Friday, May 7, 2010


Mrs. Fox has moved her family to a safer location. Our front stoop. This morning, after a 6 AM ghost call (stupid fat butts secretly dialing our house!) I spent a lovely hour watching the Fox family scamper and frolic in the snow-dusted lawn. Actually, I think they were looking for food. Shortly after I took up my vigil, one of the babies brought a suspiciously bunny-like object to the den and snarled at the other two as they tried to convince her to share. Apparently, sharing is not a fox-like moral. There is now a bright red something outside the den, about the size of, oh, a bunny organ. Looks like I’ll have to send the kids to school via the garage door to avoid any unpleasant conversations. “Mommy, why is there a beating heart in our yard?”

The fox children also had found a long rope and had carried it partially into the den. Foxes, like my children, don’t put away their toys.

We’re keeping the new den location a secret from Curious 4 year old and her sisters. They wouldn’t be able to help themselves. They’d tunnel under the front stoop and try to curl up with Cuddly Fox Family. I have a feeling Mama Fox would not like that idea.

I’ve become strangely protective of the foxes. I get nervous when the youngsters go bounding out of the gate without checking for dangers, like cars or neighbors with shotguns. And I’ve had to remind myself over and over that feeding them would not do them any favors. “These are wild foxes, not eager-but-nasty geese,” I tell myself. “If you want them to survive, they’ve got to learn how to hunt. Cans of tuna fish will not magically appear once they move to a less concrete, more tree-like home.”

Before you chastise me for anthropomorphizing, I’ve researched foxes. They are not fond of human baby yummies, although they have been known to take a cat if very very hungry. They are rabies carriers, but if you catch it in time, it’s only one shot, so I’m not concerned. (That was tongue in cheek, CPS.)

After they move away, which they will in a few months, maybe they’ll come back to visit. Maybe I can be Grandmother Fox, doling out deer-heart cookies and piggy back rides. Gotta get my love somehow.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I’m laying on Boy’s floor. He’s crawling around, playing with toys and singing to himself. I have a pillow under my head and a blanket over my body and I’m trying to do that “not really asleep but nearly comatose” thing parents do when they’re just that tired. He’s teething and we’ve had several long nights. Even when he hasn’t been awake, I have been. My ancient body doesn’t fall back to sleep the way my younger body used to do. So there we are, Last Child and I, spending an early morning hour with each other. Boy army-crawls over to me, kisses me on the mouth (this is the open mouthed, baby slobber variety of kiss), lays down on the pillow next to me and goes to sleep.

For that, I would go through a hundred nights like the past few.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Heart Grown Fonder

My family is a wreak. We’re like Jericho after the walls fell. We’re like a dinghy on the rough seas of life. We’re the salty residue on skin after a day at the ocean.

The oldest child has gone to Washington DC for a week and left us bewildered by her absence.

Who knew she was such a unifying force? Who knew she shuttled around the family, keeping the younger ones separated and entertained, soothing mother’s frayed nerves at dinner time, carting around the Baby One so food could be made for those of us with teeth?

While she’s off visiting the White House, our house is in shambles. The two middle kids have spent more time crying the past 2 days than they have in years. Even Sheltered Infant knows something’s up and spent the good portion of last night howling.

She’s so never going to college.

Even our neighbors have lost their cultivation. We saw, today, that a family of foxes has moved into a house which has recently been vacated. Of course, I’d rather have foxes than the old neighbors, so I’m not sad. But you see that this is a trend, right? Our family goes native, the wild life starts taking over and pretty soon it’s anarchy in suburbia. All because one child had to go study national monuments.

Boy is she in trouble.