My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Dusty's World

2004-10-07
One of the best things about kids (or should I say ‘children’ for those of you who might think I’m raising a juvenile goat?) is watching them become. Dusty is becoming an artist one moment, a musician another, and, lately a princess-tiger-librarier. Here’s what she’s been up to lately, in case you’re interested (humor me):

• Sunday morning, she appeared in the kitchen in her basic Edie Sedgwick uniform: a striped, knee-length, pull-over tube dress with black tights. She pulled down from the shelf a tin filled with yarn and embroidery thread and crap left over from the days when I used to make doll-like creatures out of pantyhose. She began balling up wads of thread, adding a thread tail and taping them to the floor with masking tape. “Whatcha making?” She’s always at work at some “project” or other. “Flowers. This is my flower garden.” And soon the kitchen floor was covered in lumps of yarn and thread stuck down with tape. Later, she was furiously chopping up some yellow thread. “This is mulch. I’m going to put it around my flowers. To keep the bugs away.” It was a lovely art installation. The next day, though, I got tired of stepping in the wads – there’s something disconcerting about stepping on something like that barefoot and forgetting what it is and thinking you’re stepping on a really huge bug. After all, we’re still heavily into Spider Season. So, when she began to move a few of the flowers and stick them to the cabinet doors, I suggested she move them ALL so that the cabinets are decorated with flowers. She liked that idea (I’m a clever trousers, aren’t I?) so now we have wads of thread with tails taped to all our cabinet doors under the kitchen counters.
• The other night, as I’m taking my turn laying (lying?) with her at bedtime, she was turning the key in her musical rabbit (a baby gift from her wonderful aunt) and she said, “This is playing The Beatles. Pretend it’s the Beatles.” Okay, cool. “Now it’s Thelonius.” She and my husband have had a love affair with Thelonius Monk since she was this high. “He’s playing it like this,” and she sits up, hunches her shoulders and pretends to bang at a piano. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Thelonius play a piano but her rendition was dead-on. My husband has a DVD of him playing and he and Dusty recently watched it on the computer.
• Not only does she like to play “librarier” and put sticky notes on books we’ve “checked out” but she likes to cut things out of the Sunday comics and make them into bookmarks which she then inserts into books every three pages or so. She was making some the other night for me because my usual bookmark was “all worn up.”
• “What kind of food is squares?” This is the kind of question I get first thing in the morning. You may not even be able to interpret this but because I have become fluent in child-speak, I knew she was asking which kinds of foods are shaped like squares. So we came up with a list: Saltines, graham crackers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cheese. I’m sure you can think of more. But that satisfied her and she was off to start another project involving glue and glitter. Wanna join us?

Oh. Let me leave you with this: I pass a particular house on my way to work and I’ve watched as, over the last few weeks, a fence was built and goats, emu and a few sheep were installed. Typical rural thing. But. The other day, I turned my head and saw A FUCKING CAMEL! A real actual camel. I saw it move. I saw its hump. Now, with the first animals I thought, they’re being raised for meat and/or milk. But, as far as I know, people don’t eat camels. I don’t know what’s going on here (I recently read a disturbing article in the Wall Street Journal about rich people who are buying exotic animals for their farms FOR DECORATION ONLY) but I’ll let you know when I find out.

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12:17 p.m. ::
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