Where should we live if the commuter rail means nothing anymore?

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.

My good, little, huge, wild baby

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.

BB yells,

“She’s in the toilet!”

I remove the baby from the toilet and remind BB to close the bathroom door.

Minutes later,

“She’s on the couch!”

Good grief.

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.

Here’s to another year of keeping the kids alive.

Here goes nothing

BB is back in school.

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,

“AGAIN!”

“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.

Magical unicorn escape from COVID at the Cape

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.

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BB AND Captain cheated.