Sometimes you don’t write for nearly a week and it’s not because anything’s wrong, it’s only because you don’t want to talk for no reason. But then your house is empty for a moment, and you long to hear the keys tapping again, and there’s stuff stirring in your brain, and sometimes you don’t know exactly what it is until you put fingers to letter-squares.

And then you write for a while and realize it’s all just as random as it seems floating around inside and so later that afternoon while the littlest is “quiet timing,” you decide to make your musings into a list instead.

1) My four-year-old named her fuzzy brown teddy bear Bob Costas. Bob Costas. I could not wait another moment to let you know. I do not know how I’ve waited this long. There’s no end to how much it tickles me to hear her ask, “Where’s Bob Costas?” and “Can Bob Costas come with us in the car?” Of course he can, honey. Of course. Every day of the week.

2) Yesterday was strange. In the morning, I loaded the car with library books to return, flowers to deliver to our little friend for her birthday and my Lala. We planned to head to the DEQ and then the grocery store. When we reached the front of the line at DEQ, the kind man at the kiosk asked if I had my paperwork with me. I looked at my brimming front seat.

No dice.

So we made a turn for our friend’s house instead to drop off the flowers. Lala who’d been whining all morning about how tired she was and had (uncharacteristically) taken a nap before 10:30, uttered some garbled words from the backseat and proceeded to spew all over herself, Lambie, her carseat and down to the carpet below. She was most upset about Lambie who would no longer smell like her — at least the sweet-smelling her. I’m glad Bob Costas was at home and didn’t have to see the whole thing play out.

3) I want to be the kind of mom who does not panic and call her husband and start complaining about how hard life is when said puking happens in the car, but apparently I am the kind who has other strengths. I could have focused on the fact that we were not in the DEQ line having our car inspected for emissions when said vomiting occurred, but it did not occur to me at that moment.

4) Once I got Lala bathed and cozy and settled on the couch with the washing machine humming, I headed to the car to clean up the mess. I took a fresh air break and checked the email on my phone which informed me that a lockdown had occurred at our daughters’ school. It turns out there was a suspicious package (rumored later to have been a hairbrush in a bag) that caused the kids to be called in from recess as cop cars gathered around the school. The fifth graders huddled together quietly, not knowing what was happening outside as their teacher stood guard with his baseball bat. The second graders gathered together on the carpet to listen to their teacher quietly read Ramona the Pest. When the lockdown was lifted, the second graders went to the auditorium where they listened to an older girl play Beethoven. My fifth grader accompanied first graders to the park for a walking field trip. Both their experiences broke my heart for different reasons.

5) After approximately 33 years, I’ve finally quit biting my nails. Can I get a woohoo? During the two months since I’ve quit, my four-year-old has started biting her nails with new vigor. The circle of life?

6) My car still stinks, but vaguely of natural parsley cleaner. I need to roll down the windows now that the rain has passed. It reminds me of a certain European city with the pungent smells of urine and dog doo not-so-effectively cloaked in parfum.

7) In the midst of my surreal afternoon, I called my sister. She calmed my fears, encouraged me to keep on keepin’ on and prayed for me. I felt so much better.

8) Reading long books about animals on adventures are magic for sick little ones on the couch.

9) J is dressed as Laura Ingalls today for a school spirit day. She had P.E. first thing, so she was Laura Ingalls in running shoes. When I picked her up, she was Laura Ingalls in cowgirl boots. She changed back into running shoes for the walk home.

10) Lala came downstairs as I was writing this in a white and green checked gingham dress. She said she wanted to be a character, but since J was already Laura, she had to be someone else. “Who do I remind you of?” she asked. I racked my brain, and after she dismissed Sally from Cat in the Hat, she decided on Fern from Charlotte’s Web, “even though my dress doesn’t have ruffles.”

“You’re kinda more like her personality with your spunk,” I explained. She smiled knowingly.

11) This might be my first ever late afternoon post. If ever there were a time to break my self-imposed blogging schedule, it would be on a bizarre brain dump like this one.

12) Tomorrow, Sici has her first school dance. The fifth graders will be joining the middle years kids at our K-8. I expect my daughter will know less popular music than most, but if The Jackson 5 or “Dancing Queen” or Bob Marley come piping through those speakers, hold on. It’s going to get funky all up in that cafeteria.

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