Saturday, February 4, 2012

Death

To continue my thoughts from the last post, I think some of the reason I feel like I live in groundhog day is simply that all my days are running into one another. We get up, get Sylvia off to school, I spend the morning with Paul and working, then I pick Sylvia up, do something with her for the afternoon, have dinner, put kids to bed, watch TV, and go to bed. The only thing that changes from day to day is what's on after dinner.

In an effort to combat this mind-numbing sequence, I'm trying to be better about blogging. We'll see how long it lasts. I hope longer than the "I'm going to keep my house cleaner" goal did.

Today's easy: today was a shower for a friend from church (who I'll refer to as S since I don't know how she feels about being talked about on-line). I made a bunch of wash cloths/flannel wipes for her and used them as decoration on a diaper cake. The diaper cake was made of disposables (some that Paul's grown too big for already--he's getting big fast), though I'd hoped to make it from cloth diapers I ordered for her. Sadly, the cloth diapers won't arrive until Monday, though I'm sure the disposables will still come in handy. Much as I love my cloth diapers, disposables have a definite place--especially overnight.

The shower was lovely. Another friend (who I'll call A for similar reasons as above) made most of the food, especially the sweets. A is quite the accomplished cook, specializing in cheesecakes. I don't get to many chances to cook cheesecakes and most of my attempts have been interesting more than yummy, so yesterday Sylvia, Paul, and I went to her house to hang out while S and A made the treats. I spent most of the time quietly watching them work and watching kids play. I don't think I really picked up much, but it was nice to be in their company. The two of them speak French and spent most of the afternoon speaking in French, which certainly didn't bother me, but did leave me unable to contribute to the conversation. I just listened, trying to pick up on what was going on, which honestly was pretty entertaining. I'm weird, though.

By the end of the afternoon, I think A had decided I just needed to learn French, though, because she's been speaking French to me ever since.

Anyway, this morning I made three spanakopita rolls for the shower and showed up early to take pictures of the set up and do anything I could to help. In the process of getting ready for the shower, I pretty much had to ignore my children. Derrick did okay, but my kids were decidedly unhappy. I know my kids love me and all, but honestly it's getting old being THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE to them. Paul was fine with Derrick--as long as he couldn't see me. Sylvia wanted to be involved in whatever I was doing, especially if it involved scissors or knives. By the time I left for the shower I had so ignored my daughter she couldn't stand that I was leaving and wept hot, disconsolate tears as I left. She was ecstatic to see me get home (conveniently right about nap time) and spent the rest of the afternoon finding new and creative ways to involve herself in whatever I was doing. Or keep me from sleep. Mostly keep me from sleep.

Eventually Derrick and I tired of attempting to rest, so we went on a bike/scuut ride. Paul seemed to enjoy his first outing in the bike. He spent most of it slobbering all over the seat belt. Sylvia's still learning to rules of the road, so there was much yelling in her direction. I guess kids' processing time is very different from adults, which complicates teaching. For instance, at one point on our bike ride we came across a snake in the middle of the road. It was pretty obviously young from its small width and pretty obviously at least injured from the way it was sitting. I went around and told Sylvia to stop and go around the snake. When that didn't change her trajectory appreciably, I started yelling. She, I guess processing my screams of "stop! stop!" rather more slowly than I would expect, rolled right over the thing with her front wheel, and then stopped, straddling it with both her feet and her bike. I watched in horror as the snake started writhing on the ground, hoping it wouldn't bite her, hoping it wasn't poisonous. Fortunately for us, it was dead, just fresh enough that Sylvia running over it caused some final spasms. But oh, the sobbing of earlier in the day paled in comparison to the despondent wailing over the dead snake. Sylvia kept insisting the snake was okay, that it would stop being dead and be alive again, that the blood on the snake was really jelly. In the face of such intense sorrow I understood why people talk about resurrection and life after death. I didn't (at least as much because I'm just not sure where snakes fit in the grand scheme of things) but did try to explain that the snake would go on to feed and sustain the life of something else. If you can imagine, that didn't actually go over all that well either.

Paul's day was far less traumatic. After playing around on the lovely hardwood floors in the home where S's shower was held he figured out how to army crawl. He practiced his new-found skill happily much of the afternoon.

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