Welcome to Chickadee Junction

Welcome to Chickadee Junction

I have birdfeeders outside of my office window. My office is in my home, up on a hill, surrounded by trees. The most frequent avian visitors are the chickadees. When the feeders are empty, they come to the window and let me know. They seem to converge here, and draw my attention out...

I wrote a column about life with children for six years. Now I am the grandmother, and I would like to repost those stories. I will also be adding thoughts and reflections, and if inspired - stories from the now.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

When Disaster strikes at our house, he doesn't hit and run.  He generally hangs around, enjoying the melee, getting in a few more kicks.

It was a frigid, early morn in our valley, nestled here in the southeast corner of Allegany County.  The air wasn't supposed to be quite so icy.  Even Stan on the radio was surprised at the 25 degrees less than anticipated.  Not being forewarned, I failed to turn on the heat in the basement.  The first disaster of the day: frozen pipes.

My eldest was the first to notice.  So we followed the usual routine - open all the taps.  Flip on the heat.  Then we got on with our day and forgot about the water problems.

My eldest was also the first to notice the ocean on the bathroom floor.  You know how squirrels store nuts and seeds for the winter?  Apparently a child in this house harbors ancient squirrel genes.  In this case he stored green crayons in the sink drain.  The big, fat kind.  And we claimed a waterfall and a sparkling blue ocean for our own.

Frenzied sopping, which soaked every clean towel in the house, occurred around me as I plunged - evacuating crayons.  The baby, as usual, was enjoying chaos from her perch on my back.  As I leaned over the sink, plunger in hand, vying with changing tides and obstinate crayons, my papoose helped herself to the toothpaste.  It was a fat, squishy tube.

Bathroom clean, drain open, we relaxed our guard, knowing Disaster was on his way to visiting another.  But no, he had one more prank.."Mom, what does the baby have all over her face?"  Blue, minty stripes.  She had smeared her clothes, the inside of her backpack.  And we all know where she wipes her hands..."Oh, mom, you should see your hair!"

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