Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tricking Yourself

Most days, I wake up with, amongst other things, a renewed sense of purpose and a desire to pursue with energy and specificity the things I am passionate about outside of my children. And every day, after they go to bed, I do the dishes and maybe read a little, very occasionally shave my legs (need to increase the frequency of this practice), and almost never write. But I keep tricking myself that I will. There's something about this process that seems absurd, like, give it up already! Just stop thinking about that entirely until the next face of life that will provide more personal time! (Wishful thinking.) But there is something about this cycle of hope and disappointment, reordering and releasing, reevaluating and doubt that is so key to the human process. I need to hang on, to pursue this view of myself, even at the risk of appearing ridiculous, because the struggle, though it may not produce much to share, seems necessary somehow.

I saw a play last night at Intiman called The Thin Place- totally worth checking out if you're in town. It's a one-man piece and one character the actor portrays relates his story of being confined in a dark 3ft x 6ft cell for 18 months in communist southeast Asia. Manny was climbing all over my neck today trying to choreograph his first circus act as we were looking at pictures of acrobats and I felt like I was going to lash out from the feeling of being confined and trapped by that. I can't imagine. And yet, in the midst of my incredible creature comforts, I feel like I am going to go at least a lot bit insane every day at naptime and bedtime.

I gave up on the girls' diapers and the onesies and the tape that the girls kept ripping off their bodies and using to self inflict welts. They now wear pull-ups exclusively and if they poop on the floor, they poop on the floor. And they do poop on the floor. But we're learning and I have this feeling that this phase we've entered, this place in between toddler and little girl is going to be long and awkward. It's just started so much sooner than I expected.

We also ditched the cribs before someone dove onto the concrete floor. Now, every night, Elena turns into a vampire after we close the door and we have to go in two, three, four times and work through Glory's frantic screams after Elena bites her.

I realize I am too tired and not good humored enough at the moment to continue/edit/make any sense of this post, so here's the update on Super Ass Man instead.

He was around in force last week, but seems to have gone on vacation. Perhaps Manny is now too busy being a circus animal trainer to attend to his Super Ass Man duties, which include, but are not limited to, filling the crap flour sifter I bought from Target full of dead leaves. Super Ass Man wears tiny bibs with the bib on the back, the smallest cape known to man, as Rona pointed out. Super Ass Man also covers his ass with a turquoise tutu my mom made for the girls for Christmas. He keeps trying to recruit Elena as his sidekick, but she's not going for it. When he brought her the hot pink tutu for her costume and she refused, I suggested he try finding a different costume piece. He came back into the room wearing my filthy blue oven mitts on his feet. Super Ass Man has Power Boots, apparently.

In a completely unrelated story, last night I made these crusty white beans and kale and waffles for dessert, per Manny's request. He didn't want the beans and was real rude about it. I gave him the choice- at least try the dinner or just retire for the evening and then left him alone to think about it. He ate his whole plate of dinner, plus a huge amount of waffle and licked every bit of syrup off his plate.

When we got him into the bathtub, Sam took a moment to tell Manny how proud he was. How he knew that was a tough moment, but Manny had made some really positive choices and that he was becoming such a big boy. Manny's face lit up. He was really soaking up his dad's praise. And that's when Elena took the funnel, which doubles as a king's crown for the kingdom of Manny's room, and slapped it over Manny's penis and scrotum. End of sacred father/son moment.

The biggest laugh of late was on Saturday afternoon. Manny and Elena were sitting in the stroller and Glory was in the backpack on Sam's back. We were walking to meet the Loves at the playground and making a stop at the library on the way. Sam pulled out his phone to text the Loves and told me about how much crap his co-workers give him about his basic, old, unsexy, inefficient phone. I was feeling surly, so I whispered, "that's when you text 'eat shit' to them". This is not a phrase I normally employ. Sam said, "Um, that was totally clear, what you just said." I said, "No, it wasn't! You would have no idea what I said unless you knew exactly what I was talking about."

Right on cue, Glory threw both her arms in the air and exclaimed, "EAT SHIT!"

Sam and I laughed our heads off, but Glory never said it again. She shows restraint. She doesn't milk things. Just paints with bold strokes and enjoys the reaction, knowing it could never be as good the second time around. I really appreciate that about her, especially since that would have been quite embarrassing at the crowded playground.


Marilyn Gray said...

I just had the joy of catching up on your blog. You are doing the most difficult job we are asked to do on this earth, and doing it well. And then, you manage to make it all sound so hilarious! You should think about turning this blog into a would sell millions!!! Love you, Marilyn

Sarah Boyle Webber said...

So sorry the tape didn't help. Sigh. They will grow out of this stage, or that's what I keep telling myself. Hang in there, Angie. When they are all reliable on the toilet, give yourself a medal. You're earning it.

Alissa Maxwell said...

I'm glad you are keeping the hope of your personal joys alive, Angie. Otherwise, you never would have ventured out to the theater, right? So staying hopeful is paying off in small ways. And it does sound like you may have a chance at early potty training for the girls. They say girls are easier/earlier than boys, but I have no idea as I have already changed 3 poopy diapers on a nearly 3 year old this morning...

Carmen said...

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Freaking hilarious.

Carmen said...

Well, you know, the "Eat Shit" part. And the vampire and bathtub bit. The other stuff is hard. Good and rich and horrible -- I want to laugh out loud at the stupid word I just thought of: gritty. Gritty is overused. But you get my sentiment. Love you.