You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2009.



IMG_0959.JPG, originally uploaded by MzMuze.

I got to practice walking on stilts today for the first time ever! It was fun, , and I have a lot more respect and sympathy for the toddlers I work with now. Learning to walk is hard! I did fine though. I just mimicked Serena, waving my arms around like a monster and taking big stompy steps.

There are pictures of me doing it somewhere, but I obviously couldn’t take them while I was doing my toddler impression. This is a shot of the people who taught me. (You guys rock. Thank you!)

Childwild has moved. Please come visit the new site, where I’m continuing to post daily articles about parenting, education, sustainable living and the cute things my kids do.

I’ve written before about the mainstream press taking on attachment parenting practices with cheap journalistic scare tactics.

Now Bruce Schneier, a computer security blogger, is using scary headlines about co-sleeping as an example of people’s poor understanding of risk. His short essay is worth reading. The basic summary: the newspaper touts a raw number of deaths related to co-sleeping, with no context for the number. Do 20 out of 20 co-sleeping infants die? 20 out of 20 million? How many crib sleeping infants die?

If peeking behind the curtain of irresponsible scare journalism doesn’t freak you out enough, here’s another scary website: Let’s Panic! This one might make you laugh so hard you pee your pants (especially if you are great with child), but don’t worry. They’ll viciously mock you and then tell you how to get the stains out.



Serena, sleeping, originally uploaded by MzMuze.

Has it really been two years since you were born? It’s hard to imagine a time you weren’t here. And yet so much has happened: how did we cram a move and a career change and school and travel and nibbling your cute little cheeks into just two years?

Finally sweet pea, you are still a baby. I know you’ve long since given up diapers and morning naps and crawling. More and more of your babble is becoming intelligible. You’ve moved into your own bed to sleep in, and recently started dressing yourself (I love the backwards bathing suit look, and the two-legs-through-one-pant-leg approach is charming).

But as long as you’re made of dimples and golden curls and big blue eyes you’ll be my baby. I hope that’s a good long time.

Two of my kids are participating in Somerville’s Open Air Circus this summer, a local circus produced by and for kids. My teenage stepson is taking a leadership intensive and teaching classes in everything from unicycling to juggling, while the five-year-old in my life has become an instant expert at balance beams, tumbling and running around like a maniac in “circus pants”.

This is all practically free for me (we paid a $20 membership fee at the beginning of the summer, for six weeks of classes). It’s gloriously disorganized and fun, and the kids are learning a lot. Not only about how to perform in a circus, but how to be in a class or teach one. We love it.

The Open Air Circus is the progeny of a grown-up circus called the ExtraTerrestrial Circus Experiment. They would love it if everyone came to their benefit show this weekend. Here’s their information about it:

ExtraTerrestrial Circus Experiment is putting on a benefit performance on July 10th at The Armory in Somerville. Advanced tickets are on sale now at http://www.openaircircus.org/benefit.asp at $8/child (5-18 years old), $15/adult, and $40/family (admits 2 adults and 2 children). Tickets at the door will be $12/child and $20/adult. Please let all your friends know about this opportunity to enjoy a spectacular performance while helping support the OPENAIR Circus.

Please consider coming in a green fashion (public transportation, walking, biking, skating, etc.). We have some directions on the above page of how to get there but are glad to help you figure out a your particular path if you email us with your starting location. If you do come by car, please remember to park in the lot behind the Armory to try to avoid street parking congestion.



A piece of newborn sky, originally uploaded by MzMuze.

“Look, Mama, a piece of newborn sky!”



Magic leaf!, originally uploaded by MzMuze.

“I put a magic leaf in his hand just in case he comes back to life,” Rio says.



IMG_0901.JPG, originally uploaded by MzMuze.

We spent most of the weekend at Walden Pond, enjoying our first (and maybe only? please not only) real glimpse of summer weather. I took about 400 photos, 30 of which are up over at Flickr. Because I could not bear to withhold from all y’all the cuteness of Serena throwing a rock in the water, or building a sandcastle.

The one cute photo I did withhold is the one of her five minutes of freedom, where she goes tearing through the waves naked with her arms out in true B-movie monster style, destroying every sandcastle in her wake. It was a great five minutes, cut short when the Even Bigger Sea Monster (aka lifeguard) came over and told her she was breaking an obscenity law and had to put her bathing suit back on.

Really people, she is not-quite-two years old. She weighs 30 pounds. By volume, she was showing less ass than the teenagers in string bikinis sunning themselves next to us.

I am too tired, and too enthralled with the beauty of the water and the child to really get my own knickers in a twist about this, but it makes me want to cry.

What difference is it really if she goes naked or wears her Strawberry Shortcake swimsuit? I think Thoreau would have understood the difference, and I’m pretty sure the trees do. We lose a little bit of the precious Wild when we insist on clothing for the little innocents who still live in their personal Edens. I think the illusion of safety we buy with that sacrifice is a cheap trade, and I don’t want it.

When we go camping in a few weeks at a private lakeshore spot, I will not be packing her swimsuit.



Fava beans, originally uploaded by MzMuze.

My garden has produced a small crop of fava beans. I grew these for their value as a soil soother in a bed that had tomatoes growing in it for many years. Fava beans and peas fix nitrogen in the soil, which tomatoes tend to deplete, so they make a good crop rotation.

I didn’t really expect to get food out of them, but now I have two pints of fava beans sitting in my fridge. What should I do with them?

(this is obviously from a few days ago, as its blessedly not raining now. but it’s still funny)

Rio, this morning, “Oh look! It’s raining again. Happy fun day.”

um…yeah, kid. Aren’t you too young for that kind of humor?

Definitely not too young for what followed:

“Mama, do you think the summer said, ‘Hey spring, I want to take an extra long nap? Can you do my job for me?’ and now it just keeps on being spring?”

Yeah, I kind of do kid. Summer is totally asleep on the job.

Flickr Photos

Holding hands

Emerson graduation smiles

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More Photos

A little bird told me…

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