Thursday, July 20, 2017

Madmartigan, 3 Years Old | headlong little one into the wild unknown

Dear Martigan,

The past three months have been a painful blur for me, and I think I've missed out on some things. I've been here, of course. I haven't gone anywhere; I never will. But, I'm not always all-the-way-here. Sometimes I will hear your little voice becoming agitated and realize you've been talking at me for many moments without recognition, that I've been lost in my head, and the guilt of that crushes me. Your dad and I have done our best to explain to you why things are different now. None of these explanations make a whole lot of sense to you, but you're picking up on the fact that life is strange and unfair, and sometimes people are disappointing. Try as I might to protect you from those facts, I can't wave them away when they land on our doorstep. I can only kneel next to you and listen hard while you talk, and answer your questions as honestly and simply as I know how, and apologize if I miss what you say the first time, then listen harder. Even when I've been distracted and sad, I have loved you and I have been amazed by you. 

And we've had fun. You are a joyful creature. You are a creature full of a lot of feelings, joy being one of them. We laugh quite a lot. You have that same clownish impulse as your dad, that same desire to see me giggling until tears spring to my eyes. You are so kind, so intuitive and sweet. I never worry about the man you'll be. But, I do want to do a better job of watching you and guiding you as you become that man, whether the world is falling down around us or not. 

I love you always, in every moment, every day,

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thankful Thursday | a kinda sorta haunted house

Cleaning up after the kids are in bed one evening, I find a half-eaten chicken nugget when I sweep under the dining table. I stare at it for a long time, perplexed. The idea of food (meat) surviving on our floor uneaten for so long is ludicrous, or, was. I am grateful in this moment for our good dog, Lunchbox, who, to his final days, was a dutiful, industrious living vacuum cleaner (and, of course, a pal).

I Am Grateful:
  • I am grateful that when the heat makes me lethargic on the playground, Mads accepts my suggestion that instead of tag we play "zombie tag" so I can shuffle lazily after him instead of running.
  • I am grateful for the way my grandmother lights up even the dimmest (grimmest) of rooms, and I am grateful if I've inherited even a smidgen of her sparkle.
  • I am grateful when my grandpa tells me I'm a good driver.
  • I am grateful for Queen Anne's Lace and early blackberries growing on the side of the road.
  • I am grateful for the way traffic lights reflect on the wet street at night when it rains.
  • I am grateful for Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest and sipping coffee out of a 1986 Casper The Friendly Ghost mug in June.
  • I am grateful to Jared for making me coffee before he leaves for work (to a job where he will make other people coffee all day).
  • I am grateful for the patience of the waitress at Noodle Blvd as my pre-schooler attempts to eat ramen for the first time.
  • I am grateful every time my son runs to me with a booger he's picked on the end of his finger, asking me to wipe it away with a tissue, because it is not a booger he's wiped on something else, flicked away, or eaten.
  • I am grateful for the self-satisfied grin on Wolfman's face as he listens to his own music, recorded the previous evening, and he announces with approval and pride, "That's nasty."
  • I am grateful for Grandpa bumping the side of my knee with his fist as we wait in a courtroom and telling me, "Tough life. Get over it."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March Joys & Favorites | fart nuggets!

| March Joys | 1. Forcing the boys to pose for a Spring family portrait with me when I realize we've all dressed in plaid one morning. | 2. Our first trip to Goodberry's of the year. | 3. Followed, within days, by a morning snow fall that's completely melted by lunch, leaving no evidence it every happened at all except my photos. | 4. A new fairy house at our front door, with occasional gifts for the kids. | 5. Visits to the State Farmer's Market, when we can manage it, for tasty produce and handmade candy. | 6. Finally, after years of hemming and hawing, hanging a little gallery wall in our living room and then pausing to admire it with every free moment for weeks afterward.  

| Correspondence | I have loved sending mail out with these Star Trek stamps, as if I'm sending missives to the final frontier. 
| Garden | 1. Bought myself a little English Thyme at the farmer's market because I'm not growing nearly enough herbs. (Note the proper use of a vehicle's cup holders above.) | 2. My Albuca spiralis is in bloom, which may very well mark the end of its time in my window sill (these plants are annuals, and the last one I had that bloomed died promptly afterwards). 
| Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny | Rather than show you a trailer, I'm posting the opening scene of this flick, for the few of you out there who, like me, somehow made it this long without seeing PoD. A lot of the movie is the goofy stoner humor the trailer promises, but it is the musical numbers, scenes like this one, that make this movie truly worthwhile because they could probably be used as educational materials for non-metalheads about why metal matters so much (in short, it's magical and rad). Plus, I have to admit, I always find Jack Black endearing and I think he's a totally underrated talent, comedically and musically. | Other movies I enjoyed this month: Tropico, Nacho Libre, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
| Buddy Thunderstruck | If you're recommending any sort of media to me, you really only have to ask one question to know if it's truly my kind of thing: is it white trash? Buddy Thunderstruck is a new Netflix show for children (though I read on a parenting website the characters' choice expletive "fart nuggets!" is frowned upon by many parents), but the truth is that Wolfman and I love this much more than Mads. We also love that Ted Raimi voices Buddy's sidekick Darnell. | Other shows and specials I enjoyed this month: Donald Glover's Weirdo and John Mulaney's New In Town.
| Hammers of Misfortune | An aptly named band to be listening to in the midst of so much dreariness this month. This band sounds like everything that was the fairy tales that engaged me as a child, with a cool, angsty, demonic beat to it. (And, the band does have songs inspired by witches, trolls, bloody axes, and dragons in its catalog.) The proggy vibes of Hammers of Misfortune give me all the Ritchie Blackmore feels, but with a little more heaviness, which is great for driving alone at night. 
| Links, etc. | 1. Vintage Laura Ashley, INFP "mapping", tattoos by Kerry Burke, and more inspiration collected on Pinterest. | 2. Diemon Dave the West Virginia Ninja. | 3. Lidia Yuknavitch's TED talk "The beauty of being a misfit" | 4. Chris Crocker (particularly this video) | 5. The Dogist | 6. Atchoum | 7. Whitney Way Thore's video "Stop Telling Me to Smile" | 8. Missing Richard Simmons #trypod

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Madmartigan, 3 Years Old | you think my muscles are big? you haven't seen my brain

Mads got an at-home hair cut this month. During his bath one night, Wolfman took the opportunity to clip about an inch off the ends of his hair. As with that time I tried cutting some bangs on him to keep his hair out of his face (the summer he turned 2), he moved as scissors snipped through his hair, and the result was VERY crooked. The next morning, Wolfman and I stood in the hall bathroom with our boy. Mads was at the sink standing on his step stool while Wolfman and I assessed the damage and giggled. I attempted to straighten the cut, and then attempted to straighten that cut, and as a result, his hair is shoulder-length now. He's still a long-haired boy who is mistaken for a girl everywhere, by every one, but the difference is so obvious as I look at these pictures now. Mads, for the record, could care less. He can still head bang, so he's happy.
About Mads, 3 Years & 7 Months Old:

  • Mads is dressed as Batman, in his mask and cape, at least 50% of the time. When he's dressed like Batman, he is Batman. If I want a kiss, he will tell me, "Batman doesn't kiss," to which I must request, "Can Martigan give me a kiss?" Sometimes he will lift up his mask to kiss me, and sometimes he won't.
  • He describes potential wounds like so: "and then my blood will come out!" It's gross but also kind of funny.
  • Mads, completely on his own, has been diligently practicing his "s" sound, which he has a little trouble with in conversation. When he calls his bathroom stool a "tool," and I say, "Yep, we've got to move your stool," he stands on it repeating, "ssstt, sssttt, ssstt." 
  • We went to see The LEGO Batman movie this month in the movie theater, and he refused to wear his 3D glasses, the entire time.
  • Mads loves playing Candyland, Twister, and building towers with legos.
  • Mads also loves to create scenarios for his toys and make them talk to each other. He gives me and his dad elaborate conversation ("now you say _____"), as if writing a script. I've noted before on Martigan's penchant for story-telling and here is another layer.
  • Favorite toys this month: his large metal dump truck (a gift from Aunt Theresa) and his Batman action figure.
  • Favorite shows and movies: Ask the StoryBots and lots of super heroes (both DC and Marvel, in all sorts of variations)
  • Favorite books: Part-Time Princess by Deborah Underwood and Cambria EvansMercer Mayer's Little Critters books
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