Yesterday, Aria parked like this:
And it totally worked because I put my leg in between the cars to keep them from touching.
i realize i forgot to tell the story of seth's face.
so, we like to take our bikes and ride down the driveway. seth does this very badly. i hope he grows out of it by the time he's a teenager because i don't think we can afford a new mailbox every other day. so, he was on his way down the driveway and i was following him, he kicked it into high gear, veered to the left and went right towards the curb where i foresaw his flying through the air and really hurting himself. i shouted his name (didn't work, didn't expect it to) and started running, grabbed at him, and missed (just barely).
seth's little bike slammed right into the street, nose down, seth flew over the handlebars. i heard his head hit the gravel. it sounded sickening.
the worst part (or the most inconvenient part, i guess) is that ryan had stayed home to do a business call that included a client that needed wooing and his boss. so, before he went on the call, he begged me to please do whatever i could (short of drugging them) to keep those kids quiet. it was very important. so we figured he'd go in the bedroom, which was the room farthest from where the kids would be, and i'd take them outside.
naturally, i realized that i had yet to get dressed and now the call had started and i had no choice but to herd the children out the front door and just stay out there in my pajamas. it was nice. and then, when seth hit his head and i ran after him and was in my pajamas, my neighbor drove by.
so i picked that sethy boy up, screaming bloody murder and rushed him into the house and searched for a) a bandaid and b) ANYTHING to make him stop crying.
so that's how it happened.
me: so what are we going to do tonight?
ryan: we should watch marley and me.
me: (with a groan and a whine) i don't want to watch that movie!
ryan: we have to. kevin gave it to us. he's going to keep asking us if we've watched it yet.
me: yeah. i don't want to watch a movie where i cry over a dumb animal that isn't even mine. i hate that. we could watch butch cassidey and the sundance kid instead.
ryan: yeah. or that one with russel crowe.
me: yeah. or my sister's keeper.
ryan: yeah. or not. i'll go get marley and me started. try not to fall asleep.
me: try this. it's a 90 calorie diet-y kind of cereal bar.
ryan: after telling me that, why on earth would i try it?
me: because! it's actually good.
ryan: actually, it's not bad. but i have a 300 calorie minimum for snack foods.
me: i do too. that's why i eat three at a time.
i've looked back over the pictures from the last two years to find the ones i want to put in the album from that year and i noticed something.
there are, like, no pictures of me pregnant.
my first thought was, will this make my children sad?
but then i remembered that there are literally NO pictures of my mom pregnant and i'm just fine (right?). so now i don't feel bad. but i do feel like i owe my current children and future children an explanation which is as follows:
you try waddling around with a pelvis that is so loose and slippery you feel as if one foul step will result in your entire skeleton rearranging itself so your head is hanging from your knee and your ankle is sticking out of your neck and looking good at the same time.
i remember being at the very end of my pregnancy with ava and in a very emotional and desperate moment crying out, "is there no other way?"
and ryan answered, "no. there isn't."
and then i tried to attack him but the sheer bulk of holding that six pound and thirteen ounce baby and all of her baggage kept me from moving quickly and since ryan had no baby and no baby baggage, he nimbly leapt away from me. at least he looked terrified. i think it's because when i attempted to attack him i also growled.
it is not a good sign that as i am trying to motivate myself toward thinking of a third child with welcoming thoughts instead of murderous ones that these are the memories i have.
want to hear another funny pregnant story? before i even knew i pregnant with ava i made the same enchilada recipe three times. in one week. and then, when i was folding laundry in the bedroom one day, ryan came in with a sandwich to chat with me during his lunch break. having cut the sandwich into two halves and, being in the habit of eating only one half of the sandwich at a time, ryan rested the remaining sandwich half on my jewelry box until he was ready for it.
"please get your sandwich off my jewelry box," i said in a condescending and pretend-patient tone.
ryan looked bewildered. "why?" he asked.
"it'll get crumbs all over my jewelry!" i exclaimed as if, DUH! WHY DO YOU THINK I DON'T WANT YOUR SANDWICH ON MY JEWELRY BOX? (note: i don't own any jewelry. i think that box was filled with a few coins from different countries and a bunch of st. christopher charms a nun in rome gave me tied to a ribbon)
"what?" ryan asked. yeah, he was completely confused. my behavior and my sudden concern for my jewelry box was rendering him motionless.
so i freaked out. it was the next logical step. and i GRABBED that sandwich and i THREW it into the trashcan. all the while weeping about how he never listens to me and how he doesn't care how i feel and how i am JUST SO TIRED OF BEING TREATED LIKE THIS.
you'd think ryan would take this moment to recognize that perhaps, with a wife this crazy his best bet might be to run out and fetch me a bouquet of flowers, but ryan's ability to deal with women is something he's learned through the years of our marriage. and at this point, he hadn't racked up too much experience. so he grew indignant and said, "you threw my sandwich away! i worked hard on that!" WHILE I WEPT. i know. how could he? am i right?
i don't remember what happened after that. most likely i kept crying and ryan ran as fast s he possible could to get away from me.
but only a week later i stood on one side of the bathroom door and he stood on the other side of the bathroom door and i watched to see if my pregnancy test was going to be positive or not (ryan wasn't allowed in the bathroom because i prefer to pee on sticks without witnesses). and when that little pink line appeared (by now i had thrown the bathroom door open to make ryan watch the stick with me because the anticipation was nearly killing me), ryan said, "so that's why you threw my sandwich away!" (i promise you, he's much better at dealing with women now).
oh pregnancy. slowly i'll chug chug chug towards the happy place that will make it possible for ava to get that baby sister she's been begging for. you know what's in that place? that feeling of a quiet morning where i lay on my side and watch the roll of a new life under the layer of skin stretched to its maximum in the morning. the line of little clothes neatly folded and placed in an empty dresser drawer. that moment, when it is all over at long last, when that BEAUTIFUL baby is placed on your chest, sticky and wet and squinty and just so, so beautiful. did you know, that the moment they placed seth in my arms, i felt, overwhelmingly so, that i knew him? i knew him! my sweet, sweet baby.
when seth was brand new he'd fall asleep on the couch and instead of moving that tiny baby off of that big couch so i could take a nap, i'd curl up in a ball on the chair so i wouldn't have to leave the room my sleeping baby was in.
i feel better now. it's still too bad there's no other way, though. because really? nine months? isn't that a bit much?
i offer you a list and fully expect a list from you, too.
i love my iphone.
i love the fact that buddha wants to sleep under the covers with me all night long, waking up at six every morning to start purring and stand over me and dig his head under my hand so i wake up and start scratching him. oh, that cat.
i love the tv show pusng daisies.
i love it when ava and seth play together.
i love sunshine.
i love anything that has chocolate and whipped cream.
i love national geographic.
i love that ava climbs into bed with us every morning. even if the last thing she wants to do is sleep.
i love feeling like i'm top of things.
i love keeping the windows open all day.
i love the beach.
i love it when seth dances.
i love oranges.
i love strawberries.
i love enchiladas.
i love that kevin called yesterday from his dad's house to play me a song he just learned on the piano.
i love living near family.
i love photography.
i love it when ryan is teasing me and he doesn't change his tone at all and i have to guess whether he's serious or not. he is a very convincing teaser.
me: so, ava, tell me what you did yesterday while i was gone!
ava: we went to the park and played. then it got dark! and daddy and sethy went home. and i stayed.
ryan: yeah. i let ava walk home from the park. by herself. in the dark. i was like, "come home when you're ready".
ava: yeah. so i did. all by myself.
this is why i'm afraid to let her go to a class by herself. because one time? she told her teacher that "my mom is so mad at my dad but she still loves him".
i can foresee so much embarrassment in my near future.
its a whole other ballgame with that lot. a ballgame that i've suddenly been plunked right into-- the middle of the seventh inning stretch (that is, if this game is baseball. i have yet to figure that part out. maybe it's just half time? making it football?). i became aware of this new ballgame while trying to understand what kevin's grades might be in school. i thought i just might ask him and then i'd know. all of your mothers of teenagers out there? are you laughing hysterically? can you even read this through your tears? can you believe the amount of innocence i showed? do i have another thing coming or what?
yeah, i know.
something i notice kevin does when he's not all that comfortable with the conversation topic (this is a conversation topic that is about anything serious or responsible): he flops. it's like he's a wet noodle. one minute he's sitting upright and we're all laughing and having a great time, the next he's on the floor and we have to keep checking for a pulse.
"so kevin, what are your grades?" i ask.
flop. pause. finally, "uuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .i don't know."
"okay, how many classes are you taking?" i ask.
pause. "uuuuuuhhhhhhh. . ." i detect a slight motion underneath his left eye. "uuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh. . .six?"
"how many A's?"
pause. another pause. ANOTHER PAUSE. "none."
"well, that wasn't so hard."
kevin opens his eyes and lifts his head to look at me, "huh?" he asks. i realize he's only talking to me now because i've deviated from the original topic and he's hopeful that we can start talking about twilight or mountain biking or kanye west. well, he's wrong. i remember exactly what we were just talking about and not only that, i'm going to learn from my mistakes. never again will i point out how ridiculous he's being until after the fact.
"never mind. how many B's?"
flop. pause. "uuuuhhhhhhhh. . .one."
"okay good! how many C's?"
i'll spare you the rest of the conversation. just know that it involved long pauses and a lot of flopping.
what am i to do with this kid?
last tuesday i went to dinner with my friend carol.
carol is wonderful for several reasons, mostly because she is just so caroly. for example, one time ryan was at trader joe's and he was about to drive away when he saw carol and she was pushing a cart. she sort of took a running start and then she jumped on the back of the cart and she rode it all the way across the street. and he came home and told me and i laughed really hard and said, 'oh! that's so carol! that's so carol!" and then i made a mental note to email her so we could go out to dinner IMMEDIATELY but i forgot and GUESS WHAT? carol emailed me the next day to ask if we could go out to dinner.
THAT, my friends, is CAROL.
so tuesday, we're having dinner at this little cafe that is one of the only two places to eat in the city i live in that is not a chain and i am saying to myself, "do not hoard the conversation, do not hoard the conversation, do not hoard the conversation." because my friend carol? she tends to listen and i me? i tend to talk. and even though i would appreciate the opportunity to practice listening, i just talk. and talk. and talk. all over carol.
i met carol at college. we were in an english class where i talked the whole time and everyone else (including the professor) listened. the professor, a man who i call by his first name, which is hart, who forever changed my life, thought that carol and i were an unlikely duo. and i was offended. but then i thought about it, and by thought about it, i probably mean talked for a really long time to someone who didn't even know who carol was, and i thought about how carol is such a good listener and not only that, she smiles really nicely while listening and laughs at all the right places, and suddenly, our friendship made sense.
this is what i thought about when i told carol (with much animation) all about my life and begged her to tell me the secrets to raising great kids (have i mentioned that carol is a mom to kids who are really cool?) and she thought for a minute and then said, "i think you're doing a great job."
to carol: had i picture of you, i'd stick it up here (you're probably grateful right now that i don't), but since i don't, this is my "yay carol!" post. thank you for dinner. thanks for wandering into a room of perfect strangers with guitars (and a flute!) with me and thanks for agreeing to do it again sometime. also? as i insisted you not get out of the car so i could tell you one more story and you politely stayed and listened? thank you for that also.