I got an iPhone recently and I'm kind of enamoured with Instagram. We cancelled our home internet and since I have yet to figure out how to tether my phone data plan to our laptop, I've been blogging using the teeny tiny keypad on my phone, and my Instagram photos (I'm there as knittygrittyhomestead in case you're wondering).
Kind of ridiculous, right? Not nearly as ridiculous as my life gets now and then, of course, and I always find that crazy times in life and particularly in parenthood help me to keep things in perspective.
Like Norah having yet another fever followed by a rash while measles enjoys a renewed heyday in western Canada, the day before she was due to start her (delayed) immunizations.
Like that same night, another child's mysterious nocturnal thrashing around combined with an itchy...ahem...bottom are explained when I checked for worms in the middle of the night.
I believe my exact words were "Dear God, please release me from this new hell". Because pin worms can only be seen at night if you sneak up on them with a flashlight. And of course you never have the medicine that kills them just kicking around your cupboard.
And did I mention that of all the gross things I have dealt with so far as a mother and kindergarten teacher, pin worms get the hat trick for making me shudder, gag, and cringe all at the same time?
You simultaneously want to a) comfort your child, b) annihilate the worms in some horribly painful way, and c) put a pillow over your child's head so you can just get some damn sleep for once in your life.
But, no. You get up after five hours' broken sleep to go to work (teaching kindergarten no less) while your child stays home to rest.
Nails clipped, dosed with vermicidal medicine, and all bedding washed. Phew!
So today when I received a text from my husband as I was heading into Mass, one that read "baby has worms", I could only sigh. Because sometimes it's just a gruelling marathon to some finish line you'll never reach and you're really out of shape to begin with.
Another thing that made me gag: the insane Fred Flintstone goose egg that Margot got today when she was accidentally shoved into a door frame during some good-natured horseplay.
I know. Her face says everything I feel in these moments when my husband brings me a bag of ice and I ask for a cloth to wrap it in and he gives me a stinky old rag he found under the sink. Then I ask for the arnica before remembering that the mice nibbled the little rubber dropper bulb right off.
So all I could do was hold her while her baby sister tried to bite her on the bum which made her laugh-cry. Maybe this is how they're passing worms around.
And maybe it's time to contact the television networks about having my own reality show.
The weekend brought long-awaited sunshine and trickles of water along the roadside. Bikes were released from their spot in the drive shed and puddles were tested for depth. We headed out for a long walk. The ponies watched our departure with longing; alas, the gate that would release them is locked shut with ice.
The remains of garland, perhaps blown from a spent Christmas tree on its way to the dump, became a fairy's wreath, while sparkling shards of granite on a leaf became gems wrapped in emerald velvet.
A wooden club for the cave boy, a brush of red pine needles as a broom, pine cone projectiles and a fallen tree to explore. Dwindling snow banks and the detritus they leave behind, the scent of earth and fresh air, and new freckles sprouting like wildflowers on our children's faces.
After the longest winter in our memory, we have been released.
The day begins with a peek out the attic window to check the weather. The morning sun creates a nest of warmth for the lucky felines who get to nap all day. I go to work where I help little ones in and out of splash pants and wet mitts, teach art to the tallest in the school, touch my own children tenderly when they pass me in the halls, then finally head home again.
A cheap bottle of wine, holding my love's hand while the kids watch their Friday night movie, and the rabid cuddles of a toddler who has missed me all week.
The promise of an episode of Downton Abbey and a bit of knitting, and a work day tomorrow to prepare for some minor renovations give the sense of a lovely weekend ahead.
And finally, she is here. The snowsuits are officially done and I'll be building a big bonfire. The snow pants' knees cannot be patched one more time, the coats are grubby beyond the point that any laundry magic can clean them, and the boots and mitts have that weird stinky sweat smell that only winter clothes can have. So, we stopped at our local shoe store and got new rubber boots and some splash pants. I dug into a bin I'd set aside and was delighted to find a tiny pair of pink rubbers for Norah. She was even more delighted than me and eagerly stepped in cold puddles for the first time. Then she fell face first into the icy, slushy, muddy water. She wasn't so delighted about that. But her big brother (in his cool $2 hat) swept her out of the puddle and back inside for dinner.
I am so loving these long days of warm sunlight and the promise that all this melting snow holds. I also love that big stack of wood and the promise of next winter's warmth. But I won't dwell on that right now when there are puddles to be splashed in!