Sorry this took so long. Last week was a little busier and a lot more vomity than expected. However, we finally have a winner (or a split decision).

Although there were some votes for other alternatives (girlfriend, gal pal, woman, Mexican tamale), and an earnest pro-partner contingent, "special lady friend" is the term of readers' choice for referring to my mother's special lady friend.

However, in deference to the earnest pro-partner contingent, and my Mom's wishes, on first reference her special lady friend will be called her partner, and then special lady friend thereafter, because that just amuses me more.

In other news, we're about to undergo an urban rite of passage: taking the girl to a nursery school for a playdate to see if she can cut the mustard at this particular institution.

Now that I've helped out in her classroom a few times, I am a little confused as to how anyone can evaluate a room full of three and a half year olds and determine which will be an asset to the classroom. I suspect it may involve identifying the kids eat who only their own boogers, as opposed to the boogers of others.

But the part that has me most freaked out: they take the kids' pictures on their way in, so they can have a visual reminder of who's who, and all I can think of is the scene from "Animal House" where the Delta brothers flash Kent Dorfman's picture on a sheet tacked to the wall and everyone throws beer and shouts, "Not him!"

Jen