Last Friday night, we were all hanging out on our couch in front of the television (as you do), and I was surfing on my computer (as I do). I noticed on my Facebook feed this story of a woman who let her toddler choose her clothing for a week. Laughing, I shared it with Alex.
"That's awesome," she said.
"It kind of is," I smiled.
"You should totally let me do this for you. In fact," her eyes lit up, "you should let me choose your clothes to wear tomorrow."
I balked. "Um ... what?"
"Yup. You should let me pick out your clothes for tomorrow. Why not?"
I quickly scanned my mind for what I had to do the next day -- nothing but run a few errands. "Um ... okay?"
"Yes!" she exclaimed. "And you have to pinkie-promise that you'll wear whatever I pick out for you." She held out her little finger.
"Wait," I said, trying to think fast. "There are ... um ... a few rules. Yes, rules! Um ... whatever you pick has to be weather appropriate. If it's cold out, I don't want to be in a sundress. And if it's warm out, do not put me in a chunky sweater."
"Okay," she said, waving her finger impatiently.
"AND!" I continued, still trying to stall. "The clothes have to FIT."
"OKAY!" she said.
I hooked my little finger into hers, and winced.
"YAY!" she yelled. And she bounded off into my bedroom.
About 10 minutes later, she returned. "Okay, I've picked it. Come see."
I walked in to find my clothes laid out on my bed, and groaned. It seemed that she'd picked almost every single impulse buy I'd ever made: the fleur de lis scarf I bought for $5 at a mall kiosk; another, a metallic silver t-shirt -- I bought it online, thinking it was heather grey, and was shocked at its shiny-ness when it arrived. Besides, it didn't fit.
"Oh, honey, that top doesn't ..." and then I stopped, remembering that I'd lost some weight since buying it. "You know what? Let's try everything on."
So I did. And the top fit. And honestly? I sort of love the look.
I'd have never worn that scarf with those leopard shoes without Alex's suggestion (and, for the record, I'm not in the habit of wearing 3-inch pumps when I run errands); also, I'm still a bit torn about the t-shirt, but I could still totally see myself wearing this again (or a reasonable facsimile thereof, anyway).
So maybe the lesson here is that I should let Alex put my outfits together a little more often.
To shop this look:
I just finally downloaded the photographs I took in Canada onto the hard drive of my desktop computer at home, and pulled this one up on screen for the first time. I'm not sure which part I love the best: the snow boulder that Marcus is hurling at me that appears to be bigger than his head, or Marcus' homicidal expression, or the fact that Alex is off in the corner, appearing to say to herself, "This will not end well."
Ladies and gentlemen, my family.
See you on Monday, friends.
Angela stood wrapped in her fleece coat, and listened to the wind.
"I wonder ..." she thought.
She turned and closed the door. She walked toward the fruit bowl and took an apple. She ate a bite, and looked at the jagged marks caused by her teeth.
She went back outside. The wind whipped her face, and she clutched her coat tighter.
She decided it was too cold, and went inside to sit by the fire, and watch T.V.
"I wonder ..." she thought.
~ By Alexis Jennings
Right before we left for England, on a whim, Alex decided she wanted to write as short a story as possible. She wrote the above, and shared it with me. I loved it so much, I asked her if I could photograph my interpretation of it, and share both my photograph and her work with you. She agreed, so while we were in Cornwall, my niece, Ellie, kindly acted as my model.
About 6 years ago, when Alex was 4 and her cousin Julia was 5, they formed the Bad Girls Club. It was unclear what the purpose of the club was; all we know is that they named the club themselves, and the name stuck.
Every time the girls get together, I do another photo shoot, and since my sister and her family are in town, I was compelled to pull my camera out.
Behold, at ages 11 and 10, the Bad Girls 2014.
Fact: They're really not bad in the least.
Alex is 10 years old today. Which, you know, is insane.
The urge to share photographs I've taken every year on her birthday is strong, but I did that a couple of years ago, when she turned 8 -- so I won't put you through that again. However, since I don't really share parenting stories here anymore, Alex only appears in the blog every once in a while, and finally reaching "double-digits" is a pretty important time in a kid's life, I figured I needed to do something a bit special. So this year, I decided to interview her so you can sort of get to know her first hand; also, since there are a few of you who have been reading Chookooloonks since the very beginning when she was born, I figured it might be interesting for you to see how she's grown up during this time.
I decided to start with the Proust Questionnaire (editing it for questions that she might not yet be old enough to give it considerable thought), and then turned to Twitter to invite people to submit questions that they would like me to ask her. The following are her answers:
What is your idea of a perfect day?
Watching TV with my mom by a fireplace.
What country would you most like to visit?
Spain -- it seems cool, because of their culture, and I've heard that they have elaborate celebrations. (I'm not sure which ones she's talking about, but I suspect La Tomatina would be right up her alley. -- Ed.)
When and where were you happiest?
At home with my mom today. (I swear I didn't tell her to say that. -- Ed.)
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
What is your most treasured possession?
What do you most value in your friends?
Who are your favourite writers?
Who is your favourite fictional heroine, and why?
I think Akeelah from the movie Akeelah and the Bee. She's smart, funny and nice.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My mom, dad and my dog, Rufus. (Someone give this kid some chocolate. -- Ed.)
What is your motto?
Sharing is caring.
How'd you get to be so awesome?
My family and friends treat me so awesomely!
Where do you think you'll be 10 years from now?
I think I'll be in Paris, fashion designing in my little house made of bricks, looking out at Notre Dame!
This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) -- a shot a day for the month of November. You should join me: it's a lesson in stopping and looking, improving your photography skills, and appreciating the beauty and light around you.
Click here to see who's participating (and sign up your own blog, if you'd like!). And if you tag your photos with #NaPhoPoMo on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Google+, your image will automatically be seen here. I hope you join in the fun - and I can't wait to see what you capture.
When I say "finally," please know that this isn't hyperbole, or born of the rantings of a doting mother who can't bear spending one minute away from her baby girl. No, my friends, I say "finally" because after a journey that included a broken-down bus in a small town in Colorado, spending an unscheduled extra night in a hotel, the requisition of another bus from a small town in Texas that had to be driven by a bus driver who had to fly to said small town in Texas to pick up and drive said bus 8 hours to said small town in Colorado, then the loading of said bus with the 23 now-stinky kids (because by this point they had run out of clothes and, apparently, the will to practice personal hygiene), and then driving all night and all day for 24 straight hours, stopping only for potty breaks, a fresh driver and individual pizzas to eat on said bus, "finally" is really the only appropriate word to use.
(Not to say, incidentally, that I wasn't a ranting, doting mother while all this was going on. Because saying that would be blatantly inaccurate. Alex, however, was fine.)
Marcus and I added a little decoration to her room to welcome her back (because she always decorates the house in similar fashion whenever one of us travels), and it was perfect: she totally didn't expect it, and it lit her tired little eyes up. Right now as I type this, she's in a warm bath, having some warm milk, and it's straight to bed with her. Then, since I leave for my own adventure in just a few days, tomorrow, we're playing hooky: I'm keeping her home from school, and we're going to chill, just the two of us.
All this to say that I won't be updating Chookooloonks on Wednesday, in favour of a little family bonding time. But I'll be back to regular posting Thursday. Thanks for understanding, friends.
It's good to have her back.
What it looks like around here these days.Read More
"Mom. You have to come take a picture of this."Read More