Monday, January 19, 2009


If we're the real life chatty sort, and the subject (or any related subject, I make sketchy tangential segues) has ever come up, then you probably already know how I feel about old Mister Heavy Breather himself, Garrison Keillor. Two words for you: Heebie Jeebies.

I can't even stomach his daily 1:30 (on my npr affiliate) Writer's Almanac spot without hearing the crusties stuck in his prominent nose hairs. Of course I don't know if he has sticky-outy nasal hairs and whether anything, crusty or not, is stuck in them, so before I'm accused of malicious slander, I'll say it's all a figment of my imagination and is just some sort of synaesthetic sound association, maybe like the way, when I'm tired, lying in bed waiting for sleep, unexpected cracks of sound flash a brilliant white behind my eyes.

But! I get his Writer's Almanac (be well, do good work, keep in touch) emailed to me and while I don't read every single one, I read and enjoy enough of them that I'll give credit where credit is due. Thanks, Creepy Not-So-Funny Public Radio Guy. I never laugh at your small town Minnesota comedy bits, but if not for you it wouldn't have occurred to me that today is Edgar Allan Poe's birthday.

So sometime today, maybe after the girl comes in from reading on her new corner look-out tower (because the lashed rope tree look-out spot plus the very high tree fort/platform were not enough high watching, noticing places for one wee yard, apparently) but before I clean up another puddle of boy pee from the suddenly-interested-in-using-the-potty little boy in the house, I will read some Poe selections out loud. My daughter and I will pick at least a few stanzas for memorization.

You might think that, at three, my boy is behind the power curve on the potty learning. And so be it. That's not the way we work around here. I shrug. As a lady well into her thirties now, I can't say that it's ever, in any of my memories, been a point of interest to anyone, when I started using the toilet. But every little milestone for little ones can be some kind of tiny tot Pulitzer prize. Because, clearly, it's a sign of future success and happiness that Junior started walking at 9 months. These little details can be so ridiculously weighted. I cheer along for my children as they reach new abilities, absolutely, but I think when you put them into perspective, they just aren't that important. The sum of my child's triumphs, the parameters of our parent/child relationship, exist far beyond such a small thing as peeing in the toilet.

So we are on the brink of saying goodbye soon to diapers and wipes. We traveled through, and look over our shoulder now, to remember Nursing. But we're still so close we can almost touch it, and sometimes he asks, but forgets momentarily and moves onto something else. His sister did not wean until she was 3 and a half, which seemed then like a very old age. I didn't have any peers, at that time, who nursed their babies so long. I have lots of them now. I got more than a few raised eyebrows. But I've been doing this gig long enough, I don't know if it's that I have more positive reactions, in general, or if I've grown a callous over the negative rubs. It doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is this: they are babies for such a short time. And when you have a big girl but ten days away from her 10th birthday, you know that 3 is still such a baby.

1 comment:

omy said...

As a lady well into her thirties now, I can't say that it's ever, in any of my memories, been a point of interest to anyone, when I started using the toilet.

This part made me lol. But you are so right! :)