Charming child casually destroys my marriage

Home again, and alone. I have delivered Mary to Alexandria, about an hour away, where she boarded a shuttle to the airport so that she can go visit our grandson for three weeks. It wasn’t a great drive, either, since we’re in the midst of a moderately nasty winter storm. We left at around 5:30 am, drove in the darkness with sleety wet snow coming down sideways at us. The roads weren’t too bad, but the road signs were plastered with snow that looked black in our headlights, so it was as if someone had spray painted every sign on the route.

Anyway, she made it to Alexandria, I made it back home, she’s gone for a good long while. Darn babies, ripping my comfortable family apart with their adorable cuteness and cute adorableness.

I get to stay home and just work.


  1. jstackpo says

    “Darn babies…” ??!!??

    But you have all those spiderlings to look after.

    You don’t suppose a house full of spiders has anything to do with your goodwyfe Mary’s three week absence?

  2. says

    That picture reminds me of one of my favorite memories from when I had a housemate with a baby and became pretty bonded – not mom & child bonded, but at least foster-mom level bonding. She is a wonderful woman today and this was foreshadowed by the fact that even as a pre-verbal child, as much as anything else, she loved sitting on the lap of her mom of one of her mom’s housemates and having them read her a book.

    She LOVED books.

    She also had particular favorites. If you know Fox in Socks, you know the entire point is that it’s a series of tongue twisters. It’s hard to speak the words correctly out loud even when you have them right there in front of you. But she had me read her favorite books so many times that I actually had Fox in Socks memorized, along with a few others.

    So one day, being the malicious misanthrope that I am, when she crawls over to me dragging Fox in Socks I pick her up, get her settled on my lap and… start speaking the words of a Sandra Boynton book that she also loved, “But Not the Hippopotamus”.

    As I proceed to speak the words that go with that other book and turn the pages at the appropriate times, her little head goes on a swivel from the book to my face with the best, “What the HELL are you doing??!?!??!!!??!??!?” expression in the history of babies. I only got a couple page-flips in to my cleverly adapted adaptation when she leans forward and slaps one palm down on each open page, stretches out her arms to get to the edges, slams the book closed, picks it up off my lap and, turning, hands it to me again.

    All of that activity was really at the limit of her physical skills; she could only hold the book up for four or five seconds at a time in those days. And yet she was as completely clear and expressive in her communication as any English lit major could hope to be.

    So… I see photos of parents (or just loving adults) with their younglings and a good book, and I wonder, Am I uniquely evil, or do they, too, ever get bored reading the same book for the thousandth time and think about putting one past their love-a-tyke?

  3. magistramarla says

    Aww. You’ll survive. I feel you, though. My daughter bought plane tickets for me (a surprise) to go to Houston to be with the kids while she and her husband are attending a conference. Then, she had the idea to buy her Dad tickets for the long weekend of Thanksgiving to fly out to join us for the holiday. We just escaped from Texas!

  4. Buzz Parsec says

    Get to tell my 21st Century child story again…
    One day not long ago I was walking on a path near my house when a guy came jogging along pushing one of those 3-wheel racing strollers. The kid (probably about 18 months) had a large picture book in its hands and was trying to change the page by swiping it like a Kindle or iPad… I almost fell over.

  5. wzrd1 says

    Welcome, welcome to my world, duh, duh, de dum.
    Captured my heart as well, having diapered the lot of them.
    Would, that conditions allowed meeting and exposure, but we’re prohibiting potential parasite exchange.

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