We humans are tool users.

Birch and Aspen have been absolutely miserable the last two days. Between teething, the snots, and simply being the ages they are (3 and 1 respectively), there has been no rest for the weary in the House on the Hill. Brian and I were holding fast to the last vestiges of our health as the boys each succumbed to his own round of illness. We have washed our hands raw and spent the last few days flushing our systems with Emergen-C, but our numbers finally came up today. He thrashed with fever all night, my throat is afire today; we are a motley crew, haggard and short on energy and patience.

This, of course, means the kids and the cosmos are aligned against us.

10 minutes of preschool labor
When I wake up and this is my life I have to say yes to baking cupcakes when I am asked. Actually, I feel that way every day because I know there will be a day when none of my little men are around to ask me to make cupcakes with them. When that day arrives I will surely celebrate (and look for a home abroad or somewhere awesome that only fits two people), but the next day and intermittently forever after I'll likely be pretty torn up about it. I am already hoarding saving housewares and life tools for Koa's imminent departure as I find them on sale, and every time I think of him making his own crockpot food or french press of coffee I feel my chest start to tighten a little. Aspen is just one now and the same exact thing already happens when I look into his eyes and know he is the last baby my body will ever deliver... Then I remember the french press is a super-nice Boddum one I scored off Amazon for a killer deal and I get a little excited at imagining how much he'll enjoy using it to make his tea. As a man. With his own life path. Who washes his own chonies and has his own address. Yes! I can't wait to pass him my favorite crockpot pins and recipes and invite myself over for dinner and tea!

Anyway, today Birch asked to make "chocolate muffin cakes with power pellets inside them" for his two closest friends. Yes came quickly and we gathered supplies. I opted for a box mix due to simplicity and lowered patience levels all around. When I reached into the pantry I found an adorable reminder of his innovative thought processes. The holes in the boxes are covered with scotch tape. I had nearly forgotten documenting the original incident altogether until this afternoon's request, but the story is worth remembering.

It happened like this (and I'll warn you now that it's nowhere near as interesting it seems like it might be): I was doing laundry in our hallway washroom a few days back--riveting, I know--and returned to the kitchen to find Birch using a straw to siphon chocolate dust out of one of the boxes while the other lay nearby like a dying soldier, with a pencil stabbed in it's center and a light dusting of cocoa covering the entrance wound. Turns out we humans are tool users, a sentiment Brian offered me over a bottle of wine a decade ago in some conversation about the setup of our campsite. I don't remember the joke that sparked the comment, but here I am a decade later watching his son prove it in the most adorable and creative ways imaginable. After snorting a few grams of the fine chocolate dust Birch was understandably amped, so needles to say there were no "chocolate muffin cakes" made that day. He'd already had enough of the good stuff.
Watch it, Dough Boy.
Today, on the other hand, has found Brian and I too weak to argue reason with the tenacity it can require in a round with a three-year-old. Spongebob marathon? Sure kid. A sixth bath today? Eh, ok. All you want to eat is chocolate muffin cakes for dinner? You know what, kid, I've had days where all I ate for dinner was chocolate muffin cakes... Sit down, let me get you a plate.

Not my best parenting moment but clearly his mastery of tool use is a sign of developmental advancement suggestive of an otherwise stellar job on my part... right?  

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