Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Conversation with A Sword

But first, let's talk mommy blogs.

The ubiquitous mommy blog -- a place to brag, complain, confess, review the mundane, share pithy stories, and overuse the word "cute."

They're everywhere!

Some say mommy blogs are inconsequential drivel, pixel graffiti, the clog of the internet. Others mock the reasons mommy blogs exist which may or may not include documenting the ever-growing child, filling lonely hours, trying to find meaning in motherhood, or trying to express the love of motherhood to a stranger you hope is reading in... wherever.

And then there's grandma. Most mommy blogs exist *exclusively* for grandma who, oddly enough, is still a mommy too.

As a plebeian endeavor, mommy blogs rarely discuss anything important. Like whether you pronounce it (plee-be-uhn) or (pleh-bee-uhn). I may know the answer, but who cares? It's a mommy blog.

Of course, there are famous internet mommies out there, the ones who have a special take on the mommy world. We mommies forward their links and "like" them on Facebook.

We click their ads to say, "Keep writing! I relate to you!" or "Keep writing! You're funny! Tell it how it is!" or "Keep writing! Your life is much harder than mine! You inspire me!" or "Keep writing! I'm stuck at home with my squawking kids and reading about your squawking kids somehow takes the edge off!"

Some moms are snarky. Some really are heroes. Some are obnoxious. Most of us are plain boring. One of my favorite mommy blogs is written by a man with no children.

If you're looking for mommy blogs, there are options.

I began writing my blog because B was born, after difficulty, into difficulty. It was too hard to talk to everyone. I couldn't afford the time for personal updates about tests and surgeries when I didn't have time to sleep or shower. And it was too painful. Writing one post while crying was much easier than crying on the phone all day.

But let's not put too much meaning into this.

Today I'm writing my mommy blog because I had a middle-of-the-night conversation with a sword.

That's right. You heard me.

And that's not symbolic.

I didn't fend off an intruder by "conversing" with my blade.

I spoke to a sword.

At length, actually.

"Hello, Sword."

In fact, this conversation didn't happen with *a* sword, or even *the* sword.

It occurred with "Sword."

And this, as many middle-of-the-night things do, struck me as so odd that I'd better write it down.

Let me introduce you to "Sword."

"Sword," as it shall heretoforeverandalwaysbeknown, has become a big part of our lives since it hung at Bridgette's side at Halloween.

Sword has taken a place of increasing honor in Bridgette's life. Currently, Sword is to her what Teddy or Dolly might be to other children.

You can see that Sword is scaled for child-sized use. And thank goodness. I don't think Bridgette could pronounce, "Stiletto."

Also, Sword has a persona.

Although inanimate (and we generally refer to Sword as "it"), I'm pretty sure Sword is male, as most inanimate objects are. When he speaks, Sword has a much deeper voice than either Bridgette or myself.

Sword is cooperative and listens intently to random facts. Sword is hungry a lot and rarely wants to sleep. Sword, as it ends up, is a lot more decisive than Bridgette.

Bridgette and Sword often have intimate, whispered conversations to which I am not privy.

It's cute. Super cute. Inordinately cute. Cute. Cute. Cute.

Cute as only a three-year-old girl and a sword can be.

So when The Bridgenator is sick (see yesterday's post), getting her to eat and drink, among other critical functions, can be dicey. She fights it. She clamps her hand over her mouth. She puts her blanket over her head. She says, "No-o-o!" a lot.

And when I can't reach Bridgette by pleading, coercing, rewarding, or threatening, I turn to Sword. It/he is the perfect intermediary.

Sword came to the rescue last night.

Somehow, Sword seems to understand both of our perspectives. Or maybe he's just greedy. Either way, he gets the job done.


Here's last night's example:

Conversation With Sword
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

(Stumbling, weary and blind, into Bridgette's room.)

Me: Sweetheart, what's wrong?

(Pulling Bridgette from her crib as she cries.)

Bridgette: Mom! I eeeeeeat!

(Setting her on the rocking chair, me facing her on the ottoman.)

Me: Okay. What do you want?

(Her, grinning, suddenly tearless.)

Bridgette: Eggs. Cheese.

Me: No. I'm not cooking in the middle of the night.

(Wracking my brains for something that is pre-made, soft, filling, and meets the requirements of Bridgette's dietary needs.)

Me: How about some mashed potatoes?

Bridgette: No.

Me: Do you want sweet potatoes?

Bridgette: No.

Me: How about a banana?

Bridgette: No. No. No.

Me: A piece of bread?

Bridgette: Huh. Uh. No. Eggs. Cheese.

(Taking a deep breath through my nose... calm... calm...)

Me: What's that noise? Oh, Bridgette, I hear Sword. Just a minute.

(Removing Sword from her crib because, yes, they sleep together.)

Sword: I'm hungry.

(Pursing my lips.)

Me: Okay. What do you want to eat?

Sword: A banana.

Me: Are you sure?

Sword: Oh yes. I looooooooove bananas. They are SOOOO tasty and filling and good for me. They help me feel better when I'm sick. And I don't feel too good.

(Sword coughs and sneezes.)

Me: Well, if you're sure.

Sword: Yes. I'm very sure. I want a banana.

Bridgette (whispers): Me too, mom.

(I go downstairs and rustle up a banana, some fruit snacks, juice, and bubblegum flavored Tylenol. Back upstairs I face Bridgette on the ottoman, Sword in hand.)

Me: Here it is!

Sword: I'm so hungry.

Me: Well there's a lot of banana here. Do you think you can eat all of it?

(Sword nods, vigorously.)

Sword: I want to take the BIGGEST bites.

Me: Will you share it with Bridgette?

Sword: Hmm... I don't know. Maybe. I guess. But I really like banana, I want to take the BIGGEST bites.

(Sword takes its first big bite of banana -- which sounds something like this, "cHharuhm," -- and chews -- which sounds like this, "Num. Nom. Num. Nom. Num. Nom. Num.")

Me: Wow! What a BIIIIG bite! Bridgette, do you want to share the banana with Sword?

(In answer, Bridgette unlocks her jaw like a snake.)

Me: Alrighty then.

Sword: I want another bite!

Me: Calm down. I know you want to eat the ENTIRE banana, but you have to take turns.

(Pattern ensues, each of them fighting for the next bite while I face Sword and explain.)

Me: You know, Sword, the banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant on the planet. Bananas have amazing nutritional value, including vitamins C & B6 as well as potassium. Do you know what potassium is?

(Sword shakes his head, no.)

Me: Potassium is essential to help your body and digestive system work properly. If you vomit and have diarrhea, you lose potassium. That can lead to a variety of cardiac dysfunctions. Also, in case you care, potassium has the elemental symbol "K" and the atomic number 19.

(Turning to Bridgette.)

Me: Did you know that Bridgette?

(Bridgette nods her head, yes.)

Me: Hooray! You ate all of the banana! Now, Sword, I have a special treat for you. Tylenol medicine! It tastes yummy. Like candy. And it will help you feel better. I know you didn't want to take any last night, but if you take some now, you can have . . . Fruit Snacks!

(Sword jumps up and down and dances with excitement.)

Sword: Oh yay! I loooove fruit snacks.

Me: I know you do. But first you have to eat both pieces of Tylenol. And Bridgette, if you want to share Sword's fruit snacks, you need to eat the Tylenol too.

Bridgette (whispers): Okay mommy.

(Tylenol and fruit snacks ingested, it's time for bed. It's really time for bed.)

Me: Sword, would you like a bedtime song?

Sword: Yes, please.

****Okay, I admit. HERE'S where it gets silly.****

Me: Oh, Sword. You're so polite. Now settle down. Here's your blanket.

(Rocking Sword in my arms, I sing "Sandman," give him a kiss -- oh yes! --, and tuck him in. He asks some questions like, "Whyyyyy?" But I tell him it's nighttime, and that means he has to go to sleep.)

Me: Bridgette, Sword is soooo sleepy. Do you want to cuddle with him?

(Pattern ensues.)

Me: Goodnight, Bridgette. Goodnight, Sword.

(Pulling her protective "tent" over the top of her crib, I think I'm about to scuttle back to my room, nestle under my once warm covers, and exhausted, try to shut down my brain.)

Bridgette: Mom!


Me: What Bridgette?

Bridgette: TWO JUICE!

Me: No, Bridgette. One juice. You and Sword have to share.


Brenda Johnson said...

God bless Sword!! I sure hope he and Bri continue to feel better!

ELI said...

Great story and great writing. She is so adorable. And I think Sword sounds like a pretty cool guy.

Lore said...

Gotta love it!

Jeff Johnson said...

I enjoyed reading about Sword Kel and think Sword should be in one of your books someday. You are a very good writer and I love you!

Alisha said...

What a cute post! And I agree with your husband, I always enjoy reading your writing and I have no doubt that you could write a great book!

Also, you are a genius! Who knew a sword get a sick little girl to eat?!

April said...

Love this post!!! Congrats on your book deal!!! Hooray!