Summertime and Distraction, or Distracted by the Sweltering Heat

Let’s just keep numbering these, shall we?

6.  Wearing attire that may injure your child or surprise him/her in a bad way. I don’t wear shorts. I’m of the opinion that shorts are sort of unsavory as a go-to clothing item anyway, falling into the realm of tiny sweat socks with balls on the heels, dark nude pantyhose, and visors. Well. They’re not all that bad, I suppose; but they’re that bad when they grace my gams, so I have to damn the lot of them. Anyhow. In lieu of shorts on these gross summer days, I wear this long black skirt I bought off when I was pregnant last summer. It’s very Stevie Nicks Crystal Visions Tour. It’s also sort of goth Holly Hobby, except that it isn’t patchwork, so let’s stick with the Crystal Visions, I’ll Be Your Gyspy visual. I shouldn’t be wearing anything from the pregnancy era at all, but I saved the skirt because I knew I would be faced with temperatures in the nineties soon enough; and here we are again. Bless us all. So as I was saying, this sucker is long—brushing the floor long, if I wear it slung low on my hips, which I do because I’m somewhat Puritanical about showing leg skin. It was Eloise’s first time seeing me in the thing, and she was taken with it. “This thing is perfect for Peek-a-boo!” she seemed to be saying as she lifted up the bottom and covered her little face over and over again, giggling all the while. She also thought it was perfect for taking a magic carpet ride, but I didn’t know that was her intention until I strode off after our Peek-a-boo match, unaware that she was sitting on the back part. We are warned about strapping our children safely into cars, into highchairs, into their bathing apparatuses; but rarely are we urged to ensure that the clothing on our backs and legs is suitable for young children. Ponder this awhile.

7.  Allowing yourself to be distracted by bright plastic objects. Eloise doesn’t really have an overabundance of toys, but I find myself littering her play area with 10 toys at a time, in effort to get her to latch on to something that might persuade her to play more independently. I don’t just throw them down and hope for the best, either; I engage—I play with her. But I find myself getting bored with the rings after 30 seconds, then moving on to the cloth blocks (yawn!), which I throw to the side so we can talk to Mrs. Bear about her day. I can’t wait until Eloise is old enough to learn to mime so we can just play charades and be done with all this silliness.

8.  Buying a wool-blend rug from Ikea to serve as your baby’s play area. We have hardwood flooring, and layering blankets was becoming both tedious and unpleasant to look at; so, off to Ikea we went in search of a sale rug. The one we scored was large enough, a good stain-hiding color, and was the right price. We didn’t really consider, or notice for that matter, that it was a wool blend, and that we’d have to lint roll the child dozens of times a day. Now we layer blankets on top of the attractive, but shedding rug.


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