Anyone else watching this season of The Bachelor? I’m continuing along with my general pandemic philosophy: anything goes.
Five cups of coffee? Sure. Whip cream straight from the can into my mouth at 7am? Why not? My children eating frozen chicken nuggets straight from the bag? More power to them. My children also eating frozen green beans? I’m officially winning. Mind-numbing reality TV with a great set of abs? Yes please!
It’s season 25. I’ve caught the occasional episode from seasons 1-24, but for the most part TV and I don’t have a huge relationship. I’m committed to the Daily Show with Trevor Noah and videos of my children.
I’m one of those terrible people who can’t handle any suspense and will read the last chapter of a book before continuing along from the beginning. If my favorite character is going to die or come to some other devastating end, I like to be emotionally prepared for it.
Same goes for The Bachelor. I’ve read all the online spoilers. I couldn’t help myself. This guy seems like he likes all the women or at least he’s kissing all of them. No matter how many times I remind myself that they’re all quarantined and healthy, I still find the germ sharing shocking.
Captain is not a fan. There are many more feminine body parts floating around than rock hard abs, but CNN wins him every time.
I do the news doomsday scroll throughout the day so that by the time Matt James is ready to kiss 15 different women on a farm while they shovel manure and chase goats. I’m all in.
Never mind that I’ve always been partial to goats.
A year ago, when the pandemic was just a twinkle in our eye, I went to the vascular surgeon to see about my painful veins.
Nothing against RB, but it was her pregnancy that did me in. My veins bulged, throbbed, ached. I wore compression tights every day and then after I gave birth my veins had the nerve to clot, cause more pain and then a residual dull ache for the rest of time, otherwise known as the last 15 months.
My surgeon suggested wearing compression tights forever or radiofrequency ablation. An almost painless in-office procedure that would relieve my symptoms and required no down-time for recovery. Sign me up!
On the way out the door, I asked,
“Does insurance cover this?”
I bounced out of the office with a surgery date of early March 2020.
My insurance denied me. My surgeon recommended another ultrasound. We resubmitted the claim.
My surgeon was confident that it should be covered, so we appealed.
Denied a third time. It’s now July 2020.
Our health insurance is a real con.
My aching legs were low on my list of concerns for 2020, but they were unrelenting and followed me around everywhere.
My surgeon, still confident my procedure was medically necessary, submitted my claim for an external appeal in August 2020.
In November 2020 my insurance informed us that they had never submitted it for an external appeal. We tried again.
January 4th 2021, I received a letter:
“Carrier’s decision overturned… procedure is medically necessary… request approved.”
I danced a little jig and tried to remember exactly what the procedure was again. Something to do with my legs.
And in case I was getting too smug about my insurance coverage, a follow-up letter said the procedure would only be covered until March 31st, 2021.
My surgeon was fully booked. They squeezed me in.
My left leg was completed last week and my right leg is scheduled for next week.
The left leg day will go down as one of the best days I’ve had in a very long time: several hours out of the house, without children and a successful, insurance covered procedure.
As the surgeon injects anesthesia in multiple spots along my leg, he keeps muttering,
“I’m getting a lot of resistance.”
“You have young skin.”
“YOUNG SKIN?! I feel very middle-aged.”
“Well your skin is young.”
And that sealed the deal. BEST day. I tell him,
“I feel like I’ve aged so much in one year.”
“Haven’t we all.”
My young skin and I skipped, hopped, hobbled out of there. My left leg already feels like a million bucks. Holding my breath for my right leg.
I have to wear compression tights again. I’m supposed to wear them for 2 weeks after each procedure. After my pregnancy I was ready to burn these tights, but as I squeezed my legs in and smushed all the extra thigh up and out of the top, I was hit with intense waves of nostalgia.
The last time I wore these I was pregnant with RB. I may end up storing these in her memory box. I’m sure she’ll appreciate that.
A few days before my procedure, BB’s school mentions,
“Waiting on a COVID test for a classmate.” And p.s. someone at school has lice.
Classmate’s test was negative and knock-on-wood, no sign of lice. Never felt so good to return to the pandemic status quo, but with at least a leg up.
Happy New Year! Thank you Georgia; thank you Stacey Abrams. Thank you to my child’s preschool. I feel grateful for every day that BB is in school.
When we started in September, we thought three days a week was good. I cannot express how wrong we were. I shot out an SOS email and we switched to four days. If her school had space, she’d be going for five.
They say Americans have been drinking more. All I know is that RB’s 4th word is “cheers.”
And in the morning she drinks straight from her pretend coffee pot, which is what I’d do if it weren’t for Captain.
Christmas was good. Only problem was that Santa brought presents for RB too.
BB’s survival instincts are unstoppable. Faced with plenty of food, love, shelter, clothing, attention, toys, she will not relent until RB is screaming because she ripped whatever it was out of her hands.
And RB has perfected the 30 second tantrum. She throws herself face down on the ground, screams, pops up and moves on.
Santa stuffed BB’s stocking full of Frozen underwear. BB asks,
“Have these been washed?”
They have been, but now I see the error of my ways. I ask,
“Do they smell like they’ve been washed?”
“Maybe Mrs. Claus washed them?”
I instantly regret that. Who am I to force stereotypical gender roles on characters I feel very ambivalent about? Neither of whom are doing any laundry.
I’ve had enough of this Santa guy for awhile. Everytime BB misbehaved, not only did I have to tend to that, but then I had to deal with her anxiety over whether or not Santa would still bring her presents. I reassure her for the millionth time,
“You’re going to get Christmas presents no matter what.”
“That’s not what M at school says.”
M is a fellow four-year-old. “I understand she thinks that, but no matter how you behave, there will be presents.”
The next day it happens again: BB screaming, then screaming and crying because of the aforementioned screaming and now worry over presents. Again,
“You will be getting presents.”
“I told M that and she said you’re wrong.”
I have fallen hard and fast. Not only am I no longer seen as all-knowing, I am somewhere below BB’s pre-school peers.
By the last day of school vacation, we’re about to self-destruct.
Despite our living room being overrun with every type of plaything imaginable, Santa did bring presents after all, BB decided to drag the lifejackets out of the basement.
RB was happy to take the lifejacket that BB wasn’t using, but then BB wasn’t going to be happy until she took it away from RB.
With both children screaming, Captain emerges from his “office,” otherwise known as the room next to the screaming. He facilitates the donning and doffing of lifejackets until everyone is happy and there’s no risk of drowning.
“I can’t wait for the vaccine.”
And you know she’s not talking about the flu. She continues,
“I’m excited to go somewhere.”
“Where do you want to go?”
“Anywhere? No place in particular?”
I’m with you girlfriend.
2021? Our underwear is washed, our lifejackets are on, we’re ready for you.
This is the most relaxing Christmas season I’ve had in the entire 7 years I’ve been celebrating. There’s the undercurrent of COVID anxiety and missing friends desperately, but a little death threat in the air reminds me that what I have is so much and so precious.
Run Run Rudolph is blasting in the living room. BB starts dance jumping screaming out of her mind,
“This is JoJo Siwa! This is JoJo Siwa!”
“JoJo Siwa. I didn’t know this was her song!”
“It’s not. She’s covering it.”
“It is. She’s singing it.”
I let it go. Not my hill to die on. I ask Captain,
“Do you know who JoJo Siwa is?”
This is the beauty of him working next to the kitchen. I can ask him any number of important questions at anytime.
I head to the internet. I now know that I’m super out of touch and it’s amazing we’ve gone this long without knowing about her. Kinda like the year I avoided ever hearing the Baby Shark song.
JoJo Siwa seems to be responsible for all unicorns, rainbows and glitter. She’s also the creator of 7,000 different bows. BIG bows. But you probably already know this.
Turns out the Hanukkah bow I bought for BB, super big and sparkly BTW, is a JoJo Siwa bow. Which according to BB is a good thing.
Google informed me that she’s huge with the toddler set. I could’ve told you that considering all BB’s knowledge about her was from other 4-year-olds at school.
I don’t know where we go from here. Is it too late to pretend I still have no idea who she is? I did learn she has a nacho machine in her kitchen. Something I could aspire to.
We’re ready for Santa. BB continues to ask a gazillion questions. I don’t know how long this tale can hold up to the interrogations.
“Do the reindeer come down the chimney?”
“No way. Just Santa.”
“Then how do they eat the carrots?”
“Maybe they do come down the chimney? Ask Dad. He’s the expert.”
“Santa goes around to the front door and lets them in.”
The front door and lets them in?!? I confront him later. I have an excuse, but shouldn’t he have this Santa story sorted out?
Now Santa just needs to decide if the presents go inside or outside the baby gate. Maybe both sides? It could keep the little people from killing each other. RB is happy to open all presents. BB will lose her mind if RB breathes on anything belonging to BB. And BB will be desperate to play with a baby stacking toy if it means taking it away from RB.
Pandemic Hanukkah was a success or so say my Hanukkah gnomes. Yes, we’ve jumped the shark.
A week ago, with an extra 15 minutes before BB’s school pick up, I pop into Home Goods. My thought was that I was going to grab Hanukkah wrapping paper and get out of there.
I was in a month ago and had already scoured their Hanukkah section. This time I couldn’t find it. I ask an employee,
“Is there still a Hanukkah section?”
She points behind me to a shelf surrounded by Christmas gnomes. I wander over. HANUKKAH GNOMES! WHAT?! I didn’t even know they existed and I don’t even have a shopping cart. I hold a couple in my arms and contemplate the check out line.
I don’t think I’m going to make it. I need to go get BB and these gnomes are ridiculous, unnecessary and the very definition of an impulse purchase. I put them down. I say goodbye to them. I linger. I stroke one of their beards.
I pick BB up from school. The beauty of school is that she always comes home ready to play independently. Off she goes. I put RB down for her afternoon nap.
Now I’m in a panic. I NEED those gnomes. What if someone bought them already? I throw on my coat about to rush out the door. BB exclaims,
“Where are you going? Please take me!”
A symptom of this pandemic is that she’s desperate to get out of the house for any reason. I sigh. Unprompted she says,
“I won’t ask for anything. I won’t touch anything. I’ll do what you say. I’ll stay right with you. I’ll wear my mask. I won’t talk.”
That last one sounds like a stretch, but I hear her desperation. I take her along.
We select several gnomes, a couple Hanukkah throws, a sign and some hand towels. So much for just the gnomes.
BB and I arrange them on the newly wrapped plywood air-conditioner cover. Looks meant to be.
BB runs to Captain excited to show him. The gnomes still have their tags on, as if I’d return them.
Captain studies the display. Half resigned, half smiling, because who can’t resist those adorable nose beard faces? He says,
Being a Jew with two Jewish parents, there were no Christmas decorations in our home when I was growing up, but that didn’t stop me from having opinions about them.
It seemed to me colored lights were the only way to go. Why go to the trouble of decorating if it’s just going to be boring white lights?
At some point things changed, maybe when I was however old you are when you eat vegetables.
By the time I met Captain I favored white lights and a “classic” take on Christmas decorations.
Three years ago when we moved to the land of suburbia, Captain and I couldn’t have agreed more about the direction of our holiday decorating.
One year later I ask Captain,
“What do you think about a snowman by the back door?”
“Eh. I think it’s tacky.”
“Yeah, you’re right.”
The next year I mention,
“I’m still thinking about a light-up snowman.”
“I don’t know…”
And considering I had a newborn baby, places to go, people to see, I didn’t give the snowman another thought.
Now here we are. Pandemic meets holiday times. Our decorations came out weeks ago. We’ve been home, home, home and there are only so many times I can listen to,
“Mom is it time to decorate now?”
So everything came out. It was a week before Thanksgiving, but Hanukkah is early this year, so maybe that makes it ok?
I tell Captain,
“I’m going to Home Depot and thinking about getting a light-up snowman.”
“Really? I don’t know.”
“Let me rephrase that. I’m going to Home Depot to buy a light-up snowman.”
I also went down the Hanukkah internet rabbit hole. How have I managed to celebrate for 38 years without a light-up, menorah, throw pillow for the couch?
Back from Home Depot and with no back door, our only choice is to have our light-up snowman out front. BB and I set it up. She is over the moon. She talks to him. Hugs and kisses him. Worries about him when the weather turns. I tell Captain,
“The only thing we need now are some of those light-up presents for the other side of the front door.”
But I’ve worn him down. Because you know there are presents out there.
I run the whole thing by a Christian neighbor. Which is probably all of them. I relay to her Captain’s concerns about being “that” house with the tacky decorations. She offers,
“A snowman is within the realm of normal for this neighborhood.”
Next year it may be time for one of those giant inflatable menorahs, which is NOT in the realm of “normal,” but is anything anymore?
My Vice-President Kamala Harris action figure doll just arrived. Technically it’s a Hanukkah present for BB.
Don’t underestimate the little kiddos. After weeks of hearing about Dump and Biden, BB heard us mention Harris. She said,
“A woman? I only heard you talking about two guys.”
“Yes, a woman vice-president!”
“A woman!” Her face lighting up.
It can’t come too soon. Dump in the white house is like my children playing in their rooms unattended. I don’t know what they’re up to, but I know it’s no good.
RB continues on her path of showing me how different two sisters can be. Seems like a combo of genetics and birth order.
BB made me work for my sleep until I gave up and started bed sharing. Then magically at 11 months she didn’t need me anymore and then unmagically at 18 months decided she did need someone. At which point she had night weaned herself and Captain was in the bedsharing, mat-on-the-floor rotation.
RB shows zero signs of not needing me for sleep. And is nowhere close to night weaning. A couple months ago she was in the mode of a snack every hour or so. I broke her of that.
When I did that with BB, she ended up rolling away from me and going to sleep without touching me.
Which in retrospect is very much like BB, she’s not a big hugger or into physical contact, even pre-pandemic.
RB is the opposite. When faced with no boob to suckle herself back to sleep with, she does not roll away. She rolls on top of me. If I let her, she will fall asleep with her cheek pressed against mine.
This is impossibly adorable, sweet, loving, the best, a little bit of heaven on a good day at 7pm. At 4am, ANY day, it is another story.
When she’s zonked and I start to slip away, her arm flies out and clamps down on my shirt like someone rising from the dead.
The king-size, floor mat means nothing to RB. We might as well just have a twin. And if I was feeling the slightest bit nostalgic: like someday my kiddos won’t even live with me nevermind sleep on my head, BB has other ideas.
We get off the phone with my mom. BB places her hand on my arm, looks me in the eye and says,
“I’m sorry your mom left you.”
“Thank you, but it’s kinda the other way around.”
“What do you mean?”
“When kids grow up, they want to move out.”
“Not me! I want to live with you forever, can I live with you forever?”
“Sure. RB too?”
“No, she’ll move out.”
Of course she will.
BB informs me that her future children, who will be living with me as well, will be named: Taylor Swift, Laurie Berkner and Buttercup.
Sounds like I’ll have two grandchildren destined to become musicians and one will be a pony.
Sitting on pins and needles over here. Please please please let this election be a blowout for Biden. I know there’s no reason to expect this, but waiting days or weeks to see who won, while the criminal in office claims he won, is not how I want to spend the future.
This administration, this pandemic and not to be discounted entirely: my children, have aged me to the point that my insides feel OLD. Current photos of me look way younger than how I feel.
And my wardrobe isn’t helping. On a walk with a neighbor I remark,
“You look really put together!”
“Yes! Maybe it’s the jeans.”
I used to wear jeans all the time. Yes I still could. But when Captain is in snuggy, fleece pants, RB is in a snuggy, fleece onesie and BB is wearing a tutu, I can’t see any reason to wear jeans. Especially considering I just got a new pair of fleece pants.
Snuggy is winning. So when BB said she wanted to be a unicorn for Halloween and Target had unicorn onesies for the whole family, I didn’t have to give it much thought. And I should’ve because now I need to store a giant, adult, unicorn onesie.
On Halloween night, scantily-clad teenage girls pass us. I turn to Captain,
“What were their costumes?”
“I don’t know. Minimal?”
I prance along with my unicorn babies, my figure all but a mystery and I reflect on my life choices. In a different lifetime, the goal of my Halloween costume was minimal too.
I complete my life assessment as we trot through the neighborhood. I’m much happier and cozier. But I am going to go home and marvel at my Wonder Woman costume from 8 years ago.
If Biden wins, I’ll put on those 4-inch heels to celebrate. Or at least a pair of jeans.
And no matter what administration we end up with, I will wear my unicorn onesie again next year. My fleece pants fit under it perfectly
I voted. Crossed all my fingers and toes. Said a prayer. Internally swore at some Drump flags. Put on some hand sanitizer. Said another prayer. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t make me google how to get Canadian citizenship again.
The pandemic has me feeling unmoored. Why do we live here? Why this town? If Captain may never return to his office. We could live anywhere.
Our lives used to revolve around the commuter rail to Boston. It dictated wake-up time, meal times and pick ups and drop offs. Now wake up time is determined by two little people’s internal clocks and meals are dictated by me yelling from the kitchen or BB having a complete meltdown and yelling from wherever. Whichever one comes first.
After another day of Captain feeling grumbly about our living situation, I press the moving question. Are we sure we want to be here?
He gestures to the deck under construction,
“And leave this?”
Yes, it would be hard to leave the part of the deck that is finished. But the plywood part? I’m sure that can be recreated.
Or Captain could just move his home office. Right now it’s adjacent to the kitchen. I can imagine a few other places in the house that would be quieter. Really anywhere else.
He turns the question around to me. Big picture, I’m happy here. We’re close to Boston, the Y and Target. I may go to those places again someday.
I love our yard and our neighborhood. Even if the next-door neighbors now have COVID and Captain may never let BB play with anyone ever again.
Faced with no vastly superior options, we could be here another 17 years. Either that or Canada.
We’re turning the corner on a year! RB is about to be one. How did that happen?
It’s a little blury. First everything was normal, i.e. it was 2019. Then 2020 hit. And if 2020 has taught us anything, there’s plenty of time left for more mayhem.
At the very least there will be a small, outdoor, socially distanced naming ceremony and birthday party for my little, huge baby. I was tempted to get a bouncy house. Captain was incredulous,
“For 3 kids?”
We’re up to 5 now, but point taken.
Everyone keeps asking,
“Is she a good baby?”
As my doula pointed out,
“She hasn’t broken any laws yet, so so far so good.”
Compared to BB, she’s been easy. RB is calm, smiley and exuberant. Food brings her great joy, as does climbing the stairs and getting her hands on any of BB’s forbidden toys. So maybe she isn’t as law abiding as we think.
She continues to throw her weight around and has started doing chin-ups on the kitchen table. She’s very motivated to make sure she’s not missing out on any food.
For the first 8 months of her life RB was content to lie in one spot on the floor, now she is making it clear that she will NOT be held back. That includes being unwilling to waste time on the changing table.
I never had to wrestle with BB to changer her diaper. I gave her a toy and she was happy.
RB will resist until we’re both covered in poop, diaper cream and tears. I buckle her down. That one strap across the waist is a joke. A five point harness would be more helpful.
She reaches a hand through her legs toward the poop. I block it. She reaches around to the side. I block it. She strains against the strap and tries to sit up in the poop. I put her back down. I hand her a forbidden barbie. She squeals with delight. With a false sense of victory I finish wiping. She sneaks a hand down the side and whips her poopy diaper out from under her.
I scream. She looks at me. I ask,
“Is it possible to potty train a one-year-old?”
BB comes running,
“What’s going on?”
I’m losing my mind.
With BB around, RB seems convinced she’s capable of doing everything a 4-year-old can.
BB knows what RB should and shouldn’t be doing and she’s good at letting me know. She’s not as good at preventing it in the first place.
My parenting style varies, but one main tactic is to avoid going near them and only intervene if I hear screaming.
“She’s in the toilet!”
I remove the baby from the toilet and remind BB to close the bathroom door.
“She’s on the couch!”
Awhile later I hear,
“No no no, don’t do that! Mom she’s going to fall on her head!”
BB has been sliding down an overturned chair head first and RB has decided it’s a good idea to follow suit.
It’s not lost on me that BB may be instigating some of this. She does not always have her sister’s best interests at heart.
And before anyone says more supervision is key, which it is. BB headed into her first birthday with a giant gash above her eye that required a trip to the emergency room. So that’s what constant supervision got me.
All RB has is a small scab on the side of her head which makeup covered up perfectly for portraits the other day.
2020 I’m waving a white flag over here. You took Justice Ginsburg. That’s enough now. And on Rosh Hashanah no less, as fitting as that may be.
BB tells me,
“We’re not Jews.”
“Why do you say that?”
“We don’t look like Jews.”
“What do Jews look like?”
“They wear grass skirts.”
I have NO idea where this information is coming from. She goes to a Jewish preschool with Jewish kids who look all sorts of ways: mainly small and 2 to 5 years old. I have not seen anyone in grass skirts.
Jews aside, Captain is building a deck.
Not just any deck. A dry deck with a third garage bay and more square footage than the condo we used to live in.
We’re in year 2 of construction. I was never tempted to blog about it before, but dire times call for home improvement blogs. Or really whatever material I can scrounge up around the house.
I was under no delusions that it would be finished last year. And this year doesn’t seem to be its year either. Maybe next year.
We’ve been home since March, but the pandemic induced inertia is real around here. There are so many little projects I could’ve, should’ve done by now, but I keep thinking,
“Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe next month. Or maybe when we have a new president.”
We’ve been hanging out on the part of the deck that’s finished. It’s 5 feet off the ground with no railings.
Captain is as sick of it as I am, so it’s nice to have someone to commiserate with about it. As we snuggled on the couch and complained, I sighed and said,
“The good news is RB won’t even remember this.”
On second thought, I turn to him and say in my most serious voice,
“This better not go on long enough for her to remember it.”
Captain starts daydreaming about the changes we want to make to the kitchen. I used to enjoy planning this too. Now I tell him,
“Nope. I will die in this 1980’s kitchen before we remodel it for 3 years.”
2021 I hope to see you soon, feel free to bring some good news: a new president, 13 Supreme Court justices and a deck with railings and stairs.
I cried. She didn’t. I didn’t expect to cry, but something about leaving her for the first time in 6 months. Never mind that as safe as her school is being, we still had to sign our lives away, so there’s that.
BB makes many music requests for the car. Today I let her have her way and for whatever reason she wanted Humpty Dumpty blasted on repeat.
I keep meaning to get her hearing checked.
I’m not sure the last time you listened to Humpty Dumpty, but it’s not long. In a 7 minute car ride it’s possible to listen to it about 30 times. It’s also not inspiring. He falls down, gets broken and no one can fix him. I turn it off. BB shouts,
“We’re almost at school.”
“I wasn’t excited, but now I am!”
Humpty Dumpty for the win?
It’s been an hour and a half and I haven’t heard from her school, not that I’m checking my phone every second.
And I have the baby to myself. A nice treat! Especially considering she’s napping.
I’ve been so overdue for blogging. Now’s my chance. I need to get in as many blogs as I can before school shuts down again and I won’t be able to remember what the heck I was crying about.
At the Cape savoring my last 2 weeks of denial before we’re home for a long winter.
RB is 10 months old and within 12 pounds of 4-year-old BB. BB tries to push her around. I warned BB her days for this are numbered.
“I had a tall growth spurt and RB had a wide one.”
RB is STRONG. Given a large stationary toy intended to stay put RB is most likely to heave it over her head and toss it across the room. She has accumulated many nicknames including Bam Bam and Destructo.
We had a well visit with the pediatrician. She goes through her standard list of questions:
“How’s she eating?”
I grab a chunk of baby thigh rolls, “These don’t happen by magic.”
“How’s she sleeping?”
“As to be expected.” Meaning she’s up multiple times a night.
The doctor reminds me,
“She’s old enough to cry it out if you want.”
“Yes.” I’ve avoided mentioning we’re bed-sharing. I may someday when our pediatrician has kids of her own.
“Does she transfer toys from hand to hand?”
“Yes.” And from feet to hand and from hand to as far as she can fling it.
I left BB in the middle of our playroom, formerly known as our living room, and headed to the car to load up for the Cape. I hear an immense crash and rush back in. RB is sitting there smiling, launching large toys across the rug onto the hardwood floor.
I’m continuing to enforce the hard truth that some of BB’s toys are for RB too. BB expresses concern for their welfare. I chalked this up to not wanting to share, but now I must agree BB has a valid point.
At the Cape my mom shared some of my brother’s old toys with BB. RB also got something to play with. BB was not thrilled,
We’re home and our dishwasher is broken. This may be what sends me back to therapy.
Like many of us, I’m totally fine and about to lose it. I just didn’t know the dishwasher would be the tipping point.
The Cape doesn’t even have a dishwasher. Maybe that’s in its favor. It makes no pretense of anything washing the dishes besides a person.
As the dishwasher-detergent subscriptions pile up, Captain is on the case. He’s fixed the fridge, the washing machine and the clothes dryer so I have faith even if we did call some repair people.
They’re backed up. Everyone’s dishwashers are breaking. Should’ve know. It’s another symptom of this pandemic, just like the backorder on exercise bikes, puppies and sweatpants.
I made that up. They better never run out of sweatpants.
We’re headed back to the Cape as soon as possible, but being there without Captain has brought BB’s lingering jealousy into relief.
At 6 am I’m jolted awake. BB’s little face is peering at me over the side of the bed. She whispers,
“I’m your first baby.”
“Yes! Of course!”
GOOD GRIEF and with that RB startles awake and starts wailing.
Never thought I’d get to the beach by 8am, but this is my year.
With Captain around to play Barbies and otherwise dote on BB, she couldn’t care less that RB is in bed with me. Without him around, she’s inclined to snatch every single toy away from her sister regardless of whether the toy is something she truly wants to play with.
She grabs a pot and pan lid from RB. RB screams. I mention,
“RB was playing with that.”
“But I NEED it.”
“You need it?”
“I don’t have any cymbals.”
And for many reasons this is about when we leave for the beach.
“Who do you love more?”
I have answered this question several ways. This time I try a new tactic,
“You love Frozen right?”
“Do you love Frozen I or Frozen II?”
“Can I watch Frozen II?”
I pop into my obgyn office to get a mysterious spot checked out. No kids allowed. Yes I really had a spot. All is well. The doctor asks,
At the beach! It’s kind of amazing. Only thing is I’m being followed around by 2 little people. They’re adorable, but A LOT of work. Technically only one can follow me around, the other one I carry. And technically the one that should be following me around marched herself out the door, down the street, to the beach, all by herself.
So maybe no one is following anyone around and it’s a free for all. BB is eating popsicles for all meals, RB had oyster crackers for dinner and I had ice cream cake for breakfast. It was my birthday.
BB also had a birthday. She’s 4! It was a Frozen extravaganza. Considering she didn’t get the friend birthday party she’d been planning all year, we went a little over the top: pin the carrot nose on Olaf, piñata for one kid and a pile of presents, including a ridiculous, ginormous unicorn that was not really my idea.
Last year at the beach there was another kid with a small, personal unicorn float. She let BB play with it and BB was in heaven. I was in the market for one of those.
I zip through Amazon. I see a $12 unicorn with hundreds of great reviews. Click. Done. Bought.
It arrives days before we leave for the Cape. I look at the box. There’s a picture of the float towering over an adult. What the heck? I look at the measurements for the first time.
Six feet long, 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The recommended age range is 14+.
What have I done? I check Amazon for a SMALL unicorn float. They cost more than the gigantic one and they might not arrive in time.
BB gets the ginormous one. We inflate it over the course of a morning. Will it even fit out the door or will we have a unicorn in our kitchen for the foreseeable future?
I get it to the beach. Heads are turning. It is the most ridiculous, most beautiful, most eye-catching unicorn float on the beach. BB is in heaven. I’m saying a small prayer that it doesn’t fly off ignoring all social-distancing rules.
Nine-month old RB is jealous of her sister’s new toys. I bought RB a consolation baby doll in a boat. She picked it up, flung it to the side and reached for BB’s new mermaid. BB started crying because she didn’t have her baby doll like RB’s.
I give up.
Heading into this vacation I felt like I had a major phone problem. I’m on it ALL THE TIME. Current events has consumed me: the national disaster that is our abysmal leadership and locally my town is arguing over a racist mascot that should’ve been changed ages ago.
Since I’ve been at the Cape, phone time is down to 40 minutes a day. It turns out wrangling kids at the beach requires 2 hands and as many other adults as possible.
We’re going home to regroup, make sure Captain doesn’t stay too well rested and then we’ll be back, floating out to sea on a giant unicorn, while we can.
Running along in my hamster wheel. Preschool zoom is over. The 10am-10:30am slot of my day has returned to the other indistinguishable slots of the day.
BB is a little befuddled.
“There’s no more morning meeting?”
“Not until the fall.”
BB hangs her head. For someone who sat in front of zoom picking her nose, putting her dress over her head or leaving the video frame, she is more upset about this than I expected.
I explain that it’s normal to have no school in the summer and that if all goes well she’ll go back in the fall. But will she? Or if she does, will it be for long?
Who knows? But we’re going to the Cape for almost three weeks. I might as well take my hamster wheel to the beach.
Two weeks ago I considered the baby swing which is too big to take with us. At first I thought to myself, “Good. We need to break this habit.” Then yesterday I panicked and googled travel swings.
RB is already too heavy for them. She’s been pandemic snacking on the reg. She’s wearing BB’s size 24-month summer clothes and the diapers that almost 4-year-old BB stopped wearing this year. RB is 8 months old. This made me check the weight limit on our current swing. We’re about to max out.
Ok so no swing for the Cape. Maybe what I need is a rocking chair for the beach. I wonder if something like that exists? I google it. It does! And it has a cup holder. Sold.
I can see it now. Drinking a beer on the beach. RB having whatever of that makes it into my breastmilk and both of us rocking away.
Black Lives Matter. Defund the police now. Recognizing my white privilege and continuing to educate myself. That’s where I’m at.
I’ve been procrastinating blogging. A fluff piece about my facial hair and the lengthening inseam of my shorts, didn’t feel like a constructive addition to current events.
I contributed funds. It’s what I can do while I cower in a corner counting my toilet paper rolls and wondering what happened to that virus.
I don’t want to wish away the summer, but I’ve read Dr. Seuss’ One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote and I’m ready for November.
Things are reopening. Captain and I are not in total agreement about what we should and shouldn’t be doing. We’ve done zero take-out. I tell Captain,
“I want to get a haircut and I’d like BB to get one too. What do you think?”
“Does she need a haircut?”
Does anyone NEED a haircut? I don’t need Chinese food either, but it sure would be a nice break from whatever we’ve been eating out of the freezer. Last night BB said,
“When are you going to cook dinner on the stove again?”
Whenever you go to school.
As the day of my haircut approached I panicked. Aside from my adoring family, no one has been close to my face in months. The state of my facial hair is like the current cleanliness level of our home. I can’t be bothered.
Without my usual waxes, I tried to tweeze. Tweezing my upper lip is torture. I pull one measly hair and tears are streaming down my face.
Then I remember: I have to wear a mask! It will cover all stray facial hairs. Phew.
I mention my facial hair during our zoom book club. I’m informed that the Tinkle razor is the way to go. Ordered. I’ll try it and worse case scenario I’ll start wearing my mask at home.
A week ago I slipped into a pair of shorts. They felt funny. I was pregnant last summer so I haven’t worn my regular summer clothes in 2 years. The shorts fit fine, but there was something not quite right.
I contemplate them in the mirror. Is the 4 inch inseam too short? It seems like yesterday I bought them because my 2-inch, inseam shorts felt too short.
It also doesn’t feel like that long ago that I got sent home from junior high for wearing too short shorts. I couldn’t understand who would wear shorts with ANY inseam.
Last week I ordered some with a 5 inch inseam. I tried them on yesterday. NOPE. I’m not ready for 5 inches.
I ordered a dress too. I’m not thrilled with it. But then it crosses my mind: “this is the perfect house dress!”
House dress. That’s also where I’m at.
Gonna spend this summer living it up with my moderately short shorts, take-out dinner and a Black Lives Matter vigil. It’s gotta be done.
Are we still counting the weeks? Seems like right around that time with a newborn baby, when you start saying their age in months.
Staying home, month 3. Pretty sure we’ll be talking about this in years. Or however long it is until there’s a vaccine.
How crazy can we get until there’s a vaccine? Hugging everyone all day long? That’s what I used to do. Oh hi, let me give you a hug. Bye, how about another hug? Someone’s left over food? I’ll eat that and hug them too if they want.
Mother’s Day, whenever that was, started with hugs from the people I’m still allowed to touch. And a baby handover because as huggable as she is, I’ll have my bed to myself for Mother’s Day morning thank you very much.
Yes I started this Mother’s Day post a week ago. I’m not sure what’s going on around here, but it isn’t quiet alone-time conducive for blogging.
BB took the obligatory breakfast-in-bed to new levels. She ordered,
“Do NOT come out of your room.” And slammed the door.
Who am I to argue with that? Although I did try to come out for more coffee and was rebuffed.
Every morning I eat a chocolate with my coffee. I mention this to BB. She tells me,
“After you eat your breakfast.”
Being confined to my room has its limitations.
Can’t remember exactly when normal life resumed. It was still morning, but BB had one more trick up her sleeve. Again she told me to make myself scarce, but only after supplying her with a box, wrapping paper and a bow.
I gave her all the aforementioned plus some tissue paper. She rebukes me,
“I don’t know why you’re giving me tissue paper.”
I don’t know.
I was made to wait until dinner to open it, but it was worth it: a Mother’s Day crown made from dandelions, creeping vinca, crayons and emoji stickers.
BB led Captain in a rendition of “Happy Mother’s Day to you,” to the tune of the birthday song.
I didn’t know I needed a crown, but once I had it on, the day felt complete.
I’ve been getting dressed. Not always sweatpants, often leggings. NEVER jeans. Usually a bra. I’m still leaking milk. If it weren’t for that, it would be no bra.
The rest of my family may also be turning into lounge wear.
On average I do the laundry once a week. RB gets a pass. Her clothing is labeled “sleep ‘n play.”
I’ve seen Captain in jeans. I haven’t washed any, so maybe they’ve been worn twice?
And now BB. As I sorted her laundry, it became clear the parenting around here is really slipping.
For all of last week, there was one pair of pants. No dresses. There were several pairs of jammies, but not enough to make up for the missing pants and 3 pairs of underwear. Three pairs of underwear for the entire week.
I’m not sure what happened. But every week is a fresh start. And we’re doing about the same this week. Maybe upping the underwear count.
We have never had more family time. And if I thought I was irritable. BB is fed up.
The other day the bathroom hand towel was on the floor where BB usually leaves it. I step over it on my way to the toilet.
Week three I stopped and hung it back up. Week five I tried to stop caring. Week seven I really don’t care.
I’m sitting on the toilet, being as quiet as possible, hoping no one will find me. BB shouts,
“Can you hang that back up?”
I say nothing. She storms in,
“Fine. If you’re not going to do it, I’ll do it myself.”
And she really does hang the hand towel back up, so that’s nice.
RB starts fussing. BB exclaims,
“Hold your horses, I’ll tend to you in a minute.”
I mention her pre-school zoom meeting is about to start. BB plops in her chair,