An Update…

I am doing well (far better than I deserve, anyway), and am anticipating Very Big Things in the Very Near Future. As in, I will soon (at some point next month, odds are) be a Grand-Cuttle.

Everything is going well (all digits, appendages, and tentacles crossed), and Cuttledaughter is amazing.

I am buying books for the little one, and reveling in the memories of what this book was for me as a child or as a parent. I have two books that I think (no, I know) are terrible—just atrocious writing, just painful to read—but which were Cuttledaughter’s favorites. I have classics. I have newly recommended books that look wonderful. (Not too late to make your own recommendations in the comments below! I am especially interested in books like my parents collected, books from around the globe, from different cultures, sometimes in different languages.)

And I am looking for other things, like music, or art, or stuffed animals, or *anything*. Again, please, feel free to recommend in the comments.

And Cuttledaughter is looking for something specific. Seen on an app currently under congressional investigation, a Cephalopodean outfit for a very small human. (I will try to post a pic). If you have any leads, I would be happy to chase them down. If it is a pattern… I can sew.

I don’t have a verse for you today… although, oddly enough, I did dream of one recently—reminiscent of the Cat in the Hat, it was several stanzas of The Newt in a Suit. I have great difficulty remembering my dreams, but it seems to me, vaguely, that it was an environmentalist number, not in the league of the Lorax or Oobleck or anything, but in that direction. But about water shortages. So now you can go and imagine your own version. I, myself, am getting ready for another generation.

And I am going to fight like hell to make the world a better place, for her and for all the others.

Be well, my friends. I miss writing here much more than you miss reading it. Maybe soon??


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Excellent news all around.

    But be careful sewing that molluscostume – color-changing chameleon cloth invites injuries!

  2. sonofrojblake says

    Hairy McClary from Donaldson’s Dairy. Just the best kids book – both mine absolutely loved it, first having it read to them, then joining in with the actions*, then reciting along with me. There’s a whole McClary library, but the original is the best, I think.

    Also “I Want My Hat Back”, by Jon Klassen is superb. I do different accents for each of the creatures – the bear is basically Marvin from Hitchhikers, the fox is an upper-class English, the tortoise is sort of breathy and tired, the snake is hissy and whispery, the frog is a croaky Cockney, the armadillo(?) has a generic sort of foreign accent with a very raspy H, the stag is Scottish, the squirrel is from Birmingham and the thieving rabbit is a Scouser. My older one particularly fixated on the armadillo’s funny “WHAT IS A HAT?” line and would always repeat it when I read or recited the book to him.

    *actions. There are no actions, per se. But when pronouncing “Morse” and “Horse” I always go falsetto, Bottomley Potts gets an exaggerated nod, Muffin McClay gets a big shake of the head, Bitzer Maloney gets a screwed up face, and Schnitzel von Krumm always is said with chin on chest in as low a voice as I can manage. Also, the buildup to the reveal of Scarface Claw has to be as dramatic as possible. They bloody love it. I seriously cannot recommend this book enough.

    Have fun.

  3. Jacque G says

    Google Lens identified it as “Octopus Onesie” and it’s available on Amazon and eBay right now. Google Lens is amazing.

  4. machintelligence says

    Welcome back. I had been wondering how you were.
    I still have digital cuttlefish emblems on my two vehicles (one decal, one one plastic emblem).

  5. Die Anyway says

    Re: “And I am going to fight like hell to make the world a better place, for her and for all the others.”

    GMTA… ;-)
    I just sent the following sentence to a friend last night as we were discussing Republican anti-democratic moves.
    > “I’ll fight it the best I can and hope I leave a better world for my kids but it’s not looking good at the moment.”

    No grandkids in the future for the Die Anyway household but I’ll continue striving for a better world for all little cuttles.

  6. Jacque G says

    The cuttle outfit is called an Octopus Onesie and can be had on Amazon or eBay. Google Lens is a wonderful tool for identifying such things.

    I’ve missed you, I hope you come back soon.

  7. katybe says

    Never fails – someone asks for recommendations of childrens books, and off I go to log in to an account I haven’t used in years! Congratulations on the pending arrival anyway, and hope all goes smoothly. I’d be interested to read about the books you’d already picked out ready some time.

    Board books for a very small one – Peepo, by Janet and Alan Ahlberg, and Ten Little Fingers, by Helen Oxenbury. There’s also a series called Baby Loves Science, by Ruth Spiro and Irene Chan, and Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering was the first book my engineer partner read to our baby when she was less than a week old. 5 and a half years later, that same book has recently come out again as a good basic explanation for flight ahead of her first plane ride! Daughter liked Dear Zoo, but after a few re-reads, I started querying the ethics of a zoo that sent out rare (and dangerous) animals instead of running a breeding programme, and it kind of spoiled the fun of reading that one.

    If I start listing picture books, it’s really hard to stop, but some of our real highlights, that got read over and over again – Grobblechops, by Elizabeth Laird and Jenny Lucander (based on a story by Rumi, and published by Tiny Owl, who specialise in really nice, diverse books – you could do worse than check out their wider catalogue), We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes, by Eve Sutton, Gaspard the Fox by Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew (also, James Mayhew has a semi-regular Twitter series, #ChildrensBookIllustrationOfTheDay, which can be a good way to find new artists/books), and the complete Frog and Toad (Arnold Lobel) and Brambley Hedge (Jill Barklem) stories. As they get slightly older, Alex T Smith has written a few fun ones that build up to Christmas, with lovely pictures (and in the 2 about Winston the Mouse, a series of craft and other festive activities to do each day). And there’s a lovely poetry anthology called Tiger Tiger Burning Bright, edited by Fiona Waters, which gives you an animal poem for every day of the year. Our copy just about stood up to 2 years of continuous reading, but I’m taking a year off and reading other anthologies so that I can do some repairs before we start it up again.

  8. Cuttlefish says

    Thank you, all!

    (the onesie is claimed to be for ages 3+–though the pic does not look like that is a 3 year old–and it is, alas, out of stock!)

    I have made careful note of all recommendations.

    I am… still waiting. Cuttledaughter has been in early labor for a few days now. Every wrong number or spam text adds years to my life.

  9. procrastinator will get an avatar real soon now says

    Thought of you today and went looking. I found a shiny new post. Grands and great are perfect, no question.
    Had a cup of soup yesterday and it was in the Digital Cuttlefish cup I got years ago.
    Best wishes – JB

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