The Tragic Optimist

Help me Internets, you’re my only hope…

Ok, I need help. Well, yeah, in general, too. But right now I have two specific information needs and I’m not entirely sure where to go. (Yes, as a librarian, I should just be able to do some search magic, but I’m feeling lazy, and one of the important lessons is to know when it’s faster to turn to a person or people for help):

  • I’m trying to design a ballot on which people vote yes or no on 124 different resolutions, and I’m not sure of the best design. I think it makes sense to have the yes / no vote right after the text of the resolution, not have the ballot separate from the text. But doing it that way will use more paper. Also, the ballots will need to be tallied by hand. Any thoughts on the best way to deal with that?
  • Zoe is generally awesome about keeping her glasses on. Except when she’s angry about something (usually when we take something, like a pen, away from her). Then she rips them off her face and flings them to the ground. Today, the ear piece fell off her glasses when she did that. We were able to repair them, but still. How do we keep her from using them as a way to express her anger, without causing bad associations with her glasses so she won’t want to wear them at all? Currently we’re trying to just not react at all when she whips them off (only maybe once a day), and then put them back on a few minutes later, but I’m open to other suggestions.

Update: If you’re looking for more information on babies, toddlers and young children with glasses, check out my other blog, Little Four Eyes.



  1. Hey Ann –

    On the ballot resolution issue, I suggest you take a look at California ballots. As I recall growing up, we often had a huge number of propositions listed on our general ballots in every election (CA law permits anyone to get a proposition on the ballot if they get enough signatures, and all new tax or regulatory changes are subject to propositions as well I think).

    As I recall, we had a large summary of the ballot issues delivered to us, but then on the ballot itself we just had a short 1-sentence summary with Yes/No listed next to it.

    Hope that helps!

  2. S has a temper, oh does she ever. She will throw things, bang her head on things, etc. We have done a couple of things to deal with it, depending on the level of upset-ness.
    1) time outs. Z is old enough for time outs, probably. If she’s mad but not out of control, she gets a time out. One minute per year (we started these at 17 months with a minute and a half of time out).
    2) deep breathing exercises. If she’s really totally out of control we will physically restrain her and coach her in doing deep breathing. This has helped ENORMOUSLY in teaching her to manage her own emotions. We still have to remind her to do it, but it makes a big difference.

    If it’s just a ploy for attention, probably ignoring it is the best way to go; if it’s strong emotions that she can’t yet control trying to address that will help with the glasses-throwing in the long run.

    (Off to address Miss S’s strong emotions about the fact that it is still rest time.)

  3. Pat

    When you aren’t able to complain or express frustration in complete sentences yet, a tantrum conveys how you feel pretty well.
    What worked for me was doing my best to childproof the lower 3 feet of our house and ignore all but the dangerous transgressions
    This too shall pass… in a year or so. She is probably choosing the glasses to fling because she knows it upsets you. It sounds like what you are doing is fine.

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