MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is 4AM wake up calls for assistance to the potty, followed by "snuggles" in the big bed until morning. 

By which I mean, "getting kicked in the head" in the big bed until morning.

It also means all the fried foods, all of the time. Plus pancakes. 

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is occasionally rescuing stupid chickens from trees, and then telling them profusely how beautiful you think they are.

(The Ladies have been promoted from livestock in the backyard to full-on flesh and blood children. Be advised.)

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is sitting just outside the bathroom door while your kid is pooping. You never know when he'll need protection from bathroom bad guys! And because poop time is when you have your best meaning-of-life conversations.

I've found the trick is in sitting just close enough to the bathroom that you can hear him through the door + respond in the appropriate vocal volume ("Seriously!? The Red Power Ranger did what??"), but not so close that, you know, the smells.

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is touching dried mealworms with your bare hands. But only when you really love them.

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is bribes. BRIBES. Bribes everywhere. For everything! Do this, and you'll get that. Do that, and I promise you this. Be helpful on our errands, and you get to pick out a treat. One treat! Your budget is three dollars. Shop wisely, kid.

Motherhood right now also means occasionally your kid will pick out a nail polish for his treat, and then announce that it isn't for him, oh no, it's for YOU, mom. Because green is his favorite color and because sparkles will make you look "sooo beautiful!"

Motherhood also requires running your haircuts past your kid ahead of time, and then, once you've done it (in the sink. with kitchen shears. at 2AM. as is customary), you show him and he sighs in relief and says, "you were right, mom. It's short, but you still look like a girl." 

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is occasionally, in the middle of a really hard day (seriously Moscow / Pullman, GIVE ME A CUTE, AFFORDABLE RENTAL!), going outside and sitting in a pathetic slump on the grass, and letting your chickens bob all around you and look at you curiously while you sniffle pathetically, until your heart rate nears normal and you don't feel like crying anymore. 

It works amazingly well. 

Chickens might be the new llamas, in terms of therapeutic capabilities.

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / means always coming in second place to dad. Every. Single. Time. It's such a turn on! Geez! Let's hear it for good dads!

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / means you become epically embarrassing unto your five-year-old anytime you are in a public place and you decide to sing along with whatever's playing on the speakers. 

Come to think of it, could this have something to do with my previous . . . ? Nahhhh.

Oh my gosh I am going to have so much fun with this when he is a teenager.


When I was a kid one of my favorite books of all time was Otis Spofford. Have you read it? One of the best chapter books ever. Alllllmost better than Ramona Quimby. Almost.

(I may have almost named Huck Otis, and I may have jokingly told Brandon it was because I loved our NYC elevator so much . . . you know, Otis?) (Also an amazing potential namesake: Otis Spunkmeyer.)

Anyway. Last weekend we went to dinner at Tapped, a new-ish place in Moscow that is surprisingly rad for northern Idaho.

Huck spent the entire chunk of time while we waited on our dinner making these spit wads + shooting them at his dad's face. Over + over. Probably not appropriate restaurant behavior, but it fully lived up to the dreams I had of someday being the mom of a mischievous little boy like Otis Spofford. Right down to the squinty aiming eyes.



In closing, something I wrote about 6 or 7 months ago, back when we were living in Brooklyn.

"So, the other day, the iPad went missing. Huck played dumb the while his dad turned the loft inside out, but pretty soon his guilt caught up with him and he confessed he'd hidden it. "Wiff maaaaagic." Sparkly fingers and big eyes for that bit.

Brandon wisely translated this to mean Huck had thrown the iPad in the garbage (obviously?), but Huck wouldn't cop to it, and so there we were, at an impasse.

"Huck, if you can tell me where the iPad is, you can get a toy!"

We have this stash of inexpensive toys we've hidden in the kitchen for those times when Huck earns enough "allowance" doing chores or being not-naughty to make an even trade. It's already not working anymore. The other day Huck announced that he'd found an imaginary bank and that he never needs to earn any more money ever again. So.

It was a conundrum. I mean, iPads don't grow on trees. Responsible adulthood requires that we put a 10-20 on the thing, so I got my wheels turning and came up with a plan. Sometimes B isn't so good at sweet-talking H. I spend half my life running interference between the two of them.

"What dad means is that your behavior is obnoxious. And he probably won't drop kick you out the window. Maybe just a time-out?"

So I sat down with Huck a few days later and told him the story of my mother and her gray, could-have-been-a-knock-off but could-have-been-authentic Chanel sweatsuit she'd bought in Itaewon when we lived in South Korea.

This sweatshirt was the perfect color to suit my needs (my gray sweatshirt proclivities kicked in early). . . except for the giant Chanel logo embroidered right on the chest. And you have to understand! In my middle school social circle of grunge rock Kurt Cobain-ites, a Chanel logo simply would not do. Whatever a Chanel even was. And soooo . . . not really knowing what the heck I was actually doing . . . I took out the logo with a seam ripper. 

No no no. I know. I did. It makes my stomach hurt just to think about it. Can you believe it? I could kill my middle school self for this one (among other things), even now. TO THIS DAY.

Oddly enough, my mother didn't get angry at me. I didn't even get in trouble! But I remember it being a turning point. I remember how sad she was, and this dawning concept that not-everything-in-this-house-belongs-to-me-and-is-mine-to-do-with-as-I-please, and I remember that the realization that I'd hurt someone felt way worse than actually getting grounded for it. To this day it's one of the cruelest things I ever accidentally did, and I hate it. I hate that I did it. 

I told Huck all this. And then I told him that, since I knew what this felt like, I was a safe zone. He could tell me the truth and I would not get angry. Just like my mom didn't get angry with me. I promised not to punish him, just like my mom hadn't punished me, and then I told him that being honest in a scary situation was always the bravest thing to do.

It worked like a charm. He confessed straight away. He did throw it in the garbage -- the downstairs garbage --and he was very very sorry.

Confession in hand and feeling pretty proud of myself I must say, I asked him if he wanted to call his dad next to come clean and apologize. He was willing, and while he talked with his dad I congratulated myself. Classic parenting win!

. . . aaaaaaand then I got him a toy down from the bin to reward him for his honesty.

I gotta tell you. I have no idea if I did that right."

(hah! quotation marks for myself.)


We later found the iPad. It was under a couch cushion. We questioned Huck and he admitted he'd hidden it because he didn't like being told to watch his kid cartoons on the iPad whenever we wanted to watch grown up shows on the TV. Brandon and I blinked at each other stupidly until it clicked into place. We'd unwittingly made an Anne Shirley situation wherein Huck confessed to having thrown it away just so we would stop harassing him about it and, probably, so we would get him a toy. So.

Classic. Parenting. Fail.

The end.


  1. I love learning from you for when I have my own kids. Great stories and good times. That kid of yours is adorable.

  2. Haha god i love this:) xxx

  3. literally started cracking up (in my office with the door open and people staring... ) when I read the first lines of the "update from the future" ... oh man. he's a slick one. haha.

  4. This was such a beautiful post- thank you!!

  5. This was so heartwarming. I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and I just love your writing. Also, the Otis Spofford reference rocked my small world. I preferred him and ole Henry Huggins to the Ramona books for sure.

    I do not have kids myself, but I enjoy reading about your experiences mothering Huck, as it reminds me of my mother who always saw humor in most situations which had an enormous impact on who I am today. Keep up the good work, lady. You seem like an awesome mom, and I'm sure Huck has a blast with you.

  6. Oh my gosh! I can so relate to this story. As a parent of a 5 yo boy myself, it's always so tricky tip toeing through the mind field of their behavior. When he's honest about having to "move his behavior button down from green to yellow" at school, I'm happy that he told me the truth and I want to encourage the honestly, but let him know it's not ok at the same time. I'm afraid that getting to mad at him with prevent him from fessing up in the future.

  7. Oh. MY God, that iPad story! That's amazing!

    It's so hard to know what's right or not with suuuch delicate situations. I'm always worried she'll be too scared to talk to me, embarrassed of my reaction, or scared. Babies are so much easier in comparison to children. I've missed reading you blog. I hope you're ok and find the place of your dreams to live xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  8. thank you for this wonderful post!you are doing a great job!and the photo where your son looks at you like a tiny litlle cute fox is funny!As a mother i totally understand you in all the ways, thats why i write for myself, chek out my last article about motherhood!


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