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I love the show Hannibal and find an odd humor in the dialogue as it seems to unintentionally be a political commentary on my life as a stay-at-home parent. For instance, in one scene, the character Will Graham is confiding with a murderous woman he barely knows as they sleep in stacked bunks on a sleeping car. “I hear voices from every direction. In the gnawing sameness of your days…did you look at the shape of things? At what you were becoming?”
(Side note, there are days where I would gladly sleep in a bunk above a murderer as long as they would let me sleep uninterrupted.)

Maybe it was the sleep deprivation, my poor health, or the annoyance with neighbors shooting off illegal fireworks but these lines rang true to me. There is a surreal sameness to my days. Punctuated by the appearance of my husband and bit players like the grocery delivery, mail carrier, or solicitors. Enter stage right, exit stage left, mother character remains center stage with house lights down as the central characters flutter around her scattering food and toys.

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Nora taught him to ride a Rody and wear a handband. All essential life skills.

I look forward to a time when my health is better, the summer heat has passed, and we all sleep through the night. Until then I try to focus on the funny moments but fail to make it through a day without wishing for time to fast forward or to be someone else. Someone that isn’t in pain all the time, a parent that enjoys cartoons but doesn’t rely on TV to entertain her kids more often than not, a mom that likes the playground, a woman that manages to exercise and fit into single digit sized clothes; a person that can keep up with two kids in a public space without losing her cool, keys, or balance.

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Owen loves giraffes. He finds the three in our house, lines them up, and doles out kisses.

Owen is learning to tip-toe, dance and stomping up and down like Frankenstein and then twirling, followed by the Elvis shimmy, and undergoing the Footloose-esque criticism of Nora all the while. Uptown Funk and Sesame Street have turned my kid into an awkward Fred Estaire imitator.

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He walks the tallest giraffe around like he's using a cane or walking a dog.

His furrowed brow alerts us to an inclement tantrum, the squinched up face with a smile as he manically breaths through his teeth signals mischief, his budding sense of humor when he plays keep-away and rolls cars back-and-forth with us, his love of Simone the cat and his determination to make her into a dog that sits on command and fetches. At least she eats out of his hand and is infinitely patient and loving towards him.

He climbs anything and jumps, but he does climb into a chair to feed himself now. Unfortunately, he forgets he’s sitting in the chair and falls out when he’s distracted. Nora helps him by cleaning up after him, feeding him occasionally, and tattling on him when he spills. She protects him, taunts him, cuddles him, teaches and loves him.

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All of this I will hopefully remember but I’m getting it down in writing because I forget so much so quickly now. (I write this as I realize I left the stove on and I can’t remember when I started the food cooking. It smells burnt so I’m guessing long enough.)

Barbara Ann Kelso

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