There's this thing called National Novel Writing Month, abbreviated to the aesthetically questionable NaNoWriMo, wherein thousands of individuals set themselves the personal challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel during the calendar month of November.
Last year was, I believe, the first such event. The second begins tomorrow.
[ETA: My mistake. It's actually been going on for a number of years now. Shame on NaNo for not making that clear on their "about" page...]
I will not be participating.
I once had an idea for a novel but not once, ever, the inclination to pursue it.
But there's this other thing, devised by an entirely different set of folks. They're calling it NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month, naturally) and the somewhat more modest goal is to produce one blog post a day for the calendar month of November.
Sheryl's doing it. Kit's doing it. And look, so're Erin and The Teacher. I'm thinking I'll do it as well.
So see you tomorrow.
(Oh, and about Yoda. I know you're wondering. There were two versions of the logo - the official one was kind of a "Post or Die" theme, and involved a handgun. This was the non-violent alternative logo. May the Force be with us all.)
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
There's this thing called National Novel Writing Month, abbreviated to the aesthetically questionable NaNoWriMo, wherein thousands of individuals set themselves the personal challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel during the calendar month of November.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
So I'm sitting in a car on Friday, waiting for some people and chatting with a very interesting person about lots of different things.
As I am wont to do, I commented that I am a fan of technology. I love that I can make international phone calls for 9¢ a minute. I love that I can take a picture of my kid, edit and tweak it, E-mail it, post it online, or, if I need an actual print, get an 8x10 enlargement for under a buck. And when the one-hour picture is ready in 15 minutes and the guy at the photo place calls my cell phone to let me know that I can stop back by when we're done at the food court, I like that too.
But I digress. I was sitting in this car talking about technology and doing the old, "if we didn't have computers or CDs or VCRs or cell phones or digital watches or color TV when I was a kid, imagine what my kids will have when they're 37 years old."
And that was the end of that conversation.
Why? Because Jerry, the guy I was talking to, went all slack-jawed and couldn't get over my age. Now, like my father before me, I do make a young impression. (Wasted though it may be on someone who doesn't care that much.) I get a lot of "Really? I figured you were..." with guesses six or eight years younger. Maybe ten. Whatever. But this guy made such a big deal out of it and stressed so hard that he didn't want to offend me, that I began to wonder if he thought I was older than I am. Again, whatever.
Now we had only met a few days before, but we had spent quite a bit of time talking about a whole range of topics, and I had mentioned that I've lived in Costa Rica for 17 years, and that I have kids aged 5 and (almost) 8, although he hasn't met them.
After a couple more preemptive apologies I finally got him to admit that he'd taken me for 22 or 23, and that he figured I'd been a young mother. I guess I could have had Robin at 14 (I was actually 29). Maybe even married at 10. But moving to Central America for college at age 5 is pushing it a little.
Offended? No. Bemused? You betcha.
And just imagine if I wore makeup. "Is that Oil of Olay? Quick! Get it out of here! You want me to disappear right back into the womb for crying out loud?"
Posted by Jennifer at 2:47 PM
Friday, October 27, 2006
Our family had the opportunity to help someone as they reached the end of a very difficult situation. As you have noticed, it took up most of our time while it was going on.
It was a great experience for us and a happy ending for the people involved. And as a bonus for you, it resulted in quite a lot of very cute pictures being taken of my girls. (Although I should warn you that a lot of them were taken by the girls...)
In return for your patience these past two weeks, here are 25 of my favorites:
Monday, October 16, 2006
The four most recent searches that led people to my blog:
"Quick-dry paper mache"
"Fixed thermostat in car still running sluggish"
"Transition songs about trees for kindergarteners"
Coasting Richly...striving to provide a little something for everyone.
And also, could I just say that it is not fair that people who spend 95% of their time speaking a second language end up sounding drunker sooner than the other people in any given social group.
Or so I'm told.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
...my name would be Tippy Bayside. What would yours be?
Hint: Take the name of your first pet and the first street you lived on.
At least, that's the formula according to Will & Grace and, interestingly, the novel I just started. (And, for that matter, an archived post on one of the blogs I've got linked in the sidebar. You really must click over there and read the comments.)
Actually, I'm well aware that mine does not strictly follow the formula, but I don't know the right street name because my family moved before I was old enough to bother with such things. Corrections are welcome (Mom? Dad?) as long as I get to keep Tippy.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Alex's cousin Elberth* is a good guy. He's the guy you call to climb up on the roof and clean the gutters. Or paint the roof. He mows the lawn if we don't have time to do it ourselves, trims the bamboo, puts up shelves, paints stuff and hauls rubble off the property in wheelbarrows. He's usually the guy Alex takes along on survey jobs to clear brush, hold the prism pole, etc.
Alex's cousin Freddy is also a good guy. He's an electrician.
Alex's cousin Randall is yet another good guy. He's had different kinds of jobs at different times, but has been apprenticed to Freddy on an as-needed basis for a long time. He's not a licensed electrician, but he has some study and plenty of experience.
Alex, in addition to being my favorite among these various good guys, is a land surveyor by trade. He'll also dive in there and put his hand to whatever needs done around the place, often calling Elberth to come over and lend a hand if it's a big job.
When Alex has an idea, he likes to make it happen. Right then and there. Me, I'll talk about a good idea but then tend to let it sit for a long, long time. Sometimes forever. There may be a happy medium to be found, but that's a topic for another time.
So on Sunday Alex mentioned that we could try moving the stereo down to a spot under the stairs. For several reasons, I thought that was a good idea, worth a try at least; but then we noticed that there was no outlet under there. Alex went straight out to the shed and got an extension cord long enough to reach around from the playroom. I said I'd rather leave the stereo where it was until we could hook it up right. He said okay.
He said he would call Elberth to come over and install the outlet. I said, How about Randall? Elberth does good work with a lot of things, but he's not really a "measure twice, cut once" kind of guy. He'll go ahead and make a heavy pencil mark on the kitchen ceiling (say) before being absolutely certain that that spot will work for the new light fixture. Or he'll grab some leftover electrical wire from the shed and work for 45 minutes to thread it through a teeny hole and across to where it needs to be hooked up, and only then discover that it's not quiiiiiite long enough to run unobtrusively down the corner and over to the new bathroom lamp but has to hang diagonally across the wall.
Not that he wouldn't (probably) do a perfectly good job with the outlet. It's just that he's the guy you want trimming the bamboo and painting the roof. That's all I'm saying. Alex agreed that Elberth isn't, in Alex's own words, "detail oriented." I was, however, to discover that, detail orientation notwithstanding, Elberth had something Randall could not compete with: he was available the very next day.
The power company, you see, had announced that the power would be out all day on Monday for repairs to the main lines. We saw four or five power company trucks out working on the lines when we drove down to take the kids to school. I went on to the gym and when Alex picked me up afterwards, he had Elberth with him and had already bought the new outlets (he wanted an outdoor one too, since none were installed when the house was built.) They wanted to take advantage of the power being out to go ahead and install the outlets. (It being so very difficult to turn off the power oneself.)
Well, whatever. I did turn off all the breakers in case the power came back earlier than expected. I also gave them my 2¢ regarding outlet placement, then I went about my own business. At Alex's suggestion, he and I got lunch for everybody by reheating leftovers on the grill and cooking some steaks he had bought the day before. Joanna, who was here cleaning, finished and went home. Elberth finished and Alex took him home and went to pick up the girls. I turned the breaker switches back on and read my book.
The power didn't come back on until early evening, just as Alex was pulling in with the girls. I would normally have started supper when they got home, but the kids wanted to play outside with Alex, so I put it off. Then the power went back off, just as it started to rain and get dark. Alex and I debated what do do for dinner and he really seemed to want to fire up the grill again. Plus, having yet to master the art of selective information, he had already mentioned it to the girls and they were excited, so that's what we did.
The lights came back on as we were eating dinner, but we had so many candles lit he went ahead and turned them off and we finished eating as we were. I took a bath while the girls got ready for bed and watched their video, then they were tucked in and we watched a video and went to bed.
The next morning was Tuesday, so Alex had to leave early for a class he's taking in San Jose. I took the girls to school and went to the gym as usual. When I got back home I showered and had a snack, then came upstairs to check the E-mail. Unfortunately, this was not possible because there was no power in my office.
I checked the fusebox and one of the switches was still off. I turned it back on, but it immediately flipped off again. I wondered if it had somehow been affected by the comings and goings of the public power supply the day before. I've lost an appliance or two to that before, although never a breaker switch. Then for some reason I checked Alex's office (which is directly below mine, and where they installed one of the new outlets) and found that the power was out there too. Ahh, maybe the switch is just doing its job.
So I called Randall and arranged for him to come fix my house that afternoon. (When I told Alex on the phone that I was having Randall come fix it, he asked why I didn't just call Elberth to come back. I explained my reasoning, which included the word "prudent.")
I stopped by and got Randall when I picked the girls up from school. He came up to the house and found the short in the second outlet. The one that, while I didn't observe the entire process, I did at one point see Elberth hammering into place because it didn't fit right in the hole he had made. Actually, the short circuit was in the source outlet, on the other side of the wall from the newly installed one. Randall fixed it and was ready to leave, when we noticed that the new outlet under the stairs was now protruding an inch and a half from the wall. When Randall opened it up, he found that the box that holds the wiring inside the wall wasn't actually screwed in to anything. And the wires from the source outlet were so short that there was no room to work with them anyway. So he fixed that too.
I got the girls back into the car and took Randall home then brought the girls back home, stopping first to pay the electric bill at the grocery store. It was raining when we got there, so after parking the car I sat for a second making sure I had turned off the various wipers (front & back), defrosters (front & back), headlights, etc. I explained to the girls that they needed to get out of the car quickly because I would be standing in the rain for however long it took them. They did a good job and we went into the store. Somehow, though, I neglected to do the one thing I always always do when parking the car, and that is to pat my back pocket and make sure the keys are in there.
I thought maybe one of the guys at the store would be able to help me get into the car, but that apparently isn't a service they provide. They did permit me one phone call and fortunately Alex was on the bus heading into town and agreed to take a cab over to the store and rescue us. I got the girls hot chocolate and a sandwich to split while we waited, and Alex showed up much sooner than I thought he would, given that it was rush hour and raining.
We got in the car and came home, then decided that the best thing for dinner would be to go to the bar/restaurant across the street. The girls could round out their dinner, we could have a couple of beers and Alex could watch the second half of a soccer game that was only being shown on cable, which we don't have.
That was Tuesday. Yesterday Alex didn't have class and wanted to spend the day together, so although we did check the E-mail and send several messages to clients of his, I didn't get a full complement of computer time in.
I spent this morning making lunch and doing some spot-cleaning because I was going to have lunch guests. Unfortunately, their car broke down. So now I have a really big pot of soup and a fairly clean house. And the afternoon free (well, until I have to get the kids at 3:00. Hey, look at the time.)
And that's where the hell I've been all week. In case, you know, anybody was wondering.
* The H is silent. So's the T, pretty much.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Friday, October 6
5:30 - Wake up, sort of.
5:45 - Alex gets up, girls come into my bed.
6:00 - Get up, send girls for slippers, make bed.
6:05 - Round up girls, take their hands, go downstairs, let go of hands.
6:10 - Uncover parrot cage, open downstairs curtains. Start Alex's coffee.
6:15 - Get out girls' plates, loaf of bread, various spreads. Alex indicates oatmeal he has gotten out of fridge for their breakfast. That won't be enough for both of them, so leave the bread fixings out. Mention to Alex that the Sponge Bob melamine plates are not microwave safe.
6:20 - Fix usual granola with raisins & bananas, start my coffee.
6:25 - Steam milk & finish preparing my coffee, call girls to breakfast.
6:30 - Eat, remind girls to eat.
6:35 - ", " " " ".
6:40 - ", " " " ".
6:45 - Finish eating, remind girls to eat.
6:50 - Girls are done with their small portions of oatmeal, don't want more food. (Really?) Send them upstairs to get dressed, etc.
7:00 - Get dressed, brush teeth. Alex follows up with girls' morning rituals.
7:15 - Remind Alex he wanted to hang clothes outside rather than use dryer. Discuss location of clothespins and condition in which they are likely to be found. (I don't do clotheslines. I'm sorry, I just don't.)
7:20 - Wash breakfast dishes. Alex finds clothespins.
7:25 - Pack Robin's lunch - a banana and last night's pizza. Julia doesn't need a lunch and neither of them needs a snack because they have shared snack and Julia comes home early on Fridays.
7:30 - Make sure Julia has the mutant siamese twin banana that she wants to take in to show her friends. Make sure she has the article her teacher asked me to look up on the Internet yesterday. Get kids into car.
7:40 - Head down to school. Alex opens & closes gate (we no longer tie up the dogs).
7:50 - Drop girls at school.
7:55 - Arrive at gym, sit on steps to wait for class to begin.
8:00 - Dance class.
9:00 - Spinning.
10:20 - Arrive home. Leave car outside gate because someone will have to go pick up Julia in an hour.
10:30 - Greet Alex, help him clean spiderwebs off the living room ceiling by steadying a tall stool while he steps up and weilds a startlingly long-handled broom with an added extension. He cleans all visible spiderwebs, but was unable to dislodge the booger. He did shred it a little though. Find delicate way to show Alex how to hang a T-shirts on the line so they don't end up with two big clothespin-shaped stretch marks at the hem.
10:45 - Shower, change.
10:55 - Ask Alex what he thinks of going out with the girls and his parents this evening. Or maybe leaving the girls with his parents and going out together. He likes Scenario B.
11:00 - Check E-mail. (Highlight = Halloween picture of someone's rear end painted to look like a jack o'lantern, sent by one of Alex's clients.)
11:05 - Read a couple of blogs.
11:15 - Drive down to pick up Julia while Alex heats up some rice and beans for his lunch.
11:45 - Arrive home, reheat last night's pizza for Julia & me.
12:15 - Agree to let Julia watch the rest of her Dora the Explorer video. Consider updating guild treasury information. Read a blog instead, begin writing a comment with some suggestions regarding piñatas at childrens' birthday parties.
12:30 - Alex asks for help sending some information to English-speaking clients. Find out what he needs, then finish reading/writing comment.
12:45 - Write E-mail to Alex's client. (Higlight = Getting to say "sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but did you really have to moon us?")
1:00 - These clients also sent a document that needs to be translated, at least roughly, into Spanish. Alex needs to take it to the lawyer this afternoon and could I please translate it?
1:10 - Begin translating condominium bylaws into Spanish. Mutter about hideous formatting of source document.
2:10 - Have Alex review the document. He needs it E-mailed and also printed to take with him to the meeting with the lawyer. He's going to the lawyer's office after picking up Robin and wants me to go along so we can get the sheer fabric we need for curtains in the girls' room.
2:20 - Suggest that we get the fabric tomorrow so I don't have to go along to the meeting with the lawyer. Alex says okay, but would obviously rather I go.
2:25 - Print Alex's document. E-mail it to the lawyer. When the E-mail bounces back, go downstairs for Alex's jump drive and put a copy on that instead. Decide there's no reason not to go along for the ride. Shut down computer.
2:35 - Explain to Julia that we need to turn off the video (which is malfunctioning anyway) so we can go get Robin. Add that she and Robin will be spending the night at the grandparents' house tonight. Neither of these messages is well received.
2:40 - Try to comfort Julia for a second, then grab some clean clothes for the girls to wear tomorrow.
2:45 - Try to comfort Julia for another second, grab some cash for the curtain fabric.
2:47 - Tell Alex I've decided to come with him, get everyone into the car. Offer to sit in back with Julia to help her feel better.
2:50 - Head down to get Robin.
3:00 - Arrive at school. Climb into front seat while Alex goes in for Robin. It begins to rain.
3:05 - Alex comes out with Robin. Push car door open so she can dash in. Head down to Yolanda's. Robin demonstrates clapping/rhyming game she learned from a friend today. It is quite lengthy and, in the last line, somewhat risqué. Robin admits not understanding what the last line refers to. Admit that I'm not entirely sure myself (although let's just say I could take an educated guess.) Robin comes up with alternate ending. Agree that her way is better.
3:15 - Drop girls at Yolanda's. Robin shows José the new rhyme with brand-new ending. Julia must be coaxed from car. Rain picks up.
3:20 - Cell phone rings as Alex is starting car. He answers but it's for me so he starts driving while I talk. Long conversation about a complex situation prevents me from suggesting that Alex drop me at the fabric store while he goes to the lawyer's office.
3:35 - Hang up phone, catch Alex up on news.
3:40 - Arrive at lawyer's office. Pass Alex printed document and jump drive. He asks if I brought the lawyer's business card, which had the bad E-mail address written on it. Reach into his shirt pocket and pass him the business card. He leaves keys in ignition so I can listen to Jimmy Buffet tape while he meets "briefly" with the lawyer.
3:45 - Read every entry in his new address book, noticing where he has double-listed some people so he doesn't have to remember which name they're alphabetized under. For example, our neighbor is listed under both "E" for Esteban and "V" for vecino (which means neighbor).
4:00 - Put address book back on dash. Look out window. Think about things.
4:05 - Meeting is over. Discuss next move. Alex wants to get some coffee, but agrees that it might be a good idea to go to the fabric store first, in case it closes at 5:00.
4:10 - "Coffee" has been upgraded to "dinner" even though we're going "out" later tonight. Discuss possible places for dinner. Alex wants to invite a friend along when we go out later, so I call her but there's no answer.
4:25 - Alex parks outside fabric store, will wait in the car while I buy the sheers because it's a no parking zone.
4:30 - Find fabric, ask for 3 meters, take it to register, pay, return to car.
4:40 - Mention to Alex that there was some fabric that could work for curtains in the rooms where we still have provisional window treatments. Alex decides to leave the car to its fate and come inside to see the fabric. (Parking tickets, should we get one, are $5.)
4:45 - Show Alex the fabric. He likes the lime green for the curtains in his office. Indicate which 7 of the 10 available colors I think would work with our dijon-colored walls (Yes, really. Butterscotch yellow exterior, dijon yellow interior. I wasn't here at the time.) The fabrics I point out do not include the lime green, so he switches to dark blue (which almost didn't make the list either, but hey, it's his office).
4:50 - Alex suggests I choose some more fabric for decent curtains in the girls' playroom, which is also a guest room when needed. I choose the cream colored fabric, which he questions. I offer to choose something else, but he insists that it's my choice. But am I sure I want that particular one? I'm sure.
4:55 - Alex heads across the street to ask about an office chair while I pay for the fabric.
4:56 - Run across the street to get more cash from him.
4:57 - Still not enough. Check pockets, find a few more bills, which make enough. Pay for fabric.
5:05 - Alex suggests getting a pizza and going home to watch a video instead of going out to dinner. I am easily convinced and give him a rundown of the pizza places between here and home. We pick one we've heard good things about but haven't tried. Our friend calls back, having noticed the missed call on her cell phone, and agrees to join us for a drink later in the evening.
5:15 - At the pizza place Alex looks ready to wait in the car but I suggest he come in, which he does.
5:20 - Order pizza to go and a coffee for Alex while we wait. Sit down to wait. Exchange looks about the mural painted on the wall, which depicts a lovely pastoral scene in the background and, in the foreground, a pig on a spit over some coals. Something about the entry and exit points of the spit...anyway. One of the ladies working at the pizza place turns on the television for our benefit.
5:25 - Discuss violence in entertainment and why people would want to expose themselves to programming such as the sensationalist "news" program now playing. Discuss how few parents, even among relatively like-minded people, seem to be as sensitive to violence in childrens' programming as I am.
5:40 - Pay for pizza, drive home.
5:55 - Feed pets, get plates & napkins, take pizza upstairs, put on video (Ice Age 2)
6:00 - Like almost all rented videos in Costa Rica, this one's a bootleg (lots more about that here). Unfortunately, this particular copy doesn't offer the original audio track, only the Spanish and Portuguese translations. Sigh. Pick Spanish, serve pizza, start movie.
7:30 - Finish movie (almost as good as Ice Age 1, but lost a couple of points for the over-the-top elements, particularly when the vultures broke out in song.)
7:35 - I can't believe we're not even going to pick up our friend for another hour or more. I'm soooo sleepy. Fall asleep.
8:15 - Alex gets up. I sit up.
8:25 - Suggest that Alex go get our friend while I finish waking up. He leaves.
8:30 - Get up, change clothes, brush hair. Make quick cup of coffee.
8:45 - Walk over to neighbors' house with misdelivered mail. Neighbors not home. Go back home and wait outside gate for Alex, who arrives shortly. Get in car, drive down to restaurant.
8:55 - Choose table, order two beers and a ginger ale. Recommend the fish for our friend (who didn't just eat half a pizza).
9:00 - Musician takes the stage. Turns out to be the same one who was playing last time we were here. Try to enjoy his singing but find big-screen TV playing According to Jim in my peripheral vision very distracting, especially since, with Spanish subtitles, it doesn't matter that the volume is off.
9:15 - Musician is great, nice conversation at the table. Jim and Andy appear to be stalking Erik Estrada on a riverboat. Hilarity ensues.
9:30 - Sitcom ends. Continual commercials seem to indicate that Latin American Idol will be up next. This is good, because it will be much easier to ignore.
9:32 - Everybody Loves Raymond. Damn.
9:45 - Singer takes a break, comes around to the tables. Alex buys two copies of his CD for $4 each. Comment on technology that enables artists to distribute their work at such a reasonable price even on a very small scale. Raymond tries to help Robert hide the fact that he was victimized by a scam artist who posed as an agent looking for tall models. Hilarity ensues.
10:00 - Sitcom ends. Enjoy music, order another beer.
10:02 - King of Queens. Great.
10:15 - My newly unattached friend thinks the singer is good looking. Point out that his phone number and E-mail address are printed on the CD. Doug and Carrie's friends consider buying the house next to theirs, but decide not to. Some hilarity ensues, but not really as much as you'd think.
10:30 - Sitcom ends.
10:32 - Some random show comes on that I've never seen before. Woohoo! Except that the coffee has worn off by now and the singer is into some music that I'm not familiar with. Notice that the booth could use a thicker cushion.
10:45 - Get check, settle misunderstanding between waitress and my friend, who asked for separate checks.
11:00 - Singer takes a second break, we go home.
11:15 - Drop friend off at her house, head home.
11:30 - Bed.
As always, thanks to Sheryl at Paper Napkin for inventing this exercise in minutiae.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Last night I had this dream.
I was at some house - I think it was mine - looking at work that needed to be done. There was an old structure in the yard that needed to be dealt with and I had some people help by moving it over a few yards (never mind that it was the size of a two-car garage. It was rickety and, apparently, not as heavy as you'd think.)So that was the dream, pretty much. The dance instructor from my gym was also there, but I don't think he really had much to do with it.
Underneath was a big puddle of mud and water. It was worse than I thought - I mean the entire structure had been straddling this giant mud puddle. Who knows how long it had been sitting there, stagnant. Or how long it would take to dry up. What a mess.
Then one of the people who had helped move the thing showed me what he had done. He had dug out some grass and debris by the fence at one edge, and all the water was draining harmlessly away into a drainage ditch or someplace where it wouldn't do any harm. The whole thing would drain and dry up, and then we could decide what to do with the space.
Where did it come from?
- Well, we did have a nasty old structure that had to be removed from our property.
- We do have ongoing issues with mud collecting in a big puddle right at the gate.
- I did watch part of Cheaper By The Dozen 2 right before falling asleep - where the father was trying to fix up a lake house that had fallen into disrepair.
- A few days ago I was reading this website about feng shui as it applies in a non-Asian culture, and the most relevant part of it (to my mind) was the emphasis on getting rid of broken or ugly possessions and clearing away physical clutter (which apparently stagnates the flow of energy) in order to make way for more positive things. I don't know how far on board I am with the flow of energy thing, but clutter preventing progress is directly applicable to my workspace, I tell you what.
- On another level, last night Alex and I did have a discussion about...let's just say, ways that we have not yet adapted to living as a family of four again. I wondered if maybe the dream was about uncovering something not very pleasant, and then finding that it wasn't as big a problem as it seemed at first glance.
But then 15 minutes ago, as he was driving out to pick up the kids, Alex paused at the gate and said, "you know how we always get that big mud puddle all the way across here? I thought maybe if we dug out some grass and debris by the fence, it could drain out into the drainage ditch there."
And then when I told him I just had a dream like that last night, he said "so maybe you can do it while I'm out." Stupid crappy dream. Where's the shovel?
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Julia [showing me her shoes]: Are they on the right feet?
Me: Yes, they are. Good job.
Julia: I'm already big!
Me: Yes, you are.
Julia [raising fists in triumph]: I'm already a grownup!
Me: Well, no. You're not.
Julia [ignoring me and lifting her shirt]: Only that I don't have breasts.
Julia [skipping away]: A grownup without breasts. A child grownup without breasts.