The other day we got take-out Chinese food for dinner. It was a special occasion after all - the wife and I had our wedding anniversary. Nine years so far. Anyhoo - we tried to show my daughter how to use chopsticks. She tried it on her chicken - no success. So she tried it on my egg drop soup - fail. Maybe rice? Nope. Miffed by the whole experience she decided she was done with dinner and tried the chopsticks on the cat. Success! You can insert your own cuisine-based racist joke here.
This morning my new band recorded it's first song with backing drums. No - I'm not a fifteen year old in a garage band. What we do for a laugh is record ourselves on Audacity (a free sound recoding software) and mix it together to make songs. Normally it's just me - maybe playing guitar - and my daughter singing. Then I'll record whatever it is that my kids are doing - grunting, whooping, arseing around the room - and splice it in. It often sounds like some artsy post-rock. Or torture by sound. It's a close run thing. But this morning I threw together a drum kit for my son and he had a ball.
If you've read this blog before you might have noted the silly tale about putting my daughter to bed. Didn't it sound so easy and smooth? Yes well that is all bollocks now. Last night we had the other kind of night. My daughter was being mental - and I really mean it. She was amazingly nice yesterday, even going as far to just randomly tell me that she loved me a few times. Fifteen minutes after my wife got home from work and she went berserk. Spitting venom and flailing around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Not that I'm comparing my daughter to a demon-possessed vagina or anything.
The primary reason for the breakdown was that my daughter had made a frog heart (too long a story) for her brother and wanted to show her mother as soon as she got home. What she had really done was empty half a pot of red and orange paint onto a heart-shaped piece of card some time yesterday morning. When she checked it in the mid afternoon it still wasn't dry. And why would it be - the paint was so think there was no way that would happen by 5.30pm. She was getting upset by this so I carefully explained that because the paint layer was so thick that it would probably take until the following lunchtime (I was playing it safe here) to fully dry. My daughter applied the logic of a nearly-four year old and poured on another layer of paint - but this one was a thinner layer. In some way that is absolute genius. At least it was supposed to be but as far as I can tell it was just slightly thinner than the original layer. My wife got home, said hello to everyone, and then my daughter went to get the frog heart. Which was still wet. So she collapsed on the floor like a Spanish soccer player and starting screaming about how science had failed to dry her frog heart.
Anyone else who has/has had kids this age will know that to them the World operates using a series of undeniable Rules. Certain things must happen or nothing can make sense. You go to bed when it is dark, you always brush your teeth before bed and things that have been painted for Mommy in the morning are definitely dry by the time she gets home. Rules and Patterns are Very Important. If anything is out of line then that can only mean one thing - the entire deck of cards that you have placed all understanding of life on has crumbled and nothing is as it seemed. After the first fit she threw another one during dinner. We calmed that one down too but she mentioned the frog heart again. It was like she suddenly realized she was in The Matrix and that both her parents were actually Agent Smith. I managed to persuade her into thinking about something else by pushing the idea of a shower/bath. So not just a silly shower, or a boring bath - no a shower AND THEN a bath. Truly amazing in other words. The revelatory concept of putting the plug in the bath while the shower is on would have terrified me years ago. Not now - now it means we can pretend we are in a terrible rainstorm, but are also in a bath on the ocean.
That worked quite well. My wife - being a true Super-Mom had actually managed to put my son to bed while we were in the bath. We convinced my little girl to go into her room, put her PJs on and start reading a book. My daughter asked my wife to put her to bed too so I went and prepared her toothbrush. Normally she would run into the bathroom, get the tip wet, put on the tooth paste and brush her teeth all by herself. But my son was asleep next door to it so I did it. At which point my daughter went frothing mental again. My wife stood her ground. This was one fit too far. She sent me downstairs and turned out the light. Unacceptable behavior - it's time for bed. Forty-five minutes later there was a sudden gap in the screaming ("you are making the germs poop in my mouth!!!") and my daughter appeared in the living room. I ended up going upstairs and lying down with the both of them. My daughter - exhausted from yelling actually fell asleep quite quickly. She was asleep about ten minutes later, but I didn't get up. Wanted to make sure she didn't wake up. I woke up just after midnight. My wife had probably just woken up too because when I went downstairs the lights were still on and the dinner was still on the stove. We missed the entire night. I hate that.
But luckily it's a long weekend now! Four days with Mommy home is a real treat for the kids. There are some days I wish I was still at work and she was at home. But then I wouldn't be doing her job and therefore not earning her salary. I'd be at the last place I was at - which is a horrifying thought. Mind you - my wife is responsible for all sorts of important things that I wouldn't want to be liable/culpable for. Add she has to interview people from an employment pool that is often so dire that you know you are deliberately hiring the best of a bad bunch. I'm not going to ever talk about her job here - but let's just say that one time her company interviewed someone who pissed themselves during the interview. Which actually is a bit like my last job.
Alright - time to go back outside into the not-quite-warm-enough day. It's just warm enough for this -:
Someone actually did ask me what kind of whale was on his shirt. As if he was wearing one of those uber-ironic shirts college kids wear. Also, it is not really warm enough for this (but whatever - it means that we stay out for a good few hours) but we did it anyway -:
Out we go!