Friday, September 23, 2016


After racing around and round and round the house, William was tired. 

"Mom, can you get some water for my feet?"

This was an entirely new request. "I can't right now," I replied. "I'm in the middle of something." (What was it? I don't remember.) 

"Mom, my feet are so tired. Can you please get some water for my feet?"

"Honey, you can get your own water."

With that green light, he set off to the bathroom with a soup bowl and in a minute was walking carefully back to the kitchen. "Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!" he exclaimed, sloshing water over the edge of the bowl with each step. He made it to the kitchen where he set the bowl down on the floor. He retrieved a little white chair from the playroom and sat, relieved, immersing his feet in the cold water. It took a mini nanosecond for Barrett to realize that he also needed a bowl of water. Knowing it would be less mess and faster for me to fetch him his own bowl at this point, I darted to the kitchen sink and put a little bit of water into a bowl for him, setting it next to William's and instructing Barrett to fetch his own chair. 

As soon as Barrett put his feet into the water, a reflex kicked in and he yelled, "I have to go pee!" 

Truly in the middle of something, I asked him to please go potty by himself, not remembering that he had never really taken himself to the bathroom on the first floor, where the toilets are higher. So it wasn't long before a distant cry rang out: "I got pee on the floor!" 

Racing into the bathroom, I saw the carnage: a huge puddle of pee from Barrett and a huge puddle of water from Will... liquid everywhere. Meanwhile, William was stomping the water off his feet onto the floor. Whatever I was in the middle of needed to wait as I began cleaning up Barrett and the many ponds, enlisting William's help and exhorting his lame efforts to wipe up the water. 

I am in the thick of chaos these days. William is a very busy, very exuberant preschooler, Barrett matches him impulse for impulse, and Neva is napping infrequently and eating often, which requires me to sit in a chair and patiently spoonfeed her while it feels like the house is falling down around me. The ever elusive afternoon naptime, a quiet time I feel like I absolutely need to regroup and refocus, is gone, as alternate naptimes and quiet times rarely overlap. I know I am the captain of the ship, I know I am in charge of its direction and its progress, but lately I feel like I am treading water in the wake while the ship careens ahead without me at the wheel.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


When William was two (and three) and still napping, I'd know he was awake when I'd hear him call on the monitor, "Mom..."

"You awake, buddy?" I'd ask through the monitor.


And then I'd buy myself another 20 minutes while I cleaned up or finished my coffee. "I'll be right there, buddy. One second."


Will doesn't nap anymore, but he does the same thing when we wakes up in the morning.

Now, Barrett. I know Barrett is awake from his nap when I hear soft thumping upstairs, followed inevitably by a cry from Neva as he chirps, "Hi, Neva!", and slams the door open. Then, every time, I hear the distinctive sound of two pellet-filled stuffed animals smack the landing at the bottom of the stairs as he throws down his "pets." Then, thump thump thump, down the stairs he comes, poking his head through the spindles to see if anyone is standing in the living room. "Peek-a-boo!!!"


When William was two, and he needed to go poop, I'd sit with him on the toilet and patiently page through book after book until he was done.

When Barrett needs to poop, he announces, "I need go poop!"

I sit him by himself on the potty and he demands, "I want Thomas." When I set the Thomas the Train book in front of him on a little bench, he looks up and asks, "Can you go 'way?"


When Barrett plays pretend, he holds his puppy, or Duplo guy, or pilot, or monster truck, or mouse, or whatever, and asks, in a soft, high-pitched voice (the voice of the character in hand), "Where my car?" and then, "Where my mom and dad?" They never wonder anything else.


He can't pronounce his S sounds along with other consonants. For example, we were reading one of their favorite Lightning McQueen books, and he was so excited to read it that he murmured the title of the book (The Spooky Sound) as soon as he saw the cover: "The Bookey Sound." This morning I hugged him and he protested: "Don't 'queeze me!"


He loves to drink the cereal milk. This morning I saw that he had drunk the cereal milk BEFORE eating his Cheerios. He often takes Will's leftover cereal milk to drink it, too.


I often hear him say to himself, "Howey Mowey!" (Holy Moly!) He also LOVES to sing and dance to music, and even when dancing to secular music he'll exclaim, "Ha-yu-yah!"


Just now, as I was typing this (taking a break from a tough day and shoving the boys out of the kitchen as I drank an afternoon coffee), I heard Barrett ask, hands in the air, "Mom, where the drawberries?"

"They're in the fridge," I answered. "You can eat some green beans."

"Dey're all gone."

"Do you want more?"

"Yes," he answered, but at the same time, Will called from the dining table and the Duplos, "No, he doesn't."

"William! Yes!" Barrett retorted sharply.

"No, he doesn't," smirked Will, clearly antagonizing him.

"YES WILLIAM!" yelled Barrett.

"No, he doesn't."

"WILLIAM!" Barrett screamed. He shook his fist angrily in the air in Will's direction, almost instantly in tears. "MOM! William won't stop talkin' 'bout me!!!"

All this as I was actively getting him another bowl of green beans.

Barrett is a solid block of energy, personality, and impulsivity.