“Nels, if you yell at me one more time I will lock you in a dark room with spiders.”

So says I five minutes ago out of exasperation because remember, I have reminded you time after time again I am a Bad Mom. But I don’t think my son believes this sort of pronouncement because I’ve never really retaliated on him in such a sophisticated fashion. Actually by the time I swoop back into the bathroom after depositing a towel in the hamper he’s sitting in the tub – finally stripped down and in the warm water – and his eyes are big and he’s looking up and he says, “You wouldn’t really lock me in a room… ?”  He is exactly equal parts small and worried and laughing, so when my lips form the “No,” his smile turns up but it’s still rather shaken. He’s been shaken the latter part of this evening, actually, before my ridiculous threat. Earlier after Ralph left to go play with his band, Nels had been my little companion, arranging a game of “I Spy” on my sewing machine (this means hiding all sorts of items – made and found – around my sewing machine and then narrating hints about them – I’m supposed to “find” them after his hints) and singing songs to himself.  But then something happened and he was clingy enough to demand, cry, and yell for me if at any point during my evening cleanup I strayed out of the room he was in.

There is something companionable about the evening even with some of the hectic bickering that goes on. Chores are easier to accomplish now that the kids are helping more. And as a direct result of their involvement we’ve spent more time in the evenings playing, reading, cuddling, and writing music.  This week the kids have treated us to a couple “Music Show-Offs” where the kids write songs and perform them, or lipsync a favorite – the soundtrack from the upcoming Where The Wild Things Are film is in heavy rotation and the children have been studying the music and lyrics.

Tonight, though, we’re wrapping up from a busy weekend that included Ralph’s movie showing and having company, a friend from Port Townsend, for our Friday and Saturday.  The last few nights I’ve slept only a handful of hours, staying up late and watching British serial-killer television until I can finally close my eyes, drifting off to visions of Robson Green manacled and naked (sadly, only in the first episode).  A costume for Nels is only minutes away from being finished; there is a hand-knit component I must also complete before I can post pictures.  Sewing in my mother’s living room is less fun than my previous sewing rooms, but I make it work as best I can.

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