The Belle and the Ball

Dubsie is a singer, a socialite, a dancer, an artist in the medium of crayons, a Magna-Tile architect, a skier, a swimmer, a cyclist. What she evinces zero interest in is anything involving a ball.

Her (male) cousins are worshipful acolytes of the Ball God. Last summer, I watched her six-year-old cousin Victor […]


Entirely Too Responsible

Dubsie was recovering from a spot of cold and a cough, and to get out of the house we went for bubble tea. Sweet taro and tapioca balls; if only that treat had been around when I was a kid.

The tea shop is a new whitewashed place in the neighborhood. We agreed we would […]


The Last Day Before the Rest of Her Life

I’m in a mind to remember of all the things we’ve given away in the last five years. The first to go, I suppose, was the Baby Bjorn bouncer, which we strapped Dubsie into back when she was still bald. Then we ditched the reusable cloth G-Diapers — what a disaster that turned out to […]


Dubsie Learns to Read

The milestones for Dubsie are so tightly packed that you can’t really call them milestones; call them footstones, or inchstones.

In the last six weeks, she has mastered her balance bike (and is now insisting on an upgrade to pedals); committed to memory significant chunks of the soundtrack to the musical […]


Why Do You Cigarette?

Our neighbor Jerry is a lifetime smoker. He often sits on his stoop while he burns away, and one day, while playing in the yard, Dubsie approached him with a question.

Photo credit: iStock via Daily News

Why do you cigarette?

Because I made a bad choice when I was young.

Do you […]


Learning to Glare

A new expression has entered Dubsie’s facial vocabulary. She is learning to give the stinkeye, the scowl, the glower, what in Spanish they call la mirada asesina (the assassin’s stare).

She thinks it is a weapon best deployed at close range. She climbs onto my chest in bed and stares into my eyeballs from an […]


Service With a Smell

Granny diapers are the look for the younger set this year.

We have gotten Dubsie in the habit of sleeping in her own room, but she doesn’t stay there. At 2 or 3 a.m. I hear the door open and find that she’s standing attentively at my bedside with a white rectangle in […]


Skinny Skinny Thunder Thighs

The game starts in bed on a Saturday morning with Dubsie lying face down on top of her Mummy. Dubsie waits in silent anticipation.

“Skinny,” Mummy declares, wrapping her hands around Dubsie’s forearms.

Next she touches the neck. “Skinny,” she says with a scientist’s precision.

“Skinny,” she proclaims, grabbing the folds of Dusbie’s armpits.



You’d Better Watch Out

We didn’t bother prepping Dubsie for her first visit to Santa, because we knew it would be disappointingly brief. There would be no lap and no photo, and Santa would not get the chance to ask Dubsie what she wanted for Christmas because there would be too much crying.

We know this because last year […]


Wrecking Balls Inside My Brain

Out of nowhere, from the back seat of the car, Dubsie yells “wrecking balls inside my brain!” and when we turn to look she grins like she’s done something awesome.

We look at each other and mouth the question — where did she get that? — and our sweet family drive is suddenly tainted by […]