January 2009

A few weeks ago, a terrible thing happened: we gave Will a stack of books before checking for dead flies.

Now, in most households, you wouldn’t expect this to be something you’d need to do. Will, however, is petrified by (of?) flies. Over the fall, our house seemed to be invaded by big, fat flies, making their presence known. Every night before bed we did a fly check and kill; God forbid you went anywhere without a fly swatter within range. Even now, I quake as I realize I have no idea where one is. I still shiver at the memory of the bloodcurdling scream from when that slight buzz was heard.

So, now that you know the history, it might not surprise you that, on that fateful night, when Will turned his head to the stack of books that has become in his mind one of the things that makes all the world right, the sight of a dead fly on Fizz the Fire Truck’s book binding shook him to his core. Since that night, we’ve had to inspect each book before putting it on the bed. He refuses to go near the trash can where the dead fly was disposed of. And, each night since then, I’ve had to come up with the three things he can think about so he won’t be scared.

Despite all this, I had no idea what the root of the fear actually was. This conversation from earlier this evening shed some light on the subject. It started with the requisite, “Mommy, are there any dead flies on the books?”

“There aren’t any dead flies on the books,” I answered, trying to keep the impatience out of my voice. “Besides,” I said, “they’re dead. They can’t do anything to you.”

After looking at me for a good, long moment, Will said, “But what if they turn into zombies?”

“They won’t turn into zombies,” I answered, silently cursing Fahad and Antonio, the two boys in his class that keep talking about zombies and beasties. “That doesn’t happen.”

Undeterred, Will said, “But dead people do.”

“Do what?” I asked, not sure where he was going with this.

“Turn into zombies,” he replied.

“No,” I said. “That doesn’t happen either.” (Being the Buffy fan that I am, I did knock on wood.)

“What about baby Jesus?” he asked, taking things down an entirely different road.

“What do you mean baby Jesus?” I said, trying to hide my surprise. I mean, I know this kid has a lot of things running through his head, but this isn’t exactly something I would have come up with, even with my own overactive imagination.

Solemnly, he said, “Baby Jesus came back to life.”

And here’s where you need a little background. Over the Christmas vacation, we had quite a conversation on our way to NYC, during which the subject of Baby Jesus came up. (One of these days, I’ll try to get that conversation down as well. It was a good one. Trust me.) Needless to say, there was some talk about that third day.

Ummm… “Baby Jesus is different. He was very special. When he came back to life it was good; he watches over people. He didn’t turn into a zombie.”

“Don’t say that word,” Will said.

“Zombie?” I foolishly repeated.


“O.k., o.k.” Dumb mommy. That’s, like, one of the first things you’re supposed to learn in Mommy School. I must have missed that class. “Pretend I didn’t say it.”

“I don’t want to talk about this any more,” he said. “What else should I think about? And don’t say anything about the thing happening tomorrow.”

Almost making the same mistake again, I said, “You mean-”


Sigh. Right. “Then think about Jasper, Sour Patch Kids Watermelon, and opening the presents from your birthday party.”

“What else?”

Ugh. More than three things? “I can’t think of anything else. After that, just count to 1500.”

“I can’t count to 1500. I don’t know anything past 9 billion.”

Oh, my God. Do not laugh. Do not even crack a smile. That might have been the only lesson I did learn, but at least I’ve got that one down. “1500 is less than 9 billion.”

He looked at me suspiciously. I saw my opening. “Good night, Will. I love you.”

“Me too, Mommy. Good night.”

Yes, there’s been another dry spell. Many posts pass through my head, but don’t make it to here. Sad, I know. I have a few notes jotted down and will hopefully be able to post again soon. Just for posterity, however, I’ve decided to repost my stream of tweets from last night as I was dealing with my laptop crash and burn. Hey, it’s something right? Here goes:

Time to go home! 


So optimistic. Who knew what was in store?

[Note: For the good of all concerned, I’m skipping over the mini-breakdown I had as I realized what was happening. Which brings us to…]

At apple on boylston with a very sick – but hopefully not dead – mac. 

‘From txt’ – notice that? Mmm-hmm. Couldn’t type it, ‘cuz the laptop wouldn’t boot up. Eventually, that brought us to:

Bad news-laptop is dead. Good news-mommy gets a new computer. 

$1500 later (and in response to James’ note) …

@jroberts5 Alas, we are long past Applecare. Am now typing on my new MacBook. 🙂 

Yes, I mourned. That laptop and I spent five years and three months together. They were a good five years overall, and I managed to fill up all but 6 GB of that poor hard drive. However, a new laptop is a new laptop. Now the data on the other hand…

Sooooooo glad to have back up. Of course, external hard drive has firewire; new laptop does not. TY genius bar folks! 

Alas, my external hard drive and my new laptop are not able to talk to each other. The genius bar man played intermediary and got all of my documents to my new machine. Unfortunately, however, ALL of my songs, pictures, calendar info, and email back-up are still on the hard drive. Linnea gave me some ideas of how to deal with it over the next few days. Hopefully it will work. I miss my stuff! 

That said, to see all my files exactly where they’re supposed to be, I can’t tell you how much of a relief that is. I still want it all synched up together, well, phew.

Interesting – Facebook blocked from Apple Store but Twitter is not? 

Of course, then it did occur to me that my old (dead) computer, my new computer, and all of my data etc. were in one place together — along with me on Boylston St. in downtown Boston at 11:00 p.m. 

Car did not get towed. I did not get mugged btwn apple store and car. So far so good. 

Me and all the cabbies just hangin’ at south station. 

Um, as was the wait for Camilla.

Which is better? Inside with the crazies or sitting outside alone on the desolate street? Choices, choices 

(That last one was me being convinced that Lucy and Will would have a snow day today. Don’t even get me started on how they had three snow days — two of which were on days without snow, mind you — that led directly to the 1.5 week vacation. But when I dropped them off at school yesterday, the drop off area STILL WASN’T PLOWED. Seriously.)

Oooo – is that Camilla’s train? YES!!!!!!! Here she is!!!! 

So, yes. Camilla got here and we got back to the car and then back home with everything intact. I’m still a little on edge until I get all my backed up stuff back and then re-backed up, but, trust me, am in a lot better shape knowing that I at least have a decent chance of getting everything recovered.

I also have to say that having an Apple store that is open until 11 p.m. — with live (wonderful, helpful) people to talk to! — was a lifesaver. Thank you, Apple; thank you, Linnea; and yay, Boston.