There's this ongoing thing with my dad in which he is, despite his best efforts, growing healthier, thus revealing the depths of his decades-long untreated mental illness, and blah blah I wrote an impassioned heartfelt letter blah blah blah. Because I'm tired of the way we talk around him and tiptoe around his crazy behaviors and enable him and I'm just done. So of course he thanked me for my insight and caring and immediately proceeded to rationalize why he is not going to do any of the things I suggested and why he doesn't have a problem but maybe we could work on our relationship? Which made steam shoot out of my ears. Steam and those weird sea creatures who live around deep volcanic vents.
So with strange mollusks and many-legged eyeless things coming out my ears I wrote back "BULLSHIT, DUDE. NO MORE BULLSHIT. ENOUGH WITH THE BULLSHIT." and some other things more or less along those lines, because I have literally been hearing the words he used since I was a tiny child, words about how we're gonna do that later, and "that" sometimes meant "arranging for one's retirement" and sometimes it meant "fixing that hernia before it engulfs Topeka" but never once did "that" get done. Not once.
And I am all done pretending that hollow promises are worth anything, and I am all done going away after hearing them, and I am all done pretending like I even believe them just a little. I am going to loom over my Dad's life like a slag heap over a picturesque Welsh town. I don't even care if he hates me forever, because if I don't do it, I will hate myself. I love him too much to let him bullshit me any more. I love him so much I don't care if he hates me.
But, you know, hey. I'm not one to spill my private business all over the internet!* And you don't really want to hear about all that stuff anyway, do you? Naw! So let me tell you some hilarious stories about my children.
So, Sophia. Sophia has recently become enamored of our next door neighbor Mark, a middle-aged single man who is friendly and better still, easily visible from our back yard when he is on his deck. Poor man has been trying to build a lattice screen between our porches but it is very difficult to run your saw when a four-year-old is chirping at you about Calvin and Hobbes. "Remember the time he went outside naked?" she says. "And the snow goons? Remember the snow goons? And he went to Mars?"
Mark does remember, but Mark also wants to finish his deck in the few minutes of daylight remaining. I drag Sophia in for dinner, though not without a good show for Mark about how she does NOT need to mind her mama, oh my no, who do you think calls the shots around here, that old bag in the cutoffs? No way! After dinner, she overhears his saw start up again, and she literally GASPS and runs to the back door to dangle in Mark's general direction.
I'm not sure what he did to win her affection so completely, but I wish you could have heard that gasp. A lifetime's worth of longing and joy was in it. It broke my heart a little.
Oh, and also: I have video of Sophia performing Magnetic Fields' "The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side" while playing a guitar. Will have to post that.
Next, Daphne! Apparently she is so busy working on all her crazy developmental skills like brushing teeth and spitting PPTTTT into the sink and flushing toilet paper and sprinkling salt from a salt dip and fitting the rings onto the ring stacker (not to compare, but Sophia was not able to do that until she was like 3, for reals) that she's not devoting a lot of attention to talking. Fifteen-month-old Sophia was uttering sentences. Daphne growls. She growls really, really well, with a variety of tones and volumes. She can also meow. She can sing the ABC song without words, and Dayenu without words, and wave bye-bye while saying "Dah!" and say "MUH MUH MUH" when she wants something. She calls me "Ma ma ma" or "Da da da" and she calls Sean "Da da da" and she calls Sophia nothing at all. Although she does like to push her. She also likes to come up behind you and grab your hair and pull and yell "OW OW OW!" She does it to herself too. You can tell her to go find Dada or go find Sophia or throw the ball or shut the door and she'll do it, too.
So clearly the receptive language is all there. I hope she keeps the growls as she adds words.
*Except for the time I spilled my private business all over the internet. By which I mean "live blogged childbirth twice" or, you know, something. I don't really remember.