Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

Archive for the tag “balloons”

Unphotographed Moments – Days Twenty-Nine, Thirty, and Thirty-One

(This post is part of a series for August 2013 entitled “Unphotographed Moments.” Read the intro to the series here.)

Thursday’s Unphotographed Moments:

Owlet, my proud helper, choosing birthday balloons for Gertrude and holding them in all their threatening-to-escape helium glory throughout the store until we purchased them and tied weights to their strings, and then carrying them out to the car herself, feeling no doubt quite grownup for not holding my hand (we have recently begun allowing this on small streets and not-too-busy parking lots and she loves it).

The teenage squirrel whom our cats first caught on Wednesday (Thor was able to rescue it by keeping the cats at bay with a rake) returned. This time I was the rescuer — I put a broom down next to it, intending to shelter it from the cat, but it climbed onto the broom so instead I carried it across the yard and lifted it via broom elevator to the fence top.

Friday’s Unphotographed Moments:

Several sightings of the little squirrel in our small front yard during our routine comings and goings. The little guy is not nearly skittish enough for my liking, and why on earth has it chosen a house with three cats? Platypup wanted to catch it, and I held him back for fear it would let him!

Owlet lounging on top of me, belly to belly, laughing every time mine gurgled.

The re-return of our friendly neighborhood squirrel. Cricket seems to enjoy playing with it but not roughly enough to do visible damage. It plays dead like nobody’s business only to frolic off when its attacker loses interest. The squirrel declined the offer of a broom ride, so after watching this process repeat a few times, I got bored and went back inside. Cricket followed at my heels and went for a bite from his bowl… Clearly he lacks incentive.

Saturday’s Unphotographed Moments:

Getting to play bridge for the first time in ages and ages! Our bridge buddies from when we all lived in Boston now live a couple hours away, and we do not get together as often as we would like. We did not have high hopes for playing much since Thor had to work both Friday night and Saturday night, but Platypup obligingly took a decent nap and Owlet was mostly content to amuse herself so we were able to play much of the afternoon.

Platypup lying in my lap trying to both nurse and dance, with mixed success.

And finally…

The return of our little fish!

We did twice-weekly swimming lessons with Owlet from early toddlerhood till sometime this past spring, and she was swimming. Real swimming. Gorgeous mermaid underwater swimming. We would enter the pool together and I would sweep backwards, facing her, arms outstretched and grinning every time to see her toddle down the steps and push off, wiggling toward me, not doggy paddling or anything recognizable, but in a stroke all her own.

And then we fell off the lesson bandwagon for a variety of logical but not good enough reasons and did not swim for awhile. And the next time we went to a pool, she had forgotten.

To say Thor and I felt guilty would be to say a pool is damp. The word is inadequate.

We tried to coax her body and mind into remembering, to no avail. Reluctantly we attempted to shelve the shimmering memory of our merchild and start from scratch. And made sure to resume swimming regularly.

Today our forced nonchalance paid off. Today she forgot to care about getting her face wet, pushed off the pool bottom with her feet, and swam several paces. And then she did it again.

That is my final “unphotographed moment” of the month, and it belongs tucked firmly against the memory of her first learning to swim. It is her triumph, and ours, a reminder of how things of value can be lost if care is not taken, a reminder to take time where time is needed, a reminder that what feels like the end may in fact be intermission. Most of all, it is a reminder not to underestimate the tenacity of our quiet little firecracker of a fish.


Today’s one-shot photo:


Beading work in progress.


Unphotographed Moments – Day Four

(This post is part of a series for August 2013 entitled “Unphotographed Moments.” Read the intro to the series here.)

Today’s Unphotographed Moments:

Playing “Slippery Fish” and “Sticky Fish” with Owlet and Platypup during our morning shower. What, you’ve never played such a game? Well, Owlet and I invented “Slippery Fish” not too long ago. You see, it is vital to liberally coat a curly-haired child’s luscious locks in conditioner before brushing and then rinsing in order to have the slightest hope of besting the tangle beastie. A completely unexpected side effect of liberal conditioner usage is a near-inability to pick up the slathered party pre-rinse. Hence, “Slippery Fish,” the game of trying not to drop your dear beloved squirming child on a hard tile shower floor. “Sticky Fish” was a new development today, due to Platypup’s presence. A 14-month-old’s hair is not generally in need of conditioning, but he is still quite anxious to be included in any picking up that might be going on. Needless to say, lacking in conditioner, he is rather sticky by comparison.

Owlet being her usual gloweringly shy self at a friend’s baby shower. She actually ate her plate of food under my chair — not a high dining chair, either, but a low-slung deck chair. At exactly the time we got ready to leave, she was finally warmed up enough to want to stay and play. Um, yeah, sorry, kiddo.

Platypup viewing what may be his first balloons (souvenirs from the baby shower) with maniacal joy. He demanded that the three balloons be separated, then took one and was frustrated by how hard it was for a person of modest wingspan to hold the ribbon with one hand and hit the balloon with the other. My solution, which was to tie it to an anchor so he wouldn’t keep losing it to the ceiling, was swiftly and forcefully rejected. When I finally managed to untie it he delightedly continued his game. Also, we have learned that three balloons is exactly the minimum required for two children to play with amiably.

Two squeal-inducing new babies at a parents’ group park gathering! Both were accompanied not just by clearly awesome moms but by dads who were inseparably wrapped up in their tiny offspring.

At the above gathering, Platypup roaming free-range in his usual way, playing with wood chips here, eating a little sand there, climbing, sliding, toddling after the big kids some but mostly involved in his own sweet play. Or not so sweet, as when he found a dirty fork and used it as a shovel (ok) and then persistently wanted to “share” it with me (less ok).

Rapunzel’s three year old son crowing like a rooster on top of a play structure swinging Owlet’s duck backpack (an object he covets; an obsession she tolerates quite nicely) with unbridled glee. Her five year old son wrapped peacefully around a climbing web’s central post like a pirate around a mast.


Today’s one-shot photo:


So this is actually a wonderful story. Thor and I were discussing ways not to be jackassish to one another (something we are prone to in the wee hours of the morning or the cold dregs of night) when he had a lovely idea.

Wait, you need more back story first.

I have some crafty crafty friends who enjoy issuing “craft challenges” to one another in the form of wacky objects that become stunning works of art.

Ok, so Thor’s brilliant idea was to issue a craft challenge to me: create an object for one of us to hand to the other as an unrefusable request to stop being a jerk.

And then he went and acquired work on the evening I was to brainstorm said craft challenge, leaving me with barely time to mention the challenge in passing to my crafty crafty friends before departing.

So of course they took it upon themselves to create the perfect item: our very own Purple People Eater (or in our case, Anger Eater) complete with peace sign and dove wings.

Here’s what we looked like upon viewing it for the first time:


Isn’t it lovely? Who could be grumpy with such a creation in front of them?

Not us.

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