Today’s Kidoinfo Interviewer: Anisa Raoof
Kidoinfo: What neighborhood do you live in?
JG: Currently, we live in the Elmhurst neighborhood, right by Providence College. The last two weeks have been a blessing and a curse. The curse: end-of-the-year partying by PC students; and the blessing: the great things they throw off their porches like a little tikes basketball net, a kiddie pool, an amazing computer chair, and many Halloween costumes!
Kidoinfo: Where were you born?
JG: I was born in Rhode Island, went to Classical High School and Rhode Island College, and like any punk worth her salt, thought Rhode Island Island was boring, so I went to San Francisco to “discover” myself. Instead, I discovered the Circus. Using San Francisco as my base for twenty years, I was lucky to travel the world with Cirque Du Soleil, Theatre FoFo, Runs with Scissors, and too many more to mention.
Kidoinfo: How long have you been in Rhode Island?
JG: After the birth of my gorgeous son, Pascal, I decided to seek out my roots and made my way back to Little Rhody. I moved back home one year, three months, two weeks, and thirty-two minutes ago. I’m thrilled to be back where a grinder is a sandwich, not just for coffee & spices, coffee is a syrup, not just a morning beverage, and a quahog is known for what it is. . . and the New York system and Haven Bros. are still the midnight treat.
Kidoinfo: What is your current state of mind?
JG: Bliss. One week from his second birthday, my son decided to go pee in the toilet! Yeah! Along with this joyful event, I get to own my own business, where I’m fortunate to talk with moms and dads all day long. I’m writing a kids’ show for a big event coming up, and I’m dating a truly nice guy. Okay, maybe my state of mind is subdued chaos. Or just masked chaos . . . wait, isn’t that motherhood? Oh! the bliss is coupled with the sale of my son on Craigslist. The terrible twos have arrived, so if you want him, I’ll include shipping!
Kidoinfo: Who’s in your family?
JG: Coming from a native Rhode Islander, that’s a loaded question. Who isn’t my family? The six degrees of separation is narrowed to one in Rhode Island. My family is huge, both blood and intentional. Too big to list here, but there’s me and my son, Pascal, his Mem and Pep, and my niece and nephew, Hailey and Erik, in the house at any given time. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mem and Pep for allowing me to be myself and dragging my butt (in tow with Pascal) back to Rhode Island.
Kidoinfo: What trait do you most admire about your family?
PG: My family unequivocally knows how to have fun. I’m kind of a strict mom but will sacrifice almost anything in the name of fun. Having a circus mom is probably the best excuse for just about anything. Just the other day, I was reprimanding Pascal for throwing balls in the house, and he said “Mommy, I not throwing, I juggling.” Once again, I lost the battle of the day.
Kidoinfo: What is your favorite thing to do?
PG: Sleep. I know it’s obvious, but true. I love writing shows and singing, dancing, juggling, and flipping (as in handsprings, not flipping out). My absolute favorite thing is dancing to Elvis with Pascal. He does an incredible imitation!
Kidoinfo: Where is your favorite place to hang out?
JG: I’m assuming you want me to say some hotspot in Providence, but the reality is, I don’t get out. The place I love best is my screened-in front porch. I have cheesy Christmas lights, candles, a sandbox, picnic table, and adult seating. If I had my druthers, the whole world would hang with me on the front porch. We could enjoy a good beer while the little ones have snacks in the sandbox.
Kidoinfo: Where would you most like to live?
JG: Outside my own head.
Kidoinfo: What do you like to do when you are not with your kids?
JG: Sleep. But when well rested, I really love to work out and re-work my circus skills. I used to do trapeze, contortion, and Chinese acrobatics. So that keeps me busy in the thirty minutes I get without my son. I also adore owning my store, LoveBugs. Yeah, accounting rocks during naptimes.
Kidoinfo: What is the most overrated thing about parenthood?
JG: Dressing your child. I don’t know about everyone else, but I have to do circus tricks just to take off my son’s PJs in the morning. Same fight at night to get the PJs back on. Then again, in the morning when suddenly the hated PJs become the most treasured item that can’t possibly be removed. And I think I have it pretty easy with a boy. I get bins of girl’s clothes at the store and I think, oh no! There’s matching socks, and panties, and headbands and everything. Ironic that although I own a children’s clothing store, I wouldn’t be opposed to having my child naked all the time.
Kidoinfo: What is your most treasured possession?
JG: My fire batons and fake eyelashes. And I can prove this: my house was once on fire (actually five different times, but that’s another interview) and those were what I grabbed. Yes! This was before Pascal. Of course, I’d grab him now, but I don’t consider him a possession, so back to the question. I can explain: my fire batons are/were the last made in this country. These days, twirlers are required to use glow-stick batons (go figure, fire hazards? and no, I did not start the aforementioned fires in my house). And my fake eyelashes? Well, if anyone has put on fake lashes you know they suck. I have ones so molded to my eyes that I can put them on in the dark! At one point, I was making my living in the theater and this was an important feature in my life. Call it hanging on to the past or simply preparing for disaster, I’m grabbing my eyelashes. And my son.
Kidoinfo: What superpower would you most like to have?
JG: Invisibility. It may seem cowardly to some, but I’d love to see my son sometimes without him knowing I’m watching. Although, as with most little ones, I’m sure he’d know I was there. I’d also like to be in certain rooms and see what people are saying about me.
Kidoinfo: Who is your favorite fictional mother or father?
JG: Marge Simpson, for the hair if nothing else.
Kidoinfo: What are you going to do now that you have answered these questions?
JG: Sleep. Work out. Go back to work at LoveBugs.
In the interest of community building, we will periodically profile a parent from our Kidoinfo community. If you want to share your ideas or request a questionnaire so that you can be considered for a future “Meet a Parent” column, please contact us!