Welcome, September

September 6, 2011

Autumn touches my cheek with her cool fingers. “It’s not going to be easy,” she tells me, “but it will be easier.”

The Labor Day Weekend was lovely and also a test of endurance. Saturday was fun, Sunday was nice, and yesterday was, well, a little much, actually. Dot learned to climb on the bookshelves, and her favorite new activities seem to be pulling all the books off the shelves and toys out of her toy bucket and then strewing them (rather merrily, grant you) across the floor. She found an old bottle of baby lotion, got the cap off, and smeared it all over the butcher block kitchen island so that our kitchen now smells of baby powder. She went on a walk to the park with her daddy and lost her favorite toy duckling and I pushed Daddy to go back and look for it even though he was hot and tired. It’s not the hard-hearted woman you need to beware; it’s the soft-hearted one, who is pushed to hard-heartedness at need.

Duckling was found. Duckling, who is now known as Knuffle Duckling, slept in our bed last night, with Dot, who woke up in tears at 4:00 a.m. and needed many stories and my nipples to chew on before she could settle back down. She only bites a little, and only when she’s very tired and uncomfortable, but she has a full set of chompers, and that place where there was a choice of whether to lie there and play the role of both comforter and comfort object or to get up and hold her till she cried herself to sleep was a very, very dark place.

We staggered out of bed this morning like zombies, N and I. Like undercaffeinated zombies who hadn’t eaten enough brains. We managed to get clothes on and Dot in her car seat and headed off to work later than we wanted to go, Dot clutching duckling in her hand with a little baby death grip. Because we were later than usual, there was more traffic than usual. If N was the sort to swear under his breath, he would have done it. Instead he just stewed, quietly.

Toys from home aren’t allowed at the childcare center, and we were afraid of losing Knuffle Duckling again, so we had to pry the little yellow thing from Dot’s grip as we took her out of the car, which led to a beautifully dramatic, “Duuuuuucky! Duuuuuuuuckling! Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucky!” all the way down the hallway. Once in the classroom, I thought, one of the teachers could help us. Dot loves her teachers. Unfortunately, the room was full, breakfast was being served, and one of Dot’s classmates had just thrown up all over the floor by one of the breakfast tables, so there weren’t any arms to spare. We finally left her, tear-stained but contentedly picking strawberries out of her oatmeal, and N drove me to a drop-off spot near my building.

Except the combination of foot and vehicle traffic was especially thick by then and it took longer to drive than it would’ve for me to walk. A fucking garbage truck was blocking our lane (with the help of two buses, several cars, and lots of pedestrians) and N was looking very stoic and simmering when he dropped me off and we could feel each other trying not to say, “This is all your fault!”

I arrived to find an email message from someone who’d like me to teach a class at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, which I will probably do even though it’s nice if I have some advanced notice to prep the family for this sort of thing, and now I’m sitting in my office, taking my lunch hour very early in order to gather my thoughts. I think that it’s very possible that Dot has the beginnings of another ear infection, which would explain last night. This morning. Whatever. Also, the family across the street moved away, with all their worldly possessions in a big trailer. All their worldly possessions that is, except for their sweet black and white kitten, the sole survivor of the cat family they half-assedly took care of, so she is now ours by default which would be lovely if we didn’t have two elderly set-in-their-ways felines living with us already. But this kitten was my favorite, and I can at least make sure she gets spayed and vaccinated and then try to find her a decent home before winter sets in.

Also, I have a cold.

And you know what? Still better than most of August.




  1. Wow. I feel stressed just reading that.

    Funny how the everyday crap of life still makes its way in between the grief. One of those days.

    We’re dealing with our own version of that scene at my house, so I feel your pain. Hang in there.

  2. Hmm our living room carpet also smells suspiciously of baby lotion! As I am always saying to my children, mid-strew, “It’s a good job you’re cute.”

    I’m so glad that you found Knuffle Duckling. Poor little Dot.

    Your September sounds as though it is shaping up to be hectic. Still, as you says, it sure beats August.

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