Category: Twin Study; Subheading: Blueberry Yogurt; Time elapsed: ten minutes-
Note any, uh, differences?
I wish I could post a similarly aged picture of Patrick so we could do a singleton/gender/intrasibling/tidynik cross-analysis but there are no pictures of a toddler Patrick feeding himself yogurt. Because in a million freaking years it would not have occurred to me to hand Patrick a spoon and something slimy. I am not sure if I would have been more concerned about the mess or the fact that vital nutrients might fail to make it into my beloved knish but I know I continued to patiently spoon-feed him every bite well past the age that he could - probably - have managed all by his little self.
I used to think - as a youngest child myself; one whose baby book lists a birth weight and then leaps to kindergarten and whose early childhood was remarkably less photographed than that of my older brother - that first born children had lives made of awesome. That their existences were one sweet song, all undivided parental attention and toys without missing pieces. Has an eldest child ever had to play as a penny in Monopoly? No, they get to be the car and then mention is always made of some incident in the distant past during the course of which the youngest allegedly managed to lose/eat the dog and the thimble and the ship... anyway.
I now believe that there is something to be said for getting a broken-in parent. If it weren't for one of my three major (ir)rational fears (in this case: children choking to death; the other two are snakes and running into my ex-mother-in-law one day in a mammography waiting room - not necessarily in that order) Edward and Caroline would be able to eat complete meals without any interference on my part whatsoever. With Patrick I hovered like a hummingbird, cutting each bite into microscopic cubes and counting the number of times he had chewed before swallowing.
I am not saying that all first-time parents are tightly wound loons who demand zantac the first time Baby has a wet burp; I am just that I was. Tightly wound that is. Only Edward was on zantac and that was after his failed swallow study and frankly it was too late to help much. Now I am not so wound. Thus, Caroline plastered herself with yogurt but then cleaned right up when I accidentally let her empty a bucket of rainwater over her head.
Live and learn. That's my point, one lives and one learns.
So if you studied the photos you can tell that I bought the first hanging seats I found at a local retailer, which happened to be made by Chicco. They seem fine and the likelihood that either Caroline or Edward is going to land on her/his head in the next few weeks has been drastically reduced. However, as a design choice I wish they had not opted to shape the table clamps like whimsical hippopotamuses. First, they have about a zillion little creases to attract the gunk splattering from gunky children (*cough* CAROLINE *cough*) and second, it was inevitable that Patrick would take one look at them before announcing with six-year-old gusto, "That hippo has a big silver pole stuck up its butt."
Which is true. Although we do not say butt. We say bottom. Patrick noted that at school they say pockets; as in "everybody sit on your pockets." Patrick suggested that the hippo has a pole in his pocket. I think this sounds even less appropriate than butt.
Patrick has his last day of school coming up on Friday. I wish I could say that this fact fills me with unbridled joy but it doesn't. It feels more like I have been given responsibility for ten additional manufacturing facilities with no increase in pay. Right now we have a weekday routine in place. First everyone oversleeps and then there is a mad dash to get Patrick fed and dressed and lunchboxed and take-home foldered, while Caroline and Edward totter around all bleary and hungry and demanding their damned breakfasts. Eventually Steve and Patrick make it out the door ten minutes behind schedule and Caroline Edward and I say, well, thank heavens that's over. Then some of us eat french toast and some of us drink tea. Then we play. Errands maybe. A walk. Lunch. Nap. All very civilized and leisurely. Patrick gets dropped off around four and depending upon his mood he is either a thing of beauty and a joy forever or forty-seven inches of grievance. Either way I give him a snack. Then the afternoon free-falls into sixty/ninety minutes of oh-my-god-shut-up-all-of-you- I-cannot-believe-you-do-not-shut-up while all three children decide they are hungry and a little tired and bored maybe and each one needs to tell me about their problems in agonizing detail; generally at the exact moment I am trying to move a cast-iron skillet full of hot grease. Or just as dinner prep reaches a crisis point the random starfish bath toy that has been lying under the breakfast bar for three weeks becomes as hotly contested as the Rhineland, with Edward screaming for it and Caroline running with it and Patrick swooping in to confiscate it without any authority whatsoever. The little ones howl and Patrick talks talks talks me to death about how, technically, it used to be his starfish bath toy and since he never officially gave it to them it is still his, so, really, he has the right to blah blah and the whole time he is holding it above his head and Caroline and Edward are jumping for it and screaming.
God I hate the hour before dinner.
This, incidentally, is what I am imagining all day, every day will look like come summer time. Screaming, jumping, tears.
sometimes they're as sweet as a musical comedy.
He brought home his progress folio from school which has samples of the work they have done this year. My favorite was a poem:
Try my best
Camp, though. I still think I should have signed the big one up for more camps.
I am obsessed with food right now. I go through stages when I feel like cooking something new and interesting and other (usually longer) periods when the thought of having to actually boil the water before I put the pasta in seems like almost too much to bear. What's wrong with al broken dente, I asked all winter.
But, as I said, at the moment I am all about the new and the swell (which might be why I am even more annoyed by the childish pre-dinner antics than usual - nothing distracts from the pleasure of putting together a nice meal quite so much as a Wall of Sound and multiple human bodies attached to your hem.) Caroline and Edward are still at the age when they will eat anything (um, mostly. Caroline has finally embraced broccoli but only once it is doing the backstroke in dip - Edward's favorite spinach she finds disgusting) so I am frantically trying to cram flavor into them before they realize a nice way to drive their mother crazy is to refuse to eat anything but bread.
We put more early plants in the garden this year (strawberries, lettuces, the asparagus is finally on its third season) and I did herb containers on the back deck which are thriving so far. Something about fresh green things popping up that makes me want to marvel in nature's goodness and then eat them with vinegar.
Um, eat the plants. Not the children. All of which is to say that I am inspired to do some food posts soon and I will.
Question for you, now that I have gotten nowhere, slowly. I thought about this all weekend. I have a list of things I want to get done. Not the usual daily things like laundry and food and picking up toys but project stuff. I want to make the basement less Patrick-centric and more whole family-friendly. We have an entire giant play area down there (head-gentle carpeting. midget climbing toys) but it is currently covered in a billion of Patrick's little, dangerous (chokables, you know - I told you it was one of my major fears: I mentioned to Patrick that I might sign up to do communist play group with Caroline and Edward next Fall if I can get into the class they have at his school. Patrick said, "Are you kidding? Do you know how many chokables there are at my school?" And I quote. Chokables. He speaks my language) oojums. Also I am pretty sure the bookcases are not anchored to anything. And there is a bank of windows that Steve removed to create the breakfast bar that is just leaning against a wall. Anyway, it needs work. And every night I think, "Tomorrow I am going to go down and start on the basement." But then the next day arrives and all time gets sucked into a vortex of laundry and food and picking up toys. It never happens. Ditto sorting out the winter clothes, cleaning out my desk, emptying the junk drawer, taking the two laundry items I actually use and putting them into the cupboard that will have room for them after I first clear out the fifteen laundry items I bought in error... it goes on and on. I have a bag of glass tile samples in a kitchen drawer that irritates me every time I open it to look for tape or band-aids or the key to the safe deposit box.
Technically it is only nine o'clock so I could stop writing this and go downstairs for a few hours. But I am not going to do that. I have been running around all day and all I want to do right now is sit down with a glass of wine and watch something with Steve.
But, as I said, I thought about you today and I wondered if I am just preternaturally slack or if the rest of you maunder along like I do. Do you get Things done or do they just hang over your head for months and months? A sincere question. Steve thinks I have, ahem, trouble with my follow through so that I start projects and then abandon them to start new ones ad infinitum, thus never completing anything until whatver it was gets as messy as it was in the first place. Steve, however, is a crazy person who paints walls until four in the morning and who cannot stop slicing a tomato even when his spouse is being crushed to death by the dishwasher door. For example. Just saying.
PS I know that there is a possibility that Edward and Caroline will continue to eat tilapia and zucchini and curried wheatberries into their dotage. And if that happens it will be terrific. I'll be pleasantly surprised. When Patrick was their age I mistook his cheerful affection for all food as evidence of my superior parenting. Then I was unpleasantly surprised.