So here launches my blog experiment.
I’ve thought about trying this a number of times in the past and generally talked myself out of it, based largely on the inconsistency of my past attempts at journaling. It’s not lack of motivation, particularly when it comes to documenting the bat-out-of-hell rate at which my kids are growing. I’ve been doing a little better at my traditional diary of late, and that adds to my confidence, but mostly the idea has been growing on me since I’ve spent some time recently reading the blogging efforts of a few friends and really enjoying them. Probably my biggest regret from the list of things I’ve let slip through the cracks in the last ten years or so is the number of friends I’ve failed to stay in regular touch with. Even email hasn’t helped as much as I would like, because I am just too verbose to keep it short, and so I don’t get started because I know I won’t finish in the limited time allotted before one of the kids interrupts. Case in point: I have been interrupted three times in the time it has taken me to write this paragraph, once to fix a blanket, once to hug a stuffed puppy, and once to get some apple juice. All by the same kid.
So maybe this will provide me with another route for catching up: if I can keep this going, then once I get around to the doggone emails, I can make them short greetings with a blog link. Wish me luck, Mom.
The other reason I just HAD to start this today is the idea that got planted in my head yesterday while reading my sister-in-law’s blog. Like I expect to be the case with me, she gets a large part of her material from the antics of her four children, whom she refers to by code names in order to protect their privacy. I dunno how much privacy I am realistically going to expect on such a public entity; I feel a little like I’m posting all this on a sidebar in the New York Times; probably no one's really looking for it, but it's out there if anyone happens across it. Except that the Times would get expensive in a hurry—maybe the Bull Run Observer. Anyway, I found myself thinking about what I would code name my family members, and had so much fun with it I just had to write it down. If it keeps being this much fun, I’ll just have to keep doing it.
So my oldest daughter, age 8, was the easiest. She is Bookworm, and has been ever since starting kindergarten almost 3 years ago. I have had a great time introducing her to the books I remember vanishing into repeatedly at her age…one of the few things I remember with a fair amount of clarity, in fact, from being her age. As I did, she has found a heroine with whom she identifies in Ramona Quimby, and pops up at any moment to ask whether I remember such and such a scene from Ramona the Brave. I was astonished to find out a few months ago that Beverly Cleary produced two more Ramona books since I evidently outgrew them. Ramona actually has a baby sister now…who knew? And how perfect for my Bookworm, whose delight in being a big sister is one of her other most defining characteristics.
My 5-year-old was probably the toughest, not because coming up with ideas was hard, but rather that she has so much personality it’s just hard to decide which aspect to use to describe her. “Drama Queen” has too many negative associations, as do any of the half-dozen singer-performers that come to mind when I think of her tendency to dance through a day like she’s in a Rodgers and Hammerstein production number. I finally settled on Buzz. Firstly, it’s a noise. Secondly, “To Infinity and Beyond” is a pretty good motto for her. She certainly seems to spend a lot of time in orbit, or at any rate in constant motion.
Daughter #3 has to be Aslan, which would be obvious to anyone who has called her by name when she is walking around on all fours, only to be informed indignantly, “No, I’m Aswan the Wion!” She completes the picture by roaring and stalking around for a while, then pausing to find some sort of blunt instrument, which she brings to me before flopping over on her side and telling me that I need to kill her on the Stone Table. I don’t usually oblige, since I’m all too aware of what happens to the Witch afterward.
And then there’s the little’un, who for now will be Spot. This is not based on any physical manifestation, though of our three kids with discernible birthmarks, the stork bite on her forehead is probably the most obvious (at least when she is screaming). But Buzz started a few months ago to call her “Spot Baby” out of the blue. When I asked why, she said her pretend friends suggested it to her. She has had an active fan club of pretend friends for quite a while now, ranging from Nintendo’s Mario to her friend Window (one of the ones in the living room). I’ve rarely seen any kid so active or content in spending an hour in deep conversation when she is providing both sides. Anyway, it may be random but it’s short and simple. It’ll do until the baby names herself.
Not to be left out, my husband will be “the Doc.” It will be true enough soon, as his dissertation defense is scheduled in a few short weeks. The “the” is necessary as I could see him being a tad disgruntled if he felt that his moniker came from a dwarf.
So there’s our family in a nutshell. How dull life would be without them.