NOW who's a wet blanket?

When you wake up suddenly in a pool of your own urine, it's normal to wonder where your life took a wrong turn.

Was it just last night? When I drank too much elderberry tea to boost my immunity, and then failed to use the bathroom before falling asleep? Because I was already in bed with the fussy baby and the shifting of the mattress might rouse him to a scream? Again?

Or were the seeds of the problem planted far, far earlier than that?

Was it my failure, from day one, to sleep train Elijah? Putting me in a sleep deficit, night after night? Where any slight irritant, a cold or a tooth or an upset tummy, means the child demands to nurse every hour, on the hour? So I only get 40 minutes of sleep at a time, and when an unexpected long stretch comes, say between 1 and 2:30 in the morning, there is nothing rousing me, NOTHING, not even the urging of my own insistant bladder?

Or does it go back to his birth, which I chose to make at home? Or the births of my other two children, also at home, all of which in their own unique way normalized on the release of bodily fluids onto my mattress?

Or was it the choice of that third baby, was that the thing that pushed me over the edge? Mentally, in terms of exhaustion, but also physically? In very nitty gritty terms? In terms of the ability of my sphincter muscles to hooooold it in until my mind regains consciousness?

It's hard to know exactly where I went astray. All my decisions seemed like good ones. Maybe peeing in my bed is the natural result of a life well planned. Maybe I should count a few midnight accidents among acceptable losses.

When you wake up suddenly in a pool of your own urine, it's normal to wonder: Who am I? How did I get here? Where oh where did I take a wrong turn, and how can I possibly backtrack to sanity?

Then again, my children piss their beds all the time. They just get up, shower, and ask for breakfast.


Harvey the writer

Monday is our big homeschool day here, so we don't take Monday holidays off. And we didn't even do any Columbus-themed content today, because Columbus was a big jerk. We did chat for a while on our walk the other day about what the holiday was about, and naturally I tied the explanation in to our ongoing history conversation this fall about Europeans trampling on indigenous people's rights; but in view of what I learned on the internet yesterday and today I think I understated the case. But never mind, because Harvey and Zion have lots of time to fill in any gaps in their historical knowledge or ideological formation; what Harvey worked on today was writing.

You see, in an effort to generate more content around here we're training him to write blog posts—or, as they're known in the world of elementary school, "personal narratives". Today he wrote about Taya's birthday party yesterday; it was a great time, and his account will save me the trouble of writing it up myself.

It was Taya’s pool birthday party and we brought a present for Taya. It was a princess doll that Mama made. We went for a drive and it was so long!

When we got there Taya was already in the pool. We put on our bathing suits and went swimming! And then everybody was leaving the pool, so we left. Then we went in the party room and it was all cold. Then we went in the locker room and put on our warm clothes. Then we went in and made puppets. And then it was time for a game, and we didn’t play. Then after the game Taya wanted her doll so much she opened it up. Then we had cake.

Then it was time to go but we went to the playground with Taya and played with the fire truck and went in the hippopotamus and played “steal Tintin”. And then it was time to go, but we remembered we lost Tintin, so we drove back to the playground to get him. Then we drove back home.

the doll--pink hair, silver crown, dancy skirt--posing on the porch

the doll in question

He needs work on his transitional phrases, but the content is solid. That's pretty much what happened! While it was tough getting him started, once the creative juices were flowing he had lots to say (the story was dictated; we're interested in storytelling, not handwriting and spelling). And when it was time to add the illustrations, he was all-in with the project. He even asked about the technical details of making copies of the masterwork—and then started on another story after supper. There will be many more personal narratives to come over the next few months.

We'll work on writing anti-colonial polemics a little later.