I was working along, yesterday, quite happily. Mondays are always excellent work days—I’ve had just enough family togetherness to make those hours after everyone’s left the house feel serene and calm and full of possibility. I’m incredibly productive on Mondays. (It falls off during the week. By Friday? I’m useless.)
It has become my habit to do several hours of work in the morning before showering. If I’m going to be completely honest, I guess the truth is that I often work until lunchtime, then take a break to eat and shower and, you know, get dressed. Until then, I’m just here on my own, so what difference does it make?
Well, it makes a difference when I forget that the Bug Guy is coming.
My first instinct upon hearing him ring the bell was to pretend I wasn’t home. But the days are getting warmer (yes, already—gotta love winter in Georgia) and my fear of bugs is great. So I attempted to smooth down my hair and opened the door, pulling my bathrobe tightly around me.
“Hi, I forgot you were coming! Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, I work from home, and I’ve just been working all morning, um, let’s just pretend I’m actually dressed and not in my pajamas. Okay? Okay!”
Fortunately the Bug Guy has a sense of humor. “No worries,” he said, “I’ve seen much worse. You’d be surprised. Some ladies come to the door in their slinky little nighties! I dunno what they think I’m there for, I’m just spraying for bugs, you know.”
While that DID make me feel a tad better about my pajamas and ratty robe, it was a little more information than I needed.
Monkey came home from school yesterday and reported that his teacher was very pleased with his haircut. This surprised me, because it aided the hair-in-the-eyes situation not one bit, and she’s always telling me to get the hair out of his eyes. But whatever. I think the haircut happened to coincide with the front getting long enough to stay behind his ears, is all. And some of you asked for a picture, and then I sort of wished I’d taken a “before” picture for comparison purposes, you know.
This is the best I can do: Go take a look at Kira’s Max, who is Monkey’s long-lost twin. Monkey’s hair looked like that. Now Monkey’s hair looks like this. I looked at that picture and thought it seemed really familiar, and then I figured out why. (Don’t tell anyone, but I think they’re related.)
Chickadee came home from school yesterday complaining that I had not packed her enough edamame in her lunch, because she “had to” share it with her two best buddies because they both love it as well. “I hardly got any!” she complained, somewhat put-upon but clearly pleased that she’d been such a star at the lunch table. My instinct was to tell her to save more of it for herself, and that I’m not packing lunch for her whole class, here… but in a moment of clarity I instead opted to rush over to her, feel her head and belly with exaggerated concern, and ask if she was okay, or if maybe she was starving to death. As she giggled over my ministrations I promised to pack more, next time.
One of the things I like about the kids’ piano teacher is that he stresses that parents cannot force their kids to practice. “It’s their job to WANT to practice,” he tells me, which comes in very handy when they haven’t practiced all week and I hear him asking, “Did you practice this at all?” and I get to holler from the next room, “Apparently they didn’t want to practice this week, and I’m being a GOOD MOTHER by not forcing them!” He’s right, of course; I can’t force them, and why would I want to when instead I can embarrass them like that, instead?
We’ve more or less settled into a workable routine, where I often “encourage” them to practice, and then it’s up to them how much time they really put into it. I like it because I feel like I’m doing my part, but it really is up to them.
Monkey is very diligent, spending a reasonable amount of time on his practicing and advancing slowly but surely. The interesting thing with him, though, is that he talks NON-STOP during his lessons, so if you didn’t know how to get him back on task (fortunately, the teacher does) you would think he couldn’t play a thing.
Chickadee has lately learned the joy of cutting corners. I suggest she go practice for a while and she says “Okay, Mama!” and runs off. Two minutes later she’ll reappear. When questioned, she’ll insist she practiced everything. Any further probing leads to an argument (“I DID GO THROUGH EVERYTHING! SHEESH!”) so I’ve been letting it go. The kicker is that the teacher has commented several times that she has remarkable aptitude, but the small problem of being somewhat L-A-Z-Y is holding her back.
“C’mon, now, this sounds like you’ve barely practiced it,” the teacher commented the other day.
“Now would be a good time to explain to my child why practicing for 2 minutes a day isn’t sufficient,” I called out. “Because she’s not hearing it from me.”
He obliged with a quick pep-talk, then flipped to another piece in her book. “Okay, how about this one?” he asked. “Did you practice this one for just two minutes, too?”
“No,” she replied, dead earnest. “I only spent thirty seconds on that one.”
Last night Otto and I climbed into bed and lay chatting in the darkness as we always do. I moved a little closer to him. And then a little closer. And then I put my feet on him.
“OOOOOOHHHHH!” I said, snuggling in as soon as they’d touched his skin, “You’re nice and WARM! My feet are FREEZING!”
Otto was unable to reply, as his face was frozen in a horrible rictus of agony.
“You are the GREATEST HUSBAND EVER!” I continued, flexing my frozen toes and repositioning so as to make maximum contact between their surface and Otto’s calves. “I love you SO MUCH!”
He may have whimpered, at that point.
I gave him a kiss on the cheek, still pretending not to notice his anguish. “So, anyway, I was thinking that tomorrow—”
“I’m sorry,” he managed to gasp, as he fairly flung himself to the far edge of the bed. “I just… I can’t… WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR FEET?? Good GOD, they’re like ICICLES!” I tried to sidle back up to his side, but he actually put his legs on TOP of the blankets to keep them free of my icy touch.
I laughed and laughed while he narrowed his eyes at me and said things like “It’s really not that funny.” But it totally WAS that funny.
Eventually I took pity on him and told him what the Bug Guy told me, as a distraction. Because I may be the kind of wife who puts her cold feet on you, but at least I’m not the kind who answers the door naked.