and some pants on her arms. (Fairly par for the course when you live with a four-year-old mini fashionista). Hot on her heels, I heard Daphne’s little footsteps running from their room and she jumped into the kitchen doorway, arms outstretched, and declared, “Tah-DAH!” She was completed naked and grinning like a cheeky monkey, cracking herself up.


My other favorite Daphne-ism these days is her confusion of “nothing” for “anything.” So any random time that I ask her, “Whatcha doing, Daphne?” she just shrugs and says, “Enny-fing.” I like that take on it much better. Instead of doing nothing, you could be doing anything.

Miriam has been hard at work making books and working on her art this week, which she’s been pretty into for the past few months. I have to wait until she’s out of the kitchen before tossing things into the recycle bin or she’ll grab it and proclaim that she needs that [tube/bottle/egg carton, etc] for MY ART.

She constantly surprises me with things she knows and remembers and picks up. We’ve been playing “20 Questions” on commutes and she’s stumped me with choices like naked mole rat or centipede. She has decided to be a doctor, a nurse, a dentist, a vet, a mountain climber, and a Starbucks barista when she grows up. She’s going to do each job one day a week, and on her day off go to the fire station to help Daphne in her job as a fire fighter.


Though she can name all the planets and the moons of each planet, she doesn’t know some basic things that I have a feeling most of her classmates know. On Sunday Matt briefly had the Superb Owl on TV, and she was like, “What’s that? What are you watching? What are they doing? Is that a game?” She learned the word “devil” from a Roald Dahl story and thinks it’s just a funny little character who sits on shoulders. She has no idea what a church is or what people do there except that sometimes her friends go to preschool there sometimes. Am I failing my kids? Are there books for kids of parents who deliberately football-naive atheists that help explain these topics? There are books for everything these days. Maybe I’ll just let them figure it all out for themselves…at least that way they’d had half a chance of forming a snark-free opinion on either subject.



The view from here

Miri fell asleep on the way home from a daycare visit today, so I decided to drive around long enough to let her have a good nap. I went through a drive thru to grab lunch, then parked at Golden Gardens to eat while she snoozed. I pulled Greta the Jetta into a space that happened to be between two other VWs, then slowly realized that I wasn’t alone: Both VWs also happened to have a woman sitting in the driver’s seat and a car seat in the back. Well hey, when you’re stuck in the car because you don’t want to disturb baby, it’s nice to have a lovely view of mountains and the bay. I guess I wasn’t the only one with that idea. Matt and I often joke that the reason Ballard (and Seattle in general) is such a congested sh!t show is because of this rule: if you have a good idea for something to do, then you can be rest assured that the rest of Seattle has the exact same idea.

For example:

  • Hey, it’s nice out, let’s go to a restaurant and sit outside to have margaritas (hah! good luck finding a table)
  • Hey, it’s kind of drizzly and gray but not really pouring out, let’s go to the Farmer’s Market since it will be quieter today (hah! don’t get run over by a BOB)
  • Hey, I’m feeling lazy and it’s Sunday morning, let’s go out to breakfast (hah! enjoy your hour-long wait for rubbery scrambled eggs and gluten-free cardboard toast)

Anyway, I enjoyed my Mexi-Fries and this lovely view today.

2014-06-18 11.32.05

Thanks for sharing.

I woke up this morning with a sore throat and congestion, and instantly remembered why I don’t regularly hang out with lots of babies. Sure, I could probably get used to the whinging and the pants-pooping times six (mostly the babies, not the moms), but they’re all just petrie dishes incubating viral warfare. I guess we’re just getting a sneak preview of Daycare-itis, coming this July.




Nice job, Mr. Herman.

I subscribe to a local list serv, “Ballard Moms” (okay, maybe it’s technically called “Ballard Parents”). It’s ostensibly a buy/sell/trade for our neighborhood, but the real reason I subscribe is purely entertainment. Of course the moms can’t help but post announcements (“I saw a pervert in the park!”) or lost and found (“There’s a blue rainboot in the gutter at the park!”) and sometimes there are real gems. This week there has been an ongoing saga of a missing bike, the mom who posted also posted updates (“Bike spotted! Thief looks like this:”) Then today, as a Mother’s Day offering to my snark, she posted this extraordinary saga of personal heroism, the bike is found! For your enjoyment, I’m presenting you with a little post I like to call, “Really? Was it worth it?” My favorite part is how they go home to get PeeWee’s helmet so he can ride the bike home. Its very rare that I take the side of Seattle cops, but I gotta say I’m with them in their lack of enthusiasm at responding to the repeated 911 calls.

[Reposted from Ballard Moms listserv. Names have been changed because people love to Google themselves. If this post bears any resemblance to your post or someone you know, it’s probably because it is you.]

Our bike is home. Thank you to Tootsie and Biff, total strangers who spotted our bike this afternoon, called me (from one of my numerous posts), locked it, called the cops and waited for us to arrive. When we got to the flea bag hotel off Aurora the bike was there, locked up (by the thief’s lock and Biff’s). The seat and battery were missing and the wheel lock was busted. The cargo box was full of some guy’s laundry. Then, the thief showed up. We knew him from his previous description. White guy, mid 30’s, bleach blond Mohawk. PeeWee confronted him telling him he stole our bike and the cops were on their way. The guy said he didn’t know what we were talking about. Biff, his wife and some others were in the vicinity. PeeWee tried to detain him, announced a citizen’s arrest, and the thief shoved and tried to punch PeeWee. PeeWee shoved back. I called 911 from the car with the kids and asked the police to respond again. PeeWee ducked out of the way. Finally, the guy ditched his backpack, PeeWee followed him. He ran off and jumped six lanes of traffic on Aurora at 45th with a mouth full of blood. Police showed up and the motel manager came down. We told him our story and the manager went into the guy’s room and came up with the seat/battery. Cops took statements but did not follow the guy. We clipped the thief’s lock and took the bike down to Biff and Tootie’s house a block away. We drove home to get PeeWee’s helmet to safely ride the bike home. On the way, we spotted the thief on the street. We followed him for five or six blocks and called 911 again. Watched him go into a gas station. Waited. 911 operator said that if we weren’t being threatened they wouldn’t send anyone. We went home got PeeWee’s helmet and went back with a half rack of beer for Biff and Tootsie. PeeWee got on the bike to ride it home. On the way, he was stopped by a concerned citizen who thought he was the thief. He arrived home safely. Upon inventory, the battery is trashed, there are scratches all over, the lock is broken and it was rode really hard. Still, we have it back, we got to confront the thief, and we’re all safe. A good end to the story. Thank you so much to all the people who reposted and retweeted our posts. We couldn’t have done it without you all. Profoundly grateful. Adrenaline is finally starting to abate. Cocktail in hand, one kid in bed and the other soon to follow. Life is good!

All snark aside, this couple violated one of my number one rules of parenting: Don’t bring your kids to street fights.

To help put this smug cyclophilia into perspective, I also recently learned from this listserv that there is an attorney in Ballard whose practice is solely dedicated to bicyclists who have been injured by cars. Not that being injured in a car accident isn’t a really sucky thing, but because of course the car is always at fault and cyclists love to play the maligned victim card every chance they get.

The Daily Snark

Thomas the Tank Engine has always creeped me out, but I’ve never been able to adequately explain my dislike for it. I mean, it’s British, and I love British things. This article spells it out much more deftly that I could articulate. So now I’m adding Thomas the Tank Engine to the Official List of Things I Vow to Never Allow in My House When I Reproduce. Topping the list, in case you’re curious, are these obnoxious rubber mats that parents cover their floors in the moment the spawn drops.

barf on the floor

Oh my eyes.

Is there something about about having children that robs you of every appropriate esthetic sense?

I did a bit of googling and discovered, both to my relief and chagrin, that these mats are available in a host of other colors, from black to faux wood-grain. I am relieved because if my children happen to be particularly clumsy or heavy-headed and persist and throwing themselves on the floor, head-first, at least I will have some acceptable alternative to attempt to protect them (helmets come to mind). But I am a bit chagrined to learn of these less nausea-inducing alternatives because then whatever possessed parents to make their floors so hideous?! I don’t even want to hear the ‘educational’ argument. Somehow I learned to read and write without monstrous (and out-of-order) pieces of rubber to break my fall when my heavy noggin dragged me to the ground time after time.

Another article that amused me today is this one, The 40 Worst-Dressed Cities in America. Overall it’s a stupid article, one of those “how should we fill blank space” pieces because everyone loves a list and choosing a subjective topic like that means nothing has to be substantiated. However, I love that Boston is chosen as #1, since I once knew someone who moved from Seattle to Boston and one of her main complaints with Seattle was how terribly everyone dressed. She couldn’t wait to live in a city where people “dressed for dinner” and “fashion is a priority.” So neener neener to her.  I also kinda agree with the editors’ statements on St. Paul and Pittsburgh, although I find those traits about both cities to be endearing.