About Good Times with Jess

I started blogging in 2004. My blog and I have been very single, dating, traveling, bartending, very married and now I'm raising 2 kiddos.

But WHY???

There’s been a lull in exciting questions. But not a lull in questions. RB has entered the Land of the Reflexive Why.

“What are we doing today?”

“Going to the grocery store.”


“Where’s BB?”



“Where’s Dad?”

“At the office.”


Good question!

BB never went through a “why” phase. Instead she had two pandemic years of: “What do you mean?” It went like this:

“Time for breakfast.”

“What do you mean?”

“Let’s go for a walk.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m losing my mind.”

“What do you mean?”


And I’m not the only one who felt that way. I heard another 5-year-old tell her the exact same thing. It was validating.

The other day I was trying to get us all out of the house for some kid activity. The process is two steps forward, one step back.

RB bugs to go before it’s time. She has her shoes on, her bag over her shoulder and the baby doll of the day tucked under her arm. I can’t seem to round up BB. The momentum is lost. RB decides to put everything down and throw off her shoes.

BB asks what feels like the millionth question in the last fifteen minutes. I tell her,

“It’s hard for my brain to get us ready to go and answer all these questions. Please hold off unless it’s really important.”

BB hovers nearby. The quiet sounds like a ticking time bomb. She ponders the tiles.

“Why is there a crack in the floor?”

“Is that an important question?”


I’m doomed.

I head for the car. RB starts crying,

“Where’s my baby? Where are my shoes?”

Several days later, with no sequitur, BB informs me,

“I really was wondering about that crack in the floor.”

“What were you wondering?”

“How did it happen?”

“I don’t know.”

“Has it always been there?”

“Ever since we moved in.”

Moral of the story: the only thing accomplished by trying to minimize questions is more questions.

Yesterday BB sat enjoying a ginormous rainbow swirl lollipop. It was the kind of lollipop that looks so beautiful that I want one despite not really wanting one.

RB asks,

“Can I have a lick?”

Two years ago, if RB had so much as looked at BB’s candy, BB would’ve been ready to throw it away. A year ago, RB’s light touch of a finger, never mind a bite, would make BB gag. A year ago BB would’ve rather licked a Disney World handrail, then risked getting a single one of her sister’s germs.

I watch in stupefied awe as BB extends her lollipop to RB. RB takes a big lick and BB puts the lollipop back in her own mouth. RB declares,

“BB is the best sister! Can we keep her?”

Best question yet!

And if you thought inane questions were for the youth…

Yesterday BB returned from a field trip with her sweatshirt tied around her waist. I had recommended leaving it behind so she wouldn’t lose it. She tells me,

“They told us to take our sweatshirts along.”

“And you didn’t lose it?”

“MOM! You can see my sweatshirt!”

So I can.

Matching tutus! Why? Why not?!

The Birds and the Bees

Content warning: this post contains no further mention of birds and bees, it’s all penises and vaginas.

It was a calm, sunny night and we were enjoying a standard-issue, family dinner: BB spitting unwanted food out on the floor, RB dabbing a minuscule bit of peanut butter off her upper lip, everyone more or less trying to fill their stomachs.

BB asks,

“How does the sperm get to the egg?”

BB has known for many years that you need a sperm and an egg to make a baby. She has know for at least two years that the sperm comes from a man and the egg from a woman. She knows that two women or two men can have babies, they just need to outsource parts of the equation.

She has known for a year that sperm comes from the testicles and the egg comes from the ovaries into the uterus.

Six months ago she asked,

“What do sperm look like?”

“They’re microscopic but they look like tadpoles.”

“Dad’s body is full of tadpoles swimming around?!”

“They’re just in his testicles.”

Every year questions have been asked and answers given. So here we are: the sperm’s journey to the egg. I take a bite of tortellini and tell BB,

“The penis goes in the vagina. The sperm comes out of the penis and finds the egg in the uterus.”

“The penis goes in the vagina?!?” BB’s jaw is on the table.

“Yes. This is something for grownups only. Both grownups need to agree to it.”

BB looks at Captain. She looks at me. She asks,

“Dad put his penis in your vagina?!”


Captain pipes up,

“All mammals do this to make babies.”

THANK YOU. I jump on this train,

“It’s called sex or reproduction. If we lived on a farm, this would be old news.”

BB still appears to be in a state of disbelief. She shakes her head,

“I thought babies were made at a doctor’s office.”

“That’s one way, but that’s not how Dad and I did it.”

Family dinner returns to its previously scheduled conversation about everyone’s day. BB interrupts the mundanity to ask,

“Where did you do it? In the bathroom?”

Oh good lord.

“Really anywhere there’s privacy.”

BB studies RB. She seems to have remembered about her for the first time since we went down this rabbit hole. BB points and asks,

“So Dad put his penis in your vagina a second time to make HER?”

“Yes.” I will refrain from reminding her about the third time for the baby between the two of them.

Captain is almost 50-years-old and refuses to accept anything other than his parents having sex twice to make him and his brother. Proof that BB can live the rest of her life with this story intact.

And that was that. Until toothbrushing that night. BB garbles,

“I’m still thinking about that penis in the vagina thing.”

“Sex. Yeah.”

She shakes her head. I feel it’s a necessity to add,

“It can also be two men or two women.”

BB’s eyes go wide. She exclaims,

“A vagina can go inside a vagina?!”

“No. There are other ways grownups have sex.”

And that’s where things stand. For now.

BB scorched away any sensitivity I may have had about these conversations, when in a busy public restroom, for the millionth time, she screamed,


I hope my millionth, public, puberty discussion did the trick. Either that or my newfangled, laser, hair remover will. Just in case Captain and I want to have sex a fourth time.

Squishy squashy mommy milkies

Yesterday, I had my first mammogram. OUCH. Maybe only small-chested people over 40 will understand. It was PAINFUL.

I’ve always had small breasts. They got somewhat larger when I gained weight in college; they just about quadrupled in size when I had babies. Then poof. I really don’t know where they went.

The other night I attempted to change into my PJs by myself, BB came in my room, put her hands on my chest and remarked,

“Your breasts are very small.”

“Smaller than they’ve ever been.”


“I don’t know. It’s like they fed you two and now they’re saying ‘our work here is done.'”

They are completely deflated. Or maybe that’s how my 40-year-old breasts were going to look no matter what they’ve been up or down to.

BB adds,

“They’re really saggy.”

Captain pops his head in,

“No they’re not!”

I’m not sure when putting my jammies on became a family activity, but here we are.

And they may be floppy, but they’re not that saggy. There’s nothing to sag.

A month ago, my midwife mentioned a mammogram may hurt. She said,

“It can be difficult when there’s not a lot of breast tissue.”

If I was looking forward to my mammogram before, I wasn’t anymore.

Yesterday I was in the doctor’s office for something else and on my way out I ask,

“While I’m here, could I schedule my mammogram?”

“Sure. I have February or how’s right now?

“I’ll take right now.”

The woman doing my mammogram starts with the small amount of breast tissue on my left. My face is smushed against the plastic shield. I’m trying to breathe through the pain. Then she tells me not to breathe.

We move onto the right. EVEN MORE PAINFUL. The mammographer observes,

“Maybe this side is smaller?”

“It is.” I squeak.

Remind me to start with the right next time.

I felt like I just about got a rib bone on there too. I contemplate my sore chest. I stopped nursing a year ago, but I can still hand-express breastmilk. Seems odd, but I don’t mind. Nostalgia’s got me clinging to any last signs of babyhood.

RB still has fond memories. Every once in awhile, she looks at my chest, sighs and says,

“Can I kiss the mommy milkies?”

Might as well love up whatever is left.

I may never think of s’mores the same way again.

Passover, Easter, Summer?

Homestretch to summer! My children are already running around outside in their swimsuits. I don’t know why, but really whatever keeps them out of the house.

We’re recovering from our sugar high over the weekend, or not, given the amount of crying there was Monday.

I left a post-meltdown RB asleep in the living room and I went outside to get the deck furniture out.

I passed by the kids’ set-up from Sunday. They had raced in the house and demanded,

“We need birdseed!”

“I don’t have any, but I’ll put it on my list.”

There are any number of requested items on my list. The girls hang their heads.

“But what will we feed the birds with? We’re setting up a nest.”

And the next day there it is, an offering to the birds: gummies and nerds.

How do you know your kids have way too much candy? They’re willing to sprinkle it around the yard.

Passover and Easter were a success. BB read from the Haggadah for the first time, which was amazing. RB, not to be outdone, “read” from the Haggadah, but only while someone else was also reading. So that was special.

When RB got tired of “reading,” she moved on to caressing my face and pressing her cheek against mine. It was very sweet, until it got aggressive. Note to self: try sitting farther away from children next year.

The afikomen was found quickly and neither kid managed to bargain at all. RB accepted the $3 I proffered without a second thought. When I offered BB $6, she wavered, but RB held out BB’s hand for her. Deal.

BB regrets not asking for more money and is going to try harder next year. They’ll learn to bargain yet.

Elijah came and drank wine and maybe some year I’ll remember to get a special cup for Miriam.

The second night, we went to the community seder at our synagogue. In the morning RB asks,

“What’s today?”

“Tonight is the seder.”


Yes. I had my doubts about putting us through it again. But at the very least, dinner was provided and I was surrounded by fellow gefilte-fish lovers, Captain and my children aside.

Then the Easter Bunny came. BB and RB are some sort of egg-finding match made in heaven. The minute RB got to her basket, she sat down and started eating. BB has never really cared for eating and she dashed around finding eggs.

BB dropped the eggs in RB’s lap. Thrilled, RB continued to stuff her face. At one point RB stood up, found an egg, and returned to her roost to continue her candy buffet.

BB ate nothing and continued to find all the eggs. BB stared at chocolate coated RB and declared,

“I feel nauseous.”

Both kids were thrilled. This is what happened last year, but I thought it was because RB didn’t understand. RB understands. Why would she work for candy if it’s being dumped in her lap?

BB ponders the loot,

“I wonder why the Easter Bunny brought us so much candy. The other year she just brought us a lot of bathing suits.”


Consistency might have been a good tactic. Too late now.

Next up: school vacation. Captain is in the office all week, proof miracles do happen. Meanwhile we’ll be running from room to room screaming at the top of our lungs. Or outside in our swimsuits, putting Cadbury eggs in nests and waiting for more chocolate.

Doesn’t everyone’s seder plate have a Calico Critter sheep?

No pink zebras were hurt for my adornment

Gearing up for Passover and Easter. Which really just means buying a massive amount of eggs and candy and making sure I have enough small bills for the afikomen. No one wants to pay $20 for a piece of matzah.

It’s going to be all candy in the Easter basket. One year the Easter bunny brought bathing suits and BB had a lot of questions. The last thing these kids need are any more toys, whether or not they agree with me. They don’t.

Last night we read about the artist Augusta Savage. The story mentioned that she didn’t have toys, so she used the clay in her back yard to sculpt animals.

RB was beside herself,

“No toys?”



“No. You’re very lucky to have so much.”

Meanwhile the other day I recorded an eight minute video of RB playing family with all the shoes in the front entry. There were mamas and daddies and sweeties and a lot of twinsies.

On ski vacation, faced with minimal toys, RB played family with chess pieces. In the car she’ll play family with her fingers.

If you happen to be going by our house, chances are you’ve seen BB wandering around talking to thin air. All proof that despite them acting like they might keel over and die if they don’t get whatever thing just flashed before their eyes, they’ll just as easily declare any rock, acorn or stick to be so precious as to deserve shelter in my house.

I try to stand by my rule of no outside things in the house, but based on the number of rocks along any given windowsill, you can see how that’s working out for me.

Of course this is hard to apply to myself too. I need no new things, just candy. I don’t really need that either, but it turns out BB knows where my stash of chocolate is. I’m not as sneaky as I thought.

Over vacation I noticed that the zipper on my 10-year-old, beloved, pink, ski jacket was pulling away from the material. My heart sank.

I love that jacket. I’m not the most fashionable person on the slopes, but that coat matches my skis.

I emailed Obermeyer and asked them if they could send me something to fix my zippers. They wrote back and said,

“We are not able to fix your jacket, so we are offering to replace it with a new one. Please tell us a desired color so we can narrow down our search.”

What?! For a moment I considered all colors. I already have a red ski jacket from Obermeyer that used to match my old red skis. Now I have pink skis and I’m not planning to get new ones.

There’s no rule my coat has to match my skis, but why pretend I want any other color? They send me eight choices, all very standard variations of the color pink except one.

There is a beautiful, neon pink, zebra jacket with a rainbow zipper. I have never seen a neon pink zebra on the slopes. I would never spend several hundred dollars on a neon pink zebra.

I LOVE my neon pink zebra jacket and I’ve been wearing it everyday since its arrival. Yes I know it’s spring.

So I need no new clothes. My children need no new toys. But I did buy them new bathing suits and I couldn’t resist getting a matching one for myself. Unfortunately not in pink zebra.

How I feel on the inside.
How I actually look. The lighting of this photo is not doing the zebra justice. I assure you it’s very neon.

Bye bye crib

Is bribery a sustainable parenting tactic? I think RB was motivated by embarrassment to poop in the potty, not the carrot of a car bed I dangled out in front of her.

When we returned home from vacation, she slept in her crib for three nights before she remembered,

“I pooped in the potty, I’m supposed to get a car bed!”


SIGH. Crib, we had a good run.

Who knew when I sent Captain off to fetch a giant, plastic, toddler, car bed I found on Craigslist, that I would then have a subsequent car loving kid who has just about outgrown the car bed before she ever set eyes on it.

I was never concerned enough to end our crib days a minute sooner. And I’ve been googling full-size car beds. They exist.

The bed is a huge success as far as RB is concerned. I’m not a huge fan of two free range kiddos.

RB is on week four of no diapers. Last week she exclaims,

“I pooped in the potty! Do I get another car bed?!!”


This is why I’m not so sure about bribery. Where do we go from here? Also this is how some people end up with a driveway full of vehicles. Captain.

Last night RB declares from the toilet,

“I’m not going to get a lot of car beds, just one car bed.”


“Could I have a lot of car beds?”


Two weekends ago BB begged for a sleepover in RB’s room. BB hasn’t slept in her own room since.

Both kids are thrilled with the situation. In between being thrilled, I hear RB’s bloodcurdling scream.

I’m ready to separate them. RB wipes away tears,

“BB is touching my car bed.”

“Do you want her sleeping here next to you?”


“Then you need to be flexible.” And it IS a used car.

Another parenting tactic I need to let go of is assuming any behavior BB does is predictive of what RB will do.

BB will relax in the bathroom reading and daydreaming for ages. She won’t move until she gets someone to check her. She doesn’t need this. She knows she’s capable, but for whatever reason, she waits however long it takes for someone to come give her the all clear.

RB went to poop and I wandered off. I came back. No one was in the bathroom. The toilet was full of poop and no toilet paper.

It never occurred to me that RB would poop and abscond.

I turn the corner and there’s RB’s bare bum in the living room playing Barbies.

I shout,

“RB you need to wipe!”

She turns. One hand is clutching a wad of toilet paper. Annoyed, she waves it in my face,

“I DID!”

I hold my living room to a very low standard, but free of poop and poopy toilet paper is one that I will continue to aspire to.

Purim is this kid’s holiday

There’s snow in Canada and I’m here to tell you about it

To Tremblant and back again. That’s a seven hour car ride one way and when we stopped fifteen minutes in to empty BB’s vomit bucket, the road ahead looked very long.

We made it. It was worth it. I skied. BB skied. RB skied. And Captain snowboarded. We did that for five days straight. As our last morning dawned and my weather app warned me it was -1°F, RB asked,

“What are we doing today?”



I wavered. But not for long. This is why I brought layers: three sets of long underwear to be worn all at once. Captain asked,

“What about their mobility?”

“Mobility? They just need to hold a wedge.”

I never used a ski app before this week. I marveled at my stats. I tell Captain,

“My top speed was 47mph!”

Captain looks incredulous,

“Is that correct?”

“I don’t know, but I’m going with it.”

We ended our last day going much slower as BB led us down her favorite greens. Aside from a hit and run, I didn’t fall all vacation, but my luck ran out.

I spent a fair amount of time pushing BB up a little jump she wanted to do, so when I saw her approaching another one without enough speed I had the bright idea to ski up behind her and give her a push on my way.

Somehow she didn’t move and somehow I managed to ski over her. She went between my legs. Her head caught my crotch and I did a massive face plant on the flat traverse.

It may have been worth it considering BB’s loud cackle, but middle age is taking its toll. It took far too long to figure out how to get myself unface down. I didn’t pull anything falling, but I did pull something getting up.

That’s the last time I go 5mph and try to do anything fancy.

RB seems to have the whole thing figured out. She told me,

“You can get going, but it’s hard to stop.”

I watched her get on the magic carpet all by herself. I exclaimed to Captain,

“Look! She’s so capable!”

She proceeded to notice a pile of snow, swing a ski out to touch it and collapsed. The magic carpet stopped. An instructor walked along next to her for the remainder of the ride.

We did this trip with my dear friend and her family, including two, very cool, big kids. A miracle happened. RB was embarrassed to do her nightly poop in her diaper. Halfway through the vacation she pooped in the potty.

One time. Captain and I weren’t counting any chickens.

Two times. Gotta say things look promising.

Three times. Well this just might do it!

On our last day, after ten hours of travel, we were thirty minutes from home, RB said,

“My tummy hurts.”

“Do you need the potty?”


We’re so close to home.

“Can you wait until we get home?”

“I need the potty.”

We stop. She settles in to the gas station bathroom. She looks up at me,

“I need a book.”

Fourth poop in the potty. Done deal. Bye bye diapers.

The next night at home, she gets up from the dinner table and declares,

“I need a diaper to poop!”

“OH NO NO. If you can poop in a gas station bathroom, you can poop in the potty ANYWHERE.”

Captain adds,

“Even I don’t like to poop in a gas station bathroom.”

Nor I. Even if I do have a book.

P.S. For anyone going from Canada to the US, you’re not allowed to bring citrus with you, but if you put it in the luggage carrier on the car roof, the border patrol agent will give you a pained, annoyed look and wave you through.

How I thought I’d parent versus reality

Childless Jessica would be shocked by current Jessica. I was up on some high horse about the type of parenting I would do someday. It was an aspirational list that any childless person can get behind:

  • no screen time
  • no sugar
  • no princesses
  • no barbies
  • no bedsharing
  • no change to my sex life
  • no change to my wardrobe
  • no special meals for anyone

These didn’t all fall in defeat the moment BB was born, but I could hear their death knell over BB’s sound machine next to our shared bed.

My sex life and wardrobe were the first to go, but also the first to recover. There’s no way to make my kids untaste a Reese’s.

And as a dear friend noted: once you have cinnamon sugar toast, how can you go back?

The descent into Candyland was delayed, but this morning my kids had a box of chocolates for breakfast, so that’s how that’s going.

No special meals for anyone has turned into cereal for dinner.

No screentime has turned into: You get an iPad, you get an iPad and you get an iPad.

I don’t know who the third iPad is for, but I’m sure someone needs it.

The no Barbies has turned into 70% of Hanukkah, Christmas and birthday presents being Barbies. I like to think there is some redeeming value to there being Barbies of all races, shapes and abilities.

The Barbie wheelchairs are very popular with the mermaid Barbies. When I was surprised to notice this, RB gave an irritated sigh,

“Mo-om, they don’t have legs.”

And then the princess thing. There’s nothing empowering about an old fashion princess fairytale, but I’m on board with the recent releases.

So now we have a houseful of whatever dress-up gear you’re into: crowns, swords, gowns, wings. We have enough costumes for the whole neighborhood.

BB had a friend over the other day and she was thrilled to dress up. She told me she doesn’t have any princess dresses. Without meaning to, I exclaim,

“You don’t have ANY princess dresses?”


I do not know this specific mom’s reasoning, but I’m sure I’m 100% on board, even if my current choices don’t reflect that.

Part of the problem is that princess dresses are everywhere. They’re even moonlighting as nightgowns.

When the mom arrived to retrieve her daughter, she was greeted by a houseful of royalty.

There was no time to explain. No chance to say,

‘I hear you don’t have any princess dresses; you’d get along well with my former childless self.’

And with that, we’re soon headed to Canada. My kids will be on their iPads eating whatever and I’ll be in the third row of my mid-size SUV cursing childless Jessica for refusing to get a minivan.

Poop, poop and more poop. Don’t say I didn’t warn you

My baby is rounding the corner on three-and-a-half. RB identifies as a big kid who sleeps in a crib and poops in a diaper.

She’s quick to tell you diapers and cribs are for babies. But like everyone, she is very willing to make an exception for herself.

She’s holding onto the diapers and I’m holding onto the crib.

Once, a couple months ago, she half-heartedly asked for a bed. She demands a bowl of cereal with more attitude than the bed ask.

I told her,

“When you poop in the potty, you’ll be a big kid ready for a big bed.”

“And I still get the bag of gummy bears?”

Many months ago I promised her a giant bag of gummy bears if she pooped in the potty. I thought for sure that would do it. Nope.

But she didn’t forget about them either.

Sure. A big kid bed and a lifetime of gummies. Whatever it takes kid.

As I wipe up a giant 3-year-old poop butt, I question all my parenting choices. How did I end up with both my kids at 3, wearing underwear all day, and then putting on their own diaper when they need to poop?

I blame Captain.

He asks me,

“What do you remember about pooping in a diaper?”

“I DON’T!”

I remember the week I potty trained. I was two-and-a-half and in Disney World. I never looked back. I have no memory of pooping in a diaper.

With a smile, Captain reminisced about his days in diapers.

He described the leather easy chair in the living room, the coffee table and lamp straight off a pirate ship. He remembered his favorite snack, cheerios and raisins, eaten from a little pumpkin cup. Best of all, he can picture the space between the chair and the pirate table where he liked to stand, eat his snack and poop.

The details folks! The details! I can’t say for sure that my in-laws had pirate furniture, but I can say for sure that if Captain can remember all that, then he was at least 3-years-old, pooping in a diaper.

I blame genetics. My kiddos didn’t stand a chance. Nor did I.

As our romantic, dinnertime poop discussion continued, new details emerged. At some point Captain started pooping in the potty. Praise be. But instead of an adult checking his wiping job, he had a magnifying makeup mirror on the floor and he bent over in front of it.

I assumed he bent over in front of it to check himself, but no, he bent over in front of it to wipe. He now regrets the bits of wet toilet paper he remembers leaving on the floor after that.

Proof that there are many strategies to clean our kids and no one seems to be winning.

So I buy another box of diapers. Bigger and bigger diapers.

Every morning I pick RB up out of her crib, snuggle her close and every part of me wants to say,

‘How’s my baby?’

Instead, after months of being screamed at, I cuddle her up and say,

“How’s my big kid?!”

“I’ve got a wiggly diaper.”

Yes. Yes you do.

At least I’ll never have to clean poop out of one of these!
Flying in a diaper, 1983, before safety was a thing.
My big kid bed! Vroom vroom

Skiing with kids: send beer. I’ll be in the hot tub

Ski weekend success!

Such a small sentence to encompass SO MUCH EFFORT. Any activity that involves the words: “kids” and “gear,” is bound to be work.

This weekend was our warm-up run… It was our first go of what will be all four of us on the slopes for February vacation.

This weekend was our chance to iron out the kinks. Or at least identify the kinks and adjust my expectations. Some things are resistant to ironing.

We lucked out and got to stay with amazing friends. Our last ski trip was February 2020, weeks before the world shut down. BB was 3.5 years old and RB was 4 months old.

So the last time BB and I skied was 3 years ago. The last time Captain telemarked was 9 years ago. The last time he snowboarded was so long ago he never came up with a timeline, maybe 15 years ago.

Captain decided he’d snowboard. Telemarking tore his ACL and he does NOT want to go through that again. NOR DO I. There may be nothing more mind numbing than hearing two people compare ACL surgery notes.

It was Captain’s favorite conversation starter for awhile, and there are a surprising number of people out there with ACL stories. I’m sure it’s only getting worse as we descend deep into middle-age.

For February vacation, I reserved ski school for both kids, but this past weekend the ski school started at age four. RB’s options were childcare, private lessons or somehow convincing her she’s four, but still poops in a diaper.

RB has something of a Napoleon complex. After every meal, she stands up and checks to see if she’s grown. Her goal is to be big enough to go in BB’s art room.

RB finished her breakfast the other day and hopped out of her seat. She looked up to see where she stood in relation to the kitchen counter. Her eyes welled up and she hung her head in a huge mope,

“I’m still little!”

I knew deep in my soul that I would break her if she went into daycare while BB skied. I also knew deep in my soul that I would break if I tried to teach her myself. Private lesson booked for Saturday.

As it was, I didn’t book a private lesson for her on Sunday, just daycare and she was MAD. As we left the condo she kept yelling at us,

“I need my ski boots! I need my helmet! I need my mittens!”

“No. You’re not going skiing.”

Cue full-on guttural wail.

She finally calmed down to the tune of me telling her over and over again,

“You’ll be skiing all week in Canada.”

Saturday apres-ski, the adults slipped into the hot tub, while the kids watched a movie. I had warned BB ahead of time about this situation, but was silly enough to think RB wouldn’t notice. After a glorious soak, I floated back into the condo. RB’s head swiveled around,

“You went in the hot pool?”


“I want to go in the hot pool!”

“Adults only.”


“In Canada.”

Canada has become my safe word.

Captain and I were reunited on the mountain. Skiing is how we met and to be together again made every tantrum more than worth it. Also stopping midday and realizing, that between ski school and daycare, we had bought ourselves a lunch date, was miraculous.

When we picked BB up from ski school Saturday she melted down. She thought she was going to ski with us. We promised to pick her up early Sunday and make it happen.

Sunday her ski instructor told me,

“She’s made a lot of progress and is turning well.”

Great news! We head for the lift. I can’t believe I’m on a lift with my kiddo! She tells us she wants to lead.

She heads straight off the lift and straight down the mountain. Power pizza all the way.

On the next run, I suggest,

“Lets do some turns.”

BB starts to sob,

“I don’t want to turn!”

And I wanted this to be fun. I back off my grand idea of turning and follow behind BB’s wedge as she plows the snow straight to the bottom.

We pick up RB from childcare. She yells,

“Is it Canada time?!!”

You don’t need me to tell you how this ended.

Circa 1997. They say Tremblant is cold, so I may need to wear this onesie again. Never mind that it looks like onesies are back in fashion? RB loves hers
How we got into this mess.

Oh to be loved as much as a stuffie

BB is on a quest to quantify my love for her. How much is it? And how does it compare to other people and things I love? The fine and not so fine print being: ‘please tell me you love me more than my sister.’

She asks,

“How much do you love me?”

“It’s infinite.”

“Do you love Dad more than me?”

“No way.”



“Do you love me more than RB?”

“No. I love you both so much I could burst. I would die for you.”

“Would you die for Dad?”


I don’t want to say that there couldn’t be some situation that would make me reconsider. But in the depths of my soul I know I would do anything for BB and RB and as much as I love Captain, there appear to be some conditions.

BB presses,

“Do you love me the most?”

“I don’t love anyone more.”

“Do you love Blankety more?”

“I do not love Blankety more.” It gives me anxiety to think about sleeping without my 40-year-old blanket, but I can do hard things.

BB contemplates her security bunny. Bunzy is a bunny head with arms, and with what BB calls “blanket feet.”

These animal heads on small blankets have taken over the lovey market and they’re a little creepy if you give them too much thought. They’re a bunch of bodiless animal heads.

Thanks to having arms, Bunzy is able to wear an assortment of doll clothes, so sometimes it’s possible to forget she has no torso or whatever bunny bodies are called.

BB buries her face in Bunzy and tells me,

“No offense, but I love Bunzy more than I love you.”

“That’s ok.” I can only aspire to be 75% blanket and a dull, mottled gray color from never being washed.

Bunzy next to backup Bunzy. Circa 2017.
Fresh out of the wash. BB’s love for Bunzy is not infinite when Bunzy smells like vomit.
Back to her usual shade of mysterious dirtiness
Present day. I’d rather not disclose how many minutes I spent on this photoshoot.

Hope you have a HEALTHY new year! Even Captain

Happy New Year!!! I was waiting to stop coughing and then I’d write a blog post, but I may never stop coughing.

I know I’m in the good company of many, many other sick people. There were over a hundred kids absent from BB’s school two weeks ago, so we didn’t stand a chance.

Or maybe we did, but our chances weren’t good and we did NOT luck out.

We’re three weeks out from whatever mucus-laden virus this is. BB went down first and recovered quickly. Although she’s still coughing.

RB went next. Then me. Then our house guest.

Our house guest had a simple choice: Hanukkah with the kids and a lot of snot, or a kid and mucus-free Hanukkah. She picked snot.

RB has wiped her nose so aggressively, for so long, that her upper lip is bleeding and there are smears of blood appearing everywhere she likes to wipe her nose: clothes, lovies, furniture, the wall.

On the 23rd, at RB’s school’s Hanukkah party, someone told me,

“Just a warning, Strep is going around.”

I said a small prayer. And if proximity has anything to do with that working, I WAS in the synagogue. I didn’t say much else considering whatever virus we had, had caused me to lose my voice.

Christmas eve, my throat started to feel worse. The last night of Hanukkah/Christmas day, my throat felt even worse, but going to the doctor was low on my to-do list.

The day after Christmas, I couldn’t get there fast enough. Strep. The test came back positive, but the doctor was so confident just by looking at the state of my throat that I walked out of there with a prescription and ran straight into a fellow school family at CVS. Instead of hello, I offer,


“How’d you know?!? Is it that obvious?”

“No, it’s going around school. RB says hi!”

I say another small prayer: ‘Please don’t let my children get this.’ I can’t get RB to take Tylenol. A 10-day course of antibiotics would be a curse.

As four of us round the corner on week three of being ill, Captain has never been healthier. This is wonderful. No kiddo bedtimes for me, but also I couldn’t be more envious.

For years I have been happy to lord over him my strong immune system. It seems he falls prey to whatever virus might be wafting by.

I spent a month in India eating whatever street food I stumbled upon and enjoyed myself with a very manageable amount of diarrhea.

I spent four years behind the bar, eating strangers’ leftovers, with no more than a few sniffles.

I spent the last ten years with Captain, feeling bad for his stuffed up nose, but not so bad that I didn’t enjoy every ounce of my congestion free life.

I am now in week three of the most mucus I’ve ever produced in my life. There feels like there’s some lesson to be learned here.

Maybe it’s to avoid small children. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Ariel may be creepy, but you can count on her immune system.
Mom life. Struggling to talk/breath/exist, but both kiddos thought they might not make it if I didn’t hold them at the same time. Somehow managed to keep the strep for myself. I think. A Hanukkah miracle?

We’re incorporating our household, everyone please refer to your policy handbooks

This morning I sat down to write and WordPress, (my site host), put an unrequested content prompt in my personal writing space:

“What are your favorite physical activities or exercises?”

What’s that? How is that helpful? Are these tailored prompts or are the gazillion WordPress users of all stripes being asked to weigh in on their physical movement?

I’m stationary, on the couch, with my coffee.

Captain is recovering from a pulled back muscle. He’s moving even less than I am.

Hard to say how it happened. Leaning down to the side from his over-sized lawn tractor, to haul 35-pound RB up onto the seat, couldn’t have done anything good.

After weeks of intermittent pain and one long morning of trying to get to the shower from the bed. He agreed to go to the doctor.

I called to make the appointment. The nurse told me,

“We can’t share any of his medical information with you.”

I have all the information I need. “I just want to schedule an appointment.”

He went to the doctor and I went out for lunch with my dear friend who’s a doctor. She told me,

“Everyone comes in with back pain. It’s the number one reason people go to the doctor.”

Another top reason middle-aged people go to the doctor is for skin related issues, like my eye dermatitis. We’re just another stereotypical middle-aged couple.

Captain came home with muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory meds and sheets of exercises. Based on my friend’s generous off-the-clock advise, I came home with CBD oil.

Captain was skittish. He said,

“Isn’t that what Brittney Griner got arrested for?”

“I bought it over the counter at CVS. Just don’t take it to Russia.”

A week later and Captain is feeling like a new man. He may still be channeling his inner rock star from Halloween.

Based on his doctor’s advice, he’s intent on installing a chin-up bar to hang from and stretch his back. He eyeballs one of the doorways to the library/office.

When you walk in our house, my library, his office, is to the left of our front door. It shares a wall with the front entry, the kitchen and the living room. I’ve covered this before in this blog, but it is a TERRIBLE location if you’re trying to have a zoom meeting.

The only noisier place to sit would be five feet over in the kitchen itself.

The library/office has two doorways, one opens into the kitchen. The other is next to the front door that we use ALL THE TIME and across from the stairs to the girls’ bedrooms.

Captain and I have debated the location ad nauseam. We have debated it since about the third day of the pandemic. He has decided to stay put and I have decided that if the kids need to scream from upstairs down to the kitchen, past his OPEN office door, because there’s no door on one of the doorways, then so be it.

So this open doorway is the one he’s considering for his chin up bar. The doorway is blocked with the tallest baby gate I’ve ever seen. I’m the only one in the family capable of stepping over it.

Captain considers the situation. He says,

“I’ll need to take the gate down if I’m going to put the chin-up bar here.”

“How do you intend to keep the kids out of the office?”



Children, please refer to your HR documents, which state that you may not go through this open doorway weekdays between the hours of 8am – 5pm. We appreciate your understanding.

The next day the door between the office and the kitchen was open. Both kids wandered in to join Captain at work. When he came out to the kitchen I couldn’t help but ask,

“How’s that policy working out?”

When is it enough Hanukkah?

Hanukkah Christmas is upon us. Or me. I’m under two Hanukkah blankets, in my Christmas jammies, drinking coffee from a Hanukkah mug, by the Christmas tree, with Hanukkah gnomes over my right shoulder, a menorah over my left and that elf that I love to hate staring at me from across the room.

It was a glorious week home alone. Captain asked me,

“Did you put music on and dance around?”

“Did you install cameras?” Because I did. And I was. R&B Christmas played while I finished my Hanukkah shopping.

I’ve reached a precipice. My 30-year-old strategy for shopping for Hanukkah tchotchkes is end of life.

Growing up, Hanukkah themed items were hard/impossible to come by. If one was lucky enough to find anything, snatch it up.

I’ve been snatching it up and snatching it up and snatching it up. This year I bought two more cartons to store it all in.

No one would ever walk into Home Goods and think,

‘I’m going to buy ALL the Christmas things.’

That would require buying the whole store.

Home Goods has a small table of Hanukkah items. And it’s deceiving, because it includes any number of random blue items that don’t have anything Jewish about them.

It’s easy to just keep buying ALL the Hanukkah things. BUT it’s finally starting to add up. Note previous addition of storage cartons. It’s time to be selective.

The problem with Home Goods is that they sometimes have the most random Hanukkah items and if you don’t snatch them up, you may never see them again.

Two years ago, I left Home Goods without buying my precious Hanukkah gnomes, only to rush back an hour later and claim them. Gnome post, 2020.

Now they are a beloved part of our family for five weeks out of the year. Harry, Gimel and Snow.

This week, I stood at the Home Goods Hanukkah table, surrounded by Christmas gnomes, without a Hanukkah one in sight. I dismissed the numerous Hanukkah hand towels, placemats, and random blue balls. My eyes caught on a pair of dreidels. I picked them up. Salt and pepper shakers! Into my cart they went,

The middle-aged cashier picked them up and remarked,

“Oooh salt and pepper shakers. I thought they were dreidels.”

Dreidel salt and pepper shakers, I’m tempted to add. She continued,

“There’s some song about dreidels… I learned it in school.”

“Oh yeah?”

“I can’t remember it.”

Here I’ve been, living my life, thinking it’s the one Hanukkah song everyone knows.

I head home to dance to Christmas music.

Content warning: lots and lots of vomit

The stomach bug just tore through our home.

That makes it sound like a speedy, whirlwind of a time. It may have been a whirlwind of bodily fluids, but it was more of a meandering pace.

Over a week ago, RB got sick in the car. It had been a long ride: thirty minutes to the trampoline park in Plymouth.

I thought, ‘maybe car sick?’ Although she’s never been carsick in her life.

We leave BB to jump her heart out and I drive thirty minutes straight back home. I put RB in the tub and down for a nap. An hour later she throws up in the crib, wipes her face with her lovey, rolls over and goes back to sleep.

NEXT LEVEL GROSS. But considering I was already going to have to wash everything, why rush in there if she wasn’t asking for me?

An hour later she’s awake and I’ve got her back in the tub. She’s dry heaving in the tub. I get her in front of the TV with towels covering every surface around her.

She refuses any sort of vomit receptacle and will only let it come out wherever it may.

By bedtime she’s done throwing up and sleeps straight through the night. The next day she is her happy, energetic self. Everyone else in the family feels fine.

Seems like it might be a fluke. The next day RB is worse again. Her dinner from the night before returns. She spends the rest of the day in front of the TV and never throws up again.

That night Captain and I eat a hearty dinner. A couple hours later it is clear that that was a mistake. We spend the night separately. Each of us with our own toilet.

Twenty-four hours later we’re on the mend. Forty-eight hours later we’re at a party drinking beers, eating tacos and realizing maybe we’re not as well as we had hoped.

We return home and I ask BB, as I’ve been asking for a week,

“How are you feeling?”


Two hours later, not so good. BB spent the rest of the weekend cradling a trash can. Monday morning she felt all better. I kept her home from school just in case. Tuesday morning I sent her on her way.

Hours later the nurse calls. BB was sick at school. I am beyond sorry about that, to her and to anyone nearby.

Wednesday, yesterday, she spent the day a free woman. No school, no vomit and no mom.

There are real perks to Captain working from home.

Today is the first day everything seems to be back to normal. RB declares,

“I feel like I’m going to throw up.”


“I need TV.”

So much laundry

I’ve been too busy being a rockstar to get any writing done

There appears to be a max number of words I’m able to write a week. My current writing course requires 1,000-1,500 words, 3-5 pages double spaced, per week.

My blog posts average 500-600 words every two weeks ish. To say I’m struggling to do both, for a total of 2,000 words per week, more than my total previous word count for the entire month, is generous.

I’m not struggling to do it. I’m not getting it done. I would love to get it done. Just not sure which other thing to not get done.

I already stopped keeping up with the laundry and I was already doing the bare minimum food wise, so there’s no time to be saved there, unless we just live on Halloween candy for a couple weeks. That should get rid of it.

This past weekend I could’ve been writing, but I was following a shirtless Captain around.

We went to our first adult-only, Halloween party since we had kids. That’s six years of dressing up in family-friendly outfits.

So maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised that the minute we got the invite this past summer, Captain went the no clothes route.

He had his heart set on being a hairband rocker. We were going for generic 80’s rockstars. We got mistaken for Tommy and Pamela. I did NOT stuff my dress. The only way I could’ve had a smaller chest was if I had no chest, but the size of my hair made up for it.

What I didn’t realize through all the months of costume planning our trophy-winning ensemble, was that the party was outside.

That’s right. I have a trophy in my kitchen. It has made me happier than I ever thought a jack-o-lantern trophy could.

We drove the half mile to the party. It was 50 degrees and dropping and Captain was determined to make a topless entry.

He didn’t shave his arms and apply temporary tattoos for nothing.

As we walk up the driveway, music and party sounds are unmistakable.

Captain turns to me,

“Is this party outside?!?”

“Nooooo. Couldn’t be.”

It could. It was. Captain stayed committed, stayed by the fire and pounded beers.

I attribute our trophy to his cold-blooded rockstar status.

We showed up with a case of Budweiser because I was committed to drinking in character, even if the taste of that first beer was tough.

Nobody believed we were really drinking Bud. Multiple times I was accused of pouring something else in the can. Forced to choose, I’d much rather drink a Bud than a hard seltzer.

A minion pointed out that if we really wanted to be in character we would’ve finished the Bud and switched to whiskey ages ago. But I’m not sure that applies to wannabe rockstars in their forties.

We went to bed as rockstars and woke up as hung-over parents home alone. I can’t say enough good things about being home alone after a party.

Two days later, on Halloween morning, 3-year-old RB, who’s been planning her mermaid costume as long as we’ve been planning our hairband duo, decided a crown was not going to suffice. She NEEDED mermaid hair.

And if that “NEEDED” didn’t sound like a throw-down tantrum on the kitchen floor, it was. I showed her my hairband wig. She looked at me like I’d lost my mind and shouted,

“It needs green and pink and rainbow colors!!”

She went down for her nap screaming about mermaid hair, but she slept and I created a masterpiece. I delivered the rockstar turned rainbow, mermaid hair to her and she sighed,

“It’s so beautiful!”

If there’s a trophy for parenting through a crisis, I’d like to be considered.

“Every school picture tells a story”

BB’s school photo came home in an envelope inscribed with: “Every school picture tells a story.

I’m not taking artistic license. The “tells a story” part was highlighted.

That sounds like a diplomatic disclaimer to me. I.e. if your kid’s photo came out odd, it’s the memory that counts.

Then I saw this post on one of our town’s social media pages:

“… I am jealous of my friends from the surrounding towns. Their kids photos seem to be taken with more care. Their kids are making good w expressions. They have great backgrounds and it appears they have slight fan moving hair. I’m not sure why our expensive town has such low expectations and chooses a vendor with limited output. Every year they seem to get worse.”

I watched baffled as everyone seemed to get on board.

Great backgrounds? You want lasers? I’ve got 1989 and 1990 for you. You want a photo with a floating head? See 1987. Hand on cheek? 1994.

School photos aren’t getting worse every year. They’ve always been terrible. The vendor knows this or they wouldn’t be pushing the “story” side of the photo.

If you’re really serious about getting good photos, you go independent. Then you can have gems like these:

Maybe I should get off my soap box, because BB’s photo came out ok. But rainbow cheetah print isn’t always going to be in fashion. If it even is now? She had her heart set on this outfit, high pony included.

I agreed precisely because it’s NOT going to age well and someday when she does a blog post with a collage of her school photos, this will be a winner. Although she really could have used a fan to get that one piece of hair back.

Am I allergic to my security blanket? I doubt it, but we’re staying together either way

My eye situation became untenable. I went to the dermatologist. I don’t take going to the doctor lightly; we have a high deductible plan.

The problem started in July. The skin around my eyes was super itchy, red and puffy. It was right before my regularly scheduled physical.

No more summer physicals for me. It’s impossible to get good blood work when I’ve switched to a temporary diet of cheese burgers, beer and s’mores.

My doctor examined my eyes. She recommended eczema cream and vaseline.

I spent the summer looking like a shiny clown having an allergic reaction, my face smeared in white mineral sunscreen and vaseline.

I had high hopes for September, but alas salads, blueberries, and no facial products did not seem to change a thing. The redness and itchiness made me dream of pandemic isolation.

Friday I call the dermatologist. I’m going to be very angry if I pay $300 for a doctor to recommend vaseline.

“We have an appointment for this Tuesday.”


“It’s that or we’re looking at December.”

“I’ll take Tuesday!”

The doctor looks at my eyes,

“Contact dermatitis.”

Yes. My months of google research has led me to this diagnosis as well.

“Fifty precent of the time we’ll never figure out what the allergy is to.”

“I didn’t start using anything new.”

“You don’t have to. You can suddenly develop a sensitivity. It could even be to something in the air.”


“Never scratch it. You’ll make it worse. Really never scratch it.”

I spent my summer scratching it.

I’m watching my $300 float out the window.

“I’m going to give you this non-steroid prescription but insurance companies don’t like it because it’s too expensive. If the pharmacy tries to tell you it’s $400, don’t buy it. I can prescribe you hydrocortisone.”

I head to CVS. They tell me,

“You know this is $200? You insurance requires pre-approval.”

I try the hydrocortisone while I wait to hear from my insurance. My skin gets worse. I’m ready to pay $200.

My insurance denies me. I tell my doctor I’ll pay out of pocket. They email me a coupon making the prescription $80.

What is going on? Our insurance/medical system is a racket.

BEST $80 I’ve spent. My eyes are almost all better.

The doctor tells me,

“Lukewarm showers. Nothing on your face. No soap. Limit contacts. No makeup unless you have an important meeting.”

Otherwise known as going out with my friends?

I relay the new rules to Captain.

“I’m not supposed to put anything on my face.”

“No blankety?”


“Does that mean no blankety?”


Captain waivers,

“Blankety? Isn’t that what you call your security blanket?”

“The doctor did not say anything about my security blanket.”

Why would he? He said “nothing on my face” which encompasses all possibilities.

I remind Captain,

“I don’t rub Blankety on my eyes.”

As if the lower half of my face is so far away.

Captain is NOT getting rid of Blankety that easily.

Reclaiming my home despite Captain’s plan to keep his favorite stuffies

First thing in the morning is my favorite time of day.

I pad out to the kitchen. I get first dibs on the huge, fresh, coffee pot. As I should, considering past Jessica was kind enough to make it for future Jessica.

The only thing I like almost as much as drinking coffee, is writing about drinking coffee or reading about someone else making and drinking coffee. Maybe this is the novel I was born to write: COFFEE.

I take several gulps and top it up before I settle in to my snuggy corner on the couch. If you’re wondering what this might look like, BB recreated it:

I feel very seen.

I’m warmed by the thought of my dear family: Captain, BB and RB, all still peacefully asleep or imprisoned in a crib. Their existence all the sweeter because of their absence.

No family member should be seen before 7am. If so, something has gone very wrong and it is unclear who it will end worse for.

In an ideal world, I use this time to write. Otherwise I use this time to drink my coffee. Stare out the window. Check the weather. Email. Text. Browse the news. Review the calendar. Refill my coffee. Will RB to go back to sleep.

I survey my work. The home reorg is well underway. Every day that both kids are at school I’ve been on a tear: donating, storing, returning, consolidating.

RB undoes some of my work. I can count on her to move things back to their original spot, but for the most part I’m winning.

BB has fourteen UNOPENED presents from her birthday almost three months ago. They are in plain sight, unwrapped, but unplayed with.

If they’re still brand-new in December they’re at risk for getting wrapped up again.

I may or may not get around steaming off the wallpaper in BB’s art room, formerly known as the dining room.

When the previous owners’ realtor recommended they remove the dining-room wallpaper, they balked and said they had removed enough already.

I should be thankful the whole house didn’t look like the dining room. A more spiffed up house might’ve invited better offers than ours and then who knows where I’d be now.

I’d be in a home that was featured on the Hoarders reality show if Captain had had his way. Although that house DID come with a school bus in the yard.

So here I am. The giant well-loved Little Tikes slide from 1982 is no longer in my living room. It is waiting in our garage to return to Worcester.

Captain is on board with my clearing out and oblivious to it.

I have a giant, stuffed panda from my childhood. It lived in Worcester until we moved here. All of a sudden we had room for her. She drove down in Captain’s car:

She lived in BB’s room until two weeks ago. I ask BB,

“Do you want the panda in your room?”

“I need her because I stand on her head to reach my books.”

“What if you had a stool there instead?”

“That’s good!”

I moved the panda to the rocking chair in my bedroom. Both waiting for their return to Worcester.

After several days of sleeping in the same room as the panda, I review with Captain everything I’ve accumulated. I mention the giant stuffie. He asks,

“Where is it?”

This is what I mean by oblivious. The panda has been watching us sleep. Captain has been putting on his underwear right in front of it and it registered zero.

I point to the rocking chair. He exclaims,

“You can’t send Pandy back!”


“Pandy and I drove here together.”

MY giant stuffed panda, who I’ve had for 30 years and feel ready to part with, spent one quality car ride with Captain and now they’re best buds.

She never even had a name before.

The question is does Pandy also need her rocking chair? Send help.

What every adult needs in their bedroom

Cheetah mom ready for a cat nap

T minus one day and I will be home alone.

Two years ago, mid-pandemic, mid-new baby, this seemed so out of reach I didn’t even dare daydream about it.

Now Captain is required to go to the office three days a month, but somehow he’s only doing two days this month. BB started first grade today and RB starts preschool tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the perfect storm. I will be home alone and it won’t happen again for another month.

It feels like one of those celestial events that the news mentions: THIS WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN IN OUR LIFETIMES. Or for several years. Or it’ll happen every 30 days give or take a recalcitrant employee.

The stars have aligned in my favor. I would usually go to zumba Wednesday morning, but part of me feels like I should just stay home and marvel at my aloneness.

I’ve been on a tear reorganizing the house. RB, the most OCD organized two-year-old I’ve ever met, surveys what I’ve done to the playroom/livingroom. She demands,

“Who put the toys away?”

“I did.”

She walks off.

That was easy.

“She seems easy going” says no one who knows RB. But so said her future preschool teacher.

I wasn’t about to throw RB under the bus. I’ll see how long it takes her teacher to change her assumption.

RB is outgoing, has a disarming smile and a flirtatious shoulder shrug, which could lead anyone to think she goes with the flow. SHE DOES NOT.

And if you’re thinking flirtatious is not an adjective to be applied to a 2.11 year old, maybe it’s charm or personality, but whatever it is, it is enough for me to understand how some people are born con artists.

Her adorableness may be keeping her alive as her OCD challenges my ability to not scream right along with her.

Over the summer, she insisted that her beach towel be spread out on the sand for her. I obliged. If there was one corner folded over, she screamed,

“It’s not right!”

When BB left her dress-up shoes on the front mat with the regular shoes, RB yelled,

“This is not good!”

When there was seaweed stuck to the wheel of my beach cart that I didn’t even notice. Who would? RB badgers me,

“It’s dirty.”

“It’s ok.”

“It’s dirty!”

“What’s dirty?”

“The wheel!”

“It’s okay for the wheel to be dirty.”

She looks doubtful. I ask a fellow adult for backup,

“Are you worried about the seaweed on the wheel of my beach cart?” Wink. Wink.

“Not at all!!!”

RB sways. She seems unconvinced. I ask her,

“Do you want to go play with the kids?”

“Oh yeah!”

If I can get RB in weather appropriate clothing tomorrow, that will be a win. We’ve been landlocked for over a week and RB is still insisting on wearing her bathing suit every morning.

I walk in her room and I’m greeted with,

“Is it a beach day?!”

Today she agreed to wear clothing, but added flippers:

A few weeks ago I gave BB the internet’s worth of sneaker options. She zeroed in on the rainbow animal prints. She drew a picture of herself and declared,

“Cheetah power!!”

I had my misgivings and did some online sleuthing. I delivered the potential death blow to this shoe choice,

“I think those might be leopard spots.”

“Oh. That’s ok!”

This morning BB channelled her cheetah power all the same.

First grade here we go!