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I'm Fifty. Fifty Years Old.

My name is Sally O’Malley. I’m fifty years old. And I like to KICK. And STRETCH. And KICK. I’M FIFTY. FIFTY YEARS OLD.

I’ve been repeating this charming weird refrain like a babbling loony all week because, like magical unicorn dust, it is the only spell that makes Thing Two laugh. Yes. She laughs. She started laughing this week! But I’m sure you noticed — tell me your neighborhood sparrows didn’t start singing show tunes amidst rainbows of falling Skittles.

Was that just at our house?

Of course Maddie’s first laugh would be a result of Gordon doing his best Molly Shannon impression as SNL’s Sally O’Malley. This makes sense because I too think Molly Shannon is the most hysterical person that was ever named Molly Shannon, and have a deep moral conviction she’s one of the funniest things birthed from the SNL womb unless you count any and all of Tina Fey’s jokes involving fried food or any and all Justin Timberlake-hosted shows where he dresses up like a breast implant. But I digress.

What I’m saying is, SNL humor is in Maddie’s precious, unspoiled blood. I guess it was inevitable since I ingested about as much pop culture while pregnant as prenatal vitamins (maybe more) via all manner of gym tabloids and the occasional forbidden episode of Millionaire Matchmaker. (Don’t tell Gordon. He still thinks better of me.) By the way, as long as we’re talking about it, the People Magazines at the gym this week were like sobbing, quivering, big overheated bridesmaids what with Sexiest Man Alive and the Royal Engagement of Prince William and That Girl That Isn’t Me both contained in a single issue. You could almost feel the aftershocks of the conniptions those editors were having.


Again digressing. Sorry. But I just can’t stop, and I need to explain it even a little more:

It’s not that my gym is a skuzzy place. They do have respectable magazines like Town and Country and even, snore, Woman’s Day, but when it comes down to lugging my sad body up onto an elliptical machine — a machine I believe they have programmed to detect human suffering and exploit it — I have to echo those famous words from the founding of our great nation, “Give me US Weekly or give me death.”  I really don’t want to talk to real people to help ease my turmoil. I want to read about fake people. It’s sad, really.

(Exhibit A is this older guy at my gym who has worked out there as long as I have at the very same hour, and all this time I’ve never had any sort of interaction with him whatsoever. In my brain I call him Señior Gray Pants because he always wears a white Señior Frogs t-shirt and gray sweat pants. “Here comes old Señior Gray Pants,” I say to myself as he walks in. Then I dig through the rack of magazines, put my head down, and start the heave-ho-ing.)

But back to Thing Two. Yes. Her laughing for the first time and all of that.

I think the reason she thinks Sally O’Malley is so funny is because they share a common love of KICKING and STRETCHING. A trait she most definitely did not inherit from me. In fact, Madeline will probably LOVE the gym and find a fulfilling community of friends therein besides only exceptionally attractive two-dimensional ones printed on flimsy pages. But for all its benefits, the KICKING and STRETCHING gets Maddie into trouble because she is a master Houdini of escaping her swaddle, interrupting naps and nighttime sleep.

And now we enter Part Two of this blog in which I ask my readers for advice. In case you were wondering where all this was going.

Drew hated The Swaddle like Prince William hates sapphires under 8 carats, so we didn’t have to break him of that. We had to break him of the pacifier and have yet still to break him of his blanket, but I don’t think I ever want to now because it’s his closest friend and confidant and when bunched up just right looks like an injured orphan bunny.

I was asking a friend about this last week and she said something to the effect of, “Yea, well, you won’t be swaddling a third-grader in nine years, so don’t sweat it,” which reminds me of the similar potty training argument that goes, “Yea, well, you won’t be changing his diaper when he’s eighteen so don’t sweat it.” To which I say, DON’T YOU PEOPLE HAVE HIGHER STANDARDS? Even if Maddie is four before she won’t sleep without a swaddle, it still means I’ll have to use robotic arms and a queen-size fitted sheet to somehow contain her. And you KNOW how much I hate dealing with fitted sheets. 

So. What would y’all suggest? Because if I don’t get it figured out soon, Thing Two WILL be Sally O’Malley someday. A fifty-year-old wild woman who is flailing her crazy body around due to a lack of REM.

And nobody will be laughing.