What’s A Little Finger Paint Among Friends?

After a few years being childbirth free,  Somerville finally had a run at the hospital about a year or so ago and now there are a whole new batch  of offspring to care for.   You can imagine the relief when a new child care center opened in town. The old one at the church was unused and in disrepair, but I managed to convince Lex to convert the Sunflower Realty office into a proper day care center, and we advertised for someone to run it.

My grandmother was delighted that we were giving new life to the old place, and tremendously enjoyed decorating it.  After six weeks of looking, we found a director to run the place and an elementary school teacher to handle the educational aspects.

The mothers volunteered for a day of playground duty, diaper changing, and taking care of meals and snacks in the kitchen that we added on so as not to diminish the space that was going to serve as the main room where most activities would be carried out.

We had a fantastic time fixing the place up and getting it ready for the first day of pre-school.  Kay, the director, and Judy, the new teacher, took to their new jobs like fish to water.

Our fifteen month old, Eddie, was going to attend.  The girls were too old, and we were going to follow the same routine with them as usual on school days, but Lex and I thought it would be nice if I could have a day off at least once a week and spend the day with my family in town and then pick the girls up after school.

“All packed up and ready to go?” Lex opened the front door and took Eddie’s diaper bag from my arm while I jostled our boy into a more comfortable position.

“All set.  Promise you’ll miss me?”  I gave Lex a coy look and a saucy wink.

She responded by putting the bag in the back seat of the Expedition, taking Eddie from my arms and buckling him into his car seat, and closing rear passenger door.  Then she turned to me and pulled me into her arms and held me tightly against her while she plied my face with soft kisses that took my libido from zero to sixty in less than a second.  I started to moan and reach under her duster to run my hands over her back. Just as I thought I was getting somewhere, she pulled back and patted me on the behind. “Promise you’ll miss me?”

I swear I would have gotten even with her if I could have done more than deal with my racing hormones which were playing my favorite scenes from our years of loving each other.

Eddie began to fuss, so I reluctantly got into the SUV and shook my finger at my wife, who seemed to be having her own difficulties, if those darkened eyes of hers meant what they usually do.

Once at the day care center, Eddie toddled to some brightly colored toys that had caught his eyes.  There were already a half dozen children, and we had worked things out so that with the proper help, we could manage a dozen or more and keep the state and federal agencies happy.

The kids loved it. Eddie barely noticed me leaving.  When I said I’d be back soon, he actually waived me off and resumed his spot of the floor to push a big green truck back and forth.

The hours passed, and my grandma decided to come with me to pick Eddie up.  Martha had taken the lunch shift, lucky kids, and afternoon snacks were being handed out.

The children sat around a long, low table, just their size, to wait as the teacher addressed each one by name and gave them their snack.

Kay came over while Judy and a teenage helper passed out the treats. “Thanks for bringing a change of clothes for Eddie.”

“You’re welcome. After all, he is a Walters, and he’s bound to need them for one reason or another. So, what did Master Disaster find to get into?”

Kay handed me his diaper bag. Inside, there was a plastic bag that had the clothes he had worn to school. “Paint?”

Kay looked at my grandmother and me apologetically.  “Finger paint. The five year olds were finger painting and Eddie took exception to the age discrimination.”

“Oh no, “ Grandma said. She’d had Eddie over enough times to understand what a strong willed little boy he could be. “Was it bad?”

“Well, we had been intending to decide on a color for that planter near the back door.”

I walked back to the back door that let out into the play yard and saw red, yellow, and blue finger paint all over the planter, the plants, the dirt in the planter, and just about every surface his little fingers could reach.

“Eddie! What did you do?”


My eyebrows flew into my hairline.  “Did my son say what I thought he just said?”

Eddie looked innocently at me and then back at the mess he’d made.  “Puck!”  Kay just looked at me, obviously confused.

Judy came to his rescue. “I had the privilege of cleaning Jason up after Eddie tried to stick his hands in each paint cup on Jason’s easel.  Jason was none too happy and decided he didn’t want to finger paint anymore. He said, “Paint! UCK!”

Eddie beamed at hearing the words he thought he was saying, “Puck!”

I gathered Eddie into my arms and set his diaper bag’s shoulder strap in place.  As soon as I got into the SUV, I called Lex who immediately called the cleaning service we’d hired and asked them to make an early trip to the school instead of waiting until the evening.

My grandmother went on home, and I decided to pick up the girls and head on home for a nap. Eddie was starting to smell like he was in need of a diaper change. Unfortunately though, before we’d even pulled away from the school,  Mel asked her brother if he liked school.

He nodded.

“What did you do in school today, little man?” Lorrie asked.

I will never forget the look of horror on his sisters’ faces when he plunged his hand down the back of his pants and retrieved something god-awful smelly and proceeded to paint his car seat with it.


Nook Nook – Who’s There?

Lex is very indulgent of my penchant for discovering geeky toys that I must own and have needed all my life because, since closing the real estate business, I’ve discovered that I really am a computer addict.

I’ve replaced Lex’s old desktop computer with one that manages the household electronics such as lights, thermostat, and timed devices.  It also runs our wireless network.  Lex’s laptop is the one that manages the farm and backs up to an external drive.  The kids have a notebook computer that they take turns using for school projects.  And I have my notebook computer that I use for my blog, general web surfing, and to shop for more geek toys.

“What’s this do?” she asked while pointing to the object in the CompuGeeks ad for the week. “Is it the same as this one here?”

“It’s a tablet, an e-reader, that I can get my email on and use like a computer, but it’s a lot more portable.”

“But you already have a laptop computer, Amanda. We have plenty of computers.  Do we really need one of these?”  Lex stared at me like she was trying to figure out meaning of life.

I forgot the thread of conversation for a minute, because all these years later, I still get lost when she turns her gaze on me.

She snapped her fingers, bringing me out of my haze.

“Um, Lex.” I got up from my chair at the kitchen table and sat on her lap, straddling her thighs. I leaned in and kissed her, letting her feel the heat of my passion for her.

When I pulled back a second time, Lex moaned, “I’m not sure what we’re talking about, honey, but can we finish it upstairs?”

It’s now three weeks later.  I love having a tablet.  When I can’t sleep at night, I can use the tablet to browse the internet, send a few emails, and read online.  That brings me to the real subject of this email.  I got a reply to my Amanda Speaks! Blog, telling me about some stories I might enjoy.

I really haven’t indulged in Lesbian fiction before, but I have to say, some of it is very inspiring. Some of it has been educational.  Some of it is beyond my ability to suspend belief. But there are a few stories and series that I’ve really enjoyed.

One of the stories had to do with this writer in Texas, a few hundred miles from where we live, who wrote stories on the internet.  She wrote this story that she started receiving e-mails about from a grateful reader.  They became correspondents online, then friends, then fell in love. The reader had been trapped in a horrible marriage and had a child by her abusive husband.  The writer, despite her own personal problems, reached out to the reader to lend encouragement and her friendship.  They eventually fell in love, and the reader found the strength she needed to break out of her misery and to establish a life with the writer, whose love was so freely offered.

I really liked that story.  There was so much in it that reminded me of how Lex and I feel about each other, and it made me appreciate my loving wife even more.

I snuggled next to Lex while she read it the next morning. “Amanda, did you see that this story is based on real events?”

“Can you imagine being that poor woman and feeling so alone and sick and miserable, and then having her whole world, and her daughter’s world turn around and become a haven of happiness for all three of them?”  I brushed the hair back from Lex’s forehead and planted a kiss on it. “I love you, Lex. You rescued me, too.”

“I couldn’t let you drown in that creek, Amanda. Besides, one look at you, even wet and shivering, and I was a goner.  I love you, too, Amanda.  Hey, maybe you should write our story.”  Lex pulled me close until I was snuggled under her chin and my arms were wrapped very securely around her back.

“I don’t know.  Our story might be a little unbelievable.  I think I’ll stick to my blog.”

I looked up to see what Lex’s reaction was, and she kissed me. Once more I forgot what we were talking about and just went with the moment.

Twelve years. Twelve wonderful, crazy, eventful years of our life in a story?  Nah!