What We Talk About When We Talk About Robbers

October 10th, 2019

Me, to Phoebe, as we’re lying in her bed after books: “What would you like for lunch tomorrow?”

Phoebe: “Mama, are robbers asleep right now?”

This is not just her usual absurd non sequitur. She has been obsessed with robbers lately. I am not entirely sure where this came from, but for the last week or so she’s been asking dozens of questions a day about robbers. 

Robbers, for me, is such a broad term that I have difficulty answering her questions truthfully. I overthink everything.

. . . . .

“Mama, what do robbers look like?”

“Well technically they could look like anyone, even you or me.”

“So are you a robber?”

. . . . .

 I back myself into a corner without even realizing it.

“What do robbers like to steal?”

“Um, mainly jewels I think?” Then, I realize she has been collecting “jewels” — shiny garbage objects she finds on the ground — for a while now. Oops.

. . . . .

“Mama, is the front door locked so robbers can’t get in?”

“Yes, of course!”

“What about the porch door?”

“That doesn’t have a lock.”

Thinks for a second. “Do robbers steal sunscreen, bug spray, and rainboots?” (These are some of the things we keep on the unlocked porch.)               

. . . . .

The whole thing feels like a test I am failing miserably. 

I am 99% sure this is a normal phase children go through and 1% worried I really messed her up psychologically last week when I read her an excerpt from my adult novel about King Philip’s War. Lesson learned for me on that one. Back to Alice in Wonderland for the one-millionth read.

. . . . .

Incidentally, just a note on the Voting with My Dollar project. It’s still going strong. Although I initially started this project with the intention of making consumer choices that wouldn’t feed money directly into the pockets of Trump supporters and the NRA, there is, of course, also the environmental component.

A few recent things:

Joslyn McIntyre, freelance writer, Guilford VT

  • For Halloween, I’ve been sourcing non-plastic options as well. This did, unfortunately, mean that I had to turn to Amazon to fulfill on my daughters’ costume dreams without contributing to landfill. Everything seems to be such a trade-off when it comes to the environment.

  • After reading this bananas New Yorkers article “Can a Burger Help Solve Climate Change?” I became clammy with fear that I am going to be forced between eating bioengineered meat (so gross) and becoming a vegan. I actually read it twice because it was so interesting and scary to think about what being a meat eater means for the environment.

    Although I am what I consider a “smart, conscientious” meat eater  — I don’t do factory farmed meat at all and try to buy from local farmers and vendors whenever possible — after reading this article, I am horrified to find out that grass-fed beef is actually worse for the environment than cows fattened on grain right up until their slaughter.

    Feeling very confused about it all, and I have no answers. But I remain committed to being a conscientious meat eater for now.

I am also still regularly thinking about ways to spend my money wisely in every way. 

. . . . .

What I’m eating:

Soup season is upon us! Making soups at least weekly. 

What I’m listening to:

Dax Shephard dives deep with the Avett Brothers for his podcast Armchair Expert for a solid 2 hours of indulgent Avett crushery.

What I’m reading:

I despise when people use the hashtag #blessed or otherwise refer to being “blessed” instead of simply saying fortunate or lucky. This article by Scary Mommy does a good job of articulating why: because the actual dictionary meaning of blessed is “divinely or supremely favored.” When you refer to yourself as blessed, what you’re really saying is that God loves you better than his other children. Now I don’t believe in God one iota, but it’s rude, if you ask me.

What I’m working on:

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