It’s Not All Mary Poppins


Summertime! Funny how those rhythms from school days carry over into adult life. Even though it’s been years decades since I’ve had a summer off, now that we’re into July, it feels like Holiday Time to me!!

Holiday Time, with its air of freedom, of unfettered days, of possibility and expansiveness.

Which is why I have a sobbing two-year-old on my lap even now. A sobbing, snotting two-year-old. This child produces a yard of snot before the first sob leaves his throat. Yes, indeedy. Do I know how to holiday, or what?

(And why am I blogging while he sobs? Because I’ve tried cuddling and swinging and shushing and “I know”-ing, and reading, and singing, and offering snacks. Short of tossing him into a crib upstairs and letting him sort himself out – and it may well come to that – what’s left? Why not blogging? I’ll be amused and who knows? Maybe the movement of the cursor will prove soothing…)

Still, sobbing and snotting notwithstanding, today does have a bit of a holiday flavour. The routines are different: Remember Ki-woon from last summer? He’s back for the summer! And every bit as adorable as last year! (He’s the sob-and-snotter. We hope that doesn’t last the month.) Anna is off on holiday for the next three weeks, but George is here for the month. Nigel loves having his big brother around.

(Ha! The blogging is working! He’s subsided from a full-throated wail to those pathetic little body-shakes that follow sobs. Oh, and now he’s yawning. I think the storm is just about over. Poor wee mite. Must be the cursor. Either that, or I’ve bored him into submission…)

It’s sunny. We just had a holiday weekend, so this is a short week. The stepkids are here for the next two weeks. All pretty holiday-ish.

More holiday delights: We spent this morning at the park. (Ki-woon managed that all right. He didn’t exactly join in with a crow of delight, but he did manage to stand quietly at the edge of things, clutching the clover and the pine cone I’d given him earlier.)

I know it’s common wisdom that being with small children is constraining and demanding, but… But who else gets to spend half their working day outdoors? Who else can sip a chilly drink (iced coffee, people) on a bench in the dappled shade at the edge of a park, and call it ‘working’? I’m part of the neighbourhood in a way many office types aren’t. Everybody knows “the daycare lady”; I get nods and waves every outing. It’s not all sobbing and snotting.

On the way back from the park, I notice a bit of dead skin on the ball of one thumb, and idly nip it off between my teeth. Except… now it’s wet, the texture’s wrong, and it tastes… now, this is an old, old, ooooold gustatory memory, you understand, back from preschool days… but it tastes…

like booger.

Oh. My. God.

Mary leaps to the grassy verge, spitting with a gusto previously only seen in vulgar drunken teens. (Mary, you understand, never spits in public. Never. Mary once curtailed a friendship due, in no small measure, to the other party’s predilection for public spitting. Spitting? UGH.)

But watch Mary spit! Spit, Mary, Spit! Who knew she had it in her? (Or out of her, now.)

You know what that was on my thumb, don’t you? Not dead skin!

NOT dead skin, and NOT mine.


“It’s not all sobbing and snotting,” says she. No, some days it’s the Three S’s: sobbing, snotting and SPITTING.

Disinfectant, please!

July 3, 2007 Posted by | eeewww, holidays, outings | 12 Comments