Tuesday, January 27, 2009

yet another reason i love my husband

The phone just rang.

Me: Hello?
Archie: Oh, this wasn't the number I wanted to call.
Me: I love you too, sweetheart.
Archie: I love you. Now I have to see if I can get that 900 number I was trying to reach...
Me: Say hi to Tiffany for me.
Archie: Will do.
Me: [giggling] I love you.
Archie: [laughing] I love you, too. See you in a few hours.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

confusing the children

Archie just asked Elizabeth what she's studying in school.

"The metric system, Daddy."

"That's good. Make sure you pay attention and learn it well because the U.S. is converting to metric in 1977."

Bebe looked confused and I just laughed and laughed.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

an epiphany of love

I had a real and lasting epiphany when the twins were about a week old. I know it was an epiphany because I still remember it, almost ten years later. I remember it vividly. The one thing you need to know before I relate the story is that my mom and I had a little tradition where she would say, "I love you." I'd answer, "I love you more." And she'd say, "I love you the most!" But, really, I always knew we loved each other the same, because how could she really love me more? We loved each other and it was a funny thing we'd say to each other.

So, the twins were a week old. I was beyond exhausted. The best way I can describe my level of tiredness was I would wake up and be kind of surprised that I wasn't dead. Because I was so tired I should have been dead. I read an article where a woman said she felt like she'd been boxing and been knocked out and she just felt pummeled -- physically and emotionally. That description works, too.

Anyway, it was some ungodly hour and I'd just gotten a screaming baby out of the crib and changed her diaper and then I broke down. I was standing over this little new person sobbing. That ugly sobbing, where you hiccup and the tears and snot are flowing. My mom was staying with us to help out and she came into the living room and she didn't say a word, she just hugged me. And I kept crying and trying, while sucking in air between wails, to explain how tired I was, how ill-equipped I was to take care of these little people, how stupid and inadequate I felt, how fucking, fucking tired and worn out I was. How this was all complicated because I was absolutely, totally in love with these little girls. What came out was, "Waaaaah, I can't do this! How do I do this? I'm tired, Mommy. Waaaaaaah!"

My mom just held me and shushed at me and patted my back. I'm not sure how long it took, but I started to calm down. I took those big, shuddering breaths you take as you wind down from a huge crying jag. I snorfled. My mom said, "It will get better. It will. It will get better."

I said, "Thanks, Mommy." And she said, "I love you."

Of course, I said, "I love you more," and she said, "I love you the most."

And that was when it hit. That was when I knew, in a flash. I started blubbering as I cried out, "I know! I know you love me the most! Just like I love my girls the most!"

What I understood was not that my mom loves me more, but that she loves me in a completely different way than I love her. That I love my kids in a way that they will never really understand until they have their own kids. It's not a question of quantitative difference, but a qualitative difference. It's just a different type of love.

Monday, January 05, 2009

at the grocery store

Cha likes to ride on the shelf underneath the grocery cart. Whatevs, as long as I'm not buying a huge package of toilet paper or several 12-packs of pop, I let her. Today, as I was staring at cheese in the deli aisle, she rattled the bars on the cart and cried, "No! Get me out of juvie!"

I just laughed and the woman standing a few feet away gave me the stinkeye. I guess because a six year old shouldn't know about juvie. But if you ask Charlotte, she'll tell you, "Juvie is kid jail."

I'm just broadening her vocabulary.

Friday, January 02, 2009

thank you, jake johannsen

We were watching TV and there was a reference to Liberace. It reminded me of a bit that Jake Johanssen used to do about why he loved Liberace. I paraphrase:

Liberace was the Commandant of Flamboyancy. He was so fantastic because he was all that he could be. No one will ever come along and say, "That guy is like Liberace, only more so!" He was complete in his Liberace-itude.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

packing away the holidays

We took all the decorations off the tree. We put the stockings and the wreaths and the jingle bells away. We wound the lights up on their cardboard cards so they'll be tidy and ready for next Christmas. We also tucked the new Nativity set I found into the ornament box for its debut next season.

Archie took the tree outside and hacked it up. Meanwhile, I swept up the needles. And swept. And swept. And swept some more. And then vacuumed.

That damn tree made some really ugly water marks on the floor, too.