I grabbed that damn frog off the living room floor for what must have been the millionth time in a week. Why did all of Harrison’s sleeping tools never seem to be in his bed when it was time to go to sleep?!

Stopping to look for a minute at the small green figure, I noticed how, even after only a short time, his plush coat was faded and slightly matted down. The polka dotted bow around his neck was surprisingly still in tact, but had I chosen a bow for this creature rather than gifting him in his original store-bought attire, I think I might have opted for a different hue. Green on green wasn’t exactly my style. His black yarn smile peeked through some fuzz around his mouth, and his beaded black eyes looked relentlessly happy for a Wal-Mart purchase. Did he know he was from a bargain bin in a big box store? No, Katie, of course not. He’s a stuffed frog. I had even lied to Harrison when giving Froggy to him for the first time. “He came from a special frog store,” I replied, when he asked where this new toy came from.

And why? Why did I lie? Why didn’t I say that I bought the toy at Wal-Mart? Would he have cared? Surely not. Initially Froggy was cast aside and crankiness ensued. No airplane? No Lightning McQueen? What about legos? Legos would have been awesome. I explained to Harrison then that I bought the toy because I knew he didn’t feel well and I thought a new surprise would cheer him up.

The truth of the matter is that I wasn’t feeling well that day either. Having spent several of the previous days in fits of tears over the somewhat sudden and gut wrenching loss of the family cat, whom I had been in the company of for all of his thirteen years, I was very very sad. My husband did not love the cat the way I loved the cat; my daughter only thought he was worth chasing; and Harrison, being scared of anything on four legs, did not notice he was gone for more than a month after the fact. Although I was wallowing deeply in my own sorrows, I had been on that shopping trip to clear my mind of all sorts of troubles, but, as a mother never could, I couldn’t forget that my son was at home with a sitter, and very under the weather. Thus, I had to come home with something for him. I had thought if I could cheer him up, perhaps my own spirits would lift.

Somehow, and not surprisingly when coming from my son, the sentimentality of this object came clear after I explained its purpose. His old soul seemed immediately to turn course and find joy and love in his new present. It was now an imperative part of all comfort routines; bedtime, car rides, couch snuggles. Despite its apparent importance in all of my son’s activities, he is always an after thought, forgotten until the last minute, and then NEEDED before any further actions can proceed. Perhaps this is on purpose. Perhaps, it’s my chance to stop and go “search”, literally, for that frog, but also for a way to bring happiness and love, the way I was able to do to Harrison, even though I was hurting so much at the time.

Baby Powder

One glorious day about a month ago, my lovely mother-in-law came to spend some time with the children and give me a few hours to myself. She’s fantastic like that, and I really appreciate how much she does for us. She, like grandmothers do, adores my children. She adores Harrison to the point that he can do no wrong. When he’s having a bad day, she pities him and fusses over him while I am frantically thinking up a new punishment. But, alas, this is the way of good grandparents and I love that he is loved so much. It is for this reason that I am exceptionally happy Susan was at our house on what will henceforth be called the “Baby Powder Day”.

I was getting ready to head out to go to the gym, as I work a child care program in the evenings so parents can exercise. I usually have to leave at about 4:40 to get there on time. Susan remarked that it was amazing that Harrison, at such a young age, could entertain himself quietly in his bedroom for a period of time. I puffed out my chest a little, and smiled, thinking that some amazing parenting techniques had to play into this ability my son had. After all, it must have been me who taught him to self-entertain.

At 4:38, my husband came home from work, kissed us, and asked where Harrison was. Susan and I replied that he was in his bedroom playing nicely. Justin gave us a funny look and reported directly to Harrison’s room. He opened the door to find it filled  with a fresh coating of baby powder. All. Over. The. Room. Sheets. Clothes. Train table. Floor. Windowsills.

There were tears. There was laughing. There was disbelief. And there was Harrison, letting us know that there was still a little more powder in the bottle, if we wanted some.

If it weren’t for Susan, who thought this was indeed the most brilliant thing my little tyrant had done, I would have definitely lost my mind on that very day. Luckily, she stayed back and vacuumed while I went to the gym. She changed the sheets. She dusted the windowsills. When I came home, there was my happy little boy, all fresh smelling, and a clean bedroom. The vacuum still smells of baby powder when I start it up, but other than that, I suffered very little from that day. And guess who told me last week that I should pick up more baby powder at the store???

Welcome to Time Out!


Thank you for joining me! Here, I will share with you the treasures of memories and parenting experiences that I enjoy inside the walls of my house…and sometimes, if I’m lucky, out in the world so all the general public can witness the dysfunctionality of my daily life. (Yes, I am aware that “dysfunctionality” is not a word, and although, as an English teacher by trade, I probably shouldn’t be publishing non-words in my first ever blog post, I figure this is the one space where I can do whatever I want, so dysfunctionality it is, thankyouverymuch.)

If you’re new to the scene, let me set it for you. I am the happy stay-at-home mother of two small children, Harrison and Ella. I’ve put my love of writing on the back burner to change diapers and pour milk in recent history, so I’m really looking forward to having time to express myself. Just kidding. I don’t have time. The kids are watching TV. We live in midcoast Maine in a tiny tiny house so that we can share all of our time RIGHT NEXT to one another. It’s cozy, really. My incredibly talented and handsome husband renovated the place so we could move from our middle of nowhere home into town, which has been one of the biggest delights of my life. We simply ran out of space after Ella was born into our two bedroom home, and I’m sure we’ll be moving soon. Until then, she enjoys the luxury of a closet-turned-nursery.

This blog is part of one of my new personal goals, which is to write for a half hour each day. So far, I haven’t been doing so well with that goal, but hopefully this will motivate me to keep going. I’m so excited to share my stories with you, and I can’t tell you how much it means that you’re reading them.