Out here in Los Angeles it is hot (100 degrees) and smokey (from fires). The La Canada - Flintridge fire is kicking up all kinds of atomic-bomb looking mushroom clouds that are settling over the mountains like end-of-the-world size ice cream scoops. The fire is about 15 miles away from us, but I know that fellow Californian and writer Tina Ferraro (The ABC's of Kissing Boys, Delacorte) was evacuated. Thoughts are with you, Tina!
Stupidly, I went outside and ran three miles this morning. I'll probably cough up some weird-looking stuff later. It's been over 100 degrees for four straight days, so I've held off on exercising. Then two days ago the fires really kicked up and smoke engulfed the sky and today it has all come together in a white-hot Armageddon image. But this morning, I needed to run. So I did. I coughed a little, but the sweat was worth it.
Later in the morning, to stay indoors and out of the heat and smoke, we went shopping. So we were standing in Gap Kids and Wife was looking at clothes, and suddenly Blondie started whimpering and backing into a rack of dresses. Finally, she wrapped herself in a long black dress and hid. She peeked out and her bottom lip started trembling and then she went into full-on flip-out mode. Tears and pointing and more tears. What was she pointing at?
She finally said, "I want to carry you," which translates to, "I want you to carry me," in Blondie language.
So Blondie is now scared of mannequins. And every store we went to, Eddie Bauer, American Eagle, Macy's (this store has like 700 mannequins per 1000 square feet), Gap, the usual mall collection of retailers, Blondie stood outside the front doors and screamed to be picked up, like she was entering some kind of mannequin-filled haunted house. Then, as we walked around the stores, she clung to my neck with her head on my shoulder. Daughter's head on your shoulder, not so bad, but after five stores it starts to get old and your arms begin to shake.
No words or explanations helped the situation. Not even the time I said, "Sweetie, they're mannequins and they're not real. They're plastic, like all your toys at home."
Blondie just whimpered some more and said, "Mannequins are toys?"
"Yes!" I said. "Mannequins are toys!"
That only lasted for one store, then Blondie was back to her old new-self, whimpering with her head on my shoulder.
Moral #1: Kids change. From day to day. From hour to hour.
Moral #2: Mannequins are toys.
Moral #3: When you're two and a half, even the mall can be a scary place.
Running: feeling good, averaging 12-15 miles per week.
Writing: revising second half of middle grade novel, first 15 pages sent to editor from SCBWI summer conference.
School: prep week!