I had honestly forgotten the sprinkler this summer. Probably it’s because I never use it for watering. But a couple weeks ago Nathan found it, and hooked it up, and the first I knew of it was when I looked out the window and saw a tell-tale fan of water drifting over my garden.

Also dripping children started appearing at the back door.


Mica is three. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and in some ways it has felt a long time coming, but in other ways not so much. In any case there doesn’t seem to be any way around it: she is three, and, as she will inform anyone who calls her a baby, she is not a baby but a “big girl.”

Not too big, though. She is still small enough that getting helium balloons is a major source of excitement. That and the park were her main treats of the day, as well as a gift from her grandpa and, of course, dessert. She has known for months what she wanted her birthday dessert to be: strawberry cupcakes. I could do nothing but comply. They were both tasty and pink, and I suspect that both qualities were highly appreciated.

Just A Picture

Grandma is here, with gifts, clothes (especially little girl clothes, which are the most fun to buy) and hair clips.


A conversation with Mica, just after she signaled the start of a game by saying “You be the doctor.”

Me: What seems to be the trouble?
Mica (in a sick voice): My belly and ‘testines are gone.
Me: They’re gone?!
Mica (in a sick voice): Yes.
Me: That’s terrible! What happened?
Mica (in a sick voice): The boys took them.
Me: Oh, no! Well, here are some new ones.
Mica: I want pink ‘testines.
Me: Oh yes, they come in pink.

Computer Insanity

Nathan is not even ten years old, and his desk in our sun room now looks like this:

This is the result of two unrelated upgrades. The first was to his table. He wanted a larger, less beat-up table, and so Dave took him out one day to look for one. I thought they were going to check out the local thrift store, but apparently when they didn’t find anything there, Dave headed straight for Ikea and got Nathan a nice new table. He now has the cleanest computer table in the house, not to mention the newest by about two decades.

(“Why does Nathan rate a new computer table?” I asked Dave. He looked at me oddly and said, “He asked for one.” “You mean all you have to do to get furniture in this house is ask for it?” Another odd look. “Yes…”)

The second upgrade was to his computer system. Nathan has been using Dave’s old laptop, which is a nice system in many ways but slightly glitchy (which is why Dave got a new one). But we recently got a hand-me-down system from Dave’s friend, and now Nathan has a nice, relatively new computer with two good screens to complement his laptop. His desk could pass for a programmer’s, and he’s still in single digits.

Needless to say, Nathan is very happy with his circumstances.

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Just A Picture

This was at Village Free School. Chiffon is one of Mica’s favorite people at the school, and she was so, so excited to finally have him sitting in her lap.

The Last Few Pieces

The other day I pulled out one of my favorite jigsaw puzzles from my childhood, with a plan.

The boys have shown little interest in jigsaw puzzles, which has been disappointing to me, because they were a major part of my life growing up. But I’d noticed Ryan working on some wooden puzzles that I’d put out for Mica, and it gave me an idea. In making any puzzle, there are harder parts and easier parts — there are the fun, colorful parts that go together easily, and the trickier, less obvious parts that usually get saved for the end. So, I reasoned, what if I did all the hard parts and left just a few holes, with interesting, easy bits for the boys to do?

This was harder than I’d expected, since my eyes kept trying to dwell on my favorite bits of the puzzle. I didn’t really want to do the sky, or the border. But I managed it, and left the puzzle on the dining room table, and was gratified to see the boys working together not long after to finish up the last bits.

A second experiment some days later roped in Ryan for another short and satisfying jigsaw puzzle session. Can I use this to eventually get them interested in doing puzzles by themselves? I don’t know, but the experiment is interesting enough to continue.