Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Frightened

Stella is really enjoying being scared of things recently. The other day as we were walking downtown, she whimpered and clutched my hand. Turns out she was afraid of the cigarette butts on the sidewalk. So Stella will never be a hipster, since a hipster who doesn't smoke is no kind of hipster at all. Madison does support a respectable hipster population, though until we tag and release a few more specimens, it won't be clear whether it qualifies as a breeding colony, but I really saw the hipsters in their natural element on a visit to family in Portland last year. At the time, we had a spirited discussion about whether it is possible to be both a hipster and obese. (No.) My cousin also pointed out that a true mark of a hipster is that their clothes go from least expensive to most expensive, from top to bottom. So the hipster hat is a trucker cap he found by the side of the road, the scarf cost $6 at Goodwill, and by the time you get down to the boots, they're going to run $200 or so.

Stella is also freaked out by some glow-in-the-dark planets that she herself stuck up on the wall of her bedroom with sticky-tack. She was particularly frightened by Uranus, and couldn't stop talking about it. She repeatedly declared that "Uranus is creepy." Got that? URANUS IS CREEPY! Well, I've always thought so but I never expected other people to remark on my personal anatomy. Thank you, Stella, for providing me with additional opportunities to demonstrate that I have the sophisticated sense of humor of a fifth grade boy.

This would probably be the right time to mention that she is learning about space at preschool right now, so I made my own scientific contribution to the curriculum by teaching her the 'Girls go to Mars to get more candybars/Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider' rhyme. By doing so, I am following in the footsteps of thousands of years of mothers and daughters who pass hard-earned wisdom down by mouth through the generations. I'm also following in the footsteps of my third grade friend Jamie who taught me that couplet in the first place.

Baby W is doing well except that I have had to break it to him that the Wisconsin Governor and Legislature hates babies. Recent legislation severely restricted collective bargaining rights for public employees, and as part of that debate I have heard a lot of angry rhetoric about public employees "suckling at the teat" of taxpayers. Baby W is taking this insult personally since he prides himself on his impressive teat-suckling skills, and just in case I've forgotten his remarkable prowess, wakes me up several times a night to remind me. I know there's a lot of overheated political opinions out there right now, but I'm unclear on how it vilifies a class of people to imply that they engage in an activity that bestows the life-long health benefits that nursing does. Perhaps next the public employees will have their reputation dragged through the mud and likened to trans-fat avoiders, regular exercise, or fish-oil takers.

I've been posting a lot about Wisconsin, which might be boring to some who aren't familiar with the state. Feel free to tune out and go read some Texas blog, but keep in mind they use illegal migrant labor to write their blogs, minimum wage laws are routinely flouted, and the writers are exposed to hazardous, possibly cancer-causing pesticides and herbicides. And worst of all, their boots don't cost anywhere near $200.

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