Category Archives: Kids

The Man in the Moon Needs a Dentist

(Week-of-unrelated-quotes catch-up post, one of five.)

A conversation from three moons ago:

Toby: Where’s the moon?
Tom: It’s not out. Sometimes it’s out, sometimes it’s not out.
Toby: Yeah?
Tom: Yeah. Sometimes it’s full, sometimes it’s new; sometimes it’s waxing, sometimes it’s waning.
Toby: And sometimes it’s encrusted with teeth.

Old MacDonald’s Artisanal Plate Concern

A snippet of a conversation from this past Saturday morning, 4 December 2010:

Toby: On this farm he had a spoop.
Tom: What’s a spoop?
Toby: It’s for making plates.
Tom: Oh. (Pause.) Do we have one?
Toby: Yeah. It’s in the pock.
Tom: Really? Where’s our pock?
Toby: Over there. (Points at front hallway.)

The one thing that troubled me about this exchange was the word “pock.” Toby has a classmate at day care who appears to be a kind of two-year-old bad seed with a potty mouth. He calls other kids “stupid,” but he also calls them “stukid”—in other words, he seems to have learned very early on the sophomoric dodge of changing a consonant or vowel of a bad word, thus rendering it technically not a bad word. (What kind of parent raises a toddler to verbally abuse other toddlers? Some of these kids can’t even talk yet. Does bullying really start this early? Are democracy and civilization doomed?) So Emily and I are a little worried that “pock” is a word that’s come home from day care—a word learned from a bad kid who intended it to be a stand-in for something else.

I’m glad to learn that we have a spoop, though. Plate-making might be just the sideline business we’ve been looking for.

A Year and a Few Days Ago

When we went to the hospital, we had no idea that Toby was going to be born three hours later (it was a scheduled ECV, and the Searses never mention oligohydramnios)—so the only camera we had was the one on my RAZR.

It took me a while to find the time to figure out how to get the pictures from my phone to my Mac.

Nine minutes old:

Two hours old:

Four hours old:

A day old:

Two days old:

Happy Halloween

I’ve been meaning for a while to post some older photos of Toby here—some of the cute pictures we’ve been taking for the past six and a half months. But part of the problem with having a grand plan and no time (I think at some point I’ll be able to get up early and write again, but now and for the foreseeable future I get up early and worry about money) is that the grand plan becomes even grander and more impossible the longer it lingers on the to-do list (especially when coupled with a dangerous tendency toward procrastination).

I’m still hopeful I’ll get around to this project. But in the meantime, for now, for today, here’s our boy:

Toby Hop tiger, vert

And also:

Toby Hop tiger, horz


(Catch-up post, three of five.)

The Chautauqua Institution this summer: Week Four: The Ethical Frontiers of Science (July 14–18): Write What You Don’t Know: Using Research to Enliven Your Writing:

Though many of us have received the advice to “write what you know,” sometimes writing exclusively about our own experiences can feel limiting. Researching topics of interest, however, and imagining the lives of people different from ourselves can free us to explore new territory. This workshop will focus on using research (creatively defined) to broaden the horizons of our writing. Through in-class and take-home exercises, we’ll expand our knowledge of the greater world, and we will read and discuss published authors who can guide and cheer us on in this endeavor.

(Full 2008 summer catalog.)

Also: podcast of Jeff Miller, Director of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, interviewing Emily last summer.

And: Emily interviewed by the editors of West 10th for their first issue (p. 70); Dominic Smith interviewing Emily in Gulf Coast, Vol. 20, #1 (p. 319). Neither available online.

I love the world not available online.

Speaking of which: Toby at ten weeks:

Toby Hop ten wks