John and I are quiet people. There are (many) days when we want nothing more than to be alone with our books, content to pass each other in the kitchen going for refreshment, only to return to our separate office caves.
Or this: he’s working at his desk and I’m sitting with my feet up on the ergonomic “milk” chair we (meaning John’s father and stepmother Lita) purchased for nursing the boys. We’re in the same room together; I’m reading, or dozing, or just staring up at the cow skull with horns he uses to hang his bags.
But we do not live with quiet people. We live with manic hooligans. Granted, we begot them (and take turns taking blame for their raging mania— “Sorry Jenny, it was my sperm.” “Forgive me John. My eggs.”), but some days it feels like God’s sense of humor might have got the better of him this one time.
So instead of doing what we’d like, we try to move on to the next best things. Today that means wrangling G into helping me make a big pot of vegetable broth (he loves chopping up raw carrots and garlic with a table knife—the only knife he’s allowed to handle) while J sips a “cuptail” (G’s word for cocktail) at the bar. G’s into cuptails. He’s a great juicer and enjoys a virgin mix of selzter, simple syrup, and lime. He and I introduce J to the wonder of it all today.
And when a brotherly knock-down-drag-out erupts over the special carrot I discover in the Nature’s Market carrot bunch,
John takes over, blasting Moby’s “Lift Me Up” (so as to distract them from scratching each other’s eyes out) with a club dance party in the playroom. Soon Jonah is complaining, saying he’s feeling sick (could still be the stomach flu he was sent home with Thursday or the fact that he fell six feet out of a tree and landed in a snow/ice drift on his back before lunch), so John whisks him off to the gym, hoping they’ll allow a six-year-old minus a membership through the doors.
G is understandably furious that he’s being left, so he and I get ready for a field trip to the attic above the garage in search of adventure (also known as the wheatgrass juicer).
But before we go, he tries to make sense of the Patagonia catalog:
These coats standing by themselves! Where are the kids? Somebody take them [the coats] home. Where the kids? Might be in the bathtub!
Which, reasonably, gives him the idea of dumping the rest of the seltzer water (see above) on the catalog that I was actually looking forward to reading (Patagonia ambassadors—I want to be a Patagonia ambassador—are remarkably good writers). Destruction takes the day again.
[O, and the gym was closed. So we’re back to keeping them from scratching each others’ eyes out.
To the attic we go…]