Okay...first things first...
We all know I love Roxie to death, but people...here I was, eagerly awaiting the box with her new manuscript to proof, and what did I get? Only this ...
And this too... (If you can't see, they are these adorable kids books on cats...)
And a little pig on a keychain that poops tic-tacs...no, I'm not kidding--it's totally adorable and has made the whole family laugh all day!
So you see--now she's gone and done it--that woman will never be rid of me!!! (Thanks for the swag, Roxie--the yarn is GORGEOUS and I can NOT wait to read your cowboy romance!!!)
So now that the best surprise of my Spring Break has arrived, it's time to answer a question posed by a couple of you in the comments...I wasn't ignoring everyone who asked it, I was just waiting for today, of all special days, to answer it.
The question was, "How old are your children again?"
The answer is, as always with me, sort of a long story.
Because, the thing is, Mate and I have a couple of dumb-spots, which are sort of like 'blind spots' but with dumb spots there's no way to compensate for dumb-spots, and that's why my beloved Mate has allowed me invest our retirement in yarn. Besides yarn, WOW and money, our biggest dumb-spot has been children. Witness the following--
It took us two and a half years to concieve Big T--and he was born almost a year to the day I graduated from the credential program. Now most of you are probably asking yourselves what in the hell we were thinking--Mate wasn't out of college yet (in fact, he'd just returned) and I didn't even have a job, but we've always figured (and still do--that's the nature of the dumb-spot) that there's no such thing as enough money to have children. So we've never actually had enough money to have children, but since 4 1/2 years of cohabitation, we've had children. So we had Big T, and he was difficult and we lost baby-sitters and I lost my job and then I lost my health insurance along with my prescription to the pill and then, because we've got that dumb-spot, remember? we had Chicken.
We tried to wise up after that...we moved out of Mate's grandma's property (and from what I understand, for as much crap as they gave me for being an inferior sort of housekeeper, we were their best tenants to date) and I got a job and Mate finished school and then, when Chicken was two we got that dumb-spot again and tried for another baby.
This time God was looking out for us. It took us seven years.
I had given up when I got pregnant with the cave troll--we figured, hell, we've got two FABULOUS kids--why would we need another one, not that we wouldn't WANT another one, but *sniff* it's not like a NECESSITY or any...oh, wait...tada and alakazam...IT'S A CAVE TROLL!!!
And I was more than thrilled. I was OBSESSIVELY thrilled with him. Nine years is a long time to wait for a Cave Troll--I was going to grab a hold of his baby-hood with cramped and crabby fingers and milk the joy for everything I was worth because DAMMIT I would never get another baby again.
I mean, it took us nine years, right?
So Mate and I had plans to get fixed when we turned 40 (our b-days are one day apart) and between 36 (when the Cave TRoll was born) and 40--I mean, it took us nine years to get pregnant with the Cave Troll, right?
My shock when I got pregnant with Ladybug lasted seven months. It wasn't until our beloved Harlot had the knitting Olympics that I acknowledged that I had a baby coming, and that if the Cave Troll had six blankets made for him when he was born (that's a conservative estimate) then this one should at least have ONE...and I made her a cotton eyelet blanket with pink trim--and as I said in a letter to Steph, making that blanket made my Ladybug real. When I thought she wasn't coming, I had this picture in my head of my family, and she was like this double-exposure in the picture, but as I knit that blanket, she became more and more clear, until I finally believed she was coming, and that, yes, I would get another baby, the Goddess really loved me that much.
Last year, on March 31st, I went into labor. It was a weird sort of labor--I'm practically a connesoir of that sort of thing by now--and this was neither consistent nor predictable. I would have the world is ending NOW contractions every five minutes and then I would have two medium ones every half an hour, followed by THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD ARE CRACKING BEGINNING WITH MY UTERUS once, twice...nope, not three times. This lasted, knitters and readers, for three nights. At three o'clock in the morning of April 3rd, I was awakened from two hours of sound sleep by THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD ARE CRACKING BEGINNING WITH MY UTERUS. Awww fuck. (I'm sure those were my exact words.) I stood up, took a shower, went out, typed a couple of paragraphs of BOUND (you have my permission to speculate which passages I wrote in labor--remember, four days...) and then sent two completely insane e-mails ranting to colleagues about what total and complete bullshit this was and how I was going to rip a couple of throats out if this didn't stop. (LIR can vouch for this...what was the time on that e-mail, darling?)
Then THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD WERE CRACKING BEGINNING WITH MY UTERUS and I breathed, saved my work, hit send, stood up and went to wake Mate up.
"Are they regular?" He asked.
"No." I replied.
"Then why are we going in?"
"Because I have had enough of this shit." I replied. By the by, this was the same reply I gave my imbecilic, nicotine-addicted intern when he asked my why I finally decided to come in. His reply? "Well, you're seven and a half centimeters dilated...I guess you have."
The rest is history that started it's first squall at 6:00 a.m. sharp, April 3rd, 2006.
Big T is 14 years old. He's huge, awkward, irritating, and has the biggest heart and the most pleasing nature of any adolescent boy I have ever encountered. He looks just like my dad--Goddess, I hope I don't screw him up.
Chicken is 12 years old. She's chunky but hopeful, sarcastic but kind, the best big sister I've ever seen in action, she will voluntarily play with her little siblings for hours on end and not complain. She is my Prickly Flower and always will be--just watch her bloom.
The Cave Troll is 3 1/2--he is intense, cute, smart, and only speaks when he needs to, unless he is bending metal wi th his "The world is not revolving to my specifications" scream. He looks just like his father but he has my brown eyes and he takes my breath away.
She's kick back and smart, she's easy to please and particular, she's pudgy and blue eyed, the only one of my children who looks at me with her father's eyes and I couldn't be happier. Instead of holding on to her babyhood with wrinkling cramping fingers, every moment of her infancy has been baby dessert--a treat and an honor I have dreamt not of. She is chocolate mousse with rasberry sauce, a dark chocolate eclair with amorretto cream filling, a half a gallon of rocky road ice cream with whipped cream and a spoon. She is sweetness and laughter and the ability to get knocked on her ass, grunt, and move on. Every moment of her life has been a blessing and I can't believe I got to have four. She's a reward for every good thing I never knew I had done.
And today she is one.
Happy Birthday, darling. We're so glad you could join us.