Last night Dylan woke me up with his typical grousing sort of complaint and I did my sleepwalk-stumble into his room, re-arranged his blankets, gave him a kiss, and zombie’d my way back to bed. Not 20 minutes later, he woke me up again, this time with an escalating scream of pure fear. I tossed back the covers so I wouldn’t get tangled during my rapid exit (a practiced, fluid movement at this point, I’m sorry to say) and rushed to his side.

“What’s the matter, Pookie?” I asked, wiping tears off his face. He sobbed that there was a bug trying to get him. A butterfly, and it wanted to bite him, and he was scared.

I sighed. Not again. He’d just had this exact nightmare a week or so ago, screaming about a bug biting him and scaring him. Do we really have to add night terrors to our wee-hour issues with small Dylan?

I patted him, smoothed the hair on his head, whispered that there was no bug. He’d been dreaming, that’s all. There’s no bug, I promise, Boo. I crouched next to his little toddler bed, ignoring the creaks and complaints in my knees, and rubbed his hands. I was just about to get up and tiptoe out of the room when he opened his eyes and fixated on the ceiling.

“Dere’s anudder one,” he said, wonderingly.

I looked up to see an enormous black moth flitting around the dimmed lamp high on the wall. As I stared, it performed a bumbling, jerky circle midair, swooping startlingly close to my face, before landing back on the wall, wings outspread.

“Dat’s a scary butterfly,” Dylan said.

“Motherfucker,” I said.

The moth was eventually dispatched to the Great Round File in the sky, Dylan was re-settled, and I was back in my own bed. I couldn’t fall asleep, though. I kept thinking about the lies we tell our kids. Boogeymen in the closets. Promises we can’t keep.

Everything’s going to be okay.

I won’t let anything hurt you.

Mommy and Daddy will keep you safe.

I know: just a moth. But someday it won’t be.

Are you watching Survivor this season? If so, you should join me at The Stir, because I’m recapping each episode (here’s a link to last week’s recap). I’m definitely not up to Television Without Pity standards or anything, but I’ve been surprised at how weirdly enjoyable it is to watch the show with a pen gripped in my teeth, ready to jot down every idiotic thing the contestants say. This must be my version of human interaction these days, or something.


Seattle is experiencing some bizarrely humid weather, and I know it’s like 15392506015 degrees in California and I have no room to complain but I’m going to do it anyway. It feels like a goddamned armpit out here. Like a dog panting all over me all day long. There are approximately ten trillion poisonous-looking mushrooms all over our lawn, and every time I walk outside I step directly into a damp spiderweb. After our “summer”, which was about two and a half whole weeks of sunshine, I’m ready to say fuck it, bring on fall and chilly temperatures and pumpkin-flavored baked goods. Enough with the gross sauna effect, even if it does make for pretty pictures.




I’m doing some sponsored posts with Pull-Ups on potty training, and you can read them as they’re published here.


“I don’t need a nap any more, Mom. Big kids don’t take naps. I’m not even tired. I’m not even going to get in bed! I’m just going to play with my—skkkknnnnnzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.”


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