Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Local News

1. Our house feels a bit smaller each day, causing us to take to the streets pining for various houses in our neighborhood that we wish would go up for sale. This is the only neighborhood in this town that we really want to live in because of its big trees and walking access to the essentials; library, grocery, beer, and ice cream. (And the gym for when I used to actually go.) Some ferocious straight line winds that ripped through our neighborhood on Sunday night makes me wonder if I could now get a discount on this house, one block north of here, that I've been hoping would go up for sale.

As the kids and I were walking the neighborhood to survey the damage on Monday morning, the buzzing of chainsaws and flurry of activity reminded me of a more severe storm that produced a tornado several years ago when we still lived on the south side. The tornado missed our house by a narrow margin, but some of the other locals did not fair as well. We went to help some of them dig out from the debris, and Brad, in from the UK for a wedding and a stay at Casa de la Rocks, joined us. Everyone certainly did their fair share of heavy lifting that day, and Brad made sure he maintained his energy level by visiting other work sites in the neighborhood to see who had the best food offerings. I will never forget him trotting back up the drive of the house at which we were working with a donut, Coke, and boxed lunch. I must've given him a questioning look because his quick response was "What? They were just giving them away!" as if it would've been rude not to accept. That Brad -- he's mannerly.

2. I wasn't going to do this, but he's driven me to it. I took the kids across the state with me yesterday to visit my grandpa in the hospital, to a viewing for a distant relative, and to visit my other grandparents who were anxious to see the baby. When I returned home from this whirlwind tour and asked if he had enjoyed having the whole house to himself all evening (when I could've easily left both children with him), his only response was to remind me of how I had spent the previous evening nagging him. It's true, I did nag him. I nagged him to stop taking items out of my kitchen. Items like my 1/3 dry measuring cup (to work for making oatmeal), pot holders (to the garage), and my small kitchen FIRE EXTINGUISHER. That's right, more concerned about fires involving just him in the garage, he took my fire extinguisher, without telling me, from my kitchen, where I cook...with children present. (I only noticed it was gone when I went to check on its location before putting cauliflower under the broiler -- a broiler with which I've not always got along.) Then said I should quit nagging him about it. Sigh! I think he was nicer when he had all of that hair.

3. If 40 is the new 30 then I guess that 3 years of age can be the new "Terrible Two's" right? I know some will quickly jump to her defense that having a new sibling can be pretty life altering, but that would not explain why our daughter has been acting as one periodically possessed by a demon for a couple of month now (when her brother is not even 4 weeks old yet). How a girl who frequently walks around the house saying, "Dad, I like your shirt." or "Mom, thank you so much for brushing my hair so gently" can, in a matter of minutes, set about the house on a tirade of screams and demands is beyond me. Our pediatrician is fond of saying "However you interact with your child now is how you'll still be interacting with them when they're teenagers." This makes me wonder if I shouldn't just go ahead and preemptively ground her from everything for all of 2020, to save me the hassle of doing it when she's 16.

4. In spite of she and her father's efforts to make me crazy long before my 30th birthday, these past 2 weeks have brought me an unexpected measure of joy. In spite of the years that both Ella and her father have taken off my life just from the sheer insanity of dealing with the 2 of them each day, I can say that they have both taught me a lot about taking life a bit slower and enjoying it as it comes. Conrad is getting a better mother because of their efforts. (Which he should cherish because he's a lot less likely to get a decent baby book or nearly as many photos taken of him.) I already feel myself enjoying his infancy so much more than I allowed myself to enjoy his sister's, and instead of wondering what the next day will hold, I'm finding it a whole lot easier to just enjoy the day at hand.

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