Hanukkah Hustle, ’tis the season

Anyone else concerned about the container ships stranded at sea?

I’m not sure what all is on them, but to be on the safe side I panic bought all of BB and RB’s Hanukkah and Christmas presents three weeks ago.

Hanukkah IS early this year, so that’s not too crazy. It still feels a little crazy, especially considering BB’s favorite color is in flux and how long can RB be obsessed with Baby Shark? Don’t answer that. Through December would be enough.

I thought I had a decent mental tally of what I had gotten each of them and it felt equivalent in my head. I put it all out the other day. Not even close.

I remove a third of BB’s presents to return to Target along with a pair of pleather leggings that didn’t fit. Those were for me.

The Easter Bunny made this same mistake, except she didn’t realize it until she put the baskets out and even then she thought it was close enough. The first words out of BB’s mouth were,

“Why did the Easter Bunny give me more than RB?”

Second thing out of her mouth was,

“Why did the Easter Bunny give us so many bathing suits?”

Maybe the Easter Bunny knew BB was going to spend the summer at the beach and couldn’t help herself.

And I will not make this mistake again. For the first time, I’m embracing duplicate gifts. Not everything can be the same. RB’s put-things-in-her-mouth phase is lingering. She still eats crayons.

This is partially my fault because I only let her color when she’s strapped in her highchair.

Which is her fault, since she’s proven that given a crayon and free range, she will color on any and all surfaces.

What about their different interests you say? Screw that. Their number one interest is having whatever the other one has.

And even so, I’m sure there’s going to be fighting. I already removed several large toys from the living room after any attempts at sharing turned into full-on screaming,

“MINE! MINE! MINE!”

I’m about to donate everything. Let them fight over the sticks in the yard. Plenty of those. And they BOTH put those in their mouths. BB tells me,

“I’m in a phase.”

“Oh yeah?”

“A puppy phase.”

“I see that.”

“Is that what phase means?”

Yup. I guess it does.

Home Goods has proven time and again that it surpasses any other store for the most random, Hanukkah tchotchkes.

And as I continue to complain about having too much stuff, I set off on one of several annual, Hanukkah, tchotchke expeditions.

Home Goods did not disappoint. Giant gelt stuffies. I grab two and head for checkout.

I can count on Home Goods’ cashiers for commentary. She exclaims,

“Oh wow! I’ve never seen these before!”

And before I can say anything, she adds,

“Well I’m not Jewish.”

“Well I am Jewish and I’ve never seen them before either.”

BB and I went out again yesterday. We popped into TJ Maxx. We approach the counter with a coat, jammies and 2 pairs of slippers. The cashier asks,

“Did you find what you came for?”

“No! We came for Hanukkah stuff.”

BB asks,

“Do we have time for the two other stores?”

“If we hustle.”

We roll through Joann Fabrics. Random I know, but they’re good for wrapping paper and I’ve exhausted the internet. Hanukkah overalls from Target are sold out.

BB asks,

“Are we going to the last store? We really hustled.”

An Ode to Coffee and Electricity

WHAT A WEEK. Electricity? Very under appreciated until it’s gone.

No matter how many times I forgot and flipped a light switch, it was to no avail.

I get annoyed when storms are over hyped, but the zero hype that there was for this storm meant I’ve been feeling bamboozled.

The first injustice hit quick. With only one of three nightlights working, BB joined me on the couch at 6:30am Wednesday morning.

My solo mornings, watching the sunrise, with the lights voluntarily turned off are one of the most pleasant, self-sustaining moments of my day.

Wednesday morning, as BB whined about no school, 30 minutes before anyone is allowed to whine at me, I realized that I was DESPERATE for a coffee. The giant, widow maker dangling by a tree thread over our front door wasn’t going to stop me.

I gathered both children and left a note for Captain:

“Gone for 2 coffees.”

And gone we were. As soon as I saw the first traffic light was out, I knew we needed to head out of town. Drive-thru after drive thru was closed. Road after road impassible. Next town over I saw people emerging from Whole Foods, to-go cups in hand.

Heavenly bells chimed. I looked down at myself: pajamas, random shoes, rain coat. It’s a drive-thru outfit. It’s not something I’d wear in public even in the depths of the pandemic loungewear movement.

Who am I kidding? I’m going in. The line was long, but not nearly as long as when I left 20 minutes later with 2 cups of coffee in my hands.

As BB whined and RB said “Coffee? Coffee? Coffee?”, I navigated our way home. I saw people drive underneath trees resting on wires. I stopped there.

We returned to find Captain searching the house for us, lost without the ability to text me. No one reads hand-written notes left on countertops anymore, even when there’s no electricity OR cell service.

I gave him a cup of coffee. As hard as it was to relinquish, he obviously needed one as much as I did.

We made a plan to evacuate to my mom’s. She mentioned not driving until later when it wouldn’t be so dangerous.

I spared her the coffee adventure for the time being.

In the meantime BB had her eye on Halloween and all things related. We were on notice for the school parade. Would it happen? Would it be canceled?

BB has started making her own social plans. She tells me,

“I’m going to A’s to go trick-or-treating.”

I explain that parents need to be part of the planning or she has no plans and I haven’t heard boo from A’s parents. BB throws up her hands,

“What am I going to do?”

“What do you mean?”

“I have to go trick-or-treating with you and dad?”

I’m not sure when spending time with us became a nuisance.

Halloween feels magical. It’s warm. We have electricity. The school parade was rescheduled for today. We join trick-or-treating forces with BB’s friend and BB seems unfazed by the parental oversight.

RB insisted on walking despite lagging behind. And if you’ve ever wondered what will happen to a full-size Hershey’s bar if you clutch it in your hand and refuse to put it in your bucket all night. You get to smear it everywhere when you get home. Just ask RB.

So did I risk my family’s life for 2 cups of coffee? Maybe. But we’ll never know what would’ve happened to them if I’d gone without.

Tired of hearing about my deck? Then this isn’t the post for you

My “new” deck is open for business!

New in quotes because it’s been in progress for three years. And while that’s a slight exaggeration considering March 2022 will be three years, it’s been three summers.

I have no excuse for my delay in blogging aside from wandering aimlessly around my deck.

It’s beautiful. For all the people out there taking their decks for granted, I’m not there yet. I’m enjoying everything about it. My brisk coffee mornings, getting brisker by the moment. My kitchen slider functioning as a door instead of a barricade. My children screaming outside my kitchen window instead of under my feet.

The day we took the barricade down and walked out from the kitchen, felt like a miracle. RB had never even gone through that door before. The old deck disappeared before her time.

Tentative first steps and then racing back and forth. The deck is 800 square feet. That’s bigger than the condo Captain, BB and I started out in.

The kids run and run and run. RB counting the whole way,

“Two four five!”

One and three are overrated.

As I sing the deck’s praises, everyone keeps asking,

“What’s Captain’s next project?”

THE DECK STAIRS.

He may have other ideas, but stairs and railings will really be the crowning touch.

I’m well aware that this deck isn’t on anyone else’s radar, but it’s the product of a lot of sweat and tears. Sweat from Captain and tears from the rest of us.

Side note: RB turned two! Which was as good an excuse as any to invite people over to stand on the deck.

There was a hint of Baby Shark, with a heavy dose of pumpkin beer. I went with deck party rather than birthday party. I have my priorities.

Although the birthday deadline was good motivation for the construction crew, i.e. Captain.

I pushed for something similar last year, but you can see how well that worked out.

RB is just happy to have “friends.” Friends in quotes because she can be friends with anything. She’ll say hi to any person, pet or inanimate object. And woe becomes the person who doesn’t answer her right away. She stands at the edge of the deck monitoring the street. When people walk by without acknowledging her, she raises her voice, waves with her whole body and hollers,

“Hiiiiiii!!!”

Which is adorable.

When she’s yelling it at Captain, when he’s on a work call, not so much.

If there was any doubt as to what age she is, she woke up with the attitude to prove it. She was giving me trouble when I was trying to change her diaper. I put her back in her crib and told her,

“You can stay there until you’re ready to get your diaper changed.”

She looked at me and sighed,

“Oh fine.”

Praise be

Go Pats! Or whatever

I’m all for sports. I’m all for people watching sports. It’s not my thing.

Yes I watch BB play soccer, but really I’m there because she can’t drive herself and I enjoy talking to the other parents.

I can get sucked into anything on TV, especially if it comes with snacks. I get absurdly invested. I’ll scream at the TV during the Super Bowl despite not having watched a game all season.

When I fell head over heels for Captain, my disinterest in watching professional sports didn’t feel like anything that was part of our compatibility. But it dawned on me, I don’t know how much later, he’s not into watching sports either.

So the two of us combined watch the Olympics, the Super Bowl and whenever a game is on at someone else’s house.

The first week of kindergarten, BB’s teacher sent an email and paper note home Thursday night:

“Our class will support and cheer for the New England Patriots on Friday, by having a Patriots’ Spirit Day. Feel free to wear Patriots clothing or Patriots colors to school. Go PATS!”

BB does not own any Patriots clothing. I have a Patriots sweatshirt. I used to work in a bar.

BB does have plenty of navy blue and red. BB also has very strong opinions about what she wants to wear. I read her her teacher’s note.

She’s irritated she doesn’t have anything with a logo. Captain and I are irritated this is even happening.

There are so many things in this world we could be raising awareness around and a professional sports team doesn’t seem like first place we should be putting this energy.

BB is very aware of logos: fast food restaurants, cars, Target, Stop & Shop. Our local Stop & Shop got a make over and BB said,

“Why’d they change the logo?”

“I don’t think they changed the logo.”

“Yes they did!”

Sure enough they did. I was more focused on the new wine and beer aisle.

Many years ago, non-sports watching Captain was gifted a pair of Patriots fleece pajama pants. There’s no arguing with fleece. They became his daily pandemic uniform.

When BB and I were out for a walk last year, a neighbor was flying a Patriots flag, BB asked,

“Why do they have a flag with Dad’s pajama pants on it?”

I explained football.

Now along comes “Patriots spirit day.” I send a mad, logo-less BB to school. BB returns just as grumpy,

“Only 3 other kids didn’t have logos.”

I ask Captain,

“Are we spending $15 on a Patriots t-shirt? It’s the last thing I want to spend money on.”

He goes off on a tirade about capitalism and commercialism. I do not even look to see what apparel is available.

Friday comes along again and another Patriots spirit day. At first I assumed it was the whole school, but it’s actually just BB’s classroom. I ask Captain,

“Is this going to be every Friday? Maybe I should get her a t-shirt?”

BB puts on another navy blue dress, red hair bow and leaves in a huff.

I put a t-shirt in my Amazon cart. It sits there for a week. I’m still so annoyed, but I’m dealing with an equally annoyed BB every Friday and for how long? Do they stand a chance of going to the playoffs?

Don’t answer that. I don’t really want to know.

BB’s also been begging for footie pajamas. I find some good ones for her at Kohls. While I’m on their site I search for Patriots gear. Just for the heck of it. Up pops a Patriots dress with sparkly hearts and the logo front and center.

Now I’m about as excited to buy Patriots gear as I’ll ever be. I’ve gone from hell no, to maybe, to how could I not get this for her? I show it to Captain. He agrees.

We let her know the good news. She questions us,

“Does it have the logo?”

“Oh yeah.”

She nods her approval.

I send a very happy BB off to spirit day today.

Considering BB turns every morning into a long, drawn-out, fashion experiment, if we’ve found our Friday uniform, I’m counting it as a win.

Go Pats!

THE BUS!

We’re getting the hang of the new routine, despite a few family-wide panic attacks.

We’ve lived in our home, at the corner of a four way stop, for four years and I’ve known all along that the school bus drives by many many times.

I just didn’t know how many. Six times in the morning and six times in the afternoon. If you think I’m exaggerating, there’s actually a chance I’m under reporting.

Until this year it was a special treat if we saw it go by, but it didn’t affect my life one way or another. Now the distinctive braking of the school bus is enough to send my entire household into a frenzy.

7 a.m.: I’m enjoying my precious one on one time with my coffee. The bus brakes and adrenaline shoots through my body. I talk myself off the ledge. BB’s bus comes at 8:07 a.m.

7:07 a.m.: BB is snuggling with me on the couch. THE BUS! BB is on the verge of a meltdown. I talk her off the ledge.

7:30 a.m.: Captain is in the middle of making breakfast. THE BUS! He looks at me panic stricken. I talk him back.

7:37 a.m.: RB is spooning some cereal into her mouth and the rest into her lap. THE BUS! She yells,

“BUS!”

I remind everyone,

“BB’s bus comes at 8:07 a.m.”

8:00 a.m.: THE BUS! My stomach lurches, Captain braces himself, RB squeals and BB screams,

“Is that my bus?!”

“Technically yes, but remember it loops around the neighborhood and picks you up on the way back?”

“I want to go outside.”

“Ok, but you have time.”

“I want to go outside NOW!”

ME TOO.

After an hour of panicking, I remind everyone, including myself,

“Even if we do miss the bus, we have a car and it’s a 5 minute drive to school.”

Then the whole thing repeats in the afternoon. The bus driver won’t let a kindergartener off of the bus without an adult there to meet them, so it feels even more important to not miss the afternoon bus. BB gets home at 3:25 p.m.

2:30 p.m.: I’m enjoying the quiet when… THE BUS!

Captain is still working from home, so he gets to shout things from the library/office/gym/room-off-of-the-kitchen-where-it’s-a-terrible-place-to-work-with-small-children-around,-but-I-didn’t-pick-it. He yells,

“THE BUS!”

“I know!! It’s not BB’s!”

BB loves the bus. She tells me,

“It’s not like when you were a kid, the seats are really nice.”

Of all the millions of things that are not like when I was a kid, the school bus seats look very similar. And I have had the chance to see them go by many many times.

My first day of kindergarten 1987! And I may be in the market for a pair of these high tops.

Magically I’ve got a kindergartener! It’s long, but sweet

Kindergarten check! BB is on cloud nine. Fishy Wishy is ready to repeat pre-k and I’m looking for my sanity. It’s gotta be around here somewhere.

Back in June when Flippy first came home, before we even had time to rename him, I was already thinking to myself,

‘It would be amazing if I manage to keep him alive. Then at the end of the summer I could send the text message, “When’s Flippy’s first day of school?”‘

A week ago I got to send that message. It felt as good as I imagined. I got a message back reassuring me that if we’d grown attached, we could keep him.

No. No. And no. At that point BB was running around in RB’s diapers and I just couldn’t handle wondering if Flippy was depressed or if this was the morning I’d find him belly up.

At the Cape there was talk of setting him free, never mind that he’s a fresh water fish. My beach buddy pointed out,

“Oh no, you can’t do that, he’d be like ‘Where are my flakes?'”

If Flippy doesn’t make it through his second year of pre-k, it won’t be on my watch. I’ve had about all I can do to keep track of the kindergarten schedule.

First there was the playground playdate and practice bus ride. There were 80 kids on the playground and BB went to the swings 100 feet away, all by herself.

I had promised myself ahead of time that I’d follow BB’s lead and not push too hard on the being around other people thing.

Then lo and behold, BB returned from her solitary swinging and suggested we go find some kids in her class. I spotted one standing with her parents. Worth a shot.

There must’ve been some magical, unicorn, fairy, kindergarten dust in the air. The girls took off around the playground. A little while later we lined up for the practice bus ride. BB’s new friend asked,

“Do you want to sit together?”

At which point BB held out her hand. They boarded arm in arm and while I had expected to get teary eyed when BB left for her official first day, I did NOT expect to cry for the PRACTICE bus ride. But I did.

BB had an amazing time. The behavior at home continued to deteriorate. Captain was at a loss. He kept saying,

“What is going on?”

“Kindergarten is starting soon.”

“Right but-“

“No that’s it. I guarantee it.”

I mean I didn’t know for sure sure, but it sure seemed unlikely she’d go to school in her baby sister’s diapers. We just had to get through 5 more days of reverse potty training.

BB threw multiple tantrums because she wanted to pee in the diaper, but couldn’t. And not that I said she couldn’t, just that she’s so used to going in a toilet, or outside, that she couldn’t relax enough to go in the diaper. It took her a few days, but by T-minus 3 days until kindergarten she was peeing in diapers again.

BB went for a school tour joined at the hip with her new friend. Then there was a 2-hour, drop-off, practice day. The class was divided in half by the alphabet. There must’ve been more of that magical kindergarten dust, because BB and her new friend’s last names fell into the same group.

Getting emotional over the practice bus ride should’ve been a warning to me, but I approached the practice day as if I’m not someone who can cry over a Budweiser commercial. BB’s kindergarten teacher held out her hand to introduce herself and I started to cry.

I made sure BB didn’t see. She waved goodbye and trotted off.

She may be a clone of Captain, but the one expression of my genetics might be BB’s adventuresomeness.

Two hours later I return and learn that not only did BB have a wonderful time, but she used the bathroom. And for someone who spent a large part of the summer refusing to use public restrooms, peeing outside and most recently returning to diapers. This was a very, very good sign.

Then the real deal. The first day of kindergarten. The only day I thought I’d actually cry. BB was super excited, then a little quiet. I was so focused on the logistics, and taking photos, that the tears barely came.

8:10am. How is it possible that I won’t know anything until she gets off the bus at 3:30pm?

Preschool would’ve texted a photo by 8:12am. I check my phone. I remind myself that if BB decides not to talk, she has all of her identifying info pinned to the front of her dress.

I check my phone again. I don’t know what I’m waiting for, but I check my phone again. And again. The next 7 hours would’ve been a variation of this same theme if it weren’t for my amazing neighbor throwing a “First Day of School, MOMosa brunch.”

It saved my sanity. And magically, however many mimosas later, it was time to welcome home my kindergartener.

Captain and I hovered on the corner. I obsessively refreshed the bus tracking app. It was making very slow progress. At least ten minutes late. As it appeared on the horizon, I stood camera ready, then the bus knocked over a neighbor’s basketball pole.

Keep driving! Where’s my baby? The driver stops, gets out, assesses the damage, decides to drive the remaining block to us.

BB bounces off the bus. She couldn’t be in a better mood. She’s full of stories and tales of eating vegetables at lunch. A unicorn of a day.

What a relief. I offer her help with something, I can’t even remember what and she rolls her eyes at me,

“Mom, I’m not a baby.”

Bye Bye Beach Bums

We’re home. We’re days away from kindergarten and I can almost taste a party on the deck.

Maybe it’s being 39. Maybe it’s COVID. Maybe it’s watching my kids grow up so fast, but whatever it is, I feel very aware of my mortality and how I’m really not 20-years old anymore. Like not even close.

I’m at risk of turning this into a fashion blog, which is the last thing I want to do, but I don’t know where else to work through this.

I am having a lot of feelings about the cheeky, bathing-suit trend.

First jeans, now this. How is a middle-aged person supposed to keep up?

Do I want to keep up? Yes and no. I don’t want to be outdated before my time, but I’m also not clinging to my youth. At least not in a butt cheeks hanging out kinda way.

Or so I thought.

I saw some beach bums last summer, but this year the cheekiness really took off. Once I see a trend everywhere, I start to think, maybe I should do this, maybe I should have less coverage.

Once upon a time no one wore bikinis, now everyone does. Even middle-aged people.

There was no way I was going to make a change mid-summer. The only thing worse than a 39-year-old bum hanging out, is a pasty 39-year old bum with full coverage tan lines.

Nevermind that even if I had started the season with a couple cheeks out, when would they have gotten tan? I have a hard enough time watching my children when I’m upright, never mind if I were face down in the sand.

I was discussing the decreasing bathing-suit bottoms with my mom, I tell her,

“I want full coverage, but I feel like it’s dating me.”

“You don’t exactly have full coverage.”

True. And even though BB has full coverage, once it rides up, she’s happy to leave it there.

The other day the kiddos were in the tub and I heard some strange noises. I pop back in to check on them. They’re on their tummies with their bums in the air. BB tells me,

“We’re dolphins and our butts are our blow holes.”

So they are. No coverage needed.

And now that I have “mama milkies,” I’m not interested in going topless on a beach ever again, but BB made that decision even easier.

During a post-beach shower, I took off my top; BB pointed at my chest and asked,

“Why do they look like doggy milkies?”

Oh help me.

As I return to regular clothing, I’m somewhere in the middle of the bare-bum debate and happy to table it until next summer. Especially considering it’s almost time to figure out what jeans I’m wearing.

Circa 2003. If only that bathing suit didn’t bite the dust. 😉

Do three showers a day now make up for no showers in February?

To bathe or not to bathe? This celebrity topic has me considering my family’s habits. I’ve determined they’re seasonal.

Back in February, there was very little bathing. Water conservation had nothing to do with it.

It got to the point where no one in the family was sure of the last time they took a bath or shower. Which often led me to issue a warning that we would all need to bathe soon. Although I never went as far as to say it had to be that day.

This didn’t come from a place of being anti-bathing, but from the same place of wearing sweatpants for a year.

Now we’re at the beach. I deem sand and indoor living very incompatible. We’re doing a minimum of 2 showers a day, maybe 3.

Awhile ago I learned about a friend who only showers her kids, no tubbies. I didn’t think that could be me. How could I take away the joy of playing in the tub?

Now I’m in there with the shower running, saying,

“Stand up!”

Didn’t they just spend the day playing in the ocean?

The advantage of the tubby is that it keeps RB contained for a minute until she decides to jump out. The disadvantage is that she really likes to poop in there. BB is still thrilled to have a tub with her. Maybe there is some love there.

It’s at least 2 showers a day because there is no way these kids can come in the house for lunch without a shower.

BB returns home with more sand covering her body than even seems possible. Gobs fall out when she takes off her swimsuit.

She’s the type of person who likes to go swimming and then makes sand angels. We’re talking wet hair, wet body, rolling and rolling in the dry sand. I can’t think of a better way to make sure you’re sandy for the rest of your life.

RB sits in the tub drinking as much bath water as she can, while BB picks seaweed out of her vagina and puts it on the side of the tub. She would prefer to hand it to me.

BB informs me,

“You know they sell special seaweed and you can take a seaweed bath to soften your skin?”

She’s learned about spa treatments from a neighbor. I gesture to the seaweed lined up on the side of the tub,

“What about this seaweed?”

She looks at me like I’m an idiot,

“NOOO. That was in my vagina.”

I get them out and send them on their way. I’m feeling efficient. If there’s ever a Ninja Warrior style competition that features drinking a beer, collecting beach gear, dragging it home, corralling 2 kiddos, bathing them, diapering, clothing, feeding and putting them to bed, I really think I’ve reached peak speed.

At 1:00am I jolt awake to,

“Mama… Mama!!! My vagina is itchy!”

Somewhat irrelevant, but this is what beach chairs are for, right?

Nine days of missing BB

BB is back. Nine days she was gone sailing. It was Captain, my in-laws, BB and her menagerie of stuffed animals.

Day 1: Bon voyage! I’m excited for her and glad to send her on her way.

Day 2: All appears well.

Day 3: Do I need to go get her? Day 4 is the last day she can bail. If not day 4, then it would be day 9, whether or not anyone decided on day 5 that that was a mistake.

Day 4: It’s a sailor’s life for BB; she’s committed to the duration of the trip. Block Island here they come. Captain says sometimes she acts “silly.” My interpretation of that is he’s glossing over bad behavior, but that’s on him. See you in 5 days!

Day 5: I’m poring over their photos. Can’t get enough.

RB is a lost soul without BB and our usual beach crew. She keeps attaching herself to random kids whether they want her or not. And when they refuse to make eye contact she walks closer to them, waves and yells,

“HI!!!”

RB’s standard volume is a 7 out of 10. When she feels strongly about something, anything, like making friends or being all done with breakfast, it’s a 10. The kids still don’t make eye contact. I try to drag her away. She refuses to acknowledge subtle social signals.

I redirect her back toward our stuff. There’s a new family setting up next to us with a fellow toddler. I think we’re in luck.

RB heads straight for them. I hover nearby. She takes a peek in one of their buckets. I’m hoping to make eye contact with the mom. Maybe share a smile, offer some of our toys, I see a bright future for poor RB who is desperate to socialize.

The mom really won’t make eye contact. I move closer. She moves the bucket away from RB.

Not so subtle. I make one last ditch glance for eye contact and I drag RB away for a swim. When we walk by later, the dad says,

“You’re welcome to play!”

I really don’t think we are.

Day 6: I miss BB.

Day 7: I really miss BB.

Day 8: I fall asleep creating all the unlikely catastrophes that can happen to anyone anywhere at anytime. A little bit like how when either kiddo sleeps 30 minutes later than usual I assume they’re dead.

Day 9: I’m reunited with a very-much alive, tan, instantly grown-up, sailor BB.

She spends the first hour of the hour-and-a-half drive home regaling me with stories. Stops. Says,

“Mom, I can’t tell you everything.”

And that was that.

She did tell me,

“I had one fight.” (with my MIL)

“What happened?”

“She wanted me to use the bathroom and I didn’t want to.”

I assume it was because BB didn’t have to go, but it turns out it was more of an issue than that. Captain tells me,

“She didn’t want to use any bathrooms besides the one on the boat.”

“Any? What did you do?”

“She went outside.”

“Outside? Like everywhere?! All the time?! Even at restaurants?!”

“Well a lot, yeah, there was grass.”

Huh.

BB returned with an additional stuffed animal, “Shiny the Block Island unicorn,” who was added to her already crowded bed. I tucked her in with 4 bunnies, 1 puppy, 1 caticorn, and Shiny. She said,

“There are a lot of people in here.”

“There are.”

“I wish I had someone to sleep with.”

Did nine days of her sleeping with Captain doom my summer? I remind her,

“What about all the people in your bed?”

Big sigh.

“What about your long-lost sister?”

Bigger sigh.

“How about I check on you later?”

“O-KAY.”

And I make my escape. Turns out there are limits on how much I missed her.

Beach birthday bonanza rain or shine

My baby is 5! I’m 39. And the class fish is still alive. However old he may be.

I’ve never met anyone happier to turn 5. BB canvased the beach, proclaiming her birthday far and wide. She was magnanimous enough to mention mine was coming up as well.

While I didn’t shout 39 to the world, no one would’ve heard me over tropical storm Elsa. I did tell quite a few people about my glorious birthday dinner with Captain, WITHOUT our children.

I may have mentioned my plans for a throw-down party next year. Mark your calendars.

I’m very happy to cling to my thirties for one more year. It’s got me comparing to 29. I’m much more content, big dreams have come true, I’ve lost some muscle tone and a lot of sleep.

I feel like more dreams can come true, but the sleep and muscle tone may be gone forever.

The summer beach plan is in effect and aside from enough rainy days for the entire season, so far so good. If anyone is going to test my resolve to be here all summer it’s RB. But then she’d test my resolve wherever we are, so I might as well be where I want to be.

It comes down to chasing RB around the suburbs or chasing RB around the beach.

I may be glorifying BB’s toddlerhood, but I don’t remember 21-month-old BB testing EVERY SINGLE LIMIT. ALL THE TIME.

The minute I turn away, there’s a very good chance RB will be standing on the kitchen table or scaling a bureau in an attempt to get the fish. As long as he may live.

The good news is that there are no tables at the beach, just rain.

RB’s attention span seems to be about as long as it takes her to yell the word,

“DONE!”

So no attention span.

We went out for BB’s birthday dinner. RB wouldn’t even let us put her in the highchair at all.

“DONE DONE DONE!”

BB said,

“This is the best birthday! Bester than last year.”

She doesn’t mind if RB’s not at the table.

BB wanted a fancy birthday drink. Last year she didn’t like her Shirley Temple. I was at a loss, but then it came to me. I ordered it for her.

She took a big sip, smiled and sighed,

“What IS this drink?”

“Sprite.”

“Sprite.” Said with so much reverence. As if she’s ready to worship whoever created soda. Kind of like I’m ready to worship anyone who manages to sustain RB’s attention for more than a minute.

As of Saturday, Captain and BB went sailing with my in-laws for nine days. Amazing for her and a very mixed bag for me.

It’s a little quieter and calmer here, but RB does not know what to do with herself. I almost miss the sibling fights. Everyone has 2 feet on or near the ground and are somewhat occupied.

BB has been begging to share a room with RB. This is good news because there are limited options at the Cape. And bad news because whoever wakes up first makes sure they wake up the other one. Refer to previous mentions of lost sleep.

I’m also missing Captain, in large part for his sandcastle acumen. It’s impressive, occupies many children not just our own and is enjoyable to watch from my beach chair.

It turns out deck building is a transferable skill. He’s also amazing with playdough. His current creation is drying on the counter.

So while everyone’s gone, I have not taken up the sandcastle mantle and we may or may not be catching up on sleep. But I have managed to write a very overdue blog post.

As far as the bad beach weather goes. It better be DONE.

The vantage point from my beach chair.
Dining out.
Play-Doh creations by Captain

The class fish is home for the summer

BB’s class fish is staring at me. We’re calling him Fishy-wishy. Formerly known at Flippy.

Back in September there was a class vote to name their two fish. BB had her heart set on Fishy-wishy. I don’t know if she’d spell it with a hyphen, but considering Fishy-wishy depends on me for food now, I’ll punctuate at will.

The two fish were named Flipper and Flippy. Flipper didn’t make it. Tough school year for anybody. Flippy did.

A group text went out to the pre-k families:

“Who wants Flippy for the summer?! We promise not to hold you accountable if the worst should happen.”

YES! We have no dog, no cat, no bunny, no chickens, some bugs (uncontained), some mice (very elusive), why not a fish?

And as always, the gloriousness of Captain working right next to the kitchen is that I can burst in unannounced anytime a text moves me.

“Read this! Should we take the fish?!”

“Do we know what’s involved with taking care of a goldfish? I’d figure that out first. Maybe call a pet store?”

Sigh. Of course he’d recommend research. Google is not promising. Looks like more effort than I’m interested in.

At pick-up I ask BB’s teacher,

“What’s involved with taking care of the goldfish?”

“Oh it’s not a goldfish! It’s a tiny little thing. I feed it and change the water a couple times a month.”

“I can do that!”

BB is not sold. She asks,

“What happens if he dies?”

“We’ll bury him in the backyard or flush him down the toilet.”

“I don’t want Flippy.”

Bad time for dead-fish jokes. I backpedal,

“He could die on anyone’s watch. We might as well enjoy him while we can.”

By the time Fishy-wishy comes home, BB is ready for him to sleep with her.

I insist that he needs to live next to the coffee maker. Things that are in the kitchen are more likely to get fed on a regular basis.

Before this I would’ve said a fish is the last pet I’m interested in. That may still be true, but faced with no pets and a limited two-month engagement, maybe shorter, Fishy-wishy was irresistible.

I may also be holding on to all things pre-k. Where’d baby BB go? She’s DESPERATE to be five. On the playground she informs a random kid,

“I’m four and three quarters, but I wear size five clothes.”

She “graduates” today and last day is tomorrow. Fishy-wishy, formerly known as Flippy, came home yesterday. BB says,

“If anyone from Fishy-wishy’s old life is around, we’ll call him Flippy.”

Last night, as I prep this morning’s coffee, Fishy-wishy stares at me. I stare at him. Is he happy? Does he mind being all alone? Is this small container humane treatment of a fish?

What is going on with me? I expected to be: Fish is alive? Good. Fish is dead? Move on.

I really REALLY didn’t expect to be consumed with personifying Fishy-wishy. But here he is, staring at me while I try to write and I can’t help but ponder his quality of life.

He gets to spend his summer at the beach, watching us eat his brethren, so maybe he’ll just be grateful to be alive. As long as that may last.

I’d love to volunteer! Actually GOTTA GO

Am I a PTA mom? This is the existential life question I’m facing.

Of all the stereotypes I’ve been in my life, the suburban-mom one has hit me the hardest. I’m not sure why.

It’s all choices I want: house, yard, kids, dog (dead now, but he was great). Yet moms talking about arts and crafts still makes me feel cringey. Makes me want to pack up my family and backpack around the world for a year. Or a summer. Or whenever everyone uses a toilet.

Two more weeks and BB graduates from pre-k. One more summer and she’s off to kindergarten with 180 of her closest friends. It’s a school with 10 kindergarten classes. I can’t wrap my head around that.

In April there was a FB post about a PTA meeting for her future school. April Jessica was fully vaccinated and signing up for everything.

The PTA emails me back,

“You’re welcome to attend, but if you wanted to wait until our June meeting, there may be more that pertains to incoming kindergarteners.”

Good plan. I wait. The June meeting comes along. Should I go? My calendar is filling up, but I’m eager for as much information about school as possible.

I take my suburban-mom self to the meeting. They need help with next year’s book fair. My hand shoots up.

Maybe I’ll never volunteer for anything again, but I have a hard time saying no to books. They continue,

“Could we train a parent to use the cash register this year?”

“I’m great with a cash register.”

Everyone stares at me. If I can make change for incoherent, drunk adults, I’m confident I can make change for book-loving five-year-olds.

It’s very nice to have face time with the principal and vice-principal. Maybe reason enough to go to the meetings. The vice-principle mentions,

“All the supplies are in for the science kits, we just need to assemble them.”

One of the women in charge volunteers,

“We can stay and help you.”

OH DEAR. This is testing my resolve. I stay. I start assembling kits. How long do I need to stay? I make it through one package of straws, 2 straws per kit. I grab my bag, yell nice to meet everyone and make one of the most awkward exits of my life. Followed by a great sense of relief that I’m no longer assembling science kits.

I send the requested follow-up email to confirm my interest in helping with the book fair. I haven’t heard back yet.

As BB would say, this is all about my foots

I don’t know when the last time is you went to the podiatrist. For me it was Monday. Nothing has made me feel quite as old as this did.

When I hear the word podiatry, I think of eighty-year-olds. I remember hospital rounds with my dad and old guy toes with nails so long they were curling in spirals at the end of his feet.

In retrospect, feet sticking out of a hospital bed were just about eye level for 7-year-old Jessica. No wonder that memory is here to stay, even if on a good day, I feel lucky to remember my name.

After answering numerous sports-related questions, I’m guessing people younger than 80 go to a podiatrist. I can get over myself, or continue on with a whole post about my feet. You’re welcome.

Twenty-five ish years ago, probably the year I grew 4 inches all at once and had no idea where my body started and stopped, I fell going up the stairs. I don’t know what I did. Broke a toe? Dislocated a toe? Whatever it was, it hurt BAD, but I wasn’t going to tell anybody and risk not being able to go play.

I had always been fond of that toe. I loved that it looked it like ET. It healed kinda funny and I was left with one ET toe, the counterpart on my other foot.

After the original injury I could never bend it again, but it’s also never given me any pain. So c’est la vie. Or so I thought, until a few weeks ago I wondered, is it growing? Nah.

Then without me mentioning anything, my mom asks,

“Is your toe getting bigger?”

YES! I think it is! In general I’m the opposite of a hypochondriac, but now it was a little hard not to worry. As far as I know, my toes should NOT be growing.

I make a podiatry appointment. I feel awkward. They ask,

“Was there an injury?”

“Yes? Twenty-five years ago.”

I head in for my appointment. It’s a hot, beautiful day and I’m in a new sundress and flip-flops because why not? This getting out and about thing feels so novel.

As I’m waiting for my x-rays, I overhear the technician speaking to another patient,

“Oh wow, look at all those necklaces! We’re going to have to take them off.”

I can only imagine this being said to someone under 5 or over 80, which may confirm the podiatry demographic.

Once in the exam room, the doctor walks in, takes one look at me and walks right back out. I hear him tell someone in the hall,

“If they’re wearing a short dress, I need you to cover their legs.”

“…”

“Anything above the knee.”

I’m grateful for that clarification, because even if I don’t consider myself podiatry old, I feel a little old for a “short” dress. Also I don’t define a dress above my knee as short.

With my legs properly covered, the doctor starts off with the good news,

“Looks like arthritis.”

“Is it normal for it to suddenly grow like that?”

He makes a face. I realize,

“Has it been growing all along and I just noticed it?”

“Your warranty expired when you turned 35.”

So it did.

He offers,

“It’ll keep growing and if it ever starts to bother you, we can shave it down.”

“Shave it down?!!” I’M GOOD. “Is there anything I can do to stop it from growing?”

“Flip flops aren’t great.”

“Never mind. Not sure why I asked, if I’m not willing to make any changes.”

I take my toes and unwarranted self out of the office. The receptionist calls after me,

“Hope you feel better!”

“Thank you I feel great!” If just a little bit closer to 39.

…..

And if you feel like you want more about my feet, click here for a fun post from 2008.

BB and me, just before my warranty expired.

If anyone can rock their entire wardrobe in one day, it’s BB

While we’re talking about fashion, BB dressing herself tests my self control almost as much as trying to do arts and crafts together.

Over a year ago it was easy,

“BB it’s the middle of winter, you cannot go to school in your bathing suit.”

Six months later it got a little harder,

“I don’t think you’re allowed to wear Minnie Mouse ears to school.”

“Can you just ask them?”

Turns out she IS allowed to. Too bad they got buried in the bottom of the dress-up bin after that.

Now we’re at the point of no return. In the morning BB asks what the weather is like, what activities are on the docket and what sleeve length I would recommend. She takes it from there.

This makes it sound like she’s amenable to my input, but it’s a ruse. It’s permissible to yell ideas up the stairs, but setting foot in her room before 9am is certain disaster.

My picking out a specific item of clothing will, best case scenario, result in my being scoffed at, or worst case, cause a complete melt down.

I avoid the melt down. Just like I’m capable of doing a decent job on a toddler arts and crafts project, I can also match a shirt and leggings. But I’ve let this go. Or so I keep telling myself.

It’s harder to match a tank top, sweatshirt, leggings, skort, 3 bows and a headband, but now that I’ve seen it done. Why not go to school like that?

BB tells me,

“I need help tucking in my shirt. You can’t see my skort.” Very true.

It turned out to be a peer-approved ensemble and she came home happy.

She’s confident. And her confidence is a precious, slippery thing. But does one say anything about over-confidence? I’ve erred on the side of nothing.

There was an art show at her school. The artists ranged in age from two to six. BB declares,

“I’m the best artist. I’m great!”

“You’re very good.”

“I’m better than Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Monet and Kandinsky.”

“Oh yeah?” I don’t know about all that, but at 4.75 BB has more art appreciation than I had after my entire education. BB adds,

“So-and-so just scribbles. Their mom is going to be very disappointed.”

She’s an artist and she knows how she wants to dress. I’m all for it. Even if each new combination tests my resolve. And yes I know I’m the one supplying the clothing. I just didn’t anticipate everything being worn at the same time.

For swim lessons she put on a one piece and then put on a two-piece bottom over the one piece.

I offer,

“You’re wearing two swimsuits. You could wear the bottoms with a top or just wear the one piece.”

“Mom, I know these don’t match and I know I’m wearing bathing suits with two vagina parts. That’s how I want to do it.”

Two vagina parts. Who can argue with that?

Watch out world, here I come! As soon as I figure out what to wear

I’m a walking time capsule from 2019. Open my front door and you’ll find me with a stack of skinny jeans, a side part and typing so many 😂😂😂 to make you 😂 or not.

I’m ready to join 2021. I’ve been following the blue jean commentary and I have no new perspective, but where do I put this post-pandemic fashion angst if not on my blog? Here ya go!

Do I love my skinny jeans enough to go down with a sinking ship? Am I throwing in the towel? Is 38.75 years-old the point of no return?

I’m not ready! If my father-in-law buys his jeans at Express, than this is no time for me to clutch my skinny jeans.

And if mom jeans are in and skinny jeans are out, will skinny jeans become the new mom jeans?

I doubt this would be such a harsh predicament if it weren’t for the last 365 days of fleece pajama pants. I have no real-world feel for what is going on and what my peers are wearing.

A recent dinner in Boston affirmed that while I was hunkered down in the suburbs, people have moved on to any number of new pant options.

I would never have called myself a trendsetter, but in my twenties it felt effortless to keep up with the styles. Either that or I was very happy with my delusions of myself.

The suburbs combined with a pandemic, makes scouring the internet my only window into what the heck I should be wearing if I don’t want to be completely out of touch.

I want to dress my age: 38.75. Not 25 and not 39.

I turn to Captain, who’s still wearing his fleece pajama pants. He says,

“Trends are stupid. They just want you to buy more clothing.”

“Correct.” I will be buying more clothing.

I have 2 new styles and returned a third. Captain cocks his head at me,

“They look good if that’s what people are wearing.”

I HAVE NO IDEA! This is my problem.

With a new pair on, I head to pick up BB at school. Her teacher, who couldn’t be more trendy, says,

“I love your jeans!”

Success!

Now what shoes should we be wearing with theses new jeans? Can someone hold my hand?

My original loose jeans circa 1988. Are bowl cuts coming back too?

Partially vaccinated and READY TO PARTY or at least eat outside at a restaurant

One shot down, one to go! Good thing, because I just opened my last box of Girl Scout cookies.

From January until now I survived on 30 boxes of cookies, an immense amount of coffee, a normal amount of wine (just earlier and earlier in the day) and a renewed appreciation for being healthy, aside from all the cookies, wine and coffee.

The mass vaccination site brought me to tears. WHAT A YEAR. Hard to believe we might be pulling out of this. I wondered how long I could sit there with Captain under the guise of ruling out anaphylactic shock while enjoying a brief moment together without our children.

I wouldn’t be in a decent place without: sunshine, solo walks, people I managed to see, friends I got to talk to, frozen food, take-out, RB sleeping through the night, Captain and I sleeping in the same bed again and the Elsa doll that sings “Let It Go” in its entirety.

At 18-months old BB was starting to sing the ABCs. At 18-months old RB is singing “Let It Go.” As in she is belting out the one word she knows all the time. Something like this:

“GOOOOOOOOO!”

Throws her arms out to the side, turns in a circle,

“GO! GO! GOOOOOOO!”

I cannot begin to describe the volume on this.

I wonder if I’m failing RB or if her doing everything BB does is somehow going to work out for her. She may not have many words, but she’s ready to join BB’s pre-k soccer team.

In a year of groundhog days, tasks were on repeat. Laundry. Cleaning. Food. Start over. But for whatever reason, there’s one task that never ceases to surprise me: cutting the kiddos’ nails.

I survive giving two slippery characters a tubby, plop them in front of the TV and cut BB’s nails while RB screams at me for holding BB and not her. Then I cut RB’s nails while she screams at me to release her.

Then I brush my hands off and think to myself, ‘That’s that!!’

Only it isn’t and two weeks later I’m shocked to see how long everyone’s nails are.

This has been going on for years.

Anyway. Not sure where I’m going with this post. But did I mention we’re on our way to being fully vaccinated?

BB questions me,

“So if the parents are vaccinated, does that mean the kids don’t have to wear masks anymore?”

I wish! But this does mean we’re a lot less likely to die and leave you orphaned.

So cheers to that.

Cookies are very VERY important.

Stepped on another parenting minefield. I did not make it out unscathed

First the pandemic, then the demise of skinny jeans. I thought we had hit rock bottom, but last week I sank to a new low. I embarrassed 4-year-old BB.

My intentions were pure: loving, caring parenting, but like many moms before me, all I was was an embarrassment. I knew this was my destiny. I just thought I had a few more years before the pedestal I was enjoying crumbled beneath me.

It started with a potty break. Or 50 of them. BB was going to the bathroom every 10 minutes. I called the doctor. They recommended going in. So we did. But not before we went to the bathroom one more time.

What was I thinking? Of course they wanted a urine sample from BB and of course, even though she felt like she had to go, she didn’t. We exited the bathroom empty handed and returned to the exam room to drink apple juice.

Five minutes later,

“I need the bathroom.”

“Let’s wait a little bit. Remember it feels like you have to go, but you just went and you didn’t.”

“I really need to go.”

I manage to get her to wait another five minutes. Then she becomes adamant. We give it another shot. It’s a single use bathroom, very large and private.

I don’t know who’s tried to get a urine sample from a 4 year-old, but contrary to Captain’s assumption, I was NOT relaxing nearby. I was on my hands and knees in front of the toilet, elbow deep in the bowl, trying to keep the sample cup pressed against her crotch because she’d squeeze out a drop here or there and I didn’t want to miss a molecule.

She declares,

“I don’t have to go.”

“Can you try a little more? If not, we need to go back to the room and wait until you can.”

She agrees to keep trying, but is upset about the whole thing and not relaxed at all. I’m sure that isn’t helping.

After I gave birth to BB, I was torn from end to end. I sat on the toilet afraid to ever go again. And I’m talking about urine. They had me relax my jaw, wiggle my tongue and make a “lululululu’ sound. It worked! It’s very hard to keep your crotch clenched if your mouth is completely relaxed.

I offered this hard-earned advice to BB,

“Imitate me, lulululu.”

“Shhh.”

“What? Do it with me. LULULULULU.”

“MOM! SHHH!! They’ll hear you!”

My legs are burning from squatting in front of the toilet. I keep missing precious drops of pee because as soon as BB starts to go at all, she drops her head down to watch, which means I can’t see what I’m doing and pee trickles up my arm. I’m doing everything I can and all I’m succeeding at is embarrassing her.

After 15 minutes in the bathroom, we both regard the urine barely covering the bottom of the sample cup. BB asks,

“Is that enough?”

“I don’t know.”

We exit. I hold out our offering to the powers that be. I whimper,

“Is there any way that this is enough?”

“Oh yeah.”

I have never been so relieved in my life. And thank goodness BB is healthy. She just needs to stay hydrated. She’s never been one to drink enough and my reminders were useless.

Now all I have to say is,

“Make sure you drink, we don’t want to go to the doctor.”

She runs for her water bottle. Maybe out of fear of the urine sample or an embarrassing mom. Or both.

Let them wipe each other’s butts

I can almost taste this vaccine. And it feels like it’s going to be an amazing summer.

When the pandemic started, I had two little people who were determined to fight over anything no matter what. I went with the motto of not negotiating with terrorists.

Then at some point during the slog of this past year, as both kiddos screamed and fought over one puppy stool because the 5 other stools in our home are NOT the same as the puppy stool, I thought to myself: “Maybe life WOULD be better with TWO puppy stools.

I put it in my Amazon cart to think about it, then immediately clicked “buy now.” Sure, I’ll throw $20 at the wall and see if it brings us a little peace.

It did not.

It has proved my initial reaction correct. No negotiating. If they are determined to fight with each other, duplicate items will not appease. I’m better off saving my money for a rainy day or whatever day it is when we go out without our children.

I just read an amazing parenting book. It covered many tactics I’ve read elsewhere, but the way this book put everything together and told me exactly how to do it, really resonated. We’ve made changes and things are looking up.

The book makes the case for few or no toys. I’m not rushing to get rid of everything, but I sure wouldn’t mind scaling back on the gift giving. Why does the Easter Bunny already have a huge bag of gifts in my closet? We don’t have room for what we have. I climb over a trampoline to get to my couch.

And if I thought duplicate items would also be interchangeable. I was very VERY wrong. BB knows which puppy stool is hers and RB is NOT allowed on it.

This post has more all caps than usual. Maybe a reflection of the strong competitive feelings around here.

BB claims she and RB are “besties.” I want to believe that. And considering BB is now willing to change RB’s poopy diapers, maybe it’s true. And don’t get confused. Willing is very different from able.

One theory of the book is that allowing BB to “help” with the dirty diapers today, creates a go getter, self initiator who may, two years from now, wipe RB’s butt all by herself. And if that isn’t parenting success, I don’t know what is.

You’re right. They’re not EXACTLY the same. The original is missing some whiskers. It’s been noted.

I miss strangers

I miss people. I miss the women I used to see at yoga and zumba; I don’t even know their names. I miss our favorite grocery store cashier. I miss the various moms I used to chat with just about anywhere. I miss sitting at a bar surrounded by people I’d rather not talk to.

I miss bartending. I used to talk to SO MANY PEOPLE. Never mind eat all their leftovers.

I read an article along this vein and it has allowed me to acknowledge that I really really miss the random people in my life who I don’t even know.

I was out for my daily walk the other day. As I passed another person, I threw out a standard,

“Good morning!”

At which point he fills me in on everything going on in his life. I have not met this neighbor before. And in pre-pandemic life I would have done the slow inching away, signaling that the conversation is all done I’ve got other things to do. But I do not have other things to do. It’s a pleasure to meet your dog, please tell me more.

During another walk a random car pulls over a safe distance away from me and the driver rolls down the window. Pre-pandemic my reaction would’ve been disinclination to talk and keep moving. This time I stop in my tracks and return the realtor’s greeting with a cheerful “hello!”

Sorry I do not know anyone interested in selling their house. Unless it’s possible to sell a house with a half-finished deck? KIDDING. Not kidding. I’ll be at the Cape all summer, let me know when it’s done.

Turning the corner on a year for the pandemic and year three for the deck. It’s anyone’s guess which will be done first.

I can’t even text with all these random people I’m missing. It’s just a big empty void. Like where the railings and stairs of my deck are supposed to be.

When I sat down to write this blog I hadn’t intended to make a deck pandemic life analogy, but here we are.

I’m in love with my family, blessed beyond what I could have ever imagined. They’re the concrete filled sonotubes of my deck. If you don’t know what sonotubes are, consider yourself lucky.

But I also wouldn’t mind some more people in my life. Kinda like a deck is nice but a deck with railings, throw pillows and cocktails is even nicer.

Just a little pandemic Valentine’s Day fashion.
More pandemic fashion. Can’t go wrong with a crown.

I love you people, just don’t touch me while I’m sleeping

Sleeping arrangements around here are flexible. There are numerous options, some more desirable than others. As I was reminded of the other night, when BB’s feet sidled up to my cheek.

When BB was born, I was under the false impression that a crib would be useful. By 5 months old we abandoned even attempting it and she moved into the bed with me. Captain moved to the couch.

From 11 months old to 18 months old, BB slept in her crib. Miracles do happen.

From 18 months to 2.5 years old, we took turns sleeping with BB on a mat on the floor in her room, next to her awesome, car, toddler bed that proved more useless than the crib.

From 2.5 – 3 years old BB slept by herself, in a full-size bed, in her room.

From 3 – 4 years old BB and Captain slept in her full-size bed, in her room.

From 4 until present day, except for Valentine’s Day, BB has slept by herself, in her room, with 3 night lights, the hall light, and many whispers downstairs to see if anyone wants to come up for another snuggle.

When RB was born, I wasn’t messing around. She went straight into our bed.

When she got roly poly, we moved to the mats on the floor. Captain started taking the occasional turn.

And miracle upon miracle, at 15 months old we night weaned and for the last month she has slept by herself in her crib. Praise be.

Captain and me, in our king size bed, with no little people. It’s a real treat. I look forward to it almost as much as I look forward to coffee.

Then BB started begging to sleep with us. I tried to put her off with vague,

“Oh maybe someday.”

“When? What day?”

“We’ll see.”

“Tonight?”

“No.”

“Tomorrow?”

“No.”

“What day? When can I sleep with you?”

“How about Valentine’s Day?”

And that is how I agreed to her sleeping with us again, for ONE romantic night.

We all fell asleep parallel with each other. BB somewhat closer to Captain as he has agreed he can sleep with any of us snuggled up to him. But it turns out he has his limits. Around 1am I hear him grumbling,

“This is ISN’T working!”

BB is so far away from me; I’ve been sleeping so well. I peer over. Captain has all of 3 inches of mattress. He moves BB over. Two hours later: KICK KICK KICK. Feet are pounding into my lower back.

King size beds are big, but not big enough for a 4.5 year old to sleep horizontally with anyone else. I move her body back toward Captain.

I’m fast asleep again. Then WHAM to my face. WHAT IN THE NAME OF?! I wake up ready to fight someone. BB’s feet are at my head. Her face is snuggled up next to Captain’s and they’re both snoring away.

I need my coffee. BB is in heaven. She asks,

“When can I sleep with you guys again?”

“I don’t know.”

“When?”

“Father’s Day.”

She likes to sleep sitting up. You do you baby girl.