It is 9:30pm. My family is sleeping.
It is 9:30pm. My family is sleeping.
1. I just noticed I hung the kids’ curtains upside down. They’ve been that way for years. I may need a remedial course in drapery.
2. I recently cleaned out my purse. You wouldn’t know this by looking at the contents, which include: stylin’ sunglasses for the 2-year-old set, a Chuck E. Cheese whistle, a kazoo, a Batman band-aid, lollipops, a bright green necklace that doubles as a teething toy (Chewbeads!) and, of course, a binky.
3. Clearly, Pickle has been watching too much Wild Kratts lately. He wants to be either a Peregrine falcon or a Harpy eagle for Halloween. I’m pushing Spiderman cartoons, because that costume is much easier.
4. On everyone else the hairstyle is “beachy” or “tousled” but on me it’s just “messy.”
5. I already ordered my Christmas cards. I am equal parts happy and ashamed.
6. As part of our bedtime routine I spray “Sweet Dreams Spray” in the big kids’ bedroom. Last week I ran out of the chamomile and lavender pillow mist I usually use, so I used Elnett instead.
I’m thinking I should rename this blog feature “Things My Kids Like”…
Skip Hop Zoo Packs
Skip Hop makes great backpacks for kids. My children love them, and they are the perfect size. They are great for day trips, car rides, and flights. Roomy enough to fit some toys, extra clothes, lovies, but still small enough that a toddler can comfortably carry it. Plum has the bee, Pickle has the zebra, and Pistachio has the giraffe waiting for him when he is big enough to carry it/care. Bonus: these make great and inexpensive gifts!
Babies love keys. They just do. But those silly plastic key-wannabes just don’t cut it. Kleynimals are lovely, jingly, well made, and safe for chewing, unlike the key to my minivan. They are bit pricey, but are a favorite of Mr. Pistachio. Bonus: you can put them in the dishwasher, and you can have them engraved for a lovely baby gift.
Note: I have no affiliation with Skip Hop, Kleynimal or Amazon. I don’t receive anything for liking them, or linking to them, I just like their products.
1. The other day, I actually thought that it might be nice to get sick. But only sick enough that I would feel justified in staying home and sleeping all day.
2. There is a dead frog in my car. Somewhere. Thankfully (?) it is flat and dried.
3. I sometimes feel bad about:
a. not reading The New Yorker;
b. not eating enough fish;
c. sometimes writing “congrats” instead of “congratulations,” because that’s just lazy.
4. I don’t watch much TV, except for Wild Kratts and Curious George, so I’m woefully behind in my knowledge of news and pop culture. And I don’t really go anywhere interesting anymore. This paired with my usual state of exhaustion means that I am, in fact, only able to talk about my children. I do recognize how annoying this is.
5. My children think they have the power to change stoplights and songs on the radio using only their minds. This is going to come back to bite me, I’m sure.
Pickle, if sometimes I look at you with a bewildered look on my face, it is because you’ve just used the word “concentration” or “distract” or “predator” correctly and I have no idea how that is possible.
Plum, if I laugh at you when I’m supposed to be grumpy at your utter disregard for direction or instruction, it is because you have seen my displeasure, and instead of heeding my request, go your merry way saying simply, “Be HAPPY, Mama!”
I saw them. Sitting outside in the August overcast cool. They had drinks, cocktails, beer, small plates. They were leaning back, relaxed. They were talking. Laughing. Sipping.
Brunch. 2pm on a Sunday.
I looked at them and thought that perhaps after brunch, they’d wander home, flip through a magazine, take a nap under a spinning ceiling fan, belly full and head a little swimmy from the mimosas. They’d wake up, maybe shop a bit for nothing in particular, and without a list or itinerary. They’d pick up a piece of fish or some scallops for dinner. They’d take a walk. They’d take a drive. They’d go pick some raspberries. They’d consider going to the movies and decide against it. They’d finish reading the Sunday paper or the latest New Yorker. Maybe that woman would research a new bathroom fixture, pluck her eyebrows. Maybe she’d spend some time sorting old photos or looking up new recipes, listening to a podcast of storytellers. Maybe she’d finally clean out that closet. Make some raspberry muffins. Fold some laundry. Lie in bed in the quiet and think.
I miss that.
I miss brunch.
I miss the me I used to get to be. I miss being untethered.
I would like to say that I am the same person I was before I had children. But I’m not. The very center of me has changed. I am tied to them and there is never a moment they aren’t with me. In me.
And now, even when I get that time, that time to myself, to enjoy lazy brunches, to browse bookshops, to just be, by myself, and to recreate those untethered times, I recognize they are just that — recreations. They are wonderful and restorative times, but they are recreations of a time and a me that no longer exist. And when my hour or two is over I slip off that costume of my former self and return to being me, the current edition.
Still, sometimes, I miss brunch. I’ve replaced it with unreasonable wake up calls, too much cold coffee, Cheerios on the floor. But I also get tiny toenails, perspectives on the world from those new to it, and the warmth and heaviness of small sleeping bodies laying, growing, breathing, against mine. And though sometimes I miss the way brunch used to be, the changed me wouldn’t trade. And I know that’s the way it is supposed to be.
Happy Summer! Sun, fun, more sun! Hooray!
But one thing I dislike about summer? My big kids need a bath every night. It goes like this…
Me: No fighting! No splashing! No spitting! No hitting! Don’t even pretend to splash! Don’t get the floor wet! Don’t even look at each other! Don’t bug each other! Yes, Pickle, growling in your sister’s general direction is considered “bugging” her! Plum, while I didn’t specifically state that pouring a huge tub of water over your brother’s head wasn’t allowed, it is, indeed, not allowed!!!
Them: WAAAH! SCREEEEEAM! SPLASH!!!
But then, when it is over, and they are cozy in their PJs with combed hair that doesn’t smell like sand, sunscreen and pretzels (pretzels?) I love bath time.
I cursed the purchase of those Crayola bath crayons with the swirly colors, because they dyed my tub, and then got stuck in the drain. Ugh. But the Crayola color Bath Dropz for the bath? MAGIC. They are awesome. And so far, I haven’t let the kids see me drop them in, so they actually think that I am magical and have the power to change the color of the bath water with my mind. Just another mommy super power, yessir. Word to the wise? Red is a little shocking to see spreading through the water, and yellow, well yes, it looks like a big tub o’ pee. But the kids don’t care.
I don’t get any kickbacks for writing about these products. I just like them. I should look into that kickback thing though…