This morning the sky was the color of brushed chrome and I found myself sitting in my living room on the verge of a chasm of lethargy. I lay the cheesedoodle on a large pillow in the floor and the mackerdoodle curled up beside him, holding his hand and stroking his hair. He looked at her and smiled and she laughed, looking at me with a smile that could light up the dreariest day. I realized that I’ve been making dreary posts lately and having dreary thoughts, when there is so much light in my life. Here are the good things:
1. About two and a half weeks ago my sleepy cheesedoodle woke up, and was very displeased with what he found to be his reality. I wore him a lot and fed him probably more than was necessary, and we listened to baby cries more than any of us cared to. Conveniently this season of discontent coincided with our sewer troubles. But two days ago it was like a switch turned in him. I lay him on his sister’s bed while I changed her diaper, and he just lay there, happily, cooing and kicking. The mackerdoodle, freshly diapered, climbed up beside him, and they played together. He grabbed her fingers, she imitated his baby noises, he smiled and she laughed. They played together for the first time. Ever since, he’s been content to lie on his back, or sit in the bouncy seat for up to 20 minutes at a time, and this morning, while lying on that pillow, he just closed his eyes and went to sleep – still grasping his sister’s finger. It is a good thing.
2. The mackerdoodle is addicted to Fla-vor-Ice popsicles, and calls them “icee.” Last week we ran out of icees, and despite being told repeatedly, and shown repeatedly, that there were no plastic tubes of brightly artificially colored sugar water in our freezer, she persisted in asking for “icee” every time she passed the freezer. Finally I said – in frustration – “How many times do I have to tell you that we don’t have any icees?” She looked at me, put her head on one side, and said, “um . . . two.” I laughed so hard I had to sit down for a minute. It was a good thing.
3. The mackerdoodle has always been a smiley little kid. This picture was taken when she was about six weeks old, and it was the rule for her facial expressions even that young. The cheesedoodle is, I think, more reserved. His smiles, while not infrequent now, are less effervescent, and cheeky. But he does something that the mackerdoodle didn’t do as an infant: he smiles when he eats. It is a good thing to look down at a child being fed from my very body, and see him smiling while he nurses.
4. The mackerdoodle has added a new phrase to her vocabulary: “white dere.” It showed up when she announced from the back seat “Bisa [bike in mackerdoodle, which also includes motorbikes]. Bisa, I see it.” We saw nothing with less than four wheels in any direction, so Jonathan asked, “Where’s the bicycle?” Mackerdoodle jabbed her window with her index finger and said, insistently, “white dere,” and the repeated it even more firmly. “White. Dere.” Sure enough, as traffic began to move, we could see about a block and a half away a man riding his “bisa” to the local state university campus, exactly where the mackerdoodle had pointed. He was indeed white dere.
So many good things. I’m healthy and fully recovered according to my 6 week check-up today. Friday morning someone is showing our house. My parents are coming to see the cheesedoodle smile – and they’re close enough now that they can just come on short notice. So many good things that even a gray, dreary day is a good day.