Saturday, September 25, 2010

family: ... but he left it, no doubt...

dispatch two from walla walla

Today L found the Gideons' Bible in the bedside table drawer and spent a goodly (as opposed to godly) amount of time "reading" it. Should I be worried?

She likes to read anyway, happy to sit with a book and page through it, telling the story aloud as she remembers it, self-conscious only if she realizes we're listening and not wanting us to pay attention to what she's saying ("Don't thee me!").

So there she sat on the bed turning the thin pages of what she was, curiously, calling her "peppermint book." And I wondered if I ought to worry. Convenience taking precedence, I decided not. After all, what's a bit of religion if the trade off is that it keeps her relatively quiet?


It's hard to imagine what parenting was like before DVDs and laptops computers. Maybe parents and kids had to interact or something.

Another Walla Walla Saturday
a book, a MacBook, a Curious George DVD, and two girls)

On this trip we've used my laptop more than once for watching videos (Curious George, Thomas the Tank Engine), and this has bought us a few minutes of peace and reading time here and there. A good thing too, as M is nearing the end of the 2nd of Stieg Larsson’s mysteries and I'm completely wrapped up in a book called The Element (which is convincing me that US public schools are probably not the place I want to send my kids, but then neither are most of the private schools) and we're both finding it difficult to get much opportunity to read. And after all, that's what having family is all about, right? Scratching out those moments when you can be together without talking?


We had a bit of an evening, the girls and I. First we went to dinner at a brew pub where K ordered fish and chips and ate chips and ketchup, L ordered grilled cheese and ate fries and ketchup in between lying on her back on the bench with her bare feet on the wall next to her, and I ordered a burger and beer and ate K's fish and chips and drank L's pineapple juice and somehow managed to get them out of there without publicly throttling either of them.

waitress: Do you need a high chair?
L: I want a high chair!
me: You don't need a high chair L.
waitress: A booster seat?
L: Yeah, a boothter theat!
K: I want a booster seat!
waitress: Two booster seats?
me: Thanks.
... later, in our booth...
K: I want to take off my shoes.
me: You can K.
L: I want to take off my thoose too.
me: Ok.
K: I'm on the inside booster seat.
me: Yes you are.
L: I want to be on a inthide boothter theat!
me: You want to move over here next to me? Then you'll be on the inside.
L (pouting): No. I don't want this theat! (getting up off it and pushing it to the floor) I want a inthide boothter theat!!
me: And that's not and inside booster seat?
L: No! Ith not!
me (getting up and crawling under the table to retrieve the seat): Ok.
L: I want a inthide boothter theat!
me (going to the front door to get a replacement seat): Here.
L: Ith that a inthide boothter theat?
me: Yup.
L: Ok. ... Can I thit nexth to you?
me: Sure.
(both girls end up moving over to my side of the booth)
K: Actually, I don't want a booster seat.
me (sigh): Ok, here (taking it and putting it on the bench across the table).
L: Acthually, I don't want a boothter theat.
me (big gulp of beer): Ok. (adding it to the opposite bench)

What follows dinner? Bath in a bathroom approximately the size of an airplane toilet. I'd been planning to skip for the 2nd straight night, but K suggested it, and I decided that it was a good idea, given the ketchup of dinner, the stickiness of ice cream/lollypop from the afternoon, the grime of the day, etc. We managed to get through it with a minimum of water outside the tub, and only 5 potty breaks (2 for K, 3 for L).

Then a couple of Thomas the Tank Engine videos (so much more enjoyable for me, now that I know it's the late George Carlin doing the narrating! I've got a fantasy that at some point he'll break out in "7 Words Thomas Can't Say"). Then, books and bed and 15 or 20 minutes of tossing and cover-kicking-off and loud whispers in my direction in the dark.

And now.... silence, interrupted occasionally by a sleep sigh or a groan.

Good night.

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