Last week….Ava, for the win.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. For obvious reasons, Mondays aren’t generally my favorite day. But this morning, Ava was lying on my bed reading a book (no school) and I was in my bathroom getting ready. For some reason I asked her “Hey Ava, does your school ever talk about what you’re supposed to do if somebody tries to kidnap you?” She responds “not really.” So I ask “Well, do you know what to do?” And then, people, she nonchalantly looks up from her book for a second, says “Yeah, you kick ‘em in the balls,” then looks back down.
  2. So clearly, today is a better-than-average Monday.
  3. I suppose a better mother than me would be slightly alarmed that her ten-year-old just used the word “balls,” but given the context, I’m alright with it.
  4. On Friday night Mac and I went to the San Francisco Bay Area (I spelled it out because I realize many of you aren’t from here, and I often talk about “the city” or “the Bay” as if that means something to everybody on the planet, so I’m trying to be more contentious.) to see Florence and the Machine with my bestie. It was ridiculously fun.
  5. I hate it when I say “bestie.” I really should not say “bestie” again.
  6. Then, on Saturday, we went to the Hoes Down Festival in the Capay Valley, where we go every year, because it’s one of my favorite events ever. However, this year they opened up online sales so it was like 12 times larger than prior years and there were all these yuppies there (also from the San Francisco Bay Area), doing their obligatory “farm day” with their children, wearing the obligatory “country clothing,” (e.g. $200 jeans with a country feel and $400 cowboy boots without a scratch on them). Needless to say, the vibe had changed.
  7. The “new vibe” apparently involved me receiving sharp comments from 3 or 4 strangers on the topic of my parenting choices, which apparently include a blatant disregard for toddler footwear and the horrendous choice that my two-year-old doesn’t have to hold my hand EVERY FUCKING MOMENT OF EVERY FUCKING DAY. More on that later.
  8. No but really, why do people trip out so much about a toddler walking a few feet in front of her parents? I don’t get it people. I don’t. This one broad was like “Where is this child’s mother? WHERE?” And I was like “um, right here.” And she was all scowling and full of disdain: “Oh, wow. I thought she was alone.” I was 5 feet behind her. Five feet.
  9. And then, because two giant events in two days isn’t quite enough (because we’re 23 years old and just never ever get tired!), we went to an amazing shrimp boil/oyster feed at my friend’s house on Sunday. It was wonderful. I’m 90% sure fresh oysters are the best food in the entire world.
  10. As you know, my neighborhood leaves something to be desired. As in, it sucks ass. It’s ugly, unsafe, and uninteresting. Except our neighbors behind us. They’re amazing. Every couple months, these people party like hell all day long – booze, yelling, music, about 12,000 squealing kids – and they’re loud, like really loud. But then, at precisely 8:45pm, they shut the whole thing down. I mean it’s like silent. They turn off the music, send people home, and go inside. Blows my mind. It’s as if they respect others and consider their neighbors. Can you imagine? They must be from some other planet, but they renew my faith.

Speaking of renewed faith, in the parking lot of the Florence show, some dude gave me a “Don’t be a dick” sticker, which I promptly put on my car, feeling like my life was FINALLY complete. But then, I got home and Ava says “Mama, you do realize you pick me up from school in this car, right? I don’t really want to be the kid whose parents drive around with a swear word on their car.” So I took it off. Because she’s probably right.

But I had it on for 24 hours.

And it was fucking glorious.

At least I have this, to remember…

10 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | October 8, 2012
  • Christy

    I love your DON’T BE A DICK sticker. I had a similar situation with my kids. I was so excited to get QNBCH on my very first personlized license plate – I know personalized plates can be “douchey”, but I thought it was awesome. In my house, I AM the Queen Bitch and considered it a public service to let the world at large know who they were dealing with. We moved to a new neighborhood where our house was too close to the school to get bus service so I had to starting dropping off & picking up. That was when my kids pointed out that, maybe, my license plate wasn’t such a good idea. I was sad to let it go…

  • Ken

    Well, it’s another gold medal and blue ribbon winner for Miss Ava. Hats off to you, Young Lady.

    After all, kidnapping isn’t about “balls”, scrotum (scrota), huevos, narwads, jewels, nuts, pelotas, bolas nor testis. More accurately it’s about thorough, revealing education that advances on-the-spot decision making with no hesitation, split-second, aggressive action.

    Another good job, Mom.

  • Supercarl

    Tehehe…I’m wearing the brown boots with the design in the front. A gift from my bestie. X

  • Penny

    So funny! My first car had a sticker on it that said “Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks your’e an asshole.” I loved that sticker, cracked me up, but it kept getting me pulled over, so I had to rip it off. Admittedly, it’s not that funny these days but sometimes I miss it and the freedom it symbolized.

    I swear, when my kids grow up, I’m going to regress and break all the rules again. From what I remember of it, it was darn fun!

  • Roberta Lyons

    Love your picture Janelle and your Don’t Be A Dick sticker. Where do you get those? I want one!!!

  • Sam Kidd

    Sounds like you have a very eventful and wonderful life.I would love to live it too. But I’m 61 and stuck in a wheelchair and in Georgia.:)

  • kim

    Your license plate has AA in it. Just in case you’ve never noticed.

    I love your kids. Can’t wait to hear about your terrible parenting choices, as per usual 😉

    Miss ya, friend.

  • Lisa

    I had one of those on my car about 15 years ago! I loved it!

  • Stefanie

    I love your blog, period! It renews my faith in my parenting skills (or lack of) ha ha.

    I get the hand-holding situation, some people wig out! My 2-yr old, waddles off from the cart/me at the grocery store, less then 10 feet away and people freak out. Dude! I am right here, I can see her! As long as we are not going to cross a busy street or fall into a lagoon, I am ok with her wandering around on her own, exploring, being a “big girl” within my extended reach and sight. But to each their own! I love the Don’t be a dick sticker – I would put it on my nalgene 🙂 or had left it on my car, because cool moms rock!

  • missy

    Wow. Your car is so clean. Are you really all you say you are? because I imagined you had a dirty beat up station wagon or at least a dirty beat up minivan, and here instead it looks like a clean SUV, and not even one of the big gas-guzzling ones. I’ll probably still read your adventures and musings with the same adoration and awe, because I don’t know what I did before I ran across your blog, I mean, I was lost. I’ll still wildly exclaim to myself that “damn it she can actually *put to words*!?! all these nebulous and vitally important things that I can only feel. Damn it, she’s got a handle on this craziness of life, even if just because she can write that shit down, and then by proxy, when I read her blog, I’ve a little handle, too!

    But it’s like you just keep on defying my expectations when you go posting a pic with a clean car and stuff, and I don’t know how to cope with that. I mean, you’re my *handle*, and then, then, well, then your sensible silver SUV is sparkling in the picture, damn it!

    My first comment, and probably not the most appropriate post for the occasion, but there it is. Was that a dicky thing to say? I hope not.