The Importance of Squashing

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Dear Diary,

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get upset. I get scared, or mad, or overwhelmed by any number of things. I’m never really sure what to do about it but I’ve discovered one thing that really helps me calm myself down: squashing.

It’s an art, really. Proper squashing can be accomplished in a number of different ways, and I like to innovate and seek out new and different methods. You’ve gotta keep it fresh, you know?

I’ll give you a few examples, including the one I’ve shown you above. That one is mama’s arm. She wanted me to take a nap today and I was really tired because not only did Meow come, she brought someone new with her and that always wears me out. It’s hard to have new people here and I had to leave the room several times. Plus then my cousins came over after and we played for a long time! Anyway, Diary, all that to say that I didn’t mind the idea of a nap. The thing was, I couldn’t get to sleep. I wanted to, but the wiggles got in me and I was flipping like an egg in a frying pan. I knew I needed some help to quit it so I could sleep! Sometimes I pull daddy’s really heavy pillow on top of me so that it squashed me, then I wriggle until I’m comfy and drift off to sleep. But today I didn’t want daddy’s pillow. My other go-to for falling asleep is grabbing mama’s arm and squashing myself with it. Usually I have to hold it in place by hugging it really hard against me. Mama seems to be worried I’m gonna choke myself but she’s silly. I always make sure her arm is on my cheek and not my neck. Duh. So today I used her arm and BAM, I was sleeping.

Some of my other favorite ways to get squashed are:

– getting super hard hugs from mama and daddy

– squashing myself between the screen door and the glass door (that one is really good when I have no one to help squash me)

– squeezing in behind mama on the couch or when she’s sitting on the big bed and pulling her back on top of me (bonus: this one is also a game since she says SQUASH every time!)

– pressing my face really hard against the couch or the ottoman

– having mama or daddy give me uppies and getting them to squash me against the back door.

I don’t know what it is, Diary, that makes me calm down so much when I get squashed. But I know that if I get upset all I need to do is grab my nearest parent and have them give me uppies and a few squashes really hard against them. Every time they do, whatever is bothering me seems less important and I can pull myself together. It’s such a relief to get smooshed and all the noise in my head and the THINGS around me get quiet.

Sleeping Squashily,

Finn

The Invaders Return

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Dear Diary,

I don’t really know how to break this news. I’m still coming to grips with it myself. It’s life altering in ways I haven’t yet fully come to understand, but I just know things will never be the same.

Diary, I think the Invaders are staying. Remember how I told you they said I was awesome? I guess they must really believe that because almost every day at least one of them comes to visit me. Are they hoping that by playing with me some of my awesome will rub off on them? Are they studying me to see HOW I got so awesome and whether they can replicate it with other less awesome people? I don’t know.

Here’s what I know for sure: on what mama and daddy call “work days” when all the grownups get in their cars and drive away to be bored for a bunch of hours, the Invaders come. Mostly they come after breakfast, but sometimes mama pokes me awake from a perfectly good nap and then expects me to be a good host. On those days I mostly stare at mama and the Invaders, or play by myself. I don’t see why I should play with rude people.

Usually just one Invader comes, but sometimes they gang up on me. One day this week there were FOUR Invaders, Diary, and I didn’t like that very much at all. I kept leaving the room and hoping they’d get the point and scoot, but like most grownups they can’t take a hint so they just hung around. There seem to be two main Invaders, one whose name seems to be Meow, and the other one is Kerplunk. Both of them come with magical bags filled to the brim with toys I’ve never seen before. The first couple of days those bags made me nervous and I pushed away everything that came out of them, but it turns out that Meow and Kerplunk are actually pretty cool, and so I don’t mind playing with them. We play rolling stuff down the ramp, throwing balls into my ball pit, pouring sand in my sandbox, pouring water in my pool, and one day we even had a tickle fight. I think Meow won because I was gasping and hiccuping at the end. Every Invader comes with a different Magic Bag and now I like to inspect them to see if there’s good stuff. And, Diary, THIS IS SUPER SECRET – I’ve been squirreling away some of their toys in my ball pit. I’ve got a stash in there you wouldn’t believe; Mardi Gras beads and Connect 4 chips, balls from their games, even a block or two. I’m saving them for a rainy day.

The thing that’s weird about them being here, Diary, aside from the fact that I don’t understand why they don’t have anything better to do than harass a toddler full time, is that they keep asking me to do things. They love when I point to things they can’t find (how can they not see the giant duck on the book page? Or the ball they just buried in my rice? Getting old must suck), and they want me to use my pointy finger to show them EVERYTHING. Honestly, Diary, it’s exhausting. When the Invaders leave I usually push mama to sit down on the couch so I can climb onto her and rest for a few minutes. Entertaining grownups is hard work.

They’ve also been trying to get me to use words. Now, Diary, given how much everyone around me talks, I’m not sure why they’re in such a rush for me to join that cacophony, but I’ve been humoring them by using some of the sounds they use. Like when Meow plays “pretend sneeze with a cup on my head and fling it on the floor” – she likes when I say C C C C for cup. And she loves when I say B B B B for ball. I get the feeling they want me to say the whole thing but I’m not ready yet.

Lastly, and maybe the strangest thing, is they’re trying to get me to say words with my hands. They do it a lot, tapping their fingers together and saying “more.” I watched them for a couple of days, and Meow and Kerplunk would take my fingers and tap them together the same way. What I learned was that if I tap my fingers together like that when I want another ball, or another pancake, or more tickles, I get them! Once I understood what they were doing it was like I learned a new language. Suddenly, I CAN talk to them and to Mama and Daddy without using my voice. I think I could learn to like this. They’ve been showing me a few other things with their hands but I don’t really understand those yet. I’m feeling motivated to learn them though.

Phew, sorry Diary, I didn’t mean to make you tired writing so much at once. There’s just so much going on all at the same time and I had to write it down before it was all I could think about. I like having Meow and Kerplunk as friends, but I’m not sure how I feel about the other ones yet. I’ll have to tell you about them another day.

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Law and Order

Dear Diary, It has come to my attention after my last entry that a lot of people are under the impression that all mama needs is a cape and she’d be declared a superhero. Diary – I do have a pretty cool mama, don’t get me wrong. But do you have any idea how hard … Continue reading