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October 19, 1999

Besides taking a bath, I think the thing Zoe enjoys most in life is making projects. She's a project maniac. Projects take many shapes. Her favorite types of projects, though, involve glue. OK, glue and markers and/or paint. OK, glue, markers and/or paint, and glitter. OK, glue, markers and/or paint, glitter, and paste gems. You can see there's a theme here: glue.

Glue in the hands of a 3 1/2 year old is a dangerous substance.

The white, water-soluble Elmer's type variety is good but hard for those small hands without fully developed hand-eye coordination to master. You end up with lots of big globs of the stuff. Good for gluing many things to the same spot in a huge pile, but bad since a big huge gob of glue takes a really long time to dry, and can get a little runny.

Glue sticks are good. Easier to control the amount that actually ends up on the paper. The problem is she can't see where it is. OK, I think she really can but pretends she can't and thus ends up adding even more glue. We end up with a similar situation as with the white glue--big huge gobs of the stuff. It's not runny like the white glue but still, takes a long time to dry.

I recently discovered that you can now buy colored glue sticks. The glue dries clear but you can easily see where it's applied--unless you're using dark paper. The extra added bonus of the colored glue is that it comes in purple. Zoe's favorite color.

We've been gluing maniacs lately.

Last week we bought some cardboard boxes in different shapes. We got paint, various metallic shapes, and paste gems and we've been making projects like crazy. Paint the box. Let it dry. Glue on some different shapes and gems. Poof. Voila. A project.

The thing that is so great about being three is that you're not bound by convention. There are no rules. When Zoe glues things to the boxes she often glues them to the bottom and insides, as well as the top of the boxes. OK, they don't sit nicely on the table, but they're fully and completely decorated.

Today Chuck mentioned that he got some construction paper and as I was driving home and Chuck was cleaning the kitchen Zoe was at the dining room table drawing and gluing her little heart out.

I mentioned to Chuck that we need to get her some age- appropriate scissors so she can start cutting things out of magazines and gluing it on to other stuff. That will make one happy little girl.

It is now 8:59. Zoe was put to bed promptly at 8:00 tonight. She has been out of her room and in my office at least four times in the last five minutes. Each time I get ready to admonish her and send her packing she runs up to me, gives me a big kiss and hug, and runs out, ostensibly back to bed. How can you get cross?

Halloween preparations are in full swing in the Atkins' household. We went to a pumpkin patch on Saturday and picked out three fine specimens. Small, medium, and enormous.

Zoe was beside herself with wanting to start carving immediately. Somehow we managed to avoid it Saturday night but she could hardly wait for Chuck to get up on Sunday morning so they could start carving. Chuck is this household's designated carver.

Bless that man because before he'd even had a cup of coffee on Sunday morning he had the newspapers spread out on the table and they started in on the smallest one. A fine job he did. Zoe helped him with the design.

Sunday night they put it out in front of the house, put a candle in it and watched it. Whoooooooo. Whaaaaaaa.

Zoe's costume has been here for about four weeks now. She decided she wanted to be Ariel, so Ariel it is. I still have to hem her outfit but we're as ready as we'll ever be.

Chuck bought some decorations today: 8 largish mice, 8 large spiders, a bag full of gross looking flies, a skeleton, miscellaneous assorted ghosts, pumpkins, and witches, and some of that spider web stuff. We're going to be so damned spooky.

Birthday season, round 2 is upon us. Sister #2 celebrated on October 6. My dad is the 21st, and Chuck is October 29.

In celebration of Chuck's big event we're going to see Bruce Springsteen Thursday night and going to Vegas on the 29th.

My birthday...the big 40 is November 16. Party preparations have already started. The original plan was to be out of the country. A party was Plan B, but we're going with that one. What the hell--may as well rake in some gifts.

Until next time. . .