Posted by Duff

Disclaimer: all quotes pulled from The Dervish when she was well past the point of overtired:

On Love:

“Well I’m mad, because I’m in love with Daddy. And he’s in love with you.”

(Note to self: sleep with the lights on, lest I have an’ accident’)

On Marriage:

D: “I asked (neighbor boy, aged 5) to marry me three times this week. Once at his birthday, once in his yard, and again today in the driveway. He said no every time.”

Me: “Well, that’s the thing about boys. They don’t really want to talk marriage. Not at 5, and not at 25. Good luck with that.”

On Kindergarten:

Me: “Aren’t you excited to go to kindergarten in September?”

D: “Um. I don’t know. Will they have a full-size firetruck there?”

Me: “I hope not.”


Posted by Duff

I’ve heard of loveys and blankies and I’ve had a kid who adored her pacifier.

But never, never did I think my son would have a security vaccuum.

(This is someone else’s kid loving a similar vaccuum. Apparently, it’s more common that you or I thought).

Live and learn.

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Next week will mark the one year anniversary of my becoming a mostly stay-at-home mom.

Here are some of my takeaways:

I thought I would be more organized when I had more time to be organized.  I was wrong.

Kids need to leave the house every day or will punchfight. At least, this is true for my kids.

Oatmeal is like a fungal infection. If not addressed immediately and completely, it spreads.

It’s awesome to wear lamb’s wool-lined boots everyday.  It also cuts down on the need for pedicures. However, I crave a visit to the nail salon with the fire of a thousand white-hot suns each day I slide my feet into those boots.  It’s the screaming (mostly joyful, sometimes not, it still rattles the nerves).  I need to soak away the screaming.

I like quiet. A lot. I like to think, and I used to think complete thoughts.  Imagine each of my thoughts, these days, as a carton of eggs.  Three are missing. Sometimes four.  If you’ve asked me to do something, please remind me.

I have, by far, the biggest head circumference in my house. My husband and Atticus can share hats. I’m not sure if this means my husband has a pin head or Atticus inherited my melon.  Likely both. The main point is, my head is enormous.

I didn’t use my crock pot nearly enough when I was working outside the home.

I get lots of hugs per day, lots of ‘love yous”.  These remind me, when I’m striving, planning and submitting for paid work, that nothing else I do, nothing else I accomplish or set as a bar that I haven’t yet reached and so judge myself, that I’m not so far from where I need to be.  I’m about as smack dab in the middle, if I take the time to notice, as I had always hoped to be.

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Please help. I’m being held prisoner by attitude over here, the preschool and toddler kinds. 

Please send advice on how to outwit them, or  keep them from killing each other. Or, at the very least, how to keep them from killing me so I can keep raising them–hopefully to be the nice kind of people that don’t harm anyone other than each other and their mother.

Also, while you’re at it, please send Spring.  Three. feet. of. snow.

And, good news is always welcome.

Posted by Duff

You’ve probably already heard about the New York Magazine article, “Why Parents Hate Parenting“, but if you haven’t yet read it, it’s worth the time.

Something that struck me about the article was the following quote:

“Did you see Babies?” asks Lois Nachamie, a couples counselor who for years has run parenting workshops and support groups on the Upper West Side. She’s referring to the recent documentary that compares the lives of four newborns—one in Japan, one in Namibia, one in Mongolia, and one in the United States (San Francisco). “I don’t mean to idealize the lives of the Namibian women,” she says. “But it was hard not to notice how calm they were. They were beading their children’s ankles and decorating them with sienna, clearly enjoying just sitting and playing with them, and we’re here often thinking of all of this stuff as labor.”

I couldn’t agree more. I said the same thing, with far less eloquence, of course, to my own mother after we’d both watched the movie. (If you haven’t seen Babies, by the way, I can’t recommend it enough. No narration, just babies, and you’ll laugh and cry and appreciate and feel humbled and understood in such a short time, it feels, well, like parenthood).

Thoughts? I know you’ve got them. 😉

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If it has fur, scare it.

If it contains a tomato ingredient, eat it.

If it has a face, slap it. Then say ‘hi’.

If it is blunt, use it as a weapon. Smile. Say ‘hi’.

If it is a lap, back into it.

If it has a foothold, climb it.

If it can be fallen from, fall from it.

If it is a floor, meet it hard with your face.

If it is chocolate, scream for it.

If it is soft, press your cheek to it.

If it is a sister, irritate it. Poke it. Chase it. Sit with it patiently in Time Out.

If it is a question, the answer is ‘no’.

If it is fleece, wear it. Unless it’s a hat. Then don’t wear it. Throw it.

If it is a diaper, avoid it.

If it is liquid, pour it.

If it is oatmeal, paint with it.

If it is syrup (or ketchup), eat it, alone, with a fork.

If it is a mommy, follow it. Test it. Hug it. Scream at it. Scream for it. Pat it. Repeat.

Posted by Duff

You know the truth about toddlers: they’re explosive, unpredictable creatures.  I could weep for what Atticus, my sweet bear, has become in recent weeks.  I get screamed at a lot. And hit a lot. Diaper and clothing changes require wrestling holds and strong biceps and let’s face it, a thick skin these days.

It’s a good thing he’s cute.

I feel a little guilty, because I haven’t been enjoying our time together that much, and have been wishing away some of that time that I always tout as so precious. I feel like a hypocrite.  But really, when was the last time you wanted to spend time with someone who hits you and pulls your hair and tells you (in his own way) how dissatisfied he is with your failure to understand him? (Kind of sounds like some guys I knew in elementary school, actually, the ones who liked me).

So  I performed a test. See, the little guy is adorably honest these days, and prone to glorious exhibits of attachment that make up for a LOT.

“Atticus,” I said, “Do you want some milk?”

“No,” he said.  With some annoyance.


“Noooo.” He may have swiped at me.

“A snack?”

“NO!” This is where he backs up into things and gets mad at whatever he backs into.

So I gave up. And sat on the floor, criss-cross applesauce. And he made his way over to me, slowly. Backed into my lap, pouting.

“Atticus,” I said, barely loud enough for him to hear me. “Do you love me?”

” ‘Es.” And he leaned back into me.

Like I said, I could weep at what he’s become.