Where I Was When...
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Winding Down & Up

It's been a momentous couple of days around here, starting with Noah's elementary school graduation on Friday. Which...okay, we all showed up dressed for that "casual classroom party" vibe and instead discovered that OH NO THIS SHIT IS FULL ON SERIOUS POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCES. Girls were decked out in fancy dresses; some of the boys were in suits and ties. 

The mom next to me was all dressed up and brought balloons and roses. I wore workout clothes and brought my phone.  

Thankfully Noah spent most of the ceremony in the last row so no one could judge his shorts and Minecraft t-shirt...at least not until the super fomal certificate processional at the end.  D'oh. 

The best part -- BEST -- was when the principal announced he'd received a very important letter for the graduates and read some kind of form letter about dreams and accomplishments and America blah blah blah. 

"Sincerely," he read, and then paused dramatically, "Donald Trump."

Dead fucking silence. A few people rolled their heads back to suppress laughter and everybody else stared at the floor. I glanced at my forearm and swallowed an obnoxious snort. The graduates were not impressed. It was fairly delicious. 

Noah WAS impressed afterwards, when he found out parents were allowed to sign kids out and go home for the day -- at 10:45 IN THE MORNING! That's crazy! That's like a whole day off! This graduation business is the bomb!


The proud-yet-under-dressed graduate in front of his class mural. He painted the watering can. It's a pretty good watering can!

The next day was Ezra's very first guitar recital. And while he doesn't own a suit or tie, I at least upgraded him to a collared shirt and non-athletic shorts, and Jason took him for a haircut:


These small acts of parental responsibility were somewhat overshadowed by the fact that there were three songs listed after Ezra's name in the program. He told us he'd be playing two, so we never made him practice the third one. 


Didn't matter. He did great! 


He knew it, too, as he stepped off the stage and immediately announced I DID SO GREAT! to the audience up front. 


His brothers were super supportive and excited for him...while he was onstage, anyway.


Which I suppose is the important part. 

And finally, lest we leave Ike's accomplishments out, he came home with a Major Award on Friday:


This was at his brothers' music lessons Saturday morning. He carried this EVERYWHERE, all weekend. 



He did it all for the lollipop. 

(The photos above from the recital are "after," so...not very different. Got his bangs out of his eyes at least? Got him a little extra practice telling a barber EXACTLY what he's okay with? Even if it's still not much at all?)



I'm so attached to Ike's hair in a very "his body, his choice" kind of way. If a kid has a preference and it's not against school rules for some reason, or blinding him, I don't know why anyone wouldn't respect that. I try to show my daughter as much respect for her bodily autonomy as I safely can. Sometimes I have to hold her down so a doctor can look in her ears, but I try as often as possible to show her that she is in charge of her body and gets to decide what happens to it. I think that's such an important message for little kids to get.


My oldest is going to Kinder in the fall and the little's babysitter just texted me that he's talking in complete full sentences out of nowhere today (he's 2 on Sunday) and I'm an emotional hot mess reading this! Why are all the babies getting so big!?!?!?!

Candace Kochosky

JFC your husband. http://tinyurl.com/yaplh66a


I know your feelings towards the current President but I have never thought to eye roll when any President had something read at a ceremony. I still don't understand the hate and believe me I have tried. That said, your boys are all awesome and my children likely wore a t shirt when a more formal attire was required more times than I care to remember 😄


Reminds me of when our older son got a departmental award as a senior in high school. We tried to make him dress up since we were sure it was a big deal, but he kept insisting it was just an informal thing. I cringed (and still cringe as I think about it) as the others - his friends, so he should have known better! - went up on stage in their blazers and ties, while he was wearing a faded red t-shirt and shorts. But it's hard to complain when your kid does great, even though he's under-dressed.


Trump certainly isn't my cup of tea either. But I also cringe when I think about how disrespectful it is to be...I don't know. Disrespectful when disrespectful behavior is something we are so apt to preach against? Rally against? We live in a really, aggressively liberal area of the country (yeah, we have violent protests here - so yeah, I'm losing patience with that stuff, not gonna lie. It's just as scary as crazy republicans (or really any group that uses protest as a forum for violence and hate rather than an intelligent display of dissent) and one of the things that stands out to me more now than almost anything is this idea that I might now be teaching my children this funny mixed message. Respect elders, honor those with different opinions, believe everyone is doing the best that they can with what they have and they still may have more to learn, remember a bully learned it from somewhere and be empathetic rather than reactive and hateful back to someone who doesn't believe as you do because respect is key...and yet? Here we are. So confusing!! It makes me sad when I read stuff like this. Makes me sad that this election has this type of lasting, corrosive effect when...it shouldn't. Don't support him, rally and protest against his ideas and actions, but do it in a respectful way, because after all that's what we all want, right? Be that society, and hopefully Trump won't happen again.


Swallowing an obnoxious snort is SUPER fucking respectful.

Fraulein N

Hah, disrespect. I'm sorry, but the whole idea of this "presidency" is a fucking JOKE. And the fact that such a hateful person supposedly wrote a letter about dreams and wanting a good America to schoolkids is pretty damn hilarious. But yeah, laughing out loud is a bit disrespectful. Not just because some supposed "leader" supposedly wrote the letter, but because this was a ceremony for the kids, and it's not very nice to ruin someone's graduation, and it doesn't set a very good example. Which is why Amy and all the other adults tried her damnedest to AVOID laughing. I mean, damn. That shit was ridiculous and egregious and none of the adults ACTUALLY LOL'd at is, which is pretty damn impressive.

There's respecting differing points of view, and then there's tolerating hate and treason. No one is obligated to do the latter. No one in America SHOULD be "tolerating" plans to build walls against brown people and bragging about sexual assault and collusion with a foreign power. Pretending that this is normal and status quo and let's-just-be-cool-and-bygones-blah-blah-blah-respect is actually MAJORLY disrespectful to the office of the Presidency, and honestly, the very idea of democracy as well.


Oh, for the love, people! If you already know how Amy feels, then why pretend to scold her for suppressing a short of laughter when what you are really doing is disagreeing with her political views? This is her blog!!! Don't read it if you don't like her views. She has already said this a bunch. And, btw, if you are still supporting our "president" then your head is in the sand. Time to wake up, no disrespect intended.


This may be the first time ever that I'm glad I don't know you in real life, because everything Kaleigh said aside, I am dad-joking Ike in my head so hard it's coming out in a Foghorn Leghorn voice. I say, I say, which hair did you have cut, Ike? Because I cannot tell, son, I cannot tell! And laughing at the cheese.
He's adorable. They're all adorable.


Totally ditto on Kayleigh's first two sentences above. I actually got a little sad and teary-eyed at the barber photo after *just* seeing him there on Jason's lap and being delighted that he was keeping his hairz as he wants them. So I was (irrationally, since Ike's, like, a "stranger" to me) SO happy to know that the recital photo was an "after" shot.


Abby: Word.


Abby: Word.


So, let me get this straight. The best part of your kid's graduation from elementary school was you being able to be an obnoxious asshat about the president? You got to snort in your sleeve? Why were all the kids deadass silent? Because they learn from their parents, people like you who parade around in stupid, pink cat hats and like to berate our president. However, if any of the children had dared to do the same thing when Obama was in office y'all would have had your panties in a wad.

How about you grow up just a bit? I am to assume you are 40 or at least approaching this age. Quit with the "I'm so cool" routine. It's a bit redundant and it's not becoming. How about you teach your kids to respect the leader of the free world, no matter your opinion or what he or she has done. It is people like you who create and hate and fear mongering in our youth. You have clearly let your thoughts and opinions go straight to your kids.


Ah, the "PBIS initiatives"! No idea what that means, but I plan on using the phrase several times over the next day or two.


I love my stupid pink cat hat. I wish I didn't have a clown for a president because I'd rather waste my time berating the Kardashians than him. I'm glad I don't live in North Korea or Russia where I would be forced to "respect" our dear leader regardless of how insane or evil he was. I'm teaching my kids that values like honesty, integrity, humility, and compassion are worth fighting for. Donald Trump has none of these qualities, so I hold him up as an example of how NOT to live your life. I'm completely confident that when history is written, those who stood up against this shameful grifter will be regarded kindly while those who supported or enabled him will be judged harshly. Also, I would henceforth like to be known as "Obnoxious Asshat."


Amy should teach her kids to respect the leader of the free world? I'm assuming you mean Putin, C, 'cause it sure as hell isn't Trump.

Enough, already, with this "we have to respect the president no matter what" bullshit. Trump has zero respect for the office, zero respect for democracy, and zero respect for the people he's supposed to be representing. And he's demonstrated plenty of contempt for children, and for public schools in particular, which is probably why the audience at a public elementary school graduation was not impressed by his half-ass attempts at inspiration. Trump's version of dream-following includes fucking the poor, shutting out the brown people, and manipulating democracy for his own personal financial gain. And, frankly, I'm betting that any one of those graduating fifth-graders could do a better job of running the country than Trump has, and probably without endlessly whining on Twitter about how hard it all is.


Yes Millie, 5th graders could do so much better than Trump. Keep on preaching your liberal vomit.

Again, this is why our children are being brainwashed. Adults like you. Teach them BOTH sides. Not just your liberal, butthurt sides.

And Christy, yes. A pink hat will teach your children about honesty, compassion, humility and integrity. Yup.


Genuinely asking you, C., with true sincerity: How does calling a stranger an "obnoxious asshat" teach children about compassion and integrity? Also, how does Amy wearing a "stupid, pink cat hat" constitute "berat[ing] our president?" It's just a hat. Where in any of Amy's words on her blog does she tell you herself that she berates the president (or anyone else) verbally to her children? You have verbally berated Amy here. I'm truly asking how you can do that to her while, in the same breath, telling her not to berate someone to her kids that you do not know for certain *actually* happens. Wouldn't it be more honest, compassionate, humbling, and respectful of you to assume that Amy explains to her children words and phrases that our president has himself used verbally and on Twitter in the factual manner that it is, and assume that her children are wise enough to realize that those disrespectful, biased, bigoted, foul, hurtful words aren't ones that constitute how they've been taught to behave? Can you compare for us here written examples of Amy's "hate," "fear mongering," and "beratement" against the examples of the exact same you wrote to Amy above?


RD -http://www.amalah.com/amalah/2016/11/index.html and http://www.amalah.com/amalah/2016/11/the-blogger-refuted.html. I won't even mention the post we are commenting on. It is quite clear what her opinion of the president is. I'm sure Amy uses her nice words to her kids but come on now, children hear EVERYTHING, so if you are trashing the president at home to your husband or friends I'm pretty sure they can catch on. I'm done with the liberal snowflakes who cry when someone looks at them sideways. My point was and still is, it's not cute to blast all over the internet how you can't get your shit together for a fifth grade graduation but you sure can write how delicious it was when they hated the president.


Anyone who uses the phrase "liberal snowflakes" loses all credibility. Bye Felicia! Go find another blog to berate.


My kids already see the myriad ways in which Trump is poisoning the country, and I'll bet Amy's kids, as young as they are, are quite capable of seeing it, too. He is a terrible president, full-stop, and I see no reason to sugar-coat this fact. Not with children, and certainly not with thin-skinned adults who go on defending his racism, misogyny, narcissism and overall incompetence.



And then the troll grabbed the little goat by the...Oops! That's another story altogether.


C -- I appreciate that you highlighted a post where Amy proves what I always suspected: "Jason, *again,* had a *diplomatic answer* prepared" (my emphasis). I'm still not clear how you can demand honesty, compassion, integrity, and humility while at the same time calling people you do not know "liberal snowflakes" and "obnoxious asshats." In all seriousness, are you suggesting that speaking to people that way is how we'll better understand and learn about "both sides," rather than just the "liberal, butthurt side?" Wouldn't, say, compassion, humility, integrity, honesty, and kindness be a better way to help mend the divide? If that were truly, *truly* your goal, then you'd respond with respect rather than rancor. How can anyone understand if you don't come to the table with the same qualities you're demanding?


RD, if you were to have a conversation with me outside of just comments you would see I am actually a very even, compassionate liberal republican. I apologize if I come across crass or cruel. I just get very offended when I hear of people disrespecting the office. You may not care for the man or his policies, but by all means please don't joke about how you obnoxiously snorted at the suggestion of his name. There is so much more to get fired up at.


I can see how an actual, out-loud, obnoxious snort would be offensive, but Amy swallowed it, so no one in that room other than her was aware of her internal feelings at that moment, most importantly the children. I also have no doubt that many people with opposing views to mine are compassionate. I can't speak for Amy, nor for anyone but myself, but my own internal "snorts" (i.e., the sound of my heart breaking) aren't due solely from the mention of his name, but rather almost mainly from all of the *factual* (and I mean that with all sincerity and honesty) - the true and real and documented things - that he himself has said, written, and acted upon. Those things, those actual real words and actions, *those* are what cause me to flinch inside. Amy's swallowed (silent) snort came after a letter on a subject about which he's not supported in various ways which she then heard was signed by him. That complete contradiction would've pained me inside as well. I personally joke about my own internal sadness and horror at his biased words coming to fruition because, really, what else can I do? Literally crying at the injustices doesn't help, so laughter lightens me up. How is that bad? I'm scared, so I laugh, and laughing is better than hating. Love and light trumps all.


So , you're upset about a "liberal snowflake" having to stifle a snort because a president who just slashed the education budget wrote an obviously empty letter to a bunch of elementary school kids. But your throwing a tantrum all over the blog is... different somehow? You're tired of "Liberal Snowflakes who cry when someone looks at them sideways" but here you are, crying loudly and obnoxiously when no one even looked at you sideways.

Take a good, long look in the mirror. You're the only one here guilty of the "snowflake" mentality you claim to have such a problem with.

Rainbow Bright

I used to love this blog and I want to love it again. I check back now and again to see if it's gone back to the stories about children and pets and parenting and tires minus the politics that seem to sneak into everything. It would be so nice to come here and get a break from it all. It looks like that isn't going to happen though. How disappointing.


Hey C. Just chiming in to say that Trump is not 'the leader of the free world'. He is America's president. As a member of the 'free world', I didn't choose him, I don't want him, and I don't respect him. Kindly don't shove him down our throats. I am guessing you didn't see him with the Pope. The guy was doing all he could not to roll his eyes or shake his head. He was trying to respect a leader he obviously wanted to punch. Did you see him with other EU leaders? When he pushed one of them aside? They simply looked at one another and their dislike was clear. They shook their heads when he made snide remarks. It was very respectful of them to simply stare in disapproval when they could have let their inhibitions go and punched his smug face. Please, ask Americans to respect him. But don't call him the leader of the free world. Your country lost its moral authority a long time ago, and the rest of us aren't listening any more.

Blue California Gurl

Kate: love your work just above. I also refuse to acknowledge him as leader of the free world. That is now Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau. Trump and his followers like C who blindly follow him make me want to vomit every dam* day. I don't have children but if I did, I would teach them to look at the FACTS and think for themselves, not blindly follow a terrible leader just because some terrible people elected him via our terrible electoral college. As of yesterday, over 60% of Americans are not happy with President Orange. He is disgusting and you few did this to us. He is ruining our country. And I don't give a crap what you think about whether or not I am a snowflake or how I look in my pink cat hat.


I'm so with YOU Rainbow Bright...I've been a loyal follower of you since she was pregnant with Noah...it was fun...an escape. Sorry I'm done and will never follow you again. So much hate, he's the president...move the fuck on and make the best of it. Your readers are crazy, rude and scary...this political crap is not what this blog was about...adios.

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