Rainboot Mindfulness


In the span of a few months, the only full priced pair of shoes I’ve ever bought Potamus, has failed. True he’s worn them threadbare, with all his tromping and climbing and sliding. But I wasn’t prepared for the rain boot replacement, and then I showed up to school today and the gash in the side of the boot (that I had, perhaps, frugally thought I would repair with a big swatch of duct tape), and a ripped strap, and just general disrepair. And I realized, “dang, it’s time to replace these boots.” As it so happens, we live in Seattle, and it’s January, and it’s…RAINING.

Thank goodness I let my students out early today, so Potamus and I headed down to Fred Meyer by our house to pick out new rain boots. He was thrilled. The whole ride there he sang a little song that went something like “rain boots, rain boots, new rain boots,” and then included things like “mommy, me, scrummy, me, house, rain boots, new rain boots.” The melody is hard to translate, but it was adorable. When we arrived at the brightly lit shelves of the toddler rain boot section, I realized…good thing I only have one kid, because a) DANG THESE ARE EXPENSIVE and b) DANG THIS TAKES FOREVER.

I squatted down, frantically looking for a replacement size 9, which we  bought a size too big four months ago. And only finding one pattern (which he quickly rejected) we opted to try on some size 8’s that actually fit really well, but make me nervous that he’ll grow out of them in 3.4 seconds. He tried on butterfly boots “like aubrey,” and princess ones “like bella’s,” and didn’t want the sharks because they were “like madden’s,” and finally, after digging through all that rubber, he decided on the one pair of dinosaur boots that fit. Phew.

But wait!

The hemming and hawwing began again.

“They’re too big mama,” he said, which I protested because there’s no way they were too big. Too small, maybe, but definitely not too big. So we tried on the shark pair again. And then looked at the butterfly pair. He rejected the ladybug that was sorta ‘like aubrey’s’ but not exactly the same. We looked at plain red, plain yellow, you get the idea.

Oh the toddler indecision.

But after about five minutes into the haggling with my tiny, I was actually enjoying myself. I remember going to get shoes as a kid and feeling so stifled by the choices because a) I was gigantic and had gigantic feet and b) my mom was cheap on a budget, and c) there were 3 of us and we were always in a rush from one thing to another. I know that the luxury of spending 30 minutes hemming and hawwing over the perfect pair of rainboots will not be something I can do forever. But in the world of hurry up, where I’m always hustling him out the door in the darkness to school, or coming home and slamming things down to start dinner/snacks/tv show/cleanup, it felt nice to simply notice all the designs available for him to choose from.

And when he strutted out of the store, and on his own said, “thanks for buying my new rainboots,” I smiled and drank in the sweet moment that passes all too soon.

No Poo? No Problem


Aproximately 100 years ago, The Laotian Commotion wrote about her foray into the no (sham)poo lifestyle and how it had changed her life. I know that some friends of mine had done something similar, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I visited Ruth in Portland that I saw how not washing her curly hair as much had really made a big impact. And I read through The Curl Girl book (even buying my own copy) and for the past few weeks have adopted a very minimal shampoo regimen, from shampooing every day, to maybe once or twice a week at most (and with a tiny tiny dab of shampoo just around the hairline).

Maybe I’m delusional, but holy crap I think my hair is curlier now. I mean, my hair is really wavy that can be coaxed to curl (just like a cat can be coaxed to come to you, for the right price) if I am careful. But I saw a curl, a real one, the boing-boing kind I envied from the Ramona books. Yes, it’s there. And by massaging my scalp in small circles in the shower every day, my hair does NOT feel gross or look greasy. Whoa! I put it up in a bun at night and then the next morning I spray a homemade lavender water spray on my hair to refresh it and voila, curls (okay, okay, waves, but still).


Hat Guy

This kid and hats...

This kid and hats…

Yesterday, driving 65 mph down the highway, five minutes from home, my tire blew out. I managed to pull over to the left “shoulder,” and then, after narrowly missing a few rear end collisions, hobbled my car over to the right shoulder where I was safer. Got the tire-changing service on the horn, and buckled in to wait it out. Boof hopped on the bus and headed our way, and we switched cars so I could take my badly shaken self home to drink and nurse all the what-if-fears that were racing in my mind.

I’ve had several accidents or narrow misses since Potamus was born, but none when he was in the car. To look in my rear view mirror and see the cars whizzing by and narrowly missing me, put so much in perspective.

I kept him home today. Partially due to logistics in getting my spare tire taken off and replaced, and trying to get him out to his daycare 30 minutes away by their dropoff deadline just would add more stress. So we hung out in the Les Schwab waiting, and when the 2.5 year old squirrelyness kicked in, we headed next door to the thrift store, where Potamus became enthralled with a new hat (he really is turning out to be a hat guy), and he got a scolding by a worker missing all her front teeth for picking “a girl’s hat.” She tried to convince him an ever-so-cool elmo visor was more boy appropriate, but he liked his southern bonnet much better thankyouverymuch.

My decision to keep him home today has turned out to be lovely. We napped, and watched some PBS, and he’s currently shouting for his dad in the backyard.

We did not buy that hat.

Halloween Turtleneck


Ah yes, another rainy Halloween is going to be on the books for the great folks of Seattle. Tonight we will trick-or-treat all over the drizzly city, dodging puddles and collecting candy in pillowcases or banned plastic grocery bags. But one thing you will see a lot of: the Halloween Turtleneck.Even more pervasive than Steve Jobs’ daily staple, is the Halloween Turtleneck. It really should come standard with any costume sold in the greater Pacific Northwest. Not only is this Halloween Turtleneck fashionable (although I’m doubting they will come out with a ‘sexy turtleneck’ costume by next year), it is also extremely practical. Want to wear a costume but don’t want to have it covered by a North Face jacket, or worse, a plastic rain poncho? Turtleneck.

Even now, as an adult, I can’t begin to imagine deciding on a Halloween costume that coulnd’t be accessorized with the traditional turtleneck to make it warmer.  I wish I had pictures of all my costumes as a kid, but thinking back, I cannot recollect even one outfit that wasn’t accesorized with the Halloween Turtleneck. It was much better than always going as Paddington Bear, in his yellow rain slicker.