White Elephants and Children

White elephant gift exchanges and children don’t mix well.

Or rather they mix far too well.

You know what they say… one man’s trash is another little girl’s portal to hell.

I’m using the other bathroom from now on.

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Harry Potter with Sprinkles on Top

Clara hid under her blanket, then she popped back out, jumped up, walked around and climbed up to lay across back of the couch behind me. We were in the last two chapters of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and she was a nervous wreck. She gasped and she giggled and she stopped me with frantic questions about what was going to happen next that I refused to answer. When we reached the final page she laughed and laughed, then asked if we could start book two tomorrow.

Reading a great book for the first time is magical.

Re-reading a wonderful book is like visiting an old friend.

 

And re-reading a book with a child is like combining the two but with sprinkles and a cherry on top.

When I was about Clara’s age I visited one of my aunts, all by myself, and she read me Danny Champion of the World by Roald Dahl.

It was the best thing ever.

I was old enough to have read it on my own but she read the whole thing out loud, her own love of the book shining through the reading. Of all the things we did together and of all the books I read as a kid that memory and that book have always remained a favorite.

If you don’t have a kid of the proper age borrow one. Read them one of your favorite books. Take a decadent amount of time to do so and give yourselves an experience with sprinkles and a cherry on top.

Rescued From Draftland: Cat Problem

I have a problem with the cats.

In general I rather like cats, which is good, we have three.

(Well she’s a year and a half older now so she only is willing to be smothered in love for so long and then she bites Jane on the nose. But that’s a whole ‘nother problem.)

There is this one that is still young and cute and willing to be smothered in Jane’s love on a daily basis.

There is this one that is aloof and completely uninterested in me but causes minimal trouble and loves Ivy.

There is this one, my favorite one, that comes every night and crawls in bed with me and purrs for an hour while I read.

For all I like cats I’ll admit that they come with a pile of unsavory things. Litter boxes, food stealing, hair that sticks to everything, kittens that climb legs as though they were trees, tripping you as you walk down stairs and their continued insistence on seeing if Louie the Dove might taste as good as he looks.

I’ll forgive them for all those things because of the purrs and the snuggles and the way they love the kids.

But there is one thing, I’m just not sure I can get over. Sometimes, when they meow it sounds uncannily like “Mom.”

This is not okay.

At.

All.

Three girls calling, sighing, yelling, screaming, sobbing, demanding, pleading, and asking “Mom!” all day is plenty.

I’m quite sure the cats are smarter than they let on (for instance, I know that they know that they aren’t supposed to jump on the counter, they just don’t care that I know that they know.  Got that?).

So when a cat meows, “Mom!” at me it shouldn’t act so surprised and affronted when I round on it with a giant, fed up, “WHAT?!?”

Yes, I have a problem with the cats.

I just haven’t decided if it’s because they are demanding me by name now too or that I’m demanding answers of them.

Either way, it’s a problem.

Siblings

Siblings…

Just when you think that you can’t take it anymore, when you are certain they can’t take it anymore, about the time that you forgot what they sound like when they aren’t whining/yelling/crying/screaming about the other one and right when you are about to pull out the big red marker and divide the house down the middle for them yourself just to get a break from it all…

…they giggle.

 

They make up silly games.

They play

They appear to be the best friends and sisters you hope they will remain.

But you know better.

You enjoy the happiness but you know, in your heart of hearts, that they are still siblings and it’s all fun and games until… “she’s looking at me!”

Life on the Other Side

Seven years ago my best friend and I took a picture of our kids on a couch.

That was back when “visits” didn’t involve adults talking because there were five kids under five.

Just let that sink in a moment.

….

Jane was born 16 days after I posted that.

Just let that sink in for a moment.

….(That makes 6 under 5 if you are still counting.)…

Fast forward seven years.

Same kids (plus one) different couch.

They play with each other now.

As someone who used to try to visit with her best friend when all the kids just yelled “Mine!” as they stole toys from each other, needed to nurse, have their diapers changed, and be fed yet another snack, all at the same time I’m hear to tell you – it still feels like a miracle.

They play with each other now, it’s amazing.

My friend and I actual talk and laugh and do things we want to do when we get together.

It’s amazing.

We are living proof that there is life on the other side of diapers.