Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

Sometimes her words are meant for me. Other times they are sent floating into the air, random molecules intended for no one in particular. They're words that belong in a world only she can see.

Mila has found herself deeply entrenched in the Make Believe Phase.

It's delightful, really. Tiny people talking to a doll that won't reply is all of the adorable, especially when the tiny people ask things like, "Did you poop? Yes? Ooooh! That's disgusting!" Mila's make believe world is full of empathy and concern and humor, which makes me think perhaps she isn't going to eventually set the world on fire.

Well, maybe. There's no doubt that she will be a woman who persists. Let's just hope the world figures out how to deal with women who persist before she learns how to light a match.

For now, I find myself trying to jump in and out of the Make Believe World. Mila pulls me in then jumps out and then we're back in again, often without many hints as to what is happening. When there's a doll around, I can follow, but sometimes the words are a bit more random.

Tonight, as we pulled into the parking lot to pick up her big sister, Mila was off in her Make Believe World. I have no idea what she was saying because it was her Make Believe Language. Suddenly she flipped to English, though, and I tuned in.

At first Mila talked about what she wanted for dinner. "Egg and cheese muffin" is almost always her preference, and you go right ahead and judge me for taking the kid to McDonald's with some regularity. It's her favorite and she eats it and there is happiness so whatever. Judge away.

The talk about dinner ended as abruptly as it started. Mila's attention turned to something totally different -- bed time. She told me she wanted to wear her Wonder Woman pajamas and that she needed a blanket and


she dropped a few words that were ... interesting.

"There are bugs in your bed, momma."

"No there's not. Do you mean in your crib?" I replied.

"No, there's bugs in your bed. They're icky," she retorted.

Mila has a firm grasp on pronouns at this point. She knew when she said "your" that she was telling me to never sleep again.

"There are no bugs in the bed, Mila," I said.

"Yes there are. The bugs are sleeping in your bed. They were tired."

Mila went on and on about the bugs. An hour later, she was still mentioning the bugs in my bed. They have a lot of legs. They're brown. They bite. Was it make believe? Was it real? THERE'S NO WAY TO KNOW.

It's cool, y'all. I don't actually need to sleep ever again anyway.



Paybacks, Man

I am incredibly patient with my friend Karma. I really can count on her to make things right, it just takes time.

For the record, sometimes she comes after me. She's just making things right when she does that, though. It's fine.

It's also fine when she goes after my girls. They certainly haven't been totally innocent in their lives, so I maybe sort of enjoy it when Karma pays them back for their sins.

Hi, Alexis.

Alexis has spent her entire life stealing from me. She's sort of getting better these days, but if you go back to when she was a toddler, GAH. If I had food, she would look at me with wide eyes and sweetly beg until I handed it over to her. If I had a drink, she would innocently blink at me until I passed it her way. Then she would chew my straw until it was impossible to continue drinking that drink before she would hand it back and go back to trying to steal my food.

I always knew Karma would find her for all of that. I kind-of-sort-of-maybe looked forward to that day in the distant future when she would call me to complain about her own kids doing the exact same thing. Oh, how I would laugh and laugh and laugh. It was going to be great.

Even greater is that I didn't have to wait for that phone call because Mila. MILA! Mila is Karma's best friend because she walks around paying people back for all they've done in the past. Considering she is literally a Tiny Human, she can do an amazing job of making people pay.

Today the girls managed to talk me into running to Starbucks. Then they continued to gang up on me and demand frappucinos. I'm not THAT nice, so I bought them one to share instead of each their own.

Guess who wouldn't share.

And guess who chewed that straw until it was closed up tight.

And guess who was sooooooo very annoyed.

I couldn't stop laughing. Alexis whined and complained and generally acted the fool because she was all of the annoyed that Mila did all the things that Alexis once did.

I love you, Karma.




Dear Mr. Toomey

Dear Mr. Toomey,

I write this not because I expect to change your mind, but because the entire reason I write in this space is to remember.

And I will remember.

I will remember that in 2017, you put partisanship ahead of our kids' future. Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence that Betsy Devos is spectacularly unqualified to lead the Department of Education, you looked the other way and endorsed her. Thousands of your constituents, Republican and Democrat alike, voiced their concerns through voicemails, phone calls, tweets, Facebook posts, and in person. At a time when political parties have never been further apart, we agreed on this. Yet, you refused to listen.

We will remember. I'll make sure of it.

We will remember that you ignored the warning signs that Devos was named for the position specifically because she paid to play. She donated to your campaign and other Republican campaigns nationwide, so you have to reward her. You could prove that you can't be bought, but, well, you can be. You have been bought and you're too much of a coward to back away from that payment.

You care more about keeping Devos happy than you do the thousands and thousands of constituents who asked you to say no. You care about keeping Devos happy more than you care that guns do not belong in schools, that Devos has no plans for improving our school systems, that she is only in it to make even more money, and that she has zero experience with public school systems.

As the days go by and Devos continues to demonstrate her incompetence as the head of the Department of Education, it will be on you. We will remind you every single time she makes a mistake that it is your fault.

We will remember.


A Woman Who Asks Only that Education Be Led By Educators