Thursday, October 13, 2011


So I took another week off from my little Friday column. I can't even tell you why. The best I excuse I can come up with is that we've been adjusting to my husband's new job and new schedule. For the first time since we've had kids, I am sometimes alone with the kids during that dreaded period from after nap/quiet time to dinnertime.

That's new for me. I have a new sympathy for those who weather that daily storm. Luckily, there are a lot of kids in our neighborhood.

Sometimes Jim is home in the morning, too, which means for the first time in almost five years, I'm not the only adult in the house when the kids wake up. That's new and it totally rocks. And, for the first time in their lives, the kids get to see him leave for work. So they've been giving daddy some special instructions before he leaves for the day.

Don't bite or run at work, Fiona tells Daddy.
Yeah, and don't do anything wrong, Danny says. Danny has also told him to punch anyone.

We heard a police siren and daddy said that he was chasing you, Danny reports. Oh, really. (Daddy is so busted.) I managed to get a continuance on my speeding tickets contingent on my driving record.

Gorilla, Fiona said when she saw a photo of her cousin's hairy back.

Did you have fun with your cousins today? I ask Danny.
Yeah, I didn't say bitch or shut up this time. This is the definition of a successful outing these days.

I went to the bathroom and then I told myself to get my shoes on, Danny reports. Fascinating. I just had no idea that he was having an internal dialogue.

I can't get THIS in HERE, Danny whines while I'm driving.
What is this?
I can't see what this and here is. You'll have to use other words.
I can't get THIS in HERE. Okay, mommy's getting off this merry-go-round now.

Bunny is in time out for pushing me, Fiona says. Bunny is a 6 inch tall beanie baby.

This is interested, Danny says to his father as they are fixing up the bikes. Saturday morning, the boys had just as much fun fixing bikes as they did riding.

Well, the spinal cord is your backbone, I tell Danny. He was asking about the parts of the skeleton hanging on the front door. There is a cord that comes from your brain and sends messages to the rest of your body.
Oh, it can call everybody, he says. So maybe next time he hits his sister, I'll tell him that his brain needs to call his hand and tell it not to hit.

Oh, wait, I've got to go back [to the table], Danny says. Excuse me, can I get up now? he asks.
Where did you learn to say "Excuse me"?
From you, he says. Um, I don't even remember teaching him this.

Stuck, Owen whimpers as he stands behind a border of monkey grass he'd crawled over. And I thought he was the smart one.

I'm happy, Fiona chirps.
Oh, yeah? What makes you happy?
Baby wipes.

The happy girl is also getting a handle on what exactly is and is not sanctioned behavior around here.

Owen is making a mess and it's not OKAY, Fiona says.

FiFi, is there water on the floor, I ask when I notice her shuffling slowly in the bathroom and looking at the floor.
No, there's pee pee on the floor, she says. And that's not OKAY. No, it's most definitely not okay, but at least she cleans up after herself. And she is self-correcting at the tender age of almost 3. This is more than I can say for my son.

I jumped on Danny and that's not OKAY, Fiona says.

As for Jim and I, we've been indulging in a guilty pleasure: s'mores around our new firepit on the patio. We don't intend to tell the kids about it anytime soon.

If the kids ask why we smell like smoke, we'll just have to tell them we started smoking, Jim says.

Have a great weekend.

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