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May 31, 2006


I wasn't aware of it, but evidently, children start dating in preschool. We moved a month ago away from our home and left my daughter's preschool class behind. Every day she refers to the boyfried that is there and since they kissed, he is now her husband. Also, every boy that we have met on our trip has become her boyfriend. I am loathing middle school.

Times New Roman. Freaking priceless. The poor cashier is probably still puzzling over that one.

You're raising one heck of a kid there, Julia. Were I aged three, instead of old enough to be the kid's mother myself, I feel sure that I would love him myself.

When my youngest son was in preschool there was this little who was, I guess you would say chubby, and her mother dressed her everyday in very feminine clothes, pink dresses, she had pierced ears already, etc and insisted that she give the boys hugs when she saw them and proclaimed that so and so was her daughter's boyfriend. They were 4 years old. It WAS creepy. It was quite obvious that the mother was living vicariously through her daughter. Your son sounds interestingly precocious. Mine learned the art of fake yawning and would do it to make other people yawn when he learned it really worked. He was so natural and convincing at it. So, when at their pre-kinder "graduation" he got bored standing up there in his paper mortarboard, he proceeded to start yawning at the crowd, in a very subtle way. It was funny to watch everyone start yawning too. In fact I'm yawning now just thinking about it.

"Actually," is my son's favorite odd grown-up thing to say. "Actually, Darth Vadar has the red light saber, not the blue one."

You've got an amazing kid there.

Long-time lurker here coming out to say that I love the Patrick stories! And I love fonts. Is it sad that I want to hear all the luscious organizational details? I just spent a few days home from work to do some manic spring cleaning and organizing myself. I was also trying to get past some sadness. I love reading your stories and am often inspired by your words. Thank you for your posts!

Oh, Julia. I wish you didn't have to be sad. But the gardening and organizing is soothing, is it not?

Patrick provides excellent blog fodder. My younger daughter was also obsessed with fonts, but not until she was 8 or 9. Such a slacker, she was.

I think I have a crush on Patrick. Sorry that you are down today. Take care.

I'm glad you organize when you're sad. Me? I find watching shows like "I Am My Own Twin" while dipping doritos into my gin helps me turn my frown upside down. Good for you though. Really.
Also I must say that I do really totally heart Patrick. Absolutely terribly completely really I do.

When my oldest daughter Malinda was in Pre-K, she was one of 16 girls in her class. There were only 3 boys. One of the boys, Noah, came up to me one day and tugged on my shirt..."Malinda's Mom, can I stay the night with Malinda?" My daughter is on the other side of me, nodding her head, with a pleading look in her eyes...I started stuttering. He very earnestly told me that he could in fact stay the night, because his Mama told him he could, and he could sleep in her bed...After I spit my tongue out, I had to break it to him that the only way he could spend the night at her house and in her bed was if he got her a big fat diamond ring and had a college degree...Sadly, that was the last year that Noah was at her school..we remember him fondly. This August she starts 2nd grade, I shutter to think what they will come up with next....

I hope your sadness passes...I so look forward to your posts...

My son's favorite grown-up phrase? "I'm afraid not." As in, Do you think you will have juice at school today? No, I'm afraid not. Cracked me up. Also...his answer to the phrase "I don't like it when you...(enter annoying and/or dangerous action)..."? He says, "I'll keep that in mind." Great. My parenting requests are being taken under advisement.

As for the preschool boyfriend/girlfriend thing? It hasn't come up yet. Mine is going to move up north and marry his Uncle J. At least that will cut down on the number of Christmas presents I have to buy.

Patrick is actually really and totally charming. I don't suppose my Persephone is old enough to date him though ;)

I'm sorry you're sad. I've always thought it was so sweet that you ask about how everyone else is doing. I want to hear about all the luscious organization details, too! (I'm a Virgo, I can't help it!)

I find it reassuring that you are sad. I also find it unfair, horrible, mean of the universe, and many other adjectives, that you have lost another baby and are facing doubts and fears and hard choices along with great hopes. And yet, reassuring. Because if you were loudly proclaiming that you weren't sad at this time, or just ignoring the feeling altogether, then I would be worried that the next post would have the title "I accidently stabbed someone in a fit of rage and have no idea why."

And if you didn't, even in your quiet way, acknowledge your sadness, then I would be over here thinking "What is wrong with me? She's had twice the miscarriages I have and it doesn't seem to bother her at all." You are such an inspiration to me, not because these events don't bother you, but because you troop onward (what ever avenue you decide to pursue next) in spite of the sadness.

Does any of this make sense? Its late here. Just wanted to say - I'm sorry you are sad, but thank you for telling us.

If I had a magic wand I would actually totally really make it so none of you three would ever have to be sad again. However I do not have a magic wand. Add me to the list of those who heart Patrick in a major way--I heart all of you actually. You know, I didn't have a boyfriend until first grade. Times *have* changed. His name was Louis Bartolomeo, and during first grade his mother had a baby. So he talked about "the new baby" and "the old baby," who was now about two. Makes sense. If one acquires a new baby, then what could the previous one be but "the old baby??"

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my youngest one time, something about families, and I mentioned that some day he would grow up and find someone to marry and to this he said, totally serious at age 3, "But, aren't I going to marry you?" He was trying to work it all out in his head , there was nothing oedipal at all about it, and it was the sweetest thing I'd ever heard.

I'm sad that you've had so many reasons to be sad.

As for Patrick, he's totally absolutely wonderful. Of course Emily loves him, he's got all of your readers enamored - why not someone who gets to see him in person??

oh man, i love the font story. i laughed out loud and am still smiling. what a great kid. i have been sad lately too and your post was a great break from it. i hope you continue to feel better and better, totally really!

That is amazing Julia. Maybe he will be a famous font designer (seriously) since he is so interested in letters and numbers. It is all making sense now. My husband can't even tell the difference between a serif font and sans serif when he develops web sites for me. I am truly impressed.

I have a daughter the same age as Patrick, the similarities end there- although she is adorable as well.

Sorry you have been down, at least you are productive. Take care.

He sounds like Gertrude Stein! I think I love him too.

It's such a pleasure to hear from you.

Especially with a story like the one about the FONTS. I laughed until my stomach hurt, and then called up my mom to read it to her so that I could laugh all over again and get to share it with someone. (It apparently provided her with a nice segue into the "I'd like some grandchildren, and 21 isn't too young to think about starting" conversation, but we will maintain that Patrick had absolutely no involvement in bringing this about.)

Immersing oneself in household tasks - especially those with that nice veneer of gentility, like gardening and organizing cupboards - sounds very bucolic, and hopefully relaxing. I doubt that cleaning baseboards would have been quite the same (although you may have done that too for all I know).

Regardless, I'm sorry to hear that you have been sad and hope that time and activity are making things better, even if only incrementally.

Have you and Patrick been watching "Charlie and Lola" on TV, or better yet, reading Lauren Child's fabulously clever books? We adore such gems as "I am too absolutely small for school" and "I will never not ever eat a tomato"--(very important to pronounce it Toe MAH toe, by the way). If you're not familiar with the adverbose Lola, check out


I am so sorry to hear you are sad. You seem
to cope so incredibley well with the hell of
fertility struggles, I always read your site
for inspiration on how you do it. As someone
said it is reassuring that you feel sad too,
although I feel mean and petty saying that.
I admire your strength so much and I love
love, really love your site, you write so well.

What about Bookman Old Style? Does he like that one?

Also, do you have before and after photos of your pantry shelves? Some people might enjoy seeing them. Strange people who are not at all me would, for example.

Emily hmm? Guess I'll have to push my daughter a bit more to get her tush up there to MN and get him back :) Hehehehe...he's just so cute, who wouldn't want him as a son-in-law??

I've been organizing too. Got a great new book - Organic Housekeeping. Pretty good read. I hope the organizing makes you feel better - even just a little bit. If you have an tips on how to keep your house clean during construction, please let me know. I'm heading towards that soon.

Julia - you continue to amaze me with your strength. I hope that the rest of the year is better than the first half!

I love your son. T answers those questions "I like the Beatles" and then for 10 minutes instead of screaming font names bores the person with a discussion on the Beatles discography and the influence he thinks it has had.

It can be creepy. Plus it sounds like his father and I coach him, which i wish we were, because i can't string together a sentence that coherent and sometimes I forget some of the names of the albums.

Anyhow, yay for Patrick!

T too has an admirer and admires and I found this hard to deal with (when you have a husband who does forensics on peoples computers that have child porn you suddenly are hyperaware of the hypersexuality of our culture in regards to children that age) But then I realized the extent of how he feels about is is that he likes HW different than other kids....but she doesn't like him that way.

Times New Roman? How ... corporate...

Try giving that boy a little arial or verdana. Times New Roman, indeed...

As for the little friend, she's awfully cute. I did that in preschool (those poor poor boys) and I'm sure people thought it was creepy-cute as well then too.

By the by, I WANT to hear about the mushrooms.

Would you like to hear all the luscious organizational details?

Yes, I would!

I personally am disturbed (really, truly disturbed) when people say that their baby or toddler is flirting. Also, when they have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends." Yuck.

Patrick is a truly awesome boy- the font story is wonderful!

The preschool 'crushes' (perhaps too strong a word) are very common. My daughter married a boy in her class when she was three (marriage consisted of sleeping under the same blanket)! She has no memory of the boy or the marriage now at age 11.

My two favourite fonts are Wingdings and Comic Sans Serif. Am I too immature for Patrick?

He is such a treasure.

I'm sorry you are sad. I do want to hear about the organization, though. I'm looking for some motivation in that area.

Still feeling sad? I've got a few things that need organizing in my neck of the woods ...

My 3 y/o daughter recently informed us that she wanted to "take a nap with Kyle" (Kyle being one of her good friends).


I actually, totally, definitely pink puffy heart Patrick.

I think girls, even really little ones, are probably attracted to brilliance--I mean, it does seem evolutionarily advantageous, since someone who correctly uses adverbs at Patrick's age is likely to know where the particularly tasty animals live, and how to hunt them.

And I like Mrs. Eaves, which is the font Radiohead used on the album cover of Hail to the Thief. Such a cool font.

I love the fonts thing. If it helps at all, Ivan loves talking about the design of public restrooms ("I like the ones with the silver urinals as long as they aren't too tall"). Also, Ivan has a girlfriend Cecelia who he claims he is going to marry. "But then I am also going to marry my sister," he says. "And maybe you, too," like it's a bonus for good behavior if I get to marry him. And we aren't even anywhere NEAR Utah!

Your kid is hella smart. Also, he will grow up to be a mad scientist (who all the mad lab assistants fall in love with).

All your Patrick stories absolutely floor me, he is great!

By the way, I also love Patrick. It is impossible not to.

I love your son!

I totally really really love Patrick too.

And I am sorry you are sad.

Is it inappropriate for a 29-year-old to have a wee crush on a 3-year-old? Because, um, I totally actually really do.

Times New Roman? That's my LEAST favorite! I'm all about Comic Sans myself . . .

When my nephew was about 3 or 4 he had a "girlfriend" named Elizabeth. Once I asked him about her and he told me she wasn't his girlfriend anymore. When I asked why he replied, "She said 'NO'". I never did find out what the question was but since the answer was "NO" it was all over for the two of them! Oh those tempestuous preschool love affairs!!!

So sorry you've been sad. Does having a 3 yo who's into fonts help?

He could be Clara's boyfriend anytime. She obsesses about very little, which I find odd. Maybe she could learn something from him.

In fact...we're driving through the TC in a few weeks on our way to ND, and may stop for a swim at White Bear Lake on the way back. Sunday, June 25, late afternoon--if you need something to do, and want to try to meet one of your random blog semi-lurkers there. Just sayin'...

Glad that Patrick (I'm a Times gal myself) and house cleaning are getting you through the days.

My 4 year old son has several girl friends who seem to be helped along on the romantic journey by their mothers. All of whom have said how cute it is that their daughters have crushes on N (I guess I thought so too until I started seeing a pattern) and wouldn't it be funny if... If what??? Echhhh. They are four!!!

Jennifer and he play Arial and Eric, Emily lives three doors down and has cool toys, Nicolette kisses him after school. They are his playmates. I like that he has friends that are both boys and girls, but the mothers of these girls need to take it up a notch or two and I just can't quite fathom why.

I do fear for the messages these girls are getting already. Promise not to do that ever with my daughters.


I LOVE the "before and after photos of the pantry shelves" commenter's idea. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

Because, as that brilliant woman said, someone poor reader who is not her (or me) and who has an unhealthy interest in home organization might like to see it, and you really don't want to be inconsiderate, do you?

By the way, I also love Patrick - but in an "I would like to babysit him" kind of way - and am slightly creeped out by the image of one toddler throwing up his/her chin and saying, "How YOU doin'?" to another.

V v funny. V funny.

That was the funniest thing I've read today.

I love Patrick, I really totally do.

If you ever tire of Patrick, you can totally, really, absolutely send him to me. I have good fonts.

He is SO gosh darn cute! Who wouldn't love everything about him?
He knows more font names than I do. lol.

Not Palatino? Or Castellar?

OH Patrick, Patrick, Patrick I'm just crazy about that boy! Fonts, only Patrick would like fonts instead of dinosaurs.
Sorry you are sad, there seems to be a lot of it going around lately. I know the sun will shine for all of us again but waiting for it to happen is pure hell.

How completely adorable! My brother was also a big font fan and would collect his favorite ones in a little notebook. He's now a laser engineer. Who knows, maybe their minds are looking for details and variations. I'm not sure what it is, but it worked for him. I bet Patrick would like the word "Garamond".

With the boyfriend/girlfriend thing and little kids, I think it's that they recognize you can love a boy/girl more than anyone else. It's just a human pattern and it turns on in some people earlier than others and it's natural. Most of my friends were always boys, one more special than the others, but that didn't mean anything more than that until late in high school. As long as they know respect and limits, there's nothing creepy about it. They define it on their emotions and experience, not on an adult levels and definitions. It's hard to tell a child that it's not ok to love whom they love, because then they start depending on you to tell them when it is ok and who with. Why not just let them love each other? They'll change their mind next week. But labeling it "boyfriend/girlfriend" does encourage adult emulation.

Sorry that's so long. Just my 2 cents.

So sorry for the sad. Cheer us all up with Finalized Reproductive Agenda 712, with diagrams and pie charts. Or Play-Doh models, if you like.

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