Slow Down, Will You?

“Hey, Saoirse, could you please go to the bathroom and wash your hands?” I’m changing Quinn’s diaper as I say this, getting the girls ready before I set about doing the peeling and chopping of wee bits, gathering of yogurt (I think there’s a small farm somewhere in Vermont specially set up just for our family’s consumption of dairy. I should probably start sending regular tips in the mail) and other assorted yes-it’s-healthy-but-man-it-takes-forever-to-prepare items we call lunch around here.  Saoirse’s lounging in the glider, feet propped up on my leg, talking to me about Blanket’s latest adventures. This, as one would expect, is way more fun than going to the bathroom. “Noooo,” she says, with a slight, defiant whine to her voice. “I don’t waaaannnt to.”  “Saoirse,” I sigh. “We’re eating now. I need you to get ready.” Off she trudges to the bathroom, eyeballing Quinn and me the whole way to ensure we’re not doing something gloriously fun while she…

Next Time I’m Just Turning on Clifford

David and I have made a conscious effort to not book our children for every class, program and flying trapeze seminar that’s offered in our area. Honest. When I taught, I saw firsthand how a jam-packed life could stress out a young person. And in the last couple years, I’ve seen two-year-olds who are cranky, overtired and whiny because they’re being rushed from one class to another to preschool to Target, then back home just to do it all again after nap time. It stressed me out just typing that. So with our own girls, we’ve been walking on the more relaxed side of the calendar-keeping. They each do an activity a couple days a week, and the rest of the time is free for getting together with friends, or running errands, or–gasp!–just hanging around the house, playing. Our bank account certainly prefers it this way, and I’d always assumed the girls, especially Saoirse, were happy, too. Until today. Actually, it’s been often lately I’ve noticed Saoirse becoming (dare I say it?), well, bored. Yes, she’ll…

Extreme Makeover: Yard Edition

David and I are in the middle of gutting our landscaping. Are you jealous? Yeah, I didn’t think so. We live in an older home (we throw around words like “character” and “charm” a lot when we talk about the house, so you can probably guess the age of it…). And I think when you buy a house with some years behind it, you have to be prepared that the yard might, well, soon be in desperate need of a face lift. But five years ago we were new homeowners. To say we weren’t prepared is like suggesting that someone who can’t ride a bike should probably rethink that triathlon. And besides, I sort of hesitate to use the word “landscaping” when I talk about our yard. Wanna know why? Example A: the previous owners had stuck little black wrought iron fences haphazardly around the front and side yards and then had the audacity/funny idea/sadistic nerve to surround them with daylilies. Mound upon mound of daylilies which multiplied so quickly that by our second summer in the house we were weeping bitter tears from allergy…