31 Months: The Ballad of Slippy the Cat

Pre-Update-Update: Friends, please consider donating to the following relief organizations that help those affected by Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Fucking Flood Harvey:

The Texas Diaper Bank
The Greater Houston Community Foundation
Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies


My very large and tyrannically in-charge 2.5 + 1-month-old:


This is the last letter I will write you before you become a preschooler in one short week. It is also may well be the last letter I write you before you become a preschool dropout in one week and one day. I know the teachers say to be RELENTLESSLY POSITIVE about preschool at ALL TIMES because you PICK UP ON EVEN SUBTLE CUES (and also you can read and could possibly read this if I let you), but fuck it, man: Your father and I are fairly whatever the opposite of confident is about the $900 in nonrefundable deposits and tuition we put down for a very nice (and very affordable, despite the $900) establishment back in May. “Oh, she’ll LOVE IT,” we said, because apparently we’ve never met you before. You, who when you catch sight of another kid give us a look that says STRANGE LIFEFORM IN MY WAY, WHUT. You, who react to being told what to do and when to do it by…well, definitely not doing it. You, who will allow yourself to be in the company of only about three select non-mother humans for more than 55 seconds before dissolving into the kind of apoplectic rage that destroys people. “Don’t worry,” says the director of the place. “I’ve been doing this for 29 years, and I’ve never had a child who didn’t adjust.” Well, prepare to break the streak. OR PERHAPS you might surprise us all! WHO KNOWS? I’m keeping an open mind.


Let’s do this month’s update like a LISTSICLE so that I can pretend to be a MILLENNIAL even though I’m about to turn FORTY-ONE. (Remember when I turned 37 and I was like oooh I’m to sexy for academia? I think the only person to age more in four years than me is President Obama.)

Darnedest Thing You Have Said This Month: IT’S SNOWFLAKES (re: dust motes catching light). Yes, I realize this probably means I should vacuum more. Is this a hint, kid?

Most Curious Personality Trait: Despite having two rather neurotic parents, you are still a Walking Entropy Generator. You don’t put puzzles together; you demolish them. You build block towers to smash them. You see markers, or paints, or stamps, and your first (and often only) impulse is to tat yourself half to death with them. God help you if you get a single drop of anything liquid on your shirt (MORE SHIRT!!! CHANGE THE SHIRT!!!! DRY SHIRT!!! NEW SHIRT!!!!!!!), but if you could, you’d be covered in art supplies and teeny-tiny Legos head to toe for time immemorial.

Only Thing You Will Currently Eat: Parmesan cheese.

Current Favorite Time To Wake Up: 10:30 a.m.

Time Preschool Begins: 9 a.m. (“Please be prompt!”)

Present Obsession: The solar system and planets. Everyone you know has a planet associated with them. PAPA’S PLANET IS JUPITER BECAUSE IT IS THE HUGEST. MAMA’S PLANET IS SATURN BECAUSE IT IS THE BIGGEST. Your planet is, of course, PLUTO, even though as you are first to point out, it’s not a planet, but rather a BITTY BITTY SQUIRT DWARF PLANET. When I eat my pasta, I take a JUPITER BITE. When you eat scrapings of parmesan cheese off my pasta, they are PLUTO BITES. When you decide you want to flop down onto your butt and then roll onto your back, you do so whilst proclaiming I’M TOO BIG! I’M LIKE VENUS! And, of course, your favorite planet continues to be, and likely will remain in perpetuity, URANUS!!!!!!!! which you pronounce the old (i.e. “real”) and “obscene” way, your-ANUS, rather than the new (i.e. “dumb”) and slightly less obscene way (URINE-us). You love Uranus because it’s blue, because it’s sideways, because it’s far and big, and, as anuses tend to be, because it’s mostly made out of gas. You will read books and watch videos and listen to songs about the planets all day. The other day you asked WHAT COLOR IS IO? and since I am not down with Jupiter’s moons, I asked the Astronomers of Twitter, and they nicely told you that Io is yellow with orange and brown parts. This is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened, and if anyone, anywhere, has anything to say about your interest in astronomy that is anything other than “Wow, neat,” I will personally rip their fucking faces off.

Average Number of Naps per Day: 0.7

Favorite Musical Instrument: the triangle

Thing You Currently Dislike the Most: the dark. Your way of demanding the light be turned on is to say MAKE IT COOLER!!!! MAKE IT COOLER! This chorus usually begins around sunset, and continues for all of eternity. We’re currently embarking on an experiment where we DON’T Make It Cooler in an attempt to get you to go to bed earlier. It worked for exactly one night (last night), so I fully expect it never to work again, and you to be on an 11:45 wake-up schedule for the start of preschool, which incidentally ends at 11:45.

Most Important Person In Your Life: Or, rather, most important cat.  Sometime about a month ago, you decided that your mangy little white stuffed kitten, Slippy (already Slippy the Second, I’ll have you know; Slippy the Third is lying in wait in this house), had to go everywhere with you. Woe unto anyone and anything who attempts to wrest that filthy little furball from your mitts at any time of the day or night. We are lucky if we can pry him from you in your sleep for the time it takes to run a wash cycle; we have to time it perfectly because if you wake up and Slippy is not vorhanden, as Heidegger would say, woe unto the entire Western Hemisphere. I don’t know whose spirit resides in that raggedy-ass little bacteria condo, but we are one hundred percent in the Age of Slippy.









And now, my darling, so that you don’t stay up until 1 a.m. and then sleep until 11 tomorrow, I must cut this missive short and wake you up. You fell asleep in your stroller, just like in the picture above, clutching Slippy for dear life.  (Slippy’s planet, by the way, is Venus. Obviously.)

All my love,


2 thoughts on “31 Months: The Ballad of Slippy the Cat

  1. And of course the HUUUGEST push on the swing is a Jupiter push.

    Date: Monday, August 28, 2017 at 3:10 PM
    To: “judgeschuman@hotmail.com”
    Subject: [New post] 31 Months: The Ballad of Slippy the Cat

    Rebecca Schuman posted: “Pre-Update-Update: Friends, please consider donating to the following relief organizations that help those affected by Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Fucking Flood Harvey: The Texas Diaper Bank The Greater Houston Community Foundation Portlight Inclusive Disas”


  2. This is hilarious! She reminds me so much of my teenage nieces, who as youngsters each combined raw physical energy, verbal pyrotechnics, and stubbornness beyond belief, LIKE A BOSS. 2 Bits of ass-vice from my own experience: the book “Raising your Spirited Child” by Mary Kurcinka, had a great chapter on “transitions”, which helped me understand why my fun-loving, adventuresome 2 year old had extreme meltdowns when it came time to: (start preschool, get in the car, play in the yard, etc etc). Regarding bacteria-laden comfort objects, we had a luvvie at home, and “Luvvie’s cousin”, who lived in his cubby at preschool. This after a multi-hour howling fit when luvvie was inaccessible at some point for several hours. Have fun!! PS the great thing about solar system knowledge is that she can stay up to date and soon will be toddlersplaining to adults (who may not be current on the number of known moons of Saturn) just how things stand.


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