OK so I plan to start writing posts more frequently starting... now!
I'm not sure what happened last week. Last week must've slipped on the wet bathroom floor and hit its head in a classic seventh season amnesia storyline. One minute it was Tuesday and I was sitting down to write something breezy and (no doubt) hilarious and the next thing I know it's Monday again and I have written nothing. Not even a grocery list, which is why five people ate five different leftovers for lunch today and the only fresh produce we have is a dubious-looking orange that even Edward rejected and half a bunch of kale.
Once upon a time I would plan a week's worth of dinners and lunches; write the shopping list; buy all the groceries and that was what we ate for seven days. I did this before we had children and continued it for years after Patrick was born and - I think - at least through Caroline and Edward's babyhood. Last week I was rummaging in the freezer for something for dinner and I suddenly realized that I don't do that any more. I cannot think of the last time I planned food more than a day or two in advance and where I used to do one massive grocery trip (or order, back when I had groceries delivered) I now go every day or two and get what looks good at the moment. I find the new regime liberating so my guess is that my previous hyper-planning was less ace organizational skills in action and more loopy anxiety stuff. Like, maybe I was secretly worried that we would run out of food and be unable to simply go to the store and buy more? I'm not saying that everyone who plans their food shopping is responding to fears of alien invasion - just that I was.
Steve's college friend came for his visit and it was pleasant. He was nice to me and kind to the children and he and Steve were able to stay up late remembering the dear old school and that time the games' mistress caught Angela smoking in the bushes and what Lops Meller said to Fuzzy Ffurke-Burton to make her cry. He also brought us all I Heart NY shotglasses, which happened to be just what we needed so that was great too. Thursday night he and Steve went to the Walker as Mike is an enthusiast and was interested in seeing their collection. Steve doesn't know his elbow from a fire hydrant when it comes to art but he was more than willing to accomodate his guest; especially since Mike had been so cheerful that afternoon about going with Steve to take the twins swimming in the river. Quid pro modern art.
The Walker stays open late on Thursdays, which means it closes at nine. So when I woke up at two in the morning to discover that I was still alone in bed my first thought was that Steve and Mike had been killed in a car crash. Then I decided that that was just the anxiety talking, obviously they had been stabbed to death walking across Loring Park. Or maybe they had gone to a bar and Mike had mentioned to the guy sitting next to him that he had not bothered to watch the Superbowl since he is a Niners fan and he and Steve were then smothered to death in Packers paraphernalia (an ironic end for poor Steve who is a Packers fan, so much so that he has yet to delete the Superbowl from the DVR.)
You know, my best friend from childhood comes into town for business a few times a year and as often as possible we will meet for dinner in Minneapolis while she's here. We enjoy catching up on each other's lives and gossiping about old times and yet not once have I returned from these visits after eleven o'clock. I'm just saying.
So I lay in bed for thirty minutes planning Steve's memorial service and trying to figure out what I could possibly say to Mike's family and wondering whether the children and I would stay in the Cities or move and Steve finally rolled into the bedroom.
I hissed, "Two fucking o fucking clock in the morning is so fucking stupid. I've been worried sick."
He said, "We've actually been talking in the garage for an hour."
And I said, "That is even fucking stupider."
He said, "But less stupid than if we had sat in the living room talking right outside our bedroom, my sweet treasure."
And I opened my mouth to swear at him some more, processed what he said, recognized the fairness of it, ungraciously told him I was glad he wasn't dead and went back to sleep.
All of which is to say I am glad that Steve and Mike enjoyed the visit and I am REALLY glad that it did not wind up overlapping with Patrick's surgery because I am not entirely convinced I would have been able to cope with pretty much anything plus the return of Steve's salad days.
Edward is almost a caricature of himself. He is so very stereotypically male. And three. And male. The other day I tried to put him into one of Patrick's hand-me-down t-shirts; a fetching little number in magenta and electric blue that was one of Patrick's favorites back in the day. Edward took one horrified look and put his fat foot down.
"No," he said. "It yugly and it for GIRLS."
We have never in the history of our family ever ever ever said that anything is explicitly girl or boy or implied that there are girl toys or boy colors or anything remotely like that. Actually we couldn't even if we wanted to because Patrick is so broad in his tastes that it would be rude. So I have no idea where Edward gets his gender concepts. Innate I suppose.
Here he is with his new favorite things:
And his crewdriver
Oh and the other day Steve let him help steer the riding mower and I thought he was going to have an apoplexy. The joy! THE JOY!
Meanwhile here in Stereotype Land I let Caroline pick a few new things for herself at Target. Frankly I was expecting her to go for a pair of wee Converse sneakers much like my own but no.
She chose a hot pink ballet tunic, black faux patent ballet shoes and a pink sparkly headband.
How on earth did we wind up with a twirly-girly girl, a car-loving tool-packing Boy and Patrick? Patrick, who was once given 11 mismatched socks, hand-dyed by my dear friend Julie. When he outgrew them she made him a new set but now that they are almost worn out he wanted to try his hand at making his own. We got dye and dye related things (like organic Urea, which prompted me to go all West Side Story with "Ureaaaaaaa... we just bought ourselves some Ureeeeaaaaaaa") and Patrick and I had a terrific time dyeing the beejeezums out of a whole lot of socks. The last two he made multi-colored and they are the best but I don't have a picture of them yet. He's contemplating setting up some kind of online Mismatched Sock Shoppe but I don't know if the market is really there. Don't most people like their socks to match? You don't see Edward wearing two different colored socks that's for damned sure and Miss Thing likes pink socks, naturally.
Two quick questions:
1. I am thinking about replacing Patrick's backpack. It's Lands End and therefore indestructible but it is too small to hold books, lunch and snow stuff. For the past two years I have put his snow stuff (boots, snow pants, hat and gloves) into random oversized plastic bags (usually from Target) but they have the disadvantage of tearing constantly. Have any of you northernites solved the dilemma of how to send all of the crap they carry to school? Please advise.
2. Caroline and Edward shared a room during our trip. Technically we all shared a room during most of it but they had their air mattresses right next to each other and when we stayed in the house on Whidbey they chose not to have their own rooms. When we got back they asked to share a room here and they have continued to ask ever since. I have let them do it a few times (over Steve's strong objections) and it worked out fine in that they both eventually fell asleep and no one woke me up before eight the following morning. The first time they both slept in Edward's race car bed but that looked rather crowded to me so I moved an air mattress onto his floor and she has slept there a couple of times since.
She is now asking to have her proper bed moved into his room. This would involve hauling a lot of furniture around (which I quite like but Steve as the one doing the actual heavy work tends to despise) but I don't see a problem with it. Steve says he thinks it will be developing bad sleep habits (says he who falls asleep whenever his head tips below 45 degrees from any surface) and that it will make things hard when they need to be moved back to separate rooms again. Another point is that Caroline has shown herself to be quite flighty in where she likes to sleep (remember the floor? and the closet? and the bathtub? oh yeah AND THE ROOF?) so it is possible she'll change her mind again.
Thoughts on sharing a room? Personally I think we're fortunate to have enough space that this is even a question (my brother and I shared a room until I was 8 because it was a small house) but I thought I would ask in case I (or Steve) am/is missing something. Does it matter that they're boy/girl? Should it?