The So-Called-Simplicity of Boys


We have a boy, two years old. Another boy, also two, lives next door. Across the courtyard is a family with two more boys, one of whom is two. And one door further down, there is a family with an older girl and a younger boy. He's two, too.

We all live in the units known in the neighborhood as "Slum Ledge." Kind of a joke, because it's not so bad, but the housing is old, cold in winter, hot in summer, and so if it's not actively dumping rain, all the kids, naturally, go outside.

Watching these boys it is hard not to develop certain theories.  Theories about boys. Theories about parents. Theories about siblings and sibling spacing.  Also, theories about daycare versus no daycare.  Theories about the effect of weather on behavior. Theories about the effect of numbers on kindness. Theories about boys. Theories about violence.

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On Seconds


There are appropriate things to say to strangers in the check out line, and then there are the things people actually do say. I was in good-enough spirits when the lady behind the register commented, "Wow, your kids look reeeally close in age," followed by, "how close are they?" Because no one in my grocery cart was crushing crackers or defecating in his underwear, I was able to ignore her tone, laden with sibling-spacing recrimination, and just answer.  

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To Wax or not to Wax


"You look good, my husband said, which is what I hoped to hear, but also didn't, since I wished it didn't matter, but it did."

I'd gone for a lip wax that day. This was the kind of female grooming I'd begun to feel more comfortable with in my mid-thirties, if not for the slight appearance boost that comes from having no visible facial hair, then at least for the solace of being reclined in a dimly-lit room, free from the urgent demands of my small children.