Getting Gritty

If you ask Angela Lee Duckworth, she’ll tell you that successful people are not the smartest, the prettiest, nor the most privileged.  Rather, they are the ones who have the most grit.

Luciana, your life will give you lemons, lemonade and everything in between.  I hope that along with kindness, generosity and humor, we can show you the merits of tenacity and perseverance.  Not that I am the paradigm of grit, but I certainly do admire it in others.

You, my kiddo, will collect many bumps, bruises, breaks and bloody body parts as you learn to stand, walk, run, ride, catch, flip, dribble, serve and spar.  Each one will be a badge of honor for the life you’ve lived.

Many doors will shut in your face when selling Girl Scout cookies or cookie dough or Christmas baubles.  Even more when applying for colleges, scholarships and memberships.  More still when looking for that perfect career.  Each one will be a badge of honor for the life you’ve lived.

People will break your tender heart: cut you from a sports team, take something that isn’t theirs, or defenestrate your friendship unexpectedly.  Each instance will be a badge of honor for the life you’ve lived.

Your life will present you with a myriad of choices: steal the gum, cheat on the test, get in a fight.  Sometimes you will choose wisely and sometimes not.  Sometimes you will face consequences and atone accordingly.  Each time will be a badge of honor for the life you’ve lived.

There will be moments when your fear is so present that your heartbeat thumps in the back of your throat.  But then you’ll stick up to that bully, give that graduation speech or protect your sister in arms from enemy fire.  Each moment will be a badge of honor for the life you’ve lived.

Luciana, I know that you will earn those gold stars, blue ribbons and first place trophies.  But I also hope that you get to applaud your competitors from the sidelines every once in a while, are rejected for a role in the school play, get mortified, experience loss, are dumped, miss the bus, get an “F”, and, by golly, sing the wrong verse of the National Anthem in front of a fully packed stadium.  Each will be a badge of honor for the life you’ve lived.

Teddy Roosevelt said “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”  He also said “The unforgivable crime is soft hitting”, but let’s just focus on the courage piece for the time being…



Mama K to Mama C: "I read your last post. You spelled Porsche wrong."
Mama K to Mama C: “I read your last post. You spelled Porsche wrong.”
"Derrrrr... okey dokey."
Mama C furrows her brow and continues to play the kazoo on a wooden crate.

Ladies, start your engines.

Mama K and baby whale
Mama K and baby whale

Call me an optimist. Or a sucker. It was an idealistic hope of ours that we could cleverly (passively?) avoid the rampant competition that comes with today’s brand of parenting for at least a few more years. We should have known when the first daycare we visited (with the organic lunches and 98% Ivy League placement) had a 7-month waiting list.

Other than that, we had hoped to sit out of the (rug) rat race for a while longer. Unfortunately, our naivete was revealed to us last week. Twice.

First, Kate was stopped by the neighbor during a dog walk. She surmised that it was more of a reconnaissance mission based on the tone of the neighbor’s bragging and the pointed, rapid-fire questions asked. He, the driver of the Porche, and his wife, the Land Rover pilot, have two kids who just love the local elementary school. It has a Spanish immersion program. We should probably sign up now if we want any hope of getting our kid a space. Also, we are invited to set out lawn chairs with the group of hip parents who regularly sun themselves while their kids all play with their expensive toys in the lawn around them.

Then we tried to sign Little Bug up for swim class. We were told that spring enrollment began at 9:00 AM on March 9. The fact that they gave us a specific time should have clued me in as to how crazy this all can get. Well, we missed that appointment, but it turns out that it wasn’t our turn, anyway. You see, the timeframe for NEW registrants is three days later. Silly Rookies. You know what? We can just fill up our bathtub and find baby swim lessons on YouTube.

Speaking of which, today’s gem:


A text pops up from Lucie’s Godmother:

You have an almost 1 year old. Eek! Any plans for the big day?

My Reply:

Nope. We are not that kind of family.


Can I make a ‘Smash Cake’? [without waiting for a reply] Would you like us to come to you or would you like to come here? Her bday is Easter this year. 🙂

I then received a photo of a happy, 1/2 dressed baby straddling a very big blue cake.  Frosting was everywhere.

Godmother clarifies:

Picture Asian girl though…


She can smash a tower of blocks. Wasting sugar is no laughing matter in this house.


It’s not a waste. It’s very entertaining and can go on the blog.


Oh my Gosh.  I’m rescinding your guardianship.  Calling the attorney first thing tomorrow.


Did you ask Kate about the smash cake?  I feel like she would think it was a fun idea.


She is just laughing at you and me. [Translation: she is being neutral.]


Well, we are letting our baby cry it out right now.  He’s been going for 9 min and 28 seconds so you may be making the right call with taking away our guardianship.


Boys are different.  He’ll be okay.  Can I put some of our conversation online?

Culinary Curiosities

Not to cause anyone PTSD from their SAT days, but what do the following things have in common?

– pancakes

– Cheerios

– banana

Answer: foods babies eat.  Lucie receives these both at home and daycare.  Continue.

What about the following?

– chili mac n’ cheese

– bean burrito

– Teriyaki beef

If you answered “foods adults eat that Lucie is also fed at daycare”, you are, unfortunately, correct.  Other acceptable answers are: “reasons she goes #2 every time they change her at daycare vs. once a day at home”, “okay, the first time is funny, but this is just starting to get weird”, or “Dear Lord…” 

Now how about this?

– boiled carrots

– cereal

– empty bottles

The correct answer is “objects Lucie throws across the room to express disdain, test limits, or simply because she’s finished eating” (in respective order).  

For fun, take a look at fine dining for kids at  Thank goodness this is not a real restaurant, rather a poke at the foodie culture at large.  However, the Lunchables charcuterie sounds interesting.  Not so much for the hot dog/ketchup reduction/mustard water.

However, I wouldn’t put it past the daycare center to slap this on Lucie’s plate next week.  Should we tell them we are vegetarians?