Aaron is officially living out of our truck for about ten days. He is an exceptional temporary homeless person. He put all our remaining oatmeal, Malt-o-Meal, and grits into a giant vat of breakfast foods and then froze individual portions to use as ice packs. He made what will be a nutritious vegetable medley of all of Clara’s leftover frozen vegetables. The man can live off Taco Bell’s $.89 bean burritos.
But he doesn’t have to because he has had thirty or so salmon fillets in the freezer to eat over the course of two weeks. I stopped eating salmon weeks before I left, but Aaron has shockingly deep reservoirs of persistence. Salmon scrambles for breakfast, salmon patty sandwiches for lunch, BBQ salmon for dinner. He can confirm your suspicions–it doesn’t take long for what goes in to come out a nice bright color orange.
The two-week long “all you’ll ever want to eat” salmon buffet ended with this picture of our dog bowls:
His adventures have mostly been adventurous in the traditional sense of the word, but over the last couple days, he has been giving our cabin the best cleaning of its life. When we cleaned on Sundays together, I was struck by his unusual approach–he would clean everything that required the same cleaning product together whereas I, like I assume most people, clean room to room. His approach explains why the toilet bowl would sometimes go forgotten. His approach to cleaning the cabin this final time was to work clockwise starting from the door, so on Thursday, he sent us this picture as an indication of that day’s adventure. Also, no one will ever know how much dirt the Rug Doctor extracted from our carpet. I have dreams where my final words before the judge and jury of all things domestic are “but I vacuumed every week!”
Wednesday was his last day of outdoor adventures from which he could return home to a hot shower. This is beautiful Wednesday:
Meanwhile, Clara’s omega 3 vitamins are kicking in or something because she is changing and growing every five minutes. She loves to explain to herself in half comprehensible language/ half authoritative-sounding gibberish why the world is that way it is. Tonight, she tells me that I have a baby in my belly but she doesn’t have one. She has another baby but it’s sitting in her chair. Also, she’ll tell herself that she can’t have apple juice at night. It’s neat to see all the effort that goes into creating some semblance of standards and routine pay off.
On Wednesday, we took a walk to a new restaurant that opened down the street–Gondelier’s. Nicest people ever. They managed to hold the door for the five minutes it takes me to de-stroller Clara and not make me feel rushed. The broccoli calzone was only $6.50, they gave Clara a balloon to keep her distracted during the wait, and they fed us homemade Greek wedding cookies on the way out.
Here’s Clara with her balloon:
Clara is also really into this tent that my mom inherited from her work friend’s grand kids. She moves the tent all around the house to wherever she feels like playing. I had a nice mom moment when I saw the tent waiting for her in the garage–I just knew she would love it and that moment made it clear to me that she’s become a little person with particular interests and preferences. She also unlocked the kitchen door, walked out, filled up her cup with water from the Crystal water cooler, put the lid on her cup and sat down for lunch. There are about fifteen things in that sequence of events that I was pretty sure she couldn’t do. Clara in her tent with her toys:
It’s been wonderful to see Clara get more comfortable with her Florida family. Today, she ran out to greet my grandpa for dinner and tell him all about apple juice (apple juice is her favorite thing of all time; we have a song we sing to each other. She sings, “Apple juice!” and I sing back, “No more juice!” as we march around the living room. Yeahhh . . . we’ve got some time on our hands. Another post, another day.) Then, she ran up to my dad and said, “Papa!” He was suckered into playing hide-the-grape for ten minutes until that game became the make-Grandpa-eat-fruit-game.