Another piece from Kathryn's school portfolio:
Is that a stick being brandished? That can't be good.
I have no idea what's going on here, but I do have a guess. Do you?
Victoria came into the bathroom this morning during my morning constitutional, and it being Father's Day, I asked for something I never get otherwise.
"Victoria, can Daddy have some privacy this morning?"
"Okay," she said, then opened up the cabinets and started hunting around for something. Seconds later she found it.
"Here, Daddy. Here's your privacy," she said and handed me a tampon. She walked out humming.
"I gave Daddy a privacy," I heard her tell The Mom a few minutes later.
First grade is fighting for its life and Kathryn is trying to wring every last ounce of bizarre and mildly anti-social behavior out of it before she puts it down for the count.
It was a physical year for Kathryn, a year that began with Kathryn limping at break-neck speed from the school doors that first day, left knee wrapped enough tape and gauze to support Doctors Without Borders for a calendar year, calling out, "Daddy! Daddy! I met the nurse!"
And a few weeks later, I received one of the most unusual introductions to one of Kathryn's teachers I've ever had.
"Hello, Mr Sargent? This is Mrs. P. I just want you to know I would never, never, intentionally hurt your child."
It was a year that Kathryn answered virtually every inquiry about her day with, "Please don't be mad," as in, "Please don't be mad, but we were on the playground playing a game where you had to hurt someone to live and so I hurt someone in the head and it went into his eye and he had to go to the nurse." Which left me wondering if a game where you have to "hurt someone to live" was somehow an initiation to a starter gang, like the Brownie version of the Crips. (I've heard the Bloods have Webelos.)
Intellectually, Kathryn grew by leaps and bounds this year, learning about punctuation and the mystery of the silent "e" and by mid-year she wase. writinge. alle. ofe. here. sentencese. like. thise. which I guess will make her work easier to recognize when we start finding "Cripse. Forevere." spray-painted behind the old train station. Of course, while she was wildly punctuating her written work, her spoken work begantosoundmorelikethis withnotasinglepauseforbreathormoreimportantlythought.
She also grew from a child who couldn't read to a child who doesn't read, which is an improvement of sorts. For the betterment of the environment, we've given up trying to get her to read aloud, because her dramatic sighs at every word that was not "cat" were surely contributing more than our family's fair share to Global Warming.
It was a year that soccer practice morphed into actual soccer games and Kathryn, in turn, morphed into the most single-minded halfback in the game, ready to kick the ball out of the possession of any girl who happened to dribble it past her, color of her jersey be damned. "She's remarkably, um, focused," her coach once remarked to me. I chose to take it as a compliment.
But first grade will give up the ghost soon, and with it, so will whatever sense of domestic tranquility I've been able to achieve this past year. But they will both be replaced with Kathryn's shining eyes and sweat-matted brow, and that's a trade I'm willing to make. For a few months, at least.
Where was I, you ask, while The Mom was hijacking my blog and racking up 20 times my usual comments not that I'm bitter? I'll tell you. I was not sitting in front of John Malkovich. That honor was instead held by Lila's godmother, Alexa. She had flown in for the weekend to see what's left of her self-destructing goddaughter and drink Dark and Stormies with The Mom into the wee hours while I, in turn, took the weekend off and traveled up to her place outside of Boston to drink beer and play cribbage with Alexa's husband, Mr. Paul.
Alexa and Mr. Paul are one of those modern couples who have eschewed children of their own and have filled that void in their lives with a fully-stocked liquor cabinet and fistfuls of disposable income. Which is why Alexa was within a peanut's throw of Mr. Malkovich on her trip, while I was traveling to her place, totally celebrity free, on the Chinatown Bus.
The Chinatown Bus between New York City and Boston is a fantastic way to travel. It picks you up on a seemingly random street corner in one city's Chinatown and deposits you hours later on a street corner in the next. You never really know where it is going to appear and, having traveled it a few times, I have learned that the best approach is just to walk the streets of Chinatown until it finds you. But before you head down there yourself, keep in mind the Chinatown Bus is only for you if you have all of the following: Fifteen dollars, a flexible travel time, and a complete and total disregard for your own personal safety. A disdain for celebrity sightings also helps, as does an acceptance of others who may or may not try to sleep on your shoulder. And drool.
The bus itself has all the amenities you need if all the amenities you need are tires. There is a bathroom in the back, but in the one English phrase I heard him deliver all trip, our bus driver warned us not to poop in it or we'd "be sorry". I'm not sure just how the sorry would evidence itself and I don't wish to dwell too much on it either. I recommend a seat near the front.
Of course, the front of the bus has its problems, too, namely that you are granted the ability to see the other vehicles on the road and take note of the various distances between them and your bus. If you are really foolish, you can sit close enough to the driver to see his reaction, or lack thereof, when said distances become closer that the one between you and Capt. Sleepydrool, your shoulder-nuzzling neighbor.
But, c'mon people, its fifteen dollars. So if your blog is getting hijacked and you've got an iPod loaded with hours of Savage Love podcasts (don't click on the link, Mom), then there's really no better route to Boston. Especially if you don't like being knee-deep in John Malkoviches.
The response to Thursday's post has been nothing less than awe-inspiring. The Mom badgered me for months to let her write that post, and I have to say she was right. Literally. I have to say it. She's making me. Every time a new comment comes in, she makes me say it. And if I don't, she threatens me with her army of full-term twin moms and their uterine cavities that could swallow me whole.
This whole blog thing has gone to her head.
Despite my lack of pregnancy parts, I can totally understand the need to publicly proclaim the astounding feats that have been posted here the past few days. Once, when I was thirteen, I swallowed a nickel. For the days following, as it lounged its way through me to the exit, it was all I could talk about. It was a BIG DEAL. And if that nickel had taken forty weeks to pass and had it weighed 15 pounds by the time it did, you better believe that even 25 years later, this blog would have been called www.ihadafifteenpoundnickelinsidemeforfortyweeks.com and every post would have begun "When I had that fifteen pound nickel inside me..." Which, of course, is just one more reason why I would make a sucky woman.
Despite the fact that I cut a nice figure in The Mom's little black cocktail number.
I know that most of you come to Looky, Daddy! to read my husband's amusingly snarky takes on life with children. Bless you all for listening to him--it makes my penchant for ignoring him less noticeable. However, I'm taking over his blog for the next few days to hopefully give a bit of information to twin moms-to-be. If Looky, Daddy! comes up first for a "dad and babysitter sex" search on Google (which had better be a random coincidence), why not try for first on "full-term twin pregnancy"?
A coworker of mine who is pregnant with twins showed visible amazement and relief when I shared with her that Lila and Victoria made their entrance into this world a few hours short of 39 weeks of pregnancy. This was not my first experience with such a reaction of a twin-mom-to-be. Early in a twin pregnancy all one seems to read or hear are stories of weeks of bed rest, premature births, low-birth weight, and weeks in the NICU. Every parent of twins should plan for such things and should realize that if they do occur it's just one of those unpreventable things that often happen with the birth of twins. However, often does not mean always!
So I'm hijacking my husband's blog for a few days to invite all of you twin moms who carried your babies past 36 weeks to tell your story here. Or, if you are not the parent of twins but your cousin's sister's nephew's wife had full-term twins, feel free to share their story for them. I'll go first.
The night before I gave birth was New Year's Eve. We went to an outside event in a neighboring town. I probably walked 3 miles that evening from event to event. We even went to the circus. I rang in the New Year, and at noon the next day my water broke. Seven hours later, I gave birth to Lila at 6 lbs and Victoria at 6 lbs 6 oz. Three days later, we all went home from the hospital together. The Dad tried to stay, but he was forced to come home with us as well.
Now it's your turn. Let those expectant moms of twins know that, on occasion, without any good reason, twin pregnancies aren't any worse (or any better) than singleton pregnancies.
There should be two couples in a double date. There should be two large pizzas in every delivery order. FBI agents should come in twos, just not to my house. Opposable thumbs should come in twos. Cats, if they have to come at all, should come in twos. There should be two hemispheres in every brain. Checker pieces should have two sides, and so should the coin they flip before the Superbowl. And there should be two albums inside the sleeves of Exile on Main St.
Babies should still not come in twos. And neither should sinuses, lest they get infected. Like mine.