"just go in and do it really half-assed… that’s the American way!"

When you spend your time with a series of mentally non-challenging and thankless (as in, you get directly acknowledged for around ten percent of your) tasks – a huge, bottomless series that swallows you up – it feels one thousand times worse when you screw up. Because it’s not like you fail in something that was really difficult or time-consuming or even Big Picture Important. You screw up on some tiny thing that most people might think, “What’s your problem? Pull it together!” or maybe, “Who cares?” about.

In this case I’m speaking of Picture Day, which is today at Sophie’s school. So for either Ralph or I this involves filling out a form and writing a check and dressing the child and making sure they’re clean, presentable, and / or cute. Well, I completely forgot. So this morning Sophie went without money, without a form, and dressed “like a boy” (her words; sometimes she chooses this costume) which included a hand-me-down camouflaged longsleeve t-shirt. When I got back from dropping her off – actually ahead of the timeline, thanks – I checked my mail and discovered my error (thanks, GCal, for being on the ball!). This meant going back to the school with abovementioned details sorted out. The one neat thing about this annoying, small-potatoes quasi-waste of my time was seeing my daughter light up when I arrived. Not just happy to see me as she put her hand trustingly in mine, but I saw that she viewed my surprise visit not as evidence I screwed up (as an older child might) but purely as evidence that I take good care of her. Awwww.

Today I – yet again – watched a friend’s child for a few hours. This was a shift from 11:30 to 2:30 and I took the child C. along with Nels for a long walk to a local cafe and back. C. is loved especially by Nels and my husband. She is a very sweet, social, direct child. She has a few quirks that make me laugh, one of which is that most of the time her speech is like the Weekend Update guest suffering from voice immodulation; the other is that when she’s upset about something she descends into a sort of silent hangdog standing / crumpling / threatening-to-cry / series of events that is quite distinct (my children scream or do this crazy phoney hyperventilating thing which is filling me with rage even as I talk about it) and I only notice it after a few minutes when I realize she hasn’t spoken for a while. Nels loves, simply loves it when I have extra children to care for. Besides some kitten-torture (today Harris was banished outside our entire duration of in-home with C.; one of the reasons we went on the walk was to allow our Regal Prince his indoor naps) Nels and his (lady-)friends get along wonderfully.

Tonight’s family events: Abbi’s fingerling potatoes, our first Rifftrax (LOTR:FOTR), (hopefully) my brother over for dinner again.

Quote of the day: Sinead O’Connor, referencing Britney Spears:

“I think to attack someone as a mother is very dangerous. I would say that’s what puts a young girl on a precipice which is very, very dangerous, in my opinion. Some people may end up really regretting the way they’re treating her.”

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