Tag Archive: family


Perspective

I am on the phone with my husband.  He has the big kids on his end.  I have the little one on mine.  Hearing each other makes the child’s game of telephone seem easy, when I ask an offhand question.

 

From my perspective:

“Honey, did you light the incense today?”

He responds, shocked, “WHAT?”

I repeat, slowly,  “Did you light the incense today?”

“Okay, it sounds like you’re asking me, did I buy incense today, and I know that’s not right.”

I’m rolling my eyes.  He is so deaf.  “Did you light the incense?  Did you set the incense on fire today?”

The shock and horror in his voice is baffling.  “Did you just ask me if I lit the incense on fire?”

“YES!  Did you LIGHT the incense on FIRE today?  In the cat room?!” I hate the stuff, but it covers the indiscretions of a cat who won’t cover his mess.

“OH! No, I haven’t done that in weeks! Oh my God!”

 

From his perspective:

“Honey, did you buy the infants today?”

“WHAT!?”

“Did you buy the infants today?”

“Okay, it sounds like you’re asking me, did I buy the infants today, and I know that’s not right.”

“Did you light the infants?!  Did you set the infants on fire today?!”

“Did you just ask me if I set the infants on fire!?”  He knows he’s deaf, but he also knows I’m crazy.  But surely not this crazy!

“YES!  Did you LIGHT the infants on FIRE today?!  In the cat room?!”  The cat room.  Fire.  INCENSE!  She’s talking about incense!

“OH! No, I haven’t done that in weeks! Oh my God!”  And this is the woman I leave my children with every day!

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Balance

My sons love to play outside.  They do not love to play together.  The rule is very firm for the five year old.  The baby cries, and his outside time is over.  As much as possible, they rotate play spaces.

My daughter does not love to play outside.  She is not particularly fond of sticky heat and blood sucking bugs.  She does not appreciate her need for fresh air or sunlight.  She plays outside until the timer in my hand beeps, and for every time she approaches me to whine about it, another minute gets tacked on.  She tries to be a good sport about it, and sometimes even misses the beep, she becomes so engrossed in play.

All three of them wind up outside at the same time today, a particularly hot and mosquito ridden day.  Within minutes, I am escorting Jack back to the door, to wait for another turn just for himself later.  Samantha watches.

A few minutes later, she appears by my elbow, and quietly, hopefully asks, “Mama.  If I make the baby cry, do I have to go inside?”

Humility

Samantha is enjoying Sunday morning cuddles.

“Daddy, I am awesome. If you want, I can teach you how to be just like me. Except, I won’t teach you everything, because you are really bad at hula hoop.”

I think she may be missing a handful of critical skills herself.

Watermelon Drama

I cut up watermelon for everybody, for snack, but Jack can’t stand it because of the seeds, so he skipped it, even the pieces I guaranteed as seed free.

After everything is all cleaned up, I notice he’s quiet, so I stop by the room he’s in to check on him. He is quietly watching a movie on the computer. The second he catches sight of me, though, his chin trembles.

“Jack, what’s wrong, darling? Are you sad?”

He starts to cry.

“Jack! What happened?”

He sobs, “I dropped my watermelon on the floor!”

“What are you talking about, Jack? Where did you drop watermelon?” ‘What watermelon?!’ is what I’m thinking.

He points at the floor, where, sure enough, there’s a splatted piece of watermelon, and cries. He’s been sitting there, heart sick over his stolen watermelon, when a giant bowl of it, picked free of seeds and freely offered, was waiting for him in the kitchen.

Of course I usually take a shower without my glasses on. Most people do, most of the time. Not all people do, not all of the time. There’s a reason for that.

I took my glasses off before climbing into the shower this morning. Half way through my shower, something dark in the bottom of the tub caught my eye. A thick ribbon of brown, slithered up against the side of the tub, just under the edge of the shower curtain.

I’m gonna die! There’s a snake in my shower!

The snake is between me and the exit. Samantha is on the potty in the room with me. My feet are so close to it. How am I going to get out without disturbing it? What kind of snake is it? How do I get Samantha off the potty and around the door without injury or pee on the floor? What is it like to get bit by a snake? Is Daniel in the bathroom?

Wait. It isn’t moving – at all. Didn’t George say he’d had to drape the bathmat over the edge of the tub this morning because it was wet? The brown bathmat.

Oh.

So. I think today is towel day with the laundry. What do I feel like making for lunch?

Random Responses

I am making pizza dough with my kitchenaid mixer. It has a lid that fits the bowl, and Jack thinks the lid is hilarious. It looks a little bit like a hat for a very tiny headed person, because of a depression in the middle of the lid to accommodate the mixer where it extends into the bowl.

Jack steals the mixer lid off the pizza dough while it is rising. He leaves the kitchen wearing it on his head, holding it on with two hands and cackling at his own daring and success. I have my hands too full to do anything about it, for the moment.

George comes across Jack a few minutes later, still wandering around with the lid, with two of his toy trains tucked into the hollow in the middle of the lid. Samantha is careening about the living room, and she collides into him, knocking one of the two trains out of the lid and onto the floor.

Jack looks at his remaining train, looks down at the floor, and screams, “SNANA! I’ve been cleaning this for HOURS!”

I’m standing in the kitchen, prepping burgers for the grill when I hear that terrible cry from the living room.  Daniel has fallen, and it’s the awful, “I’m really hurt” cry that I rarely have to hear.  I come running.

He’s on the floor at the foot of a piece of exercise equipment we had already decided to throw out this weekend.  His chin is gashed, and his mouth, open with that awful scream, isn’t opening evenly.  Half of his mouth is wrong.  I sweep him up and carry him to the couch, because I need to sit down.

I rock him to calm him enough for me to see what’s going on, and all I can think is this is a really awful day to need the ER, and he’s just so tiny.  Watching his sweet mouth, that I know like it is engraved on my soul, not working right is turning my insides to jelly.

It doesn’t take long to assess that his jaw and teeth and tongue and spirit are just fine.  He demolishes an entire bag of wipes, taking swipe after swipe at his scratched chin with them, nurses like a champ, and delightfully chomps through a bowl of grapes.  He might wind up with a scar and some ugly bruising, but nothing more.

Fifteen minutes after that scream, I’m back in the kitchen working, and Daniel is back to tromping about the house, barely subdued.  I, though, feel drained.  In the few minutes on that couch, it feels like I aged in hours, not minutes.  Everything’s fine, and yet I need a nap to recover from it.

Redbox night.  George gets back into the car with our movie, and a second G rated one to distract the kids so that we can watch ours uninterrupted.  Samantha is quick to ask for the name of her movie, and George tells her.

She considers it, “Hmm.  I think that movie is a bit violent and scary.  But that’s okay.  Because I said the magic words to my dreams, and threw them all away.  I can’t have scary dreams anymore, so I can watch violent and scary movies.  So that’s okay, Daddy, I can watch that movie.”

Seashell

I am whupped, and bedtime starts just as soon as the sheets finish in the dryer, so I am laying down for a minute with my phone.

Samantha appears at my feet, on the verge of tears, seriously distraught, “MAMA! Jack thinks that my seashell is his! My seashell that I found at the beach! My special seashell that I found! And he thinks it’s his, and it isn’t, it’s mine!”

I can’t help but point out, “Samantha, you’ve never been to a beach.”

She’s six. She channels teenage valley girls. “Oh, I have!”

She doesn’t understand why this makes me laugh, but she stops to think about it, and then issues a hesitant challenge, “So, if I’ve never been to the beach, how did I get it?”

“It’s my seashell.” I used to live on the coast.

“Oh. But you lended it to me, right?”

“I let you play with it.”

“Right. Then make him give it back!”