“Dog” remains the word of the day, the week, the month. “Hi!” still pops out occasionally, but “dog” is for everything, all the time. Even ceiling light fixtures and sprinkler heads.
Inspired by a book that I can't recommend highly enough, we learned that blackberry fool is A Fine Dessert. Sweet and tangy and gloopy, pretty and messy and easy, but also good for several helpers, especially if you pick the blackberries. Shmoogie and DiDi and I picked the brambles nearly clean to get enough, Shmoogie and Mr. P helped with the mashing and the sieving and the whipping, and we all helped with the eating. Mostly, we ate it before it chilled because I forgot the part about having to leave it in the fridge for 3 hours and started the recipe at 7 (or maybe 7:30; our summer days go so loooooong). It was delicious at room temperature, but a fascinating gelatinizing thing happened to the part that did get chilled and I think that's probably what you're supposed to end up with. More like mousse than warm fruity whipped cream.
I won't spoil the book for you, but I can't resist sharing that when we turned the page to the last story-in-a-story, Mr. P huffed, "Finally! A boy!" And then griped for a while about how unfair it was that there were three girls and only one boy. I tried to think about how to explain that it was actually not fair to the girls that they were stuck in the kitchen, but then I realized that the better point was pretty much the one he was making, that it's silly and sad to define activities by gender. The story makes a subtler point, too, about how people have always experienced moments of enjoyment and love, even if the boundaries of their lives were bleak.
Did I mention that I can't recommend the book highly enough? A Fine Dessert, by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall.
Of the many things I've read via Twitter lately, I keep thinking about Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man from Brain Pickings. I was born well after the invention of women, which is wonderful, but that means her words should feel a lot more dated than they do.
I'm feeling a little wistful for summer (making blackberry fool and then blogging about it so I'll remember it, see?) as the end draws near, but mostly I can't wait for the cool and the dark so we can sleep. Zzzz.
Northern summers, as I know I have said, are amazing and also hard.
I had reason to look back at some of my posts from several years ago and was stunned at the things I don't remember. People tell me how wonderful it is to have a record of things so I can remember them later (too bad this past year will always be mostly a blur, I guess), but I always laughed that off and said that I wouldn't forget, especially not after writing it all down and proof reading several times and all. But I did.
We learned this weekend that is possible for a baby to have a cold and exhibit no symptoms except for a full body rash. It's unnerving, but spotty baby doesn't seem to notice he's spotty, although he has seemed to notice he doesn't feel super awesome.
I did not rear end anyone, drive off the road, or squeal (much) when I noticed a very large spider (I'm talking like the size of a cookie) crawling slowly up from the lower left corner of the dashboard while I was driving home. I did not even pull over and demand someone rescue me when my attempt to smoosh it with a paperback succeeded only in (possibly) maiming it and (!!!) dropping it to the floor between my feet. I did pull over and was not at all happy to find that I couldn't see the thing anywhere, meaning I had to get back in the car and drive for fifteen more minutes home knowing it was somewhere under the seat and in who knows exactly what state, although clearly a healthy enough state to have hidden itself under the seat in the first place. I did tuck my pant legs into my socks. And I did have a nightmare about spiders, but only the second night. The first night I slept unaccountably soundly.
Bayboh has eight teeth (very nearly four molars, too) and two words. He says, "Hi!" in a drawn out sing song, more highly pitched and accompanied by more frantic waving the more desperately he is trying to convince you that he is NOT tired and you should really stop trying to put him to bed.
A few weeks after perfecting that, he came out with "gog-uh!" at the beach when a little dog ran by and now he talks about our dog-uh all the time.
He scoots over to him, "dog-uh! dog-uh!" to give him pats and (gently enough, it seems) tugs on his beard. He gets bored with his food and leans way over the side of the high chair, "dog-uh?" to offer a morsel. And for the first time this morning, he tried to climb into the dog bed, "dog-uh. dog-uh," a slow test of wills which dog-uh won by simply refusing to move.
There have been so very many things I have thought to post in the past year (or more) and haven't and a few things that I've posted and can't remember that I just don't know if I'm repeating myself. I'll tell it like it's new and you can just roll your eyes at me.
When Mr. P moved to his own room a few months ago, he got a new bed. An IKEA bed (you know how much I love IKEA!) with bars that curtains could be hung from (and were) and a bowed canopy could be snapped on top of (and was). This was meant to make his new room more attractive to him, because he'd at first been very excited at the idea of his own room and then been panicked at the thought of losing rights to the room he's shared with Shmoogie for the past two years.
The new tent bed was definitely enticing, enticing enough that while it didn't totally calm his angst, it spurred Shmoogie into tearful jealousy as counterpoint.
To counteract that, I hung her lower bunk with curtains (just by stuffing the edge under the mattress), mostly some very pretty patterned sheer ones (also from IKEA, two homes ago and without a role to play here so far).
Which is all just background so I can tell you how much I love the shadows her reading lamp makes through the sheers.
As with every year I can recently remember, this one has both passed astonishingly fast and contained more than I would have said was possible. I cannot believe that Bayboh is about to be a toddler and I cannot believe that our family ever existed without him.
It's easy to enjoy the third baby. I've enjoyed them all, of course, but the last one... We know we won't be back here again and I guess that makes it easier to get through the random night wake ups, the teething, the biting, and all the rest (the week before last was a WEEK, let me tell you; it started with Mr. P getting stuck with most of his person hanging out his bedroom window (after bedtime), while I was home alone with all of them, and ended with me spending some relaxing time in the ER due to having swallowed a cherry pit but somehow not completely swallowed it... Honestly, I don't know exactly what happened, but I guess all that really matters is that I'm fine, if a little abnormally aware of swallowing for the time being... I'm not sure any of that had much to do with Bayboh, except for the part where I set him on a chair and just hoped he wouldn't fall off or manage to reach any Legos while I rescued Mr. P from the window).
Yep, it's been a year. A very good, very full year. Not a very well-documented one, I'll admit, but there's been a lot of furious churning beneath the surface keeping everything afloat. (I'm thinking I might never have gotten around to mentioning here that we had to find a new nanny rather suddenly several months ago? And other things I don't even remember.)
A year, Bayboh, your first one! We're happy to have you along for the ride, even if you refuse to cooperate with birthday photos. :)
Huge excitement around here recently: Bayboh has learned to wave! There's always a pause first, when you say "Bye bye!" And wave excitedly at him, where he looks slightly confused. Then he suddenly gets it and he grins really big and his little pudgy elbow starts wiggling back and forth while his little pudgy hand flops limply along for ride. He grins and grins and his hand flops and flops and he is so very pleased with himself you can just tell he's thinking, "Oh! It's time to do the thing! I know how to do the thing! I can do the thing! I get it! Look at me! I'm doing the thing!"
It is 10:15 pm on a school night and I am lying on Mr. P's bed, explaining to him (with a bit of desperation probably creeping into my tone) that, although I know it is hard when the sun stays up past bedtime, he has a RESPONSIBILITY to stay in his room after bedtime and try to go to sleep so that mommy and daddy don't have to force themselves to stay awake past THEIR bedtimes just to make sure he is safe.
We are already weeks into the ironic misery of summer past 47° N.
Mr. P takes in my words, then huffs indignantly, as if it had not always been utterly obvious that he is supposed to stay in bed after bedtime, "This is the problem! You guys never tell me all the really important stuff!"