whispered threats of mass destruction

Everyone in our house has a cold, though Lucas and I seem to be the healthiest of the sicklies.  Phil lost his voice, and Abigail found it, screaming as she does, like one of those kids on a Saturday at Ikea.  And while I want all of us to feel better, I was kinda diggin’ Silent Phil.  "You can’t yell at me.  This is bliss," I half-joked.  Then we went to play tennis, at night.  On lit courts at the country club.  There was a wedding going on, so we were playing with "At Last" as our backdrop.  It felt more elegant than tennis whites on real grass courts.  But before we began, I warned Phil that he was going to get his ass handed to him.
"Ready for me to brutally pulverize you?" he whispered in the faintest voice.  There’s something to be said for whispered threats.  They’re funny. 

The tots grow strings of snot, clear, not yellow anymore. Lucas trusts me completely, lets me dig up his nose with an aspirator.  He actually giggles when he hears the noise of his wet boogers as they’re sucked out.  He also likes the shape of the bulb and the steamy squeal it blows when I press it for him.  Miss Abigail needs to be strapped down, both hands locked away, her head pinned to the floor with my forearm as I try to get near her nose.  She wants no part of such things.

"Just trust me!" I find myself yelling.  It would be more effective in a syrupy voice.  Actually, no.  No, it wouldn’t.  She wants no part of anyone cleaning up her hanging snot or going near her nose.  And I kinda love that about her. 

I love that Lucas is so trusting and sweet and that Abigail is exactly as I was.  It’s not just that you have two totally different kids, who grow so differently.  I love that each child lets me experience such different things, such different emotions.  "Hold still or I’m going to wipe the floor with your nose," I whisper to her.  Then she smiles.  Threats are funny when they’re whispered.



  1. What a sweet post! My husband and I are currently "trying" and these days I pretty much melt upon reading, hearing, or seeing anything to do with babies. I love when you post about them, and I hate how people say you have changed or your writing is weak or whatever bs they say. You are who you are and that's why I enjoy reading everyday! Keep it up.

  2. sweet. you sound so content…the ups and downs and all arounds of life are great, huh?

  3. Awww. The kiddo's sound supercute. I wish mine would allow me to suck his boogies out when he was sick :)

  4. Aww. How cute, I laughed out loud at the last two sentences. Abigail seems a little mischievious at times.

  5. I have 8 year old twins and I swear, it's like living an experiment in nature versus nurture. Right from the beginning, I learned that nature has the upper hand. Still does.

  6. This was great, perfect ending.
    And you might want to try saline drops in their nose before the sucker. It helps get more of that junk out.
    When mine gets a cold and has those green slimy slugs oozing from his nostrils he licks it with his tongue. VOMIT.
    his tongue is as long as mine and he can actually stick it in his nose so we've been working on reminding him not to use his tongue as a tissue. Hurp.

  7. I love that I clicked the 'Lucas' amazon link and it was a calendar of a shirtless guy named Lucas! Love it!!

  8. Ah yes! the snotty nose. They wriggle away with all their might while you try to wipe it. Then comes the chapped nose, & just try putting vaseline on that dry, raw skin, they are NOT interested. I hope you, Phil & the beany babies feel great soon.

  9. Very cute pairing of stories. I like the way it shows the various aspects of your life, your different roles, your personality and theirs, in such a small space. I've always really enjoyed the analogies you draw up in your writing.

  10. if i only i could be this happy when i'm sick ;) reading this makes me look forward to having kids :) (and getting to suck out their boogers!)

  11. I have a cold too.. lost my voice for two days, it was miserable!!

    Hope you all feel better soon and Happy Halloween!!

  12. The beans' personalities are really emerging. This was a perfectly sweet essay with a terrific ending. Thanks.

  13. I have three boys and each one has been a completely different experience, with the occasional similarity thrown in to shake things up. My little guy is 4 months old and he thinks the aspirator is pretty hilarious as well. The other two? Let's just say I never tackled a snotty nose without calling in reinforcements first. I'll bet you never thought you'd look forward to dealing with boogers, huh? Sounds like Lucas is doing much better– what a relief.

  14. My daughter was feisty like that too. Still is and I love that about her. This next tidbit is the only useful piece of advice I ever got from my ex-MIL. The only way I could give my daughter medicine, eye drops or aspirate her nose was to sit on the floor with my legs in a V, lay her down face-up and pull her head up between my thighs. That way I could pin her flailing arms under my legs and hold her head still with my thigh muscles. Hope this helps with Abigail!

  15. Did the colds prohibit a halloween celebration? Did you dress the babies up?

    FROM STEPHANIE: No Halloween celebrations here, sadly. No dressing up. Next year. In the meanwhile, I'm off to go drink more tea. Seems I'm now the sickliest of the sickies.

  16. My kids hated the aspirator. H.A.T.E.D. It felt as if I was torturing them each time I had to use it. Sometimes, on the RARE occasion that they'd fall into a deep enough sleep, I'd be able to do it then w/o waking them, but otherwise, it was always a fight. Someone else mentioned using saline drops first, which does help, but getting the drops in can just add to the fight. Even now, with everyone sick, you seem so happy. It's great! Hope you feel better soon.

  17. i'm loving your posts lately. and you sound so happy in this one!

    my best friend just found out she is 7 weeks pregnant with twins. i'm going to have to go back and re-read your pregnancy posts and introduce her to your blog :)

  18. I'm commenting on your "When a Man Loves a Woman" post. I didn't see a place to comment so I'm posting it here.

    I love what you said about how we make people feel. I disagree with people who say, "You can't MAKE me feel a certain way." I think that is bullshit. It really IS people who make us feel special, loved, beautiful – all those important things that you said, so why wouldn't it work the other way around? Of course it does! I think it causes some people to really struggle (at least I used to struggle with this a lot in jr. high) with the whole 'sticks and stones thing.' Those who are affected by other people's actions might end up feeling like there is something really wrong with them because they're LETTING it get to them.

    Perhaps some are born with fiery widsom and insight, but there are certain things in life that are just hard NOT to take personally. All the wisdom and insight in the world couldn't negate certain feelings that are inflicted upon us by others – good OR bad.

    I love your insight and the fact that you publicly share the way your brain operates. You are conscious and reflective and you inspire that in others.


  19. with our two girls it required a two person (me and husband) tag team to use the snot sucker. kind of reminds me of the three person tag team required to give a cat a pill, one to hold cat wrapped in bath towel, one to pry open mouth, one to drop pill in.

    love hearing about the babes.

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