Flowers in the attic, toys in the basement

Grace had a gig this afternoon babysitting for two little boys, ages 5 and 1 years, who are children of our friend Ellen, a woman who babysat for Grace when she was a baby. It’s that whole circle of life thing.

We invited the boys here, so that Grace could have backup if needed. Today we’re just puttering around the house anyway; there are still about 10 days left to finish our summer chores before the season officially ends.

It was time to bring up some age-appropriate toys from the basement. The dollhouse and its residents and furnishings needed washing.  Good thing I soaped and rinsed them because most of those pieces ended up in a little mouth.

I did administer one timeout today, when the older boy took his brother’s pacifier and wouldn’t hand it back to me. That parental authority: I still have it. Jimmy let the older boy win at a complex card game with slippery rules, and the two of them bonded.

Young children keep going and going and going. I remember when Eli was little, Jimmy would once in a while hold the tv remote in his direction and mime trying to get him to stop for just one minute.

When the father picked the boys up at 5pm, I told him we got our exercise, two times over, today. “This is how they are until bedtime,” he replied. Honestly, I had forgotten.

Grace is resting. We’re still parents, and we have things to do.


Suds by Jane; photographs by Jimmy and Grace; and dollhouse by Fisher Price.

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