As Patrick cleared his place after dinner tonight a miscalculation caused his half empty glass of milk to travel south-by-southeast, bouncing as it went. Patrick instantly bleated, "I did that on! purpose!" as is his irritating habit whenever he makes a mistake.
I said, "It's just a spill" and I began to mop up the milk which was dripping onto a chair and the floor in equal parts.
Patrick (who must sometimes wonder if he really wants to see eight years old) then delicately extended his bare foot and proceeded to splash - once twice three times - in the growing puddle.
I am not one who is generally prone to fits of loud temper but I have to say that there is something about being on my hands and knees under a table cleaning up spilled milk while the person who put it there starts to re-enact Gene Kelly dancing around the lamp post... well.
I responded. Vehemently. I was just doing the gritted teeth thing where I explained to Patrick exactly what I would do to him if he did not cease and desist immediately when I was distracted by Caroline. She ran over, pulled at my shirt and thrust her face belligerently into mine while she jabbered, "Yah shuh shuh yah yah!" Meanwhile, Edward materialized out of nowhere and smacked me on the top of the head with his palm. Twice.
It was exactly like a pair of chipping sparrows swooping up to defend a hawk from, oh I don't know, what am I in this analogy? A crow? A dragon?
Steve detached Caroline from my collar. Edward was told (yet again; it doesn't seem to take) No Hitting. Patrick got another cloth and started to help me clean up. Peace reigned once more. Now that I am past both my initial and my secondary annoyance I have to say that I think it is charming that Caroline and Edward came to Patrick's defense. Misguided like a land war in Asia; totally unfair on its merits; more than likely to get them all grounded one day... but charming.
Confession: Three years ago I saw the Topsy-Turvy upside-down vegetable planter advertised on television and even though we inherited a big ol' garden when we bought this house I coveted it. Mightily. It was the closest I had come to calling the number on the bottom of the screen since Ronco advertised the Cookie Machine in 1976.
Two years ago we were strolling through the Mall of America when I saw an As Seen on TV store. I thought, now, what was it I needed that I had... oh! And I bolted into the store before Steve could stop me.
I am on my second upside-down season and I love it. The enclosed instruction booklet advised using seedlings but I ignored them and my good sized to begin with plants are now enormous. While my actual in-the-ground garden this year looks like Waterloo circa 20 June 1815 (hail and cold have been unkind to everything but the zucchini; also we neglected to add compost for a few years so I suspect my soil is currently as nutritious as a Slurpee - the word spavined springs to mind) my topsy-turvy dirt bags are coming along beautifully. I was so inspired by them that I fantasized about creating an entire upside-down vegetable operation in our basement. Wouldn't that be nice? Fresh green things hanging like bats in the dead of winter? Unfortunately, I discovered very quickly that it is impossible to google basement gardening supplies without giving the wrong impression. I'll leave it at that but in case my ip address is on any watch lists... I just wanted to grow tomatoes. Big sticky green tomatoes.
An old friend died on Friday. He died too young, although I am at an age now where I understand that everyone dies too young. We went to his wedding. He has two little girls. The funeral is tomorrow and I am grateful that my friend Noelle is willing to come watch the children for us because I think you should always try to attend a funeral when you can. Rest in peace, MFB.
Steve's birth mother was visiting with her husband. We have reached a point where that relationship feels comfortable, familiar. It was never awkward but there were years of newness and I am glad that we can now discuss people and places and personal histories without constantly referring to footnotes. It was a very nice visit and it never ceases to amaze me how wonderfully Steve's search for his birth family resolved itself. I feel very lucky in this regard.
Was there a time when I thought that I could exist without a Caroline? How is that even possible?
She ignites the spaces in between.
Her word today was "oh". Soft and serious, "ohhhhhhhhhhhh." As Edward rode his pushcar around and around the kitchen (a skill she has not mastered) we cheered go! Edward! go!
She pursued her lips and modified, "Goooooooooooo!" Then she gently patted his head before she shoved him onto the floor.
"Uh ohhhhhhhh," she gasped; her mouth a surprised cupid's bow, her eyes glinting with malicious amusement.
Steve received a tactful inquiry from a friend this week concerning the possibility of hosting another world's most dangerous slip n' slide/ turducken party. Here. At my house. Again. I can only assume he has been smoking some serious tomato because the last conversation he (the friend) and I had on the subject I was pretty lucid about my feelings re. return dates. Steve forwarded the email to me with a carefully worded "?"