With This Life Preserver Ring...
Halloween This

T-7 Days

My mother has been visiting for a few days. Consequently, all of the toilet paper in the house now unrolls the wrong way. By which I mean it unrolls from the back of the roll rather than the front, leading to wrist strain and paper wastage. And don't try to tell me that this is the correct way to put toilet paper in the holder, because it isn't. And don't try to pacify me by suggesting that perhaps it is a matter of personal taste, because it isn't that either. And, for the love of all that is holy, do not point out that some developing nations have no toilet paper at all, because someone once did that to me in the middle of a very funny story about the dubious quality of the personal cleansing materials available at my inlaws' and it killed the joke. Killed it dead.

What is weird about the toilet paper situation, chez moi, is not that my mother does not know how toilet tissue is properly installed (I love the woman and I am grateful on a daily basis for her existence but she is not infallible) but that she had occasion to change every single roll in the house. Did she purposefully remove partially finished rolls and switch them around? Did she just happen to be the last person with a dying roll in every bathroom in the course of three short days? Both scenarios seem so unlikely. And I will never know the answer because, of course, the Code of the Hostess prevents me from inquiring into the personal habits of my guests, no matter how closely related. It will remain a mystery, just like the head of William Wirt and that bookstore owner.

Patrick somehow, miraculously, started sleeping in his bed at night. A week ago he said he wanted to sleep in there and I said, ok, but he would have to stay in his room until we came to get him in the morning and he said, ok. And that was it. The child who has never in his entire three years slept with any part of his body touching a blanket and who rotated in his crib like the hands of clock now sleeps like a normal person. You know, small head on pillow, sleekit body under quilt, arms wrapped around Bear, face angelic in repose, all. night. long. It is incredible. Actually, it IS incredible, so I have started sleeping with the baby monitor under my pillow, just in case he tries to make a break for it in the night (although we have one of those door knob things on his side of the door to prevent this; I think there is some internet-witch-hunt reason why we are not supposed to do this but I am not sure what it is and besides, Patrick calls it "that thing on the door that keeps me from leaving my room when I should be sleeping" so I doubt it is causing any psychological trauma, if that is the worry.) With the baby monitor in place I now get the benefit of Patrick in glorious Dolby mono a few feathers away from my ear drum, bright and early each morning. If it keeps up I think the continued shock might be the end of me. Seriously, if you are wondering why I look so haggard and pale I attribute it entirely to waking abruptly to Patrick's loud and tuneless (the child cannot sing. at all. very sad) rendition of "Five Elephants something-something On A Spider's Web" three days in a row.

So Patrick is kinda out of the crib. And he's only three! And a Quarter! He did ask to take a nap in his bed after sleeping in it all night but that wound up being more like a frat party than anything I have seen since my school days (minus the beer and plus a whole lot of magnet letters) so I put my wide foot down and for now he is continuing to take naps in his crib. Because when he does not take a nap he is a complete pain in the ass by 4:00 and that, my friends, makes ME a complete pain by 4:01.

So on my parental checklist of Things Child SHOULD DEFINITELY Be Doing By Three*:

*checklist composed entirely from my own neuroses

Sleeps in bed - Check! Except for naps

Dresses self - Ha. No. Ha Ha HA. Patrick has never uttered the words "I want to do it!" in his life, unless he is talking about typing on my computer. Our petit Louis XIV will actually follow me around after washing his hands (after having ME wash his hands), dripping paws flapping uselessly in front of him, plaintively saying, "Dry these for me!" rather than pat his own hands off on a towel. Or even his pants. True.

Potty trained - Um, mostly. Except he uses a diaper for naps and bedtime. And he will only pee in the potty, if you follow my meaning. But he hasn't had any accidents at school since that first week. Of course, he had about 12 while my mother was here.

Feeds self - Of course! Although he refuses to drink from anything other than a sippy cup. And he dislikes silverware, preferring to eat everything but yogurt with his fingers. So, yes, but with a touch of Helen Keller before that nice Annie Sullivan slapped her hand at the dinner table.

As for swimming lessons, Patrick climbed out of the pool on Wednesday and actually pumped his arms in the air and said, "Yeah! Wooo-HOOOO! WOOOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I wrapped him in a towel and laughed and said, "What are you so excited about?"

And he said, "I jumped in the pool, Mommy, and my face got wet and I was great!"

So I pushed my luck and asked, "Wasn't it fun?"


I think Patrick is a bit of a pill, frankly. Also, we will continue swimming lessons until the Holidays and then probably pick them up in the Spring. And so on. Off and on. Until he clinches that Rhodes.


On yet another unrelated topic I took my temperature today to determine where I am in this post-miscarriage cycle. Something you might not know or have forgotten or do not care about is this: Steve and I tried for 14 months before we conceived the first time. I know! Crazy, isn't it, when you consider how many times I have gotten pregnant since then (10, pay attention.) But in the beginning we tried for over a year with no luck at all, so I started charting like a good TTC'er and I have continued to do so on and off for the past six years. This is how I know that before I ovulate, regardless of the time of day, my body temperature is usually in the 97 F range and after I ovulate it is around 98. Not foolproof, of course, but it sort of gives me an idea of what is going on. Do you want to know what my temperature was at 1 o'clock this afternoon? 95.7. I tried two different thermometers with the same result. I just took it again as I was typing this and it has crept up to 96.1. I practically have hypothermia in my own goddamned kitchen. No wonder my hands and feet are always so cold. But my question is: is this normal? I need to go see my internist about my chronically inflamed and pulpy right tonsil anyway, but should I tell him that I think I might be slowly freezing to death? Or will I look stupid? I HATE going to the doctor with meaningless symptoms.