Thumbs on map

I’m all thumbs.

Thumbs on mapWalking past the door to the TV room/guest room/playroom I hear Leo tell someone that he has two brothers. He is on Skype so the person on the other line doesn’t have any reason to question him. This anonymous player will never meet Leo’s brothers, real or imagined.

I wonder briefly why someone who often laments the existence of an actual brother would create a second, but I don’t linger physically or mentally to figure it out. I need to get back to Oliver.

Wednesday is game night. I would prefer game night not exist. But Oliver is so relentlessly positive about board games that he can’t imagine that anyone else would feel less than thrilled to play.

He and Steve biked to the toy store after school today to pick up his final birthday gift. A Star Wars x wing bored game. Spelling intentional. As he began setting out the various incredibly important pieces of cardboard and snapping small bits of plastic together his chatter was so fast and constant that I couldn’t hear his words. I have a mental picture of the the Tigers in Little Black Sambo (the children’s book that has since been pulled from all bookstores) holding each other’s tails and turning into butter.

His words are spinning that fast. I wonder how he will assemble these small fighter craft with butter fingers.

He is sad about something now.”I’m sorry Mama, this is a two player game.”

I offer to sit by he and Steve while they endlessly review the rules and I go to grab Steve’s lap top. Today I planned to blog, and “not game night” seemed like a perfect opportunity. So I pass Leo and his two brothers and steal Steve’s computer. It has been so long since I used mine that I don’t know where it is. In fact I have a pretty good idea, but if I check and it isn’t there my “not game” time will turn into tear the house up for the computer time. What a waste.

It turns out not to be so simple. Steve’s computer doesn’t have the word press log in
Screen bookmarked. I am trying all sorts of -admin and -login and -admin/php. So
Many in fact that Steve and Oliver have done the impossible and moved on from
rules to a trial run.

I take a break from trying to break into my blog and watch as Oliver methodically moves the food from one end of the counter to another. He slides the take out containers and leaves a slimy trail of ginger sauce. Then he gets a sponge and wipes the counter with concentration. He is not a natural sponger. My mother sponges with frantic quick strikes flinging bits of water up as she stabs at the counter with her weapon of choice. Steve bends down closely and scrubs at areas of dirt. The stickiness has no chance against Steve. The rest of the counter will do fine. It will not even see his sponge. Leo clears everything off. Then he sprays and sprays. The counter is a lake, the sponge his boat. The streaks of his cleaner can be seen from the front door.

Oliver has the tip of his tongue between his teeth. The garlic sauce is gone. He is trying the wipe the wet sponge trail with his hand. Now his shirt sleeve. He is wearing a t shirt (the same one as yesterday obviously) and to get the sleeve to the counter he had a chicken wing arm. This takes effort. Now he has almost knocked himself over.

I have found the url.

I have forgotten my password. I know that I will be locked out after three tries, but I am stubborn and, 96% sure that this one is right. So I change my user name and try again. Shake. The login screen jiggles back and forth as if shaking its virtual finger at my combination of forgetfulness and hubris. And maybe also judging me for how long it has been since I have written. I ask its forgiveness in the form of a password reset.

This is Steve’s computer though so I have to log out of his gmail and into mine to get the reset email. And have forgotten my password. This time I am like 99% sure that I know it. But I only try twice because I can learn, see. My phone is close so I reset the password from there.

Going back to his laptop I am disproportionally excited to see that the Shelburbia log in page is still open. I don’t know why it is a surprise. The last time I closed a window Bill Clinton was in office. I do that little finger warm up. That jazz finger thing that pianists and great American novelists do. I enter the fresh off the presses password. And am denied access because my IP address has been blocked.

So I am writing this with my thumbs on my phone.

I’m going to stop this. Many of my non thumbs are numb. Hopefully my computer is where I think it is. I am 92% sure.

Published by

Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble,, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at

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