sick kid, kids’ communication, writing

Poor Joanna is still pretty sick. It’s in her chest, her nose runs almost constantly, and she hates, hates, hates having it wiped. We use NatureCare’s apricot scented wipes, and they’re pretty great. But enough wiping, even if it’s not with a dry Kleenex, will irritate any nose. She spent much of the day lying on me and fussing. And unfortunately, the twins managed to wake each other all the way up after only 45 minutes of a nap this afternoon with alternating cries. They’re also both teething. And while it’s exciting to see those rows of little white chompers appearing in their gums, the process is no fun at all for either of them.

This afternoon I decided to institute a new nap-less day for Hazel. We’re going to ramp them down gradually for her, so that the advent of full-day kindergarten and no naps at all will be less likely to send her into a tail spin in the fall. Tuesdays she has a piano lesson, but there’s nothing else on the calendar in the afternoon, so after I get the twins down she and I have that time available. I used to use it for downtime for me. I made her a deal that we’d split the hour and a half between Mommy-Hazel time and a half hour to 45 minutes for me to practice while she entertained herself. I asked her if that seemed like a reasonable idea, and if she could read or draw while I worked. She said it was fine. Once I got the babies down I came downstairs and she and I put a puzzle together. That took about 45 minutes, and so I was about to suggest going downstairs to the studio when the twins started waking up.

“Let’s just ignore them and go downstairs,” said Hazel, after I hemmed and hawed for a bit about whether to go upstairs. Unfortunately, sleepy peeps turned into whimpers, which escalated into full-on crying, and I had to go up and get them both. Then we all spent a couple of hours in the playroom with Joanna ensconced on me while Hazel played with Emily. So it didn’t go as planned, but I think it was a reasonable first start.

Before the twins woke up, when it was still just Hazel and me, I queried her about something our dear friend A suggested, which was that he and L could take her to the beach for the weekend this summer. I wanted to know what she thought of that idea. “Cool,” she said. I asked if she thought she’d be ok with being away from here, from her Mommy and Daddy for a couple of days.
“That’s fine. I don’t want to be here,” she said.
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t like it here. It’s boring.”


I really have to work on not taking what she says personally. I have to remember that she doesn’t have the sophistication to understand or express the difference between a mood and a longer-term preference. Being bored in the moment means she wants to live with our friends, whose focus when she is there is her, everything she wants. There, she has no little sisters who can compete with her for adult attention.

Ask questions, avoid judgments. That’s my mantra. Sometimes I manage to remember it.

This evening I went to write. I added over 3,000 words to my diary entry document, which now has over 14k in it. I have begun to separate it out into individual docs, one per scene. I am happy with what I wrote tonight, though as I read through the entries I cut and pasted into their own text files I was already seeing a lot I need to cut, patterns in my writing and descriptions that are too repetitive. But I will resist the impulse to start revising. First, I need to create the entire story arc, get the first draft finished. Then I can cut it to shreds and rebuild it. One step at a time. Now, at least, I believe I can get there.


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