Category Archives: Stella

The National as done by Stella

This would be a riff on Afraid of Everyone by The National if that’s not obvious:

Oh… I’m afraid of everyone

in the whole wide world

But I love them

Even though I’m afraid of them.

Don’t worry if you can’t make the lyrics match up. It’s not going to happen.

She’s been driving us a bit crazy singing it over and over. Not to mention that it’s permanently wedged in my head. I’m listening to it now. If you can’t beat them…

No. But I am.

Last night Stella, Etta, and I were eating at McDonalds. It was the one with the playground on Riverside. We’d driven the extra 5 minutes since the McDonalds around the corner from us doesn’t have a playground.

As we were eating we were having a nice conversation. Then out of the blue Stella asked, “Dad, am I dumb?”. She had the most pathetic look on her face. Immediately all sorts of thoughts ran through my head. “Who said that?” I asked. She looked at me puzzled. I thought about the fact that we’re trying not to just tell Stella she’s smart, but praise her for the things she’s actually done. Had this backfired? Did we go too far? Had we destroyed her self-confidence? Had some kid been calling her dumb because of her clothes? Did we not bathe her enough? Was it because we didn’t let her watch princess movies?

“Dad,” she asked again, “am I done?


Done. Not Dumb. Done.

“Yes Stella, you’re done. You can go play.”

Stella Quote

Dad, I have to tell you, you’re making me very angry right now. You’re making me very angry Dad.

At Meme and Pappy’s getting ready for nap, when Dad had the audacity to try to pack up Stella’s new Play-Do set.

Trying Tofu

Mmm…. tofu

Last night was the first time I cooked tofu. It turned out well.

Julie is having to adjust to being a parent. Previously she would occasionally head off to the cupboard to make a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich if what I was making was unappetizing enough. Now she has to sell it. We’re in the food sales business here these days. So she may have wanted to hurt me physically when she saw tofu on the menu. But then we discussed how tofu was in miso soup, and that was good. Everyone was on board.

As I cooked I had to pay tribute to Stella. She’ll try pretty much anything raw. She demands raw potatoes, ginger, and tofu. But once they’re cooked she often won’t eat them. And she detests anything green. I started giving her the curved parts of the red peppers to make my dices nicer, and now she demands them.

The dish last night was Spicy Tofu with Red Pepper stir-fry. Stella thought the tofu was better uncooked. So did I. But then she played one card too many. She said she liked the peanuts better uncooked. We notified her that the peanuts had been put on top of the fully cooked dish and were still raw. This led to perhaps two more bites.

There’s no logic with three year olds. I can’t really complain. Stella eats a lot of foods. And she’ll eat almost anything while I’m preparing dinner. She just doesn’t want it cooked.

Our pediatrician told us recently that we’re going to need to start Etta on solid foods. Probably this weekend. I get to try again with another child.

What is the weirdest thing your kid eats?


Here’s a picture of Stella and I peeling oranges.

I eventually gave her a peeled orange and she was able to seperate the slices from the membranes with a children’s knife.

She probably only got about 2 wedges out of the entire orange, but I was still really proud of her.


So, I’ve been having a bit of an issue with Stella lately. She’s been getting awoken by Etta before 7am. I don’t wake up before 7am.

No let me correct that. I don’t wake up with children before 7am. They can hang out in their beds until 7am.

Stella realizes this and has an amazing 7am timer. If I tell her she has to go back to sleep, she’ll call for me again at exactly 7am. So that’s what I started doing. If she woke me up at 6:30am I told her it was the middle of the night and she had to go back to sleep.

This worked for a short period of time. Then she started calling me in at 7am and letting me know that she’d peed in her bed. Always after 7am. And she’d command that I change the sheets. I got wise to that and started refusing to change the sheets when she demanded. I’d get to them around 8am. But she kept doing it. If I made her go back to bed – she’d have an accident. Every single time. While wearing a pull-up.*

So this morning I figured it out. She started screaming for breakfast at 6:30. So I made her go to the bathroom and then told her she could have a banana (self-serve) if she was dying of hunger. She was quiet and dry until 7am.

Of course, Etta wasn’t, but that’s a battle for another day.

I swear these kids are far smarter than me already.

* which is somewhat baffling in and of itself.


Tonight’s bedtime was classic Stella. She took a shower, decide to read “Henry Huggins” by Beverly Cleary (even though she seems completely uninterested in it) and then we started our routine. She has to go pee right after she goes to bed. Then I tuck her in, and change out her binky. She almost immediately calls me back for water. Then she yells that she has to go potty. We yell back, “Go potty, already. We’re not restraining you ankle chains!” This time she’ll go again. I have no clue how she manages to go to the bathroom twice in rapid succession, but she does. Then we go back, change out her binky and tuck her in. 2 minutes later she’ll be screaming for more water, chaning out her binky, and tucking in again. At this point she’s used her allotted trips for the night (she has 2 trips to the potty, and two unrelated trips in from dad).

Tonight as I was tucking her in the last time I said:

“Now Stella, this is the last time I’m coming in.”

To which she replied:

“Yeah, I really need to get some sleep.”

‘Cause I’m the one keeping her awake…

I have the best wife.

Julie and Stella just made a beeline past my office door giggling on the way to the potty. Julie has started trying to potty train Stella today. I’d say that we are potty training Stella, but Julie is doing the bulk of the work since she’s the SAHM and it would feel disingenuous. Like saying “we’re” pregnant. The hearts in the right place, but it definitely doesn’t speak to the person doing the bulk of the work.

That said, last night I went into the bathroom and there was Stella’s potty setup. Next to it was a small roll of toilet paper and a reward grid. Julie has a complex rewards system for Stella. It’s super cute. Julie’s such a good mom.

Now hopefully Stella will get the concepts. She’s very cooperative, but from what I can tell I think we’re at 0-5 with the panties loosing

I have a little shadow.

Two nights ago I was cooking dinner. I had given Stella a carrot and piece of broccoli to try. She always has to have a carrot while she’s waiting for dinner. The broccoli was part of my plan to get her to eat more by letting her sample the raw ingredients. She had been silent for a while so I went and looked for her.

She was in the living room with a bowl, the carrot, the broccoli, and one of her plastic knives. She was chopping them up and putting them in the bowl. I got her out a cutting board so she wouldn’t mark up the coffee table and we both went back to work. Cooking.