“Busy is the kind of thing that you’re very.” —Annie
Paul said, like, three priceless things on the way home from school today, and I tried so hard to remember them. But now after bedtime, the only one that stuck is, “I let out a biiiig toot.”
Mom moment: During Annie’s sick-day-at-work, we left the office once to walk a lap around the Tower in the pretty sunshine. Typically, Annie sneezed as soon as she looked up at the bright sky. Because she was sick, she also ejected two bullet trains of snot. And since I had not had the foresight to bring tissues, I just pinched the whole wad of mucus off her face with my fingers. I smeared them clean on the sidewalk, and dabbled them through the shrubbery to finish the job. I like to think a 19-year-old sophomore witnessed this and learned something about life.
Annie spiked a fever yesterday, so she was banned from daycare today, and I had a million things backed up at work after my trip, and Bryan was just coming off nearly four days of solo-parenting so: I took her in to the office.
She spent the morning watching Daniel Tiger on her tablet in the corner, and staring balefully at all the adults who stopped by and cooed at her. She braved the big-people bathroom with aplomb. Sejal taught her to make paper airplanes.
In the afternoon, she spent an hour at a conference table listening to us grill our architects, only occasionally falling out of her chair or tugging me down to whisper questions like, “WHY IS SHE TALKING?” At the scheduled meeting end-time of 3:30, she signaled her doneness by stretching out on top of me and falling hard asleep. Girl’s got style.
I was out of town for Paul’s month-day, so Bryan filled in. Thanks, Dad!
To Annie: on the day you turned 3 years and 7 months old, I forgot to notice. Aunt Peanut just texted me today to check on our well-being. Here are some high points, to the best of my recollection, three days later.
It was Saturday, and you slept in! You and Paul ate toast and tea with me for breakfast while Dad mowed the lawn. You dressed yourself in three shades of pink. I often wonder what your future self will make of your 3-year-old sartorial choices.
We bundled up in the 45-degree weather for our usual walk—trail, turtles, and tacos—and made a Central Market trip together for the first time in a few weeks. Balloons were obtained.
You asked me to stay with you during your “nap,” which I agreed to do on the condition of no talking. You watched over my shoulder as I read the 1000-page The English and Their History. I got sleepy and closed my eyes. You did not, and poked them, gently. After an hour, you went downstairs to watch Dad play video games.
You joined me in the kitchen to make another pot of sweet orange tea, and donned goggles while I sliced a load of onions for soup. Dad took you to the playground, and I met you there. You can swing yourself now. Did you hear that? YOU CAN SWING YOURSELF NOW. This may be the most significant accomplishment of your life to date.
Back home, we seriously spooked you with 30 minutes of Monsters Inc., broke for dinner, and regrouped with Finding Nemo. You went to bed, with no bath, and just a little bit of lollipop in your hair.
Immediately I have said goodnight and closed the door:
I open the door—Yes?
Annie: What happens if a bear loves eating mustard?
Two hours of steady rain probably qualifies as “trick,” but we made it to 3 houses. Who needs more?
A: Paul, what’s your favorite thing? To play with at school?
P: A school bus, and a fire truck, and a truck, and a school bus, and a truck.