Sunday, October 23, 2005

Another Fall Weekend - October 2005

Well, I've bowed to the inevitable -- the only way to teach Rachel to use the potty is to not put those diapers on her. Though maybe that's not correct - after all, can you learn to fly by going skydiving without a parachute? Whatever. Rachel's wearing those undies, so the past two days have been rather wet around here, and I seem to be doing 4 loads of laundry a day rather than the usual 3, and I don't think the nice people working at our local Barnes and Noble really want to see us again, ever. Otherwise, potty training is going just fine.

I think we've finally cleaned up the last of the apples from the apple tree. We sort of neglected the apple situation last week because of all the rain; but today our front porch was smelling strongly of fermenting apples and the bee population seemed to be multiplying, so I did what any responsible adult would do in that situation - I sent the kids out there to clean it all up. Yeah, they cried a little; but in the end, it made them stronger. And now maybe our neighbors will start talking to us again.

Larry worked all weekend (boy, this sounds familiar), so I kept us busy with trips to Michaels' (Rachel and Brian made very fine styrofoam/pipecleaner piggies there) and to the Farmers' Market at Lake Anne (we tried stopping in at one of the stores, too; but Rachel had another, uh, accident there) and then to the commissary to pick up 2 weeks' worth of groceries. That was just Saturday. Theo was away at a boy scout camporee, so Anna was pressed into service as oldest child present. This did not make her happy. She had quite the attitude until she suddenly seemed to sense that I was about to ground her for the rest of her life. Then she became amazingly cooperative. Sunday, I was going to take it easy; but I woke up and realized I still had 6 kids and no husband, so that plan went out the window. We made a double batch of apple crisp (we just can't stop) and walked to the bookstore and the bagel shop and came home and cleaned up the porch. By this time the children realized that if they would just leave me alone, I might not make them work anymore. So I didn't see any of them for a couple of hours. Good thing.

Larry has the day off tomorrow, so I have many exciting plans, such as sleeping as late as 7:30 and maybe even going to Target all by myself. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I can't help it. An incurable optimist, I am.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Of Costumes and Commodes

Relatives are visiting (ain't we got fun?). Larry's sister Kate is here, which means all the little ones are sitting around wielding crochet hooks and other implements of destruction. She brought Grandma with her. Grandma is prefacing everything she says with "I may be repeating myself, but..." Yes. Indeed, yes. Most emphatically, yes.

Anna's Halloween costume (a damsel dress) is progressing well, thanks to Auntie. If she hadn't showed up to help, Anna would have been stuck with wrapping herself in old newspapers and going trick-or-treating as the Goddess of Recycling. Or perhaps as an order of fish-and-chips. Or the floor of a bird cage, even. The possibilities are endless, if you simply use your imagination.

I have officially given up - I do not know how to potty-train a child. I am open to any and all suggestions that may help Rachel to kick her diaper habit. (And, no, the suggestions may not involve the use of duct tape.) I just read an article in The New York Times (see - I can still read) claiming that the fashion now is to toilet-train one's infant, before it develops that nasty and expensive dependency on diapers. One mother is quoted as saying that she has a much better relationship with her 10-week-old now that she has learned to read his cues which signal his need to poop or pee. May I humbly suggest that there is one woman with way too much time on her hands? Anyway, it's too late for Rachel, who apparently (at this late age) needs some sort of 12-Step program in order to graduate to undies.

Rachel has commandeered a camping lantern for her bed (battery-operated, don't worry). "See, Brian," she showed her brother. "This is my lighttern." "No, Rachel," he sagely corrected her. "That is a lamptern." Despite their differing opinions on most things linguistic, theirs is a mostly harmonious relationship. Oh, Rachel does swat Brian on the head with her little purse from time to time; but he's taking Tae Kwan Do 3 times a week now, so he should be able to defend himself pretty soon.

Until next time...