What better spot for them than a montage?
* * *
On an early morning ride to drop Tristan off at daycare, my mind wanders. I am deeply lost in thought, so deep that, frankly, I don't even know what part of my brain I was strolling through.
I tuned out the usual backseat chatter of the kids bickering, "STOP THAT!" and "MINE!" and "NOOOOO, MIIIIINE!", etc etc.
After a couple of minutes I tuned back in to listen and realized with a start that Tristan was alone in the backseat and the entire argument he'd been having was with himself. Or maybe an imaginary play friend. Imagination-induced schizophrenia.
A series of phone calls in which I discover I am better informed than usual (which is rare in my life since I'm almost always the last to know anything):
Phone call #1:
Bob: Listen, I have to tell you something that isn't really ready to be announced, but you need to know.
Bob: [blah blah blah] they're doing a study of our town [blah blah blah] I was hoping you could help...
Me: Steve already called and asked me to be on the steering committee.
Bob: [sighs heavily] I was supposed to be the one getting everyone. I wish he'd told me he'd done all this already!
Phone call #2:
Darren: Hey, I need to show that house of yours [blah blah blah] around 6 or 7. I have a golf tournament, though. The guy showed up unexpectedly. I'll call you later with a more specific time.
Me: Sounds great, I'll let the owners know.
Phone rings about two minutes later...
Linda: I need to show that house of yours [blah blah blah]. Darren has a golf tournament so I'm going to show it for him. The guy showed up without calling again. Can we show it at 6?
Me: Um, yeah.
The metamorphosis of various things as related by my 6-year old.
"Mom, did you know that crawdads turn into lobsters when they get big?"
"Mom, this juice is half orange and half grapefruit juice. That makes pomegranate juice."
My signature dessert around our house is strawberry shortcake. It's a family favorite and awesome for someone like me who has very little cooking talent. We had some leftover poundcake and a new batch of strawberries and after I got everything ready I realized we had no whipped cream.
I came up with this brilliant idea that I'd make some HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM which is basically, you know, cream that's whipped. Clever, I know. Just 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Whenever Rob and I are in the kitchen it's like this dueling dance of power. He's the cook and I'm just basically a hack that fakes her way through a meal. However, our approach to cooking frequently reveals our approach to life and our levels of optimism about the world around us.
For example, he's a recipe studier, analyzer, follower. I'm a recipe skimmer, jumper-inner, winger. His attention span is long when it comes to cooking. He's fast and adept and flings food around while he's stirring. I am slow and agonizing, taking twice as long to do everything, frequently do it the hard way and always keep everything inside the pan. He washes as he goes. I do not. I assume it's all going to work out fine, he's certain it won't work out at all.
So, when I got out the whisk to start whipping the cream, I hear from behind me, "Oh no. No, no, no." He got out the electric mixer. I will admit that is a far better choice but for some reason the thought of getting the mixer out and finding the right little metal whirligigs seemed way more trouble than standing there three times as long with a hand whisk. I'm just screwed up that way.
During dinner, Tristan was his usual spastic self. It's hard to keep him in the chair for the duration. At one point he ran through the kitchen and into the living room where he started spinning in circles until he fell down. I was certain vomit would shortly follow.
Julius sighed, "Little kids are sure a lot of trouble sometimes."
I nodded and said, "Yeah, but sometimes they are pretty cool, too."
He nodded. I continued, "Do you think you'll have kids someday?"
He shook his head violently. "NO WAY!"
"Well, what if your wife wants kids?"
He gave this quandary some serious consideration and after quite a pause said, "Well, I would let her, but I AM NOT CHANGING ANY STINKY DIAPERS!"
The homemade whipped cream was completely fabulous and I highly recommend it over storebought. The children went berzerk, licking metal whirligigs, then devouring plates of cake and strawberries and whipped cream.
After a moment of sitting in front of his empty dessert bowl Julius says, "Mom, I didn't like that. Can I have some jello?"
I said, "Are you kidding me?"
He said, "Well, it's sugar free."
I said, "No, definitely not. You'll explode."
I had to call my mother, of course, and brag on how fabulous the whipped cream was. (I know, good grief, it's just whipped cream but it was a first for me!) I tell her how awesome it was, how great a job Rob did on it.
He yells from the laundry area, "ARE YOU TELLING HER I DID THAT? STOP GIVING ME CREDIT! YOU DID IT!"
While mom was still on the phone, I rudely yell back, "YOU DID IT. ALL I DID WAS GET THE RECIPE."
He yells back, "THE RECIPE IS WHY IT WAS SO GOOD!"
My mom was irritated. "What is he yelling about?"
"Oh, he's trying to give me credit for it, but I didn't do anything. He's the one who did it. He gets the credit."
She says, "So you're arguing over giving each other the credit?"
I can hear her rolling her eyes. "You're such a nice married couple."
Over dishes (me washing, him doing everything else) Rob opens the fridge door. Something flies out and he growls, "Argh, would you eat some of this food already?"
I said, "Stop complaining. There are people starving in China." Then I realize that didn't sound right. "Or Africa. Or wherever people are starving right now."
My level of human compassion and global awareness is truly stunning.
I think with some effort and a little more time, this could be us in a few years...
What tidbits from your life can you share with me today?