Today's Image

Sam took today's picture, but it's a fairly accurate representation of how I'm feeling, so I'm using it. I'm exhausted - Gabe's teething or something again and likes to wail and thrash in his sleep - and frantic to accomplish things. Many of these things, too, are Gabe-related; in the past few days, he's developed a new game that involves sprinting away to hurl things down the stairs before I can grab him, and he's also learned to open the toilet and pitch things into the water. Ah, toddlerhood!

So I went out and got a toilet guard, one of the few babyproofing items we never needed for Sam. Of course, perhaps the reason Sam didn't require one was that, between Eric and me, we were able to remember to keep the bathroom door closed; adding a slightly older big brother into the mix, who also needs the use of the bathroom, means that sooner or later, Gabe's going to get that access Sam didn't get. Now I've got to teach Sam how to operate the guard, and thank God he's got excellent bladder control for the added time that's going to require.

For the stair game, I initially had no good answer. We've got the bottom of the steps babygated, but you're not supposed to put gates at the top of the stairs, and that wouldn't stop him from tossing objects over the top. I did come up with a semi-solution for the short flight of steps down to the side landing, though; I went to Target and got a fabric shower curtain and a pressure rod. Now he can't see the stairs, and maybe that will help him forget they're there. Or perhaps he'll be even more enchanted; time will tell.

The curtain also hides the trash can, so perhaps that will help stop him from attempting to throw his toys in there. A mom can dream, can't she?

We've been invited to a Christmas party on Friday for Sam's playgroup. The kids are doing a book exchange, which is easy enough. The harder part is the moms' exchange. I'm supposed to bring one of my "favorite things," a la Oprah Winfrey...but the price limit is five dollars. Guh? I enjoy reading, but unless I bring a magazine, I won't be able to get much of anything worth perusing. Knitting? Well, perhaps some needles or yarn, but not both, and certainly not a kit with instructions for a beginner. Maybe coffee? A mix CD?

It should be a fun party, though. It's been a while since we've done a playgroup with this group of kids (they like to schedule things when Sam's in school). Gabe won't be one of the bigger ones, like he sometimes is with his own playgroup, and I don't know how that will strike him, now that he's old enough to care. And Santa will be there, which should make him even more nervous than he'll already be; when he saw Santa at Eric's company Christmas party for the kids, he didn't cry, but neither would he go near.

The dynamics of that playgroup will shift soon, though, I predict; the kids who are younger than Sam will almost all be in preschool soon, and many of the moms are having second children now. By the fall, when Sam will be in kindergarten and probably not in playgroup much at all anymore, Gabe will be one of the bigger (mobile) kids once more. Then we'll get the fun of watching him be the mother hen Sam was in that position, alternately mimicking the babies and shepherding them away from trouble. I'm having a hard time picturing my baby as the "big kid"; I need to stop now!

It occurs to me that this sort of navel-gazing (since it's toward the kids, should that perhaps be "umbilicus-gazing"?) is going to get really, really dull in short order over the next thirty days. Frankly, I'm finding it dull to live it; if I'm not taking care of the kids or playing with them, then I'm cleaning or managing the house. I would love to have something scintillating to do, and, thus, to record.

I'm thinking that, since this will be my own thirtieth Christmas, perhaps it would be in order to record some heretofore unwritten memories - of my childhood, of my young adult years, perhaps of the early days of my marriage. Any thoughts? What would you like to hear more about?

And maybe I'll throw in a picture entry or two, if I'm feeling especially frisky. Ah, my mad, mad life!

As evidence that life with an older child just keeps getting more and more exciting, today Sam announced, "Not all soldiers are bad guys!" I have no idea where he got that sentiment, so I just agreed with him vehemently, reassuring him that almost no soldier is a "bad guy," that he has soldiers among his own family, and that soldiers are just men and women who fight where other people tell them to. I did my best to explain that, even though we don't believe that fighting is right, the soldiers can't just decide to stop wars when they want to (and then, of course, I had to explain what "war" was, and so on).

Said Sam, after a period of quiet thought: "If I was a soldier, I would call God to come out of my heart, and He would stop the war and make everybody stop fighting!" Ah, yes, my sweet little cleric-fighter...

previous one year ago:
I don't know which is worse: the horror of being cooped up in the house all day long with two small children, or the horror of trying to take them out by oneself.
two years ago:
Someone, somewhere along the line, failed these students royally by not teaching them anything about citations or references.
three years ago:
I am sick to death of being sick to death, and this has to stop!
four years ago:
All I want for Christmas are his two front teeth (to finish cutting).
five years ago:
There was a brief moment of unbearable silence, and then Boss-Zilla said, "Congratulations!"
six years ago:
Anecdote: when I was wearing a particular dress, a woman ran up to me in tears, saying, "That's MY dress!"
In the ears:

On the Bookshelf:

Gratuitous Sam



Scary face

Extra Gabe

What's up here?


Action shot


©1999-2003 C. Richmond.