Thursdays are tough for me. I’m not quite to my breaking point on Wednesdays and Fridays have the promise of my day off to soften the blow of the end-of-the-week madness but Thursdays are tough. I cleaned today, not just straightened but cleaned, which includes all the laundry in the house as well, and any time I try and do that with the kids underfoot, chaos ensues. It’s quite frustrating, actually, as they pull crap out as fast as I can put it up and it ends up feeling like you’re having one of those nightmares where you’re trying to make a phone call but you just can’t get your fingers in the right number holes on the dial (dating myself, there). For part of the morning they played outside, which was nice, as I can keep close watch on them no matter which room I’m working in, but by lunchtime we were getting pretty testy with each other. It didn’t help that Jack barely slept an hour at nap and Emme didn’t fall asleep for nap until almost 4 (she went down at 1:30, and there were many false claims of necessary potty use in between). My friends Kristie and Bailey came over around 4:15, so that was a lovely respite from yelling at the kids and having them yell back at me.
Good gracious, but the weather has been kind to us lately. It was in the mid-to high-70s today, with sunny, blue skies, and was the same yesterday. Justin needed some warmer workout gear now that the days are getting cooler (he’s doing long bike rides after the kids are in bed) and I used that as an excuse to do a little thrift store shopping on Wednesday. When we were pulling out of the driveway, my friend Barb called and said she was at a great yard sale and that I should stop by, so we put that as number one on our agenda. I think this is the first time I actually took the kids in to a yard sale — normally, they stay in the car (as long as I can pull into the driveway) with the air conditioner running and the DVD playing. For this yard sale, I had to park too far away from the house to make me comfortable leaving them, so in they came. Just my luck, this sale was lousy with toys and stuffed animals. They thought they were in heaven. “Wow, wow, wow,” Emme kept saying. I let them pick a few things. Jack picked a pair of pink mules with feathers and rhinestones on them and this princess cat.
And now, a word about Jack. God love him. I have the distinct impression that Jack is going to be someone who sort of goes against the flow of convention. He will be our outlier. His behavior and his choices are often unexpected. He wants to be Minnie Mouse for Halloween. He gets fixated and obsessed with a particular kind of book. He fluctuates quickly between a child who will give you a mean head butt and one who is trying to kiss you to make up for the pain he just inflicted. These things that might be deemed simply quirky were he an only child become a little more odd against the stark relief of his sister, who, while not exactly conventional and certainly not predictable, at least follows a sort of pattern that is more easily understood. I get the distinct impression that she will not go with the flow — she will, instead, SET the flow that others will follow. See, this has been a problem since they were born, and, now that I’m thinking about it, may be the chief downfall of parents of twins: the impulse to compare the two and find one more “normal” or more “on track” and wonder if the other is okay. We’ve done it all along with the two of them and their developmental milestones — Emme crawled sooner, walked faster, and talked more clearly early on. Even now, Emme’s verbal skills continue to outpace his to the extent that we sometimes ask her to interpret his words for us.
This slow verbal development used to drive me to distraction, but I’ve gotten a bit more chill about it these days; I’m pretty sure he’s going to need some speech therapy, but I figure we’ll cross that bridge when he hits three years old. After all, by the time we had moved through all the red tape of getting him in the Early Intervention program two years ago, he had achieved the milestones he had been found wanting on three months before. He could easily do the same with his verbal skills. And as far as the other quirks to his personality: I’m going to be honest and admit to you that I always wanted a weird child, because I was a weird child. I was never conventional, and I was okay with it. I never cared if people made fun of me, or, maybe, I didn’t notice. I always felt comfortable in my own skin and if someone didn’t like that, they could just move on. I don’t know what made me this way, or protected me from being insecure or bullied, but I wish I did, because then I would be closer to making sure Jack is like that as well. The idea that someone will make fun of him or make him feel less than who he is makes me crazy. I look ahead at all the years we will have to live through their successes and disappointments, their first loves, their first heartaches, their betrayals by “best” friends, all of the rejections and sadness that ordinary, day-to-day life hands all of us…and I want to crawl into a hole and never come out. Can’t they both have charmed lives where nothing ever goes wrong? Please?
By the way, the cat is battery-operated, and purrs in a disturbing manner, and sometimes says “press my paw and I will tell you a secret” and that secret is sometimes “kiss me on the nose” and every. single. time. my sweet boy leans down and gives the kitty a careful kiss on her nose.
Okay, I owe nine things to be grateful for because I forgot on Tuesday and didn’t write on Wednesday.
1. I am grateful for my friends Kristie and Bailey and their visit this afternoon. This gig gets lonely, people. An hour and a half visit on a Thursday can be the difference between hiding in a closet and…not hiding in a closet. (BTW, I took Jack out to the driveway to say goodbye to them and he was petting their car, saying over and over again, “Niiiiiiiiice car! Niiiiiice car!” like a smarmy used car salesman!)
2. I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do and went for a walk down Country Club hill — a half mile? three-quarter mile? I dunno — which, I swear, is on about a 70 degree incline. BURNING BUNS AND THIGHS. If I could do that every other day, I swear, I would have the infamous BUNS OF STEEL.
3. The weather has been so, so pretty and we haven’t had to run the heater or the air conditioner all week. The windows have been open and the house smells delicious.
4. The nice upholsterer who was recommended to me gave us a really reasonable quote on having the couch and two chair re-covered and it’s ALMOST possible that we might be able to get that done! Slowly. Over time. But still, it wasn’t out of the question.
5. My nail gun came today! Now, can someone come over to my house and teach me to use it? IT SCARES ME.
6. Emme has taken to thanking me for cleaning up the house. “Mommy, thank you for cleaning up the bathroom!” she said today when she went down for her nap. How sweet is that?
7. My sister-in-law Michelle brought her kids by yesterday afternoon and we got to catch up a little. The twins absolutely adore those kids.
8. Candles are one of those things that I used to buy routinely when we were a two-salary family but only sparingly nowadays. I went and splurged on three of them over the weekend, using a gift card, and thought I didn’t like them but after burning a few days, have decided I love them. Thank you, candle, for not wasting nearly thirteen of my hard-earned dollars!
9. My friend Barb went by my booth today and said that it looked like some signs have sold and like I have some empty space in half of the booth…which means I must have made some money over the week! So yay for that!