Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Her worst nightmare

Natalie is terrified
of the public restroom. 
 It's getting a little better as she grows older, but 


THIS throne here, 
is her worst nightmare.

She would rather hold it
or pee on a tree
or in her pants
or make the 3 hour drive home with a full bladder
than sit on an auto-flush commode.

She starts worrying about it before we even hit the restroom door, outlining her escape plan.  Once we open the stall and she sees the little black box on the pipe, with its evil glowing red light, she simply states,
 "OOOOOHHH no.  
I am NOT going in THERE."

And there is a good reason. 

The light-up loo can't tell that she's there.  
She is so tiny, that after she climbs up, she has to lean forward to hang on and not fall in.  The laser thinks she left, and 
the beast tries to swallow her alive.

She is so terrified her eyes bulge, she stiffens and screams, and then shakes all over for a good five minutes.  It's fight or flight, only she can't fly.  She would probably leap off the thing if she weren't in mid-stream.  I have tried to cover the sensor with my hand, but I usually end up triggering it and then she blames me, not the mean ol' john.  

So bathroom visits are a little stressful, for all of us.
Mercifully, there are some less worrisome water closets out there. When Nano sees a good old-fashioned porcelain privy with a shiny chrome handle, she croons,
"OOOOOH, yah, baby!  This is a good one!"
 in the voice of the Studio C "Oh Yah" lady.

I have to admit, after seeing what she goes through, I am a bit relieved myself.
No pun intended.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fallen Fringe

There really is magic all around our woods. The music of the forest air is strange and melodic.  The dappled sunlight dances off of the fawny backs of dear and their babes.  Almost daily Jonah and Nano find lovely sparkling stones, cool, bendy sticks and blushing feathers on the ground.  Everywhere I go, I find myself scanning around my feet for the pretty plumes.  But on a walk to the lookout a few weeks ago, we stumbled upon the scene of foul play (forgive me, but really, how could I not?!).  It was little Natalie, her eyes so near the ground, who noticed the vermilion vestiges scattered on the forest floor.  A veritable explosion of plucked pinions.  She stopped, gathering them in her tiny hands, then toted them all the way to the lookout and back.  Treasures carried by a princess, most certainly.

A few days later she searched diligently in our Birds Of North America book, comparing each quaffed quill to those in the pages, to no avail.  My best guess had been the Black Headed Grosbeak, but the book said, No mama, you are wrong.  So we wrote a pleading petition to an ornithologist; sent pictures - the works.  

In one short day we received our response.  And the results are...

The Northern Flicker Woodpecker.

The kind and very informative email came with a most unfortunate post script.  We were instructed to return the feathers to the forest.  Apparently, anti-poaching laws state that one may not keep any foundling feathers, because it cannot be proven that they were not procured by nefarious means.  You can't just look at a feather and tell if it simply fell from the sky, or was plucked from an assassinated avian.

We can apply for a permit, like real live scientists,
 to be able to catalog and keep our coral calami (I know that one was a stretch.  Calamus is just the quill part of the feather, but ya' know, I needed a feather related C word).  

In the mean time they must go back out to nature.

Do you think our back porch
 is close enough to the forest?

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Last Of Firsts

I’m all about finding the cloud on the outside of the silver lining. It’s what I do. Call me Eeyore. 

So I can’t help but notice when yet another “first” has blasted through my heart, scrambling my mama-emotions, and left me in a sad little sentimental heap, as it becomes a “last”. My baby, my last baby, my darling little girl, my little miracle child, is not my baby anymore.

I tried to deny it when she ditched diapers because, let’s face it, she still pees the bed, and pull ups ain’t cheap. I tried to brush it aside when those back molars came in and she begrudgingly accepted the fact that I had to call “closing time” on nursing (she was the only one I sincerely worried I would still be nursing on her spring-break visits from college). I diligently ignored her growing vocabulary, exploding creativity, and generally off-the-charts sassafras, because of her tiny size. I mean, after all, I’m still pulling size 3 clothes out of her drawers, and her butt could fit on a graham cracker.

But there’s no denying it now. Because babies don’t go to kindergarten. Nope, kinder is for big girls.

Natalie’s first day of school was, according to her (and flippantly matter-of-factly, I might add), “Great!”.  She did her chores, worked on her ABCs (because her sister was determined she should be very schooly), and compared feathers we found in the yard to our bird identification book. She was read to, drew pictures of the beach, watched a program about flying fish, had lovely snacks, and jumped on the trampoline for PE.

Frankly, it was no different from any other day in this house. But in her world, it was the first day of kindergarten, and she’ll remember it forever.

And so will her mother. Because it was MY very last First Day of School.