Archive for February, 2010


So last night we head up to bed, looking in on the kids, as usual. In Mark’s bed, there’s three blankets, one pillow, one enormous stuffed horse, the entire Justice League (plastic, mini)–but no Mark.

If your kid goes on walkabout as much as Mark does, you go from calm to full-on panic in about a second.

Me:  Where’s Mark?

Brian (defensively–I’d been at a writer’s group mtg…for the first time…and he’d handled bedtime all on his own):  I put him to bed.

Me:  He’s not here now.  WHERE IS HE?

It was a frantic, but fortunately short, search.  Mark was in Kate’s bed.  She was there too, one sprawled at either end of her queen size bed.  And I remember, now, they’d been asking about having a ‘sweepover’ for weeks.  Apparently they finally just took matters in their own hands.

Ready for College

So Brian’s been taking Mark to daycare, which means Mark’s been riding the bus with his Dad.  This is pretty exciting for him.  It’s one of the goals for which he left the house on his multiple solo excursions.

Everyone remembers that, right?  The morning about a year ago when I was getting dressed and saw a little blue dot walking down the middle of the street…and then realized it was Mark in his jammies.  I go tearing outside, of course.


Mark (in an offended, pitying tone, because the answer was so obvious):  “I’m going to the bus stop.  I’m going to work with Dad.”

Me (not thinking clearly yet):  “YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!  THE BUS STOP IS THAT WAY!”

So now Mark’s achieved this goal, and he’s ready for bigger things.  Like breakfast.  But not just any breakfast.  The breakfast of champions.  Or at least grown-ups.  Or at least undergrads.

Brian’s dropping him off early enough that Mark has breakfast at daycare.  This morning:

Mark’s teacher:  “What would like, Mark?  Cereal?  Toast?”

Mark:  “Do you have any cold pizza?”

Kate’s Cunning Plan

I was supposed to be taking Paul and Mark for a field trip to the Children’s Museum today.  But just as we were getting our coats on, the phone rang.  It’s the grade school.  Kate’s in the office, claiming her stomach hurts.

Hmm.  Kate comes home sick for the first time on the very day there’s a homeschool field trip?  Suspicious, you say?  You’d be right.

On the walk home, she looked awful spritely for sick person, skipping and humming all the way.

Imagine her shock when, instead of getting into the car, she got put to bed.

About an hour later, she experienced a miraculous recovery.  “I’m feeling much better now.  I can go back to school.”

By then, of course, it was too late in the day to start a field trip.  We’ll have to reschedule.  But I don’t expect Kate to try to crash the next one.

Another Decade Off My Life

1:45 PM.  I come in from shoveling snow.

1:50 PM.  I start sending kids out to play in the snow.

1:55 PM.  Paul goes outside.

1:57 PM.  Sam goes outside.

2:00 PM.  Kate goes outside.

2:05 PM.  Mark goes outside.

2:15 PM.  I watch the kids playing, admiring the big boys’ ingenious repurposing of the giant shoveled-and-plowed snowbanks as forts. They’re digging tunnels.  They’re flinging snowballs.  It looks like a blast.  Oh, how cool.  What good parents we are, sending them out to play instead of letting them rot their brains in front of the computer.  Unlike yesterday.  And the day before that.

2:17 PM.  I realize that Mark is not among the snow-pelting crowd.

2:18 PM.  No answer when I holler for him.

2:19 PM.  Brian and I rush outside.

2:21 PM.  We enlist the other children to look for their brother.




2:27 PM.  Inescapable conclusion:  Mark is nowhere in the yard.

2:28 PM.  We check the back gate.  Too much snow.  No way he got out there.  Okay, we should focus our search on the front street.

2:29 PM.  Brian and I tear out the gate and start looking up and down the street.

2:30 PM.  Very nice man comes walking up with Mark, informs us he was four streets away.

2:31 PM.  At the kitchen table, feeding Mark hot chocolate.

Me:  “What on earth were you doing?”

Mark:  “Yooking for a good place to sled.  Den I was doying to tum back and tell you.”

Me:  “You’re not supposed to go outside the fence.”

Mark:  “I went for a walk.  A long walk.”  A pause.  “It was told.” Another pause.  “Tan I watch PBS?”

2:35-3:00 PM.  Sip tea.  Wonder if it’s true that nerves don’t regenerate.

Curse you, Mr. Freeze!

So I’m buckling Mark into his carseat this morning.  Unusually, he’s sitting very, very still.

*snap* goes the first buckle.

Mark:  “I’m frozen salad!”

Me (snapping the second):  “Um…what?”

Mark:  “Mr. Freeze got me with his ray gun!  I’m frozen salad!”


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