Brain Dump

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1. We sent Chicken to school last week, just a few blocks up the street. I have half-composed a bazillion posts in my head about this decision, in which I use all the words in the universe to explain the back and forth and soul-searching and eventual decision.

Instead of that marathon post, I’ll just hit on one major turning point: talking to a friend about the decision and realizing how many times I referenced feeling guilty about sending her to school.

I did NOT say that I think public school is best.
I did NOT say that I think homeschool is best.
I did NOT say that I feel strongly that she needs one or the other this year.

Just that I didn’t want to send her to school, and then feel guilty when she struggles.

In hearing myself express this guilt over and over, I realized what a power player it was. And I think that is a poor reason to make a decision.

I demoted “guilt” out of the number one motivator, and made the decision from there. So- here we are- with a first grader at Venable.

(And- yes- she has already struggled in the ways I think she will continue to. And I feel sad for her and protective of her when she talks about that small part of her day. But that is not turning into soul-crushing guilt. See how lovely that is? Also- by and large- she is really enjoying school. It is not all struggle and difficulty, by any stretch.)

2. Could it be? Are we possibly looking at a reprieve from diapers? We are about three weeks into potty training and I think it is safe to say we are in the clear. (With the exception of naptime and nighttime. A-okay with me). I am high-fiving myself left and right.

3. I was out with my husband the other night and ordered a Coke and got the standard “Did you say Diet or regular?” question in return. Blergh. I am confident that only women get asked this dumb question. My husband doesn’t get asked, but I do- easily- over half the time.

Don’t assume that because I am a woman, I am on a diet and want the diet beverage. Regular Coke, always.

4. We were in D.C. this weekend and I was asked- twice!- if this is my first child. Bless your hearts. Does this look like my first rodeo? Do I look dewy-eyed and well-rested? I will take what you just asked as a huge compliment. And- yes- your tip just went up another 5%.

5. While in D.C., the kids were with their Poppies and Mimi. Good times were had by all. Tractors were ridden, watermelons were carried, and movies were watched. From my eldest: “We watched ‘Spirit’ four times and ‘Land Before Time’ twice!” And somehow they even managed to fit in a trip to Sweet Frogs!

There’s no spoiling equal to that of the grandparents.

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Sometimes You’re the Windshield, Sometimes You’re the Bug

Three years ago we had a sex party, where we discovered the gender of baby number three. Chicken was quite disappointed to be getting another brother.

Three nights ago we had a fourth and final sex party, where we discovered the gender of baby number four. This time, Monkey felt the crushing blow of disappointment.

Behold. As captured by my friend Sara, who was present for both occasions:

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Most (but not all) of us are thrilled that we’re having a girl!

Brain Dump

1. Just as I said they would, the scales have tipped right back in the other direction. Last week I leaned toward sending Chicken to the perfectly wonderful public school up the street. This week I lean toward homeschooling.

I really, honestly do not know how we will make this decision. My see-sawing on the topic never ends.

Maybe I should take a vote! What do you think I should do?

2. We are several days into the thumb-free life for the little Monkey and so far, so good. I highly recommend my sister’s method for thumb-suckers. That is: if you see that you have a child who sucks his thumb, gently and lovingly shove a blanket/stuffed animal/lovey in his face every time you see him doing it. This will (hopefully) create an association between thumb-sucking and the lovey.

This helps when a) you want the thumb-sucking to be a bedtime only thing (the lovey stays in the bed) and b) when it is time to break the habit once and for all.

Monkey’s bear has been sleeping elsewhere for a few days and, with that, his trigger for thumb-sucking is gone. Seems to help a ton, at least for us.

3. We have an apartment across the street (this one), which we rent out. I was showing it to a couple a few weeks ago and they really liked it a lot. Wanted to move in, but needed to check on a few things related to getting out of their current lease. Um, okay. I’ll just check back in with you later.

I reconnected with the guy a few days ago to follow up. We talked for 10 minutes. He said they want to move in, and he knows we have a “sorry, no pets” policy…but could he please bring his old hound dog and five cats with him? The hound is “well behaved, like an old woman- just lays around all day” and the five cats are “all outdoor cats”.

I don’t doubt that your hound is well-behaved. (Like all old women are. Wait, what?). And the five cats are, too. And I’m sorry that your cat-sitter let your cat get pregnant on her watch in the first place, leading to the five cats you now own. But no. We can’t make that work.

4. When you are potty training your two year old, every little noise sounds like pee hitting the floor. I call it potty training paranoia; only the paranoia is completely justified.

5. Day five of science camp: corn snakes and dry ice in the creek. CAMP RULES.

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Happy Monday, all. This week, may your floors be pee-free and may you lay around like an old woman whenever the urge strikes.