Hit Publish Or Perish

A Couple of Yesterdays Ago

You have probably been wondering what happens when you accidentally wash an entire load of laundry with several cloves of raw garlic. Good news (or GOOD NEWS! as Caroline trills every morning before telling us that she is awake now) I can answer that for you: it reeks. You open the door to the washing machine and the smell of it reaches out and punches you right between the eyes. Why the aroma of garlic sauteed in butter is so enticing that it makes you want to pull snails off the rose bush and eat them, while garlic after a rinse cycle is nauseating I have no idea but there it is. I have now re-washed this particular load of clothes three times and it still smells like... well, the analogy that springs to mind is too indelicate to share so something something urrhurrnmm Mediterranean cough cough.


What? How did garlic get into the washing machine?

I have no bloody idea but my general response to everything (Where did all that money go? Why haven't we seen Argo? Who poured a metric ton of Cheerios between the back seats of the car?) seems to apply here as well: children (accompanied by a mystified fluttery wave of both hands.)

Which reminds me, we had dinner the other week with our friends who are most emphatically childfree by choice and the look of frank pity on her face as she asked about our upcoming travel plans (that would be: none. at the time we had zero (0) travel plans although I am now going to Chicago next week)  has me giggling again as I remember it. And she wasn't being bitchy or anything, she was just making conversation and she was genuinely sympathetic to learn that we are tied by numerous restrictions (time, priorities, finances) so very close to home for the foreseeable future. It was a funny conversation, is what I am trying to convey, when she talked about Italy and Mexico and then said so what about you, where are you headed? And I wanted to say huh, um, nowhere but Caroline lost a tooth.

You know, if online comment sections are to be believed it seems impossible that someone who has no interest whatsoever in raising children can be friends with someone like myself who apparently is interested in little else but in the real world, of course, it happens all the time. And a very good thing it is, too.

For the record they are in Hawaii this week and I spent four hours trying to make my cami-knickers less redolent of Little Italy. Just saying.


After we bid Edward a final fond goodnight-no-really-we-mean-it-seriously he is not allowed to leave his room except to go to the bathroom (HA! as if*) until the light on his clock turns yellow. Since the approved wake up time is 6 o'dark something this is hardly draconian but nonetheless for the past couple of weeks I have woken in the morning to find myself in the middle of the bed with Edward, his two stuffed cats, one stuffed snake and three small blankets (collectively known by him as his "cuddyies") sleeping in my place on my pillow.

When I questioned him, all exasperated, as to whether or not he remembered what I had said at bedtime he cheerfully replied, "You said I couldn't leave my room in the midduh of the night but look! I COULD! Here I am!"

I couldn't help it. I laughed.

He is at the height of preschool malapropisms.


While reading one of Patrick's old math-based picture books: "Look Mommy! The x's mean I'm learning Baltimorcation**."

As he pursed his lips to recount a story from antiquity: "A couple of yesterdays ago... "

In response to me saying he probably did want to go to school on Wednesday since his friends were going to bring valentines and some of them might include candy: "I hope someone gives me Horseshoe Kiss Yous***."


Speaking of Valentine's Day (happy, by the way, to you) Patrick announced last night at 7:42 that he wanted to construct a valentine box for himself that would have a slot for candy that could open and close. With a motor. I said something supportive, like, "There is no way you are going to be able to make that even if I let you stay up past your bedtime, which I am not going to do. You have 48 minutes. Do you want me to just get you a Target bag right now or would you prefer to wait 46 minutes?"

Exhibit I Would Like To Thank My Mother Who Always Believed In Me... NOT


That blue thing labeled Wheel of Fortune? Is attached to some random plastic stick that is attached to an even more random motor which spins on a fifteen second interval to reveal a wedge shaped opening for candy. And he was in bed with his hands folded demurely on top of the blankets like a stone effigy (a stone effigy of Righteousness) by 8:30 precisely.

He was in such a good mood this morning that he made breakfast for Caroline and Edward.

When I picked him up after school today (in the church parking lot, thankyouverymuch) I noticed that he was floating several feet above the ground. He eventually confided that there had been a contest for the best valentine box and it was done by secret ballot and he got the most votes and when the teacher said, "And the winner, obviously, is Patrick" some of the sixth graders erupted into cheers.

He might make breakfast again tomorrow.


Caroline and Edward got haircuts this week.

The last time I took them for a haircut the woman asked me if I used a special swimming shampoo for Caroline. It reminded me of when the dental hygenist asks if I am flossing twice a day

[Why? Why do they ask? Either I say, "No" which evokes a knee-jerk, "You know you really should be flossing twice a day" or I lie and say yes and they give me a look that says, lady, I am up to my elbows in your mouth right now and you are trying to tell me that you floss twice a day? PLEASE]

and I had the same reaction.

"Yes!" I said brightly. "We do use a swimmers' shampoo."

She raised her eyebrows and said, "Ummmmm OOOOOOKKKKKKK but her hair is just coated in chlorine. I can't get a brush through it" and I thought Ah Ha! because I can't get a brush through it either and many a heated battle has been pitched across our house as I have attempted to brush Caroline into submission. Who knew it was caused by chlorine build-up?

So I said, oh, well, maybe I could use a different swimmers' shampoo and I left with the $12 bottle that I had been trying to avoid from the beginning. I also felt like a fool because I lied and she knew I lied and do you know what Hercule Poirot said? He said there are three people to whom a woman must always tell the truth: her father confessor, her hair dresser and her private detective.

Anyway the pricey shampoo helped, some, but her hair was still pretty sticky so I suggested we cut it off and Caroline agreed. We opted for a fetching bob again.

I tried for ten minutes to get her to let me take a nice picture of a nice girl with her nice haircut but instead she insisted on channeling Tallulah Bankhead






Edward slept on his wet hair, hence the spiky top bits.



(Is it me or is Caroline's hair looking a little auburn? As a redhead myself I always dreamed... well.)

Finally, Steve and I started Discovery of Witches but I suspect that I will have to continue it alone. He said he doesn't like the narrator and when I asked if it was the American accent he said, "Oh my god yes! And please never speak to me again."

I think we'll start Guards! Guards! by Pratchett. Patrick and I loved (loved loved LOVED) his Tiffany Aching books and I quite enjoyed the witches by myself so... Terry Pratchett it is.

Oh and Patrick and I are about an hour into Ender's Game. Wow. It's a little difficult (emotionally. we have had to turn it off a couple of times when the main character was in straits) but quite quite good so far. So thank you, as always.

* I owe you an update on Edward and his nightly habits. We let him go commando for three, no, four weeks, during which time he wet the bed every night. Not just once, mind you, but two or sometimes three times. So much for the bed lasagne; we needed a goddamned bed Smith Island cake. So we went to the superundies which seemed ok but regrettably leaked like a sieve. They sell extra padding so we put in extra padding until it looked (and felt) like Edward had a basketball in his pajama bottoms. We did that for about a month and now we have been back to overnight diapers since then. Edward has ceased complaning about it, probably because he realizes it could be worse (see: cold wet bed x3 and giant towel wad in pants.) He has also been dry in the morning, maybe, twice in the past three months.

In conclusion: he's not ready. I ran it by his pediatrician and he said I was, of course, welcome to drive myself crazy but if it were him he'd give it more time.

PS Damn it. I forgot.

**Baltimorcation = multiplication

***Horseshoe Kiss Yous = Hershey's kisses