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Conversation I just had with L in the car:

L: The blue ‘tuff is hot. Very hot. Never touch the blue ‘tuff.
me: What blue stuff?
L: What? When we go camping. I’m going to bring all my snugglies.
me: OK. What blue stuff?
L: What blue ‘tuff?
me: What you said. The blue stuff is hot. What blue stuff?
L: It’s hot? What blue ‘tuff?
me: The blue stuff you were talking about. The hot blue stuff not to touch.
L: If it’s hot and you touch it you’ll get burned.
me: That’s true. But what’s the blue stuff?
L: What blue ‘tuff?
me: OK, nevermind. Don’t touch hot things.
L: Is the blue ‘tuff hot, Mommy?

Maddening, isn’t it? Abbot and Costello must have had a 4-year-old.

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This morning was more stressful than most. We noticed last night that the house was cold. Nothing unlivable, just a cool 63 degrees. A few pairs of fleece jammies for the kids and extra blankets for us and we all went to sleep just fine. This morning – 53 degrees. I don’t know why, but 53 degrees in a house feels so much colder than 53 degrees outside.

We were frozen and couldn’t be in the house. No problem. Good mommy takes this as an opportunity for a special morning out! We go out for breakfast. The kids are starving by the time we get to the restaurant and I let L pick out a muffin from the display case. He comes back to the table followed by the waitress carrying a cheese danish. OK, so the kids can have a cheese danish. What a fun mommy I am! I feel like I’m winning the morning. We follow-up with some hot food and hot coffee (just for me) and we’re on our way.

Driving down the road where the speed limit is 40, so it’s safe to assume I was moving at 45, a bunch of bad things happened at once. First, I noticed that the cars behind me and in the oncoming lane started honking, and the drivers all slowed down and waved their arms around. At the very same time L started screaming. The car filled with a strange, loud whooshing sound. And it got cold. I glance in my rearview at crying, panic-stricken L and I see that his door is open. All the way open. Wide friggin’ open!

A note to Subaru manufacturers: you know that little white switch you’ve placed on the inside edge of the door, right at child-height, which turns the childproof locks on/off? Well, guess what? Children can play with it. And, apparently, they do. Maybe consider a different location?

A note to moms: when your kid does something that scares the living crap out of you, just let your natural emotions about it show. Doing so will scare the crap right back out of the kid, who will swear to you he will never ever ever do it again if you just calm down and promise you still love him.

Back home intact and in time for the heating guys to show up. 2 hours later the heat is back on and as I type this it is a balmy 57 degrees in here and rising. Soon I’ll take my coat off and be able to feel my fingers. In the meantime, this is what S has been wearing inside the house:

Despite how horribly unflattering this would be on me, I wish I had a fleece jumpsuit like this.

Under this all fleece number, she has on fleece pants, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a sweater.

Despite more temptation than usual, I have not started drinking.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted some of our car-talk. The sun was in L’s eyes while we were driving:

L: Why is the sun so sunny?
me: (sighing at this millionth unanswerable question in a row) That’s it’s job.
L: Do you wish there wasn’t a sun?
me: Nope.
L: Why? Why don’t you wish that?
me: Because it would be cold and dark all the time.
L: But then you’d be happy because it would always be your favorite time of day – bedtime!

I can’t argue with that logic.

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Scary

Something really scary happened today that I want to pass on because it could have been a terrible accident, and could have happened to anyone. L, S and I were in a parking lot. As always, I was carrying S and holding L’s hand as we walked through the rain to the car. We arrived at the car, passenger side, so I opened S’s door and as I was putting her in I instructed L to walk around the car to start getting in on his side to get out of the rain. I was one second behind him. I put S in, and followed L to help him in. (Putting S in just entails clicking her seat into the base, so it really only took a second.)

As L rounded the corner from the back of the car to the driver’s side, a car came out of nowhere. The driver had been parked in the spot facing the empty spot next to mine. She drove straight through the empty spot to pull out, never expecting a 3-year-old to come walking around the corner. Suddenly, her SUV was right there, right where L was walking! I shouted “STOP!” in a way that made L stop on a dime and the car screech to a halt. Even though I was only a second behind him, I was too far to reach him if everyone hadn’t stopped immediately.

The driver was a mom who had just been in the bookstore with us. She was so shaken by what happened. Worse than I was even. Imagine, you’re driving out of a parking spot and almost hit a tiny kid!

Anyway, it was obviously the wrong move on my part to put S in first and to have L start walking around the car ahead of me. Rain or no rain, the kid needs to either stand there and wait, or I need to lug S around to his side first.

As L is getting bigger and more capable – he can open his door and climb right into his seat – I’ve let my guard down a bit too much. He is still far too small to be seen; and even if we’re right at our car, I need to remember that we are still in fact in a parking lot, so holding hands still has to be the rule.

I feel like my mistake could have happened to anyone. (Right? It’s not gross negligence on my part, right???) So I thought I’d send a reminder out about how quick something so bad could happen.

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