Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Melody Gone Along Without Us

Melody has gone off on her latest adventure without us--just with Tim. I get carsick driving half a block to Safeway--9 hours to Provo and then six more to Vegas didn't sound good.

Dinner tonight: I don't know yet. Thinking about it makes me queasy. But last night we had Cuban Picadillo--very tasty and easy--at 11:30 pm because I finally realized everything was getting to be worse than the process of making dinner seemed.

There are only a few times in life when I have total concentration and can block everything out. Like when I'm kissing Tim. Or throwing up. Since Tim is gone, the other one is the one that has been occupying me. It's not that I'm throwing up all the time. It's that I'm trying hard not to. All day. And you know, some things are worse to throw up than others. Oreos? Not so bad. Sugary drinks? Doable. Lettuce? Kill me now. I still have a hard time eating it since I was pregnant with Caleb five years ago. Enough on that.

Babies have forced me to be selfish in some ways, though. If I don't take care of myself, they punish me, starting from the time they appear as a tummy bump. If I don't eat, I get to vomit. If I don't eat, too, the kids won't eat, and then life is hellish. If I don't get enough exercise, they don't either, and everyone gets antsy and picks on each other. If I don't get enough sleep, they don't either, and they fight. I hate fighting. So we sleep selfishly. They force me to make dinner every night or we get grumpy chaos. That (the dinners, not the chaos) saves us lots of money (cheaper to cook real dinners than snack on pre-prepared things), and it's keeping all of us healthier and happier. And they force me to develop my talents, as they insist on singing songs and telling stories together, or making things.

Their stubborn insistence on doing things themselves makes me selfish, too. Daniel MUST climb the stairs by himself now. He throws a fit if I help him with that. Or if I feed him. Oh, selfish me--I get to skip those two things that I hate. And, darn it, they make me sit in my rocking chair cuddling someone warm much of the day, forcing me to either read fascinating nonfiction books or write fascinating (to me) novels. Punishment? I think not.

Overnight somehow Anda taught herself how to say the "L" sound. Now "Wizard" and "Lizard" are not the same thing. I had wondered if she'd ever learn because she didn't just say them the same; she heard them the same. But she really wanted to say "Talulah" properly, so she learned. Cool. She's learning how to read, too, and can identify the letter that begins any spoken word. She's reading three-letter words, and is intensely fascinated with typing real words ("How do you spell Winnie the Pooh, Mom?"). So that's exciting. She's only 3 1/2.

Caleb, meanwhile, has become fascinated with multiplication. He is constantly asking, "What does five fives make?" Or worse, "What does 27 forty-twos make?". So kindergarten math ("Let's count to ten....") is really boring for him. Anda loves it though.

Daniel is verbalizing more and more. Today he climbed up on my lap and said, "Daniel!" and then clapped his hands joyfully and giggled. The problem with his speech is that he says all the vowels, an occassional beginning consonant, and not much else. So we get long explanatory paragraphs from him that we can't understand, and he expects us to act on them. Oh, well. He's only just barely 1. He's a little cautious, too. He won't walk, but he can stroll down the hall holding just one of my hands. Just won't do it himself because he gets scared.

All of these things are fun (except the vomiting), and not easy to notice when we are with Melody as she wanders the country. It's an interesting dilemma: do we have no home, or no Daddy?