You fill me with wonder, reflect me, my very words, ideas, loves and then add your own. Liza, too. She speaks a little Spanish, says much of what we say to her and in the way only babies can, reminds us who we are. We have relationships, the four of us, each of us and all of us. I watch you slip into Grandpa’s lap and snuggle in close. Liza joins you, a pile of sharp elbows, knees and hard noggins. Warm, loving relationships. Can’t complain about that. We are necessary for one another’s well-being. Interdependent. Fortunate. I dreamed that a lion crept into the yard, a African lion, frighteningly stalking low to the ground. She lifted Liza into the air with her snaggled claws and caught her between two sets of sharp teeth. This occurred as I ran to scoop you up and toss you into the car-to safety. I awakened in the darkness breathing heavily and had to look in on you. On Liza. We all have work to do to keep one another safe.
This week you hit your teacher at rest time telling her to leave you alone. We talked about it and then Gina came to observe the classroom and talked to your teachers about what she saw that might help you be successful in interactions, causing less stress release at nap and before. I think you were too tired. You have had trouble getting to sleep and have begun to be afraid of things-the dark, sounds, falling, etc. You have grown a lot, started writing your name backward after months of forward. Your brain is re-organizing for development. You say rhymes and sing silly made up songs all the time. You are growing, shifting and changing-your brain, body and spirit-mind are changing. Now that you are feeling more settled, I think you might be ready to manage some stored up feelings. Who knows? The teachers say they want to hang in there with us. That’s good.
Your uncle AJ started his new job today. He’s in Brazil in Santa Catarina, a beach city called Balneario, Camboriu. The nearest international airport is in Florianopolis. He is teaching English to high school students. He has four of five classes a day, five days a week. He just got his own classroom and it has all the bells and whistles of a “smart classroom” at a college. He showed the family pictures, asked them to tell about their families, then used Google Earth to locate our house for the classes and next time they will each locate their houses or apartments and tell about them in English. He is learning about lesson planning, how long activities take and how to anticipate, give time for group discussion and move on if there isn’t any. He prepares for each class on his own. Hmmm. Maybe he’ll come home to teach. This, the guy who always said, “I’m not going to do what my mom does. I definitely need more money than that!” I want to go visit now that he has stable work. Wonder how that can happen? 10 days away?
Egg noodles stick to walls, cupboards and floors way better than semolina style pasta. Really good. The wide egg noodles that are wonderful with chicken and broccoli, are Liza’s favorite (she used to eat them) and I just decided to stop cooking them. I got caught in a battle of wills and would not let go over this tossing food topic. Not just because it kills our old dog, wastes food and all, but because she looks at me, grabs a handful and pitches it at the cupboard, hard! Then waits. You threw the noodles, I say through gritted teeth. Again, I see you wonder if I will tell you again, so I will “please eat the noodles or get out of your chair, be all finished”. Here’s a warm hand cloth, “splat” at the cupboard. Grandpa sat at the computer, you ate and told Liza, stop throwing food, Metro will get sick.” That was last month’s gma logic. Logic is gone, fury takes charge. I am washing your hands and face, getting you away from the food and out of the kitchen. I struggle not to heave her out the door. I put her on the floor. (with the piled up cold filthy floor and peeled off cupboard stuck noodles in front of her. You can eat down here with your noodles or go away. Out of the kitchen. I can’t tell her to go play.
Now I I hope she never has any fun again in her entire life. I want those scuzzy, dog-hair noodles mashed into her hair. I’m glad I have witnesses to keep me honest, because a hot bath, I consider, would melt it all away should I fall to such horrid impulses. Noodles can go down the pipes and into the septic tank, yes? How about bad babies?Bad dogs? Uh oh, bad grandmas?
I got your sister a few little dresses on sale the other day, got them home and realized I have no place to hang them. I have lived with boys for too many years. They are jammed on a coat hook for now and since they are a little big and its cold outside, I will refrain from dressing her up. But if she is going to plaster her dinner on the kitchen surfaces that I have to kneel to clean up, she is going to put on a dress and at least look as sweet as the tiny cotton prints, as styling as the footless cotton tights I found and as harmless as the light little rows of ruffles on this one in particular.
Okay, I had to put it on, but just for a few minutes. Just before the wet sneeze that she directed at me. grmmama