Event

Everything She Likes

For Asha’s birthday, we filled the day up doing everything she likes. Dylan took her to the library where she ran wild and then they went grocery shopping where Asha got to get whatever she wanted. She wanted cookies and ice cream and pie. Then we went swimming and Asha was over the moon. Before swimming, Asha gave us an especially peppy version of her we’re going swimming dance. Adonis and Jan kindly stayed back to assemble Asha’s trampoline, we are so lucky and grateful to have helpful and wonderful friends. After swimming, Danny brought Rani over and Tara stopped by with her boys. Chaos ensued and poor Daisy barely made it out alive. Was very nice to have other kids around for Asha but sweet mother of god. Made me appreciate Asha’s preschool teachers who handle twenty 2 to 5-year-olds for several hours every day. We could barely handle four kids for five minutes. Made me appreciate the difference between one child and several. Made me appreciate the difference between having a girl and not boys. Eye opening, to put it mildly. Dylan made Asha’s favourite meal (noodles) and then we ate pie and ice cream, sang Happy Birthday and Asha opened her gifts. She actually found her presents stash a few days early and demanded to open the gifts at once, so she only had the remaining gifts to open on her actual birthday. Asha loved it all. To close the evening off, we brought Asha outside to jump on the trampoline and she just about lost it. The girl was born to jump so the trampoline was a massive hit. Asha loved it so much she paused to walk in a circle and give each individual trampoline pole a kiss. Very amusing and sweet, that girl is just a heartbreaker. Overall a really fun and wonderful birthday. I love celebrating Asha and making her happy, I almost prefer her happiness to my own. Seeing her smile and enjoying herself is the best. I want to have more children so that I can love them with my whole heart and celebrate their special days. Birthdays are so much better with kids, actually almost everything is. Never in a million years did I ever think I’d think this. Asha is such a blessing. She makes life worth whatever sadness, struggle and trouble there is. It’s an absolute joy to love her, take care of her and celebrate her. Happy birthday, Asha!

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God Only Knows

We were a full half hour early for our doctor appointment so I thought we might kill the time by browsing in the pharmacy next door. Then I remembered that Asha is obsessed with shopping and now that we made the mistake of entering it would be difficult to get her to leave. Regardless I did some casual browsing while Asha beelined with hectic purposefulness toward all manner of possible items to purchase. I was gazing at some concealers and foundations and musing about make up and when I looked to see what Asha was doing I saw her standing before me wild and intense clutching as many items from the shop as her little arms could handle. She had items that were plucked from the shelves as randomly as she was very purposeful in choosing and finding. I hid a smile wondering what she was thinking clutching all that stuff, like what does a 2 year old desperately need to buy from a pharmacy. Asha presented me with some of the items, I made like I was blown away and then discreetly placed the thing on some shelf somewhere. Next thing you know, Asha scooped up a magazine rack and was using it as a shopping basket. She went marching around the shop making loud figuring and considering sounds before tossing items confidently into the magazine rack. At the counter I motioned to the clerk to play along and act like we were gonna buy whatever stuff Asha had in her “basket” when of course we wouldn’t buy any of it. I got a concealer and a couple nice pairs of false eyelashes. When I made ready for us to leave, Asha threw the predictable tantrum and fought with all her might. Finally I bought her a pack of gummy worms and that chilled her out a bit. That girl sure loves to go shopping. She shops with great energy and enthusiasm and is as wanton as she is selective. The girl loves to shop, especially when she doesn’t have any money and when there’s nothing she needs. God only knows where she got it from.

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Audition

Auditioning some new eyebrows. Think these ones are keepers. They’re the right size and shape and positioned and weighted well. Let me tell you it’s not easy creating and maintaining eyebrows that are right for you. It’s taken me my whole life. Ever since I made the adolescent error of shaving off my real eyebrows. Ever since I’ve had to draw the damn things in and this can take time. Sometimes one side is better than the other, sometimes they just don’t work out no matter how hard or carefully you try, sometimes they need constant maintenance and fixing throughout the day, sometimes hats or the bangs from wigs wipe them right off. This is an ongoing story, this perpetual struggle of eyebrows. When I look at pictures of some of my past work, when I was younger and far less astute, I’m embarrassed, taken aback, aghast. Like who let me leave the house looking like that. It’s like, guys, what the fuck. Makes me wonder who the hell I thought I was back then, and who the hell my friends were. Motherfuckers supposed to have my back, seeing as I was clearly incompetent and incapable of assessing things properly for my own self. I guess live and learn, right. Christ.

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Ready, Steady, Go

Last day of school before spring break. Ironically Asha is probably going to be so upset that there won’t be school for the rest of the month. I foresee a lot of trips to the pool and the park and the library. Asha will probably demand to go to school every day and I’m going to have to explain to her that school is over for a little while. Asha will rant and rave and cry until I take her someplace else that suffices to delight. My sweet school loving baby. My marvelous rambunctious angel girl. Ready, steady, go!

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Keep on Rockin’

Today for the first time in her life Asha actually sat through me reading an entire book to her. She didn’t interrupt. She didn’t shove the book away. She didn’t shout for her iPhone or for her baby bottle or to go swimming. She didn’t try to forcefully turn the pages to skip to other pages or to fasttrack directly to the end. She didn’t keep randomly pointing at some detail on some page and insistently describe just one specific item. Instead, she paid calm and quiet attention. She showed continued interest. And then at the end, she said, “Huh.” Adding, “Yeahhhh” softly and approvingly. She looked at me with a kind of absentminded satisfaction and grinned. The book that managed to capture all of Asha’s attention for the entirety of the story was All By Myself by Mercer Mayer. Catherine, you killed it with that birthday purchase. Asha is loving the other book you got her too, The Best Word Book Ever by Richard Scarry. In that one, she keeps heroically pointing at and announcing the part where it says, “I is for Ice Cream.” I’m stoked. Finally, Asha’s interested in books again, to compete with the abiding allegiance she has to her iPhone, iPads and TV. My baby is growing up. I’m about to watch the grand finale of Drag Race UK versus the World and now that Lemon, Jimbo and Pangina are gone, I barely care who wins. This might be the blandest Top 4 in the history of the show. I guess I’m rooting for Baga Chipz. I’ll probably stop watching the entire franchise if Blu Hydrangea is crowned. At very least I’ll be extremely displeased. I never thought I could so actively dislike a queen. When I picked up Asha from preschool, the teacher’s young assistant approached me looking hassled and harassed. She alerted me to a giant goose egg on Asha’s forehead. Said Asha wouldn’t stop running around and this was the result. Then she said, “And she had a big green booger. Just so you know.” “Oh,” I said. I translated this to mean your child is sick and should probably not have come to school today. She should probably stay home tomorrow too. Gonna suck since Asha loves going to school so much. This morning she sat in her stroller a full hour and a half early all ready to go. Every time I passed by, she would alternate with saying, “Are you ready?” and, “LET’S GO.” I had to strap her in wearing her puffy white unicorn coat and just leave her sitting there in the chair in the sunshine in the backyard while I got us ready, even though school wouldn’t start for another two hours. Tomorrow if Asha misses school I’ll have to entertain her elsewise. Probably the park, the pool and the library, and it’s going to be catastrophic to get her to leave each place. Happy International Women’s Day, everyone. Keep on rockin’ in the free world. All my love to my baby, and to all you bad, bad bitches.

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Film

ZOLA

Taylour Paige is beautiful and a good actress and Janicza Bravo is a good director. ZOLA has a pretty great backstory which makes for a pretty great film. Reminds me a little bit of American Honey and Tangerine, two other films we loved. Riley Keough is also good in ZOLA as is an uproarious Colman Domingo. Fun as well to have Nicholas Braun play the hapless pathetic loser boyfriend, though he’ll always be Greg to me. Like Idris Elba will always be Stringer Bell and Viggo Mortensen will always be Aragorn. Anyway ZOLA is an engaging and entertaining movie. Recommended viewing.

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Such Beautiful Days

Monday morning Asha was ready for school hours before it was time to go and it was very hard to distract her until it was finally time to leave. About halfway there though I remembered someone mentioning a long weekend so school was probably cancelled. I hoped it wasn’t because Asha was so excited. As we got closer, it was very empty and quiet everywhere and all the shops were closed. I had to tell Asha there wouldn’t be any school. Asha was devastated to the point of being inconsolable. She took a run at the gate thinking her little body would be forceful enough to break it open. I promised Asha all the things she loves in place of going to school but Asha would hear of nothing. She kept saying, “Asha school.” I eventually was able to cheer her up by taking her swimming. At the pool Asha was exuberant. She wanted to go down the slide about a million times. She kept going back and forth excitedly between the hot tub and the pool. Afterward of course I couldn’t get her to go. I only succeeded by promising Asha ice cream and a trip to the library. When we go to the library though we have the same problem as with swimming, Asha is so hyped to be there she doesn’t want to leave. Still, it’s great Asha loves things now that don’t involve a screen. It was Family Day on Monday, that’s why everything was closed. Ironic that I didn’t remember Family Day considering how obsessed I am with family. Ironic as well that Dylan was too busy working to join us. Once Asha went to bed however we took a zombie break. We’re deep into a Korean zombie series called 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘜𝘴 𝘈𝘳𝘦 𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘥. It’s ridiculous and fun and we love it. Such beautiful days we’ve been having, cold and clear and bright. Asha is happy and excited. Monday she was sad there wasn’t school so yesterday and today she went charging in like Usain Bolt. Everyone was impressed. The girl is obsessed. Far cry from those first few days when we took her and she’d be panicking and distraught. Now she wants to go to school all the time. Pictured is Asha in the stroller coming home from the park. I got the sweet smiles by tickling her. Asha loves to be tickled. Tickling is high on the list of things that Asha likes.

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Vignette

Ah Wub Boo

Asha patted the spot on the couch next to her and said, “Lie down, Mommy! Lie down.” So I went next to her, cuddling her all nice, arranging the soft grey blanket tucked tight upon us both. When we were all set, Asha pressed her palms onto my cheeks, gazed directly into my eyes, and said, “Ah wub boo.” “Ah wub boo?” I said, not understanding. Asha continued her direct gazing and said again, “Ah wub boo. Ah wub boo, Mommy.” I looked at her intently, straining to crack the code, and then suddenly I got It. “I love you!” I said. “Asha! I love you!” And my heart exploded heavenward with all manner of fireworks. “I love you!” I said again. “Ah wub boo,” Asha said, pleased to be understood, and happy that her statement made such an impact. Then she put her hands on my shoulders and gave me a big smacking kiss on the lips, very grandiose, in the exaggerated manner of an Italian hand gesture. She never broke eye contact, observing carefully what I thought about it all. For my part, I was in a state of high approval. We said “Ah wub boo” in unison followed by one grandiose lip smacking kiss many times. I grinned like I was the grand prize winner of the best prize possible, and it is, and I was. I live for just such moments, because it’s moments like this that render life exquisite.

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At the Bánh Mì Shop

At the Bánh mì shop with mom. Asha loves Bánh mì sandwiches but she always removes all the filling and just eats the buttered bun parts. Asha also loves the avocado shakes, they’re her favourite, she calls them Green drink? with an audible question mark. Long afterward for the rest of the day, Asha will say, “Sandwich” followed by, “Green drink?” as though she wants ongoing access to both for the rest of her life. Asha loves going to the Bánh mì shop with mom.

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Enjoying This Moment

The nice thing about all the rain here is Asha gets to showcase her weather appropriate rainwear. Also Asha loves going to school now, in the morning she follows me around the house gathering her things and mine, handing each item to me so that I can get us both ready and put everything on. As such, we’re always ready for school way too early and once there, Asha is the first in line to enter. She says, “Asha school” and brims with shyness and excitement. She is only momentarily sad when she sees me leaving, but now she dutifully enters without having a breakdown and calling out for me dejectedly. Then three hours later when I get her, Asha is the first in line to leave. When she sees me, she smiles with all her might, says, “Mommy!” and comes running into my arms. I will never stop enjoying this moment. I hold Asha tight and close and ask her how her day was. Asha says, “Hi, mommy!” and she is radiant. Sometimes the love I feel for Asha, how deeply I cherish her, it’s almost too much for my heart. The terrible twos are terrible mostly because they’re too sweet and too beautiful. The love l feel is so all consuming that it hurts, and happiness and sadness become indistinguishable. In this way love and pain are the same, because you can’t have a rainbow without rain.

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Quote

The Dark Forest

“Fairy tales do not start, nor do they end, in the dark forest. That son of a gun always shows up smack-dab in the middle of a story. But it will all work out. Now it may not work out how you think it will, or how you hope it does, but believe me, it will all work out. Exactly as it’s supposed to. Our job is to have zero expectations and to just let go.” TED LASSO

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Seizure Mode

I had a major coughing fit in the Uber on my way to the dentist the poor driver was terrified. The more I tried to stifle the cough the harder and more I coughed. I wanted to reassure the driver and yell, “Don’t worry, I don’t have Covid!” but I was coughing too hard to be able to say a thing. I clamped my hand on top of my mask on top of my mouth and tried my best to stop coughing. My body went into seizure mode, my eyes watered, and my nose ran. It probably looked very bad and it probably sounded even worse than that. I was praying for it all to end but it took forever for me to finally stop coughing. “Is this OK,” the driver asked me sadly when we arrived at the dental office. Yes,” I said, but my voice came out as a croak. Dude was so not stoked. Poor guy. And poor me, I’m probably going to get my first zero star rating as a passenger. Me and my anxiety coughs. I chose the wrong day to try to quit taking anxiety meds. I even had lingering coughs and body tremors during my dental appointment and had to stifle more coughing in the Uber ride home. Bodies man, they sure can betray you, and they seem to like to do so at the worst times. God fucking damn. Good thing I wasn’t a Jew hiding in an attic in Nazi Germany, I would’ve given our hiding spot away at once and ruined shit for everyone. They’d put SHIT RUINER on my gravestone.

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