Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Baby My Baby Loves

Back in December, my sister had a delicious baby boy. I'm an auntie!

We love being with my nephew when we visit our family in Wisconsin. We were all, of course, delighted to welcome J to our family. But there is one among us who loves that baby perhaps a little more fiercely than the others. My dear, sweet Michael is over the moon about his cousin J. 

When my sister brought J to visit in May, Michael spent the entire weekend about as close to that baby as was physically possible. When he had to write a personal letter in second-grade, he wrote it to J. My sister sent a letter back as though J had written or dictated it. Michael sleeps with that letter on his nightstand. 

I asked him, not long ago, why he kept the letter there. He said, "Because I love J and when he feels far away I can read it and feel like he's with me." 

I've 99.9% come to peace with the fact that we won't have any more babies in this house, but Michael would have made a most wonderful big brother.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

I Don't Pay for Opinions at the Drive-Thru

We've had three days since summer break ended and this morning I took Michael in for a strep test. Welcome back to the Petri dish that is elementary school. Michael's been complaining of a sore throat for a couple of days but doesn't have any other symptoms. However when he woke me up this morning to tell me about it I decided I'd rather call the pediatrician than wait and end up at urgent care tomorrow or possibly missing school Monday.

The rapid test came back negative, so he probably just has some little viral thing going on - fingers crossed that it all passes without too much fanfare.

Michael was crying and shifting into panic mode at the mere mention of the doctor so I told him we'd get a McDonald's Hi-C afterward, as long as he cooperated. Which, ultimately, he did.

It was about a three minute drive from the office to the nearest McDonald's drive-thru, where I ordered Michael a medium (gasp) Hi-C. You guys, I know that I was just handing him a cup full of sugar, but a doctor just stuck a giant Q-tip down his throat, so I think most of you would agree that some sympathy corn syrup wasn't the worse parenting decision I've ever made. And yet, here is the conversation that followed:

Cashier: Is the Hi-C for him? (Gestures to Michael in the back seat)

Me: Yes.

Cashier: A medium?

Me: Yes.

Cashier: I just didn't think you'd want him to have so much this early in the morning.


I'm sure there are all kinds of cashiers who are judgmental about what people are purchasing, but I'm also pretty sure there is an unwritten social contract that suggests they keep it to themselves.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

I Went to See Rachel Platten and Came Home Without My Shoes

Earlier this week we took the children to a Rachel Platten concert, which was just as much fun as you'd expect it to be. But what I want to write about tonight is not what happened at the concert, but what happened on the way home.

We left the venue, it was dark, and we were walking back toward the car. The street we were walking down was a boulevard, with a grassy area in between the traffic moving in either direction. We crossed one part of the boulevard and ended up walking in the grassy median for a bit. I was wearing sandals and, as we walked, a leaf slid between one of my right toes and my sandal. I tried to shake it out, but it just didn't want to move and it was bothering me. I did a quick maneuver, not wanting to hold up people walking behind me, to free the leaf with my thumb. Instead of finding a leaf, my thumb sank into something soft...

You guys, there was poop in my shoe. And then, there was poop all over my thumb.

I'm not proud, but I started yell/shrieking, "It's poop! There's poop on my foot! And on my hand!" And the people around me, my family included, were understandably confused.

The next few minutes, in my mind, were frantic as I tried to fish wipes out of my purse without spreading the poop from my thumb to anything else. By the time we got to the car my hand was clean, but there was still poop in my shoe. I sat, without putting my legs in the car, removed my sandal, and cleaned my foot while the children gagged in the back seat. Once all traces of fecal matter were removed from my actual foot, I still had the problem of poop in my sandal.

You should know two things. One, Matt is driving a fairly new car. Two, the sandals I was wearing were not of the "hose it off" variety. I could not see a way to get the mess and smell out of the soft insole of the sandal.

Matt looked at me and said, "Leave it."

So I did. I left my poop shoe by the side of the road, with its partner, for good measure, and rode home barefoot.

That, my friends, is why I went to see Rachel Platten and came home without my shoes.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016


It is a time of transitions, large and small, in our household. 

We changed our TV service today, which was both a small transition and a colossal pain in the rear.

Harper is getting ready to transition to middle school.

Michael is getting ready for his first stint as a bus rider, to be part of a new after school situation, and to go to elementary school without his sister.

I am getting ready to start at a new school. I'm also working on leaving things at my former school in good shape for a new person to take over. As I mentioned before, at the end of the year I didn't know I'd be leaving that library. Things weren't in bad shape on the last day of school, but they weren't left the way I would want a new person to find them, especially if he or she isn't hired yet and school begins in about two weeks. I thought, perhaps, that new librarian might not want to walk into a pile of books that need to be repaired! 

Matt isn't in the middle of any particular transition (other than learning the new TV channel numbers), but he does have to deal with all of us as we adjust.

There will be new teachers, new schedules, a new dance season (5 out of 7 days of the week someone will be at the studio), new homework expectations, new bosses, and new colleagues to get used to.

One of my favorite musicians, Dar Williams, once said, "I don't like change, but I'm good at it." 

I'm trying to be good at it, too.