January 30, 2017 (after dinner)

*Our dishwasher is broken. The repair guy is supposed to come tomorrow with a new pump… ’til then, I’m on my own. I’ve washed four sinkfuls of dishes today alone- not a big deal, but enough to make me not want to wash many more dishes tonight. I put my big pan in the sink to soak, full of hot, soapy, greasy water. We had a friend over for dinner, and while Isobel was still finishing, I went into the kitchen to put my dish in the sink, and run more hot water in the pan. To my surprise and slight dismay, someone had tossed a dish in the sink, slopping greasy, sudsy water all over the counter, floor, and down the front of the dishwasher and cabinets. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but I just had my hip replaced two months ago and am not quite back up to snuff yet. I went back to the porch and said to the boys…*

“I don’t care which one of you did it, but I am NOT cleaning up the mess by the sink. Please go take care of it.”

*I sat back next to Isobel, who was still eating her broccoli. She asked me what happened, so I explained. And with a knowing nod and slight shrug, she looked right at me, and with a perfectly straight face, said…*

“Boys.”

I laughed so hard I nearly fell off the chair.

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January 23, 2017

*Out for brunch yesterday with some friends, and the woman at the table next to us stands up to leave. Isobel leans over to me and…*

“Hey, Mommy. Your big butt is still bigger than that lady’s big butt.”

“Thanks, Is.”

“You’re welcome!”

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January 22, 2017

*Is climbs into bed with me this morning, complete with her new flamingo toy (okay, it’s really a squeaky dog toy, but she saw it at the pet store yesterday and flipped out, so now it’s hers) and a Valentine’s Day balloon. She’s tucked the flamingo in (Isobel is the Mommy) and is telling the flamingo a bedtime story. Apparently, my upcoming second hip replacement (scheduled for Valentine’s Day) is something Is has been thinking about…*

“Okay, this story is called, ‘The Aliens of Harmony.’  Once upon a time, Mom wanted to go to outer space, and the doctor said ‘wait ’til you get your new hip on Valentine’s Day,’ and she said okay and then she got in the rocket ship and blasted off into space. And then the aliens did some bad thing to Mom, but we’ll find out next time what that is.”

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January 16, 2017

*After her swimming lesson at the gym today, I’m drying Isobel’s hair in the changing room. She turns and wiggles her loose tooth (her first!!!! OMFG!) at me, and points out the new space between her teeth. As she’s doing this, a woman who’s already changed and on her way out, walks by us, overhears our tooth conversation, and says..*

“Wow! I wonder what the Tooth Fairy brings these days?”

*Is turns to me and shrugs, then back to the woman and says…*

“I’m not sure, it’s my first loose tooth.”

“Well, when I was a kid, I think we got a quarter or something like that.”

*We briefly discuss inflation and its possible affect on the Tooth Fairy’s current payout plan. After the woman leaves, Is turns to me and says…*

“Mommy. That lady believes in the Tooth Fairy.”

“Seems like it. That’s pretty nice.”

(Looking around, concern apparent on her face) “She didn’t hear me, right?”

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January 15, 2017 (bedtime)

*Is is scared of a noise and doesn’t want me to leave her room tonight…*

“Babe, I think the sound is the dryer running. You know I put those felt ball things in there, so it makes that banging sound-”

“But don’t leave.”

“Okay, I’ll stay for a minute. How about a hug?”

“Well, even though your breath is stinky, I would like a hug. Okay, then.”

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January 12, 2017 (after school)

*We’ve been having some toilet issues in the house lately. It’s an older home, built in 1957, so the plumbing, while original copper, is still old and has taken quite a beating over the years. Isobel is afraid of flushing the toilet in the blue bathroom, because one time it backed up and overflowed. Right now, the toilet in the pink bathroom is taken apart, because it was leaking from the tank, so it’s in pieces on the floor ’til the plumber can come and fix it (and the ceiling in the basement, but that’s another project). Because the pink toilet is currently taken apart, the top is off the tank, and you can see the float and valve and stuff inside. She’s referring to the float, which looks just like a clown’s horn bulb! This kid notices EVERYTHING.

Today, I’m in the blue bathroom with Isobel, when a car horn beeps outside…*

“Mommy! What was that noise???”

“What? What do you think it was?”

“The toilet.”

“The toilet? No, it was a car horn, baby. Toilets don’t have horns.”

“Yes they do! I’ve seen it inside!”

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January 9, 2017-Past Bedtime (again)

*I think she’s sleeping. But I’m wrong.*

“Mommy?”

“Yeah, babe?”

“Can you give away a baby if you don’t want it?”

“Yep. It’s called adoption. If a woman has a baby and she can’t keep it, or take care of it, or maybe she doesn’t want it, she can give it to a family who does want the baby. Daddy and Aunt Lisa are both adopted.”

“Oh.”

“Is that it?”

“That’s a good way for boys to get a baby.”

“Sure, if a couple is two dads, they might want to adopt a baby, since they can’t have one of their own so easily.”

“That’s nice.”

“It’s more like wonderful. Good night, babe.”

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January 9, 2017 (after school)

*Walking in the house, Isobel has had a sort of rough day; hurt her leg on the car, and then I told her it was too cold to play in the snow. She’s crying on her way into the house, throwing her gloves and boots, angry and sad…*

“Look, babe, let’s hug, have a tissue, I’ll make you a snack, then we can talk about your day, okay?”

“NO!”

“Okay.”

*She takes the tissue, wipes her face and says…*

“I’m gonna make you dinner. In my restaurant. I want to feel better so I’m going to cook for you, and then  you can cook for real, for me.”

“Okay, that sounds good! Where do you want me?”

“On the stairs, stay there. I have a Stair Restaurant.”

*She grabs a few bits of toy food from the living room and carefully and artfully sets them up on the volute- it reminds me of the show ‘Chef’s Table.’ I settle myself on the steps while she flies up to the playroom; immediately I hear banging and things being collected, then little footsteps at the top of the stairs. From behind and above me, she says…*

“It’s a Calm Restaurant. For you to not be starving in. Okay. Okay?”

“I got it. I’m calm.”

*Next thing, she loses control of the huge pile of toy food in her arms and it all comes bouncing down the stairs, so I quickly turn my surgical hip away, and get hit with about twenty pieces of plastic food. I hold up a few things that I managed to catch; an eggplant, half a cake, a spoon, and say…*

“THIS IS NOT CALM EATING! ALSO, I AM STARVING!”

“Hahahaha!”

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January 7, 2017

*So, you know how sometimes you say something, and then it hits you that there’s no way, no possible way in any possible world, that that sentence has ever been uttered before? Even in another language. There’s no friggin’ way. In all the books I’ve read on parenting, not one even remotely suggested I’d have to request that my kindergartener remove a toy egg from a clown’s head so that she could go to bed on time.

Tonight, Is is getting her yayas out by smacking around her big Bozo punching bag before bed. I’m waiting nearby to read some Harry Potter, when she smacks Bozo into the bookshelf, where she’s left a stack of felt sandwich parts, like a fried egg, Swiss cheese, pickles, jelly, bread, stuff like that. The felt fried egg falls off the shelf and she picks it up, plops it on Bozo’s head, laughs manically, and does it over and over and over and…*

“Isobel, it’s bedtime. Please take the egg off Bozo’s head and let’s get going…”

“HAHAHA Mommy!”

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January 2, 2017 (Past Bedtime)

*Is goes to bed and about five minutes later, I’m in the basement throwing sheets into the dryer, when I hear her on the monitor in my pocket, “Oh no!”*

“What, Is?”

“I forgot to put Lammie to bed!”
“Oh, baby, it’s okay, I can do it- you’ve got school tomorrow. I’ll take care of Lammie, don’t worry.”

“Okay.”

**I think that’s the end, and make a mental note to tuck Lammie in somewhere cozy when I get back upstairs. And then…**

“So…I think she’s on the porch, I don’t think she’s in the living room, but she’s all alone, and she’s maybe on the table in the porch, you know, the pointy table. You have to put her in the pink thing with the Velcro back, the one with no sleeves, it’s soft, so she’s not too hot, because then she won’t sleep. The sleeveless one. And then put her blanket that has butterflies on it, and the bed, and if you could do it, put her on the red couch, with the colorful pillow.”

***Somewhere in the middle of Isobel’s directions, I grab a little notebook and pen and start taking notes. She’s counting on me, so totally seriously, to put her baby to bed. I start thinking how funny it would be if I did it PERFECTLY, the way the kid wants, because, clearly, she had a plan… and it’s such an easy thing to do (maybe sometimes), to put a beloved doll away properly for any child… So now, I’m leaning over the washing machine, laughing and writing, (which is why I have it down EXACTLY as she told me). The next second, there’s a clatter on the  stairs, and Munkle comes flying into the room holding up Lammie. He’d heard every word through her bedroom door and was concerned that Isobel was so upset. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who wanted to make sure Lammie got tucked in.***

“I’ve got it. And we’ll give her lots and lots of kisses and hugs, don’t worry.”

“Okay, Mommy.”

“Mommy?”

“Yeah, babe?”

“It’s the FUCHSIA pink one, okay?”

“I got it.”