Wednesday, February 29, 2012


There are many things in life that I want to remember.
Today wasn't one of them.
Instead, I want to remember what would have likely happened instead.

I hope to remember when my little mop head requested to eat Kashi [read: little puffy nuggets of sweetened cardboard.] for breakfast for several mornings in a row.
I hope to remember that the only way carrots were appetizing to eat was to refer to them as 'snowman noses'.
I hope to remember that when I secretly water down my children's orange juice, they don't notice a thing. 


I hope to remember how encouraging I was with my budding artist by providing her with crayons and coloring book pages.
I hope to remember--sad, but true--the accidental sacrifice of my coffee table that served its purpose well from the exploration of a new art medium. (Crayons vs. markers? No contest.)


I hope to remember snowy afternoons, just him and me, sledding down the hill in our backyard during his sister's nap time.
I hope to remember the fragility of her tiny body when she sobbed in my arms after jamming her mouth against the bedroom windowsill and later doing a face-plant into the driveway.
I hope to remember that to her, I am her favorite parent. Most of the time. For now.


I hope to remember providing lunchtime entertainment to two beaming faces (correct interpretation: "Is our Mom insane?") by cranking out the running man to Ne-yo's "Mad." 
I hope to remember when I shared with them their first Twinkie--a favorite childhood treat of mine. 



I hope to remember the days they get along...
those constant hugs,
sibling smotherings,
and the way they get the other one to giggle.
I hope to remember them as they are now...
so small,
generously loving,
and perfect in my eyes.


Let's not remember what really happened today, February 29th, 2012, the day that will forever reign in utmost infamy.

DiaryNo, not that word...a word with foul and rank connotations (and no, I am not correctly spelling it out). 

Diary during toilet training. Diary every five minutes when he asks to use toilet. Diary in underwear. Diary all over my bathroom floor. Diary like the Nile. Diary as if it were bottled up in air freshener. Diary for two full days and counting. Diary so stinkin' much--no pun intended--that I was begging him to wear diapers.

[Warning: the following information may be extremely inappropriate, but necessary to get a certain point across.] 
Me:  That's it. No more underwear. You need to wear a diaper today. You're sick.
Him:  No diapers, Mom! I want un'wear.
Me:  No underwear today. You've got sick poo. When your sick poo is gone and you start making snake poo again, then you can wear your underwear.

There are a lot of things I can handle. But not this. An unyielding child who previously refused potty training in every thinkable way, and now this? Perfect timing.

It's a good thing a day like this happens every four years. I can accept that. Don't convince me otherwise. Happy Leap Day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pond Skating

"Summer fading, winter comes, frosty mornings, tingly thumbs...water now has turned to stone..."
--Robert Louis Stevenson, taken from "Picture Books of Winter"


Occom Pond is no Rockefeller Center ice skating rink, but I'll take it. Our quiet New England pond is iconic-looking enough for me. To qualify as a true Vermonter/New Hampshirite, it's high time we acquire our own ice skates. [Note to self: scour through every thrift store in April.]

Has Mother Nature muzzled March's lion? We're seeing lamb-like weather already--and if February continues to play tricks on us, our ice skating weather may soon be over. As for the snow that is in the forecast this weekend, there better be a blanket of it in our backyard for a particularly eager little boy.

And for an eager mom.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Today's word of the day...

solecism / SOL-uh-siz-uhm/, noun:
1. A breach of good manners or etiquette.
2. A nonstandard or ungrammatical usage.
3. Any error, impropriety, or inconsistency.

Used in a sentence:
If eating on the couch is committing a major solecism in the home, then I am the very one who encouraged it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Look Like Kate

Leaf earrings worn by the Duchess. Made by Vinnie Day.  $156.91

Leaf earrings worn by moi. Made by Maren. $15 well spent for a good cause.

I've been following a blog that documents every article of clothing that is worn by the Mrs. Prince William. Kate can't go wrong. Her regal style is impeccable. Hair, eyebrows, legs, figure, and a polished British accent....she's more 'perfect in every way' than Mary Poppins. Although I'd love to own her clothing, it'd be ruined after I feed my kids breakfast. 

I'll settle for those look alike earrings. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Change of Heart?

To the most Ridiculous Holiday of the year,

I made heart-shaped pancakes for my kids this morning. They would have been just as thrilled with circle-shaped pancakes, but because I made them into hearts and didn't serve them Cheerios again, I'M A PRETTY GOOD MOM.

For the first time in my adult life, I felt okay with the lovey dovey-ness of your day.
     One of St. Valentine's cupids left some gifts on our doorstep today.
     I have a red paper heart garland draped over my window, but that's it.
     My wee ones and I are going to roll out little heart-shaped sugar cookies as soon as they are up from naps.

The little Grinch heart inside of my chest has grown two sizes since February 14th, last year.

Still, I am not convinced of your marriage of red and pink, nor am I going to adopt any stuffed monkeys hugging a satin red heart that nauseously says, "I'm bananas over you". Don't creep me out more than you already do.


A Change of Heart

p.s. On second thought, for those nights when Boy is on call and I'm lonely without him, I wouldn't mind being wrapped up in the arms of a giant Vermont Teddy Bear.

Friday, February 10, 2012

If This Job Doesn't Kill Me...

If these prized toys aren't taken away as a consequence of sibling bullying, I don't know what will.

There's a million-dollar question that I dread getting when Boy walks through the door--the time of day varies, but lately it's been around 7 p.m. I'd almost rather him come home three hours later because by then, he's too worn out to ask me questions. Kidding.

"How was your day?"

"Fine." is my response. He never accepts fine; he's too conversational to stop at fine. Fine? Why isn't fine good enough?

"What's wrong." It's a statement, not a question. What I hate more than my inability to camouflage my feelings is his way of detecting the budding of a little white lie from the intonation of my voice.


I know, I know, such a female thing to say. Nothing is always something. It's a deflected response. But I say this because nothing represents something that will require wordy explanations and too much emotion. I avoid emotion at all costs, and I will gladly take a pass--when I can--to smooth over my disguised emotional mess.

Armed with his passive interrogation skills, Boy gets his answer because he can draw anything out of me. A steel cage, I am not.


"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only--and that is to support the ultimate career."  
--C.S. Lewis

My motherly routine these days is mind-numbing. At the end of the day from what feels like a Tug-of-War marathon, my mind and my body is in the final stages of atrophy. All of the pulling and tugging makes me yearn for something (such as what remains of my brain) to explode so that I can get fired up on the resulting adrenaline. Am I cut out for this job? A question for the jury. Just when I think it's torture enough to have to talk every moment of the day, I'm forced to listen to my voice on a broken record as well.

     It's time to get dressed. Could you come here, please? You're not following directions. Why are you running away from me? [Pause...] I'm waaaaaiting. 

     My two-year-old's response? "I'm funny, Mom."

     Forks and spoons are used for food, not for banging on my table. Hey, did you hear me? That's enough. What did I say? Stop! I said STOP!

     His response? "Be happy, Mom."

     Hey! Wouldn't 'cha like to sit on the toilet? Let's go! You're a big boy now.

     His response? "I don't want to. I'm not a big boy."

     How many times do I have to repeat to you? When your sister is crying that means she doesn't like what you're doing to her. You should probably stop. Stop! Now! I'm serious!

     His response? "I'm serious!" (imitating me in the gruffest voice a two-year-old can produce)

     I'm sorry, sweetie. I know you want that ice cream, but we're not buying that today. Could you please sit back down?

     His response? "Pleeeeease! Mom, I said please! I'm sad. I'm SAD, Mom!" (His red-faced pleas are done with full out screaming and snot-flailing down the grocery aisle.)

Reminiscing this dialogue makes me cringe. If I were to trade voices with Ann Curry or Alicia Keys, I wouldn't hate talking so much or hearing the sound of my own voice. And if I were Alicia, I would sing out my parental guidance. All. Day. Long.


Earlier this week, as I was busying about the house gathering library books, Indy's coat, car keys, and an elastic band to smooth my hair into a ponytail, I warned my son that if he didn't get his socks and shoes, he would stay home. It's a false threat, of course, but it worked every time until one day last month.

"I'm leaving! I guess you're not coming to the library. If you can't follow directions, you're going to have to stay home."

After my announcement, I head out the door, click the button to open the garage door, and buckle Indy into her car seat.

"Okay, Mom. Bye!"

I slowly back out the car, making eye-contact with him, while he stands at the doorway watching me. No pouting. No tears. No running up to the car. He's testing me, I thought. I stop the car. My threat has finally backfired: he has won.

So, when I make the threat this time, it's said absentmindedly. My laziness and repetitive nature forgets that this tactic no longer works. As I'm pulling hair through the elastic in my hands, I hear his feet swiftly thumping down the hard floors of the kitchen accompanied with the roaring sound of a truck being pushed along. He bursts into my bedroom and his big red fire truck rolls in and stops at my feet, almost giving my ankles a kiss. I look down, and nestled on top of the fire truck's white ladder, was a pair of white socks.

I could have cried. The trumpet fanfare of Rocky's theme song was fitting for that very moment.

I smothered him with kisses, praised him for following directions, and got ourselves to the library for storytime ON TIME.

Tender mercies happen when they're needed the most. And oh, how it was needed. (Read this talk.) When a husband unexpectedly comes home from work early and shows up with a bouquet of fresh flowers, oh how that is needed too.

It's amazing how flowers can make one feel valued and appreciated.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


It was right around the year 1986, and I'm almost certain that such requests wasn't common for a girl like me: I asked my parents for a Cabbage Patch Doll.

But just not any Cabbage Patch doll.

A chocolate one.

And boy, was this doll loved. I think I may have named her Keshia or Rudy, but I can't say for sure.

Be it "The Cosby Show" or the only dark-skinned boy in my first grade class (he was absolutely adorable in every way), it's hard to pinpoint where this 'chocolate' fascination came from. I grew up in diversity-challenged suburbia, so don't reprimand my six-year-old self for not using politically correct language.

Over Christmas, when it came to finding a baby doll for my own daughter, I didn't bat an eyelash when I found and bought Tiny: the Target-manufactured, brown-eyed, dark-skinned miniature baby doll. The other baby dolls in her company were white babies with blue eyes. All ugly. Where was the diversity? The green eyes? Any freckled noses? None whatsoever. And bless their wee little plastic hearts--they were wearing a purple and pink jumpsuit--a color combination cardinal sin.

Except Tiny. Hers was a tasteful baby blue and pink.

For Indy, it was love at first sight. She snuggles that little black baby doll up to her neck wherever she goes. For one who preferred pushing around trains and cars over toting around stuffed animals and dolls, those feminine genes of hers are kicking in at last.

Chocolate, indeed.    

Friday, February 3, 2012

Two Peas in a Pod

November2011 026A

One nice thing about not being the preferred parent is being off diaper duty for a full week.

My son is still in diapers, you ask?

His choice. Not mine.

He'll occasionally remind me that he can't have a birthday cake until he uses the toilet like a big boy.

His idea. (Really.) Not mine.