Although it doesn’t show up in many photos, Ramona has a real fondness for her pacifier, her “pa”. We put a minimum of three in bed with her at night and I’ve seen her hold as many as six at once (that’s one in the mouth, two in one hand and three in the other). She doesn’t have it all the time and it doesn’t seem to be affecting her speech development, but I do wonder when she’ll be ready to give it up.

My mom has joked that Ramona may start a movement where world peace is achieved by everyone having a pa that makes them really think before they speak. And when you do speak you would, just like Ramona, begin every sentence with “Pahhhh!”. As in, “I bring you peace and love!”. It would be a fabulous cult. Adults in diaper-like loin cloths, eating only pureed foods and spending most of their time sitting on the floor trying to put a square block into a round hole (a symbol of the futility of our fallen world).

Although I seem to never forget the knuckle-headed things people have said to me over this past year or so, I’ve just recently remembered a conversation I had many years ago with a friend I’ve lost touch with. We were both newly married and the subject of whether or not we wanted children came up. She expressed an interest in adoption. I think I said something like, “What? You and Mike are so like totally smart. You should have your own child, it’s like your duty to pass on your genes!”. Man, oh man. Aside from confirming my eligibilty for membership in the Aryan Nation, I’m not sure what this comment was good for. No wonder she “lost touch” with me.

And lately I’ve been finding myself just saying whatever comes into my head. If I’m angry I say something angry. If I’m feeling judgmental, I say something judgmental. It’s affecting the way Andy and I get along and I don’t think I’m setting a good example for our kids. So I’ve decided I need to be more “Quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger”. For the past few days I’ve been consciously reviewing what I’m about to say in head before speaking. I find I mostly choose not to say anything, but sometimes I rephrase a little bit, remind myself that I love the person I’m talking to and then proceed.

It’s amazingly difficult. I was at the art store yesterday trying to get something framed and became so frustrated with waiting in line and the vagaries of framing pricing that I almost unintentionally performed my amazing Exploding Head trick, which I usually save for friends and family. I realized I was losing it and made a quick exit, framing undone.

So maybe my mom’s right. Maybe I need a pa. Maybe I need to start every sentence with an affirmation. Like, “I bring you peace and love, now tell me how much this frame is before I use that miter’s clamp in a way you will not enjoy”. Baby steps.

Ramona gets her helmet off tomorrow. I will post pics replete with girly hair bows as soon as possible. Here’s a pic of Our Benevolent Leader with her many pa’s…

Love, Jane.