Thursday, July 12, 2007

To Say Nothing of the Blog

I gots you in my smelz.

When we travel, we usually take the dog, especially if we are going to my mother's house in the "country." She has a gorgeous large wooded lot, directly across from the lake. The dog gets multiple hikes every day, with loads to sniff, see and do, plenty of woodland creatures to skulk after. Pure canine joy.

Also her house is smaller and one story, which means he can keep a nose on his entire family without having to schlep up and down stairs. I'm a fan of single story, to say nothing of the dog.

I think the dog and I are in agreement on this measure: one story rocks.

I wish I had a ranch-style house. I think they are so much easier. Easier to clean, maintain, work in, and keep an eye on errant children.

Growing up I always wanted a two-story. The last house we lived in before I went off to college was two-story. Dreamy. So when it came time to buy my own, naturally I wanted a two-story, and the houses we've owned have been two-story. I regret it, now, with small kids.

For example:

At my mother's house, it's easy to grab the strewn clothes and toss them in the wash...which I run every day so laundry is never a big chore.

At my house, clothes are strewn downstairs and upstairs, in multiple locations, despite the open and easy to use baskets I have strategically placed.

Also, while traveling and visiting my mother, I focused a few places besides the Internet. Lo! Behold! A brave and beautiful world exists off the Internet!

Anyway, I fell a little behind on my bloggy business. I didn't do my usual rounds. I tried to keep up, but knew at best it was about 75%.

I know that if I don't do my rounds---maintain my blog with frequent and new content---my visitors will drop off. (I'm not including you guys in that stat, you know, you, my loyal readers, commenters and bloggy friends, the ones for whom I get up in the morning and do this bloggy thing---well, one of the reasons; the rest are selfish.)

Also, once I log in, I start seeing all the Great! Posts! that I just have to take a minute (by which I mean an Internet Minute, just slightly longer than a Baseball Minute) to read. I'm sure also you feel the pressure when you get pinged about new content.

I do not have a self-sustaining blog; it requires tremendous effort on my part. (I haven't actually seen the mythical self-sustaining blog, but I have seen some sustainable blogs, which make it all look effortless. Perhaps that is the origin of the myth? Or maybe it's because I'm not a virg*n, or pure, or some combination therein. You know how in fairy tales only the Pure can see unicorns? Maybe it's like that.)

But I realize, "Eh, it's summer."

So that's why I think you guys will excuse me, yes?

If I drop back a little?

Trust me, it's necessary. If you knew my kids, you'd know why.

This morning I was trying to add in a new link to my link list and throw out a few comments. I thought I had the children happily occupied in the adjacent room watching Little Bear. I was mistaken.

Persistence and Patience---independent and independently-minded to an unquantifiable degree---require helicopter parenting. Their behavior this summer has deteriorated into Bratty and Mean, said very trepidatiously (call Webster's) by their loving and devoted Nana, who had been the soul of patience with incredibly trying children during our stay. It all ended when Patience---who had been escalating from Naughty to Dreadful over the course of the morning---chewed up a snack of crackers and deliberately spewed them from her mouth like a small explosion all over my mother's dining room.

This morning, it was Persistence. While I was Otherwise Occupied, she took the bowl of leftover milk and cheerios I had on the counter, waiting for me to wash it, and walked into the living room, where she stood in the center, on top of my coffee table, and tossed the bowl into the air. It slammed onto her head and milk and cheerios coated the room, including furniture, floor, rug, and toys. To say nothing of the children, who I have decided will simply marinate in milk. It's good for the skin, yes?

Those of you who have read me lo these many years I've been blogging will recall this behavior is par for the course for my kids in the summer. Despite what I feel like is ample and reasonable amounts of activity, they are still too often in the house, where they feel compelled to be clever and engage in things such as


Science experiments

Potty quality control tests (The updated story is last week when Persistence, going potty, which requires privacy and mom outside the door, tested the flushing capacity of the toilet by using an entire roll of toilet paper.)

Great scott, it appears I left out the Great Recurring Powder Debacle

These are but a handful, but if you happen to go over, you'll note the dates of occurrence: summer time.

My children need the consistent routine and stimulation of school. They do. I realized that I was not able to provide the degree of New Experience Patience required by the time she was two.

Sadly, Persistence needs it most just now and is too young to qualify for any fun summer camps and activities.

Thus, I must resume my helicopter parenting.

To say nothing of the blog.

Which means, the blog will suffer a bit. I'll get to it, and your blog too, when I can. Here are some promises (or threats, depending upon how you take it)

* Hump Day Hmm will be a priority.
* I might get meme-y or quippy at times. You can surf my archives; there's a lot.
* If you haven't yet, read the Hump Day Hmm host post and links from this week.
* As soon as I shuffle the kids off to school in a month and a half I'll be back full force, tour de force, some sort of force.

So this blog might be going to the dogs (using the dog thing here for consistency and also, I'm not sure really what jumping a shark means) but it's just temporary. Maybe I'll stun you visually.

And I thank you for your patience and persistence.

Pun intended.

P.S. Bonus points and bragging rights to any who get the double literary reference in the title and post.

copyright 2007 Julie Pippert


Emily said...

I'll still love you.

It is embarrassing. Ask me how many degrees I have in literature. No idea what you're referencing.

Go clean Cheerios off your ceiling.

slouching mom said...

Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog

Jerome Jerome's Three Men in a Boat

Do I get a prize? Am I even correct?

Sigh. I so need a prize today. Maybe there'll be one in the mail, which I'm about to go collect.

I don't like ranches. Yes, I see that they're so much more convenient, but I'm a conservative, I guess, and prefer the Colonial two-story...

OmegaMom said...

"To say nothing of the dawg..." Hah. I thought it was Conan Doyle, but he was "the mysterious incident of the dog in the nighttime". "To say nothing of the dog" is by Connie Willis, a science fiction writer. There's also "Three Men in a Boat", written back in 1889, so maybe that's the one you're thinking of?

I like the loldog reference.

Go helicopter over P&P. I'm not looking forward, myself, to the dotter being out of camp and in my clutches for about four-five weeks. She needs activity to keep her sane. I need her to have activity to keep me sane. I, on the other hand, like to laze about. The combo does not compute.

Julie Pippert said...

Slouching Mom wins! OmegaMom comes in second!

Just had to say that really fast!

flutter said...

Oh Julie, You'll be loved no matter what! That slouching mom is quick!

Mary-LUE said...

Shoot! Two others got to it before me. I have to say that I'm a bad literati and haven't read Three Men in a Boat. I've started it on numerous occasions but it just hasn't taken. My friend is quite disgusted with me as it is one of his favorites. He said it is recorded and the reader is none other than Hugh Laurie. That, I'd listen to!!

I did like To Say Nothing of the Dog. I'm a Connie Willis fan in general. My fave being The Doomsday Book.

As I said in my comment to the latest Hump Day Hmmm post, I, too am finding summer difficult for blog tending. I understand completely.

Good luck with that helicopter parenting. I just hope you have enough fuel for the journey. ;)

Magpie said...

The problem with marinating the kids in milk is that they'll start to smell bad.

I grew up in a house with three full stories and a basement. But there was a big open staircase, so we did a lot of throwing things down the stairs - intended and "accidental" and purposefully and maliciously and usefully. Going up wasn't so easy.

painted maypole said...

"Jumping the Shark" is a phrase used in television, referencing the Happy Days episode when The Fonz, on a surfboard, jumped over a shark. I believe what it means is that a TV show knows it's on its way out, but tries to do some crazy thing on the show to lure back viewers Therefore, Jumping the Shark basically means resorting to desperate measures.

And there is your TV trivia for the day.

Snoskred said...

Do what you gotta do..

Here, milk is what you paint on yourself when you get sunburn. But it has to be full cream, else it doesn't have all the good effects.. so I would say marinate the kids in it if you forget the sunscreen.. ;)

Believe me, I'll be vanishing a bit more in summer. And I don't have kids so I have no good excuse! Or, maybe now, with the new car.. ;)

I was a stair deprived child, and therefore have longed for stairs ever since. Several houses I lived in had them and I was in love. The exercise benefits alone.. :)


Aliki2006 said...

Well we were in the opposite position--we always longed for a two story house and ended up with a ranch, which we hated! I know it's nice to have everyone on one floor, and it was wonderful when Liam was a baby, but when we added Tessa to the picture and as the kids got bigger we knew it wouldn't work. So we finally have our two-story home and are loving it.

I think if you are able to find a really large sprawling ranch then things could work. But we had a very small one. Very small.

kim said...

A ranch definitely, a small one.

My oldest needs the structure as well.

The one benefit of blogging is that bloggy friends and good friends IRL will cut you some slack and happily pick up right where you left off.

Enjoy your summer. Your loyal groupies will still be hanging around.

Kyla said...

Oh yes. Is is bad that I am looking forward to August? BubTar just really needs that stimulation at school. He isn't destructive here at home...but he is like an angst-filled teenager. It is all moping and sobbing and tirades about boredom.

I'll still be here.

NotSoSage said...

Summeritis, shall we call it? I hear ya, sister.

I just want a bathroom on every floor so that we (yes, we) don't have to climb the stairs every time I have to use the toilet. Or, you know, Mme L could deign to amuse herself, by herself, on the first floor. Whatever's easiest.

mayberry said...

If the old posts didn't convince me of their need for your constant supervision, perhaps the next one would have!

Y'know, just tonight I was thinking about how much exercise my dog gets just following me up and down the stairs. She must be thinking I should STAY PUT ALREADY.

Momish said...

Summer pressure gets us all, even with no kids. Something about it being daylight until 9PM makes you think you have to be productive until 9PM. I hate that aspect of long summer days. Putzing on the computer is something I consider as my down time to be done at night or early morning. So, yeah, my blogging has been slacking mainly because I am tired at ten o'clock and ready for bed!

Relax and enjoy your summer (or try to). The loyalty from your readers has already been established. Ride on the coattails that you've earned.