Friday, June 08, 2007

The Beginning and the End of my 48 Hour Book Challenge

7:20 am—Began Fragile Things (355 pages plus 20 pages of introduction=375 pages).

11 am—Finally decided to take a break because of the constant interruptions. Wednesday marked the beginning of Lucia’s hard-core potty-training with NO DIAPERS DURING THE DAY. Bede is doing the best he can to support the 48 Hour Reading Challenge, but life does go on, what with cleaning up accidents. So far, my favorite stories are “A Study in Emerald,” which Gaiman wrote as a Sherlock Holmes story in an H.P. Lovecraft universe, and “Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire” which I didn’t think I’d like until I realized that the main character was trying to write a realistic, contemporary story—in a gothic universe.

12:30 pm: Returned from my walk, dug up the dead red raspberry and blueberry roots, planted the new blueberry bush I’d bought from the nursery, and resumed reading.

1:00—1:30 pm: Found I was rereading the same paragraph amidst many interruptions for demands to go inside, go outside, get snacks, etc. I finally brought the girlie inside. She was mad, but then she settled down beside me to look at Flat Stanley while I read Fragile Things.

1:30—3 pm: I’m a little over ½ way through Fragile Things.

3:05 pm: Whoops, Lucia just peed on the floor.

3:12: pm. Resumed reading Fragile Things.

3:45 pm: Whoops, Lucia just pooped on the floor. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that there was product coming until too late. My mother called during the clean-up process, and against my better judgement, I attempted to talk to her via speaker-phone while cleaning up. I was so desperate for the voice of an adult colleague (she's a former children's librarian and current kindergarten teacher as well as my mommy).

4:00 pm: Dear Lord, some days I feel I am not cut out for parenthood.

4:11 pm: I definitely know I’m not cut out for the 48 Hour Book Challenge this year. Now, I’m going to the Farmer’s Market to buy my weekly supply of rhubarb. This time, I’m going to make “blue-barb,” which is a compote of blueberries and rhubarb. Tonight, I’m going to my guitar clinic. I’ll still read what I can, but as of now, I am out of the 48 Hour Book Challenge. Please have one next year, MotherReader!

9:00 pm: Dear bloggers, you need to come over to my house for strawberry-rhubarb compote, strawberry crisp, and blue-barb compote. I went produce-crazy and bought a 1/2 flat of strawberries, a bag of bing cherries, and 5 lbs of rhubarb. Then, I cooked and baked. My freezer and fridge can't fit everything.


Bill said...


I'm doing contest maintenance duties while MotherReader's... well, reading, and I read your tale of woe. Been there...

And I think MR would agree with me that it's really about the challenge, not necessarily the degree of completion. Do what you're able, and take pride in accomplishing what you did under the circumstances.

-- Bill (MR's husband/editor)

El JoPe Magnifico said...

Dear Ms. The Gleeful,
Ah, strange coincidence! We just began Mini's hardcore potty training on Thursday, since she is also behind the the curve.

Also, on the topic of Holmes in a Lovecraft universe: I'm waiting for the library's copy of Daniel Stashower's "The Adventures of the Ectoplasmic Man", which teams Holmes and Houdini. N.B.: Lovecraft ghost-wrote a story for Houdini, "Under the Pyramids" for "Weird Tales", shortly before the latter's death. See also, Thomas Wheeler's "The Arcanum".

Mysteriously Yours,
Señor Magnifico

Saints and Spinners said...

Bill: Thank you! If all goes well, I will finish my book by the end of the weekend.

Señor Magnifico: Yeah, when they become literally too big for kids' diapers it's time to cut the nappy-cord. Currently, Lucia is saying, "Potty!" right as she's weeing on the floor. I'm looking forward to the time when it's well before the release of the containment.

Let me know how Ectoplasmic Man is. I'm not much of a Lovecraft fan-- the monsters in the Buffyverse are about the extent of my tolerance for the slimy-ick factor.

Vivian Mahoney said...

Oh Alkelda, The potty training will get easier. We all have horror stories that we can laugh at later.

At least Lucia knows to say potty as she's peeing on the floor! That actually a good sign that she's close to understanding the sensation that she has to pee. Keep the faith!

Vivian Mahoney said...

By the way, I'm glad you're continuing the challenge.

Saints and Spinners said...

HWM: Thanks, HWM. I dream of the days when I could gobble down books with ease, but those were also the days when I didn't have Lucia-- and I wouldn't trade Lucia for anything. At this point, finishing one book will fulfill the challenge. I'm glad to know the potty-training will get easier, though I'll believe it when it actually happens. Aiee!

MotherReader said...

Sometimes these things just don't work out for us moms. Potty training and reading. I guess not the best combo, but who would have guessed. Put the kid to bed, dig into a good book on your own, and pat yourself on the back for being a good mom.

Anonymous said...

You're a trooper, Akelda.

I really liked Fragile Things, btw. "Forbidden Slaves..." was probably my favorite story, too.

El JoPe Magnifico said...

Is there any compote left?


Saints and Spinners said...

El Magnifico: Yes, there is. It's in the freezer now. If you come by and visit any time in the next while, I'll send some home with you.

Eisha: Thank you! I just have to keep telling myself, "Lucia will be potty-trained by college."

MotherReader: Also, thank you. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of Fragile Things!

Lone Star Ma said...

Well, I read as much as I want to (at stop lights, at meals, in the shower) because I have a tawdry, pathological addiction, but reasons like these are why I didn't sign up. My life is all about interruptions.

My oldest was the hardest to potty train child in the world (believe me - they make pull-ups that will fit Lucia for a few years yet if necessary). It ends. I promise. Turns out, it isn't even our fault. The LSB has trained herself quite in spite of us, so we parents have really very little to do with the whole thing, I think. Best wishes on what I know is a tough endeavor.

If you get desperat to unload some of those rhubarb goodies, there is always the mail(:

Anonymous said...

Alkelda, congrats on your prize! And for persevering, at least for a while, in the midst of potty-training!