Archive for January, 2011


Caden-6yr, Hands OFF the Ladies

January 31st, 2011 at 11:26 pm » Comments (10)

Do y’all remember when Caden-6yr wanted to get a hot tub with his friend, Lindsey? I do. I was reminded of that today, and not in a a good way.

Today when I got to school to pick up the kids, I did not see Caden-6yr. In the parking lot, I saw Caden-6yr’s large winter coat spread out and a very large lump underneath. His teacher went over to the lump and patted it. Caden-6yr stood up, turned toward the car and walked to me, with a knowing little smirk on his face.

When he stood up, taking his coat with him, it was revealed that there were two adorable little first grade girls now no longer covered by the warmth of my oh-so-stinkin’-chivalrous son who was gallantly shielding their girly selves from the 50 degree weather.

He got in the car and his teacher and I exchanged a look over his head. “Were you..?”  I didn’t end that sentence. I didn’t want to react too fast and say the wrong thing.

“Cuddling some girls, Mom.”  He had the nerve to raise one little blond eyebrow at me as he went to his seat in the back of the giant mom-mobile.

“Um. Yeah. That’s what I thought you were doing.”

“What? They were cold.”  All mock-innocence. And yes, he’s only 6, but it was MOCK. Trust me.

I think he’s taken his private, Christian schooling a little too far with the we’re all ‘brothers and sisters in Christ’ thing. I mean, REALLY. Can the 6 yr old just start feeling a little less love for the ladies and maybe catch a bad case of cooties instead? I can’t stand this.

UNHAND THE FEMALE FIRST GRADERS ALREADY, CADEN-6YR.

There will be a Serious Talk. But first I have to get rid of my caps lock mindset and figure out what to say in the Serious Talk. THEN there will be a Serious Talk.

Until then, lock up your daughters, please.


Updated: Air, Water, What’s the Big Difference Anyway?

January 31st, 2011 at 1:39 pm » Comments (11)

Update at the bottom:

When I am distracted, the number of cringe-worthy mistakes I make skyrockets. Last week, I was seriously distracted. The kids, the Roman Empire, a history test I over-studied for, the too-violent chapter in my Criminal Law class screwed up my sleep and it all just added up.

I could fill this space with a long list of things I did last week that would make you cringe and then breathe a sigh of relief that YOU were not the one who did these things. I won’t. I’ll just tell you about one, because I’m not sure how bad it is and you probably know and I kinda NEED to know.

I think the preceding really confusing, long-ish  sentence could be re-worded to a short and direct sentence: “I’m using you.”

But it’s just because ya’ll are so smart and I’m always so grateful later, so here we go.

In the car the other day Mike said one of my tires was low. I asked him how low and he said, “28.”

I, in all my infinite tire wisdom, said, “That’s not low. My friend and I drove all the way home from Ruidoso with it at 18.”

He cringed and said he’d fix it. But then he went out of town, and the tire pressure dropped to 24. Which doesn’t sound all that bad, except the others were in the 35 range, and this one was definitely not like the others.

So I decided to go put air in the little troublemaker. It’s supposed to be nitrogen, but some tire person assured me once that nothing will explode in my face if I use the little oxygen things at the gas station.  I didn’t want to go to the Tire Place. I hate going to the Tire Place.

There were at least two significant errors made during the very simple task of filling up the low tire.

Significant Error #1:

The little air hose is right next to the little water hose, and they are practically identical and  not labeled as YOU’RE JUST SUPPOSED TO KNOW. Somehow. Just KNOW which is which and be all mind-readerish about the stupid little hoses. Or, maybe know the subtle difference between the end spout-y things. Which I did not. Have you ever accidentally tried to shoot water into a tire? Well, I have, y’all. And it was a very wet experience. And surprising. Which is why a ponytailed brunette could be seen tangled in a black water hose, laughing and dripping wet while halfway under a white Escalade last week at the gas station. I’d been squatting there, in expert Air Into Tire pose, when the water hit me and knocked me into a gloriously elegant Sprawled Under Tire Laughing pose.

Significant Error #2:

So, put water hose away, then fill tire with air. Then go check settings inside only to realize that this was not the intended patient. Equivalent to amputating wrong limb. THIS tire was now up to 47. Oops. Get in car and kids look at me, note the dripping wet hair, face, and clothes and NOT ONE OF THEM finds this unusual enough to comment upon.  Am thankful. Turn car around. Try again. So the one tire is at 47, and the other three are 33-35.

I go home and over the next few days, very diligently go out to the car and take off the little lid to the overinflated tire and kick it. To try to get some of the extra air out. And after a few hours, I go back out and put the lid back on. Y’all. That does NOTHING. Just so you know. NOTHING.

Help me out, because I do not want to go back to the Tire Place. Who out there knows their tire stuff? Is that really a big difference that has to be fixed? Because if just one of you says, “nah, you’re fine,” Iwill SO gladly believe you and be done with it.

Update: Y’all are awesome!  THANK YOU. Am  ON this problem, and now know what to do. As soon as that got published there were comments and emails and texts from brilliant ladies who know their way around tires. Am sooo impressed. And Mysti? Mysti (see comments) is practically my NEIGHBOR. No not really, but she lives near here and works very nearby and no, we don’t know each other but she’s going to say hi if she ever sees me in Target. (If there are any more “Mysti’s” out there locally, go ahead and say hi. I look just like that picture on the right over there, but with more wrinkles and much longer hair.)

It’s amazing to me who y’all are and what you know. I’m honored.  Thanks again.


The Problem With Church

January 28th, 2011 at 8:52 pm » Comments (8)

Ethan-10yr has been on strike on Sunday mornings. At first he said he wanted to sit with me during church instead of being with the other kids. Then he made some dubious charges about other kids not acting right, but when I questioned him, he couldn’t describe behavior any different than his own behavior on an “off day.”

But he wouldn’t go.
And he wouldn’t really tell me why.

But that’s not all right. It’s my maternal duty to make the child tell me everything so I can hover, overprotect, beat up anybody who mighta hurt my kid in such a way that would explain this. You could say I overreacted and feared the worst. Because I really did.

This afternoon I sent the little ones outside with snacks, sat on the couch with Ethan-10yr and did and said everything I could to pry the truth out of him without him realizing I was doing it. It took two hours and a lot of tears from both of us.

The problem is rather sweet.

There’s a kid at church who always asks about Kim-16yr. He isn’t being mean. He’s just doesn’t understand this weird dynamic in our family and is trying to make sense of it and ask Ethan-10yr how he’s doing with having a sister who doesn’t live with him. He’s being a friend. And Ethan-10yr can’t handle it. He tells him he doesn’t want to talk about it, or he ignores him, or gets mad and walks away, or thinks it would just be better if he didn’t go near him anymore.

I understand. While I don’t mind being pretty open about most anything with anyone, I don’t confuse that with really knowing people and allowing them to really know me in return. That hardly ever happens, and I like it that way. There’s hardly ever the mutual time/interest in order to know people… and then they ask you stuff… and care… and it’s all rather uncomfortable. Or it can be.

Worse might be when they stop asking or caring. Depends.  It all comes back to that mutual time/interest thing, and when that is out of balance, everything after is downhill.

I told Ethan-10yr lots of things. It was sort of like one of those nights when i cook and it goes horribly wrong. Sometimes when that happens I will overcompensate and put ten different things on the kids’ plates and hope they find 3 or 4 that are edible.  Today was the mothering/smothering equivalent.

I told him:

it’s not your fault, it had nothing to do with you

it’s okay to be upset and talk to me or to be upset and tell me you don’t want to talk to me, but just want me to know

you’ll always have people who are curious who ask you about this

this is a problem you can handle with your friend, i’ll help

i’m on your side

scriptures

God-talk

your brothers don’t get as upset because they’re so much younger and don’t remember

it might always be this way

it might not

but we are in this together and pleeeease talk to me next time

and on. and on.

I just threw it all out there on the plate and hoped a few of them were what he needed.

He wanted to know why. But we’ve told them why. Specifically we’ve said, “she doesn’t want to be here. she has a lot of anger and is unsafe in our home, and all the professionals we hired couldn’t change her mind because she just wasn’t interested.”

I tried that again. It’s the truth, if not a little watered down, and it doesn’t say more than he’s asking. But this time, it wasn’t enough.

The last thing I wanted to do was say too much. He’s only ten. His huge brown eyes were bloodshot already and his little freckled face was splotched red. My eyes and face probably looked the same.

“I want to understand WHY.”

And don’t we all.

I held his little clefted chin that looks just like a baby-smooth version of Mike’s.

“She HATES me.”

His eyes widened.

“I’m not her biological mom, and she thinks I took daddy away from her somehow. She hates me so much that she tries to hurt me when she’s around me. That’s what we mean when we say she isn’t safe here. We mean ‘we aren’t safe when she is here.’”

There’s more, of course, but I didn’t get into it. Some details I hope he’ll never know, or need to hear.

As awful as that is, a weight seemed to come off  him as he took in these words. Knowing Ethan-10yr, and the way his mind works, I could see him making sense for the first time of why I do some of the things I do. He doesn’t know about a lot of it, but he does know about the kickboxing and the way I can overreact and go a little ninja if someone comes up behind me unexpectedly.

It wasn’t a nice thing to have to hear, but now his life made more sense. The relief was visible on his face.

He has a really sweet friend who would be there if he ever needed him.

If he’d only let him in.

And a mother who will cry in his hair and suffocate him with good intentions.

I’ve worried about what was bothering him for two weeks. I’m not worried anymore. He’s all right. He’s just growing up and trying to figure out how to deal with the life that he has, the people who are in it, and the people who are curious enough to care.

I won’t tell him, but that’s a life-long task.


The Roman Empire, Diets, and Sea Salt Brownies

January 28th, 2011 at 1:03 pm » Comments (1)

So it’s done. The big Roman Empire what-was-I-thinking paper. DONE.

I learned much. I think the Visigoths got a bad rap, because really they don’t seem all that barbaric. I think they really meant well and were misunderstood.  Developed an odd soft spot for the Franks, and a new appreciation for all the horrible symptoms of lead poisoning.

Mainly, I’m just glad it’s done. It’s sort of difficult to write a  historically accurate paper while glossing over the fact that, despite best efforts,  you don’t really understand the history you’re writing about. Still,  I think I did it!

Unless my defending the Goths tips off my teacher that I really know not of what I speak, which is highly possible. In which case,  I’m screwed. But weren’t they just mindin’ their own until the Romans got all mean toward them? Self defense + Hun fleeing. I think.

In other  news that has nothing to do with that, Mike is on a diet. Thoroughly not necessary. When Mike picks a diet, it’s usually weird. Something odd or extreme, and this time is no different. It’s the 4 Hour Body thing, and it has him doing all kinds of things he’d normally never do. Cold showers. Spinach for breakfast. Tons of protein. Cinnamon. There are reasons behind all of it that I do not understand. I tend to stay away from diet books, after the one that shocked me into vegetarianism a few years ago. Since then, I’ve had the opinion that diet books can be highly influential and are to be avoided no matter what.

The other night Mike was home and  I asked him why it was called the 4 Hour Body and he said something about how the author is the same guy who wrote 4 Hour Work Week and he probably wanted the title to be similar for marketing purposes.

“But…. did you ever notice that after you read 4 Hour Work Week, you started working about 15-20 MORE hours each week?”

He gave me a look. This was an actual, rare face to face conversation. We don’t really have those all that often, and this one had taken a turn he didn’t seem all that interested in exploring. Which was fine. I was just bored with the Visigoths and looking for a distraction.

If this book has the same effect on him as the guy’s last book did, Mike will vanish completely, and not from weight loss. I hope this author isn’t working on another one. 4 Hour Mind, or something.

While he’s taking cold showers and eating spinach, I’m roasting in front of the fireplace eating every last one of the Trader Joe’s sea salt brownies he brings me from his business trips.

I’ve definitely got the sweeter end of this deal.


Apology. (Oops.)

January 27th, 2011 at 12:07 pm » Comments (4)

To the people of Rome:

I am SOO sorry. Am perfectly aware that I am coming across as an ignorant apathetic American. (There’s actually a REALLY good reason for that, but still, I apologize.)

On a completely related note, I had NO idea you were reading. I tend to assume that hardly anyone does (because it would weird me out to think otherwise), and it never crossed my mind that nice people like you would be perplexed/offended/appalled at this little blog. Sincerely sorry. If you’ll excuse me, i am off to learn a WHOLE lot about your history and doubtlessly become a much better person.

Kelsey

ps VERY impressive how you found that email address, considering my other email link thing is broken.

pss if there are more of you Real Live Roman Types other than the one who wrote (doubtful), please feel free to share your thoughts on lead poisoning/ socio agrarian stuff, etc. OR, hey! you could write a paper way better than mine and just cut and paste it right into the comments section… that would be lovely. Grazie!


Coulda Been Shoes, Lip Gloss, Or Sex.

January 26th, 2011 at 1:23 pm » Comments (12)

One of the classes I’m taking is Research Writing. Which is awful, because I hate when people tell you what to write, but it’s a requirement. However! We all got to choose our own topic for our research papers. If I’m not mistaken… we coulda chosen ANYTHING as long as we could find appropriate sources.

That’s so reasonable.

I could have picked to research the importance of the exact right lip gloss. Or why shoes are intricately related to happiness levels in some, ahem, people. Or something about music, or God, or chocolate, or wakeboarding, or sex, or kickboxing, or mud, or parenting, or gardening, or fiction, or… anything that I happen to find interesting or fun or worthwhile. THAT would have been good.

Instead I picked something else. Actually, I don’t even recall what transpired that made me submit the dumb idea I ended up with. But i do know that it was not preceded by my saying, “Kels… what is interesting/worthwhile/fun that you would like to write about?” That little conversation with self did NOT happen. Because I picked something that is none of that and THEN SOME.

I don’t actually remember choosing this topic, but I MIGHTA accidentally asked myself, “Kels… what is the topic you’d least like to spend more of your brain cells pondering? Now let’s submit THAT idea.”

This was weeks ago. Whenever someone asks me about this assignment I snip and say, “I DON’T WANNA TALK ABOUT IT.” I wouldn’t even tell people my stupid topic. Partly because of denial, and partly because I had no idea how to explain how I got there, which would inevitably be asked.

The other night I was talking to LaLa. And the subject came up. And I told her that I coulda picked lip gloss and shoes, but somehow… SOMEHOW I had suggested that I’d write a research paper on the combined role of lead poisoning and socio-agrarian issues in the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

There was silence on the other end of the phone.

(That really doesn’t happen with LaLa all that often.)

And then LaLa said, “Um… I can’t even speak right now.” More silence. And then, “Uh…. WHAT?”

Exactly. I have NO interest in the Roman Empire (it’s all historical, and I don’t want to whine but  we all know how I really feel about that), NO interest in how it ‘fell’ and what the heck does that even MEAN, and lead poisoning? Whatever. I was a kid in the 70s and my room was painted with lead based paint and i’m pretty much fine and I have no strong feelings about any of this, much less any interest. i have ZERO interest in this topic. Socio-Agrarian…? Do I even know what that phrase MEANS? WHAT was  I THINKING?

It coulda been lip gloss. My current favorite is NARS superorgasm. And shut UP, if you don’t think I could write 3000 words on that alone and how it is different in a pretty pinkish way from the original NARS orgasm color, but does that really justify the ‘super’ prefix….? I could so write about that. Easily. And with, uh, great joy, really.

Writing something like that would be, hmm, a pleasure. But nuh-no. I am up to my eyeballs in a book written in 1737 right now trying to pull appropriate quotes from a pagan sympathizer about lead pipes and ceramic glaze.

My eyes are glazing over with boredom.

Rough draft is due on Friday. Mine is in-process. It is decidedly less than pleasant, but I’m trying not to complain.

(Ooooh, I just re-read. Sorry, y’all.  I’d say I failed as this was definitely a complaint.)


Hairy Guy Legs

January 24th, 2011 at 7:25 pm » Comments (19)

Was it only Saturday that I mentioned Caden-6yr busted his own lip…? And I was telling him how very much LIKE HIM i am…? Because, yeah, it’s Monday and I just busted my own lip.

It’s my top lip. It’s swollen and numb, and it feels like a medium-to-hard punch just landed right there on my top teeth. A little blood, but only on the inside. We’re good.

I’ve mentioned my No Nag policy. It’s still in effect. Essentially: ask Mike twice, nicely, then do it myself or hire/find someone else to do it, and never mention it again.

The results of this policy are many:

I don’t nag

I learn to do a LOT of things I wouldn’t normally know how to do (my drywall technique is TO DIE FOR)

I realize that some things I don’t really care about after all and I let them go

When Mike actually does do something I ask, I’m really thrilled and extra grateful.

Today I’d picked up the kids’ bikes from the bike place. I just couldn’t bring myself to take the time to learn how to repair all their bikes any time soon, there really just isn’t time and it needed to get done. No nap policy in effect.  So I took them to the bike shop a friend told me about, and today we picked them up. We took my big red truck instead of my big white Mom-mobile, so I could put all  the bikes in the back.

The drawback to taking the boys anywhere in my truck is that they sit right next to each other and touch each other and drive each other crazy. The upside is they’re really close and I can hear all their insane conversations better.

On the way to the bike place, Caden-6yr looked at his own knees and said, “I’m hairy.”

Ethan-10yr nodded and said, “Yes. You are.” Not in a judgmental way, just in an agreeable way.

Seth-5yr proudly says, “I am a Hairy Guy, too. I am hairy from HERE to HERE,” and he spreads his arms out like a large bird of prey to demonstrate his hairy wingspan.

Caden-6yr: “Now I know why dad always wears long pants. He probably doesn’t want any girls to see his hairy legs.”

Ethan-10yr says, “That’s not why! Dad wears long pants because it’s JANUARY.”

Caden-6yr: “No… he is too embarrassed to wear shorts in the summer. He never does. I don’t even think he HAS shorts. He’s pretty hairy, so… yaknow.”

Seth-5yr said, “I’ve seen his hairy yegs yots of times. And dey ARE very, VERY HAIRY.”

I turn in my seat just a little and see that Caden-6yr is covering his legs with both hands to cover his unsightly leg hairs.

I can’t stand it anymore anyway and I can’t possibly keep from laughing any longer. “Cadenbaby. Do not cover up your legs, there is nothing wrong with your legs. Or dad’s. Hairy legs are fine.”

On you. On me, gag, no thanks.

We got home and I unloaded the bikes from the back and one was a lot lighter than expected. A serious West Texas style gust of wind had whipped my hair in front of my face, and so I didn’t see the handlebars of the extra-lightweight bike coming until I’d already busted my lip. Caden-6yr said, “Did that hurt?”

“Oh gosh, no,” I said without even thinking (because pain denial is FAR more natural to me than pain acknowledgment). I put my tongue over my teeth, tasted blood, and smiled as I handed him his bike.

Probably it would be helpful if I corrected that little lie.

Probably it would rock his little world if I told him I like hairy guy legs.

Probably I’m not ready for that.


IKEA: I Still Hate You.

January 23rd, 2011 at 2:14 pm » Comments (10)

Why I haaaaate IKEA. In an article. With a map that has everything on it except  the mention of my near-death anxiety fit in the Draper, Utah, location a couple years ago. Oh. And it fails to mention the low ceilings on the first floor that I think are painted gray and the lack of natural sunlight and how the whole stupid place tries to EAT YOU ALIVE like a carnivorous plant while you try to zig zag out of there and back to the real world but you CAN”T because oh YEAH, they designed it that way.

I was alone. It was a dumb idea. The first rule of going off into the Wild is to take a reliable partner with you or at least leave contact information behind. I did neither and almost died of a nasty panic attack curled up next to an ugly futon, but I made it and am still here to be traumatized at the sight of that stupid article and relive the pain. I’m a survivor.

I know some of you like IKEA. You are clearly more brave than I, and are more adaptable to low lighting and are able to rise above mind games viciously designed to entrap consumers. Good for you, and your Swedish furniture. I am happy for you and I will never join your ranks.

Note to IKEA:

Your stupid plan failed. I did not end up spending 3-8 HOURS there, unable to resist buying things, like the article says you were hoping. I ran out of there as fast as I could, which was NOT so fast, thanks to the masses of people and the hidden exits and the craziness of the floor plan, but not ONCE was I tempted to buy a thing, because THAT WOULD HAVE SLOWED MY FRANTIC EXIT. I think this Maze Floorplan idea is actually rather meanspirited, dishonest, and it’s been years and I clearly have not yet found it in my heart to forgive.

Actually, I have serious, unresolved IKEA/Anger Issues. I see that now.  I was in town to visit and spend ‘therapeutic, quality time’ with someone who HATES me and was ready to aim all sorts of ill will my way, and THAT I was prepared for and handled just fine when it did indeed happen. I’ve had much practice, and had advance warning. But your store was a surprise whose unpleasantness I was rather unprepared for, and it had me in a cold sweat looking for an exit sign that could not be found and a paper bag to breathe into. Also not found.  If you won’t re-think the ‘confuse the customer’ strategy, you might consider installing paper bag stations throughout, for those who hyperventilate. Or you could install panic buttons. Maybe emergency exit chutes. Helpful little messages on the floor next to futons that say, “You will not die here. Breathe in, breathe out, and relax.”  THAT would be nice, IKEA.

Signed,

Draper IKEA Survivor, 2008


The Pre-Game WarmUp, Snuggie-Style

January 22nd, 2011 at 10:34 am » Comments (2)

Mike got home last night after I’d gone to sleep. He’s here for the weekend before heading off again. In the middle of the night I had some violent dream and ended up smashing my head against his elbow. It was a longer trip than usual, and I’d gotten used to the empty, elbowless, spot over there.

I spent much of the time he was gone in front of the fireplace, with books, spread out on top of a Sherpa Snuggie he’d given me. The Sherpa Snuggie is a fantastic combination of warm and  OH-SO-UGLY. It’s the perfect gift for a cold natured wife when you’re about to be out of town a lot. I ADORE this thing. It makes me look like a cross between a Tibetan monk and a yak. (click if you don’t believe me. Check out how impossible it is to have use of hands, despite claims to the contrary. not that monk/yaks need hands, but still. Also, the back is a bit drafty, like a hospital gown.)

I’ve been a very happy monk/yak.

This morning, I’m in the bedroom and the boys just went to the bathroom door (down the hall) and started petitioning “Mom” in their whiniest/at conflict voices about a Wii dispute. I snuggled under the covers and giggled because the bathroom light is on and the door is shut, and they think I’m  in there. But it’s Mike. Who will ignore this.  Or not hear it. Or ignore it, but pretend not to hear it.

Like me. But my alternative is saying, “No! Sweet children! I am in the bedroom. Please come in here and whine and argue for my delight in HERE, because I’d hate the chance to mediate something you’re perfectly capable of resolving yourselves. Quickly! The suspense is too much!”

They found me.

Caden-6yr laughed.

I love that kid. He busted his lip with a Wii remote and has a bloody paper towel hanging out of his mouth. Not that he was complaining about it. Their problem was about something else entirely.

The other day I was going to take them to the gym (where Caden-6yr always gets horrifically hurt and mangled, but hey I get a workout, priorities y’all) and I asked him to please not get hurt.

He made a face and said, in pure confusion, “What? What are you talking about? You can’t control whether you get hurt.”

“Well. You can be careful and cut down on the number of injuries.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Yes! You really can!”  The problem is Caden-6yr is kinda reckless. “Caden. I’m the same way. And what I’ve found is that if I slow down just a little and think a little bit more about where I am in relation to hard things that will hurt me, I get hurt less.”

“You’re like that too?! Is that why you always have bruises all over your legs?”

Thanks, Caden-6yr. ”Well, yeah. And the kickboxing, and all the clumsy. But could you just TRY not to get hurt?”

He shrugged, as if it were a thoroughly worthless theory. When i picked him up, he had a giant cartoon-like bump on the top of his head where he had smashed into a slide. I took the boys to my mom’s and told her about it and from across the room she could see how his hair was completely displaced by the huge lump.

I can’t blame him. ‘Reigning it in a little’ always feels less like self-preservation to me and more like conceding defeat and volunteering to just not have as much fun. Whether it’s a kicking/punching thing or a mud/truck/speed thing or whatever. If it’s really that difficult for me now, it’s probably asking way too much of a 6 yr old.

He has a basketball game in a couple of hours. The last play of a game a couple of weeks ago, he took a pass to the face really hard, which he bravely pretty much ignored. His left eye and cheek swelled up and stayed that way for a couple of days.

But really, I think we’re good today, and there won’t be bleachers. Today, he’s starting the game with a freshly busted lip.

Ahead of the game, that’s what we call that around here.


Silent Afternoon With Three Boys. (Really!)

January 20th, 2011 at 9:00 pm » Comments (3)

Yesterday the happenings in KidLand were over the top, unexplained and made me want to learn to drink. Today… we were at the other end of the spectrum. It’s only right to report about this afternoon, which is equally over the top and unexplained wondrous beautiful WHAT IS GOING ON in KidLand AND CAN I HAVE JUST ONE MORE BABY? type feeling.

We arrived home from school. We had a plan. There would be snacks (because if the kidlets do not get the afternoon snack right after school there is drama and fake fainting and it just isn’t pretty) and then we would go do a couple of errands.

Except.

Seth-5yr had gotten in trouble at school, and he had a tally to give me. He couldn’t bring himself to throw it away without my seeing it, although he was tempted. So, brilliant and devious at the same time, he comes to me and holds the tally face down and asks me if I would mind if he just threw that piece of paper away.

We talked about the lack of honesty in that particular conversation. Then I tried to get him to discuss the tally. Sat him in my lap, facing me, and used the quiet voice that usually melts him. He was VERY upset.  The thing with Seth-5yr is, he HATES to cry, and almost won’t ever do it. But he made up for it today.

He’d cry and squeak and say, “I! WAS! WRONG!” with great genuine emotion, but not actually discuss details. “Well, Seth-5yr… it says here on the tally, ‘Seth banged on a friend’s work project and broke it and hurt his friend.” He threw back his head and gnashed his teeth. I’m not surprised. He only treats his brothers like that, and not often, and he doesn’t get away with it. But I believed the genuine guilt thing because you’d think he’d tortured puppies the way he was acting, and I had no idea what to do with him being so hard on himself. I didn’t want to gloss over it TOO much because I hadn’t yet established that the ‘hurt his friend’ thing meant feelings and not repeated uppercuts to the ribs. It meant ‘feelings.’  And he had destroyed someone’s puzzle. I think. Not good, but he didn’t need to turn himself into the local authorities for his crimes, although he was clearly considering it.

He sat in my lap and pretty much lost it and wailed and cried and  despised himself for what he had done. And when he was finally through, he put his head on my shoulder, sighed, and fell asleep. I held him, and listened as his breathing turned into snoring. His head fit just under my chin, my right hand was tucked into his back jeans pocket, and it reminded me of when there were babies around and if one of them wanted to nap, I’d stop everything and blissfully sit and hold the little sleeper and love every second of it.

Every thirty minutes or so, he’d stir and look at me with his big, sleepy brown eyes. Then he’d get more comfortable, sigh, and go back to sleep.

Ethan-10yr came out of his room and saw me holding his sleeping brother. He let out a high pitched ‘Oh!’ as if it were the cutest thing he’d ever seen in his ten years. And then he tiptoed away. Caden-6yr amused himself quietly and then, after 90 minutes of this nonsense, came over and used a sing-song voice to say “I think someone didn’t take his nap at school today…!”

It was an hour and forty five minutes of blissful, peaceful, SILENT sweet baby holding time. A large, unexpected gift of peace.   Well, peace for me.

For Seth-5yr it was emotionally draining, cried-out exhaustion from an overdose of self loathing.

But for me, WOW, this afternoon rocked.

Except it did make me think about how much I miss that whole baby holding thing. It was worse than wandering through a Baby Gap and seeing little baby hats with bear ears  and adorable footed baby jammies with giraffes. It made me wonder just how much Mike would FREAK OUT if I used the “r” word. Reversal. (Um, a LOT. That would be a lot of freaking out all the way from California and he might not come home until I got over it and “took back that ‘r’ word.”)

And then ten minutes later I was over it.  Really.

I can hold a friend’s baby who is due to arrive in April, and buy BabyGap bear ear things for her.

No new stretch marks required.

I’m good.