Little Quiet People…

Some time ago, I was smitten with one of Michelle’s posts at Scribbit, where she outlined instructions for making a “quiet family”. Michelle, in turn, had borrowed the lovely idea from the clever author of Simply Stork.

I read both posts and thought of the numerous, nay countless times we have found ourselves waiting in doctor offices over the past five years and the many times I had wished I had something small, fascinating and quiet to command Jacqui’s attention as we waited. And here it was. An adorable, clever, and affordable answer. (more…)

Counting Little Blessings…

Kyle: “Wun-fee-fibe-nigh…TEN! (claps hands) ‘Ray!! Bwass-awv!

Jacqui: “No, Kyle. Dat’s how you don’t do dat. Like dis: “Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one… blast off! Like dat. Try ‘gain.”

Kyle: “Wun-fee-fibe-sebin-TEN-BWASS-AWWWV! DEEEE-ENNNNN! Gackie shush!

Jacqui: “Kyle, don’t tell me to shush. Dat’s not polite and you’ll make Emily sad. I’m jess tryin’ ta help you not count all wrong. Count downs start wif ten, not one. An’ you missed a whole buncha numbers. You bedder start over… Ten, nine… (more…)

Moooom!! Looook!! Have You Ever Seen Anything Like It… Or No?

These are literally the very first moments of our morning. I was yanked awake by a little girl shouting, “Mommmmmm!! Comere quickly!! Dair’s dis most ‘mazing super-ize in da backyard dat I’ve never seen before!” And then she shoved the camera in my hand while tugging me upright, “Here! You’ll probly need dis!”

As you can tell in the clip, Jacqui is a morning person. Me? Not so much. I was still waking up and not yet ready to meet her inevitable onslaught of chatter with the enthusiasm it deserved. And to be fair, possums are not exactly on my ‘Top Ten’ list of things to be excited about in the morning. Or even on my list of things to be excited about ever. Jacqui now claims she is no longer interested in having a hamster for a pet (as she had previously informed us yesterday). She states that “a possum would make a very more clebber pet, don’t you think?” Hmmmm… clever? Perhaps. Conceivable? No.

A Flower In The Rain…

Today wasn’t supposed to be like this. Not another storm so quickly on the heels of the last one. We were going to go to the library today… she wanted a book about flowers. She was laughing and giggling after breakfast, but as we slipped on her shoes to leave, that awful switch flipped. The light in her eyes snuffed out as a new CVS episode stormed through her… before the pink even had a chance to return to her cheeks from the last one.

So once again, I mingle my tears with the rain and pray that she will come back to me soon. As she slipped away into another week of sleep, she whispered with a faint teasing grin, “I fink dis means I get to sleep in your room ‘gain.” My little girl is so much braver than I…

Hot Water Bottle Cozies…

One of the snuggly comforts of winter in our house are hot water bottles. I’m honestly surprised that so few people own them these days… I wouldn’t trade mine even if someone demanded it as ransom for one of the four pillows I insist on sleeping with (a source of much mocking in our house, but that’s another story). However, I am not taunted about my fondness for my hot water bottle… because when the temperature in our corner of the world drops, my feet turn into icebergs.

I often joke and tell Ken that his marriage vows to me were to “love, honor, cherish, and warm thy feet for as long as we both shall live.” Ken doesn’t find this humorous in the slightest. Let’s just say he’s more than willing to pass the responsibility of “foot warmer” along to my hot water bottle. (more…)

Moonstruck…

It had been a long week. A long very long week and I was tired. As I walked through the living room picking up toys, a silver moonbeam glinted through the window. I curled up on the couch with a sigh. I lifted my face to the light and watched as darkened clouds clamored through tree branches below the curve of the moon. I wondered to myself how my lovely friend, Jo, would write such a moon in such a sky… and I closed my eyes as the weariness of the entire week washed over me. And then I heard it. A kitten-soft step.

A tiny hand slipped into mine and I caught the scent of lavender bubble bath as she leaned down to whisper into my ear, “It’sa crescent moon, Mommy… idn’t it ‘chanting?” (more…)

Guardian Of My Sanity…

I felt him standing there before I saw him. I looked up to find Ken paused in the doorway observing me with an arched eyebrow. “You have that look,” he commented in a reproving tone.

“What look?”

He rolled his eyes at my deliberate obtuseness. “That look. You need to get out of here.”

“Whatever do you mean? I’m fine.”

“Uh, huh. Take a look in the mirror. I’m doing fine. You? Not so much.”

“Thanks. Thanks a lot.”

“I didn’t mean it that way, you twit.”

I touched my thumb to my nose while wiggling my fingers and crossing my eyes in his general direction. He wasn’t impressed. Or amused. (more…)

Lullaby And Goodnight…

Nine-thirty. I trudged up the rain-soaked walk in the dark at the end of a 56-hour work week. The house was quiet as I slipped off my shoes near the coat rack, wiping away tears as I padded up the stairs and down the hall. I paused at the door and brushed off fresh tears before quietly slipping into our room, and there she was. Sleeping for the moment. Curled up in a tight ball under the quilt her grandmother had made for her and clutching her ever-present buddy, a stuffed lavender puppy named Cosmo.

Ken had set up her travel bed in our room so we would be able to get to her quickly during the long night to come. I set down my bag, pulled off my coat and knelt down next to her, bending to kiss her damp little forehead. Her long curls were slick with sweat and a third set of tears stung my eyelids as I kissed her cracked and bleeding little lips that no amount of salve had been able to obviate. (more…)

Vintage Jacqui – Of Markers And Marabou

Rain. It seemed as if it had been raining forever. It was nearly a year ago. Our then four-year-old daughter, Jacqui, sat plastered to the window, watching the relentless raindrops pound the soil in our front yard.

“Mom, can we go splash in da puddles?”

I peeked around the corner from the kitchen and glimpsed the black clouds and rain-spattered window panes. “No. It’s too cold and rainy outside.”

Jacqui looked at me with all the incredulity that my absurd comment deserved. “But Mom, if dere wasn’t rainy days outside, dere wouldn’t be no puddles to splash in.”

True. And I should have listened, but I had a dozen stuffy reasons to stay inside: It was wet. Too cold. Too much trouble. To Jacqui, my excuses meant one thing: Boredom. In the hands of a child, boredom can quickly escalate from pleas for relief, to unbridled silliness, to full-force, category five, cabin-fever hurricanes. (more…)

And They All Lived Happily Ever After… Until The Dinosaurs Ate Them For Breakfast…

Jacqui: Here Kyle… You be da knight.

Kyle: (Lying on the floor five yards away flapping a plastic pterodactyl) Rahhr. Ninoshar.

Jacqui: No, Kyle. No dinosaurs. We’re playin’ Liddle Peeple’s in da cassle. Not dinosaurs.

Kyle: (Hasn’t moved an inch) Oooooo! Ninoshar. Rahhr.

Jacqui: Ok Kyle… Here’s you. Da knight (handing him the miniature plastic knight in shining armor). Now, walk him to da cassle like dis… “la-la-la-la-lahhhh…” Den say, “Oh bootiful prinsesssssss! Lets go to da ball, OK?” Say dat.

Kyle: RRRRRRRAAAHHHHHHRRRRRRRR!!!!

Jacqui: No, no, nooooo! Knights DON’T NEVER make dinosaur noises at prinsesses! Not NEVER!! Too scary. Try ‘gain.

Kyle: NINOSHAR!!! RAAAHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Jacqui: Ok. You not lissen-en. Gimme dat fing!

Kyle: (Supersonic shrieking)

Me: Jacqui. No taking toys away. Remember the rules? You fight over something, it’s mine for the day.

Jacqui: (Sporting a saccharin grin) Oh, we’re not fightin’, Mom… I’m jess helpin’ him share. Da dinosaur wansta play by hisself right now I fink.

Me: (One eyebrow arched)

Jacqui: Oh, alright. *sigh* Ok, Kyle. Now pay da tenshun… Here’s you, da knight.

Kyle: Nononononooooooo! Ky ninoshar! Rahhhhr!

Jacqui: Fine! You play dinosaurs over dere, an’ I’ll play by myself den!

Kyle: (Finally recognizing the potential in Jacqui’s game, begins flapping the pterodactyl over the castle…) RAHHHHHHHRRRRR!!! RAHHHHHRRRRRR!!!

Jacqui: No! No Dinosaurs! Go way! Shoooo!

Kyle: (With a maniacal giggle swoops the pterodactyl in towards the castle, flinging the little People King and Queen from the turrets…) Peeples Waaaaaaaayyyyyy! (Followed by more maniacal giggling)

Jacqui: Kyyy-Alllll!!! NOT NICE!!

Kyle: Nah-neyes? Ninoshar nah-neyes!!! Ninoshar RAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRR!!!! (Begins stomping giant pterodactyl feet on poor Little People Queen’s plastic noggin)

Jacqui: Kyle! Noddy! You givvin’ da Queen a very big ouchy headache! OWIE!!

Kyle: Oooo. Owie? Uuun-Tiss? Mwhah! (Pterodactyl oh-so-gently pecks the flattened Queen on her plastic noggin with a prehistoric kiss) Aw bedder?

Jacqui: Well… Ok…. (eying the pterodactyl suspiciously) Fank you….

Kyle: OK! All bedder! Ninoshar!! RAHHHHHHHRRRRR!!!! Peeples YUMMMMMMMM!!! RAHHHHHHHRRRR!!!! (Pterodactyl swoops back in and begins devouring the still stunned Little People Queen)

Jacqui: No, Kyle!! Noooooooooo!!! (Grasping at the flapping pterodactyl) No dinosaurs eating my cassle peeples for beck-fass! Dere will be no-buddy for da cassle ball! Stawwwwwwwwwwwwpppp!

Kyle: AHHHHHHH!!! NOOOOOO!!! Mine ninoshar!! MIIIIIIIINNNNNNE!!!

Me: (Pitching a half-folded towel from my laundry pile at the epicenter of the escalating donnybrook) OK, a meteor just obliterated Jurassic Park Camelot. We are now time-traveling to the Mommy Revolution Era wherein all plastic toys are hereby banished to the closet until the dawn of a new day.

Jacqui: (Scowling, arms folded across her chest) Dat’s NOT how you play dis game! No banishing da toys!
Toys were banished to the closet forthwith and MY cranky little ‘Little Peeples’ were banished to the backyard for some fresh air. Now if I could just banish myself somewhere…