nap trap

After we put the new to us mattress set in our bedroom, I put our old mattress on the living room floor for a few days. I thought it would get put out for the garbage collectors after one of the ‘watch movies and play games until you collapse’ events that my children call sleepovers. […]

Mirror maze technique

Tommy: Keep one arm outstretched and a hand touching the mirror until you reach the end of the maze. Sarah: Vanish in the maze with the boyfriend for as long as possible before parents find you. Noah: Walk sloooowly and cautiously. Amy: Count the number of reflections to figure out what’s a mirror and what’s […]

More than play

Me: “Evan? What are you doing?” Evan: “I’m just playing.” Me: “Playing what?” Evan: “I have to stack these toys using chopsticks instead of fingers.” Me: “Keep playing.”

Drop Dead Bob

When Sarah was small, she had an esoteric friend named Bob. He made random comments. “Bob stands on his head when it rains.” Bob was more of an alter-ego than an invisible friend. Or so we thought. Bob reappeared a few years ago as Amy’s secret playmate. Sarah hadn’t spoken of Bob in a few […]

empty box bitterness

Evan played happily with his Legos while Amy sat beside him, brooding. “Evan? You know that box that was my fort all day yesterday? The box that was soooo much fun and I loved it and I colored it and I kept my pillow in it and it was the best box ever?” “Yeah.” “Daddy […]

I am not the Energizer bunny

Dear Evan, I know you are excited about Easter, but Mommy is much too out of shape to hop around the house like a bunny several times every day. You have four older siblings who can play “bunny” without becoming instantly breathless. I do not want to explain to paramedics that I broke myself tripping […]

hypno dogs

“You will throw the ball. You want to throw the ball. You are going to throw the ball.”