This morning, Harriet wrote a poem about her desire to be an old man on the beach. I can’t express how lovely an idea this is, how appealing it is to me. Is it because I am a woman, so I don’t want to become an old *woman*, but becoming an old man would somehow legitimize my ageing process? OR! Is it because I want to sit on the beach and drink coffee. Yes, probably.
I haven’t been to the beach in over a month. It’s been incredibly steamy hot for three days and I’ve been inside with Eli while he battles the nastiest mouth blisters ever. Ohhhhh he is sad. So so so sad. I wish I could be sad for him.
The thing about kids is there’s always something about them that just bugs you. And at first you think: well, that’s natural, it would bug anybody. And then several third parties say, wow, really? That bugs you? So you analyze. And then you realize that it’s JUST YOU. Why is it just you? Because it’s YOUR KID. You have a similar-personality conflict.
Eli is a pessimist. I am a pessimist. If we spend all day together and he can’t talk or eat because of the mouth blisters so he is hungry and in pain and I am just bored and restless and wondering when/if/maybe? he will ever go to school this week/month?/year, we realize how pessimistic the other is. And there is not room for two giant pessimists in the house.
SA and I have worked this out. He is ONLY allowed to be pessimistic if I am SURE AND CERTAIN that I am feeling positive. He is pessimistic maybe 20% of the time and I am 70% of the time (there is 10% floating pessimistic time that anyone can use) so he defers to me, as it should be in a quality partnership. Eli has no such understanding. As my tiny clone, he wants the 70%. It is hilarious when he’s out in the world and talks to people but it is not hilarious when he is on the couch and whimpering for three hours.
Wait! I am not horrible. I do feel bad for him. I have given him four hundred drinkable yogurts, a food I don’t actually believe in, in the past three days. All he has eaten is drinkable yogurt, regular yogurt, and ice cream. His tongue is the colour of clouds. I have hugged and kissed and patted and sympathized. Seriously.
But he believes he will always feel like this. He doesn’t believe he will feel better. Even this morning, when he smiled at me (I hadn’t seen a smile since Sunday) and I said, “oh you must be feeling better” he said, “no.”
What do you need, I ask.
Murfle murfle, he says.
Fine, here you go.
Arlo gets on with it. He is in pain, he takes medicine, he moves on. He might complain a little bit, and you are happy to hear his complaints because JAYSUS that’s a big blister on your tongue. Eli, he’s an old man, bitter about that cheque that he was supposed to get that never arrived and dammit they owe him. Yes, we’re back to the old man. Eli complains and complains and complains some more. He refuses to open his mouth for three days because it *might* hurt. Sure, it might. Or it might not. And if you open your mouth and it doesn’t hurt, you will get to EAT something.
Complain complain complain.
Wait. What am I doing?
Well. Nothing to see here. Move along.