Toddler Country

Peep's staying with us while her mom's off on business and her dad's off sailing in the Bahamas. Everything remotely resembling responsibility has taken a far back seat. It's Wednesday, and I'm just now getting around to my Sunday blog; that pretty well sums up the week so far.

Life with a toddler spins you into a different time flow-- you finish breakfast, get the kitchen tidied, get her changed and dressed, get yourself changed and dressed (if you're lucky)... and it's lunch time. But the day leading up to that point is so full of wonder and giggles it hardly matters that you can't figure out what happened to the last 4 hours of your life. 

Actually-- scratch that. Because it's not just the busyness of the day; it's the foreignness of visiting their world. Learning their customs... attempting to speak their language... understanding their ways and introducing them to ours. It's an anthropological expedition.

"Oh! Mamie! Oh no. What-- happint-- Mamie's pants?-- big mess dere..." was Sunday's concerned greeting. I explained I was wearing my painting pants; they were supposed to have paint on them. She seemed to accept that, but at infrequent intervals throughout the day I'd hear her mutter quiet reassurances to herself ("Dat-- mess-- okay... Mamie's painteen pants...that-- s'pose be... paint dere.") so I suspect she's still unsettled by them. She did, however, rally enough to point at one blop of paint and declare it a moose. "A moose.... in a bubble baff."

Everything mundane and drab turns magic and sparkly in the eyes of a toddler.

We have our hair-pulling-out moments too-- like when she refuses to eat her cottage cheese, sulkily declaring it 'too spicy!' Or yesterday, when our blood sugar crashed at the same time and we ate our tuna fish together in tears, both of us missing her mom fiercely.

But meltdowns are rare; overall she's a happy little thing, as long as we spend lot and lots of time outside. She's way easier than Miss G was at that age-- far less bossy and headstrong only intermittently.

And every minute is just so--- ohh, holy crap, I just realized I've been sitting here typing when I could have taken a shower.



Anyone else notice a resemblance?

Bermuda grass roots

Face-sucking alien


Hidden Wings

Things are a little nuts. Again. Or-- still.

Dan's laid off, Miss G needs minor surgery, one of our snakes died. We roadtripped to Phoenix, Miss G wants combat boots, Dan needs 3 crowns, health insurance runs out at the end of the month, and I just filed my last week of unemployment. Two of our good friends started dating each other (to our delight), Dan's back is jacked up so all house construction is on hold, and I started my own business. Sort of.

Yet with all of that, and more I'm sure if I sat down and really thought about it (but let's not, okay?), I feel cheerful instead of stressed. Excited, even. Challenged in good ways.

Times like this growing up, we dubbed "Mr Toad's Wild Ride" after the now-defunct Disneyland ride. Ever been on it? It's insane. There's never time to get used to one direction; the entire ride is an amalgam of blindsided jolts to somewhere opposite and unexpected. All while spinning. And various illuminated creatures popping out of the murk-- cheerful creatures, I think, but still. It's unsettling and breathtaking and easily the most memorable ride we went on.

The ice is thin all right. The winding road gets twistier pretty much daily. But underneath, I keep hearing my sister's voice in my head. Whenever I do something  that leaves little Peep round-eyed and awestruck (like, make stuffed animals sing 'Should I Stay or Should I Go'), my sister bends down and whispers to her:

"Auntie keeps her wings hidden."

And I think of this poem by Victor Hugo a friend gave me last year, which has become my lighthouse:

"Be as a bird
on a frail branch
that she feels
bending beneath her,
still she sings,


she has wings."

And I think-- I can go any direction I want. Deep chasms hold no fear, if you have wings. Even hidden ones.