There are some days … when nothing that needs to be done gets done. A quick trip for diapers turns into an all-morning affair. Lunch is late, but we’re still treading water. I think, oh yeah, we can pick up a few things before nap, right? Then, getting into the car, my glasses get knocked off. He’s perfectly fine, chatting away to Tigger and Pooh. I lose it.

Get out of the car, I say. Get out, now, we’re going inside.

Mommy, he cries. I’m sorry. What did I do? The tears, man the tears kill me.

What did I do? Nothing baby, you didn’t do anything. Let’s drink juice on the big bed and cuddle and read stories.

Okay. Deep breaths. Do I suck at this job? Seriously, I’m not sure. I’m not sure about a lot these days.

Can tomorrow be just the same, except I don’t have a freak out? That would be cool. Thanks.


I hear the tiny clink, clink, clink of Thomas’ wheels coming from my bedroom. Although the big boy bed was extremely exciting today, and comfortable enough for a nap, it brought on immense sadness when approached for bedtime. We tucked in, we read stories, we tucked in again. I got up to leave, but no. There was no screaming, but sad, slow tears. Tears that know this whole growing up business is not as good as the big people make it out to be.

Our compromise was to sleep in MommyDaddy bed, as it is called, the location of most naps since we moved to VA. I read a little, the “mommybook” that “is not interesting to me,” but the light was too distracting. So we turned of the light and just cuddled, quietly, but there is only so much I can take of this, and the lengthy list of chores I have awaiting me kept me from being able to relax. I realize that I have created this overcomplicated system of caring for Mega, that laying beside him and feigning sleep perhaps isn’t what is best for him, that he should be able to do this on his own, but again, I love him, I want his world to be a small, safe, secure place for him where he feels loved and comfortable. He’s only 2, after all.

He hears his daddy sneeze downstairs and says “bless you, daddy.” He is trying to sleep, trying to be a good boy, to do what he needs to do for us and for himself. I sneak out of the room, but he catches me. “I need to go potty, sweetheart.” The importance of this task is not questioned.

I don’t return. I sneak into my office and begin to type. He near silently spins the wheels of his Thomas train and the Fire Chief’s truck he found buried under a seat cushion right before bed. Yesterday, in the crib, these actions would have occurred silently. I would have been bustling about my business downstairs without a second thought. Tonight, I am mindful. Each precious action is noticed by me, tugs at my heartstrings.

I do none of the chores on my mental list, as it is nearing 10 by the time I get downstairs. Man and I watch part of John Adams (Abigail, you kick some serious ass), and just before the Continental Congress votes to declare independence, I sneak upstairs to move him back into his room. “Mommy?” the sleepy boy asks. “Mommy?” I make sure that Thomas, Fire Chief, and his ever present blankie “bikky” accompany us.

We get into his room and I try to tuck him in again. “No,” he says. “Just leave me.” This isn’t the first time he’s made this request to me and I know it will not be the last. But I’m his mommy. I wait until I know he’s asleep and tuck him in again, in the car and truck patterned sheets that he and I talked about so excitedly, and were elated to buy, wash, and outfit the bed with. He will probably kick them off in the course of the night, but I can go to sleep knowing that at least, I tried.

Me: “So who do you like, McCain or Obama?”

Mega: “I like … John McCain!”

Me: (trying to mask disappointment in my voice) “Really? John McCain?’

Mega: (pauses) “Rockabama?”

Me: (probably sounding too excited this time) “You like Barack Obama?”

Mega: “I like … Mommy.”

Me: “That’s a good answer.”

I am afraid of the sun. I guess this is a normal occurrence as I leave tempestuous youth and slouch toward 40. I spent many a summer baking my shoulders and regret every moment of it, but lathering on the sunscreen, like flossing, I think it is one of those things that people TELL you is good for you, but you finally have to come to the conclusion yourself that you need to take care of it before it is too late. Consider too that I came of age in the day of the super-tan Coppertone Girl.

The other thing I didn’t really realize about the sun, I guess because I don’t listen or just wasn’t able to put two and two together, is that YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR EYES, fool. When I got glasses a few years ago, I got a pair of prescription sunglasses as well, but managed to break them this year. Now, I’m waiting for our medical reimbursement plan to kick in before I get a new pair, so to get me through I picked up a pair of granny sunglasses to wear over my specs. Yeah, they are SUPER attractive. But, I can see, so who has the last laugh now, suckas?

In addition to this, I am effectively using 100% SPF these days on my face, and 85% on the rest of me. My facial moisturizer is 30 SPF, and I just got some 70 sunscreen for the face. I also use 15 spf moisturizer for the bod, and have 70 SPF sunscreen for the body as well.

I put sunscreen on Mega when he dresses and then again before we go outside. I am so, so scared of him getting sunburned. His legs are already bruised to oblivion, a trait I feel is unavoidable for toddlers, but that soft, soft skin–I want it to stay perfect forever. There are like 5 tattoo parlors in Blacksburg, and every time we pass one I think “if you ever do that to yourself I will cry forever.” Seriously, does that tribal band around your bicep or Mighty Mouse on your shoulder really express a true hidden aspect of yourself? Because with the prevalence of tattoos these days, to me they seem a lot more like fitting in than standing out.

I don’t know what they psychology about it is, but I do believe that that slightly golden-brown tone looks healthy, but the reality of it, well … I’ve just read too much at this point. Vanity will not get in the way of my health this summer, blindingly pale as my calves may be.

So Mega and I will be rocking it out in the shade in our lite-brite skin, and loving every minute of it.