I know what we're getting my mother in law for Christmas.

Back in the day my mother in law was in a band. A folky, Irish-y band or even possibly bands. And when I mean back in the day I mean the 60s and 70s. She wore little skirts, she hitchhiked from Ireland to France (and back again) and she played a bunch of weird instruments that I can't name. Besides the guitar. I know that one. She was cooler than me.

Once a week she takes Mister Man for the day to bond with him and give me a break, which I have always appreciated and will be sad when I go back to work in 27 days and she doesn't get the time with him and I don't get a break. Do you think I could convince my boss that I need a mental break from work and to just be quiet and let me watch Veronica Mars in silence?

Yesterday was a mother in law day. Bub and I met up over there, as we always do, to pick up Mister Man and to have some dinner before we head home. James was being a bit of a fusspot last night as he can't crawl or walk yet but wants to go everywhere. So after realizing for the billionth time that day that he can't take those steps without falling flat on his face, he whines. Loudly and often. I'm so used to it at this point it actually doesn't bother me but I imagine for people who only sees him once a week it's a distressing noise that should be soothed away and what better way to do this with song? Song and heavy sedatives.

My mother in law will often sing old folk songs to James. Every hear "James (Hold the Ladder Steady)"? How about "Liverpool Lullaby"? Well, I have because these are commonly sung for my son by his musically inclined Nan. Yesterday, when he started to fuss I knew there was a song coming. What came out was different different from the norm:

"James, you know this one. 'No woman, no cry...' (clap clap clap) 'No woman, no cry.'"

And the weird thing about this whole scene wasn't that my mother in law was singing Bob Marley (Okay, admittedly that is one weird thing about it), but that my son would clap in between verses like she was, as if on cue. He claps all the time but never in beat.

My mother in law is still cooler than I am.

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Liz in Dublin