Dear Husbot, Thank You, But Did You Have To…

$16.95 + $4.95 shipping, from Crate and Barrel. That’s $33.90 + $9.90, for two.

Dear Husbot,

Thank you for killing the black widow spider hanging in front of the front door.

But did you have to throw away my broom afterward? The one with the whimsically stripy handle that makes me feel not quite so bitter about sweeping?

I mean, I’m totally thrilled that you a.) identified the spider that I incorrectly identified as “not a black widow, I didn’t see that red hour glass on its back,” b) didn’t snicker while pointing out that the hourglass is actually on its tummy and c) stomped on it repeatedly because my simply throwing two issues of the Sunday New York Times on it the night before when I incorrectly identified it was obviously an inadequate murder technique.

But did you have to throw away my broom afterward? Without telling me? And not replace it? Immediately? In a household in which gravity is twice as strong as at other locations on Earth, and in which at least once a week an object fabricated either of glass or ceramics explodes on the tile floor?

Really. Thank you for compensating for my ignorance regarding the Insects of the Desert and their feeding, sleep, and recreational habits. I had not known that a spider hanging no more than eighteen inches above the ground in a lit doorway at night would be a spider that could poison my children. Forgive me: our children. And that a black widow has a tough exoskeleton that renders it impervious to the impact of even a month’s worth of lightly read Times. And that after suffering such an insult, it would scurry into a hole until darkness fell again, at which point it would resume hunting. In our doorway.

But did you have to throw away my broom afterward? I still don’t quite understand why. When there are four extremely tender feet that depend on my using it almost daily. Did you throw it away because of the black widow, or because you then used it to reach the giant cockroach that I spotted camping out high on the wall, after you’d killed the black widow? The one that instigated a call to Pete the Bug Guy who I thought you’d called last month?

Thank you for killing the giant cockroach.

But did you have to throw away my broom?

Introducing the Love Child of Picasso, Euclid, and Martha Stewart

Dot-to-Dot: The love child of Picasso, Euclid, and Martha Stewart!

Yes, it’s an old-fashioned connect-the-dots game, brought into the twenty-first century by Husbot with an unmistakeable you-can-do-this-at-home! vibe.

I mentioned to him last night that I’d like to see Mbot trying to focus more on the shapes of numbers and letters, and so this morning he Mbot on his lap and drew some impromptu pictures, just faintly dotted outlines with numbers (in order, of course) at strategic points around the periphery.

And this perhaps is an alphabet-outlined sea-monster (C monster?) that’s been caught on a fishing line. Abdominal spikes added by Mbot.

I thought Husbot, although neither Picasso nor Euclid nor Martha, was pretty ingenius. Husbot asked Mbot to say the numbers or letters aloud as the tip of his colored pencil reached them. And you know, it kind of worked. But the big lesson for me was that customizing a silly connect-the-dots game makes it more interesting for the weebots, which means they actively engage, which means they learn more.

It was perfect for just-turned-four year-old Mbot–not so engaging for Gbot, not yet three. When I drew him a hamster (not shown, in order to retain my dignity), he claimed that hamsters do NOT have whiskers, and when I wrote the number 1 on top of his head, Gbot was so upset that I covered it up with a fire hat. “Let’s pretend he’s a Wonder Pet!” I cried, but it was in vain.

“I do not WANT a hamster in a fire hat!” cried Gbot back.

So, as with everything in parenting, even great ideas, there are potholes, and you will fall into them. But at least we’ll all go down counting.

Buck-toothed shark. Will he get you? It’s a number’s game.

Shelve the Guilt, Girl, and Go

Girl’s Night Out: Not only increasing your own health and happiness, but giving your bots the best possible chances of survival. (

Husbot returned Thursday night from two days on the road (work), and when he asked about weekend plans, I reminded him that I was flying to Denver for forty-three hours to attend a party celebrating the thirty-fifth wedding anniversary of dear friends whom I hadn’t seen in ten years..

“Oh,” he said. “I forgot.”

He was stressed out from work, the dog had been peeing twelve times a day, not always outside, and I know he’d been looking forward to a respite. “It’s okay,” he assured me, sincerely, but after a moment of silence. “I just forgot it was this weekend.”

Although he spends hours each day and most of every weekend with the bots, it’s an entirely different gig if you’re playing solo.

“Ginger’s coming for fours Saturday and again on Sunday,” I added. “And Grandma wants a couple of hours each day with them, one at a time. And I’ll be back at 9:30 Monday morning.” The heavy silence told me he was trying to remember the last time he had taken a vacation, but was probably too tired to recall.

I am fortunate that he recognizes the value of vacations. But I wanted to explain to him that, although I am thrilled to be going, although I will have a splendid time because I love these people and I will get to sleep in on Sunday morning and none of this will feel like work, this isn’t a vacation: It’s part of my job.

When I gave birth to Mbot, I was teaching a college writing course, nursing and pumping a combined ten hours a day, and patchworking together an average of five hours of sleep in every twenty-four. Every single second of every day was accounted for. Every moment I spent lying down, nursing, pumping, teaching, reading, writing, errand-running, laundering, cooking, showering, emailing, talking on the phone with sister, brother, friends, I asked myself, “Am I using this moment to its greatest efficiency? Does this really need to be done?”

I found myself justifying the time I spent emailing and on the phone (let me tell you, not much) and at the same time it was daawning on me that I was the one upon which responsibility wordlessly fell to create and send out birth announcements, bot pictures, updates, birthday cards. To respond to offers to help and invitations to dinner. To take bots to visit friends and out-of-state relatives. These last few things fell under the umbrella of social secretary—not social-ite.

And I found that no one took seriously the time or energy necessary to maintain our connections with family and friends. It’s the sort of thing that men, I think, consider an extracurricular activity that women do because we’re just gabby girls and like to do it. And I do enjoy much of it. I also find much of it a pain in the ass: (summoning patience during my mother-in-law’s sililoquies, updating my (woefully unupdated) Facebook page).

It’s probably taught in Sociology 101, but it took motherhood for me to figure this out: what might be labeled by society as mindless, frivolous socialilzing serves a very specific purpose: the maintenance of a community that will not only support and nurture the bots as they grow, but will support them and nurture them in the event of my absence.

By spending precious time and energy (and Husbot’s time and energy in the form of American Express), I’m strengthening bonds that will very likely help my children survive and thrive. I’m sending out the message: I care about you. I’m there for you. And please don’t forget about us.

Mahjong Dream Club: Playstation hopes to attract men to this traditionally all-women table game. (

This responsibility—the keeper of connections–falls, traditionally, on the woman. And judging from Husbot’s nonexistent social schedule, if I counted on him to do it, people would start thinking the earth really is flat and that we’d fallen off the edge of it.

Of course, if you’re Facebooking instead of feeding your bots breakfast, you might want to consider scaling down your social network. But otherwise—drop the guilt, moms. When you’re chatting on your cell with your best friend from college instead of folding minature pants? You’re just doing your job.

T – 8 Days: Ironman, the Needy Pinata Boyfriend

He’s got legs! And he is controlling my life.

Pardon the poor picture quality, but some of you will remember that Mbot’s last photo shoot ended when the camera stopped working, and because I haven’t gotten as far as purchasing the right pieces of equipment to download photos off the Nikon or my not-very-smart phone, I had to use my webcam via Skype. I’m sure there is an easier way, like there is an easier way to provide entertainment at your four year-old’s birthday party other than building a 63″-tall pinata. Yes, the math you have just done in your head is, unfortunately correct. Ironman stands–or hangs, rather–5’3″ tall.

Husbot took the bots on adventures yesterday morning and this morning and I stayed home up to my elbows in balloons and flour paste, and so I just may achieve my goal of having the damned thing ready to paint by tomorrow.

His arms are drying. Here they are:

Foreground: left hand. Background: right arm.

The photo quality is so remarkably poor that it’s hard to tell what’s going on. For example, the fact that the left arm is standing in a metal sieve (balanced by threading a pipecleaner through the paper mache and then through those handy holes in the bottom of the sieve–sieves should be sold in the crafts aisle!) and that the sieve is, in turn, stabilized by another pipecleaner wrapped around a drawer pull on the table.

To get these brawny hands, I bought a pair of Atlas Thermafit gloves (“comfortable and warm!”) in XL at Ace Hardware for $7.99, stuffed them with newspaper, pulled them on over the wrist stumps, affixed temporarily with duct tape, then covered with Press ‘n’ Seal, which is kind of disturbingly sticky, and applied the paper mache over that. After a few layers, I’ll pull them off the ends of the arm, remove as much of the glove and newspaper as I can, and reattach them. More work than I’d planned on doing, but I’m sure burning up the hours until I can be an expert!

As soon as I transfer photos (which I’ve been taking, but which are trapped inside my other cameras), I will post an entire Ironman photo sequence.

The post title comes from my realization a few days ago that Ironman is taking over my life. My relationship with him has become WAY bigger than I’d planned. I’d wanted him to just be The Other Man, whom I could go to now and then for excitement and fulfillment. But he’s become all needy on me. He’s all like, “I want my legs! I want my arms!” And so I’m spending more time with him than I’m spending with Husbot. And Husbot is beginning to notice.

Today he accused me of having fallen into the trap of The Birthday Party Competition. Which is so utterly untrue that I’m afraid I laughed at him. If I were getting on The Birthday Party Competition boat, I certainly wouldn’t be whacking a homemade pinata and playing Pin The Angry Bird on The Pig and eating a homemade monster cake (I’ll get back to you on that one).

Instead, we’d be gathering thirty of Mbot’s closest friends and their parents for three hours at Pump It Up, Chuck E. Cheese, or Imagination Avenue. We’d rent a bounce house, a teenager to play Belle who paints faces and makes dogs and swords out of balloons, and a photographer at a costume booth. We’d have a three-tiered cake AND cupcakes AND a pinata. (Not that that last birthday party wasn’t really fun, and I adore the mother who threw it–she didn’t know what to do, so she just did everything!)

I’m still figuring out where to hang it to be destroyed. Our home offers no obvious place. But at this point, I’m pretty sure I want it beaten to smithereens.


The Girl Pocket: Why Don’t I Listen To My Own Derned Self?

Last Saturday evening, twenty minutes before leaving for a family graduation celebration, as I bent over to retrieve the bots’ sandals after a frolic under the hose, my phone fell out of my bra and bounced through the grate into the gutter, landing softly on a bed of leaves and probably spiders below.

As I rushed to get the bots (not to mention myself) ready for the evening, Husbot, already in his dress clothes, disappeared outside and reappeared five minutes later, with my phone (announcing, “I wish I could do this sort of thing for a living,” to which I replied he probably could). I don’t know how he did it, something to do with a coat hanger and duct tape.

But the moral of the story is, I Was Right. About not carrying my phone around in my bra. it would have served me well to have recently reread The Girl Pocket, and so I am reposting it today. (You will notice that the reason I note for not carrying the phone in my bra is not that it might fall into a gutter minutes before an important family gathering, but still. I Was Right.)

The Girl Pocket

Fisher-Price Trio helicopter. The Trio: better than Legos for the three-and-under set. And with rounded edges, easier on the girls.

As I was getting ready for bed a few nights ago, the eyeball in this picture fell out of my bra. For those of you familiar with Fall Apart Chubby (posted 9/13/11), you already know that I consider my best, most convenient pockets to be the two in which my breasts also happen to reside. If men can carry a Man Purse, why can’t women have Girl Pockets?

A miniature Batman figure fell out alongside the eyeball. The night before, it was a paperclip and a twist tie. Talk about the Great Pacific Garbage Vortex (You Can’t Shoot the Toy Fairy, posted 9/24/11). This happens every night, except the detritus doesn’t usually stare back at me like, “It’s not my fault women don’t have pockets.”

Of course that is not entirely true: women do have pockets. And we could use them. But stuffing chest pockets is unfashionable (witness the Pocket Protector); using hip pockets is uncomfortable; and using back pockets is unthinkable if not impossible.

But the bra? Now there’s a pocket—two, actually—in which only a few of us feel like we’re carrying enough. And, thanks to the forgiving physiology of the bra’s chief inhabitants, it seems like there’s always room for more. For years, even before giving birth, I found it a convenient repository for many of life’s necessities: credit cards. Driver’s licenses. Boarding passes. Lipstick. And now: milk bottles (for short periods, between car and house, for example). Diving sticks (or anything that you don’t want to forget to bring with you as you whiz around the house late to swimming lessons). Car keys.

The bra is not recommended for everything. A few examples spring to mind: sewing pins. Nail clippers. Half a cracker. Cell phones. (You sweat. They die.)

I am, admittedly, a slow learner. I attended a women’s college twenty years ago and didn’t become a feminist until I became a mother. I am not going to rant about the need in the western world for pregnant lady parking spaces and drive-through grocery stores, but is a pocket really too much to ask?

Aside from the cargo pant, whose pockets were never meant to carry cargo, not really, or athletic pants with a zip pocket big enough for a tampon and a ten dollar bill, women’s fashion is devoid of useful pockets. There is no sexy mommy equivalent of the safari vest. It’s not anyone’s fault; we can’t blame Dolce and Gabbana. It’s just a matter of evolutionary biology. A sexy woman is one who can snap her fingers and get what she wants. She doesn’t have to actually lug it around on her person. A woman with bulging pockets sends out one of several messages: 1. I am homeless. 2. I am desperate. Neither of these things signals a good target for childbearing. Thus: the human male has no biological imperative to find her sexy.

The Girl Pocket is my secret weapon. Now that I am the mother of two toddlers, though, the secret’s out, and not just at bedtime. At the grocery counter yesterday I looked down to find my keys dangling out the neck of my t-shirt. It’s a shiny, jingly clump, so maybe other shoppers just thought it was a brooch. Lady Gaga would go there.

The road to a world where useable pockets are socially acceptable for women is a steep and uphill grade. When I flew alone with Mbot, when he was first learning to crawl (read: he did not want to fly, or be held, or sit), I wore a thin, black wool cycling jersey. It looked  normal from the front, and even lint-free, thanks to Husbot’s lint roller, but those behind me witnessed three kangaroo pockets bulging across the back. Perfect for two milk bottles, a wallet, some tissues, and two binkies (a fresh one and the one that had met the floor, in separate pockets, of course). Look ma, no hands!

“You look funny,” said my brother-in-law as we came through security.

“Smart,” I said. “I know you meant to say, ‘smart.’”

“No,” he said. “You look funny.”

But the eyeball in my bra says otherwise.

Where do you keep your stuff??

Those Aren’t Red-Headed Beetlebugs….

Goat Camp Trail: Home of the Red-Headed Beetlebug

I grew up in Alaska. When he went for a family hike, my father packed heat. The bad guys were large and had global reputations, like the Taliban: bears. Whatever bugs we encountered were large and annoying but generally benign.

Now I live in Arizona. Here in the desert, the big guys are benign (coyotes) and the good guys are little and have global reputations. But there are a lot that are little that you’ve never heard of.

On Sunday, we went for a family hike in the desert.

I packed everything we would need: sunscreen, water, extra pants, a picnic lunch, a gray-and-white wash rascal (right), and an Angry Bird (below).

I did not bring a Sonoran Desert Insect Identification Book, which perhaps would have served us better.

It was a lovely, cool morning, one of the last we’ll enjoy until October, possibly November. Everyone was cheerful. (Except the bird). Everyone was cooperative and enthusiastic and energetic.

Mbot took a picture:

Gbot took a picture:

As we hiked up the wide, gentle trail, Husbot, a native Arizonan, pointed high in the sky at turkey vultures gliding on updrafts. He pointed into the shadow of a fiery-blossomed creosote bush, where an Arizona skink was, according to Mbot, looking for his family. He pointed to the prickly prong of a saguaro, and I saw the tiny crested profile of a phainopepla:

Who knew? (

He showed the bots mesquite and brittle bush and jojoba and even some mistletoe entwined in the branches of palo verde tree. We admired the sunny bloom of a chain cholla.

Husbot and Gbot marched along in front of me and Mbot. Suddenly I spotted a really cool bug in the sparse growth beside the trail. I was pleased at sighting something Husbot had missed.

“Look at that!” I exclaimed, pointing for Mbot. “A red-headed beetlebug!* (*fictional name.)

Even in Alaska I’ve gone out of my way to avoid bugs. I have had people cross town on bicycles to kill spiders for me. I am trying not to pass this inconvenient aversion on to the next generation. “And look!” I cried with what was genuine enthusiasm, because these bugs really were so cool, about two inches long and yellow with bright red heads. And they were moving slowly and we could always run. “Another! And another!”

We stepped to the edge of the trail to get a really good look before I realized there were at least ten of them, crawling slowly but inexorably closer. Look at these things!” I called to Husbot.

Holding Gbot’s hand, he retraced his steps. Half way back, he said, “They’re wasps, Honey.” He turned on the Daddy Voice. “Alright, guys, let’s not get too close. They can sting and hurt people.”

We attempted to beat a hasty retreat, but one of us dropped to the dust and began to cry. “I want to see da wed-headed beetlebugs! I want to see da wed-headed beetlebugs!”

But it turned out both of us were wrong. I wasn’t even trying to be right, and Husbot realized just after he made his daddy announcement that the army of insects was a troop of harmless blister beetles–iron cross blister beetles, to be exact. Still, they can bite. And it seemed easier to continue our retreat and let the bots be wary of red and yellow bugs marching toward them in the desert. “Because,” according to Husbot, “usually they’re not good.”

Husbot scooped up the fallen party. Further along the trail, we actually picnicked peacefully in the shade of an ironwood tree.

So time to read up at Knowledge is the power to avoid crying in the dust.

Idaho Vacation, Part 4: Descent into Madness

In the darkness of 6:15 a.m. in my parents’ guest room, my cell phone alarm rescued me from a dream in which I had very strange neighbors and was worried about killing a houseplant because I’d forgotten to water it. I awoke to two weeBots sleeping nearby, both of whom I’d soon be responsible for getting onto and off of two airplanes without letting them starve, dehydrate, melt down, fall down an escalator, put a hand in a public toilet, or get lost. Reality wasn’t too far removed from the subconscious version, except in real life, my roommates were shorter and even stranger than my neighbors, and the stakes were higher.

Less than two hours later, The Guru (that would be Dad) and I lugged my retinue to the car (two boys, two bears, two bags, two carry-ons–The Guru likened us to Noah’s Ark and I suddenly wondered if the actual flood had been the least of Noah’s worries).

Everything went brilliantly, with the exception of a phone call as we were stepping out the door, which my mother answered, to hear a voice saying, “This is an automated call from Delta with information about your cancelled flight.”

My mother called to me in a voice in which disbelief battled with horror.

And then she started laughing. “Well of course I believed you! It’s happened before!” she wailed with relief into the phone.

The call was from my sister, Susan.

Susan figured that if The Guru had answered the phone, he would have just hung up and dropped us at the airport anyway, vanishing in a burst of battery power. But Nanny answered it, and, when she didn’t recognize her firstborn’s version of an automated voice, my sister fell victim to her own success and collapsed in fits of hilarity at her own hilariousness. This sort of occurrence is common in my family.
The skies were clear. We arrived at the airport well ahead of take-off time. At security, Mbot loaded Junepbear into a plastic bin and then Sprucebear into a plastic bin and then Gbot’s coat into a plastic bin. The fifty-minute flight to Salt Lake City was preternaturally uneventful. Mbot stared at photos from the movie in the dog-eared paperback 1977 edition of Star Wars that Nanny had conjured from the attic. He pushed the buttons on his armrest and pretended he was an astronaut. Gbot colored and ate Goldfish.
In the Salt Lake City airport, I paid for the calm with Bots Running Wild–partially my fault: I chose a decaf mocha over full control (holding a coffee cup leaves you one-handed). On the ninety-minute flight to Phoenix, while Mbot watched Tom and Jerry chase each other on the DVD screen, Gbot played with the in-case-of-emergency folder in the seat pocket in front of him and then I had to make up a lie about why there was a picture of fire in it. (Someone was blowing a cigarette (Bot-speak) and that’s against the rules.) I actually opened up my computer and was able to work for nineteen minutes (first time on a flight since Mbot was born. I was feeling Good. I was feeling In Control. ) Then Gbot’s apple juice spilled and then the seatbelt sign came on, which initiated an extremely loud ten-minute rebellion on the part of a damp and apply-smelling Gbot against his seat belt during descent. I arrived at Sky Harbor Airport without Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
We joyfully reunited with Husbot, who carried his long lost Bots and promised to play their favorite game, Hide From the Dragon.
Then he drove us all back home, at which point I was plunged back into real life: how were we going to deal with the dog’s persistent rug-soiling, the dishwasher’s sudden and mysterious leak, and the antique cat’s new adoption of the dining table as a bed?
Walking in the door, I found the contents of the bathroom drawers piled on my side of the bed (Husbot had been cleaning–difficult to complain…), and Husbot mentioned several home-improvement plans that require further lengthy discussion, particularly on the subject of budgetary constraints, and the pile of mortgage paperwork awaits. The anchors of responsibility. I feel an extremely loud sputterfuss coming on as I descend into my daily life. I do not want to remain securely seated; I want to jump up and find the aisle and run free.
Not completely free, of course. I don’t want to get lost.
And that’s the alternative.
How do you feel when you get home from vacation?

Dispatch from Idaho: All Of Us Made It, Bearly

Saturday 8 a.m., Camelback Mountain. The great thing about being 43 inches tall instead of 41 inches tall is that you can see out the airplane windows.

I don’t recommend doing this on five hours of sleep, but we made it from Phoenix to Hailey, Idaho on Saturday morning without leaving anyone behind.

The leaving behind didn’t happen until later.

This was only the third airplane trip of over a dozen that Husbot has been able to join us on, which made things exponentially easier, once we got to the airport. There were some tense moments on the way to the airportl, when the route to the freeway that I’d planned was ignored…one good thing about being the only grownup in a travel party is that everyone else might be yelling as they run in the other direction with full diapers, but at least they don’t second-guess your mapping skills.)

When you leave the house at 6 a.m., dress them in their travel attire the night before. All the other passengers were jealous of their comfy duds.

After that, it was smooth sailing. On the thirty minute drive to Terminal 3, Husbot and I reviewed options in the absence of curbside check-in.

There was curb-side check-in.

And TSA has recently changed its shoe removal policy: children under the age of twelve can leave their dragon slippers on.

There was only a ten-minute wait at security.

There was a play area at our gate, which was right next to the Starbucks.

Once onboard, the popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and duct tape kept Mbot busy until we could turn on our approved electronic devices.

The gods were smiling on us.

I wondered when I would pay.

On the leg from Salt Lake City to Hailey, both bots fell asleep on the plane.

We were met at the airport by Nanny, Poppy, and my sister (Aunt Susan, who has been featured in several posts, is noted for her long and imaginative phone messages (Hello, This is the Sister That You Don’t Have, Calling), her graphic descriptions of reflexology (Reflexology: The New Safe Sex?) and her creation of The Swim Jammie (Building the Future, One Accident at a Time.)

1 p.m.: Nanny's and Poppy's at last! It was all worth while.

We played in the snow with cousins.

At this point, I had been up for over sixteen hours. We drove north into Ketchum to the timeshare my cousin have generously loaned us for a week. We ate a delicious turkey pot pie that my mother had made for us. She’d also stocked the condo with every necessity from diapers and decaf to a toy basket filled with crayons, wooden blocks, and Hot Wheels. Everyone climbed back into pajamas. We watched The Aristocats and read a few books.

Gbot climbed into bed with Spruce Bear. Mbot climbed into bed with….”Mom? Where’s Junepbear?”

8 p.m.: alpenglow

I climbed back into the car and drove seven miles south to Nanny and Poppy’s, where Junepbear was shooting the breeze with a few stuffed of my brother’s stuffed animals, circa 1975.

But I was glad everything hadn’t gone completely as planned. The impromptu drive gave me almost forty minutes to myself in the car, and I got to see the last of the pink glow of winter sun on the peaks of the Boulder Mountains. (Really–I didn’t leave Junepbear behind on purpose.)

And now, it’s time to go play in the snow. Or take a nap?

Batman Beguines

With a nod to Cole Porter, Christian Bale, and Chris Nolan.

The mask and cape were abandoned early into the jingle-dance at Music Together yesterday. Note to self: Must have Morgan Freeman design a mask that won’t slip during big dance moves.

This post assumes prior knowledge of the 2005 movie, Batman Begins, which I attained Thursday night in Chicago. I actually went to the local library, withdrew movies, and took them to Chicago, rather than taking chances with cable or forking out the cash for pay-per-view. It took me two sessions, but I managed to watch the whole thing on Mbot’s DVD player.

Although I’m way too “Please can’t we just all hold hands and read Winne the Pooh again,” so the whole idea of Gotham City kind of gives me a yucky woozy feeling, I liked the movie. The acting was good, the lines were funny, the sets were cool, and finally, FINALLY, someone has adequately explained to me why anyone over the age of five–even anyone with quads like that–would wear that suit, and that frown. I won’t be watching it with the Bots anytime before 2020.

Cole Porter wrote the song, Begin the Beguine, and there’s a West Indian dance called the Beguine. The song is very complicated, and according to Our Wikiness, even Porter himself needed the sheet music to play it all the way through. So chances are, Mbot got it right when he improvised. But getting it right in our music class isn’t ever the point. The point is feeling comfortable in our clothes, and turning that frown upside down.

Check, check.

Parties, Cool Legs, and the Croup

It’s the night we’ve all (read “I”) have been looking forward to: friends of family renewing marriage vows, party afterward, niece called in as a babysitter, new dress, new accessories, Husbot in town.

We left the Midgets sniffling with full-blown colds. The niece did not seem afraid. Husbot got a phone call as we pulled into the church parking lot. It was from work. It had to be dealt with. I went into the church alone. I’m not so comfortable in churches, but there were ninety other people who were, so that helped. I sat (and stood, it was a Catholic church) for an hour, single on the pew. It was a lovely ceremony.

Husbot appeared. It was a nice party, at the couple’s home. The dress held up. The accessories held up. The tights held up. I held up.  As we drove home, at 8:45 (so late for us!), we got a call. Gbot was crying and coughing and asking for Mommy. Four minutes later, I administered croup medicine. Thankfully, Mbot was passed out.

I ate a piece of chocolate and took a bath. Gbot fell asleep in Husbot’s arms.

Pre-takeoff, Mbot caught sight of me in dress and tights. “Oooh! Are you a new mom?”


“Cool legs!”

What was the highlight of your Black Friday? The renewal of wedding vows, or the wedding of reality and new youth?