Well. The laundry room is better. Not perfect, but better.Who knew we had fifteen flashlights and approximately one hundred and fourteen lightbulbs?
And three dog toenail clippers? We only have two dogs and they go to the groomer. Pearl, whom the clippers were bought for originally is DEAD. Okay? She's gone.
And two lint rollers? I don't personally remember rolling any lint in the past year.
And enough old rags to start a rag factory or cause spontaneous combustion, one or the other.
And three toilet plungers? We do have three toilets but what are the odds that they're going to all need plunging at the same time?
I threw out a dryer rack for drying sweaters that fit in a dryer we don't even own any more. And we never once used that rack anyway.
There was more.
For example: Enough mouse traps for fifteen houses.
And a lot of this shit is piled up because we have it but we don't realize it.
"Didn't I buy some mousetraps last year?"
Yes. Mousetraps were bought and then deposited into the Bermuda Triangle of that laundry room, never to be seen again until today.
Stuff. I swear- life all completely about stuff, no matter how much we wish to deny it. Going to work to be able to buy stuff and we're always buying more stuff and then we have to throw away stuff and why the entire planet isn't one big landfill is beyond me.
I went to town. Lily opened this morning and Jason is closing so that meant a one-hour overlap in which they needed childcare. So I got a little Gibson cuddling. Owen was asleep the entire time.
I hold him. I croon to him. I give him a bottle. And can I just say something here? Back when I was a nursing mother, they warned and warned and WARNED us not go give our nursling babies any sort of nipple. Not one attached to a bottle or to a pacifier. Why? Because of the Dreaded Nipple Confusion.
It turns out that babies aren't confused about nipples at all. If they are offered a bottle, they will take it. If they are offered a breast, they will take it.
If both are offered frequently, at least.
Gibson loves his bottle fine but he loves his mama's ninnies better than anything in the world.
Anyway, I fed him a bottle and I rocked him and rocked him and I called him Mr. Big Eyes and I kissed him more times than we have lightbulbs. He had just started some serious fussing when his mama got home. He took one look at her and was completely fine. He knows who his mama is now and he worships her. You should see the way he looks at her. With complete and utter adoration. It's hysterical and beautiful and lovely and magic.
She likes him too.
Owen woke up just about the time Lily got in. He called for his papa who had been there when he'd fallen asleep. But Papa wasn't there and Mama and Mer-Mer were! What a surprise! He was cool with that. He showed me his new twirly sword and he told his mother and me many things, some of them involving Power Rangers. When I told him I was going home, he kissed and hugged me a lot. He told the story of yesterday about how he did not want to go to my house.
"I no want to go!" he said, his eyes big. I think he was amused by his previous day's behavior.
I look at these boys and I think about how much a child learns in a few years. Gibson is three months old and he's just figuring out that his hands belong to him. Maybe. He is just starting to recognize people other than his mother and his father and his brother and those recognitions are pretty darn recent. Yet, in two years, he'll know all of that stuff and he'll be talking and of course walking and he'll know what he wants to be for Halloween and he'll know that Halloween involves pumpkins and candy and he'll have already gone through the Elmo stage. He'll have his own favorite toys and books and he'll demand certain foods and refuse others. He'll be starting to understand jokes and he'll know where all the light switches are in his house and in mine. He will understand incredibly complex processes. He will imagine that there are tigers or wolves or alligators and he will put all of his fears in those animals. He will be his own person, even as he already is.
I can remember so distinctly when Hank was four months old, maybe getting on to five months. I was a twenty-two year old mother and I had a friend whom I'd met in Lamaze class and she went with me down to Winter Haven with her same-age daughter where I baby-sat for my baby brothers who were, at the time, ten and eleven while my mother and step-father were on vacation. I can remember both of those babies racing through the house in their walkers, I can remember both of us nursing our babies, I can remember how they could almost sit up by themselves, just as Gibson is about to start doing. I remember feeling as if we were the first mothers in the world, how proud we were of our babies, how amazed we were at every single tiny thing they were learning, were achieving.
Well. We were the very first mothers in the world of those particular babies. My Hank, her Dawn Rose. I think of that friend often. Her name was Jena. Last I heard of her, she was in Bastrop, Texas. I wonder how she is. I wonder if she's a grandmother now too, remembering when Hank and Dawn Rose were babies and we went to Winter Haven and hung out in a house with air conditioning and a dishwasher and a washer and a dryer and so much stuff.
A house so different than our little old hippie houses which made it a sort of vacation for us.
So long ago.
And yet, all these years later, I am once again dealing with babies and with stuff.
It's all different and yet, in so many ways, it is the same.
I feel sort of bad that I dissed the Pioneer Woman today. Hell, she's just a mother who found a way to make a lot of money and really, there's nothing wrong with that. I hope she really does love her life, her kids, her Lodge, her dishwashers, washing machines, laundry-room cabinets, giant industrial stoves, English film crews, her husband whose ass she never tires of photographing.
Here's my husband in his natural habitat.
He's a Viking and he loves the sea and catching the big fishes that swim beneath the waves.
Pioneer Woman's husband is a cowboy and as such, loves doing whatever it is that cowboys do. Raising beef cows and all that entails.
That man wears chaps whereas my husband wears fishing shirts the color of the ocean and he'd be seriously pissed off if I took a picture of his ass and posted it here.
Well. Life. We're all just here for a short time and we do with it what we can. Today I got to hold and cuddle my baby grandson, I had memories, I cleaned out stuff. I am waiting for that Viking to come home from the sea. Tomorrow I'll clean the kitchen and get rid of more stuff.
And so it goes. And so it goes. Until we die.