Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Croup


I can tell Beren's been really sick because though we've all been cooped up together, the house is not  messy. We moved from couch to the floor reading books. We didn't even color. No Legos.

A couple nights ago, Jared and I stayed up talking until 2AM. Getting up off the couch to soothe Beren's coughs seemed a better choice than dragging out of bed. "If only we could bring him into our bed," Jared said. "But then none of us would get any sleep."

Beren, unfortunately, is a kicker. His sleep is fidgety when in the presence of others, even when he's really sick. I'd like to be able to monitor Beren's breathing, but he reminds me he's alive and kicking by kicking incessantly. I imagine he gets only slightly better rest than me in this state.

Yesterday, Beren moaned ("Uhhnn. Uhn.") for about, well, most of the day. Breakfast went ok, and the rest was downhill. Jared and I took turns working on our business and doctoring to Beren. I should say "being present for Beren" because he refused nearly all remedies except finger and toe massages.

In the afternoon, Beren said, "I want to be in my bed". Shockingly, we both fell asleep. My child does not nap. Shocking turn of events. The nap mellowed me, and I was ready for the next round of moaning.

Just before bed, Beren asked me to tell him the word for what he was doing. He took offense when Jared and I called it "moaning". "Wailing?" No. "Caterwauling?" No. "Bemoaning?" No. "Complaining?" No. "Teething?" No.

"You know the word, Momma! Tell me! Maybe it's the next one!" I offered a few more, which were not it. I suggested using a thesaurus. No way. Jared suggested it was bedtime. He also suggested that Beren was "crying". "That's it!" Beren said.

It was certainly time for bed. Nothing really helped his wracking cough but standing nearby an open door to allow the cool mist to soothe his airways. We swayed to Luscious Jackson, Beck, and Tracy Chapman beside the door and then headed to bed.

Between 8:00PM and 8:00AM, Jared and I took a dozen or so trips to Beren's room to soothe his cough and his discomfort from fever. Each time, he helped him settle back down to sleep, offering water, elderflower and linden tea, and an herbal throat spray.

Today was better. Less crying. More activity, just a little. His cough is less agonizing.

Tonight, after I read a wacky Eric Carle book and told Beren a "Cheetah story", I began dozing in Beren's bed. "Momma, you're too close. Why are you too close?" "You have both pillows to prop yourself up, Beren. My head is on the pillow, too." As I slid my head onto the cool mattress, I smelled the lavender sachets we made today. Beren had stuffed them inside his pillows. I dozed until Beren said, "Momma, I want to be alone." "Ok, Beren. Goodnight. I love you."

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dingy grey, dingy faded

 One dingy jacket, through the years, December 16, 2012
 
 March 23, 2014

 March 5, 2015
 
 February 19, 2010

Just packed away the booty acquired on my trip to ShopRite. On my way out of the kitchen I deflected a punch from an imaginary attacker, sealed his arm down, and countered by sweeping his right leg out. I stepped over the attacker so I could put my fraying shoulder bag away.

I continued down the hall and hung up the clothespin bag and miscellaneous canvas shopping bags. At the store, I noted how grungy the reusable shopping bags looked as a young woman helped me pack up my groceries. Similarly, I note how frayed and dingy my shoulder bag is every time I toss it down on the table at my Kung fu class. I usually try to hide it under my coat which is also getting pretty dingy, except it's black so it's getting dingy-faded.

My shoulder bag is getting both dingy-grey and dingy-faded because it has a pastel paisley pattern on a black background. I think about that dingy bag often. Every week, at least once at Kung fu class. Sometimes more, especially if my shoulder is bothering me, because then I think, "I really have to replace this thing." Not only is it dingy, but it adds to my bad habit of bunching my shoulders up like I'm flinching. Is someone going to come along and hit me? Maybe stress will. Relax, man.

It's time for deeper pockets. Screw replacing the dingy bag. It's about to fall off my coat hook anyway. Too many bulky jackets. Well, maybe I shouldn't toss it. Then I'd have to shop for better pants with deep pockets. Besides the dingy bag is covering up my two dingy winter jackets.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Alas, bedtime

Beren was giving Jared lip about bedtime a couple minutes ago. I was feeling irritated  by their exchange, but pleased that it was not my turn to "do bedtime". I scooped myself out a bowl of ice cream (no Bon Bons) on the eve of are first big snow storm, and laughed about the irony of it all until I heard Beren stomp and say, "I want Momma!" 

Jared returned the serve like a Wimbledon champion and distracted his formidable young opponent until he peaceably ascended the ladder to his bunk bed. I now have about 15 minutes until I get called to duty. Somehow the ice cream is all gone.

...

Eve of a storm along a country road - heavy duty truck traffic picks up tenfold.

Friday, January 15, 2016

January 2016 - winter is finally here

  
January 2016 - winter is finally here.

Emerged from the "kisses are yucky" phase.
More word play - Pencilavania, for example.
More letters - "Let's call it Hoophouse 'C' for carrot."
"I don't like lower case letters and numbers. They're too hard to write."

 The collector finds finds a pumpkin tossed in a field.

 Making a number 4 with cardboard.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Bedtime Forever

 New moccasins from Uncle Mike...all the way from Oregon.

Tonight, Beren murmured, "Long book, long book, long book," while he selected his bedtime story. He chose Mother Goose rhymes by Richard Scarry, king of long, oversized books. Perhaps his publisher or estate is to blame. Regardless, the Richard Scarry section of our library needs its own very tall shelf.

We settled into reading, commenting on Georgy Porgy...if the girls didn't want kisses, why would he kiss them? That didn't make much sense to us. No kisses means no kisses. Grind his bones to make bread?! Bones don't make very good flour, we also agreed. 

Hush! Hush! Hush! I smell a rat! No fool anymore, Beren told me I made a mistake when editing down a dozen verses across two pages to just two verses. Busted, I went back to the start of the rhyme and read it all. Our mittens mother dear...

Lights out. Beren and I wove together the nightly improvisational Cheetah Story that Jared start years ago. The characters include Cheetah, Beren, and the Wild Cat Contractors, all of whom are people Beren tells me. Cheetah wears cheetah outfits he adds.

Cheetah, Beren and the gang build with snow until each animal, I mean, person, gets tired. Misi and Kitty go inside first where Cheetah Momma warms them. Then, Checkers and Spots head in. Mr Raccon and Harry Possum head home, big enough to care for themselves. Cheetah and Beren remain outside, snuggled under warm blankets inside their igloo. Jared and I arrive to check out the igloo.

Next, is Favorite Cuddle time. Favorite Cuddle lasts forever, Beren tells me. I agree. Why didn't nummies last forever? he asks. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Every so often something comes up, and I'm reminded at how I need a community. Those things seem to be coming up more frequently now. Maybe it's me...needy? Extraordinary occurrences? Dramatic?

I'll take all those labels, no problem.

Friday, January 8, 2016


Passing through a door I hadn't considered I'd encounter, I come out the other side transformed. Few may notice the transformation. I wear clothes. I wear a face, at least one. I have no way to mark myself, no way to indicate my tribe.