my week in objects (mostly).

February 18, 2022

1. these grounding words.

{right where i can see them.}

2. this rearranged desk.

{cheers to 18-inch moves and supplies at the ready.}

3. these nearly done things.

{for not being entirely done.}

4. this little couch.

{spent some time this week pondering another one and landed right back here.}

5. these little pigtails.

{and the two-year-old who loves them.}

other things:

now booking!

i want the bagels to stay where the bagels are best.”

theater night at home.

it’s about our life.”

have you tried not writing?

not-so-good bags.

it’s mustard mixed with tomato with a dash of burnt-toast brown.

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  • Reply Lexie February 18, 2022 at 2:30 pm

    10000% agree with the no more goody bags!!!! Such a waste!
    Same with most wedding favors. We created matchbooks because at least they were useful, but honestly.. fine to skip it!

  • Reply Megan February 18, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    The goody bags!!! At the start of the article I was thinking, I’ll give out packets of wildflower seeds! So cute. Then I finished the article. My oldest starts school (hopefully) this fall. I hear what this article is saying and will hold back on the eco-alternatives too. We are also in a low income neighborhood with a low income school, so there feels to be so much nuance around that and the goody bag conversation as well.

  • Reply Megan February 18, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    We had a photo booth so everyone got to decide if they wanted to participate, and if they did they got to take some photos home. Also, we had two of every photo printed and kept the seconds in our own album. For us and our group, that felt fun.

  • Reply Ally February 18, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    I hate goody-bags and yet, for the one birthday party I’ve thrown for my kids so far (a 5th birthday party, for a now-7-year old who eagerly awaits his post-Covid 8th birthday), I caved to a pressure I couldn’t quite identify and gave them out anyway. I worried kids (accustomed to getting a goody bag on the way out?) might have a hard time leaving politely, their parents might stress, blame might get cast my way. I worried about seeming unkind, with my kid being the “only one” to get presents at that party. I just….worried.

    I did the party at a local kiddie pool and so what I ended up doing was getting a bunch of little pool toys to play with, and then telling each kid to grab a watering can toy, a net, and another pool toy of their choice on their way out. It felt like a fairly un-hateful option. I got to buy toys for all the kids to play with, and then get rid of them in one fell swoop. But I definitely paid a lot more money for 15 little watering cans, tiny nets, and assorted other water toys (sponges, weighted fish, etc). I rationalized it by figuring that the rest of the party was basically free, and that I was splurging on the part that mattered to me – giving in a meaningful and hopefully unmiserable way – but I recognize that that was a position of real privilege.

    I am planning to throw a birthday party for each kid (to-be 5 and 8) this summer and already I’m figuring I will probably give a box of fun band-aids as a party favor. I know by now that I’m probably not strong enough to fully shake off the compulsion to give SOMETHING, but I want it to at least be a fairly not-hateful option – while still being fun enough to be exciting for the kids. I don’t know. It’s all so fraught somehow.

    • Reply Diana February 23, 2022 at 2:56 pm

      fun band aids is a GREAT idea honestly. Nothing rocks my kids’ worlds more and they go through a lot of bandaids regardless of whether they are plain or like, Elmo. This seems to be a good attempt at threading the needle here.

  • Reply Liz February 18, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    A-fucking-men (sorry) (not really) to the goody bags article. My kids’ school is guilty of this, too, not just the students. Precovid the school would do a fundraiser race of laps around the school with a tee shirt, stickers, various accumulating junk for the levels of pledges collected, and a rubber bracelet. There is NO NEED. Such waste, of money, of precious resources, of time. This shit gets shipped across oceans and I cannot stand it. My kids know exactly how I feel about it and we don’t do, and never did, goody bags. Candy, sure. But cheap pencils, erasers, bracelets, those stupid junky stamps, crappy crayons, the useless little plastic bags to hold it all, it all makes me want to scream. If any kid has ever left one of my kid’s birthday parties feeling sad because they didn’t get a pair of junky plastic sunglasses or a little slinky, honestly, too bad for that kid. The point was to have fun at your friend’s party! That is enough!

  • Reply Liz February 18, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Years ago I started giving out homemade chocolate chip cookies in a small paper bag in lieu of the crap. Haven’t heard any complaints!

    • Reply Kate February 19, 2022 at 6:27 pm

      this is such a fantastic idea. i will do the same this year! plus, the kiddoes can help make them, thus contributing to an offering to their guests. beautiful!

  • Reply Grace February 19, 2022 at 12:28 am

    I love that print 🙂

  • Reply Gerry February 19, 2022 at 8:43 am

    I am so relieved whenever one of my kids is invited to a “please no gifts” party.

  • Reply Beth February 19, 2022 at 11:11 pm

    A fellow class mom and I have made a pact that a goodie bag (if you feel so compelled to do one) = a lil snack for the ride home. No “stuff.” A friend of mine had her daughter just start preschool and she was stunned to find how much stuff came home with her little one for Valentine’s Day.

    • Reply Ally February 21, 2022 at 1:09 pm

      I have struggled with Valentine’s Day too. This year my 7-year old told me he felt like his cards weren’t good enough because everyone else is giving treats along with a card. I asked if he wanted to give a Hershey Kiss with each card and he said that didn’t feel big enough. I know what he means. My kids came home with bags of Sour Patch Kids, goody bags of chocolates, tins of slime, little buckets of play dough, glow sticks, silly putty, erasers of all sorts of shapes, hand-made salt-dough hearts, and other trinkets. All very thoughtful! Just….a lot, and really hard to explain to my kid why we aren’t doing the same.
      Why aren’t we doing the same, after all? I guess because I don’t like giving if it isn’t intentional. Oh, guess what! that takes AGES to do. I work full-time and I parent full-time and honestly it’s enough to provide enough time and space that my kids get their cards done. I don’t need to add the time investment, or dollar investment, that it would be to give what felt like an intentional gift to what amounts to about 40 classmates, between both kids. I don’t want my kids to come to understand that holidays, for us, mean a trip to the dollar store to try to find whatever is the right price and can passably count as a gift, and buying it up in bulk.
      I told my 7-year old that if he wants to give something alongside his cards, he can maybe give each friend a specific compliment – tell them something he really loves about being friends with them, or a memory from them playing together sometime that makes him happy. He wasn’t super impressed by that idea which felt at the time like it sums up so much. The way that none of us are looking to put any actual work or thought into this, but we need to give something tangible, something someone can point to and say, “See, we gave that.” It just bums me out. And it bums me out too, to think of my kid feeling not quite on par with his classmates, in terms of what he gives. It all just feels hard.

      • Reply Kelly February 23, 2022 at 10:31 am

        Yes ! I wrote the comment below, but your part about only wanting to give with intentionality gets to the crux of my issue too. Solidarity.

  • Reply Kelly February 22, 2022 at 9:59 am

    Totally agree on the goody bags. Unfortunately, they actually became more popular after our school implemented a healthy food policy and said no candy/treats are allowed for birthdays or other celebrations. So parents feel compelled to do something a little special to celebrate. Obviously there is an option for healthy snacks/treats, but then I think we get into the issue of time and resources. We are also in a low income community with most parents working full time jobs and I think ordering a 24 pack of squishies on Amazon is far easier and cheaper than sourcing or making a Pinterest style healthy treat. I’ve definitely been tempted when realizing at the last minute that I need to send something in and I have a work deadline, etc etc etc. It’s all so complicated and frustrating.

  • Reply steph February 26, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    haha i loved ‘have you tried not writing.’ i always doubt my writing right before i post it, over question every sentence and punctuation mark. has my blog just become a litany of my woes? but then the other day i read an old (non blog) draft i had written on the fly and it brought tears to my eyes. writing is one of the many tiny things that make me feel me alive … b/c survival is insufficient 🙂 (yes, i may have just read station eleven lol)

  • Reply Teresa March 8, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    We did a book exchange at our kids’ birthdays. Everyone brings a book from home and then a white elephant-style game to figure out which book goes home with whom.

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