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a noble profession

August 26, 2011

Maya said something shocking to me today: “When I grow up, I want to be a ballerina. Or a window-washer.”

That’s all it took to get me to postpone my closet organizing frenzy and dust off Maya’s“Get Ready for 1st Grade” workbook instead. I had grand plans to get through this book when I first brought it home back in June and thus far we’ve completed approximately 12 pages. Out of 416.

After 45 minutes of intensive review I am convinced of the following:

1. I lost a few years of my life this morning.
2. Maya is very smart.
3. She likes to play mind games with me.

She's an aspiring window washer with a refined palate. Today's lunch: smoked salmon, veggie chips, edamame, and cheese.

“No Mama. I think you are wrong and the book is totally wrong. There is no “i” in plain.”

“For the love of God! Mama is hungry and doesn’t have a lot of patience right now. The book is NOT wrong. The letter “i” is freaking silent!”

“Haha. I knew that Mama. I was just testing you.”

I don’t think I can handle another 398 pages of first grade prep. So please tell me, is a career in window washing really that bad?

***Any avid readers out there? I just reviewed Still Missing on my sister site***

90 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2011 12:21 am

    Maya is smart 🙂

    You kind of gave me a heads up about what I am about to encounter in a few years time. Thanks!

  2. August 26, 2011 1:46 am

    What happened to juice boxes and carrots???? You have bigger problems than her career if this is what he is eating at this age!!!!

    • August 26, 2011 7:40 pm

      Juice is terrible for kids…didn’t you get the memo?

  3. August 26, 2011 1:54 am

    lol she is going to keep you on your toes haha

    She does have refined taste…smoked salmon!!! my kids took a vegemite or cheese or spread sandwich, a pkt of crisps and a biscuit, cake ,fruit bar or yogurt…..everyday.

  4. August 26, 2011 3:33 am

    Little girls are soo clever. Enjoy your Maya!

  5. August 26, 2011 4:16 am

    When Maya grows up, she is going to put us all to shame with all the things she will be able to accomplish. Such a clever little thing…

    … and on top of that, she’ll probably be a ballerina in New York as a fun little hobby on the side.


  6. August 26, 2011 5:10 am

    I don’t think there is anything wrong in window washing as a career. But Children do what they do best – grow up fast and before you know it you will be sharing your wardrobe. Rest your mind as she will change her career plans many times yet, just get prepared to handle the next one.

    • August 26, 2011 7:42 pm

      I’m scared to know what the next one is, although I suppose we can only go up from window washing?

  7. August 26, 2011 5:30 am

    I’m impressed you got to 12 pages…I would have “accidently” lost that one..;)

    Maya is the only little girl I know that eats smoked salmon!

  8. August 26, 2011 5:33 am

    Edamame and smoked salmon?? A girl after my own heart. She’ll be the best-fed window washer on the block!

  9. August 26, 2011 5:35 am

    Man, I wanted to be so many ridiculous things when I was a kid that I can’t even count! I could never answer the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” because I didn’t have a clue… funnily enough, I still don’t.

    Oh, and there may be an ‘i’ in ‘plain’ but not ‘plane’!

    • August 26, 2011 7:44 pm

      I’m 35 and I still don’t know either. Hopefully Maya isn’t going to follow in my footsteps.

  10. August 26, 2011 5:47 am

    As long as she’s not afraid of heights!! Don’t you hate when you “have” to read a book. I much prefer picking my own! Good luck with it, though~

  11. August 26, 2011 6:26 am

    haha she tricked you into spending some time brushing off your 1st grade skills! she sure knows how to get your attention! very sweet!

  12. August 26, 2011 6:31 am

    Depends where you live, in NYC window washing is serious stuff. I would push the ballerina thing if Maya likes cities. As for the workbooks, it’s great when the kids can do on their own. I have a son who likes me to check every page, totally annoying.

    • August 26, 2011 7:45 pm

      My goal is to get Maya completely autonomous. Any idea what age that happens?

  13. August 26, 2011 7:40 am

    I can’t wait til Maya is a teenager — oh what fun you’ll have 😉

    • August 26, 2011 7:46 pm

      I hear that the teen years makes the first year look like a picnic. I am terrified.

  14. August 26, 2011 7:49 am

    As a former ballerina and former employee of my dad’s window washing business I have to say spring for the ballerina. Even my personal trainer father couldn’t handle the back breaking work of window washing. He was also getting hit on by too many senior citizens, and I know you don’t want THAT for Maya.

    • August 26, 2011 7:47 pm

      Crazy. You have experiene in both careers? What are the chances!

  15. August 26, 2011 7:56 am

    Window washing is great! You get to be out in the open with fresh air, you an peer into people’s offices and spy on folks, maybe even be the first to see emerging proprietary secrets to said office! Ballerina?! I’d be more scared of that -body issues, eating disorders…need I say more?

    • August 26, 2011 7:48 pm

      Valid points eg! I still haven’t seen “Black Swan” so maybe that’s what I need to realize that a ballerina’s life isn’t as glamorous as it seems.

  16. August 26, 2011 7:57 am

    can you pack my lunches for me!


  17. August 26, 2011 7:57 am


  18. August 26, 2011 8:20 am

    She could own a skyscraper window washing business, not all is lost. Don’t worry soon you will be eating and your patience will be slightly bettter 😉

    • August 26, 2011 7:49 pm

      I wish I could say this is the case but the truth is that I am impatient year-round.

  19. August 26, 2011 8:30 am

    Aww, Maya is adorable! I wish my mom would pack me lunches like that!!!

  20. August 26, 2011 8:46 am

    What a cutie she is! I’m totally packing my son’s lunch box with edamame when he’s ready!

    • August 26, 2011 7:50 pm

      TJ’s has it in the frozen section – just boil for 5 minutes! It’s great.

  21. August 26, 2011 8:48 am

    LOL! When we asked my brother the other day what he wanted to be, he said ‘electrical facility’. I’m not sure where he got that from, perhaps he was just tricking us too. These little ones are so sneaky!

    • August 26, 2011 7:51 pm

      That is one pretty high-tech answer! I’m curious where he got it from.

  22. August 26, 2011 8:49 am

    A refined palatte indeed! What a yummy lunch!

  23. August 26, 2011 9:57 am

    Dude, why is her lunch so awesome? I remember getting a mushy sandwich, a granola bar and a box of juice. Oh wait, she has to eat well to prepare for her outdoor job 🙂

    • August 26, 2011 7:52 pm

      I remember making my own lunch every day – a mushy tomato sandwich was it!

  24. August 26, 2011 10:25 am

    I can’t believe she will eat all that good stuff. I need to straighten up when it comes to what I allow the kids to eat. She is brilliant and will own the window washing company.

  25. August 26, 2011 10:28 am

    You just made me laugh. Thank you, I needed to laugh today.

  26. August 26, 2011 10:52 am

    This is the funniest post ever!!!!! I thought my kids ate great, smoked salmon? Trust me, she will change her mind about the whole window washing gig. And yes, the English language is one of the hardest. You don’t even realize it until you are teaching spelling to your kids and wonder yourself, “why is this spelled this way?”. I think we should all just learn Spanish, it totally makes sense.

    • August 26, 2011 7:54 pm

      I had so much trouble with Spanish actually…all the question marks and “te” versus “se.” English made a whole lot more sense to me!

  27. August 26, 2011 11:07 am

    If she really want to be a window washer, just hire her to wash your windows at home. She’ll get over it pretty quick and move on to a different dream profession. That way, you don’t have to bother with that goofy book. No need to panic.

    • August 26, 2011 7:54 pm

      This is actually a brilliant idea. I can get her past her dream job and have clean windows!

  28. August 26, 2011 11:16 am

    Haha… I feel your pain. My son likes to correct my pronunciation. Even though he does it sweetly, still.. 🙂
    Maya is very smart, she should be a writer, just like you. You should write a book too Ameena. I will pay good money! Have a great weekend.

    • August 26, 2011 7:55 pm

      Lydia – you just made my entire weekend. And it’s only Friday night. Thank you! 🙂

  29. Piya permalink
    August 26, 2011 11:25 am

    hahaha maya is so cute! don’t worry though…when i was little, i told my mom i wanted to be a cleaning lady!!! i thought mopping floors, washing dishes, ironing were such cool chores. all that changed very soon! there’s nothing more i hate than housework 😛

    • August 26, 2011 7:56 pm

      I feel you on this one! I was mesmerized by the vaccuum when I was a kid. Not so much anymore.

  30. August 26, 2011 12:15 pm

    —Maya is amazing like Mama.
    OMG, I wish you were making my lunches for work, Ameena 🙂 xx Salmon? Shut the F up.

    • August 26, 2011 7:57 pm

      Smoked salmon is the easiest lunch! Just pull it out of the little pouch and put it into a tupperware. Instant!

  31. August 26, 2011 12:26 pm

    Wow this is exactly what my brother does to my parents!! He says he wants to be a bus driver…just for fun and they always fall for it every time hahaha

    If I got smoked salmon as a kid for lunch….so gourmet!

    • August 26, 2011 8:00 pm

      A bus driver? I feel for your parents. They must be living in FEAR.

  32. August 26, 2011 1:21 pm

    You have a foodie in your hands – love that she is a “clean” eater 🙂

  33. August 26, 2011 1:57 pm

    Maya is smart AND naughty 😀
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. i only got either peanut butter and jelly or tuna fish

    • August 26, 2011 7:57 pm

      I got tomato. And tomato. And tomato. And I got to make it myself!

  34. August 26, 2011 2:41 pm

    Enjoy her! 🙂

  35. August 26, 2011 7:18 pm

    What a delight, little Maya is hilarious. Thanks for sharing the crazy antics in your life, it always makes me smile. 🙂

  36. August 26, 2011 7:27 pm

    Haha, I wonder if she said that statement on purpose to make you do the work with her.

    • August 26, 2011 7:59 pm

      Good point…she just likes to see me tortured. I swear.

  37. August 26, 2011 9:23 pm

    Hahahaha Maya is so cute!
    Next time she tests you like that, you should just have her practice her window washing. It will be good practice for her.

  38. August 27, 2011 4:05 am

    1. Do first graders need 416 pages of anything?

    2. Maya’s lunch looked beautiful – I remember the first time my parents deemed me able to eat smoked salmon. I was in 3rd grade and we were on a cruise. It was terrifically elegant and mystifying all at once. Cold fish that is sort of raw but actually edible? Naturally this was before sushi really had its heyday in the good old midwest.

    • August 27, 2011 10:26 am

      1. Not really. And neither do I.
      2. I only recently developed a taste for smoked salmon. Until now it grossed me out. And I’m 35!

  39. August 27, 2011 4:59 am

    Maya has quite the sophisticated palate! Sounds like she’s ready for 1st grade 🙂

  40. August 27, 2011 7:23 am

    I can’t convince my kids to eat edamame, unfortunately. They usually get sandwiches, baby carrots or broccoli, a piece of fruit, and yogurt. Sometimes I’ll mix things up and send cold pizza or cereal.

    • August 27, 2011 10:26 am

      Maya loves broccoli but doesn’t like carrots…you can’t win them all I guess?

  41. August 27, 2011 11:41 am

    That Maya is a smarty!!! Hey you never know she may start something new – ballet window washing….bring in the $$$

  42. August 27, 2011 3:19 pm

    It is my dream that my ‘maybe, one day children’ have food tastes like Maya. I will be damned if I ‘must’ bring a child into this world and then they insist on eating lunchables. In this instance I think hunger is the more nutritious option.

    • August 28, 2011 1:24 pm

      I hate to be a food snob but Lunchables are nauseating. I don’t know what else to say about that.

  43. August 28, 2011 4:25 pm

    Did I read that correctly??? 416 pages??!! How is that possible? She’s going into frigging 1st grade. My friend is a 1st grade teacher. Half the first week is reminding them how to tie their shoes. I’m intrigued. Are we just extra stupid in MN?

    • August 29, 2011 5:42 pm

      Around here people have tutors for their kids starting at 1 year…I feel like I’m half-assing it with a 416 page book!

  44. Ambika permalink
    August 28, 2011 5:34 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me that Maya is smart, she has a very smart mom and dad. 🙂

    • August 29, 2011 5:42 pm

      Ambika – how sweet are you? And I love your name, by the way!

  45. August 28, 2011 7:55 pm

    My son still corrects my English and my pronounciation since he was 6 years old. He is 23 nows, o looks like this will continue as long as I live. But who to blame? After marrying my Quay Lo for 15 years, I am still confused about he and she, grammar, present past future tense and pronouncing an English word that will take my Quay Lo and my son to pause for few mins to figure out what the hell I am talking about! LOL! Maya is a smart girl and even if she really become a window cleaner, she will be an outstanding one:D

    • August 29, 2011 5:43 pm

      I correct my dad’s English all the time – it’s a terribly rude habit that I can’t seem to stop!

  46. August 29, 2011 7:11 am

    she looks smart. and her palate is smart too!

  47. August 29, 2011 10:47 am

    hehehe how cute. I think you enabled her window washing aspirations – wasn’t she cleaning the balcony or something. 😉

    • August 29, 2011 5:44 pm

      She colored on the balcony not too long ago so I had the brilliant idea of having her clean it up to teach her a lesson. Apparently that backfired!

  48. August 29, 2011 1:04 pm

    Ummm…how about you give up your gig at home and come work at mine? I want that lunch.

    • August 29, 2011 5:44 pm

      I’m looking for any excuse to escape this madness…don’t tempt me!

  49. Tandra permalink
    August 29, 2011 2:45 pm

    Haha that is funny. Don’t worry Ameena, I have a little boy exactly the same age as Maya (I assume) and he wants to be a Paleontologist (he has this huuuuuuge crush on Dinosaurs !!!) in the morning and by afternoon he wants to be “Iron chef (thai)”-LOL and by the time he goes to bed he aspires to be a car mechanic :-(…I guess we should simply cheer to the fact that our kids have lively imaginations 🙂

    • August 29, 2011 5:45 pm

      I’m trying to process the fact that your child knows what a paleontologist does. This just reinforces that I need to make more progress in Maya’s 416 page book!!

  50. August 30, 2011 11:58 am

    Oh girlfriend, I’ve so so been there! XO

  51. August 30, 2011 1:49 pm

    Ooh a bento box! I have the added pressure of trying to get through the books in English because that’s the only English they’ll get. But I think a window washer might not be so bad – she can start at our place. And hopefully inspire my young lady to get off her butt. 😉

  52. magicofspice permalink
    August 30, 2011 6:34 pm

    Maya is pretty smart 🙂 And the window washers that do high rise building make some pretty good money 😉

  53. August 30, 2011 9:00 pm

    Cute. Maya is going to grow up to be just as smart and pretty as her mama…I’m sure! Thank you for making me smile! I hope you are having a terrific Tuesday evening. I’m about to head off to bed after a long but rewarding day. Much love and hugs from Austin!

  54. August 31, 2011 10:33 am

    I’m not looking forward to the day my kids correct my English. Although one has started correcting the tone of my voice – “Mommy! You need to speak nicer to me, OKAY!?” Let’s just say that was the day I perfected my peeved off motherly glare. And Maya eats smoked salmon? Wow!

  55. September 1, 2011 10:16 am

    I’m not sure the other window washers won’t make fun of her lunch box!

  56. September 2, 2011 9:49 am

    Don’t worry! Things will find a way to solve themselves. When I was a child, I wanted to become a professional cartoon drawer. Well, instead, I’m going to head into science now. I’d never have guessed that 10 years ago.


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