My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Punctuate Me!

2006-07-01

If my children were punctuation marks, Dusty would be a question mark and Red would be an exclamation point. Dusty never stops asking questions, except when she’s being rude* and demanding, and Red talks in a shout. Even when she’s happy, like while I was fixing dinner (taco night!) and she was singing a little song to herself in the play area and covering Green Bear up in one of my silk scarves, she was yelling the song. It was cute but it was ear shattering. It’s hard to talk or think when Red’s around because she never shuts up and is never quiet. She’s been like that since the day she was born so I don’t imagine this will change anytime soon.

Today was one of those days that make me look forward to Monday. The days home with all us here seem nice at a distance until you’re in the middle of it and then I start counting down the hours until bedtime. Their bedtime, not mine. It’s not that they were bad or obnoxious they are just Very Present and in my face and wanting my attention every minute and loud and grumpy and whiny and hungry and demanding and happy and content and annoying and trying to kill themselves. Red’s new fun thing to do is slide off my bed head first. Which I won’t allow because I really don’t want to spend a holiday weekend in the emergency room waiting to hear whether she’s going to be paralyzed from the neck down or just from the waist down. Either way means diapers for life. And I simply won’t stand for that.

This morning I spent a delightful hour (a whole hour!) by myself shoring up the fence around the garden in an attempt to keep out the groundhog now that actual vegetables are growing. I stapled rolls of chicken wire to the stakes as a second fence layer and drove all my rusty row cover staples into the ground to keep the bottom of the fence down so the hog can’t, theoretically, shove his way under the fence. I then freed the cucumber, beans, and cantaloupe from their netting prison. I don’t often get to spend a lot of time in the garden anymore – just a few minutes here and there – unless I’m actually planting or watering. It’s one of the things I miss about life pre-children. Back before Dusty, I used to spend whole weekends digging and pruning and mulching and composting and building raised beds and planning and weeding. That is, when I wasn’t just sitting on my ass reading a book and eating apple slices and cheese. Or toast with cream cheese and sliced cucumbers with dill and paprika on top. And not having to share. Or get up and fix someone else something.

We tried to go to the library this afternoon between the end of naps and dinner preparation but it was not to be. The library had – starting today, naturally – changed its hours for the summer and was closed. Oh well. On the 4th, we’ll go into town and watch a parade of sorts and go to that branch for their book sale. Dusty can ride her bike (sidewalks!) and Red can be pulled around in her new wagon and if it’s not too hot, we’ll eat a picnic lunch before we head home. Last year we went to our little hamlet’s parade which comprised every loud public vehicle in the county (cars, trucks, ambulances, fire trucks, etc) all blowing their horns and sirens while the drivers threw candy out the windows. Dusty has decided to go, instead, to town where the parade will be non-motorized (because they’re all out here) and is apparently made up of just people walking, kids on bikes, babies in strollers. That kind of thing. She’s willing to give up candy for quiet and books and bike riding.

Not a bad trade off if you ask me. I mean, Halloween’s only three months away.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did contact the radio station about the Peter and the Wolf recording. Harriet was right – it was Sting.

* On the way to school on Friday, Dusty said something to me that I didn’t hear because her voice was competing with Red, The Talking Heads and the car engine. I said, “What?” and she replied, “I already said it. I’m not going to say it again.” Excuse me? Needless to say, I was less than amused. This kind of behavior seems to be happening more and more often these days. I wonder if the county offers some kind of military boarding school for back talking girls? I’m really not ready for teenager attitude yet.

P.S. I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I was to receive a postcard the other day from a church announcing their vacation bible school. It's theme is "Fiesta," which strikes me as odd but it was the tag line that really got me: "Where kids are fired up about Jesus!" Pass the hot sauce, Satan!

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8:27 p.m. ::
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