Entries tagged with “Hodie stuff”.

When she was about 5 years old, I took Hodie camping. The outcome was traumatic for both of us in ways that don’t bear exploring too closely, but lead to an intransigence on her part with regard to repeating the experience. Once, years later, in a fit of frustration I said,

“Why do you hate nature!?”


Which, about summed it up.

My assertion that, indeed all of nature was a toilet, failed to convince and for many years she flat refused to participate in any activity which required her to stray more than 200 yards from indoor plumbing.

At some point, and entirely when I wasn’t paying attention, this attitude changed. I believe I have her father to thank, but I’ve never gotten confirmation on the matter. At some point in the last year she has gone from violent protest over any suggested encounters with the environment to imploring me to take her out into it for days on end, and plotting the purchase of a vehicle which will allow her to more or less live there for months.

Indeed, much like my persistent inability to remember that my daughter suffers from virulent and life-long motion sickness until mid-windy-curvy car ride, this information runs so counter to the template I have in my head *Hodie Hates Nature* that I have trouble reconciling the matter.

Every year we have an ongoing conversation about what she would like to do for her birthday. We ran the gamut from London to Disneyland, but ultimately she settled on the last thing I would have predicted; camping.

We went to Kahneeta last year, which is camping in the same way going over Mt. Hood in a station wagon is akin to doing so in a covered wagon. We slept in a mass-produced tee-pee tent with a metal fire pit on a concrete slab. There were vending machines, a heated pool with water slides, and mini-golf. This did not qualify as “nature.”

This year she wanted the real deal; full on tent camping. We settled on a spot up in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest along the Washougal River. It’s unquestionably a sentimental choice, as it holds almost all of the happy memories I have of my own childhood, and she explicitly chose it for that reason.

“If you have to go camping for 2 days with 3 teenage girls I at least want you to get to do it somewhere that makes you happy.”

She’s a peach, my girl.

Apart from the ROUGHLY THREE HOURS we spent battling Friday afternoon traffic to get out of town, the whole experience was really pretty great. Hodie has good taste in people, and I genuinely enjoyed hanging out with her friends. They are both thoughtful and polite, and deeply amused by my frank and unconventional parenting style. They bore with good grace both my shit-flipping and my earnest attempts to talk to them about conscientious self-care which I think bodes well for them as humans.

Clearly Prepared For Wilderness Adventure

Clearly Prepared For Wilderness Adventure

They responded with equanimity to the fly-by-the-seat scenario we were in with regard to finding a campsite – they can’t be reserved in advance so it’s very much take what you can get – and crucially, lack of bathrooms. They were cheerful in the face of a burn ban, and perfectly content with a tealight campfire. They even reacted well to the ultimate decision to cut camping short in favor of a basement slumber party to avoid the increasing threat of rain for which I did not properly prepare.

The samosas and horror movies courtesy of the electricity at home may have helped ease the transition, but the ultimate outcome was a birthday weekend that everyone – myself included – enjoyed. Not since the triumph of The Enchanted Birthday (age 7) have we had such an unmitigated success on a celebratory activity. If nothing else, it will have been enough to alter the notion that Hodie Hates Nature once and for all.


my child is full of intellectual curiosity. she likes to know how stuff works, why things happen, and when dinner is going to be. and i have made it my policy to always be honest with her. sometimes this results in my saying

i am not comfortable talking about this with you, so i’m afraid i have nothing to say

but last week i dodged a bullet of gargantuan proportions which then managed to hit someone else full force. poor Gramma…. respecting the wishes of myself and her son, she tackled a topic i would have been squirmy, but resigned to address myself.

you see, hodie was surfing around the internets on Gramma’s unfiltered internet connection and, well, she saw some things. and these things prompted the following series of questions (as recounted by Gramma)

“What’s come?”
“What’s it made out of?”
“What is it for”
“It makes babies?”
“Why do people sometimes eat it?”
“Does it make you sick if you eat it?”
“Is it like eating babies?”
“Does it taste good?”
“What if I don’t want to eat it?”
“Why are grownup so weird and gross?”
thanks for taking that one for the team Gramma…

i’m generally pretty tolerant of hodie’s wardrobe choices; clothes need to be clean, free from rips or holes, and fit properly. the only issue on which i am a stickler is an appropriate amount of exposed flesh. i’m not raising a prostitot, thanks much.

as a result of this, i sometimes don’t immediately register what she’s wearing. like the day she ended up going to school in what i thought was a white dress which, in reality, was an underslip. whoops.

yesterday when i got home however, something seemed awry. she was wearing a black garment which didn’t as far as i could tell, resemble anything i had ever seen before. it was almost tunic length, but ragged about the edges, with one sleeve longer than the other, and a neckline that extended past her breastbone. she dressed herself after i left for work, so i hadn’t seen her outfit all day, but the longer i looked, the more obvious it became that i knew that neckline from somewhere…

because it belonged to my favorite shirt. sonofabitch.

turns out, she found it in a box of things she thought belonged to someone else, and decided to alter the shirt to her very particular, if bizarre, specifications. what i object to most (apart from the fact i have no hope of replacing this profoundly soft, exquisitely cut & clinging top) is that she decided to execute her design vision without permission. with scissors. normally, if the garment is hers, and she asks, i’m actually happy to let her have at it, or if not, offer something else she can alter. this time, without consulting me, she laid waste to one of my favorites. this did not equal happiness. also a source of consternation, her father’s total lack of attention to the fact that she was wearing this ragged, ill-fitting thing that left her exposed almost to the navel. his response when i asked him about it: we didn’t leave the house, i didn’t think it mattered what she was wearing.

oh, how i recall why he is my former spouse.

so. this little outcome made for a cranky me. the top is irreplaceable. i got it over a year ago and banana republic isn’t exactly archiving their work. frustrated, i abandoned my plans to take the child swimming and instead ditched her to go shopping to salve my wounded wardrobe.

my initial plan was to try and find something similar, but hodie wrecked my shirt out of season. it was a spring weight sheer long sleeve t, and we are full on summer stock at this point. setting the task of replacing this sad lost friend for the moment, i returned to another long standing search: finding the heirs of my lamented steve madden heeled sandals. i misplaced them after a trip to chicago almost two years ago, and haven’t been able to find anything to rival them. i had very particular elements i was looking for in the shoe: narrow heel, open toe, buckle at the ankle, and a degree of strappyness that isn’t quantifiable per se, but like obscenity: i know it when i see it.

but lo, in the mythical land of beautiful shoes (ie, Nordstrom) there they were…

and now, i am smiling again. if wobbling a little. we have a very high heel on our lovely new shoes. and the sucessful end to this search has given me hope that maybe someday, two or three years from now, i’ll find a new t shirt too.