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It’s Friday and what is she talking about?

June 4, 2010

Yesterday I was putting Col down for a nap (does anyone else find that expression disturbing? Putting your child down? Speaking of weird expressions, it reminds me of when the home health nurse who used to regularly visit Col, asked with a lockjaw smile “has he turned blue for you yet?” Wait – he’s supposed to hold his head up, nurse 8-10 times a day and now turn blue?)

But, I was putting him down for a nap and he had selected an amethyst from his rock collection to cuddle with and I was closing in on the lullaby when Col asked for Rammy, who was out on the couch. I retrieved Rammy. He then asked for Sealy and Baby Sealy, reportedly in the shoe area. I sighed, annoyed with the diversions from the gold ring of naptime and like a rookie lawyer grasping for a handhold, I asked if Rammy and the amethyst might be enough, just this time. And then of course I trudged out to get the two missing comrades, while musing on the oceanic efforts a parent devotes to retrieving and protecting a child’s lovey.

No one tells you about extreme lovey-care when you’re pregnant.

Nor, incidentally, do they tell you how much time will be devoted to your child’s poop. I mean you practically read those newborn turds like tea leaves, trying to decipher volumes about this mysterious, tiny person. (On Col’s “discharge date,”  after 101 days in the NICU, we came to pick him up and take him home, but he hadn’t pooped since the previous day and the nurses wouldn’t let him go until he pooped and there we were with our carseat, ready to bring our baby into the sunlight for the first time, and we ended up waiting around nervously all morning for a 6-pound kid to shit).

But I’m still laughing at all your comments on my last postfed exing loveys, a seagull named “Pecky,” interchangeable loveys amongst unknowing brothers, kids hiding loveys to postpone bedtime, risking speeding tickets to return a blankie before a ferry departs, and this one hit me the hardest: the mom of older children who visits her kids’ “tucked away loveys, all the time.” Someday I’ll be an old woman kneeling at an alter adorned with a Buddha statue, some scattered wild rose petals and a very scruffy Rammy, Sealy and Baby Sealy.

Oh and thank you for the sunscreen empathy, I think I’m just going to follow the kids around with an umbrella this summer, after I grow an extra arm. Here’s the link to the sunscreen site, in which you can find how your sunscreen rates: http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/?inlist=Y&utm_source=sunscreen&utm_medium=email&utm_content=image&utm_campaign=toxics

Also, I went on that site backyardchickens.com, a place for people who love their fowl like children, and low and behold there is a forum called “Guess this breed.” So, I posted a picture of dear Penguina, remember her?

Hi. Guess what? I'm not who you think I am.

And within 30 seconds I was told she is a Silver Laced Polish Bantam, apparently a very special breed, a show bird of sorts. And then, someone broke the news: she is actually a he, a rooster! (contraband within city limits, and now we’re short one layer and Dan’s calling for retribution).

And goodness, it’s Friday and you’re politely wondering “what is she getting at here?”

I think it’s something like this. Here we are, us parents handling these filthy, slobbered-upon loveys like valuable jewels, sifting through and strategizing on our children’s poop, wringing our minds over sunscreen ingredients, and telling “the most silliest story” (as Col often requests) without blinking an eye. Some of us are doing all this while working fulltime outside of the home, while sleep deprived, while worried about money or weathering a challenged relationship.

And yet, these children and their love-worn ducks and holey blankies are the shining suns that we revolve around. My kids recharge me each morning like an electric pulse to my worn-out battery, reminding me in a thousand different ways why I am so lucky. And sure there will be literal blueberry shitstorms, (like the one my friend Audrey woke to, courtesy of toddler daughter). And there will be three, back-up loveys purchased frantically on ebay. And I know, someday these rarified days will sit like a golden trophy on the high shelf of my mind. No one will ever love me with the pure, uncomplicated love like these two do, right now. How lucky we are.

And…anyone want to trade a Silver Laced Polish Banty rooster for a laying hen?

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. Ami permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:35 am

    I always love your writing! Last post, I was a little lost, as Cole never developed a relationship with a lovey! And believe me, I tried… Thinking, if only I could get him attached to this or that, instead of HAVING to nuzzle my arm every night…. ah… the freedom. But after helping a friend shop for a new lovey that was secretly lost before her son found out, I realized, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, eh? And as for the sunscreen link, thank you so much. I just finally got on the “good” sunscreen bandwagon last year, and I’m never going back. I now buy it in quantity online and store it in the freezer… remember humboldt, we actually don’t need it that often! :) ha ha ha! btw – it’s the UV naturals brand… only scored a “1” on that site, so I am happy with that! :) Thanks for your great words, and I’m surprised rooster soup isn’t on the menu!?

  2. June 4, 2010 11:22 am

    Oh my goodness from baby poop to lovey altars to prize roosters disguized as hens…whew what a fun post!

  3. June 4, 2010 1:48 pm

    What a terrific post, Rachel. You made me think of my husband’s and my tendency, after a really awful, blueberry diarrhea kind of day, to lay in bed and remember only the good stuff: the hugs, the ridiculous questions, the fact that our baby now makes engine sounds when playing with his trucks. And it’s all good stuff, isn’t it – the lost loveys and the blueberry poop. And we are so lucky to have this opportunity to live the good stuff. Thanks for this reminder – and good luck with your rooster/hen swap!

  4. June 4, 2010 2:33 pm

    He is the fanciest rooster I’ve ever seen!

    I know how you feel, mama, my days are full to the brim with my bright sonshine :)

  5. Ellen permalink
    June 4, 2010 4:37 pm

    A rooster! Oh no! But such a fancy and pretty one.

  6. June 4, 2010 5:26 pm

    I think I know what you are talking about…poop and all;)

  7. June 4, 2010 5:28 pm

    You are not kidding about the poop. I used to have the opposite experience with the doctors: Jack would not poop (he went 13 days once! THIRTEEN DAYS!), and they would not say this was beyond normal.
    But enough of poop – even blueberry poop, which is plentiful around here; I have a question: What does that mean, “has he turned blue for you yet?”
    I wish I had a laying hen for you, and my husband is even more wistful on that point. I’d take Penguina the fancy rooster any day!

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      June 4, 2010 5:42 pm

      Leslie, Col was on oxygen (due to prematurity) for his 1st 17 months. Turning blue is a sign of hypoxia, which the docs were always looking for due to our altitude.

      I kind of wish we could keep Penguina, (or Penguino?) for the interesting dynamics between the fowl sexes…but I’m quite sure the neighbors wouldn’t be psyched about the 5am alarm clock.

  8. June 4, 2010 7:57 pm

    No hens here, but loveys, for sure. I was flabbergasted when we lost one between the library and the car one day. Did a frantic, frantic Google search and when I found the same.exact.doggie I had to purchase two, of course. I will cherish those sweet little things forever and, yes!, can totally see myself visiting them in the attic after the boys go off to college!

  9. June 4, 2010 10:25 pm

    Even though I’m left visiting those loveys, I still get to constantly see the ones who loved them. I fear when they’re all gone from my sight each day.

  10. Melissa permalink
    June 4, 2010 11:09 pm

    I love it when your posts crack me up. This is so good for me to read right now, both kids asleep after my first sorta rough day as newly crowned mother-of-two.

    And I’m glad Col got his loveys back. We are big on loveys here. However, Avi disdains the 2 backup loveys bestowed upon him for the preferred Original Lovey (O.L?). He was quick, however, to offer O.L. to baby sister, which I found so touching until his motive became clear: “And I will have her lovey,” which is new and pink and fluffy.

    There have also been plenty of nights when we are settling Avi into bed only to realize the lovey has been left at our share-care family’s house. The unlucky one of us drives over to retrieve it while the other reads 5 more books to the distraught toddler.

    And that picture of Rose in the lovey post? She is a heartbreaker, isn’t she?

  11. June 5, 2010 8:49 am

    i think it was after the 10th or 11th time we had rushed baby bear to the pediatrician in his first 6 months for poo stuff – didn’t poo, pooed too much, weird stringy poo, weird green poo, etc etc etc and, fer once, we were there for non-poo issues, and as an aside, as i was leaving, i asked the doc
    “what’s the one thing you wish new parents knew about their babies and their babies’ health?” and she was all like “unless the poo is black or red, they’re fine.” and then looked at me pointedly.
    i’ll have to remember that fer kid #2 (pun totally intended).

    “I mean you practically read those newborn turds like tea leaves, trying to decipher volumes about this mysterious, tiny person.”
    amen.

    also – hooray on 30k! it’s cuz yer brilliant.

  12. June 5, 2010 3:53 pm

    You’ve really captured it, here. It often hits me, usually when I’m doing something absolutely ridiculous, that it will end, and I want to hold on and on.

  13. June 5, 2010 9:11 pm

    How do you do this? Blueberry poop, loveys, toddler nap and a hen turned rooster that all get woven together beautifully, ending with the kind of reflection that makes me tear in the way that only you can. :)

  14. June 7, 2010 6:12 am

    Thank you for making me smile after reading this post. I have a 16 month old and he charms me with his love for his “puppy” (blankie). He rubs the satin corners against his face as he drifts off to sleep. It is the most precious thing to observe. Awwww, the love of a child.

  15. June 7, 2010 11:53 am

    hi rachel…it has been so long since i have been able to sit and really read through my favorite blogs and i am so glad i began here…cracking up as usual!! here is to poop and the sad realization of a she chicken turned he…it happens to us all of the time (only we are allowed to keep them…but unfortunately we don’t want them…). hey did you guys ever find some bees?

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      June 7, 2010 1:40 pm

      Pennie, we have not been able to find bees anywhere! It’s kind of crazy. I am hoping we can pick up someone’s swarm sometime this summer. Our garden feels so much lonelier this summer without bees flitting around.

  16. June 7, 2010 2:49 pm

    “extreme lovey care” makes me giggle. I wish I had more of a photographic memory to keep track of the twenty something stuffed friends who cycle in and out of the number one rank for sleeping.

    This makes me wonder if we can all remember when we gave up our loveies. And, why for that matter. Why did I leave pink blankie? When will my biggest gal toss Wilbur into a toy chest for good? Surely, I’ll cry the day I notice this, like holding a ticket to teenager-hood.

  17. abozza permalink
    June 7, 2010 7:55 pm

    I love it, I love it, I love it and I get it! Thanks!
    http://amysreallife.wordpress.com

  18. June 8, 2010 12:00 am

    Hi Rachel! It’s late, I need to get right to bed, so I can’t say anything I really want to say, but… Love your house post! Love seeing your garden! Can our weather be any more extreme? You do know we are kinda crazy for making it so hard on ourselves?
    Hope all is well!

  19. Audrey Crane permalink
    June 8, 2010 11:32 am

    Ah yes, the blueberry shit storm. I’d almost forgotten! Had it been long enough that it’s a cherished memory yet…. uh, no.

    I thought I was very clever to make my kids loveys blankets, and they’ve helpfully accepted them, which makes them pretty hard to lose as they’re so big. And I bought enough fabric to make 2 of each, but when Clementine’s started to disintegrate and I made another, it was rejected. Now, 2 years later, she’s, “Starting to get used to it.” And then there’s the chenille, but you know all about that…

  20. June 19, 2010 11:00 am

    Well said….all of it. Love the rooster ~ I know someone who would swap, but a little issue of many, many miles for them to travel. Oh well…better luck closer to home. :)

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