Spider Family and Other Stories

Dear Kids,

Here are some more stories about you from 2015.

You love role-playing games. When we were reading about mythical beasts, our game was that Livia and I were harpies, and we sang to lure Marshall to us so that we could eat him. The next game involved spiders. First, I was the spider who caught you, wrapped you in spider silk, hung you upside down, and then ate you. Later we switched to a variation in which we were all spiders, and I was your mother. You liked that variation so much that we had to play it every day for a while. You wrapped yourselves in blankets and pretended that you were spider eggs. After you hatched, I tickled you and exhorted you to stretch out your eight hairy legs. Then I commanded you scuttle around and catch me some flies, which you did gleefully. We ate the flies together. The game ended when I put you in your “night webs” and sang you spidery lullabies. When you got tired of playing spiders, we became sharks. I wonder what creature will be next?

Marshall lost a tooth at school and brought it home in one of those adorable tooth-shaped containers that schools buy for just that purpose. He was going to put the tooth under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy, but then he decided that he couldn’t part with it. He asked if it was OK to keep it, and I said yes. So he left the tooth in the container and strung it from the handle of the bathroom mirror. There it still hangs. I’ve never known of a kid to pass up money from the Tooth Fairy, but it’s cute.

Livia has started calling her father Nigel. And I, by extension, am Mrs. Nigel. We’re not really sure where the name Nigel came from (we asked her, and she just said that she likes the name). One morning, when were talking about getting Livia a haircut, I said to your dad, “Are you going to get a haircut, too? Your hair is getting long!” (That was sort of an in-joke, because he keeps his hair so short that, even when it’s grown out, it’s still short.) Livia looked at his hair and said to him, “I’m going to call you Long Pancake Nigel!”

Livia’s diet isn’t very good. We keep trying to get her to eat better, but it’s not working so well. One day I said to her, “It would make you feel better if you ate more fiber.” She replied, “I’ll eat a bunch of sugar instead.”

One morning I went into your room to get you up, but you were already awake and playing a strange game. Marshall was still in his pajamas, but he was also wearing a bunch of other things, including multiple hats and his clip-on tie. He told me he was visiting the Weird Doctor. Livia must have been the Weird Doctor, because she was busy putting another hat on Marshall. Normally playing doctor involves the removal of clothes, not putting on extra layers! But you guys always do things your own way, which is just one more reason that you’re so much fun.



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