Monday, May 14, 2007

Thing One, Tell me a Story

"Umm, the screw is gone. We went to the hardware store and put the screw in the drawer and bought a new screw and mama yelled at the man."

No, I didn't.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

She is a Thing Two of Beauty

Lest anyone think that, as I mine the comic landscape of my two and a half year-old's life, I have forgotten about my second child, I will take a moment to pay tribute to the lovely Thing Two.

Thing Two does not laugh. She shrieks with delight. Or sometimes if I am really on my game, she will give me a polite huh huh. She has tackled her job as the youngest child with gusto, and her first task - egging on inappropriate big-brother behavior - has been perfected. I was finally making headway in convincing the big orangutan that, while we don't scream in the house, he can scream outside all he wants to. The neighbors love it. But one scream from him at the lunch table has the little orangutan in stitches. My guilt-driven insecurity about whether or not Thing One would ever look her in the face led me to do what I did next. "Scream again, Thing One."

Also, a yogurt cup doing a half-nelson off the dining room table is always good for a laugh. As is the dog rolling in yogurt on the dining room floor. Thing One has found an audience, and his life now has new meaning.

Thing Two is a thing of beauty. For one thing, she has a fat rash. Her thighs are as big as mine. Okay, so they are as big as mine were when I was 24, but still. Her wrists and ankles look as if someone has held her captive using orthodontic rubberbands.

She has no hair that the human eye can see. When I proudly ask friends and family, "Isn't her hair growing in nicely?" they politely say, "No."

Many a stranger has been shocked by the "riveting" blue eyes on the girl. I tell them the eyes are just catching the light off her head.

She is oddly irrational when faced with varying life events. For instance, she does not like having ice cold plastic swimming pool water dumped over her head by Thing One. She does not seem to mind, however, when Thing One prys open her mouth and checks her for teeth horse-auction style.

On a positive note, I can say that Thing Two has mellowed out a little in her old age. Lying in my hospital bed on the night of her birth, I heard a scream that made my skin rise and I knew that Pete was right--I hadn't been good to him and so the spawn had turned out like me. At eight months now, Thing Two is content to munch her way through life like little Miss Pac Man. Plus I think she is casing the place. I can see her eyeballs wiggling back and forth, memorizing every detail so that when she begins to walk she doesn't have to waste time sorting through harmless material and can get right to the good stuff. Like maybe the swimming pool water...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Use Your Words

Dear Thing One,

Please stop calling me Big Mama, okay?

Thank you,


Monday, May 7, 2007

International Relations

It's not that I am overly in touch with my feelings. It's just that I am married to a first-generation American Swede who is genetically prewired to believe that the world is a double decker crap sandwich and if he can just get a good big bite in every day, he is living the good life.