Snickerdoodles and Magic Doors

Sundays are my least favorite day of the week. And this Sunday sucks the most, of all the Sundays, because not only is it the of the week, it’s the one day of the year when the universe steals a whole hour of my life from me. It’s bullshit, y’all.

It ain’t right. We should organize. Something needs to be done.

Friday night is the best.

Sunday is like being at the beginning of a roller coaster, just before you start climbing the hill and you know there’s no getting out of it. Like a cow in a kill chute.

I know you may be shocked to learn this, but I don’t like roller coasters.

I know. Never would have guessed, huh?

Anyhow, it’s been a long weekend. The girls wake up early all the time. They come crawling into my bed because I have a heated mattress pad. It would be fine, except they love to wake me up and fight.

Like, physically, fight over space.

I swear, some days I want to just tell them to duke it out and whoever wins gets all my love and affection and be done with it.

I feel like that’s what it’s all for to begin with. They just don’t understand that love and affection aren’t the same as attention.


Anyhow, I’ve been up since the ass crack of dawn. They’re very independent. This morning, before they woke me up, they decided to come downstairs and get themselves breakfast.

Half a gallon of milk later, they came to wake me up.

So. I guess I can consider that the precursor to courtesy.


I’ve been in my PJs all day. They just got dressed for visitation. I hate days when I don’t have anywhere to be or anything to do because I struggle with motivation without a deadline.

I hate the feeling of being home all day without leaving. It reminds me of the days when the girls were small. God, just day after day after day and nothing new happened. It was like being in Groundhog Day. Which is fun to watch but awful to experience.

We’ve watched movies today and I just got up to do dishes. It felt like a snickerdoodle type of day. I came across a box of snickerdoodle mix from the Cheesecake Factory for a dollar on my last grocery trip. Seemed like the day to make them. I’ve been on a quest for a good snickerdoodle recipe for a while now. They’re my favorite but I was spoiled working at Starbucks. I’ve never been able to find an at-home ‘doodle recipe to stand up to the Starbucks formula.

I have pretty exacting standards for cookies. Texture is a big deal for me. I can’t stand an crunchy cookie. Cookies should have the texture of wet sand.

I’m inflexible on this point, and no amount of discussion will change my mind.

When I got the dough mixed and in the fridge to chill, I ran into the laundry room. Somehow we’ve wound up with only one load this week, which is odd. I usually process three baskets of laundry a week. Sometimes four. I guess if I changed beds today I would have that many. I hate stripping beds, though, and I did for the kids mid-week thanks to the illness from hell.

When I came back out to the kitchen I saw this:

Juniper’s favorite thing is to do this total hippie move that she learned at yoga where she sits in half lotus and touches the tip of her thumb to each finger, saying “peace begins with me.”

She knew better than to put those sneaks on my counter, so she wasn’t in half lotus, but there she was, full hippie mode engaged, waiting for me.

Nerd burger.

I remembered as I started dishes that my dad had sent me a message earlier in the week. “Ask Alexa to open the magic door,” it said. “It’s like Wishbringer.”

My dad has had a computer since the day you could have a computer in your house. We’ve had the internet since I can remember being very very small.

I used to love Oregon Trail. Like I got really into it. I’d spend an hour choosing supplies at the beginning, and naming my children. Then, I’d have extreme emotional reactions when one of them died of dysentery or yellow fever. I’d kill so many pixelated bear and buffalo and feed them, because, in a wagon train, food is love you guys.

One of my favorite things to do on our early IBM – and I’m not kidding, we’re talking floppy disks and green command prompts, y’all – was Wishbringer. It was dungeons and dragons at the edge of the digital age and I ran that game ragged.

So much fun. Anyhow, as I was doing dishes I remembered dad’s message. “Alexa” I said. “Open the magic door.”

It was pretty badass. It’s basically Wishbringer with your mouth instead of a keyboard. I love games like that. I truly attribute my imagination today to being an only child and spending a ton of time in the woods alone, and games like Wishbringer.

The girls rarely give me any time to myself with Alexa.

Again, it’s a control mom’s attention thing.

So they showed up in the kitchen by the time I made my first two choices and followed Alexa into the creepy forest as I bowed out to roll my chilled doodles in sugar and deliver them to the oven.

It was fun, watching them play the game but it was more fun to watch their faces as they pondered which choices to make and the anticipation of seeing the story come alive as they chose it.

Im not a parent who hates technology and screen time out of hand. I don’t mind it, and I think that games and television can be enriching, as long as it’s not mindless. But a lot of it is just that, and I’ve always insisted on at least as much time in a book as in front of a screen every day. As a result, I have two kindergarteners who read to me at night instead of the other way around.

And I love it. Reading is really the surest, quickest way to complex problem solving skills.

Arts and literacy give kids the ability to solve practical problems on the fly. I worry about the current fetish for STEM components in school curriculum. It’s no good only knowing how to solve problems with one answer. You have to develop a comfort with the uncertainty that comes with a task for which there is no right answer, only creative, good solutions.

Because life doesn’t have a teacher’s edition. You can’t just flip to the back or whip out a calculator and find the answers. I get the desire for life to be that way, and I get that a STEM career is probably going to bring a good paycheck, but is that all that matters? Really? Is that what we’ve reduced life to?

I don’t dig it, you guys.

Not one bit.

I don’t know. I’m not so worried about my own kids but I worry about kids who don’t have total nerd faces for moms and how they’ll learn the importance of literacy and creativeness if it’s not a part of their academic lives.

Oh well. They’re now off to visitation and I think I’ll take advantage of the quiet to do a little reading myself. An unexpected change to the memoir has developed since Mike at Authors came across a copy of Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking.” I decided to give up trying to hold off reading it and I’m pretty well into cheaper one, and hooked, as I expected I’d be.

More on that, though, another time.

For now, au revoir.

Peace out, girl scouts.

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