Quote

Good Bones
BY MAGGIE SMITH

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

Maggie Smith, “Good Bones” from Waxwing. Copyright © 2016 by Maggie Smith.

a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 8 months old.

You wake up at 6:20 or so, and Dad gives you a bottle. (We might have one more nursing session in us, but that chapter is pretty much closed.) He brings you downstairs to hang out while we do our morning chores. You grab my hair and squirm, and squeal when I toss you in the air. You clutch my fingers and practice taking steps. I read you a board book about sushi; you try to eat it. You sit in your highchair at the counter while Dad reads the paper beside you.

At 7:30, we bust into the room where Annie is just waking up, and she immediately requests that you sit in her crib. You pull yourself up on the bars and get hugged and kissed for a few minutes. While the girls get dressed, you and Dad romp around the floor and do a little playing with the big stuffed longhorn Gobka and Gamma gave Annie for her birthday.

I know---there's a lot going on here.

I know—there’s a lot going on here.

I take off, and Dad hangs out with you until it’s time for your first nap at 8:15. You sleep for two hours, as usual, and then spend the next couple with Charly, reading, playing, screeching with joy, whatnot. You nap again from 12:15-2:15. In the afternoon, you stroll down South Congress, and she reads to you from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

You're really into this table these days.

You’re really into this table these days.

At 4:30, she puts you down again, and you screech in your crib until after 5. At 6, you’re up again, and join  the family for dinner at the table. It’s a bottle of formula and tiny pieces of broccoli and pork chop.

cuddles

cuddles

After dinner, you tail Annie around the house, crawling after her as she races her lawnmower toy across the floor. I decide you crawl like an alligator, limbs wide and belly dragging, but lightning fast. Every time you encounter my legs, you use them to haul yourself up to standing. Safe money is on you walking by the time we’re doing your 10-month log.

Yeah, that's Annie behind you, drinking bath water out of a toy boat.

Yeah, that’s Annie behind you, drinking bath water out of a toy boat.

You enjoy bathtime as usual. Then it’s a clean diaper and time to chew on everything you can get your mitts on in your room, chiefly Duplos. You enjoy a nightcap while playing in the laundry basket.

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You ignore my reading of Brown Bear, but go cheerfully to bed while your dad and I sing a clumsy lullaby duet and put both of you in your sleep sacks. You watch us quietly as we say goodnight, turn out the light, and back out of the door.