The Pig

America, we are no longer a family of four.

NO, America.  Mommy and Daddy did not fumble their way into another baby.  (The Emma is a tough act to follow.)

About a week ago, we added a furry little creature to our family.  Don’t panic, America.  It is NOT a horse.  (If it were, The Emma would be writing you from the local Marriott.)  And no, America, it is not a dog.  Some dogs are acceptable.  But it depends on their size.  The dog-to-Emma ratio.   (I like to frame it this way: could The Emma take it in a street fight?) Cats are okay.  But they make Daddy sneeze.  And for some reason this is not okay with Daddy.  (Seriously, Daddy, we’ve been over this: your sneezing doesn’t bother me at all.)

So, we got a pig.   A guinea pig.

And, right now our house smells like hay.  Because guinea pigs like to eat hay.  And sleep on hay.   And do other things in hay that I WON’T.  EVEN.  MENTION.  (Until the next paragraph.)  America this is a problem.  First of all, Daddy is allergic to hay.  HOW DID THIS NOT OCCUR TO YOU, DADDY?!?  Think it through.  (Life is a chess game, Daddy.  Put down the checkers.)  But more importantly, hay reminds The Emma of horses.  Which, as we all know, are the least acceptable pet.  (Except for any other bigger, scarier animals.)

I will say this, America, having a pig has been a learning experience.  And if The Emma has learned anything, it is this: guinea pigs think EVERYTHING is a potty.  America, I am not kidding. I don’t know why we even got a litter box.  (An aside: I prefer to call it a “glitter box”.  Because it sounds more sparkly.  America, stop smirking.  And if you feel tempted to say, “All that glitters is not gold,” don’t.  Just don’t.  I don’t know what that means.  But I am not amused.)  Anyway, we line the bottom of the glitter box with soft paper shavings.  Add a mound of fresh hay on top.  And what happens?  The pig stands outside the glitter box.  Eating the hay.  And pooping.  EVERYWHERE.  Naturally, Jacob and I think this is AWESOME.  Mommy and Daddy?  Not so much.

They don’t seem to appreciate it when a small creature exerts her will.

At this point, you might be asking yourself: why DID Mommy and Daddy bring home a furry little animal who will likely never be potty trained?  Is it because you long for the days when The Emma was in diapers, Mommy?  Do you?  Because there are other solutions.  PM me, Mommy.  We’ll discuss offline.

More likely, they got the pig because of My Jacob.  You see, Jacob has been asking for a pet.  FOR FOREVER.  In fact, TWO YEARS AGO, he had this conversation with Mommy on the way home from school.

Jacob: Mommy, can we get a pet?

Mommy: No.

Jacob: Whhhhhyyy not?

Mommy: Because they’re a lot of work.

Jacob: But *I’LL* do ALL the work.

Mommy: Jacob, the thing is, kids always say they’ll do all the work, but you know who ends up really doing all the work . . .?

Jacob: Who?

Mommy: The parents.

[Long pause]

Jacob: How ’bout you clean up the poop.  And I do everything else?

Mommy, I believe that was CHECK. AND. MATE.

For some reason, even after that VERY CONVINCING ARGUMENT, it took another two years before we got a pet.

Meanwhile, My Jacob continued to ask for: a dog, a cat, a guinea pig, a hamster, a goldfish, a bunny, a bird and a horse.  (My Jacob plays the long game.)   Basically, Jacob wanted anything that runs, swims, scurries or flies.  But more recently, he laid down some rules.  This past winter, he told Mommy that he wanted a pet that was “run aroundy” and ” can do tricks”.  (That’s right, Jacob.  Hold them to standards.  Otherwise, Mommy and Daddy will just phone this thing in.  And you’ll end up with a cricket.)

Despite all his helpful guidance, it has taken Mommy and Daddy a long time to deliver. During his long suffering years of waiting, My Jacob took matters into his own hands.  And adopted a number of caterpillars.  Usually Woolly Bear Caterpillars.  He would find them in our yard.  Make them homes.  (Habitats.)  And feed them an assortment of food.  (Random leaves.)  And the caterpillars loved it.  (Tried desperately to escape . . . so they could tell their friends about their adventures.)  Unfortunately, it didn’t always end well for the caterpillars.  Because Mommy put them back outside.  (Just. Heartless. Mommy.  How is a little creature like that possibly going to survive in the wild??)

Anyway, after years of persistence, My Jacob triumphed.  (Mommy and Daddy folded like a deck of cards.)  Enter: the pig.  Mommy and Daddy brought us to a place called the MSPCA.  It’s a shelter for animals that are in between opportunities. They have a lot of guinea pigs.  Incidentally, America, they also have A LOT of bunnies.  Here’s what The Emma knows about bunnies.  They are VERY CUTE.  And, apparently they were all potty trained by a roving gang of guinea pigs.  But back to my point.  We found our guinea pig. And (after hours of really boring grown up talk) brought her home.

Anyhoo, you might be asking: what did we name the furry little creature?  I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, America.  We kept the name the pig had at the shelter.  Caramel.  Well, Some of us call her Caramel.  Mommy prefers to call her Queen Caramel The Divalicious.  Because the pig seems shy and Mommy thinks this will boost her self-esteem.  (That’s just GREAT, Mommy.  Because I’m sure no guinea pig was ever shunned at the playground with a name like that.)  Daddy and Jacob just call her Caramel.  And I would too.  Except that The Emma cannot pronounce her R’s.

Once again, Mommy and Daddy: WAY TO THINK AHEAD.  (How do you people function?)

Caramel IS a little bit shy.  But she is coming around.  Which is good.  Because The Emma loves her.  (And The Emma needs a protege.)  Caramel, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


My Jacob feeding Caramel


And the Women Roared

Hello, America.  And welcome to 2017.  THE YEAR OF THE PRESCHOOLER.  (Nuff said.)

A few weeks ago, two major events occurred.  Back-to-back.  Yes, America, it’s true.  The Emma was invited to birthday parties on SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.  (The Emma is in high demand.)   Oh, also, Trumps became president and millions of people marched in protest. (OUCH, MR. TRUMP.)

First, the parties.  During the week before the parties, The Emma was sick.  Oh so very sick.  (Don’t panic, America: I’m better now.)  Despite the raging fever, I kept my eyes on the prize.  (Let this be a lesson to you, America.  In case you ever happen to face adversity.  Yes, I know it’s unlikely.)  Each morning, when I woke up, I asked  Mommy the same question: “Birthday parties?”  And she would respond with the same UNACCEPTABLY NONCOMMITAL answer: “Emma, we have to see whether you’re better by the weekend”.  Sometimes I think Mommy doesn’t appreciate how much THE PEOPLE need to see THE EMMA.  It calms them.  Also, there were two goody bags on the line. GOODY BAGS, MOMMY.

I can tell you’re stressed, America.  So I won’t keep you in suspense any longer.  I did it.  I MADE IT TO BOTH PARTIES.  Good for me.  Good for The People.  Not so good for my Jacob.

Since Daddy was taking me to the party on Saturday, someone needed to take care of Jacob.  But Mommy wanted to go march around the Boston Common.  (Whatever makes you happy, Mommy.)  Apparently Mommy had plans to meet over 100,000 people there.  So that they could scream at Mr. Donald Trump.  Along with the rest of the country.  (OUCH AGAIN, TRUMPS.)   Anyway, Mommy asked our babysitter if she could stay with Jacob while Mommy was marching.  But our babysitter also wanted to march.  So Jacob  had no choice.  He had to march too.  With Mommy.  He was not so happy about it.

Before Mommy and Jacob left, they made signs.   Because, apparently, when you’re shouting at the president, you also need to jot down a few notes.  On big paper.  (Some presidents learn better when they read.)  I made a sign too.  Because Jacob was making one.  And it’s only fair.  (Mine was bigger.)


My grandma also went to the march in Boston.  But Mommy couldn’t find her. Apparently, even though Mommy has known Grandma ALL HER LIFE, she can’t find her when there are 100,000 other people around.  (Stay focused, Mommy.  Honestly.)  And Mommy says her phone stopped working as soon as she got to the Boston Common.  So she couldn’t, for example, ask Grandma what she was wearing.  SO, EMBARRASSING, MOMMY.  (*eye roll*)  Next time we visit Grandma, I’ll point her out to you.  So this won’t happen again.

Mommy says that, with all those people, it was hard to actually march.  Instead they did a lot of standing around.  Which Jacob was REALLY NOT HAPPY about.  Finally Mommy and Jacob started to walk back to the train to go home.  And ran into some people marching.  (Face palm.  Mommy, do we also need review the difference between “standing” and “marching”?  Honestly, America, it goes in one ear . . . )  So Mommy and Jacob marched for about two blocks.  Until they got to the train.  People along the sides of the street cheered them on.  And a church played “We Shall Overcome” on their church bells.  And Mommy said that it was very moving.  YES, MOMMY, THAT’S USUALLY THE FIRST SIGN THAT YOU ARE MARCHING.  (Oh, America . . .)

But enough about that.  I know that you are hungering to hear about what The Emma has been up to.  I also went on an adventure with Mommy.  But we didn’t march anywhere.  We went to meet a lady called a “Speech Therapist”.

Apparently there are a few sounds (“r”, “th”, “j”) that I don’t make use of.  At least not too often.  (More on that later.)  I liked the speech lady.  But honestly, America, she worried me.  She seemed smart enough.  But then handed me a stack of cards WITH REALLY SIMPLE PICTURES ON THEM.  And asked me to to tell her what they were of.  Really, speech lady?  Where were you educated?  (And was Ms. DeVos bank rolling that operation?)  I tried to speak clearly so that she understood.

EMMA: Chair.  Spoon.  Family.

SPEECH LADY: Yes.  And who do you see in this family . . .?  A king and a queen and . . .

EMMA: Kids.

SPEECH LADY: Yes . . . but what do you call the kids?  A king and a queen and . . .

EMMA: A boy and a girl.

SPEECH LADY:  Like Cinderella . . . ?

Look, speech lady, HOW DO I know their names?  HAVE I MET THEM?

MOMMY: Sophia the First is a . . . ?

Mommy, do you see a purple dress on this kid?  THIS IS NO SOPHIA THE FIRST.

Anyway, after I tried my best to educate Speech Lady, she thanked me with some stickers.

SPEECH LADY: Do you want superhero stickers?  Or animal stickers?

EMMA:  Any princess stickers?

For some reason, Mommy found this HILARIOUS.

Control yourself, Mommy.  They’re just stickers.

Anyway, the only other thing I’ll mention is this.  A few days ago, I was counting.  In Spanish.  Because I do that.  (Go ahead, amigos.  Be impressed.)  And Mommy suddenly got ALL EXCITED.

Emma: Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco . . .


Easy there, Mommy. You did realize that sending me to a Spanish preschool means that I can speak Spanish, right . . . ?  (Oh, Mommy.)

Mommy: Emma, count again.

Emma: Uno . . . dos . . . tres . . . cuatro . . .

Try to keep up, Mommy.


You see, America, when they make you speak three languages, it’s really UP TO YOU.  Which one you perfect.  Nuff said.

Except this:


“I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore . . . ” -Helen Reddy

Emma Spreads the Love

America, The Emma is deeply troubled.  By the hate.

By all the hate that has been unleashed.  Since some (a few?) Americans voted for Mr. Trump.  Hate talk.  Hate acts.  Hate crimes.  The Emma DOES NOT approve of this, America.  Not.  At.  All.  Not to state the obvious, but The Emma is all about LOVE.  WHY THE FACE, AMERICA?  I may be (brilliantly, refreshingly) critical.  At times.  (Most times.)  But it’s all done with LOVE.  (Capiche, America?)

What puzzles me is this.  Mr. Trump is ALSO all about love.  I know because he said it.  Once.  At a rally.  Okay, he might have been smirking.  But The Emma  is pretty sure that Trumps does not have full control of his facial muscles (or his Twittering fingers), so I don’t put much stock in what he does with them. Anyway, for some reason the people who wanted Trumps to be president are celebrating with hate.  Instead of love.  (Or cake.  As God intended.)

So, now hate crimes are happening.  There are lots of mean words.  And lots of scribbling on walls.  But not scribbling pictures or poetry, the way The Emma does it.  (BECAUSE THAT IS ART, PEOPLE.)  Sometimes the hater does the mean talk on TV.  Or in the newspaper.  And sometimes the hater is someone who ran for president.  NO, not that one.  (It’s not always about YOU, Mr. Trump.) I’m actually talking about Mr. Ted Cruz.  Do you remember Mr. Ted Cruz?  In case you have been trying very, very hard to forget Mr. Ted Cruz– and it has been working– I will remind you.  (Sorry, America.  Did I say The Emma was all about love?  I might have meant TOUGH LOVE.)

Mr. Ted Cruz is the one who looks like Cousin Larry from Perfect Strangers . . . minus the crazy hair.


Mr. Ted Cruz is in the photo on top.  Cousin Larry is in the photo on the bottom, standing on the left.  (America, be impressed that The Emma knows her right from her left.  Also be impressed that she knows a character from a TV show that went off the air almost 20 years before she was born.  Don’t overthink it.)


Cousin Larry wasn’t very funny.  Frankly, he was pretty annoying. But he set up the jokes for Balki, the character played by the captivating Bronson Pinchot (*swoon*).  In other words, “Cousin Larry” played the straight man.  HOW. APPROPRIATE.

Mr. Ted Cruz is a STRAIGHT MAN who is getting ready to hate crime America. That’s right, people, I’m verbing it.  He’s going to hate crime all over this beautiful country.  Now, America, you are probably saying, “But Emma, NO ONE wanted him to be president. He lost the primary.  Why do we still have to listen to him?”  Well, America, apparently even if most of the people in your own political party decide that you are, in fact, worse for the country than the Trumps, you still get to be senator from Texas.  Anyway, Mr. Ted Cruz is using his senator job to put forth a law called the First Amendment Defense Act.  (I should say, he’s trying to do this AGAIN.  It didn’t work the first time.)  This (possible) law is a hate crime.

OH HELLS-TO-THE-NO, MR. TED CRUZ.  How dare you take the name of The Emma’s favorite amendment and make it into something bad!?!  In case you are unaware, America, the FADA would let people or businesses discriminate against other people. If those other people happen not be straight.  Like Mr. Ted Cruz.

Mr. Ted Cruz is NOT all about love.

I’ll say this, America.  During my four long journeys around the sun, The Emma has learned a thing or two.   Put on your listening caps, because this one is really important.  Behind hate is often fear.  The Emma thinks that Mr. Ted Cruz is actually AFRAID of love.  (The Emma suspects that, for him, this is not an issue that comes up too often.)  The Emma believes that it makes Mr. Ted Cruz frightened when a boy loves another boy or a girl loves another girl.  Why does that scare you, Mr. Ted Cruz?   THEY. DON’T. LOVE.  YOU. (Seriously, they don’t.)  Are you afraid that the awesomeness of their rainbow love will give them a sort of superpower . . . ? Perhaps strong enough to overthrow an authoritarian government run by a pyramid of insanely rich white men who are riddled with conflicts of interest and have no real mandate from the people?  HMM?

If not, why prevent them from hiring a decent caterer for their wedding?  (To take just one example.)

I’ll be honest, America (if I may slightly digress) The Emma has mixed feelings about weddings.  I find some of the traditions concerning.  Covering the bride’s face?  (THE EMMA DOES NOT BELIEVE IN WEARING ANYTHING THAT MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO EAT CAKE.)  Giving the bride away?  (OFFENSIVE.  AND SHORT-SIGHTED. DON’T BE SO EAGER TO GET RID OF THE ONE WHO IS IN CHARGE OF TELLING THE CATERER WHEN TO SERVE THE FOOD.)  On the other hand, The Emma appreciates the opportunity to wear a fancy dress.  And, the Emma also appreciates the glorious concept known as the “wedding registry”.  (HELLS-TO-THE-YES.)   And therefore believes there is potential to make the wedding experience more egalitarian.

But back to my point.  Mr. Ted Cruz should not be pushing for laws that allow any business (or individual) to discriminate.  To effectively prevent someone from hiring the caterer of their choice for their wedding.  Or the best florist.  Or the most qualified troupe of balloon-twisting, fire juggling, unicorns. (Just give it a minute to let the brilliance sink in.)  Mr. Ted Cruz should not be opening the door for discrimination.  Encouraging discrimination.  Indeed, encouraging fear and hate.  NOT ACCEPTABLE, COUSIN LARRY.  NOT ACCEPTABLE.  NOT IN MY AMERICA.

Where’s the love?

The Emma thinks America could use a bit more love.  Right.  About.  Now.  So, the Emma is sending you all a big Emma-sized-hug, America.  (But not a kiss, because kissing all of you would just be inviting trouble during the cold and flu season.  I’m sure you understand.)

Take heart, America.  2016 is almost over.  And The Emma is working on a plan to spread more love in 2017.

Emma Schools Trump

Oh, Mr. Trump.  You’re not even in the White House yet.  And already a lot of people want to put you in a time out.  Don’t panic.  The Emma is here to help.

First problem: you have been talking. A LOT.  Which should be good thing.  (Better than Twittering.)   But take it from The Emma.  Talking can get a kid into trouble.  Sure, when you’re a baby EVERYONE wants you to talk.  They get all excited and jump-up-and-down-y if you say one word.  (*eyeroll*  AMIRIGHT, Trumps?)  But then you get a bit older.  And learn more words. (Like braggadocious.)  And all of a sudden people don’t always want you to talk.  “Quiet down, Emma, it’s time to go to sleep.” “Don’t talk now, Emma, I’m trying to talk to Daddy.” (Seriously, Mommy: PRIORITIZE.)  “Not now, Emma, I’m trying to brush your teeth.”  WHICH.  IS.  IT.  PEOPLE?!?  Cuz if you don’t want me to talk, I’ve been working on a few non-verbal gestures I’d like to test drive . . .

Mr. Trump, I understand your confusion.  Talking to people is part of your job.  So why is America all upset?  Let’s review.

First, you talked to the boss in Pakistan.  And then you told everyone that he was just terrific.  And his people were terrific.  And his country was terrific. But India didn’t think this was so terrific.

Then you had a chat with the boss in Taiwan.  And that made the boss in China mad.  (Really. Mad.)  Because the boss in China has made it clear that Taiwan is just a figment of our imagination.  I understand your confusion on this one, Mr. Trump.  Because Jacob tells me the same thing about unicorns.  And I have had the pleasure of playing with both unicorns AND people from Taiwan.  (Not at the same time.)  THEY’RE. BOTH. REAL.  No matter what the boss in China says.

You have also been talking to Mr. Bannon from the Alternative Right. (Mommy, isn’t the alternative to right “left”?  FINE.  You don’t have to yell.)  And talking to Mr. Bannon has made everyone (with a sense of decency) mad. Do your breathing, America.  That’s it.  In.  Out.  (If you need to use a non-verbal gesture, go ahead.  The Emma approves.)

And then, Mr. Trump, you said that the boss in the Philippines was doing a good job.  And that made all the people who have heard about the boss in the Philippines—and know what the word “atrocity” means—mad.  Mad.  Mad. Mad. Maddy-mad, MAD.

All this talking hasn’t really worked out so well.  Politics are confusing aren’t they, Mr. Trump?  First everyone tells you that you do too much mean talk.   (Okay, The Emma might have been one of those people.)  So you try to use nice words.  And everyone just gets EVEN MORE UPSET.

Maybe the problem isn’t so much what you’re saying, but who you’re saying it to.  Maybe if you want to be the President-Of-All-America, you should start by using some of those nice words with the people who DIDN’T vote for you.  Or support you.  You know who they are.  The ones who live in the edge pieces of the country puzzle.  (And Nevada.)  (And Colorado.)  (Don’t forget about Minnesota.  Though they may actually speak Canadian up there.  So maybe bring a translator.)

For example, it was good that you talked to Mr. Al Gore.  About climate change.  Even though you don’t really believe in climate change.  (Or people who win the popular vote.)   This was a good start, Mr. Trump.  But I think  you lost your chance at a gold star the next day when you chose Mr. Scott Pruitt to be the boss of the EPA.  I’m not sure if you know this Trumps, but the “E” in EPA does NOT actually stand for Emma.  (An outrage.  I know.)  It stands for “environment”.  And, as you know, Mr. Pruitt hates the environment.  (Why, Mr. Pruitt, WHY?  Did a pine cone bully you as a child?)  You know what the environment is, don’t you Mr. Trump?  It’s trees.  And air.  And water.  And earth.  AND WE’RE RUINING IT.  And some day that will make it too hot to live here.  Mr. Trump, THE EMMA DOES NOT WANT IT TO BE TOO HOT TO LIVE HERE.  I’m finally starting to get used to this planet.  (And its people.)  I don’t want to have to move.

Here’s the thing, Mr. Trump.  You might not believe in climate change.  Mr. Pruitt might not believe in climate change.  BUT THE ENVIRONMENT BELIEVES IN CLIMATE CHANGE.  AND.  ITS.  DOING IT.  It’s kind of like when Mommy says it’s bath time.  And I tell Mommy that “No, it is NOT bath time”.  Which really should make it NOT bath time.  (I think you agree, America.) And I sit on the floor.  Doing my best frowny face.  And close my eyes.  So I can’t see the bath tub.  And cover my ears.  So I can’t hear the water running.  And for a few glorious minutes, Mr. Trump, it’s like it’s really not bath time.  But then it is.  How do I know?  Because I find myself in a tub of water.

And so will you.  Especially if you are at Mar a Lago when the polar ice caps melt.

Mr. Trump, global warming will happen even if we close our eyes. OPEN YOUR EYES, MR. TRUMP.  A bazillion scientists– AND THE POPE– aren’t wrong.  More importantly, The Emma IS NOT WRONG.  (Except occasionally about bath time.)

Time to clean up your act, Mr. Trump.  The electoral college vote is next week.  And it’s still possible that they could put you in a VERY long time-out.  (Oh please, oh please, oh please . . . )

Last but not least, one quick side bar.  For the Boeing company.  Now I’m just talking to you fly-people.  I just want you to know that if Mr. Trump doesn’t want your four billion dollar (Air Force One) plane, The Emma will take it.  (Let Trumps go cheap on his ride.) AMERICA: I’M COMING.  Prepare yourself for The Emma’s Victory Tour.  And after that, on to Russia.  The Emma has a few words for Mr. Putin.  And a couple of non-verbal gestures.


A New Year

Oh, America.  2016.  I know.  You’re still trying to work out your resolutions.  You’re wondering when I am ever going to launch my presidential campaign.  And, of course, your heart is crying out: why silent so long, Oh Great One?  Well, America, I promise I will get to ALL of these issues.  But first a few updates.

Continue reading