Sweetness, I Was Only Joking

Six Apo Gaia

I.    It is with a head thunk that I acknowledge virtuously embracing Goodreads (reading is fundamental) while even more virtuously rebuffing Facebook (make new friends; keep the old; maintain both via constant online monitoring.) As you might recall I cited my compulsive nature; my inability to stop at just one... whatever. So it is unfortunate that on Saturday I noticed the link to the Goodreads neverending book trivia quiz. Note the adjective: neverending. As of last night when I finally gave my laptop to Steve to hide I was on question 698. Assuming that it takes my pitiful satellite connection thirty seconds to load a new page; that represents... um.... almost six hours hours spent answering book questions. In truth it was more like twenty-four since I would hand Caroline some banana, consider whether or not Macbeth is the thane of Cawdor or if that is too obvious, tell Edward to give Caroline back her banana... and so on.

I seriously need to learn some self-control. Although for the record, I am kinda kicking ass on book trivia.

II.    I was right in assuming that Patrick would like Calvin and Hobbes. What I failed to realize is that Patrick would take Calvin and Hobbes as some kind of sacred text, a holy writ designed for thoughtful study and careful emulation.

I'm taking a lot of pictures like this as a result.


I probably should have gone with a Family Circus anthology instead. Little, um, Peewee? No PJ and Dolly and Not-Me with the footprints... good clean wholesome entertainment for everyone. Zero sassmouth. Yessir.

Last night Patrick asked me to guess who his favorite character is.

Calvin? No. Hobbes? No. Then who?


Really? Why Susie?

"I just think she's very funny."

"Then why not imitate her instead of obnoxious Calvin?" I said.

"Then why not imitate her instead of obnoxious Calvin?" Patrick said.

I... when I first read Calvin and Hobbes back in junior high (grade school?) I used to think the babysitter who sent Calvin to bed at five in the afternoon was pretty mean but I now recognize her as a child-rearing genius whose methods have no equal.

I have been wondering about this: I can count on one hand the number of times I lost my temper with Patrick between the ages of birth and five. Seriously. Either I was a saint or Patrick was or maybe my temperament is just of a sort that remains unruffled by toddler/preschool rebellions. Now, however, I would have to take my socks off to get an accurate freakout tally - and that is before Patrick has even walked out the door most mornings. My mother thinks that Patrick has grown adept at pushing my buttons. I worry that I have less patience as a direct result of having more children; like I have X amounts of maternal grace under pressure and with X/3 I get crazy. This makes me feel guilty because it is not like I am yelling at Edward or Caroline. I'm still as serene and calm with them as I have ever been: no no no, darling, please don't pull my hair, let go, sweetheart, that's right. who's a good girl? oop! let's not climb in the drawer. oh my goodness, no no, let's not pull out the nasty trash, ok, cricket? ok sweet girl? kiss kiss tickle kiss.

But poor Patrick gets: Legos DOWN! FIND backpack! coat ON! no! NOT BACKWARDS! COME ON! coat NOW! move FEET! get in CAR! SCHOOL! NOW! GO!

There is something about the way Patrick goes boneless in the morning that brings out the very worst of my primordial instincts. 

III.    Edward. Oh my god I love Edward. I love Edward so much that I am goofy about him and have been so swept away by my pasion that I overcame my aversion to sing-songy nicknames . I started calling him Eddybear and now we cannot seem to stop. "Awwwww who's my EddyBear?" we say as he barrels his nice round head into our stomachs, patting our faces with his soft fat hands. He is getting more adept at walking; standing on his hindlegs like he as all the time in the world before taking three, five, seven steps towards whatever. He likes music. He will eat anything except ravioli. And he continues to be... one wants to say obsessed... with circles.

Here he tries to match the rubbermaid lid to the right container - an exercise I personally find tedious but he was willing to devote a good fifteen minutes to completing. I like the second picture in which he holds the lid behind his head and surveys the possibilities after the bowl in picture one was too big. Then the intense concentration in the third photo. Finally: victory! 


He's cute.

However, he needs to work on his twin skills because one of these days Caroline is going to pick something up with those clever, delicate hands of hers and whap him upside the head with it. The other day I was trying to take a video of Caroline. Edward wanted me to pick him up. I did not. So Edward spun around, zipped over to where Caroline was sitting minding her own business, and shoved her as hard as he could in the chest. She went over like a house of cards. He laughed as he crawled back towards me; her lip trembled from the injustice of it.

Today I put Edward in his high chair. I gave him some Cheerios, then I put Caroline in her seat. I needed to wash her tray so I left her strapped in but tray-less. She reached over for a Cheerio from Edward. He coldly looked at her hand resting on his tray, picked up her hand with two fingers and flung it to the side. I told him to share and moved two of his fifty Cheerios close enough to Caroline that she could reach them. Edward immediately ate those two and then carefully pushed the rest as far away from her as possible.   

Edward's generous nature has yet to unfold before us like some beautiful flower. In fact, so far he is managing to keep the entire meadow completely hidden.

IV.    I have no story to go with this picture


Caroline's eyes settled into a muddy green and I am infatuated by them. I find it hard to get a picture of her when she is not smiling. This speaks well of her sunny ebullience but personally I love how she looks when she is pensive. So I like this one.

V.    I had an anxiety dream last night. This in itself is not particularly unusual; although it was rather cruel under the circumstances since I couldn't fall asleep until two and Caroline was up between three and five. It was annoying to be stressed both awake and asleep. But the anxiety dreams are common enough and since I have a pedestrian mind they are, in general, fairly cliched: I have to take an exam for a class I have not attended in twenty years/ I am starring in a play upon which the curtain is about to open but I do not know a single line/ I have a flight to catch in half an hour but my luggage is locked in a car I do not recognize and the airport is on the other side of town... . You know, the usual panic inducing stuff. Last night followed the same pattern but this time I was thwarted over and over again in my desperate attempts to get my haircut.

It was weird.

I contemplated this newfound hair angst this morning and I think it might be related to a conversation I had recently in which a friend was bitching about a work colleague of his. And during the course of enumerating this colleague's many flaws he touched briefly upon what he considered to be her age-inappropriate attire (skirt to here; blouse to there) and he said - in passing - something like "...and she has two older kids and really long hair and she never answers emails et cetera."

It stung. The hair part, I mean, although I also have a problem with emails.

I have become increasingly aware of the fact that I am reaching what the French so tactfully refer to as un age certain. Thirty-seven is not what anyone would describe as the springtime of my girlhood. And although nothing on earth could compel me to wish to be even one year younger (I would kill myself before I was in my twenties again. seriously. I LOVE my thirties) I do wonder... is it time to cut my hair? It falls to about the bra strap. Isn't this a rule of some kind? Like white shoes/Labor Day and a year's heavy mourning?

VI.    Patrick's class just celebrated their one hundredth day of school. I swear we never did any such thing when I was a child but just as I was telling my brother that I thought this particular school made the whole concept up he told me that my nephew's school does the same thing. And that there are picture books dedicated to it. So what do I know?

As part of their celebration the children filled out a booklet of personal "one hundred things." I wish I had access to all of them because I think they would read like poetry. Patrick's alone was beautiful in an offbeat way:

I could make 100 footprints.

I could not eat 100 chicken legs.

But the very last page of his book... I am crying with laughter all over again as I post this.