August 10, 2005

Like Weeds

My valiant man-child marched off to third grade today, armed only with a Batman lunch box and a extra scoop of chutzpah. Lord, Lord. They better be nice to him.

And Maisy, this long tall creature I STILL call "The Baby" is about to start preschool. Who let this happen?

Maisy has climbed up in my lap while I am trying to type this, and I'm thinking about how I used to type one handed with her tiny limp rag of a sleeping body nestled in the crook of my arm. Now having her in my's like trying to type while holding a box of weasels. With no lid. And the weasels are liquored up.

She LOVES to climb up into my office chair with me and mountain-climb my body while I work at the computer, marching over and around me. Then she'll wedge herself into the crevasse between my back and the chair's back, and dig her little fisties deep into my hair.
MAMA! She'll trumpet in her relentless, duck-quacky voice, I AM GOING TO MAKE YOUR HAIR VERY STYLISH NOW!
And then she'll yank big hunks out because, apparently, patchy bald spots are all the rage for pre-school hair this year. Yoik.

And by the WAY? When did I become MAMA? I was always MOMMY to Sam, and now of course he is much too cool and groovy to call anyone MOMMY. I am MOM. But Maisy named me Mama herself and I secretly kinda like it, even though it makes me feel a little bit like I should dip snuff and shuck corn. She says it in this weird may, like maa maa -- Both a's sounding like the a in CAN and a little pause in between the syllables. The only other word she says like that is "baby," so that it comes out as baa baa. THIS IS MY BAA BAA, MAA MAA. It is inexplicably dear to me.

But I look at Sam, so mighty and independent and already so fundamentally gone from me. Already so much his own person. And I am Mah-ohm to him now so often as I CRUELLY ENJOY thwarting his very good ideas, like, say jumping off the roof into the azalea bushes ("I would hold an umbrella, MAH-OHM. Like a PARACHUTE, Mah-ohm. And Mah-ohm, the bushes would CATCH ME.")

SO this is a short entry. In part because it's taking me forever to type because my hair is being pulled out and this little face keeps coming between me and the screen, blowing goldfish-cracker-breath up my nose and yacketing about "Busserfly catching." And in other part because I am going to stop typing and take my daughter out to mutilate harmless bugs now. I have to. In a couple of years ---years that that will pass in what seems like a span of days ---- she'll be too busy and important to want me to.

Posted by joshilyn at August 10, 2005 11:10 AM

Joss I am so glad you have found it necessary to cherish everyday, it goes by so fast. My head is spinning at 49, I understand car sickness takes over at 50.

Yesterday my daugher was four singing, "There's gonna be a Hoe-hink tonight," and "Fool for the Skivey." Today she is 29, a wonderful mother, who told me two weeks ago I am her hero. It still makes me cry. Darn eyeliner.

Posted by: Cele at August 10, 2005 12:10 PM

Go ye hither and catch yon busserflies, dear lady. Enjoy. This is a gift not even writing can give you. *smiles*

Posted by: David at August 10, 2005 1:02 PM

Joshilyn, I am Amy Go Wilson's cousin and I enjoy reading Faster Than Kudzu every chance I get. My little gal Jennifer just turned 21 last week. She received your book for her birthday. Enjoy the little ones while you can, as they do grow up quickly. I have to say though, 21 is nice and we are enjoying it, and she still calls me Mommy sometimes! We are loooking forward to reading your book!

Posted by: Susan at August 10, 2005 1:57 PM

Great to know someone else is getting some writing done while having their hair styled and discouraging small boys from jumping off the roof. When I was pregnant with my first, two well-meaning writer-friends about 10 years old that I told me I would NEVER get ANY writing done at all while the kids were small, I should just forget it. This was at a lunch, and a nice and very successful writer about 30 years my senior, kids already grown and gone, leaned over and whispered "Sometimes when people haven't accomplished something themselves, they want to convince you that you won't accomplish it. I began writing seriously when I had two preschoolers." God bless that woman, I thank her for it every time I see her.

These are the days; cherish them. Your kids remind me so much of mine, it's one of the things I enjoy most about your blog.

Posted by: Trudy at August 10, 2005 2:17 PM

Awww I'm going to go home after work today and smell my own child's breath and remember it.

Posted by: Heather McCutcheon at August 10, 2005 4:09 PM

I refuse to believe that the sweet child in question would do anything other than ooooooze love. REFUSE, I tell you.

Though she did scream at me when I tried to wear her sandals. With love.

Posted by: Mir at August 10, 2005 6:58 PM

Wait until Ma Ma turns into MOTHEEEEERRRRRRRRR! I was prepared if she was 13, but no she started when she 9. Today on her 1st day of school she was a 10 year old fourth grader going on 18. I will never make it until she graduates. Also, she has been so wired since she came home. Hubby just came in and asked if I had called him, uh no. I told him I could be having a massive heart attack and no one would hear me from the noise in the living room, and just think I only have one child!!

Posted by: Robbie at August 10, 2005 8:49 PM

I too am "Mama" and LOVE it! It satisfies a deep longing to keep my dear daughter a baby for just a little longer, but in a healthy way...

Posted by: Kimberly at August 10, 2005 9:44 PM

Oh, you make me so sad! Now I have tears in my eyes, thinking of my two little daughters who are growing up so fast.

Posted by: Jensgalore at August 10, 2005 11:42 PM

My daughter, (7 going on 17) only does my hair for me once in a while these days. (Still hurts though--both when she pulls my hair and that she doesn't do it so often anymore!)
School does not start here for another week though.

My son (4), however, and your daughter must have learned the same technique of sitting on Mom while she types! (He just does it with a teenaged mutant ninja turtle in one hand!) (BTW--you can type much better with the squirming drunk weasels than I can!)

Posted by: LoryKC at August 10, 2005 11:55 PM

Excellent priorities, you have :)

Posted by: lizardek at August 11, 2005 2:12 AM

That was touching. Makes me smile as it brings back the times that I shared with my mother when I was a little one. :-)

Posted by: Cherlyn at August 11, 2005 5:50 AM

Little man is in school already? (what have school systems done with this stupidly early start date?) Hope he has a good day. I loved 3rd grade. Well, I loved my 3rd grade teacher (first year in a public school and NO NUNS).

I love your description of writing while holding a box of weasels.Very similar to my thought of walking 2 excited dogs on leashes as trying to dance with an octopus.

Posted by: Debra at August 11, 2005 1:23 PM

Joshilyn, because you have your priorities straight, Maisy will catch busserflies with you when she's 17, too. Not much you can do to avoid the 13-14yr old insanity, but after that they CAN stay sweet, I swear. And BTW, my daughter calls me Moo (she's 17) and my 20-year-old in the Navy slips an occasional "Mommy" on the phone in between "Moms". Not all will be lost, but keep on cherishing every single nanosecond.

Posted by: Jilly at August 11, 2005 2:48 PM

*Weep* I miss my Maisy! Next time we will have to paint "busserflies" on HER walls!

Posted by: Amy at August 11, 2005 11:41 PM