We are living in a time warp. Time has been warped. We are entering week two of the bit of summer within summer that comes without obligation. We grocery shop on Tuesdays and shower three times a day and drink a beer with lunch.
The kids continue to ooze cuteness. A couple days ago, we turned a trip for dog food at Petco into a real outing. We told Clara there would be animals. Goldfish, guinea pigs, gerbils—your general array of animals that swim and scurry. She said there would be lions. We said, okay, maybe, because you soon learn when and when not to correct a three-year-old. Whether there are alligators in the vent system or lions at Petco—those are when-nots. Once the fact of the lion was established, Clara insisted we bring band-aids. If we were off to visit a lion, we would need them, she said.
At Petco, we saw bearded dragons and lizards—all of which have tails. Clara then exclaimed, “I don’t have a tail. I have a vagina!” Yes, let’s make sure all of Petco knows that in the process of bathing you and your brother together, we have had the same conversation many times about the difference between boys and girls. Boys have tails and girls have vaginas.
Now with the pictures:
Below, I wrap up the visit to Tampa with a shot of Clara doing what she does best—manage her little brother. She will often be playing in her room and suddenly shout, “Get my baby!” so that she can hide under the covers while he looks for her.
Clara is potty-trained. She is. I mean, she pees in the toilet. And, she poops in there once a week or so, too. Like, huge poops that clog our toilet and make me want to take their picture. She goes to school in her underwear. But . . . the girl’s got a real thing for pull-ups and diapers. She now knows how to diaper herself, and likes to “be like her baby,” especially at night when we’re all exhausted.
Here are the still-in-size-four diaper twins.
It hasn’t stopped raining in Florida since May. To work around the onslaught, we’ve been going to Tallahassee’s equivalent of Soldotna’s Jumpin’ Junction. Clara loves it.
Last Wednesday, I had more than one person at once come to the house. I hosted our book club, and did silly little book club things like buy fancy crackers and completely impractical punch bowls. But, then they all come over, a lot of them with their pregnant bellies, and we talk about the book for five minutes before we talk about other things. They tell me my house looks great, I tell them they look great, we swap stories about our kids, we betray small reservations, we drink wine and eat strawberries. I love women.
And I love that guy down there, too. He is five or six times wrapped around the finger of his sweet girl. She is going to be so strong, so giving, because of her daddy’s love; I see it already.
The rain stops for nothing and no one—not even for independence. The fireworks shows were cancelled, so Aaron did a last minute run for the “Just for Kids” firework set. We swatted mosquitos and lit sparklers. A fuel-efficient SUV with a dog gate. A pretty little girl who has everything she needs. A baby who doesn’t stop smiling. A camera with a good lens. It’s taken awhile, but I am comfortable with my freedoms.
Still swimming in rain, we had no choice but to go underground. We went to the Florida caverns and did not see bears.
Clara is wearing one of my old sweatshirts here, back when unicorns were cool.
Aaron has been working with Clara on writing her name. He picked up some preschool books and they spend thirty-minutes or so a day working through opposites and letters. My mom also ordered the Highlight magazine for Clara, which she adores (thanks, Mom)
Oh, and my little dumpling. My little makes-every-cliché-make-sense little boy; the apple of my eye; the twinkle in my smile. William loves fruit and yogurt and noodles and graham crackers and not vegetables. I remember being really worried about what Clara would and wouldn’t eat around a year old, so I’m trying not to worry that William won’t eat snow peas even when he can chew them.
To round off the weekend and just about every night, Clara has to do dishes.