Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on July 19, 2013 at 6:44am —
I was recently gratified to learn of a survey of American mothers concluding that three is the most stressful number of children for a woman to have. Discovering this pleased me since my husband and I have three young kids, twin 6-year-olds and a 2-year-old, and we often feel harried by the relentlessness of parenting them. After reading the stories—to which, incidentally, several friends and my brother sent me links—I realized we were not alone in sensing that we were outnumbered and… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on May 27, 2013 at 6:39pm —
This afternoon, I carried a small handful of cookies into the yard, one—well, maybe two—for me and one for each of my three kids.
“Ooo!” squealed my 6-year-old son. “How many? How many?”
“When someone brings you a treat, you don’t say, ‘How many’!” I scolded. “You say, ‘Thank you.’”
“Thank you!” cried Griffin, grabbing his cookie and loping off across the grass.
As I watched him go, I found myself worrying that he might turn into “that guy”: the one avidly pumping… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on May 20, 2013 at 9:21pm —
Last night I met up with some ladies for drinks and weary of confronting what ails the world—the crisis in Syria, the monster in Cleveland, the Mother’s Day shooting in New Orleans—we opted instead for sharing some essentials within our reach.
First came a primer on bikini waxes. One of our cohort had recently visited the aesthetician she regularly sees, and so she reasonably assumed that the practitioner had examined her file before setting to work on her undergrowth. But when my… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on May 17, 2013 at 10:30pm —
I bumped into a friend this morning who said her husband surprised her yesterday with breakfast in bed, the Belgian waffle topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles adorning the crown. “Where did you get this?” she demanded. “Did you go to a restaurant? Did you leave the children alone?” She harassed him until her husband admitted he’d cut a deal with the new neighbor, who also happened to be a chef.
I was happy to report that I, too, had breakfasted in bed, my… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on May 13, 2013 at 9:02pm —
I had just dropped my twins at kindergarten and was steering the minivan toward my 2-year-old’s nursery school—debating whether my friend and I should use our hour-and-a-half break to run four or six miles and listing sharply toward four—when my cell phone pinged. I hoped to see a message about someone arranging a happy hour or maybe more details about a friend’s upcoming nuptials. But instead, when I pulled into the preschool parking lot, I read a distress text from my husband: “Locked my… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on May 8, 2013 at 10:28am —
I sat on the deck with my 6-year-old twins yesterday afternoon, soaking up, as Joni Mitchell says, the sun pouring down “like butterscotch.” Jane, 2, was napping. I had the dishwasher to unload, dinner to prepare, laundry to fold. But I tipped my chin toward the warm glow, hoping to delay these chores, ignore my kids, and relax for just a few more precious minutes.
“Tell me something really embarrassing that you did,” Georgia hurled at me like a grenade out of the pure blue… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on May 3, 2013 at 8:14pm —
Yesterday I heard comedian and writer Marc Maron tell “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross that he had waded out of his dysfunctional upbringing, deep into middle age, only to discover that he’d like to offer his much younger girlfriend the gift of a child.
“Don’t do it!” I found myself screaming at the radio. “You’ll be cleaning fecal matter out from under your fingernails for the next seven years!”
I’m not even talking about diapers, which are revolting enough. But new parents are so… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on April 30, 2013 at 8:37pm —
I have no idea who presented her with the idea—and I'm certain someone's to blame—but our 2-year-old has lately determined that she's going to join the Hells Angels.
“I’m going to ride a motorcycle when I grow up!” Jane keeps exclaiming.
“Why is she saying that?” my husband demands.
“Jane thinks she’s going to be a motorcycle rider,” her twin brother and sister like to tell me, with a laugh.
But I hardly think it’s a joke.
“Nobody's going to ride a… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on April 25, 2013 at 7:59pm —
After the heaviness of the past week, I relished a bit of levity—and a liberal dose of “holy shitballs!”—from Kathy Griffin Saturday evening at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
Following the Boston manhunt’s harrowing conclusion Friday night, after our twins learned updates from classmates that… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on April 22, 2013 at 7:06pm —
When I picked up a kindergarten friend to play with our twins after school today, he delivered a bulletin that could have come straight from CNN.
“There were these bombs that went off, they called it the Boston Marathon, three people died, they’re dead, like 170 people were hurt, they chased the guys, one of the guys had another bomb, there were more explosions…”
As he rattled on, I felt paralyzed. Our 2-year-old seemed oblivious, dancing her hand near the open window, playing… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on April 19, 2013 at 9:08pm —
I recently read a “New York Times” article about Melbourne’s underworld king of crime, Mark Brandon Read, a.k.a. Chopper, who’s not sure how many people he’s killed, whose liver is finally expiring, and who prizes his silver-plated dentures that at least partly account for his nickname. A kindergarten friend of our twins, who had a recent bout of dental work, seems to be sporting some new silver herself. But these days talk in our house revolves more around another kind of bling, namely… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on April 18, 2013 at 8:16pm —
In my first days of teaching English at a school outside of Philadelphia, I stepped from a class to see the twin towers ablaze on a television in another room. I recall thinking that perhaps a colleague had incorporated some Hollywood blockbuster to complement a lesson. But of course the World Trade Center inferno was no fiction at all but instead our sense of security clattering down around us.
Like many in Manhattan on that horrific day, my brother, close to ground zero,… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on April 16, 2013 at 9:02pm —
At a time when I am rooting around for my next move, gazing ahead to when our three children are in school full time and I am ready to step back into the world, I often hear our kids discussing their own job prospects.
“I’m going to be a cleaner,” Georgia, 6, told me the other day, as I wound up the vacuum cord. “No, I think I’ll be a teacher. Do you think I’d be a wonderful teacher?”
“Yes,” I answered, as I shoved the Dyson…
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on April 12, 2013 at 4:13pm —
Our 2-year-old has taken to playing a game I’ll delicately describe as “Rubbing My Wrinkles.”
“Make your forehead go like this,” she says, furrowing her brow. I comply, and she fondles my forest of creases. The problem is that I no longer have to furrow for them to appear.
I’m celebrating a birthday that no one ever really wants to celebrate, one some distance over 40, one too insignificant for a rollicking party but significant enough to be unmentionable in… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on April 7, 2013 at 7:54pm —
At the rear of our property is a tottering structure that at one point functioned as a double garage. By brute force we can hoist one of the now defunct automatic doors to reveal not sheltered cars but a graveyard of molding boxes, junked lawn mowers, crippled chairs, and leaky hoses. A fractured post struggles to uphold part of the roof. With a casual toss of my foot, I think I could topple it. And if I squint, I can just make out a graffitied message that some former, disaffected youth,… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on April 3, 2013 at 9:25pm —
After a painful and protracted flight from Philadelphia, one of the worst in memory, we touched down in West Palm Beach Saturday to discover we’d gained 44 degrees in one day. It was 87. “I love Florida,” Georgia, 6, said as she stripped off her fleece and sweatpants next to the rental car and pulled on shorts and a T-shirt.
Driving into Vero Beach, we passed lanes with names like… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on March 28, 2013 at 7:38pm —
Yesterday, we arose at 5 a.m. to fly to my husband’s Florida hometown for our first extended vacation in a year. I realize that many people never get away. We, ourselves, have lately put off travel because of the expense and because it’s so excruciating to get anywhere with three young children. But after a bitter winter and so many months without a change of scenery, finding sunnier climes was becoming a… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on March 24, 2013 at 4:13pm —
Yesterday, our babysitter confessed, “I think I traumatized your children.” She’d really only traumatized our 6-year-old twins, not our napping 2-year-old. Actually, she’d mostly traumatized our son by recalling to him in the daylight frights he’s been suffering in the dark. Griffin’s 2-year-old sister has also been enduring nightmares, and this pair’s dueling torments have become the cruelest sort of sibling… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on March 22, 2013 at 10:08pm —
As if she hadn’t already been torturing us enough by day and by night, our 2-year-old recently acquired a book with a bell.
Of course, my husband's to blame.
Downtown on a sleeting Saturday, I merely asked him to man our three, young children in a bookstore while I ducked into Athleta for a rash guard,… Continue
Added by Courtenay Harris Bond on March 20, 2013 at 8:31pm —