Saturday, December 08, 2007


A few nights ago as I was trying to herd the boys upstairs to bed, Kemper kept resisting my pleas. After a couple of attempts, I finally went back into the kitchen to see what was going on.

"I'm hanging my monkeys in their trees to sleep." He was being very careful to make sure they wouldn't fall out during the night. Here's what he did:

The only empty drawer pulls were a result of an insufficient number of monkeys.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


After long deliberation, I have purchased high-backed booster seats for the boys. If you don't have small children, you are not very likely to know much about the current various options for child restraint systems. And if you do have small kids, you know how many choices are out there.

One member of my mothers of twins group sent an email with a YouTube link about why you should keep kids in a 5 point harness seat for as long as possible. It was, of course, a tear jerker. You know, a story about how they put their son into a booster, then got in an accident and he died because the seat belt failed. And how if he'd stayed in a 5 point harness seat, he'd still be alive. (I'm not trying to minimize the loss, but to summarize the video. I can't imagine losing one of my kids in a car crash, or in any other way.)

So I started thinking we needed new, bigger seats with harnesses since the boys are outgrowing their current seats. Research on various sites muddied the waters, in my opinion. I couldn't find anything other than the video that talked about prolonged use of the harness. I felt like this horrible parent for even considering a shift to booster seats. It was suggested by someone near and dear that perhaps I was overreacting. I continued to stew over this for a good long while. Several months, actually.

In the end, I decided that since I survived a child restraint free upbringing, and since my kids are perhaps the only children alive who haven't unbuckled their straps in protest, I would go with the boosters. Every time I went to Target or any other store that sells car seats, I'd examine them carefully, then leave to think on it some more. Maybe I am a bad mommy for reaching this conclusion, but I have to draw the line somewhere, right? I always make sure my kids are buckled up, I'm a careful driver, and last but not least, Kemper and Rowan are SO happy with the new seats I'm convinced I made the right choice. Rowan thanks me for buying him a new seat every time we get in the car. It's only been a few days, but they're still very excited about using real seat belts like mommy and daddy.

Monday, December 03, 2007


We spent our Thanksgiving in Norfolk, VA with our sister-in-law's family. They host every year, but we haven't gone consistently due to the cost of flying and the length of the drive. But since Christmas has been relocated to our house this year (and therefore we will neither be flying to New Orleans nor driving to D.C.), we decided to brave it and drive to Norfolk.

It wasn't all that bad, really. We left early Wednesday morning and hit almost no traffic. In fact, the worst of it was when we arrived in D.C. to spend the night with Morgan's brother and his family. The boys did quite well in the car, aside from the obligatory "Are we there yet?" and "How much longer?" and "I don't want it to take so long!". Toward the end of the drive, Morgan offered them each $5 if they could avoid any questions or comments about how long it would take to get there. I remembered a tip I read somewhere and revised the rules so that each time they asked one of the forbidden questions, they'd lose some money. Whatever was left when we got to D.C., they could keep. Let me tell you, this was the most amazing trick ever! We will definitely be doing this on future trips. In case you're wondering, the idea I had heard about was to give kids a roll of quarters at the start of a long trip, then take a quarter away from anyone who asks "Are we there yet?" or other similar questions. They keep any money left when the trip is over.

My boys don't even really know about money, but they knew they wanted some. What a great idea. Next time we'll go with the quarters, as it's both cheaper and easier to keep track of since you simply take the money away on the spot.

The visit in Norfolk was fun. This was our first non-vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner in many, many years. I think we had been vegetarian for about 17 years, but recently started eating meat again. And our hostess didn't mess around. She served a turducken, so there was meat aplenty. Maryam is a good cook, and we had a good time. Fortunately her son Keon, who is about 9 months older than the boys, had lots of cool toys in his room to occupy the kids.

Of course, then we had to drive back to Boston. The last day we were in Norfolk, Rowan got sick (fever and vomiting), which made the drive home somewhat dubious, but we survived. I don't know what it is about our family and travel, but someone always ends up being sick. Oh well. I'm still glad we went. With so much loss in my life, I find myself eager to try and create family for my boys whenever I can.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dirt Gets Under the Fingernails

Kemper's nails grow unbelievably fast. I could probably cut them once a week and that wouldn't be enough. (Which is not to say that they get cut once a week....) And he plays dirty all the time. We haven't managed to get him to be able to wash his hands well enough to get that dirt out, so he basically has permanent black stripes at the tip of his fingers.

Rowan, on the other hand, hasn't needed his nails trimmed since he was an infant. He just takes care of it on his own. It's not that he's a nail biter or anything, and I don't actually see him picking at them all that often. I know he does it, but I don't know when. But honestly, I don't clip his nails. The exception is when he gets a hangnail and begs me to fix it. This usually serves as a bedtime stall tactic, and almost always involves toes rather than fingers.

On another note, I've noticed a recent change in Rowan at bedtime. To date, or goodnight ritual ends with a hug, kiss, and what we call a bip. The bip is a gentle pinch of the nose with your thumb and index finger. Morgan started it, I think, and "bip" was the sound he made the first time he did it. Anyway, each boy gets "a hug and a kiss and a bip" before we leave them for the night. (This is usually what finally gets me to cut Kemper's nails - when he gives one of us a bip that leaves a scratch on our nose.) Well, the last few nights, when I've asked Rowan if he wanted his hug, etc., he said he didn't. The first time he said no, I was certain that I would barely make it down the stairs before he called me back up because he'd changed his mind. Imagine my surprise when there wasn't a peep. Same story the next two nights. I guess he's growing up. And I guess I'm supposed to be sad about that. The jury's still out.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Civic Duty

Yesterday we took the boys with us first thing in the morning to vote. We've been doing this since they were born, more out of convenience (getting a sitter or switching off with the kids is more trouble than just bringing them to the polls) than anything but I also think it's good for them to learn about it.

It was cold and rainy, which meant a short line inside. Last year we had to wait in line for about 30 minutes, but it was really quick yesterday. I have to say, Waltham is about the worst place I've ever voted. They give you your ballot and a file folder with the words "privacy folder" or something to that effect on the front. You are then directed to the flimsiest voting "booth" you've ever seen. It's about as sturdy as a three legged easel used in meetings to hold the big pad of paper. And no curtain. Not that you could see your neighbor's ballot or anything, but the people in line to turn in their completed ballots are directly behind you while you're filling in the circles. I don't particularly care if people know who I voted for, but the point is to have secret ballots and this doesn't seem to qualify.

After filling out our ballots, we got in the line to shove them into the machine. Don't you know, the machine wasn't working. So our secret ballots had to be left with one of the volunteers until the machine got fixed. Who knows? Maybe I didn't actually vote.

Morgan finished first, so he took the boys outside while I waited my turn to check out. When I came out a few minutes later, Rowan was screaming bloody murder. Apparently he and Kemper were running up and down the wheelchair ramp, and on one of the down trips, Rowan fell and landed on his face. He scraped his cheek and nose, bumped his forehead pretty hard, and ripped the skin off one of his hands in a couple of places. It could have been much worse, but he's sure looking like a bruiser. I wonder if he'll think of this when he votes in the future?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Messy Situation

Rowan has been having some tantrums again lately. The littlest things set him off. This morning, for example, he was holding the TV remote while we were watching The Best Of The Johnny Cash Show. I was trying to find a particular clip to show Morgan (using the DVD remote), but Rowan had decided he was done watching and wanted to turn it off. Well, the batteries are old and sometimes the remote doesn't work, which happened. Plus we told him we didn't want the TV off yet. He kept trying to push the button, not listening to us, so Morgan took the remote away.

The tantrum that followed was so bad, he had 6 time outs, lost his favorite cars for a week, and lost Halloween candy privileges for 3 days. But what's really annoying is the new thing he does when he's mad at me. He'll blow snot out of his nose and wipe it on the walls, floor, door, table, whatever inappropriate surface is around. Man I hate that!

Friday, November 02, 2007


No, not actual photos. Instead, let me give you a mental image of some of our more interesting moments.

One morning last week, at the ungodly hour of 5:15 (sleeping in vanished shortly after the jet lag from our west coast trip wore off), I hear the stampeding of little feet into the bathroom. Then a brief scuffle over who had to pee first. Followed almost immediately by, "MOM! Kemper's peeing on the floor!" And you thought your alarm clock was bad....

The weather has been mild here this week, so the boys have spent a fair amount of time playing outside. They're finally old enough that they'll stay in the back yard instead of wandering down the driveway and into the street, so I just leave the back door open so I can hear them. Usually they ride their bikes, play in the sandbox, build airports (or so they say), etc. Well, the other day I was working on dinner when I heard the sound of raucous laughter coming from the yard. They were clearly having a great time. The cackling continued for quite some time. It suddenly occurred to me that I should probably see what was so darn funny. Yep, you guessed it - they were definitely up to no good. Our neighbors have some tomato plants that hang over onto our side of the fence, and the kids had picked a couple of partially ripe tomatoes to throw at the house. Repeatedly. The back wall of the house was covered in tomato pulp.

And no matter how hard I try, I can't get them to stop climbing the back porch railing and hanging from the clothesline.

On the other hand, I was able to give away their outdoor playhouse without incident. They decided they wanted to give it to someone younger who really wanted it, and so far there has been no regret as far as I can tell. I'm pleased, since they weren't playing in it anymore. No, they were climbing up onto the roof, making me eternally nervous. At least this worked out well for all of us.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Leaps and Bounds

Well, it has finally happened. My children are old enough to sit for a reading from a real book. You know, one with chapters and everything! They even ask me several times each day to read from it. I can't tell you how excited I am about this. Yes, it means they'll be demanding more of my time, but it's just so great! I read, they ask questions, we review what happened last time we read, and with rare exception, they sit quietly and listen. Wow.

I started with Stuart Little, since we have it and they like mice. Morgan had been trying to read Winnie the Pooh to them, but they weren't ready to sit still. I'm guessing he'll go back to that now that we're in this new phase. Of course, we're wondering when they'll be ready for The Hobbit or The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. It's hard to say if they'll be too frightened by some of the stuff in these. Maybe I'll give one of them a try and see how it goes.

Anyway, I'm thrilled about this development.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Necessary Evil

This morning Rowan had to have a medical "procedure" on his penis. This was a follow-up to the hypospadias repair he had done when he was 7 months old. It was a fairly quick procedure, though they did put him to sleep for it. I suppose I should feel honored that he wanted mommy to go back to the prep area with him (leaving poor daddy in the waiting area with Kemper, who was perfectly content to watch Playhouse Disney), but man, was it hard. Not the whole thing - he was actually very brave and well behaved the whole time. The hard part was going into the operating room with him until he was asleep.

I put the mask on myself first (it was obviously disconnected from whatever the sedating air is called) to show him it was okay, but when they put it on him, he looked absolutely terrified. He was clearly trying his hardest not to lose control - his eyes teared up, and his whole face tensed up - but I could see it all in his eyes. The anesthesiologist assured me he was already asleep at this point, and that his body was simply trying to catch up. Also that he wouldn't remember any of it. I'm not sure I buy that.

He survived though, and had a rather brief stay in the recovery room. Came to bright eyed and bushy tailed; his first act was to remove the hospital gown and examine his penis. There isn't really anything visible except for a little sore spot, which I think surprised him. I suppose it would after the simplified explanation we had given. The procedure is called a meatotomy, which we had described as having a really small balloon put into his penis and blown up a little to make the hole bigger. I think he had an image of the typical balloon - you know, very large and round. It was probably quite a relief to see that his penis wasn't like that.

So I (we?) survived the hospital portion of the day, only to be faced with painful urination at home. I had to put the poor kid in the tub to pee the first two times, as he just wouldn't go on the toilet because of the stinging. Not that the bath made it hurt less, but the warm water relaxed him enough that he would go. During the second bath, he started the following exchange:
"I'm sad that they did that." "You mean to your penis?" "Yeah, they ruined it", he replied. Wow. Talk about breaking your mother's heart.

In the larger scheme of things, I'm sure it is for the best. But having your 3 1/2 year old son think his penis has been ruined is pretty hard to handle. I mean, what must he think of us for putting him through such a thing? I know, I know, I'm overreacting, and I'm sure in the morning he'll be almost completely over it, but still. It was a tough day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So Grown Up

Kemper and Rowan had their second tooth cleaning appointment recently. They did such a great job. Unlike the first time, they each sat alone in the chair while they hygienist did her job. Neither moved, both opened wide when asked, etc. They were apparently more tolerant and obedient than many adult patients! When it was time for the dentist to look them over, she checked Rowan first. Kemper got in the chair for his turn, and she said, "Your brother has 20 teeth. How many teeth do you think you have?" To which he replied, "Well, I'm missing one, but I still have all the rest." Too cute.

(In case anyone is reading who didn't already know this, Kemper had to have one of his front teeth pulled at 18months after knocking it all the way up into his jaw when he fell at a friend's house.)

Alone Time

We've been trying to spend some one-on-one time with the boys, and have been successful the past couple of weekends. A recent Saturday found me picking peaches with Rowan, while Morgan took Kemper fishing. A good time was had by all. Kemper caught one fish (and released it, since the Charles river isn't as clean as they say), and asked if sometime he could keep what he catches and bring it home for mommy to cook. Rowan ate some good fresh peaches and nectarines, then drove the old tractor on the farm's playground before we headed home. Mom and dad have it easy, with only one kid to keep track of. We miss out on family togetherness, but in the end it usually is worth it.

Out and About

Last week I had no daycare or summer camp scheduled, so in a very uncharacteristic moment, I planned ahead and got passes to the Science Museum from our local library. I was a bit nervous, as the last time I tried going there on my own with the boys, it was a disaster. They were just too young. But this time, it was a smashing success.

Not that they really did much other than press buttons and listen to the prerecorded information at the displays, but they had a blast. Boston's museum has a Van de Graaff generator, and they put on a live lightning show each day. It's a pretty cool thing, but loud and dark. I was worried it would scare the boys, but it was their favorite part of the visit! That and the replica of one of the Apollo capsules.

We left after 3 1/2 hours, not because the boys were acting badly, but because the parking fees are outrageous and I was getting worried about how much that was going to cost. But this was definitely a record for our little group.

It was such a success, I joined for a year. We'll definitely be going back.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Over The Hump?

Lately it seems like we might be leaving the terrible twos behind. Sure, my boys are now 3 1/2, but I can assure you that they have been terrible well past their twos. But in the past few weeks, there have been little indications that they're really becoming little boys instead of toddlers.

Kemper, picky eater extraordinaire (I'm sure that came from me), has been very brave and tried pretty much everything we've presented. He's gone from eating only pizza, tortellini, macaroni & cheese, and chicken fingers to salmon, lentils with rice, quiche, ham sandwiches, clam chowder, lo mein, and baked ziti. In short, it seems my days of cooking two dinners each night are becoming a thing of the past. What a relief! Of course, it's always most successful if we eat as a family, which can be tricky during the week when Morgan is working. But we're trying.

I can actually convince the boys to clean up their toys. Sort of. And with lots of nagging. But they're starting to get it. Kemper occasionally says, "Mommy, I think I'll go clean up the living room." What mom wouldn't be thrilled at this? I hate nagging about something so unimportant, though, so I've enlisted the help of the House Fairy. It's silly, but it works. (If you want more information about her, check out her website:

Bedtime is usually a breeze. Aside from the occasional tussle over how many books we'll read, they're ready to get to bed most nights. The last time we had a sitter, they had a good nap during the day but still asked her if they could go to bed around 7, then did so without any fanfare. Sometimes Rowan still sneaks out of his room to ask stalling questions. "Mommy, about what time are we going to wake up?" "Mommy, I'm sweaty so will you check on me later and put my blanket back on me?" Or similar things.

There are, of course, still tantrums and occasional bad days. But those will last forever, I think. I keep running into parents of older kids at the grocery or similar locations, usually when I'm being stern with the boys about not listening, and they universally say, "Oh, it just gets worse, you wait!" Hmmm. That may be, but at least now they can reason somewhat, and can finally be trusted (most of the time) not to run away from us when we aren't looking.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Peace and Quiet

I'm currently in D.C. visiting my brother- and sister-in-law and their two kids. Cyrus is just over 2, and Darya is almost 3 months, I think. Due to a variety of factors, we decided the best way for us to come and meet our new niece would be to each come alone for a weekend. So here I am. They just moved into a new house and, as I'm sure you can imagine, have tons of little things to get done. However, having the two small kids can make this a bit challenging, so I've been trying to be helpul.

This is the first time I've been away from the boys overnight since they were born. I guess you could say it's my first "vacation" in 3 1/2 years! And let me tell you, Cyrus is sooooo quiet compared to the symphony of sound that fills our house each day. I don't know if he's particularly quiet, or if it's a singleton thing, but man, even when he's being cranky, it just isn't loud to me. I suppose part of it is that he isn't my child, so it doesn't irritate me the way Kemper and Rowan can, but I have to confess I'm enjoying the toned down environment.

I did speak to the boys at bedtime last night. While we were talking, I realized another first - I had never spoken to them on the phone. It was pretty cute. Kemper of course claims that he behaved well for daddy, but seemed to take pride in telling me that "Rowan just whined all day". I'm sure he's leaving something out, but I suppose that's to be expected.

Do I miss the kids? Sure. But I'm certainly enjoying having a little break.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Gag Rule

You may think you know what the gag rule is, but I can assure you that unless you've been pregnant and suffered through morning sickness, you really don't.

Here's my definition:

If you're grocery shopping and some particular item makes you gag, don't put it in your cart. Instead, search for those few elusive foods that sound even remotely appealing and buy those. This actually makes for easy shopping, since you can skip over pretty much the whole store. Unless, of course, you're feeling generous and decide to buy something for the rest of your family.

Oh, and the pregnancy books that talk about eating a wholesome, balanced diet? Phooey on them. I'd like to see them try and choke down a healthy meal while trying not to vomit. I mean really, how are you supposed to eat well when the only things that sound good are not so good for you?

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Devil is in the Details

So my previous post was a bit curt, I admit it. I had tried a couple of times to do the whole potty training thing, with disastrous results. But with summer camp looming in August (they require the boys to be toilet trained), I had to bite the bullet.

Last week I spent a whole day with each of the kids doing the deed. I used a book about which I was rather skeptical - Toilet Training in Less Than A Day - but in the end it worked quite well. It has been a week now, and in spite of a few accidents, all is going much better than I could have hoped. We are diaper free! Even at night! Woo Hoo!

Now I need to spend a little more time on the small picture items - namely, how to wipe and the appropriate use of the toilet paper roll. The picture above is what I found this morning when I woke up. Rowan claims he only peed, but it looks like he got a bit distracted. Oh well. I suppose I should be glad he didn't flush it all.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


At church this morning, we had a flower communion. This is a Unitarian tradition, and we've certainly participated in this type of service in the past. However, there was something in this service that moved me to write this post.

UU churches aren't all the same - different congregations do things in different ways. One aspect I've seen in several churches is called various things. A time for all ages, children's story time, etc. At our church, they typically have this on alternating weeks, and usually the minister sits on the chancel and invites the kids to come forward while he tells a story related to the sermon. This morning there were not very many kids present (our boys actually go straight to their class at the moment, but we'll probably start bringing them to the first part of the service this fall), but two went up to sit with Marc. He told about the origin of the flower communion and talked about how we're all different but the same. He then asked if the children would like to help him bless the flowers.

One of the two kids, a small 5 year old boy, said, "What does bless mean?" To Marc's credit, he gave a great answer. He said something like, "When you bless something you make it beautiful with your words or your wishes, asking the universe to make it special". There was a bit more explanation, but this was the meat of the matter. The kids (and the rest of the congregation) then participated in the blessing of the flowers.

But I was really struck by the exchange. The bravery of the boy to ask the question in front of the whole church, and the minister's response simple enough for him to understand. And though I was attentive through the rest of the service, my mind stayed stuck on that definition of blessed. I've often (okay, always) kind of been put off when people talk about being blessed, but that is mostly based on my unpleasant experiences with organized religion.

It made me think about what it means to be blessed, or to bless. I struggle every day with my parenting, wondering if I'm good enough, if I'm too harsh, if I yell too much, and so on. And the definition that Marc gave today somehow allowed me to think in a different way, a way that perhaps can help me stay more grounded as I go about the business of raising my two wonderful children. How can I make my kids, myself even, beautiful with my words or wishes? How can I make them special? I don't know the answer yet, but you can be sure I'm going to be working on it.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Brotherly Love

We just got back from a week in southern Utah, where we were staying with my grandmother. She'll be 90 this summer, and I thought it was important to get out there with the boys while we still could.

Mind you, the desert has never been a favorite place of mine. Dry, hot, and bright. It actually didn't end up being all that bad - the first few days were in the mid to upper 70's, but by the time we left it was in the upper 90's. Even so, I can appreciate why people live there. It is beautiful.

We managed to make it to both Bryce and Zion National Parks, and enjoyed both. Zion was more successful, primarily because it was a shorter drive to get there and because they have a shuttle bus that runs through the canyon. The boys, of course, were totally into that. And they had fun running around the trails. Kemper wanted me to take pictures of all the caterpillars he found (and there were TONS), while Rowan was more interested in jumping off of rocks.

The biggest drag was the travel time, though. Flying for 7 plus hours is just not fun, and having 3 year olds along doesn't help. Don't get me wrong, the boys did extremely well. Better than us, really. I had packed all these little toys to dole out on the way, but didn't need any of them. Which worked out well, since the trip home got a little rough and I was glad to have some new things for them. On the first leg, the boys and I were all together in a row. We all fell asleep, but after a couple of hours Kemper woke up. He got a little fussy, so I took out one of the new toys. It was a small die cast metal biplane. His eyes lit up, he smiled, then he looked at me and said, "Is there one for Rowan too?" What a sweet boy.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Breaking the Silence

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted anything. I think mostly we've just been really busy and I haven't been thinking much about what to write, plus I somehow think each entry has to be just right and so end up not writing at all.

Anyway, we're coasting along pretty well most of the time now. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean by that that having two 3 year olds is a walk in the park, but in some ways things are getting, well, somewhat less hard. (Note that I did not say "easy".) Most nights we don't have any wake ups, so I'm consistently getting 6 or 7 hours of sleep. What a difference that makes, I can tell you. The boys are so talkative and they play really well together most of the time. They aren't quite to the point where they can be fully trusted on their own, but we're getting there I think.

Naps are a thing of the past. If we happen to be in the car anytime after noon, they might doze for 20 minutes or so, but beyond that it's a rare thing. Today was therefore a bit of a shock to me. Kemper was being really whiny and uncooperative after lunch. I gave him several warnings - if he's acting that way, he really needs a nap and if it continues I'll send him to his room to rest - that went unheeded. When I finally lost my patience, I told him he needed to go upstairs and take a nap. He collapsed into a fit of tears, saying he didn't want to take a nap. I gave him an alternative - help me clean up his toys. His response? "I'm too tired!" At which point I said, "Then you need to go upstairs and take a nap!". Guess what? He did just that! I was in shock. He climbed the stairs, got in bed, and pulled the covers up. Slept for over 2 hours, too.

I love my boys, but sometimes when I luck into one of them falling asleep in the afternoon I get a taste of what it must be like to have just one kid. It seems so EASY. Today Rowan was as pleasant as could be the whole time Kemper was asleep. And it was great to have some time together without the competition they're so accustomed to. Of course, after a couple of hours Rowan started in with "Mommy, I want Kemper to come down now".

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Okay, so this is probably obvious to everyone, but I've really learned that most of what comes out of our children's mouths could be a direct quote from one of their parents. This isn't always a bad thing, as I've mentioned before, given that we do from time to time have good things to say. And everything is open to interpretation.

Case in point: Rowan, our temper tantrum title holder, can really throw them. And once he gets started, he only gets worse unless we can help him calm himself down. I've been trying the "take a few deep breaths" trick, which doesn't always work but often distracts him just enough from his screaming to start the calming process. Well, the other day at nap time they were both in Kemper's bed (just the latest in a long line of stalling tactics, but I digress), and something happened that set Kemper off. He screamed for me to come up, and was howling incoherently while Rowan lay still and angelic next to him. Rowan looked up at me, gently placed his hand on Kemper's shoulder, and said, "I want he to take a deep breath". How sweet is that?

Of course, there's always the other end of the spectrum, when they repeat things you wish you'd never said in their presence. Like when Kemper gets really angry and, in his gravelly angry daddy voice says, "Dammit Rowan!" Or like earlier today when Rowan was pushing all my buttons and earning himself multiple consecutive time outs and Kemper said, "Mommy when you shout at us it pisses me off." Yikes. Did I actually say that?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Kemper has become a champion user of the word "why". He's a textbook case, actually. Lately it seems that no matter what you say to him, he'll ask why (when he isn't shouting "no!", that is). And when you tell him, he'll respond to your answer with another why. Arrrgh. It's enough to drive a person nutty.

I can understand the significance of this stage - he's taking in so much information all the time, and this new word can help him make sense of things. Now that the boys talk so well, I sometimes forget how much they still don't know about life, the world, the way things work. So I try to be patient, and try to answer all of the questions. Which doesn't mean I don't sympathize with the comment I read somewhere recently (maybe in one of my parenting magazines?). A father said that sometimes when he just can't deal with answering any more questions, he'll say, "No one knows why". I haven't tried that one yet, as I think it might be lost on Kemper at this age.

But I've been thinking about Why now that I hear it so often, and I realized that we never stop asking it. Or at least, I don't. We just don't often ask it out loud. There are so many things I'd love to know why they happened, or why I do some of the annoying things I do. I suppose in some ways, I have to admire the way that a three year old believes that there is always an answer. At what point, I wonder, do we learn that this just isn't true?