Thursday, December 01, 2005
Morning Basketcase Bingo
My elliptical sits, in the furnace room, facing the panoramic view of—the furnace—AND a bald light bulb. It’s so exciting! But I love it. Cuz you know I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. BECAUSE I read the paper whilst on the elliptical in a funky multitasking exercise that is probably a lot better for the op-ed side of my brain than my buns of steel. But who the hell cares. At least I make an appearance! It’s sort of like locking myself in a room to have my own damn time for 30 minutes every day. So I was not thrilled when Nick came down and said, “Mommy, Ian is screaming his head off and being impossible.” But then he followed it with, “I haven’t even eaten my bagel. Now I know how you feel.”
Then we got the mandated visit from Master Ian the Terminator, in his grey and yellow Batman jammies—he looks like Batman: The Hard Boiled Egg (what with the colors and all). He stands there and does the Coy Whiny Thing. He knows I am irritated, he mumbles, he fingers items on the basement shelves; he asks me what I’m doing… I finally get off the pony and chase him back up the stairs. If I can’t have 30 crummy minutes masked in exercising virtue to read the Wash Post, then I DON’T KNOW WHAT.
Came upstairs, Ian was super poopy, still whining, Nick was crumpled in half, too tall for the kiddy table that was once his very own banquet table for one, reading the comics, eating his bagel and half watching Read Between the Lions. I changed the poopy diaper with Ian wriggling, whining, resisting, and started to feel: persecuted. Yes, persecution usually follows the existential breakdown. Existential breakdown followed by that sunny persecution feeling, with a side of free floating depression. Hold the mayo!
Um, I don’t know what it is with Ian, but he trounces on every single solitary nerve I have, and then he reaches in further and finds the last crumpled remains of a nerve and crushes that too. He is what is known as exasperating. Everything is “no,” or “why” or “do I have to” and he is only THREE, not 16. He is wild, unpredictable, contrary, impish, mischievous, naughty, adorable, perfectly divine, and IRRITATING.
You know the Jonathan Saffron Foer novel Everything is Illuminated? Well my life is Everything is Irritating. And he and I went to the same high school! Coincidence???????
I lurch through the morning, playing a wicked game with beat the clock. New job, must be on time, doncha know. MUST be out of the house by 7:50 or the whole house of cards is in disarray. Nick tries to put Ian’s coat on and chases him around the house. He finally says, “I had to hog tie him to get his jacket on.” I laughed so hard. Meanwhile, Daisy stands in the living room with her yellow jacket on, her hair combed; her teeth voluntarily brushed and says, “I’m RIDDY Mommy!” With such pride of accomplishment and cooperation.
Nick has his backpack ready and is in his coat. We hurtle through the door, the babies running to the car, and Nick stands there, quietly, with no fanfare, holding the storm door for me as I lock the house. Honestly, it’s the most touching part of every morning for me. I never told him to do it, he just does it. It breaks my heart, if you want to know the truth. Then we get to the babysitter’s and I fumble and unbuckle and liberate the babies from the constraints and hold their little hands and cross the street to her house. As I cross the street I think, I’ve just lived an entire lifetime and it’s not even 7:57 a.m. |
Cynicism is another word for reality