Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wild Men.

Late at night. 11 p.m. A day that never saw 40 degrees, saw hard rain, saw standing water all through the backyard. The airport's saying less than an inch, but that can't be true. Two minutes ago both boys were asleep. Now The Wolf stirs, and The Toad coughs out of what we thought was some kind of recovery from croup, from a disaster of a steroid treatment we quit on after one dose.

Let me not recommend the truly sick toddler and the two-week-old baby. Let me not recommend steroids for this one boy under any circumstance. Lunacy. Criminal rampage. Last time we said never again. This time, save for pain of death, I think we mean it.

But we survive. A gutter broke on the writing shed, and we survive. The remedy for croup: steroids. The remedy for the immediately aborted steroid treatment: homemade chicken soup, then fresh cold humid air, then steam bath. Meet the new science, same as the old science. Or: suck it, new science. I'll take your pasteurized milk, but do please keep your performance enhancers clear of my kids' presumably semiswollen airways.

That 60-degree Sunday got me ready. We're a week and some away, as it turns out. Still: all this frigid water in the yard has to go somewhere. Maybe it'll turn the whole thing green.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bait & Switch.

What do you say about a Sunday that ran well into the sixties, gave us shrubbery-transplant weather, kid(s)-in-the-yard weather, old-dog-in-the-sun weather? You say: gauzed-over Monday, heavy cold rain coming tomorrow, one more day of respite after that, and then temps not pushing past the 40s for four or five days running. In like a lion, people. This in a winter of widespread thundersnow. And The Toad has the croup. Thank god there's whiskey. Thank god for the advent of delivered food. Thank god for a baby that as yet sleeps a little better than he ought to. That baby's now coming up out of a nap and truncating the forecast, so we'll end here: Coffee. Tea. Brown liquors. Warm stews. Avail thyself of these, locals, and in the proper order, of course, in tomorrow's refrigerated ark-building weather—and in the days that follow, should we be so lucky.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Day.

Curse you, county administrators, for this nearly snowless snow day, The Toad's preschool canceled, the child taking laps around the house, intent upon maximum collateral damage. A little ice never hurt anybody. Just slow down on the overpasses, bus drivers. Take it easy. It's a day for coffee, for thoughts of stew and dark beer, for a little bill paying, house-in-order sort of stuff. I just had all that in mind with a little less fiasco hurtling through these rooms. Guess I should have thought of that before this procreative experiment. Guess I should have sought out a bolder preschool. Looked for one run by folk wearing caribou pelt, metal hats. Wielders of spears. But no.

AMR sleeps upstairs. The Timber Wolf sleeps upstairs. Down here: barely-controlled mayhem, and what you'd have to be generous to call accumulating precip. And then the kid circles by and says he wants snuggles, and your grim heart warms a degree or two, and you pour another cup of coffee and start again.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Split Timber.

Not much else like splitting wood to clear the mind. Crisp out there, bright, warmth in the sun like there has been all week—but we get someone else's weather tomorrow, or our weather from December, or just what we're owed for late February, what we've earned: mid-thirties and rain. The forecast is improved from the ice fog some of the locals wanted to give us earlier in the week—or maybe a hard cold rain is no kind of improvement at all. Maybe an ice fog is the party favor, the parting gift, and all we're getting is the lousy t-shirt. Regardless: wood split for the incoming guests, clothes washed for the babies, coffee larded away in its tin, pot pie up from the deep freeze and thawing in the bottom of the fridge. We'll be ready.

If I was to report to you the News of the Toad, it'd be ugly, full of tantrum and kicking, and so I won't. I'll say The Timber Wolf is sleeping. I'll say The Toad's at school. There's sun pouring in the back storm door. There's coffee. I'm a little out of breath from the maul, the firewood. Good enough.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Timber Wolf.

Kind of a short-sleeves cold out there this morning on the Toadwalk—or maybe that's my wishful thinking. The forecast says we're laid in for another several days of true winter, and, hell, it's not even March, so let's maybe not get ahead of ourselves. Particularly here, at the southeastern HQ of bitching about How Things Once Were, how Winter Used to be Winter, etc. And yes, for those of you scoring at home, even if you're rebooting after give or take a six-month absence, those HQs you've accumulated over the years still attach themselves to the enterprise. So: I'm happy the daffodils are up. I also understand that I'm not allowed to be, that we always get some kind of event in March, or that, at least, We Used To.

Bright high sky. Crows on the power line on the downhill side. Finches at the feeders. The new Japanese maple's out there standing in its bucket, waiting for half an hour of free time that'll never, in these post-Timber Wolf days, come easily. The Toad and The Timber Wolf. TW has ear fur. The Toad napped yesterday, first time in a week, and came out of the other end of it seeming very like a human boy.

Jazz on the hi-fi when I came back in the door, but I was so in my head I'd forgotten I had it on, was sure Ben Webster's sax was the baby crying.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No Promises.

Late February. The Toad's killing us, pitching fits, kicking, hitting, screaming. When he's out of control, he's gone. When he's not, there are flashes of his same sweet self. There's a new kid on the block. Nico. The Timber Wolf. One week old. He barks in his sleep, knew his name before he got here. This morning, walking back from The Toad's school in all this rain, there were hundreds of cardinals and robins. AMR's asleep upstairs with TW. We're about to slide into spring. Even in the brutal cold of the weekend, there was heat in the sun. I make no promises, but the maples are blooming, and nobody's up, and in the thin light from the overhead in the kitchen, I felt like I ought to tell all this to someone.