I’m here, I really am. Just: five kids, one me, and of course if something’s gotta give, it’s going to be Mr. iMac. (Fred, I call him. Ole Fred, actually, in honor of my former professor and favorite living writer.)
(And yes, Down to the Bonny Glen was dedicated to the author, not the computer. I didn’t even have this computer when I wrote this book. I think that one was named Harvey. After the rabbit.)
Anyway, right now, at this moment, both my little ones are asleep and the three older girls are occupied. In descending order: Where the Red Fern Grows; a giant dirt hill and the little boy across the street; Zoombinis. Now, I am aware that my calling attention to this fact (that none of my children need me at this moment) all but guarantees someone is about to—
UNBELIEVABLE. I am not making this up: at the very second I was typing that, the door opened and one of the children DID need me. Well, sort of. She needed to tell me that she’d come home for her jaguar. Because, you know, what good is a giant dirt hill and the little boy across the street if you’re short one jaguar? Priorities, you know.
OK. She’s gone again, wild beast in hand. What I should do now is typereallyfast and finish this post before someone needs (a) feeding, (b) hugging, or (c) wiping. So let me think. What was I going to write about today. Well, first, there was this: I have a brief sequel to my post about the funny things you hear in the background when you talk to Alice on the phone. (Such as: "Mommy, may I please jump on the bed?" Her children may be hard on the mattress springs, but they are so POLITE!) I took my gang to the pool this morning and I snuck in a phone call to Alice while the big girls were
splashing and hollering "She splashed me!" in indignant tones swimming.
Alice: So when you come visit what we’ll do is—
Me (interrupting): No, no, DON’T THROW THE STRING CHEESE IN THE POOL! Oh, shoot.
(Question: would you let your two-year-old eat a stick of string cheese that had been fished out of the neighborhood pool? I mean, what’s a little chlorine marinade, right?)
Next. Lots of interesting reading elsewhere in the ‘sphere today. Spunky has three or four posts I’d like to sink my teeth into, as soon as I have a bit of a lull around here (a less tenuous lull than this one, I mean).
(For example, during that paragraph the Zoombinis had a heated argument with the upstairs computer, also known as Marge the Barely-Functioning Laptop, requiring intervention from local peacekeeping agencies.)
(Operation Reconciliation: a success. Marge has somewhat grudgingly permitted the ‘Binis access to her territory. She is temperamental, though, and their position is precarious in the extreme.)
(Personally I think she is just sulking because she heard me say it was a shame I wouldn’t be able to live-blog our cross-country trip, whenever that actually happens, because Marge doesn’t have Wi-Fi capability. She takes these things very personally.)
There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on at Liz’s place today, too, such as this post on how people get started reading the classics. (I’d like to respond to this topic, too, at some point, but today is all about the meta-blogging, not the actual Blogging of Intelligent Stuff.) She also links to the list of 100 Cool Teachers in Literature list being compiled by the teachers at A Year of Reading, which will make a great companion to the fascinating lists of Cool Boys and Cool Girls in Children’s Lit that Jen Robinson has assembled. Up next, Cool Mothers? Seems like someone had a list like that going not long ago. High on my list: Marmee (obviously—and Mrs. Jo, too; she grew up rather nicely), Anne Blythe (but of course), Mrs. Austin, and the light-footed, lighthearted Mrs. Ray, mother of Betsy. But tops on my list has to be Susan Sowerby from The Secret Garden. Smart, down-to-earth, cheerful, observant, plain-spoken, unflappable, and a good cook to boot.
The Coolest Dad in Fiction has got to be Atticus, right?
(I’m having deja vu. Surely we have discussed this before.)
Moving on: Spunky mentions this too but I first read it on Bloglines, ’cause I’m a PHATMommy subscriber. Shannon reminds us that this weekend is the big BlogHer conference in San Jose where hundreds (thousands?) of female bloggers are getting together for panel discussions, networking, and cocktails. Lots of cocktails. Shannon has posted some BlogHer-in-Spirit discussion questions for those of us who are not at the convention in body. I hope to tackle them myself later on, but right now I can hear that Marge is being inhospitable to the Zoombinis again, and I think my own little Zoom-Beanie is in need of a Cool Mom in body, not just in spirit.
day sixteen: more Hornby
One Day in Elizabethan England
And the Winner Is…
Brave Writer Announces New Arrow Lineup—And Guess Whose Book Is on the List?