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3 kittens

The crust on the ice cream

Posted on 2014.06.29 at 19:20
I had a lovely time with my parents in town. I exploited their largesse and acquired some curtains and lights, but that's not (entirely) what made the visit nice. They played with the kids a lot, and we went to the Witte museum in San Antonio.

Somehow I got a ring of chigger bites around my middle, which confounds me. I haven't done anything in nature in forever.

Many years ago, my dad would tell this story, on regular rotation: "So, I was peeing, and I looked at my penis, and I saw something!  I looked at this black dot closer, and it turns out there was tick! on the tip of my penis!" he would say. "A tick! The thing is, my entire life is: home, hospital, fitness center, and back home. In between it's just parking lots and my car." You see where he's going with this. "When on earth did a tick get on my dick?! I haven't been in nature in months! I haven't been out of the air conditioning in months, in fact."  My chigger-waistband story above is really less salacious.

This is the first visit in years by them. Excluding visits where I give birth. It's much better when nobody is waiting for me to go into labor. It took a lot of needling from me to get them to visit, and now that is a sore spot. (The context is that they visit my brothers each once or twice a year, but not us. My brothers do not visit my parents, and don't generally attend family get togethers, which we do. So my parents see all of us kids about the same amount, but it's all very lopsided in terms of who is doing the traveling.)

June 29, 2014 (6) June 29, 2014 (5)

But the visit was lovely.

At an emotional scene in the movie, Hawaii crawled into my lap, sobbing, and said, "That thing is happening again. That thing where I feel the same thing as the people in the movie." We were watching Pocahontas, which is a pretty relentlessly serious, emotional little kid's movie.

That is just so sweet, though, that Hawaii gets weepy in empathy with the characters. In turn, I get weepily protective of her sweet heart.

"Why am I crying?"

Hokey Pokey likes to tell people that the new baby will be a boy, because Ace needs someone to marry. As in: he will marry Hawaii, and Ace and New Baby shall also pair off. This makes me look like a homophobic asshole: wherever does he get these notions that girls can only marry boys! We do not propagate such nonsense at home! (Or I'm paranoid.) Either way, I clumsily clarify, "We tell him that girls can marry girls too! Anyone can get married. Ha ha thud."  It's all very clunky.

In fact, we will find out the sex of the new baby on Tuesday! I'm terribly curious. Will we be a three-girls-and-one-boy family, where people comment on Pokey's loneness? Or a two-girls-and-two-boys family, where people comment on the symmetry? They both seem nice.

When I was pregnant with Pokey, I was burning hot. Jammies said, "Is that you giving off all that heat? You're an oven!" laying next to me in bed. My belly radiated heat.  This time I'm not so hot, so when asked, I say that I think this one is a girl. But really I have no idea.

I bought these shorts:

June 29, 2014 (1)

Those are faux-paint splatters, which is stupid but harmless. When Hawaii saw them, she gasped "What is that?" and I launched into an unnecessary explanation about why one might fake the presence of paint splatters. At the end, she waived me away, saying "I thought it was bird poop."

At one point I asked my parents, "So, you've got eight grandkids. Do any of them do anything that reminds you of any of your own kids?" My parents put their alien hats on and were utterly stumped. "Its…it's never occurred to us!" they fumbled. "Why would we…anyone…I think we're short circuiting out?"

It's a good thing that they see all people as individuals. It's best not to assign too many traits to Heritage and Family, and just let each person be themselves. But still - never crossed your mind?

(In other ways, they are happy to compare us. Brother #1 has a beautiful grand piano which is horribly out of tune, which my mother finds abhorrent. The kids take piano lessons and practice on a horrible-sounding piano. Mom is aghast. Me and Jammies, we have a $200 crappy keyboard which does not even have a full 88 keys. Mom was appalled. She sat down to do some sightreading she'd brought and was traumatized. She wants to buy us a fancy digital piano. We are happy for her to do so! Buy away! The last sibling has a fancy digital piano, which we expect that Mommy-Goldilocks will find just right. Mom argued that she may hate it, who can say. She will play on this last piano next week, and she will let us know. Her own piano, which we grew up practicing on, does have a very beautiful resonance.)

Also they are utterly incurious about my grandmother's memoir. In fact, no one in my family is reading the memoir.  I find this baffling. It's such a light, lively read! She's your mother/in-law/relative!

Fortunately, anyone bothering to read my Livejournal, years in the future will clearly be the sort that cherishes boring old family memoir accounts and will side with me.

June 29, 2014 (4) June 29, 2014 (3)

But really I had a lovely visit with my parents! I'm just a complainer!

(Liveblogging: kids, for the love of god, stop messing with each other's private parts. I really, really miss having separate adult space in this house.)

Cute things the kids did:

Pokey: Milk comes from a cow's udder. Where does chocolate milk come from? From the cow's mouth?
Hawaii (laughing): No! They get the milk first, and then they get chocolate syrup, and they mix the chocolate in with the milk!
Pokey: But cows don't have hands!

Oh we are just a sitcom on wheels. The whole family was laughing in a slightly picture-perfect remember-forever way.

Also Pokey calls an ice cream cone - in particular, the cone - the crust on the ice cream. "You can eat the crust when you get ice cream with crust!"  With delight. The kids now love cones.

I withheld ice cream cones from them their entire lives, until a few weeks ago when Grandma Mimi gave them some. I detest kids eating ice cream.  The worst is kids eating ice cream cones. Also I hate popsicles. Also I hate bubbles.  Blowing bubbles is the absolute worst. You have about two seconds before the kid wants to hold the bubble mix, and then you have another three seconds before the bubble mix has been up-ended all over the kid and yourself. I would get rid of the entire bubble blowing industry if I could.

June 29, 2014 (2)

This is the time of year that the crepe myrtles bloom like they are rock salt configurations.


parodie at 2014-06-30 17:56 (UTC) (Link)
Your grandmother's travel journal continues to be delightful. Was she as much fun in person?

As for ice cream (etc) - isn't it warm enough in your part of the world that you can just hose the kids down outside if they get messy?
heebie_geebie at 2014-07-01 17:24 (UTC) (Link)
I never met her! She died when my dad was 19. It's a bit poignant as I read/transcribe the memoir to think what a wonderful person I missed out on.

For the ice cream - it's true, we could just hose them off. But half the problem with the ice cream is that we're inevitably outside, in that same hot weather, which makes it melt and get gloopy exponentially fast. It is totally only a problem inside my head, but it kills me how you see a glop of ice cream and you know it will fall on the shirt in two minutes...one minute...thirty seconds...there it goes...and the kid will never pre-empt the falling. It's the slow motion mega-mess, I think. (Other messes don't bother me so much, like when the baby goes nuts in the mac and cheese.) .
mistersmearcase at 2014-07-01 22:42 (UTC) (Link)
Wow your family is different from mine. Nobody would ever tell a story about their dick. Ok I guess I can say "his dick" as a general case. Nobody would ever, in the context of family, talk about a penis.

Fancy keyboards aren't so expensive. Mine is 88 keys, weighted, perfectly nice, and I think was $300.

Ha ha thud.
heebie_geebie at 2014-07-03 02:34 (UTC) (Link)
Dad definitely enjoyed the edgy daring of telling people about his penis. He likes a bit of shock value now and then.

The problem with the keyboards is that my mom has super strong opinions about its resonance and how full the sound is and so on and so forth. I'm only half convinced I could pass the pepsi/coke taste test between what she considers to sound shitty and what she considers to sound passable, but the breakpoint seems to be about $1500 for digital, $3K for real pianos, which is enough for me to let her buy us whatever she feels strongly about.
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