As I type this, Milo is doing some sort of worm crawl across the kitchen floor, sputtering and choking and pushing forward, making sounds of frustration, but motoring forward, just the same. This has left me in a mad dash the last few days to discover the things other children have dropped on the floor, despite my best efforts at both cleanliness and baby-proofing, including quartered crayons, paperclips (really? from whence came ye olde paperclips?), toy cars that fit through toilet paper tubes (the standby for choking safety, of course), and little pieces of food that prove that "No, Momma, we weren't eating in the living room" is pure fallacy and wishful thinking on everyone's part.
Next of course, are the moments when the diaper has leaked around the wiggling legs, the tears become real, the cries more urgent, the hands grasping at the overturned trashcan (yesterday, complete with draino bottle). I sit him down, he flips on to his tummy, scoots along, gets stuck under some random piece of furniture, and I am yet again dropping whatever (usually food or the vacuum cleaner) to race to his side and rescue sweet beans from himself.
Beans of course, is what Nani calls him.
"Hey Little Bean!!!" she calls from across the room. Her big sisterly-ness has kicked in, and sometimes assuages the tears while I race to accomplish something... anything, really... although today, as you see, I am wasting time online, writing here, writing there, reading here, watching tv there.
But I claim asylum from chores and household life today as my hormonal cycle finally moves itself back to life before babies, and I am clutching a tea cup and ibuprofen bottle in my hands alternately between keystrokes.
Pet Chicken, a brown sex-link hen (OK, I admit it, I giggle every time I specify their species), has decided she lives with us. She lets even Nani pet her. She hangs out by the door. OK, she hangs out IN the mudroom, and I have to chase her away, try and slam the door shut, and wipe up chicken shit thinking "Why did we become country bumpkins??" In fact, last night, as I snuck out in deep beauty of a foggy, starless night, feeling the humidity like a wet towel on my face and watching the sweet little fireflies dance through the valley like so many fairy tales come true in order to close the coop door, I came wandering slowly back home, alive with the wonder of the beauty I'd beheld, only to find a chicken, Pet Chicken, roosting on the jogging stroller all by herself next to the front door, a mighty pile of poopies on the deck beneath her. I mean, I guess I am glad she at least pooped on the deck, and that I am not scrubbing off sunbrella fabric with a toothbrush in the pouring rain this fine midday. But really! Where is she laying her eggs? In our shoes? If I am not careful, she wanders inside and I find her sitting under the kitchen table, grooming her feathers. No amount of discouragement seems to dissuade her from the idea that she lives in the house. Not Samson, the irritating Beagle puppy nipping at her heels and barking in her face. Not Fizzgig, the irritated,burdock covered cat, hissing at her as she rushes by. Me and my broom and loud yell are nothing. And she laughs in the face of toddlers, preschoolers, schoolagers, and infants who yell, chase, and drop things in her general direction. This is one hen who will not be swayed.
Despite Milo's great physical achievements today, he finds himself quite dissatisfied with the state of the world, choosing this exact moment to not only test the barriers of his physical capabilities, but also to grow an entire mouth of teeth. This rather irritates both he and me, as inflammation of the gums sometimes creates in him the urge to chomp down. Hard. On things. Things in his mouth.
Like my nipple.
This display of glimmering new pearlies has resulted in his learning to use a bottle. Barely purple water (a touch of grape juice for dear god drink this persuasion) and even a bottle of formula have not only made it into his mouth, but for the first time ever, his gullet, because the bottle does not recoil, screaming, of its own volition when he is half asleep, and therefore stays in the mouth long enough to facilitate a nap. My bandaged nipples on the other hand are trying to remember that this too, shall pass, and explain to the preschooler that weaning is imminent.
And I know, I know, I probably should be doing something creative or responsible with my day, but instead feel the urge to write. And write. And write. Perhaps it is the hormonal-induced anemic state of my soul and body today, needing expression to feel robust, or perhaps it is the squelched creativity that sees infancy moving on in my last little wee one and, contradictory to what I expect I would feel, is thinking, "WOOOO HOOO!!!" and dreaming about what color to paint the art room in celebration of a bit of freedom from babyhood. Maybe I will regain my chest in the future... not that it will even retain a glimmer of what it used to be... but it will be all my own.
Wild Nettle Farm continues into its second summer complete with the sting and healings one would expect from a nettle patch. The chickens still got into the gardens, despite their move into boxes and the front yard. But I have begun taking matters into my own hands, slowly replanting, covering, and creating fencing. In fact, I am about to pull up the damn chicken fence (since they never stay IN) and use to create a small yard around the gardens (in an attempt to keep them OUT). But slowly, things rebound, and the herbs and plants I have moved from Craftsbury to Marc's to here are fleshing out, and the front herb/medicinal/flower bed is really not only lovely but stunning.
And this weekend, at the Wild Nettle farmstand grand opening (of a few eggs, excessive rhubarb, some lettuce, and some comfrey oil) comes the new eternal yard sale (yeppir... country bumpkins it is!) and the introduction of bouquets! Ferns and irises and peonies are quite the rage.
Well, Milo has finally given up his fight at the breast, and Nadi needs to think about snoozing herself (please great Universe, please), and I am going to swill back some advil and coffee, and maybe begin thinking about that monstrous pile of laundry in the basement.
And so far, Nadi hasn't intentionally stood on a bed and peed all over it.
Monday, June 07, 2010
I long to settle in a long settee outside or on a comfy, ugly couch with squeaky springs on the porch and read dumb book. Long sips of iced tea. Go swimming.
But it is more than a picture perfect postcard of summers past. As home magazines and stores play to our nostalgia with retro shapes and colors and cheap crap for playing in the water, there is more to this longing for summer than being busy.
I want to remember this summer to do the things I love. Ride a bike. Read a book. Build a fort. Have a fire. Go camping. Do these all with my kids... and Sues' kids... and Elsa's kids... and any kid who happens to drop by.
But beyond even these things... I want to remember to be. Smell things. See things. Touch. Feel. Listen.
Last weekend, walking with the kids in the evening around the circle neighborhood at mom and dad's, I was there, if just for a minute. I remembered how much I loved to walk at night in the 'burbs. How here, I admit fearing the darkness in our little valley with no street lights and houses too far between and too far from the road to shed light on an evening walk. How here, in the darkness, there lurks the cold, the rough road, the insects. But at home, the wheels of the stroller whirred softly in the night stillness, and we walked, talking quietly, staring up at the trees. Sage and I spoke the way Aidan and I used to when she was the strollered-baby and he walked quietly beside me, talking of dreams we had. I saw the heron, a snapping turtle, and the tail of a red fox as it darted into the woods before me. I smelled the deep cleansing ozone left behind by the quick but torrential rainstorms earlier in the day, mixing sweetly with the smell of wet, warm,asphalt. And my feet felt every soft step on the smooth, smooth road, warming me through from the feet up.
It is this... these quiet moments... these sweet moments... I want to have this summer.
Oh, that, and a cabin by the sea. Guess that one will have to wait.