I JUST SIGNED WITH AN AGENT!
Y’all! I did it. That proposal I’ve been working on for the last few months — the one about motherhood and race — has landed your girl an agent. I’m thrilled. THRILLED! What a perfect way to head into American Thanksgiving: feeling full and grateful.
A big and loving “thank you” to my family, especially my husband and wise li’l sister, for the constant support and encouragement. Having those folks in my corner, standing right at my side cheering, listening, offering me kind worlds and direction, means everything to me. With them, I’m better, smarter, happier, and ready to slay dragons, if need be.
And you, MMM Crew, thanks for sending all the good vibes. It helped!
Normally I would show you my dance party right now. No, really. I would have my MacBook camera pointed directly on my wicked moves. (In fact, that might still happen.) But we’re in the car right now, and although we are indeed jammin’ on the ones, typing on my phone with intermittent service has proven to be its own janky challenge. So I’ll end it here, excited and joyful, and turning my attention towards scoring a book deal. That’s next! Send those good vibes, friends.
Wishing you all a happy holiday!
I’ve finally finished the book proposal, y’all! And, yes, I’m shimmying in my chair as I type. Now comes the next hill: sending this jammy out. So, your good wishes and positive vibes are still greatly appreciated.
It’s definitely been a process writing this proposal. Very different from writing a novel. It takes discipline and forethought and vision. You have to know what you want to say, and be clear about it. Vague or cluttered doesn’t cut it. Writing this thing also takes time, focus and nerve. You’re not just talking this thing; you’re walking it.
I’m happy that I set out to do this project — albeit a full year-and-a-half after having the initial idea — and I’m really proud that I actually finished it.
Speaking of feel-good moments, have you seen this sweet video by photographer and father Benjamin Scot Miller? It’s the ”story of a mother’s love for her baby,” and it will warm your heart. Baby boy Ward Miles was born very premature, and his father captured the little one’s incredible fight for life.
Take the seven minutes, hit play and melt.
It was the chimney guy making a casual observation that sent me blathering in an excuse-heavy spin, making it very clear that I needed to get a handle on this situation. My secret “shame” had gone on long enough. Time to do something about it. Time to come clean.
OK, the confession: My son drank his warm milk out of a bottle until he was 4.5 years old. How old is now? Oh, uh, he’s 4.5 years old.
To explain …
Nice gentleman comes by the house to clean the chimney and check the fireplace. As we ‘re wrapping up the visit, he hands me a company coloring book for my child. He’s an observant guy and noticed the little clues and tiny shoes by the door. As we move through the kitchen so I can grab a pen, he notices the baby bottles drying on the counter.
“Oh, looks like you have another, even littler one. Should I give you two coloring books?” he says, reaching into his bag. “Although, at that age, I don’t know if there’s much coloring going on, huh?” He chuckles and gestures to my private scandal posed there by the sink. “The bottles,” he says, as if I didn’t know. UGGGH!
That’s when I start …
I know, I know! It’s not the worst thing, but we’re gearing up to stop, and with the recent move, we didn’t want to make too many big changes for him, and it’s just for comfort, it’s his routine, in the morning when he gets up and then at night after the bath and stories, and the snuggling in the morning is nice, and it’s not the worst thing, it’s a pain washing them these days, but we’ll figure it out, and he’s not going to head to college still drinking from one, right?
The poor chimney guy must have been thinking, “Now, where is the closest exit.” He was gracious enough to not let the fear wash over his face, and just smiled (though a bit nervously) and nodded while finishing up his paperwork.
Finally, I said: “Oh, one coloring book is fine. Thanks.”
The Youngster and I have had honest conversations about his leaving the bottle behind. He even said that when he turned 4 it would be a good time to move on from them. Then he turned 4 … aaannnd informed me that he wouldn’t be ready until later. Like, when he turns 5.
After the chimney moment I decided to take the reins back from this kid. I told my son that after Halloween it would be brand new month and the perfect time to start a new milk routine — one that did not include the bottles. I said we’ll pack up the last of the baby items (the potty and bottles), since he was an official big boy. After some pointed questions (Where would we send these items? Why do other babies would them? Which babies, exactly — like, name names, woman — would use them?), The Youngster agreed that starting November as a true big boy was a good idea.
Every few days I would look at the calendar with him, remind him that after the fun of Halloween we would be packing up the baby stuff. He was hyped, nodding and echoing my enthusiasm. “Yeah, goodbye, baby stuff!”
Then the first bottle-free night came. The routine went as usual: bath, jammies, and story time with warm milk. We used a water bottle that he picked out in his favorite color. After a few, “I think when I turn 5 this will be better. The bottle still works because I’m only four-and-a-half,” the guy finally took the to cup and drank all the milk.
High-fives all around!
That is until the next morning when there was a fresh production about the problems with this new system. “It’s a water bottle, after all,” the kid actually said. (It took everything not to crack up when he hit me with that one!) We talked it through and he drank a little milk that morning, complaining with every little sip.
We’re still working on it. However, there’s one thing I know for sure: those baby bottles cannot return. In fact, I packed them up and pushed them in some obscure corner of the cold garage to make sure that, in a moment of frustration, I don’t step backwards and go the assumed easy route.
I’m sticking with this. We’ll reach cruising altitude soon. And when we get there, I might just pull out that chimney guy’s coloring book and frame it.
Do you have any “baby stuff” routines that you’re holding on to with your little big kid? Care to ‘fess up? No judgment. No coloring books.
So, I’m sitting here with an ice pack on my lower back and a hot compress on my neck. Oh, and in about 40 minutes I need to go administer my second round of medicated drops to my eyeballs.
Yeah. This week has been glorious! Hashtag IsItOverYetPlease.
Anyway, I’m still working away on the book proposal and determined to finish the whole thing by early November. (Send all well wishes and good writing vibrations my way c/o the internetz, please and thanks.) This means I’m neck-deep in all things books. And earlier this week, I read about this slightly odd/possibly cool new trend in children’s board books: literary classics adapted for toddlers. We’re talking Moby Dick, Romeo & Juliet, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Anna Karenina … for your book-nibbling two-year-old.
Listen, I’m a huge proponent of early intros to reading for kids. I’ve been reading to my son since he was in my belly, and now, at 4.5 years old, we read three books together every single night. And I’ve read and agree with all the studies showing the benefits of reading to and with your children.
But Moby Dick, though? Many full-grown adults haven’t even conquered that one.
Seems a little twee, if not excessive to adapt heavy and often complicated stories for the under-3 crew. However, publishers behind the kiddie classics series assure that they are not about to unfold the knotted plots and complex characters in these stories, but instead use them as a “springboard to explain counting, colors or the concept of opposites.”
I don’t know, I’m still not totally convinced. I mean, the cover art looks cute, especially the needle-felt figures on the Cozy Classics, but Huckleberry Finn for an 18-month-old? Yeah, let me have a look at that book first.
What do you think? Cute or little bit extra?
Sound off below! I’ve got two fun books to giveaway, so two lucky MMM readers can walk away with either:
1. Big Book of Why: Crazy, Cool & Outrageous: Full of more than 1,000 fascinating facts, the book answers the many questions these young’uns like to ask and ask and ask and ask, like, “Why do I have nightmares?” “Why are oceans blue?” and “Why do people cry when they cut onions?”
The Artist’s Way for Parents: An older friend and mentor recommended Julia Cameron’s bestseller, The Artist’s Way, ages ago when I was trying to make some decisions about next steps in my media career. It was a total gift for me back then, and I in turn recommended it to other friends who were finding their creative way. Now Cameron’s added another book to her collection, this one focusing on parents and their children from birth to age twelve.