big and small, bedtime stall

I can't remember what book we borrowed from the library that prompted Hank's comparison game, but like sudden onset dehydration, it has worked as a bedtime stall more than once recently.

I am bigger than Charles the lion, and smaller than my crib.
You are bigger than a book and smaller than Daddy.
I am bigger than that screw and smaller than the refrigerator.
Jupiter is bigger than Earth and smaller than the universe.
I am bigger than Nora and smaller than an alligator.

I refrain from any lawyerly objection to his past 8pm testimony. His brain is not ready to turn off, and as I listen I find myself feeling everything but sorry about letting him stay up a little late.


twitter and congress, and our house

Outside, forest bathing and dirt worshipping and rock skipping and critter searching, the boys get along, mostly.

Inside, the fireplace is a source of warmth that seems to force togetherness. Limbs are tangled and voices are loud and Andy stands calmly in the corner making another pot of coffee, making coffee great again, while I stand utterly hopeless as a mother involved in the politics of brotherhood.

It could be argued that sibling conflict is practice for future relationships?
Sometimes staying vigilant to accurate observations keeps the balloon of me from floating off into anxious projection.

What order do we have left, I wonder? Please don’t let this disintegrate into lawless chaos like Twitter or Congress or something, I think, as I contemplate sending them back outside.


balls and books


little bits, lately


big ideas

Hank is privileged to have both parents home more days than not, narrating average everythings and answering all the questions.
Older brothers are a certain advantage too, reading to him and pretending with him and teaching him.

Last week on a walk, Hank told Aunt Kate he had an epiphany.

He is eager to hear about the boys' word of the day. Recently he described Ohio's gray sky as drab.

Today he lined up several chairs and arranged things across the seats, attempting to build an elevated tunnel.

This evening he helped polish silver, learning about oxidation.

I am not saying Hank's the smartest three year old in the state.

Not too long ago he came into the kitchen with holes in his pajama pants and said:  I wasn’t just cutting with scissors. That was a ghost.

He mentioned this afternoon that when Nora maybe says the word "dumb" he is *not* the one who taught her.

He sings Lizzo lyrics not quite right: I do a head toss, check my lips.

Things like curiosity and perseverance and kindness rank way higher than intelligence here, and Hank knows that.
But his "desk" does look a little like Einstein's.


thank heavens

for those brief periods when the sibling weather is mostly calm and stable.


love is


great lakes science center

The boys, each their own miraculously unrepeatable constellation of atoms, do all tend to enjoy science. Watching them at the museum, their burgeoning strengths and independent thoughts, I can't help but wonder if there may be a little bit of the future in days like this.