Rude girls

Completely random photo of a rose that Robert Herrick might have liked.

Having a ten-year-old daughter is hard. I love my girl so much, and enjoy her company so much of the time. But this new phase of development  is tough. So volatile and moody. Sometimes feels like parenting a toddler again. A very big, verbally sophisticated toddler. Sometimes feels like parenting myself on a really bad jag of pms. Often I think I deal with this well -- calmly, with compassionate authority. Sometimes I fail miserably. Tonight I failed miserably. Her rudeness hurt my feelings and I reacted hotly. I was sarcastic. I think sarcasm may be the worst mode to use in parenting. So, then, I hurt her feelings. So we were both moody, rude, and hurt. Oh joy. And she isn't even a teenager yet. (That is the bit that really scares me.) Eventually, we made up. We got to a moment when we were both staring at each other in frustration. I softened a smidge and asked her what she needed, she told me I had sounded really mean. I hugged her and apologized, admitted to making a mistake. I hope that is the lesson here -- that people make mistakes and can correct them and move on. I hope the lesson is not that mom is mean and we should all feel bad about ourselves.

Reading: I thought I would finish Carry the One today. I even spent pre-dinner time sitting with O at the dining table, nibbling cheese together, each of us quietly reading. But it didn't happen. I want to finish reading this book, and I know I will miss it when it is done.

Writing: I'll probably feel the same way about my own book if I ever finish it. ::She sighs:: I am too much in the macro level thinking about the ms, but I still have some scenes to be written or reimagined, some plot points that are fuzzy, some character details that need to be developed, so for the next 16 days, I have decided to focus on PLAY -- generative, fun, playful work without regard to the larger whole. I have a whole set of empty files waiting to be filled in -- this whole collection is called "sandbox" (yes I stole the term from programmers, so what). I will have fun. (And can I say again how much I love the Scrivener program?)

Dinner: I repurposed the leftovers of last week's ginger lentil soup into a kind of makeshift mujadarra -- the soup is really thick at this point anyway, so I served it over rice and brown a whole bunch of onions to pile on top. This, and some irresistable thin bright asparagus. (Should have made the blog pic of asparagus today, but too late to go back and change now.)

Soundtrack: After setting the table, Z went and put on our "Dinner Music" playlist, all on her own. She is not snarly all the time. Not at all.

Random thing: Poem of the Day (for April Poetry Month):

I spent the day at a meeting in the Herrick Room. So, I will share with you a poem by Robert Herrick (Cavalier poet, son of an English gold merchant, 27 years younger than Shakespeare). Herrick may be best known for the line "gather ye rosebuds while ye may" but that is not what I will share with you. Instead, I give you an estimable 17th century verse on the subject of ... nipples!

Upon The Nipples Of Julia's Breast
by Robert Herick
Have ye beheld (with much delight) 
A red rose peeping through a white? 
Or else a cherry (double graced) 
Within a lily? Centre placed?
Or ever marked the pretty beam 
A strawberry shows half drowned in cream? 
Or seen rich rubies blushing through 
A pure smooth pearl, and orient too? 
So like to this, nay all the rest, 
Is each neat niplet of her breast.- find more at


  1. Oh Toni, right there with you. We need to revisit "Reviving Ophelia" and remember that part of their development includes letting them know when they have been hurtful and are causing harm. Be gentle to are an amazing mama.

  2. My daughter just turned 11, and I deal with this EVERY DAY. I know I was worse when I was her age, but the difference between her upbringing and mine is that I don't beat her when she is hurtful and sarcastic. I try to take a deep breath and remember that I am the adult. Chances are pretty good that she will end up sobbing in my arms by the end of the day anyway, so at least I'll get some cuddle time. I'll just eliminate the sobbing part when I remember it later. Love the poem.


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