Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sleep. You Know You Want It.

Two years ago, if you had asked me what I thought of co-sleeping, I would have first asked what it was and then said "Oh, no way." The first time I heard the term "attachment parenting," I thought it sounded relentlessly creepy. I still kinda do. I was also one of those kidless people who had all sorts of ideas about what you should do with your kid, like letting them cry, putting them in their own room, not spoiling them, etc.

Now here I am in bed at 9:40 with my baby, who is happily nursing to sleep while I type with my thumb on a handheld device.

And you know what the really neat thing about that is? Not that I adapted to circumstances and am therefore capable of change and growth. No, it's the fact that there are legions of people out there ready to judge my parenting choices, armed with research, and thanks to the Internet, they actually can judge me if they so choose. And I could judge them right back.

I generally keep politics off this blog as much as my overly political brain can manage, but I really had no idea that there was as much of a maelstrom over parenting issues as there is over political theory. And just like politics, both sides are armed with data supporting their conclusions.

Sleep should not be controversial, but it is. It's one of the areas of parenting where you will find yourself bombarded with opinions and, often, a smattering of judgment. People on both sides of the trenches will cite research that supports their approach, and they will lob their grenades of advice into your sleep deprived barracks with a sniff of superior, "I've been there I know best" accuracy.

Well, those people can suck it. No one knows better, and no one is you, and no one else has your baby. I am already frustrated with other people's opinions about other people's parenting, even if it is just from researching online and reading the blog wars between different parenting camps.

My choice is that I will not be letting my baby "cry it out."
Everyone else can do as they please with their own babies.

When I have an opinion about something, there is usually a reason. Sometimes , it's just a gut feeling. Sometimes, facts can come to light to make me question my instincts, but it still has to make sense to me. People like to say that comforting your crying baby will make it dependent. That babies need to use their own resources. That you are spoiling them if you respond to their cries. That if you don't let them cry it out, they will never learn to sleep through the night.

Here's what I think about these assertions:

1. Comforting your crying baby will make him dependent.

Um, he's a baby, not a business man, and even business men need comforting sometimes. What else is a baby but a dependent creature? He has many years ahead of him to make it on his own and learn how to fend for himself. Right now, he gets to be a baby. Not a little mini adult.

2. Babies need to learn to use their own resources.

Like what? Fixing themselves some warm milk? Counting sheep? Crying is their resource. It's the one thing they know how to do to alert the grown ups that something is wrong. How would you feel if the only resource you had was continually ignored? Mad? Frustrated? Filled with despair? I don't think babies "learn to sleep" from crying it out, I think they become exhausted and give up. If you can believe that babies have learned "Ah, no one has come. It must mean that the power to comfort myself resides in me, and I am a strong, powerful individual," then it could be possible that they are learning "Ah, no one is coming. It is a cold, hard world, and you can depend upon no one." There is plenty of time down the road when this little boy won't want my help. As tiring as it can be right now, he actually needs me, plus, he's not talking back or giving me sass.

Some people think that the baby who gets a response to its cries at night will be clingy and desperate during the day, but the reverse makes sense to me. In any case, in my experience, so far, Finn does not cry much because he does not have to, and he's capable of playing "on his own" (as much as an eight month old does) during the day, so I am not too worried about it.

3. That if you don't let them cry it out, they will never learn to sleep through the night

Never? Really? Casual observation of the bulk of humanity does not bear this out.

One thing to remember when it comes to baby sleep is that the medical definition of sleeping through the night is five consecutive hours. Furthermore, no one really sleeps through the night, including grown ups. Whether you remember it or not, you change position, adjust covers, and go through your sleep cycles. Another thing to remember is that babies' sleep cycles are shorter, and night waking is normal. But babies, unlike adults, often need assistance when they wake at night. I think that the problem with baby sleep is often a grown up problem: we want them to sleep like we do. It's not realistic. Sure, it's a problem when adults are crazy tired and nonfunctional, and I know that I would love a solid six hours of sleep, but, realistically, I am not expecting one any time soon.

When it comes to parenting, I don't have time for weeks of research. I have devoted a few hours of reading plus a few hours of online research to this issue, and that will have to be it. And this topic is lucky to be getting a post; the hours of reading, note taking, and writing I did a couple of months back on the roots of the current economic crisis are languishing in a word doc on my laptop. I don't consider us to be conforming to any one, named parenting style. It seems weird to me to label parenting beyond "parenting." We have a son, we are raising him, one day to the next, trying to work our lives and personalities together into a happy environment.

So this is not here to change anyone's mind, cast judgment, or wake the Kraken, it's just here to relate my experience so far.

There's usually no easy solution to "baby sleep." What has helped me somewhat is to realign my perceptions and my expectations. As far as I am concerned, Finn does not have sleep problems. He sleeps like a baby. Once I understood how they sleep and got over the expectation that he would be sleeping through the night any time soon, I felt better. At this point, he is with me all night, in bed. Sometimes Pete joins us, and it's all three of us, sometimes Pete sleeps in the guest room. Sometimes Pete takes him in the morning, and I have a little extra sleep, sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes, Finn's intermittent evening whining siren almost pushes me over the edge, so I give him to Pete.

At some point, I will try to transition him to his co-sleeper or into a crib in our room, and we'll see how that works out. But what every parent needs to remember is that every baby is different, every parent is different, and every situation is different. Castigating someone else's choices is not going to do anyone any good. What works for us, works for us, and when it doesn't anymore, we'll make efforts to change it. Besides that, when have you ever changed someone else's mind?

meet dawkins

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


At some point, we lose our sense of wonder.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009


What are you making if you buy:

5 bags of spicy thai potato chips
2 dozen eggs
3 half pints of heavy whipping cream
4 32-ounce containers of maple yogurt
5 pounds of pork ribs

It's not a riddle. I am actually asking.
It's what the dude in front of me was getting at the co-op.

Organized Fun

Some people love games. Some of these same people simply cannot understand why I despise them. It's beyond their comprehension that I can find the idea of sitting down to a card game repulsive.

I should qualify: I dislike organized group fun. It's part of why baby showers with games are so vile. I feel exposed. In that context, even opening presents while everyone watches me is too much.

There are games I enjoy, but they are mostly played by a single person, and they often involve words. I'll play Boggle with someone else, but without scores. I only like Scrabble if we are not counting. The goal for me is interesting words, not triple word scores.

So when I downloaded Scrabble for my iTouch, I was hoping I could play by myself, against myself. When you play the computer, the computer is cheating, using the Scrabble dictionary it has in its memory. I have no such thing, nor would I ever allow it in the context of a game. "Tufa" does not count. I want words that come out of your head.

But when I played solitary Scrabble, all I got was nouns, and it's hard to make words with three "e's", a "u", an "i", an "o" and an "r." It was back to playing the computer. It takes me forever to play one game because I wind up having to use a dictionary, just like the bratty computer, to make it a fair fight. But then, I am violating my own internal rules, and I like to stick to rules. Plus, whenever there is competition involved, I shrink. I don't like it. I don't like to lose, but winning is not much better because someone still loses, and I know how that feels. Losing feels foolish. It means you have done something wrong. And I really don't like to do things wrong.

Wow, what a convoluted mess my game issues are. I think it started from playing games with my older brother (yet another reason to just have one child. As we already have a boy, we will have an older brother in the family. Older brothers seem to feel that Torment is part of their obligation to the social order). My brother would take advantage of my susceptible dumb little kid brain and do things like put the Old Maid a little higher up in his hand of cards, sticking out just a little. Smarty here would always go for it, like a dog to bacon. Then I would be ridiculed. Right now, in fact, my sister-in-law is probably reading this out loud to him, and he is smirking, remembering the joy of those times.

I hated that.

Now, when I am playing a game in a group, I am in a constant state of nervous anxiety, afraid of looking foolish when all eyes are on me if it's my turn. People assume that I don't play games because I suck, which is generally not true unless you are talking about baseball or golf or any game that involves me having to hit anything with an extension of my hand or arm, especially when that something is being hurled at my head with great speed.

For some reason, people really want to force games on me, too, which I also don't get. Like it's a personal affront that I don't like them. I love poetry, but I understand how some people could not love poetry, so I don't make people read poetry. Nor am I offended if they don't like poetry.

It will be interesting how we work this out for The Boy. Pete likes games and sports, so he might seek out that kind of entertainment for Finn, while I cringe in the corner. It's important to me, though, that he not feel forced or over-scheduled. Part of the fun of being a kid is the relative lack of schedules, responsibility, and organization.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You're a Preemie

My dental hygienist told me a story about a woman with a preemie who used her baby's adjusted age as its only age. So when you asked her how old her baby was, she would tell you "9 months" when the baby was really a year old.

Now, I guess this is a personal choice, but I think it is confusing to others and, eventually to the child. At some point, it will have to be explained that, well, you were really born on such and such a date, so you are really three months older. It's like branding the child for life: you're a preemie. It could sound weird, but I do not think of Finn as a preemie. I think of him as Finn. When I look at developmental charts, it is mainly for reference, and as I knew very little about what babies are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do it. I am learning as I go, just like he is, and I do not have unrealistic expectations about his abilities. I want him to continue to progress at a steady rate, and to be happy and healthy.

I do not want to focus too much energy on his early birth. While there are certain restrictions for his first year, and we have to watch out more for issues like upper respiratory infections, I do not feel that his babyhood should be fraught with overprotective behavior that will affect his ability to feel secure and believe that he can accomplish things in life. And though he will not remember his hospital experience, I do not want to deny him his first few months of life, which were not as we expected them to be. He was a strong little guy, and I want him to own that.

When people ask his age and look surprised after I tell them, I explain that he was born at 25 weeks, but I don't dwell on it. Then they tell their preemie story (everyone has one), which is about their uncle, their sister, their baby, themselves, their cousin's husband's first wife's stepson. I don't look back on Finn's first two and a half months with regret or trauma or, perish the thought, shame. I look back and I marvel at how we got through it while working, but we were fortunate, and Finn did not have problems. It was what it was, it can't be changed, and our baby is awesome.

Even if he is a little tyrannosaur.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Let It Snow...

Hi all! Pete here.

Karen asked me to post this video into the blog - so here it is. No time to type much more - gotta give Finn a bottle!


The View From Here

This is pretty much what every object in the house would be seeing, if every object in the house had eyes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Patricia T. Bunny

This book stinks.

No, really. I mean it: it smells.

Sure, it's a classic, but it reeks. Also, frankly, I am not sure why it's a classic, because I find it to be a bit dictatorial.

I guess it's supposed to be tactile and educational for the child, and they probably don't care that they are being yelled at and ordered around by the text, but I find it to be quite off-putting. It centers around the simplistic actions of "Paul" and "Judy," small children who "can do lots of things." Apparently, expectations in the 1930's were mildly lower than they are today. There is peek-a-boo, mirror gazing, feeling daddy's scratchy face, and putting your finger through mummy's ring. All very challenging. Each task starts with "Judy" and "Paul" showing us, the interested viewer, how to execute the task, and then the following page allows us to attempt the task. Rather, we are ordered to complete the task:

"Judy can play peek-a-boo with Paul.

Now YOU play peek-a-boo with Paul."

The "or else" is merely implied.

The first task is the activity that lends itself to the title: "Now YOU pat the bunny." Of course, the title could be taken to mean that this book is, in fact, about a character named "Pat," or "Pat (comma) the Bunny." Perhaps I would have enjoyed this read more were that actually the case, as my mother believed when first confronted with this book. Children are also encouraged too read "Judy's" book, which is a bonus story about a bunny who we will call "Pat." "Pat" listens to a clock tick, shows us how big she is, eats his good supper, and falls asleep.

"Pat" is clearly as accomplished as the human children, if not more so.

It's a laugh a minute.

The "smelling the flowers" activity creates the stinky quality of the story. Whatever they used to make the flowers smell Really. Smells. Pete can't smell it, but I can barely handle the book, it's so overwhelming. And it does not smell like flowers. Not at all. I don't know how "Paul" can stand to do it, though he is a bit far away from them, looks quite tentative, and is holding his ass with one hand. I'm not sure what that all means, but it can't be good. Once our little narcissist is finished looking in the little freakshow circus mirror, I suppose that levels of meaning go right out the window. Daddy's scratchy face is also a black patch of tar on his otherwise lilywhite complexion, but we won't talk about that.

Oh yeah. "Judy" and "Paul" also wave bye bye.

Little geniuses.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wits, meet End.

I always love my baby, but some days, such as today, I don't like him very much. He's mad if I sit, mad if I stand in one place. He's barfing. He's fussy. He's only interested in any one thing for three to five minutes, and then he's mad again. He screams for no good reason. He's trying my every last nerve. It's days like this (and yesterday) that make me think back wistfully to the days when it was just Pete and I. Granted, those thoughts are only a quick flash before I remember all the good things, but being tired and frustrated will make you think all sorts of stuff that you don't really mean.

It could be easy to feel guilty about being mad at a being who does not yet have the cognitive ability to regulate his emotions or process his surroundings, so instead, I try to remember that he is, indeed a being who does not yet have the cognitive ability to regulate his emotions or process his surroundings. And when I am feeling like I may lose my mind, what helps me is reading. I have called it Self Defense Reading before, and I guess I can continue to call it that, but it's also simply Reassurance Reading. I spend some time doing research on infant development, I read about what is "normal," I find examples from other parents and remember that I am not alone, I remember that this will not last forever, and I realize that when the time comes that he no longer depends on me so much, I will wind up missing this baby phase. Tonight, it helped me to relax, which, in turn, seemed to help Finn to relax, as he fell asleep on my shoulder and stayed asleep for awhile.

Finn is fine. He's quite good, in fact. He's probably going through a four-month old type of growth & development spurt, which can make babies, well, a bit intolerable. Because of his external third trimester, I can't necessarily assign developmental stages to him either on his adjusted or chronological age, but just observe his behavior and look for similarities in the literature. I am not parenting by a book, by any means, but sometimes I just need to remind myself that he's ok, and so am I.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

quick question

How do they know when you are not standing?

Friday, January 9, 2009


I used to think that it was better to have your kids when you were younger so that you would not be too old when they grow up. Now I am glad that I did not have Finn until I was 38. I had a lot of fun when I was young enough to be awake for it, and also, now I don't have an untapped Well of Stupid that will eat away at me, making me wonder what I missed. I know what I missed because I did not miss it, and I was young enough to be retarded and not really hurt too many people.

Of course, I could just be rationalizing, because maybe it would have been better to be young enough to be able to survive the first year of your child's life, but I bet I would be just as tired. But if I stayed up all night drinking NOW, I would be wiped out for days. Back then, I could still have Thursday.

Not that I ever stayed up all night drinking on a school night.

Or ever.

I would never do such a thing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's Freakin' 2009

January 5, 2009

And I could so freak out right now. I had a moment this morning when I thought, "I really should start freaking out."

What's up? Well, for one thing, it's my plan to go back to work part time in February, and the implications of that are many. First of all, that means I go back to work full time. It's a bit scary. Leaving The Boy, reinserting myself into the machine, trying to remember everything I have forgotten, leaving The Boy. Leaving The Boy.

I'll ease back into it, starting with a few half days. The nice thing is that my dad will be providing the child care, so I am not leaving The Boy with strangers... yet...

And that's another thing: finding (and paying for) day care starting in June. I have put Pete on this as he is out in the world and working with educators and parents, so he gets recommendations. But aside from a few links I put together before my nonexistent third trimester, I have no idea where to begin. I am partially in denial about all of it. My baby is seven months old, I have to go back to work full time in only five months, and he will be a year old.

Time, it does fly.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm feeling much better today. Oh, I am still tired, but I took some time during Finn's swing nap yesterday to do some self defense reading. This is the kind of reading which reminds me that my instincts are right, there is nothing wrong with my baby, and I should listen to myself. It also helped me to shift my perspective back to where it needs to be: the time I have with Finn when he is a baby is irreplaceable, and I should try my best to be present, thankful, and attentive.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Follow the Yarn

Yesterday, I completed 29 rows and transferred to the first of two circular needles. These rows are getting bigger every time, so I actually made pretty good progress. And I did not even touch another project. Though I did start to update my stash on Ravelry. I have a scarf to finish blocking, but that does not count. It's off the needles and ready to go to its new home.


On Sunday, I thought I was tired.
Then yesterday, I thought "No, this is tired."
Now today, I realize "Oh, wait, NO, NOW I am really tired."

I feel like I was up too late, drinking too much, for a week, but oh no, that's certainly not the case.

Finn's great. He's Happy Morning Baby.

Last night, he was either sleep eating or sleep thrashing all. night. long. I got up and took him from Pete because he was screaming and screaming, and Pete was frustrated and a bit worried. He thought that Finn must be feeling poorly, as he had gone through two bottles already and was so upset. I think he must be going through a growth spurt because this has been going on for a few days now, and before this, he was in a pretty good routine that involved at least a few hours of solid sleep at a time, for all of us. Throw some teething issues in there, and you have a recipe for tired that will last you for days.

It has nothing to do with his shot yesterday, though that is what Pete thought last night. No, it's all him.

I know what you are thinking: "Are you kidding me? That baby is seven months old and weighs 13 pounds and 13 ounces, and he's not sleeping through the night?" Well, whatever. We did not think that Finn would be sleeping through the night, or anything close to it, until he is six months adjusted, and that's still two months away, more like the beginning of March. Aside from that, all babies are different, and you never know what they are going to do. I am just hoping that this little routine does not last too much longer because I think I need some sleep.

Those cookies are not going to bake themselves.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Follow the Yarn

A few of my favorite things....
As you may remember, one of my resolutions is never to have more than three projects on the needles at once. As, for the foreseeable future, one of them will be a laceweight shawl, that leaves me space for two projects in progress at any given time. Since I posted that resolution, I finished a hat, two scarves, three pairs of slippers, a needle case, and a cardigan. Not bad, eh? I decided to see what would happen to me if I only worked on one project.... scaaaary...

January 4, 2009: This is an experiment in working on only one project until it is done. We'll see if I survive.
I bought three skeins of this yarn back when Finn was still in the hospital, intending to make a leetle blankie for him. But I kept finding relevant skeins, so it became a larger project. Only recently did it coalesce around a pattern.

For this project, I am more interested in showing off the yarn than creating an optical illusion, but the pattern still seemed the most interesting after perusing the archives. I was going to go in the same color order through the whole blankie, but now I think I will mix them up.

I wound all 8 skeins of malabrigo, which consumed quite a bit of time. This was my first time casting on a small amount of stitches and working from the center in the round, and it's a bit cumbersome, but once I got the hang of it, it worked out just fine. I did a few rounds following the pattern (garter stitch) and did not like the result. I don't like garter stitch: it looks like it's inside out.
So, after contemplating the hot mess that was on the needles, I decided to start over and do it stockinette. I am much happier with the results so far.

On the first day, she wound 8 balls of yarn and cast on twice. She finished 26 rounds.

The Gift

In German, "Gift" means "poison." That is not what Pete got last night. No, Pete got a full night's sleep. I did not. Not that I have seen one of those since, oh... maybe early August. I took the boy all night because he was screaming inconsolably, and the only thing that would work was The Boob. Just like a man. It feels like he ate all. night. long. When Pete came in this morning, he said "You look bigger" to the little man in diapers, and I said "He should. He's been eating for eight hours straight." Now, I know that is not truly the case, but it sure feels like it. When I came out to check the clock (I don't have one in the bedroom anymore. It's of no use, and it just makes me feel bad), I was worried it was going to say something like "2:00 a.m." which would have sucked, because I was just ready for the night to be over with.

Surprisingly, I feel pretty good. Of course, it's Monday and we have to take Finn for his monthly RSV shot, which we hate because it's huge, and Finn turns all read and screams. It breaks our hearts, but he recovers quickly with a little help from the boob (seems to fix almost anything lately). At least we get to see how much he weighs, which is always interesting. Plus, it will be over quickly.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sticky Sticker

The car in front of me was wearing a bumper sticker that its owner had clearly modified. It read "America Bless God" with a little American flag heart next to it, clearly violating the flag code. I thought of the person buying the bumper sticker that said "God Bless America," thinking that it was all wrong, coming home from the convenience store or gas station, sitting down at the kitchen table with the scissors and carefully cutting the words out, cutting around the heart. I saw that person applying the words to the edge of the hatch, right under the window, nodding, saying "That will give them something to think about."

So I did. I thought about it. What is that supposed to mean, anyway? If you believe in God, isn't it hubris to think of blessing your deity? Isn't that muddying up the job descriptions, creating both inefficiency and possibly offending the boss? And how can a nation, which--being an abstract collection of geographical boundaries and citizens represented by a government--really has no ability to sanctify anything, confer blessings on a invisible, omnipotent being? Really, when you think about it, even saying "God Bless America" is rather presumptuous, again telling the deity his business. What if he doesn't want to bless America? What if he's too busy with the NFL playoffs and his Golden Globe picks, and just wants a break? Who are we to tell him to do anything, let alone bless an entire nation?

It's probably not the thoughtful response the driver was looking for, and it's made me late for cooking our dinner, but it got the creaky brain wheels working on something other than breast milk and poopy diapers, so it can't be all bad.
In the car, I debated what I was going to say when I walked in the door, kind of a rehearsal for a homecoming. I had only gone to the co-op, a friend's house to feed her cat, and the yarn store, but in any case, it's good to know how to handle an entrance. Was it going to be "Well, the snow they were predicting has decided to fall as rain," or "It's 25 degrees and raining, and you know what that means." The first, depending upon the inflection used, could be taken as a sardonic indictment of the entire meteorological profession, and the second an affirmation of the craft of the game show host.

But as it happened, when I arrived home, the squirrels had dragged the bag of corn husks onto the steps, so I moved it, and when I opened the door, there was Pete, sitting with Finn in the soft Christmas lights of the livingroom, and instead, I talked to my son to get his attention, completely forgetting about the weather.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

Oh yeah, it's 2009. Pardon the lack of enthusiasm, but my days are pretty much all alike.

I know a lot of people who are pretty damn glad that 2008 is over. My year was pretty good, all things considered, but I would not want to do it over. Hopefully, 2009 will bring many happy events to my friends and family and to everyone reading this little chronicle.

Cinderelly, Cinderelly

I just had one of those moments when you look at your kitchen floor and think "Is this who I am?"

Maybe I am making assumptions addressing you directly, because either you always have a clean kitchen floor, or you don't care one way or the other, but this was ridiculous. As I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor (because this is the only way to get them really clean), I had a revelatory "June Cleaver" moment. I have felt myself ascending into the housewife role over the past few weeks what with all the holiday baking, and the sheer fairytale-ness of this particular task added something tasty to the mix. I would have been the one on my hands and knees cleaning the floor anyway, but the addition of the napping baby in the swing brought it home: I'm a housewife.

I have long been thinking how this idealized version of home life ever came about and what the reality must have been. I can't imagine that Dad returned from a hard day at the office to a home-cooked meal, a home-mixed cocktail, and a cigar while Mom smiled happily in pearls, heels, and perfectly pressed dress, belted at the waist. (I was going to say "while Mom smiled happily in pearls and heels," but I think that particular scenario happened even less often.) Were it true, I would think that the divorce rate would have been much higher, not to mention the spousal homicide-by-scotch poisoning rate, which I think was only tracked in the 1950's suburbs of New York City.

In the past few weeks, I have managed to keep us in meals by planning menus, writing up grocery lists, and getting things together during his swing naps, but I do this ever three days or so, and then we eat leftovers. It's not roast beef one night, a chicken the next, followed by a kicky ham with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries. It's lasagna on Tuesday, lasagna on Wednesday, and lasagna on Thursday, with lasagna thrown in for lunch here and there. Then it's shrimp corn chowder. The next few meals are all very chicken-y, starting with a chicken, that will then be boiled down to be sold for scrap to soup and chicken pot pie, leading to chicken enchiladas with a green sauce. We are just finishing up the beef stroganoff. I have also baked four batches of cookies in the last few weeks: roasted garlic chocolate chip, chocolate chip, pumpkin spice (with molasses), and pumpkin spice (no molasses). The cookie baking has resulted in a new flour sifter (which I really like) and new cookie sheets (which I hate to say I am in love with because they are objects, but I think I love them).

And now, our kitchen floor is relatively clean. I typed "my" kitchen floor first, and then I realized just how very housewifey that sounded, as in "Don't you go getting cookie crumbs all over my clean kitchen floor," so I switched it. Our house, our floor. It's not perfect, but as the cats have been barfing up Christmas Tree and Wheatgrass for a couple of weeks now, and the most popular place has been under the table (I even caught an "on the table" about to happen) and as Pete is having people over tonight to play Irish music, I thought perhaps a little scrub was in order.

No if you don't mind, I have knitting to do.