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IMG_4326.JPG, originally uploaded by MzMuze.

The kids and I found it in the driveway over the weekend. I think it’s a queen wasp. Rio thinks it is scary. What do you think?

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O, originally uploaded by kriegsman.

Among the many exciting circus themed adventures the kids and I had this weekend was Backyard Burning Man, which was exactly what it sounds like: a miniature version of Burning Man, scaled down to a single afternoon and evening in a suburban backyard. There was a bouncy castle, body painting, stilt-walking, juggling and hooping. Also lots of food.

The highlight, for me, was getting to try Miracle Fruit, which I have wanted to do for a long time. It’s a fruit that turns sour tastes sweet, and has been a fad at hipster parties for awhile now. But I don’t normally get invited to those parties, so I just get to read about it in the New York Times.

It was oddly disappointing. I ate whole lemon wedges and they tasted like lemonade, but I could have gotten the same effect from putting a pinch of sugar in my mouth before biting down. Everything else I tried – pickles, vinegar, some random stuff – tasted sweet but bad. I don’t like sweet pickles, and the vinegar tasted like off wine.

It was still the high point because it was a Totally Novel Experience. I love those, and don’t get to gave them very often.

The low point of the event: Serena peed in the bouncy castle.

Many thanks to our gracious host, who not only made this event happen but thanked us for our company even *after* the peeing incident.



O, originally uploaded by kriegsman.

Among the many exciting circus themed adventures the kids and I had this weekend was Backyard Burning Man, which was exactly what it sounds like: a miniature version of Burning Man, scaled down to a single afternoon and evening in a suburban backyard. There was a bouncy castle, body painting, stilt-walking, juggling and hooping. Also lots of food.

The highlight, for me, was getting to try Miracle Fruit, which I have wanted to do for a long time. It’s a fruit that turns sour tastes sweet, and has been a fad at hipster parties for awhile now. But I don’t normally get invited to those parties, so I just get to read about it in the New York Times.

It was oddly disappointing. I ate whole lemon wedges and they tasted like lemonade, but I could have gotten the same effect from putting a pinch of sugar in my mouth before biting down. Everything else I tried – pickles, vinegar, some random stuff – tasted sweet but bad. I don’t like sweet pickles, and the vinegar tasted like off wine.

It was still the high point because it was a Totally Novel Experience. I love those, and don’t get to gave them very often.

The low point of the event: Serena peed in the bouncy castle.

Many thanks to our gracious host, who not only made this event happen but thanked us for our company even *after* the peeing incident.



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.



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.

Flickr Photos

A little bird told me…

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