Posted by: Hannah | 11/17/2016

wilting on my fainting couch

Oh, November. How do I hate thee.

The weather has been mild, at least, so that’s something, but two weeks ago now I came down with a cold and basically my entire immune system said “you know, we work too hard, really” and folded like a cheap suit.

The first week I could only function if I took Advil Cold & Sinus every 5 hours (no, not a sponsored post, I just like the stuff). The second week the coughing started, and now my sleep is interrupted every night by fits of pointless tubercular hacking. This week just for fun I also had some kind of half-assed gastrointestinal complaint that didn’t make me sick enough to just go to bed but did make me cranky and miserable.

It’s been raining a lot, the world is doing that gray-brown-yellowish November thing, Leonard Cohen died, America somehow managed to elect a racist tangerine to be their next President and George has decided he doesn’t want to go to Disney for Christmas, he’d rather “stay home and have peace & quiet”, which is some bullshit because he talks from 6:30AM until 7:30PM so “peace & quiet” not something that ever exists in his living space, but whatever.

There’s a teacher’s strike looming, my kids are learning violin, trombone, and recorder so I’m fantasizing about losing my hearing, my house is a mess and I need a new bathing suit before next Saturday.


That’s it. I won’t complain anymore. Everything on this list is stupid and petty, and I know that it is, but right now I don’t feel like I have any place to vent or anyone to vent to. I will either be spouting White Lady Problems in an echo chamber of far worse things, or I’ll be talking to someone who immediately wants to turn it into the tragedy Olympics, or I’ll accidentally be talking to someone who actually has much more serious problems right now and thus I’ll be insensitive.

Five weeks from this very moment I’ll be at Disney, and since I’ve wanted to go there my whole life this is very exciting. Going to focus on that, not the recalcitrant child currently complaining that I won’t let him go blow all of his carefully-saved money on an overpriced Paw Patrol playset he’ll never use.


Posted by: Hannah | 11/08/2016


For the first time in five years? maybe six? I am not participating in NaBloPoMo.

I feel oddly guilty about it. Guilty, and sad.

The fact is I’m busier with my day-to-day life than I’ve been in a long time. My dayhome is full with a mixed-age group (and more littles than I’ve had in the past couple of years). I don’t get a naptime break anymore as the older kids don’t sleep. Harry catches the bus at 7:10AM so I’m up at 6:15 to keep him company while he gets ready, and as he doesn’t go to bed until 9PM I’m quite literally mothering for fifteen hours a day.

It’s fine, most of the time. I don’t exactly mind it. I’ve hit my stride in the dayhome and except for Ron and George’s constant, never-ending bickering I feel like I’m handling parenting OK too. There’s just a lot to juggle, and by the time I’ve set aside “mom” and picked up “spouse” I’m maybe an hour away from falling asleep. It doesn’t feel fair or sustainable to spend that hour blogging every day for a month.

Last night I was awake for most of the night. Most of the dayhome parents have a head cold and while the kids seem mostly fine, the adults are dropping like flies. I’m fighting it as best I can but my throat was too sore for sleep, so I made a mug of tea and sat up, wrapped in a blanket with our new kittens in my lap, watching the fireplace channel and wondering about what the world will look like not just on November 9th but in the months and years ahead.

I haven’t been writing at all lately and just trying feels like that first day at fitness boot camp all over again. The muscles are rusty. I’m gritting my teeth to get through and just hit ‘publish’. I’m not exactly enjoying this. My focus is split because I’m supervising free play, making sure the 16mo doesn’t get scratched by the kitten he’s enthusiastically investigating, wondering why Harry’s teacher emailed to say “hi, are you Harry’s parent/guardian?” after I’ve confirmed that and in fact communicated with the woman twice, hoping the kids’ dental appointments go well, trying to remember everything for our big family vacation to-do list, watching the clock, bracing myself for a long damn day, trying not to stress about an impending teachers’ strike that could completely bollocks our winter… my brain is the proverbial long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs, and I just don’t have enough left over to write anything people want to read.


Posted by: Hannah | 09/13/2016

Mad Max: Fury Road

I have a cat. A fluffy fuzzy insouciant beast who likes to fancy himself a street thug when he’s not curled up on soft blankets in the house. A long-haired squeaky-voiced sharp-clawed tiny tiger who isn’t above sneaking into the nap room so he can cuddle with sleeping toddlers.

He’s everything people love – and hate – about cats. Yes, he sleeps curled up on my feet like a weaponized hot water bottle, but he also cries piteously when he’s eaten a hole in the middle of his otherwise full food fish because OMG CAN SEE THE BOWL THAT MEANS I WILL STARVE IT IS THE END TIMES.

He’s also a murderer.

Now, spare me your lectures please about outdoor cats and songbirds. His kill ratio is easily 20:1 rodents to birds. Maybe even higher. I live next door to a restaurant. He’s welcome to eliminate as many rats, mice, and the like as he can catch. I’m fine with that, although I do wish he’d stop bringing me his leftovers after he’s eaten the choicest morsels (apparently brains and entrails are delicious, while noses, whiskers, feet and tails are garbage).

He’s especially vicious in the summer months, and before I take the kids outside to play on the deck I always take a quick peek to make sure there isn’t a biology lesson next to the Cozy Coupe.

The other day, I forgot. I sent George and Charlie out to the backyard and was pouring myself a cup of tea to take out with me. I heard them clattering down the steps to the yard, and then George started to yell.

“Stop, Charlie! Don’t go there! Don’t touch it! I have to tell Mom!… MOOOOOM!! Mom! WE HAVE A LARGE CORPSE PROBLEM OUT HERE!”

I looked wistfully at my perfect cup of tea and grabbed a paper towel. I figured it would be another mouse. Maybe a vole.

I had not figured on a full-grown hare.


Cute, isn’t he? Let me tell you, when his ears are lying neatly on the ground next to him and half of his face is missing, he’s not so adorable. It was so gross. Most of it was intact, but I stared at it in horror for a few seconds before turning my attention to my pitiful single square of paper towel, realization dawning that I, like Quint, was gonna need a bigger boat.

I sternly admonished George and Charlie to stay well back. I ran into the house and wondered, not for the first time, why I don’t seem to own rubber gloves. I grabbed two grocery bags and hustled back outside.

The boys were surprisingly unfazed by Thumper’s demise. I guess, being pampered children of the post-2010 era, that they’ve never been traumatized by a viewing of Bambi. They were leaning over the stair railing to get a better look, and talking in animated tones about all the blood, and the bones all sticking out, and whether Max had broken its neck first or just bitten it until it DIED, like a zombie.

Small children are all sociopaths, I’m convinced.

I pulled one grocery bag over my hand and opened the other one. I looked around just in case there was an adult nearby who could handle it for me. There was not. I took a deep breath and waded in. I picked up the ears first, and tossed them in the bag. (Those are the EARS, I guess Max doesn’t like to eat those from behind me). I gritted my teeth, grabbed the poor thing’s hind legs, and managed to stuff it in the grocery bag. I carried it to the large green bin, held out in front of me as far as my short arms would reach in exactly the way you would carry a headless fucking rabbit in a plastic bag, and upended it while looking in the other direction.

It was an eventful few minutes, is what I’m saying.

Listening to Charlie and George tell all the parent clients about our Exciting Adventure was something else, too. They were all kind of horrified that there had been a dead rabbit in the yard. They were all impressed at Max’s hunting prowess – he’s not that big, and this was a full-grown hare. They all had the same look of disquiet as the preschoolers shared all the gory details of what they’d seen.

That night, as I was drifting off to sleep, Max jumped up on the bed like always. I had a stern chat with him about not murdering bunnies, when there are so many other gross nasty disease-carrying alternatives to satisfy his bloodlust. He blinked at me, flexed his claws just enough to hurt my feet a little bit, and basically said he’d do what he liked, thanks.

So there you have it. If I ever get another cat, I’ll be keeping her indoors right from the get-go. I’m getting too old and squeamish to deal with disposing of the bodies after my in-house serial killer goes on a spree.


Older Posts »