Benji has Pretended to Be…

– A dung beetle, with his snuggly blankie as a ball of dung
– Intestines wiggling on the floor
– Silly little baby spider that wiggles and giggles before he hatches out from under his snuggly blankie
– A hermit crab in his shell (a pillow fort)
– A duckling following the mommy duck (me) single file
– A silly little egg ready to hatch from under his snuggly blankie
– A bit of soap grabbing grease and a water molecule in a bubbly wash
– A blob of grease jumping progressively higher on the grill (couch) as it gets hotter and hotter

We must be doing something right in this parenting thing.

Of course, this list excludes all the more normal things he’s been, like a race car, a firefighter, a sick patient who needs a doctor, etc.

Cuddle Time


Bonding over a YouTube video on Ian’s phone, still legit snuggling. Those moments are infrequent these days, thanks to Benji’s Always Going 100% Engine. There is no take it easy in his vocabulary;┬áthere’s either go or crash.

In unrelated and definitely non-cuddly news, I had to get my driver license renewed, and this meant a trip to the DMV in lovely Lynnwood.

While there, I noticed two kids playing. Kid 1 was maybe 3 1/2, and I never actually saw (only heard) Kid 2. When it was time for Kid 1 to leave, he three a huge fit and yelled something probably never heard before at the DMV: “I don’t want to leave!!”

Also, file this under “Extremely Alarming”: Seeing a very old, doddering lady tottering along on her walker, barely able to find which desk to go to… getting her license renewed. I somehow can’t believe her reflexes and cognition are sharp enough for safe driving. As a cyclist especially, I felt deeply anxious at seeing this. She could, most likely, hit me with her car and then claim with complete honesty, “I never saw her,” because she only sees 25% of what actually is happening on the road.

This is why I’m all for mandatory re-testing including an in-car driver test, after people reach a certain age. Lots of seniors are perfectly fine driving, but it only takes one not-fine driver to give me a really bad day biking.

Too Fun to Nap

This morning we had so much fun that Benji couldn’t calm down enough to fall asleep at nap time. Ingredients for this exceptionally fun morning:

– Go to Nana’s house and see Builder Pat at work. Eat lots of raspberries.
– Go to St. Edwards State Park and find a half-dozen fire trucks from various agencies doing training.


Get permission to closely examine the trucks while the firefighters are training. Conduct said examination with Miss Ellen.


– Hike to the lake like a big boy, walking the entire way there and most of the way back.


While at the lake, learn what I mean when I say, “Watch out or your feet will get wet.” But, simultaneously, do an excellent job obeying when I ask not to go deeper.



– After hiking to the top up from the lake, go play in the and box at the play area. Pour sand down front of the diaper. Then receive an arrow popper from Miss Ellen.



– Go home and eat lunch, then go for a diaper change and reveal a huge gooey poop coated with sand, and sand coating everywhere. Rinse off in tub before nap. I put shoes, socks, and pants out to dry on porch with no hope that they’ll ever be not wet again. The shoes are utterly soaked.
– Feel too darn excited to nap, even with two hours in a dark crib.

Meanwhile, back at Benji school (part 2)

Remember back in March when we started biking consistently to Benji school, and we got a nasty sign put up telling us not to park in the building? At the time, the wonderful folks at Kindering asked the building manager to put up a bike rack. I appreciated the gesture but figured we wouldn’t be around to benefit whenever the each went up.

How wrong I was! Today when we arrived at Benji school (in the car, due to thunderstorms periodically drenching our area) we saw a new bike rack! And it was just in the perfect spot, covered and near the front door.


At left, the new, permanent no bikes sign; at right, the new outside bike rack.

I’m not sure how we’ll park our trailer there right blocking the door, but we’ll figure something out.

I’m just really grateful for a positive resolution. Definitely the best outcome I would have hoped for.

Most Amazing Library Receipt Ever

I don’t know about you, but I’m often lax about pulling the receipts out of my library books. I use them as book marks and then leave them in when I return them, figuring the library staff or book gnomes or somebody will pull them out and recycle them. Well, this receipt appeared in a book my mom got from the library, and I’m not sure I’ll ever think of leaving receipts in books again.

In case your library doesn’t do it this way, the receipt lists all the books the person checked out in that session. I’ve ripped the patron’s name off to protect (going out on a limb here) her identity.

I don't know which is better, "Hooking up or holding out: the smart girl's guide to driving men crazy and/or finding true love" or "Mind-blowing sex: a women's guide."

I don’t know which is better, “Hooking up or holding out: the smart girl’s guide to driving men crazy and/or finding true love” or “Mind-blowing sex: a women’s guide.”

Reasons My Son is Grouchy

(In order of preference)

1. He’s hungry. — Feed him, preferably something like raisins* that ups blood sugar quickly.
2. He’s tired. — Start bedtime or naptime routine a little earlier.
3. He’s sick. — Run and hide, but only after autoclaving your entire home. Otherwise, you are doomed.
4. He’s 2 1/2. — Resign yourself to the fact that there’s nothing to be done but endure for the next couple decades.

* Child’s input: Preferably chocolate chips, cookies containing chocolate chips, chocolate ice cream, or chocolate milkshakes. Theme emerging? Possibly…

Reasons My Son is Not Grouchy

1. We picked up a big rock in our back yard and found a plethora of creepy crawly things, including a zillion curly bugs, a few millipedes, some beetles, some spiders, and three slugs (one very large, one medium, and one small, much to Benji’s delight). One spider was a funnel spider hiding down its funnel — I showed Benji but strongly encouraged him not to help the spider, as it could find its own bugs just fine.
Benji: “Benji love bugs! Benji love banana slugs! Banana slugs love bananas! Benji love curly bugs! Mommy, come see two very very wiggly worms!”
Me: “I like bugs, too… [bleck bleck bleck bleck]”
Later on, we looked at our book called Insects (me concealing my shudders, because some things you just don’t want to see really huge) and discovered that curly bugs and millipedes are NOT insects; and in fact, the only insects we saw were the few beetles that scuttled rapidly away.
2. He got to eat a ton of pasta for snack and lunch, followed by a dinner of frozen green beans and bacon.
3. It was 75 degrees this afternoon and Ian brilliantly opened up the water table, then let Benji run around nekked in the back yard playing with water.

Dulcius Ex Asperis