One of the books I’m reading is Quiet: The Power of Introverts. It’s a “speed read” so I only have a week to read it. Can I do it? Well, will everyone leave me alone, please? THANK YOU.
My children love me so much. They want to sit on me and tickle me and, inexplicably, dangle from my neck. “Please don’t dangle from my neck,” I say, “I am happy to hug you, but — arghhhh.” Why? Why do you want to destroy me? I FEED YOU.
Eli has been going through a phase, I think he is almost done it now, where every sentence starts with “Mommy?”
There is a sock in my drawer! And I have other socks. And Mommy?
I don’t mind if my socks match or don’t match, it’s OK with me because who cares! Right? And Mommy?
I’m hungry. Mommy?
I’m going to get a snack now.
Are you super irritated just reading that? Are you?
Well? Are you?
After the first I don’t know how many weeks I realized I didn’t have to answer every Mommy? because he would just keep talking. He just needed the two second beat — it could be silent, filled with my voice, or filled with raspberry jam.
Perhaps that’s why he’s moving out of the phase. I gritted my teeth and ignored the impulse to answer him.
I think if my kids could pee on me to mark their territory, they would. That’s what summer vacation is like. A constant dodging of metaphorical, territorial peeing.
“You had her all year!” Arlo says with his actions, not his words, “NOW SHE’S MINE.”
“Screw you, Bro,” Eli says, sometimes with his words AND his actions, “SHE LOVES ME THE MOST BECAUSE OF ALL THE MUFFINS SHE BOUGHT ME WHILE YOU WERE IN SCHOOL FOR THREE YEARS.”
So it goes. Siblings.
(Not every day. Some days — some moments within some days, even — are not like that.)
This morning, for example, they got up and were horrible to each other for the first hour and my heart sank because the days are sort of long when it’s hot and sunny and everyone is horrible. But then they went outside and raced some snails and that took, like, forty-five minutes, and by the end of it, they’d forgotten to be horrible.
Eli described Arlo as “his mean brother” at the park when they were playing a game with the park attendant girl, but that’s par for the course. During a discussion about the meaning of “trust” last night we determined that Arlo could trust Eli to save his life but not to lend him a nickel. I guess that’s pretty good for age 5 and 7. I hope so.