Humble Pie

I promised Editress that I would remind the interwebs how right she and B were about coffee and how entirely without sense I must have been not to drink it until this year.  So here’s my piece of humble pie, Editress.  Enjoy, it’s delicious (like coffee).

Me before my afternoon cup of coffee:

“Oh my God, why can’t my children both sleep AT THE SAME TIME for ONCE?!?  I’m so tired I’m going to die.  In fact, I might already be dead.  Am I dead?  No, I don’t think I’m dead, because dead people don’t have to change diapers.  How am I going to summon deathless prose as I edit chapter 13 of Braving the Brontes if I’m this tired?  Is it bedtime yet?  No?  What do you mean it’s only 2 in the afternoon?  I think you’re lying.”

Me after half a cup of coffee:

“Oh, I know!  What if Carly does this!  Yes! Then it makes sense when this happens!  Oh! Oh! I know, I know!!  What if I delete that line and put in this one! Yes!  Good idea!  EDIT ALL THE THINGS!”

Today’s session of “Deathless Prose” was brought to you by the letter “C”.  Because “C” stands for Coffee and Commish (who took the Cranky Captain for a Constitutional so I could Copy-edit (okay, that last “C” was a stretch)).

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Lessons Learned

Things LLF has learned while visiting the Last Frontier:

1) Taking the Labrador with you does not count as “having a grownup with you” when you go outside.

2) Arboretums and botanical gardens appreciate it if you use your super T-Rex sense of smell and the one-finger-touch rule, rather than picking the best flowers.

3) Glacier ice is not for licking.

4) If you smile winningly at adults and say “yummmmy!” they will pick and feed you your own weight in crab.

5) Saying “one beer please Mama” will not get you a beer.

6) If you use two hands you can work the hose.

7) Grownups fail to show the proper pleasure at your ability to unlatch the gate and climb down the 60 steps to the garden by yourself.

8) Stating “I like cold!” does not mean you can wear only a diaper outside.

9) Unscrewing lightbulbs is not an acceptable bedtime activity.

10) The Last Frontier is the best.

edited to add: 11) Cliff bars should be suitable fare for all meals.


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Everyone likes to feel independent (to a greater or lesser degree), but what independence looks like changes as you go along.  When you are 6 months old, being independent means rolling over, and trying to crawl (please let that be “trying to crawl unsuccessfully” for just a little longer…), or getting to hold the spoon to feed yourself sweet potatoes; or even discovering all by yourself that you have a top of your head you can pat.  What delight.

As a parent to small children, independence means getting to go potty all by yourself (with no fat little hands clawing to get in under the door), or taking a run without the jogging stroller, or taking a nap.  God, those all sound so fun.  Maybe I’ll try them soon.

But if you’re 2 1/2 then independence looks like getting to put your shoes on by yourself, or eating a whole brownie, or maybe even covering all four of your limbs liberally in A&D ointment in case of boo-boos.  And I mean liberally.  As in: I need to go buy more paper towels.  Right now.

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Four Days Ago:
Me: Can I have a kiss?
LLF: Nope. Boog.
Me: I can have a booger?
LLF: Yup. Big boog.
Me: I’m honoured.

Three Days Ago:
LLF: Hap Birf Mamaaaaa!
Me: It’s not my birthday.
LLF: Ope pesent!
Me: Wrapping part of a tractor in your blanket and singing doesn’t mean you get to stay up. Get back in bed.

Two Days Ago:
LLF: Mama! Help!
Me: What’s the matter?
LLF: In jail!
Me: You’re in jail?
LLF: No, Mama in jail.
Me: Why am I in jail?
LLF: Me escape train. Mama in jail.
Me: Can I at least have some Bubble and Squeak?
LLF: Yup.

LLF: Me nake!
Me (from other room): What?
Me: Why are you naked?
LLF: Yup.
Me (going to check)
LLF: Here go Mama. (hands me perfectly balanced and perfectly full stinky diaper)
Me: Oh my God, you are NOT allowed to change your own poopy diapers!
LLF: Me nake!
Me: Sigh.

Any bets for today?

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‘Tis the Season

Long time no blog entry.  You know why?  ‘Tis the season.  Conference season, that is.  Therefore B is forced to leave us, his darling family, and travel around the globe to places like the Netherlands, California, Istanbul, Washington DC, and Rochester (okay, that last one is a little less resentment-inducing than the others).  Did I say “is forced to”?  I’m sorry, I meant “gets to”.  As in: “Why do you get to leave the house without the kids?!”

B is swanning around, drinking lattes and enjoying airport delays due to the Sequester, while I am like that parent in the Huffington Post article: “Mama! I go bath wif you!”  This is not to say that B doesn’t experience the glamorous life of a parent as depicted by that article.  After all, we are raising our boys not to be sexist and they certainly believe that equal work deserves equal pay(back): “Dada! Oh no! Diap[er] fall off!!”

But the fact remains that B has an office outside the home and I do not.  His comes with a door that closes and even locks, and my desk at home is vulnerable to attack on three sides.  But wait…  I have a key.  Hopefully he doesn’t read this post before I can whip his office door open, dump the kids in and run.

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We’ll Take What we can Get

If you are a particularly perspicacious reader (i.e., alive and semi-literate), you might have noticed that B and I have not been getting much sleep due to our darling offspring (once I’m better rested I’ll consider promoting them to children). LLF went from being an (energetic) angel at bedtime who happily jumped in his crib and chatted with himself until falling asleep mid-wiggle to an hysterical nut who could not be contained, would not go to sleep on his own, and was going to be the death of us.

At the same time the Captain was shifting from being able to sleep happily anywhere to needing to be put down properly in the crib (but not wanting to make the shift). Not our easiest nights as parents–which our sore backs did nothing to help. Of course, neither did the Captain chortling like mad every time LLF poked his head out of his room. Nothing keeps a toddler up like an appreciative audience who finds him HILARIOUS. Thanks Captain.  Thanks.

After trying a variety of ineffective measures (if your kid can climb up bookcases to knock lamps over, pull night lights out of the wall and unscrew lightbulbs, and unlock doors, I really can’t recommend “cry it out”), we settled on the silent put-back-in-bed.

The first night he got out of bed 61 times in the first 20 minutes. Night two was 40. Night three: 4. Hallelujah. The middle of the night appearances are also decreasing.  We realized that he went to sleep faster if we left his door open and made some noise (I think the silence made him worry that we were trying to skip town without him.  Don’t tempt me, kid.  Don’t tempt me.) The Captain is starting to go down more easily too (possibly because we can focus on putting him down before he’s overtired because we aren’t busy wrestling his older brother into submission).

B and I were gleefully discussing our triumph (for now), over our offspring; how we loved being able to relax and catch up on each others’ day; how we enjoyed chatting just us grownups; how we might actually have a glass of wine and do a little work or watch The Hobbit (whatever, don’t judge our life choices!), etc, etc. then we realized that we were having this celebratory moment while hiding in our bathroom and talking quietly so the Captain didn’t hear us and wake up.

Baby steps. We’ll take what we can get.

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Evidence for the Prosecution:


The irony is not lost on me, Gentle Reader, that my manuscript is safest when it is in the crib… BECAUSE NEITHER LLF NOR THE CAPTAIN ARE IN IT. It fills my heart with a certain… indignation, shall we say, when I realize that the best place to put my in-progress chapters to keep them away from the children is in the effing crib.

Cribs are supposed to be for sleeping, playing, staring at mobiles. Not hiding documents from your kids so they don’t poke their eyes out with your pencils or drool on your edits before you can enter them into your computer.

I need a drink. Or a nap. Maybe I’d fit in the crib?

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