A couple of years ago, my editor wanted me to add a parting thought to a story I had written, something to sum up the stories I’d told, of people who were trying to discern family size. Something, she said, to illustrate the noise and chaos I was always talking about in my emails to her. And I got to thinking maybe I am just a whiny brat about the whole thing, and everybody’s life is like this with kids. Right?
Not long after that we found our family motto…one I don’t say often enough anymore (to myself!): “EVERYBODY JUST CALM DOWN!”
More recently, one of Alex’s friends came over to play, and in the glazed eyed look on his face, I saw the truth. “E,” I said, “is your house this noisy all the time?”
He widened his eyes and shook his head wordlessly.
Two days later, Christian came upstairs from teaching a lesson to a new student. “WHAT was going on up here?” he said, a question I think I answered with a blank look of confusion. (It all goes kind of hazy after a while, you know.) “I thought the ceiling was going to come down. My student looked up and asked, ‘Is it always this loud?’”
On the 4th of July, we attended an ice cream social in conjunction with the Grand Hotel’s yearly carnival on the lawn. Michael, deprived of the chance to eat Nicholas’s ice cream, took advantage of Mommy and Daddy running off after water cups (the lawn is completely airless and it was around a hundred degrees down there) to go in pursuit of Second Best: good old-fashioned dirt from the Grand Hotel’s newly-planted flowerbeds. When I returned, I couldn’t decide whether to grab the camera or the baby wipes. (After all, I’d sort of like to have proof!) Ah well. At least he was wearing mostly black.
In the last two weeks, Michael 1) began to eat everything he can get his hands on, and I do mean EVERYTHING; 2) crawling, which makes #1 even more dangerous; and 3) poked his first tooth through. I can’t tell whether it’s crazed mommy brain or reality, but I sure don’t remember any of my other children careening headlong through milestones this quickly. It took all of three weeks for Michael to progress from being barely able to sit unsupported to being a full-blooded crawler, capable of traversing the entire length of the hallway in the time it takes me to wash my hands after a diaper change. (Insert creepy music:) NOTHING IS SAFE.
Ah, well. Amid the noise and chaos, I managed to get a Fiction Friday post ready this week. Enjoy!