An eye for an eye

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Or a lizard for a Guy.

Guy is Lillian’s most prized lovely. He’s a soft blanket square with a giraffe head that makes a little rattle noise. I’ll admit, for three years, I thought it was a cow head. Anyway. We have two. We used to have three. I’m just thankful we still have two. No guy? No sleep. You get the picture.

The lizard is a newly acquired Target clearance special. A $1.49 of stretchy, rubbery bliss for Cliffy. I bought it, along with a few dinosaurs, so he could take some fun toys to our park’s baby pool. I am hoping they’ll keep his interest so he’ll refrain from snatching, then hoarding, every other child’s play things.

For whatever reason, Lillian has taken a shine to the lizard. So much so, that I catch her hiding it in her bed. Holding it under her dress. Keeping it tucked safely around her bowl of cereal. All while carefully trying to keep it from Cliff’s view. When he does see it … mayhem.

Today, I watched my two-year-old son, who doesn’t communicate with words, send a very clear message to his five-year-old sister.

With Guy in his hands, he ran to where Lil was secretly playing with his lizard. He dangled Guy right in front of her face, did an about-face, and took off. He clutched Guy in a football hold to his chest. Needless to say, Miss Lil screamed in absolute horror. Stashed the lizard, sprang up, and gave chase.

After screaming and negotiations, she eventually gave up the lizard. But not without dramatically demonstrating her pain of separation from Guy.

“Cliffy will NEVER give me Guy! I’ll NEVER forgive him!” There was a’ weepin’ a’ wailin’ for sure.

When the kids made the swap, they both gave a “hmph” of relief.

Who knew holding someone hostage was a natural human instinct?

No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need –Rolling Stones

Stretchy bliss

Life and limb

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Okay, it’s true. When my daughter went off to college in the fall, it was challenging. As a mother, I felt as if I were losing a limb. Having it ripped right off my body.

Oh and did I rejoice when she came back this spring? You bet. It was almost as if–through the miracle of modern medicine–I had that beautiful limb sewn right back on. But as time has gone by, I’ve realized it doesn’t work as well as it used to. I can’t as easily get it to do what I want, and it seems to fall asleep a lot.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still just pleased as punch just to have it back.

She's not the only one who needs a little more sleep.

Other people

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This is a great, thoughtful post from Simcha Fisher at the National Catholic Register. She’s always so thoughtful, and often so funny. This one is more thoughtful, but I know lots of moms/folks can relate.

When women read about other women’s lives, we tend to think, “Oh, I’m a failure  as a mother! All I do is hang around reading with my kids all day, when I ought  to be doing liturgical crafts!” or “My husband must be so disappointed with  me—those other woman are so beautiful and exciting, and all I do is cook and  clean!” And meanwhile the kids and husband in question are perfectly happy—it’s  only the mom who sees a problem.

Read more:

Egg head


Trouble, trouble, trouble.

On the way to school the other day, Lillian asked the question. And I mean, THE question.

“How does a baby get in your tummy?”

I’ve learned over the years to do a quick evaluation. What exactly does a four-year-old want to get out this exchange? What kind of answer will satisfy that burning question at this very minute? I always think back to my friend Heidi’s five-year-old daughter’s inquiry about pilgrims. Heidi’s long explanation about religious persecution, traveling for months in desperate conditions, most people not surviving the journey, etc. Her dear (horrified) daughter’s follow-up response was akin to “Oh. So pilgrims are PEOPLE!” Ever hear of TMI? That’s an error I certainly don’t want to make on the delicate subject of baby-making.

I respond.

I can’t quote myself verbatim, because frankly, I have no real idea of what I said. But it had something to do with husbands, wives, love, God, creation, gifts and time.

Does not compute.

“No, I mean, how does the baby get IN there?” This time she’s pressing a little harder. Reminding me through her four-goinig-on-14 inflection that apparently, I am a dingbat. Do I, or do I not understand the question?

I sort of went back to my first answer. I expanded, and somehow in the midst of my caffeine-starved morning-brain stupor I made the mistake of using the word “egg.”

“Wait! Are you telling me that there’s an egg in those big bellies? Babies are born in eggs?”

Well, I tried hard in the two remaining minutes of the ride to unexplain that one. I am quite sure that worse than not giving her information is giving her life-changing, mind-altering crazy-pants incorrect facts, unintentionally or otherwise.

Whether I was able to undo what had been done remains a mystery. But I won’t lie. I was relieved when the trip was over and our destination reached. She appeared satisfied. That is, until our car ride home, when the string of questions that eeked its way from her sweet rose-petal lips began with something like, “Does it hurt to have a baby? How do you get the egg out? Is it hard? Does it come from your belly button? Is that why your belly button is so big”


Since I’d had some prep time and a cup or two of coffee, I was much more on my game. As a matter of fact, in this case I’m pretty sure I can give you a word-by-word account. It went something like, “Do you want Taco Bell for lunch? You can have a cheesy roll up if you’d like.”

“Can I have two?”

Sure, kid. You can have two.

You’re still a good mommy

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That’s what Lillian said to me today, just in case I was feeling insecure. I had forgotten to brown the pork roast before putting it in the crock pot. As she watched me disassemble the agglomeration she had seen me so carefully arrange just moments before, she inquired, and I confessed.

“That’s okay, you’re still a good mommy.” Well, that’s a relief. I was starting to doubt my mother skills completely (never mind my crock-potting prowess). I was feeling especially inadequate after Henry’s comment on Monday while waiting for his toaster waffles to pop. “Are you going to help me spread this butter or are you going to be one of those selfish mothers who doesn’t assist little children?” Then after a thoughtful pause added, “Mother’s day is over. Get to work.”

(He was kidding and performed this whole 30-second monologue talking to the toaster in most annoying whine he could muster at 8 a.m. on a very unwelcome school day.)


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That’s what I am.

You probably think I either have nothing to say. The truth is, I have too much and no time to tell.

Lent was full of lessons, wonder, sucesses, heartache, failure and ultimately joy (thank you God for Easter!). I want to tell my stories before they leave my feeble brain.

I’m just in a pinch for that all-illusive gift of time. Kids off from school. I’m paralyzed a bit by work deadlines, migrating to a new computer, doctors’ appointments, music lessons, fetching a college student after her first year (and all her stuff–which apparently reproduced), spring cleaning and another approaching “episode” of Saint Mom’s U at St. Joan of Arc. I so often need to catch my breath. And the moments I do that are when I’m crawling on the floor pretending to be a doggy or a kitty with Cliff, or punching out paper dolls with Lillian or talking baseball with Henry and laughing with Mary Claire or texting (sad as that may seem) Helen. I want stop and come here … and I will. I just need some stronger coffee and 48 hours in a day …