Saturday, October 23, 2010

Last Night's Clothes

I'm starting to take after my five-year-old.

When it comes to enjoying the little things in life, like blowing dandelion fluff onto the neighbor's lawn or eating chocolate chip cookie dough, this can be a good thing. Life-affirming, even. However, when I'm taking fashion and personal hygiene cues from someone who still picks her nose, there's probably something wrong.

I'm still wearing yesterday's clothes, and I feel no need to change. It's all her fault.

This re-wearing of clothes is a slippery slope. Where do you draw the line? It's okay to wear jeans two or three times before washing them, right? Why not a shirt? Why not a dress? Nai's love of certain outfits, coupled with her laziness, started the Clean Panties, Clean Socks rule. It started out this way: if she changed into clean socks and panties, she could wear the same outfit two days in a row. She still changed into her pajamas at night, of course, so she wasn't sleeping in her clothes or anything. Then... I let her start sleeping in her clothes. Then... the two days sometimes turned into three days. Then... the clean panties and socks sometimes got forgotten.

I am a horrible, horrible mother.

Still, it's not like I'm totally neglectful. I comb her hair at least every other day. I make her brush her teeth morning and night. And since she chomps her fingernails down to nubs I don't have to worry about dirt gathering there. So, other than yesterday's grape juice stains down her front and dirty-kneed jeans, she doesn't look too bad. Besides, this way we're really doing our part for the environment. I think we've cut down on our laundering by half. How can this be a bad thing? I have more free time, we're saving money on our water bill, and I feel a little greener.

Just when I'm feeling not so bad about it, I see the pretty mother down the street walk past with her little girls. Her bouncing hair shines with perfect highlights. She's wearing a cream fisherman's sweater, skinny jeans, and brown suede boots. Her little girls are all clean bright stripes, pigtails, and freshly scrubbed pink cheeks. They look like a glossy Ralph Lauren spread. I tackle Nai, who feels a little sticky, and pull her away from the window. Now if they look up there's nothing to see but a collage of greasy handprints on the glass. I look at her, in her rumpled, slept-in clothes and bed-head hair. Then I look down at me.

I'm still wearing yesterday's clothes, and yes, I slept in them too. Wearing Friday night's clothes on Saturday morning is cute when you're twenty-four and sneaking out of your boyfriend's apartment wearing a cocktail dress with your strappy heels in hand and panties in your pocket. It's not so adorable when yesterday's clothes consist of two mismatched t-shirts and sweatpants.

<----- The offending outfit.

Bonus information: I'm eating last night's pizza, too. At least I put it in the fridge between meals, though.

New pledge: I will change my clothes every day. I will make my daughter change her clothes daily, too. I will look like a marshmallow topping two sausages if I wear a chunky sweater over skinny jeans, but at least I will look like a clean marshmallow. Till I spill coffee on my sweater, anyway.

I'm going to change right now. Well, as soon as I finish this pizza.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Loss of a Dream

Floorboards creak.
She creeps to me where I lie asleep,
tears on her cheeks, voice cracked with sleep.
"Nightmare?" I ask, sweeping the sheet
aside, moving my feet.
No, no, she weeps. Not a bad dream.
It was a lovely dream,
the best dream. A sweet, sweet dream.
Yet she grieved
because this perfect dream
she could not keep.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Walks

There are so many reasons fall is my favorite time of year:

yellow flowers

crisp apples


squirrels gathering nuts and seeds

crunch crunch crunchy leaves

golden glow

new places to discover
I hope your autumn is full of all of these and more!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Microfiction Monday: #53

"Microfiction Monday" is about taking a picture and creating a story about it in 140 characters or fewer. Below the picture is my story.

She didn’t understand.

He’d told her to clean the castle.

But when the king heard she’d swept with his brother, he was furious.

Click here to visit the Microfiction Monday site, and see what clever little stories others have created for this scenario.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Hundreds of fleeting bubbles pop
with the sweep of an arm,
the splash
of a foot.
Punctuated with little girl voices:
"Pretend we're princesses,"
"Pretend we're getting married."
Mounds of luminous bubbles
pile high on their heads--
delicate, ephemeral crowns.
Hundreds of fleeting bubbles pop,
the soft crisp sound
of their imaginary taffeta skirts.
"Pretend we're sea monsters."
A sparkling, bloodless massacre
of hundreds of fleeting bubbles, popping.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Microfiction Monday: #52

Welcome to Microfiction Monday,
where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer.

Below is the picture, followed by my take on it.

The engineer smiled and waved,
as he did every day,
to the woman with the luggage
who never boarded.