Haven’t written in a while. I guess there’s not much going on. We are about to close out Week Three of the Great Shower Tile Project. The end is in sight, but only if I squint really hard. At this point we are waiting on six pieces of accent tile, that the tiler ran out of, leaving a 4″x2″ space. He says we can still shower in it while we wait for them to come back, but is that really a good idea? Doesn’t matter anyway, because it turned out that even though the shower door guy told me to call him when they were finished and he would “come right out to measure,” he can’t come until Friday afternoon. We were also missing some pieces to the plumbing fixtures, not crucial ones, but necessary nonetheless. The plumber said “maybe” he’d be back Friday with them. Maybe…
The kids are finished with school, though J has to go back Friday for a “moving up ceremony.” After that, he and T3 can devote themselves, as much as I will allow them, completely to Wii.
Today T3 actually went on a hunger strike, taking to his bed when I asked him to stop playing and come down for lunch. He is particularly fond of creating “Miis” and has populated a large city full of them. His break today turned out to be a lot longer than it would have been had he just come down and eaten.
Manfrengensen says not to worry about the Wii addiction. It will run its course. And I have faith that it will. Letting it go is better than battling all day about the number of hours they play. Besides, it’s raining. What else are they going to do? Nice days, we’ll be in the park. Today, they are working those thumbs.
Ee has her own addiction, a bit of a substance abuse problem. And that substance is powdered sugar donuts.
Don’t worry, I’ve got stuff planned. Swim lessons, camps, piano lessons, trips to the beach, parks, museums. I know what I’m doing.
On a completely different note, Manfrengensen let me read a few pages of the novel he started in November, and damned if it wasn’t really good. I’m not the kind of person who would think his writing is amazing just because he’s my husband. That’s not how I roll. I’m actually a little jealous of how good his manuscript is. My own is like “chick lit,” which isn’t what I want it to be, but it is what it is in terms of the story and voice. I can’t just abandon it just because it’s not Michael-Chabon-esque, no matter how much I wish it was. His book…it’s got that thing, that voice (of a man?), just good stuff.
So this morning, Ee asked me to help her take out a toy McDonald’s cash register that my mother-in-law had given her. My mother-in-law has bought the kids like four cash registers, all complete with annoying sounds. Anyway, when I picked it up off the shelf, the thing rattled, which was unusual. Upon closer inspection, I found all the missing spare keys that had disappeared from the junk drawer recently.
Somebody’s kids are grumpy this morning. Manfrengensen and I went out last night, left two of them with a babysitter and took the other one to a moon bounce birthday party. We dropped him off and went for Mexican. Damn, those Mexicans can sure cook up some tasty vittles!
After that, we had some time to kill, so we took a drive through a neighborhood near our own where the houses are, shall we say, a bit more expensive. And some of them were ostentaciously huge. Some of them were certifiable compounds. One looked like something out of an Jane Austen adaptation. Another looked like a building on an Ivy League campus. But others looked more reasonable. Manfrengensen said, “This looks like the kind of neighborhood where afternoon tea is obligatory.” I said more like afternoon cocktails. We pulled up in front of a gorgeous brick number with a FOR SALE sign on the lawn, that looked like it might almost be in our price range, but the fantasy in my head dissipated just then, when the Talking Heads sang “This is not my beautiful house” on the radio. Kind of reminded me of when Manfrengensen bought a Jetta in 1999. We signed the papers at the dealer and got in. As he turned the key in the ignition, the radio spat out Cracker: “A million miles, a million miles…” A lattice of coincidence lays over top of everything…
I don’t necessarily fantasize about having a nicer house. It would be nice to have just a little more room though. And a basement that doesn’t breed cooties.
In any case, I guess everyone went to bed too late and got up too early. I know I did.
Moments from Parenting
Ee brought her toy camera to me this morning. It has Buzz Lightyear on it and was, at one time, filled with candy. “Cheese,” she said. Then she went to her brothers and did the same. To me, she reported that she had “cheesed” them.
Last night, T3 came over to me and furrowed his brow. “Do you know what kind of face I’m making?” he asked. I guessed: angry? thinking? “No,” he said, “I’m retermined.”
A Brief Movie Review
Manfrengensen and I watched this really great movie the other night called Rocket Science. A small, indie-movie about a stuttering teen who joins the competitive world of debate teams in order to win an illusive love, it was really cute, hilariously funny, and took us in a completely different direction than we expected it to. Highly recommend.
Today I am retermined to go to the gym and not to get stressed about anything.
Ee woke up last night a little before 3 a.m. Don’t lecture me — first of all, she’s two and a half, and she still takes a bottle. I don’t really care what she “should” be doing with the bottle. I know today’s parents are all hyper about what their kids should be doing when, but I try to chill about that kind of thing. She’s smart, she’s not lagging in any developmental capacity. She does take a cup most of the time, so I’m not worried that she’ll still be taking the bottle when she applies for college.
But I am trying to dial the whole bottle experience down. First of all, she used to call for a new bottle in the middle of the night. So that got old fairly quickly. First I switched from milk to a mixture of mostly water and juice. Then, to keep her from calling in the middle of the night, I started leaving it for her when I went to bed. That worked for about two weeks. Next, she started drinking that whole thing and then calling for more at 3 a.m. So, I cut out the juice and just put water in the bottle. That’s been working for a month or so, and she hasn’t even been drinking much of the water. Victory!
…as always, is short-lived. Last night, she started calling for milk at 2:50. I dug in my heels. I wasn’t going back. I wasn’t going downstairs. She cried. She screamed. She woke up one of her brothers. I went in a few times. I let her sleep with the light on (another issue, for another post…), I rocked her. Still she screamed.
I found myself lying in bed, applauding her tenacity, but also imagining that the applause was the sound of one of my hands clapping against her ass.
I won a hollow victory when she dropped off to sleep around 4:30. I lay there for another 20 minute listening to the gentle rhythm of her crying hiccups. I love that sound.
It’s the last day of the longest week ever. It started out quite motherly, when T3 woke up with strep. I didn’t know it was strep at the time, but he had a fever, and he said his “mouth hurt.” I swung into action, fluffing pillows, utilizing the thermometer, bringing in drinks and ice chips. Since he’s five, I figured “mouth” meant his throat, so I called the doctor. Strep is, after all, always going around.
I got him all situated with his beverages, let him have a popcicle for breakfast, set him up in bed to watch 101 Dalmations. He seemed so miserable. I never bothered to check his forehead again, just waited for his afternoon appointment. So we made it to the doctor, Ee (who’s 2) in tow. When we got into the exam room, he mentioned again that his mouth hurt and he pulled it open to show me what appeared to be a canker sore. Freaking great, I thought, I’m paying three figures for a pimple in his cheek. (We have an HSA and haven’t hit our deductible yet.) At that point, he had no fever either, so I really worried that I was going to look like a looney mom. Turned out he had strep though. Woo-hoo! Was it wrong for me to be psyched that I wasn’t wasting time and money?
He went back to school on Wednesday. He seemed ready, but then in the afternoon, he was something else entirely. While he was there, I took the morning to run a few errands that had been on the shelf for the first part of the week. I took Ee to the mall, and she basically went insane there. First of all, she didn’t want to sit in the stroller, so she took off running. She was running in the racks, pulling out all kinds of crazy stuff and demanding I buy it for her. No way I’m buying an umbrella for a 2-year-old. Also, I’m not buying her Strawberry Shortcake underwear. She doesn’t even like Strawberry Shortcake, in fact, I doubt she even knows who the hell Strawberry Shortcake is. But more importantly, she’s not even potty-trained.
After school, I still had to make a quick trip to the grocery store, that ended up taking me an hour. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken a five-year-old and a two-year-old together to the grocery store, but if you haven’t had that “pleasure,” let me tell you, you might as well just hit your hand with a hammer, because it’s just about the same amount of fun. I went to the second-closest, and coincidentally also second-dirtiest grocery store in town, where T3 proceeded to bounce down the aisles like a pinball. He wanted this, he wanted that. Don’t you want this, Mom? Don’t you want that? I couldn’t hear myself think. At one point, he dropped the cap to the bottle of water I had gotten him, and after chasing it across the floor in front of the meat section, he picked it up and put it in his mouth. Aaaahhh!!! Just lucky he was already taking antibiotics. Meanwhile, waiting for cheese at the deli counter, I looked over, and there was Ee, licking the back of the seat in the shopping cart. Aaaaaahhh!! I wish I could tell you it got better from there, but basically the day was just a wash…of stress.
Thursday I was a little more “in tune” to what he really needed. He was so tired after school, that he just wasn’t making sense. I had walked to pick him up from school. I knew he’d want a snack and a drink, so I brought him water and a baggie full of goldfish. We stopped by to see his stylist down the street, who said she could squeeze him in for a cut if we could wait fifteen minutes. While we were waiting, I polished off my own water bottle, and he freaked out. “Thanks, Mom,” he yelled. “Thanks for finishing off my only bottle of water!” But he was holding his own bottle (3/4 full) under his arm. No amount of reasoning could make him see that it was there. He was just so out of it. I took him home and put him to bed, where he snoozed for three hours.
Overall, tensions were high all week for all of us, even with the good weather. We are finally starting to get outside, and we need that. We need outside, and we need our naps.
We’ll see what tomorrow will bring.