things i have learned about small children

– If you hold out your hand, many children will reflexively take it and let you lead them somewhere, no questions asked. This is disturbing, but useful.

– Children are like runaway tractor trailers when they’re off task. They gather huge amounts of momentum, and it takes a huge amount of effort to get them to reverse their course. Ex.: To make a child who is running to the front of the room go back to her table, you must speak to her using an amount of enthusiasm equal to or greater than the energy she is using to run. You must will her to go back to her table with every fiber of your being.

– Giving them a small pile of crayons or a packet of fruit snacks brings them into a state of bliss.

– People with short legs move faster than people with long legs. This is counter-intuitive.

– Games like Simon Says are really just ploys to keep children focused on you so they don’t run away.

– Watching a 4-year old girl dance like Britney Spears is one of the scariest things I have ever seen.

the dress
There’s a wedding dress hanging in my bedroom. It’s not mine. It’s Amanda’s. She came to visit me this weekend, and we spent the afternoon at a bridal shop in Maryland, wading through the layers of white poofy dresses to find just the right one. We were surrounded by people trying on these amazing, intricate dresses. Ordinary-looking people, who’d come in wearing t-shirts and sneakers, were transformed into bridal princesses. It was weird. Playing dress-up, institutionalized into a bridal store chain.

I think we found the perfect dress. It’s strapless, simple, and off-white, with slightly darker ivory bands at the top and around the hem and train. I never understood why people cried when they saw their daughters or best friends in wedding dresses. But even though I wasn’t crying or anything today, I can understand it. When it’s the right dress, a dress that looks like it was made for her, everything just clicks. Wow. She’s actually getting married.

assorted complaints
I am sitting here drinking warm milk because it’s the only thing I can think to do that will be comforting. Last night was not so much a trauma as a light chill that seemed stuck in my bones today. Small things are weighing on me. My computer will not run any of my programs because the operating system is being dumb. I need OS X. That would be lovely…. Our summer subletters left us (me, specifically) with a huge electric bill. That needs to be paid. …I need to buy a pair of glasses. I ordered a pair from my optician at home, and they arrived with cracked lenses. Not good. …I need to send in all sorts of paperwork to defer my student loans after my grace period ends. Haven’t done that yet. Have to write thank-you notes, send birthday cards, all sorts of things that don’t seem like a burden at all when you’ve got a life set up and in working order. But right now, they’re adding up.

So I’ll just sit here and drink warm milk and try to focus on the important things. Like going to sleep.

life at a nonprofit
The temperature in our office today was about 55-60 degrees. I would like to wear gloves, but that could make typing a little tricky. Apparently the landlord hasn’t turned on the heat yet. It’s the end of October! Sigh.